Courts don’t adjudicate values for your children. They leave that for parents. If you and your spouse are getting divorced or are already divorced, you may not share the same values or lifestyles. So, what can you do when you and your ex have different rules and lifestyles in your homes for your children?
You need to find a way to accept that you and your ex are ending or have ended your marriage for a reason. And you need to accept the reality that each of you have the right to make different decisions and implement different rules for the children while the children are in your care. You need to manage your expectations now, for what’s about to come: each parent having the right to control their homes during their parenting time.
If it’s not illegal, considered neglect or abuse, or putting the children in danger, the court will not get involved in micromanaging you or your ex’s lifestyle and decisions regarding your children.
Even if you and your ex disagree on decisions for the children, you and your ex get to decide what takes place in your respective homes. These are just a few examples of decisions parent gets to make when the children are in that parent’s care:
- What the children may eat
- What clothes the children may wear
- What bed times the children will have
- The children’s access, use, duration and choices of tv, video games, cell phone use, internet access, and social media platforms
- What activities they will participate in
- How they will wear their hair
These are just a few issues the court will not involve themselves in:
- Mom/dad lets me stay up later
- Mom/dad lets me play that video game
- Mom/dad lets me listen to that music
- Mom/Dad said I could at their house
Ask yourself, if your ex’s decisions are negatively impacting the health, safety, or welfare of your children? Your inclination may be to jump to the answer yes, of course their decisions are bad for the children. But will the court agree with you?
FINAL TIP: You may not approve of your ex’s decisions nor would you make the same choices at your house. But that’s the very definition of lifestyle differences. So, before you litigate lifestyle differences, ask yourself if you can show the court that a health, safety, or welfare issue is involved. Disagreements, conflicts, and differences about lifestyles will not be enough to convince a court to micromanage your ex’s life.
PROVIDING SOLUTIONS FOR FAMILIES.GRAND RAPIDS COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE ATTORNEY SERVING KENT, OTTAWA, AND ALLEGAN COUNTY.
At Schmitt Law, PLLC, we understand that filing for divorce can be an emotional and confusing experience. That’s why we are committed to providing personalized service to each client we represent, and will be with you through this difficult journey. At Schmitt Law, PLLC we encourage clients to take a more collaborative approach to divorce that promotes positive communication and cooperation. Through mediation or the collaborative divorce process, Laurie guides her clients through amicable divorce settlements so they can move forward with their life. To discuss your circumstances and legal options, contact Schmitt Law, PLLC at (616) 608-4634 to schedule a consultation. Or contact us online to arrange a consultation.