Parenting

14 posts

Divorce Gavel

The Financial Impact of Going Through a Divorce With Kids

 These days, it is not uncommon to see unhappy couples staying together because of the kids. There are many reasons why a lot of people choose to live their lives this way. They may not want to go through the mess of a divorce and the psychological effect it will have on the kids. Without a doubt, divorce is really daunting. Think about how the kids would have to be passed to the other parent on schedule. Co-parenting after a divorce is definitely challenging. A lot of parents are concerned about its effects on the children’s growth and development. Many also worry about the financial impact that goes along with it even more. Child support can pose serious financial issues, and these issues are enough to keep couples together despite mutual dissatisfaction in their marriage.   Financial Impact on Relationships   Many researchers have conducted various interviews and studies addressing this issue. One particular study focused on the relationship between finances, children and relationships. According to the results, 14% of the respondents of the research divulged that they chose to stay in an unhappy relationship because it was more practical. For obvious reasons, when children are in the picture, money concerns are heightened some more. Most parents […]

Father

Shared Parenting After A Divorce

Shared Parenting After A Divorce Is The Healthiest Option Divorce is difficult for anyone and everyone involved in the process. Even if the divorce is amicable, that doesn’t make it easy.  Deciding what party gets custody of the children and parenting powers is difficult.  Despite being difficult, it is a decision that needs to be made. In the past, it was tradition to award only one parent parenting powers.  This parent would often be the mothers because it was believed that mothering instinct was powerful and that it was a requirement for anyone growing up.  For the most part, this notion is being dismissed as outdated and inaccurate. A more modern but still outdated approach is to assign visitation hours to a parent, most often the father.  The term visitation implies that the parent is something less than they are.  It also is demoralizing. The best approach to parenting after a divorce is to split the parenting as equally as possible.  While the best approach is to have the parenting split 50/50, the minimal amount that a parent should be with their child(children) is 35%.  This allows for a connection between the parent and the child, it also allows for […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 13: Special Topics Part 3

Parents Who Are Undocumented Immigrants   The most important thing to remember is the CPS (child protective services) does not deport parents or their children. CPS is not an immigration agency of the United States. Children and their families are given the benefits, protection, and care of CPS whether or not they are here legally.   However, if a child who is not a U.S. citizen is brought into CPS custody, and is here illegally (undocumented), then the home country will be notified. This is a legal requirement and does not apply only when the child is a citizen of another country AND a U.S. citizen.   Be sure to always give accurate statements, as well as to cooperate with CPS as much as possible, in order to obtain all the benefits and protections that you are rightfully entitled to as an undocumented immigrant with CPS. Finally, remember that the CPS is not an immigration agency and cannot deport you or your child. Parents With Native American/Indian Heritage   The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a federal law that protects the best interests of Indian children. If you know or think your child has some Native American/Indian heritage, tell […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 13: Special Topics

Teenage Parents and Former Foster Youth Parents   Teenage parents, those under the age of 18, can become involved with CPS as a child, as a parent, or both. For children under the age of 18, CPS becomes involved if the child is being abused or neglected, and as a parent CPS becomes involved if the parent are neglecting or abusing their child.   Just like any parent, teenage parents are responsible for keeping their child safe. Everything in the guide applies to teenagers as parents, and teenage parents can have their children removed. Because you are a teenager, your lawyer can ask for special kinds of help. For example, you might be able to get help finishing school, home services so that you can care for your baby while working your Service Plan, or one-on-one help from people who are trained to work with teenagers. Other help might include things like getting your driver’s license, opening a bank account, getting transportation to visit with your child, or finding housing.   In the end, even though you are a parent, you are also still a legally a child, which means you may need more or different kinds of services than […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 13: Disability and Inability to Care

Part 1 and 2 of this section will handle those particular CPS issues, which include special topics. Special topics are but are not limited to: parents who have special physical or intellectual needs or who live with a mental illness; Fathers, especially fathers who don’t see their children, teenage parents, or parents who are in prison may also have questions specific to their situation. This section includes information to address these more individual issues. A. Parents with Disabilities or Special Needs It is important to be aware of whether you are a parent with a disability or special need because The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to CPS cases. Temporary conditions, such as a broken leg, usually are not covered. Additionally, any condition relating from the abuse of drugs or alcohol is not covered. The ADA defines a disability as a condition that “substantially limits a major life activity.” The ADA does not give a list of all the possible disabilities or special needs. Instead, the law covers “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” If you know (or think) you have a disability or special need, then you need to tell your lawyer […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 12: Visitation

