Colorado parents who are co-parenting know that many challenges arise as they look out for the best interests of their children. The situation can be even more complicated if one of the co-parents is a toxic person. The following tips can help individuals co-parent with a toxic ex after a divorce.
It is important to remember that communication with an ex-spouse needs to be business-like. Conversations should be factual and pragmatic; the goal is not to hash out old problems in the marriage. Conversations should focus on the children and their needs.
A person does not need to respond to everything that a toxic co-parent says or does. Aside from communication relating to the children, everything else can be put to rest or ignored. A person can also make a decision about when to respond. Instead of reacting in the moment to something a toxic ex-spouse says or does, is usually better to vent to a friend or sleep on it before responding.
New boundaries will need to be set after a divorce and as co-parents work out schedules and other details when sharing custody of their children. Defensiveness and emotional reactions should be completely off the table. Time parameters for communication should be set. Limiting the means of communication can also be helpful, such as just sending text messages or emails.
If a toxic ex-spouse consistently barges through boundaries and does not follow through with legal agreements, a person may consider filing a court order. Some parents turn to an attorney to help them modify their parenting plan. An attorney may be able to provide information about child custody and what is in the best interests of the child. The attorney may also help a person understand their visitation rights or help settle a custody dispute.