Successful Co-Parenting - Part I

This is the first of many blogs to come regarding successful co-parenting. Whether you are going through a divorce in Texas involving children or whether you are modifying the terms of a Texas custody order, co-parenting is fundamental when raising a child in two homes.

Effective communication between parents is essential in a co-parenting relationship. In this age of technology, most parents communicate schedules and activities pertaining to their children via e-mail and/or text message. While lawyers advise their clients to communicate with their ex in writing, emails and text messages are not an appropriate forum to have discussions and dialogues regarding your child. All too often, messages and tone can be misinterpreted in an e-mail or text message.

The Huffington Post recently had an article entitled “The 1 Email Successful People Never Send.” The article discusses super-successful people and the fact that those people never send a long email. After reading this article, I could not help but think how beneficial this information would be to all my clients struggling to co-parent with their ex-spouse.

This article suggests three tips when it comes to drafting an e-mail:

“1. People don’t need as much background information as you think they do. It might seem essential to you, but it actually seems superfluous to the email recipient. They’d rather you get to the information and request more quickly, and then they can ask you to fill in any holes in their knowledge later.

2. Don’t waste your subject line. In many email services, including Gmail, just the subject line and first line or two is visible in the recipient’s inbox. Why make the subject "Hi" when it could be "Dinner on Thursday?" Give the recipient an idea of what the email contains and a good reason to click on it.

3. Just because your email is short, that doesn’t mean it has to be rude. "No matter how short your emails, there is a way to inject a friendly, cheery note, and don’t forget to do that. Short doesn’t mean that it’s okay to go around barking orders," Schwalbe says.”

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