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Two Dads On One Wedding Day

Getting married is one of the biggest highlights of a young girl’s life, and for most dads the day comes all too soon. This happy day is usually preceded by a lot of planning, and in some cases that planning takes its toll on the bride and groom and even their close friends and family. So it comes as no surprise that for daughters of divorced parents, the issue of who gets to walk the bride down the aisle is a gut wrenching decision to make. In recent years this time tested tradition has evolved, with some girls making the choice to walk alone or even with the groom at their side. But one way to get over this difficult hurdle is to include both the biological father, and a stepdad in the moment. This can be hard to do for families that are struggling with the aftermath of divorce, but can also turn out beautifully.

One example captured on video, shows how two dads on one wedding day really can work. In the video the father of the bride stops to grab the stepdad on his journey up the aisle, and it worked out just perfectly for the family. We understand getting to this point can be hard, but here are some helpful tips on how you can work with your ex for the benefit of your children:

  • Agree to disagree with your ex, especially when the children are present. If you implement a plan while your kids are young that prevents you from arguing in front of your children, the benefits of having parents that get along with follow your kids through to their adult life. As an added bonus, you will feel less anxiety and be better able to communicate with your ex and their family.
  • When a new romantic partner enters the picture, take a moment to get to know this person as best you can. After all, this person will be an influential part of your kids’ lives and it is in everyone’s best interest to be respectful of one another. Doing so will also be a good example to your children on how to deal with difficult situations without conflict.
  • Take the time to discover things you enjoy doing on your own, and as a family. When you are happy with your own life, it is easier to be happy and encouraging in the lives of others.

If you are considering divorce, or have been served with a divorce action, call our office. We can help you reach solutions that work best for your family, whomever that might include. Call one of our experienced family law professionals today for more information.

For more information about marriage and divorce, consult a qualified legal professional. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your appointment.

 

 

Stepparent Rights in Arizona

j0438625Stepparents have a unique relationship with their stepchildren. Although they are not biologically related, they often serve a parental role. Arizona recognizes this special relationship and has created a process for a stepparent to seek custody.

To be able to seek custody, a stepparent must meet the following thresholds:

  • He or she must be “in loco parentis,” which means the stepparent is or was serving in a parental role for the child.
  • The stepparent must show that it is significantly detrimental for the child to be in the custody of either legal parent.
  • There has been no court order about legal decision-making or parenting time within one year (unless the child is currently in danger, then this does not apply).
  • One of the legal parents is deceased, the legal parents are not currently married to each other, or a divorce is currently pending.

The court has a presumption that it is in the best interest of the child to be placed with a legal parent, so a stepparent who wants to obtain custody (legal decision-making) must show with clear and convincing evidence that it is not in the child’s best interest for the child to be placed with a parent.

A stepparent can obtain visitation (parenting time) if any one of the following situations exists:

  • Visitation is in the child’s best interest.
  • One of the legal parents is deceased or missing for three months.
  • The child was born out of wedlock and the legal parents are not married to each other.
  • If the parents are married and a divorce is pending.

When the court decides whether to grant visitation to a stepparent, it will consider:

  • The history of the relationship between the child and stepparent.
  • The stepparent’s motivation for seeking visitation.
  • The amount of time sought and what kind of negative impact this could have on the child’s activities and schedule.
  • If one or both of the legal parents are deceased, the benefits in maintaining this extended family relationship.

The Sampair Group represents parents and stepparents in family court matters. Our attorneys serve Phoenix and Mesa and are ready to discuss your case.

Helping Kids Adjust To Your New Blended Family

Glendale, Arizona divorce lawyerWith the divorce rates so high, it’s no surprise that more kids than ever are experiencing the new transition of being a part of a blended family if one or both of their parents remarries. Blended families can be complicated to navigate, but there are ways to ensure that your children (and you) are a part of a happy home.

After a divorce, the transition into a blended family can cause conflict or discomfort. Your children may have trouble to adjusting to following the rules that their new stepparent puts forth or they might not be bonding right away with their new siblings. There are some tips you can follow in order to make this transition smooth and helpful for all involved to cope with these new, big changes.

Keep Your Children Involved
Remarriage and a transition into a new life is a big one, but don’t forget to include your child at all times where it is appropriate. If your new family is moving into a new home, leave room for your child to voice their opinions on their own living situations, such as their bedroom. If they are used to having their own room and all of a sudden now must share with their new sibling, you need to talk with them beforehand and have a long discussion about the new changes, always leaving plenty of room for them to voice their concerns. Take into consideration what they are saying and do what you can to reassure them that you will do your best to make it a smooth transition for them. Keep them up to date with everything new happening so there aren’t any surprises.

Be Patient
Patience is huge when it comes to something so new like this for your children. It is natural to want to see your children and your new stepchildren get along as quickly and as best as possible, but know that it will take time and don’t force it. Allow your children to feel out the situation themselves and go at their own pace when it comes to bonding with their new siblings. Discover any common interests that they all may have and try and organize activities they will all enjoy without forcing too much planning down their throats. Let them adjust at their own pace, even if it’s not fast enough for you.

Support Children Living in Two Separate Households
Doing the back-and-forth, parent-to-parent thing is difficult for children, and often they will be transitioning between two sets of stepparents and step siblings. This transition can be overwhelming, and as a parent it is your job to ease the stress. The night before your child leaves your house to go to the other house, talk to them about how they are feeling, if they need to pack anything for any special events coming up in the week, and anything else they may want to talk to you about before leaving for a few days. Your child may also feel like they will be missing out on any activities while they are gone, so it is important to assure them that they will have a great time when they leave.

Keep Biological Family Bonds Close
With so many new changes to their family and the addition of not only a new parent but likely new siblings as well, your child may start to feel somewhat disconnected from their other biological parent. Always be sure that your child has access to their parent if they need to talk or anything, and don’t make them feel like they can only now go to their stepparent for the needs that their biological parents are supposed to help fulfill.

For more information on co-parenting and helping your child transition into a new family life, contact the Glendale family law attorneys at The Sampair Group. Visit www.sampair.com for more information and a free consultation.