Parenting Time: Handle Disputes

Once you have put together a co-parenting plan, it can be difficult when your co-parent doesn’t follow it. In particular, it gets frustrating when their actions impact your parenting time. When these disputes arise, it’s important to know how to settle them. That way, you can get back on track and spend that time with your kids…

Parenting Time: Managing Issues

Find the disconnect

Usually, issues with parenting time are due to miscommunication. Somewhere along the way, you and your co-parent ended up on different pages. However, many times they don’t do this on purpose. Rather, it was just a genuine mistake on their part.

That’s why you should avoid trying to pick a fight with them when this issue starts happening. Instead, try and talk to them about what’s going on. It’s possible that they didn’t realize the mistake due to that miscommunication and can quickly fix it with no drama involved.

Re-evaluate the plan

Your parenting time disputes could also be caused by your co-parenting plan. It might be the case that your plan isn’t working as you had originally hoped. As a result, it’s causing problems with how much time you can get with the kids.

In this case, you’ll both want to take another look at your plan. Now that you have tried it out, you can more clearly see what isn’t working and make changes. It may even be easier to scrap the plan entirely and try out something new which’ll better match your new schedules.

Be flexible

Flexibility is important for any co-parenting plan. It’s also a good way to handle parenting time disputes. Certain unexpected situations can make it harder for your co-parent to fully stick with your plan. However, these may just be temporary setbacks for them until they get things back under control.

Therefore, try and be flexible with them as they get reoriented. So long as it doesn’t become a constant thing, it’s okay for there to be a slight change in your plans. Plus, you doing them a favor now makes it more likely for them to do the same when you need some extra help down the line.

Quarantine Co-Parenting: Surpassing Obstacles

The stay-at-home orders are beginning to relax and people are starting to hit the streets once again. After all, you’ve been stuck inside for quite some time now. It’s only natural to rush back out, especially if you’ve been stuck quarantining with an ex. Maybe you began your divorce process in January and then quarantine left you in limbo. Therefore, you’ve been stuck inside with your ex for quite some time… Then when you add kids to the mix? Quarantine Co-parenting is no joke. Especially when you’re dealing with turmoil of your own.

Quarantine Co-Parenting: How To Adapt

Communicate Effectively

Communication is crucial for any good co-parenting plan. For quarantine co-parenting, it’s especially important. Doing face-to-face meetings may prove to be hard to pull off at this time. In that case, you’ll need to keep in touch about what your plans are.

As a result, you may want to up your communication efforts. Being in constant contact during these times can reduce you and your ex’s concerns about the kids. Aside from simple texts, it can be handy to make daily catch-up calls and use calendar apps to make sure you can stay on the same page.

Be Flexible

Another important part of quarantine co-parenting is flexibility. These are unprecedented times, and as such what worked before may not work right now. For instance, it could be the case you or your ex can’t work, and your kids have to take online classes. Your could even find you need to rework your whole previous schedule.

Therefore, try to be as flexible as you can. Don’t worry about if your visiting time becomes a bit shorter then it usually is. It’s a difficult time for everyone, and you’ll have to make some changes in order to help keep them all safe.

Prepare for the long-term

While these tough times will pass, it’s still good to plan ahead for the long-term. How your quarantine co-parenting goes now can influence how easy it’ll be to return to your “normal” plan. That’s why you don’t want to take any unnecessary risks or let the stress get to you.

Remember to take a step back every now and again to re-focus on your shared goals. You both want what’s best for your kids, especially during these times. If you’re able to work together now, then collaborating after the quarantine will be a whole lot easier as well.

Co-Parenting Events: Keys To Success

When you start to co-parent with your ex, it’s important to remember that you’ll be doing more than just watching the kids every now and then. Things will come up that will inevitably require both of you to be there. In these cases, you will have to learn to manage co-parenting events. These public events can be hard to adjust to, but it’s important you work together to keep the peace…

Co-Parenting Events: Adjusting to Change

Establish roles

When co-parenting events, it helps to establish roles beforehand. In particular, you should determine who is the “on-duty” parent and “off-duty” parent. The on-duty parent is usually the one who was watching the kids before the event began. The off-duty parent, in contrast, is the one who didn’t have the kids and comes on their own.

These roles help prevent you from both trying to compete to parent. Instead, the on-duty one should take the lead, like they would if they were watching the kids at their own home. Meanwhile, the off-duty one should be a bit more relaxed, making sure the kids check in with the on-duty parent if they want permission to do things. Alternating these roles will let you keep things fair.

Respect each other

It’s also important to show respect to each other when co-parenting events. Things might be a little tense or awkward between the both of you, especially if the divorce was recent. Making a public appearance together after splitting can cause you or your partner to get a bit anxious or standoffish. Therefore, you don’t want to make matters worse.

Instead, be respectful of how your ex feels. If they want to talk to you, then they’ll probably make that apparent. However, if they’re a bit more distant, then respect that and don’t try and push them to talk. Doing so can just make them angrier and upset, and put a damper on the event for your kids.

Remember why you’re there

Sometimes, it can be easy to forget why you’re co-parenting events in the first place. Worrying about how your ex is going to act can cause you both to lose sight of the bigger picture. You’re both there to support your kids and show your appreciation for them. As a result, try to use this shared goal to help things go smoothly.

When you and your ex start to get somewhat heated or a disagreement arises, take a step back and think about how you don’t want to ruin things for your kids. Talk things out normally and remember the roles you’ve established for the particular event. This can make it a lot easier to avoid arguments and let your kids have the support they need from both of their parents.

