Navigating Child Custody Arrangements in Canada

Child Custody Arrangements in Canada

Separation and divorce is not easy and it leads to a lot of uncertainty…for parents…for children and for anyone who has a relationship with the family, such as in-laws. Everyone is unsure what will happen to the family after the split and no one is certain what the child arrangement will look like. In fact, many people aren’t even sure what type of child arrangements there are in Canada, which we will cover in this article to help you navigate the system of family law.

What is Child Custody?

In Canada, child custody is an umbrella term that describes who cares for the children after a divorce. In the Canadian family law, typically parents have the legal right to determine the care and well-being of their child; however, this can become muddied when parents get divorced and are suddenly at odds on who gets to care of the children and who is responsible in making these decisions.

In most divorces, parents tend to split the child custody arrangement; however, there are times when this child custody arrangement does not work and cannot be set without the involvement of the courts. At that time, the Canadian courts will step in and make the decision on what the best child custody arrangement would be for that child.

What Types of Child Custody Arrangements are there in Canada?

It should be noted that when we look at navigating child custody within Canada, we need to understand that there are four different types of child custody arrangements within Canada. These are:

Full Custody

Also known as sole custody, this type of child custody arrangement is where only one parent has custody of the child. This means that the parent has sole control over their child and where he or she lives. In addition, when a parent is awarded full custody, which means that they have the right to decide on visitation of the other parent.

Full custody is quite rare in divorces, unless there are reasons where joint custody would not be in the interest of the children in the marriage. One thing that should be mentioned is that when a parent has full custody, he or she is not 100% financially responsible for the child. Like all child custody arrangements in Canada, the other parent, whether they get visitation or not, is responsible for their portion of child support to ensure that the child maintains the same quality of life as before the marriage ended.

Joint Custody

One of the more common types of child custody arrangements, joint custody is where the parents share a 50/50 custody arrangement. This means that both parents have equal responsibility for the child or children. They have to share the planning and decision making on schedules, where the kids go to school, what religion they are raised with, where they live. In the event that one parent needs to move out of the city or country, the other parent in the joint arrangement gets to be part of the decision of whether the children move with them.

With joint child custody arrangement, parents will choose how to do their visitation schedule so that they both get equal time. A great way to manage child custody arrangements is to use a mediation app to schedule out your weekly visitation days.

Finally, with joint custody, parents split expenses for the kids 50/50 with child support payments often reflecting that arrangement.

Shared Custody

While similar to joint custody, shared custody is when both parents are responsible for both caring for and housing their children. With shared custody, the kids spend equal amounts of time with either period.

In addition, shared custody means that both parents share equal responsibility in making decisions for the child. It should be noted that, generally, joint custody is preferred over shared custody.

And again, with child support, it is based on income, the province you live in and quality of life prior to the divorce.

Split Custody

This occurs when the couple have more than one child, with two children being the most common family dynamic for split custody. With split custody, one child lives with one parent and the other child lives with the other parent. There can still be arrangements for visitation where the kids either spend time together or in a one on one situation, swapping homes during the visitation.

In addition, when looking at split custody, the home of residence can shift depending on arrangements. This means that the child can live with either parent on a permanent basis, only visiting with the other parent on set visitation days, or the residence can rotate with half at one parent’s house and half at the other parent’s house similar to a 50/50 joint custody.

Generally, split custody is not one that is often viewed as an option since it is not always believed to be in the best interest of the children to have siblings split and living in separate homes; however, if a court decides that this is in the best interest of the children, it is an option the courts will sign off on.

Split custody child support payments can still occur but it is based on your province and the income of both parents. The goal is to create equal living conditions for both kids so if one parent makes significantly more than the other, child support payments will be made to bring the other child’s level of living conditions up to the other child. It should be noted that split custody does not mean no child support payments.

And those are the four child custody arrangements in Canada. Now let’s look at a few legalities you should be aware of.

What are Some Child Custody Laws I Should Know?

When it comes to the laws of child custody arrangements in Canada, parents should be aware of a few facts before they start making arrangements. These are:

  1. You are both responsible for your child’s well-being and safety. This means that you both have a say and you both have a responsibility in it. This means that you much provide your child with food, shelter and clothing. In addition, your child needs a safe home.
  2. The child’s best interest is first for the court. When you go into court, the best interest of your child is going to be the most important thing for the court. In Canada, they may make decisions that go against the wishes of the parents because the court feels it’s in the best interests of your child.
  3. Canadian courts has parens patriae jurisdiction. This goes back to the child’s best interest but it means that the Canadian government has power and authority to protect the children who cannot act in their own best wishes. What this means is that the Canadian courts will take any necessary steps to protect your child as they feel they need to be protected.
  4. Support payments reflect the custody arrangement. The main focus of child support is for the children to live in similar means to what they lived before divorce. How much you pay for support depends on a number of factors including custody arrangement, income level and lifestyle your child had pre-divorce.

As you can see, there are a number of things that you should be aware of to properly navigate. Basically, if you approach your child custody arrangement with the best interests of the child in mind, you will see the best outcome from the courts.

Navigating the Canadian courts when it comes to child custody arrangements doesn’t have to be difficult but we definitely recommend that you have good representation if you have to move into the court system.

Helping Your Child Adjust to Living in Two Households after Divorce/Separation

Living in Two Households after Divorce

Divorce or separation can be difficult for both parents and children. It is incredibly challenging for children who must adjust to living in two different households. As a parent, you must provide your child with the support they need during this transition.

A divorce or separation can help your child adjust to living in two households by using joint custody and parenting time. By creating a shared parenting plan that outlines each parent’s responsibilities, you can ensure that your child gets quality time with both of their parents. Other co-parenting tips can help you create a positive environment for your child while they adjust to living in dual households.

