Co-Parenting and Technology

During a divorce or custody case, the court will make a decision regarding visitation and custody based on what is in the child’s best interest.  What is in the child’s best interest will be decided based on a list of factors found in New Jersey statutes.  The New Jersey legislature specifically recognizes that it is in the children’s best interest to maximize the contact and time between the parents and the children.  Technology can be a good way to help maximize that contact after your divorce or separation, and help facilitate co-parenting.

One way technology can be useful with co-parenting is the use of Skype or FaceTime.  Although calling your children regularly is a good way to connect with teenagers, it is not always an effective method of communication with young children.  With an option like Skype, it is easier to speak and communicate with a toddler, or even play with an infant. 

For older children, having an email account for your child can be a good way to send messages and connect with your child.  Texting or other messaging services can provide a similar type of contact.  However, parents should be cautious that they do not message so frequently as to disrupt the other parent’s visitation.

Technology can also be used to help smooth your communication with the other parent.  After a divorce or separation, there may be lingering resentment or anger between the parents, making face to face interaction stressful and difficult.  Using text or email to discuss issues and exchange information can allow parties the time and space needed to carefully craft a response. 

Parents should be aware that text messages, email, or other electronic communications are admissible in court.  In other words, that text you sent out of anger to the other parent can come back to haunt you.  Similarly, if you disparage your co-parent in an email to your child, that can later be brought up in a custody hearing.  Emails and text exchanges can also work to your benefit, however, if you need to demonstrate that you have been attempting to cooperate and communicate with the co-parent, but these attempts are not successful.

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If you are facing a custody case, contact us today.  We have extensive experience helping our clients resolve custody and visitation issues.

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