Jan 17

Tips to Have Cohesive Discipline in Two Homes

Discipline after divorce is always a struggle.  One thing that can make it easier for the children and the parents is to be on the same page.  Creating a discipline plan that is followed in two homes is hard work, but something that can make a world of difference for your children.  Another obstacle that divorced parents face is that they don’t know where the line should be.  They know that they have to give some with their children because of the situations that they have been exposed to.  However, it is a delicate balance between giving too much and being too hard on them.
Tips for Cohesive Discipline


You need to try and become a team with your ex.  This means that the two of you need to sit down together.  If you can’t then you need to hire a mediator that can work with the both of you.  Some parents find that they can simply work on big issues together. Others find that they prefer to work on all issues both big and strong.  This includes things like television time and when the kids go to bed.  It is important that you stay focused and work like business partners.  Some co-parents find it easiest to do this with a list and an agenda of what they want to accomplish. Others can simply have a conversation and come to terms.


Follow Through

Following through and sticking to rules is another important factor in having success as co-parents.  You want children to have consistency in the two homes.  This includes having a set schedule or doing things a certain way.  However, when this is sometimes impossible it is still important that you have follow through.  You have to stick to your rules even if it means that you are the one that is considered mean or unfair by your children.


Sometimes You Won’t Agree

It is true that you are not going to agree all of the time.  Chances are if you did agree all of the time that you would probably would still be together.  So, there are going to be some rules that are different at each of your homes and this is okay.  The thing is that your children are going to be able to adapt.  They already adapt between different rules from home, school, activities, and family members’ homes.  So adapting between mom and dad’s is really not going to be that much different.


Punishments Should Be in One Home

One of the biggest mistakes that separated and divorced parents make is that they attempt to have punishments that travel between the two homes.  This is never going to work.  Instead, punishments need to be at the home where the child broke the rule or had inappropriate behavior.  Expecting the other parent to punish your child for something that they did at your house is not okay.  Nor is it okay for your ex to try and determine what type of punishments that your child should have at your home.  If the instance was something that happened outside of the home that is different but for things that happen in the home, punishments should stay in the home.

Raising a child is tough work. When two parents are not together, it is even harder.  Finding a way to keep rules the same between two houses is hard enough.  Add in trying to have similar types of punishments and similar discipline and it becomes almost a chore.  If you learn to work together with your ex it is going to be best for your children. Since that is not always possible, you also must learn how you can manage the transition from one home to the other.

Dec 16

My Kids Dislike My New Partner, What Should I Do?

When it comes to a new person in your children’s life, there are many things for you to consider and think about.  The first is to see if your children are making valid claims about how your partner is behaving.  If your child hates your new partner there could be a reason behind it.  If there is no apparent reason, then there are many things that you must consider and try to understand before you can fix what is going on.


Consider Your Child and Their Feelings

Children who have parents that are separated constantly feel torn between the two of them.  They have to deal with all issues that cause stress on both parents.  If their parents are fighting, even if they are trying to keep it from the children, the children are going to know.  This can cause them to have a number of different feelings.  You need to try and understand the feelings and issues that they are facing.


Common Problems That Cause Kids to Dislike the New Person in Their Life

There are a number of common problems that happen when there is a new person in the child’s life.  These problems can be addressed and worked out so that you can find happiness in both your new relationship and with your children.


The Other Parent is Turning Against You

While everything might be going well in your home, there are things that can happen with the other parent that can make living with your child difficult.  The new person in your life is going to have to understand that when your ex is doing things out of jealousy that there is going to be a reaction from your child.  In many of these cases, the other parent is simply jealous that someone else is with you and that this person is going to be spending a considerable amount of time with their child.  The way that you can solve this with the child is to talk to them about it. Let your child know that you are not trying to replace the other parent with the new person in your life.  Allow them to understand and work through their feelings.  Creating an open dialogue can really help with you being able to ensure that what is said to your child is appropriate.  Just make sure that you handle things properly so that your child will keep talking.


Discipline Issues are Tough


Another thing that can make a child dislike your new partner is different expectations or punishments.  If you have allowed things to go one way and are suddenly changing them when someone new comes into your life, your child is going to resent that new person.  You child will also dislike the new person in your life if you are having them do too much of the disciplining.  If they are the one that is primarily punishing your child, your child is going to feel like they are against them and this will cause further complications in their relationship.  The first thing that you should do is establish boundaries with your child that are very clear and healthy.  Then you should establish boundaries and discuss expectations and consequences with your new partner so that your child is better able to understand what is expected of them from everyone involved.  If you can get your ex on board too then it is going to be even better for your child.  The fact is that this might not always be possible.


