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How to Nourish Your Children’s Relationship Your Ex’s Parents

ex's parents grandmother's hand reaching for grandchild's hand

 

Gone are the days of staying together for the children. Divorce is rough on everyone, but kids are not a reason why you should stay in an unhealthy or unhappy relationship. We’ve developed our co-parenting skills until we’ve got it down to a science, but one that can be difficult is helping our kids form a relationship with their grandparents — especially our ex’s parents. How can you help nourish your children’s relationship with them?

Nourish Your Children’s Relationship Your Ex’s Parents

Maintain Regular Contact

How often do your kids talk to your parents? Calling grandma and grandpa can be a fun way to stay in contact, but it shouldn’t be limited to one set of grandparents. If they call your parents once a week, or video chat since visiting is currently discouraged, they should be doing the same thing with your ex-in-laws.

It might sound like an easy step, but if you’re only talking to your ex’s parents on holidays or during major events, you’re leaving them out of a large part of their grandchildren’s lives. That makes it hard to build a relationship. If you’re not sure what they could talk about during their weekly calls, maybe schedule them for later in the evening. That way, grandma and grandpa can read them a bedtime story over the phone or video chat.

Make It a Co-parenting Rule

Even if you and your ex aren’t on the best of terms, you should create a set of co-parenting rules that help define your behavior around each other and the kids. If nourishing a relationship between your children and your ex’s parents is important to you, make sure it’s defined in your expectations.

Rules help outline your behavior so you don’t have to spend a lot of time conversing with one another outside of the context of your children. This is helpful if you’re not on good terms. They can also ensure neither one of you is going to interfere with the relationship your children are building with their respective grandparents.

Be Prepared for Anything

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we need to be prepared for everything. The spread of the coronavirus has made visiting friends and family members — especially those that are elderly or have underlying health conditions — anathema because we could be putting them at risk.

Make sure you’re prepared for the unpredictable. That might sound impossible, because how can you get ready for something you can’t predict? However, if you take the right steps, nothing will surprise you.

Keep Things Civil

This should be one of your most important co-parenting rules, whether grandparents are involved or not. Everyone should be required to keep things civil. Don’t talk crap about your ex or their parents around your kids. Don’t let your ex or your former in-laws disparage you and your parenting methods.

This can be a deal-breaker, so if you want to foster a relationship between your children and your ex-in-laws, make sure everyone is on the same page. If anyone breaks that rule, you may need to limit contact with them until they understand the consequences of their actions. It sounds harsh, but even if you’re not in a relationship anymore, co-parenting is still a partnership. Everyone has to be on the same page, or it all falls apart.

Keep Them Involved in Holidays

This step might require a bit of creative scheduling, especially if the two halves of your family aren’t on the best of terms. However, holidays are an important part of relationship-building, especially for grandparents. You’ve got a lot of options here. You can have one big joint holiday gathering if everyone is on speaking terms with one another and can remain civil for a few hours for the sake of their grandchildren.

If that isn’t possible, consider multiple holiday celebrations held on different days. Visit your parents one day and your ex’s parents next. The following year, visit the ex’s parents first, and then yours so everything is balanced. Whatever you do, make sure you’re keeping everyone involved in the holidays they celebrate.

Remember — They’re Still Family

Even if things fell apart between you and your ex, once you have kids together, your in-laws are still family. They deserve to have a relationship with their grandchildren. While there may be situations where this kind of relationship isn’t possible or wanted, you need to do everything in your power to keep communications open.

You don’t have to compromise your parenting style to help your children build a relationship with your ex’s parents, but you owe it to them to help them connect with their grandparents on both sides of the family. Your kids will be happier for it, and you can show them the value of strong family connections.

The post How to Nourish Your Children’s Relationship Your Ex’s Parents appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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What Divorced Parents Don’t Know That Their Kids Wish They Did Know!

What Divorced Parents Don’t Know That Their Kids Wish They Did Know!

Thirteen insights and messages children of divorce want their parents to know and understand that parents often overlook or don’t want to hear.

The post What Divorced Parents Don’t Know That Their Kids Wish They Did Know! appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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What should parents do about exchanging their children under a Texas standard possession order when school is not in session due to COVID-19?

