When divorced parents disagree on free time

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, August 31, 2016.

After a divorce, Illinois parents might face disagreements regarding how they raise their children. For example, they might argue about how much time a child should spend on playing video games. One parent might believe that it is a good bonding activity while the other might say the excessive screen time is damaging for the child.

Parents have several choices. Discussing the issue with the other parent is one. It might be possible to come to an agreement. If this is not successful, the parent might consider dropping the issue. Ideally, parents will have consistent approaches to raising their child when they share custody, but this is not always possible. It is important for parents to pick their battles, and even if they dislike how the child is being raised, they can still enforce their rules in their own home when the child is there.

Another option is going to court where a judge will make a decision based on the best interest of the child. However, the parent will probably need to produce solid evidence that the activity is harmful. A judge is unlikely to be convinced unless the child is missing school to play the game or suffering some other concrete harm. Furthermore, the judge might consider the parent unreasonable and uncooperative.

If parents are able to coparent amicably, their child might have an easier time adjusting to the divorce. Parents might also want to address conflict resolution in their parenting agreement. For example, they might agree to a series of steps to try to resolve a disagreement, such as discussing the issue followed by mediation, if they cannot come to an agreement. Parents might also want to consider writing specific provisions into the parenting agreement covering issues around raising the child that are of particular concern.

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