Using Third-Party Communication Devices in a High-Conflict Custody Case
Ending a marriage when you have minor children, means forming a new relationship with your ex as co-parents. However, when you and your ex are at each other's throats, communicating about even simple decisions concerning your kids can be a challenge. If you are fighting over custody, there is always a concern that your actions and words can be taken out of context or inaccurately reported to the court. The good news is that by using a third-party communication device in your high-conflict custody case, you and your ex can improve your interactions and keep a neutral record of your comments and behavior towards one another.
What is a Third-Party Communication Device?
During a divorce or custody case, parents can volunteer or be ordered by the court to direct their communication with one another through an external entity. These companies usually charge a monthly or annual fee and offer different services and accounts. For instance, companies such as, Our Family Wizard, specialize in providing ways for feuding parents to send one another messages, coordinate their children’s calendars, notify each other of significant events, and track expenses. The company also has accounts which can be used to keep extended family and therapeutic professionals updated on family developments.
How Does it Work?
Basically, when a parent needs to communicate with the other, all of his or her messages will go through the company's online server where the information is stored. The message will then be sent to the other parent or individual's personalized account. The data is retained and can be accessed by either person. However, neither will have the ability to alter messages or communications which go through the website.
Do I Need a Third-Party Communication Service?
Parents who have a hard time communicating or trusting one another may benefit from these types of services. When one or both parties feel the other is not being truthful about their exchanges concerning the children, a third-party communication service can help memorialize what actually occurred. If a parent feels he or she will be verbally abused by the other parent, this forum provides a neutral place for communication. A verbally abusive party may think twice about writing a nasty message to the other parent when he or she knows it could be recalled and used later.
Not every family needs to use third-party services to communicate. However, those that do may find that having this resource makes them feel safer during exchanges with their ex and that co-parenting is less stressful. Further, if parents can use these devices effectively, they may be able to relate more positively with one another, which will in turn, reduce anxiety for their kids.
At First Look Family Law, attorney and mediator Karyn Youso understands the challenges parents face when communicating after divorce. Call us today to set up a consultation and allow us to take a “first look” at your situation and determine what kinds of resources may be helpful.