To some extent you and your ex will have to communicate as parents. Co-parenting will require regular communication and you will have to figure out what method of communication works best for your situation.
If you use the phone to communicate, realize it takes a lot of self control to avoid the conversation going downhill fast if an issue comes up. We can easily be misunderstood on the phone because we don't have visual clues to put the conversation in context. On the other hand, the phone does give you some distance and the ability to terminate the conversation if it gets out of hand. It also prevents any argument becoming physical if that is a concern.
Email can be used for difficult issues. Take your time replying and know that emails can form part of a legal record that can be referenced later in court. If you are feeling very emotional about an email you get, take 24 hours before replying. This gives you time to calm down, think through your choices and make an appropriate reply. Decide if a reply is even necessary. It is best to ignore insulting language or other "trash talk" and just reply to what needs to be addressed for the good of your child.
IM's do keep more of an emotional distance than the telephone because the emotional tone of your voice cannot be heard. This can be used to discuss awkward issues and communication can be paused or stopped easily at any time. Remember IM's can be recorded. You get more instant feedback and more of a conversation than with email. However this gives you less time to think especially if you become emotional.
- Do not pass notes or messages through your kid
- Do not criticize the other parent in front of your child
- Do not ask your child to choose sides
- Do not let yourself get out of control. Terminate the conversation or take a break
- Do not use foul language or insults
Get help if you are having problems communicating with your ex. A mediator or therapist can often help facilitate communication and even teach you both how to communicate effectively.