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Setting boundaries with a difficult co-parent after divorce

Texas parents who have been through a divorce may face further challenges if they have a difficult co-parent. Unfortunately, divorce does not always mean an end to conflict, particularly when parents may need to maintain some kind of a relationship for years. However, there are steps a parent can take to set boundaries with the other parent if necessary.

In some cases, one parent may manipulate the other one into arguments. It is not possible to control another person's actions, so parents must learn to manage their own. They should recognize the patterns they tend to fall into in these cases and refuse to engage. They should also keep in mind that they can wait to respond or not respond at all to the other parent. Communication can be limited to matters involving the children. Parents may also want to think about blocking an ex-spouse on social media and only agreeing to communicate in one way. For example, they might use only email. There are also online portals and other software available to facilitate and document communication between divorced parents.

It may help for parents to think about negotiations with a co-parent as business talks. If it simply is not possible to co-parent effectively, parents may want to consider changing the custody agreement or using a more disengaged approach like parallel parenting instead.

There may be things parents can do during divorce and custody negotiations to reduce the likelihood of conflict. For example, they might agree to only communicate using child custody software. Judges generally prefer that co-parents try to resolve disagreements between themselves and may look unfavorably on a parent who drags another into court repeatedly. However, if the child custody agreement must be modified or a parent is violating the agreement, returning to court may be necessary.

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