In a Florida child custody case it is not uncommon to see both parties utilizing emails, text messages and other written communication as evidence against the other parent. The written word, especially by text or email, is solid evidence of the type of communication and relationship between two parents. The evidence can be very damaging or very helpful depending on what is said, how it is said and the way the email is written. It is important to carefully consider what you write to the other parent in every form of communication, and always assume that it could be used in court against you.
The following are some basic tips to consider. These tips are not all inclusive. Always use your best judgment to communicate effectively with the other parent.
- Avoid using all capital letters. The use of all capital letters is considered by many to be rude or yelling.
- Avoid using harsh colors such as red which signifies anger.
- Always be polite and respectful in your tone.
- Keep the email limited to issues involving the children and not your personal feelings. Communication with the other parent should be child centered as much as possible.
- Do not call the other parent, their significant other or their family members names.
- Keep your message short and to the point.
- Do not respond or write email while angry at the other parent. Wait until you have cooled off and can be objective. Knee jerk responses usually led to inappropriate emails.
- Respect the other parent’s request not to be emailed at their business email.
- Do not argue with the other parent through email. State facts and ask questions.
- Never ever threaten abuse, harm or other violence.
Careful and respectful communication will not only help your custody case but may also improve relations with your child’s parent. If you are struggling with communicating, it is recommended that you discuss this with your attorney, your therapist and consider attending co-parenting classes.
-K. Beth Luna, ESQ
This article is not meant to be all-inclusive or a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your own jurisdiction. If you are involved in a legal matter and have questions, you should contact a competent attorney in your own jurisdiction.