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Health Insurance and Medical Support for Children

In Child Support by Sarah Hink

Obtaining adequate health care coverage for your children is a big deal as a parent—you always want to be sure that your children are covered if they have pre-existing medical conditions or in the event of a medical emergency. Unfortunately, the cost of health care continues to rise in this country. Further, there is continued legislative uncertainty regarding the Affordable Care Act. It is therefore in your interest to understand how the laws in North Carolina address children’s health care and medical expenses when it comes to child support.  Medical Support By Agreement or Order Under North Carolina General Statute 50-13.11, parents can either agree or a court can order one or both parents to pay for a child’s “medical, hospital, dental, or other health care related expenses.” These can …

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Healthy Children and a Healthy You

In Health, Lifestyle, Parenting by Sarah Hink

In the age of smart phones, social media, and video games like Overwatch and Fortnight, children have more and more opportunities to stay home and remain inactive. Childhood obesity is an ever growing epidemic. In fact, the Center for Disease Control has found that the obesity rate in children has tripled since the 1970’s and that 20% of children are now considered obese. Obesity can have very serious physical and emotional effects on a child. This can include an increase susceptibility to diabetes, asthma, and heart disease as children. These health issues can worsen into additional metabolic diseases, chronic ailments, and cancer as adults. Emotionally, obesity can result in children with low self-esteem or depression; and these children may experience some form of bullying from their peers. Lead Your Children …

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Children and “Legitimation”

In Child Custody, Child Support, Parenting by Sarah Hink

Children are frequently born to couples that aren’t married. While there was once a stigma, and even a derogatory term, associated with this, having children without a formal marriage has become incredibly common and accepted. Unfortunately, the law has not caught up and presents an obstacle to children when it comes to their legal rights. In order to gain all of the legal benefits and rights as a child “born in wedlock”, a child must go through a legal process called legitimation. What is Legitimation? Legitimation and paternity are not the same thing. The purpose of a legal paternity finding is primarily to establish a man as the father of a child for purposes of seeking and enforcing child support orders. Legitimation, on the other hand, focuses on the child …

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Appreciating All Child Caregivers

In Health, Lifestyle, Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

On October 30, 2015, President Barack Obama proclaimed that: “Day in and day out, selfless and loving Americans provide care and support to family members and friends in need.  They are parents, spouses, children, siblings, relatives, and neighbors who uphold their unwavering commitment to ensure the lives of their loved ones shine bright with health, safety, and dignity.  During National Family Caregivers Month, we rededicate ourselves to making sure our selfless caregivers have the support they need to maintain their own well-being and that of those they love.” With this proclamation began National Family Caregivers Month, which expanded from the preexisting National Family Caregiver’s Week and recurs every November. Many people who become long-term family caregivers for seniors, family members with disabilities, or special needs children usually do not anticipate …

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Child Custody and Unmarried Parents

In Child Custody by Sarah Hink

In North Carolina child custody cases, the law treats married mothers and fathers equally when it comes to custody and parenting time. This is because there is a presumption that if parents are married at the time of conception or prior to the child’s birth, that the man is the child’s legal father. However, when it comes to unmarried parents, the matter becomes more complicated. Unmarried But Together Couples are increasingly bucking the tradition of getting married before having children. In fact, some couples feel like a commitment to each other is enough and choose to forgo marriage entirely. With this decision, however, may come unforeseen legal challenges. Even if an unmarried couple is together, a child’s biological father is not automatically the child’s legal father. The father and mother …

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Halloween Fun with the Children

In Parenting by Sarah Hink

Happy Halloween! With October 31st right around the corner, you have no doubt noticed pumpkin patches and costume stores popping up everywhere, pumpkins at the grocery store, and aisles of Halloween costumes and candy at Target and Wal-Mart. Even if you are weary of all the money you are about to spend this season, Halloween is a great time to be a parent. Whether you have younger or older children, there are fun events available to entertain them. We would like to offer some friendly Halloween entertainment suggestions throughout the month. So even if you don’t have the children on Halloween night this year (which is on a Tuesday), there are still a plethora of options to celebrate with them. For the Whole Family If you have the children on …

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The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children

In Domestic Violence, Parenting by Sarah Hink

Domestic violence is a very real and significant problem. Unfortunately, children are victims of domestic violence too, even if they are not physically harmed. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that “1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.” For children, exposure to domestic violence can be life altering, and not in a positive trajectory. Domestic Violence is Terrifying for Children Developmentally, children need safety and stability. Domestic violence destroys both of these essentially needs. According to a heartbreaking 2011 Department of Justice research study, in response to witnessing domestic violence, “[a]lmost one-half of the youth surveyed reported yelling to try to stop the violence or trying to get away from the violence”, “49.9 percent …

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When Your Children Have Left For College

In Lifestyle, Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

We love our children and spend countless hours doting on them, keeping them entertained, tolerating their teenage years, and planning for them to go to college. But what do we do when it actually happens and your children leave home for college? Referred to as “empty nest” syndrome, the sudden absence of your children from your daily life can be a shock to the system. There is a big gap physically and emotionally, which can lead to sadness and restlessness. It is therefore important to be mindful of this change and to take steps to exercise self-care. Here are some friendly suggestions If you are in a relationship, reconnect with your partner. So much of your time and energy has been spent in your relationship with your children that you …

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Starting a New Relationship

In Relationships, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Divorce is the end of an important, long-term relationship. It is a seismic shift in your life and has even greater impact on your children’s lives. Divorce is also an opportunity for positive change and independence. Further, there may come a time that you decide to begin dating again. When you feel that urge, it may help you to keep the following advice in mind. Be sure that you are ready. While companionship can be wonderful, remember that you are recovering from your divorce, which is a trauma. It is important that your nervous system is intact that you are confident in your capacity to make big decisions. Take your new relationship slowly. It is not healthy to be in a relationship with someone just for the sake of being …

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How to Solve the Stress of the Single Parenting Equation

In Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

Which formula is easier to solve? A: (E/Fp)-(1-apT+pT2)/(E(Fpm)) or B: Finding the right formula to reduce the stress of being a single parent? Well that’s a no brainer …or is it? Did you know that one of every four American children live in a single-parent home?  That means if you’re a single parent, you’ve got lots of company and lots of experience with trial and error to help you find your single parent mojo. The circumstances may vary (some parents are divorced, others are widowed, and others are single parents by choice), but for many, the reality is that single parenting can be stressful, demanding, and hectic. If you are a single mom or dad, there are strategies to help reduce the stress in your life that can lead to …