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One of the issues that causes the most tension during and after the divorce is experience is related to child support.

Many who pay child support feel that they are paying too much. It is important to consult with your family law attorney if you feel that you are paying too much in child support.

Those that feel that they are paying outside of their own means can feel victimized by the institution. They see it as an institution created 40 years ago during a time when fathers were looked at as the sole breadwinner of the family, while mothers stayed home to take care of child raising and household duties.

Since the institution of child support has not changed with the times, it has created an economic situation that puts a financial burden on low-income families. Of the parents who were supposed to get child support, 27 percent of them lived below the poverty line, as of 2011.

These numbers are even worse when fathers are granted custody of their children, and mothers are asked to pay child support. Using statistics from the United States Census Bureau, MensDivorce put together an infographic exploring the struggles that custodial fathers go through in receiving legal or informal child support, if any at all.

The post The Struggles with Child Support for Custodial Fathers [Infographic] appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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After a divorce, you probably still harbor many negative feelings toward your ex-spouse and rightfully so. There are a number of events that could have occurred to create the animosity, and they also may harbor ill will toward you, as well.

However, the children in the middle of this conflict are not frozen in time. They still have to go through their routine and still require decisions made for them, with their best interests in mind. They still require permission slips for field trips to be signed and still need their lunches made before they go to school each day.

Custodial and noncustodial concerns

Given the fact that specific parenting decisions, such as what school a child goes to, may be wrapped up in the parenting plan in the divorce decree, it can be challenging for the custodial parent to make minor decisions without facing questions.

If you are not the custodial parent, minor decisions can often feel major. With all of the time spent away from your child, the slightest change in their daily routine can make a noncustodial parent feel like they are missing out on parts of their child’s life.

Major and minor decisions

When gauging what decisions are major or minor, it is important to maintain perspective. For example, if a child comes home and asks the custodial parent to sign a permission slip, it is not a slight on the noncustodial parent. The child is prioritizing convenience and proximity at this time.

However, it is equally important to monitor how often these types of events take place. Maintaining communication with your child can be difficult when it is not your parenting time, but it is important to always try. Send them a message or a text just to check in with them and make sure to always make them feel like you have an interest in their daily life.

Depending on a child’s access to technology and phones, they may not be able to send a message through social media or text, but that does not mean that you stop showing an interest in your child’s life.

Co-parenting and sharing information

It simply means that you will have to try in other ways. One of the most effective ways of doing so is communicating with your co-parent. As challenging as it may be at times, it is too important for the overall well-being of your shared child to not share information and let one another know what is going on in a child’s life.

The information sharing technique among co-parents is not just for the sake of the child, but can be beneficial for the parents also. Even when two parents are married, there are parenting tasks that some parents would prefer that the other would take on and vice versa. This type of situation is the same, even with divorced co-parents.

This will give you, as a noncustodial parent, the ins and outs of a child’s daily life. Whether it is during your parenting time or outside of it, it establishes a better line of communication with your co-parent and helps all parties move on from the dysfunction and unhappiness that may have been present during the divorce experience.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Obstacles and medical decisions

There are many obstacles that can come up during your pursuit of becoming more integral to the decisions that affect your child. Many divorced parents with custody can often feel empowered by the idea that they won custody. This leaves them making unilateral decisions without considering your feelings or the feelings of your shared child.

This can be especially difficult when those decisions involve a child’s physical well-being. If a parent has sole legal custody of a child, then they have full control over the medical decisions being made, according to Cordell & Cordell attorneys. However, if the parents have joint legal custody, then aspects of a child’s life, such as educational decisions or medical decisions, are handled, according to the guidelines created in the parenting plan.

Continued communication

If you have any doubt as to whether or not a decision is serious enough to consult your co-parent, consult them. They would rather have you ask them something unimportant than miss out on offering their input on something major.

For your child’s sake, it is vital to put aside any history, any emotions, and any animosity that you may feel toward your co-parent. Whether the decisions under the microscope are as small as which parent is going to drive the child to soccer practice or as big as a serious medical decision, both parents need to realize the value in communication and respecting one another’s place in their shared child’s life.

