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8 Life Lessons You Can Teach Your Kids During Divorce

8 Life Lessons You Can Teach Your Kids During Divorce

One of the most important things you can do is to maintain a good relationship with your children during and after the divorce.

The post 8 Life Lessons You Can Teach Your Kids During Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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529

A Divorced Mom’s Guide To Saving For Their Kid’s College

529

 

Are a you a single mom who puts the education of your children above your own retirement?

If so, you’re not alone. In a study referenced by Forbes, it was found that half of all single moms put their child’s education as their long-term financial priority, even above saving for their own retirement.

So, a lot of questions arise from the findings of single moms and their financial priorities. Why are divorced moms putting their kids’ college savings first when they are arguably a child’s priority?

Are there options for single moms that allow them to save for retirement and secure their children’s educational future?

What do most financial advisors recommend?

A Divorced Mom’s Guide To Saving For Their Kid’s College

Let’s dive in.

Divorced Moms Who Pay for Their Child’s Education Often Do So Out of Guilt

The above referenced study found that single parents are more likely to feel an obligation to help their adult children financially than traditional parents.

Often, single mom’s feel guilty about the divorce, not being able to spend as much time with their kids as they’d like (due to balancing careers), and because they want to give their child one less thing to think about in their future as they feel they have scarred them through the divorce.

So, what are the options for single moms to explore for a solid retirement and college savings balance?

Balancing Retirement and Your Kid’s College Fund

Most financial advisors would recommend that your retirement planning should come before that of your child. A couple of key reasons for this include the fact that retirement does not benefit from any federal loans whereas there are several ways to finance college. Further, tax breaks for investments are more generous than those for college savings, but there are ways to impactfully save for both.

What are the Best Options for College Savings?

Many single moms begin to consider their IRAs when thinking of ways to strategically pay for the education of their children. Turns out there is a much better way to save for both, and the college route generally involves what is called a 529 plan.

529 plans are qualified tuition plans and are tax-advantaged savings plans specifically designed for education-based saving. You have the option of two plans, depending on your ideal situation.

The first is prepaid tuition plans. These allow account holders to buy credits at participating educational institutions for the child’s future tuition.

The second college savings plan allows account holders to open an investment account that operates more like a traditional interest-bearing account, except directly aimed at educational savings.

Some of the benefits of a 529 plan include:

  • No dollar limit on contributions
  • You can use 529 plans to pay for elementary, middle, high school, or college
  • The ability to withdrawal the amount of any earned scholarships penalty-free
  • Protection from creditors in the event of a civil lawsuit, bankruptcy, etc.

Are there any negatives of a 529 for college savings?

There are some negatives to 529 plans. For starters, you can’t take income tax deductions for contributions, meaning you must pay federal taxes on the funds before adding them to the account. Another negative that is similar to many federal retirement plans is that you will be penalized if you withdrawal from the 529 account and don’t use the money for qualified education-based expenses.

What if My Child is Already College Age and I Don’t Have Savings?

While most financial planners would never recommend planning to use an IRA for college, there are some scenarios where it may be the only option. For example, if the divorced parent has not had time to contribute to a 529 plan, their sole option for helping their child may be to use their IRA.

The good news is that there are exceptions for IRA deductions specifically used for education expenses where no penalties will be incurred. This means you may be able to withdraw IRA earnings penalty-free, but not tax-free when you use the money for college.

This option, while not recommended, is ideal for single moms who have not planned on funding their retirement and saving for college.

In the perfect situation, a divorced mom will have multiple accounts set up to contribute to both their own retirement as well as the education of their children.

The post A Divorced Mom’s Guide To Saving For Their Kid’s College appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Tips to Connect With Kids Long Distance After Divorce

Tips to Connect With Kids Long Distance After Divorce

The best way to help children to adjust to your move after a divorce, is to inform him or her that you’ll do your best to keep your relationship the same. Also, reassure them of your love and devotion and say that you’ll visit as often as possible.

The post Tips to Connect With Kids Long Distance After Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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There is More to Taking Care of Kids Than Calculating Child Support

There is More to Taking Care of Kids Than Calculating Child Support

Of the many items divorced couples need to figure out — such as who gets the house, who keeps the expensive wedding gifts, calculating child support, and more — perhaps the most important decisions revolve around the kids Depending on their ages, they may or may not understand what’s going on, and, regardless, it will be a difficult transition for them as well.

The post There is More to Taking Care of Kids Than Calculating Child Support appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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post-divorce anxiety in kids

5 Ways to Ease Post-Divorce Anxiety in Kids

post-divorce anxiety in kids

 

The stress of a divorce can manifest differently in children, just as it does in adults, and your kids will naturally experience some anxiety during this tough transition.

Age can be a factor in how they handle the stress. They may have big concerns about changing residences or schools, or how the holidays will change with two households—and anxiety around everyday stressors like test-taking can be exacerbated during this time.

