What Is Considered Harassment By A Co Parent

What Is Considered Harassment By A Co Parent

Co-parenting is vital for kids when parents split, even though it can be tough. But sometimes, arguments can turn into harassment, causing problems for everyone. In this article, we’ll look at what counts as co-parenting harassment, the different types, legal consequences, and ways to handle it.


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Co-parenting, which means parents continue raising their children together after a romantic relationship ends, is essential for the kids’ well-being. But it can get complicated if harassment occurs. This article discusses co-parenting, emphasizing open communication, understanding, and sticking to a parenting plan for the child’s benefit. We’ll identify eight types of co-parenting harassment, like excessive communication, boundary violations, negative talk, control attempts, plan disregards, using children as messengers. To address this harassment, we’ll suggest five strategies: honest conversations with the co-parent, keeping records of issues, self-care and creating a detailed parenting plan. We’ll also touch on why some parents behave this way, like lingering anger or hurt, and how it affects the kids and family dynamics. In conclusion, we recommend seeking professional help, like therapy or counseling, for both parents and children to manage the emotional stress tied to co-parenting issues, aiming for a more peaceful co-parenting environment and preventing lasting harm.

6 Things What is Considered Harassment by a Co-parent

6 Things What is Considered Harassment by a Co-parent

Harassment in co-parenting can manifest in various ways, often causing stress and conflict. Let’s explore six behaviors that can be considered harassment by a co-parent:

1. Too Much Talking

Talking excessively during co-parenting can be exhausting and interfere with your regular activities.

For instance, communicating frequently via email, phone, and/or message regarding matters that don’t actually concern your child. The exchange of important information and respect for one another’s privacy must coexist in harmony.

Talking too much might make you tired and tense, which makes it harder to focus on what’s best for your child. So that you don’t bombard one other with unrelated messages, try to speak concisely and focus your interactions on what’s best for your child.

2. Crossing Personal Boundaries

When you interrupt each other’s personal space, it can be by being where you are not allowed or supposed to be or by browsing each other’s content, it can be uncomfortable and misunderstanding for both of you and worsen your co-parenting relationship and not good for you children.

To build trust and avoid pointless arguments when co-parenting, it is essential that both parties respect each other’s personal space. You can’t work together effectively for the sake of your child when you invade someone else’s personal space.

Make sure to set clear boundaries and respect each other’s privacy to make co-parenting smoother and less stressful.

3. Saying Bad Stuff About Each Other

Talking badly about the other parent when your child can hear can really hurt your child’s feelings and well-being. It can make your child confused, upset, and feel like they have to pick sides.

To keep things good for your child, always talk about the other parent with respect and kindness when your child is around. Make sure your child has a safe and supportive environment where they can have good relationships with both parents without hearing mean things.

4. Trying to Control Everything

Wanting to control every little thing in your child’s life without considering what the other parent thinks can make your fights worse and stop you from co-parenting well.

Collaborating and actively listening to each other when making significant choices for your child is preferable. Attempting to exert total control can impede your child’s ability to develop and benefit from diverse perspectives and experiences.

Strive to jointly make decisions that prioritize your child’s growth and happiness.

5. Ignoring the Plan

Not following the plan you both agreed on for parenting can lead to fights and frustration between co-parents. Giving your child a stable and predictable life is important, especially if your family is changing.

Your child’s routine can be disrupted and confused if you don’t follow the plan. Talk to each other and stick to the plan you created to maintain stability and reduce stress for your child to make co-parenting simpler.

6. Using Kids as Messengers

They may experience a lot of stress if you have them convey messages between you and the other parent.

They might even feel guilty or nervous since they might feel as though they are caught in the middle of your arguments. Instead of including the child in adult issues, co-parents should speak directly to one another about essential issues.

By doing this, you’ll safeguard your child’s emotional health and free them from unneeded worry so they may concentrate on growing up.

4 Ways to Deal with Harassment by a Co-parent

4 Ways to Deal with Harassment by a Co-parent

1. Talk it Out

Effective communication is vital. Try having calm, reasonable chats with your co-parent to express your thoughts and boundaries. Sometimes, having an honest conversation can clear up misunderstandings and ease tension.

2. Keep a Record

It’s helpful to jot down what happens when you interact with your co-parent. Note any times they harass you, where it occurred, and if there were any witnesses. This record could serve as proof if you ever need legal help.

3. Take Care of Yourself

Coping with harassment can take a toll on your emotional well-being. Ensure you take care of yourself by seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist. Engage in activities that promote relaxation and improved mood.

Keep in mind that your mental well-being plays a crucial role in maintaining stability for your children.

4. Plan It Out

Creating a detailed parenting plan is a smart move. It clarifies expectations and cuts down on possible conflicts. Include specifics like custody schedules, how you’ll communicate, and ways to solve disputes. A well-thought-out plan can prevent misunderstandings and arguments.

Seeking Professional Help

Both parents with their children, can get support through therapy or counseling when they face the emotional strain arising from co-parenting issues.

Therapy offers a safe space for parents to openly express their feelings, develop strategies for handling tough situations, and enhance their communication skills, all of which contribute to better managing co-parenting difficulties. Counseling can also be highly advantageous for children, as it helps them grasp and regulate their emotions, boosts their resilience, and equips them with the tools to maintain positive relationships, even in challenging circumstances.

It’s essential to view seeking professional help as a way to enhance the situation and promote a more peaceful co-parenting atmosphere.


According to a study published in 2021 in the journal Violence Against Women, co-parenting harassment is more prevalent among couples who are divorced or separated compared to those who are still married. Additionally, the research revealed that co-parenting harassment tends to be more frequent in cases where there is a prior history of domestic violence within the relationship.

In a 2020 research published in the Journal of Family Issues, it was discovered that harassment among co-parents can detrimentally affect the mental and emotional well-being of both the co-parents and their children. Moreover, this form of harassment can impede effective communication and cooperation between co-parents, further contributing to the children’s overall welfare being compromised.


Co-parenting is a big job where the main focus should be on making sure kids are okay. When there’s harassment in co-parenting, it can really hurt everyone’s feelings and isn’t good for anyone. It’s really important to notice the problem, talk about it, and find ways to fix it so that kids can have a safe and happy place to grow up.


What to do when a co-parent is manipulating your child?
When a co-parent manipulates your child, document instances, and seek legal advice if it affects the child’s welfare. Maintain open communication with the child, emphasizing their emotional safety, and consider involving a therapist to provide support.

What are two examples of co-parenting conflict?
Co-parenting conflicts can arise from disagreements over parenting styles, visitation schedules, or financial responsibilities. They may also stem from unresolved emotional issues between the co-parents, like resentment or mistrust.

What is the most common type of co-parenting?
Shared co-parenting, in which both parents actively participate in decision-making and child-rearing, is the most prevalent approach. Making sure both parents stay involved in their children’s lives after a separation or divorce helps improve the child’s well-being.

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