Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Fresh Start in the New Year

Typically, each new year brings a sense of anticipation and a fresh start. However, it may not feel this way for those going through or contemplating a divorce. In fact, the new year may create uneasy feelings and a concern about the future. Planning and forward thinking can make the process easier, reducing anxiety, stress, or uncertainty. The following are a few tips to help couples contemplating divorce get organized and approach the beginning of the new year more positively.

Gather Financial Documents
Requesting financial information as soon as possible is important as it can take weeks or even months to obtain. Tax returns are a great source for updated information about your family’s income and assets. Get a head start on the process in the new year by beginning to pull together financial information about accounts and assets.

Plan For The Holidays
The turn of the year is the best time to begin planning for next year’s holidays. Buy a calendar and highlight which holidays and breaks you want to spend with your children. Having a clear vision of all upcoming holidays and school breaks will prepare you for more effective communication with your spouse and minimize unnecessary stress when planning trips and vacations.

Set Goals
If you are contemplating a divorce, meet with an attorney and ask questions about the divorce process and the general legal principles to be aware of. Then set goals and review these goals with your attorney. The more clear and realistic your goals, the better chance you and your attorney can achieve them.

Seek Assistance
If the divorce process or your family living situation have become too difficult to manage, reach out for help with finances, counseling, or even just to vent. The most dangerous effects of divorce can be the emotional trauma on you and your family as a result of friction and stress. Speak with friends, family, or professionals who are available to assist you. Contact your attorney who can refer you to virtually any kind of professional to guide you through tough times, whether financial, legal, or emotional.

Tips on How to Reconnect with an Estranged Child

Some parents have estranged relationships with their children. Whether the estrangement was caused by bad decisions, alienation by the other parent, geographical constraints, service in the military and separation from the child for a long period of time, or other reasons, there is no better time than the present to take the first step. Some parents might be afraid of being rejected by their child, but children need their parents. Taking the first step to reconnect can sometimes be the hardest, but it is also the most important.

Take the initiative to reconnect.

There is no manual on how to be a perfect parent, and there is no perfect parent. As a parent, if you do not have a relationship with your child, the worst thing you can do is sit back and think, “He will come to me when he is ready.” If you are a parent in this situation, you must take the initiative and set a good example by doing the right thing. Reaching out to let your child know you care or going to court to get court ordered time to spend with your child is an important first step.

Focus on the present, and get to know your child.

When you are with your child, focus your time on the present and the future. What events is your child involved in? What school projects is your child involved in? Who are your child’s teachers? What is your child’s best friend’s name? What activities is your child interested in? Is your child being bullied at school? Ask questions. Your child will appreciate your interest and will derive confidence from having a positive relationship with you. Do not focus on the past. Do not speak ill of the other parent. Do not discuss your hardships, whatever they may be.

Set a schedule and be committed to building the relationship.

If you go through the court system to establish or re-establish a regular schedule with your child, be proactive, prepared and persistent. There may be steps you have to take before you can get the schedule you want, and it may take time. Do whatever you have to do to rebuild the relationship, and do not give up. It will mean the world to your child.