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Children – The True Victim Of Divorce

The family is the basic unit of society and every care should be taken to preserve it by the state, church and the family itself. However, if counseling and reconciliation cannot solve the conflict within the family, divorce maybe seen as the best solution. To couples with kids however the situation is much more complex as compared to childless couples.

Divorce can be devastating to the children and may leave a long-lasting scar that may affect their being useful citizens of the community. During the divorce process, the offspring’s will go through emotional conflicts. Anger is prevalent. Anger at the present condition, anger towards their parents, themselves and some may feel that they are to at fault for the separation.

Feelings of sadness, misery and loss are felt because there will be changes in where they will live. They will lose the other parent, their friends, their school, people and circumstances that stabilize their daily lives. They will feel rejection. Studies have shown that boys and girls are affected differently and respond in various manners.

Boys are more rowdy because they have to show and act out their inner feelings. They go on fights, they are defiant. They cause disturbances and would not be still even for a short period of time. They are the ones who will turn to drugs and alcohol. They girls on the other hand suffer inwardly and become introverts.

They are apprehensive and miserable. Thus they turn to untimely relationships or sexual promiscuity that may lead to early pregnancy or early marriage. Thus if not guided accordingly these children tend to stop school and will waste themselves into substance abuse. They will become citizens with emotional and mental illnesses, criminals or discards of society.

To save the children, the parents should have the obligation to guide their children through the divorce process and for a period after that until their emotional conflicts have been resolved. They should subdue their own emotion turmoil and together try to show the same affection and devotion for the children.

Explain to the kids to make them understand why the parents have to go on their separate ways. They have to be assured that they are in secured hands despite the changes in the family set-up. During the divorce proceedings, the couple should be civil with each other because this will also have a bearing in alleviating the negative feelings of the children.

It will slowly enfold in their understanding that they are undergoing a process and a change but they will still have their both parents. After the divorce has been finalized, visitation of non-custodial parent should be encouraged and made a positive experience to everyone. The children can then accept the situation gradually and will cope with the changes in their lives.

On the other hand, the non-custodial parent is also encouraged to have a hand in the affairs of the child and will be a constant partner in guiding the growth of the children. Divorce however does not generally leave negative reaction from children. In families where there are constant conflicts, physical and verbal abuse, the children themselves will welcome the situation that their parents will be separating.

They will be relieved by the daily stress and problems undergone by their parents. It is the children of the families that are not at odds or fight with each other that are mostly overwhelmed by the situation.

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Tips on Getting Kids Through Divorce

Realize Your Ex Loves The Children Too Some parents when getting divorced get very possessive of their children. They prevent the other parent from seeing the children, talking on the phone with the children and emailing the children. This is NOT beneficial to the children. If you love your children, you need to think of their needs ahead of your own anger. The kids will benefit from being actively communicating with their other parent. This creates a feeling of normalcy and lessens the feelings of loss they may be experiencing. If you prohibit your kids to communicate (or aggravate) with your ex, this will not only be painful for your children, but will also create a hostile and angry relationship with your ex. This hostility will benefit no one.

If you are the Custodial Parent – YOU choose the Tone In so many ways, if you are the custodial parent, you chose the tone of how everyone’s life will be after the divorce. You can CHOOSE to either be bitter, or move on, gather support and help, and try to make a good life for you and your kids. Instead of sending the kids to visitation with only the ratty clothes on their backs, pack a suitcase for your kids, or send a bag of clothes to the ex. This cooperation will go a long way. Instead of not informing the other parent of school activities, and extra-curricular, take the extra 5-10 minutes a week and inform him/her. This will be best for your kids. Your kids will have both parents involved and they will be happy. Swallow your own pride, make an effort, and it will pay off for your children’s future.

If you are the Non-Custodial Parent – Make the Extra Effort to Be There If you are the non-custodial parent, it’s extra important you make the effort to be there for your kids. Make sure you make their parent teacher conferences, coach their soccer team, do whatever you can to be there for your kids. Make your home cozy so it doesn’t feel like the kids are visiting. Decorate their room, have some extra clothes and comfy pj’s, keep a routine. Discipline shouldn’t be non-existant because you see the kids less frequently. This will not help your kids be good people in the future. They need structure at both homes.

Effectively Co-Parent The importance of effectively co-parenting in a divorce situation can’t be underestimated. This is one of the most important things you can do. If you speak with your ex about problems that arise, you can work out solutions and be a united front. Just because you are no longer united in marriage, does not mean you cannot be united in raising your kids together.

