Not long ago, we talked about how parents in recovery can work to get back parental rights and access they were denied because of their problems with alcohol. Greater custody and visitation rights, however, mean learning how to parent children whose trust you may have lost and who may have suffered emotional damage because of your drinking.
Child custody agreements are often changed by the courts and parents as circumstances change and as children get older and their needs evolve. Two terms that often get confused are "appeal" and "modification." It's important to know the difference.
If your drinking and/or drug use contributed to the end of your marriage and a fractured relationship with your children, you're certainly not alone. However, many people with substance abuse problems need critical events like those to be the impetus for them to seek help.
Shared custody is becoming increasingly common for divorced parents. There are many positives for children in having both parents involved in their lives. However, the transition between homes, whether it's every few days, once a week or on some other schedule outlined in your custody (or "time sharing," as it's called in Florida) agreement, can be difficult for children -- particularly in the beginning.
One custody option that some parents with multiple children choose after divorce is called "split custody" or "divided custody." It's when each parent takes primary physical custody of one or more of their children, so the siblings aren't living together.
Your ex-spouse has met the new love of their life. Maybe they're engaged. Perhaps the new significant other is living with your ex. Either way, this person is now going to be part of your children's lives -- and yours.
If your children were young when you and your spouse divorced, you likely assumed that the parenting plan you put in place would need to be modified at some point as your kids grew up. Children's needs change, as do their parents' circumstances.
Recently, we discussed the issue of people who withhold visitation from their co-parents because they aren't meeting their child support obligations. As we noted, support and visitation are two different matters. They're decided separately by courts, with children's best interests in mind. That means one parent can't keep the other parent from court-ordered access to a child because they're behind on child support.
Parenting toddlers can be exhausting and frustrating, but also extremely rewarding. They seem to be learning new things every day. They're beginning to comprehend more about the world around them and to explore it within the boundaries set by their parents and other caretakers.
Many people — particularly men — cringe at the thought of journaling. They think it sounds like something Oprah would tell them to do if they really want to live their best life. However, keeping a journal can help people express and process the myriad thoughts and emotions that can be overwhelming during and after divorce.