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Knoxville, Tennessee Family Law Blog

Effective ways to provide consistency for children

When parents get divorced in Tennessee or any other state, their top priority should be raising their child to be a healthy and mature adult. However, it may be difficult to provide consistency when a child lives in two different households. Ideally, parents will be willing to compromise their own beliefs somewhat for the good of their child. Coming to an agreement as to what house rules will be enforced may be done through a face-to-face meeting.

Taking classes may show parents how failing to provide consistency may ultimately fail their children. These classes may also provide ways to help parents learn how to compromise in an effort to create it. To further help parents negotiate ground rules for their children regardless of where they are, it may be a good idea to meet with a mediator. As a general rule, this is favorable to asking a judge to make a ruling.

Talking to your child about divorce: Young children

It's hard to go through a divorce at any age, but imagine the struggle a young child goes through when mom or dad is no longer there to tuck him or her in at night. It can be disruptive and difficult to explain a divorce to a child, especially when your child is young.

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can make sure your child is as comfortable as possible while you finalize your divorce and move on with your life. These three tips help to ensure that your little one doesn't feel left out or that the divorce is his or her fault.

Co-parenting with a toxic ex

Once their divorce is over, many Tennessee parents find that they will have to continue working with a toxic ex if they are co-parenting a child. Learning how to deal with a toxic co-parent can be difficult, especially if the ex was abusive, is an addict or behaves poorly towards the other parent and the child.

While dealing with a toxic co-parent can be difficult, there are certain things that can be done to make the situation less stressful. For example, a parent can identify and avoid the triggers that result in negative reactions. This gives the parent more control over how the ex will respond and can help reduce fear regarding unfavorable reactions. Parents can also limit communication with the ex to just the information needed to raise the child. Avoiding communication about other topics, including unfinished issues from the divorce, can help keep the situation less stressful for both the parent and the child.

Could shared parenting be the answer following a divorce?

For Tennessee parents, life after divorce can become complicated. In most cases, sole custody is awarded to the mother, leaving her with the bulk of the responsibility of bringing up the children. As a result, many divorced mothers have to sacrifice their career goals in the process. It can also be painful for the father, who ends up seeing his children only two weekends a month and sacrifices his bond with the children as a result. The children also suffer since they do not have time with both parents.

However, there is growing support for a different custody option after divorce: shared parenting. The main idea behind shared parenting is that the children will spend about equal time with both parents each month. This means that parents will continue being partners in raising their children. It's an ideal arrangement for many children, who can continue their stable, strong relationships with both their parents and experience a more stable lifestyle.

Christina El Moussa files for divorce

Tennessee fans of the HGTV series "Flip or Flop" may be interested to learn that Christina El Moussa filed divorce documents in mid-August, about six months after her husband Tarek El Moussa filed for spousal support. Christina requested joint legal and physical custody of the former couple's two children.

In addition to also requesting child support from her ex, she asked that the court to turn down his request for child support. Further, she requested that he be responsible for her legal fees and costs associated with the divorce.

Actor Jesse William is experiencing child custody issues

TV fans in Tennessee may have heard that "Grey's Anatomy" star Jesse Williams and his wife Aryn Drake-Lee decided to split up earlier this year. Drake-Lee filed court documents on Aug. 11 asking for full custody of their two children.

Williams and real estate broker Drake-Lee were together for 13 years. They tried marriage counseling, but Williams moved out of the couple's home in March 2017. Drake-Lee said that Williams was seldom around and did not spend much time with the kids. She believes the children are not a priority to Williams and claims that the actor has taken trips to various places under the guise of business.

Your emotional state matters during divorce

You may never have expected to go through a divorce, even if you knew you had some struggles in your marriage. You might be the kind of person who sticks with someone through thick and thin, even if your spouse isn't. Regardless of your situation, if you're facing a divorce, you need to make sure you take care of yourself.

Not taking care of your emotional state during a divorce puts strain on you and can impact your negotiations. The last thing you want is to be too tired or too unstable to make good decisions about financial decisions that could affect you in the future.

How parents can help children after a divorce

More than 40 percent of first marriages end in divorce, and the numbers are even greater for second and third marriages at 60 and 73 percent. Research shows that almost one-third of marriages that end in divorce include minor children, but there are many things estranged Tennessee parents can do to help their children adjust to the situation. Unless there are issues such as abuse, children should have the opportunity to build a relationship with both parents.

It is important for parents to minimize conflict between one another in front of their children and to provide as much stability as possible for children during and after the divorce. Children may experience changes in their residence, school and friends among other things. If parents can ensure that there are as few of these changes as possible, it will help. How parents speak about one another is also important. They should avoid negative comments about one another or using the child as a messenger.

Benefits and drawbacks of virtual visitation

One visitation option for Tennessee divorced parents of young children is virtual visitation. This refers to using technology for parents and children, and sometimes grandparents and grandchildren, to keep in touch with one another. While the telephone is one way parents and children who are far away can do this, virtual visitation may also encompass webcams, email, instant messaging, and social media.

States are increasingly passing laws that allow judges to order virtual visitation as part of a custody and visitation arrangement. The arrangement is supposed to be a supplement to traditional visitation and not a replacement. The many options can allow parents who are not nearby to participate more fully in their children's lives. For example, parents can help with homework or watch a child perform at a recital or sporting event. However, if a parent is denied traditional visitation, it is unlikely that virtual visitation will be allowed since the court probably will not consider it in the best interests of the child.

Child custody and the best interests of children

Child custody matters can be resolved through negotiations or mediation or by having a judge make the decision. Tennessee parents whose marriages are coming to an end should know that no matter how they come to a resolution regarding these issues, the best interests of the child should always be the focus.

'Best interests" is a term that is used in family law with regard to child custody and visitation matters. It means that the objective is to always make decisions that ensure that the mental, physical and mental well-being of the child are protected. It is considered to be in the best interests of children that they are able to have meaningful relationships with both parents. However, making sure that the factors are in place to encourage and maintain the relationships is one of the difficulties involved in achieving child custody resolutions.

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