The post Making Post-Divorce Parenting Decisions appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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As a parent, making memories is part of the territory. Seeing that smile on your child’s face as you take them on a bike ride or play a game of catch with them in the backyard is something that you will never forget.

These types of moments are important, especially after a divorce. You may no longer be living in the same household as your child, and those memories may be something that you cling to when it is not your parenting time.

Any type of depression and anxiety that can develop during this difficult time in your life can be helped. For those that can, visiting a place associated with a specific memory of your child combats the depression that can develop during this time, according to a study published in Clinical Psychological Science.

You, as a parent, will need to be in the best head space you can be, so that when it is your parenting time with your child, you are ready to make more memories with them and be the parent that they need.

Establishing comfort

During the initial few parenting times with a noncustodial parent, your child will let you know how they feel. Whether they seem tense or awkward around you, it is important to provide the comfort and reassurance that they need, in order to help them adjust to this new situation.

One of the easiest ways to help them feel comfortable in this new environment is to give them their own space in your new home. Whether their new bedroom is in your new house or your new apartment, it is important for them to begin to adjust to thinking of this place as another home for them.

Discipline and parental alienation

Making them feel safe and comfortable does not mean that you stop being their parent. There are moments during this adjustment process, where they may look to test their boundaries. They may not be handling the divorce well, or they may be projecting their custodial parent’s feelings and acting on behalf of them.

Parental alienation also may be at play, and while it can be a challenge to manage a child who is actively fighting against you, as their parent, it is vital that you never give up on your child. They need you now more than ever, and during these moments, you have to toe the line of establishing a more positive relationship with your child while avoiding becoming “a Disneyland Dad.”

Disneyland Dad

One of the easiest ways that many parents establish a better relationship with their children is catering to their every whim. When a child wants a pet for the home, they get the pet. If a child wants to go to the ballet, the parent buys tickets to the ballet, and while behavior like this is good on occasion and in a healthier relationship, it is not something a parent should do every time a child asks.

There are times when you simply cannot afford to do what a child wants or buy what a child wants you to buy or cannot afford to do these things at the frequency that they desire. Making memories does not require you, as a parent, to bankrupt yourself for the sake of having your child think of you favorably.

It also does not do you any favors in improving your co-parenting relationship. As difficult as it may be to maintain a co-parenting relationship, it is in your best interest and the best interest of your child to attempt to be civil and communicate with one another.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Legal battle

If reestablishing that co-parenting relationship becomes too difficult and your co-parent begins to reduce your parenting time, it is important to contact your attorney and make sure that your parenting time remains unchanged.

Making sure you get your parenting time is an action that shows how much you love your child, as well as your intent to be an active parent. By taking this action, you have established yourself as a parent who is willing to fight for your child.

This way, you can focus on the fun aspects that being a parent has to offer. You can go to their choir concerts or help them with their science homework. You can teach them how to cook family recipes or help them overcome obstacles in their own life.

These are times that a child will look back on and cherish, but only if you put forth the time and effort to be there for them when they need it. As challenging as it may be to work around a parenting plan schedule, it still is possible to make the memories with your child that will last forever.

The post Making Memories During Your Parenting Time appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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Each month, the Cordell & Cordell Men’s Divorce Podcast features an in-depth discussion on specific issues that affect men going through divorce.

Cordell & Cordell Litigation Partner Kristen Zurek joins CEO/Managing Partner Scott Trout for a conversation about how fathers can be the best dads possible in the wake of divorce.

Although fathers are typically allotted less time with their children after divorce than they previously enjoyed, their importance is actually magnified, as kids need support and encouragement as they make their way through this life transition.

