Essential Parenting Advice for Single Fathers

Essential Parenting Advice for Single Fathers

Parenting Advice for Single Fathers

Being a single father and raising a child all by yourself takes a great deal of time and commitment. Throughout this post we will provide, what we here at Benjamin & Melmer believe to be, some essential advice for single fathers to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward every day.

Get support from friends and family

Being a single dad obviously poses its challenges. Establishing a support system around you can make a world of difference. Do you have friends or family around you that are easy to talk to and understanding?

If so, let those people help you as you move forward with being a single father. You can also consult local parenting groups to meet new people in similar situations. In case of legal help you can take advice from a family law attorney in miami.

Perhaps most importantly, you can’t be afraid to call on your “support system” when you need an extra hand. Whether that means picking up your child from school, changing a diaper, etc. it’s better to ask for help than to struggle by yourself. Ensuring you have all the help and support you can get greatly reduces the stress of everyday parenting. \

Co-Parent With the Mother

Whether your children see their mother frequently or not, it’s important you continue to encourage your child(ren) to have a meaningful relationship with her. You also need to lead by example and make sure your interactions with their mother are always courteous and “professional,” treating your co-parent as if they were a colleague of yours.

Always keep in mind that children are very prone to stress, anger, and sadness and kids hate getting put in the middle of their parent’s arguments, so remember to only vent your frustrations about the other parent when you’re sure little ears can’t hear.

Find a positive female role model

If the mother isn’t in the picture or isn’t a proper role model, it’s important to find someone your children can look up to. This is especially important if you have a daughter.

A female relative or close friend who gets along well with your child is a good place to start. Having a positive female presence around while your children are growing up will help them gain a variety of perspectives on the world, male and female.

Make time for family activities

As a single parent, you want to make sure your children have something to look forward to each week. It doesn’t matter if it’s a weekly playdate at the park, music lessons, or sporting events

You can also use this as a time to stay healthy and exercise outside with your child. As little as 15 to 30 minutes of exercise a day is a great way to bond with them and create a fun, healthy environment to parent in. Plus, when you stay in shape you will be in a better position to deal with the everyday struggles that come along with being a single father.

Avoid being too overprotective

Fatherhood is a difficult job, even more so when you’re doing it alone. It’s easy to feel like you are keeping the weight of the world on your shoulders while protecting your children from the harsh realities of the world. This is why parents tend to be so overprotective at times.

While it’s important to establish rules that keep them safe, you should also allow them to push boundaries and test the waters. Let your children know no matter what their choices are they will always be loved at home. Remember that they can only learn and grow if you let them.

At Benjamin & Melmer Law, we have helped countless parents navigate the ever-changing world of family law. Let the experienced lawyers at Benjamin & Melmer, take some of that weight of your shoulders, and effectively handle your child custody matters.

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High Demand Of Lawyers

The High Demand For Lawyers Amid The Corona Virus Pandemic

High Demand Of Lawyers

The ongoing coronavirus epidemic has brought a high demand for lawyers. Legal work during the pandemic varies a lot, from advising employers on how to respond when an employee tests positive to the virus, counseling employees, and enforcing new rules to avoid the spread of the disease. Lawyers are working around the clock to guide their clients to avoid the possible negative effects caused by the pandemic.

Family law attorneys are also flooded with work amid the ongoing pandemic. As divorce rates are expected to go up during the lockdown, the best divorce lawyers in Miami are preparing to take on more work than just a few months before. Law firms across the country are preparing to handle the increased workload and have created special departments to handle coronavirus-related cases. Multidisciplinary teams were also created in larger law firms, focused on both family and employment-related cases.

The high demand for lawyers during the pandemic – what to expect?

Coronavirus is having a negative effect on many couples. The lockdown and other restrictions make family life tough, especially for couples who were already not getting along too well. The coronavirus outbreak is making couples sick – of each other. And divorce cases are rising fast and expected to rise even more during the next few months. Family lawyers are getting calls from new clients every day. Although many are calling looking for basic legal advice or asking questions related to family law, some are determined to call it quits with their spouses.

According to Jason Hopper, a family law attorney working in California, new clients are calling his office on a daily basis asking for legal advice related to divorce. According to him, clients realize the negative effects of the lockdown and see it as a preview to what their retirement may look like – and see that they don’t like what they see. The answer for many is obvious – getting a divorce, as quickly as possible. And there are a lot of clients making the same decisions – Mr. Hopper’s office had more than 500 consultations during the past two weeks.

The best divorce lawyers in Miami are not the only ones seeing a massive rise in divorce cases. Obviously, courts handle a huge amount of divorces during this period. Some local courts are prepared to handle the extra workload and ensure quick solutions, but others do not accept divorce filings. In the meantime, couples are getting their paperwork ready to file when the courts reopen to full capacity, depending on their location. Even though most couples are only starting their divorce proceedings, the courts will be flooded with divorce filings in a few months.

Can a broker require a person to complete a COVID-19 screening questionnaire before providing services?

