In our daily lives, technology has become the new norm. We don’t think twice about using email, text, or even social media posts to communicate with loved ones or even the world. Blogs are the new media outlet where we find our hobbies, news, or also lifestyle information. However, have you ever thought about the impact of this type of communication?
Many courts allow digital records into evidence; emails, texts, and social media have been used as proof of bad behavior and, in some cases, have significantly changed the outcome of a divorce matter.
Did you know that content on your phone, email, social media and any public forum is fair to “ding” you on your behavior? Patterns of abuse, a person’s character, or even wrongful acts can be found through the years in these electronic databases or also shared computer content.
Even though I probably can write several posts about how privacy rights can be violated, or how evidence can be found, it is about something else entirely. It is about how to use them positively and thoughtfully. Technology can be our foe, but it can be our friend and divorce proceedings, especially when there are children involved. Why? Because in regards to your children, there is no excuse for not communicating with your ex-spouse (or partner).
Whether you stand with your ex-spouse, communication is vital to raise well adjusted, confident, and happy children.
So, let’s look at our bags of tricks:
1) Email. Even baby-boomers have managed to incorporate this type of communication in their daily lives. It’s easy; it’s fast, it’s everywhere! You can get a message out in no time; you don’t have to wait for the mailman to do his/her job. It’s certainly is more convenient than a phone call, especially if you are in a meeting that you can’t leave. You have to get a message out (we carry our smartphones almost everywhere these days!).
An email has a time-stamp; it is ideal for creating a record of your actions (you better behave when emailing!!), it is the perfect vehicle to squash any “missed communications” complaints. You can print them out, put them in a folder or notebook, and create an exact timeline of how things are progressing.
2) Text Messages. It’s even faster than email; it’s quick. It’s easy and ideal for last-minute messages (sudden change of plans, emergencies, or exchange of information).
However, unlike email, text messages are not forever; it is harder to create a record (you can make screenshots). Text messages won’t work if phone numbers are not up to date, phone batteries are dead, or networks go down. When you use text message, make sure you hit send, track if they arrive correctly, and are read! Do NOT use text messages for anything longer than a short message. Long text messages should never occur, they are a hassle to type, and worse to read. Also, when dictating, proofread! You do not want the message to be gibberish, or worse, something opposite from what you wanted to say!!
3) Phone calls. Yes, picking up the phone and dialing a number is still an option! If you use a phone, make sure you use proper communication etiquette, watch your tone, keep on topic, and don’t fight! While phone calls are the best way to get long, detailed messages across, our communication style will be driving the meaning of what we say. Our tone of voice, speed of talking, and emotions will tell the other person more than text on a screen. While this might be a good thing in some cases, for those who have a more argumentative style of communication, a phone call might be better left aside. Phone calls also require that the other person be available at that time to discuss the matter at hand. If you prefer phone calls, make sure you and your ex set a specific time and date to speak, or even how long the call should be. Don’t assume just because you are available to talk; the other person is as well. Phone calls are ideal for communicating about school assignments, extracurricular activities, or issues your child might be facing.
No matter which form of communication you choose, stay courteous! Pay attention to your communication style!
You can find more information and Tips for Effective and Healthy Communication for Divorcing Parents by following the link below https://gpschoemakers.com/tips-for-effective-and-healthy-communication-for-divorcing-parents/
There is no excuse for bad behavior; you can not be nasty or belligerent towards your ex, no matter how they behave towards you! You are setting the tone of how your children will communicate when they are older; your actions now decide how the future is shaped!
Also, always proofread your message, do not send anything out in anger (you can type it, and revise it once you feel calmer, but never send it out).
Writing a message to your ex isn’t putting your fingers on a keyboard or screen and clicking “send.”
Please know that communication is vital, and these three are the most cost-effective way of communication. Courts can order you to use software to monitor everything you write, send, receive or read; if they believe you need supervision (or an attorney acting as a nanny), be on your best behavior!
As always, put your children first! What we do now will shape our children’s reality and the way they love, communicate, and parent down the line.
If you have any questions about collaborative divorce or another family law issue, GP Schoemakers, PLLC is more than happy to assist; you can reach us at 832.408.0505 or find us on at www.gpslawyer.com – We hope this article has helped you and your family shape a better tomorrow.