Communication during the separation period

Go easy on legal letters
  • Generally speaking, you’d be advised to go easy on legal letters; they rarely improve matters, do not magically make anything happen (only a court can do that) and can quickly deplete you of what limited funds you have.

Only contact the police for criminal matters
  • Understand that the police deal with criminal not civil matters; your case is classed as civil so it’s pointless getting frustrated at them for not enforcing ‘your rights’. The police are one of many official agencies that you might find yourself interacting with; whilst there are always exceptions with all humans, generally speaking, they do a difficult job well. Don’t make their job unnecessarily difficult if you’re interacting with them. It only means your record with them, possibly presented in family court, makes your case that much more difficult later on.

  • As a general rule, if you’re issued an intervention order and you are absolutely not guilty of the allegations that led to it being issued, you would be ill advised to accept it – it will affect any family court case despite what others (even officials) might say. If the allegations are false, the issuing authority will usually need to prove their case in court so they might be tempted to ‘advise’ you to accept it without admissions to get it across the line. If you are guilty of the allegations, then accept responsibility and change your future to make it a positive one.

Keep it in writing if you cannot get along
  • If you are unable to have mutually amicable and/or acceptable interaction with the other parent, you’d be well advised to stick to written communication. Email is good as it can easily be stored, sorted and printed if a court requires it. SMS is not a bad second but generally speaking, its harder to store and print. Two things that reduce conflict in written communication is to keep it strictly as brief as possible (no long emotional rants) and avoid the use of the word ‘you’, because this makes it harder to write something that sounds accusatory.

Communicate is key
  • Let children’s school(s) know the situation and provide them a copy of any court orders that apply. Ensure there is good open two way communication with the school and ensure that both parents are listed as contacts for correspondence.

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