Toxic relationships present unique challenges for co-parents.
If divorced your spouse due to toxic behavior, do not expect their behavior to change once the divorce is final.
Toxic people often do not want to communicate properly.
This means every custody exchange can become a battle. They may purposely arrive late for custody pickups and drop-offs. They may try to make you mad purely out of spite.
These issues are extremely difficult to deal with and while divorce can create some space away from them, you must still find a way to interact with them if you have children together.
If you do not, it could hurt you. It could hurt your time with the kids.
Co-Parenting Tips For Toxic Ex-Spouses
One of the hardest aspects of co-parenting is communication. This is even harder when your spouse is toxic.
That’s why it is crucial to get everything down in writing. Have a clearly defined parenting plan. Spell out every aspect of custody and visitation. Include a grace period, as people do run late. But make sure it is included in the written plan. A plan will help in the event of a future dispute.
Never talk badly about your ex in front of your children. Refrain even if you suspect they are engaging in this behavior. It will only hurt your case.
Sticking mainly to writing is another good way to communicate. Use texts and emails instead of phone conversations. Speaking to your spouse can easily lead to a fight. This is less likely with texts and emails.
Do not videotape custody exchanges. This may only enrage your ex. You can still protect yourself, though. A witness can prevent your ex from making false accusations. Witnesses can also help ensure heated situations do not escalate. Public places work when you do not have a personal witness.
Arrange for extracurricular activities very carefully. Make sure the other parent knows about them. Do not interact with your ex-spouse at these events. Consider rotating if your ex-spouse cannot remain civil at them.
Sometimes, the above tips simply do not work. A family lawyer can take the matter to court when they do not.
Our Family Lawyer in South Carolina Can Help with Custody Disputes
Toxic co-parents make life very difficult. Our South Carolina family lawyers can make it easier. At The Peck Law Firm, we have extensive experience with custody matters. We want to put it to work for you. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.