Issues with Jealousy

Your child is likely to become jealous of the new person in your life and the time that you are spending with them.  So, make sure that you are clear with your children about how much you love them.  Do not stop doing things alone with your child.  Do family things together as well, but make sure that you still spend some doing things alone with them.  If possible, encourage your new partner to do things alone with your child as well.  This will help them to establish a good relationship with one another.  Your child will feel insecure and could end up acting out if they do not feel like it is a priority for you to spend time alone with them.


Violation of Privacy

While all children appreciate privacy, this one is something that you will have to deal with more in the tween/teen years.  Make sure that you understand what the boundaries should be.  Talk to your new partner about your child’s privacy and how important it is for them to have a space and time to themselves.  If you are unsure of how your child feels, talk to them.  Let them know that you respect their right for privacy but that you also do not want them to feel alone.  Allowing your child to come to you and reaching out some, but not too much is a delicate balance that can be achieved over time.


Speaking Poorly About Their Other Parent

No matter what you are going through, it is never okay for your new partner to talk bad about the other parent to your child.  This needs to be one topic that is off limits to them.  If this happens, the best thing to do is to pull your new partner aside and discuss with them why this is not a good choice.  The only result of this is going to be the child resenting your new partner and there being issues and problems in your household.  Being able to stand up and admit when this has happened that it was wrong can go a long way with a child too.

Your children can learn to love the new person in their life.  It is going to take time and effort from all adults involved.  If things are tumultuous with your ex, you need to make it clear to your new partner what they are getting themselves into.  If they cannot handle things with your children, then they are not the right person for you.  Mistakes will be made from all parties involved but it is how you handle these mistakes and how you talk to your child that is going to matter in the long run.

Dec 16

How to Tell Children That Their Parent is Gay

When you are going through a divorce and you have children, they should be your main priority.  One of the biggest things that can throw a rock in a marriage and turn a child’s world upside down is when one of their parents is gay.  While you might think that this is something that could affect your child in a negative way, you should understand that children are resilient, especially when parents take the time to talk with them about issues.


Coming Out to Your Children

There are actually three different waves of coming out that need to happen if you have children.  The original step in this process is to come out to those whom you are closest to.  The second step is for the spouse to begin to understand and deal with this.  This can cause a great amount of pain for them so it can be a lengthy process and one where the spouse needs to take some time.  Once the spouse has had the time that they need to cope, it is going to be time to talk to the children.  You need these other things to happen first so that there is time to process and determine how you are going to tell your children.

Explaining your sexual orientation to your children is one of the most complicated things for a family to deal with.  One of the reasons is that each phase has to happen and has to be dealt with on a different time line.  As each family is dealing with things, they also have a completely different set of perspectives.


Talking to Children Under 6

There are many things that are different with how young children comprehend this situation.  They are simply not capable of understanding the sexuality part. There are simple phrases that you can use like explaining that daddy now loves Bob or mommy now loves Sue, rather than mommy and daddy loving each other that way.  You have to make sure that children understand that you both still love them and that they are in no way to blame for things.  You have to explain that some families have a mommy and daddy, some families have two mommies or two daddies, some children are raised by grandparents, and yet others are in foster families or adoptive families.  Make sure that you tell your children about different home types so that they understand that they are not alone and that this is just a new type of normal.


Talking with Older Children

As children get older, they are able to understand sexuality more.  This means that the parent can briefly explain to the child that they no longer feel the same way that they once did.  The parent does need to reassure the child that marrying their parent was not a mistake.  They also need to make the child feel wanted and make sure that they know that they were not a mistake.  Parents need to remember to be honest with questions that their children have.  It is important that they try to help their children understand their sexuality and why they have felt a change.


What Effect Will Coming Out Have on My Children?

Coming out to your children is going to have some effect on them.  Children are going to be effected when their parents get divorced.  They will have even more to deal with as they understand that the divorce was in part because one of their parents is gay.  This is something that will be especially hard on children in junior high as this is the time when homosexuality is hardest on children.  Thankfully, today the topic of homosexuality is more mainstream and something that is more easily accepted.  This means that children today have a much easier time then children would have in the past.  That does not mean that there are not times when other kids might be cruel or mean to them.

