13
Oct 17

How to Make Shared Parenting Work

Studies have shown that shared parenting is the best option for children after a divorce. That’s because shared parenting allows the child to still have a relationship with both parents, which is beneficial for their well-being. However, shared parenting requires both parents to make an effort that puts the child’s best interests in mind and forces the two of you to work together in a way that works for everyone. If you have recently experienced shared parenting, here are a few tips that will help you and your ex make it work in the best possible way.

 

Communicate

The best way for you and your ex to make this shared parenting work is to communicate effectively with one another. This allows you to share important information regarding your child and keeps you both on the same page regarding how your child is being raised. For instance, open communication allows you to discuss your child’s schedule as well as anything you may want to discuss, such as your child’s college plans, their most recent group of friends, their health issues, etc.

Communicating can be done in whatever way works best for the two of you. For instance, if you and your ex communicate better via text, then use that as your method of communication. If you prefer to talk things out, then set aside time every week to have a phone call or meet in person to discuss your child. As long as you have an open line of communication that works, you’ll be able to raise your child in the best possible way.

 

Stay United

Even though you don’t live in the same household, you and your ex need to stay united when it comes to raising your child. If one of you is more lenient than the other, it can make your child start to desire less time with you, and that’s not fair. Be sure the both of you have the same rules at your house regarding curfew, friends, and general everyday rules. By doing this, you’ll ensure your child is being raised as if you were in the same house.

In addition to having the same rules, you need to stay united when decisions are made by the other parent. For instance, if your ex grounded your child from their phone, then be sure child is still grounded from his/her phone when at your house. If you disregard the other parent’s rules, it shows your child that the two of you can be separated, and this can open you up to dealing with other issues as your child gets older.

 

Follow the Agreement

Chances are the court system or mediator has created an agreement for you and your ex to follow. If both of you can follow this agreement in the best possible way, it will ensure there aren’t any issues in the future. However, because situations change, it’s often possible changes will need to be made to the agreement. By staying open with the other parent and ensuring these changes are made in a legal way, you can help make your shared parenting plan work effectively for everyone involved.

Shared parenting can be tough to accomplish, but it’s important for your child. Work hard with the other parent to ensure you’re both doing what you can to raise your child in the best possible way.


09
Oct 17

5 Mistakes Parents Make When Getting Divorced

On your wedding day, you never think that you and the love of your life, your soul mate, your partner in crime will ever get divorced; however, as you get older, things change, people change, and divorce becomes a reality. If you have kids, it puts a bigger strain on the divorce, but it’s important to remember that your child always comes first. Unfortunately, divorce brings up a lot of heated emotions, and many parents find themselves making mistakes they’ll soon regret. If you are in thinking about or in the middle of a divorce, here are five mistakes not to make.

Mistake #1: Talking Bad About Each Other

People get divorced for a variety of reasons, and sometimes this makes one parent feel passionately angry towards the other parent. Regardless of what happened or how you feel, you need to remember that the other parent is still a parent of your child, and your child needs to see you and that parent getting along and being respectful. Speaking bad about the other parent or trying to put your child in the middle as a spy will only turn out to cause problems, and this could also be stressful for your child and make them lose respect for you. If you really want to talk about your feelings, it’s better to do so with the help of a counselor.

Mistake #2: Being Greedy

Obviously your child is your whole world, and the last thing you want to do is lose time with that child. However, divorce means having to allow your child to spend time with each parent, which means you need to give up some of that time with your child to the other parent. During the divorce proceedings, you may try to take out your feelings towards your ex by trying to fight for sole custody or trying to limit the amount of time they have with the child. Although you may feel some initial satisfaction from this, remember that it’s only doing your child harm not to spend time with both parents, so don’t be greedy just to stick it to your ex.

Mistake #3: Avoiding Legalities

If you have an amicable divorce, you may try to decide things like visitation or child support arrangements on your own; however, this creates plenty of loopholes that can come back to be a problem in the future. In fact, according to Raleigh lawyers Marshall & Taylor LLC, “child support arrangements can become difficult even after the divorce is finalized.” Even if you don’t want to go through the hassle of court, you can always opt for mediation to try and settle your situation in the best way. This not only allows you to do things more amicably, but it’s also legally binding, which keeps both you and your ex protected should you need it.

