Miller Family Law Group - Southern California Divorce and Family Law Lawyers
AFTER THE DIVORCE
“Healing is a matter of time…” – Hippocrates
MISSION STATEMENTS INVOLVING CHILDREN AND PARENTING
The joint mission statement makes broad affirmations about your wishes and dreams for yourselves and your children. You can’t achieve what you have not thought about, so this is the best time to use your imagination to create an image of your future that would include your own fulfillment and happiness and a constructive and supportive relationship with your former partner as parents of your children. Parent who live apart sill can be good parents, but it requires planning. This future-focused planning and dreaming of new opportunities in your life is the hallmark of the new-style divorce and will be a key part of your recovery process. It is a big part of developing both your mission as parents and your overall mission for yourself.
Alhtough the mission statement is very personal and invidualized, couples with children often include statements such as these:
- We want to provide our children with loving support and the structure they need to grow and develop
- We want our children to have the opportunity for a good education and as many options for developing their talents as we are able to provide
- We value and respect the children’s individuality and their wishes and desires, and we want their voices and views considered as we plan for the future.
- We want our chldrne to have warm relationships with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins on both sides of the family and intend to make it a priority that this happens.
- We want to share with our grown children the major life passages that happen in all families, and we will act in ways that make our children comfortable with including both of us.
The Top Five Financial Decisions To Make After A Divorce
By Susan Allison “Conscious Divorce Ending A Marriage with Integrity, A Practical and Spiritual Guide for Moving On”
Financial realities are sometimes ignored due to the emotional and legal aspects that each person must deal with. The financial future of everyone involved is just as important as before and care should be taken to ensure it is preserved.
With a little research and careful planning both parties can become financially astute. After a divorce each party should create a financial plan that includes the following five crucial steps:
- Make an inventory of all assets and debts and then create a monthly budget and stick to it. Before you can start to plan for the future, it is very important to know where you are in the present. After all assets and liabilities are accounted for create a manageable monthly budget to ensure the bills are paid and money is saved for the future.
- Develop an investment strategy specifically tailored to your risk tolerance and goals. Make 1, 5, 10 and 20-year financial goals for yourself. Then work backwards in order to develop the best method to achieve these goals. It would be beneficial to work with a well respected, qualified financial advisor.
- Plan for your child's/children's education. As our most valuable resource and best hope for the future, our children's education is of the utmost importance. Make sure part of your investment strategy includes planning for your children's education.
- Plan for your retirement. Retirement is a process that takes years of planning. Make sure to include a portion of your monthly budget as well as incorporate part of your investment strategy towards this end.
- Support Payments. Child support and alimony are the most important financial decision each party enters into after a divorce. Make sure the parameters are fair and achievable to all involved. Failing to pay family support can have harsh financial consequences.
- Creating financial stability is a proactive but not impossible process. Diligently following the parameters that you put in place will significantly increase the odds of achieving your financial goals.
Resources For Children And Divorce
University of Missouri-Columbia
Sara Gable, State Specialist, Human Development and Family Studies
Kelly Cole, Extension Associate
- http://outreach.missouri.edu/cooper/fok/ Provides linkages to lists of books, organizations and web sites for parents. These resources are provided as a service and do not constitute endorsement. They are periodically reviewed and updated.
- Parents Without Partners (PWP international headquarters), 401 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 (312-644-6610). Provides free referrals to local PWP chapters, which offer social and educational opportunities for single parents. Membership fees vary. http://parentswithoutpartners.org
- Single Parent Resource Center, 31 E. 28th Street, Suite 200, New York, NY 10016-9998 (212-951-7030). Offers free referrals for childcare and legal services, as well as information about how to start a single-parent support group. http://singleparentresources.com
- National Organization of Single Mothers, Inc., P.O. Box 68, Midland, NC 28107 (704-888-5437). Provides free advice on how to start support groups and offers referrals to other single parents nationwide. Publishes Single Mother magazine (bi-monthly). One-year individual membership: $12.97. http://www.singlemothers.org
- National Congress for Fathers and Children (NCFC), P.O. Box 171675, Kansas City, MO 66117 (1-800-733-3237). Instructs single fathers on custody, child-support and paternity issues. Publishes a 132-page manual and a quarterly newsletter called Network. Also has a list of NCMC advisers nationwide. One-year membership: $50. http://www.ncfcnh.org/
- National Fatherhood Initiative, One Bank Street, Suite 160, Gaithersburg, MD 20878 (1-800-790-3237). Offers a quarterly newsletter and a catalog of books and videos focusing on fatherhood issues. One-year membership: $35. http://www.fatherhood.org
- The Stepfamily Association of America, Inc., 650 J Street, Suite 205, Lincoln, NE 68508 (1-800-735-0329). Publishes a quarterly magazine, Stepfamilies, and an 89-page book, Stepfamilies Stepping Ahead. Provides referrals to more than 60 local chapters nationwide. Offers a variety of hard-to-find books, tapes, manuals and other materials about stepfamilies. One-year membership, including magazine subscription and book: $35. http://www.stepfam.org
- The Stepfamily Network, Inc., 555 Bryant Street #361, Palo Alto, CA 94301 (1-800-487-1073). Provides information on stepfamily resources and support groups. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping stepfamily members achieve harmony and mutual respect. http://www.stepfamily.net/
- The Stepfamily Foundation, 333 West End Avenue, New York, NY 10023 (212-877-3244). Offers workshops on stepfamily dynamics, holds individual and family counseling sessions over the telephone and in person, and publishes lists of books, audiotapes and videotapes for stepfamilies. One-year membership: $70. (Counseling costs are extra.) http://www.stepfamily.org
- How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk
by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
- Siblings without Rivalry
Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
- P. E. T. - Parent Effectiveness Training
by Dr. Thomas Gordon
- Dr. Mom's Parenting Guide - Commonsense Guidance for the Life of your Child
by Marianne Neifert, M.D.
