You thought your divorce was going to be a run of the mill affair, but instead, it’s dragging on for years and you’re tired of dealing with your manipulative, hostile ex. You’re knee-deep in a toxic divorce.
There are things you can do to reduce the amount of toxicity from your ex that seeps into your life. Here are six ways to survive a toxic divorce.
In a toxic divorce, the kids can become a target as one parent continually bad mouths the other in front of the children. Be the parent who chooses to role model appropriate behavior. Don’t badmouth your ex in front of the children and make it clear to them that, if they have a problem with you, to speak to you directly versus airing grievances with the other parent.
When it comes to the children, make sure you are taking the high road. Make sure to document any instances where you feel your ex is deliberately trying to turn the children against you. The court takes seriously allegations of parental alienation.
Another reason to take the high road is that it gives you a way to feel in control. You have no control over what your ex says and does. You can control your response to it, and how your children see you reacting to it. You can also choose to talk to an attorney about including a non-disparagement clause into your divorce or custody agreement.
It’s your choice how you respond to what your ex says and does. It’s easy to respond with anger. The worst thing you can do is to hit that send button with an email or text that blasts your ex, only to have your words thrown back at you in court as an example of how you regularly behave.
A good rule of thumb is to wait before responding to ensure that you are responding in a logical way, not governed by impulsive emotions. When communicating with your ex, keep things simple, stick to facts, and adopt as neutral a tone as possible.
If your ex decides to escalate the situation and begins making threats or starts to harass you, you need to talk to your attorney about what your options are. It may be a situation where your ex doesn’t need to have contact with you directly.
A toxic divorce can be extremely traumatic, so it’s vital that you learn coping skills that allow you to function without being overwhelmed. If you find yourself responding to every communication in an out of control fashion, or you’re overwhelmed with thoughts of how your ex has done you wrong, you need to take a step back and reevaluate the situation.
Talking to a therapist can help. There are stress reduction techniques, such as mindfulness training and guided meditation that can help you.
Many parents set an “electronics curfew” for their kids, a time each day when the devices turn off and the kids can refocus on other things. Your toxic divorce deserves a curfew as well.
Set a time each night, say 9:00 PM, at which you promise not to do anything divorce-related. You can read a book, spend time with the kids, or watch TV...anything you want that is positive, soothing, and not related to the toxic divorce.
When you choose an attorney for a toxic divorce, you don’t want another toxic attorney. Trust us: we’ve seen lots of divorce cases where a toxic spouse chooses a toxic attorney that makes things worse. What you need is a smart, strategy-oriented attorney who has experience dealing with toxic divorce cases and can serve as a shield to help protect you from some of the negativity.
Your toxic spouse is going to do everything they can to appear angelic in front of the judge. You need an attorney who can paint a more accurate picture to the court and reveal the truth of the situation.
Family Matters Law Group not only has experience in toxic divorce cases but can serve as an assertive ally in your fight for a fair divorce or custody agreement. We have represented clients all over the metro Atlanta area. Contact us today to set up your initial consultation. We look forward to hearing your story, and fighting for your family and your assets!