Parents in California and other parts of the country are understandably concerned about the possible dangers and risks associated with texting and social media use. However, there’s a new study that suggests texting and social media can help keep parents and children stay connected when a marriage comes to an end. Interestingly, it didn’t seem to matter how well former spouses got along with one another.
While it’s generally agreed that contact between parents and children after a divorce is often better in person, there are times when this isn’t possible. But, according to the study’s co-author, texting and social media can let children know they are cared for and loved between scheduled visitations. In order to test the long-held theory that how well divorced parents get along is the main factor that determines how children handle divorce, the study team looked at roughly 400 parents no longer together with kids between the ages of 10 and 18.
In addition to looking types of co-parenting relationships that included conflicted and cooperative interactions, the research team focused on the nature of child-parent relationships. Co-parenting styles didn’t seem to make as big of a difference as the frequency of communication. It was discovered that effective communications contributed to better parent-child relationships. Based on the results, researchers recommend that children old enough to use a computer or to text be allowed to have daily contact with the parent living outside of the home.
Unless there are unique circumstances involved, there are typically no legal reasons why children shouldn’t be able to text, video chat, or exchange social media messages with the other parent, regardless of the nature of the custody arrangements. If there are concerns about a custodial parent prohibiting such interactions, a family law attorney may be able to amicably resolve the issue.