Other clients are not so patient – some are calling their lawyers multiple times a day and ask when the divorce proceedings can start. In extreme cases, people are calling their family law attorney after hours or during weekends. For instance, Suzanne Bracker, a family lawyer working in New York, said that she got a call from a client in the middle of the night, saying that she has nothing in common with her husband but the children.

The rise in the number of divorce cases is not unexpected. The countries which were affected by the pandemic before the United States saw a similar spike in divorce cases. For instance, China, which was affected by the epidemic during February and March, saw a huge spike in separations during the lockdown. The government facilities were flooded with divorce cases, causing long backlogs across the country, especially in Xi’an, Dazhou, and Wuhan.

The causes behind this spike in divorce cases

The pandemic has changed how we work and how we spend time with family. The socio-economic consequences are dramatic across the country and they are visible at home. Recent data suggest that a record 40 million Americans have already filed for unemployment benefits. Job loss is a major stressful factor in families. It takes a toll on communication, it creates a negative environment for children and is a major cause for abuse. Quarantining couples find it difficult to live together at home for extended periods of time. They often feel anxious, depressed, or claustrophobic.

Similarly, couples often feel stressed about making important decisions. In many cases, these decisions, like moving to a new home, buying a new car, or starting a family, have to be postponed, increasing stress. People are advised to triple check when making decisions during the pandemic, especially because we cannot predict how the disease will evolve. A rash decision may seem a great idea at first, but may not be good for the long term.

The differences over safety and health precautions have also strained some couples. For instance, a spouse who does not believe the pandemic is real may cause stressful situations at home. This is especially dangerous if the couple has children, increasing the risk of abuse.

Advice for couples who are considering filing for divorce during the pandemic

Most courts have imposed restrictions on couples who want to file for divorce. However, there are some courts that receive applications and handle them quickly. Call the best divorce lawyers in Miami to find out if you can file for divorce in your local court. No matter what your final decision is, you should prepare for the divorce proceedings. Talk to a good family law attorney and get the paperwork ready in order to get ahead of the tidal wave of litigation.

Even affluent couples are considering divorce. Although previously unsure about divorce, wealthy clients who are negatively affected by the pandemic are now starting their divorce proceedings. In many cases, they are divorcing in order to protect assets and income. Property division is hugely important for these clients, who often want to get better deals during the ongoing pandemic. Clients are advised to file for divorce as soon as possible (or when the restrictions are lifted), because the value of the assets is set in stone, on the day the papers are filed.

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National Domestic Violence Hotline Had Its Busiest Year Ever

The National Domestic Violence Hotline received more than half a million calls, texts and online chats in 2018 — marking its busiest year ever.

The 573,670 calls and other communications were a 36 percent increase from 2017, according to the hotline, which has provided 24-hour, year-round support since 1996 for individuals affected by relationship abuse.

Hotline CEO Katie Ray-Jones attributed the uptick to several major news stories, such as the allegations of domestic violence against the R&B singer R. Kelly and former White House staff secretary Rob Porter — allegations Kelly and Porter have denied — but also to an evolving cultural mindset in which survivors no longer feel a need to stay silent about abuse, prompted by the #MeToo movement that began in 2017.

Please read the full article at:

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Minimizing the Cost of Divorce

Minimizing the Cost of Divorce Divorce can be an expensive undertaking, but there are several ways to minimize the money you spend and still ensure a positive result.  Let’s take a look at just a few of things each and every client can do to keep their costs down.

1. Choose an Early Mediation – While mediation may be required before you get your day in court in all divorce cases her in Miami-Dade, there is no requirement as to when it must occur.  The sooner you can get to mediation, theoretically, the sooner you can resolve your case.  Of course, both parties still must engage in the often-huge undertaking of coming to an agreement on all the issues, but if you have two participants that are open to such an amicable resolution, mediation is truly the easiest way to go.  Even better still is a pre-suit mediation, which would occur before the parties even file and open a court case.  Obviously consult with

2. Don’t Treat Your Attorney as Your Therapist – If you want to complain, call a real therapist.  Your being charged by your attorney for every telephone call and email you send complaining about your soon to be ex-spouse and your attorney will almost always be billing you at a higher rate then a real mental health professional.  Don’t get me wrong, the attorney will always answer your call and respond to your emails, but your wallet will be a little lighter because of it.

3. Pay Attention to Details and Don’t Pay Your Attorney to Do Things You Can Do Yourself– Believe it or not there are a lot of things that the client can do himself/herself to cut down on their attorney’s fees.  When it comes to things such as financial disclosures, financial affidavits and discovery responses, if the client pays attention to detail and provides the documents and requested responses in a timely and thorough fashion, it greatly cuts down on the need for the attorney to conduct extensive reviews and numerous follow-ups.  Take a little extra time and make sure things are done right the first time and you will see the difference on those monthly statements from your attorney.

4. Get A Prenuptial Agreement – Although nothing in the law is foolproof, getting a prenuptial agreement on the front end will almost always save you a lot of money on the back end.  Prenuptial agreements are getting more and more commonplace and are not just for the ultra-wealthy.  Anybody that wants to avoid extensive litigation and have an amicable divorce would be wise to consider such a document.

