When a marriage ends, the divorce that follows impacts the entire family. While that includes any children of the marriage, it may also involve extended family members such as parents, siblings, aunts/uncles, and nieces/nephews. Sometimes your family remains friendly with your former spouse which can cause conflicting emotions. Dallas divorce attorney Rita M. Boyd discusses the question “Should your family cut ties with your ex?
Divorce and Your Emotions
By its very nature, divorce evokes strong emotions in the parties who are divorcing. After all, you once made a commitment to love and cherish your spouse until death (or something similar). Now, you are ending that marriage and, therefore, that commitment. Whether you and your spouse simply grew apart or something specific spurred the divorce, it is almost certain that your divorce has come with strong emotions. If those emotions include anger or feelings of betrayal toward your former spouse, the idea that family members continue to foster a relationship with him/her can add salt to an existing emotional wound. It might even cause you to feel those same emotions toward your family member. While those feelings are certainly understandable, you may want to evaluate them a little farther before demanding that your family cut ties with your ex.
Why Is the Relationship Continuing?
One of the most important things you need to consider is why the relationship is continuing. To do that, you need to consider who is continuing a relationship with your ex. For example, if you have children with your former spouse and your parents have ongoing communication with your ex, it may be in your children’s best interest to allow that relationship to continue. If they spend time with your ex, your parents may be available to provide childcare instead of the kids having to go to a childcare center. They might also be able to provide other forms of support to your ex that can help him/her be a more effective parent. Try to be objective and consider why that relationship has not ended. By the same token, a sibling or niece/nephew might have developed a bond with your ex that really should not have to be broken just because you divorced.
Is the Ongoing Contact Detrimental to You?
While many couples manage to get through the divorce process amicably and remain civil after the divorce, not all do. If your divorce was contentious and/or involved abuse, the idea that a family member is continuing to engage with your ex can be extremely hurtful. It may seem as though your family has chosen a side – and it isn’t your side. In that case, asking your family to cut ties with your ex – at least temporarily – can be justified. In some cases, it may even be necessary. If, for example, you have a valid fear that your ex will commit acts of domestic violence against you or you legitimately believe that your spouse has alternative motives for continuing to communicate with your family members, cutting ties is probably best.
How Do I Talk to My Family about Cutting Ties?
If you believe you have a legitimate reason why you want your family to cut ties with your ex, you need to sit down with them and explain those reasons. Often, family members have no idea what happened in your marriage or what led to the divorce. They may be clueless about your fears or concerns. Until you explain why you want them to cut ties, they may have no reason to question the continued relationship with your former spouse. If your family chooses to continue the relationship despite your request to end it, you may wish to speak to a counselor or therapist about the best course of action.
Contact a Dallas Divorce Attorney
If you have additional questions or concerns about divorce in Texas, contact an experienced Dallas divorce attorney at Rita M. Boyd, P.C. to discuss your legal rights and options by calling 972-380-8000 to schedule your appointment today.