- Positive Discipline - The First Three Years - From Infant to Toddler
by Jane Nelsen, Ed.D. Cheryl Erwin, M.A., and Roslyn Duffy
- The Parent's Handout - STEP - Systematic Training for Effective Parenting
by Don Dinkmeyer, Sr., Gary D. McKay, and Don Dinkmeyer, Jr.
- Teaching Your Children Values
by Linda and Richard Eyre
- Golden Rules - The Ten Ethical Values Parents Need to Teach Their Children
- My Many Colored Days
by Dr. Seuss
(Recommended Ages 1-4)
- Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods that Make my Day
by Jamie Lee Curtis
(Recommended for all ages)
(Interactive picture book for kids)
- The Fourth Anti-Coloring Book
Signs You Child May Need Professional Help
By Richard A. Shulman, Ph.D.
Question: What are some signs that my child needs professional help in coping with our divorce?
Answer:All children are affected by divorce, but each deals with the stress differently. Your task as a parent is to identify and differentiate between your child's "normal" behavior and sudden behavioral changes. In addition, identify if these sudden behavioral changes correlate to your divorce.
The identifiable changes in your child's behavior might include these symptoms:
- Depressed mood
- Lack of interest or motivation
- Increased or decreased need for sleep
- Significant increases or decreases in your child's weight or appetite
- Poor concentration
- Poor attitude
- Increased irritability
- Excessive guilt
- Poor self-esteem
- Poor school compliance
- Not completing homework
- Poor school grades
- Fighting with peers or authority
- Recurrent thoughts or discussion of death
If you see three or more of these signs or symptoms, or if you have any questions regarding the welfare of your child, it is imperative that you seek counseling or professional help to guide your child through this transition.
Early intervention and help will make the transitional period easier and shorter.
10 Ways To Avoid Becoming A Disneyland Parent
By Richard A. Shulman, Ph.D.
- Be involved in your children's life.
Remember to celebrate birthdays, significant events, and celebrations. Also make it a point to attend their sport events, recitals, and school functions, even if it's not your "day", because it will make your child's day.
- Promote good communication between you and your children.
Employ an open door policy and allow your children to come to you whenever they need.
- Be consistent.
Make it a point to keep to every promise. Whether it's as simple as I'll call you tomorrow at 5 or following through with rewarding them for their accomplishments.
- Don't be afraid to implement natural consequences for misbehavior.
When your child misbehaves, enforce natural consequences. Studies show that children respect and love parents who hold them accountable for their actions. Also, understand that children need a parent more then they need a friend.
- Spend quality time with your children.
Make it a point to clear off part of your busy schedule to spend one-on-one time with your children. Remember your children are coming to see you, not your toys.
- Send small tokens of your love and affection.
Send little notes or cards to your children. Remind them that you are thinking about them and love them. This will also let them know that you are always there for them.
- Never pass on your time with your children.
Sometimes in today's society we get sidetracked by our busy lifestyles and are unable to see our children on their visitation days. Spending time with your children is the easiest way to tell them that they are more important than anything else.
- Ask your children what they want to do with you on their visit.
Incorporate your children's needs. Make this a mutual and respectful time together.
- Don't burden your children.
Burdening your children with thoughts and discussions of hatred towards your ex-spouse or about the financial conflicts associated with the divorce will only spoil the time that you have together. Understand that your time with your children is precious and should be untainted with hatred and anger.
- Parent out of love not guilt.
Being a loving parent requires consistency and holding your children accountable for their action and behaviors. Avoid decreasing consequences or adding rewards because you are feeling guilty.
By implementing these 10 simple skills, you will notice that your time with your children will be of better quality and will improve your relationship with them more than opening your wallet.
TERMINATING AND REDUCING SPOUSAL SUPPORT
In most cases, long-term spousal support orders CAN be modified, or even terminated, throughout the support period.
Except in cases where there is a written or in-court oral agreement by the parties expressly providing that spousal support is non-modifiable, the court generally retains continuing spousal support jurisdiction and can terminate or reduce spousal support in later court proceedings.
Assuming continuing spousal support jurisdiction, the court may grant your request to modify spousal support if we can show “a material change of circumstance” since the most recent court order. The following are some factors that the court must consider when reviewing your spousal support modification request:
- Reducing support if spouse is self supporting
- Modification based on ability to pay spousal support
- Reducing spousal support based on obligation
If you have any further questions or need additional information about our Family Law services, please do not hesitate to EMAIL US or call (714) 441-5905.
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