With school year approaching, be civil with your former spouse

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As parents in Orlando and all across Florida prepare for their children to return to school (and as the kids soak up those fleeting summer days), many divorced parents are coming to the realization that they will have an increased amount of interaction with their former spouse. The school year means that pick-up and drop-off schedules must be arranged; that post-school activities are planned and known; and that the former spouses are aware of everything going on entering the school year regarding classes.

So how can divorced parents get along under these tough circumstances? Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Remember to be civil: This is a crucial part of this “back to school” process. You and your former spouse may not have ended on the best of terms, but when your child is involved and his or her schooling, it is best for both of you to set aside some of the disdain so that you can focus on what’s really important: your child’s happiness.
  • Talk things out and come up with a schedule: Make note of days that you are unable to pick up or drop off your child; discuss the after-school programs, sports and lessons your child is a part of; and be prepared to negotiate and collaborate so that things work for everyone.
  • Dealing with homework: You want to make sure your son or daughter stays on track with his or her schooling. So, you and your former spouse could have a talk about what types of homework each of you will help your child with. This way, both parents are actively involved in the child’s schooling.

Source: Huffington Post, “Co-Parenting Tips for Kicking Off This New School Year On The Right Foot,” Diane L. Danois, Aug. 12, 2013

Settlement reached in Wade divorce, visitation to be discussed

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As many NBA fans in Orlando are aware, Dwyane Wade — the longtime icon of the Miami Heat before LeBron James took his talents to South Beach — has been embroiled in a nasty divorce with his ex-wife since 2007, the year he filed. Since then, Wade and his ex-wife, Siohvaughn, have engaged (pardon the pun) in numerous public battles over their relationship and its tumultuous ending.

Money has been central to these debates; in particular the endorsement money Wade gets from a number of sponsors. However, the child custody arrangement for the now-former couple has also been subject to numerous disputes.

Initially, the debate centered around custody. Child custody can be a complex issue in divorce; but many times the splitting couple realizes that shared custody is the best thing for everyone involved. That was not the case in Wade’s divorce, as Dwyane was granted sole custody of the two sons he had with Siohvaughn.

That’s a significant ruling in any custody dispute. Prior to a court ruling on custody, it can behoove both spouses to enter negotiations on the topic. Court rulings, though impartial, are rigid and often lack the details that either spouse is looking for. Once determined, it can be difficult to successfully appeal the ruling. Negotiations between the spouses and their attorneys can result in a more appropriate and personalized custody agreement.

However, in cases where sole custody is awarded, the spouse left out of the equation can take legal action to earn visitation rights.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Dwyane Wade divorce drama ends after settlement with ex-wife,” Chuck Schilken, July 23, 2013

Chances of divorce may increase with excessive Facebook use

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The internet and social media have done wonders to connect people from all walks of life and from all across the globe. The past 20 years or so of globalization and interconnectivity — spurred by the internet — has been amazing to watch and experience.

Facebook has been at the forefront of changing the way we relate to each other. The social media site says that there are, literally, a billion active users on Facebook every month. So many good things can come from the interconnectivity provided by Facebook; and, yes, there are certainly negative aspects to the site as well (that annoying guy in your news feed always finds unique ways to unknowingly aggravate you).

But why are we talking about Facebook here on a divorce blog? There are two important reasons, and the first involves the social media site and the potential for divorce if you use it too much. The theory comes from a new study that looked at 205 “excessive” Facebook users (the qualifier means they check the site more than once every hour). 79 percent of these Facebook users were involved in a romantic relationship; and the study found that with excessive Facebook use came more troubles with the user’s significant other.

Since such users are more likely to keep tabs on their boyfriend or girlfriend online, “Facebook-induced jealousy,” as the study called it, was more likely. Researchers surmise that such a phenomenon could make divorce more common for married excessive Facebook users.

The other reason Facebook is important to divorce is that, whether you check it excessively or not, the social media site can prove very influential during divorce. Inflammatory or abusive statuses aimed at your soon-to-be-ex can be referenced in family court, which could affect a number of issues, including child custody. Photos and other information can also be used by divorcing spouses, to substantiate certain claims and give credence to why they are asking for certain conditions.

Source: Huffington Post, “Facebook, Divorce Linked In New Study,” June 6, 2013