Modern parenting issues require modern solutions – especially when parents are divorced. In the past, parenting plans were usually pretty simple – they divided up a child’s time between the parents and set some ground rules for exchanging children, providing notice to the other parent and sometimes even addressed things like a child’s education, medical care or religious upbringing.
With all the exposure children have to technology these days, parents might want to consider addressing technology and how to manage it as part of the parenting plan. The internet has become so intertwined with everyday life of parents and children and divorcing parents may not always see eye-to-eye on those types of issues. For example:
- At what age can a child have a cellphone? Which parent will pay for the plan? Which parent will pay for the phone? Do the parents agree to confer before taking a cell phone from a child as punishment or will either parent be able to arbitrarily do so (as will be the case if there is no agreement to confer)?
- What sort of access should the child have to video games? Are they allowed to interact in online forums, like Discord, with other gamers? What sort of parental oversight is there to be on their choice of video games?
- How old is the child supposed to be before they can have a Facebook, Instagram or TikTok account? How will each parent monitor the child’s social media use for safety? Are the kids expected to share their passwords with both parents?
- What about the use of tracking devices? Should both parents have access and how should that be handled by a parent when not in possession of the child?
Using a technology management clause in your parenting plan in a parenting plan can not only help resolve potential future conflict between parents but it also helps open the dialogue about how handle technology should be handled as the children age and hopefully keep children safe by addressing issues in advance and having everyone is on board and committed to the rules.