They discuss why it is important for dads to be accessible and available to spend time with their children during and after divorce (1:31); why dads should keep a calendar detailing the time they spend with their kids (3:38); tips for getting involved in your children’s routine (7:32); Gameday Coffee’s relationship with Cordell & Cordell in helping fathers come up with purposeful activities with their kids (10:05); the importance of organization when separating personal time and time with your children (13:00); tips for keeping the peace with your ex (15:27); why you should avoid talking about child support and your ex’s finances in front of your children (16:08); how guys can foster a healthy relationship with their ex (17:52); the value of co-parenting resources (19:30); what to do when your child wants to be with their mother during your parenting time (20:54); how to help your child adjust to having two living spaces (21:49); how dads can benefit from a support system within their neighborhood (22:37); how stereotypical gender roles can affect a father’s relationship with his kids (23:19); resources that can help fathers adjust to life as a divorced dad (24:45); the importance of not focusing too much on the material aspect of your relationship with your kids (26:47); and more.


Tips For Being A Good Divorced Dad: Men's Divorce Podcast - YouTube

The post Men’s Divorce Podcast: Tips For Being A Good Divorced Dad appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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When the month of February comes, many find themselves looking toward the 14th: Valentine’s Day. Those in relationships sometimes see it as a special day of love, reaffirming their union and their commitment to one another.

For those who have gone through the divorce experience, it can be a difficult day with reminders of what they may have lost. They feel that the concept of love may be skewed for a long time, and the weariness toward affection can be on display for everyone in their life, including their children.

Children of divorce are an audience to many of their parents’ moments of weakness during this difficult time, and Valentine’s Day can make this struggle apparent. A day where happy and functional couples are thrusted into the forefront of thoughts can be challenging for a child, who has witnessed their parents end their relationship.

However, as a parent, paying attention to how your child is affected by Valentine’s Day and reacting accordingly can be just the therapeutic exercise that you may need to get through this difficult time.

A child may be going through the divorce experience thinking that they do not get to enjoy the chocolates or cards that they may be receiving at school. They may feel guilty or feel like love should not be celebrated, because their parents are going through a divorce.

Valentine’s Day activities

This is where parents need to step in and help. There are lots of different ways to look at the holiday, and helping children explore the multifaceted aspects of Valentine’s Day will help ease their worries.

Many parents will send their children to school with store-bought Valentine’s Day cards, based on their favorite television show or superhero, but if your child would prefer, you and your child can make cards together.

This is not only an activity that utilizes the allotted parenting time to grow closer to your child during the divorce experience, it allows them to express their creativity. This type of exercise is a great way for your child to reach out to their classmates and show them how creative they can be.

Many parents also take this time to bake with their children. Whether it is heart-shaped cookies or red velvet cupcakes, baking together is an excellent way to distract your child from their attitude toward the holiday.

Other forms of love

These activities also show them that there are other forms of love that can be celebrated during Valentine’s Day, other than romantic love. Depending on a child’s age and maturity level, it can be challenging to show a child that type of idea, so it is important to start with the basics.

You love your child. Your child loves you. These two statements will help illustrate the familial love that can be celebrated during the holiday.

Co-parent acknowledgement

This also is an opportunity for you, as a parent, to acknowledge your co-parent’s place in your child’s life by explaining that they love your child and your child loves them. Even though you and your co-parent are no longer together, you can demonstrate your shared love for your child and how that type of familial love has a place in the festivities.

As difficult as it may be to say these sentiments out loud, it is not for your benefit. It is for the benefit of your child. It is for them to realize the importance of love for his or her family on a day that celebrates love. It also fosters a level of comfort in talking with a parent.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Talking to their parent

Your child may feel strange talking to you about the opposite parent, but it is necessary that they feel comfortable coming to you with all of their feelings: good and bad. No matter what the topic may be, a child should be able to talk to their parent about it.

They need to be able to talk about a member of their class that they may want to make a Valentine for, just as they need to be able to show both of their parents that they love them, even though they may no longer love one another.

If you are a parent struggling on Valentine’s Day, take solace in your child. Spend as much of the holiday with them as you can and help your children understand that even though their parents may no longer be in love, love still is possible. They need to know that the day still is worth celebrating.

Unfortunately, many parents are unable to spend these types of holidays with their child, and it is up to the parent in question to decide whether or not the custodial time during this holiday is worth fighting for. If so, it’s important to contact your attorney and navigate the situation through the legal channels.

