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Colorado Springs Family Law Blog

Parents can reduce the impact divorce has on their kids

While there are likely many things couples who split up may fight about, those who are parents are most apt to engage in quarrels about how to best share custody of their children. Research has shown that kids who divide their time equally between both parents fare better than those who don't. This has inspired many who work in the child development field to document strategies for making joint custody arrangements work.

One of the key factors parents should remember when trying to work out a custody schedule is what's in the best interests of their child. They should take into account their son's or daughter's personality, age and involvement in extracurricular activities when deciding what type of child custody arrangements are best for them.

How do the roles of a mediator and parenting coordinator differ?

In recent years, family law judges have increasingly encouraged divorcing couples to try to resolve their differences via mediation as research has shown that couples are less likely to seek out modifications when they do. Likewise, moms and dads embroiled in custody battles have increasingly been ordered to seek out the services of a parenting coordinator to help them resolve issues that seem to keep sending them back to court.

Whether a couple utilizes the services of a mediator or a parenting coordinator, the individual that they work with is generally a neutral third party with a mental health background. Both are generally trained in making decisions that are in the best interests of the children as opposed to the parents.

How to create an equal parenting plan

A solid plan can make a complicated parenting situation less stressful and easier for you and your children. Well thought out parenting plans can help you and your children by providing stability and a sense of togetherness.

For a parenting plan to work the best it can, you want it to be fair for both parents and your children. In order to make this happen there are a few specific considerations you should not forget.

What happens if my military ex doesn't pay child support?

Just as there are many benefits that come with being part of the military, there are many responsibilities as well. A parent who struggles to get their ex who is in the military to pay child support may have additional avenues to pursue than those in civilian relationships do not.

If you're struggling to provide for your child's basic expenses and a judge hasn't yet signed off on your support order, you can petition your ex's commanding officer to look into the matter. They'll likely use a formula that takes into account your ex's Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and gross pay to determine if support is warranted.

What happens when a Colorado parent fails to pay child support

Each parent in Colorado is required to cover the basic expenses of their child unless they've signed over their rights or met some other criteria that makes it unnecessary for them to pay. If a mother or father fails to make timely support payments, then Colorado Child Support Services (CSS) is authorized by state legislators to pursue any number of enforcement remedies to recover what's due.

There are two types of enforcement actions that CSS is authorized to take by state lawmakers. They can file a grievance against a nonpaying parent as part of the formal court process or handle the matter administratively without getting a judge involved. If the paying parent keeps their address current with CSS, then they'll receive notification of any planned collection efforts that the agency intends to make before they occur.

How does a divorce impact your child's mental health?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 827,261 couples got divorced in the United States in 2016. This means that many children shifted from living in a two-parent household to learning how to split their time between two homes. Many of these kids have likely begun learning other lessons too that only those who've had to go through a divorce can truly understand.

Shifting custody back and forth between parents during a week or for extended periods of times during holidays or school breaks has been shown to have an adverse impact on their brain development. The researchers working on The Telegraph study say that interruptions in sleep cause them to never really be able to get settled into a comfortable pattern one place or another.

Parenting coordinators effectively resolve high-conflict cases

Until House Bill 05-1171 was signed into law in 2005, many family law judges across the state of Colorado required quarreling couples to use the services of parenting coordinators to reach agreements. Their roles and responsibilities weren't clearly defined though.

Since the law went into effect, it's now clear that parenting coordinators are appointed by family law judges in high-conflict custody cases. They're used to help resolve disagreements that arise instead of a court hearing having to be scheduled to do the same.

Strategies for effective co-parenting after a divorce

Co-parenting with a former spouse can be a particularly challenging aspect of your post-divorce life. Maintaining open, civil discourse and sharing parental responsibilities can feel daunting when it comes to working with a former spouse. That said, it’s important that you and your ex create and follow a comprehensive plan for effective co-parenting after a divorce.

Whether it’s coordinating schedules, determining household rules or planning for children’s school activities, co-parenting requires a high level of interaction in most cases. To determine the best plan for your family dynamic, consider some useful tools and resources.

Your divorce risk may go up if your friend leaves their marriage

Researchers from the University of California at San Diego, Brown University and Harvard all recently collaborated on a study on divorce called "Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Unless Everyone Else is Doing it Too". In the end, they determined that divorce may be contagious.

One key finding of their research is that an individual who has a friend who is divorced is 75 percent more likely to walk away from their marriage too. They also determined that once a person's friend gets divorced, their odds of also doing so goes up by as much as 33 percent.

How is a divorce handled if there's a special needs child?

Anytime a couple that has kids divorces, reaching an agreement about custody or child support can be difficult to do, but it can be particularly complex if your son or daughter has special needs.

If you have a special needs child, then your family law attorney will want to walk you through what an average day with them looks like. This will help them gain a better perspective as to what type of custody arrangement may work best. Doing so will also allow them to better understand the financial responsibilities related to your child's care.

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