Parenting

Tips on How to Make the Most Out of Your Joint Custody Arrangement 

Joint Custody Few issues in a divorce are as hotly contested as joint custody. Both parents want what's best for their child, but they don't always agree on what that looks like. Additionally, complicated schedules and out-of-control emotions can exacerbate the conflict.

Fortunately, there are ways to create workable, common-sense agreements for sharing custody. It's critical to keep in mind that custody isn't really about the parents. It's all about the kids.

That means that in a good custody agreement, you may not get everything you want at the cost of all else. Everyone wins when the parents put ego aside and focus on providing the love and support that their child needs.

Moreover, it's crucial for both parents to be realistic about their schedule and the other commitments they have in their life. Insecurity and fear can make parents want to hold on to as much as they can. This may cause them to reach for an agreement that just doesn't make sense in day-to-day life. Such a solution will not be workable and is doomed to fail. Whenever possible, it is wise to remove as much emotion from the equation as possible as you look at your life and your changing responsibilities.

Keep in mind that someone who you consider to be a bad spouse is not necessarily also a bad parent. If you consider your former partner to be an excellent caregiver and support for your child, then it shouldn't be too much of a struggle to acknowledge their right to spend equal or nearly equal time caring for your shared children.

Similarly, it's advisable to craft a unique joint custody arrangement that suits your family. This is preferable to having the court make such decisions for you. After all, no one knows your family, its personalities and its schedules better than the family itself.

This means that the parents are uniquely qualified to create a shared parenting plan that works for everyone. One of the best means for getting this accomplished is mediation.

Mediation is a collaborative and creative problem-solving process. You'll be surprised by just how many possible solutions are available to you as you work with an experienced mediator. As both sides compromise, they meet on a middle ground that is beneficial for the whole family.

If you're interested in learning more about how flexible joint custody arrangements can be, contact the Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971.
 

The Importance of Communication In a Marriage When You Have a Child With Disabilities

child with disabilities Communication in marriage is essential to the success of any such relationship. However, when a child with disabilities is involved, solid communication becomes even more critical.

Having a child with disabilities or a chronic illness is incredibly stressful for the parents. Faced with a lifetime of providing care, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by negative emotions. One of the best ways to cope with these feelings is by sharing them with the other partner.

Both will react differently to the diagnosis, and they will adjust to the circumstances at different speeds. This makes it critical to keep the lines of communication open.

This is because a child who has special needs likely will impact all areas of the family's life. Finances, social life, future plans, parenting style, and recreational options all will change. The best way to deal with it all is to discuss it openly and honestly. Failure to do this may result in one or both partners getting "stuck" on some negative aspect of the situation, which makes it impossible to move ahead with acceptance.

To help the situation, seek the increased support of friends, family and spiritual advisors. This will enable the couple to spend time focusing on their relationship and individual pursuits that bring them joy and fulfillment. Such shared and individual activities will strengthen the relationship, improve outlooks and build better communication during even the most stressful situation.

It also may be helpful to seek the assistance of a professional counselor or therapist either on an individual basis or as a couple. Therapy provides excellent tools for working through trauma and difficult feelings. Moreover, the couple may learn new communication techniques that help them to better understand one another's needs and wants.

Keep in mind that changes do not have to be negative. Even a situation that may seem tragic or desperate usually has a silver lining. Try to keep looking for some positive aspect in even the darkest day. This will improve your outlook and encourage you to seek out better communication and more closeness with your partner. Improved communication in marriage may be what saves the relationship.

 

In fact, our firm works with couples who have children with varying degrees of disabilities. 

 

CASE STUDY

Recently, a couple retained our mediation services in connection with reaching a divorce settlement.  During the mediation sessions, it was revealed that there was a lot of stress that each of them were experiencing.  They had one “healthy” daughter who had graduated from college and was getting ready to begin graduate school.  Their teenage son, however, suffered from severe autism.  Their son required a lot of attention and professional services.  The husband was working “all the time” trying to bring home more money to pay for the additional support for their son, while the wife, who obtained her real estate license in the hopes of bringing in more income to the family as well, spent a lot of her time with their son and shuttling him from place to place and just being with and caring for him. The time and attention that their son needed simply didn’t allow for the wife to be out in the field generating income from real estate.  The wife held resentment toward the husband because he was not home enough to help out with their son and the husband was feeling resentful toward the wife because she wasn’t working and bringing home any income.  What they were missing, was seeing how they were all part of the family, each participating in their own way and contributing to the family to make it “work”. Husband was out making money to support the family and pay for the additional services that supported their son, and wife was doing everything she could to maintain the household, shuttle their son to school, to various professional services, managing his behavior and the like, and each of them simply could not “see” what the other was DO-ing and how each was in fact contributing and supporting the family.  They were each “stuck” in their own “world” so focused on what each of them was doing and focused on what they saw as the other “not doing.”  The husband saw himself as working to financially support the household while the wife was not contributing at all financially and he was frustrated by that.  The wife saw herself as running around struggling to keep the household together and also managing their severely autistic son to make sure he had what he needed – and that she was doing this all on her own with no support from her husband.  Neither of them was right, yet neither was wrong.  While this might not be exactly the life and the marriage they had dreamed of when they said their “I do’s”, this is the life they were dealt, and that they chose and keep choosing each and every day.  When that was revealed to each of them, they saw each other so profoundly differently.  And, they decided to stop the mediation and instead, to work on their family and their marriage.        
 

While this couple decided to keep their marriage intact and to work on it, there are many couples in similar situations who decide to call it quits.  They can breakup amicably and have control over the outcome and work together in designing the details of their divorce, or they can each lawyer up and go to the court where a judge will decide for them.  Either way, if you believe that your marriage is ending, whether you want to pursue a more amicable and less stressful resolution or engage in a litigated contentious divorce, contact Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971 now.

5 Parenting Tips for Divorced Parents You Need to Know

Parenting Tips for Divorced ParentsThe dissolution of a marriage is a difficult transition. For couples with children, the complications seem to never end as they meet the challenges of co-parenting. However, these challenges may be diminished with these parenting tips for divorced parents.

1. Build a New Relationship with Your Ex

It may be helpful to view your relationship with your ex-partner as a new, separate one. The co-parenting relationship isn't about you and your partner; it's about your children. This may make it easier to let go of old resentments.

2. Put the Kids' Interests First

Parents that continue to fight after a divorce create a stressful environment. Making an effort to put rancor behind helps children to move forward. Always remember that the well-being of your kids is more important than any disagreements you have with your ex-partner. 

3. Be Consistent with Consequences

Too many parents who are splitting up let consequences for poor behavior slide. However, forgoing consequences condones misbehavior and encourages worse behavior. Stick to reasonable consequences, and talk with your children about healthier ways to express their feelings.

4. Stay Hopeful

Your family is going through changes. While some of these may be painful, others may be positive. No matter how bleak things may seem, there's room for hope. Your optimism is a wonderful thing to model for your children. It demonstrates your resilience in challenging situations, and that's a quality that will serve them well in their lives too. 

5. Tame Your Emotions

Whenever you are angry or annoyed with your ex-partner, your first instinct may be to fly off the handle and go on the attack. However, this is rarely an effective coping mechanism. Keep a running list of grievances instead, and periodically review them. Most may seem trifling after just a few days. The ones that are of greater concern can be discussed reasonably and without damaging the co-parenting relationship.

If you want to learn more parenting tips for divorced parents, contact Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971. These legal professionals also can help you find an amicable resolution to your divorce proceedings. Contact a legal professional today at 646-472-7971 or set up a free phone consult using our scheduling link here