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The Startling Toll on Children Who Witness Domestic Violence Is Just Now Being Understood

New research is giving scientists more insight into the far-reaching and long-lasting harms of domestic violence to the children who grow up around it – including a startling finding: Witnessing abuse carries the same risk of harm to children’s mental health and learning as being abused directly.

Brain imaging in infants shows that exposure to domestic violence – even as they are sleeping, or in utero – can reduce parts of the brain, change its overall structure and affect the way its circuits work together.

Studies show that when babies born to mothers who were subjected to violence during pregnancy become adults, they have three times as much inflammation in their bodies as those whose mothers weren’t. Inflammation causes a much higher risk of poor health, and a far greater likelihood of depression.

Read the full article at:

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When Can One Party Get Exclusive Use and Possession of the Marital Home

Marital HomeThis idea of exclusive use and possession of the marital home almost always comes into play in those divorce cases involving minor child. The general rule is that absent compelling financial reasons, the parent that has the majority of the time-sharing should be awarded the exclusive use and possession of the marital home.  This is seen as the best way to maintain the status quo for the children and limit disruption to their lives.

Now, there are limitations.  Seeing as though the marital home is almost always either the only asset or the highest valued asset that a couple may have, this notion of exclusive use and occupancy by one party usually ends once the children reach the age of majority.  At this time the home would be sold, and the equity split accordingly.

There are instances where there are no children of the marriage and exclusive use and possession by one party may be appropriate, but they are few and far between.  Typically, the party requesting exclusive use and possession under these circumstances would have to show that granting their request would serve some “special purpose”.  What is considered a “special purpose” is ultimately up to the Court to decide.

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What Not to Do When Getting a Prenuptial Agreement

Breach of ContractMore and more couples are turning to prenuptial agreements to prevent expensive litigation in the event that they wind up getting divorced.  However, simply getting the document drafted and signed isn’t usually enough to ensure you are protected.  Here are a few things anybody thinking about getting a prenuptial agreement should consider:

1. Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute If I had a nickel for everybody who called our offices and said they wanted a prenuptial agreement immediately because they are getting married in a couple weeks I would be a rich man.  You always want to get the document drafted well in advance of any wedding plans.  A good rule of thumb is if the wedding invitations have already gone out, you are probably to late.  Why, you might ask?  Well, in the law there is something called duress and duress is the idea that so much undue pressure and influence has been placed upon a person that they are no longer making a decision freely and voluntarily.  As you can imagine once the venue has been chosen, the invitations sent out, the RSVP’s have been received and the wedding day is fast approaching it can place a monumental amount of stress on both parties.  So much so that some people will simply sign a document, regardless of whether they want to or its in their best interests, to save themselves the embarrassment of having to cancel or postpone a wedding or lose deposits.  This idea of duress can be used by your spouse to try to invalidate your prenuptial agreement.

2. Don’t Leave Anything Out – If you are waiving your right to an interest in any asset or you are asking that your soon-to-be spouse waive such interests, always provide them with an accurate up-to-date snapshot of your finances and make sure you receive the same.  Failing to do so can lead one party to claim that they would not have entered into the prenuptial agreement had they been fully informed.

3. Don’t Do It By Yourself – Always seek out an experienced family law attorney when trying to draft a prenuptial agreement.  Remember, the same attorney cannot represent both parties in the drafting and execution of a prenuptial agreement, as there will almost always be a conflict of interest.  Also, we often encounter couples looking for a prenuptial agreement where one spouse insists that they do not want to see an attorney.  We always encourage each party to have an attorney so that they completely understand the document and the rights they might be waiving.

Should you or someone you know be interested in getting a prenuptial agreement please contact the experience family law attorneys at Benjamin & Melmer, LLC.

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US Congress

Violence Against Women Act May Be Dying A Slow Death In US Congress

US CongressIn 1994, the US Congress passed, with bi-partisan agreement, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This Act, signed by President Bill Clinton, became the first Federal legislation to tackle the issue of domestic violence in the United States. Although certainly not perfect, this Act gave Federal resources and recognition to law enforcement’s efforts to protect victims of domestic violence. The Act also gave survivors of domestic violence pathways to remove themselves and their loved ones from violent relationships, such as funds to move into new homes/apartments and gave funds to train police officers and prosecutors across the country in domestic violence prevention.

Congress reauthorized this Act, again, with bi-partisan support, in 2000, 2005 and 2013. Now, however, this bi-partisan agreement regarding VAWA has seemingly vanished. The reauthorization bill currently in the US House of Representatives, would continue many of the current Act’s grants, while strengthening law enforcement’s ability to remove firearms and weapons from perpetrators of domestic violence, along with making it harder to evict survivors of domestic violence from public assisted housing due to the criminal acts of their abusers.

VAWA is set to expire September 4, 2018. Whether the reauthorization bill currently in the US House simply tries to implement common-sense solutions or is more radical then prior efforts, the fact that the US Congress has refused to even debate the bill is shameful. Without reauthorization, many survivors of domestic violence, along with the many individuals currently working to curb the scourge of domestic violence throughout this Country, will be left without the support necessary to continue the good fight. We here at Benjamin & Melmer, LLC, urge Congress to do their job and debate the current bill and then reauthorize VAWA, now.

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