Mistake #4: Internalizing

As an adult, you take on a lot of responsibilities and stresses, and divorce will only add to that. Even if you feel as if the divorce isn’t affecting you, it may just not be something you’re noticing. Be sure that you are not internalizing your feelings and instead are seeking the help you need to make this smoother on you. If this requires you to seek professional counseling, then do so. If you need to ask friends or family members for assistance, then do so. Nobody is expecting you to walk away from this divorce without a struggle, and asking for help is better for you and your child.

Mistake #5: Hiding it

Your child may not need to know the gory details about your divorce, but you don’t need to try and pretend that everything is fine if it’s not. Once you and your ex decide that divorce is the option you’re going with, you need to talk with your child about. Explain why you are getting divorced and what will happen in the future. Be sure to constantly reinforce the divorce is not their fault and there’s nothing they could do to make it work. Be sure to explain that they will still see both parents and what changes, if any, will happen in their life, such as if they will be moving, going to a new school, etc. Keep in mind that divorce can be stressful on your child, so be sure you are prepared to have them talk with a professional if it needs to be done.

Nobody wants to go through divorce, especially with kids, but if you do, be sure to avoid these mistakes.

 

 

 

 


02
Oct 17

Post-Divorce Parenting: Rules You Should Both Follow

Getting divorced sucks, but getting divorced with children sucks even worse. You don’t want to make your children unhappy or stressed, but staying in a loveless marriage for the sake of your children can actually do more harm than good. If you’ve already gotten divorced, it’s important for you and your ex to still be actively involved in your child’s life. This means that, even though you may have differences with each other, you still need to act as a team and indulge in post-divorce parenting together. Here are rules you both should follow to ensure your children are happy, safe, and healthy even after the divorce.

 

Communicate often.

Regardless of your personal feelings toward your ex, you both need to communicate with one another, whether through phone calls, emails, or text messages. This way, you can both be sure you’re aware of everything going on in your child’s life, from sports schedules, to after-school activities, to their general well-being. Make it a point to keep each other in the loop when you hear of something regarding your child, or maybe schedule a weekly call with one another to discuss anything you deem is important.

 

List you both as contacts.

It’s more common today for parents to either be divorced or never married, so schools and organizations have started to separate the parental boxes on forms for children. Whether you’re signing your child up for school or an after-school activity, be sure you both are listed as contacts. This way, if important emails or text messages are sent out regarding news or schedule changes, each of you can be in the know and won’t have to rely on the other parent to keep you informed.

 

Don’t put your child in the middle.

It may be hard for you to keep your feelings to yourself, but you need to do it for your child’s sake. Do not ever put your child in the middle of a spat between you and your ex, and do not ever talk bad about the other parent in front of your child. They love the other parent unconditionally, and it’s not your place to try and ruin that relationship just because you have your own feelings or agenda.

 

Put your child first.

It’s easy for parents to become selfish and want more time with the child, but that’s not fair and you need to remember to put your child first. For instance, be sure you have a parenting agreement in place that delivers a solid child custody agreement between the two of you. Be fair with this agreement to ensure the child has equal time with both parents, including on holidays and on birthdays. Although you may not want to give up time with your child, you need to understand that your child benefits from having time with both parents, so suck it up and make it equal.

 

Make decisions together.

Of course you don’t have to talk to your ex about everything your child wants to do when with you, but when it comes to big decisions, it’s important to make them both together. For instance, if your child wants to go away with friends for the weekend after prom, be sure you and your ex discuss it together. If your child’s doctor is suggesting a certain medication, treatment, or surgery for some type of illness, be sure to make that decision together.

 

Post-divorce parenting is going to be tough, but that doesn’t mean the two of you can’t make it work for your child’s sake. By following these rules, you can create a better relationship with one another that benefits your child.


26
Sep 17

What to Do if Ex Stops Paying Child Support?

Your divorce proceedings usually decide which parent will pay child support, how much will be paid, and how often it will be paid. Although this is a legally binding agreement, sometimes the paying parent may stop paying child support, possibly because they can’t afford it or because they are simply being neglectful. If your ex has stopped paying child support, there are things you should do in order to help get the situation back into control.

