6 Ways to Deal With a Toxic Co-Parent

parents fighting in front of kid

No one likes the idea of divorce and much less the process of it. Yet, it is a common reality that almost half of the American households will deal with. Regardless of your reasons for filing for divorce, you have to keep your head clear when dealing with the aftermath of that decision, especially when you are dealing with a toxic co-parent. Maintaining a level-head will not only help you in the long run, but it will positively impact your children. Here are six tips to help you deal with an uncooperative co-parent.

Establish Healthy Boundaries

This is a simple piece of advice that in the beginning, may be hard to implement. However, it is vital. Only talk about the kids. Do not engage in personal conversations with your ex. Do not speak to them about the good times you shared in hopes of smoothing things over.

At this point, your relationship should be solely focused on your children and their well-being. A toxic co-parent will use any bit of information to leverage against you. Do not give them that opportunity.

Communicate Effectively and Strategically

Responding defensively to your co-parent’s hostile emails and texts will just inflame drama. When you communicate with your ex, say as little as possible, in the most clear and concise manner as possible. Don’t be emotional, sarcastic, or preachy. Sticking to the facts and holding your boundaries will help minimize conflict.

If emotions are still running high, taking space and focusing on your relationship with your children is highly recommended. You may have to only avoid direct contact temporarily until the dust starts to settle.

Do NOT Be Reactive

The odds are that your ex-partner is going to do things to get under your skin. They may suddenly ‘forget’ an arrangement you both agreed on. Or, they designate themselves as the ‘fun parent’ who takes the kids out for sweets, while you have to be the ‘bad parent’ that forces them to do homework.

This imbalance in parenting is an effective strategy that happens quite often. The best reaction is not to react because that is what the toxic co-parent wants. Instead, take a moment. Figure out what would be the best course of action for your children, and then proceed.

Let Go of What You Cannot Control

Remember that you cannot control what your ex-spouse does or feels. High-conflict personalities will choose to engage in anger over logic any day of the week. That’s a challenge that they have to overcome. Be sure to identify what battles do and don’t belong to you.

Remember to Take Time to Care For Yourself

It’s critical that you learn ways to regulate your nervous system so you’re not in a state of chronic stress. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and eating properly. Make a list of coping skills that you utilize when you’re coming unglued: exercise, take a walk, meditate, do something creative, talk to a therapist. The more you can skillfully manage your reactions, the better able you’ll be to detach from the crazy.

Get Support From a San Antonio Child Custody Attorney

Remember focusing on your toxic co-parent’s evil ways is not only a waste of time, but will also make you depressed and anxious. Focusing on strategies to manage your relationship with your ex is the first step towards your empowerment!

If the issues persist with your uncooperative co-parent, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Contact a San Antonio child custody lawyer that has experience with high-conflict divorce. A lawyer can help you set new co-parenting goals as well as proper boundaries between you and your ex. The Law Office of Rebecca J. Carrillo have successfully handled numerous cases involving divorce and child custody arrangements.

Call our experienced child custody attorney today at (210) 405-6623.