21
Mar 18

When You Know You’re Filing for Divorce

Filing for Divorce

Divorce decree, gavel and folder shot on warm wooden surface

Sometimes your relationship gets to the point where divorce is the only solution. When this occurs, you need to ensure you’re prepared for what’s to come before you actual file the paperwork. That’s because divorce can be a very lengthy, emotional, and stressful process, and if you’re not completely prepared from the beginning, it could take a toll on how the rest of it is handled. When you do the following, it can help you be more prepared for what’s to come.

 

Be sure about your decision.

The last thing you want to do is tell your spouse that you want a divorce when deep down you really don’t. Before you start planning for your divorce, it’s important to make sure this is exactly what you want. Be sure to try talking with your spouse first about your feelings to see if your unhappiness is something you can work on. You should also try couple’s counseling and see if a professional can help you work out your differences. If you find that all of this doesn’t change the way you feel, then you’ll know you’re making the right choice.

 

Have your finances in order.

If you and your spouse share money, you’ll want to ensure you have finances set up for yourself. Divorce can be very expensive on its own, but you’ll also need money to cover your living expenses going forward. While you don’t want to start stealing money from your joint account, you do want to be prepared with what you can. Open a checking or savings account in your name only, or open some credit cards in your name only. This way, you’ll have access to finances if your joint account becomes frozen during the divorce proceedings.

 

Know where you’ll go.

When you and your spouse live comfortably in your home, divorce will make one of you need to leave. Deciding who will need to find another place to live isn’t always easy, and if you’re the one willing to leave, then you need to be prepared with where to go. This is when it’s important to either have another place of your own ready, or when you need to get family or friends involved as a temporary place to go. If you are the one asking for divorce, it may be better for you to line this place up ahead of time so that it doesn’t become awkward when you tell your spouse it’s over.

 

Keep calm and collected.

Divorce can be stressful, and it can take a toll on your personal and professional career. If your divorce is coming out of the blue to your spouse, then you can expect some type of drama to occur. While you may want to give into the drama, it’s important that you don’t. Not only do you need to stay calm and collected, but you need to be mindful of how you act and what you say, as all of this can come back to haunt you when the divorce proceedings occur.

 

Even if your decision for divorce seems to come out of the blue, it’s extremely important that you use this information to be prepared for what will come.


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.


28
Dec 17

What to do if you can’t afford an attorney

There may come a time when you’re in need of an attorney, but with the high cost associated with reputable lawyers, it’s often difficult to pay for one. If you’re stuck in a poor financial situation, you may be unable to afford an attorney out of pocket, and this could be detrimental to your legal needs. However, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Below are a few great options for you to consider when you cannot afford an attorney on your own.

 

Look for free legal aid.

The US government knows that having access to a lawyer is important, which is why there are plenty of governments and organizations dedicated to providing legal services to low-income individuals or families. Reach out to any organizations near you to see if they’d be willing to take your case. Most of them will at least offer a consultation, so you can find out what your next steps should be.

 

Try a law school.

There is a decent amount of people in law school looking to practice their skills, and many law students are able to practice in a court under the supervision of a real lawyer. These schools often have programs to help those in need, so contact a local law school and see if they have any programs that could use your case. If so, you may be able to get free legal services just by helping the students learn a real-life experience.

 

Look for pro bono attorneys.

Oftentimes attorneys offer pro bono cases a few times a year. There are multiple reasons why these attorneys do this, so it’s important to look for those who do more than one per year. Do a little research online to find some recommendations, and then contact these places to see if you can get some work done for nothing. Be sure to also look for a pro bono attorney who works on the cases you need. For instance, if you’re in need of child custody attorney, be sure you’re looking for a pro bono attorney who specializes in that specific area.

 

Try to represent yourself.

The legal system gives you the option of having a lawyer represent your or representing yourself. Obviously, this will not cost you any money to do, but you will need opt familiarize yourself with the way the court runs as well as the different laws needed in your case. The court will give you some leeway, but you’ll still need to keep the events moving forward at a steady pace. If you choose this option, National Family Solutions can help you.

 

Opt for an alternative method.

Sometimes you may not actually need to go to court. Depending on the reason for your legal needs, you may be able to find a different way to solve your problems. For instance, if you are in the middle of a custody battle, you could opt for mediation instead of going to court. This lets you and your spouse work things out with a legal professional without having to pay court fees and spend a long time getting it accomplished. Chances are there will be fees associated with this, but it likely will not cost nearly as much as paying out of pocket for a real legal team.

Having to deal with the law can be stressful, and the last thing you need is the burden of paying for an attorney if you simply don’t have the money. However, if you use these suggestions, you may be able to find the legal services you need without breaking the bank.


26
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.


24
Mar 15

Why it’s Important to File Custody with the Courts Instead of a Verbal Agreement

Going to court for child custody can be time consuming and expensive. Because of this, many parents often decide to ditch the courtroom altogether and instead create a verbal custody agreement. These agreements can be anything from one parent seeing the child every other weekend to both parents getting equal time with the child.

Even if you and your ex get along and both have the best interest of your child in mind, it’s still important that you file your custody with the courts instead of simply having a verbal agreement.

 Situations are going to change.

Many parents create this verbal agreement based on their current situations without looking toward the future. The problem is that both parents’ situations are going to change over time, and this will put you in a bind when it comes to custody.

For example, if one parent gets a promotion that will force them to move, this will cause an issue with your verbal agreement. The moving parent may want to bring the child with them, but the non-moving parent will want the child to stay close. This will likely cause a blowout that is not healthy for your child, and the two of you will just end up in court anyway.

If you make the arrangement in court, these types of situations can be settled before they arise. Also, you and your ex can always decide to go back to court when situations change or your custody agreement needs to be revamped. This will always keep your child’s best interests at the forefront.

 You won’t have anything legally binding you.

When you have a verbal agreement, it makes it easier for you and your ex to break it. For example, you may have a verbal agreement that says you’ll both pay 50/50 when it comes to your child’s educational and extracurricular needs. When you don’t have a legal agreement, your ex could decide to back out on this part of the agreement at any time, putting you fully responsible for footing the bill.

When you legally file custody, your agreement is set in stone and you or your ex cannot back out. If your agreement says that you will split costs and your ex doesn’t hold up to their end of the bargain, you can take them back to court where they can either be forced to pay you or they can serve jail time for breaking the agreement.

 It defines the parents’ responsibilities.

When you have a verbal agreement, your parenting responsibilities may not be entirely thought out. For example, you may decide to take your child to see one doctor, but your ex may decide to take them to another doctor. This isn’t beneficial for your child.

When you are filed through the courts, they will decide the type of custody both parents receive. For example, if you have joint legal custody, then both parents need to be in agreement when it comes to the upbringing of the child. This means that parents will need to agree on medical care, school, and other items. If you have sole legal custody of your child, then you and you alone get to make these decisions for your child without input from the other parent. Having this determined by the courts will make raising your child easier.