In the aftermath of a divorce or other breakup, dealing with your ex can feel – well, surreal.  You may be tempted to ignore him/her.  Or tell them off – let them know how awful they really are.  But that won’t help you to raise happy, healthy children.

These tips were written to de-escalate tensions between parents who live apart. (Though, in all honesty, these could be applied to any relationship that requires communication with someone you don’t particularly like.)

Even if your ex is the biggest jerk on the planet, your children will benefit if you do the right thing.  And that includes following these Rules.

Angry texts (or emails) that break these rules can be used as evidence against you if you ever end up in court.  You don’t want the judge or your kids to see you at your worst.


  • Check your email/phone regularly
  • Limit what you say to words that will help resolve this particular thing
  • Do not use ALL CAPS, bold, underlining, highlighting, or colors
  • No cursing, put-downs, mean/angry words or tone
  • Banned Words:  Do not use any of the following words or their synonyms
    • always
    • never
    • harass(ment)
    • clearly
    • obvious(ly)
    • crazy
    • stupid
    • nuts
  • Avoid use of emojis or gifs – 1 happy face  or thumbs up per email only if for something positive
  • Only 1 exclamation point (!) per communication and only for something positive
  • Never use a punctuation mark more than once – no ???? or !!!!
  • If you want a response, ask a clear question and use a question mark (?)
  • Respond to all questions within 72 hours
  • Do not bring up problems from the past
  • Focus only on the current matter
  • Limit communications to essential matters and information you are required to exchange
  • No more than 1 communication per day unless there is an emergency or something time sensitive (answer needed in less than 72 hours)
  • Do not send texts after 9:00 p.m. or before 7:00 a.m. unless it is an emergency
  • Limit all emails/texts to 100 words or less

Click  Bays Family Law Co-Parenting Text and Email Rules  to download in a printable pdf  format. 

If you are considering divorce or have questions regarding child custody or parenting time, please call us at (317) 769-0630 to set up a consultation to discuss your situation.

If you are not quite ready to meet with one of our experienced attorneys, please follow us on social media, including FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

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