Electronics and your parental rights: What to consider

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2022 | Divorce

To say that you and your ex-spouse don’t agree on much is an understatement. That includes your views on the kids and their electronics.

You believe that the kids should have unfettered use of their electronics, including their smartphones, laptops and tablets. Your ex-spouse, however, now uses the kids’ access to their phones or laptops as punishment for poor grades or misbehavior. When that happens, you have no way to contact the kids without letting your ex serve as a gatekeeper. How do you navigate this kind of issue?

Look to the parenting plan

Your parenting plan may have addressed this issue – particularly if you arranged for electronic parenting time as part of your parenting orders.

If e-visits are part of your usual routine with the kids, your ex may not have the right to unilaterally restrict the kids’ access to their phones or laptops when they want to communicate with you because that’s also restricting their access to you. That means they may have to find another method of instilling discipline that does not impact your parent-child relationship.

Electronics are often an overlooked part of parenting plans, but that can be a mistake. Kids often use their electronics to build stronger relationships (or maintain them) with parents after divorce. They also use them for safety, education, entertainment and socialization.

If you are unhappy with your current parenting plan and electronics have become an issue of contention between you and your co-parent, it may be time to discuss modifications or enforcement actions.