 

Budget for the gap.

If you count on your child support payments for your own personal budget, you need to find ways to cover that gap until you can get your ex to start paying you again. Hopefully you will not need to cover this gap for an extended amount of time, but it’s still possible that you won’t be able to rely on this money, so you’ll want to ensure it doesn’t affect you financially.

 

Talk with your ex.

The very first thing you should do if your ex stops paying child support is to talk to them. Maybe they simply cannot afford to make the payments due to a financial hardship. If this is the case, ask them to at least give you what they can every month, even if it’s not what the courts have agreed upon. If possible, maybe you can even let them off the hook until they are back on their feet financially. However, if your ex is not paying you just to be spiteful, then you’ll want to take additional actions to get them to start paying you again.

If you do allow your ex to pay you less than what’s agreed upon until they are back on their feet, be sure you get this agreement in writing, as a written agreement is a legally binding contract that you can use in court should you need to.

 

Talk to a lawyer or legal service.

If your ex is simply being defiant with their child support payments, then you’ll want to talk with a lawyer or professional legal service to see what your options are in terms of covering yourself and forcing your ex to pay. Depending on the terms of your agreement, taking legal action could force your ex to pay child support by taking the money directly out of his or her paychecks or putting your ex in jail until he or she could pay the child support.

However, before you take legal action against your ex, you want to ensure it’s the right thing to do financially. For instance, if your ex only owes you $500, but it will cost nearly $2000 in legal fees, then taking legal action may not be the smartest thing to do, especially if you know there’s no way your ex will be able to afford to pay you.

It’s also important to note that the courts have specific terms and timelines to follow before they enforce unpaid child support payments. For instance, some courts will require your ex to not have paid for at least six months before they do anything about it. If this is the case, you’ll want to know this information ahead of time so you can prepare. Your lawyer should know the possible outcomes for your case at your specific moment, so be sure to talk about the likelihood of you getting your money before you make a decision to go to court.

Child support is meant to help you care for your children after a divorce, so it’s possible you’ll need that money to stay afloat financially. However, if your ex is failing to pay, know there are steps you can take to get back to normal.

 

 


21
Sep 17

What are My Rights with Joint Custody?

After a divorce or separation, you want to be sure you’re getting the right amount of time and responsibilities in your child’s life. This will either result in sole custody or joint custody according to the court system. With joint custody, both parents have an equal role in how your child is raised, which means you’ll need to learn to communicate with your ex, especially when it comes to the well-being of your child.

For those with sole custody, one parent has more legal responsibilities for the child over the other parent. However, just because a decision was made does not mean it is set in stone forever. Regardless of if you have sole or joint custody, know this can change at any time if the situation changes with one or both parents.

In the meantime, if you are granted with joint custody of your child, it’s very important to know your rights and responsibilities. This way, you can ensure you are having the proper say in your child’s life as well as helping to make the right decisions that are best for your child.

 

Religion

With joint custody, you and your ex need to decide together what religion the child will be raised. If you each share similar religious beliefs, this decision will be an easy one. However, if you vary on your religious beliefs, the decision could be more difficult. However, should you and your ex not agree on one religion, consider compromising and teaching your child about each religion. This way, you are giving your child an open mind toward religions and allowing them to make their own decision as they get older.

 

Education

Your child’s education is important, and joint custody parents have to agree on the child’s education. For instance, parents must agree on the school the child will attend. Should your child be going to public school, this is determined by your physical address. However, if you want to send your child to private school, this is something you both must agree on to make it happen. Depending on your child’s age, this may be something you want to discuss with him or her before making your final decision.

 

Medical Care

There are a lot of medical decision that must be made for your child, and parents with joint custody must work together to make the right decisions. Everything from doctors to vaccinations to medications and procedures must be agreed upon by both parties in order for the medical care to happen. Discuss your options in detail with your ex and make the decision that’s best for your child’s well-being.

 

Activities

Children get involved in a lot, and it is what can help them grow, learn social skills, and become members of a team. When you have joint custody, you and your ex must agree on the activities your child will participate in. Not only should you think about your child’s interests, but also be sure you discuss schedules so each one of you fully understands where your child needs to be and when.

