“Jingle Bells”: Parents' communication after separation. The family law 12 days of Christmas - day 7

As we turn our calendars to December, and we can finally start getting into the Christmas spirit, our family law solicitors Alex Haworth and Gemma Nicholls-Webber share several of their favourite family law topics with a festive twist.

Over the first 12 working days of December, they'll be giving their family law version of the 12 songs of Christmas, where they'll cover a wide range of questions or issues that often arise when dealing with family law matters…

“Jingle Bells”: Parents' communication after separation

A main point of contention in children disputes, is communication. Finding an effective means of communicating with your ex-partner or spouse on matters concerning your children is extremely important. Often emotions can be heightened following separation, but if those parties are parents, they will need to find a way of discussing matters and updating and informing each other of important issues that arise regarding the children. This will assist with them being able to co-parent effectively and ensure that all matters are dealt with in the best interest of the children.

For some, having a prescribed and limited form of communication is not necessary, but where the relationship between parents is strained it can be useful to have an agreed form of communication to limit any issues. Some suggestions or resources that have assisted our clients are set out below;

Having a designated email address to discuss any and all matters regarding the children. This provides parents with one centralised place to refer to, and can also help with any negative emotions that may be experienced when receiving communications from an ex-partner or spouse.

Using a Contact book that goes with the child when they move between households and parents. The parents should record any important information or events that have occurred during the time they have spent with the child, any upcoming matters that need to be discussed, and any other relevant information. It is likely that another form of communication will be necessary for in depth or time sensitive matters.

Our Family Wizard app. Both parents sign up to this app and pay a monthly fee. It offers a place where all things regarding the children can be shared and managed between the parents. It allows parents to manage schedules, track expenses, share documents and send messages between them. Finding the right communication method is important and can assist in reducing any conflict between parents. There will be times where the above methods are not appropriate, and where there is a time sensitive issue, parents will need to fall back on telephone calls/instant messages, especially in the case of emergencies where both parents will need to be kept fully informed.

If you or anyone you know would appreciate advice on resolving finances on divorce or any of the other topics we have covered in our 12 songs of Christmas, please contact Alex Haworth or Gemma Nicholls-Webber.

The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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