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Articles Posted in Children

Understand-Child-Support-FL-blog-300x200When parents are seeking a divorce, some of the biggest issues they will need to resolve involve their children, specifically custody arrangements and child support.

On the most basic level, child support is intended to cover the essential, daily needs of the children: food, clothing, and shelter. But support payments can also extend to cover additional expenses, including those related to education, healthcare, employment-related childcare, and extra-curricular activities. These additional expenses can often be a source of conflict between divorcing parties. If the parents cannot come to an agreement on how to divide these expenses, the court will intervene.

To prepare yourself to negotiate an equitable child support agreement or to better understand the court’s ruling, read “The Ultimate Guide to Child Support.”

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For many divorcing couples, co-parenting arrangements offer viable solutions to less-than-ideal situations by allowing each parent to maintain an active role in the parent/child relationship. These arrangements, however, are not without their challenges, and that was never more true than during the current pandemic.

Thanks to COVID-19. such questions as whether to send your child to school, allow him or her to participate in team sports, or attend an event can now elicit polarizing responses. What can parents do when strongly opposing viewpoints toward the pandemic threaten to impede their ability to honor the terms of their parenting arrangement? Read ”Co-Parenting Through COVID-19: Putting Your Children First” for some inspiration.

divorce_transition_AdobeStock_232818797-300x200Transitioning from married life back to single life can be unsettling, especially when there are children involved. Nothing about your everyday life in the time leading up to your divorce is quite the same yet, for the sake of your children – and your own emotional health – it is important to move forward with a positive attitude.

Navigating the unknown is difficult in the best of times, let alone when you are feeling confused and emotional. But relationship experts say there are steps to focus on that can lead you on the path of making the best decisions for both you and your children. To learn more read, “5 Things Parents Should Do After Separating From a Partner.”

Co-Parentind_AdobeStock_267042826-300x200For many divorced couples, a co-parenting agreement seemed like the perfect solution for raising their children under imperfect conditions. But then came COVID-19 and all of its related restrictions, which changed the co-parenting landscape especially for families where at least one parent is considered an essential worker. Even now as we begin to emerge from the constraints relating to this virus, we’re being encouraged to exercise caution and maintain our social distance whenever possible. This leaves divorced parents facing a lot of questions.

Technically, custody and child visitation agreements entered into prior to the recent pandemic are still valid. But what do parents do when they don’t feel comfortable with the precautions their ex-spouses are – or aren’t – taking? Today more than ever successful co-parenting requires a greater effort in cooperation. For some guidelines on how to manage your co-parenting arrangements during these unprecedented times, read “Better Safe Than Sorry: Co-Parenting in the Age of Social Distancing.”

kids-and-divorce-400-07341790d-300x200Divorce is an emotional, complex process and it can be painful for everyone involved – especially the children. While parents are busy hashing out the terms of their divorce, including finances, asset distribution and custody arrangements, the children are left to deal with a lot of uncertainties as they watch their lives spin out of control.

The husband/wife relationship may be ending, but the parent/child relationship remains intact – and no parent likes to see his or her child suffer. It’s important for both parents to take the time to make the divorce process less traumatic for their children. The article, “33 Important Ways to Prepare Your Child for Divorce,” offers some practical advice for doing this.

Parenting-plan-400-04371775d-300x200Raising kids can be a tough job and most couples are thankful they have each other to lean on especially when the more complex issues of child-rearing come up. What happens, though, when those couples split? Divorce throws parenting into a whole new context. Couples who once willingly cooperated for the sake of the family are now fighting to protect their own interests. A well-thought out parenting plan helps couples remain effective parents through this adverse time.

Parenting plans are court-approved agreements negotiated by divorcing spouses and their attorneys, and they involve much more than just which parent has primary physical custody of the children. Your parenting plan needs to address the challenges of your family now living in two homes instead of one, and should cover everything from who the primary decision maker is to how future disputes will be resolved. “Everything Divorced Couples Need to Know About Parenting Plans” outlines the elements that are essential to an effective parenting plan.

kids-of-divorce-400-04210196d-300x200As you go through a divorce, your attention understandably can be centered on your own problems and emotions. You’re hurt, angry, sad and uncertain of what the future holds. On top of that, you’re determined not to let your soon-to-be ex get the best of you in the divorce settlement. In the midst of all this, it is sometimes difficult to give sufficient attention to what your children really need from you at the moment.

Often, a parent’s first reaction while in the divorce process is to assure their children that the divorce is not about them and it is not their fault; it’s a situation between the adults. But divorce affects everyone in the family and placating your children just won’t work. In an article entitled “Divorce is never easy – but here’s what your kids need from you,” Dr. Kevin Leman explains what your children really need and how you can help them navigate this highly emotional time in their lives.

August-divorce-400-07677880d-300x199A team of researchers at the University of Washington recently conducted a study analyzing divorce filings in that state for the period from November 2001 through December 2015. Their findings? Divorce filings by American couples peak during the months of August and March before declining significantly at year end. As interesting as this data is, it begs the question why are divorce filings more common in these months – especially August – than any others?

One possible reason is that for many families, summer means more time spent together on vacations and long weekends. There’s an old saying that familiarity breeds contempt. It could be that for couples already experiencing problems in their marriage, this extra time together puts a spotlight on their differences. Another thought is that kids soon will be returning to school and that routine could help them cope better with their parents’ divorce.

For more insight on possible reasons behind the uptick in divorce filings as summer ends, as well as tips on how to help your children cope with your breakup, read “Back To School Divorce: 4 Reasons Parents File For Divorce In August.”

copiing-400-07316868d-300x200Divorce can be complicated and all-consuming. The one thing no parent wants to do, however, is to lose sight of their children’s wellbeing during the process. As your emotions run the gamut between hurt and anger, it’s important to remember that your children, too, are affected by this change in your family dynamics.

One of the worse things you can do is to hide the truth from your children. Telling your children that you or your spouse is “going away for a little while” won’t soften the blow; it will only give them false hope. What they need most at this time is the support of both parents. For pointers on how to help your children deal with your divorce, read lifehack.org’s article by Dr. Magdalena Battles entitled, “How to Raise Healthy, Happy Kids After Going Through a Divorce.”

Teen drivers - photo of uniformed police officer walking up to white vehicle pulled over to side of the streetIt’s unnerving for any driver to be stopped for a traffic violation and even more so for inexperienced drivers. The driver’s manual doesn’t cover what to do in this situation but as parents we want our teens to be safe on the road, whether they’re moving with traffic or being pulled over by a police officer.

When it comes to your child’s driving skills, you can teach by example and reinforce what they learned in driver’s ed and behind-the-wheel training. But even experienced drivers make mistakes and risk being pulled over – your teen is no exception. To prepare him or her for that situation, see “You’ve Been Pulled Over, Now What?” on our Community News page. The article lists steps any driver should take when faced with a traffic stop.

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