Some folks are lucky enough to have an amicable relationship with their child’s other parent, but sadly some find themselves always at odds with the other person they are raising their child or children with. It can be frustrating and stressful.
Here are a few tips if you need help communicating with another parent In a Raleigh child custody situation:
- Always put it in writing. Emails and text messages are a great way to capture your efforts to effectively co-parent, and the other party’s lack of effort, to show a judge if necessary. If you question whether you may be saying something inappropriate in an email or text, wait 24 hours and then read the communication again. Do you still think you should send it? How would a judge react to the communication? If you are still unsure, ask your attorney for guidance.
- Try and avoid phone calls as much as possible. Phone calls can lead to issues of “he said she said” unless the calls are recorded. Recording calls in North Carolina when the other party is also located in North Carolina is legal to do because one party (you) is consenting to the recording. North Carolina only requires one party to consent to the recording without any disclosure to the other party that you are recording the conversation, while other states have different laws concerning this issue. If your spouse resides out of state or travels out of state frequently, you should get legal advice before recording any telephone calls to ensure you are not breaking any laws in another state by doing so.
- Keep a calendar dedicated to your Raleigh child custody case. Keep track of all the overnights with each parent, appointments, and missed custodial visits or late arrivals/pick up. Any unusual issue can be noted on the calendar as well. This can be helpful when discussing issues with the other parent, as you can refer back to your calendar to discuss specific dates, instances, etc. This is also helpful if you find yourself in court regarding child custody as well since you can use it to refresh your recollection regarding dates, issues etc. That kind of information can make great illustrative exhibits to show the judge how many times the other party has been late or missed custodial visits when they may be seeking more custodial time, as an example.
- Be cordial to the other parent when you can. The other party may be very disrespectful to you, but that does not mean reacting in that same way is the right thing to do. Keep in mind that while you may not care for this person anymore, this is your child’s other parent. It can be upsetting for children to see two of the most important people in their lives fighting or bickering. If the other party cannot behave, at least you can model good behavior for your child’s sake.
- Keep your frustrations and concerns about your child custody case to yourself or a limited circle of trusted friends, family or support group. Do not post about it on social media. You do not know who may be friends of the other parent, or a friend of a friend, that may possibly capture or otherwise share anything you may be saying about your case that could be used against you.
- Seek the help of a therapist. If you are having difficulties communicating with the other parent and it is causing you emotional distress, seek the assistance of a therapist. This is a safe person to share your feelings with and she or he can also provide you with advice on how to handle the other parent’s poor behavior/communication issues. They can provide tremendous insight even if you see them for just a few sessions.
Keeping these tips in mind will help you communicate better with the other parent and also help you in building evidence to demonstrate to a judge that you have behaved in an appropriate manner when trying to co-parent your children with the other party.
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