First steps on 2houses

2houses home page

You’ve just joined 2houses and can’t find your way around? Here are some explanations to configure your account. 2houses will no longer keep any secrets from you!

Step one : invite my co-parent

When you created your account, you entered the name of your co-parent. To invite him/her, follow this process:

  1. Go to “My Family
  2. Click on “Members
  3. Click on the key below your co-parent’s name

first step 2houses

When you click on the key, you just have to enter the co-parent’s email address. You can write a personal message or you can send a pre-written invitation by 2houses.

Finally, when you want to verify if the co-parent did accept your request, you just have to return to the “My family” page and you will be able to see if the co-parent accepted your invitation or not.

Not applicable if you’re the invited co-parent.

Step 2 : Create a parenting schedule

To create your first custody calendar:

  1. Go to the page “Calendar”
  2. Then in the subcategory, select “Parenting schedules
  3. Click on “Create a parenting schedule” or “Create my first parenting schedules.” Both choices will take you to the same page.

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Once you clicked on that button, choose the model that suits you.

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Or, compose your schedule manually. Select the days and the parent to personalize your planning.

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Step 3 : Create a holidays schedule

Just like the “joint custody” calendar you need to follow these steps:

  1. Go to “Agenda
  2. Click on “Parenting schedules
  3. Click on “Create a parenting schedule

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Then, just as you did for joint custody schedule, select the child concerned and select “create yours manually.

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Once this is done, give your schedule a name, and insert the start and end dates. Then click on the first day of the week and say where the child will spend the night. Repeat this until the desired date. If you want to add an extra week, click on «add a week.» If this schedule does not repeat, press «Do not repeat and apply until …» If necessary, press «Repeats until …» When you have established your schedule, click on «Create this parenting schedule.»

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The vacation schedule will overlay the standard schedule on the agreed dates. See: lexicon p.10. from the PDF.

Step 4 : Create a change request

To create your change request, click on:

  1. Calendar
  2. Change requests
  3. Create a change request

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Select the parent and a date. Add a note if you want to. Once you entered all of the information, click on “Create this change request.”

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Once this step is done, you will see the change request in your calendar.
In this case, the change request hasn’t been accepted yet by the co-parent. That’s why both of the schedules are visible.

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Step 5 : Create an event

When you’re on the dashboard:

  1. Click on “Calendar
  2. Then on the subdivision “Event
  3. Finally on “Create an event

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When you click on that button, you will arrive on the event page. Fill in what’s asked. You can choose this event to be recurring.

You also can choose this event to happen only once.

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Once you configure your event, click on “Create this event.

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Step 6 : Create an expense

To create an expense, please follow these steps:

  1. Click on “Finances
  2. Then on the subdivision “expenses
  3. Finally on “Report a new expense

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When you’re on the expenses page, fill in the price, the date, and the reason. Then, for the category, if you don’t have any yet, click on “create a new category.

For the category, fill in the title, the share proportion, and if you want to, an explanation note. Click on “create a category.

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You now can fill in all of the other details of the expense. You also can attach a file (the picture of your receipts, for example).

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If your expense is subject to an external reimbursement (ex: health service), click on “subject to a reimbursement” and tell the beneficiary.

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Finally, click on “Report this expense” and don’t forget that the beneficiary of the reimbursement will need to encode this reimbursement once he/ she receives it. A blue notification will appear until the reimbursement is done. You can encode it via the double arrow.

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2houses has no longer secret to you now!

Printable PDF version available here :

PDF 2houses – first step 2houses – EN version

Getting Over A Break Up: 5 Tips On How To Deal With Mutual Friends After Your Separation

getting over a break up

The end of your marital relationship doesn’t spell the end of your relationships with your mutual friends. It might seem daunting or confusing, but maintaining healthy connections with the people in your life is part of moving forward.

If you’re interested in getting over a break up, this article is for you. Divorce is between you and your former spouse — mutual friends are definitely feasible post-divorce!

1: It’s Not About Sides

Divorces, even the most amicable ones, can place a serious strain on mutual friends. If your first inclination is to try to “divide up” your mutual friends, try to think positively. True friends respect each others’ choices. The more you attempt you try to persuade mutual friends to take sides, the more stress you put on your relationships.

Remember why you’re friends in the first place. You enjoy each other’s company — keep it that way!

2: Keep a Positive Attitude When Getting Over a Break Up

Think about it from your friend’s perspective. That person wants to remain friends with both you and your ex. It’s better to keep the drama and gossip of your previous relationship away from mutual friends.

