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How to Communicate with Other Parent During Court Proceedings

How to Communicate with Other Parent During Court Proceedings

Court proceedings can be stressful for everyone particularly when it involves children. However, whilst emotions can be heightened and issues between the parties may be unresolved, parties should be aware that they are being assessed as parents by the Family Law Courts. All actions and behaviours are deemed relevant which is why it is important to portray yourself in the best possible way to the Court. This reflects your ability to have a good working relationship with the other parent which leads to a better capacity to parent.

There may be times that being cordial and exchanging pleasantries with the other parent seems too difficult but parents who are able to demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in relation to the children, increase their chances dramatically in having a better working relationship with the other parent and even can have the added benefit of having the Court making orders for a shared care arrangement.

So how do you best communicate with the other parent after separation?

In today’s day and age there are various ways parents can interact in relation to the children without always having to speak to one another in person.  These options can limit the risk of heated exchanges and conflict.  Some examples are:

  1. Email and text communication

This can be useful to create certainty between parents as to what arrangements have been agreed as the communication is in writing and be referred to if a dispute arises.  It is important to address the other parent by their name with a greeting and to ensure the tone of the communication is pleasant.  If not, written communications can be used in Court as evidence of poor communication, or evidence of abuse.

  1. Online Apps

There are affordable Apps that can be purchased that provide parents with an avenue to communicate about a whole range of issues involving the children with helpful tabs such as “education” and “health” among other things so that each parent is kept fully informed and updated as to the children’s progress or any issues that may arise.  One common App is the Our Family Wizard App which is regularly recommended by the Family Law Courts.

These options can be helpful however when parents usually encounter the most difficult is at changeovers when the children are delivered from one parent to another.  From the outset it is important for both parties to understand the impact witnessing parental conflict has on the children and the need to ensure a calm and relaxed experience at changeovers for the children so that they do not develop anxiety at each and every changeover.

If there are concerns about safety at changeovers, there are options to minimise this concern which include:

  1. Arranging a friend or family member to attend the changeover. This can sometimes be helpful to diffuse any tension, provided the parents are aware of who will be attending the changeover beforehand.  Affidavits can be obtained from the family member or friend and used in the Court proceedings.
  2. Arranging a professional supervisor for changeovers. This is a paid service that facilitates either the delivery of the children from one parent to the other or attends with the parents to supervise the exchange.  Reports can be obtained from the supervisor and used in evidence in the Court proceedings which can assist in ensuring both parents are on their best behaviour.

The most effective way to understand the importance of communication between parents is to attend a Parenting After Separation Course.  It is usually standard practice for the Court to direct the parties to attend upon this course which is offered through Relationships Australia and other government agencies.  We recommend all of our clients attend upon this course as soon as possible after separation to get the best chance to start their new methods of communicating with their former partner.

If you are concerned about how best to communicate with your former partner contact Lewis Family Lawyers today and we can direct you to the many options and services that can assist.

Memberships and Associations

Lewis Family Lawyers

Sydney Office

Level 30, 133 Castlereagh Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9159 9049
Mobile: 0438 800 996

Bowral Office

Suite 2B, 11-13 Bundaroo Street
Bowral NSW 2576
Phone: 02 4263 9011

Email: info@lewisfamilylawyers.com.au

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Sydney Office

Level 30, 133 Castlereagh Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9159 9049
Mobile: 0438 800 996

Bowral Office

Suite 2B, 11-13 Bundaroo Street
Bowral NSW 2576
Phone: 02 4263 9011

Email: info@lewisfamilylawyers.com.au