Conflicts Over Caring For Your Kids: When Divorced Parents Disagree About Important Decisions
Raising children is hard. But when divorced parents—who don’t always see eye-to-eye—are raising children together, it adds a whole new level of complexity. There are many important decisions that divorced parents may not agree on, and the COVID-19 pandemic has presented parents with even more complicated decisions to make than usual. Should you let your kids go to school in-person or keep them remote? Mask or no mask? Social distance or roam free? Now that the COVID vaccine is approved for children as young as 5-years old, whether to vaccinate is becoming a heated debate between many divorced parents.
So, what should divorced parents do when they disagree about important decisions? When should parents work to resolve their issues, and when should they contact a family attorney? If these issues are litigated it is possible that a Judge, who does not know you children will make these important life decisions. Experts and guardians may become involved, adding complexity and cost. The following advice can help parents work together to make decisions with their child’s best interest in mind:
If the disputed issue is medical, speak with your children’s medical professionals and get their advice. If the issue is educational, speak with the children’s teachers, guidance counselor, or other educational consultants or professionals. The idea is not to abdicate decision-making regarding your child to these professionals, but rather to educate yourself so that you as the parent have the information you need to assert positions that further the best interests of your child.
Keep the End-Goal in Mind
It’s critical to remember that the end-goal is not proving one parent right or wrong. The point is to look out for the best interests of your children, together…as a team. Sometimes, divorced parents may be bitter or resentful towards their ex-spouse, but when it comes to making decisions about their child’s wellbeing, those feelings should become secondary so that you both can think—with clear minds—to find the best solution.
Balance is Key
Compromise may be the root of real happiness for divorced couples.
When it comes to co-raising children, it’s vital to keep in mind that balance is key to working together. You’re not always going to see eye-to-eye with your ex-spouse, but you should also be willing to compromise…within reason, of course. Both parents should be willing to listen to each other’s concerns and discuss those concerns from the perspective of what is best for your children. Instead of shooting down an issue, do your research, ask questions, and keep an open mind that, as new data is released, your opinion could change.
Contact a Family Law Attorney
Sometimes despite best efforts, you and your ex-spouse cannot see your way through these issues by agreement. Or perhaps you would like an objective view as to how a court would handle a particular issue so that you can assess the merit of the positions being discussed. Discussing your issues and concerns with a family law attorney may help.
A family attorney will be able to help advocate for your beliefs, mediate disputes, and ultimately guide you and your ex-spouse towards a resolution. When children are involved, a resolution that is “just okay” is not okay.
If you are considering a divorce or an updated child custody agreement in New Jersey, do not hesitate to reach out to the attorneys at Lazor Rantas, PC either by calling 973-457-8844 or using the contact form on our website.