What should parents do about exchanging their children under a Texas standard possession order when school is not in session due to COVID-19?

Originally published by The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Blog.

This is a question that the family law attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan have been receiving with great frequency since the middle of March. Most family court orders in Texas determine possession and visitation based on the school year calendar for the school district or school that your child attends. Without that reference point many parents were left scratching their heads as to how to proceed. With there being some question as to what will happen with school starting up (or not) in the Fall, we figured it was a good idea to continue to provide answers to these questions as we head into the summer months.

If you have been keeping your child on a set schedule with at home learning then you and your family will be ahead of the game at least when it comes to maintaining a structured environment. Many children, however, are left to fend for themselves due to a range of circumstances. Talking to your children about these abnormal times can help them to process these changes instead of just reacting to them without any context about how or why they are occurring in the first place.

Since your child lives apart from both parents you can utilize this time as a great opportunity to begin to focus on co-parenting and working together to coordinate your messages to your children, child care during the summer and what you all will plan to do during the fall if school does not start up on time at the end of summer. As unpleasant as it can be to work directly with your ex-spouse on situations like this I can tell you from experiences working with many parents in our community that it is best for your children.

What are family law attorneys advising their clients during this time?

It is beneficial to have an attorney in your corner who not only knows the law but can guide you as far as what to do in the event that a problem comes up associated with possession or visitation. If you have an ex-spouse who is not honoring your court orders or has decided to not be flexible with you during this difficult time then you may need to hire an attorney to help you sort of your options.

Without knowing your particular situation, it is tough to give specific advice. If you do want to talk with experienced family law attorneys then you should contact our office today. We can schedule you for a no strings attached, free of charge consultation via phone or video. It’s in these conversations where your specific questions can be answered. Otherwise, we will do our best in today’s blog post to provide general advice that you can apply to your life.

I think one piece of advice that is not legal in nature is that you and your family should focus on one thing above all else right now: your health. This means that you should be aware of what the government is advising you to do as far as staying healthy. However, that does not mean that you should not work with your doctor and the pediatrician for your children as well. Common sense (which isn’t so common anymore) cannot be ignored during this time, either.

Showing your child how to act in a tough circumstance can be a lesson that sticks with your child for the rest of your life. More in caught than taught with children, in my opinion. I know that with my kids they will often “forget” something that I tell them, but they will remember vividly the things I do. The habits that you display for your children as far as your health and how to take care of yourself are incredibly important for your children during this time.

Simple things that we take for granted are habits that need to be ingrained into your child starting now. This means handwashing before and after meals and making sure that the surfaces in your home are regularly cleaned seem like little things in the grand scheme of things. However, I think we can all attest to the fact that little things can make a big difference in the lives of our families right now.

Social distancing a concept that we are all undoubtedly familiar with at this stage of the game. The idea of distancing yourself from people who may or may not be ill makes sense and in theory should have been something that we did even before COVID-19 or the coronavirus became parts of our vocabulary. We should all be making sure that our kids understand why we are behaving like we are and that they begin to keep in mind how to protect themselves from sickness.

Finally, staying healthy means keeping up with the news at events warrant it. I am not saying that keeping the cable news networks on your phone or television all day long is a smart thing to do. In fact, doing that may actually do more harm than good. However, you should find a reputable news source and refer back to it when updates occur in our area. For example, as the governor begins to roll out various openings for businesses you should know when and if those changes impact you and your family.

Help your child to keep things in perspective

Your child may be one, seven or seventeen years old. Depending on the age of your child you need to be able to help him or her be aware of the changes that are ongoing as we begin to live our lives in the age of COVID-19. Eventually there will be a vaccine for this virus. Eventually we will be able to live our lives more normally than we have the past seven weeks. However, we are not there quite yet. As a result, we need to help guide our kids through this time.

That does not mean that our kids need to live in constant fear of becoming ill, getting others sick or seeing family members get sick. Someone they know may get sick, but you should help your child to understand that we all have a responsibility to keep ourselves healthy. That is how we can show responsibility to others, as well. Striking a balance between staying healthy, distancing ourselves in public when need be and educating our children on steps they can take in the meantime to keep a proper perspective on this virus.

