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Tips to help your children adjust to divorce

When faced with divorce, you can't help but think that the process will bog you down for months on end. While there's a lot to deal with during this difficult time of your life, it's critical to take the necessary steps to protect both you and your children.

Here are three tips you can follow to help your children adjust to life after divorce:

  • Maintain stability: Some things will change, but that doesn't mean all stability should go out the window. For example, if you always read to your children at bedtime, make sure you continue to do so after the divorce.
  • Answer their questions: Your children will have just as many questions as you, so make sure you're available to answer them as they arise. If you continually avoid questions from your children, it'll only complicate things.
  • Don't put your children in the middle of your divorce: This is a common mistake that can make life miserable on you, your children and your ex-spouse. A common example is telling your children that the divorce was the result of something their other parent did. Even if this is true, there's no reason to put your children in the middle. Let them love both of you equally.

What to do about a violation of a parenting agreement

You create a parenting agreement with the idea that it will help you and your ex-spouse better raise your children in the future. Despite your best intentions upfront, things have a way of going wrong as the months and years pass.

If your ex continually violates a court-approved parenting agreement, it's critical to learn more about your legal rights. If you overlook this, time and time again, it could impact you and your children in a number of ways.

How to spend quality time with your children this summer

Even if you don't live with your children, if you have visitation rights, you're still able to spend a good amount of time together. During the summer months, there is no shortage of activities to consider.

Here are five of the best ways to spend quality time with your children this summer:

  • Take a trip: As long as you don't violate your custody order and discuss the details with your ex-spouse, this is one of the best ways to give your children an experience they'll always remember.
  • Take a hike: Regardless of where you live, you shouldn't have any problem finding an area to take a hike. If this doesn't work for you, a simple walk or jog around the neighborhood can be just as exciting.
  • Go on a bike ride: There's nothing children enjoy more than a bike ride, especially one in an area that they don't visit often.
  • Play sports: From baseball to basketball to golf, there are many sports you can play with your children during the summer months.
  • Read a book outdoors: There's something about reading outdoors that changes the entire experience. Find a cozy spot on your porch or a local park, sit down with your children and read to them.

What are the most important times in your child's day?

When setting up a custody and visitation schedule, it is important to think carefully about exactly what time you want to spend with your child. When can you have the most impact on their growth and development? What time of day is best for your relationship with them? What can you do to create a schedule that, though you do not get to see your child as much as you used to, still helps you be a valuable part of their life?

According to researchers, here are the three times of day that have the greatest impact and are considered the most important in a child's life:

  • Right after waking up in the morning
  • Right after getting back from a day at school
  • Right before going to bed for the night

Study finds that working moms benefit children

When you were married, you stayed home with your kids seven days a week. You thought that doing so was best for their growth and development.

After you got divorced, you had to go back into the workforce. It was necessary, but you still worried about how it might impact the kids.

2 ways that child custody decisions are made

The divorce process will change you in many ways. From your personal life to your finances, you should prepare for anything and everything that could come your way.

Just as important, you must provide a stable environment for your children during this difficult time. Neglecting to do so can result in a variety of issues, both now and in the future.

Re-entering your kids' lives after an absence

You've been largely out of your children's lives since your divorce. Perhaps you've been living on the other side of the country or even abroad. Maybe you've been in a recovery center getting help for a substance abuse issue. Some parents don't see their children for years because they're incarcerated.

Whatever the situation, you now are in a position to re-establish a relationship with your children, with shared custody or at least regular visitation. If your co-parent has concerns, they may try to prevent that. They may genuinely have the children's best interests at heart or they may simply still feel angry and resentful over your divorce.

Important details to include in a visitation schedule

If you are going through a divorce and share children with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you'll want to create both a parenting agreement and visitation schedule.

A visitation schedule clearly outlines visitation time, giving both parents, as well as the children, a better idea of how things will unfold in the future.

Do you understand the details of legal custody?

Legal custody is an important aspect of any divorce involving children. In short, this gives a parent the legal right to make a variety of long-term decisions about raising their children.

Many of these decisions are related to the following:

  • Education, such as choice of schools
  • Religious beliefs
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Health care

Visitation interference: Things you need to know

If you have visitation rights with your children, it's important to stick with the agreed-upon schedule whenever possible. Not only does this provide your children with stability, but it also insures that you get to spend time together.

While some people never run into trouble with visitation interference, this could come into play at any time. Here are some things you need to keep in mind:

  • You can talk it out with the other parent. If they're constantly changing the schedule or keeping your children from visiting with you, ask if there's a problem. This is the best way to clear the air and get back on track.
  • Don't stop making child support payments. If you have visitation rights and are also required to pay child support, you may assume that withholding this money is the best way to get your ex's attention. Doing this could backfire, thus leading to less time with your children in the future.
  • Keep an open line of communication. It's not always easy to communicate with an ex, but doing so can keep you on the same page with your co-parent. If face-to-face conversations are difficult, stay in touch via text or email. Also, stick to discussing topics that are relevant to your children.
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