Providing consistent household rules after a divorce

Texas parents who are getting a divorce may need to decide on a consistent set of household rules if their children will be moving between their homes, but this can be challenging. However, it is important for children to have this stability in their lives. Parents may want to decide ahead of time whether there are certain issues, such as bedtimes or video games, that they will not budge on and other issues they can be more flexible about. This may help them work toward compromises.

Some parents will still find it impossible to reach an agreement in this way. However, there are resources that can help. A therapist, family law court or attorney may be able to recommend parenting classes. These classes avoid bias toward one or the other parent, but they may give examples that demonstrate parenting norms or emphasize how harmful it can be for children if rules are inconsistent. Another potential resource is a mediator. This is a neutral third party who helps parents resolve conflicts and reach a nonbinding agreement.

Court is an option if all other methods fail. However, one major disadvantage of litigation is that it takes control away from the parents and puts it in the hands of a judge.

Giving up this control may also be an issue when it comes to custody and visitation. Parents may prefer to try to work with their attorneys and one another to reach an agreement rather than going into the more adversarial atmosphere of a courtroom. In some cases, parents may be able to compromise on some issues but need to have a judge decide about others. The most important consideration for parents is putting the best interests of the child first.

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