When parents separate in California, communicating about issues related to their shared child or children often becomes a challenge. Simply living apart creates the need to reach out and make contact to stay informed about visitation scheduling, needs and changes. Technological advancements can greatly improve communications, but only when both parents have the same motivation. A recent study conducted by a major university suggests that when parents are not on the same page in regard to their children, technology can be used by one parent against the other, to the detriment of the child or children caught in the middle.
Respondents who claim to have maintained an amicable relationship with their former spouses said that technology such as email and text messaging made the exchange of information easier for all involved. Online calendars were used to help coordinate schedules. Text messaging and email helped to convey important information about the kids and their activities.
However, those who reported a less than friendly relationship with their exes told a different story. They reported using technology to intentionally withhold information about the children from the other parent, or to limit access to the kids. Some even reported that they have pretended not to receive email from the other partner.
Technology can give all California parents the ability to edit what they say, an advantage that face-to-face communication cannot offer. In addition, for parents who cannot come to an agreement on issues of child custody and visitation, email can provide a valuable written record. If it becomes necessary to approach the court for remedy, having a record of the interaction between parents can help an individual make a strong case for a formal custody determination or changes to an existing order.
Source: New York Daily News, “Social media often used as cruel tool in divorce,” Aug. 29, 2012