13
Feb 18

How to Prepare for Mediation

Mediation has become a popular way for couples to handle their divorce, as it’s typically less expensive, faster, and less stressful. However, although preferred, mediation does require you to be prepared for the meetings; otherwise, it could extend how long the mediation takes to complete. If you’re not sure what you must prepare for, the following information will help you determine how to be ready for mediation.

 

Gather information.

The first thing you must do to prepare for mediation is to gather your facts and documents and have them ready. Your mediation can discuss anything from financials to child custody, so be sure you have everything you need to cover any topic. Have bank records, pay stubs, bill statements, and anything your mediator suggests to help you move the mediation along. All of these documents can help you prove your side and help the mediator come up with the best resolution for the items at stake.

 

Be organized.

Once you have all your information and documentation handy, you want to be sure it’s organized in a way that’s easy to understand. In order to keep your mediation running smoothly, you’ll want to move things along as best as you can. If your items are organized, you’ll be able to present your side and offer factual proof when needed. If you’re not organized, it will not only delay the meeting, but can also make you appear irresponsible, which can affect the outcome of the mediation.

 

Follow the rules.

Before your mediation begins, your mediator will likely have paperwork for you to fill out and information to provide. Be sure to follow these rules and stick to the timelines associated with these rules in order to ensure your mediation goes smoothly. If you fail to meet deadlines or provide all necessary information, it will simply prolong the event and can even make your ex frustrated to the point mediation simply won’t work for you.

 

Know what you want.

In addition to having your documents ready, it’s important for you to have an idea about what you want out of the mediation. For instance, if you want to keep certain items, then be sure you have these items listed so you can fight for them when it comes time to discuss them. Having some ideas on paper before the mediation can keep you on track.

 

Know how to compromise.

Being hard-headed isn’t going to get you anywhere, so you better know how to compromise. For instance, if there’s something you really want out of the mediation, then you better have something you’re willing to give up. It’s not fair for one person to walk away from the mediation with everything while the other has nothing, so finding the way to compromise can keep the mediation speedy and amicable for everyone involved.

 

Expect the unexpected.

You may have an idea of what’s going to happen or how your ex will behave, but anything can happen, and you may find yourself dealing with a situation you weren’t prepared for. Keep in mind that anything can come up during these meetings, so be sure to think about the situation and have an answer or solution to anything you think could occur.

 

Suppress your emotions.

Although going through mediation is easier than divorce, it’s still difficult to do. While you may want to share your feelings, it’s not a smart idea. Instead, you want to suppress your emotions and think and act rationally during this event. Doing so will not only keep the mediation smooth, but will help each of you walk away with what you want.

Mediation can be extremely beneficial to many couples, so be sure to use these tips to prepare yourself for what’s to come.

 

 


09
Feb 18

6 Ways to Help Manage Your Child’s Behavior During a Divorce

It can be heartbreaking to tell your kids that you’re getting a divorce. Having to deal with your child’s anger and sadness during the separation can be even more of a challenge. But in order to garner respect and positivity, both parents need to set a good example by being the best role models throughout the ordeal. The following are helpful ideas on how to best manage your child’s behavior.

Set the Same Rules at Both Households

No matter what age, your children can be strong-willed and test your patience. If you’re going through a divorce, you may notice their behavior is especially trying. If you’re living in separate residences, your children’s parental time may be divided within two households now that you’ve filed for divorce. Although you may feel bad about putting them through this upheaval, you don’t want to give them free reign. If you’ve set rules before the divorce, they need to be the same and in both households. Sit down with your ex and discuss the importance of enforcing the guidelines. If they disobey them, be unified in the repercussions such as grounding a teen for coming home late or no T.V. for poor grades.