Joint custody can be a great thing for your child and can ensure both parents still have an active role in your child’s life. However, with joint custody, it’s very important you and your ex find a solid way to communicate with one another to make those tough yet important decisions. Again, the age of your child is going to play a role in how you communicate and what about, but remember that open communication and providing a united front with each other will be extremely beneficial in the long run.

 

 


19
Sep 17

The Benefits of Mediation

Going through divorced is never easy, and dragging it out through the courts can make it that much more unbearable. However, getting divorced doesn’t mean you need to spend months of your life battling in the court systems. Instead, you and your ex could opt for mediation, which is a legal way to get divorced without the financials and time needed to actually go through the courts. If you are looking to separate from your spouse, the following are a few benefits of mediation you may want to consider.

 

It’s less expensive.

Mediation is less expensive than opting for divorce. With mediation, the event can occur by a legal representative that assists both you and your ex instead of each of you paying for a legal attorney on your own. In addition, mediation doesn’t require you to go to court multiple times, which means you don’t need to pay as many court fees as you would with traditional divorce. If you want to spend less money on your divorce, then mediation can be a great way to go.

 

It’s quicker.

What most people don’t tell you about divorce is that it can take forever to get finalized. In fact, you could wait months just to get your first initial court date, and it can take years before everything is settled. Instead of wasting your time and waiting so long, you should opt for mediation. This can be done in the matter of one day and can let you and your ex get on your way to live your own lives. What makes mediation great is if you have kids, this doesn’t drag them through the court system for years, which could be detrimental to their well-being.

 

It gives you what you want.

With mediation, you and your ex are able to talk things over more and come to more mutually agreed upon decisions. For instance, you can use this time to ensure you both get equal time with your children as well as splitting the finances and properties up equally. This also allows you to work things out in case you don’t agree. For instance, your mediator will help you both work through any issues that may be at hand in order to assure you both get what you want.

 

It’s confidential.

When you go to court, the outcomes and information shared in court will become public record. When you opt for mediation, then your information will be kept confidential. Although this may not be a huge benefit to some people, the confidentiality of your personal life can be extremely beneficial to those who don’t need other people knowing their business.

 

It offers better relationships.

When you and your ex can work together to create your own agreements and settlements, it keeps the relationship between you more amicable. This is extremely beneficial when looking to split the finances and properties, but also when looking to create relationships for children. When you and your ex can get along, then you can create an open line of communication between one another that will help you raise your children better together.

 

It has a better success rate.

Because you and your ex can fight for what you want, mediation offers a better success rate because you can deal with one another than with a third-party representative. If you really want to see success in your divorce, then opt for mediation.

 

Mediation is a great solution for many people looking to get divorced, and if you want some benefits instead of a traditional divorce, mediation can be a valuable option.


15
Sep 17

Introducing Your New Relationship to Your Child

Whether you moved on right as the ink was drying on your divorce papers or it took you a few years to get back in the game, introducing your child to your new relationship can be difficult, yet something you need to do. While the approach will vary based on your child’s age, it’s still important you handle it in the best possible way, especially if your child is old enough to truly understand what’s going on, as well as old enough to share his/her thoughts and opinions on the matter. If you’re in a relationship with someone new after your divorce, here are some ways to introduce the new partner to your child.

 

Ensure it’s for the long run.

Before you introduce your child to your new relationship, be sure the relationship is serious. You do not need to introduce your child to every person you ever go on a date with. Instead, save this for those people who truly matter and who you could see yourself with for a long time. This is safer for your children because it keeps them from getting hurt. For instance, if you keep introducing them to new people all the time, your child won’t have the chance to get close to them, or they may get close to someone, but if you break up, it could hurt your child. Instead, hold off on introducing a new partner to your children until you’ve been together for a while.

 

Make it natural.

Don’t make a big to-do about your child meeting the new relationship. Instead, keep it as casual as you can. It’s easiest to do the introduction at your own home so that your child can either stay and talk or go back to their room if they’re uncomfortable. If you do this in a public place, such as a restaurant, it could make your child uncomfortable (and put you at risk of having a scene happen). Doing it at home also makes it easy for your new partner to leave if your child is having a hard time with it, and it also allows your child to feel more in control of the situation at hand.

