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The importance of consistency for children after a divorce

When New Jersey parents of young children divorce, they may want to minimize the contact they have with one another. However, it is important that they work out consistent households rules for their children to follow as they move between households. This consistency is important to the children's well-being. Parents should remain flexible. While they may be unwilling to concede some points, they need to be able to compromise on others. A face-to-face sit down may be the best way to reach this compromise, and children can be included as well if they are old enough. Areas addressed might include video games, bedtimes and how children dress.

Parents who are unable to sit down and negotiate in this way might be able to get help from parenting classes or mediators. These are both unbiased resources. Parenting classes may emphasize the importance of consistent household rules and give parents a sense of what those rules are. A mediator is a person who can sit down with parents in negotiations and help them try to make an agreement.

Parents can also get help from the court. However, they may want to try the above options first. Once they go to court, they lose the opportunity to make the decisions themselves, and they might be unhappy with the judge's decision.

In creating the parenting plan, parents may want to think about how the agreement may need to adapt as children get older. A plan for this adaptation could be included, and this might also help reduce the likelihood that parents will need to return to court to resolve these types of issues. A few situations, such as a change in child support or the relocation of one parent that causes a change in custody, generally require court approval, however.

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