Communication Should be Brief, Straight Forward and to the Point
Communication SHOULD BE for the limited purpose of coordinating parenting responsibilities and informing the other parent of information they need to have to effectively parent during their parenting time.
Communication SHOULD NOT BE used for the purpose of "documenting" for an upcoming court case or trying to prove what a good parent you are being; or micro managing the other parent. What goes on during your parenting time, should typically stay with your parenting time. If it does not affect the other parent or is not something the other parent needs to know to co-parent, then it should not generally be something that is communicated within this forum. If the children are old enough, let them be the ones to share what they do with the other parent.
Civil Communicator encourages Fact Based Communication. Since the communication is only between the two subscribers, and terms of endearment could be interpreted as demeaning or derogatory, there is no need to start each communication with a greeting (Hi, Hello, Dear Blank, etc.). Likewise, there is no need for a closing. i.e. Sincerely, Yours Truly, Your Name. The result is a much easier and efficient form of communication. For the same reasons, please do not refer to the other party by name within the communication. Pleasantries such as "Have a nice day.", "Hope you are having fun", "Happy Thanksgiving", "Happy Mother's Day" or "Happy Father's Day", etc. are also discouraged.
A Conversation Thread should be limited to a Single Topic which facilitates resolution. In addition, a new conversation thread should not be stated if the issue has already been discussed recently.
A communication should not begin with or include:
- You should
- You need to
- You always
A communication should not contain:
- A list of "To Do" items
- A log of activities for memorializing all of the things that you may have done with the children during your parenting time.
- Assumptions about the other party's activities, beliefs or upcoming plans, values, etc.
- References to conversation a party has had or intends to have with their attorney or a professional. i.e. "My attorney says that you are wrong."
- Notices of legal action that a party has taken or intends to take.
- References about contacting the police, social services, accountant, therapist, etc. is considered threatening. i.e. "I'm going to contact social services today." or "I have filed a report with the police."
A communication should not be used for (in addition to the above):
- A back and forth Chit-Chat, like text messaging format where you continue with a single message back and forth about homework, etc.
- Pleasantries about what a wonderful parent they are, thanking them for being this or that or doing this or that...
- "Tooting" your own horn about what a wonderful parent you are, etc.
- Notifying other party of unnecessary information. i.e. The child woke up well rested and went to school, Brushed their Teeth, Went to the bathroom, Changed their clothes, played outside, Ate their spinach, etc.
Finally, do not refer to the child(ren) in a possessive sense (My Child, etc.). It is best if you use the child's name or our daughter, son, children, etc.
If a party has requested a topic no longer be discussed, Civil Communicator may reject any additional communication along those lines. Civil Communicator will use their discretion for each request.
In summary. Think about your communication before you decide to send something to the other party. Is it necessary? Will the other party care about what you are saying? Do they really need this information to co-parent? Is it really just a way to try to "push a little button" or document something. i.e. Once again you were late. Is it something they would already know? i.e. They would know if they were late for a drop off or pick up. Are you writing to tell them that they did not send back an outfit or clothing that belongs to you, etc. If so, anything you send with or on the child(ren) should be assumed will not be seen again. Maybe use a outfit that goes back and forth like a uniform or agree that whatever the child comes in, it goes back upon transition...even if it did not get washed... this will avoid conflict. Items are the biggest area of conflict we see in communication.
Civil Communicator Review Specialists will either Revise or Reject communication that contain:
Asked & Answered
Inappropriate Marks or Symbols
Included a Greeting / Closing
No Pertinent Information
Not Clear Response
Not on Topic
Outside of Scope of Allowed Topics
The review process will be tailored for each subscriber's unique situation, and is noted in their Account Details within the application.