Take a Breather the Year After Divorce The first year after divorce there are a lot of changes and emotions for kids and parents alike. This is a good time to take care of yourselves. Cut down or cut OUT extracurricular activities temporarily. Take time to snuggle with the kids and talk to them and how they feel. This is a very difficult time for everyone, but you can get through it and most importantly, with a little extra effort and consideration for everyone involved, the kids will flourish. Take care of yourself and think of the kids first.

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Children Missing Contact with Both Biological Parents at Risk

(PRWEB) June 12, 2005

Children that are deprived of frequent contact with both their mother and their father have a greater risk of drug abuse, dropping out of school, teenage pregnancy, and many other behavioral and emotional problems. Children whose parents are divorced are at the greatest risk because court ordered visitation does not provide enough contact with the non-custodial parent to reduce the risk of deviant behavior.

The American Psychological Association (APA) references a meta-analysis of 33 studies involving 2660 families performed by psychologist Dr. Robert Bauserman of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in Baltimore. The results indicated that ”children need to spend substantial time with both parents, especially their fathers.” Bauserman goes on to add that children from divorced families who have continued, ongoing contact with both parents have less behavioral and emotional problems, had higher self-esteem, better family relations and school performance, and were as well-adjusted as children from intact families.

Results of a study to determine the importance of biological parentÂÂ’s contact with their children was conducted by the University of Bristol and published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. The results of the study indicated a direct link between contact with the childÂÂ’s biological parent and behavioral problems. According to the study, more frequent contact with a childÂÂ’s biological father after divorce led to fewer adjustment disorders. Having a step-parent did not reduce the risk, meaning that a childÂÂ’s contact with their natural parent is extremely important in the childÂÂ’s psychological and emotional development.

Other researchers have had similar findings. K. Alison Clarke-Stewart and Craig Hayward published their findings in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. In their article the researchers explain, ”that children–especially daughters–benefit considerably when the parent they are not living with nevertheless does everyday things with the child, from ‘shopping, reading, visiting, doing homework, watching TV together,’ to ‘spending holidays together.’ The authors conclude that, for a school-age daughter, this ‘doing everyday-type things together’ with the parent she is not living with is the only predictor of psychological well-being.” Step parents cannot replace the childÂÂ’s natural parents, and that relationship should never be offered as a substitution for the loving relationship between a child and their biological parent.

There is concern among some psychological professionals that forcing parents who have been through a contentious divorce to share custody could result in disaster. Indeed, many parents are so focused on their own emotional needs during and after divorce that the emotional needs of the child are neglected all together. The potential for one parent to abuse the emotions of a child and use the children against the other parent in these high conflict divorce cases is high. Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a syndrome that is induced by a bitter ex spouse in a divorce or post divorce situation. Instead of encouraging a child to continue their loving relationship with the non-custodial parent and reducing the stress of separation an alienating parent attempts to stress the parent-child relationship to the point of destruction. By manipulating the child during this very insecure time to believe the problems that have led to divorce are all the fault of the other parent and instilling the fear that the other parent will not love the child anymore an alienating parent can break the parent-child bond. Once the child begins to believe the alienating parent and starts to show anger and resentment towards the non-custodial parent the child is said to have PAS. Alienation can be as devastating to a childÂÂ’s emotional health and well-being as death, and it is very hard to reverse. More information on PAS and alienation can be found at http://www.helpstoppas.com.

While this is a valid concern, studies have shown that parents who are allowed liberal visitation situations with their children after divorce report less conflict and fewer return trips to court. Parents learn to cooperate and share responsibility while meeting the emotional needs of their children. Studies have also shown that counties that have changed from a joint custody arrangement that gives the non custodial parent weekend visitation to a shared parenting arrangement with time spent equally between parents have decreased their rate of divorce. Certainly parents who have been shown to be unfit or who have a history of abuse should not be allowed this kind of liberal visitation as it would not be in the best interest of the child. However, parents and children who have enjoyed a loving relationship with each other prior to divorce should and must be allowed to continue that relationship even if the parentÂÂ’s marriage has failed.

Children have an emotional need for contact with their biological parents, and that need is being neglected by divorced parents and family courts. When research clearly shows the negative effects of reducing one parent to a visitor while burdening the other parent with the sole responsibility of the day to day care of the children why are we still allowing these situations to manifest? It is time for parents to realize that the future of their children depends on receiving the love and support they need from both their mother and father.

