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TikTok Usage – “Minor” or “Major” Parenting Decision?

by | Feb 4, 2022 | Divorce

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are once again in the news. Their latest public dispute concerns their 8-year-old daughter’s use of the popular app, TikTok. North West uses the app with Kim’s approval, but against Kanye’s wishes.

When faced with this issue, Kanye did what Kanye usually does—he decided to air the dispute publicly. Kayne asked his social media followers what he should do about North being on TikTok “against his will” since this is his “first divorce.”

So, what rights would Kanye have in New Jersey to stop his daughter from being on TikTok? That answer likely depends on whether a Court believed that North’s TikTok usage was a “major” or “minor” decision.

Minor parenting decisions are typically day-to-day decisions that are made by the parent exercising parenting time, including what children eat and wear, daily responsibilities around the home, curfews, bedtimes, and the like. Social media use could fall into this category.

On the other hand, some examples of major decisions could be whether a child remains in school past a certain age, whether to approve elective surgery, giving a child permission to marry, etc.

Kim claimed on social media that she is North’s primary caretaker. Assuming that social media use is a “minor decision”, then Kanye may have to accept that during Kim’s parenting time, North will use social media.

If in Kim and Kanye’s situation social media use was found to be a major issue, then the parties would need to consult with each other and try to come to an agreement. In absence of such an agreement, a judge may or may not find it appropriate for an 8-year-old to be on TikTok; it depends on the specific facts of each case.

Kim does have a bit of a leg up, however, as the self-proclaimed primary caregiver of North. The primary parent’s decision may be given deference by a court over the non-primary parent’s decision.

Ultimately, family law issues are very fact sensitive. A whole range of outcomes are a possibility depending on the judge and the facts. It is important for clients to have an attorney guide them through all the potential outcomes.