Category Archives: Co-Parenting

13 Tips for Talking with Your Children About Your Separation and Divorce

Mother consoles young daughter

by Carol R. Hughes, Ph.D., LMFT
www.DivorcePeacemaking.com

The following tips will help you prepare to talk with your children about your separation and divorce. You care about doing the best you can for your children because you are reading this article. Give yourself permission not to be perfect. No one is. This is a stressful time for all of you. Remember to keep taking slow, deep breaths — you and your children will get through this difficult time.

  1. Agree on a time when you both can be present to talk with your children together. Siblings need the support they can provide each other. Divorce is a major life crisis for all family members. Treat it as such. Ideally, it is best to share the news with your children when they have adequate time to absorb what you will be telling them, for example, when they do not have to go back to school in a day or two after hearing the news.
  2. Plan your presentation to your children in advance. Make some notes about what you plan to say and review them to be familiar with what you intend to say. Anticipate what they may say to you. You can
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Five Important Financial Issues in Military Divorce

Military mother with a child on lap making notes

By Kristine Rushing, CFP®, CDFA®

Intro: There are many considerations in divorce, but those experiencing military divorce have some additional things to think about. Here are five issues military spouses should be aware of. 

 

Along with cooler weather and thoughts of Thanksgiving, November also brings Veterans Day, providing an opportunity to honor and thank those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. For many, that service has required personal sacrifices, from family challenges to the ultimate sacrifice. Whether during war or peacetime, events such as frequent moves, multiple deployments, isolation, stress of war, injuries, and returns to civilian life can all cause stress and anxiety for service members, spouses and their children. While the military branches offer programs to support relationships, divorce becomes a reality for many. Like their civilian counterparts, military spouses will need to determine a co-parenting plan, asset and debt division, and child/spousal support. However, those experiencing a military divorce need to be aware of some special rules.

 

1. Jurisdiction and State Law

Generally speaking, a spouse may file for divorce in the state where either spouse legally resides, with minimum residency requirements. However, the laws and treatment of property varies from state … Read More “Five Important Financial Issues in Military Divorce”

Out of every ending, there is a new beginning

Out of Every Ending

Intro: The sixth phase of grief for couples and families after divorce bring meaning and renewal.

By Hiram Rivera-Toro & Karen Shipley

Entering autumn is a time of goodbyes.  Of saying farewell to summer and all the special memories the season brings:  family get togethers, backyard Bar B Q’s, beach outings, and long road trips.  September 22, 2020, however, marks the passage of a summer that never was:  cancelled proms and graduation ceremonies, June weddings rescheduled, and sheltering at home instead of hanging out.  COVID has rendered our lives unrecognizable as we come to realize there’s no going back to the way it was.  The past is lost, and the future is uncertain.

Parents facing divorce is much like facing Autumn in the time of COVID.  It produces “anticipatory anxiety”, that feeling of dread that accompanies unwelcome change.  It is part of a painful divorce experience that, in many ways resembles the type of grief associated with tremendous trauma and loss.  Professionals trained in the behavioral sciences identify this as the Grief Cycle (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, MD),  which include five distinct emotions and thoughts: denial, anger, depression, bargaining (often experienced as wishful thinking, what if’s, and “only If I had . … Read More “Out of every ending, there is a new beginning”

Dealing with the Fear in a Divorce

Fear in Divorce

By Bart Carey | Originally posted on https://familypeacemaker.com/fear-dealing-with-divorce/

All of the emotions that we see during the course of the breakdown of a marriage and the divorce process boil down to fear. I do not say that from my own expertise but from what I have heard over and over again from my colleagues in the mental health profession.

The first victim of any marriage that is going south is communication. As communication breaks down, people cannot solve problems together anymore. So, what they do is out of frustration and they start taking unilateral action.  However, because we are in a relationship, what you do affects me.  This is when the fear sets in. You lose control and you do not know what’s going to happen next and you don’t understand why your spouse is doing this to you.

This is when the fears arise and what it leads to is a tit for tat situation. It leads doing something that will make me feel like I am back in control of the situation. This back and forth starts to happen and it evolves. All of this happens before the client comes to us in the family law arena. This … Read More “Dealing with the Fear in a Divorce”

Co-parenting during the Pandemic Brings Danger and Opportunity

Co-parenting During Pandemic

By Carol Hughes | Originally posted on www.collaborativedivorcecalifornia.com

Separation and divorce are crises for families.  The COVID-19 pandemic adds another layer of crisis on co-parents and their children, who are already stressed.  The virus is endangering lives world-wide.  In record numbers, people are losing their jobs, their income, and their familial and social connections.

