Coping with your Ex: Texas Divorce

Divorce 101: Coping with Your Ex During a Divorce

When you’re going through a Texas divorce, even making it through the day might feel like a small victory. Once you’re on the other side of that divorce, you’re ready to take your first tentative steps. The fact remains, however, that if you have children or a shared social circle, you now have an ex-spouse whom you’ll very likely have to deal with on at least a semi-regular basis. Unfortunately, exes don’t come with instruction manuals, so it’s a good idea to have a game plan for how best to proceed. Tread lightly, but be prepared to protect your best interests when necessary.

Keep Face-to-Face Communications to a Minimum

Every divorce is unique, and while some couples divorce amicably and carry on with a lively friendship post-divorce, this is the rare exception rather than the rule. If your divorce is less of a fairy tale and more like real life, proceed cautiously. If you share children, you must confab with your ex, so set some personal ground rules.

As time goes by, you and your ex will likely find that communicating with each other will become more and more comfortable, but until you find this happy place, your interactions will likely be fraught with emotion. In the early days, which sometimes seem to go on indefinitely, it’s usually a good idea to limit your communications to strictly necessary ones and conduct them through the least personal channels possible. If an email or text will suffice, stick to that. When it’s more time-sensitive or complicated, make the call. Limiting face-to-face interactions to picking up and dropping off the kids can save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

When It Comes to Your Kids, Proceed with Caution

Generally, it’s best not to include your children in your communication chain with your ex. First of all, you don’t want your children to feel like they’re being used as a protective barrier between the two of you – or to feel like they should harbor allegiances (one way or the other).

Sometimes, however, it’s useful—and it makes sense—for your children to negotiate with your ex independently. There’s a lot of gray area on this one. Families are messy, and children are resilient. There are no hard and fast rules here. But if you need to discuss something with your ex, don’t finagle it through your children; go directly to the source.

Post-Divorce Emotional Support

If there’s ever a time that you’re going to need emotional support, it’s after a divorce. Look to your family members and trusted friends whom you can count on. That’s what friends and family are for; there are also divorce support groups that can be especially beneficial. Remember that your Houston divorce attorney is there to answer your logistical questions and doesn’t expect you to become a divorce expert overnight.

What you don’t want to do is look to your ex for the emotional support you need. While it’s natural to feel the tug of the familiar – after all, you were a team throughout your marriage – it’s rarely a good idea to succumb to that inclination. Foster a community where you and the other members support each other, and you’ll find yourself back on the road to emotional strength and stability.

Get the Support You Need so You Can Be There for Your Kids

You must get the support you need to be there for your children. As difficult as divorce is on you, it’s even more harrowing – and confusing – for your kids. If you aren’t taking care of your own emotional needs, you’ll be less capable of supporting your kids during these trying times. Cut yourself some slack; no one is looking for perfection here. Do the best you can for both yourself and your kids.

Finally, it goes without saying that you should never turn to your children for emotional support. When times get tough, call a friend or family member.

Court-Awarded Financial Support

If the court has awarded you child support or spousal maintenance, that is money due to you. It is not a gift and does not leave you obligated to your ex (the payor). If your ex intimates that the payments he or she makes to you according to your divorce settlement give him or her leverage, your ex is mistaken. Don’t be bullied or intimidated into abdicating your rights and responsibilities as spelled out in your divorce settlement. If your court-ordered payments aren’t forthcoming, it’s time to contact your Houston family law attorney. They don’t wait for things to fix themselves; they rarely do. Be proactive, and allow your experienced divorce attorney to outline your options.

Maintaining Friendships with Your Ex’s Family Members

You’ve no doubt heard the saying that blood is thicker than water, and divorce is a prime example. No matter how close you and your ex’s family are, giving them breathing space after the divorce is usually a good idea. If nothing else, they don’t want to give the appearance of not fully supporting their son/daughter/brother/sister. Give them the time and space they need to heal, and you may find your way back to a satisfying and rewarding relationship with your ex’s family – especially when children are involved.

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Divorce Isn’t a Walk in the Park; You Need a Dedicated Houston Divorce Attorney

If you will have to interact with your ex in the future, you should protect your rights during your divorce. An equitable divorce settlement or decree goes a long way in minimizing future conflict. The dedicated legal team at The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C., in Houston, focuses exclusively on divorce and family law, and we’re here for you every step of the way. For a free initial consultation, please contact or call us at 713-781-7775 today.