Brad Pitt has finally had a chance to see his children following the announcement of his divorce from Angelina Jolie.
BRAD PITT SEES CHILDREN FOR FIRST TIME
of the six children — Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and 8-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne. The super couple will continue to share legal custody. As part of the agreement, the children will reside with Jolie in a California residence. Pitt will be allowed to visit with the children, but only under the supervision of a therapist. The current plan will be in effect until October 20. At that point, the terms of the settlement will be reconsidered. “People from both sides hope that the two sides will reach a longer-term agreement on their own,” an insider explained_._ “The hope is that this period of time will lead them to be able to resolve things without the involvement of the courts.” It has also been reported that Jolie is hoping to eventually work out a c0-parenting relationship with her soon-to-be ex.
When it comes to learning to be a co-parent, all other aspects of divorce, such as division of assets and alimony, seem insignificant. Co-parenting is a totally new and different lifestyle, so you might have to do some research and maybe some soul-searching to figure out the best approach to this new phase in your life. This goes for newly divorced parents, as well as parents that have been divorced and co-parenting for years.
STEP 1: ONLY YOU ARE ABLE TO CONTROL YOU
In order to create a co-parenting relationship, you must first realize the only person you can control is yourself. You don’t have any power over your ex, so don’t even both trying. If you can accept this fact and are able to control your own emotions and actions, you’ll have an easier time developing a co-parenting relationship. Hopefully, your example will carry over to your ex-spouse.
STEP 2: SET BOUNDARIES
The next step you must learn in order to create a successful co-parenting relationship is how to set boundaries. Hise are a few do’s and don’t’s to help you get started. Don’t:
- Sabotage the relationship your child has with their other parent.
- Use your child as a pawn to hurt or get back at your ex.
- Permit your child to speak badly when talking about the other parent.
- Use your child to get information, manipulate, and/or influence your ex.
- Transfer onto your child your hurt feelings and/or frustrations toward your ex.
- Force your child to choose a side when scheduling conflicts occur.
- Put pressure on your child.
- Depend on your child for companionship or support too much when dealing with your divorce. Your child isn’t your therapist.
- Become so emotionally needy your child begins to feel guilty about spending time with others. You would hate to discover they didn’t participate in social outings due to the fact they were afraid you weren’t able to deal with being alone.
Bottom line: Your child should not be burdened with situations they aren’t able to control. You shouldn’t saddle your children with your issues and emotional needs. Doing so will only create feelings of being helpless and insecure which could cause them to doubt their own abilities and strengths. It’s not their responsibility to hold you together and they shouldn’t feel it is. Children aren’t able to understand and deal with problems of adults and shouldn’t have to. Their focus should be on their own development, and your’s should be, too. Do’s:
- Sit down with your ex and create a plan whereby differences are set aside so the focus can be put on meeting the needs of your children you will be co-parenting.
- Negotiate how to handle holidays, visitations, and events.
- Create guidelines for behavior of raising your children that each of you will adhere to. Children need consistency in their lives without regard as to which parent they’re with. This includes bed-times, phone privileges, etc. A child will frequently test situations and try to manipulate their boundaries. You and your ex must present a united front.
- Negotiate the roles of extended family members.
- Establish open communication with respect to the development of your child. This includes the ability to compare notes on situations and jointly deciding on any punishment.
- While it may be painful emotionally, you and your ex must decide to inform each other ob any changes in circumstances of their life. Your child shouldn’t be the source of “breaking news.”
- Determine that you’ll conduct yourself with emotional integrity and maturity.
WHAT YOUR CHILD NEEDS THE MOST
Putting your child’s needs first, there are certain things they’ll need during this time: structure, acceptance, assurance of their safety, freedom from blame or guilt that they were responsible for their parent’s divorce, two stable parents, and the freedom and permission to just be a kid and have fun.
KNOW HOW TO HANDLE YOUR CHILD CUSTODY CASE
cases can get combative. Typically, both parents want equal time with their children. But all too often a parent will try to argue that the other parent isn’t fit to raise a child. Hise are some things you can do to protect yourself when entering a litigious child custody case.
When resolving child custody cases, if a parent is able to demonstrate how the other parent and the child or children interact, it can help prove their side of the case. Because of this, it’s advised to record everything, including:
- If the other parent does not follow or stick to a pre-arranged visitation schedule
- Any changes in the child or children’s behavior following the time they spend with the other parent
- If the other parent threatens legal action against you
- Any concern you have regarding the child or children’s physical well-being during the time they spend with the other parent
Documenting all these things is very important to building your case. But it should also be fairly documented, including any positive interactions. Being able to remove any emotions you have about the other parent will help you stay focused on creating an unbiased record. State the facts and try to keep the emotions out of it.
WHAT TO RECORD AND HOW-TO
Using a spiral notebook, Excel document, or any other form that will help you keep track of every interaction, note the following:
- Times of calls or visits
- Topics discussed (either between you or the other spouse or between the other spouse and your child or children). This does not have to mean an invasion of privacy, but if you’re able to get a gauge of what was discussed between your child or children and the other parent it only builds a stronger case
- Duration of phone call or visit
- Was the interaction spontaneous or part of a pre-arranged visitation schedule?
- How the child or children felt prior to the visit or call, as well as after
- Be consistent in your record keeping. If that means setting a daily time to record anything that has happened, then do so. Waiting days or weeks to record an interaction will make it difficult for you to remember specifics.
- Be neutral! Try to not let emotion get ahold of you.
- Research your state laws regarding auto recordings and telephone calls. In some jurisdictions, recording conversations is illegal.
- Work with a lawyer.
WORKING WITH A DIVORCE AND CHILD CUSTODY ATTORNEY
If you are facing a divorce or a potentially difficult child custody case, you should work with a family law attorney that can take a look at your specific situation and give you advice based on it, rather than approach it with a one size fits all mindset. Your specific situation will be particular to you and your marriage and the way your life was set up during the marriage. This might mean major financial decisions regarding retirement funds, property, child support and custody, and alimony. A divorce attorney will work with you to help you decide how you want to tackle these elements of your marriage and divorce, while also providing guidance and support. They will be able to lead you through the process while keeping you from procrastination and caving into pressure. They’ll also be able to help ensure you meet all the required timelines while ensuring that you get a fair case and trial should you need to go to court. Lastly, they’ll be able to help you find the freedom and new life you are seeking – one that is entirely on your terms.
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