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If you can't get along with your ex, communicate in writing

One of the most difficult things about divorcing with kids is the fact that you can't really get away from your ex. No matter how badly your marriage ends, you are going to have an ongoing relationship with your former spouse.

You will, at the very least, need to see one another for custody exchanges. Ideally, for the best outcome for your kids, you can even agree to some overlapping custody or visitation. This can include holidays, birthdays or special events, such as graduations, so that you can both be present for these important moments. For some couples, minimizing the direct contact you have is one way to lessen the potential for conflict.

However, you are going to need to see one another and discuss everything from changes on a specific weekend to collaborating on holiday gifts so that you don't buy the same thing. If you can't talk on the phone or face-to-face without fighting, written communication is the perfect solution.

Discussing issues via text or email gives you a chance to consider what you said

When you discuss something and feel emotional at the same time, you are likely to say something you may later regret in the heat of the moment. When you communicate in writing, you have a chance to look at what you're saying and think things through before pressing "send." This can prevent you from saying anything that will make the situation worse.

You and your ex should try to commit to a cooling off period when texting about emotional or serious issues. By giving each other a few minutes to respond each time, you can ensure that you are communicating as calmly and rationally as possible. Focus on what you need to get done instead of on the desire to argue or fight.

Written communication gives you a record of everything

Mistakes and confusion can lead to major custody issues between former spouses. If you believe that your ex said they were coming to pick the kids up at 5, but they thought you agreed for them to come at 7, the end result could be a major argument and even allegations of violating the terms of the custody agreement.

When you set all terms and make changes to custody and visitation plans in writing, you will always have a clear record that you can refer to, to ensure you don't make mistakes. Additionally, if your ex does become verbally abusive, you will have written documentation of the exchange, which can help if you need to ask law enforcement or the courts to intervene.

Parenting with your ex isn't always easy. However, it can be done, especially if you put effort and consideration into your parenting practices. The more contentious a divorce or custody case, the more important it is to know your rights and stand up for them in every interaction with your ex.

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