How to Help Your Child Adjust to Life in Two Separate Homes

Your child may find it challenging to live in two homes. However, with the correct support systems and coping mechanisms, they may manage the change and live happily in both homes. Having duplicate items in both houses, allowing your children to have their own space, maintaining a routine in each home, and having a predictable schedule for meals, homework, playtime, and bedtime are other ways to help them cope happily in two homes.

These methods and safety nets help establish routine and predictability in each home. Be optimistic and considerate of your co-parents’ time with your children. Make the transitions as seamless and straightforward as possible.

Please do not ask your children to spy on their other parents or serve as a liaison between their two houses. Find a reliable channel for communication between you and your co-parent. Supporting your children living together in other people’s homes is crucial.

Creating Positive Routines for Both Households

Routines for Divorced Families

Consistent routines are highly crucial for divorce children in divided homes. Consistency fosters security, decreases worry, and fosters positive habits and limits. Practices provide stability by allowing youngsters to acquire mastery and enjoy doing their tasks autonomously. Routines alleviate stress by delaying brain and physical growth. Routines also teach positive habits and establish limits.

Parents must put aside differences when it comes to maintaining a uniform pattern across families for their children’s health. Morning routines, after-school routines, and sleep rituals are all equally vital. Sleep routines are critical for your child’s general health and well-being.

Co-Parenting Strategies

It allows kids to fall asleep sooner, return to sleep more readily, and enhances their parents’ emotions. It is critical to consider the pattern of bathing, brushing teeth, and putting on pajamas while establishing a consistent evening routine across two houses.

It is also essential to explain to the children the penalties and incentives for following the rules. Home is the most conducive environment for developing long-term behaviors and embracing the ideas of consequences, limits, and rewards. Make every effort to maintain ritual and regularity wherever possible so your children feel safe and comfortable even in times of change.

Family Therapy Ideas

Mental health is as essential as physical health, and spending time with yourself may help you balance your life. Mental Health America provides tools that allow anyone to live a better life. Plan once a week to jot down five things you would like to include in your self-care routine that week, find something you enjoy and incorporate one or more of these into your life, and reward yourself if you stick to your self-care routine.

How to Talk About Divorce & Co-parenting with Your Kids

Parents should discuss divorce with their children. Parents of young children should stick to routines, be consistent with rules and expectations, and lavish their children with additional attention. Teens should have open, calm dialogues with their parents, encourage emotional responses, and set high standards for their conduct. For all children, their parents’ message should be straightforward and uncomplicated, avoiding confusing details that can lead youngsters to feel they need to fix the issue or are the reason for the divorce. Children may have conflicting emotions in response to the news, so listening to and observing their responses is vital.

It may not startle older children, but it is worthwhile to provide youngsters with several opportunities to ask questions and voice their concerns. Ensure your children understand they are secure by encouraging them to be open about their feelings and validate whatever they are experiencing. The most significant facts in this work are the measures to help youngsters deal with divorce. These measures include being straightforward and honest and ensuring they are secure and cherished. Be upfront about what will change in their daily lives and prepare them beforehand.

Reduce disturbances to their regular routines and help them deal with their emotions. Keep their needs in mind and be as engaged in their lives as possible. Make sure your children understand that it is not their fault. They should also know that the issue is between their parents and that it is not their responsibility to resolve it.

How to Get Support for Yourself as a Parent during a Divorce

Separated parents must collaborate to help their children overcome life’s challenges. Numerous organizations provide online forums where you may meet other people going through a divorce or separation. These people are local to you.

See 2houses for more information about single-parent organizations that provide support and can help you create your own if no groups exist in your area. They may also assist via a variety of channels. Please go here to learn more about the benefits and assistance you may need.

When a parenting plan has been created, and you work out the details with the other parent, your child can adjust to living in two households. It is a necessity that both parents are willing to work together to raise their children in a positive environment, even after divorce or separation. Open communication, honesty, and patience with your child will make it easier for them when they adjust to living in two households. As a parent, you can use these co-parenting tips during this ordeal.

Overall, creating a positive environment for your child during this transition is vital. It will improve your relationship with your child and strengthen your relationship with their other parents. By working together to create a shared parenting plan, you can resolve disputes more efficiently and give your children the support they need to adjust to living in two households after divorce or separation.

The Importance of Maintaining Communication with Your Co-Parent in the UK

Importance of Maintaining Communication with Your Co-Parent

When it comes to co-parenting, one of the most important parts of it is in the communication. After all, how can you effectively parent if you are not effectively communicating with your co-parent? The answer is that you can’t. To be successful in parenting you need to maintain the communication in your co-parenting relationship. In this article, we will explore why it is so important to have excellent communication.

The Benefits to the Kids

When we look at the importance of maintaining communication with your co-parent in the UK, we have to start from how it affects the kids. In the UK, family law always sides with what is in the best interest of the individual child and we know that excellent communication between parents will always be in the best interest of the kids.

Even without the law in mind, co-parents who effectively communicate can offer their kids a wide range of benefits that will have significant impact on their long term success and mental and emotional well-being.

  1. Models good behaviour to your children. First and foremost, managing effective communication with your other co-parent models to you kids how to communicate themselves. It also shows that even adults who are at odds at times can still communicate. This enables kids to learn how to be effective communicators themselves—skills that will help them throughout their lives.
  2. Helps establish predictability. Co-parents who communicate will often parent in similar ways. This means that kids have the same rules, routines, and schedules regardless of which home they are in when both of their parents are communicating and discussing setting these things. This stability between homes will reduce a lot of stress and anxiety that kids can have during separation and divorce.
  3. Can increase emotional well-being. Kids whose parents are communicating and not arguing have better feelings of well-being and self-worth. This is because there is less stress, they don’t feel like they are in the middle and they have parents who are consistent with them. This can help kids adjust much easier to divorce and will have long term benefits throughout their life.

