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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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The Effects of Domestic Violence on Your Children

In Child Custody, Domestic Violence by Carly Baker

Domestic violence in a relationship is dangerous and can be deadly. While victims suffer both emotional and physical trauma from an abusive relationship, the impact of the violence on children must also be considered. During these formative times in their development, children need stability, safety, and trust. Unfortunately, the presence of domestic violence—whether it is occurs in the child’s presence or not—can throw a giant monkey wrench into all of these critical childhood needs. If this topic is relevant to your current relationship, consider the following: Domestic violence can be incredibly dangerous to children. While you love your children, domestic violence situations involve heightened emotions and bad decisions. This means that an abuser is not acting in children’s best interest and is putting them at great risk of harm; further, …

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COBRA and Keeping Your Kids Insured

In Child Custody, Child Support, Health by Elizabeth Stephenson

Separation and divorce can bring about a great sense of financial uncertainty, which is why it is important to be informed of your options when it comes to anticipating and managing your expenses. One such are is healthcare for your children. Even with insurance, health care for children is expensive. If you’ve ever had to bring your children to the emergency room or an after-hours clinic, you know exactly what we’re talking about. You may get a giant bill from the facility, and when you think that’s the end of it, you can get bills from the private doctor’s group and from labs that performed blood work or x-rays. Imagine then, if you had to cover your children’s ongoing and emergency health care without insurance. This is a prospect that …

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Supervised Visitation and Safe Custody Exchanges

In Child Custody by Elizabeth Stephenson

When family courts enter custody and visitation orders, they do so based on what is in the best interest of the children. This is an open concept that can encompass many different considerations. Sometimes, courts end up hearing evidence that concerns them to the extent that they limit a parent’s custody or visitation. This may include evidence of domestic violence, a criminal activity, substance abuse, child neglect, emotional abuse of a child, or physical abuse of a child. In other words, if the court feels that a parent poses some physical or emotional risk to the child or the other parent, then a court will make decisions it feels necessary to protect them. However, it must also balance the underlying public policy that children should spent time with both parents. …

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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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How a Criminal History May Play Into Your Divorce

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

North Carolina is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce. This means that for a spouse to obtain an “absolute divorce” from another spouse, the spouse does not need to prove the other spouse engaged in any sort of misconduct that resulted in the divorce. Instead, courts may grant a divorce upon a finding that the couple has been separated for a full year. Nevertheless, this does not mean that a spouse’s actions during a marriage have no bearing on the issues relating to a divorce. In fact, many people make mistakes and have some form of criminal history, which makes it important to understand the ways that this history may play into a divorce. Criminal Activity Can Bear on Alimony Judgments One of the significant aspects that a …

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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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Can My Parental Rights Be Terminated?

In Child Custody by Carly Baker

A lot of our lives revolve around our children. They represent our plans, our hopes, and the future of our families. In fact, parental rights are a fundamental right that have constitutional magnitude. Unfortunately, these rights are not absolute, and there are ways that a parent can fail a child to an extent that opens their parental rights to limitations and even termination of those rights. Termination of parental rights proceedings are very serious and can result in the permanent severance of the parent-child relationship. Therefore, termination is unusual, and courts treat it as an option of last resort. Who Can Seek Termination of Parental Rights? There are numerous people or entities that can seek termination of a parent’s right. Terminations most commonly occur in the context of child abuse …

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Parenting and Healthy Boundaries

In Parenting, Relationships by Sarah Hink

Family dynamics with your parents and other relatives can be incredibly complex. A lot of the parenting decisions and methods that your parents utilized or that you witnessed of extended family—for better or worse—have impacted who you are as an adult and how you raise your own children. When you have children, it can therefore be confusing as you try to balance your own values of how you want to parent your children, versus the unsolicited advice that you receive from your family and friends. When you are a new parent, you will probably experience the gravitational pull that young children seem to have on your parents, your siblings, and your extended family. This is natural as your kids are adorable. However, with this increased exposure and access to family …

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Appreciating Good Grandparents

In Parenting, Relationships by Carly Baker

Grandparents love their grandkids. Aside from all the spoiling and sugar-filled memories, the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren can be a very meaningful and developmentally important relationship in a child’s life. If a healthy grandparent-grandchild relationship is something you are interested in fostering, consider some the following ways to acknowledge the grandparent-grandchild relationship. Let Them Spend Time Together As your parents age—especially if they retire—they tend to have more free time and an increasing need for help. There is a natural role reversal where you, who was once their dependent child, transition into more of a caretaker role as your parents become seniors. If there is a positive relationship, encourage your children to spend time with your parents. Let your children keep them company and be their helper for household …