Maintain Some Semblance of Normalcy

According to the National Family Solutions, an affordable family advocacy service, divorce can be an emotional roller coaster. That’s why it’s beneficial to have someone knowledgeable and trustworthy in your corner to assist you through this difficult ordeal. It can be also be hard on your children, so you want to find ways to remain tied to a normal schedule as much as possible. Sit your child down in advance and go over the schedule for the week. If there are activities they normally attend, do your best to ensure that they participate. Stay diligent with their studies to ensure that their grades don’t suffer. If the family gathers for dinner each evening, continue the tradition in each household. Vacations, birthdays and holidays may be also different. But you can help your child by pointing out the positives in celebrating events twice and with each parent.

Resist the Urge to Spoil Your Kids

You may have the urge to spoil your children for the demise of your marriage. But you can keep your kids from acting out by not letting the guilt overcome your parenting skills. If you overindulge by letting them do what they want and have their hearts desire, you’re going to raise out-of-control kids. Talk to your ex and set up the same parameters at both households. If there are to be large purchases, it needs to go through both parents such as a car, laptop and phone. While a child may enjoy the splurges, they’ll appreciate the value of things and limits their parents set in the long run.

Separate Your Feelings

You may harbor a lot of animosity toward your soon-to-be ex. But your children don’t need to know the intimate details of your break up. Instead of telling them about their lying, cheating and deceitful ways, find ways to separate your feelings. Remain respectful of your ex during and after the divorce. If your partner was that bad of a person, they’ll find out on their own. Children are perceptive, and they may already have an idea of the events that led to your divorce filings. If you’re the bigger person who plays fairly, your kids are going to have a better chance of adopting the same attitude. They may even take that positivity and respectfulness and use it in their own situations later in life.

Re-evaluate Your Parenting Skills

A divorce is a life-altering change. While you may want to co-parent similar to the way you did in the past, it’s normal to make changes. If you didn’t agree to your partner’s parenting skills, it’s ok to re-evaluate them. Talk to your ex to work toward changes in an amicable and respectful manner. Because your kids are going through enough at the initial stage of the divorce, you don’t want to change too many rules all at once.

Look for Signs of Stress and Anxiety

Divorce can be an emotional experience for each member of the family. If your kids are sad or angry about the separation, they may express their emotions in a variety of ways. You can be a proactive parent during the divorce by opening your eyes to the smallest of changes such as acting out at school, lack of motivation in social activities, poor grades, and change in sleep patterns and becoming more fearful. If you’re on speaking terms, both parents need to discuss the symptoms with your child. If they don’t feel comfortable talking to you, enlist the help of a therapist who can help them deal with their feelings.

While the divorce may be a refreshing change for you, your child may react negatively to the disruption. The above strategies can be helpful when avoiding changes in your child’s behavior over the divorce. They may also offer ways for you to cultivate a more loving relationship in the future with your kids.

For more information, please visit www.NationalFamilySolutions.net.


05
Feb 18

How Disabled Parents Can Prepare For A New Child

Getting pregnant and having a child is never an easy thing for a couple. Many have trouble conceiving, while almost every couple has a tough time adjusting to such a big change.

Do things get harder when you have a disability? As with many things in life, yes and no. There are some unique challenges that come with being a parent with a disability, but there are tips and advice you can use to prepare your home and life for a new child.

 

Getting Your Finances Ready

First of all, having a child can be expensive. Beyond just the birth, you have to get food, clothes, diapers, toys, and more for your new baby. That can add up quickly, and depending on your disability, you could already have trouble making ends meet. As US News & World Report explains, many people with disabilities don’t earn that much as it is.

How can you get your finances ready for a new child? You start by saving just a little each month. Even if you just discovered your pregnancy, putting away some every month can help a lot of those new costs. You can also look into the gig economy where you can get short-term jobs you can do online. Just be careful if you’re on Medicaid, as you can eventually earn so much that you lose your eligibility.

 

Getting your finances in shape can also help with getting pregnant, especially if you are planning on IVF. According to Qunomedical, “The success and availability of in vitro fertilization have given hope to many infertile couples who have not been able to conceive. Since 1978, 5.4 million babies have been born worldwide with the help of IVF.” However, this process costs money. Saving for it now can help make it a reality.