By being able to take time to understand your own feelings and emotions before talking to your kids, you are going to be more likely to have a supportive conversation that they can understand.  You want to remain honest while talking with them and make sure that you offer support to them if they are struggling.  It might also be necessary to hire someone for your children to talk to so that you can ensure that they are dealing with their emotions in a healthy way.

Nov 16

2 Religions – How to Decide What is Right for Your Kids?

Having two different faiths does not mean that you must decide over what beliefs your children would be taught.  As your children grow older, they might seem to become new people.  The things that they love and enjoy as well as those that they do not enjoy are both things that might change frequently and quickly throughout development.  Religious identification is often something that stays the same with children from the time that they are young until they are adults. So, what happens when two parents split and want to each raise their own child in their own faith?  There needs to be a decision made that is in the best interest of the children involved.


When Religion Becomes an Issue

Most of the time when two people meet and marry, they end up deciding one religion to follow and raise their children with.  This means that religion is commonly a non-issue for children.  However, there are some religion issues that might happen when you are going through a divorce.  When parents are no longer together, they might decide that it is best for them to return to their own religious upbringing from their childhood.  This can mean two different and sometimes conflicting religions for a child.  At this point, religion can become an issue that needs to be handled as part of a divorce.


Understanding What Parents Can Decide for their Child

The first thing that parents need to understand and realize is that their children are able to choose their own religion.  The thing that they can determine through custody arrangements is the type of religious education and teaching that the child will have.  Obviously, this can increase the chances of the child choosing that religion for their own faith when they are older.  However, it does not mean that this is the choice that the child will make.  In the world we live in today, your child will be exposed to all types of people from a wide variety of religious backgrounds.  So regardless of what they are taught, they could end up choosing a religion all their own when they become an adult.


What You Need to Solve Religious Issues for Your Child


The first thing that you need to do is show respect to your ex.  Even if the two of you have practiced one faith the entire time that you have been together, your ex still has the right to choose what faith they will practice.  You need to be respectful anytime that you speak of your ex’s religious preferences, especially when you are talking to your child.


There are several things that you need to think about as you are negotiating religion with your ex.  Instead of teaching your child that there is only one right religion, make sure that you teach your child to keep an open mind.  Exposing your child to different faiths will allow them to understand that there are different viewpoints.  This will teach them to be more tolerant adults and to have compassion for those who think differently than they do.

Another consideration to think about is the prevalent religion where your child is being raised.  If there is one religion that is more prominent in the community, then this might be the best choice for the child while they are young.  Also, think about the family members who practice a specific faith.  Are your children close to them?  Who will be more involved in your child’s life and what religion do they practice?  Thinking about these considerations will help you determine what is really going to be best for the children involved.

Finally, you have to think about where the child is going to reside.  If the child is primarily going to be with one parent, then it might make more sense for them to have that parent’s religion.

All considerations can be made prior to heading into a courtroom.  If you cannot agree then you can go before a judge and have them help you to decide what is best for the children whereas religion is concerned.

Oct 16

Low Cost Solutions for Custody Arrangements

Getting divorced and creating custody arrangements is often stressful and expensive. Court fees, lawyer fees, and the division of assets will all add up, leaving you feeling broken and broke.

If you are going through a divorce and you are trying to determine custody, you do have some options when it comes to lowering the cost of the process. Instead of sticking with an expensive divorce lawyer, check out some of these low-cost solutions for custody arrangements.

Create your own custody arrangement.

If you and your ex are still in good terms, the best solution for you both in order to save money on a custody arrangement is to create your own. Before you sit down with your ex and start writing out the details, it’s important to first educate yourself on the jurisdictions and laws within your state regarding child custody, and then take this into consideration before creating the final agreement. The clerk of court in your state or online legal services can help you find a sample custody agreement that you and your ex can use as reference while creating your own. Once you and your ex have created the agreement, you will both need to sign it and file it with the court. Once this is done, a judge will review your document and either issue a legal order reflecting your agreement or reject the agreement (or certain sections).

 Hire a Mediator

Another low-cost solution to custody arrangements is hiring a mediator. In fact, some states actually require that a couple go through mediation first before taking any custody arrangements to court. A mediator is a neutral third-party that is designated to help you and your spouse reach a custody agreement that satisfies you both. A mediator will cost less money than a divorce lawyer, and they can provide valuable, non-biased insight to help both you and your spouse come to a legal resolution.