Not only does gossip always come back to haunt you, but you’ll garner a lot of goodwill by keeping it respectful. Focus on enjoying the friendships you’ve made over everything else.

3: Yes, Some Losses Are Normal

Take a deep breath. It’s unlikely that you’ll remain friends with everyone in your mutual friend circle. It’s perfectly normal and healthy for some friendships to be contingent on “pairs” — you and your ex, for example — so don’t fret if some friends drift away.

We all have people in our lives that naturally fade away; it’s a part of life.

In that same vein, don’t expect to remain amazing friends with your ex’s best friend! Your friends will naturally gravitate towards their preferred relationships. Let it happen and enjoy the relationships that you keep.

4: Communication Is Key

It might be a bit of a cliche, but communication really is key. If possible, communicate with your mutual friends to see if your ex will appear at social gatherings. Ask yourself if you’re okay with seeing your former spouse at a social event. If you’d rather limit contact, that’s great — you should feel zero pressure here. If you’d prefer to live completely separate lives, communicate that to your friend group.

After all, your friends are autonomous, intelligent, and capable people. Make it clear whether or not you’d like to see your ex at events. Your friends will keep you in the loop.

Of course, if possible, sit down with your former spouse. Discuss which friendships you know you want to keep. If your ex is adamant about ‘splitting’ friends, keep an open mind and communicate your wishes clearly.

5: Be Adaptable

Above all else, be adaptable. After a breakup or divorce, mutual friends will inevitably shift. Some relationships will end, some will become stronger. Stay flexible and realize that your friends are independent people with lives outside of your breakup!

Let them live their lives and enjoy the friendships you have.

Likewise, remember that even the best of friends may make mistakes. If you have an understanding with your mutual friends that you and your ex don’t want to meet at social gatherings, be flexible. Communication mishaps, confusion, and plain forgetfulness might have you wind up at the same party as your ex.

Stay positive, be respectful, and good things will happen.

Getting Over a Break Up

It’s not easy getting over a break up. The best way to deal with mutual friends is to communicate your wishes to them regarding you and your ex. Avoid making your friends pick sides, stay positive, accept your losses, and be adaptable.

Follow these tips and continue enjoying years of healthy friendships with your mutual friends!

Getting Along with Everyone in a Blended Family

Getting Along with Everyone in a Blended Family

Anyone can start a blended family. Actually getting everyone to blend is a bigger challenge.

When you become the spouse or partner of a parent, it’s entirely normal to feel a mix of emotions. You might be excited to have these kids in your life, and anxious about how to not step on the toes of their other parent. Maybe you’re worried about how to discipline the kids, or nervous they won’t get along with your family. Your top priority, though, is probably to form a loving and respectful relationship with the new kids in your life.

As one of the adults at the head of a new blended family, it’s up to you to nurture the relationships you have with your partner’s kids. A few simple strategies, and a lot of patience, will help you get there.

Set Clear Boundaries and Expectations

Kids need consistency and boundaries to feel safe and secure. Establishing boundaries will also protect you from having to make up rules and punishments on the fly, which creates tension.

First, talk to the other parent about the kind of household you want to create. Make a list of house rules that are important to both of you, and talk about what the consequences will be when someone breaks a rule. Next, bring the family together to talk about the rules. Give everyone a chance to talk. Ask kids to share the things they feel they need from you to feel safe and comfortable. Ideally, you’ll schedule regular family get-togethers so everyone has a chance to air any grievances rather than letting them fester.

Find Individual Bonding Experiences

To bring your entire blended family together, focus on strengthening the individual relationships between all of you. Find common activities or interests that you can share with each child. If one kid loves sports, buy season tickets for a local baseball or basketball team. If another is into reading, make a point to schedule weekly library trips for the two of you.

If you have kids of your own, encourage them to form individual relationships with their new step-siblings. Even if it’s just asking a pair of them to join you for a grocery-shopping trip, give them plenty of chances to spend one-on-one time together.

Find Time for Fun

Blending two households and establishing new dynamics is stressful! But if months go by and the kids don’t see you do anything but worry and talk about rules, they’re not going to be inclined to bond with you.

Find unexpected ways to inject some fun and laughter into your shared life. Announce a surprise beach trip one day, or decide that the first Saturday of every month will be a family fun day. Play silly board games and ask kids to show you their favorite funny movies.

