Yaffa Family Law Group
By: Jim FJim F

Co-parenting After Divorce with Social Media and Electronics

Divorce

One problem parents don’t think about after a divorce is how to navigate making decisions on their children’s social media and using electronics. When parents get divorced, they often disagree about schooling and scheduling, but screen time, the use of electronics, and video games often go unnoticed.

When you get divorced, what makes it most tricky is you are not always around. You may have set boundaries with your children on these topics, but part of the time, your child(ren) may be at their other parents home. This means your rules can only be implemented at all times with your child(ren) if you and your ex-spouse have the conversation and agree. Let’s discuss some tips on how to navigate these common problems. See Florida Statute 61.13

Setting clear boundaries.

A great idea on how to navigate your child(ren)’s social media and electronic use would be to discuss with your co-parent so both of you can have the same system in place for when the child(ren) are with each of you. Think about what devices the child(ren) can use, what games the child(ren) are permitted to play, how much screen time are they permitted each day, which apps are they permitted on their phones, etc.

This ensures there is consistency in the boundaries that are set as it relates to using social media and different electronics. It becomes challenging and more complicated to implement a routine and rules with your child(ren) when the same routine and rules are not followed when they are at their other parents’ home. 

Model the behavior you want to see in your child.

As parents and adults, we too are often on our devices. Whether it’s for work or simply just for fun, we always have to remember that children often mirror the behavior they see and if us as parents are always using our electronics, they will believe the behavior is “normal” and okay for them as well. You should try your best to model the behavior you are attempting to implement to your children. You cannot expect your child to give up time with their electronics when they are seeing you consistently on yours.

With electronics comes costs.

You may have figured out who will pay for what when it comes to your child(ren)’s insurance and extracurricular activities, but you may not know who should pay for your child’s cell phone bill or Xbox games. Believe it or not, a common topic many parents include in their parenting plan is who is going to cover the costs of the children’s cell phone bills. To download Florida’s Supreme Court Approved Parenting Plan, please see Family Law Form 12.995 (a). This can be situated in any way that you and your co-parent choose and agree to. You can split the costs, have one parent pay the bills, or agree to any system between the two of you. Every financial situation of course is different so make sure to choose an option that works best for you and your family.

When it comes to social media in this day and age, children of all ages are on the different apps and websites. Parents may and often do disagree on what age they feel is appropriate for their child to have access to social media platforms and which platforms they feel is appropriate for their child and for their age. The best way to overcome these differences is to sit down and talk about all of them. It is beneficial to have an open conversation with your co-parent about what age you feel is acceptable, what platforms are permitted, and any other boundaries you want set for your child(ren) or any concerns you have. Social media exposes children to a lot of new and differing information, so it is important to have these conversations to ensure your children are safe and to ensure both parents are comfortable along the way.