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A recent study from America has found that modern technology such as email, texts or social media can be an effective method of communication for separating or divorcing couples, but can also be open to abuse.

Researchers at the University of Missouri interviewed divorced parents about the state of their relationship with their ex-partner. They found that parents whose relationship was generally cooperative found communication technology a useful way of sharing information about their children. However, couples that had a hostile relationship used the technology to manipulate their ex-partner, for example by pretending not to have received emails.

“Parents who are hostile need to set their feelings aside and understand that they need to communicate effectively in order to protect the emotional well-being of their children,” said Lawrence Ganong, a professor of human development and family studies at MU. “Email is a great resource for hostile parents who can’t talk face-to-face. They can communicate essential information while editing what they say to avoid conflict. Also, the parents have a record of what was agreed upon.”

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