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How to Deal with a Toxic Ex-Spouse When Children Are Involved

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How to Deal with a Toxic Ex-Spouse When Children Are Involved

How to Deal with a Toxic Ex-Spouse When Children Are Involved

Moving beyond your divorce is a journey, but it opens your life to new possibilities. Attempting to co-parent with a toxic ex is an exercise in futility because co-parenting is all about shared effort and mutual intent. Your toxic ex will not come through on either count. There are, however, things you can do to help mitigate the damage and continue to live your best life with your children. If you are facing child custody concerns of any kind, don’t wait to reach out for the skilled legal guidance of an experienced Illinois child custody attorney

Recognize What’s Going On

Toxic people are very, very good at engaging others in harmful communication loops that keep things spiraling forever downward. Pay attention to your interactions with your ex, and if you recognize a pattern, take note. Sometimes, the best path forward is disengaging to the degree possible and turning to electronic communications and parenting apps, such as Our Family Wizard, to get the job done. Because actions often speak louder than words, making it your personal policy to limit communication in this way will get the message across loud and clear – without turning the issue into a battle. 

Follow Your Court Orders

When you divorced, the court handed down orders outlining your parental responsibilities and parenting time, and you should follow them carefully. Your toxic ex is almost certain to take a different approach, and there’s nothing you can do about that. What you can do, however, is document every transgression. If it comes to the point that you need to call your ex out on their actions, you can take it up with the court – and you’ll have the documentation to back your position up. 

Don’t Compete

You may find that your toxic co-parent likes to pull out all the stops for the kids when it comes to fun and good times but prefers to leave discipline and order to you. Do not engage. Your children need structure in their lives, and it falls to you to provide it. Further, your children want to see both of you in the best light possible – allow them to do so for as long as possible. Continuing to find balance – between order and chaos, between fun and discipline – in your own relationship with your children is the right thing to do for you and for them.

Get Out There and Live Your Life

This is the hand you’ve been dealt: 

  • You can’t count on your ex to live up to their parenting responsibilities.
  • You are going to need a contingency plan every step of the way forward. 
  • Your ex is going to make things as difficult as they can for you. 

While there’s nothing you can do to change your toxic ex, you can distance yourself from the drama to the degree possible – and live life to the fullest in the process. You are making memories with your children, and that’s one of life’s greatest rewards. 

An Experienced Illinois Child Custody Attorney Is on Your Side

The compassionate child custody attorneys at the SAM LAW OFFICE LLC in Rolling Meadows have a wealth of experience successfully guiding clients like you through the choppy co-parenting waters created by toxic exes, and we’re here for you, too. Learn more by contacting us today.

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