Consider Collaborative Divorce

A collaborative divorce will cost much less than actually going to court. With a collaborative divorce, you, your ex, and your respective lawyers or a family advocacy service get together to work out the agreement together. This is different than a typical divorce because it allows you and your spouse to work through everything together instead of giving the final say to the judge. Not only do you both get to speak your mind and work out the details that best work for you both, but you also eliminate a large number of court and legal fees. In fact, aside from filing fees, you’re typically only on the hook to pay for the fees charged by your lawyer, which can be a major savings during the divorce. And since most law firms will assign a paralegal or junior associate to work collaborative divorce cases, the lawyer fees are much less expensive.

Getting divorced and working through custody arrangements already adds stress to your life. Don’t feel the need to empty your bank account during the process as well.



Oct 16

Never Bad-Mouth Your Ex to Your Kids

There are many mistakes that parents make after a break up.  One of the biggest ones that is very common is talking bad about your ex to your kids.  Obviously, your ex would not be your ex if the two of you got along.  This does not mean that you should allow those feelings to show in front of your kids.  No matter what your ex is doing, there are things that you are going to have to remember not to do and talking about him/her is one of them. Bad mouthing your Ex during a divorce or a custody battle can cause great damage to your kids. Both parents should learn to be responsible enough to keep the children’s best interest at heart.


What You Say Will Have Lasting Effects

When a child hears something negative about one of their parents, they can personalize it and take it to a new level.  One of the things that can happen is that they could end up thinking that these negative things apply to themselves.  Children know that they are part of each of their parents.  When you call your ex a “loser” or something similar then your child could take that as you are calling them a loser too.


Pettiness Can Cost Your Quality Time with Your Kids

 Being petty is something that is going to cause lots of issues with your kids.  Consider what is more important.  If you are preventing your child from taking something to the other parent’s house, it is likely that you are only hurting your child.  In addition, if your child asks you to pay for something and you refuse because it is the other parent’s time, consider that your child might not be able to do the thing they wanted to.  While you might not feel that it is right to send things that never come home or to have to send money when your ex should be responsible, think about who is actually hurt in the long run.  It is not your ex that is going to suffer but your kids.


Don’t Let Bitterness Consume You

Sure your ex should be paying child support.  However, if they don’t do you think that it is good to talk about that to your kids.  Well, it is not.  Instead of focusing on what your ex hasn’t done for you, work hard to provide things for your kids on your own.  Doing this will keep you from struggling financially through things.  If you are allowing your anger and bitterness to take over, then you are going to miss out on wonderful memories that you could be making with your kids.


Never Bad-Mouth the Other Parent

 Finally, remember that the number one worst thing that you can do for your kids is to constantly bad-mouth the other parent.  Even if the other parent is always bad-mouthing you, learn to rise above the situation and avoid bad-mouthing them to your kids.  If you are bad-mouthing your ex, then you are going to find that your kids might end up wanting nothing to do with you.  Your kids are going to want to be with the parent that was better about cultivating a healthy relationship with the other parent.

Going through a divorce is tough.  One of the toughest things for you to do is to not talk bad about your ex to your children.  Remember that bad-mouthing them is not going to hurt them but instead is going to hurt your kids and the relationships that you have with them.

Sep 16

How to Prepare to Be a Parent When You’re Not Yet an Adult

Becoming a parent is hard work and a major responsibility for anyone.  If you are a teenager and are becoming a parent, there are many things that you should realize.  For someone who has been used to caring only for themselves and also has had someone else caring for them, it can be a huge shock when you are not only responsible for yourself but another life as well.

 Realize Life is About to Change

Having a baby can be a joyous time in your life but there are also many ways that your life changes.  It is full of the miracle of childbirth and the fact that you are bringing a human life into this world.  It can also be a very challenging time where you might feel a struggle between what you want to do and what you have to do.  As soon as you become a parent, you are no longer just concerned about yourself.  You now have to be concerned about someone else too.  Once you become a parent, you are not going to be able to spend as much time as you might have in the past with your friends.

You are also going to have to realize that having a baby costs a lot of money.  You will likely have to make sacrifices of the things that you want, in order to provide your child with the things that he or she needs.  Making sure that you have a good support system and people to talk to is very important as you go down the path to become a parent.

