Berman & Asbel, LLP

Defining communication boundaries in your parenting plan

Kids have access to far more means of communication than their parents had. Between email, texting, messaging apps, social media and the phone, it is easier than ever to keep in touch with someone.

Because of this, putting limits on contact and accessibility will be crucial if you are a parent who shares custody of your children. You can establish these limits in your Pennsylvania parenting plan. 

Limiting time of contact

You can designate in your parenting plan the number of times your child may contact the other parent when he or she is with you. For instance, you might agree to nightly calls before bedtime, or you might limit contact to emergencies.

You might also decide to set specific hours during which you do not want the other parent to contact a child. This might be after bedtime, before breakfast, during dinnertime or other times when you feel it would be unnecessary or inappropriate.

Limiting means of contact

Whether a child is texting, calling or messaging the other parent when he or she is with you, it can disrupt your time together. Because of this, you should discuss and establish boundaries on the means of communication that are allowed when a child is with a parent. 

For example, you might say that the other parent should call a child to talk instead of texting, as a conversation stops when you hang up a phone. Texting, on the other hand can continue on indefinitely.

Protecting your parenting time, and your child

Regardless of what limits you do or do not place with regard to contact between parents and a child, it is crucial that you take into account how they will affect your child and your time together. You want your child to be able to contact you if he or she needs to, but you shouldn't have your parenting time compromised by excessive interactions between your child and the other parent.

Accessibility is inevitable, thanks to devices like phones, computers and tablets. And it is important that you address the issue directly and specifically in your parenting plan. Should disputes arise regarding contact between kids and parents sharing custody, you can consult your attorney to discuss possible resolutions and legal protections.

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