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Correspondence with ex-spouse - is email communication okay to keep records of what was said?

Seattle, WA |

My ex-spouse is hostile when communicating verbally, regarding financial matters. She constantly manipulates conversations regarding money, is very emotional, and makes large demands. I pay her alimony/child support on time, according to our decree, and often add in extra cash for additional expenses. My therapist advised to correspond via email instead, to keep records of what was agreed upon. I found by communicating via email, she has double-billed me for medical bills etc. I have saved money by keeping emails of what was agreed on and what has been paid. BUT, when she is told "no" to optional costs, or when she is double-billing me, she gets angry, threatens mediation, and accuses the emails of "harassment". Sometimes we argue via email, but NEVER harassment. Am I doing this right?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    I advise my clients to save all issues that arise during the week to one long email per week instead of multiple short ones. Additionally pretend the other party is a someone you do business with, that will help you keep it very business like and polite. You do not have to respond to the other party immediately unless it is an emergency. It is extremely difficult to do this but really helps if you can.

    NOTE: this answer is given on a limited factual basis and does not constitute legal advice. It is advised that you seek legal counsel or consult with an attorney. www.tamblynlaw.com


  2. Email is the best form to document what is said, as it shows the account it came from and is time stamped. I often tell my clients to only communicate by email, not even text messages.

    Attorney Williams practices FAMILY LAW throughout the State of California. The response provided in this forum is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information offered in this response is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon without further consultation with a legal professional after all relevant facts are disclosed and considered. DANIEL S. WILLIAMS, ESQ. LAW OFFICES OF DANIEL S. WILLIAMS


  3. I certainly agree with the answers provided. I also suggest that my high conflict clients to use "My Family Wizard." This program is a service that helps keep conflict to a minimum when co-parenting and provides documentation to what was said and when. There is also a section for the parents to download important medical and educational records so that they do not have to engage in discussions about how the children are progressing. There is a small yearly fee but most of my clients say it is worth the small cost.

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