The post Teaching Your Child About Valentine’s Day After a Divorce appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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The difficulty that a parental divorce can have on a child cannot be understated. The two most important people in their life are no longer together, and that can be a difficult concept for children to grasp.

While they may not struggle with the challenges forever and may be able to overcome these hardships and find success in the future, their present is not as certain as they would prefer.

The present issues that many children of divorce face can be harder to quantify, due to the fact that so many of them are mental, rather than physical.

Many of the mental health-related issues that a child may face after a parental divorce depend on their age and maturity level. Their behavior at school will correspond with that.

Behavioral issues

At younger ages, they may blame themselves or any bad conduct on the divorce, according to New York University. They also may experience levels of regressive behavior, such as throwing tantrums, wetting the bed, or needing a pacifier. The children also may experience separation anxiety or complain of stomach pain and/or headaches.

If the child of a parental divorce is older, they may show a variety of emotions, such as frustration, anger, and embarrassment. As the emotions grow more intense, their inclination to lash out against peers or parents may grow. They may experience moodiness and experiment with dangerous behaviors, like substance abuse.

Information and context

Part of the problem that children face when they are caught in the crossfires is that they are not given any information. They have trouble making sense of what they do not understand, so their natural inclination situation is to blame themselves or blame the parents.

When a child of divorce lashes out at a parent, many look to blame the other parent, which is understandable. Parental alienation is a real and serious issue, backed by countless studies.

However, the information the child has access to is not always sufficient enough to prevent outbursts from occurring. They may find themselves exposed to only half of the conversations during arguments between parents either before or after the divorce is finalized.

Without context or explanation, that level of exposure can be detrimental to a child’s mental state. In order to avoid the negative consequences of misinformation or information heard out of context, it is beneficial to meet with your child to discuss how they are feeling and what is happening in their lives.

This not only gives them a sense of clarity during a time of uncertainty, but it shows them the importance of being open to confronting difficult subjects.

Benefits of co-parenting

This strategy works most effectively when both parents are able to set aside their differences for the sake of their child and share in this necessary and enlightening discussion. It promotes the necessary place that both parents have in their shared child’s life and puts the needs of the child ahead of the emotions of the parent.

If a parent does not respect the role that the opposite parent has in their shared child’s life and begins to disrupt the custody schedule, it can have a detrimental effect on a child’s mental health, as well as the mental health of the afflicted parent. It is vital that the afflicted parent contacts their attorney, in order to rectify the situation.

Parents need to be able to respect each other’s place in their child’s life. A child already is dealing with a lot when it comes to their thoughts and feelings, regarding the divorce. A child’s perspective on their parents may change during a parental divorce. While giving a child the ability to grieve and adjust, they still have to be parents and not allow a child to behave in a way that is detrimental to themselves, their future, or others around them.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Mental health challenges

This can be challenging, given all of the changes all at the same time and how these changes can interact with a child’s mental state. According to psychologist Carl Pickhardt, a child faces four typical mental health challenges when processing a parental divorce.

“Obviously kids have a certain amount of despondency because of the loss – they’ve lost the intact family,” Pickhardt said. “That’s one. There is anxiety, because now the world has changed and all of the sudden, the family system is being reorganized, and there’s a lot that is unknown. This is two. There’s usually some anger, because there’s been a violation … Kids assumed that their parents would always be together, and the family would always be intact. Now all of the sudden, what’s happening is the parents are deciding to separate the family. That’s three. And of course, there’s stress – so much to let go, so much change to adjust to.”

Passage of time

Time is a healer that many children rely on, when processing a parental divorce. Like with many traumas, the more time that passes after the divorce is announced, the less mental strain the divorce puts on the child. According to a study from Penn State University, the passage of time has a positive effect in lessening the pain of the divorce experience.

Without parental or professional guidance, a child can find themselves in a tough mental space during this experience. However, with the passage of time, a child will gain the resilience they need to overcome these present struggles and forge a better future for themselves.

