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Winston-Salem North Carolina Family Law Blog

Tips for helping your children adjust to life after your divorce

Learning that your parents are divorcing is an adverse event in a child's life. Once they hear the news, they will start to think about the future. They want to know how this is going to affect them. For some, the scariest thing to think about is how they are going to transition from one home to the other.

There are several ways that parents can help their children to cope with this significant life change. Trying to make things easier on them at each step is beneficial, but you also have to ensure they know how to handle challenging situations that they can't change.

Legal custody will impact religious choices for your children

There are so many issues to worry about during your divorce that you may overlook some of the most profound and lasting impacts of the process. Focusing too much on one area could result in less-than-ideal court outcomes.

Custody is a perfect example. Many parents become fixated on physical custody of their children. Physical custody involves whom the children stay with at any given time and influences who has to pay child support and how much they pay.

Co-parenting tips: Put your children first

You never wanted to get divorced, but you couldn't talk your spouse out of it. Marriage counseling didn't help. Talking to friends and family members didn't save the marriage. Eventually, your spouse filed for divorce and you had no choice but to watch your marriage come to an end.

Quickly, you made up your mind: You wanted to put your kids first. You may not have had any options left to save the marriage, but that did not have to define their lives, too. You wanted to work hard to prioritize them at every turn.

Your parenting time deserves protection

In co-parenting, the time that each parent spends with their child is important to protect, both for the parents and for the child. For many parents, this time is one of the most precious things that they have. When the other parent steals that time or undermines the parent-child relationship, the losses are very real.

Parents who obstruct another parent's time with their child may ultimately face legal consequences, which is often the only way that a parent behaving badly will see how serious these actions are. If you believe that your child's other parent violates your rights to time with your child, a strong legal strategy can help you keep these rights secure.

Are you prepared to talk to your children about a divorce?

If you and your spouse have decided to split up, it may be difficult to figure out where to start with this process in North Carolina. Making this decision, finding legal representation and preparing to tell loved ones are important elements to take on first, so consider the most important audience for this news: the children.

News of their parents' divorce is likely to have immediate and lasting impacts on any children shared from the marriage. Consider their wellbeing when deciding how to break this news. How will they react? Are you prepared to answer their questions? How do you even begin this conversation with them? Here are a few tips as you prepare for this talk.

Refusing the shame behind divorce and moving forward in healing

Is it shameful to admit when things didn't work out the way you imagined? It may be easy for someone on the outside to judge your divorce from an external position. Even you yourself can fall into a pit of shame and emotional suffering when you feel you let yourself down. However, marriages are never a guarantee, they are a leap of faith, hope and love. We leap towards something, and in the end, it can result in you and your ex-spouse going your separate ways and that's okay.

There is enough turmoil surrounding a separation and divorce to become suffocated with the shame of it. You can grieve the death of a relationship, and it is healthy to do so. But remember to let go of the shame that wants to latch onto you and harass you away from social circles and into a den of depression.

It's time to start thinking about a summer visitation schedule

The rapid approach of summer signals a shift in visitation schedules. For kids summer means a transition to outdoor fun and games instead of the stifling routines of the school year. But for parents the warmer months represent a visitation scheduling challenge. Planning scheduled summer visitation and trips in advance alleviates the stress of the unknown.

Review the custody agreement

Animal rights: When laws change in one state, others follow

As soon as the clock struck midnight on the first, new laws went into action. In Illinois, one such law now addresses what happens to pets during divorces. They're now being treated more like children than property, which means that people can ask for joint or partial custody in certain cases. While people with service animals will likely retain their rights to the pet after a divorce, those with companion animals have more options now than in the past.

While you're not living in Illinois, this change is something that you might be able to use to your advantage. Using other states' laws isn't necessarily going to work outright, but it may help you negotiate for the custody of a favored pet.

3 tips for explaining shared custody to children

Getting a divorce isn't easy for anyone, but it's particularly difficult for children. They may not understand what having custody means or may be confused as to who will take care of them and when. To help your children, it's a good idea to talk to them about custody and what it means for their futures as soon as possible.

How can you explain custody to your children? Here are three tips to help.

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