Communication with your ex can help enforce parenting decisions

If you are a parent who is preparing to divorce, the dynamics of your relationship with your child will change. Even if you did not get along with your partner, you likely openly shared your opinions on the important aspects of your child's life. But after the divorce, much of the time spent with your child will be while under your exclusive care. This means that you will be making many parenting decisions by yourself.

But you may find it somewhat daunting to call all the shots on your own. For one thing, your child is adjusting to a new life and may be emotionally fragile. As such, there are a number of potential stumbling blocks that could interfere with effective parenting.

One thing to watch out for is your child trying to push boundaries by comparing your parenting style to your ex's. The child may say things like "but Dad lets me stay up later." or "Mom lets me binge-watch on Netflix," in the hope of getting you to be more permissive. The child may even be trying to get you into a competition with your ex for favored house status.

When such conflicts arise, it is important to stand your ground and enforce the rules of your house. But it's also a good idea to communicate with your ex and find out the rules that he or she is imposing. Even if you have strong disagreements with your former partner, remember you are both your child's parents and working together can go a long way toward creating continuity and structure for the child.

Another way to establish continuity and structure in your child's life is by creating an effective parenting plan that contains specific custody terms. And an experienced family law attorney can help you craft a parenting agreement that meets the needs of both you and your child.

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