Divorce : How To Help Your Child at Home and at School

help your child at home and at school after a divorce - 2houses

Divorce can wreak havoc on a child’s world and affect her life at school. How much information should a parent give a child’s teacher and other adults in the child’s life, and how should the child tell her friends? Our experts provide tips and guidance for parents to help their children navigate this difficult life experience.

When a child’s parents divorce, the mix of emotions he experiences—sadness, frustration, guilt, anger, and confusion—can make school a tough place to be. For some kids, the entire school year is lost. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Rosalind Sedacca, a certified corporate trainer in Florida, and her husband divorced when their son was in middle school. As difficult as it was, Sedacca and her ex-husband decided to coparent—he chose to live nearby in the same school district, they both remained involved in their son’s education, and they worked hard to create a stable life for him. As a result, their middle school son remained the A student he had always been.

The experience led Sedacca to create a support network for parents with resources on how to have a child-centered divorce. Her message is clear: Parents must put aside their anger toward each other and create a secure, loving environment for their children at each parent’s home and at school. She describes the approach as cooperative coparenting.

Sedacca advises enlisting help from the child’s teachers early on. “I highly advocate that parents create a support team so everyone has an eye on the child,” she says. Guidance counselors, social workers, administrators, coaches, and scout leaders can all be part of the team.

Teachers can provide insight into the child’s behavior and performance that a parent might miss. “The parents are so caught up in their own personal drama, they may not be able to recognize everything going on with their child,” Sedacca explains.

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Patti Ghezzi for schoolfamily.com

Separation and relocation – moving with children after separation


We live in an increasingly mobile society few people stay in the same place in which they grew up – moving for work reasons or just because they feel a different area may work better for them.

It is common for people to relocate after a divorce or separation. The reasons vary, pehaps it has been a particularly traumatic break up, or a new job or partner, to be nearer to the support of family and friends back at home; or just the desire to make a new start. Whatever the reason, where there are children involved and the other parent objects it may be necessary to obtain a residence order from the court.

The law governing parental relocation is the Children’s Act 1989. This states that the welfare of the child is paramount when considering whether a residence order should be granted. The Act has been interpreted in different ways by the courts depending on whether the proposed relocation has been within the UK or abroad.

Requests for residence orders for a UK destination could be refused where there are “exceptional circumstances”. For example, in the case of Re F (2010), the court denied a mother’s request to move from north east England to the Orkneys as one of the children had expressed strong feeling against the move and another suffered from dyspraxia and mild autism. This meant their welfare would be affected by moving away.

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By PCadmin for theparentconnection.org.uk

Divorced Parents: Kids Can Decide Where They Live

where kids want to live - 2houses

Parents who are divorcing often get sucked into a nasty competition when it comes to the kids, with each parent vying for custody of the kids. Of course, both parents often want to keep the kids with them, which frequently results in joint custody. Once the arrangement is set, the kids shuffle between Mom’s and Dad’s respective houses, while the parents often avoid asking the kids what they want to do or with whom they want to live.

Well, the truth is that there are endless misconceptions about divorce and its effect on kids. Many people feel that divorce is psychologically harmful for kids, though the research – and I’m referring to Judith Wallerstein’s research, in particular – actually shows that divorce does not harm children over the long-term unless other factors come into play. For example, divorced parents who maintain a bitter relationship post-divorce and talk badly about each other to the kids can cause kids major anxiety and distress. But aside from such instances, there are many things that divorced parents can do to limit the harm caused to the kids.

One thing divorced parents can do is make an ongoing effort to check in with the kids about how they feel about the assigned living arrangements. While children are young (10 years or younger), joint custody can provide an important reminder to the kids that their parents still love them and will both remain a fundamental part of the kids’ lives. Yet the problem often starts when the kids get a little older.

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by Seth Meyers, Psy.D. in Insight Is 20/20

Christmas Custody Schedules in Divorce

christmas custody schedules for divorced parents - 2houses

How do divorcing parents handle the issue of Christmas and other holiday periods in custody disputes?  What kind of schedules do North Carolina Divorce Courts order in Child Custody Cases?  In a perfect world, every child would have the benefit of waking up to two loving parents every Christmas morning.  The sad reality is that many parents do not stay together and in those cases it is crucial to establish holiday custody schedules that allow the children to experience the joy of the holidays with each parent.  As a Raleigh Divorce Lawyerfor over fourteen years, I have seen all kinds of holiday custody schedules and before you decide what kind of schedule works for you, there are several factors you should consider.

Two Ways to View Holidays.  For school aged children, there are two ways to view holiday custody schedules.  The first is to attempt to divide the actual holiday period or day.  For example, Christmas is typically recognized as Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and sometimes the day after Christmas.  The second way to view holiday schedules is to divide the entire period the children are out of school.  Most North Carolina school systems release for Christmas several days before the actual holiday and resume after New Years Day.  The same principal is true of Thanksgiving, Easter, and some other holidays.  If you address the holiday only, you are dividing only a day or two, while addressing the holiday as a break from school and dividing that time period you will be dividing more time.  Either method is acceptable if it works for the children and the parents.

When a Divorce Makes a Better Dad

divorce and dads - 2houses

Divorce stinks. Don’t get me wrong. The excruciating pain of leaving your child on Mom’s doorstep, of missing holidays and first steps, of having to schedule visitation are nothing to sign up for unless there is no other choice. My divorce involved the kind of pain that makes you think walking in front of a train would be a piece of cake if not for your responsibilities. But buried deep within that pain is a silver lining — a motivation, an aspiration, a hands-on learning — that “normal” dads don’t get.

My son was 6 months old and my daughter was 2 when I moved into a furnished rental with shag rugs, the permanent smell of Chinese food and a commanding view, through cracked Plexiglas, of Route 95 in Providence, R.I. My time with Kerry and Seamus was limited to trips to McDonald’s and a walk across the highway to Federal Hill for pizza a couple of times a week. But even that was progress. I had been an absent dad up until that point, working nonstop. And when I wasn’t working, I was drinking and getting into trouble.

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By THOMAS MATLACK for parenting.blogs.nytimes.com

How Grandparents Can Help Grandchildren Adjust To The Challenges Of Divorce

grandparents and children for the divorce - 2houses

Grandparents are often caught in the tensions between parents when divorce takes place. Eager to help ease the situation, many grandparents are confused about how they can play a part in addressing the pain, confusion and other emotional issues that may be affecting their innocent grandkids. Every divorce is unique there are no cookie-cutter solutions that do the trick, but there are some guidelines to keep in mind, especially in regards to being there for your grandchildren.

If you haven’t been close to the kids beforehand, post-divorce is a difficult time to develop a relationship. But if you already have that bond established, it’s important to keep the ongoing connection at this time when the children are facing so many unknowns.

When communication and trust are strong between you and your grandchildren, it’s easier to bring up issues that concern you for a chat. Children who are comfortable in their relationship with you are more likely to confide their frustrations, fears and insecurities to you. Keep in mind that it’s always more effective to offer advice once they ask or bring the subject up. Then you can share your wisdom in an age-appropriate manner.

One important word of caution: If you are going to discuss issues regarding divorce or other life challenges, it is essential that you discuss this subject first with the children’s parents to get permission in advance!


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Rosalind Sedacca for Huffpost Divorce