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Co-parenting and household rules after a divorce

It can be important for divorced parents in New Jersey to establish consistent rules for their young children as they move between households. These could range from rules about bedtimes to video games to how children dress. The actual substance of some of these rules is less important than that children get a sense of security from their consistency. Parents should be prepared to compromise although there may be points on which they feel they cannot budge. If they know what these points are ahead of time, negotiations might go more smoothly.

Parents can also turn to mediators or parenting classes for help in these negotiations. A mediator sits down with parents and helps them work to resolve conflict and reach a solution that satisfies them both. In parenting classes, parents may learn more about the importance of consistent rules or about parenting norms. Therapists, attorneys and family law courts may have recommendations for these.

While it is possible to take parenting disputes before a judge, parents may want to keep this as a last resort. The problem with going to court is that at that point, parents must give up control and may have no recourse to a ruling they dislike.

Parents may also prefer to negotiate custody and visitation. In most circumstances, it is best if both parents are able to spend a reasonable amount time with the children. Parents should avoid trying to use custody as a way to try to hurt the other parent and focus on the best interests of the children. During or after the divorce, a parent might get supervised visitation or may be denied visitation if there are serious situations such as abuse.

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