The post Exploring the Mental Health of Children of Divorce appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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For children of divorce, the concept of not having access to both parents is a crushing realization during an already stressful time in a child’s life. For the noncustodial parent of the child, this notion is a harsh reality that they have to live with.

They are forced to miss out on many of the quieter moments in a child’s daily life, like a child going off to school or a child brushing their teeth every morning and night. These small moments can be precious for a parent who feels like they do not get to spend enough time with their child.

Many states are attempting to change the notion of one parent having custodial rights over the other parent. Kentucky passed a law in 2017, creating a temporary joint custody and equal parenting time presumption. Florida also passed a law in 2017, creating a standard parenting time plan that includes established visitation times and encourages co-parents to work together to make a schedule to fit their busy lives.

The state of Kansas may be the next to pass a bill related to child custody. Senate Bill 257 is making its way through the Kansas legislature, according to NBC’s KSHB in Kansas City, Kan.

Understanding the bill

Proposed by State Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, this bill states that if the parties have entered into a parenting plan, it shall be presumed that the agreement is in the best interests of the child. Like many other states’ bills and laws related to shared parenting and child custody, this presumption may be overcome only by clear and convincing evidence that would allow the court to make a different order if the findings of fact prove that the parenting plan is not in the best interests of the child.

The parenting plan previously mentioned promotes the involvement of both parents. The desire to promote equal time between both parents is driven by the amount of research that states how much a child benefits from having both parents in their life.

Support of the bill

This bill is being backed by many parents who are expressing the hardships that they went through in child custody cases, as well as national organizations like the National Parents Organization and Dads Care 2, a fathers advocacy group. They believe in a child’s need of having two parents.

“We need to start at a position of assuming, the going-in assumption, that both parents are good parents,” Paul Schwenneson, of the National Parents Organization said to Fox4 News in Kansas City, Mo. “You’re innocent until proven guilty, and the assumption should be equality.”

The hope for the bill is to prevent some of the recurring problems that can occur in parenting plans.

“This parenting bill will eliminate a lot of the parenting issues that go on in our families on a day-to-day basis,” Dennis Fontelroy, of Dads Care 2 said to the Lawrence Journal-World. “Because of the influence that fathers have, that both parents have, equal parenting is really the key to minimizing a lot of mental health issues.”

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Criticism and concern

However, this bill also has garnered much criticism from judges and lawyers who feel that it may set up situations that have the potential of endangering children. Critics have spoken out against the bill stating how the presumption of equal time can be used to exert power over weaker parents to the detriment of children.

They also have stated how this bill may be used against parents working together to come to an agreement. He feels that a parent who wants equal time has less cause to work with the other parent because if they do not agree, a judge must presume that they will receive equal time.

Additionally, domestic violence awareness groups and women’s groups have expressed their disapproval of the bill, stating that it attempts to force timesharing on all families regardless of the circumstances.

Addressing concern

While the concerns regarding sweeping measures applying to all families, regardless of individual situations, are valid, they fail to realize the measures that the bill already has taken to protect children from potential danger.

The bill states that the presumption can be overcome by clear and convincing evidence. This clause gives attorneys, lawyers, and competent parents the opportunity to protect the children caught in the crossfires of bad situations.

The bill still resides in the Kansas state Senate.

If you are a Kansas parent and are concerned about your child custody situation, contact a Cordell & Cordell attorney and set up your consultation.

The post Kansas Discussing Child Custody Law appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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After a divorce, a parent still is a parent. They still are the person who provides for their children and gives them the means to succeed. These children are able to bounce back from the emotional difficulties of a parental divorce and move through their educational journey, in pursuit of their futures, thanks to the tireless efforts of their parents.

In today’s society, there are those that feel that you simply are not able to get ahead and pursue the career you desire without going to college, and for divorced parents, sorting out who pays for what and when can be half of the difficulty.

Many attorneys advise the importance of negotiating these terms during the divorce itself. Detailing everything during the same section of time where you are negotiating custody schedules and parenting plans will give you a baseline to go off of, according to The Huffington Post. Given how quickly financial situations can change, this can be an important notion to establish.

