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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

Maintain integrity and sanity when dealing with a toxic ex-spouse

Texas co-parents who are dealing with a toxic ex-spouse may feel like they are going crazy and are not able to take care of their children in the way they would like. The following tips can help these individuals maintain their sanity and personal integrity while looking out for the best interests of their children.

No matter how much a person would like to do so, they cannot change their ex-spouse. Focusing on the negative things an ex-spouse does will not do any good. It is better to focus on the things a person actually has control of, like their own life and how they respond to an ex-spouse.

Before interacting with a toxic ex-spouse, it is good to recognize the dynamic and how it usually plays out. There are likely triggers or patterns of communication that can make the situation go from 0 to 90 in just one moment. It is good to recognize that unhealthy dynamic and take the needed steps to steer conversations and situations in a direction that keeps things calm.

Toxic individuals often thrive on controlling others. In order to successfully co-parent with a toxic person, the individual has to refuse to allow themselves to be baited. Taking defensiveness and emotional reactions completely off the table should be a top priority. Communication can be limited, perhaps just to email. Unless the situation is an emergency or unless the communication has something directly to do with parenting, sometimes a person may not even need to respond to a toxic ex-spouse.

When co-parenting is not working, a parent might turn to a lawyer to see what other options exist. A lawyer may be able to provide information about complex child custody disputes or how a person could go about getting sole custody of their children. The lawyer may be able to represent a client in court, perhaps arguing for their fitness as a parent.

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