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Resolving parental conflicts after divorce

Divorced Pennsylvania parents might have conflicts over issues such as how much time one child spends playing video games. Most therapists believe that parents should try to be consistent in their rules between households. A parent who objects to the amount of time the other parent allows the child to spend on gaming might wonder how to curb that behavior.

In fact, the parent might be better off avoiding conflict over the issue. They might try to speak to the other parent and resolve the issue with some concrete information about why the behavior worries them. However, if the other parent disagrees, the only choices might be to drop it or take it to court.

Going to court over such an issue can be risky. A parent may be seen by the judge as uncooperative. Furthermore, the parent needs to produce concrete evidence that the child is being harmed by whatever activity the parent is objecting to. This means that evidence that the child is playing a lot along with newspaper articles about the dangers of video games for children might not be enough. A judge, who makes a decision based on the child's best interests, may want concrete evidence of endangerment such as an injury or signs of problems in school.

Children of parents whose divorces are lower-conflict may adjust better, so parents might want to work on conflict resolution skills during the divorce using mediation or another method. They can also write specific rules into their parenting agreement. However, some parents may be more comfortable with a flexible parenting plan negotiated with the assistance of their respective attorneys. If there are significant changed circumstances, then parents should return to court to have the document modified.

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