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http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/06/prweb250071.htm

Why Parenting Classes should be Mandatory for Divorcing Parents

Divorce is a sad and all too frequent occurrence nowadays.  It is destressing to witness the breakup of a previously loving relationship.   As anxiety-provoking as the breakup of a marriage might be to the two principle parties, when there are children involved the stress can be significantly compounded.

Two individuals cannot simply disolve their union and go their separate ways when there are children to consider.   Their parental roles keep them bound to one another.  Open lines of communication are necessary in order to facilitate custody decisions, visitation rights and myriad other considerations on behalf of their mutual offspring.

While it is true that the courts can intervene when parents do not see eye to eye, how  much better it would be if the two people who know the children better than anyone else could find a way to put their own grievances aside and focus on what is in the best interest of their children.

Mandatory parenting classes as a component of the entire divorce proceeding might be a viable solution.  Raising parents’ awareness of how their discord might potentially affect their children in negative ways, and teaching the parents how to effectively communicate on the subject of their children in spite of their own differences, might make a positive difference in the  lives of some children who are the product of divorce.      

Parenting classes for divorcing parents might include:

Awareness and reality segment

Divorce has a major impact on family dynamics.  Parents need to learn new ways to relate to one another and to their children going forward.  Issues that were not previously thought about are now priority considerations.  The agenda for the class might include a refresher course on the fragility of children’s emotions, potential reactions of various types of children and the responsibilities of both the custodial and non-custodial parent.  Putting the children first should be the underlying lesson for parents.

Custodial parent protocol segment

A discussion of responsible protocol for the custodial parent would benefit both parents, in the event custody rotates or is shared.  The hardships of single parenting and where the non-custodial parent fits into the picture could be discussed.

Non-custodial parent protocol segment

Both parents should have raised awareness of the difficulties endured by the non-custodial parent, who has the additional stress of being deprived of daily interaction with his/her children.  This segment could also include visitation scheduling, provision for sharing unforseen financial needs of the children that are above and beyond the divorce settlement, and any potential extenuating circumstances, such as illness befalling either parent or the children.

Aligning parenting styles segment

This class might discuss the different parenting styles, how each potentially impacts children and techniques for working together amicably to preserve the children’s self-esteem and feelings of self-worth.

Madatory parenting classes would force the parents to focus on the larger picture of the welfare of the entire family.  Objective classroom  discussions might help to eliminate the possibility of one parent discounting the other’s ideas and opinions without first hearing them out. 

These are just a few of the potential possitive effects of having mandatory parenting classes inculcated into divorce proceedings.

Any efforts to ensure children do not become tragic casualties in the battleground of divorce would be a positive move.

 

http://www.helium.com/items/1916644-why-parenting-classes-should-be-mandatory-for-divorcing-parents

A List of Non-Custodial Parent Expenses

Figuring out non-custodial expenses is an important part of being a divorced or separated parent. The custodial parent often has a legal right to financial help from the non-custodial parent. Use this list to try to come to a reasonable agreement on expenses.

Both parents are responsible for the care and well being of their child, and there are some non-custodial expenses that a parent who does not have custody must pay for. Some parents are able to work out expenses on their own without a court intervention, and that’s the best recourse. State laws vary on the percentage that the non-custodial parent must pay, and it may also depend on the type of cost. Here’s a list of expenses to address when you’re working out an agreement with the non-custodial parent, or if you want to know what to expect from court proceedings.

1 – Food

Non-custodial expenses include the costs of food and beverages. The non-custodial parent has to share the costs of paying for groceries, including snacks, and at the standard the child is used to as long as the costs are reasonable. For example, if the child was raised on organic foods, then it would be reasonable to pay for that even though it costs more than non-organic foods.

2 – Shelter

A portion of the expenses associated with the dwelling place of the custodial parent has to be paid for by the non-custodial parent for sheltering the child. The expenses include utility costs, such as heat and electricity.

3 – Clothing

Paying for clothing can sometimes be a contentious issue between parents who are divorced or separated, because the non-custodial parent finds that the costs are unreasonable. It is a part of the non-custodial expenses that has to be paid for, such as winter coats and shoes. The problem often arises when one parent wants to pay for high end clothing, and the other does not.

