Most people are seldom far from some kind of electronic communication device — and that’s changed the way that everyone seems to communicate. Even spouses often text or email a message when they have something important to say to each other so that there’s less chance of a misunderstanding.
If you’re approaching a divorce, in the middle of one right now or have already obtained a divorce but still need to communicate regularly with your ex, it’s smart to remember a few ground rules when you’re using text messages or email:
Don’t use a “poison pen”
Blurting out something hurtful, mean or even untrue in conversation with your spouse can be bad, but you seldom have to worry that you’ll be overhead by the court. When you commit something to a text message or email, however, there’s always a chance that your words will be carried into a court and read into evidence. Since that could potentially damage your credibility, make you appear hostile or unreasonable or hurt your custody case, it’s far wiser to remain polite — even professional — in your tone.
Keep it focused
One experienced professional recommends that you never try to handle more than three short points or questions in any one communication. (Less is better.) Use numbers on each point or question. Put a line between them so that your text isn’t blocky and overwhelming to your ex.
Pay attention to timing
Timing is, as they say, everything — especially when you’re dealing with potentially volatile or emotional situations. Do not send angry or potentially explosive messages to your ex when it’s their turn with the kids. Do not send important messages when you know that your ex is unavailable and won’t get them until much later.
Communication is often key to a successful divorce — and a peaceful post-divorce existence when you and your spouse share children or other ties together.