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In child custody, technology can both help and hurt

Las Vegas parents who are separated or divorced know that it can be very difficult to effectively communicate with your child's other parent. Not only must you overcome the traditional barriers of misunderstanding and miscommunication, but you are also often in a situation rife with anger, resentment, guilt, frustration and sadness. These emotions can easily get in the way of positive, child-centered communication, with an overall negative effect on your children and your family.

This is why parents and family law attorneys alike are hailing the widespread use of texting, emailing and other tools as a positive, if not essential aspect of child custody agreements and parenting plans. And according to a recent survey on the impact of communication technology on divorce, child custody and visitation, nearly all separated parents use these technologies to communicate with one another about their children.

However, the ways in which parents use these devices vary significantly based on their relationship with one another. Parents who are friendly generally use emails and text messages as a tool to coordinate child exchanges and share information with one another. One example of this is the use of a shareable online calendar to manage their child's schedule.

For parents who do not get along, however, communication technology plays a completely different role. Often, parents with acrimonious relationships use texts and emails as a way to limit their communication and even to manipulate each other. For example, some parents will ignore their ex's emails and then pretend that they never received the communication.

Do you use communication technology in your custody plan? If so, do you find that it helps or hurts?

Source: stltoday.com, "Tech can help or seriously damage co-parenting after divorce," Aisha Sultan, Aug. 31, 2012

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