Many people who share custody of their children really struggle when they first start living separately. It can be incredibly challenging to remain calm and rational when your emotions are going into overdrive. The stress of divorce often leads to people having short fuses and becoming intensely emotional at the smallest provocation.
There are many tools that can help parents make their interactions with one another more appropriate and facilitate a smoother change to the new family relationships. Using written communication can be a smart way for the two of you to set your family up for co-parenting success. Why are written communications, possibly using a parenting app, so beneficial in the early stages of shared custody?
1. They help reduce conflict
When you talk to one another, things can grow heated in just a few moments. It will not just damage your relationship with your co-parent if the two of you get into a screaming fight during a custody exchange. It will also be very difficult for your children to witness something like that.
If you communicate in writing, possibly in a parenting app, both of you will do a better job of monitoring yourselves for the tone and language that you use when communicating with each other.
2. You will have a record of your agreements
Did the other parent say they would come to pick up the kids an hour early on Friday, and then they never showed up? Did you negotiate a spring break agreement for a trip, only to have them claim that they want to take the kids instead?
When you communicate in writing about every parenting issue, ranging from a change in your schedule to upcoming travels, they will be a clear record of your agreements, which will make it harder for one parent to lie to or manipulate the other.
3. You have evidence if you must return to court
Does the other parent use abusive language or constantly cancel their parenting time at the last minute? Do they threaten you or make implied threats against the children’s safety? When you have a written record of one parent behaving inappropriately toward the other or failing in their duties to the children, it is much easier to get the courts to take any safety concerns that you raise seriously.
It is also beneficial for families to have everything from their schedule to their other parenting arrangements all in one place, which is why many people specifically use a specialized parenting app for their communications. Making use of the right tools and strategies will significantly reduce the conflict involved in a shared custody scenario.