How To Be A Good Parent Even After The Divorce

Being a good parent is hard enough on a good day. However, when you’ve just gone through a divorce, making sure that your kids are doing fine is always much harder. You can be a good parent after a divorce though so doesn’t think that this is an unattainable goal.

When you use your parenting skills in a divorce, you help teach your kids to deal with various challenges, helping them to grow into well-adjusted individuals. If you’re going or have gone through a divorce and are trying to figure out how to be a good parent through it all, use these tips.

Put The Child First:

Many times a divorce is going to be messy and complicated. You and your former spouse may hate each other and have trouble even being in the same room. However, this attitude isn’t going to do any favors for your child. You need to make sure that you’re not focusing on yourself throughout the divorce.

Since it can be a fairly lengthy process, talk to your children openly throughout the entire ordeal and ask how they’re doing. They may not be coping so well. Also, when you begin to figure out custody agreements and other important details that are about the kids, get their input. They may not be very happy about the entire situation, but involving them in the process and showing them that you care, is going to help with the transition.

Remember It’s Not About You:

Well, at least not entirely. Obviously, your divorce is going to be a huge part of your life, but you are an adult. You have increased coping mechanisms as well as a mature perspective that your children lack. If you’re starting to fall into the victim mentality, then make the decision to turn this attitude around.

Accept the fact that even in the worst of marriages, you probably made some mistakes as well. When you get to this point, you’re not only helping yourself, you’re also showing your kids that it’s OK to be wrong sometimes and you should always acknowledge your mistakes.

Look At The Positives:

It’s always hard to see anything positive coming from a divorce, but there are many life lessons that you can gain from going through this process. Similarly, your kids can also gain more experience from you. However, you can’t do this if you simply refuse to deal with the problem at hand. As you go throughout the divorce, take each experience as a life lesson.

Many of them are not going to be easy, but if you pay attention, you will come through this experience and be a wiser and stronger person throughout the rest of your life. Make sure that you talk to your kids throughout the process and mention some of the lessons you’ve learned. They can similarly take your lessons and apply them to their lives and future relationships.

Always Be Respectful:

When a divorce with children happens, it’s likely that both parents will have custody or visitation rights. This is going to be hard to deal with, but you can’t let your own feelings get in the way of your children’s happiness. Working through the challenges of successfully communicating with an ex is a goal, which you’re probably not going to get right the first time.

Try to maintain a respectful relationship with your former spouse. This not only sets a good example for your kids, it also helps to make the entire ordeal so much easier

These are a few of the basic ways to make sure that you continue to be a good parent both through and after a divorce. Divorce is difficult for both parents and their children, so make sure that you pay attention to your kids and continue to make them a priority throughout the entire process. Divorce can be a positive or negative factor in a child’s life depending on how you react to it. If you treat it as a learning experience, it can help to grow the relationship that you have with your children.

However, it does take time and effort, so make sure that you’re being a mindful parent throughout the entire process to make the transition easy for your children.

A Tampa Collaborative Divorce Can Save You Money

When most people think of divorce, they envision scenes from War of the Roses or Kramer vs. Kramer. Yet more people in Tampa Bay are learning that there is another way, collaborative divorce, which is just a sensible method to resolve private family disputes. However, just as mediation was characterized in the 1980’s and 1990’s as a rich person’s option, many people think that the collaborative process is only for the very wealthy. Not only attorneys, but also a collaborative facilitator and financial professional are retained, so only the very rich can afford the collaborative model, right?

Wrong.

A four year study conducted by the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals found that 87% of female participants and 47% of male participants of collaborative family law cases had an annual income of less than $100,000.

Though the collaborative process may not be the cheapest in all cases, it has a substantial opportunity to save you money as compared to the courtroom battles we have all come to associate with divorce.

First, child issues, such as custody schedules and decision-making authority, are some of the most emotional and costliest issues in family law matters. Lawyers in courtroom cases tend to prepare interrogatories (questions) to be answered under penalty of perjury, set depositions, conduct opposition research to put the other spouse in the worst possible light, and prepare for trial. Attorneys’ invoices pile up along each stage of this process. Alternatively, these fees and costs can be greatly reduced in the collaborative process where facilitators, who usually are licensed mental health professionals, can cut through the clutter of emotionally-charged issues and bring the clients (and lawyers) to focus on the future and best interests of the children.

Similarly, a financial professional (who is usually either an accountant or financial planner) adds cost-saving value to the process. In litigated cases, lawyers prepare “requests for production of documents and things” that demand reams of financial documents which could conceivably be relevant. Searching for those documents cost clients tremendous time and money while, when received, the requesting attorney will spend countless billable hours meticulously combing through the documents. In the collaborative process, on the other hand, the financial professional will only request documents that are necessary to make an informed settlement option. His or her expertise in finances enables the financial professional to review and assess the documents and develop settlement options more quickly (and often times at a lower rate) than attorneys.

