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How to co-parent with a toxic ex

In ideal situations, divorced spouses in Texas and elsewhere can get along well enough to peacefully co-parent their children. However, some exes have toxic personalities that make co-parenting difficult or impossible. Here are some tips on dealing with former spouses who refuse to get along for the sake of the kids.

First, experts recommend that parents learn to accept what they can't change and focus on controlling the things that they can. This means parents should control their own behavior and do their best to ignore the behavior of their ex. This process can be made easier when parents recognize the communication patterns they have with their ex and seek to avoid situations that trigger them. Meanwhile, parents should be sure to set new boundaries that prevent them from being baited into fights or other emotionally unhealthy situations. For example, if parents only communicate with their toxic ex on a co-parenting app and block them on social media, they can limit unnecessary and unpleasant interactions.

If an ex tries to push a parent's buttons, experts say it might be best not to respond immediately. Instead, it may be better to cool down before sending a reply. It's also good to remember that some comments don't need a response at all. For instance, if an ex's pointed comment doesn't involve child care, it could be best to ignore it. Finally, if the co-parenting relationship really starts to go downhill, parents should be sure to document everything that takes place, including dates, times, agreement breaches and support payments. If necessary, parents could seek a court order that forces an ex to meet parental obligations.

Parents who are facing divorce could contact a family law attorney for help. The attorney may provide important advice and work to negotiate agreements on child custody, child support and more.

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