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Lafayette Family Law Blog

Helping your children through the pain of divorce

If the title of this blog post caught your eye, you are likely a concerned parent who is either divorcing or has finalized a divorce in the relatively recent past. Earlier this month, we posted a blog entitled, “If kids could fully express their feelings about your divorce.” In that post, we noted that kids and teens may be unable to fully understand or express their feelings about your divorce, even if they want to.

It can be difficult to watch your child struggle with his or her feelings about your divorce. Regardless of how his or her child custody arrangements are structured, divorce is always an adjustment, even for the smallest of children. You may be wondering how to help your child during this time. You know your child best and likely have some ideas of your own. Keeping these few additional tips in mind should help you and your child through this time of transition.

Is it time for you and your spouse to go your separate ways?

When couples decide to divorce, each spouse may experience a myriad of emotions. In addition to anger, grief and frustration, some spouses are surprised to discover that they feel a certain degree of relief. How could the decision to end a marriage result in relief? That is a complex question with many answers.

First, the numerous reasons that individuals opt to divorce tend to be quite painful. Making the decision to move forward separately inspires its own pain but can also remain a solution to the different kinds of pain that led to the split in the first place. Second, the questioning which occurs when couples are deciding whether or not to divorce can be draining. Ultimately concluding that divorce is the best option for any given couple can inspire relief that a decision has finally been made.

If kids could fully express their feelings about your divorce

Children and teens do not always know how to express themselves fully. Even when they are crying, yelling or otherwise engaging in a more dramatic form of emotional expression, they may not be able to fully articulate what they are concerned about, questioning or feeling.

If you and your child’s other parent have recently opted to divorce, your child is almost certainly hurting, confused, angry, frightened or some combination of these emotions. Regardless of how his or her child custody arrangements are constructed, your child may be feeling deeply torn and may not know how to express his or her feelings, needs, desires and fears.

Does it make sense to file a termination of alimony claim?

Many Americans prefer to make a good, old-fashion “pro and con” list before making numerous kinds of life decisions. It is important to balance the benefits of an action with the potential drawbacks before making a final decision. The outcome of your decision may not be what you had hoped it might, however if you make an informed decision, you will be less likely to suffer regret in the end.

When it comes to determining whether or not to file a termination of alimony claim, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of filing this kind of suit. And even when you believe that you have made a sound decision either way, it is important to consult an experienced family law attorney before ultimately filing or dismissing this kind of action, as an attorney may have valuable insights into your particular set of circumstances.

Why you should consider a prenuptial agreement for social media

We have previously written about the fact that prenuptial agreements are no longer tied to the social stigmas that they once were. Instead of being treated as “divorce insurance” prenuptial agreements are now generally considered to be legal tools used by responsible couples who want to strengthen their marriages and protect themselves in the event that they ever do divorce.

How can a prenuptial agreement strengthen a marriage, you ask? When engaged couples choose to air their financial concerns and seek solutions to fiscal issues before marriage, their marriages may both become more solidly rooted financially and less filled with tension. In addition, if prenuptial agreements contain provisions related to certain behaviors, these documents may also help to provide a sense of security and privacy for both parties.

Debunking child custody myths

If you and your child’s other parent are disputing the specifics of your child’s custody arrangements, you are likely feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and even frightened. When your child was born, you almost certainly did not dwell on the possibility that you could be compelled to spend significant amounts of time away from him or her before your baby reached the age of 18. However, if your child custody case does not conclude in your favor, you could be forced to endure just that. It is not surprising that this possibility is potentially sending you into an emotional tailspin.

It is therefore important that you separate truth from fiction when contemplating your situation. A child custody dispute is stressful enough without introducing misunderstanding into the equation. For example, an enduring myth holds that mothers always win child custody disputes. This is far from the truth. If you buy into this myth as a mother, you could unintentionally sabotage your case by being overly confident. If you buy into this myth as a father, you could unintentionally sabotage your case by being defeatist.

Why badmouthing your ex can directly harm your child

When committed and loving parents are contemplating the arrival of their children, they often make pronouncements like, “I hope she has your smile,” and “I hope he has your laugh.” Whether children are biologically linked to their parents or not, parents often seek to see themselves and their partners in their children.

However, when parents get divorced, they often seem to forget that their beloved children are linked to both parents. As a result, the frustrations which arise as a result of child custody disputes and divorce litigation can lead to one parent badmouthing the other in front of a child. The very fact that this child is tied to both parents is the primary reason why such badmouthing should not occur.

How grandparents can help when their kids file for divorce

When grandparents choose to become involved in the lives of their grandchildren, tremendously strong bonds may develop as a result. It can therefore be heartbreaking for grandparents when their children choose to file for divorce. Even if the decision to divorce is the healthiest one that an adult can make, divorce is almost always difficult on children. It can be difficult for grandparents to know how they can help their grandchildren as these young people deal with their parents’ divorces.

After a grandchild’s parents decide to divorce, it may be difficult for grandparents to communicate with their grandchild, especially if they are no longer allowed to see their young loved one. In this case, it may benefit grandparents to speak to an attorney about their legal rights. However, grandparents who can maintain contact with their grandkids may also have trouble grasping the best ways to communicate with young ones who are hurting and confused.

When the kids are with your co-parent and you're feeling lonely

We have previously discussed the fact that being a co-parent can be a uniquely complicated identity. There are numerous benefits and challenges associated with co-parenting that many married parents may not be able to fully understand. For example, the fact that your child custody arrangements may require your child to spend certain nights away from your household can be both a benefit and a challenge of co-parenting.

When your child is with your co-parent, you can have some time to attend to areas of your life not directly tied to your child. This freedom can be welcome, but at times it can be very lonely. Even if you enjoy occasional time away from your child, chances are that you also miss your child when he or she is gone.

Post-divorce, what are parents to do about college financial aid?

Many parents consider the act of contributing to their child’s higher education expenses to be a privilege. Other parents insist that their child should pay his or her own way through college, given that this kind of hard work arguably makes one’s degree more personally valuable. In either situation, parents are often required to submit their own income information to their child’s college of choice so that the school may determine how much financial aid that aspiring student will receive.

Determining financial aid can be a tricky business if the student in question has divorced parents. Increasingly, courts are opting to place the responsibility of tuition cost on one parent or another as a matter of child support or as part of a divorce settlement. However, many parents are not required to act in any particular way in regards to college financial aid or tuition on behalf of their children.

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