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Rules for Divorce Parenting

Getting through a divorce is challenging for the entire family. Help your children adjust to the first year (typically the most challenging) by following these rules.

  • Don’t say bad things about your ex in front of your kids. This can be hard to do, but it is the most important thing you can do for your children. They need to have a healthy relationship with the other parent. Your job is to support them as they continue that relationship. Do not assume that because the children are not in the room, they cannot hear you if you do say something negative about the ex. Children are very intuitive and hear everything.
  • Be consistent. Because there are likely so many changes happening in your child’s life right now, consistency is important in parenting. Kids need to know what to expect and what is expected of them. Make this clear and stick with it.
  • Be open and honest, but not too honest. Encourage your kids to talk to you about what they are thinking and feeling. Answer their questions with honesty, but use age-appropriate honesty that is not too revealing. Your kids will ask about reasons for the divorce. General, non-accusatory answers work best, but they need to be honest at their root.
  • Try to co-parent. Children benefit when parents work together. It’s not always possible and it won’t always be perfect, but the effort matters.
  • Be true to yourself. It can be easy to lose sight of your own needs, but it is important to establish and work on your own happiness. Doing so makes you a good role model for your kids.
  • Be observant. Keep your eyes and ears open as your kids adjust. There will be bumps in the road, but if you are at the ready with love, compassion, and support, your children will survive and thrive.

Custody is one of your primary concerns in your divorce. The Sampair Group handles custody cases with skill and years of experience in Maricopa County. Call us for an appointment with one of our knowledgeable attorneys now.

 

 

Coping With the Holidays Away from Your Child

Winter lanternIf you were divorced or separated this year, it may be the first time you will spend some or all of the holidays apart from your child. Although your parenting time agreement may be very fair, it is designed so that your child can spend time with both parents and this means sharing holidays. Your holiday schedule may have your child spending some major holidays with you and some with your ex. Coping with those holidays without your child can be challenging. Follow these strategies to get through this.

 – Talk with your child. You will want to go over the schedule with your child and help him understand the plan. Explain that he will spend the day with the other parent and that although you will miss him, you will have other time together. Be positive and encourage your child to have fun. Don’t tell your child if you feel deeply saddened. You want your child to have positive feelings.

– Plan an alternate holiday. Maybe you can’t be with your child on the actual holiday, but you can plan your own special holiday for your next time together. Talk about what you will do together and how you will celebrate. It will give you both something to look forward to.

– Stay in touch. Talk to your child by phone or Skype the day of the holiday to stay connected. Even a quick call can help both of you feel happier.

– Have a plan. So you won’t be with your child on the holiday, but that does not mean you have to pretend the day doesn’t exist. Make plans with family or friends. If you can’t face that, do something special for yourself at home – order or make your favorite food and watch a great movie or game. This is also your chance to do something completely different. Maybe you’ve thought about working at a soup kitchen or taking a tropical getaway. There is nothing stopping you now from switching things up. Maybe you will create a new tradition.

 When you need legal advice or representation for divorce or a custody case, you need the Sampair Group. Our attorneys serve the Mesa, Phoenix, and Glendale areas of Arizona. Contact our office for a convenient appointment.

Avoid Co-Parenting Pitfalls

Sad WomanIt is very common for parents to have conflict regarding parenting issues within the first year of a co-parenting agreement or order. Parenting with your ex after a divorce or custody case is a challenge, but there are ways to avoid the courtroom revolving door. Staying away from these co-parenting pitfalls can help you manage your relationship without intervention.

  • Ignoring the rules. Your co-parenting agreement is essentially a rule book for how you are going to work with each. If either of you ignores these rules, your parenting relationship will break down. Stick to the rules whenever possible.
  • Miscommunication. So often the problems that land families back in court can be traced to miscommunication. It’s very important to be clear with each other, to be able to really listen, and to have open discussions that avoid arguments.
  • Difficulty accepting change. A divorce changes the dynamics of your family. While the dynamics clearly weren’t working in your marriage, everyone was used to them. A divorce and co-parenting arrangement changes everything and may include a shift of power. It’s important to focus on what the current situation is and find ways to live with it.
  • Lack of cooperation. When you get down to it, effective co-parenting requires cooperation. This means having a bit of flexibility, a bit of forgiveness, and a willingness to really work with each other. It may take a while to truly build cooperation and it may never be completely easy, but it is always worth the effort.