The good news is there are ways that you can help relieve the pressure and help remove some of your child’s post-divorce anxiety.

Ways to Ease Post-Divorce Anxiety in Kids

Get Your Kids Moving

Encourage the same stress fighting activities in your children that you need for yourself. Make sure your kids are getting regular physical exercise, which gives them physiological benefits such as an endorphin boost and reduced anxiety.

Regularly participating in an after-school or community sports program or dance class can help kids get their minds off the divorce or other situational stressors that cause anxiety. Regular exercise doesn’t need to be expensive – you and your child can take walks or go running together, or even try out instructional YouTube videos on aerobic activities like Zumba or cardio kickboxing.

Spending that time together also is a great way to check in with your child and offer the opportunity to talk about what’s causing them anxiety.

Test Time Can Trigger More Anxiety

The stress of a divorce can exacerbate the performance anxiety around testing that many children already have. Fear of failure can weigh on them heavily, particularly during a time when they may worry more about disappointing you.

Tests with higher stakes, such as final exams, can be even worse. Preparation is key. Talk with your kids and make sure you’re not making some of the most common mistakes on test day, such as not carefully reading directions. Prepping your kids before test day will help get them in the right mindset, as will a good night’s sleep and a decent breakfast.

Let them know your expectations are reasonable and that you’ll love them even if they fail. Knowing you’re there to support them will help ease the pressure.

Walk Through the Changes

If your divorce involves shared custody, your child may have some anxiety over living in two places. They may be getting used to a new room, a new house, or a new neighborhood in addition to the major changes in the family structure.

Whenever possible, involve your child in discussions about the new living arrangements. Let them help decorate their new bedroom, whether it’s choosing a new comforter or a paint color to help make it their own.

Ensure they have some familiar things in the new space, either permanently or in a bag that travels from place to place. Eventually, staying in both places will become a new kind of stability, especially when you help create a sense of normalcy and routine.

Keep a Lid on Conflict

Even the most civil of marital breakups has its moments where the soon-to-be-ex-spouses can’t agree. Even without arguing, the tension can be palpable. If you need to have it out with your ex, do your best to take the discussion out of view of your kids.

Never use your child as a go-between or an emissary. Parental conflict can make a child feel caught in the middle, and anxiety increases. Even parents who stay together can cause a great deal of anxiety in their kids if they display a lot of conflict, so take heart in knowing that even with the divorce, you can make things easier by keeping conflict out of view.

If conflict is unavoidable, be sure to give your children lots of emotional support following any confrontations.

Talk It Out

Sometimes kids might be afraid to talk about how the divorce is making them feel for fear of making things worse or causing you trouble. Be sure they know your door is open, and that they know their well-being is a top priority for you.

Ensure they understand that the divorce is not their fault—kids may internalize perceived actions and reactions, and feel guilty over the breakup. Let them know it’s okay to have a lot of different feelings, even positive ones, and help them articulate what they feel.

Their anxiety will lessen if they know it’s not wrong to feel or not feel a certain way, whatever that may be. They may have a lot of questions, and you should try to be prepared for ones about where they’ll live and how the divorce may impact their routine, even if the answer is “I don’t know yet.” You can assure them that you and your ex-spouse are working on all of the answers for them.

Divorce is highly disruptive to a child’s sense of stability, and assuring them you want to keep it as least disruptive as possible can help them regain some footing. Knowing that you’re a constant support in their lives can help them get through times when anxiety seems to grow.

The post 5 Ways to Ease Post-Divorce Anxiety in Kids appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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divorced dad

4 Things All Divorced Dads Should Do For Their Kids

divorced dad

Divorce is incredibly difficult, but it is important for you to keep in mind how your breakup is affecting your children.

As a father, the best interest of your children is always your top priority. You should never lose sight of that.

With that in mind, here are four things all divorced dads should do to help their kids adjust to their divorce.

Don’t expose them to any breakdowns

Two of the most common emotions associated with divorce are anxiety and depression. There is just so much emotional turmoil to overcome that it is impossible not to end  up a little stressed and sad.

It is critical to your well-being to avoid bottling up these emotions. That is one of the most self-destructive habits you can develop during this challenging time.

However, it is important that you find appropriate outlets to vent about those feelings. Reach out to family members and close friends. It is certainly worth looking into seeing a therapist to help you sort through what you are experiencing.

Do not, under any circumstances, use your children as a sounding board. This is already a heartbreaking process for them, and they should not be expected to talk you through your struggles.

This does not mean you should try to feign fake emotional strength. It is healthy to admit that you are sad to your kids and show your vulnerabilities, so that they know it is OK to feel that way too. But any emotional breakdowns you might go through should be away from their eyes and ears and in the company of a trusted confidant who is more emotionally equipped to help you.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.

