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Brandon and Polk County
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How should you handle uncivil messages from your ex?

Parents who have gone through a divorce have to remain in contact with each other while they are raising their children. This communication must always remain respectful. One option that some people use is a messaging app so that there is a record of what is said.

While messaging does have good points, it also has some challenges. It isn't always easy to determine the meaning behind certain statements. Since you can't hear voice inflections and tone of voice, someone can misconstrue the meaning.

What happens when there's a conflict?

Conflicts pose difficulties for parents who are trying to navigate their way through custody issues. It is easy to separate yourself from the messages that you send. Disconnecting in this way isn't uncommon, but it can mean that you send messages that you wouldn't relay if you were speaking to the person. For this reason, you should always take a few moments to review what you write so you can ensure that it is what you want to say.

How should you handle mean messages?

If your ex sends you mean messages, read what they have to say and then take a step back from it. Messages that aren't civil have a way of invoking anger, which is understandable. There are a few things to think about if you get a message like this.

First, try to determine whether there is an underlying question about the kids. If there is, you might choose to answer the question and move on.

Second, you should decide if anything is threatening in the messages. Some mean messages will go against standard child custody terms, so you may need to take legal action to get them to stop.

Third, determine how you can answer civilly. The last thing that you need to do is to engage the mean behavior.

Why should communication remain civil?

It is always best to remain calm in case the court reviews the communication. You must think about how readers might perceive the messages you send. Staying away from snippy or snide comments is usually a good idea. Instead, stick to the facts and only discuss points about the children.

Your parenting plan has terms for a variety of situations. Ensure that you always comply, including with the rules that have to do with communication. This can save you from having to deal with legal issues in the future.

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