Communicating with your former partner, especially in the early days of your separation, can often feel really awkward and stressful. While sending them a quick email about an upcoming event or parenting issue might have been easy and natural when you were together, now you’re likely feeling anxious about how to get your point across in a calm and clear manner.
Before you send an email with an important request, try following the outline below to help ensure that your goal and purpose are clear. Remember: the written word is permanent, so never send an email when you’re in an emotional or activated state. If you’re in doubt, wait 24 hours before pressing the “send” button.
Acknowledge: Say “hello”, and add something warm and as friendly as feels authentic to where you currently are in your journey. Outline the goal and purpose of your email.
● Example: Hope you’re doing well. I appreciate your time to discuss the holiday schedule for 2022 [goal] so that we can support our shared commitment to a schedule that aligns with our co-parenting vision and plan [purpose].
Ask / Question: Clearly outline the “ask” in a short, concise question.
● Example: In order to do this, can you please provide me with a list of the changes you’re requesting?
Timeline: Specify when you require a response back, being as specific and reasonable as possible.
● Example: If you could please send this back to me by X date, then I will review and respond to you by Y date.
Follow-up / Next steps: Add a sentence about what to expect if the deadline isn’t met (ie. your Plan B).
● Example: Can you please let me know if you can support this request within 24-48 hours so that I can make a plan for next steps that align with this goal?
If you don’t hear back from them by your requested date, you can send a follow-up email. After that, move forward with your plan B. Keep a record of your emails to submit to your lawyer if needed.
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