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Technology use now an issue in Illinois child-custody cases

Technology use now an issue in Illinois child-custody cases

Children across the United States today are often exposed to computers, smartphones and other technologically advanced devices as soon as they begin crawling. Many Illinois parents are more than willing to have their children grow up with electronic proficiency, but when divorce rips a family apart, children’s technology use can become a point of contention between ex-spouses.

In divorce, parents are better off working together to determine how they will handle and plan child custody. More parents now choose joint physical custody, which means that neither parent acts as primary custodial parent. Each parent has a turn in living with and raising the child.

This frequently leads to conflict over a variety of parenting issues from discipline to school activities to a child’s technology use. If one parent, for example, says “No iPad use during the school week,” he or she might find it unacceptable when the other parent adopts a contradictory policy and allows gadget use on school nights. The result can be a prolonged argument.

Current divorce decrees rarely discuss children’s technology regardless of the custodial arrangement, so it is up to the parents to determine how they will manage the issue of technology in their co-parenting relationship.

Both parents should accept that they have no control over the rules and techniques the other parent applies. Their message to their children, however, can be consistent: Even if the rules are different between parental households, both parents love their children.

Helping a child cope with divorce through co-parenting might be a challenge for divorced parents. Keeping children’s best interests first and foremost in mind, however, can lead both parents to learn how to work effectively with one another. Just like co-parenting itself, the issue of children’s technology use in two different homes must be handled patiently by both parents.

Source: Huffingtonpost, “6 Ways to Manage Children’s Technology Use with Shared Physical Custody,” Dr. Kate Roberts, March 4, 2014

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