Most people have access to email, and during a particularly contentious divorce, it is often the recommended method of communication for parents. For one thing, email forces parties to slow down and consider their words before hitting “send,” as opposing to speaking or sending a quick text message in anger. You can avoid saying things that undoubtedly will come back to haunt you in the future. Additionally, email messages allow you to document who said what, as well as when it was said, both of which can avoid future arguments and confusion.

With that said, there are some general guidelines that you should follow when emailing your ex. First, stick to business. Think of raising your child with your ex as a business, where the goal is to cooperatively and successfully nurture a child into a healthy and happy adult. You don’t need to correspond with your spouse about anything other than issues related to your child. Leave the emotions and negativity out of it. Say only what is necessary, and leave it at that.

Next, keep your tone as neutral as possible. These emails are to communicate about your child, not to air your grievances about your ex. Rather than berating your ex for failing to let you know the time of your child’s choir program, simply confirm the time and ask that she let you know in advance next time. Likewise, instead of making threats to your ex about what steps you will take to punish him or what will happen to your children if he fails to follow through with his promises, just acknowledge the issue and move on. Be polite and professional, just as you would to a stranger or a business client, and refrain from saying anything negative.  In order to keep yourself in check, it may be helpful to think about the fact that whatever you write is likely to be viewed by third parties in the future (like a judge or a custody evaluator).

If communication is particularly difficult, parents may want to consider a communication aid such as Our Family Wizard.   For a relatively low cost (particularly when compared with the financial and emotional costs of litigation), parents have a central location to email each other with timed responses, elimination of negative/aggressive wording, uploading of bills for reimbursement, and calendar sharing.  

The New Jersey family law attorneys at Argentino Fiore Law & Advocacy, LLC, are eager to answer your questions and help you understand how the law pertains to your legal matter. We try to come up with creative solutions for parents to better communicate and independently move forward without the need for Court intervention.  In a mediation capacity or as a parenting coordinator, we can make suggestions and help you move through a parenting dispute.  As your attorneys, we will focus on how best to represent your interests and achieve your desired goals. We have handled countless parentage, divorce, and other family law proceedings over the years, and we will work with you to create the best strategy possible in your case. Call our offices today at (973) 744-2980 and learn how we can help you with your New Jersey family law case.

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