As you can see, there are many different benefits for kids and it really does emphasize how important maintaining communication is.

The Benefits to You

The benefits for you, and your other co-parent, are equally important when it comes to maintaining effective communication. While you may not realize it, once you have that communication being established and maintained, you will suddenly find the benefits are affecting your life in positive ways. Some of the ways that maintaining communication with your other co-parent is beneficial for you are:

  1. Reduces stress. Like kids, when communication is always negative and combative, you will find yourself living with higher levels of stress. And this stress will have long term health effects on you if you allow it to continue. Maintaining healthy communication will help reduce stress because you won’t be arguing as much, if at all.
  2. Let’s you focus on the kids. When you communicate effectively, you can really focus on the kids when you are with them. You won’t have to worry about handoffs and possibly arguing with your co-parent. You also will have all the information you need to make sure the kids have everything they need during the visit. These are invaluable in just allowing you to enjoy those moments with your kids, especially when there are no arguments at pick up because of poor communication.
  3. Allows issues to be handled quickly and effectively. When you have excellent communication with your co-parent, you can deal with issues and emergencies quickly and effectively. You can meet to discuss issues or you can easily contact the other co-parent to ensure that emergencies are handled in the best ways for the kids. Essentially, communication creates a new partnership between co-parents when it comes to the kids and allows everyone to thrive in a crisis.

And those are a few of the benefits that you will experience…along with a new relationship dynamic where you and your ex-partner may even be able to parent as friends.

Quick Tips to Maintain that Communication

Finally, let’s look at a few quick tips you can do to maintain that communication with your co-parent. These are quick and easy to do and really is just about setting healthy boundaries for both of you.

  1. Focus on the practicalities: Things the kids need, what they have coming up and the expenses that they have. During periods when you are having a hard time communicating, focusing on those practical bits of information will help maintain your relationship.
  2. Add in positives: On the same line of practicalities, it is good to add some positive things to your conversations. Kids did well on an exam, share it. Saved money on an expense, let the other parent know. Positives help with a connection as co-parents and also makes the interactions about more than just things to worry about.
  3. Keep conversations separate from other topics: Divorce proceedings, things happening that are not related to the kids but can lead to a conflict cycle, frustrations about the other parent—those topics should be left to other ways of communicating. Instead, focus on kid oriented topics.
  4. Use a mediation app: A mediation app that allows you to communicate over it is a great way to keep communication open and to manage that communication when you are having a hard time communicating in person.
  5. Have regular meetings: This should be done every month or more but have regular meetings about holidays, what’s happening with the kids, special events and to review how the custody schedule is working. Reviewing all of these opens up natural conversations that will help your co-parenting relationship grow.

As you can see, there are many benefits for both you and your kids when you maintain healthy communication with your co-parent. And, it doesn’t have to be that difficult to maintain it. Simply follow the tips in this article and then enjoy the benefits of this very important part of co-parenting.

Tips for Maintaining a Positive Relationship with Your Child’s Other Parent After Separation or Divorce

Separation and divorce brings a lot of emotions that can be damaging to the relationship you have with your other child’s parent; however, it is important to maintain a positive relationship for your child. Learn strategies to develop and maintain a healthy relationship with your ex-partner as you move into co-parenting.

We all want the best for our kids but that isn’t always possible during a separation or divorce because we are all human. We have emotions. Separation and divorce can come with a wide range of emotions, including grief and hurt and sometimes those emotions can get in the way of having a positive relationship with your child’s other parent. However, putting aside your own feelings will help you maintain a positive relationship with your ex-partner, which will allow you to put your children first and ease your own stress and heartache.

What is Co-Parenting?

Before we look at tips on how to maintain a positive relationship with your child’s other parent after separation or divorce, it is good to understand what co-parenting is. In a nutshell, co-parenting is when both parents play an active role in the daily lives of their children. Shared schedules, custody arrangements, shared responsibility on decisions and more are all part of co-parenting that allows parents to ensure that all of their kids’ needs are met. It also ensures that both parents can maintain a close relationship with their kids.

Co-parenting, when done in healthy ways, ensures that kids adapt better to divorce and that their emotional and mental well-being is good.

In essence, co-parenting is creating a new partnership that focuses on the kids lives.

It should be noted that when we look at co-parenting, we are talking about divorces that do not involve domestic abuse and violence. There are certain circumstances where a positive relationship is not possible for safety.

Tips for Maintaining a Health Relationship

Now that we know what co-parenting is, let’s look at ways that you can maintain a healthy relationship with your child’s other parent.

Number One: Set Aside your own Hurt

We’ve already hinted at this but no matter who initiated the divorce, there will still be feelings of hurt and anger. Remember that this is a grieving process, and you will need to grieve. However, to maintain a healthy positive relationship, you need to set aside your own hurt when you are dealing with your ex-partner.

This means that you may have to find ways to communicate with your ex-partner when you are feeling extra hurt, such as through a communication journal. Another point is to use someone other than your child to vent about your feelings. Venting to your children raises their stress and makes them feel that they have to take sides. If you have a friend or therapist, use them to vent.

When you see your ex-partner, or interact, remember that you both have one thing in common—wanting the best for your kids—so make that a common ground to help motivate your actions to establish that positive relationship with your ex-partner.

Number Two: Focus on the Kids

This is pretty simple to explain…again, we are going to that common ground. If both you and your ex-partner agree to keep your interactions on the kids, you are less likely to focus on negative aspects of your past relationship.

Whenever you find your conversations getting off course, steer back to the kids by bringing up something positive that the kids did or said, or an accomplishment that they had. This will help ease the tension between you and you can spend a few minutes just enjoying that positive moment together before getting back to the task at hand, such as setting up the custody schedule.

Number Three: Make Communication Peaceful and Purposeful

You don’t have to have long conversations with your ex-partner, and chances are, you won’t want to have those conversation.  Instead, plan out every conversation and only communicate when you need to.

Before you do, look at your mindset. If you are angry or feeling anything negative, even if it isn’t about your ex-partner, reschedule a meeting with them. You want to take the time before your meeting to refocus on your kids. Ask yourself some questions like:

  1. Why are we meeting?
  2. What outcome am I hoping for?
  3. What am I willing to compromise on?

The main takeaway with conversations is to keep your child the main focal point of all your communication. By doing this, you are avoiding conflict and that can help build a positive relationship where your kids are concerned.

Number Four: Co-parent as a Team

Another important tip for keeping a positive relationship with your ex-partner is to remember that you are a team, even if you are not in the same house. This means that you should listen to them and what they’d like for the kids in regard to schedules and routines. If you want some changes to those schedules and routines, talk to the other parent and find a middle ground for both of you. By having a relationship that is built on teamwork, you will be able to keep consistency in your children’s lives and you will naturally build a positive relationship.

Remember, consistency along with following up and checking in with each other is essential to building a successful team and this will only help your relationship as co-parents.

Number Five: Approach Things with Respect

Finally, make sure that you approach dealings with your ex-partner with respect. That means that you listen to what your ex-partner says and also that you aren’t actively ignoring their wishes. This doesn’t mean that you give into everything but when you do have disagreements, you approach it in a respectful manner and avoid any negative behaviours that might have occurred in the past.

With respect, it means being polite and peaceful. Discussing your points in a calm manner, listening to their points and then working together for a compromise that both of you can agree on.

When you work toward a positive relationship, you will find that the further along you get in your co-parenting relationship, the easier it is to have a positive relationship. And you will also find that your kids will flourish when they have two parents who, while not together, still maintain a positive relationship.

The Benefits of Using Technology to Facilitate Co-Parenting After Separation or Divorce

Using Technology to Facilitate Co-Parenting After Separation or Divorce

Whether we like it or not, technology has become a fixture in our lives. It shapes our day to day: how we work, how our kids spend parts of their days and even how we interact with those in our lives. It is everywhere so it should come as no surprise that it has been a way for parents to facilitate co-parenting after separation or divorce.

In fact, there are countless apps out there designed to help you through the trials and tribulations of co-parenting from mediation apps, such as 2houses, to budgeting programs, which 2houses has built in. The main focus of these technologies is to make co-parenting more effective and easier for parents in ways that are beneficial to parents and kids alike.

So what are the benefits of using technology to facilitate co-parenting after separation or divorce? Well, the answer is that that will depend on your family and how you use those technologies. But the even better answer is that there are a number of proven benefits that we will go over in this article.

Keeping Things Organized

The first benefit that we are going to look at is that technology really helps you stay organized as co-parents. If you choose to use a mediation app, you will find a lot of different ways that the technology helps with organizing. For instance, if you go with 2houses, you will be able to upload documents and store them on a folder in the app. This is great for custody documents, medical reports and anything related to the needs of the kids. Both parents will have access to it and it can be easier to access than printing out and placing them in file folders at home.

Having this organization done so easily, you can focus on parenting, which is what most of us want to do.

Helps Plan and Maintain Custody Calendars

Another benefit that you get with technology is that custody schedules and calendars can be in the palm of your hand through your mobile device. Again, looking at 2houses, the calendar allows for an easy way to maintain your calendar with ease. You can program in your custody arrangement as well as appointments, events and so on. When you put the custody arrangements in, you can also add the time and place where the handoffs will be done. This makes planning your day around handoffs much easier since it is all accessible and notifications can send you reminders of when you need to leave.

In addition to scheduling, you can make requests right on the calendar if you need to make a change to the schedule for the week. The other parent will get the alert that you are requesting a change and can respond right on the app. This can help free up time and minimizes any hassle of trying to connect in person for those changes.

Allows you to Communicate Even When You Can’t

Sometimes we can’t communicate as co-parents. This can be for a number of reasons from busy work schedules to periods of high tension for both of you. If you are going through moments in your co-parenting relationship where you are not able to have a conversation without arguing, technology can be a lifeline for several reasons.

First, it allows you to have conversations only about the kids. Second, you can take your conversations away from in person by using texts, emails, private messages or going through communication journal apps. Third, it gives you time to collect yourself. This is a huge benefit because you can walk away when you are communicating through technology, collect your thoughts, deal with any negative emotions and then send a response when you have a clear mind. It helps with furthering conflict.

Gives You Moments to Connect with Your Kids

All parents agree that not being able to see their kids every day is one of the hardest part of being divorced or separated. It’s as much a part of our routine as it is theirs so, of course, there will be moments when its hard, even for the adults.

Technology has a way of making those moments not quite so hard because you can connect with your kids at any time. This can be done by email, text, and messenger as well as through apps that have private photo albums and communication journals like 2houses does. It gives you a sense of being with your kids, even when you are not able to be with them.

It is important to mention that when you are co-parenting, it is important to remember that the time your kids are spending with their other parent is important for their bonding time so don’t cut into it. Instead, let the kids to send the little check ins or agree with your co-parent to send nightly updates and any photos (and vice versa when the kids are with you) so you both can feel connected to your kids, even when they aren’t with you.

Helps you Budget

With two houses, you will find that there are a lot of extra expenses that you need to plan and budget for. This can be a bit overwhelming if you are simply keeping track on paper, but with technology, you can use budgeting programs to keep track of everything from child support payments to shared expenses that you and your ex-partner have for the kids.

In addition to keeping track of everything, you can utilize technology to make payments automatic on a monthly basis. Many banking institutions has ways of making this happen so you can just get it scheduled into your account and then forget about it…except to make sure that you have enough in your accounts to cover it.

As you can see, technology has a range of benefits that you, your kids and your ex-partner can all enjoy. Co-parenting can be easier; you can be more organized and both of these benefits will allow you to focus on your kids and the time that you spend together.

How 2houses Helps to Reduce Conflict between Co-Parents

Reduce Conflict between Co-Parents

Two houses can mean a lot of conflict.

You have individual schedules; individual needs and you are trying to meet the needs of kids who are going between both houses. It can be stressful for kids and parents. So it is little wonder that conflicts can arise between co-parents for a multitude of reasons from expenses to custody schedules. Thankfully, conflicts can be reduced with some careful thought.

So how do you reduce conflict between co-parents?

In this article, we are going to go over reducing that conflict and how you can have a tool at your very fingertips to

On Your Mark, Get Set, Download!

The very first thing that you should do is download the 2houses app if you haven’t already. There are a lot of co-parenting apps out there but none as good as 2houses. It was designed by a divorced father who was trying to navigate the co-parenting relationship with his ex. This means that it is developed with a lot of the trials and tribulations in mind that co-parents go through…by someone who’s been through them too.

With the app, you can avoid conflict right from the download as you get 14 days free and the expense can be shared between both parents. Easy and affordable all at once.

Now that you have it downloaded, let’s look at how it can help reduce conflict between you and your co-parent.

Number One: It Keeps an Expense Budget

Some conversations are considered conflict topics and money is one of those. Having a way to discuss expenses in neutral spaces is one of the ways that 2houses help reduce conflict. With the expense budget, you can keep track of expenses month to month and even download monthly statements of the expenses that were paid out.

In addition, you can use the app to let the other co-parent know when there is an unexpected expense with kids, like a new retainer when they broke their old one…and so on.

By having all of this done over the app, co-parents can work through any frustration they may have and you can avoid a lot of the conflict that comes up because of money.

Number Two: Keeps Schedules Organized

Another way that 2houses helps you with reducing conflict is around schedules. With the app, you can program in the custody schedule right into the calendar in a fast and easy manner. Then you can simply send requests right through the schedule to keep from having conflict over any changes to the schedule.

This is a wonderful way to allow the 2houses app to be a mediator…it is, after all, exactly what the app is for. In addition, one parent doesn’t have to feel responsible for sending any reminders or keeping the other co-parent organized. Again, the app does that and it can help reduce the conflict when one parent doesn’t have to organize the other one.

Number Three: Aids in Creating Safe Handoffs

While a lot of co-parents do the handoffs at the homes the kids are at, there are many who need to meet in neutral areas for the handoffs. This helps with keeping conflict down and is important for those who are co-parenting with a partner who was abusive or there is a restraining order against one parent. With the 2houses app, you can set a time and place right into the schedule. Co-parents can choose a neutral area and then meet there for the handoff. The app will mark it in the calendar and it can be changed as needed by sending a simple request.

Number Four: Creates Ways to Communicate when Tension is High

Another excellent feature of 2houses is the journal on the app. Parents can exchange vital information as well as simply write about how the kid’s day was. It can be a terrific way to let the other parent know what is going on even when face to face conversations are filled with tension due to ongoing conflict.

This ability to have conversations not orbiting conflict topics allow co-parents moments to catch their breath and simply enjoy what it means to be a parent…focusing on their kids (our next point). And it allows parents to communicate about just the kids while avoiding any arguments that might have happened when they were face to face.

Number Five: Reminds Co-Parents to Focus on the Kids

Finally, the app is designed with kids in mindin fact, the app can be used as a way for kids to stay in touch with their other parent when they are not with them. While this isn’t really a feature that reduces conflict specifically, knowing that the kids will have access to the app can help reduce conflict. Parents are less likely to start arguing on the app through the calendar or journal if kids could see it.

This means that parents have more time to cool off before they need to respond to a high conflict situation. And this time to cool off can completely correct the conflict that was occurring. One of the best advice the many mediators give is to take a break and think about your answer, and how it will affect your kids. While 2houses can’t directly tell you this, for many parents, knowing the kids could potentially read an angry message, and then end up worrying, it gives them that step back to count to ten and return to it once they have calmed down.

2houses is designed to make co-parenting easy and that means, it is there to help reduce the conflict that can arise, especially early on in the co-parenting journey. It organizes, monitors expenses and provides ways for kids and co-parents to check in to feel secure in the relationship. It is the buffer that co-parents with a lot of tension in their relationships need as they heal from the separation and divorce and learn to leave…and thrive…in a different parenting relationship than the ones they shared in the past.

Conflicts happen, it’s only natural, but with 2houses, you can reduce how often and how severely those conflicts happen. So what are you waiting for? Download the app today.

Tips for Creating a Successful Custody Schedule with 2houses

Successful Custody Schedule

Creating a successful custody schedule can be a challenge but it doesn’t have to be when you have the right tools. 2houses is that tool that I recommend to every parent. It is a co-parenting app and digital program that both parents, and even the kids, have access to it. On it are places to store documents, journal, share photos and there is an in-depth and easy to use calendar to program in your custody schedule with ease. So let’s look at how to create that successful custody schedule with 2houses.

First: Create a Schedule

The very first thing you want to do is create a custody schedule by looking at all of the schedules that you have to work with. This includes your schedule, your co-parent’s schedule, school and daycare schedules, babysitter’s (if you use one regularly) schedules and the custody agreement, or court ordered, schedule. From there, build a schedule that works for both of you.

It should be noted that the custody agreement can be a range of different arrangements such as 50/50, every other weekend, odd days, 2-2-3 and so on. This will affect how you set your schedule with 2houses. In addition, while court ordered visitation schedules usually have firm rules, there are often room to shift schedules as you agree. If you want changes to your schedule, make sure that you discuss it as a co-parenting couple and not try to force it through as that could lead you both back in court.

Second: Program It In

You have your schedule, you know what activities the kids are doing, what the day to day looks like and when the kids are with each respective parent, now it’s time to schedule the calendar for 2houses. This can be a pain with many different apps but 2houses makes it really simple, you just have to remember these few tips.

  1. Set the type of custody schedule model you have, such as 50/50. 2houses lets you set the custody agreement on the calendar, which helps with programming it and means fewer steps when you do.
  2. Once you have that, choose a start date of when the custody schedule will start. You can also assign colours to each parent and even events that are mutual. One of the best parts of 2houses is that you can hit the button, “repeats until…” and you don’t have to put in each individual week.
  3. When you are at this stage, click on the day of the week and assign which parent will spend the night.
  4. Add additional appointments and events and mark who needs to attend or take the kids to them.
  5. Choose a place or time for exchanges of the kids. This is great so the kids know when they need to be ready and you can meet in neutral spaces if you need to.
  6. Save the schedule and it will appear, colour coordinated, on your calendar. You can edit the schedule as you need and you can add other appointments/events as they come up.

It really is simple to program it in and I find that is often half the battle when it comes to creating a successful custody schedule with your ex-partner.

Third: Be Honest and Send Notes and Document!

Now that you have it all programmed into the calendar, 2houses takes it to the next stage and allows you to send notes, journal or add documents to it. The folders to add documents really helps with organizing things and you won’t have to go back and forth to access things, which helps keep frustration levels low when co-parenting and navigating all the documents.

The other part, the journal, helps talk about how the custody schedule is working. You can give feedback, talk about what needs to be changed and offer suggestions. You can even send requests to have things changed on your scheduled visitation days.

Everything is in writing so you won’t forget during handoff and you also will be able to confirm a response.

When you are documenting, make sure that you are honest. Don’t keep doing something that isn’t working for you because that can lead to resentment, which can lead to tension in the co-parenting relationship. Instead, talk it out.

Fourth: Review, Review, Review

Which brings us to review, review, review. Custody schedules can be modified and they will change depending on the kids. Summers may look completely different than during the school year. Certain extracurricular activities can affect visitation schedules so you may need to shift. Job promotions might change availability for handoffs.

The main point is that life happens and sometimes you have to make changes to the custody schedule. That’s why you should review it every time there is a major event that can affect it but also check it frequently through the year to ensure that it is working for everyone. Thankfully, the 2houses app allows for everything to be reviewed easily…and you don’t even have to meet, you can just send messages.

Fifth: Use the App to Keep Communication Open

Finally, one of the best ways for a custody schedule to be successful is to communicate. Often, when we have misunderstandings or frustrations in the co-parenting relationship, it is because things have not been communicated properly. 2houses makes communication easy through the calendar and journal so make sure you use it whenever you need to make a change, need something to be remembered or when tensions are higher and it’s better for you both to step back and communicate over the app instead of in person.

Ass you can see, the 2houses app is set up to make life easier for co-parenting. And when it’s easier, you can focus on the important things in life…your kids, your work, and all the things that you need to get done in the day…while 2houses focuses on all the rest.

Impact of Divorce and Separation on Your Career as a Parent in the USA Do divorce and separation harm or help parent’s careers?

Impact of Divorce and Separation on Your Career

Some professions will prosper following a divorce, while others will suffer. If you are going through a divorce, you should be able to control the situation with your ex because whatever effects it has on your work will undoubtedly have an impact on your children/financing.

Also read:

How Divorce Harms Careers as a parent in the USA

Low Productivity

It is common knowledge that a couple’s mental health suffers after divorce. One’s mental health may suffer as a result of divorce procedures, which could reduce productivity at work. The need for breaks and fatigue might influence business owners, which can result in a shortage of funds for one’s lifestyle. 

Double Work

Two heads are better than one, as the adage goes. Financial expenses can always be shared by a couple who lives together. The custodial partner may try to take up an additional job or work twice as hard in order to meet their obligations when couples are divorced or separate because they are responsible for paying all of the expenditures associated with raising the children alone.

Legal Fees

Divorce is not something that should be taken lightly, as every American citizen is aware. To settle court costs and appointments, pay attorneys, and other expenses, ex-couples must withdraw from their savings or spend out of the income from their businesses or take a loan.  

Killing Your Chance for A Promotion

Divorces can make people more stressed out, and if your employer knows that you’re going through a difficult divorce, it could ruin your chances of getting a promotion because there’s a slim chance that the divorce’s emotional, mental, and physical repercussions won’t influence you. A raise in pay from a job advancement translates into extra luxuries for the kids.

Killing Your Chance to Move for Inter State Promotion

The United States has numerous relocation laws for divorced parents with children. Unless your former husband is helpful and understanding. If you have a promotion in another state after a divorce and your ex-spouse refuses to cooperate, the legislation in some states prohibits you from moving, which can have a significant impact on your career.

Excessive Child/Spousal support

Due to the fact that child support rates vary from state to state, the spouse who has the higher income may be required to contribute a greater amount toward both child support and spousal support payments, as well as the costs associated with going to court.  


When one partner decides to start the divorce or separation process during retirement, there are a few things that they need to take into consideration.

Concerns such as the grounds for retirements, the question of whether or not a pension will be offered, and the question of whether or not the offered pension will be dispersed adequately. When the payment for child support is due, who will be responsible for making the payment, and how will this work? These concerns need to be addressed, and it is possible that doing so will extend the period of time during which one is expected to be retired. This delayed retirement could result in a number of problems, including stress, exhaustion, resentment, and decreased productivity.

How Divorce Can Help Parent’s Career in The USA


After going through the process of getting a divorce, many people find that they are more inspired and productive than ever before. The former partner does not have to deal with the stress associated with a divorce, the proceedings associated with getting a divorce, or meetings with lawyers. They devote every spare moment they have to increasing their professional standing, which could eventually lead to promotions.

Child/spousal support and alimony

Some ex-spouses are made to pay child support, particularly if they have custody of the kids. Others receive monthly spousal support in addition to their income. The ex-mood spouse’s is likely to improve at work as a result, and increased productivity can help them advance their professions.

Legal Awards

Ex-spouses in some marriages may actually receive a sizable payout for the time they wasted with the other partner, particularly if there were difficulties with domestic abuse and infidelity. Additionally, spouses can claim that they have grown accustomed to a particular way of life, in which case the judges will provide them money to invest in their enterprises and individual careers.

How It Can be Managed

Effective Communication

To balance career progression, effective communication is required. Effective communication between the parents will prevent sentiments of hostility or resentment.

It’ll support career focus. If one spouse receives an out-of-state promotion that forces them to move, good communication will also aid in a pleasant transition.


Ex-spouses who engage in effective counseling can assist manage the problem.  


Both ex-spouses should set aside their differences and strike an agreement for the sake of their children and the management of their emotions to prevent a decrease in workplace productivity.

Legal Intervention

This is the most effective measure to make sure divorce/separation does not affect a person’s career. A lawyer should be involved that will make sure that all legal proceedings are just so that one spouse does not feel cheated in any way.


Going through a divorce in this day and age is very strenuous compared to how it was during the previous years. A divorce lawyer can be of great help to you on your divorce settlements and agreements. As a parent, your career has to be taken very importantly because this will be the base of your children’s financial and physical health.

It is important that you communicate with your lawyer effectively so that he can come up with steps to assist you while going through a  divorce or separation in order to protect your career and financial health.

Also see:

How to Manage Shared Expenses with Your Co-Parent in the UK

Manage Shared Expenses with Your Co-Parent in the UK

Money—they say that it can make or break a relationship. And everyone who has ever had to deal with difficult financial situations all know how true that can be. In the UK, a large number of divorced couples stated financial reasons as one of the main stressors that led to their divorce. And when you are parents, that financial stressors can follow you through to how you manage expenses as a co-parent.

Unfortunately, money, when you have kids, is not something that you can avoid discussing so why not learn how to manage shared expenses with your co-parent to make it as easy and stress free as possible. In this article, we will go over how UK co-parents can manage their shared expenses in easy and low conflict ways.

Tip Number One: Use a Mediation or Budgeting App

The first thing that is always recommended for managing any expenses is a budgeting app. I recommend that you go a step further and choose to use a mediation app with a built in expense tracker, such as 2houses. This will enable you to share what expense have been incurred and mark who has paid payments toward it. No actual cash goes through the app, that needs to be done outside the app, but payments can be marked on the expenses sheet to keep track of what the expenses were and what was paid into them.

A mediation app is really valuable because it helps reduce a lot of the tension around the conflict topic of expenses. You can look at what’s covered, what needs to be covered and you can simply add your part (either paying it directly to the expense or paying back your partner) to the expense and not have to discuss it in detail if it causes too many arguments.

Tip Number Two: Define Each Co-Parent’s Share

Once you have an app, sit down with your co-parent and look at the overall expenses. Kids come with a lot of expenses and its important to look at how those expenses are going to be shared. Most recommend that the expenses are shared in a 50/50 manner for every expense to help cut down on arguments if one parent’s expenses  end up being more at the end of the year.

When you are defining those expenses, be sure to be respectful of each other. You may have different ideas of what should be spent on certain things or what kids really need. A phone may not be something an 8 year old needs so if both parents don’t agree on it, the expense would fall solely on the parent who pushed for the phone.

Once you know what the expenses are, and how you are splitting up the share, you can really start to manage it by monitoring payments and expenses through a co-parenting app.

Tip Number Three: Define What is Over and Above Child Maintenance Payments

So, you have your list of expenses such as dance classes or soccer registration or even school field trips. But this isn’t enough. Many people are unsure what child support, also known as child maintenance payments in the UK cover. The answer is simple…the day to day.

What that means is that child maintenance payments, according to UK law, are used to cover the basic needs of the children. This includes food, shelter and clothing. How the payments are calculated rely on your individual financial situations and the level of income you had as a married couple.

It should be noted that basic needs does not cover all expenses. Extra curricular activities are not covered by child maintenance payments and will be over and above those payments. In addition, school uniforms and school trips are not basic needs and will be a shared expense that both parents will need to manage.

By defining what child maintenance payments cover, you and your ex-partner can better navigate managing those extra expenses that come up when raising kids.