4 – Medical Expenses

The non-custodial parent has to share the costs of medical expenses that are not covered by insurance. These can include deductibles and co-pays as well as medical treatments that are uninsured. There are also basic medical needs, such as getting a new pair of eyeglasses, that the non-custodial parent has to help pay for.

5 – Fees for Education

Whether the child is homeschooled, attends a private school, or is in public school, there are always costs associated with education that need to be addressed. The non-custodial parent must share in those costs, whether they are for purchasing curriculum or field trips in the case of a child who is homeschooled, or uniforms and books in the case of a child attending a private school. Some states also require the non-custodial parent to share the costs of paying for higher education if the child is a minor, and a few states require payment even if the child is no longer a minor.

6 – Extracurricular Activities

A parent can also expect to pay for extracurricular activities that are not related to educational fees. Some examples are piano lessons, horseback riding lessons, participation in sports leagues, and monthly club dues. Camps are also included in fees for extracurricular activities, such as summer and winter camps.

7 – Travel Costs

Another major area of contention between parents is travel costs. The non-custodial parent has to share in the costs of the child’s travel that are associated with visitation. There are also costs associated with everyday transportation, which may require the non-custodial parent to pay for the custodial parent’s car maintenance and other car related expenses.

Non-custodial expenses change as circumstances change, which will require parents to make adjustments to their agreements. The key is being open and honest about the financial needs of the child, and if you need to, consider the help of a mediator to reach an agreement.

Image Credit: Harrison Keely

References:

Divorcenet.com: Additional Child Support of Extraordinary Expenses

Mass.gov: Child Support Guidelines

http://www.brighthub.com/money/personal-finance/articles/96374.aspx

A System Broken, A Child Forgotten

Studies have shown that the visitation schedule set for noncustodial parents, as outlined in the Standard Possession Order, has produced a negative effect on the behavioral development of our children. Children who already are experiencing the conflicting and confused emotions inherent with divorce must now deal with one parent, predominantly the father, being reduced to a visitor in the child’s life. Though the typical noncustodial visitation schedule consisting of the first, third, and fifth weekends of the month has been determined by the court as being “in the best interest of the child,” it has produced many negative effects: higher rates of teenage pregnancy, drug use, and other behavioral problems (Hughes). The noncustodial visitation, as outlined in the Standard Possession Order, has proved ineffective and not in “the best interest of the child.” Implementing and enforcing a system that acknowledges the need for frequent contact with both the father and mother would ease some of the trauma experienced by children of divorce.

More than thirty years ago, Margaret Mead stated in a lecture to the Childrens Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that “Children should not have to lose a parent because of divorce,” yet courts in America operate on a “win/loss principle” (Levy). While most states have removed gender designation from their statutes to be more gender-neutral, there still remains a preference to choose the mother as the custodial parent. A report to the U. S. Commission on Children and Family Welfare shows that mothers received sole custody in 72 percent of the cases, while fathers received sole custody in only 9 percent (Cathcart).

The initial custody challenge during the divorce decree, as any attorney will advise, is by far the most important. However, most often the Standard Possession Order goes unchallenged for a variety of reasons. Divorces involving children are expensive, and many fathers are not financially prepared to challenge custody. Others, such as military fathers, may not be geographically located to file for shared custody since it involves both parents living within the same school district. Some fathers simply do not know they have a choice.

After the court establishes visitation rights, the real struggle often begins. The custodial parent may set boundaries that are in clear defiance of the original court order. If the custodial parent does not want the other parent to see the child, he/she simply withholds visitations. In order to regain visitations, the noncustodial parent has the choice to either spend thousands of dollars in litigation or tolerate the behavior. If the choice is litigation, the matter is brought before the court, and the family court usually will do little to the custodial parent other than ordering that visitations be restored. Another quite common tactic used by custodial parents is to make false accusations to the court or child protective services. A 1990 study conducted by Wakefield and Underwager noted that “false accusations have become a serious problem in vindictive and angry divorce and custody battles.” In the 21 years since, the problem has only escalated. False accusations have become common because they are an effective method to quickly end visitations and force the noncustodial parent to spend tens of thousands of dollars to defend against them. Even when the accusations are found to be unsubstantiated, again, little or nothing will be done to the parent.

