"People don't want to talk to their exes because just the sound of their voice is irritating," said Randy Kessler, chair of the American Bar Association's Family Law Section and a matrimonial lawyer in Atlanta. "But they can e-mail. They can share an online calendar. They can use any number of resources on the Internet. There are even divorce apps."
E-mail and texting alone have practically revolutionized postdivorce family relationships. "E-mail absolutely takes away the in-your-face aggravation and emotional side of joint custody," said Lubov Stark, a divorce lawyer on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. "You just write, 'I want to pick up Kimmy at 5, but I'm running late and will be there at 6.' It's the best thing ever."
For Cheryl Wu, a 34-year-old Manhattan pediatrician, nailing down details on a Google calendar makes all the difference. First, she and her ex-husband, who have joint legal custody (she has primary physical custody) of their 5-year-old son, will e-mail each other possible arrangements until they reach a point of agreement. Once there, it goes into the mutual calendar. Since the two separated in 2010, they have only had to talk face-to-face two or three times.
"Everything on our calendar is jointly shared, so there's no dispute," Ms. Wu said. "For a while, I was doing all the entering of events, but I told him to put his share in, too, and now it's all on there."
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