 

Modifying Your Home

When you moved into your current home, you probably had to make a few changes to accommodate your needs. The same will be true when your baby arrives. By making a few modifications, you can make your home safer and more fun for your new child.

Parents.com explains one of your first acts should be to have a “safety exam” for your home. Look for ways a crawling baby or toddler can get themselves into trouble. For example, are there toxic cleaning supplies underneath your kitchen sink? Then put a child-proof latch on that door. Is it easy for a little hand to turn on scalding hot water? Reduce your water temperature. Try to view your home from their perspective, and do what’s needed to keep them safe.

If you are concerned your child may have sensory issues like you, then you can make their home environment calmer with some simple changes. Make sure the walls are decluttered and have some neutral colors. Use warm lighting instead of fluorescent bulbs, and consider adding some sound-reducing materials to the bedroom door.

 

Talk To Your Spouse

Besides changes to your home, your relationship with your spouse or partner will change when you become parents. Now, you’ll have a little one to take care of instead of just focusing on each other.

That’s why you should have some open and honest communication now before the baby arrives. Be honest about your excitement and fears, especially about how your disability might impact your parenting. Just don’t worry about that last one too much. CNN explains that many parents who have a disability can use it to bond with their new child. Your child will grow up accepting your differences as normal and will love you all the same. But by talking about such concerns now, you can create plans for how to adapt to parenting so you can be more successful at it.

 

Prepare For Your New Child Now

There’s no sense in waiting until the last minute in these situations, especially if you have to save up for IVF or other costs. Make some simple changes to your home, and talk to your spouse or partner about your concerns over how your disability might affect things. This can help you both feel more confident about raising a child.


01
Feb 18

When to Modify Your Child Custody Arrangement

Having a child custody arrangement ensures you and your ex still play an important role in your child’s life and that there are rules and guidelines set to help each of you navigate your parenting in the best possible way. However, your situation may change dramatically over time from when your child custody arrangement was initially drafted. For some people, they still try to make it work with the original terms, but for others, doing so is not simply an option.

There are certain instances where changing your child custody arrangement is a necessity. However, when dealing with the court system, it’s important to understand they don’t need to abide by your request, but they will consider the best interest of the child. If you have undergone any of the following changes in your life, then it’s a good idea to consider modifying your child custody arrangement.

Relocation

Your child custody arrangement is made up for you and your ex living in certain locations. However, that doesn’t mean each of you will stay there for the duration of your arrangement. Should a situation arise where one of you needs to relocate, especially if it puts you farther away from your child, then it’s a good idea to see if you can modify your arrangement. For instance, if you are moving out of state, maybe your arrangement will now include summer visitations and/or visitations during longer school breaks, like Christmas and Easter.

Opting for a modified custody arrangement is also important if you end up moving closer to your child. If you were out of state initially, then being closer to your child may allow you to have more visitation with him or her.

Environmental Changes

As a parent, it’s up to you to do the best for your child. However, some people go through hard times, and this can create bad environments for a child. If your ex has started to abuse drugs or alcohol, become violent towards your child, or express any behaviors that could put your child at risk, it’s important to ask to modify your custody arrangement. Whether the other parent has sole or joint custody, doing what you can to protect your child is the most important, so getting a judge to recognize the environment isn’t safe is imperative.

Reasons Not to Modify

In addition to having reasons that qualify for modifying your arrangement, it’s also important to note what won’t work. For instance, if your ex has different religious beliefs than your or is late on a child support payment, the judge likely will not adjust your schedule.

Whenever you decide to make a modification to your arrangement, you have a few options. First, if you and your ex agree on the changes, then you can informally make them and agree to them on your own. Just know these changes will not be done in writing, so there is no legal binding to them should anything else change in the future.

If you prefer to get them written down, you can meet with a judge and have him/her sign off on the changes you have made together.

However, should you want a change your ex doesn’t agree to, then you will need to get help through a service who has yours and your child’s best interests in mind. You will then be on your way to get your case in front of a judge who will listen to both sides of the story and make their final decision. Understand there’s no right or wrong answer for the judge, so be prepared for them to rule against you.