Call the Sampair Group for thoughtful, compassionate, and quality representation in your divorce, custody or custody modification case in Glendale, Mesa and Phoenix, Arizona.

Managing Children’s Belongings and Custodial Transfers

DollGetting your child ready and out the door is challenging task for any parent on any day, but once you add custodial transfers to the long list of schools, practices, games, and lessons, it can become hard to keep track of what has to get packed up when. Making sure the right things get packed, sent with your and child, and returned is a challenge no matter how old your child is. Even older teenagers benefit from a parent double-checking everything, because forgotten items ruin not only your child’s day but yours as well when you get the phone call that you need to retrieve something.

The necessities that need to travel between your home and the other parent’s home vary with age and by child, so it is important to think carefully about what your child needs and when he needs it. Absolute essentials at any age include medicine, school books, homework, daycare required items, clothes, and toiletries.

Young children likely have comfort items and favorite toys they will want wherever they are. Formula and baby food may need to be transferred with infants. Older children need to bring everything they need for school and any activities they are going to while with the other parent, so it’s helpful to glance at the calendar and review where your child will be when. Technology items, including charger cords and headsets are especially important to most kids. Don’t forget school items, including things like sheet music, books, projects, and notices that need to go to the other parent.

To make sure everything gets packed, keep a list in your phone or on your fridge, so you can double-check each time. It’s useful to maintain one bag that is designated as the bag that will travel back and forth. It may be a good idea for one parent to purchase duplicates of items like toiletries, charger cords, and pajamas so they can just be left at each home. Duplicates of prescription medications is also a good idea.

When your child leaves the non-custodial parent’s residence, there needs to be a scan of the bag and the items on the list to make sure everything that needs to go home is packed.

The Sampair Group provides compassionate and careful representation in all types of family law cases. We serve clients in all of Maricopa County, Arizona. Call us today for a consultation.

Tips for Custodial Transfers

iStock_2 girls on cntry roadOne of the most challenging parts about parenting after divorce is transferring your child from parent to parent. These transfers can be stressful for everyone (especially your child!). Learning to make transitions easier takes time and practice. Transitions are generally the hardest the first year after the divorce or separation and when your child is young. There are things you can do to make the transfers less painful for everyone.

  • Be on time. Because this is such an emotionally charged situation, it only becomes more tense if your ex becomes annoyed if you are late. This works both ways – your ex should also be on time and if he’s not, try to calmly point it out. If lateness is chronic and become excessive, you should talk to your attorney.
  • Keep emotions out of it.  For many parents, transfer time is a moment when all the conflicting emotions surrounding the divorce and custody plan tend to pop up. It is hard to be away from your child and if you are the one going home alone, it can be challenging. Try as best as possible to shove your powerful emotions away for the moment. Deal with them later, when you are alone. This is also not the time to talk about schedules or child support issues. Save those for later was well. Focus on creating a calm transition for your child.
  • Remember that location matters. Where you transfer your child directly impacts the emotions and how people will behave. If your ex has to come to your house, she may react to your new partner or the fact that you’ve moved on and may be critical, negative, and uncooperative. If you go to your ex’s house you may be made to feel unwelcome or left out. Using a neutral transfer location (a parking lot, grandma’s house, or even down the street from your home) can remove a lot of the fireworks. At the very least, attempt to stay out of each other’s homes.

When you need an attorney who will listen to your needs and make a difference in your family law case, call the Sampair Group. Our attorneys represent clients in the Glendale, Mesa, and Phoenix areas of Arizona. Get in touch with us today.