Those who still have their jobs are balancing working virtually from home, taking care of their non-school age children, helping their other children with online schooling, and worrying about the health and safety of their family, extended families, and friends.

If you and your co-parent have had a productive co-parenting relationship before the pandemic, you may be able to see an opportunity to work together and support each other and your children more than you have before.  Bruce Fredenburg, one of my colleagues, says that the children are the real wealth of the family.  With this in mind, you can become a more united team to preserve that wealth and ensure your children’s emotional and physical well-being.

A healthy co-parenting relationship is vital to your children’s physical and emotional health.

If you and your co-parent have a strained relationship, this time of crisis can exacerbate the … Read More “Co-parenting during the Pandemic Brings Danger and Opportunity”

Tips and Resources for California Co-parents during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Co-parenting Tips COVID-19

A recommended article written by Carol R. Hughes, Ph.D., LMFT, Child Specialist and Divorce Coach

The spread of the COVID-19 virus and the subsequent government shelter-at-home orders have upended “life as normal” for California co-parents and their families.  Now more than ever is the time for co-parents to work together, support each other, and model effective problem-solving for their children.

Click the link below for tips and resources:

https://www.ourfamilywizard.com/knowledge-center/regional-resources/united-states/california/co-parenting-california-covid-19

Mom and Dad, Here’s What I Need During Your Divorce

…no, she’s mine…

by Jann Glasser, Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Coach/Psychotherapist, Collaborative Coach

For children, divorce can be stressful, sad, and confusing. At any age, kids may feel uncertain or angry at the idea of their parents splitting up.

As a parent, you can make the process and its effects less painful for your children. Helping your kids cope with divorce means providing stability at home and attending to your children’s needs with a reassuring, positive attitude. It won’t be easy, but these tips can help your children cope.

A Child’s Wish List During Their Parents’ Divorce

  • I need both of you to stay involved in my life. Please communicate with me. Make phone calls, send texts and ask me lots of questions, but respect my right not to answer all the time. When you don’t stay involved, I feel like I’m not important and that you don’t really love me.
  • Please stop fighting and try hard to get along with each other. Try to agree on things that have to do with me. When you fight about me, I think that I did something wrong and I feel guilty.
  • I love you both and want to
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The Honey Experiment: Can It Help Your Co-parenting Relationship?

Sweetening your interactions can improve your co-parenting relationship. Scott Bauer, USDA ARS/Wikimedia, Creative Commons license

by Suanne I. Honey, Certified Family Law Specialist, Law Offices of Suanne I. Honey

Let me start this blog by letting you know I am a family-law attorney who, unfortunately, still litigates cases. I prefer the Collaborative Process for many reasons. This means I work with couples who at times can be very angry with each other.

This post, however, has to do with attitudes. A recent Facebook post keeps popping up frequently about a teacher of mentally challenged students. He started each school day telling each student compliments specific to that student. There were both expected and unexpected results with her experiment. Most impressive, the students began giving each other compliments and their academic grades improved.

Being a strong believer in the concept of positive energy spreading just as quickly as negative energy, I decided to start my own experiment. A few months ago I started asking my clients who are engaged in a high-conflict relationship with the other parent to give the other parent a compliment. Daily seems too often and rings of insincerity and ulterior motives. I requested once a week or if that was too onerous, once a month.

There is an old saying that you … Read More “The Honey Experiment: Can It Help Your Co-parenting Relationship?”

Children Must Be Heard and Not Seen During a Divorce: The Advantages of the Child Specialist

Divorce is especially hard on minor children. As a parent, help them manage their emotions and don't rely on them to manage yours.Divorce is especially hard on minor children. Help them manage their emotions. A Child Specialist can guide you and prevent long term psychological trauma.

by Bart Carey, Family Law Attorney
Law Office of Bart J. Carey, Mediation and Collaborative Family Law

Divorce is a different experience for children and adults because the children lose something that is fundamental to their development – the family structure. The family comprises the scaffolding upon which children mount successive developmental stages, from infancy into adolescence.” — “Second Chances: Men Women and Children a Decade After Divorce

How many times have you taken your child through a divorce? Helped your child navigate an emotional and transitory life experience that is difficult and opaque for you? Successfully rebuilt the family structure in ways that support your child? And all at a time when you and your spouse are not on the same page.

When it comes to helping your child through a divorce, consider turning to a child specialist to get the best advice and counsel based on the advantages of their specialized education, training and experience.

Here are nine reasons why you should have a child specialist assist you through your divorce process:

  1. It’s not therapy. No one is going to mess with your child. The child specialist’s role is to listen to you and
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