Blog, Child Custody, Parenting, Separation, Technology·Written on behalf of Mincher Koeman·Posted on March 6, 2020
Digital Tools Can Make Life Easier for Separating Couples
Couples who are separating, particularly in a high-conflict situation, often find communication difficult, if not impossible. Finding ways to facilitate collaboration, particularly when dealing with parenting issues, can allow a couple to make arrangements and structure parenting time without needing to talk. Further, these tools can help to keep a record of agreed-upon terms and other factors that the couple has established, in the event of a disagreement. However, as noted in a recent article by the CBC, communication is still important. But communicating electronically may help couples who find it hard to talk to each other, work together towards a shared goal.
Technology Can Help Avoid Conflict and Save Time
There is a familiar trope of a divorcing couple who cannot bear to be in the same room with one another, or have a conversation that doesn’t devolve into a shouting match. While this situation is not usual, some couples are able to maintain a respectful level of communication between them. Digital tools and technology can be of help in both scenarios. For amicable splits, certain tools will allow a couple to sit down together and create agreements or take stock of the marital assets on their own time and avoid unnecessary expenses.
For example, at Mincher Koeman, we provide clients with detailed electronic questionnaires that allow them to note all relevant information regarding the assets of the marriage in their own home. This saves time when meeting with their lawyer, and even allows a couple to collaborate if that fits their circumstances.
This questionnaire asks questions to ensure we are able to assist clients with the division of matrimonial property. Our team uses the information provided to build on what was discussed at the initial meeting and develop an accurate assessment of the parties’ incomes, property entitlement, and any exemptions. We anticipate this questionnaire will take a minimum of 2-3 hours to complete depending on the complexity of a family’s assets. It enables clients to take this account in the comfort of their own home, without the stress of having to answer questions in a lawyer’s office. This process allows our clients to provide the information on their own time, with all of their documentation at hand, saving them legal costs and time.
A New Approach to Parenting Management
A common area that causes the most strife for a divorcing couple is that of co-parenting after a split. The ongoing nature of this arrangement means that issues arise regularly that require discussion, and both parties are required to collaborate to ensure that each person is doing their share. It can be difficult to track changes to arrangements and keep each other informed of new developments relating to a child, such as report cards or healthcare news. Further, one on one conversations may more often than not result in disagreement and therefore be unproductive.
At Mincher Koeman, we provide clients with their own client portal which will allow them to access a parenting calendar where issues, questions and events can be documented for our team to access and provide advice as issues arise. It allows a client to track all shared parenting arrangements and make note of any difficulties for their file. Further, it allows them to communicate any issues directly with their lawyer, saving the expense and time of a visit or phone call.
Communication, No Matter the Method, Is Key
While digital tools can certainly make life easier for a couple looking to separate or co-parent their children, the key issue will always be communication. As pointed out in the article referenced above, these tools are only as good as the information provided to them. While an app to keep track of parenting schedules is extremely helpful, a parent who fails to disclose important news relating to their child, or does not adhere to an agreed schedule is still going to pose a problem. The best way to use these tools in a high-conflict situation is as a means to communicate remotely, and to preserve a level of respect and honesty between the parties that may be difficult to do over the phone or in person.
The family law lawyers at Mincher Koeman are exceptionally experienced with respect to assisting clients facing the breakdown of a relationship. We will work with you to ensure that your voice is represented in any dispute and will make the process as painless and efficient as possible. Contact our office today by calling us at 403-910-3000 or contact us online.