Divorce: What Should You Say To Your Kids?

All children are special and they require different forms of parenting. There is no instruction manual, no how-to guide, no cheat code. Unfortunately, a divorce can bring out many difficulties of being a parent.

It is normal to question what to say to your children and how to let them know that a divorce is coming. The answer is not a one-size-fits-all because no two cases are the same. However, despite the gray areas, there are a few points that most lawyers advise their clients to make:

  1. Let the children know that both parents love them.
  2. The divorce is not about them in the least.
  3. Everything will be fine.

 

This conversation often comes at a time where the questioned parent doesn’t have answers as to where the children will live, what school they will go to, and what the actual custody schedule will be.

As it turns out, this might not be the best advice after all. Time.com recently published an article in which the writer advises that children who are anxious should not be told everything will be O.K.
Rather, it is important for parents to validate children’s worries.

A child psychologist can help parents relay the notion of an impending divorce to their children. As distasteful as it may seem to sit in an office with your soon-to-be ex to come up with a plan to tell the children, it could make all the difference to your children.

What should you do when you don’t have all the answers? First, determine what it is that the child is worried about. Depending on the age, this could be at its simple as wondering whether a favorite toy will be able to come to a new home. Determining a child’s worries avoids compounding the problem by giving more information than might be necessary, thereby causing more stress. Give what answers you can, without scaring the child. For instance, when a child asks which parent he or she will live with in the middle of a custody evaluation, be honest. Tell the child that mom and dad haven’t made that decision yet and the judge and other professionals are going to help make that decision. Don’t ask a young child for his or her preference. This places the child in the unreasonable position of having to choose one parent over the other. Regardless of how you feel about your soon-to-be ex, most children love both parents equally and unconditionally.

Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know,” but say it reassuringly. For a parent who does not anticipate being able to stay in the same school district, assuring that the child will be part of the process of finding a new residence can make the child feel part of the decision-making. This can alleviate some of the fears and anxiety. “I don’t know” is not a perfect answer, but it is better than the child being kept completely in the dark until the day the divorce is over.

Back to School: Safety Tips

The new school year is here, and with it comes the rush of back-to-school preparations. But in the scramble to buy notebooks, #2 pencils, and the perfect pair of sneakers, it’s worth taking a moment to consider your child’s route to school and back again every weekday. Kids travel between home and school in a variety of ways: some are driven by parents, while others take the school bus, walk, or ride a bike. There are benefits to each of these, depending on a family’s situation, but each method comes with its own hazards as well. Considering these possible dangers carefully can help you plan the safest commute possible for your child. Continue reading

Divorce: Who Gets What Asset?

Dividing the family’s property during divorce can be quite difficult, especially if there are significant assets such as houses, rental property, retirement and pension plans, stock options, restricted stock, deferred compensation, brokerage accounts, closely-held businesses, professional practices and licenses, etc. Deciding who should get what can be quite a challenge, even under the most amenable of situations. But, if your divorce is contentious, then this can be especially complicated.

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Is Your Divorce Ready for Court?

For most people, the simple act of filing or being asked for a divorce is excruciatingly painful. As a consequence, most parties to a divorce try to keep things as amicable as possible, so that the whole matter can be resolved without going to trial. But what if all your best efforts to avoid that don’t work. What if you can’t find mutually beneficial solutions to difficult issues and have to ask the court to resolve matters for you? Are you prepared for your day in divorce court? If you have to go to court, the more you know and understand about the process in advance, the less stressful it will be and the more effectively you’ll be able to participate. Continue reading

How Your Credit Score Matters During Divorce

Lawyers and litigants alike have long understood the importance of maintaining a good credit rating before, during, and after the divorce. As the parties, particularly one who has not had significant employment during the marriage know, a positive credit rating is critical to establish a new residence, purchase vehicles, and start a new, single life. Often however, the actions of one party can have the effect of damaging irreparably the credit rating of the other. Continue reading

Divorce- Do You Lose Your Inheritance?

A common plan among our married clients is to leave their property to their spouse, either outright or in trust – oft-referred to as the “I Love You” Will.

Sometimes, love is lost and the couple divorces. We recommend our clients update their Wills after any life-changing event, including divorce. But what happens if the client does not, and the Will in existence at the time of death leaves everything to his or her (now-ex) spouse? Continue reading

How Divorce Can Affect Your Tax Filing Status

 

Are you currently undergoing divorce?

If your divorce will not be finalized until 2016, you have 3 options: married filing jointly, married filing separately, and if you qualify, head of household. Continue reading

Bankruptcy and Divorce

Bankruptcy is the legal process by which the debt of the party filing for bankruptcy is discharged, thereby absolving a party of a portion of their debt. Unfortunately, the bankruptcy process is not as simple as it sounds, and it can be further complicated when the parties—or an individual—are in the middle of a divorce or considering a divorce. Continue reading

Laws for Large Breed Dogs: New Jersey

Are you a proud owner of a large dog?

On May 11, 2015 the Responsible Dog Ownership Act was introduced in New Jersey by Democrat assembly members.

The bill would require fences for large dog breeds to be at least eight feet tall, and sets forth stricter rules for the leashing of larger dogs. The idea is not to discriminate against larger dogs, but to be realistic about the greater threat they have historically posed to public safety.

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How Is Equity Determined in a Divorce?

In many situations, the family home is the most valuable asset in a divorce. It is common for spouses not to agree on how to treat this asset that they both may have been paying for during a number of years. However, determining the equity of a home is a vital component to reaching a final divorce settlement.

Options Regarding House

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