The right to visit with your child will be one of the most important rights you have during a CPS (child protective services) case, and it is important to take advantage of the visitation that is allowed/ordered both from a bonding perspective as well as a legal one. Under current Texas law, CPS must arrange for you to visit with your child no later than five days after CPS is granted TMC. CPS should work with you to create a visitation schedule. This right can be limited if the court or the DFPS does not think it is in your child’s best interest to visit with you or if allowing visitation conflicts with another court order, such as a protective order. Visitation is important so your child can see you and it will also 1) help you become a better parent, and 2) Visitation can show CPS that you are working your services and making the changes needed to help you become a safer parent!   Supervised vs. Unsupervised Visitation   A judge can order visitation to be either supervised or unsupervised and order other limits as needed. For example, the judge may order where the visits will occur, who […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 11: Working With CPS

Maintaining A Good Relationship With Your Caseworker   CPS (child protective services) caseworkers are extremely valuable people to your case. They are hardworking, caring people, with only the best interests of your child in mind, and they have chosen their job for a reason.  In fact, your CPS caseworker is probably the most important person on your case, because he or she is the person you will work with the most to coordinate any services you are ordered to get. This includes and is not limited to: arranging visits with your child, talking to a therapist or parenting coach about how you are doing with your services, and he or she will report to the judge how you are doing with your services, your visits, housing, employment, etc. In the alternative, he or she will also report to the judge when you are doing or NOT doing well with your services, visiting with your children, seeking and finding housing, working at a job for money so you can take care of your kids. If your case goes to trial, your caseworker will be the person telling the judge why your parental rights should be terminated. Additionally, while keeping a good […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 10: The Parent Attorney

The CPS process is quite confusing, and it can be very tough to navigate on your own. A lawyer can help with this process and explain things to you so that you can make the proper decisions for yourself and your family. This section mostly will deal with expections in regards to what a lawyer can and can’t do for you, as well as ways to help your lawyer in order to maximize the chances of success with your case. How do I get a lawyer? Obviously finding one on your own and retaining them is the first method of obtaining representation, but that often can be prohibitively expensive for many people. The advantages to this are the ability to find an attorney of your own choosing, rather than someone chosen for you, as well as the ability to obtain representation significantly earlier in the process. In my opinion, this is the most significant thing, as there are a huge number of cases where attorneys are hired WAY too late, in a position where various rights have already been waived, and the CPS train has already left the station. The other avenue is to have an attorney appointed to you. […]

Divorce Rate Plunges to New 35 Year Low

US Divorce Rate Continues to Decline In a bit of positive news, the US divorce rate has continued its steady decline over the past few years to reach a new 35 year low. Its easy to jump to conclusions in regards to this data, as there are many different contributing factors, but it is an extremely interesting data point regardless. From my own experience, lack of financial resources to even contemplate the possibility of divorce tends to be a large factor in making that leap, and I am not sure that the decline in divorces really speaks to much more than the fact that many people simply don’t have the financial resources to contemplate and go through with a divorce process right now. Especially coupled with the rapidly declining marriage rate, more people than ever seem to be making the determination that marriage is not a necessary institution, even from the perspective of raising children. I may have a somewhat biased viewpoint in this, but I deal with a large number of couples and parents on a daily basis, and the skillsets to be a good parent, and a good co-parent, are not necessarily the same skillsets to make a good […]

Co-Parenting for the School Year

As the new school year is about to begin, I’d like to offer some tips for the newly-divorced or new members of a blended family to ease the transition and try to avoid unnecessary conflict. First, get ahead of your anticipated disputes by designing, implementing, and complying with a detailed and customized Parenting Plan (easier said than done, right?) This document is your roadmap, and provides all parents (biological and step parents) the specific terms and conditions under which they are to operate, leaving no room for “innocent” confusion or misunderstanding. Second, set expectations relating to school work. Who will be responsible for making sure that classroom assignments are properly completed and handed-in? Who is available to work on research projects that span across multiple weeks? Perhaps design this by subject matter (Mom helps with Math, Dad helps with English). Or maybe Mom will work with one child, while Dad works with the other. There is no “correct” answer but a well-designed Parenting Plan identifies roles and responsibilities so that academic performances don’t suffer. Third, discuss what you are willing (or, aren’t willing) to agree to relating to after-school activities and sports. And please, DO NOT engage your child(ren) in […]