Coparenting Tips for Improving Communication from the expert authors of Overcoming the Alienation Crisis: 33 Coparenting Solutions. For more information about OCB Publications go here.
What if my coparent writes really long emails that include lots of inaccurate statements?
Unless you are a famous person who is used to being misunderstood and feeling unappreciated, inaccurate statements are tough to ignore. Many parents worry that if they do not set the record straight, it can be used against them later in court. The escalated response would be to write back an equally long, or longer, email or text to correct the record. This may seem to be the only way to protect yourself against future litigation. However, it is unlikely that your response would be the last word on the issues. A battle of words likely would continue and distract you from what really matters—quality parenting.
A Neutral Coparent would write something like, “I don’t agree with much of what you wrote, but I am not going to address those disagreements now, especially in an email. A couple of points you made are directly relevant to coparenting the kids, so I’ll respond to those….” It is wise to begin addressing the issues by identifying points the coparent made that you agree with; for example, “I agree that the kids feel anxious when it is time for them to go from one home to the other.” You may want to point out specific issues you dispute; for example, “I especially do not agree with your statement that the kids are not safe in my care.” To close the dialogue, you could state that you don’t plan to talk anymore about this issue at this time as it will not be constructive.