Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C.
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Tips to raise children when their other parent is toxic

Co-parenting with a toxic ex-spouse may be challenging, but it might be possible for Colorado parents to raise emotionally healthy children after divorce if the parents are committed to it. In some cases, simply living apart may make it easier to deal with inappropriate or immature behavior from a former spouse. These tips might help a parent focus on their children instead of their ex.

The most important thing a divorced parent in this situation should do is set boundaries. A toxic ex likely knows how to push buttons. In order to reduce the possibility of conflict, a parent could limit the methods their former spouse has to contact them. For example, a parent might only communicate through email or text messages instead of by phone.

Regardless of the way they choose to communicate, parents shouldn't respond to messages designed to get a reaction. Communication should focus on the children; if a message isn't urgent, there's no reason to provide an immediate response. If necessary, parents may communicate through a third party.

A recently divorced parent may need to present evidence of harassment or intimidation to the court. It's important to document all of these interactions with the date, time and method of communication. Parents should also document instances where the noncustodial parent did not comply with the custody and parenting time agreement or make support payments on time.

Divorcing a toxic spouse could be complicated when there are children involved. An experienced family law attorney may be able to give a client guidance regarding documentation and methods of communication to help ensure that the best interests of the children are paramount both during and after the divorce. If civil protection orders are appropriate, an attorney may help a client secure them.

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