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Child custody with a combative ex is challenging

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Being in a parenting relationship with an ex who is combative is a difficult experience. You know that you have to look forward to drama with each encounter, but you can't let this impact your ability to raise your children.

There are several things you can do if your ex is always belligerent. These can help you to avoid situations in which you will have to deal with harassment. It can also help your children to adjust to the new way of life because they aren't having to see the parent-to-parent stress.

Use only documented communication

One of the most effective ways to stop an ex from directly harassing you is to only use documented communication methods. Certain apps enable you and your ex to relay messages in a format that is handed over to the court if there is ever a report of harassment or other issues. When you use this, there are no questions about what was said since the court can read the correspondence directly. If this isn't possible, keep any proof of harassment. This might include voicemails, text messages or videos of the incidents.

Set clear guidelines for what's acceptable

Set clear terms for what's acceptable in the parenting plan. This can include the fact that neither parent should belittle the other to anyone. It can also state that the children can't be used as messengers. It is possible to set rules for what other adults can do when they are at functions for the children. This includes demanding that extended family members remain respectful to both parents so the focus can be kept on the children. It might be possible to have a clause that anyone who causes drama at joint events can't attend future events.

Report the harassment quickly

If your ex does start to harass you, make sure that your report it to the court. You shouldn't have to deal with this type of behavior, and it sets a bad example for the kids. The contention that harassment and even just a bad attitude can cause can lead to undue stress for the children.

Make sure that you take your parenting plan seriously. You must ensure that the terms are easy to understand and that you can comply with them. If you see that your ex isn't keeping up with their responsibilities or that the plan isn't working for the best interests of the children, you can always turn to the court for a modification of the order.

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