Sixth Standard: R-E-L-A-X
Often time cases are made more difficult because parties love to text each other. Now we all text message in both our professional and personal lives. However, in the context of a family law matter, clients must be aware of the risks that come with text messaging. A lot of clients are aware that they should not be talking on the telephone with the other party as that’s only going to lead to an argument. The inability to consistently get someone on the telephone increases the advantage of text messaging – just text and they’ll get it when they read it. Oftentimes text message communications go too far.
It’s entirely too easy to respond to a text message quickly and without consideration. Though we generally encourage clients to use text messages to acknowledge emergencies or delays where email would be inconvenient, such practice should be limited. Though email tends to be a little slower and a little more onerous, the average typing ability still allows people to better articulate themselves than typing everything with thumbs. Text messaging encourages abbreviations, brevity, and emojis-many of which parties wish they could take back after they’ve been sent.
Hence, the last principle is to relax. By this I mean, you don’t need to respond to every communication right away. With the principle of relaxing, I challenge you to do the following practice: determine more than one way to respond. Conceptually give in to your base instincts and determine how you want to respond. Then, because you’re challenging yourself to think of more than one response, perhaps you’ll think about any of the above principles to come up with another way to respond. Perhaps the second way you’re thinking about is the kind respond. Perhaps another one is focused on what’s best for the children. Perhaps the third one does both of those and demonstrates your understanding. If you relax and think of more than one response in time principles of this blog post will easily guide you as to which response to send.