For parents who are facing the questions of who pays for what and when, it is important to understand what your ex-spouse thinks of this situation, so that way, you, as a co-parent, can take action if need be.

State issue

Educational expenses are often addressed during the divorce process, so the questions of who is paying and how much are not always necessary. However, when there is no agreement in place that addresses the expenses of a child’s college education, the financial obligation depends on the laws in that state.

Some states require divorced parents to pay for college expenses, while others view a college education as a conditional expense, making payment and/or reimbursement a nonrequirement.

Uninterested ex-spouse

If your ex-spouse is uninterested in paying their portion for your shared child or children to attend college, then it is important that you act quickly through the proper legal channels to make sure that your ex-spouse is just as culpable for their portion as you are, according to Cordell & Cordell attorneys.

It is important to file an application with the court to compel your ex-spouse to contribute to your child’s college costs and expenses before the costs and expenses are being made. It also will likely protect you from several of the defenses that your ex-spouse might use, in order to get out of paying their share.

If you are on good terms with your ex-spouse and are looking to save money for your shared children’s future educational pursuits, opening up a 529 plan can be a viable option.

529 plan

Many parents, divorced, married, or single, open up a 529 plan when a child is born, in order to help with the future costs of college. According to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, a 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan that comes in two different types.

Prepaid tuition plans allow a college saver or account holder purchase units or credits at participating colleges and universities for future tuition and mandatory fees at current prices for the beneficiary. These accounts are usually for public and in-state college institutions and cannot be used to pay for room and board.

College savings plans let a college saver open an investment account to save for the beneficiary’s future qualified higher education expense, such as mandatory fees, tuition, and room and board. The owner of these accounts can choose among a range of investment portfolio options, and they are sponsored by state governments.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Managing the situation

Managing the funds necessary for sending a child to college requires making sure that the money that you or an ex-spouse use, in order to pay for attorney fees is not the same money that you were saving for your child’s schooling.

This type of management also includes who fills out what form that pertains to college financing. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) details that the parent, of which the child lives with the most, has their income under a microscope. If there is a stepparent married to the custodial parent, their income will be taken into account as well.

However, co-parents and the child need to consider which household will help them receive the most student aid.

“Assuming that a student is living with both parents equally, the parent with the lower income should fill out FAFSA,” said Steven Roy Goodman, an admissions strategist and educational consultant.

This method can extend to taxes and child custody and how they interact with federal student aid. Even if you have joint custody with your co-parent, the time spent at one house over another may affect the money you could potentially receive for college.

For example, if one parent can get the child more federal student aid than the other by having them live there more often, it may be beneficial to have your switch which household is considered to be primary and is claiming the child on their taxes.

No matter whether you are on good terms with your co-parent or not, you both need to set aside your history and animosity for the good of your child. They deserve the opportunity to better themselves through an education necessary to improve their future in today’s society.

The post How to Send Your Child to College After a Divorce appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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The wide array of emotions that a child of divorce may convey during the divorce experience is important to their health and mental wellness. It gives them a chance to say what they want to say about the ordeal and helps them understand the trauma. This level of understanding gives them the chance to move on from it one day and grow because of it.

However, depending on their age, maturity, personality, or a variety of other factors, they may not convey the sentiments or emotions that they are feeling. They may not feel confident in their own voice, or they may have guilt, blaming themselves for the divorce in the first place.

Whatever the reasoning may be, there may be a lot left unsaid that a child of divorce wishes to communicate to their parents.

1. “Who am I without my parents being married?”

Many younger children have a hard time thinking about themselves as individuals, so when an action is taken within their family dynamic that is independent of them, they are forced to confront the reality of their own individuality.

That starts with seeing themselves independent from other members of their immediate family. A parental divorce can be that type of reality check for them, that they may simply not be ready for. They may be at an age where they still are unsure of whom they are, let alone who they are without their parents being married.