 

Be honest with your child.

During the introduction, be sure you are honest with your child about the relationship. Introduce the person as your girlfriend or boyfriend, and tell your child how long you’ve been together, how you met, etc. If you try to hide anything by saying you’re “just friends”, it will make your child not want to trust you with other information in the future. It’s also important you don’t make your child feel as if this new person is replacing their father or mother, so don’t make them feel as if they should start to treat this person like them from the beginning.

 

Don’t let the relationship take precedence.

Once you’ve introduced your child to your new partner, it doesn’t’ mean your partner should be a part of your relationship with your child all the time. Instead, be sure you are spending alone time with your child, such as going out to dinner, going to the movies, etc. If you now start to force this person down your child’s throat, it will make your child resent the individual, and possibly even you. While it’s important for your new partner to be involved in some things, it’s not necessary for them to be around all the time.

You are entitled to having a relationship, and while having a child with someone else can make dating harder to do, it doesn’t mean it’s forbidden. Instead, be sure you are being fair to your new relationship and your child to ensure everyone is happy.


12
Sep 17

The Benefits of Mediation

Going through divorced is never easy, and dragging it out through the courts can make it that much more unbearable. However, getting divorced doesn’t mean you need to spend months of your life battling in the court systems. Instead, you and your ex could opt for mediation, which is a legal way to get divorced without the financials and time needed to actually go through the courts. If you are looking to separate from your spouse, the following are a few benefits of mediation you may want to consider.

 

It’s less expensive.

Mediation is less expensive than opting for divorce. With mediation, the event can occur by a legal representative that assists both you and your ex instead of each of you paying for a legal attorney on your own. In addition, mediation doesn’t require you to go to court multiple times, which means you don’t need to pay as many court fees as you would with traditional divorce. If you want to spend less money on your divorce, then mediation can be a great way to go.

 

It’s quicker.

What most people don’t tell you about divorce is that it can take forever to get finalized. In fact, you could wait months just to get your first initial court date, and it can take years before everything is settled. Instead of wasting your time and waiting so long, you should opt for mediation. This can be done in the matter of one day and can let you and your ex get on your way to live your own lives. What makes mediation great is if you have kids, this doesn’t drag them through the court system for years, which could be detrimental to their well-being.

 

It gives you what you want.

With mediation, you and your ex are able to talk things over more and come to more mutually agreed upon decisions. For instance, you can use this time to ensure you both get equal time with your children as well as splitting the finances and properties up equally. This also allows you to work things out in case you don’t agree. For instance, your mediator will help you both work through any issues that may be at hand in order to assure you both get what you want.

 

It’s confidential.

When you go to court, the outcomes and information shared in court will become public record. When you opt for mediation, then your information will be kept confidential. Although this may not be a huge benefit to some people, the confidentiality of your personal life can be extremely beneficial to those who don’t need other people knowing their business.

 

It offers better relationships.

When you and your ex can work together to create your own agreements and settlements, it keeps the relationship between you more amicable. This is extremely beneficial when looking to split the finances and properties, but also when looking to create relationships for children. When you and your ex can get along, then you can create an open line of communication between one another that will help you raise your children better together.

 

It has a better success rate.

Because you and your ex can fight for what you want, mediation offers a better success rate because you can deal with one another than with a third-party representative. If you really want to see success in your divorce, then opt for mediation.

Mediation is a great solution for many people looking to get divorced, and if you want some benefits instead of a traditional divorce, mediation can be a valuable option.


07
Sep 17

5 Things to Know About Child Support

Getting divorced with children may result in child support payments being made by one parent to the other to help with financial expenses necessary to care for the child. While child support was more hardwired decades ago, courts and laws have started to change to ensure the best interests of the child truly are being cared for. If divorce is new to you, here are five things you need to know about child support.

 

  1. The Cost

The cost of child support will vary based on the state you live in, the type of custody arrangement made, and the number of children. For instance, there are states that have set guideline for child support. Illinois, for example, says child support is 23% of the supporting parent’s net pay, and this goes up if there are more children involved. However, there are other states that decide child support based on the amount of money made by each parent. If the parent with sole custody makes more money than the parent without sole custody, then there’s a chance child support will not be due. If you’re trying to figure out what the cost will be, it’s important to talk with a legal advisor for more information in your state.