Family courts do not prosecute false allegations and, in fact, attorneys may advise keeping the accusations vague so as not to involve any investigative agency. Family court judges can order the accuser to jail for contempt of court, which is used to incarcerate parents who fail to pay child support, but judges are reluctant to do so regarding accusations or withholding visitations, and have done so in only a handful of “extreme” cases. In 2010, a Nassau County (New York) Supreme Court justice did sentence a mother to spend several weekends in jail on contempt of court charges for “attempting to alienate her daughters from their father”; however, the mother had repeatedly made false accusations of molestation to child protective services and the father spent more than a hundred thousand dollars in litigation (Crowley). Since false allegations are so effective and often go unpunished, there is no deterrent. Even after the accusations are proven false and visitations restored, the accuser is still victorious knowing that she/he has left the accused financially and emotionally drained.

It seems that noncustodial parents have fought, are currently fighting, or will be fighting against a common enemy – the system currently in place. After each battle, all that seems to have been accomplished is spending thousands of dollars in litigation to enforce a visitation right previously established by the court, or defending against false accusations. The noncustodial parent is incurring the financial burden to enforce the right to be involved in the life of the child, as well as the cost of medical and dental expenses, and child support. If the noncustodial parent were to withhold child support payments, he/she could be sentenced to county jail for up to six-months.

When a child is denied access to a parent, the child suffers the emotional pain associated with the loss of the parent. Since this emotional pain was brought on purposely by a parent who is withholding visitations or visitations are withheld as a result of false accusations, this makes it is psychological child abuse. The problem lies within a court system that defines “in the best interest of the child,” but seldom deals directly with the child. The child has become an industry with an array of professionals: attorneys, psychologist, therapist, parent coordinators, and forensic investigators, all of whom profit from a parent manipulating the system. While it is necessary for the forensic investigators and psychologists to determine if the allegations are true, if proven false, the accuser needs to be held accountable. False allegations need to be punished, not ignored. The same should apply in regard to withholding visitations. Once parents begin to pay fines or serve time in a county jail, the motivation to make false accusations or withhold visitations will diminish. The child has the right to be involved with both parents and should not be used as a tool to avenge a failed marriage by a “vindictive and angry” ex.

References

1. Cathcart, M. R., & Robles, R. E., (1996), Parenting our children- Report of the U. S. Commission on Child and Family Welfare, retrieved from the Hathi Trust Digital Library website, November 25, 2011.

2. Hughes, R. The effects of divorce on children (July 2005), Retrieved November 25, 2011 from the Department of Human & Community Development, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign website.

3. Levy. D. (Ed.), (1993). The best parent is both parents: A guide to shared parenting, Norfolk: Hampton Roads Publishing.

4. Wakefield, H., & Underwager, R. (1990) Personality Characteristics of Parents Making False Accusations of Sexual abuse in Custody Disputes retrieved November 25, 2011 from the Institute for Psychological Therapies website.

5. Crowley, K. & Greene, L. (2010) An ‘ex’ to grind, retrieved November 25, 2011 from the NY Post website.

http://www.streetarticles.com/child-custody/a-system-broken-a-child-forgotten

I Changed My Name – What About My Kid?

Changing the last name of a child can occur because of divorce, adoption or estrangement. The process typically includes obtaining a court’s approval. If you are looking to answer the question how do I change my child’s last name, you will need to begin with the formal approval of the court.

Obtaining Court Approval

Preparing for Court

In order to legally change the last name of a minor, the parent or legal guardian will need to obtain a court order. The requestor will file a petition within the local municipality or court to request the name change of their child. The judge will rule according to the best interest of the child. What this means is that both parents will need to consent to this name change. If one parent is estranged from the child, the custodial parent will typically need to provide proof that the notice was given or attempted to be given to the estranged parent. Sometimes notice cannot be given because there is no known address for the estranged parent. If this is the case, the custodial parent will need to inform the judge. In these cases, the courts generally ask that the custodial parent run an ad in the newspaper that serves as a public notice to the name change. Most jurisdictions require the custodial parent to run the ad in the newspaper anywhere from three days to three weeks. Each jurisdiction has specific requirements for the length of time the ad should run.

Day in Court

The judge will ask for the reason the name change is requested. In the case of divorce, the custodial parent wishes for the child to have their last name for logistic reasons. There are cases where the custodial parent re-marries and wishes for the child to take on the name of the custodial parent’s new spouse. The judge makes their decision based on the best interest of the child. If the parent is in the process of getting a divorce or in the beginning or middle stages of adoption proceedings, the parent can usually include the name change petitions with these proceedings and do not need to be file these separately. Once the court approves the name change, the petitioner will be issued a court order. This document is very important for completing the child’s name change.

