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How to make a co-parenting plan work well

When Virginia parents go through a divorce, children can suffer emotionally and mentally due to changes in schedule and changes in their relationships with their parents. Because of this, many parents opt for a co-parenting arrangement, an option that allows kids to have regular access to both parents. This can be beneficial for the kids, but only if the two parents agree to work together and provide stability and security for the youngest members of the family.

Co-parenting may work well for the kids, but that doesn't mean it will automatically be easy and peaceful for the parents. Because of the nature of this type of custody arrangement, parents have to commit to working together and communicating on a regular basis, which can be hard for two people who just went through a divorce. It is never good for a child to see parents tearing each other down, making it important for parents to support each other and refrain from speaking badly about each other in front of the kids.

Is it possible to avoid contention in the divorce process?

The end of a marriage is a difficult decision, and sometimes, these challenging feelings can get in the way of trying to work together toward a settlement. In some cases, a Virginia divorce process is so contentious that children feel like they've been put in the middle of their parents' battles, which can lead to stress and confusion for the youngest members of the family. Experts say they have noticed it becoming more common for children and even adults to struggle with mental health issues because of this.

There are times when a mental health issue is such that it actually one parent feels the need to protect the children from the other parent. Other times, parents end up fighting over how to manage their child's special needs. At a time when joint custody is becoming the norm, it can be helpful to remember that this arrangement is not always best. 

When older couples get divorced, their finances can suffer

Divorce is a process that affects everything in an individual's life, from how much time he or she will be able to spend with a child to long-term savings. It's normal to worry about how the decision to get divorced will impact retirement and future financial stability. This is particularly true for Virginia couples who are older, nearing retirement age or who have been married for a few decades.

Ending a marriage is already a financially complex process, but it can be remarkably more difficult for those who are facing retirement. All marital property is subject to division in divorce, which means that some types of retirement accounts could be essentially cut in half. It is not hard to see how this can have a direct impact on decisions about where to live during retirement, when to stop working and lifestyle expectations. 

Do you want supervised visitation or sole custody?

You love your children, but you don't love their father. It was hard deciding to break out of this marriage, because you knew it would affect your kids. The truth was, though, that you just weren't a good match, and there were many problems that you needed to make sure you took your children away from.

When you don't trust your spouse around your children for any reason, it's important that you do fight for custody. Whether you fight for sole custody or want to make sure that visitation dates have supervision, those are things that your attorney can help you with during your divorce.

Are child custody issues becoming more contentious?

Divorce is difficult for every member of the family, but it can be especially difficult for the children. It's a big change when they have to go between separate homes and spend time with a different parent on different days. This is why many Virginia parents are able to negotiate a child custody arrangement that allows the child equitable time with both of them. However, child custody is not always easy to resolve, and the result can be a very contentious divorce.

Some divorce experts report in seeing a sharp increase in the number of divorces that are highly contentious. In many cases, the fighting and desire to win comes from the need to get the last laugh, get revenge or act on hard feelings. While it's normal to feel these things during divorce, it is almost always in the best interests of the children when parents can set aside these things temporarily and focus on their needs first.

Protect your legal rights if pulled over for suspicion of DUI

Just the same as every other state, police in Virginia are taking things to the next level in regard to its attempt to keep drunk drivers off the road. Even though you're aware of this, as well as the fact that driving drunk is dangerous, you could still make the mistake of getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

If you're pulled over for suspicion of DUI, it's critical that you take the steps necessary to protect your legal rights. Here are some of the things you should do:

  • Comply with the officer's request for additional information: For example, they'll ask for license and registration, so provide it to them as quickly as possible. It's a good idea to know where it's located in your vehicle so you don't have to search around.
  • Keep your answers short: Don't go on and on about where you're coming from, where you're going and how you would never drink and drive. Concise answers are the best answers at this point.
  • Don't answer questions you don't understand: If you don't understand a question, ask for clarification. And if you think an answer will incriminate you, tell the officer that you'd rather not answer.
  • Don't resist arrest: Even if you feel you're being treated in an unfair manner, resisting arrest will only make things worse. It can lead to more trouble at the scene, as well as additional criminal charges.

There are many reasons shared child custody order is best

When Virginia parents go through a divorce, the youngest members of the family can experience emotional trauma and stress. It's difficult when things in a home change drastically and permanently, especially when it means the kids will not see one or both parents as much as they did in the past. This is why many parents understand the benefits of a child custody order that allows them to share parenting time and duties.

In the past, the courts gave preference to the mother, leaving the father with little access to the children. Even now, one parent may decide that it is best for him or her to seek sole or primary custody of the kids. In reality, there is significant evidence that suggests, in many circumstances, this is not good for kids and can actually be quite harmful to them.

For dads, it is easier now to share custody of a child

Most people now recognize the importance for children to maintain a strong relationship with their dads after a divorce. Joint custody is more common than ever, and it is now easier for dads to secure the parenting time necessary to have a prominent role in the lives of their children. Not that long ago, however, courts most often gave preference to the mothers, and it was very difficult for dads to share custody of a child.

Divorce has changed in many ways over the previous decades, which is a positive step for fathers. Most Virginia fathers want to be active parents after a divorce, and joint custody allows parents to share both physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to the amount of time a parent will have with his or her kids, and legal custody refers to the right that a parent has to make important decisions for his or her child. This includes decisions related to religious upbringing, medical care, education and more.

Determining child support in Virginia

When a couple have children together, they are linked together for life, even if the romantic relationship ends. They are also legally obligated to financially support the children that are the product of a relationship. As such, many people in Virginia have multiple questions regarding how child support is determined.

All states, including Virginia, have a formula to be used when calculating how much child support should be paid, though the formula varies depending on a number of considerations. While various factors can be included in these formulas, the main factors are how many children the couple have and the gross monthly income for each parent. If there is a joint custody agreement in place, the number of overnight visits are also part of the calculations.

Is divorce on the horizon? Don’t ignore these signs

Despite your best effort to maintain a happy and healthy marriage, there may come a point when you realize it's in trouble. This doesn't necessarily mean divorce is imminent, but it never hurts to come to grips with the fact that it's possible.

Here are five signs that divorce could be coming:

  • You argue about everything: It's natural to have arguments as a married couple, but if every disagreement turns into a serious fight you may have a problem on your hands. Take a step back in an attempt to pinpoint why you're arguing so much.
  • Money has become a major problem: Financial issues are a top cause of divorce, so you should keep your eyes on any issues related to this. Is your spouse upset with you about how you're spending your money? Do they have concerns about your career path? Do you regularly argue about your budget?
  • You don't talk any more: Sure, you may converse when it's convenient, but you never find yourself having meaningful conversations the way you did in the past. An open line of communication is critical to any healthy marriage, so if you stop talking it could signal a bigger problem.
  • You look for reasons to avoid your spouse: For instance, you stay at work late because you know it means less time at home with your spouse. Or you hang out with friends on the weekend in an attempt to get away. It's okay for married couples to spend time apart. In fact, it's a good idea. But this can go too far.
  • Your spouse is acting strange: There could be many reasons for this, ranging from infidelity to financial problems they're attempting to sweep under the rug. If you notice this, it's important to bring it to light.

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Roanoke, VA 24016

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