emotional blackmail

Coping with an Abusive Co-Parent   Recently updated !


After divorce, your relationship with your ex-spouse will still continue if you have children to co-parent. It should always be a shared responsibility. Divorce only cuts the ties between you and your spouse, not between you and your children.

It may seem simple enough, but there could be complications arising from the behavior or condition of your co-parent. What are your options if your co-parent has abusive tendencies?

Abuse towards the Child

If your ex-spouse committed abuse towards your children, he/she should not only be prevented from seeing your children but actually be arrested and jailed. Texas Law is very strict with child abuse. However, there are strict measures that can be taken to ensure this. 

If the parent has abusive tendencies, the judge may consider this a factor to restrict custody and limit visitation rights. 

Also, the restriction does not only apply to the co-parent. It also applies to other members of the co-parent’s household (example: the new partner). They can also be restricted if seen as a threat to the child’s welfare. 

Domestic Violence

When your ex-spouse has a history, there is a strong tendency that he/she could also abuse the child. If the spouse is abused, there is a possibility that the child is also abused. 

Any suspicion of abuse or manifestation of violent tendencies should be reported as soon as possible. The court takes accusations seriously. 

The Texas courts will uphold the relationship of the child to its parent. They would not restrict possession or visitation of the child unless it is proven harmful to the child. If your ex-spouse has tendencies, you can petition the court.

Protection for the Co-Parent

The law will not only protect the child but also you as the ex-spouse. It is highly possible that your co-parent will resist any order. In this case, you can make a petition for a protective order. 

A judge can approve a protective order if there are already proven incidents of abuse. A protective order may also be issued if there is a possibility that abuse can occur in the future.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas.

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