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Can a Child’s Name Be Changed

In Child Custody, Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

When a family experiences major life circumstances changes, there comes a need to move in a different direction. In the context of a divorce, a woman may choose to change her legal name back to a prior name. Sometimes, a custodial parent wants to change a child’s legal name to reflect their new circumstances. In order to accomplish this, there are certain conditions that the parent must meet. First: Petition for Name Change The state of North Carolina has a procedure that allows for a parent to pursue a minor child’s legal name change from a court. The first step is for the parent to file a Petition for Name Change, which is a legal document that must be signed and notarized. In addition, the parent must bring identification, the …

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Celebrate With a Season of Sharing

In Community, Lifestyle, Parenting by Carly Baker

We live in a culture of shopping and consumption. This is especially true during the holiday season. If you think about it, November through the end of December have become one endless sales event, designed to separate you from as much money as possible. Where Black Friday was the big shopping event before the holidays, there is now Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday Preview Sales, Cyber Monday, “12 Days of Doorbusters”, and countless other “can’t miss” online and in-store shopping opportunities. Oh yes, don’t forget after-Christmas clearance sales or using all of those gift cards you received. Unfortunately, the culture of gift giving has changed with the times. What was once special—the act of going to a store and thoughtfully choosing a gift—has become replaced with wish lists and no-question …

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Managing International Travel With Your Children

In Child Custody, Parenting by Sarah Hink

Traveling can be an exciting opportunity for relaxation and for learning. The joys of experiencing new places, different cultures, and interacting with other people can be eye-opening. For children, it can be breathtaking to sense the greater world with their own eyes, ears, and noses. If you are fortunate enough to have the time and resources to take an international trip with your children, proper planning is the key to maximizing this opportunity. Tips to Traveling Internationally with Children Be mindful of court orders or parenting agreements. Most child custody orders and formal parenting agreements contain provisions requiring approval from the other parent or from the court in order to take a child outside of a specified geographic range. Be sure that you are in full compliance with any such …

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Putting Your Phone Down

In Parenting, Relationships by Sarah Hink

It is hard to imagine that there was a time when the Internet didn’t exist, when there wasn’t social media. There used to be a time when we had to go to a library and use the card catalog system to find the answer to a question. Now, we have Google, or we can even just speak to Siri or Alexa to instantly get an answer. Smart phones have really changed everything. These magical computers can connect us to the entire world, to everyone we’ve ever met, to games, to instant news, to music, to silly cat videos, to love matches, and to car rides. Unfortunately, with the world at our fingertips, it is easy to lose sight of the world around us. Phones and the Internet have a great …

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Appreciating Teachers and Being an Involved Parent

In Child Custody, Parenting by Sarah Hink

Your children’s teachers spend a lot of time with them during the course of the year. For about six and a half hours a day, five days a week, you drop your kids off and leave them in the care of teachers. You put your trust into them to act in multiple roles, as caregivers, as instructors, as coaches, as mentors, and as role models. Being a teacher isn’t an easy job, and good teachers are worth celebrating for what they contribute to your children’s lives. So if your child has a great teacher, let the teacher know it. Let them know it in your words and actions. This may include sending kind notes or emails, talking to them if you see them at school, participating in teacher appreciation events …

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Tips for Child Proofing Your New Home

In Child Custody, Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

When couples divorce in North Carolina, they must live in separate residences for a year before they can seek a divorce decree from a court. While divorce is a significant and sad life experience, the prospect of moving into a new apartment or home can be a positive step toward moving forward. Further, furnishing and fixing up your new place can be a healthy distraction from your worries. If you have young children and plan to have overnight visits with them, then it is a good idea to take child proofing seriously. Here are some friendly ideas on where to start. If you have any heavy furniture, like a television stand, dresser, or shelf, make sure that it is anchored to a stud in the wall behind it. Anchors come …

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Keeping Your Kids Active with Sports

In Lifestyle, Parenting by Carly Baker

The Center for Disease Control estimates that the obesity rate of children in America is at least three times higher than it was in the 1970’s. This is not hard to understand. The world has become scarier, in that parents no longer let kids leave the house alone on their bike, go on unknown adventures all day, and come back at night. In addition to having less outdoor time, children have a plethora of electronic devices to ensure a sedentary lifestyle that did not exist prior to the 1990’s. In addition, kids are eating more and sleeping less. As parents, it is important to understand the negative impact that obesity and an inactive lifestyle can have on children’s current and future physical and emotional health. While we cannot go back …

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Reclaiming Family Dinners

In Parenting, Relationships by Sarah Hink

Teen addiction is a very real problem. Whether your child is binge drinking with friends, smoking, “vaping”, experimenting with K2, marijuana, or hard drugs, parents should be aware of the short and long-term effects that addiction poses on their children. It is a truly dangerous path to start down at a critical stage of their physical, social, and emotional development. In response to the risks of teen addiction, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse encourages parents to engage and spend time with their children in order to reduce the risks of substance abuse and other self-harming behaviors. Try Reinstating Family Dinners Parents are therefore encouraged to have dinner with their children. This is based on the common sense theory that when children spend more quality time with their …

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Celebrating Halloween When Separated

In Child Custody, Parenting, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Holidays are among the most fun times you have as a parent. Among these holidays, Halloween is near the top of anyone’s list. There are really cute costumes, happy kids, and tons of candy. When you are separated or divorced, there is only one Halloween night, which means that only one parent can actually trick or treat with them. Despite this, even if you miss the actual Halloween night, there are still opportunities for you to celebrate with your children and to have a memorable time celebrating this fun holiday. Alternate costume—even if you don’t have the children on Halloween doesn’t mean you can’t have your own costume event. Buy or make costumes with your children and have your own dress-up event at home, with games and treats. Decorate your …

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Your Childhood Experiences Impact Your Parenting

In Parenting by Carly Baker

Being a parent is hard. Even the best parent finds themselves in situations where they have regrets. Or at the very least, they say or do something to their child and wonder: where on Earth did that come from? For the good and bad we bring into our roles as parents, a big part how we act and react is informed by our childhood experiences. Consider the following aspects of your childhood: Relationships. From the time we are children, we model our interpersonal interactions and relationships on what we see from our parents, from family, from parents of friends, and even on television. Therefore, what we saw can be incredibly powerful, even if we don’t realize it as adults. For example, if we see our parents treat each other with …