Last updated on January 31, 2022

More couples using technology to co-parent after divorce

On behalf of Ravelle Smith

When a couple with children breaks up, the drama doesn’t stop once the divorce is finalized. Depending on the age of the children, the parents will have to work together as co-parents for years or even decades.

Unsurprisingly, the co-parenting relationship is the source of a lot of stress for many divorced couples in Georgia. After all the acrimony of the divorce, couples often find it hard to work together. At the same time, though, they are conscious of their divorce’s impact on their children and want to avoid fighting in front of their kids.

Increasingly, these couples are turning to technology to help them manage their co-parent relationship.

Technological communication can help minimize some of the stress of face-to-face interaction. For example, many people find it easier to work out schedules via email, since the distance allows them to consider their ex’s position and craft a response on their own time. Similarly, many divorced parents report preferring text message conversations to phone calls. Not only are text conversations less emotionally charged, but they also help parents maintain a sense of privacy since it is harder for children to become aware of how their parents are communicating.

Technology can also help parents avoid the confusion that comes with co-parenting. Shared online calendars allow parents to schedule pick-ups and drop-offs, extracurricular activities and special events. In addition, the records association with email and text message conversations can be useful if there ends up being a disagreement over who said what.

Technology is also helping divorced parents to enjoy better relationships with their children. If they are old enough, children can have their own cellphones and email accounts. This can allow parents to communicate directly with their children without having to use their ex-spouse as an intermediary.

The downsides of using technology

Of course, it is important to remember that increased use of technology can also have some significant downsides.

It is easy for people to say things they don’t really mean when they aren’t talking to their ex-spouse face-to-face. Making matters worse, anything a person says in an email or text message can be recorded and used as evidence if the couple ever returns to court – say to modify child custody or child support arrangements.

In addition, technological communication can magnify an already tense relationship. Tone doesn’t translate well in a quick text, so it is not hard for intentions to be misunderstood. In addition, it is easy to put off responding to an email message and then accidentally forget about it altogether. Some parents even report intentionally lying to their ex-spouse about whether they received a message.

If you’re co-parenting after a divorce, the important thing to remember is to put your children first. Figure out a communication arrangement that works for you and your spouse, and do your best to put the bad feelings of your divorce behind you – at least when it comes to raising your kids.

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