Gather Documentation

After the court order is obtained, the custodial parent will need to formally request the name change on all documents used as identification. These documents include:

Birth Certificate Social Security Card Passport

The custodial parent will need to pay the fee required when changing the legal last name on each of these documents. Sometimes the custodial parent will need to pay two sets of fees, one to change the name and sometimes a separate fee to receive a new document printed. Each jurisdiction charges different fees that can range from $20 up to $150. The custodial parent will typically need to provide a signed affidavit or consent form, the original birth certificate, social security card or passport, along with the court order given authorization to change the name. Once this documentation has been provided, the child will received their new legal birth certificate, passport or social security card. This new document will contain the child’s new legal last name.

This should provide you with what you need to know for how to change your child’s last name; you have information on the steps that will lead to your child’s new last name. This information is no substitution for legal advice. Please consult an attorney regarding your individual case and circumstances.

http://www.brighthub.com/money/personal-finance/articles/109955.aspx

What 10 Things Divorced Parent Should Do To Promote Positive Child Adjustment?

The effects of recent enlargement in divorce rates are negative effects. Divorced children are more probably to get pregnant as teenagers, drop out of high school, abuse drugs and have aggressively emotional and behavioral problems, which lead to social problems. Some children decide to go out of their home when their parents separate each other, and subsequently they become homeless children. They do not have good opportunities to find a job due to shortage of education. Consequently, crime may likely be the end result.

As parent, one of your top priorities is to reduce this negative effect and help your children have positive divorce adjustment. Here are the 10 things you should do to promote positive divorce child adjustment.

1. Do encourage your children to talk about how they feel.

The sure way to help your children adjust to divorce is for you to know what they feel. So let your children know that they can openly talk to you about their feelings of your separation or divorce. Keep lines of communication open and answer all questions about the changes. Make sure your children feels like they can ask you questions and get answers about why the divorce happened and what to expect.

2. Reassure children that everything will be ok but just different.

Children are invariably frightened and confused by divorce. Provide extra hugs and kisses and tell your child that you and other adults will always be near to love and protect.

3. Do stay involve in your children’s life.

Custodial and non-custodial parent should stay involve in their children’s life. Children may interpret lack of involvement as rejection. Often, they think the parent who is not involved in their life loves them less. If your children are to adjust well to your divorce, nurturing the parent-child relationship is paramount. Spend special time with your children, have fun together and continually express your love for your children.

4. Do keep your ex-spouse from becoming an ex-parent.

Many non-custodial parents, who typically are fathers, fail to stay involved with their children after the divorce. This is unfortunate as children’s adjustment is enhanced by a positive, active relationship with both parents.

If you are the custodial parent, you should encourage the involvement of the non-custodial parent even though it takes extra effort if a lot of anger is still present. It is a time when you must separate your spousal relationship from your parenting relationship. This is hard, but it is possible. You must try not to “direct” your spouse’s parenting patterns and concentrate your efforts on smoothing access.

5. Do not argue with your ex-spouse in front of your child.

Children exposed to conflict are more likely to have behavioral and emotional disturbances, suffer social and interpersonal problems, and show impairment in their thought and reasoning processes. Experts say the amount of conflict the child witnesses during and immediately after divorce is a crucial factor in his or her adjustment.

When parents show better emotional adjustment after the divorce, so do the children. Children show much less anxiety, insecurity and distress when parents are able to argue in a proper manner, reach an agreement, and stick to the compromise.

6. Do keep routines consistent as much as possible.

Children thrive on consistency and stability. During the transition you need to demonstrate to the child that their life will not change dramatically. Having consistent routines (having generally the same naptimes, mealtimes, bedtimes and bath-times each day) is important for young children, because it helps them to feel secure. At times, some parenting issues require communication and coordination between parents, if the child spends time with both parents. Both parents don’t have to do things exactly the same way, but it is easier for children if most things are similar at each home.

7. Do make every effort to ease the transition of your children from one home to the other.

Transition between homes can be stressful for children as well as adults. Initial adjustment to new situations can cause tension, and children may experience grief and loss over their parent separation for some time.

Children can have difficulty thinking about leaving their custodial parent and their primary home even for the weekend. And if you are the non-custodial parent, when your children get adjusted to being at your home, it may be difficult for them to think about leaving you again, even though they’re glad to see their custodial parent.