Give Kids Some Space

Kids had a whole life with their parent before you arrived on the scene. Part of forming a bonded blended family is showing each other respect for your individual pasts. So be careful to allow plenty of space and time for kids and your partner to have together. Encourage them to have meals alone and to take trips by themselves, to show the kids that you’re not trying to wedge yourself into their relationship.

It’s also important to not expect too much, too soon. Hopefully the kids will grow to love and trust you, and each other, but you can’t rush those things. It might take years to establish a really close and loving relationship. That’s worth the wait.

Dating After Divorce: When To Tell The Kids

2houses - web and mobile app for divorce with kids - telling the kids you're dating someone else

I have been divorced for about three years. I have two teenagers, 13 (a son) and 15 (a daughter). They both live with me, although their father lives in the next town and my son often stays with him. I have just started to date someone. When should I tell my kids that I am dating and when should I introduce them to this new person in my life?

Answer:It’s advisable to tell them you’re dating as you begin to do so. Teens don’t want to feel out of the loop, and letting them know you will begin dating will assist them to manage the changes in their emotional lives. It’s important to send some key messages in that conversation: I’m taking this dating thing slow, I’ll typically date in a way that will not take away from our time together as a family, you’ll be the first to know if I ever develop any genuine feelings for anyone.

How much you want to discuss your date with your children depends on your relationship with them. Be cautious not to be overly excited about dating because your teens are about to get to that stage themselves and you want to preserve the excitement and healthy conversations about dating for them. However, you may have a child who wants to hear some simple things about how the date went and it’s okay to share that information, but beware that you’re not using your children as your best friend.

Introductions should be reserved for when you feel the relationship has potential. Be forwarned that children can develop close attachments quickly so you don’t want your children to develop a meaningful relationship with your man until you know he’s the one and sticking around. When you find someone you like, have a light introduction, perhaps quick dinner and a movie/sporting event just to make sure you feel they interact well and to help your kids feel like they are in the loop. After that, you can continue to have some limited, pleasant times together but they should be far and few between so that your kids aren’t forming any attachments. Once you feel that engagement or some form of long term committment is upon you, that’s when you begin to develop this new enmeshed family concept. That will take a lot of time and love. Be sure to have many open conversations along the way about what family means to you and your kids and how your family system might change with another man in your life but it’ll never change the special, deep relationship you have with your kids.

by M. Gary Neuman

Why do you feel depressed after a separation?

2houses - web & mobile app for divorce with kids - why do you feel depressed after divorce

You are divorced and you feel sad, frighten and lost?

Divorce and depression unfortunately are going hand to hand.

With an increasing number of couples getting divorced each year, depression is becoming more and more common and is considered as one of the most traumatic and stressful experience in a person’s life, and for some men and women, none is more stressful than a divorce.

At the end of your relationship, you are faced with difficult changes in your life, and it is normal to feel sad and even miserable.

You may feel as if you’ll never love anyone the way that you loved your husband and wife…

The sense of loss can be comparable to the pain of losing a loved one. In fact, it is the death of your marriage.

But sometimes these feelings can progress to something more serious: depression.

The effects of depression after a divorce are very varied.

You can be so destabilizing that you feels with no energy and no desire to do anything…

Hopelessness, anxiety and inappropriate guilt can lead to a loss of interest in formerly interesting things.
Changes in sleep patterns with tiredness, loss or increase of appetite, weight loss or gain, irritable, crying, lack of energy and sometimes thoughts of death are the main characteristics of depression after being divorced.

Divorce can be tough, but there are things you can do to help yourself start to feel better!

Transformations will not happen overnight, so be patient with yourself and above all realize that it is possible to move on with your life!!

Whether you are feeling low or have been diagnosed with symptoms of depression, these tips can help you!

Read more on Psychcentral.com

A happy Christmas with separated parents

2houses - web and mobile app for divorce with kids - happy christmas with separated parents

Christmas is a special time for children and therefore for their parents too. This holiday, which traditionally involves the family unit, can be difficult for separated parents, especially when their children are not with them for Christmas. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions by co-parents during the run-up to December 24 and solutions to some of them in order to revive the magic of Christmas for them in their own way.

Who will have custody of the children this year?

Divorced parents are often very fussy about compliance with childcare during the holiday season. To avoid a family crisis that would disturb children, it is better to update your  custody calendar  several months in advance.  Sandrine says: ”  My children will spend Christmas Eve and Christmas day with me and my family this year.   It alternates every year with my ex-husband and I think it is very suitable for everyone because nobody feels cheated “. In all cases, do not ask children to choose which parent they want to spend Christmas with as this would undermine their sense of loyalty towards the excluded parent.

