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What Is Parallel Parenting?

Divorce and separation can be challenging for parents as well as children. It’s important to come up with an arrangement that allows parents and children to continue developing their natural bonds while making sure that the parents can resolve any potential conflicts that arise during the divorce process.

Parallel parenting allows both parents to stay connected with your children while getting enough space from each other to work through this process.

Here’s how parallel parenting can help parents as well as children.

How Parallel Parenting Helps Your Child

Parallel parenting it’s a way for separated couples to still ensure that their children stay connected to both parents. This style of parenting involves parents splitting important events, such as music recitals and sporting events, so that they avoid conflict while still staying connected to their children. This is an ideal option for parents who have high levels of conflict, but who still want to stay involved in their children’s lives.

Here are a few key benefits of parallel parenting.

Reduces Conflict

This article from the University of Florida states that parallel parenting is a good choice for parents who have high levels of conflict when they are in communication. While parents who have amiable relationships might be able to switch over to co-parenting, parents who risk exposing their children to undue conflict can avoid these conflicts by parallel parenting.

This helps minimize conflict for both the parents as well as the children. This also allows the children, and parents, to retain their levels of connection while working through difficult conflicts that can come with a divorce.

Lowers Stress

Parallel parenting also lowers stress for everyone involved. This naturally lowers stress for the parents who are in conflict by giving them some time and space apart. It also helps to lower conflict for the children who often get caught in between these arguments.

Promotes Parent-Child Bonding

It can be difficult to determine how much time each parent can spend with each child. This does create issues when it comes to parent-child bonding. Parallel parenting is a way for children to develop strong connections to their parents even if the parents themselves no longer get along.

How You Can Create a Parallel Parenting Plan

One of the best ways to develop a co-parenting, parallel parenting, or other arrangement is to work with an experienced family law legal team. Erica Bloom is an expert of family law and can help parents develop a parallel parenting agreement that satisfies their needs as well as the needs of their children.

You can reach out to Erica Bloom today to start working on a parallel parenting plan that helps you children while giving the parents room to avoid conflict.

 

How To Celebrate The Holidays After Divorce (And Keep Your Sanity!)

A divorce can cause a lot of conflicts, even after it’s over. As the holidays approach, you may feel uncertain about how to celebrate the holidays post-divorce without worrying about losing your sanity. The following tips will help you make the holidays more enjoyable and ensure you can find your new normal after your divorce.

Keep Things as Normal as Possible

Some couples manage to maintain their holiday traditions just the same as they did before the divorce. However, if you aren’t one of those people, you can still make your holidays less stressful by creating new traditions, while maintaining some sense of normalcy, especially if you have children. It’s essential to evaluate which traditions you want to continue and which ones you want to revamp to accommodate your changed family.

Encourage Time with Both Parents

Juggling time around the holidays can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Encouraging your children to spend time with each parent reduces anxiety and shows them both parents still love them the same. However, it’s essential to check your attitude. Don’t express animosity toward the child’s other parent and don’t let anger or self-pity get in the way of an enjoyable holiday season.

Plan in Advance

Splitting time between both sides of your child’s family takes advanced planning. Think about how you want to handle the holidays and discuss the details ahead of time. Your court order should detail how the children spend holiday time with each parent. However, you may need to exercise a little more flexibility to ensure children are comfortable, especially if this is the first holiday season after your divorce.

Start New Traditions

Your family dynamic has changed. Giving yourself a fresh start by implementing new family traditions can go a long way toward improving the holiday season and making it easier for everyone. If there is something you previously wanted to incorporate into the holidays but your former spouse was against it, now is the time to consider adding it. Set realistic expectations and let your children take the lead in helping you choose what to do for the holidays.

Give Gifts

It’s common to struggle financially after a divorce, particularly in the first year or two as you seek to establish your new lifestyle. However, it’s essential to make sure you always have some gifts for your children to open. Even if you need to reach out to local charities, family members, or friends for a helping hand, gift giving will ensure a sense of normalcy for the holiday season. Be sure to set a budget and stick to it. After all, buying your children’s affection with gifts will only backfire in the end.

