As we go through divorce, we do everything we can to try to make it easier for our children. We do our best to keep the lines of communication open and watch to make sure there are no negative effects on our kids. Although there is no way to completely shield them from the ups and downs of divorce, we can give them some helpful tips along the way.
When parents choose to divorce or separate, it isn't just the obvious immediate parties -- parents and children -- who are affected. Other members of the family may be affected as well, including grandparents.
Virginians who have followed Amanda Stanton through her appearances on "The Bachelor" and subsequently on "The Bachelor in Paradise" likely know that she became engaged to Josh Murray during the second show. Stanton has two children who she shares with her ex, and he has now filed motions to modify the child custody and child support orders that are currently in place.
Virginia parents who are divorcing may appreciate the fact there is a push for child custody reform in many states across the country, and some states have enacted legislation. Missouri is the latest state to do so. Other states that also have reform laws include South Dakota, Minnesota and Utah. Arizona issued a policy proposal encouraging a more egalitarian treatment of child custody in 2010, and that has been deemed to be a success.
When deciding on child custody matters during a divorce, a judge will often give physical custody to the parent who serves as the primary caretaker of the child. Any Virginia resident who is seeking custody of his or her child will benefit from understanding how being a primary caregiver can affect a child custody decision.
Virginia residents who follow reality shows might have heard of the series that takes places in South Carolina called "Southern Charm," and those who are unfamiliar could still be interested when wanting to know about family law issues as the latest drama surrounding two stars of the show involves a custody battle. Various media outlets are reporting that 54-year-old Thomas Ravenel is filing a suit regarding a custody agreement about his two children with 24-year-old Kathryn Dennis.
Divorce and child custody disputes can be difficult for both Virginia parents and their children. While the children need to know that they are loved and cared for, the parents may be too wrapped up in their own drama to always recognize this. If parents are not on good terms, one or both may not abide by the parenting schedule, which could put the children in a tenuous situation.
Though most of our readers are surely looking forward to Christmas two days from now, other people are dreading the holiday. There are many reasons not to want another Christmas to come around. For those who went through divorce this year, the reason may be that it will be the first Christmas they will not spend with their former spouse and their children.
Family law has changed radically in Virginia since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that same-sex couples have a Constitutional right to get married. While this ruling ushered in a new era when it comes to matrimonial and divorce law in this state, it may not be the end of the matter, because it may have left issues of parenting rights unresolved.
Recently, the Richmond Times-Dispatch published an opinion piece by Christian Paasch, the chairman of the National Parents Organization of Virginia and a member of Virginia’s Child Support Guidelines Review Panel. In the piece, which you can read here, Paasch calls for Virginia to emphasize shared parenting in child custody matters.