The breakup of a relationship is usually the result of ongoing conflict. If that conflict extends into the co-parenting process, the result is often confusion and stress for the child. Sometimes co-parents have vastly different ways of dealing with common parenting issues. Resolving those child custody matters as early as possible may provide a more positive co-parenting experience for all involved.
When a child spends time at one parent’s house, he or she may return to the other parent’s house ready to challenge the way the household is run. Statements like, “Daddy lets me do this,” or “Mommy does it this way,” can be frustrating. The most common discrepancies between parenting partners involve the following issues:
- Discipline: One may be more authoritarian, and the other more lenient.
- Spending: One parent may try to overcompensate by buying the child anything he or she wants.
- Their own relationship: Parents may try to win the child to their side by badmouthing the other parent, even if it is to other adults where the child can overhear.
- Routines: Children may experience very different schedules between homes, including bedtimes, homework, chores and other responsibilities.
- Relationships: Parents may disagree over if and when to introduce the children to a new romantic partner.
Parenting is a long-term commitment, and it can be frustrating for both parents and children when child custody plans lack consistency. It may be important for those in New Jersey whose parenting styles are at odds to sit down and try working out a compromise that is in the child’s best interests. For parents who are new to co-parenting, this may be a critical step for building a partnership that will work well into the future.