a couple separate or divorce they will need to communicate with each
other on many issues. This is particularly true if there are
children as the couple will still be parents and need to cooperate
for the rest of their lives. Divorce attorneys generally recommend email and text communications as the parties are bound by the written
communication and the email or text may be shown to a judge. Despite
the potential for presenting the emails to a judge, some people use
emails and texts as an opportunity to abuse their spouse. Abuse may
have been the customary method of communication during the end of the
relationship and one party may not even understand how destructive
such abuse can be. I have the following suggestions to parties to
make communications better.
about your history with your Ex. It is harmful to communications to
continue to mention past wrongs. Telling your Ex how they made bad
decisions or acted badly just alienates your Ex. If you want
something done, simply ask you Ex to do the things you want done. If
your Ex responds by asking for reasons then you can explain your
thinking on the subject. Many times, the other party will merely
comply with a reasonably stated request.
2) I was
taught as a child to always say please and thank you. This is
excellent advice for email communications. If you are asking for
something, ask politely and say “please”. When you get a
response, say “thank you”. You should say “thank you” even
if you don't like the answer. It doesn't hurt you to say “Thank
you for responding.”
3) Be clear in
your communications. The more clarity provided the fewer mistakes
4) Don't make
threats. At least don't make threats in the first communication.
While it may be appropriate to make threats later, starting with
threats is never a good idea.
5) Don't state
the obvious. If there is a court order for vision insurance, don't
start by stating the terms of the divorce judgment. Your ex-spouse
should know this. Politely ask for the vision insurance cards for
the children. This should be sufficient on the first communication.
Perhaps the second communication will require you to explain his
obligations under the divorce. On the first communication assume
your Ex knows what he is suppose to do.
In short, treat
your Ex-partner like a stranger.
communications between former partners may reduce litigation and