You believe in a rather loose set of rules for the children. You don’t want them to feel smothered. There are consequences for major issues, but you don’t worry about minor infractions. Your ex, on the other hand, has a strict set of rules. The kids can only watch TV for so long, their phone and computer use is monitored, and they have to be in bed at a specific time every night.
What if the two of you don’t agree? Co-parenting after divorce is difficult. Will your different attitudes toward parenting just make it more complex? What can you do?
It is best to have the same rules in both homes
One thing is clear when you talk to childhood development experts: It is best for the same rules to be used in both homes. This gives children a sense of routine and stability in their lives. They know what to expect and how you expect them to act. Parents should work together to agree on rules that they will both use. If your ex tells you that a child lost his or her phone privileges, for instance, you should uphold your co-parent’s decision, rather than giving the phone back.
That said, you may think the rules your co-parent imposes are too extreme. In most cases, there’s no legal obligation to follow them — and there isn’t anything you can do to force your ex to change. This is something the two of you need to work out, but neither of you can force the other to do anything specific or abide by the other’s rules.
Creating a parenting plan can be fraught with these kinds of challenges
Your best option is to address this upfront and work together to create a parenting plan you can both agree on. This is just one of the legal steps you can take as you get divorced to ensure your child’s future. If you’re having trouble working it out with your co-parent, your attorney may be able to help.