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When your co-parent is dishonest

Co-parenting can be a uniquely challenging task. Unlike most relationships, you cannot simply choose to sever ties with your co-parent if he or she behaves in ways that you disapprove of. Certainly, if your co-parent is abusive or is otherwise acting in ways that seriously compromise the best interests of the child that you share, you may consider speaking with an attorney in order to create more distance between your co-parent and both you and your child. However, if your co-parent remains a fit parent in the eyes of the court, you will need to find ways to communicate with him or her and otherwise remain connected for the sake of your child.

It can be difficult to maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship if certain pressing issues arise. If your co-parent is irresponsible, is forgetful, is disengaged, is controlling, is manipulative or otherwise makes choices that impact your life or your child’s life for the worse, tension will likely result. Similarly, if your co-parent is dishonest about important issues, tensions will likely arise as a result of that dishonesty.

If your co-parent is dishonest, you may be inclined to lash out or to badmouth him or her to your child. It is best to refrain from badmouthing your co-parent in front of your child, even if he or she deserves to be badmouthed. Your child may internalize that criticism in ways that you cannot anticipate. Instead, it is preferable that you speak with a loved one, a support group or a counselor about your co-parent’s dishonesty. Treat any part of that dishonesty that affects your child in healthy ways that will reinforce the idea that in your home, honesty is an important value to be respected.

Source: The Huffington Post, “My Childrens' Mother Lies About Their Problems,” Susan Stiffelman, Jan. 20, 2015

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