How to Make Co-Parenting a Great Success

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsCo-parenting is particularly important to do for all those parents, including those who have had high-conflict divorces. The idea is to mainly concentrate on bringing up their kids without engaging in stressful communication with one another after the divorce.

Here are some easy tips to ensure that co-parenting is a great success.

Use an organizer

You can use a parenting notebook or an organizer website to communicate effectively. Note down all the relevant and vital communications pertinent to the visit of your child like homework, meals, behavior strategies deployed by you to calm your child, bedtime and so on.  Your notebook should have a mention of the different events including both behavioral as well as emotional that the other parent can refer to.

Work closely with an unbiased third party

For any contentious issues, changes and disagreements with the other parent that needs a great deal of discussion, it is better to work with an independent third party. This person should be neutral like a therapist or an experienced mediator. The meetings conducted in the presence of the third party should be time bound and scheduled. All your key concerns can be taken up during these meetings.

Emails for non-urgent matters

Both of you can use emails for discussing matters that are not that urgent. You need to also make sure that these emails should not exceed more than two times in a month. Try to restrict them to a single topic. When you use emails to communicate with the other parent, you get a chance to reread what you wrote so that you are certain that it is not disrespectful. Plus, it also enables your ex-spouse to get a breathing space for responding. Avoid giving parenting advice on these emails.

Once the divorce is finalized, it is crucial for both the parents to be involved in taking care of the kids despite their conflicts and not so cordial relationship.  Co-parenting enables both the parents to remain involved in the lives of their kids while not fighting with one another.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

How Are Parallel Parenting And Co-Parenting Distinct From One Another?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorney; California Divorce MediatorsMany experts on child development have claimed that children enjoy many benefits when they are brought up by both their parents, though divorced. There are various reasons for this. A key reason is that those parents, who follow the co-parenting model for bringing up their kids, go through fewer incidents of conflicts as compared to the parents who get sole custody of their kids. Studies have demonstrated that kids are miserable and feel deep anguish when their parents are bickering one another after the divorce. On the other hand, when parents try to keep their disagreements to a minimum, children are likely to become more resilient.

But there are not many experts who have spoken at a length about the limitations of co-parenting in cases where the parents do not share a good relationship or the conflict between the two is high. According to some experts, when kids come from broken families, they are to benefit if their parents share healthy and strong relationships. They should never get exposed to the conflicts and arguments of their parents.

Divorced parents should only opt for co-parenting when both the former spouses are supportive of one another and understand the importance of respecting each other for the well-being of their children. However, there are many parents who become addicted to fury. These parents are constantly convincing themselves that their ex-spouse is not competent or is mentally ill.

They not only share their thought with the children but also to other stakeholders like mental health professionals and school staff.

There are several experts who suggest going for parallel co-parenting as an alternative to all those parents whose relationship is adversarial. So, what is the exact distinction between parallel parenting and co-parenting? To understand this you need to go through the following key aspects of both.

Defining co-parenting

It is a form of parenting where the parents are not married anymore, not in a romantic relationship with one another or are not cohabiting For instance, in the U.S., co-parenting refers to a parenting situation where both the divorced or separated parents agree to take care of the kids jointly.

Defining parallel parenting

While co-parenting is definitely a great arrangement for parenting, it also involves a lot of interaction between the two parents. They have to make shared decisions, speak to one another at drop-offs and so on. However, high-conflict between the two may not produce the desired result. Parallel parenting is a model where divorced parents agree to co-parent even while remaining disengaged to one another while maintaining limited direct contact.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

How to Make Your Child Feel Protected After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsAlthough you may be divorced now and you are bringing up your kids on your own, not is still your responsibility to ensure that your kid feels secure and safe after the divorce. Follow the below-mentioned tips to make your kid feel protected even after you get divorced.

Your children should get proper care

Since there will be two households after the divorce, both the parents need to work on a majority of occasions. But when there are younger kids at home, you become highly dependent on childcare. So, select a reputable child care provider where you children will love to spend their time. So, do not just leave your kids with anyone. It is better not to have someone with your child who is just a casual acquaintance of you. Do proper homework on the childcare center or the person where you will leave your child. When your children are sad or mistreated, it gets reflected in their behavior.

They should have a place that they can call their home

Kids do not go to their father’s house or your mother’s hours. They just want to return to their homes. Parents can go for an arrangement so that the child does not have to shift from their family home even after the divorce. In case either you or your partner are not okay with such an arrangement, both of you need to ensure that your kids have a proper roof and a place where are secure and safe irrespective of whether they are residing either their daddy or mommy. It means they love to have their own room so that they can call their friends overt. Their home should be in a safe neighborhood or in a good school district.

