Conflicts between those sharing custody of minor children are common, and emotions can lead to people saying and doing things that could make them seem unstable, dangerous or selfish to a judge hearing their case in family court. What people say in anger can come back to haunt them later.
Given the emotional intensity that frequently accompanies custody disputes and divorce, many parents have transitioned to communicating in writing as much as possible.
What is the benefit of written communication?
Communicating important parenting matters in writing has become common practice in the early stages of co-parenting. When parents send messages to each other through a parenting app, email or text messages, there is a record of exactly what they say to one another. There won’t be any confusion about who failed to honor an agreement because the adjustments to the parenting schedule will be easily referenced if a disagreement arises.
Additionally, co-parents can teach themselves to take a moment and calm down before communicating in writing. After all, what they say could end up affecting their court case and potentially reducing how much time they have with their children if they write out emotional and inappropriate messages to the other parent.
Therefore, they have to prioritize keeping the focus on the children and minimizing the influence of their feelings on how they communicate with the other parent. Ideally, parents can communicate in writing and keep the topic entirely on the children, thereby largely eliminating conflict in their relationship.
There are risks in written communication as well
People can easily become too comfortable with a written communication standard and could make mistakes that could influence their rights as a parent. They can also fall victim to intentional goading by their co-parent which might lead to them to say things that affect their case later.
When used properly, parenting apps and written communication agreements can benefit co-parents and reduce the stress on a family during what is likely a very challenging transition. Employing every viable tool to minimize conflict in a shared custody scenario can be beneficial for parents and children alike.