Although you and your child’s other parent may have settled into certain parenting styles during your marriage, things can change when you divorce.

When parents divorce, they can experience changes in their personality, ambitions and outlook, all of which can result in changes to their parenting style. Whether this sounds like you, your ex or both of you, it can be helpful to understand how this might affect your legal arrangements.

No longer working as a team

When parents divorce, they can wind up working against each other instead of with each other. This can be especially true in the wake of a contentious divorce.

In these situations, it may not be feasible to rely on the other parent for help. In fact, he or she may only be making more problems or trying to undermine the other parent. Parents would therefore be wise to reinforce their individual support network and focus on what they can do to be the best parent they can be. And strictly complying with the custody plan will be crucial. 

Lifestyle changes

After a divorce, a parent might have different spending priorities, a more active social life or new hobbies. These changes can affect a parent’s availability and outlook; they could change the way a parent shows a child love.

As long as a child is safe and his or her emotional well-being remains the top priority for parents, lifestyle changes could be something that everyone will just adjust to. It can take time and present some uncomfortable transitions, but unless these changes compromise the other parent’s rights or a child best interests, they typically are not cause for alarm.

Changing the parent-child relationship

As this article notes, divorce can change the way a child feels about a parent, which therefore influences parenting styles. These changes can affect how involved a parent feels, how protective or lenient a parent may be, as well as how a parent might react in certain situations.

Such adjustments to a parent’s style in these situations may be temporary until a child adapts to the new normal. However, parents looking to understand their child and whether a parenting style should change or stay consistent can reach out to a counselor or therapist for guidance.