Real Co-Parents: Caroline Kelley
Caroline K. is a divorced mom of two who says TalkingParents helped her co-parenting situation.
Caroline Kelley has two children with her ex-husband. When the two split up, their daughter was four and their son was two. Kelley and her ex were married for nearly eight years when they got divorced.
“We separated because I found out that he was having an affair and he chose not to end it.”
Kelley says because the relationship ended so abruptly, she and her ex could barely talk without arguing, and text messages would go back-and-forth unresolved.
“It was very hard to transition so quickly into a divorce with all the emotions. Communication was a major problem. Unfortunately, my kids didn't really know what was going on. They were still so young, and I didn't want them to see what was happening. So, we just had a lot of problems, and we were basically unable to communicate.”
About three months into the divorce, Kelley’s attorney recommended TalkingParents.
“It could be used in court, and that was really important in our divorce because it was really high conflict.”
Kelley says TalkingParents made an immediate impact on how she and her co-parent communicate.
“Some of the differences I noticed once I started using TalkingParents was that instead of having to respond right away to a text message, or an email, or in person, I could pause and really think about how I wanted to respond. In those three months leading up to using TalkingParents, I was reacting to a lot of things instead of responding. So, all these conversations would just spiral and blur into all these other topics, which was not helpful. And it was very emotional and difficult for anything to end in an actual conversation.”
TalkingParents also instantly pushed Kelley and her co-parent to be more civil.
“We knew that a judge might be reading it later, so it ended a lot of the back-and-forth arguing. It really simplified our conversations, which obviously helped us come to resolutions in our discussions. Not only did TalkingParents simplify things from an emotional side, but it eliminated any sort of outside conversations. We literally only communicated through the app, so we were able to stop talking about a lot of the parts of divorce that were leading to arguments.”
Kelley says the Secure Messaging feature is her favorite.
“At this point, I have three years’ worth of messages in TalkingParents, safe and sound, and they’re all dated and timestamped so I can always refer back to something. If there was an agreement made between me and my ex and I bring it up later, if he says he doesn’t remember that discussion, I can just type in a word to search through my messages, screenshot it, and say, ‘here it is.’ There’s no back-and-forth about who said what, or having to go back through my text messages and emails. Not to mention that would probably take days and it’s not worth my time to do that.”
Organization is a major benefit for Kelley.
“Everything custody related is in one location and it's never going to get lost. I can just list everything by dates and go back and reread whenever I want to. I also like the ability to attach a photo to my messages. If I ever need to go back and find a picture of something, it’s right there attached to the message and it’s timestamped. I know my ex saw the picture, I saw the picture, and I don’t have to go back through my phone where I have about 50,000 photos and don’t remember the date. So, it’s just great for organization and streamlines everything. It’s simple to use, easy to find what I’m looking for, and it’s all in one app so it’s not taking over my life all the time.”
Kelley says TalkingParents ultimately changed the path she and her co-parent were headed down.
“It was really high conflict, it was really unexpected on my part, and I think I could have gone down the path where we just never would have gotten along. We could have been arguing for years about everything. Instead, we pretty much changed the way we communicate by using the TalkingParents app.”
As a result, Kelley says her children never see her and her co-parent argue.
“We're very civil in front of them and we're friendly. We’re not friends, but we've both gotten to a place where we get along in front of our kids. And that's so important to me.”
At the end of the day, Kelley is grateful for the TalkingParents app, and says it’s been a huge blessing for her, her co-parent, and her children.
“This has been so helpful for our entire family. It has really allowed my kids to be separated and out of the divorce, especially when it was super high conflict. It allowed me to be a much better parent and more focused on them when I was around them. And moving forward, one of the long-term benefits of using TalkingParents is that I have created a much more peaceful relationship with my ex-husband and my kids’ father.”
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