You can make transition easier for your children by allowing children to make choices about what toys, clothes, collections, etc., are kept in each home, establishing regular schedules, and be flexible enough to accommodate schedule changes.

8. Do keep children familial ties.

Children benefit from keeping the familial ties in their life that were meaningful and important to them prior to the divorce. Such familial ties may not be limited to parents but may also include extended family, such as grandparents.

9. Develop a parenting plan.

Planning how to care for children after separation can be a confusing and difficult task. This is the reason that made parenting plan so important. Having a plan can make it easier for you and your ex-spouse to work together as parents and reduce the amount of conflict between you. One way to help your children adjust to divorce become an effective parent is to have a plan, so create one for your child.

10. Do create a generally supportive and cooperative in-between parent relationship.

Children benefit to the greatest when the in-between parent relationship is generally supportive and cooperative. Though most parents know this, they find it hard to set aside their anger and resentment toward the other parent making co-parenting hardly possible. Try to remedy this situation by getting my free ebook on cooperative parenting and divorce. Visit my website and get your free “8 Essential Steps to Cooperative Parenting and Divorce” ebook.

Copyright by Ruben Francia. All Rights Reserved.

Publishing Rights: You have permission to publish this article electronically, in print, in your ebook or on your website, free of charge, as long as the author’s information and web link are included at the bottom of the article. The web link should be active when the article is reprinted on a web site or in an email. Minor edits and alterations are acceptable so long as they do not distort or change the content of the article.

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/family/article_635.shtml

Non-Custodial Parents and Claiming Taxes for Children

Can non custodial parent claim children for taxes? Non custodial parents can still claim child tax credits if they file correctly. These credits can be in excess of $3000.

Overview of Child Tax Credits

The tax credit for children in the US stands for a pecuniary duty of the citizens that claim a child as a dependent and consists of an amount of $1000 paid for minor children under the age of 17.

Some of the characteristics that emerge within the qualifying factors for the tax credit for children in the US are the necessity that the child must be the son, stepchild, daughter, adopted child, foster child, brother, sister or a descendant of any of these relations.

The ability to take the tax credit for children in the US is based on the following necessities: they must live with the taxpayer for more than 6 months, be under the maximum age of 16, the financial support from the child is lower than half of the whole requirment, the child is a resident or a citizen of the United States and does not have an alimony or joint tax return from an ex-spouse, the child is younger than the payer, the dependent claiming criteria is fulfilled and the income of the taxpayer must be higher than one of the parents, if the child is not claimed by the parents.

Non-Custodial Parents and Tax Credits

Can a noncustodial parent claim children on their taxes? The answer to that is not unless the parent who has custody releases a claim for exemption. According to the IRS, a form needs to be filled out that releases the custodial parent from taking any tax credits or exemptions. Once that has been filed, then the noncustodial parent can claim any tax credits for the child or children in the family. They also must attach the form each year that they claim taxes for the children.

The custodial parent is usually the parent that has claimed custody of the child and who the child lives with the greatest number of nights during the year. The noncustodial parent is the other parent, but if they share the same amount of time with the child, the one with the highest adjusted gross income becomes the custodial parent. There are exceptions regarding a parent that works at night and these exceptions can be found under the IRS website for more information.

In a pre-1985 divorce or separation decree, it states that the noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent, but they needed to provide at least $600 for the child’s care during the year. If the divorce or separation was post-1985 and pre-2009, there are other rules that apply to the custodial and noncustodial claims on the children. Today, noncustodial parents can claim up to $3000 dollars in tax credits. Different forms will be required by the IRS, so it is best to contact those who are familiar with this type of tax filing.

If custodial parents give up their right for tax credits, it can affect this right for any future credits they may want to undertake. The custodial parent should make sure this is the right decision before it is made and all the forms are filed.

Sources

IRS.gov. Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent. January 2010. 11 August 2010

LegalLace.com Tax tips for Noncustodial Parents

http://www.brighthub.com/money/personal-finance/articles/86543.aspx

Dealing with Children after Your Divorce

Although any divorce is an extremely sad, emotional time for all persons involved, when there are children involved, a divorce can create enormous instability and confusion, and can have very destructive consequences. In a family situation that includes children, the children are often present during arguments and the messy side of divorce, they become stuck in the middle, sometimes the focus of the emotional. While some couples manage to remain civilized during divorce, many will include times of intense screaming, yelling, accusations, slamming doors, and so on, all while the children sit there and watch.

