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How can I communicate with my children when I don’t have custody?

How can I communicate with my children when I don’t have custody?

Parenting is one of the hardest jobs you can do. However, that job can get even harder after a divorce. The divorce process is very stressful, and could possibly strain your relationships, including your relationship with your children. What’s more, child custody and visitation issues can impact your relationship with your child. It is inevitable that a divorce will affect the parent-child relationship in some way. The hardest part of maintaining a parent-child relationship after divorce is getting used to the new custody and visitation arrangements. After divorce, one parent who was living in the home with the child and interacting with them on a daily basis suddenly has to live in another location, and only see their children in-person for a few days every couple of weeks, or every other weekend. When they do not see a parent often, children sometimes lose the ability to freely communicate with the noncustodial parent. It is important to remember that this is not because the child loves the noncustodial parent less, and it is not because of something the parent did wrong. Feeling less connected to the noncustodial parent is a normal feeling for children of divorce, especially for younger children. It is a priority of noncustodial parents to make the transition between each parent’s homes as smooth and comfortable as possible for the child. In order to make your child feel comfortable, it is important that you do not interrogate your child about what is going on in the other parent’s home. If you try to have your child recite a play-by-play of their week, they will not feel at...
Will Unpaid Child Support Appear on my Credit Report?

Will Unpaid Child Support Appear on my Credit Report?

Credit reporting agencies are required by law to include information about overdue child support in your credit report. This information may or may not influence creditors or lenders. Unpaid child support, called child support arrears, remain on your credit report for up to seven years. An agency could make an exception to that rule if you make a deal with them. For instance, if you agree to pay some or all of your arrears, an agency may agree not to report negative information to the credit reporting agencies. Still, usually child support enforcement agencies will not eliminate all negative information, and will at least report that you were delinquent in the past. Most state Department of Social Services agencies monitor monthly child support payments. They may also monitor when the support is received by the parent receiving payments. When a parent has overdue payments, they are alerted by the Department and the parent is allowed an opportunity to contest the arrears. Social Services send credit reporting agencies monthly a list of parents who have over $1,000 in arrears. If the parent continues to miss payments or does not pay back the debt, that information will most likely be included on a credit report. Creditors will continue to receive these reports as long as the arrears are unpaid. Balances that are unpaid for 180 days will appear as collection accounts on a credit report. Once overdue child support payments appear in a credit report, banks and other creditors may limit or deny credit until debt is partially or completely paid off. If you pay back your arrears, but still owe...
Can Parents Make an Agreement to Waive Child Support?

Can Parents Make an Agreement to Waive Child Support?

In every state, parents are under the obligation to support their children. Parents may be under the impression that they have the power to determine how much and if child support is necessary; however, the state law and the courts have the final say in matters of child support. Parents cannot agree not to pay child support. To understand why parents cannot waive the duty to pay child support, t is necessary to know how and why the state creates child support arrangements. Whenever the support of a minor is of concern, the court can order either parent to pay any amount of child support while the child is a minor. Eliminating this support is not an option, because child support payments are actually the child’s right, not the parents. Every state calculates child support by determining what is in the best interests of the child. Because of this, parents cannot refuse to pay child support because it is not in the best interests of the child. According to the federal Child Support Enforcement Act, each state has guidelines that calculate the amount child support to be paid, which vary depending upon several concerns. In general, factors determining child support include: the needs of the child such as health insurance, education, child care, and other special needs the income and needs of the custodial parent the ability of the paying parent to pay child support the child’s standard of living before the divorce or separation From there, the courts may determine child support depending on factors affecting the child’s best interests, such as: the age and sex of the...
Common Divorce Threats and What to Do About Them

Common Divorce Threats and What to Do About Them

During a divorce, tensions are running high, and it’s inevitable that you and your spouse will have disagreement. With so much built up animosity it’s common for a spouse to hurl accusations and threats at the other. Hearing threats can be very stressful and frightening; however, you should know that your spouses threats are empty until they are validated by an attorney. Often, a spouse will sling threats with little knowledge of how the law actually works. If your spouse threatens you, consult your attorney right away. To help ease your stress, below is a list of ten of the most common threats made by a spouse during a divorce, and the reasons why these threats are empty. “I’ll tell the court ____ and you won’t get the kids.” Threats about custody are extremely common, and more importantly, are usually unfounded. If a spouse is making threats like this, chances are they are not fit to have custody, and are simply trying to frighten you. Don’t worry about a spouse revealing aspects of your personal life to make you seem unfit. More often than not, the elements of your personal life they want to “reveal” has no bearing on your ability to be a parent. “Do what I say, or you won’t get my money.” Again, people who make this kind of threat often have no idea how the law works, and they are used to always getting their way. Regardless of what they want to happen, issues of money are decided by the court– not the spouse. “You can’t take my money.” California functions under a communal property...
Divorce – How do I protect my rights?

Divorce – How do I protect my rights?

If you are thinking about divorce, it might be a good idea to understand what your legal rights are during the procedure. Protecting your legal rights can ensure that you are on-track to possibly acquire what you want from your divorce. Whenever possible, make a good faith attempt to work things out, and always weigh the consequences of your actions. The following suggestions are intended for situations where a divorce is likely to become adversarial: If you have children, moving out too soon may impact custody later. However, if staying will cause tension between you and you and your spouse, try to minimize friction. Consider time-sharing the family home with your spouse until custody and divorce issues are worked out. Your spouse has no more right to take the children from their family home than you do. If you and your spouse cannot agree on divorce issues, contact an experienced family attorney to represent you. Cancel all jointly-owned credit cards because if the card remains jointly-owned during this process, you and your spouse will be equally responsible for any debt incurred. Safeguard all personal papers and make copies of important records, such as birth certificates, bank statements, real estate records, titles, deeds, tax returns, etc. Make a record of all marital property by video recording, if possible. Secure valuable personal property, such as a stamp or coin collection. Reduce unnecessary expenses immediately. Cancel unneeded utilities, such as cable TV, extra phone lines. If there is domestic violence, call the police immediately and request a restraining order. If you are considering divorce, consult with an attorney to find out your...