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2 ways that mobile phones can lead to co-parenting disputes

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2023 | Child Custody |

Sharing parental responsibilities and time with children is a challenge for all parents after a divorce or separation. People tend to be very emotional about the end of a romantic relationship and also about the reduction of their access to their shared children. Yet, the adults in the family will need to avoid conflict as much as possible to reduce the stress their children have about the changing family situation.

Co-parents who are adjusting to new family circumstances often find themselves embroiled in disputes related to different parenting issues. Mobile phones have become an indispensable part of modern life, and therefore they often play a role in in co-parenting challenges. For those who have children with one another, phones can lead to two primary challenges for a family to address.

When and how can children use their own phones

Teenagers who spend too much time on their phones could end up getting into trouble with their peers or falling behind at school. Younger children could be vulnerable to online predators if given their own devices too early in life. Parents may find themselves disagreeing with one another about how old their children need to be before they can have their own devices.

Additionally, parents may disagree about how the children should use those devices. For example, one parent may agree that having a phone for emergency phone calls is acceptable, but they may not approve of the use of a smartphone. Parents who talk about technological matters in their parenting plan will be less likely to end up fighting with one another or setting rules that the other parent won’t enforce.

Who pays for mobile service

Adding teenagers to a phone plan can make the monthly bill substantially larger, or in some cases, it can lead to a discount. Service will be dozens of dollars a month per line, and smartphones typically cost hundreds of dollars.

Parents may disagree about how to share those costs, which could lead to angry disagreements. Talking about who will pay for devices and cover the cost of phone service, as well as who may benefit from adding the children to their family plan, could be part of the custody negotiations for a family.

Adding terms that discuss major points of contention to parenting plans can help to limit how much conflict families have while transitioning to shared custody arrangements. Questions about what terms to add and how to phrase them can be directed to a family law professional at any time.