Custody Types: Differences & What To Expect

Child custody is the first thing many think about after the initial thought of divorce. Where will the kids spend the majority of their time? All aspects of divorce can seem overwhelming. The thought of spending birthdays without your children can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s discuss the custody types that are common, so you know which type is best for you and your soon to be ex.

Custody Types: The Differences Between Them

Legal Custody

Different from the rest of the custody types, legal custody allows a parent to make decisions regarding the upbringing of the child. In most states, joint legal custody is granted. Legal custody allows the parent to make decisions about schooling, religious practices, and medical care. If you exclude your ex from any decision making and you have joint custody, it can result in court visits where a judge will enforce the agreement.

Physical Custody

Physical custody grants the right for a child to live with one parent or the other. Joint physical custody happens sometimes, too. Joint physical custody is one of the popular custody types for parents who live close enough to each other. Before granting joint physical custody, a judge will ensure it will not be stressful for the children to go between homes.

Sole Custody

Once widely popular, sole custody is losing its luster in courts around the United States. Sole custody grants either sole physical or sole legal custody to one parent. This happens in the cases of a parent being considered unfit to parent, due to a variety of reasons. As far as custody types go, sole custody is probably the harshest. However, if you have sole custody, your ex may still have visitation rights.

Joint Custody

Also known as shared custody, joint custody allows both parents to share decision-making responsibilities. In addition, both parents are equally responsible for the physical and financial aspects of raising children. In these cases, parents usually work out a schedule that works best for them and for the children. Sometimes, custody types like joint physical custody include alternating periods of time (weeks, months, years, etc.) or spending weekdays with one parent and spending holidays and weekends with the other.

As these are the most common custody types, there may be cases where other agreements or arrangements are made. Also, you should remember that there can be a restriction on custody depending on the fit of the parent. Every case is different, and if you need help or clarification regarding your custody agreement, consult your attorney. We’re always here to help.

Unexpected Divorce: My Spouse is Gay

It happens a lot. During a marriage, sometimes a spouse will reveal that they are interested in other people. Sometimes, however, these other people are of the same gender as they are. For straight couples, this is probably a huge shock. But what does your spouse coming out mean for you and your family? Let’s discuss some common questions and reasons for an unexpected divorce. 

Unexpected Divorce: My Spouse is Gay

Do we stay married?

The choice is up to you. Some may enter this chapter in their relationship with a new understanding of each other. Others may chose an unexpected divorce. Whatever you decide is right for you is the right choice. Coming out doesn’t always lead to an immediate separation. A marriage means a lot of intertwined parts, and a divorce might not be the easiest or best option.

If we stay married, then what?

If you both decide to avoid that unexpected divorce and stay married instead, your spouse may ask for an open relationship. An open relationship requires more communication and honesty. Each open relationship is different; no two look the same. Some of them are completely open. Others are open to particular people. Coming out takes a lot of trust, but so do open relationships. Make sure you and your partner feel comfortable with your relationships at all points.

Not sure about what you want?

Much like the coming out decision that your spouse made, your next move might take time. Choosing an unexpected divorce, especially very quickly, you might not be making the right choice for you. Your emotions are on high-alert. Take time to fully feel through these emotions before making any permanent decisions.

Nothing You Did

No matter what, you cannot change a person’s sexual orientation. If your spouse coming out is a surprise for you, do not feel discouraged. You are valid and perfect as you are. There might be a difficult acceptance period. It might be a good idea for you to seek help or therapy.

Mixed orientation couples are more common than the average person might realize. Coming out happens at all stages of life. For some, that might be after they’ve entered a heterosexual marriage. Also remember that coming out does not mean the couples are out of love. ​​​It also doesn’t mean that you will absolutely be getting that unexpected divorce we discussed. Every marriage is different and you should do what feels right to you. 

Divorcing Parents: Children Considerations

The one question that all divorcing parents will have to think about is “how will this affect my children?” Children, especially younger ones, will struggle to understand the complications of divorce. Meanwhile, the parents will struggle to figure out what’s best for their children. However, it’s definitely possible to get a divorce and have your children grow up happy and healthy, as long as you keep in mind some important considerations.

Divorcing Parents: Children Considerations

The end of a marriage, but not a Family​

One thing that divorcing parents have to keep in mind is that, while their marriage is over, you are still co-parents. Even if things ended on bad terms, you have a responsibility to your children to be good, cooperative parents. You both might see each other as individuals now, but your children will still see you as their parents who they want there at birthdays, sports games, holidays, etc.

You shouldn’t neglect your child’s well being merely because things went south in your marriage. Typically, as a married family, we see marriage and family as one in the same. However, being married, and being parents, are two separate entities.

Don’t Play Tug-Of-War

Children can feel uncomfortable during a divorce, especially when the topic of custody comes up. They might feel like they have to “pick a side” and this can turn into resentment down the line. That’s why it’s generally recommended that divorcing parents work out a shared custody agreement. Choosing shared custody will allow your child to spend time with both you and your ex, giving them a balanced parental relationship.

However, it’s also important to make sure you and your ex can be flexible and work together rather than against each other.Try to be flexible about schedule changes; you wouldn’t want to give your children the impression that they’re “unwanted”. Also, don’t badmouth your ex when you’re around your children. This is unfair to your children and gives them a skewed perception of someone they look up to.

Use Professional Resources

If you and your ex are worried about your children, then it might be worth it to consider professional help. A family therapist, or counselor, can provide you with tips in terms of how to best help your children understand this difficult time. They can also help your children understand and explain to you what they’re feeling as well. The better you understand what your children feel, the better equipped you’ll be to help them.

During this time of divorce, it’s crucial that your kids don’t feel like you’re leaving them too. Showing them support and affection can help them adjust to the new way things will be. You and your ex will both want whats best for them, so its important to work towards that together.