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Technology makes custody issues less hostile

Divorced couples frequently hold bitterness against each other, making the exchange of children difficult in Louisiana and throughout the U.S.

With today's technology, however, child custody issues don't have to be tough. Mom and Dad don't have to fight during the transfer of the kids or receive angry phone calls in front of the kids. These days, it's all done behind the computer or a smartphone.

One woman who broke up with her fiancée when their child was 8 months old said she is thrilled to make child arrangements by email. They discuss everything from drop-offs to day care using this method since they usually fight in person.

One matrimonial lawyer said exes often don't like the sounds of each other's voice. Instead, he said, they can turn to the computer, use the same online calendar or download "divorce apps."

Another lawyer said text messages and emails take away the emotions and anger of child custody. They are great tools to convey brief messages, he said.

One divorced mom, a 34-year-old Manhattan pediatrician, said she and her ex-husband share legal custody, while she has primary physical custody of their 5-year-old boy. They email each other, agree on a schedule, and then transfer the agreement into Google calendar. Since 2010, they have only talked to each other on less than a handful of occasions.

In earlier times, the mothers almost always gained primary custody, but not today. Joint legal custody, where parents share in the decisions, usually happens. Joint physical custody, where kids spend equal time with both parents, is becoming the norm.

After a divorce or split, it is crucial for parents to make things as easy for their kids as they can. The use of technology and apps can assure that. Children deserve to be able to go happily back and forth between their parents' homes without fighting or hostility.

Source: New York Times, "Kramer.com vs. Kramer.com," Pamela Paul, Nov. 23, 2012

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