Technology as a Tool for Co-Parenting
By: Alicia Fastman, Esquire
Communication is extremely important when parents are separating or divorcing to ensure that the children are not negatively impacted by the conflict between the parties. Parents have a multitude of tools at their disposal based upon the availability of technology in today’s world. There are several methods of communication that can be helpful in minimizing conflict and increasing cooperation when in-person conversations or phone calls are too contentious to be productive.
Parties can rely on e-mail or text messaging as a means of communicating, meaning that there will be a complete record of conversations. Conversations are documented and are available for future reference allowing parties to review agreements or responses rather than rehashing an issue in person or over the phone and preventing either party from insisting that a conversation happened differently that in actuality. The parties can agree upon the frequency of each parent’s e-mails or texts, upon a length of time the receiving party has to respond, or to any other terms that will control the communication process and minimize conflict.
Online calendars can be useful in ensuring that the custody schedule is clear and that conflicts can be avoided where possible. The parties can create a mutual account on Google or any other program or website that has a calendar, and can update the calendar as events or appointments arise. This will minimize scheduling conflicts and will remove the need to communicate directly each time something is scheduled if it is too difficult to do so.
There are online tools and websites available that cater to co-parenting such as Our Family Wizard. These sites reduce the need for conversations between parents and create a secure place for communication while providing tools like calendars or journals to ensure that the parties’ are constantly on the same page. When co-parenting seems impossible, these tools can assist in minimizing conflict by providing a system for both parties to follow without the need for the parties to agree upon modes or method of communication.
When parents are not yet able to put aside the conflict between them in the interest of communicating and cooperating for the sake of their children, technology is an excellent tool for bridging the gap and allowing for more productive communication.
To schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys, or for further information, call us at LaMonaca Law, at (610) 892-3877.