Communication is important in all aspects of life … work, home, relationships and friendships. Communication is even more important in divorce situations because emotions are typically high, and relationships strained. Although it is easier said than done, it is extremely important to communicate effectively with an ex-spouse. This will allow a better co-parenting relationship which is always in the best interest of the children.
Divorced parents choose to communicate in many different ways. Amicable parents can text, call or email while more hostile relationships tend to sites such as Our Family Wizard or 2 Houses to communicate. There are pros and cons to both. Ideally, co-parents can make a quick call or type a quick text or email to communicate with each other. The key to these exchanges is to keep them centered around the children and the issue at hand. There should not be any texts or emails blaming the other parents, discussing what led to the divorce, or insulting the other parents significant other or family members. This is never helpful and always harmful to the children. Keeping the texts/emails direct and to the point will foster good communication going forward. Also remembering to use a polite, respectable tone (similar to addressing a co-worker) is also very important. Unfortunately, not all co-parents are able to follow these rules and attorneys will recommend certain apps to help keep the communication on track. These apps keep record of everything so nothing can be altered or deleted. They also can help keep track of expenses, calendar events and medical or dental appointments. Some of these apps even have a “tone-meter” where it will give feedback on the tone of your message before it is sent. Attorneys and judges can have access to these apps as well, so they are able to get an accurate account of the communication between the parties… especially in custody or neglect situations. It is important to remember that regardless of the method of communication, the children should not be involved. One parent telling the child to pass along a message to the other parent puts that child in the middle and also can lead to inaccurate communication of the message (we all remember the game of telephone!) Children do not want to be the transporter of messages between their parents – especially in divorce situations. Healthy communication between all parties, regardless of the method, can only lead to a better co-parenting relationship and happier life for the children involved.