Work with your ex to co-parent effectively

Children of divorce are at risk for a number of negative consequences, but those risks can largely be negated by having two active and involved parents involved in their lives.

Effective co-parenting requires clear communication, flexibility, patience, and a commitment to doing what is best for your children regardless of how you and your ex feel about each other.

This is obviously more challenging if there are hard feelings between you and your ex. A lot of couples are utilizing co-parenting counselors to help figure out this process.

“Co-parenting counseling is a specific kind of counseling intended to teach parents who are separated or divorced to communicate more effectively,” said Cordell & Cordell divorce attorney Jamie Spero. “The purpose of it is to talk about the kids’ best interest in a neutral environment with a neutral third party who has special training, and this person is supposed to help you learn to communicate more effectively, so you can co-parent your children easier.”

You might be in a spot where your ex is just too disagreeable to co-parent with. In these scenarios, it might be worth employing a parallel parenting model, which is designed for high-conflict couples.

Avoid bad-mouthing your ex in front of your kids

It does not matter how terrible your ex is, you should never speak ill of her in front of your children. Kids tend to idolize their parents and love them unconditionally. When they hear you breaking her down, it creates confusion and can result in a toxic relationship and even parental alienation.

Again, keep in mind that the best way for you to ensure your children avoid the negative effects of divorce is by ensuring they have a loving relationship with both you and their mother. The negativity between you and your ex should stay between the two of you.

Encourage your kids to talk about your divorce

Just like you, your children need to have a place to talk about the feelings they have about your divorce. Seeing their parents fall out of love and break up is confusing and can lead to heartache, anger, sadness, and a number of other unpleasant emotions.

You should communicate that it is OK for them to feel all of these things and make sure they know you are always available to talk if they need to. Understandably, they might not be comfortable opening up about some things with you, so you might need to find a teacher or counselor who can listen to your children and help them make sense what they are going through.

The post 4 Things All Divorced Dads Should Do For Their Kids appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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10 Co-Parenting Tips to Help Your Kids Thrive During the Holidays

10 Co-Parenting Tips to Help Your Kids Thrive During the Holidays

Show compassion for your kids if they seem stressed or worried about presents, holiday schedules, or other issues.  Assure them that you will help them to navigate through rocky patches and that it’s normal to feel stressed during the holidays.

The post 10 Co-Parenting Tips to Help Your Kids Thrive During the Holidays appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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thanksgiving alone

Thanksgiving Without The Kids? A Few Tips To Keep Your From Going Crazy

thanksgiving alone

You may not have your kids this Thanksgiving but you can be thankful you’re not sitting across the table from a turkey!

 

Holidays after divorce can be hard but they don’t have to be doom and gloom!

Thanksgiving is the big holiday of thanks, though, so it can be hard to be thankful when one of the things you’re most thankful for, your children, are away from you during the Thanksgiving holiday.

But before you decide to cry into your turkey and pumpkin pie, here are a six ways to keep yourself from going crazy with sadness this Thanksgiving alone.

Thanksgiving Without The Kids? 6 Tips To Keep Your From Going Crazy

Join Friends

Hopefully, you’re not completely alone on Thanksgiving without your kids but if you are and have no family you’d like to celebrate with, call on your friends.

This can be awkward; who wants to ask to crash in on another family’s holiday table? Not many, but being alone on Thanksgiving is a heartbreak that no one should experience. Your friends won’t mind you asking to join them but WILL mind if you don’t ask and end up in a depressive stupor all weekend long.

If you’ll be with family for the meal but find going home to your quiet house discomforting, hit up your friends who will be desperate for a break from their families perhaps, and ask them to meet for drinks at the local bar or stop by their home for dessert. If you choose the latter option, bring wine. Everyone loves the “bringer of wine.”

This Shall Pass

This is simply a day. Not a lifetime.

It’s hard to remember that when you are sitting down at a table with family and feeling the big absence of your children, but it’s JUST a day. And remember that even though your children are not there, you can be thankful for having them and thankful that their other parent cares enough about them to want them for a holiday.

There are so many children missing a parent who is now absent due to divorce or other reasons. Try to find peace in knowing your children are very loved.

Enjoy the Junk

If you can’t be bothered by the first two suggestions, dive in for a “junk” day.

Junk TV, junk movies, trashy magazines, and lots of sweets. Your waistline won’t expand in a day and your diet can wait until tomorrow.  If you’re alone, grab as much wine and turkey as possible (if you don’t have turkey, grill up a burger. Don’t worry—the pilgrims won’t roll in their graves) and invest in a day of Hulu, Netflix, and binge-watching television.

No matter what your flavor, NFL or the Real Housewives, indulge your bad feelings with some feel-good laziness, and an American pastime!