 

  1. The Payee

When you hear about child support, most people assume the father will be the one paying the mother; however, this isn’t always true. The person who needs to pay child support will depend on what the courts decide. In some cases, the mother may need to pay child support to the father. In other cases, parents may not need to pay child support. Again, the best way to know about this will depend on your state and can be best decided by talking to a legal advisor.

 

  1. The Length

Another issue that arises with child support is the length of support needed. In most cases, child support will end when the child turns 18; however, there are other instances where the child support may end sooner. For instance, if the child becomes married before 18, then the child support may end. In addition, if the child becomes emancipated from his/her parents, then child support payments can also end.

In addition, child support payments may also need to continue until the child has graduated from college. Again, these payments and the length of payments will depend on your legal arrangement made by the courts, so be sure to have a copy of this on hand.

 

  1. How to Pay

Child support payments are typically due once a month, but the courts will also have a say in how often this is due and how it should be paid. For instance, some parents can agree to just having the one parent pay the other parent directly on a certain day of the month. In other cases, the court may advise that payments come directly out of the other parent’s paycheck and sent directly to him/her. Again, there is no right or wrong way to go about making the payments, but this will all be decided on by the courts.

 

  1. Enforcement

Child support is a legally binding agreement, so if you fail to pay, then you can be taken into custody and serve jail time. If you do not have the payments come directly from your check, then the courts may rule that they need to be taken from your check to ensure you do not miss any additional payments moving forward.

Child support is serious, as it has to do with the best interests of your child. If you are going to be paying or expecting child support, then you need to familiarize yourself with the laws in your state.


29
Aug 17

How to Manage Teenage Anger During a Divorce

Going through a divorce is rough on you, but it’s also rough on your kids, regardless of the reason for it. If your child is a teenager, the results from the divorce could be far worse than with a toddler, as your teenager has a voice and opinion they use regularly, coupled with an attitude. If your teenager becomes angry due to the divorce, there are things you can do to keep him or her calm and get them to understand the realities of it without creating any additional issues. Use the tips below to manage teenager anger during a divorce.

Be honest with your teen from the start.

Even if you are going through a bad divorce, it’s very important you and your spouse work together to talk to and be honest with your teen about the divorce. Approaching him or her as a team will show that you are both still the parents and still willing to work together to raise your child. It also provides a united front and doesn’t allow either of you to talk poorly of the other parent in front of the child.

When having your discussion, be sure you and your spouse talk openly with your child about the reasons for it and what the plan is moving forward. Be sure to answer any questions your child may have and let them know you are there for them if they need it. Doing this all as soon as possible is much better than trying to hide it.

Try to keep things normal.

Teenagers are selfish, and they are going to care more about what the divorce will do to them than what it will do to you. For this reason, you and your spouse should work hard to try and keep things as normal as possible. If you need to move out of your house, try to move to a place that will keep your child in his/her school and near his/her friends and activities. If the divorce means uprooting your child to a new location, it could make the results of the divorce worse on your child.

In addition, you and your spouse should work to ensure you equally get time with your child. Both parents play important roles in their child’s life, so allow your child to spend equal amounts of time with one another by opting for the right child custody agreement. Figure out the best way to share time and have a schedule or agreement drawn up by the court so that each of you are fully protected by the law.

Monitor their behavior.

Sometimes teenagers have a tendency of acting out after a divorce, and this could be harmful. Be sure to monitor your child’s behavior and seek help if you notice a change in attitude or behavior, a lack of appetite, trouble at school, or any other signs of depression or other telltales that could signal there’s a problem. Should your child start to act out, it’s important to have them talk with a child therapist or other professional to get them the help they need to safely and healthily deal with the divorce.

Be there.

The most important thing you can do for your child during this time is to simply be there. Show them that you care and that you love them, and just be there to listen, answer questions, hang out, or whatever it is your child may need from you in order to cope.

Going through a divorce is tough on children, especially teenagers. If your child is angry or bitter from a divorce, use these tips to help get your child the answers he/she needs and the help he/she deserves.