Florida couples who experienced conflict and violence during their marriage might be fearful of co-parenting after divorce. The concern is that the violent behavior of the abusive spouse will continue, potentially putting the other spouse, and even the children, at risk. A study by researchers at the University of Illinois explored this issue, with some conclusions that might be surprising to couples going through this.

The researchers defined two different types of violence present in marriages. The first was situational couple violence, usually the result of an argument between the spouses escalating when one or both failed to manage conflict. The other type of violence identified was coercive controlling violence, where the routine violence was one tactic used by an abusive spouse, along with things such as isolation from family and friends, to have control over their spouse. The researchers found that co-parenting was very different after a divorce depending on the type of violence.

During the first year of the separation and divorce, parents are making important decisions and emotions are heightened. Tension is higher than usual. According to researchers, couples who had experience situational couple violence seem to be able to co-parent successfully, with the former spouses often working our many of their differences post-divorce and with the abusive spouse taking an active role in parenting. In contrast, couples with a record of coercive controlling violence often saw the continuation of the harassment and tactics used previously in the marriage, with the abusive spouse many times not being involved in parenting the children, even if their former spouse wanted them to.

Residents who are dealing with this situation might seek advice from a lawyer in a child custody law firm. A lawyer might provide both legal advice and assistance in dealing with the abusive ex-spouse, by representing their client in negotiations and in court.