Go for Something Wild

If family is absent and friends are too far, why not take the holiday and weekend to go on a weekend getaway? Vegas anyone? Perhaps this night or weekend is the time you go for the fling with that younger man. And hey what happens during Thanksgiving weekend, stays there.

If you don’t have the budget for extravagant weekend trips as many divorced Moms don’t, why not rent a hotel room for one night and relax with a bubble bath and champagne, or that wine and TV combo I suggested earlier.

Maybe this is the day you take a road trip for the weekend. Maybe you go explore a local attraction you’ve never been to before. Whatever you decide, do something you’ve wanted to do for a long time, as long as it’s legal and affordable

Namaste

If you find yourself completely distraught, perhaps it’s time to do some yoga or get yourself a pre-holiday massage to try and loosen up. Take a walk for some fresh brisk fall air. Take a morning jog. Do some downward dog. Read a book. Paint a picture. Enjoy some video games. Call a friend.

Use any and all tools that you used to get through the divorce. For some people, it’s retreating from others. For others, it’s connecting with a friend. And still, for others, it’s getting outside and moving. Whatever it takes to keep you from starting the holiday season in a deep funk, do it!

Acceptance

Lastly, accepting how you feel and acknowledging those feelings are key to a happy holiday season after divorce. Remember to not compare yourself to other people. The holiday “festivities” you see on others’ social media pages aren’t necessarily as happy and bright as they look.

To further illustrate that life is not over now that you’re divorced and sharing your kids during the holidays, remember what it was like to be unhappily married and sharing holidays together.

Wasn’t it fun arguing with your ex during the holidays? Didn’t you love seeing your nasty in-laws that made your life hell? Didn’t you enjoy feeling incredibly alone while coupled and married with little to be thankful for?

No, no, and no!

You may feel sad over not being with your children but you can also be thankful that you have a new life, a fresh start, and the opportunity to love again and show your kids proof of a healthy relationship

The post Thanksgiving Without The Kids? A Few Tips To Keep Your From Going Crazy appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Divorcing Moms: How to Keep Your Kids Resilient During Divorce

Divorcing Moms: How to Keep Your Kids Resilient During Divorce

On top of keeping yourself strong and resilient during your divorce, you’re also going to have to make sure your kids are resilient also.

The post Divorcing Moms: How to Keep Your Kids Resilient During Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Judge Orders Hit On Kids with McDonald's Justice League  Happy Meal Toys and Non- Profits Steal from Victims of Domestic Violence

Judge Poised to Arrest Children for Happy Meals


Victims who have endured years of intimate partner violence, emotional abuse and financial harm got a little justice last week after the
Department of Justice got an Executive Director of a Fairfield Non-Profit to plead guilty to stealing money from victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and dating violence. 

Solano County residents and victims have fought hard for public integrity in their courts and local law enforcement community. Judges have been recalled and pressured to resign and the district attorney has started a perjury unit that investigates false claims of domestic violence. 

Sadly, Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties have more money and are tougher nuts to crack , but there are breaks in the dam. 

In Contra Costa Judge Jill Fannin, who is on the recall and impeachment hit list,  reportedly has been using court staff and members of the grand jury to investigate protestors and those circulating petitions to remove her from the bench. Such conduct is not only improper governmental activity, it is criminal, and could be charged as a misdemeanor, Parents are now calling on the Contra Costs County DA  to investigate. 


Federal Government to Investigate Silicon Valley Courts and County Lawyers

A deep investigation has found that Lucas has teamed up in pods of government lawyers, including James Gibbons- Shapiro, Jeff Rosen, Steve Mitra, Danielle Goldstein and Cheryl Stevens,  to rig family law cases where domestic violence earns millions for the local courts and corrupt lawyers, and where judges have been using the Santa Clara County Sheriffs to harass and intimate parents to protest family court issues. 

Over $100,000,000of state and federal money has failed to reach victims  since 2010. Irregular accounting audits  shows the money has been misused, misdirected or outright stolen  through non- profits including LIFT 3, that was named in the Solano County indictment, as well as  Silicon Valley Faces, and the Victim- Witness Services program housed in the Santa Clara County DA’s office since 2015.  

Recently it was learned that Judge Patricia Lucas’ issued  orders  that had Scott Largent arrested on May 1, 2018, That same order  could have thousands of children arrested for using  toy megaphones found in the newest Happy Meal Toys offered for sale to parents at McDonald’s,  Ironically,  as Judge Lucas continues to issue orders and mismanage judges determined to punish parents who protest family courts,  Fox News has published an Ohio State opinion that describes an in-depth audit that shows just how toxic judges in family courts have become. The report notes family courts are putting children in serious danger. 

Scott Largent, one of the most recognizable family court advocates, and backpack journalists, is calling on lawyers from DC Comics, and McDonalds to help children who are being victimized in California’s family courts. 

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