Available for Interviews: Teddi Ann Barry
Teddy Ann Barry, Esq. is a family attorney and writer who has been serving families through divorce and custody and has been practicing family law for over twenty years, and also comes with a wealth of experience in mediation and collaborative law. She is also the author of The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Divorce in Colorado.
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Co-Parenting Tips for the New School Year:
If you’re divorced or getting divorced, chances are communication is already strained or stressful! Here are some helpful tips and resources to help with co-parent communication and make everyone’s life a bit easier.
1) LIMit Text Messaging
- Text messaging should be limited to five words. For example: “I’m here.” “Kids will be there by 7.” “ Please see the email sent to you.”
- Way too many parents rant or try to share too much information through text messages. This is a very reactive way to communicate; important messages are easily lost, and the tone of your message may be wrongfully interpreted—or felt correctly in a negative way.
- The best communication is usually through written emails, phone calls with follow-up emails, or in person (without the kids around).
2) Get the app!
- These days, with parents not wanting their emails flooded by their co-parents, afraid of missing something, or wanting records of their communication, there are applications to help you.
- The most frequently used app is Talking Parents. With this app, parents know exactly when a message was sent or received and read, can look back when information was requested, keep track of kid calendars and schedules, share receipts and payment for child expenses, and much more.
- Civil Communicator is a similar service that additionally keeps each parent from speaking ill or hostile to the other parent in their exchanges.
- When both parents agree to communicate through the apps, everything is kept in one place; a parent can check the messages when it’s appropriate for her instead of getting harassed with multiple texts or losing something in an abyss of emails.
3) Plan Ahead
- Sure, emergencies and changes in plans happen, but not as often as some parents seem to create. Having a weekly check-in to look at the kids’ schedules and events, any events either parent has, and discussing the kids’ school work, projects, or any problems can really help your children.
- I strongly suggest parents have a 10-minute call once a week or grab a coffee once a month to look at what’s coming up and how to best help their kids.
- When everyone knows what to expect, life is easier for everyone.
4) It’s not always about you!
- Often, clients believe their EX isn’t responding out of spite, or won’t agree to what they’re asking to be mean to you. The more you can remove your emotions from the facts, the more effective you can communicate.
- Starting a conversation by asking the other parent how they are instead of going straight into demands or accusations can make a big difference for everyone.
5) When all else fails, Pick Up the Phone
- If you find that email after email is getting exchanged or ignored and nothing is getting resolved, pick up the phone or text #PUTP to the other party.
- Set a time to talk when neither of you has distractions, no one is too tired, the children are not around, and you both know exactly what you need to discuss and resolve.
- After the call, THEN follow up with an email so everyone knows what was discussed, what was determined, and what are the next steps for resolution.
Learning to speak to one another clearly and respectfully will help you co-parent your children effectively. If the other parent refuses to communicate effectively with you and nothing is getting resolved, or it is just more difficult than it needs to be, set up a consultation with us to see what other ideas and methods may help you.
Interview: Teddi Ann Barry
Teddi Ann Barry, Esq. is the Founder of Teddy Ann Barry, PSC., and has been an attorney for over twenty years. Other areas of law practiced are mediation and collaborative law. Teddy is based in the Cherry Creek office and practices family law exclusively. She is also the author of The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Divorce in Colorado: Get In, Get Out, Get Over It.
Teddy is a former guardian ad litem and Respondent parents’ counsel, representing the best interests of children placed in the custody of the State and the parents accused of abuse and neglect of their children by the State.
As an alumna of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, for both her undergraduate and Juris Doctorate degrees, Teddy is proud to have been educated at Creighton University, which is one of 28 Jesuit Catholic universities throughout the country, that teaches, among many wonderful values, service. I have been serving others in family law since 2000.
Teddy has been a business owner for over 17 years and continues to build a firm with experienced and well-respected professionals who can offer the highest level of client care, advocacy, skilled negotiation, and litigation if and when absolutely necessary.
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