Tactics for Co-Parenting Amidst Passive-Aggressive Behavior in New Jersey
Co-parenting Can Be Challenging, Especially When Dealing with Passive-Aggressive Behavior by Your Ex in Long Branch, Berkeley, Asbury Park, and Ocean and Monmouth County Towns
Navigating the co-parenting relationship is no easy task. Even parents who get along run into trials and tribulations when it comes to raising their shared children in a coherent and healthy way. When there is conflict between co-parents, however, it can wreak havoc on even precise parenting time schedules and the most well-intentioned plans. One of the difficult dynamics in co-parenting is that of a passive-aggressive parenting partner. Indirect resistance and subtle undercutting of communication, routine, and even court-ordered schedules can have not only a negative impact on you as the other parent, but on your child as well. If you are dealing with a passive-aggressive co-parent in New Jersey, contact our offices at Bronzino Law Firm today to speak with our experienced family law attorneys. While involving the family court is rarely the best way forward initially in these cases, we are here to provide support and guidance in navigating these tricky waters in productive ways and are happy to work with you until the issue is resolved.
What is Passive-Aggressive Behavior in Co-Parenting Dynamics?
Passive-aggressive behavior is the use of indirect or subtle resistance, conflict, or manipulation to express discontent in a relationship. A person who displays passive-aggressive behavior will rarely address a conflict head-on by speaking to the other person. Instead, they will engage in behaviors meant to upset the other person, inconvenience them, and interrupt the regular patterns of coherence within the familial relationship as well as their personal and professional life. Examples of passive-aggressive co-parenting behavior include not communicating about important details regarding the child, not showing up at the scheduled time, scheduling events with the child outside of their regular parenting time without running it by the other, regularly paying child support late, and having the child relay messages regarding schedules changes and other information.
Unmasking Passive-Aggressive Behavior
Passive aggressive behavior generally shows up as behaviors that project negative feelings instead of directly addressing them. As such, they are often behaviors meant to indirectly cause conflict. While these aggressors attempt to show neutrality or innocence, they push buttons incessantly in various ways intended to get a rise out of the other person. Their behaviors reflect a resistance to communicative coherence.
Family Courts Approach to Issues Between Passive-Aggressive Parents
Generally, working through the New Jersey Superior Court: Family Part system to resolve occurrences of passive-aggressive behavior is not the best path forward. Rarely will the court change a custody arrangement or parenting time schedule based on allegations of passive aggressiveness. However, if one of the manifestations of this behavior is constantly paying child support late, the court may require a penalty.
Passive-Aggressive Behavior: What About the Children?
Passive aggressive behavior by a co-parent doesn’t just affect the other parent negatively. It can have a detrimental impact on the child, too. Children are sponges, and they pick up on unspoken energies and dynamics in the space. A parent does not have to attest to their anger verbally or physically to emit clear signs that they are upset. This is felt by children. Further, when a parent’s behaviors and emotional expressions do not match their words, this creates confusion and a lack of sense of security for children. Parents are responsible for modeling healthy behaviors, and engaging in clear communication, socioemotional intelligence, and teamwork are all essential for creating a safe family container for the child.
Establish Healthy Limits to Protect from Passive-Aggressive Behavior
In addition to being a sign of someone who does not know how to handle their emotions healthfully, passive-aggressive behavior is designed to make the receiver feel the same type of unrest that the projector feels. In order to protect yourself against passive-aggressive behavior, it is important to maintain healthy boundaries and rely on information and clear communication. Do as much communicating and planning with your co-parent upfront as you can in your parenting time agreement and schedule that will be court-approved. Request written communication for important items, and abide by that yourself as well. If your co-parent continuously undermines healthy co-parenting dynamics through subversive behavior, speak to it directly and objectively while maintaining a respectful and solutions-based approach that is child-centric. After all, you both want what’s best for your child.
Rely on our Experienced Family Lawyers for Help Dealing with Passive-Aggressive Behavior at our Brick or Sea Girt Offices
In such difficult circumstances, having a family lawyer‘s legal and moral support can prove invaluable. An attorney can provide reliable, practical advice for engaging fairly with a passive-aggressive co-parent. They can also help you document issues and prepare evidence should the grievances pile up and a motion to the family court must be filed. Our team at Bronzino Law Firm is dedicated to the well-being of families, particularly New Jersey’s children. This means supporting coherent co-parenting dynamics. We’ve helped families in Barnegat, Red Bank, Middletown, Rumson, Toms River, Freehold, Sea Bright, and other communities in Monmouth and Ocean County develop strong co-parenting plans and relationships, both out of court and, when necessary, in court. Contact us today at (732) 812-3102 for a free consultation to get started on bettering your co-parenting relationship and moving forward as a family.