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How to deal with a difficult co-parent

Co-parenting with a toxic parent in Texas can be challenging after a divorce. It's important to avoid engaging with a difficult, manipulative parent. Staying focused on the children and setting boundaries is key. Exes may want to use an online parenting portal, which also documents all communication, or find another way to document and manage communication.

This could mean only agreeing to reply to emails and ignoring anything that's not strictly about the children. Parents can also limit the times when they reply. They are not obligated to respond to a difficult co-parent immediately. Understanding the patterns that lead to fights can help defuse them before they start.

It may help to keep a businesslike attitude about communication. While it's not possible to control the toxic parent's messages, replies can remain practical and on the topic of the children. However, there are circumstances in which this might not be enough. Parents may find that they need to return to court to negotiate a new parenting plan. Another option might be parallel parenting. This is an arrangement in which exes disengage almost entirely and have very limited contact. Above all, parents need to make the choice that's right for their children.

Even in co-parenting situations that are not necessarily toxic, parents may experience stress and conflict. They should understand their rights when it might be time to seek legal assistance. In general, courts do not want parents returning for every conflict, but changes in child custody and child support may require an official modification. There are legal channels for enforcing these agreements, but one should also be aware that withholding the other parent's access to the child for nonpayment of support is generally not permitted.

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Law Office of B. Diane Heindel, P.C.
407 E. 4th Street
Tyler, TX 75701

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Law Office of B. Diane Heindel, P.C.