Divorce Coping Tip of the Day

HiRes

 

There are many resources for someone going through a divorce, be it family and friends, support groups, books both fiction and non. Now add an app to that list.

Touted as being a kinder, gentler support, it uses poetry, practical tips, humor and encouragement to bring some positivity into the process of separation.

Divorce Coping Tip of the Day4.5/5 Google Play, Android devices

Children and Divorce

Father comforts a sad child

Over on Huffington Post, they are running a series on how to help children through a divorce. While every situation is unique, there are some common guidelines for every child.

*Never make your child feel guilty for loving their mom or dad. While there may be fault on one side or other, kids center their world around their parents and sabotaging that love can cause anguish. Never ask them who they would rather live with, or who they love more. They love you both, and want to live with you both.

*Don’t put the kids in the middle of negotiations, arguments or arrangements. They shouldn’t be passing messages or mediating, that makes them take on a mature role in the separation, something that needs to be reserved for adults. Ask a friend, send a text or email, write a note, hire a lawyer instead.

*It’s okay to hide things from the kids. They don’t need to know that a parent behaved badly, or who wronged whom. Their world is already devastated, without adding more negative emotions to the mix. If they ask questions, keep the answers age appropriate, and let them dictate how much information they want.

*Get a routine as quickly as possible. A solid schedule that a child can count on is invaluable in rebuilding a sense of safety and security.

*Let your child’s teacher or caregivers know what’s going on. It might not feel right to air your personal laundry but these are your child’s advocates, and can help give encouragement or watch for common warning signs of stress, such as acting out. Stay neutral and don’t give too many personal details, a brief overview of the split and any new visitation schedules is plenty.

For more ideas and tips, check How to Help Your Toddler Through Divorce and How to Help Children Ages 6-12 Through Your Divorce

Keeping Divorce Costs Down

court money

The Huffington Post recently listed 10 ways to keep divorce costs down. Their suggestions include limiting or consolidating calls to your attorney, reviewing your invoices carefully and arriving to your court hearings prepared and on time.

For more tips, visit the story at Huffington Post.

Google calendar week

Kid schedules are hard enough to follow without factoring in two or more households, child handovers, visitations and multiple calendars. A good option is to start an online calendar that all parties can access. Appointments can be scheduled with notices and reminders going out via email, and entries can even be color coded as to who is picking up or dropping off the kids.

This is also possibly a good solution if there are contact restrictions or conflict between parents, so scheduling can be solidified without direct contact between the parties. Talk to your attorney or the courts before starting a joint calendar if there is a restraining order or order of protection in effect.

Some examples of the many free online calendars are Google Calendar, Teamup Calendar, and LoCalendar.

Facebook app in front of Facebook

Facebook has published a quick video on how to block someone from seeing your posts, comments, and even pictures tagged with you in them. As they state, sometimes you just need some space. Plus, it’s usually always a wise idea when in the midst of litigation to block the opposing party or anyone who might feed them information on your activities.

Babysitter Veto

Mischievous grandmother and granddaughter

Question:
My ex wants a friend to watch our children, a friend that I don’t like. Do I have the right to say no?

Answer:
Generally, each parent has the right to leave their children in the care of whomever they trust while on their visitation time. This may be a friend, babysitter, family member or acquaintance. The other parent does not have the right of veto.

Divorce is Double No-Good

Historically, divorce has been a nasty business with equally nasty terminology. “Custody” and “alimony” conjure up images of bile-spewing, decades-long battles. Washington, like many states, has altered the terminology of many key divorce concepts in an effort to escape the loaded words of the bad old days, probably in the hope that more harmonious language will mean more harmonious litigation.

Is this Orwellian double-speak? Enlightened social engineering? Or just six of one, half a dozen of the other? You be the judge.

You may be surprised to learn that today we don’t even have Divorce in Washington. Instead we have “Dissolution,” suggesting that the process of unhappy spouses going their separate ways is as smooth and painless and sugar melting in a cup of tea. Gone too are the accusations of adultery and mental cruelty, once a prerequisite to even getting divorced, for we are a “No-fault State.”

So far as the law of Washington is concerned, an irretrievably broken marriage is like bad weather: we can figure out why it happened if we want to, but no one is to blame.

Scornful spouses are no longer Plaintiffs and Defendants (terms we still use in other civil litigation matters). Instead, the spouse who starts the litigation and pays the court filing fees is the “Petitioner” while the other is the “Respondent.” Makes it seem as easy as signing a petition at the mall for more hiking trails, or responding to a letter from an old college chum.

And here’s some good news for you high wage-earners: Alimony is a four-letter word of the past. Instead you will be heartened to hear that now you simply pay “Maintenance” – kind of like your home-owner’s dues. Feels better already, doesn’t it?

Gone too are ruinous Custody fights of decades past, because custody no longer even exists. Instead, divorced fathers and mothers “Co-parent” their children through a meticulously crafted “Parenting Plan” featuring all sorts of tranquil “Joint Decision-Making.” So now instead of Losing Custody, you simply become the “Non-residential Parent.” And who, really, could have a problem with that?

But traditionalists take heart, for some things never change: Child Support, even in the brave new millennium, is still just “Child Support.”