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What if you and your ex-spouse parent differently?

For many divorced parents who share custody of children, it is very difficult to maintain a healthy balance when two parenting approaches clash. This is exceptionally common as children move from one household to another, where each parent may run their respective households with different sets of rules.

If this sounds like a familiar conflict, don't worry — you're not alone. It is common for two parents to struggle for middle ground once they each run separate homes. Little differences can add up to big conflicts. Many parents face difficulty when their children exclaim, "Mom lets me eat whatever I want," or "Dad doesn't make me go to bed for another hour!"

Unfortunately, in order to find common ground, you'll probably have to work for it. You can start by conferring with your ex-spouse and seeing if you can come to some common ground. Even if you are no longer married, you can still present a unified front to your children.

You may consider taking a parenting class together or meeting with a mediator to work out some of the inconsistencies between your parenting styles. Often, the wording of a divorce decree is not helpful in these conflicts, so it may be worthwhile to consider modifying the divorce decree to create a more helpful structure for your children.

Before your head to court to address an issue, be sure to consult with an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can help you exhaust other possibilities before taking the matter to court, which can prove unpredictable. With proper legal counsel from an attorney who values creating lasting parenting solutions, you can fine tune your parenting skills, even as you and your ex-spouse build separate lives.

Source: HuffPost, "5 ways divorced parents can provide constancy for their children when there are two sets of house rules," Steve Mindel, Sep. 05, 2017

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