Parenting styles – can the Court or one parent regulate the parenting style of anther? As the title suggest, the answer is no.

parenting styles

Like most family law matters, child custody actions can become very contentious.  The reason for this is that you have two people who were in a very close relationship, and typically shared a life together, but they have now separated.  This usually leads to very hard feelings that often involve sadness, anger, distrust, and frustration, among other things.  When there is a child involved, it makes the separation that much more difficult. In these cases, there is a human being that both parents are responsible for you, and both parents usually have strong opinions about the child’s upbringing. 

In the state of North Carolina, though family court judges have final stay in a child custody action, they do not get involved in minute details of the interactions between the children and the parents. As such, parenting styles are not something that is regulated by the courts. Although, some of our clients want it to be.  What do we mean by that? In this blog, we will explain what we mean by this. This is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.

When is this a problem?

Sometimes parents don’t necessarily have the same parenting style.  This is natural – people are different. It only becomes an issue when one parent tries to dictate a parenting style to the other.  We have had clients that have very different views of what is dangerous, what is inappropriate, and what is too much for a child to handle.

What can I get the custody order to say?

We won’t go into any detail here because we have already written a blog on that topic, which you can find here.

How do I manage the interaction with my child and his other parent?

Typically, the parent exercising his custodial time gets to decide what he does with the child and how he does it.  The other parent is not supposed to interfere with that time, but they are typically entitled to communicate with the child through phone calls and other means.

What if I want my child disciplined a specific way?

Again, that is not your call. On days that you are exercising your custodial time, you may discipline the child in the manner that you see fit. Likewise, on days when the other party is exercising her custodial time, she may do the same. Unless the other parent is engaging in abusive behavior such as child abuse, the court will not step in, even if you ask them to.

What if I want my child raised a certain way?

You can feel free to raise your child in any way that you like as long as you are not breaking the law or putting your child in serious danger.  However, the same is true for the child’s other parent.  Neither parent has the power to dictate to the other parent how to raise the child. The Court will not dictate this either, even if one of the parents asks.

But I have sole legal custody, shouldn’t I get to decide how the child is raised?

A parent with sole legal custody gets to make the major decisions, such as educational, religious, and medical decisions. They do not get to micro manage the other parent and that parent’s day-to-day parenting of the child. That is simply not what legal custody is.

Child Custody cases can be very stressful and very confusing. If you are in need of family law assistance, contact us.

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