When divorced parents navigate the legal process, they must negotiate compromises regarding property division, debt responsibility, support and a parenting plan. Unfortunately, many aspects of post-divorce life come as an unexpected challenge. One pleasant development, however, concerns the use of emerging technology as persistent communication methods.
While divorce might be the best option for the couple’s future, the children often feel confused and frustrated. Based on their age and maturity level, children might have a varied understanding of the divorce and what it means for the future. One significant loss is the ability to see, hear and speak with the non-custodial parent when needed. Psychologists agree that this level of communication is necessary to encourage the growth and maturity of the child into a healthy adult.
Depending on the child’s age and access to various forms of technology, the parents could agree to use methods including:
- Phone conversations
- Direct messaging through social media sites
- Video chat functions such as Facetime or Facebook Portal
- Computer webcam functions such as Skype
Every family dynamic is unique, and parents must decide which methods work best for them. Additionally, the parents must agree to certain restrictions or limitations and present a unified voice when explaining the Do’s and Don’ts to their children. Limitations can center on times of the day or appropriate methods at appropriate times.
Further, the parents must agree that this level of communication should never descend into parental alienation or the child pitting the former spouses against each other when it comes to punishments, consequences, rewards or other items. “Playing mom against dad” should not be encouraged in daily life, and it should not be encouraged in a digital environment.
Parents must also remember they can add language to the parenting plan as well as revisions to the document through the legal process if methods change in the future.