A troubled marriage could end in divorce, but the dissolution might not end communications with a toxic ex-spouse. When both former partners have a co-parenting plan, they must deal with one another. With a highly toxic ex-spouse, the situation could become stressful for the parent and damaging to the child. Things may reach the point where a Maryland family court has to oversee things.
Co-parenting with a toxic ex-spouse
“Toxic” refers to a broad spectrum of behaviors that make communicating with someone challenging. The toxic individual could be insulting, abusive, self-centered, or always creating drama. While the person might be a decent parent to the child, his or her toxic behavior might make communications almost impossible.
As much as one parent would prefer not to deal with a toxic ex-spouse, a co-parenting arrangement makes interactions necessary. Narrowing communications may make things easier, and limiting discussions to present and future matters regarding the child could be one way to shrink the interactions.
Similarly, communication does not need to be constant. Texting important information and avoiding phone calls or texting non-essential messages may help the cause.
Seeking the court’s involvement
Although a co-parenting plan might be in place, things could change if the toxic parent’s behavior becomes unacceptable. For example, if one parent tries to pit the child against the other parent, such behavior could be disastrous for the child’s development. When the parent’s attitude towards the child turns toxic or abusive, changing the child custody arrangement might be unavoidable.
Keeping logs of troubling behavior, such as angry voicemails or text messages, could help sway a court’s opinion during a new child custody hearing. The court may give one parent sole custody if the other parent proves untrustworthy and incompetent.