When parents divorce, there’s a lot to consider. Most of it is bound to center around the children.
An effective parenting plan is often the key to a functional co-parenting relationship, and it will serve as a guide for your interactions with both your ex-spouse and your children for years to come. That’s why it’s so important not to overlook one of the biggest parenting flashpoints of the modern era: electronics.
You need to have a frank discussion about how the electronics will be handled
Co-parenting works best when parents are on the same page about important issues – and electronics are an important part of 21st century life. Here are some of the things that you and your co-parent need to discuss:
- How much television or game time are the kids allowed? If you want to limit your kids’ unproductive screen time, you need to have a plan with your co-parent that makes sense for you both.
- Who will pay for personal electronics, like an iPad or a smartphone? Not only is there an initial cost, but you have to talk about monthly data plans and fees for many electronics and work out an agreement about the bills.
- Is there electronic visitation involved? E-visits are increasingly being used for everything, including as a way to help divorced parents maintain regular connections with their children. You need to clarify when e-visits can take place (how early or late, for example) and how often.
- Can the electronics be taken as punishment? This issue gets particularly thorny when one parent relies on e-visits to stay in touch with the kids. Taking a teen’s phone may also mean cutting off the other parent’s primary means of communication with that teen – and that may not be fair.
Ideally, you and your co-parent will be of like minds on these issues. If that doesn’t happen, however, you may need some experienced legal guidance to help you work things out.