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New York City Divorce Legal Blog

Making co-parenting work during the holidays

As a parent, you want to provide your child with the best situation possible. In some instances where divorce is involved, this may prove to be tricky. However, for the sake of your child, it is important that you and your ex-spouse work through it.

Particularly during the holidays, there are a few things you can do to make co-parenting work.

Ask these questions before you decide to get a divorce

The decision to move forward with divorce is probably one of the most difficult you'll ever have to make. However, if you're currently unhappy in your marriage and you're not getting your needs met, this decision could be one of the best you make in your life, so it's important that you don't delay. To evaluate your situation so you can tell if "it's time," you might want to ask yourself the following questions:

Why do I want to get a divorce? There are so many reasons why people may want to get a divorce that you probably have more than one. Write all these reasons down. This may give you some perspective. It helps to put your ideas down on paper because it may offer clarity and empower your decision to bring the marriage to a close. It could also have the opposite effect of helping you realize that your problems could be overcome.

How does the every extended weekend child custody schedule work?

There are innumerable ways by which parents can divide their child custody time. Some parents opt for a schedule known as the "every extended weekend plan." This plan may not be appropriate for all parents because it allows one parent to always have the children on the weekends with a little bit of extra time added to the beginning and end of each weekend.

This means that the other parent will have the children during the work week when the children are at school and may not be able to spend as much quality free time with the children.

How children can benefit from joint-custody arrangements

As someone currently navigating your way through a separation or divorce, you may be experiencing considerable upheaval in your life as you adjust to new living arrangements, parenting routines and so on. For many parents going through a divorce, one of the hardest parts involves learning to adapt to new custody arrangements, and this may prove particularly true for parents who find their current custody arrangement lacking.

Even if a joint-custody arrangement was not your idea or preference, however, it may help you to know that children can benefit in a number of ways from such an arrangement, and it can have positive effects on your son or daughter’s overall development and well-being. Just how can your child benefit from your joint-custody arrangement?

Do you need a post-divorce modification?

A "post-divorce modification" sounds like some kind of a plastic surgery procedure. Perhaps in some ways it is not that different from an operation, but the thing you're trying to change isn't your body -- it's your divorce decree. Numerous spouses find that the terms and conditions of the divorce agreements or their child custody agreements are unlawful, not based on the truth of their current situation or simply impractical. In some of these cases, it might be possible to alter the divorce decree after the fact.

Filing appeals to a higher court

2 reasons for divorce: Unequal contribution and lack of intimacy

There are so many reasons why divorces happen that it's enough to make your head spin - especially when you're trying to sort through the puzzle pieces of a failed relationship that didn't involve an obvious problem like infidelity, abuse or drug addiction. Still, it's human nature to "figure out" what led to our divorces.

With this in mind, here are two reasons for divorce that may not be entirely obvious: an unequal contribution in the relationship and a lack of intimacy.

Do children get a say in custody proceedings?

New York actually has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country. In 2016, only 12.9 out of every 1,000 married couples divorced, which is substantially lower than in other states where the rate can get over 20 per 1,000 couples. 

One of the most contentious issues in any divorce involves child custody. There are many factors a judge takes into consideration when determining whom the child will spend time with. These factors include each parent's emotional health, each parent's ability to provide a stable home and any history of domestic violence. However, another factor that can come up if the child is old enough and mature enough is the child's own preference. 

Who is an 80-20 parenting time plan good for?

Perhaps the most difficult thing about child custody proceedings is the realization that your children are not going to be living with you full-time anymore. You'll have to give up your kids on certain days so they can spend with their other parent, and in some cases, you might have to give up your kids for most of the time. If you're certain that your children are best served by having one permanent home and living with you, or the other spouse, most of the time - the 80-20 parenting schedule might be good for you and your family.

If the majority of the following list is true for you and your spouse, then the 80-20 plan might be appropriate for your needs:

  • Your child is happier living in one home instead of dividing his or her time between two residences
  • Parents live a long distance from one another and child exchanges are inconvenient or time-consuming
  • One parent has always served as the primary caretaker for the child
  • One parent frequently travels or has a busier than usual or strange work schedule
  • The parents both agree that an 80-20 schedule is best for their children

Don't make these mistakes in your divorce

Imagine you're about to file for divorce, but you haven't learned very much about the process. You think you know what's ahead because you've heard about divorce from your friends and watched legal proceedings on television, Nevertheless, you could be setting yourself up for disaster if you don't seek professional assistance to help you navigate your marital dissolution.

Here are some divorce mistakes that a professional family law attorney will help you avoid:

How to keep a legal record of your parenting contribution

Taking care of a tiny baby is no small task, and your parenting responsibilities don't stop as your child grows older; they simply evolve. You have to prepare your children for school, make breakfast, lunch and dinner, transport your child to various activities before and after your work, attend sporting events, take your child out for entertainment, read bedtime stories and so much more. It's a miracle that any parent can do all these things, but that's what you do every day of the week.

The question is: Have you ever considered keeping a journal of everything you do for your kids? If not, no matter your marital situation, you might want to consider doing it for legal purposes. Think of your child care journal as a parental insurance policy. It could serve as a valuable piece of evidence if your parenting contribution is ever challenged in a child custody lawsuit.

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