Email Communication for Co-parenting Relationships

Communication is vital in co-parenting relationships. Find out why email may be the best way to communicate.

Email provides a paper trail of what was said. Often, people are in a hurry or there are many distractions. Or, you may think that you told your co-parent something, but you actually forgot. With email, the other parent can read the information at his or her leisure. And, since the communication is in writing, it can serve as a reference for them to review at a later time if needed. If your co-parenting relationship is problematic, be sure to print off any emails sent and received including the detailed sender information and file away in case you need them for court evidence at a later time.

Email also saves time as you can say what you need to and then hit the send button. If you make a phone call or try to discuss an issue in person, other topics may be brought up that prolong the discussion.

If your shared parenting relationship is conflicted, email can take the personal element out of the equation. Your co-parent can still be nasty or even abusive in emails, but not hearing the words in person lessens their effect. You may experience fewer urges to perpetuate the conflict when the person that is the object of your ire isn’t right in front of you. Also, it’s easier to be businesslike when your words are are in writing and potentially available for others to see. You also have a chance to read the email and carefully consider your response instead of feeling pressured to respond immediately. This one thing can reduce the conflict level in the relationship.

Another advantage is that email can serve as proof that you provided documents to the co-parent. For instance, you may be required to send copies of report cards or medical visits. If you email them, you now have proof that the documents were sent.

If your co-parent is abusive, you can forward emails to your attorney or a friend for screening instead of reading them yourself. They can let you know any relevant information, and you aren’t subjected to the abuse.

If your co-parent is malicious, get a separate email address for correspondence with him or her. Then if you get spammed or signed up to objectionable sites, you can abandon the email address.

Email is often the preferred communication method when parents who are co-parenting have difficulty with personal interaction. There still may be some need for co-parents to talk in person such as in emergency situations. But, parents in co-parenting situations who use email when possible save time and stress along with establishing a verifiable communication trail.

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