 Remember to Take Care of Yourself

 One of the biggest mistakes that new parents make is that they often forget to take care of themselves.  Instead, they end up struggling both emotionally and physically because they do not give themselves what they need in order to be a good parent.  You will need the support of others so that you can ensure that your child is best taken care of.  No one can be a successful parent completely on their own.  If you try, you will likely end up with emotional issues that could end up harming both yourself and the child over the long term.

You will need to be prepared to be on your toes.  You will want to be able to eat healthy, work out, and even take some time to relax so that you can ensure that you have everything that your baby needs.  Many young parents try to keep up with their peers by not sleeping when the baby does and this can lead to health problems that are both physical and emotional.  Make sure that you are putting your baby and yourself before anyone or anything else.

Tips for New Parents

Have Someone to Talk To

All new parents need someone that they can talk to.  As a teen parent, this is especially important.  Make sure that you can find someone to trust when the going gets tough.  It is a good idea for this person to be a parent as many non-parents will not understand some of the struggles and issues that you will face.  If you know another young parent in the same situation as yourself, you might even find that the two of you can lean on each other for support and well-being.

Don’t Forget What You Enjoy

While you might not be able to go out as often as you want to, you still have to remember to do the things that you enjoy.  Find ways to do these things at home.  If you don’t enjoy anything that you can do at home, then look for a new hobby or passion that you can do from home.  Having something to do that will make you happy, can help you to still feel like yourself and make some me time, even if that me time is just during one of your new baby’s naps.

Rest When You Can

It is very important to remember that you cannot do it all.  No one can.  Even if it looks like someone is doing it all, remember that looks can often be deceiving.  Taking time to rest is very important for a new parent.  One good rule of thumb is to take naps when your baby takes napes.  If you absolutely must do something during nap times, try to make sure that you are napping at least half of the time when your baby is napping.

 Take Some “Me” Time

While you will not want to leave your baby all of the time, it is important that you do take some “me” time and leave your baby every once in a while.  It is a good idea to make sure that you are doing something alone with friends or even by yourself at least one time per month.  Look for a responsible babysitter who you can trust and ask them to help you schedule some me time when they can look after your little one.

Play Time

Regardless of how young your baby is, you can have some fun and enjoy play time together.  If you are unsure of appropriate play for different ages, make sure that you read some books or even ask your pediatrician for advice.  There are lots of fun things that you can do with your baby from the time that they are born.  Baby swimming lessons, playing at the park, walking around the neighborhood, drawing/painting/doing crafts, or even joining a play group can be fun for both you and your baby.

Connect with Other Parents

Another thing that you should be doing is making sure that you connect with other parents.  There are mommy groups, play groups, and more that you can look into joining in any community.  Ask friends and family members if they know of groups or do a quick search online for the area in which you live.  Doing this can help you to find a group of like-minded moms who you can get advice from and have fun together with your little ones.

 Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Every new parent needs help, even those who are older.  Do not worry that as a teen mom you are going to be judged.  Talk to those who you trust and ask for help when you need it.  Doing this will help you to have healthier interactions with your little one as well as healthier emotions for yourself.

Aug 16

Don’t Let Your Divorce Bankrupt You!

There are so many mistakes that you can make during a messy divorce that can land you in a position where you might feel that bankruptcy is the only way out.  Divorces are expense and attorney and expert fees can rack up quickly costing you thousands.  The sad thing is that in many cases, you might be expected to continually pay more out while your ex is able to get away with little to no representation.  There are some things that you can do to avoid becoming bankrupt when you are going through a divorce.

 Know Who Your Lawyer is Working For

In far too many cases, clients end up with attorneys who do not seem to really be working as hard as they can for them.  In these cases, you can end up with continuing legal bills and fees and no real chance to have the money that you deserve to take care of your problems.  When you are going through a divorce, make sure that you budget out what you can afford for legal fees.  If you are going to be going through a lengthy trial, try to find ways that you can cut costs by doing research or providing paperwork for your attorney that will help speed along the process and end up costing you thousands less.  Be open and honest with your attorney about what you can afford and what you are willing to pay out of your pocket.

If you notice that your attorney starts asking for more money before delivering results, make sure that you are open and honest and have a talk with them.  Explain what you were promised during your consultations and discuss outcomes so far vs what you were expecting for money that had been previously paid.  Ask them for a detailed breakdown of every invoice. Keeping your lawyer in check is important to ensure that he is really working his best for you.  You can also ensure that you end up in a divorced situation and that you end up with what you are expecting from your attorney.


