The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC Legal Blog

A hostile co-parent can cause child custody problems

All good parents in Texas and beyond want what is best for their children. Determining what that might be is sometimes challenging, especially if a set of parents has filed for divorce and disagrees on child custody issues.

Your children might be better able to cope with your divorce if you and your ex are willing to cooperate and adhere to a court order to minimize stress and work together as a team for your kids’ sake.

Don’t take the bait if a co-parent tries to create confrontation

If your co-parent is unwilling to cooperate and seems determined to try to cause legal problems, undermine your authority or impede your relationship with your children, it can become a hostile environment. You can be proactive to avoid confrontation. For instance, you can insist on corresponding via text to keep in-person interaction to a minimum.

There’s no way to avoid having to speak with your ex altogether after divorce because you must communicate about issues regarding your children. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of in-person time together, however. Especially if your ex always tries to start trouble, you can limit your exposure to him or her while still fulfilling your parental responsibilities.

A parent can protect children’s best interests

A Texas family court always has children’s best interests in mind when making child custody decisions. As part of a co-parenting agreement, you can incorporate terms to protect children’s interests, such as stating that you and your ex agree not to speak negatively about one another in front of the kids. Terms of agreement regarding custody transfers, introducing new romantic partners to children and other important family issues can also be included in a co-parenting plan.

How to resolve a hostile environment issue after your divorce

A formal petition for modification of a child custody order must be filed and granted before your ex can change the arrangements. Also, even if you do not mind changing the time or location of custody transfers, if it is written in the court order that it is to take place at a specific location and at a certain time, you and your ex must adhere to the agreed-upon terms unless and until the court modifies its order.

Sadly, children are often the ones who suffer most when one parent tries to take revenge against the other because he or she filed for divorce. It is one thing to be angry or even to argue with a former spouse. It is quite another to disregard a court order. If your co-parent stops paying child support without the court’s permission, doesn’t deliver children for custody transfers on time or is intentionally trying to turn your children against you, you may seek the court’s intervention to rectify the situation.

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