Finally, the dirty little secret in family law is that the vast majority of litigation cases eventually settle. However, because having a judge decide on the parties’ personal matters always remains a threat, in traditional courtroom divorce the attorneys will always work on two tracks: (i) attempt to settle the case while (ii) conducting opposition research and preparing for the courtroom battle in case the parties cannot come to an agreement. In the collaborative process, attorneys are retained solely for the purpose of settlement and are contractually barred from taking disputes to be decided in court, and so they are not racking up those billable hours planning to fight it out in court.

Now, back to the question, is collaborative divorce only for the wealthy? Absolutely not, and I would be happy to speak with you and talk more about how the process can help your family.

If you have questions regarding how a Tampa Bay collaborative divorce process can help you, schedule a consultation with attorney Adam B. Cordover at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.

Adam B. Cordover is Vice President of the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay and is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Adam spearheaded the taskforce that drafted the Hillsborough County collaborative family practice administrative order signed by Chief Judge Manuel Menendez.

A Closer Look at Child Support Today

(U. S. Family Law and generally) Child support is an important aspect of the legal system, especially when a couple separates or divorces. After all, it is during these time periods that emotions tend to run extremely high, and that can cause one or both of the parents to shirk their parental responsibilities in lieu of getting a so-called revenge against their former partner or spouse. Therefore, it is necessary for the legal system to impose specific guidelines that determine how much child support must be paid on a monthly basis and which parent is responsible for paying it to ensure that the child’s needs are taken care of.

Abuse of the Child Support System

Unfortunately, not every parent who receives child support utilizes it in an appropriate way. For example, some parents will take the bulk of the money and use it on themselves. When this happens, the child is often left with only the most basic food and a lack of proper clothing and other necessary supplies. Although most parents would never do something like this, it is an issue that some children face, and it is important for the child to receive assistance as soon as possible. In other words, if you are parent who is responsible for paying child support, you need to keep an eye on the situation. If your child is always hungry and wearing old, ill-fitting clothing each time you have visitation, it is a good idea to petition the court to do an assessment of their living situation. This can be especially useful if you desire full custody because improper usage of child support can be construed as the actions of an unfit parent.

Adjusting Child Support

In some cases, it might become necessary to adjust the amount of child support that you are paying. However, the amount that was first set when your divorce was finalized is legally binding. Therefore, it is best to utilize your lawyer in order to file a petition to have the child support amount amended. You will need to have a good reason for your request, however. For example, if your salary has changed dramatically or if you have proof that you ex is not using the money properly, you can ask for a reduction. Unfortunately, not all judges will approve your request. Remember that Riverside County child support laws in California for example, can differ from say child support laws in Dekalb county Georgia. If you use a lawyer, however, your odds of making a strong enough case to receive proper consideration from a judge will be increased.

If you are on the receiving end of the child support and you believe that you are not getting enough money, you can also file a petition with the assistance of a lawyer. Because the child support is based on a formula that considers the amount of children that you have and the annual salary of both you and your ex, you should definitely consider filing a motion if you lose your job or your ex gets a promotion. There is nothing in place that will cause an automatic adjustment to occur if the financial status of one or both of the parents changes, so your only recourse is to ask a judge to increase the child support based on the evidence that you submit.

Regardless of which side of the child support you are on, it is important to do your best to remain civil with your ex. After all, this is not only in the best interests of your children, but it will also help you in front of a judge.

Freelance author Anthony Joseph enjoys writing about the laws that affect children, and contributes this article toward raising awareness on child support issues. The Riverside County child support lawyers from Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, know that these laws can either work for you or against you. They have more than 140 years of combined experience, and know exactly how to provide a successful legal defense.

Managing Life as a Single Parent after Divorce

When a divorced couple has children, life can get very complicated. Each parent is now on their own and suddenly realize all of the small things they did not notice when they had the other parent to back them up. Parents of babies and toddlers are tested by late nights and early mornings, with no one to alternate sleep, feedings, changing, and difficult nights with. Mothers and fathers of school aged children have to handle the morning routine: getting the kids to school, meeting with teachers, and driving the kids to after-school activities, all on their own. Managing life after divorce as a parent is not easy, but life will get back to normal much faster if steps are taken to deal with the challenges, instead of just hoping for a solution.

Struggles of Single Parents

Going through a divorce and living with divorce are very complicated life events which statistics show that many people in this country go through. Below are the two main challenges for single parents:

  • Childcare

This can be tricky one when the other parent doesn’t want to play nice. Developing a set schedule, if at all possible, for visitations will make it a little easier to figure out childcare. After visitation is established, each parent needs to find their own sitters or agree on one childcare or babysitter for both schedules. Both parents should have their own backup in case help bails at the last moment. This will keep the other parent from having to cancel their own plans to watch the children.

  • Finances

If child support or alimony is in play, you could come out a little better or a little worse; this depends on if you are the one receiving it or not. Large house payments and car leases might not have fazed you before, but now that there is one income, it’s likely time to downsize. The best way to downsize is to move into a smaller house with lower rent or mortgage; otherwise, make sure you’re not overdoing it on the spending – credit card bills can drown a single person.

