When two Florida parents decide to get a divorce but continue to share parenting duties, there may be problems when the parents attempt to establish separate house rules. For children who are already going through a major transition, trying to learn two different sets of house rules can be overwhelming.
There are several reasons why divorced parents should consider working together to implement rules that are consistent between the two households. First, common house rules can provide stability as the children know what is expected of them. If parents continue to change house rules just to spite the other parent, the children can become quite confused. Keeping the house rules similar can shorten the adjustment period for the children and show them that their parents are still willing to work together for their benefit.
However, actually working together can be difficult for parents, especially if they have divorce-related conflicts to deal with. If getting together and working out a set of consistent house rules is not an option, the two parents can go to a mediator. The mediator will help guide the conversation while still letting the parents remain in charge. If this option does not work, parents can go back to court and ask the judge to make decisions for them.
In the event that parents can work together on all issues, they may be able to finalize their divorce quickly so that they can return to a sense of normalcy for their children. If the divorce is contested, meaning that the parents simply cannot reach an agreement, a family law attorney could assist with resolving disputes before the case goes to trial. However, if the other parent refuses to negotiate out of court, the attorney could represent the parent during the trial to help ensure that child custody and visitation decisions are fair and in the best interests of the children.