Look to your court orders when deciding how to proceed with possession and visitation

Unless you and your child’s other parent are able to come to a mutual understanding and agreement on alternative set ups for visitation and possession, you will need to abide by your court orders. Dig out a copy and make sure that you understand what is expected of you. Those orders are not optional and do not stop working in case of pandemic. They are still the rules and you need to follow them until told otherwise by the judge from your court.

The tough part about that is your schedule and ability to care for your children during this time may have changed a great deal. For instance, if you are ill, live with a person who is ill or are a member of the “at risk” population, then you may want to allow your child’s other parent to care for your child at least for the next few weeks. Again, getting the coronavirus does not mean that you will get ill. It does not mean that worse will happen to you. However, if we are aware of the virus being passed from person to person there is no use risking your health or that of your child’s.

It would make a ton of sense for you and your child’s other parent to work out between yourselves how you would handle a situation where one of you get sick. Hopefully that never happens but you want to be prepared. Until that would occur I think it would generally be best for little to change in regard to your court orders. For one, changing court orders between yourselves will become difficult to enforce. Secondly, it will be good for your child to live their life as consistently as possible in these days where there is no school.

If you and your child’s other parent can come to an agreement on an alternative scenario for possession or visitation this week, your circumstances may change next week and one of you would simply need to change their mind for the agreed to scenario to go up in smoke. This will cause anger, frustration and a disruption to your child’s schedule. It also promotes (in my opinion) a constant degree of negotiating and back and forth between you all when it comes to modifying the orders on the fly.

The whole point of going to court, hiring attorneys and submitting them to a judge for approval was to avoid being in a situation where those orders stop working right away or are able to be changed without a great deal of thought. Coming up with new orders on the fly with your ex-spouse may work for a short period of time but in the long run may cause more problems than it solves. Talk to your ex-spouse as soon as you can about how you want to handle future periods of possession/visitation that are disrupted by this virus.

Do not try to hide your being ill if you do get sick

At this point, I’m going to guess that a lot of us know a person who has gotten sick with COVID-19. Whether or not the person got gravely ill or was just under the weather, the sickness has spread to the point of most of us having come into contact with it previously. You may have even considered what you would do if you do get sick and have a visitation time period coming up with your child. You wouldn’t want to get him sick but you also do not want to miss out on a period of visitation.

What you should do is be completely honest with your child’s other parent about your situation. If you think that you have the virus or are just sick generally speaking, then it is not wise to be with your child right now if you can avoid it. This is when working directly with your ex-spouse on coming up with visitation arrangements is a good thing to do. Our lives have all changed as a result of this virus- at least temporarily. It would make sense that visitation and possession would change as well.

You should make sure that your ex-spouse has a plan (and that you do, too) if the other one gets sick. Alternative child-care, transportation logistics, extended family who can help, etc. all need to be worked out before either one of you falls ill. This is no longer a situation where you can just say that you got sick out of the blue. We are all aware of what can happen as a result of this virus. Now it is up to us as parents to help keep our children safe.

Questions about possession and visitation in the age of COVID-19? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan appreciate the time that you spent with us on our blog today. We post unique content here every day so we encourage you to return tomorrow, as well. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the material that we have discussed in this blog post please do not hesitate to contact our office. We can schedule a free of charge consultation for you with one of our licensed family law attorneys. These consultations can occur over the phone or via video to better suit your needs as we hopefully transition back into a more normal, and virus-free, routine.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



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6 Gifts Of Growing Up With Divorced Parents

6 Gifts Of Growing Up With Divorced Parents

Little Girl Scarf.jpg

Because my parents had a cooperative divorce, the evolution of our family was a relatively easy process for me. There were a rough few months during the initial adjustment period, but then I settled in and truly began to enjoy my two-home lifestyle.

At the time, I was simply having fun and going with the flow. I was ignorant of the gravity of the situation and oblivious to the life lessons I was absorbing. Years of adult-style research and reflection have helped me realize the gifts that came from my parents’ separation. When I think about the divorce, I’m grateful because…

6 Gifts Of Growing Up With Divorced Parents

1. My family grew.

As my parents recoupled, I gained a handful of pseudo-step-relatives, one of which became my best friend. I wasn’t particularly close with all the members of my new family, yet I continued to benefit from a larger circle of people who cared and supported my academic and extra-curricular pursuits.

