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Helping Ease Your Child’s Separation Anxiety

In Child Custody by Elizabeth Stephenson

All children are different. They all have different personalities and different ways of coping with adversity. When children find themselves in the unfortunate situation of their parents separating, each child reacts differently. But even if a child isn’t outwardly showing signs that they are struggling, it is important to acknowledge that divorce is traumatic for all children. It is therefore parents’ duty to help their children cope with this trauma and find a path forward. One way that children’s lives can normalize following a divorce is with ample visitation with their parents. However, in the early phases of a separation, children can experience a natural amount of separation anxiety when it comes to leaving their primary caretaker and visiting with their other parent. This can manifest itself in many different …

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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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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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Making the Most of Your Visitation

In Child Custody by Elizabeth Stephenson

Children really grow up fast. Not too long ago, you were watching them learn to walk. The next thing you know, they’re potty trained. Then, you blink and find yourself having complete conversations with them and fear that they may already be smarter than you. The journey is a real blessing. Unfortunately, life tends to throw many distractions our way, which limits our time with our children and prevents us from being as present as we want to be. This is particularly true when you are in the midst of a child custody dispute, or if an agreement or custody order don’t provide you as much visitation with your children as you want. Some parents also have trouble getting past their conflict with the other parent, that they allow it …

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When Your Child Doesn’t Want to Visit

In Child Custody, Parenting, Relationships by Sarah Hink

In our practice, it is not uncommon to hear circumstances where children refuse visitation with their non-custodial parent. Regardless of why the child is refusing visitation, these situations can be awkward, tricky, and can add fuel to a fire that has been raging between separated or divorced parents. Therefore, if you are the custodian of a child who is refusing visitation, or if you are a parent whose children have expressed a desire not to see you, you should be mindful of why this is happening and what you can do about it. Why Would a Child Say No to Visits? Why would a child say no to a visit with a parent? Sometimes, there isn’t anything nefarious about it: kids may want to spend time with their friends or …

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Are Custody and Child Support Linked?

In Child Custody, Child Support by Elizabeth Stephenson

Parents Improperly Fight Using Support and Custody Unfortunately, the two issues are often intertwined in the minds of parents, since they both involve the children and generally come about during the same period of time. As a result, we often see parents attempt to punish one another by using custody and visitation or child support as leverage. In other words, when a parent is late paying support or stops paying support, then the parent deprived of support sometimes decides to withhold custodial time in retaliation. Or, when one parent deprives the other of visitation, then the wronged parent stops paying child support in response. When parents engage in this conduct, not only is it contrary to the child’s best interest, but it is also often unlawful. The fact is child …

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Fathers and Summer Visitation

In Parenting by Sarah Hink

If you have children, summertime can be really awesome. There is a freedom to be spontaneous and to plan fun activities that simply doesn’t exist during the grind of the school year. For parents that are separated or divorced, the summer takes on an additional layer of significance. If you are currently operating without a formal parenting agreement or court order, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney to ensure you can maximize your time with your children. Summer Visitation and Parenting Plans When parents work on agreed parenting plans regarding custody and visitation of children, some of the primary goals are to create structure, stability, and normalcy for the children. This means creating parenting plans that accommodate the children staying in the same school, maintaining a …

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Happy Father’s Day!

In Child Custody, Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

You love your children and work hard to meet their needs and raise them well. If you are a father who has recently separated or divorced, you understand just how treasured your time with your children is. Therefore, Father’s Day takes on an entirely new significance. So when you are separated or divorced, what are your legal rights to visit your children that day and give them an opportunity to celebrate with you? First, is there an agreement or order? If you have a separation agreement or child custody order, check to see what it says regarding Father’s Day. It would be surprising if your agreement or order does not account for this holiday. In fact, attorneys understand how important Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, and birthdays are to parents, making …

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What to Consider When Negotiating a Post-Separation Agreement

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

When married couples decide to divorce in North Carolina, the law requires that couples first separate for a full year. Couples who enter this separation period unprepared and unaware learn the hard way that this year may seem like a VERY long time. This is because couples that are experiencing the raw emotion of ending their relationship must also make big decisions about children, property, and money. Separation agreements are legally binding contracts that spouses enter into when they choose to separate. These agreements address critical subjects, such as property division, spousal support, living arrangements, child custody, and child support. These are legally binding agreements, so long as they are signed and notarized by both parties and do not violate an existing law or public policy. We recommend considering a …

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Advice for a Happy Mother’s Day

In Uncategorized by Sarah Hink

If you are separated from the mother of your child, Mother’s Day can be a very emotional day. You aren’t with your children, you are being excluded from a family celebration, and you have memories of when you all used to celebrate this occasion together. It is natural to have a lot of feelings on this specific day. As a single father on Mother’s Day, we would suggest that you heed the following advice. Most custody orders and agreements account for whom the children will spend holidays with. Mothers will get Mother’s Day, while fathers will get Father’s Day. It is important to abide by any custody agreement or order. Failure to abide by your agreement or orders can have serious long-term consequences. Understand that personal-issues aside, your children need …