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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 …

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Nasty Custody Disputes: What Not to Do

In Child Custody by Sarah Hink

Disputes over child custody can get highly contested when parents aren’t able to reach agreements. This is unfortunate as everyone involved—especially the children—are experiencing their own unique trauma and have to learn on the fly how to cope. But as experienced family law attorneys, we see the anger, desperation, and poor decision making that can arise in the context of child custody, along with the horrendous consequences. We therefore urge our clients to avoid the following actions at all costs. Don’t Resort to Harassment, Stalking, or Violence Harassment, stalking, or violence have never resulted in a positive outcome for the person responsible. In fact, it is terrifying at best and deadly at its worst. If you resort to any of these actions, then you can count on three legal outcomes: …

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Fatherhood and Leading by Example

In Child Custody by Elizabeth Stephenson

    Children learn to socialize, cope, develop relationships, and navigate life based on their observations of the adults in their lives. Amongst the strongest influences in helping children develop into healthy, well-adjusted adults are their parents. This is why as a father, it is so important to approach parenting in a thoughtful, consistent manner. A critical part of this equation is to truly understand that you lead your children with both your words and your actions. In essence, you can positively lead by example when your actions match your words. Healthy Relationships  Children often mimic their parents’ mannerisms in the context of what they see between adults. Just watch them interact with their friends or at the playground, and you may notice them using some very familiar words and …

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What Might Your Visitation Schedule Look Like?

In Child Custody by Elizabeth Stephenson

When you separate from your children’s other parent, you all enter into a new and unfamiliar world of custody and visitation schedules. It is an adjustment for everyone, as parents want to maximize their time with their kids but are now limited in doing so. The children can also struggle with the adjustment of seeing each parent less and often having to spend nights in different homes. If you are in this difficult process, it is important to be prepared—not only for your own sake but also for your children’s. How Custody Schedules Come About Parents can reach a legally binding agreement regarding custody or visitation with their children, or if they cannot agree, they can file a lawsuit to ask a judge to make a determination regarding custody and …

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Transitioning the Kids Back to School

In Child Custody by Elizabeth Stephenson

The end of the Summer is a bittersweet time for parents. On some level, you’re ready to resume the consistency and structure of the school year; while simultaneously feeling like your time with the kids is about to become much more limited. Children experience similar internal conflicts, where they are nervous about new teachers and sad about the lack of freedom, while also excited to see their friends again. Fortunately, your children have you to help guide them into the new school year. With a thoughtful approach, you can definitely put them in a position to hit the ground running toward a productive school year. Transition your children’s internal clocks back to school hours. Children tend to stay up later and wake up later during the summer. Start enforcing an …

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What to Bring to Your Initial Consultation

In Child Custody, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Beyond the emotional toll that comes with a separation or a dispute over child custody, there is the practical aspect of reaching a legal and enforceable resolution that will help you move forward with your life. In reaching this resolution, many people find it critical to retain the services of an attorney for advice, for information, and for advocacy. It really does you no harm to at least consult with an attorney. In fact, failing to utilize an attorney regarding property division, alimony, or child custody can be detrimental to your financial future or even your parent-child relationship. This is due to the risks of missed deadlines, waiving legal rights, and getting taken advantage of by your spouse’s attorney. What to Bring to Your Initial Consultation On that note, if …

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North Carolina Child Custody Myths

In Child Custody by Elizabeth Stephenson

Child custody disputes can be complicated and stressful. One way of feeling more confident, however, is to become well-informed about how child custody works in North Carolina. A big part of this process is learning about myths and misconceptions that can lead parents to making bad decisions. Myth 1: Fathers Don’t Get Custody of Children We must first dispel the biggest myth in child custody: that fathers do not get custody of their children. This is completely untrue. This misconception derives from the century old “maternal preference” that countries used to implement—which presumed that children should be with their mothers during their tender (early) years. North Carolina did away with maternal preference decades ago in favor of the best interest of a child standard. So instead of presuming that a …

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Making the Most of the End of Summer

In Child Custody, Parenting by Sarah Hink

As your children get older, it becomes painfully clear how fast time flies. This rings particularly true if you share custody of your children with their other parent—and therefore have a lot more limited time with them than you would like. And while many parents joke that they can’t wait for their kids to be back in school, most realize that these times are precious. Therefore, as summer comes to a close, it is really important to live in the moment and to make the most of the end of summer. Here are a few friendly suggestions to really make these last weeks count: Have a barbecue with all of your kids’ friends and their parents. Make it a potluck while you supply the meats for grilling. Buy a giant …

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What Say Do You Have Regarding Your Child’s Education?

In Child Custody, Parenting by Sarah Hink

Your children’s education provides critical academic knowledge and socialization that really lays a foundation for their future success. As a parent, you take your child’s education very seriously, knowing that it is both an investment and an opportunity. Further, you understand that you have to advocate for your child and to help your child find the motivation to achieve academic success. When parents separate, the issue of education can be a very delicate one. First, parents often fight over who can have physical custody of the child, so the geographic location of the child’s school is a big deal. In addition, if your child has been in a school for a long time, then there is the factor of normalcy for the child and allowing them to stay at a …