 Don’t Be Afraid of Second Opinions

 One of the biggest mistakes that people make when going through a divorce is that they do not seek out second opinions from attorneys or anyone else. Make sure that you are willing to look for what you want by seeking out an attorney that might be a better match than your first.  Choosing the right attorney can be scary since retainers typically run in the thousands and if you are trying to avoid bankruptcy then you are going to want to find someone who is going to be affordable and willing to help you.

 Consider Legal Aid

 If you do not have a steady income or if you are not making a considerable amount of money, then you are going to want to consider checking out what might be available to you from legal aid.  In many cases, legal aid is available to help those who do not have a lot of money so that they do not go broke trying to afford legal fees.  Sometimes legal aid will not accept cases that are going to require a ton of ground work or additional help so make sure that you are really looking at the big picture of what you need when you are going through your divorce.  If you do not need to fight over something, don’t.  Choosing to simplify your requests can help you to get an attorney that is going to be more affordable and cost friendly for you.

 Consider Legal Aid a Family Advocacy Program

 If you prefer not to hire an attorney and you don’t qualify for legal aid, another option is to go through a low cost family law service. Programs such as National Family Solutions have a nationwide network of attorneys and Legal Documents Assistants that prepared all the necessary documents for family law cases and guide you through the filing, serving and representation process. Choosing an option such as this could help you save thousands of dollars in retainer fees and billable hours, but you will have to be willing to do some of the legwork yourself.

In conclusion, divorces can get very expensive and they could quickly put you in a financial bind. Don’t do things out of spite to get back at the other party because you will only be hurting yourself at the end. A successful divorce isn’t always about being right.  Remember to explore your option and see what’s best for you, your children and your finances.

Aug 16

Staying on Track – How to Be Positive in a Long Custody Case

Everyone who is involved in a child custody battle wishes that they weren’t and struggles with keeping positive.  It is so hard to be involved in this type of situation because of the emotions that are involved.  Parents will find that in the best situations they are able to agree upon things.  However, this is not typically the case and many times a family court judge is forced to determine what is going to be best for the child and parents involved.

In most cases, it is possible for both parents to be able to have a safe and nurturing environment for the children at their homes.  Even if this is the case, when it’s time to go to court for custody, it’s always a stressful time and usually neither parent ends up with exactly what they were hoping for.  There are many steps that you can take in order to show how committed you are to your children.  Doing these things can help you to remain positive while you are going through a tough custody battle.


Be Involved with the Schools

Many parents find enjoyment when they are able to be involved in their child’s day to day activities at school.  When you are staying involved, you are helping yourself to have positive times with your child in their school environment.  You are also working together with your child to provide them with the things that they need for success in their education.  Showing your dedication to your children and their education will help you to have a more positive attitude as far as your child is concerned.


Help Your Children Be Involved

One of the biggest mistakes that parents make when they are going through a custody battle is that they withdraw.  When they withdraw, they withdraw their children with themselves.  This can be damaging to your child and their self-esteem.  Instead of withdrawing, help to ensure that your children stay involved.  Being involved in activities with your children will help you to have a more positive attitude and will help your children to be able to stay positive as well.  Plus, they will be working on developing friendships and working on skills needed for success in different areas of life.


Take Photographs

Many people do not realize how important it is to be able to show how a child spend their time when they are with a parent.  Photographs of things that you are doing with your children, their living environment, and the family members/friends that they associate with is important.  If you are spending time with others and having a good time with your children, you are going to be able to look at the brighter side of things as well.


Set Boundaries & Enforce Them

 Children who are going through a tough time, like the divorce of their parents and a custody battle are going to be more likely to try and push the boundaries.  One of the things that you can do in order to help maintain a stable home for your child is set clear boundaries for them.  Make sure that your child has expectations and knows what is expected of them.  You will also want to ensure that your child knows what the consequences for not following through with expectations can be.  While your child might at first try and get around the boundaries that you set, both you and your child will be happier in the future with clear boundaries and rules.