What gift will I give to my daughter or my son?

After a separation, you may feel guilty towards your children, or jealous towards the former spouse. Subsequently in some families, there is a competition for who can give the most expensive gift for Christmas.  The relationship with the co-parent is not a competition  and the child can quickly understand the mechanism and  take advantage of this weakness  to get what he or she wants. David explains: “My ex-wife does not have the same financial means as me, which creates some tension with the approach of Christmas or birthdays.  After a few unfortunate episodes, we made an effort to consult each other before the holidays to prevent our daughter from being a witness to our differences.  Sometimes we offer a bigger, common gift.”

Should I invite my ex to the party for the benefit of my children?

Why not, if you still share some affection . But it should not raise false hopes.  A child can lose his bearings when his separated parents meet and give the impression of a family unit. Be careful too about the organizational nightmare that this can create with in step families: what about new family members and their children?

This is my first Christmas divorced with kids

Unconsciously or not, many separated parents are hit by nostalgia which can invade Christmas. Jean-François has become habituated to inviting his two teenagers to a restaurant with his new girlfriend: ” I found myself alone, desperate to organize a perfect Eve.  It quickly turned into a culinary fiasco. Since then, I reserve a good restaurant, and on Christmas Eve we go out”. Martine has made a clean sweep of her former life: “It reminded me too much of old memories.  I decided to change all the dishes, table decoration and especially the menu. Finish the game, and flash garlands”. Separation, it changes people. It is normal for family traditions to evolve to better match the new life of each. And if you feel better as well,  the children will be the ones to benefit.

This is my first Christmas divorced without my children

Separated parents agree that this is a difficult moment to go through. “After a few years, one tends to become experienced” says Sandra, who found tricks to not spend Christmas alone. ”  I made new friends who are mostly like me.  We take the opportunity to meet on Christmas Eve and have a good time without getting depressed.  I know my children are with their father so I do not let myself worry about them “. You have to reassure yourself: there will be other Christmases you’ll spend with the children and we have the whole year to spend with them. This is the moment to take care of yourself.

And you? Does this time of year particularly affect you after your separation? What are your experiences or your new Christmas traditions? Share your experiences here

From ex-spouse to friend: Reinventing relationships after divorce

2houses - mobile & website app for divorce with kids - from ex spouse to friend

Your marital relationship is over, but what about your relationship with your in-laws, their relationship with your children, or even your relationship with your ex-spouse’s new lover? What is healthy and appropriate? Since no one has written the new rules and codes of social conduct for relationships engendered by divorce, we asked some experts to share their insights with us.

Everyone knows at least one divorce horror story, but we seldom hear about people who have established friendly post-divorce associations with each other. “Did you hear that Hugh and Liz are getting along well these days?” just isn’t news. Armed with their version of divorce hell, the skeptics tell us it’s impossible for a divorced couple to make peace and become friends. They outtalk the quiet and peaceful believers — perhaps because people who are doing just fine don’t feel the need to vent. “If every divorce were a ‘War of the Roses’, there would be blood on the streets!” points out Barbara Quick, author of Still Friends: Living Happily Ever After…Even if your Marriage Falls Apart.

Luckily, it’s never too late to make peace. With determination and good intentions, you can overcome the anger, grief, and sadness of losing a marriage and eventually — believe it or not — achieve friendship. Whether or not you want to be “friends” with your ex is a decision in itself, but if you have children together, finding a way to be amicable with your co-parent makes life a lot easier. Your former in-laws don’t have to disappear with the marriage either, especially if you’ve always enjoyed a good relationship with them. Unfortunately there’s no rule book for cultivating civility with your ex-spouse, your former in-laws, or even your ex’s new spouse — so we asked several experts — including people who have managed to create friendly post-divorce relationships — for some guidance. Here’s what they had to say:

Ex-spouse, New Friend?

When the divorce process has pitted you and your spouse against each other, training you to view each other as enemies, any form of future alliance can seem impossible. But if you have children, your ex-spouse is still your co-parent. “It’s difficult for separated partners to remain productive co-parents when the legal process is making them enemies,” says Lillian Messinger, a Toronto marriage counselor who specializes in post-divorce relationships. It takes a lot of maturity to make amends with the person who has torn apart your life, or who has been a monster in court. But just as it takes two to determine the marriage dynamic, it takes two to make a good — or bad — divorce. Quick emphasizes that “every couple has their own relationship dance. All you have to do is change your part in the dance.” If you change your behavior, your relationship will change, too.