 Coping with Stress

Divorce and death are the two most stressful events for people to deal with in life. Stress can take its toll on the individual and potentially destroy their life. With such a high stress situation, how does a single parent cope? Below are the five best ways to cope with stress during a divorce.

 Manage your weight with diet and exercise

It’s not about vanity or attracting another partner, keeping a steady weight will keep your hormone levels normal.

 Get out and be around the people you used to spend time with

 When you’re married, you tend to push aside others in your life to spend time with your spouse. If you’re dealing with divorce, now is a great time to reconnect with the people you lost touch with. Reconnecting will give you a chance to talk to people about things other than the stressful separation – it also gives you ‘adult’ time away from the kids.

Laugh

 Laughing is a great coping mechanism; when you laugh your body releases serotonin and reduces cortisol levels. Watch a funny movie, go watch a comedian, or just have your kids tell you about their silly perspectives on childhood things.

 Don’t turn to vices such as smoking, drinking or drugs

This one is important for everyone, but most especially for parents. As tempting as it may be to turn to vices to get you through the divorce, do not give in. Smoking, drinking, or using drugs will only make you feel ‘okay’ for a very short while; most of the time, using these substances end up making you feel much worse as soon as they clear your system. More importantly, you don’t want to set that example for emotionally vulnerable children.

Read more about coping with stress on the CDC webpage.

 

Ginarte O’Dwyer Gonzalez Gallardo & Winograd, LLP is a family divorce law firm located in New Jersey/New York. For more information, please visit us at www.Ginarte.com.

Child maintenance payments still in arrears

The collection of outstanding child maintenance payments is still a major problem for families, with more single parents struggling to obtain the necessary support for their children from absentee parents.

Child maintenance arrears

According to recent figures from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), outstanding child maintenance arrears have increased from £3.802 billion in June 2012 to £3.814 billion in September 20121.

The figures also show that:

  • In the quarter to September 2012, the CSA collected or arranged £305.6 million in child maintenance (regular and arrears), of which £28.1 million was arrears.
  • In the year to September 2012, the CSA collected or arranged £1,204.5 million in child maintenance (regular and arrears), of which £113.2 million was arrears.

The Child Support Agency

The DWP took over responsibility for the work of the Child Support Agency (CSA) on 1st August 2012. Before this, the CSA was managed by the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.

As well as changing the child maintenance organisational structure, the Government is also proposing a number of controversial changes to its operation, designed to encourage parents to make their own maintenance arrangements without resorting to a statutory collection scheme.

This new Child Maintenance Service will handle cases where parents cannot make their own arrangements – but it will charge for the service.

As well as a £20 application fee, the parent paying maintenance will pay an additional collection fee of 20% on top of each assessed payment. The parent receiving maintenance will have 7% deducted from each assessed payment.

These proposals have attracted a great deal of criticism, with single parent charity Gingerbread claiming that they will penalise  thousands of families who have no choice but to use the statutory scheme.

Current child maintenance figures

The latest figures from DWP regarding child maintenance also show that, in the quarter ending September 2012:

  • the CSA live and assessed caseload stood at 1.11 million,
  • 80% of all cases in which maintenance was due had either received maintenance via the CSA collection service, or had a maintenance direct arrangement in place,
  • maintenance had been collected or arranged by the CSA via the statutory maintenance service on behalf of 899,400 children,
  • At the end of September 2012, the average maintenance calculation was £23.60 per week (including zero calculations).

About the author

Guest post courtesy of Austin Lafferty, family law solicitors in Glasgow, East Kilbride & Hamilton in Scotland offering expert legal advice to people and businesses. They have particular expertise with adoption and child cases. Contact Austin Lafferty for free initial advice.

Saints Coach Sean Payton in the Process of Getting a Divorce

The most successful coach of New Orleans Saints has filled for divorce from his wife of, Beth Payton, to end a 20-year-old marriage. The time of divorce came when Sean is going through a troubled time of facing a suspension for an entire NFL session over an alleged Bounty program.

Sean filled the divorce petition on June 14, 202, seeking divorce on the ground of discord or conflict of personalities. He has asked for the joint custody of the children and for the division of the property. Beth Payton filed her divorce papers on June 26, 2012. However Beth has asked for solo child custody and exclusive authority over decisions on the medical care of the children. She has also asked the coach to pay towards child support and medical care of the children.

The divorce petition was filled in the Tarrant County district court. However, the divorce papers does not contain the full name of the divorcing parties in order to keep their identities under wrap. The papers describe their identities as two residents of Tarrant County with the initials of Payton (PSP) and his wife (BAP), their marriage date and the birth dates of both of their children.

The decision of divorce came at a time when the Saint’s most successful coach is facing suspension from the 2012 NFL session for an alleged bounty program in which defense players were paid inappropriate cash bonus for causing injuries to the targeted opponents.

Sean Payton is the most successful coaches of the Saints. Prior to Joining Saints, he was working as an assistant coach with Dallas cowboys. Sean joined New Orleans Saint’s football club in 2006 and won a super bowl in his fourth session. He managed the team on its way to win the NFC South Division with a 13-3 record and set various club and NFL records.