Kennedy Law Associates

Tips for dealing with a toxic ex-spouse while co-parenting

Successful co-parenting involves putting the children first. Unfortunately, some North Carolina parents are dealing with a difficult ex-spouse. While co-parenting with a toxic ex-spouse can be frustrating, there are steps individuals can take to make the best of the situation.

The first thing a person needs to recognize is that some things are completely out of their control. After a divorce, a person will not be able to change their co-parent. However, a person can control the way they respond to the situation. Staying composed and maintaining a steady temperament can go a long way in helping a person control their commitment to being a good parent.

There are usually recognizable patterns in communication that can make an interaction with an ex escalate significantly in just a moment. Recognizing an unhealthy dynamic and steering it in another direction can protect a well-meaning co-parent and empower them.

Successful post-divorce parenting involves setting new boundaries. Emotional reactions and defensiveness should be completely off the table. Limiting communication can be helpful, perhaps only using a parenting portal or email. Blocking an ex from social media can also be helpful.

A person can decide when they will engage with a co-parent. The last thing they want to do is immediately respond to a situation that could quickly escalate. If a toxic co-parent says or does something that causes the other co-parent to feel angry, the best thing they can do is take a step back from the situation. Responding once a person has calmed down is a much better approach.

Individuals who are thinking of divorce may have questions about child custody. A lawyer may be able to provide information about divorce, parenting time, joint custody and visitation rights. They may also help a person draw up important documents like divorce papers.

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