They should have a responsible adult to depend on

Divorce can embitter the ex-spouses against each other and emotions can rule over sensibility. However, your children need not be a privy to your arguments and bickering. If you and your former spouse are not careful, it can have a negative impact on the security of your family. So, behave like an adult in front of your kids, no matter what you are feeling.

Parent should be good provider

Your kids require good food, a periodic outing like going for a movie, new shoes, and clothes. So, you should ensure that you have a stable job. You need all the extra bucks to give a comfortable life to your kids even after the divorce. In case you are a daddy, do not simply leave your job with an intention to shell out fewer payments for child support. On the other hand, if you are a mom and stay at home, it is time you start working too instead of completely depending on child support.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

How To Create An Amicable Relationship With Your Ex After A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsIt is no hidden fact that divorces happen because the relationship that was once pure and strong between two individuals becomes bad. And it’s also true that individuals who get divorced don’t like keeping in touch with their ex unless a child or business is involved. But it’s also true that some people maintain an amicable relationship with their ex-spouse. So how do they do it? Here are some ways how.

Embrace the change and start afresh

Most individuals don’t take divorces well and show signs of psychological problems. But there are some who see it as a change. They take their divorces positively and start afresh. For them, it’s a new beginning and a part of their change is keeping good relations with their ex. If you’re trying to be one such individual, then remember to accept your feelings and embrace the change that life has to offer you. When you were married, you had responsibilities and certain things were expected from you but since you’ve got divorced, you don’t have any inhibitions. You have the freedom of living the way you want to. A new lifestyle will help you reflect on the problems you faced during your marriage and it will, in turn, help you build a better relationship with your ex.

Establish boundaries which you couldn’t do during marriage

After a divorce, it becomes easy to set up physical and emotional boundaries which wasn’t possible during a marriage. Having boundaries allows you to determine the type of communication you want to keep with your ex. You also have the freedom of avoiding discussions which might upset the either of you. Boundaries help build respect and your ex. will notice it too.

Create a new routine

Now you have the time to re-structure your life and create a routine that suits you. Creating a routine will help you avoid anger and frustration. It will also make your ex. realize that you have moved on with your life. This again creates respect and it becomes easy to maintain a good relationship.

Conclusion

Most individuals find post-divorce relationships hard to maintain but there are ways in which you can make it better. Accept your divorce as a new change and embrace it. Create a routine for yourself and follow it. Also, establish certain boundaries and let your ex. know about it. Your ex. will develop a sense of respect for you and your relationship will become more amicable.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Tips On Co-Parenting After A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation lawyers Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsIt is not easy to be a co-parent, especially after you have split from your spouse and your relationship with your former partner is strained. You may have apprehensions about the parenting abilities of your ex-spouse, worried about your child support or stressed about some issues. You could also be tired of the ongoing conflict and feel that all that animosity between you and ex-partner will never disappear.

However, when you co-parent in an amicable manner with your former spouse, you can provide security, the close relationship with your kids with both their parents and stability that they require. It is for the well-being of your children that there will be a possibility to overcome the challenges associated with co-parenting and build up a cordial and working association with your ex-spouse. These tips will help you to resolve conflicts on contentious issues, be consistent and remain calm so that the joint custody works well and your children feel secure and happy.

Tip 1: Keep your anger and animosity aside

If you want to enjoy a fruitful co-parenting experience, you need to have a check on your emotions. This means that you should keep your hurt, resentment, and anger at bay for fulfilling the needs of your kids. It is true that keeping such emotions at a distance could be the toughest part to work towards a good working relationship with your former husband but nevertheless, it is an extremely important one. Being successful as co-parents are opposed how you or your ex-spouse may feel about one another. Rather it is all about the future well-being, stability, and happiness of your kid. Avoid putting your kids in between. It is highly possible that you may not lose all the bitterness or anger about your divorce ever. However, the best technique will be to compartmentalize your emotions and keep telling yourself that these are your concerns but not your kid’s; you should ensure that the issues you have with your ex-are kept away from the kids.

Tip 2: Try To improve your communication with your ex

Meaningful, consistent and peaceful communication with your former partner is a must for making your co-parenting click, although they may not appear to be possible. However, everything starts with your mindset. You need to remind yourself that the peaceful communication between both of you can be highly needed for the well-being of your child. Prior to getting in touch with your ex, introspect how your discussion could affect your kid and make a resolution to conduct yourself in a dignified manner. The key point of every talk that you have with your ex should revolve around your kid. You need to also note in this context that meeting your former spouse physically may not be essential always. You can speak to him or her over the phone, exchange messages, emails or texts on a majority of the occasions.