It can be seen as an irrational sentiment, but it is one that children wrestle with. The children in question, a product of a marriage, may not know any other life, but the one where their parents live together and enjoy their life as a married couple. This is the life, where they enjoy spending time as a family all under the same roof. Without the only structure they’ve ever known, many children no longer feel like they know themselves.

2.“What will happen to our family pet?”

Children of divorce can find themselves in a constant state of flux and may be in need of the familiarity and comfort of something from their previous situation. For many children, that means their family pet.

Whether it is a dog, a cat, a bird, a fish, or even a lizard, a family pet can be an outlet that a child leans on, in order to sort the emotional landscape of the divorce experience.

However, the complications involved in pet custody may surface, forcing a child to spend time at one parent’s house, who may no longer have custody of the family pet. This means that during this time, they would be without that emotional support.

In these instances, it is beneficial to allow a pet’s custody to be transferred between houses, in order to ensure a child’s smooth transition to post-divorce life with the receiving parent.

3.“Do other families go through this?”

Given the “me-centric-ness” of a child’s outlook during their younger years, it is understandable that a child would be unaware of the commonality of divorce.

However, it may be a sentiment that a child is hesitant to express. With all of the adult things that a child is being exposed to during the divorce experience, they may feel like they’re being asked to grow up, and for many children, that means knowing information. Admitting ignorance would then be seen as a step against that type of growth.

For parents, it is important recognize any and all signs that your child feels like he or she is being asked to grow up too quickly. The importance of consistency and communication between co-parents cannot be understated. This is about the well-being of your child, which means that past history needs to be set aside for the child’s sake.

4. “Will Mom/Dad have room for me at their new home?”

When explaining the concept of the two parents living in separate locations, a child is forced to face the unknown of a new location. One of their parents will have a new home, which means they will be spending time there as well.

They may not understand the idea of having two homes quite yet, so the question of whether or not the noncustodial parent will have room for them, may be on their minds.

It is important for the parents to establish the idea that a child will not only have their own space at the noncustodial parent’s home, but that they should think of that home as their own, as well. It can be a difficult concept to convey, but after time passes, they should be able to adjust and enjoy the comforts of both of their homes.

5.“How do I fit in Mom/Dad’s new life?”

One of the greatest fears a child may have is being forgotten. Even as an adult, no one enjoys the feeling that they have been left out in some capacity, and that feeling is amplified tenfold when the person potentially leaving one out is a parent.

When a young child of divorce sees all of these changes occurring in their life and the lives of their parents, they are forced to deal with the reality that life does not revolve around them and that their parents have lives of their own, outside of the child’s needs.

This realization is paired with the reality that both parents are not at a child’s beckoned call. Without having both of them in the same household, a child may begin to wonder what their place is in the life of the noncustodial parent.

A child may express these feelings in a variety of ways, such as acting out or becoming withdrawn, and it is a parent’s responsibility to assuage any and all concerns that a child may have, regarding their place in the parent’s life.

A parent’s relationship with their child is very important, and the custodial parent should be able to realize how difficult this time is for the child and how beneficial having a relationship with the noncustodial parent is for the child.

Unfortunately, that is not the case for all custody situations, and many noncustodial parents are forced to deal with the harsh reality of not being able to comfort their children in these times of distress.

However, there are ways of making a child feel important and reassuring them that they have a place in a child’s life. Invest your time and energy into getting to know their routine. Learn about their school schedule. Attend a parent-teacher conference. Contact a coach, and find out when their games are. Sit in the stands, and make sure your child knows that they will always be your No. 1 priority.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Communication and patience

Whether you are an adult or a child, communicating your feelings about a divorce you are caught up in is challenging. Children may not have the vocabulary to properly illustrate the complexity of their emotions, regarding the situation. They may not fully understand all of what they speak of, or they may be afraid to speak at all.

Whatever the case may be, you, as a parent, need to continue to put your child’s physical, mental, and emotional needs first during this challenging time and try your best to be what they need during this trying time.

The post 5 Questions Children of Divorce Wish They Could Ask appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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After a divorce, many governmental institutions are forced to look at the primary custodial home as a single-parent household and attempt to navigate the economic consequences of a decision they had no part in. This is especially true for low-income households.

