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Handling an ex who badmouths is difficult

| Feb 12, 2020 | Family Law |

It is natural for ex-spouses to become frustrated with their former-partner occasionally. It could be their parenting choices, chronic tardiness, or an on-going issue that contributed to the divorce in the first place. But unfortunately, some will continue to go out of their way to spread false information about an ex-wife or ex-husband.

The reasons for this could be the sting of a failed relationship, fear of the new life ahead, or a tendency to thrive on conflict, which can lead to divorce. However, this unhealthy behavior affects parents and children alike. Rather than continue this cycle of negativity, it is better to take steps to put a stop to it.

For example: Take the high road

Taking the high road means changing the narrative in an attempt to deflect the unnecessary drama. There are several ways to help institute a change:

  • Do not be defensive: It is a natural urge to defend oneself, but it is better to deny them the conflict they thrive on.
  • Remain calm but firm: Use language that avoids elevating their emotions (responding with “I’m sorry you feel that way” is a good example), or calmly provide facts that answer blatantly false accusations when merited.
  • Damage control may be necessary: A spouse may falsely claim that an ex has a restraining order, has no custody rights or has mental health issues like addiction. The spouse may state these falsehoods to schools, doctors’ offices and other places where a parent would discuss the well-being of their children. Explain the circumstances and provide legal paperwork, if necessary.
  • Detach from it: An ex’s harmful actions, comments and faulty beliefs should no longer have an impact on the emotional well-being of their victims.
  • Make sure the kids understand: A parent’s relationship with their children should not be defined by what the other parent says. Try to address their questions and fears honestly and clear up falsehoods that can lead to parental alienation syndrome.

More time in court may be necessary

Taking the high road is often the best option. Still, sometimes the couple may need to modify the prior order(s) or address behavior that affects custody or even the safety and well-being of the family. In cases such as these, an experienced Board-certified Family Law expert attorney in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County, and surrounding areas of Texas can help clients find a legal solution to this vexing issue.

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