The Trials of Communicating With the Other Parent

The Trials of Communicating With the Other Parent

If you are reading this, chances are you know what I mean. Parents have their own rhythm of communicating with each other regarding their children. Throw in two separate households, and communication can become a serious challenge.

There are many causes for this. At best, it is logistical. Scheduling is far more difficult when there are two households, not to mention one or more children and their activities.

At worst, communication issues can be malicious if one or both parents does not want the other involved, has capacity and/or mental health issues, or is just plain mean.

For several years, family court judges have been inundated with he said/she said stories relying on selective emails and text messages. The other parent, if not a good saver of social media, can be misperceived and find him or herself at a serious disadvantage when telling their story to a judge at trial.

More recently, third party programs have cropped up to aid parents with communication issues. They also serve the valuable purpose of covering all bases. If all communications between parents are tracked with a clear record, there can be no more storytelling. These programs include calendars, as well as emails and texting. More importantly, they can be reviewed by a judge, a parenting coordinator, or another third party when necessary. Talking Parents and Our Family Wizard are two distinctly different styles of programs. The former is free, while the latter costs money.

For families welcoming the help, a simple Google Calendar can be invaluable. As children grow older, they can independently log in to understand the calendar themselves.

Parenting plans are coming to Maryland soon, which will likely embed a form of required communication between parents. This is great for children and helpful to parents—unless you are a parent looking to frustrate the family by failing to communicate or cooperate. If you are that parent, reconsider your goal. Is it personal or are you really looking to find the best interests of your children?

If you need help with developing your own parenting plan, give us a call at 410-792-2300 or use our contact form.