Because of the nature of the division of assets, financial loss is virtually inevitable. Many who previously did not need support or government-funded programs now may require them, due to the end of their previous economic situation. These people are forced to lean on programs like Medicaid, while figuring out their new life after a divorce.

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a jointly-funded, Federal-State health insurance program for low-income individuals, according to the Social Security Administration. It covers children, blind and/or disabled individuals, and other people who are eligible to receive federally assisted income maintenance payments.

In order to qualify, a recipient must still be disabled, have been eligible for a supplemental security income (SSI) cash payment for at least one month, need Medicaid in order to work, still meet all other eligibility rules, including the resource test, and have a gross earned income that is insufficient to replace supplemental security income, Medicaid, and any publicly funded attendant care.

Child support and jurisdiction

Because of the circumstances that you need to be facing in order to qualify for Medicaid, many who have endured financial losses may find themselves relying on the program. Since child support is determined by which formula the states choose to employ, the remaining income, after child support is taken out, may require you to rely on Medicaid and other government programs.

However, within the last few years, there have been changes to the way that child support interacts with Medicaid, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. According to the Office of Child Support Enforcement, child support’s role in the Medicaid program continues to evolve when parents and/or their children are eligible.

The jurisdiction of where the child support is being received plays a factor into the qualifications of Medicaid. The custodial parent receiving the child support may opt to not seek an order to provide additional coverage or enforce an existing order asking for additional coverage.

Neither parent should be ordered to seek medical coverage for their child through the Marketplace when the child is eligible for or enrolled in Medicaid, due to the fact that that would no longer make the parents eligible for the premium tax credit or cost-sharing reduction subsidies to help pay for Marketplace coverage.

Additional coverage

An order can be pursued for the custodial parent to apply for medical coverage, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid, on behalf of their children.

It is important for a custodial parent to consider how ordering additional coverage for a child eligible for Medicaid or CHIP may impact the amount of, or compliance with, the child support order. It may cause the child support amounts to be adjusted, impacting the household as a whole.

Noncustodial parent

Speaking of custody, noncustodial parents may be impacted through any potential court orders to provide additional medical coverage for a child that already is covered by Medicaid. It may impact the amount of child support noncustodial parents can pay or their willingness to comply with the child support order itself.

Not only are the ins and outs of eligibility subject to change, the definition of a Medicaid household also is subject to the changes created by the Affordable Care Act, more specifically as it concerns a specific child.

A child’s Medicaid household

According to the Office of Child Support Enforcement, a child’s Medicaid household is comprised of the child and all siblings and parents living with the child (including stepparents, and step and half-siblings). If the child’s parents are unmarried but both live in the same household as the child, the child’s Medicaid household includes both parents.

However, a noncustodial parent living away from their child in a different location is not part of the child’s Medicaid household. If the noncustodial parent claims the child as a dependent for federal tax purposes, the child is part of the noncustodial parent’s household for purposes of determining eligibility for premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions for Marketplace insurance.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Additional changes, implications

The Affordable Care Act also inspired several more changes, including a provision stating that individuals who live together may be part of different Medicaid households based on their relationship to one another. In addition, an individual’s Medicaid household may be different from his household for premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions for Marketplace coverage.

Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid eligibility is determined based on the Medicaid household’s modified adjusted gross income. This does not include the child support that it receives.

This affects many low-income, noncustodial parents, as well. Those that pay child support may be eligible for Medicaid if their state of residence opted to expand Medicaid. In addition, those who would have been eligible for Medicaid if their state had expanded Medicaid are exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s individual responsibility provisions, which state that all adults and members of their family must either have minimum essential covers; have an exemption from the requirement to have minimum essential coverage; or make an individual shared responsibility payment when they file their federal income tax return.

Understanding how Medicaid impacts child support is important for custodial and noncustodial parents alike. They both need to understand how their low-income status affects their federally funded insurance and how it can interact with the child support that their shared children may rely on.

The post Examining How Medicaid Interacts With Child Support appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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