February 2014 Archives

What a Child Wants

A child whose parents are divorcing may feel as if he needs his own lawyer-someone to articulate his feelings of confusion and sadness, someone to make his parents aware of what he needs to grow into a healthy, well-adjusted adult. While minor's counsel may be appropriate in certain situations, their job is to represent the children's best interests to the court, not the best interests of the parents. Therefore, parents must take it upon themselves to understand their children's fears and wishes and then be prepared to address them in a compassionate and child-focused manner.

The Truth Will Set You Free: Should I Be Honest With My Divorce Lawyer?

The average person going through a divorce is not a lawyer.  He or she does not have years of experience practicing law or a sophisticated knowledge of the legal system.  Instead, most parties to a divorce are largely detached from the world of law. This typically means that they will need assistance with their divorce.  After all, it is difficult to negotiate a good settlement if you do not know what your rights and responsibilities are under the law. By working with an experienced family law attorney, it is possible to navigate the legal system effectively. The question sometimes arises, however, when faced with turning over the reins to one's life in the midst of a divorce, "should I be honest with my lawyer?" 

Telling Your Children about Infidelity?

Infidelity is a complex issue for all parties involved.  Those who have had an affair must decide whether to continue the outside relationship or end it entirely. The situation is similarly complex between married spouses. When infidelity is discovered, spouses must determine how they will move forward and if the marriage can survive.These situations are tough, and they are often eclipsed by an even greater concern: the children. It is not unusual for divorcing spouses to ask "when and how should we tell our children about the infidelity?" In this author's opinion, the short answer is "never." The intimate and private dealings of a child's parents are, quite frankly, none of their childrens' business. Many children lack the maturity to even understand what infidelity means, let alone the intellectual and emotional framework within which to process that kind of information, especially regarding their own parents. 

Class in Session: Returning to School after a Divorce

After divorce, former spouses need to reassess their lives. Marriage has not worked and it is now time to build new, separate lives. In the process of starting over, divorcees often reexamine their careers as well. Women, for example, who have passed up careers to raise children and be home-makers, may be compelled to enter or reenter the workforce.Similarly, men who have held jobs they found unsatisfying solely to support their families may decide to pursue new careers that better match their interests. In either case, going back to school is often the first step toward a new career. Divorcees may gain the skills required for new employment by attending a community college, four-year University, or a vocational program. 

Focus on the Family: Can We Co-parent After a Divorce?

"I hear people talking about 'co-parenting' with my ex all this time, and I have to ask 'is co-parenting with my ex even possible?'" We hear this question often as family law practitioners, and thankfully the answer is generally a simple on: "yes." The best way to help children move on from a divorce is through co-parenting. Co-parenting allows both parents to guide the child's development, as would be the case in an intact family. The primary difference being that in a co-parenting situation the child lives in two houses, with both parents spending meaningful time raising the child. For co-parenting to work, divorced spouses must be cooperative toward each other. Ex-spouses who are parents need to drop whatever bitterness, anger and hostility they took into the divorce and focus on the future and in doing what is best for their child. This is easier said than done, but a few strategies may help to make it more manageable. 

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