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Parents must choose child custody battles carefully

Many Texas parents can't wait to move beyond divorce and custody matters, believing that things will smooth out once an agreement has been reached and all parties are able to settle into the newly altered family structure. Unfortunately, it is common for parents to continue struggling with one another, even after child custody matters have been settled. One of the hardest things for newly divorced parents to accept is that they will have no control over their former partner's parenting approach once the marriage has ended.

For example, many readers are aware of the hype surrounding the game Pokémon Go. Children and adults alike have become obsessed with the game, using their cell phones to collect characters from the popular Pokémon franchise. Parents are often at odds with one another over whether the game is a positive or negative influence within their child's life. Divorced parents can encounter difficulty when both parties fail to see eye-to-eye on the issue.

Researchers have long held that the best way to help children adjust to a divorce and altered child custody structure is to provide consistency across both homes. This, however, is far easier said than done. Managing screen time is a parenting issue that has arisen over the past decade, and Pokémon Go is just the latest craze that draws kids to their electronic devices. Both parties should present their opinions on the matter, and should be open to listening to the input of the other parent. At the end of the day, however, it is entirely possible that one parent might be firmly against the game, while the other is surreptitiously eyeing his or her phone to make sure a highly desirable Pokémon is not in the immediate area.

In some cases, parents simply have to accept the fact that they are unable to control the parenting decisions that are made in the other party's household. Pokémon Go might be a battle that is simply not worth fighting. There are issues that can prompt parents to return to court to seek a child custody modification, but a difference in opinion about screen time is likely not a fight that merits an appearance before a judge, in Texas or elsewhere.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Pokemon Go...ne! Can Divorced Co-Parents Protect Kids from Excessive Screen Time?", Bari Zell Weinberger, Aug. 24, 2016

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