Mark and Sara (not their real names) were married for 12 years, and have now been divorced for three. “The first couple years of our marriage was pretty good, but it went downhill rapidly,” says Sara. “For the last six years, we communicated in snarls, or through our son, Peter. A friend encouraged us to try mediation, and during the process we started to really talk for the first time in years. The mediator encouraged us to remember what we used to like about each other as we established our co-parenting relationship, and how to listen and ‘mine for the gold’ in what we said to each other.” Both Sara and Mark report that their relationship is better post-divorce than it ever was when they were married. “We are much better as friends than as a couple,” says Mark. “Some of the things that really bug you in a spouse just don’t matter in a friend. For Peter’s sake, we were committed to working on our co-parenting relationship, and the happy side-effect is that we really like each other these days — which wasn’t the case during our marriage.”

However well or poorly you knew your former spouse, this will be an exercise in re-acquaintance. Forming a relationship with your ex is entirely separate from the process of ending a marriage; if you work through the process to achieve your “emotional divorce,” you can cultivate something entirely new. Your old relationship is over; take the steps to heal so that you can invest your energy elsewhere.

Grieving the death of a marriage is like mourning any other loss: it hurts a lot, and you get through it minute by minute. The trick is to stay on the path to recovery, not stopping at the first challenge. In her research for Still Friends, Quick found that a pattern emerged among those who had successfully recovered from divorce. The process that begins with anger and grieving eventually leads to healing, forgiveness, and insight. “Acknowledge the stage you’re at, and allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling. Most people get stuck in anger and grieving,” says Quick, adding that “Everyone has a unique healing process. Some people go through it on their hands and knees, spending months at every stage, others go through it at high speed.”

Healing and moving on can take years, but communication with your ex may have to continue both during and after your divorce. If you have children, you will have to discuss the details of their lives. Whether weekly or monthly, these chats are going to develop a personality. They might be draining, dreadful, stressful, infuriating, and frustrating — or they could be just fine.

Read more

Joint Custody: How to Deal With Pocket Money

2houses : web and mobile app for divorce with kids - how to deal with pocket money

It’s often said parenting doesn’t come with a manual. That’s especially true if you are co-parenting after separation or divorce. Joint custody means working out day-to-day issues surrounding your children, while they are living with two families.

One of those issues is pocket money. Even if kids don’t get a formal allowance, they usually get cash from their parents for small things. Former partners may face uncertainty as to how they should split this expense.

There are some general guidelines you might want to follow, but the key is to communicate. Knowing the other parent’s points of view can help you both to decide what’s fair and best for your kids.

Separation Agreements

Most of the big issues surrounding money are covered by a separation or divorce agreement and child support regulations. But pocket money isn’t really taken into account. In some jurisdictions, a child’s allowance is explicitly excluded from the special and extraordinary expenses portion of child support.

That usually means parents are on their own. No one wants to get lawyers involved for something as small as pocket money. It can not only cause stress on the child and put strain on the relationship, but cost more than it’s worth.

However, many co-parents try to make a fair division of costs for the children. One may incur the costs of health insurance, for example. It comes down to talking openly and calmly about what the children need and how best to provide it.

Handling Money

One potential cause for concern is how parents generally raise issues of money with children. Each parent may have a different point of view. This is often made more challenging if one parent is more affluent than the other.

When deciding on allocating pocket money, many co-parents discuss specific issues first. How much should the child receive? How often? Should the child earn the money through chores or by running errands?

Once parents are on the same page about the philosophy behind money, it’s easier to determine how it should be paid out. The next step is keeping up open communication about how things are going in both homes.

Special Circumstances

Parents may choose to settle up child care expenses on a regular basis. But life happens at an unpredictable pace. Often a child will go on a last-minute trip for which they need money. One parent may agree to fund a special occasion because they feel strongly about the opportunity.

These parents may disagree about certain costs, but choose to discuss such matters on an ongoing basis. That way, parents have the freedom to support their kids without burdening their co-parent. At the same time, they can show respect to one another by talking through any disagreements.

Talking to Your Kids

Some parents choose to include the children in conversations about money. Often, these talks can be a reminder that both parents are working together to make decisions. That way, the kids know that their parents are communicating about their pocket money, even if they don’t live together.

Technology to Help

Through the use of apps like 2houses, co-parents can handle all issues to do with joint custody. Specifically, they can log every time they give pocket money to their child so the other parent can stay informed about what’s going on. Based on the decisions made between parents, they can use the app to divide costs quickly and easily.