As a general rule, parents, after divorce, don’t communicate well with each other. If they could communicate well, they probably wouldn’t have gotten divorced. This lack of communication creates a vacuum. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so do children. Unless the parents act to avoid problems, children will fill the vacuum with manipulations.
A typical manipulation could occur around bed time. While the couple was together, the child’s bed time was 8:30 P.M. One night, at Dad’s house the child may ask “Why do I have to go to bed at 8:30 when Mom lets me stay up until 9?” Of course, Mom doesn’t but Dad doesn’t know that. Dad feels that he has to compete with Mom for the child’s affections and says that the child can now go to bed at 9:00. The child then tries the same thing with Mom with similar success.