Tip 3: You need to co-parent as a single team

Being a good parent also involves having frequent decisions with your ex-irrespective of what you feel about one another. When you communicate and cooperate with one another without bickering or hurting one another, making decisions become much easier and simpler on everyone. When both of you work together as a team, decision-making with respect to your child becomes quite easy.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

How to Help Your Kid through Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsAs thousands of couples decide to end their marriages every year, their kids are also affected in the process. But their reactions will depend to a large extent on their personality, the circumstances under which the parents decided to separate and their age. Kids often get affected when their parent’s divorce. Often, the first reaction these children go through is that of sorry, anger, frustration, sadness, and shock. However, these children can deal these feelings in a better way as they know how to cope up with stress. As an end result, many of them are more tolerant and flexible when they become young adults. At such trying times, the most crucial things both the parents can do are to help their children steer through it by taking the following steps:

Important steps

  • Try to minimize disruptions in the daily routines of their children.
  • Make sure that legal talks, heated arguments, and visible conflicts happen away from the kids.
  • Do not be negative in front of them. Conversation with close friends and private therapy sessions should not take place inside the house.
  • Both the parents should be involved in the lives of their kids. Indifference will hurt them more.

People going through divorce or separation require lots of emotional support from their families, clergy, professionals and friends. However, these adults should never seek support and help from their children though they may appear ready to do so.

Break the news gently

The moment you are completely sure of your divorce plans, you should speak to your children about the decision to separate. Yes, it will be not an easy task to break this news. In case it is possible, it is better if both the parents are present while the news is shared. Make sure that you adopt a neutral and unbiased tone and do not express your emotions of guilt, anger or disillusionment while telling them about your separation. Of possible rehearse how you are going to break the news from beforehand so that you go not lose your temper or become upset during the discussion.

You should discuss the matter in accordance with the temperament, maturity, and age of your kids. But one statement should be common. Whatever took place between both of you; your kids are not responsible for that. This is because a majority of the children feel that they should be blamed when things did not work out between their parents. So, it is extremely crucial that the parents reassure their kids about this.

Rather tell your children that at times the adults do not agree on things or their love for one another change and so they decide to live separately. But also tell them that children will tie the parents forever no matter what happens.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

5 Ways In Which Co-Parenting Can Be Effective

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediators in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsCo-parenting is usually seen as a responsibility shared by divorced couples, but there is more to co-parenting than a simple responsibility. Co-parenting can also involve someone else other than the parents. When a parent and another person take care of the child, it is also known as co-parenting.

  1. Do what is best for the child

When it comes to child custody or any other laws where children are involved, the California court always rules in favor of the children. If you are at a crossroad where you need to take important decisions regarding your children remember to do what is best for the children. Because it is the children that you will be ultimately worried about.

  1. Don’t talk bad about your ex in front of the children

It’s natural to talk bad about your ex in front of your children especially when you have gone through a bad marriage. But always remember that in doing so it is your children who will get affected. Your ex will remain an important part of the responsibility towards your children. When you criticize your ex, a certain negativity develops in your children which can be dangerous in the long run.

  1. Never tell your ex you are the better parent

At times, you will feel the urge to show your children that you are better than your ex but it’s a good idea to stay away from that notion. Saying that the other parent is bad won’t make you look like the best parent in the world. Moreover, such things don’t work in a court of law in California.

  1. Establish rules and family values

Family rules and values are central to every parenting. Teaching your children the importance of family life can be a great way to keep things organized in life. Moreover, it will also help you and your ex maintain an amicable relationship. As a parent your main aim is to create a healthy environment for your children where they can grow and learn life’s important lessons. So what better place than their own home.

  1. Make plans for in-law and family visits

After getting a divorce, having the support of your in-law and family members is very important even though you may not want to see them. It’s good because the children should not feel alienated after you get your divorce.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

The Impact Of Divorce On Teenagers

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody attorneys in Orange CountyDivorce is difficult time for everyone. The couple go through a series of emotional and psychological changes and adjust to the new life. But apart from the parents, the effect of divorce on children is equally painful. Sometimes it can get out of control as children behave differently in different situations.

Being a teenager can be tough. They are neither kids nor adults and sometimes they act differently because of this. And when the parents get divorced, the effect is unique for each teenager.

Adjustment problems

Research has shown that in the first two years after divorce, teenagers have a hard time coping up with the truth. Adjustment becomes difficult and they show varied behaviors. But as time passes, the situation becomes better. They accept the fact that their parents won’t be together anymore and start adjusting to the new life. Most of the teenagers won’t face any negative effects when they grow up.

Emotional and psychological effects

Children have pure emotions and they show what they feel. But in teenagers, it may not always be the same. Witnessing a divorce can be tough for them. They sometimes show an outburst of emotions or don’t show anything at all. As kids, they’ve looked up to their parents as role models and the behavior of parents affects them. If parents use criticism to deal with a certain problem during a divorce, then automatically teenagers feel that criticism is a tool to handle such situations. Similarly, other emotions like anger and fear become a common part of their daily routine to deal with problems.