Care for Your Child

 During a bad custody battle, life might feel as though it is out of your control.  In some ways it will be, but there are many aspects of life that you can remain in control over.  Make sure that you are taking your children to regular doctor appointments and staying on top of any health concerns that you might have.  In addition, you will want to make sure that you are following through with eating healthy meals and gaining certifications that can show that you are going to be a qualified parent.  Be willing to take classes like child CPR and parenting classes so that everyone involved understands your goal to be a better parent.


Stay Positive

Instead of looking at everything that is going on in your life, take time to look at everything that is going right.  Instead of falling into a negative attitude or allowing yourself to look at the negative things that are going on, make sure that you stay positive and that you are focusing on each and everything that is going right in your life.  If you have a positive attitude and avoid being negative it is going to be harder for your ex to portray you in a negative light.  Remember, even if they are lying about you and saying things to purposely anger you, that if you give them any hint of anger in a courtroom, what your ex is saying is going to appear to be true.  Keep calm and levelheaded and stay positive no matter what you are going through.


Know Who Your Children Are

Do not allow yourself to get lost from your children while you are going through a custody battle.  Take time to get to know your children.  Learn about the things that they enjoy, what they are into, things they like to do, what they want to become, and who they really are.  The more you know about your child, the better that you are going to be able to be a parent to them.

Child custody battles can be intense and tough situations to deal with.  It might feel as though nothing is going right and you might feel as though you have every right in the world to give up.  However, with the right attitude and the right presence you will be able to truly understand who you and remain positive even in the worst of situations.


Jul 16

Using Email to Create a Custody Log for Record Keeping

One of the most crucial pieces of evidence that you can use in court is a parenting log, also called a custody log.  This log will show times that custodial and non-custodial parents have children as well as when they do not take advantage of their time with the children.    There are many things that you should note in a custody journal and keeping one through email is a great way to easily be able to update the journal through texts or emails at the time of drop offs or pick-ups.

 How to Use Email to Create a Custody Log

The first thing that you will want to do if you are going to use email as a custody log is create a new email account that is only used for this purpose.  Each time that your child is picked up or dropped off with the other parent, make sure that you send an email to the account with a text message.  This is simple and easy and gives you a record that is time and date stamped.

Another thing that you will want to do is make notes in the texts or actually send emails if you need longer notes for different things that occur during times that your child’s other parent has them.  Make note of your child’s behavior, their moods, and the things that they say in the email.  You should also be sure to point out when the other parent is late with pick-ups or drop offs.  You can make note of when they were supposed to pick up and missed visits or canceled them.  It’s also a great way to keep track of communication about trading visits or working something out.  You can simply copy and paste your ex’s texts or take screen shots of them and email these to the account.  This way you always have the ability to look something up when you need to.

In addition to these things, you can keep record of communication that you have with the other parent, information about medical appointments or school issues, and even help keep track of milestones and developments for your child.  In addition, make sure that you keep track of issues that you want to discuss with your child’s other parent or information that you want to make sure that you relate to them.  You can even have the other parent create their own journal email so that you can email these issues back and forth between the two of you with a clear record of when you are notifying them and what they choose to do with said information.

This email is a great way to keep track of everything that you want to remember about your child.  It is also a clear record that you can use in court if questions arise with how one of you are taking care of your child or communicating with one another.  If you have a clear email chain, the other parent cannot deny receiving important information or being told about something that was important.

 How the Email Journal Can Be Used in Court

It is easy to print emails.  One of the things that you can do before you go to court is print all of the emails that you have saved as well as all of the information that was shared between the two parents.  This is a great way to keep details of everything that you have been involved in.

 Reasons You Should Maintain Custody Journal

If disputes occur in court, as they often do, having a journal that is time stamped and has all of the information in it can help to prove that what you are saying is true.  You can’t change the time on an email to suit your needs so it’s important that you are sending these emails as they occur.  In addition, it can help you to show that you are doing the things that you agreed to and whether or not the child’s time with the other parent is interfering with their behaviors or education in any way.  In addition, it can help you to provide information that can help set up a more appropriate child custody schedule should things need to be changed.

Plus, if you are recording important milestones, information about school and activities, or other information that needs to be shared with your child’s other parents then it is going to help to show that you are following through with your effort to provide good communication.   Your ex won’t be able to deny that they did certain things or that they were not notified of something if you have a clear record that shows that they were.  Having a journal also helps give you peace of mind that you are not going to have to provide information or proof to a judge in the future should there be any issues, everything will be contained in one neat and tidy place that is easy for your to access.