Handling minor parental disputes after divorce

Texas parents who are divorced might wonder how much control they have over how the other parent is raising their child when the child is with that parent. For example, one parent might object to the other parent allowing the child to spend a lot of time playing video games.

Experts generally recommend that parents try to be consistent between households, but if parents do have a disagreement, the best option might be to try discussing it and attempt to reach a compromise. If one parent explains their specific concerns to the other, this might be effective. However, if the other does not agree, the best option might be to let it go. When parents share legal and physical custody, it is important that they choose their battles carefully.

A parent who chooses to take the matter to court may have a difficult road ahead. Simply stating that they object to the behavior because they have read articles about children who get too much screen time is not likely to be effective. The other parent may always counter that the game is a bonding experience. Furthermore, the objecting parent might appear to be uncooperative to the judge. A parent needs to be prepared to show evidence of harm, such as missing school, to convince a judge.

Co-parenting after a divorce can be difficult. If parents are not cooperative with one another, they might want to write a detailed parenting plan that addresses specific situations such as these or sets out a framework for conflict resolution. Parents who are more cooperative might do better with a more flexible parenting plan that allows them to make informal changes as it suits them and their children. However, in either case, a significant modification in visitation might need to be approved by a judge.

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