A Guide to Writing an Appropriate Text Message or Email to the other Parent

In resolving a custody dispute, the Court and any professional evaluator, such as a court ordered psychologist, will look at communications between the parents to determine the mental health and stability of the parent. It is important for you to be respectful and mature in your communications with the other parent, as they can be used both in your favor and against you.

It is important for communications to:

  • Be polite: Avoid profanity or disrespectful language.
  • Be brief: Use only a few sentences to discuss the issue at hand. Additionally, stick to one issue per communication.
  • Be positive: Avoid negative emotions such as profanity, sarcasm, and personal feelings about your ex-spouse.
  • Stay focused on the issue at hand: Keep communications focused on the issue you are talking about for the child. Do not talk about issues within the relationship between you and the other parent.
  • Avoid assumptions: Do not make assumptions about the parent’s ability to parent and do not accept rumors as true. You are not the judge and cannot make the ultimate decision for your child’s safety.
  • Avoid demands: Do not come across as being “bossy” in telling the other parent what to do with the child. Be open to hearing the other parent’s ideas and avoid making demands.
  • Be goal-oriented: Have a goal for each communication and try to achieve it through a brief communication. Focus on the issue at hand and end the conversation once you have resolved the issue.

It is also important to avoid excessive emails and text messages. If the other parent does not reply, do not keep calling them repeatedly until they respond to you. That will make you appear unstable. Focus on presenting yourself in a good light most favorable to the best interests on the child.

Save any conversations with your ex-spouse if they will help your case

If your ex-spouse sends something that annoys you or, more importantly, could hurt them in a custody-case, instead of seeking revenge through your own words, save the message for the Court. Present it to the attorneys at Smith Strong, PLC, where they will potentially use it as evidence against your ex-spouse for custody purposes down the road.

Overall, it is important to make sure you are appropriate in your text and email communications with your ex-spouse in a custody dispute. The attorneys at Smith Strong, PLC are here to guide you through the process and counsel you to avoid making mistakes in communicating with your ex-spouse.

H. Van Smith
Trusted Virginia Family Law Attorney Serving Richmond to Williamsburg