2. I came to know my parents as people.

Throughout the divorce process, I saw my mom and dad struggle with their emotions as well as their ever-increasing responsibilities. The changes in our family unmasked a host of vulnerabilities that forced us to meet on common ground instead of maintaining the superiority model of a traditional parent/child relationship. The breakdown of those walls made it easier to confide in my mom and dad about tough issues, and to this day I believe that I’m closer with each of them as a result of the divorce.

3. I learned not to sweat the small stuff.

My primary childhood home lacked a male presence and excessive funding. As a result, we adapted to live with a messy house, mismatched curtains, dog-eaten linoleum and a faucet that operated only with the aid of pliers. It wasn’t a big deal. We still had clothes, shoes, food and heat, as well as plenty of laughter. I never did learn the value of a tidy bedroom, however, I don’t feel that’s a great loss.

4. I gained a new level of human understanding.

It was obvious to me that no matter how rich their history and how deeply my parents cared about each other, they couldn’t maintain their life together. They were different people. People who needed to fulfill separate destinies. As a result, I learned to stand up for myself and my goals while realizing that others must do the same. In my own marriage, I refused to sacrifice to the point of suicide, and I wished my husband well as we shook hands and parted ways. It’s OK to want different things.

5. The fighting stopped.

I’m sure my mom and dad disagreed from time to time, but they kept it out of my earshot. For the most part, the strongly-worded arguments halted when my parents stopped living together. Because of the divorce, my home was peaceful once again and my stress levels returned to that of a normal adolescent.

6. I’m self-sufficient.

To be completely honest, the reality of divorce shattered my fantasies of becoming a housewife. This might sound a little sad, but I know it was for the best since I’m a terrible cook and I hate to clean. On the other hand, I’m pretty darn proud of my education, career(s) and ability to support myself regardless of my relationship status.

My parents’ divorce helped to shape me into who I am, and I’m quite happy with the result.  I’m always disappointed to hear parents confess their guilt over a divorce. Of course, I can only speak for myself, but personally, I carry a lot of gratitude and wouldn’t change a thing about the way I grew up.

The post 6 Gifts Of Growing Up With Divorced Parents appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Texas Parents Tell Lawmakers Of Devastation Of Being Wrongly Accused

Texas Parents Tell Lawmakers Of Devastation Of Being Wrongly Accused

There was gut-wrenching testimony at the State Capitol from Texas parents wrongly separated from their children by the State based on a misdiagnosis by medical professionals leading to child abuse

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Parents call for reforms to protect families from mistaken child abuse allegations

Parents call for reforms to protect families from mistaken child abuse allegations

Texas lawmakers pledge to “learn from past mistakes” as parents recall the pain of having children taken following disputed doctor reports.

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Texas parents falsely accused of child abuse seek legislative change in 2021

Texas parents falsely accused of child abuse seek legislative change in 2021

The committee is discussing the system of checks and balances between DFPS, the judicial system and medical professionals when abuse reports are submitted.

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Texas Parents Lose Custody Of Their Kids After Doctor Wrongly Suspects Child Abuse

Texas Parents Lose Custody Of Their Kids After Doctor Wrongly Suspects Child Abuse

These Texas parents lost custody of their kids after a doctor wrongly diagnosed their son and suspected child abuse.

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Texas Parents Lost Custody of their Kids After Doctors Wrongly Said Baby Was Abused

Texas Parents Lost Custody of their Kids After Doctors Wrongly Said Baby Was Abused

Jason and Lorina Troy were accused of abusing their infant son, but further medical tests found that he had a rare disease

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#MiracelsofFaith

Elgin parents accused of child abuse meet with Texas lawmaker to prevent misdiagnoses

Elgin parents accused of child abuse meet with Texas lawmaker to prevent misdiagnoses

In 2015, a doctor evaluated the Troys’ infant son after his head continued swelling. The doctor diagnosed the child with shaken baby syndrome, according to the family.

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