The affect divorce has on children is massive, no matter their age and maturity levels. If you or someone close to you is going through a divorce where children are involved, it is important to be aware of the huge emotional and lifestyle shock these children are going through. These children are losing their stability, their home-security, their lifestyle, and often their home. In many cases, one half of the family unit move to a new neighborhood, city or state, where they have to pull themselves together and rebuild there lives, all with the thought of the divorce situation weighing heavily on their mind.

When dealing with divorce, it is absolutely imperative that both parents put their differences and current situation aside and ensure the children receive the unconditional love and support they need. Children affected by divorce need to be reassured that they did not do anything to cause the situation, that they are not to blame for the divorce. Younger children generally won”t have a full grasp of what”s going on, they will simply come to realize that mum and dad no longer seem to be present at the same time. Older children will be much more aware of what”s going on, and what has been said between the parents. Naturally, older children may be more emotionally interrupted in the time immediately after the divorce. If your divorce leads to a single parent having custody over the children, it is vital to put all hard feelings aside, and take all possible steps to ensure all children, no matter their age, have the opportunity to spend quality time with both parents.

A common scenario is to have the non-custodial parent to have the children over the weekend for three weeks of the month and then for 1-3 weeks over holidays. This is a good way to ensure your children stay in regular contact with both parents and have a good amount of time to spend with the non-custodial parent over holidays. It is always good to be able to arrange a custody schedule outside of the court. Keep in mind that even though you may be able to ”win” in court, the emotional damage to your children can be devastating. Your goal should never be to make the other person pay by depriving them of there children. Unless abuse or other special circumstances are involved, your ex-partner has a right to be part of their child”s life, and your child has the right to learn from and live with both parents.

The key to dealing with children post-divorce is that both parents need to put their personal feelings aside and focus on the well being of the children, to act maturely and make decisions regarding children with a clear head. If disagreements arise, try to organize meetings at a time or location when the children will not be present. In saying this, there will be times when decisions are made requiring the input of the children. In these times, you need to set some rules that both parents will remain civil, avoid making digs at the other parent, and treat the situation with respect. This is easier said than done with the level of emotion involved in these family affairs, but you must remain focused on doing the best for your children, and remember that they will be finding the situation difficult enough, with out provocation by either parent.

In other words, divorced moms and dads need to interact like mature adults, reminding themselves that the children are innocent, and have the right to living in harmony with both parents. All children react to situations such as divorce in their own way, some children may understand the reasons for their parents divorce and be able to work through it without hassle. Some children will take divorce alot harder. It is not uncommon to see behavioral issues developing in some children, acting out is a natural instinct and needs to be dealt with with understanding and patience. Dealing with these issues can be extremely difficult for divorced parents, it often means working together, finding a middle ground, and spending time with the child discussing their thoughts and feelings on the situation and what steps should be taken. This will lead to times of strong emotion, it is the responsibility of the parents to keep a level head, be patient with the child and other parent, and provide a safe, secure environment to work through the issues. When parents start to loose their cool, the whole situation can start to fall apart leading to further disruption for your child and making it harder to reach a resolution.

It is common knowledge that children will often learn to manipulate their parents after a divorce, playing one parent off the other. Again, parents need to communicate even though they are no longer married. Talking to the other parent before taking any action will often expose the full situation, and provide a clear path of how to deal with it. In other words, even though you are no longer married, working as a team is still the best option, not for the marriage but for the children. While it may be very hurtful to discover how you”re being manipulated by your own child, keep in mind that he or she is still developing and working through the lifestyle change. Be firm about what is expected of your children, but keep in mind the huge emotional and lifestyle effect your divorce has had.

Working through a divorce with children is by no means easy, getting to a point of stability will not happen overnight. In most cases, a tremendous amount of anger, disappointment, and hurt are involved, which are hard to work through. Counseling may be an option to help both parents and children get an outside perspective and gain direction. Although divorce creates many difficult emotions for parents, it all comes down to staying focused and determined to always to what”s best for the children, the innocent by-standers. You are your children”s single biggest role-model and support, you need to keep in mind the difficulties your children are living through and let your child know that you are there for them 100% of the time.

Kim offers help for couples and families going through marriage issues. Visit her site for information and advice on life after divorce, how to save your marriage, and acknowledging marriage problems (http://savemarriagetips.com/marriage_problems).

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Dealing with Children after Your Divorce-a01073814662