Feeling distress during a hostile environment is not exclusive to teenagers. It is what each of us do when put in similar situations. When teens witness, their family falling apart, they too feel distressed. Psychological studies show that blood pressure and heart rate increases in children who witness adults fighting. Over time the psychology changes and can result in negative results.

Effect on academic performance

Teens undergoing psychological and emotional changes have a hard time concentrating on their academic performance. So, naturally, their grades go down. This is very evident in intelligent children who have fared better than their peers in school. The drop in grades is due to emotional problems and not due to emotions. Even teachers find it hard to teach teens undergoing emotional issues. With more and more parents getting divorced each year, the number of such teens are increasing.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Guidelines For Peaceful Co-Parenting With Your Ex

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody mediation Orange County; California Divorce MediationIn a majority of divorce cases, both the parties involved are caught up in a perpetual cycle of resentment and retaliation. Both partners are willing to go to extremes in trying to avenge the psychological damage a divorce brings to them. However, if a child is involved in a parental separation, the situation becomes even worse. In order to create a peaceful transition from a happy family to a single parent upbringing for your child, you need to ensure that the co-parenting is carried out amicably with the other parent.  There are a few co-parenting guidelines which you may follow in order to achieve minimum stress for your child.

Understanding your divorce settlement

Most of the co-parenting issues stem from a misunderstanding of the divorce settlement, which often leads to skewed notions about how one needs to carry out co-parenting. Asking questions regarding the visitation arrangement and having a sound understanding of its instructions is critical to a smooth co parenting procedure. Fighting over who will take the kid out on Halloween or what is the duration of the visit will be highly detrimental to the mental well being of your child. Since separate states have separate laws for visitation and custody related settlements, you need to consult your attorney and obtain a thorough understanding of what your divorce decree entails.

Think practical

It is understandable that in a highly hostile situation such as a divorce, the parties involved find it extremely difficult and draining to fight back their overflowing emotions. However, if you really care about the best interests of your child, it is utmost essential to do away with all lies, manipulation and resentment that might fuel your battle further. While it might seem tempting to vent all your pent up anger at every chance you get, it is best advised to remove all extreme emotions from your communication with your spouse.

Prevent any outside influence

It is best to keep your new spouse or partner out of the co parenting process with your ex. Asking your new boyfriend to pick the kids up from a dance class, will do no good in subduing the hostility with your ex. A replacement for your ex might actually be viewed as a threat to them, and might provoke unsolicited arguments. It is best advised to keep your new involvements away from co-parenting, until both you and your ex are emotionally detached in an entirety.

It is only when both parties become indifferent of each other’s existence, that the co-parenting actually becomes peaceful. Although, till the time both parties get affected by each other’s actions, the process might require a lot of effort from both sides, yet it is definitely worth a shot.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

How To Explain To Your Children The Reason Behind The Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange-County-divorce-mediation-attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsYour divorce or separation ordeal can be an agonizing time for your children. There are a million questions that flash across the tender mind of a child when his/her parents are parting ways, and he/she is left in the custody of any one of the two. And if these questions are left unanswered, your child might be left befuddled with the circumstances, and start forming negative opinions about your character. Such children often grow up, with a distorted mindset about the sanctity of the institution of marriage. However, if you choose to discuss the situation with your child openly and with a clarity of mind, he/she might be better equipped to deal with the painful ordeal.

Choose your timing wisely

The first and foremost thing to keep in mind when breaking the news to your child is the right timing. Avoid confusing your child with the uncertainty of your divorce before it has been finally decided upon. Also, remember that once your child comes face to face with the ugly truth, he/she would require you to be with him/her afterward, to offer him/her reassurances.

Break the news together

In the midst of the emotional turmoil and conflict, it might seem difficult to agree upon anything with your spouse. However, for your child’s sake, it is essential that you do the talking along with your partner, as a team. When your child hears the same story from both the parents together, it assures him/her that it is a mutual decision and allows reinforcement that they are still loved.

Assure him/her that it is not his/her fault

More often than not, children end up taking the blame of their parent’s separation, on themselves. The child might think that his/her parents are separating because he/she did not do well in school or because he/she misbehaved. It is your responsibility to clear his/her mind of any such negativity and explain to him/her that your divorce is an adult decision that does not involve him/her in any way.

Spare your child the intricacies of your divorce

It is best not to display your disagreements in front of your child. You might be having a thousand problems with your spouse and probably a million reasons to stay away from him/her. However, it is in your child’s best interest, not to reveal every single detail of your conflicts to him/her. Calling your spouse names or arguing with them in front of your child would end up destroying their image in his/her eyes.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that all your child need in this heart-breaking time is a genuine reassurance and a consistency of the routine he/she relies on.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation