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Parenting
Recent Article List
Post-Divorce Transitions for Children by By Irving H. Zaroff, JD LMFT and Dana Schutz Keane, MA LMFT
As summer winds down and the school year begins, newly separated families often worry about the impact on children who going back to school for the first time after parents separate. How will they do? What will they say? Will teachers, staff and other students notice, bring up or tend to the changes in your child’s family situation?
Post Divorce Blending Families - A Case Study by By Irving H. Zaroff, JD LMFT and Dana Schutz Keane, MA LMFT
Suzie, now 6 years old, was only 3 when her parents, Jeremy and Jessica, separated. Jeremy has since remarried Fiona and they are expecting a new baby. Suzie spends a bit more time with Jessica as she shuttles between her two homes.
Post-Divorce Dating by By Irving H. Zaroff, JD LMFT and Dana Schutz Keane, MA LMFT
While much has been written about dating and re-partnering after divorce, there is scant research on the specifics of dating and the impact on the children. Research suggests 80% of parents are dating in some form within one year of filing for divorce.
The Impact of Divorce on Children by San Diego Law Firm
One of the most common (incorrect) thoughts about children from divorced homes is in regards to the children’s future marital success. It has often been the consensus that children of divorced parents are likely to have healthy, long-lasting marriages because they "learned what not to do" from their parents.
There is a myth that children of divorced couples are not happy people as adults and often do not do as well in relationships as opposed to those who grew up in a home with two loving parents. While this is true with some children, the outcome depends on why the parents were divorced in the first place as well as if one or both parents went on to become happy in future relationships or marriages.
The Effects of Divorce on Children by San Diego Law Firm
Just how much do failing marriages and the divorce process affect the children who are involved? Having an understanding of how divorce impacts children is important for their wellbeing, but evidently, there are many parents who focus on the wrong issues.
Even though teenagers are more emotionally developed than children, don’t make the common mistake of assuming that your teen’s heightened maturity levels will help him cope with your divorce more easily.
Child Abuse and Divorce by By Belinda E. Rachman, Esq.
When Mackenzie Phillips’ disclosed her incestuous relationship with her father there were a torrent of articles about the topic of child sexual abuse. Sometimes it takes a public figure coming forward before the rest of us really start to pay attention.
5 Things Divorcing Parents Should Know by By Belinda E. Rachman, Esq.
When you had your child or children your life changed from being focused on yourself to suddenly having to consider how all your life choices would impact the kids. That is the way it should be. What is in the child’s best interest should always be a parent’s top priority especially when considering divorce.
Divorce and High-Conflict Parents by Dana Schutz, MA, LMFT and Irving Zaroff, JD, LMFT
According to experts at the International Center for Peaceful Shared Parenting, 80% of family court cases are described as low-conflict cases, 10% as moderate conflict cases and 10% as high conflict cases, with regard to custody.
Who, What, Where, Why, When and How - Telling Children You’re Getting Divorced by Dana Schutz, MA, LMFT and Irving Zaroff, JD, LMFT
For many parents deciding to divorce, informing their children is among the most difficult and worrisome parts of the process. There has been so much written, depicted in movies and television, and spread through anecdotal stories about the damage children suffer in divorce, parents are frightened about handling the divorce wrong for the children. It can add to more stress and tension between the divorcing couple in how they will manage the divorce with their children.
Parallel Parenting by Dana Schutz, MA, LMFT and Irving Zaroff, JD, LMFT
Most of our clients are familiar with the concept of co-parenting. It implies that after divorce the separated parents continue to parent together. While it is true that they continue to parent, it is often not together. We hear concerns from parents while constructing a parenting plan that safeguards are necessary because the other parent doesn’t parent well or safely.
Don’t Divorce The Children by Dana Schutz, MA, LMFT and Irving Zaroff, JD, LMFT
Does divorce traumatize children? The answer depends on two factors: the child’s resiliency and the environment created by divorce. People are unique in their personal makeup. Some experience events like they’re made of Teflon - it just slides off. Others experience events as severe trauma - they are enduringly influenced.
Divorce and Holidays - Don’t Fowl Out by Dana Schutz, MA, LMFT and Irving Zaroff, JD, LMFT
It’s the holiday season and the big question is where do the kids go now that we are separated? The first holidays after separation can be unusually stressful. So many memories rise to the surface during holidays and tend to exaggerate feelings of loss.
Summertime, Vacation and Visitation - Take Care of Luggage, Not Baggage by Dana Schutz, MA, LMFT and Irving Zaroff, JD, LMFT
Most of us look forward to summertime and vacations with our children. So, why is it that divorce can turn the golden months into tarnished experiences? Aside from the too often intrusive emotional baggage, divorce brings an abundance of add-on complications.
How Do You Develop a Parenting Plan When Parents Separate? by Dana Schutz, MA, LMFT and Irving Zaroff, JD, LMFT
One of the most important tasks in divorce is the creation of an agreement that describes the arrangement between parents and their minor children. This agreement is called a parenting plan. The plan addresses issues of custody and visitation.
Parenting Plans and Adult Children in Divorce by Dana Schutz, MA, LMFT and Irving Zaroff, JD, LMFT
The law in California imposes a responsibility on divorced parents to provide for their minor children (generally under the age of 18) and disabled adult children. But many parents continue to feel responsible for their children during the young adult’s transition to independent living.
The Parenting Plan and the Teenager by Dana Schutz, MA, LMFT and Irving Zaroff, JD, LMFT
In the process of a divorce with minor children, the parenting plan is among the most important tasks since it can have long-lasting consequences on both children and parents. Carefully considering the situation of parents and children is important to realize dividends later.
The Parenting Plan and the Young Child by Dana Schutz, MA, LMFT and Irving Zaroff, JD, LMFT
Today we look at the needs of younger children. The younger child is experiencing the most critical stages of psychosocial development. They are learning how to thrive in their environments, make and maintain connections with others, and adapt to changing worlds.
As divorce rates continue to skyrocket at an astonishing rate of 62% a year, families are far from intact. In fact, statistics alone indicate that more than half of marriages end as a result of children from a previous relationship.
Why Do They Lie? - Age Appropriate Alibis by Kristina Diener, Psy.D.
Never say never when it comes to provocative prevarications. Even adults engage in the Little White One. But what happens when little whites become endless Big Ones?
Trying to spare Junior the awful truth? Fighting behind closed doors? Concealing your emotions instead of addressing the issues? How does divorce really affect your children’s HQ: Honesty Quotient?
When Your Children Are With The Other Parent by Diana Mercer, Attorney-Mediator
When we write about divorce and children switching homes, most of the time the focus is on the children: what it is like for them and how to help them make smooth transitions. We forget to address the needs of the parents who are left alone at home in an empty house once the children are gone.
Holiday Parenting Plans by Diana Mercer, Attorney-Mediator
Parenting as a single parent during the holidays can be tough. Some advance planning will save you from some of the holiday stress, however. In our practice, we find that a well thought out parenting plan, including exchange times for the children, is key to having holiday parenting go smoothly. Children also appreciate knowing where they are going to be on any given holiday.
Michael McMillan just wants everybody to get along. Taking his 10 year old twins, Samantha and Samuel, to the local park, the Boston accountant decides to call a sitter for the evening so he and his bride, Stephanie, can spend some quality time together. The twist? Michael and Stephanie are on their honeymoon. And they brought Michael’s kids.
Revenge of the Trophy Teen! by Kristina Diener, Psy.D.
First it was the Trophy Wife. Now the Trophy Life includes the Trophy Kid, complete with Junior and Juniorette’s perfect table manners, perfect report card, and perfect private schools. In the medicine cabinet are numerous prescriptions for Prozac, Xanax, and other make feel good medications.
If you follow the suggestions in this letter, you will be the good guy in any mediation, psychological evaluation, custody investigation or custody/visitation court hearing in your case.
Step-Parent Adoptions by Pauline H. Tesler, Esq.
A step-parent over the age of eighteen who is presently married to the consenting natural or adoptive parent of a child can under California law become the legal adoptive parent of the child provided one of several circumstances exists.
Are You Supported As A Father? by Dr. Lois V. Nightingale
Strong compassionate fathering and grandfathering are essential gifts given to us by the conscientious men of our society. On Father’s Day we honor their contributions, their support and their memory. We encourage the support of fathers and grandfathers and hope they are loving and caring to themselves as those to whom they give.
Replacing Custody Battles With Parenting Plans by Coast to Coast Mediation Center
Children need both parents. Except in cases where one parent is abusive or unable to provide proper care and supervision, children benefit when both Mom and Dad play major roles in their lives.
What kids really need from divorcing parents is for them to get whatever help they need to find their love again and get along in the same family. These days, there are plenty of excellent counselors to help folks do just that, even if they’re really angry and hurt by their spouses and not in love any more.
Rights of Children of Divorce by Dr. Lois V. Nightingale
Children have the right to continue to love both parents without guilt or disapproval (subtle or overt) by either parent or other relatives.
Drugs, alcohol, fear of intimacy plague children whose parents break up Childhoods spent in resigned solitude, adolescence roiled by drug and alcohol abuse, adulthood compromised --this is the stark legacy for children of divorce, says a landmark study by an acclaimed Marin County researcher.
Dating as a Single Parent by Dr. Lois V. Nightingale
What are the qualities that a single parent should look for in someone they are deciding to date?
Single Parenting through the Holidays by Dr. Lois V. Nightingale
Holidays after a divorce can be very difficult. Holidays with children after a divorce can be worse, even terrifying. Whether this is "your year" with the children or not, facing the holidays and knowing that they will be different from previous years can be challenging.
Don’t disparage your ex-son or daughter-in law in front of your grandchildren. Make sure they are not in ear-shot when talking about their parents on the phone as well.
Single Parenting in the Summer by Dr. Lois V. Nightingale
During the school year it can be difficult enough for single parents to keep kids cared for and out of trouble, but when summer arrives and school activities are no longer available, the challenge becomes even more complicated.
10 Tips to Help Your Child Through Divorce by Dr. Lois V. Nightingale
Helping your child through your divorce may be one of the most difficult tasks you will ever face as a parent. The following is a brief list of practical tips that can help as you walk through this difficult time with your child.
’The war of the Roses’ depicted every couple’s worst nightmare. Two people who were once in love are engaged in a major battle where both sides lose. Divorce is second only to death as the most stressful of life’s experiences. And litigated divorce increases the emotional stress many times over due to the hostility generated and the high financial cost.

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A party may also obtain a quick and easy divorce if the spouse fails to file a response in the case and therefore defaults. The filing spouse serves their spouse with the Petition for Dissolution of marriage and if he or she does not respond with a formal Response to the court, then the case will proceed by default.

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