Emailing and texting are fast, efficient means of communicating about your children. However, if you and your ex are not very amicable, sending a text message is probably not the best method to provide information.
A text message can be so abbreviated that it leads to confusion and mistaken intent. If you’re already hostile with one another, it can lead to a war of messages going back and forth at lightening speed, until things become explosive.
Email can get out of hand, as well, if you’re not careful. Your goal here is to provide your children’s other parent with information regarding medical appointments, health, education, activities, etc. Not to get into another argument about how pathetic you each are.
The truth of the matter is, in most cases, both of you are good parents. That’s what should be important. Not who cheated on who or who said or did what in the past. The past is the past. It should stay there.
You cannot effectively co-parent your children if you’re constantly bickering about things you perceive as previous injustices. You don’t have to be best friends; but, you do have to learn to put things behind you in order to do the best for your kids.
After all, have you ever felt better after going over the same issues for the fortieth time? Most likely you come away feeling sad, angry and just plain miserable all over again. Who needs that?
Also, just like in the previous social media article; your emails and texts can end up as evidence in any family court proceeding in Fort Worth. It most likely will affect any social worker’s or counselor’s recommendations and judge’s rulings.
So, here are some tips on how to send appropriate and informational emails:
- DO NOT USE ALL CAPS – people construe this as yelling.
- Do not bring up the other person’s previous mistakes or “alleged” mistakes – they have their own side of the story and will certainly feel compelled to give it back to you along with a list of all your supposed inadequacies. This is no way helps your kids.
- Do not be sarcastic – read through what you have written. Make sure you get any snide comments or other tones of disdain out of it. If in doubt, have someone else read it before you send it. Someone who will be honest with you.
- Do not use profanity.
- Be very specific and give basic but full information – what happened, where, and why (if you know) or what’s coming up, where, date and time.
- Invite the other person to attend any meetings, appointments or activities – yes, even if it is your time with the kids.
- Be polite and try to be friendly. But, if the other person is apt to perceive your “friendliness” as sarcasm or in a way not intended, then stick to the facts. Politely.
- Use their name in a greeting – when you’ve had a child with someone, don’t send the email or other correspondence addressed to Mr. or Mrs. whatever. Seriously. This is done by some and it’s just wacky. (“Yes, I’ve been intimate with you. Had a child with you. But, I just don’t feel we can be on a first name basis.” How nutty up is that?)
- Definitely do not refer to them as “Sperm Donor” or “Wicked Witch“ – not cool.
- Use your first name as your signature – maybe even wish them well.
Here’s wishing you well with more positive email experiences.
*This article is not intended as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please consult with an attorney.
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