Tip Number Four: Communicate and Break Down the Monthly Expenses

Management also relies on communication, which is why this tip is very important. For you and your co-parent to successfully manage expenses, you need to discuss them. This means looking at the monthly expenses and discussing them. If you have things coming up, you can set budgets on the max amount that can be spent. For example, if the kids need a new pair of school shoes, you can set the budget and, using a mediation app, send photos and price comparisons of the shoes that the kids want.

Communicating leads to having input on how your money is being spent and helps prevent any frivolous expenses that the kids really didn’t need.

Tip Number Five: Plan Ahead and Save for Emergencies

The final tip that I recommend when you are managing your shared expenses is to sit down and plan ahead. First, there are a lot of things that parents can plan for and that you know will be coming. For instance, if the kids play soccer in the summer, you know that every spring you will have extra expenses for soccer registration, uniforms, cleats, and so on. The same can be said for school trips, or camps the kids are going to throughout the year.

When you plan ahead, you can discuss with your co-parent what expenses are coming up, if the kids are looking at new extracurricular activities or when there will be expected expenses, such as a new pair of glasses, you can manage those expenses more easily by saving for them.

In addition, I recommend saving extra money if you are able to for those emergencies that can happen. Having those savings can help reduce a lot of anxiety and tension from the co-parenting relationship and from your financial worries.

Managing shared expenses doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if you are using the tools that are available for you, such as a budgeting app. You and your ex-partner can manage your expenses without a lot of conflict or tension and you’ll know that your kids’ needs are met all of the time.

2houses can Help Separated Australian Parents Improve their Communication

2houses can Help Separated Australian Parents Improve their Communication

Australians. If there are stereotypes around the world, I’m sure we’ve all heard them…Shrimp on the barbie, vegemite on every meal, I’ve even been asked how often we ride kangaroos or battle drop bears. It can be exhausting, but one stereotype that I often feel is true is that Australians are pretty direct in their communication. Unfortunately, that directness can be both a positive and a negative when going through a divorce or separation and it can be pretty easy for communication to break down between parents.

Of course, it’s expected. Divorce is a lot of hard yakka and, sometimes, it is easier to not communicate what we want or what is needed during it. Thankfully, there are ways that Australian parents who are separating can make communication no wakkas…and that’s through a mediation app like 2houses.

In this article, we are going to go through the ways that 2houses can improve the communication of parents without adding extra stress or hassle.

It’s Easy!

First and foremost, the 2houses app is easy. It can be downloaded quickly to any mobile device or you can load it up on your home computer. Either way, you get access to a lot of features that will help with scheduling, organizing paperwork, sharing expenses and communication. While it would be great to get into all the ways that 2houses can help Australian parents who are separated, we are going to focus on the communication part.

However, before we do, remember that it is not only easy to instal but the interface is so user friendly that even kids—or adults not technology inclined—can use it without struggle.

Number One: Keeps the Communication Oriented on the Kids

One of the best features about 2houses is that it really does keep the focus on the co-parenting part of the relationship…and that means it keeps the focus on the kids. Which is exactly where it is supposed to be. With the 2houses app, you can center all the discussions around the kids, their schedules and their needs and leave communication that deals with the divorce and other matters to other discussions.

Number Two: Allows you to Store Documents and Journals for Easy Access

Another great part of the 2houses app that really helps with communication is that you can upload documents and save them right to the app. This may not seem like a communication matter but when parents need to sign off on things, the documents can be uploaded for the other parent to print off, sign and reupload onto the app. This makes getting joint signatures a lot easier than having to do them at transition periods when kids are going from one house to the next, which is hectic enough.

In addition to just simple housekeeping of forms, 2houses does allow those documents and journals to be stored in the event of a breakdown of the co-parenting relationship. If you aren’t communicating, you will have access to all the documents for court cases if you so need them—which, hopefully, you won’t.

Number Three: You won’t Miss Messages

Missing messages about changes in schedules or other things that come up in the day to day is pretty common. In fact, a lot of co-parents find missed messages to be one of the most common problems they are faced with as co-parents.

With the 2houses app, messages can be sent through the journal or directly on the calendar when there needs to be changes to the schedule. The other parent gets a notification, as can the kids, so that they are alerted to the message and can address it. Having these notifications make it easier to keep track of messages and to stay up to date on information from your fellow co-parent.

Number Four: Connecting the Family Through Albums

Having family connections is always valuable and that connection often comes through communicating. With 2houses, kids and co-parents can share photos through the app’s photo albums so that, even when they are apart, parents can still feel like they are part of their kids’ lives and are still working toward sharing and building memories.

This, in turn, helps improve communication because you can begin to see new dynamics that the family will have. You can appreciate the time your kids are spending with your ex-partner and they can do the same with you. And it gives you things to talk about with both your kids and your ex-partner that are positive which fosters better communication.

Number Five: Gives you Ways to Communicate When Times are Hard

Divorce can bring up a ton of different emotions and, at times, it can be difficult to communicate with your ex-partner without getting into huge arguments or creating more problems between you. During those times, the 2houses app is truly invaluable because it allows communication through the app and not in person.

Even if your communication is great, life can be busy with work and other commitments and you may find that you aren’t even doing handoffs together where you could communicate things directly or those handoffs may be really fast as the kids shuffle from door to car or car to car.

With the 2houses app, you can set up communication through notes and the calendar. You can also write longer communication journals so that things are dealt with as needed. With the app, you can avoid arguments or simply find the time to actually communicate when schedules are hectic.

As you can see, there are many different things you can do to keep that communication flowing and all of it is through the use of an app that is easy to use, low cost and allows you to focus on what is important—your kids. So what are you waiting for? Get started with 2houses to improve your communication with your ex.