Articles Tagged with child custody

children-holidays-400-07103763d-300x255Celebrating the holidays after divorce can be an extremely stressful situation. During this season, we put a lot of emotional value on family traditions, which are often passed down from generation to generation. These traditions are what make our holiday celebrations uniquely special, but they are also what makes facing the holidays after divorce so difficult for adults and children.

Divorced couples who plan to co-parent their children need to create new traditions to accommodate their new family structure. To do this effectively requires compromise and open-mindedness. For tips on how to avoid conflict and miscommunication and keep the holiday excitement alive for your children, read “Coordinating Child Custody During Holidays.”

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.

child-support-400-08812515d-300x200Divorce may end your relationship with your spouse, but it does not end your role as a parent, and with that role comes the obligation to support your children in all ways — physically, emotionally and financially.

Depending on the type of custodial agreement you and your ex agree on — or the court deems to be in best interest of your children — one of you may be ordered to make child support payments. Quite often it is the father who is responsible for child support, although in today’s age of two-income families, mothers can easily find themselves in this situation, too. That being said, both parents could benefit from reading “What Dads Need to Know About Child Support” to better understand the process.

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.

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.”

photo of child and parent hugging representing successful co-parenting effortsStudies have shown that, barring any abuse or neglect, children fare best when they have the influence of both parents. Unfortunately, relationships between adults sometimes deteriorate to the point where separation is the only answer, leaving the children caught in the middle. One thing most parents going through divorce can agree on, though, is that each wants what is best for their children. While what that best is can be a point of contention, many parents would admit that a life of alternate weekends, a couple of vacation weeks each year, and alternating holidays doesn’t exactly foster strong parent/child ties. That’s one reason why more and more parents these days are ditching these traditional custody schedules in favor of co-parenting arrangements.

In a co-parenting situation, exes work together to share their parenting responsibilities much like they did while they were still together. Sometimes that means working cooperatively with someone you may still harbor a lot of anger towards. Letting that anger get in the way can lead to counterproductive efforts that adversely affect your parenting. To figure out if you have this co-parenting thing down pat, read “Are You Co-Parenting or Counter-Parenting? Get It Right For Your Kids!

Attorney and Family and Divorce Mediator, Rosalyn A. Metzger, concludes her three-part article on the Mediation process with a discussion on how child-related issues can benefit from the process. To read the first two articles, see “The ABC’s of Mediation – Part I: The Process” and “The ABC’s of Mediation – Part II: Financial Issues.”

Mediating Parenting Time and Related Issues

Mediation of Child Issues - photo of young boy dressed in jeans and striped shirt holding hands with mother and father is following behindOne hot-button issue in divorce is often the children. Some people get stuck on “50-50” parenting time. However, you are well advised to consider all of the circumstances when trying to sort out the best parenting plan for your family. While New Jersey links child support to the amount of time the children share with each parent, in mediation you can separate those two issues so that money is not the guiding factor.

relocation-400-07509883d-300x150A recent decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court has changed the way divorce courts now decide cases involving the relocation of children.

When considering divorce matters dealing with the custody of children, courts apply the “in the child’s best interest” standard.  One exception to that has been the issue of moving children out of state against the other parent’s wishes. In those cases, the courts instead considered whether or not such a move would “cause harm” to the child. Until now, that is.

To learn how a recent ruling has changed the courts’ approach to this relocation issue read, “Court changes rules for divorced parent who want to leave N.J. with child.”

visitation-400-04555027d-201x300It is generally believed children benefit from healthy relationships with both of their parents. That’s why in divorces, parents often are awarded joint custody. In this way, they continue to share in the decisions and responsibilities of raising their children, as well as in the physical custody of those children. Sometimes, however, courts will not award joint custody but instead will grant visitation rights to the non-custodial parent. That is unless that parent is deemed unfit and the courts believe such visits would not be in the child’s best interests.

If your divorce involves child visitation, you will want to avoid making mistakes that can lead to conflicts between you and your ex. One of the most important things to look for is that your final divorce decree contains the specific terms of the visitation agreement. To learn more about child visitation agreements and what to watch for, read “Child Visitation: It’s a Post-Divorce Fact of Life.”