Good communication is often a key component for happily married couples. When it breaks down, it may be a sign that the relationship is in jeopardy or that you need to take extra steps – such as counseling to reopen the lines of communication.
There is no such thing as not communicating. Yes, you or your spouse may give the other the “silent treatment,” but that is also a form of communication. While positive interaction is essential for a healthy marriage, it’s also a “must” for divorced or separated parents and their children.
Remember! It’s all about the kids
While your marriage may be over or ending, respectful communication is essential for the well-being of your kids going forward. Instead of rehashing old grievances and misunderstandings, the focus should be on raising your children.
The type and frequency of communication depend mainly on the state of your relationship. If you and your ex still get along, chances are good that custody and parenting considerations will go relatively smoothly. You’ll likely want to limit interactions If you suffer a nasty divorce or breakup.
Communication modes and response times
Good marriages require respectful communication. So do “good” divorces. Each co-parent relationship is different, but here are the common ways to communicate about custody and parenting time:
- Texts: This may be the easiest and quickest way to address developing issues, such as one parent running late in picking up their child. While a fast reply to acknowledge the message is best, responding within three hours is usually good form.
- Voicemails: This mode should not be used for urgent or time-sensitive messages because there is no written record. Responding within 12 hours is usually okay for messages related to basic requests or questions, such as “what should I bring to next weekend’s birthday party?”
- Emails: This is usually the best method for ex-spouses who prefer to limit their interactions. Again, any urgent or last-minute changes to a custody order or parenting plans are better handled via text or phone calls. Emails may be used for questions about changing parenting schedules, but only when giving appropriate notice.
Parents who find it difficult to talk over the phone or via text often get good results from parenting apps. Some of these apps are free and most provide a written record of all communications as well as a calendar showing detailed parenting schedules.