The Impact of a Child’s Preference in Custody Awards

Are you going through a custody dispute in the state of California? If so, then you may be curious as to what legal weight (if any) your child’s parental preference has on the outcome of your case. By having a better understanding of California law in regard to child preference, you can better advocate for yourself moving forward. And of course, having an experienced legal team on your side can make all the difference, too.

What Weight Does a Child’s Preference Carry?

In the state of California, there are specific laws regarding how much weight a child’s preference carries when determining which parents will receive primary or even full custody of a minor. Specifically, the child must be at least 14 years of age in order for his or her preference to be taken into significant consideration. In children younger than 14, the court considers the child too young and thus not yet mature enough to express a preference one way or the other. In these instances, the child’s preference may still be weighed as a factor, but with far less significance.

Still, in children 14 and older, a stated preference carries a great deal of weight on a judge’s custody decision.

Other Factors Determining the Outcome of a Custody Dispute

While having a child report to a judge that he or she prefers to live with one parent is a big deal in court, this does not constitute an automatic granting of custodial rights to that parent. Instead, other factors must also be taken into consideration by the judge.

Some of the other factors that the judge will weigh include the health and safety of the child, the parent’s criminal history (especially in regard to domestic abuse), and any history of drug or alcohol abuse by the parent.

In general, so long as there are no concerns about the child’s wellbeing, the child’s parental preference will be granted as long as the child is at least 14 years of age. If the child is younger than 14 and expresses a preference, this will still be taken into account, but not as strongly from a legal perspective.

Why You Need Legal Representation

There’s a lot that a judge must consider when ruling on a child custody dispute in the state of California. From the child’s preference to other matters, the most important thing at the end of the day is that everybody is looking out for the best interests of the child.

If you’re in the middle of a custody dispute in California, you need legal representation from a family lawyer who has extensive experience with these cases. At Erica Bloom Law, we can provide you with the legal guidance you need throughout every step of your divorce and custody dispute. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

image of child dealing with divorce

How Divorce Physically Affects Children

Going through a divorce is difficult enough when there are no shared children involved. Unfortunately, when a couple with children decides to legally separate, things can quickly become exponentially more challenging. Children of all ages are very prone to the emotional and even physical toll that a parents’ divorce can cause.

By being aware of the ways in which divorce can physically affect children—as well as the ways in which a divorce can actually be better for children in the long run—you can have a better idea of what to expect in your own situation.

Physical Effects of Divorce and Separation on Children

The physical effects of divorce on children have been well studied over the years, and it has largely been found that children who grow up in divorced households (versus two-parent households) are more likely to suffer from a number of physical ailments throughout their lives. This includes not just illnesses, but injuries related to accidents and even drug and/or alcohol abuse.

Often times, children who have gone through a divorce will be more prone to illness. This may be attributed to any number of factors, ranging from a loss of sleep due to stress (which can weaken the immune system) to depression and anxiety.

When Can a Divorce Actually Help a Child’s Physical Health?

On the other hand, it is also important to acknowledge that a divorce can benefit a child both mentally and physically in the long-run. For example, if a child is being exposed to physically or emotionally abusive situations by one parent in the household, then a legal separation with custody awarded to the other parent can result in a positive outcome for the child by removing him or her from the abuse.

Even when no outright abuse is present, a divorce can protect children from the mental and physical stress of growing up in a household with parents who are frequently arguing or otherwise unhappy.

Time to Consult With a Family Lawyer

At the end of the day, every parent wants what’s best for their child. Unfortunately, going through a divorce or legal separation can have far-reaching mental and physical effects on children of all ages. This is why it’s so important to go about the process cautiously and with the right legal team on your side. Schedule your consultation with the experienced professionals at Erica Bloom Law to get the guidance you need!