Summer Doesn’t Have to Mean Conflict With Your Ex

It’s that time of year again in South Florida. The days are longer, the weather hotter and the afternoon’s wetter. Summer is here. That also means summer vacation for the children is upon us. For divorced parents, this time also means heightened stress and potential conflict with your ex-spouse.

However, this does not have to be the case. As we often tell our clients, communication is key. Whether it is the details for out-of-town vacations or the new schedule for summer camps, a clear and open line of communication between co-parents is often the lynchpin of a stress and conflict free summer. Communication should not stop with your ex-spouse. Talk with your children about your summer plans to prepare them for the upcoming schedule.

Also, preparation is important for a smooth summer. Make sure all documentation necessary to effectuate trips (passports, written parental consents, court orders, etc.) are in place well before any summer travel plans are booked. Lastly, don’t make the summer about you! Find ways to incorporate your children’s wishes and best interests into any summer plans and leave any bad-blood and competition with your ex-spouse out of the equation. Children want to be with their parents, but, most of all, they want to be with a happy parent who is focused on them. Becoming distracted by an unhealthy and destructive sense of competition with your ex-spouse can have long term consequences for both you and your children.

However, despite your best efforts, we here at Benjamin & Melmer, LLC understand that conflict and strife may be unavoidable. In such cases, we are here to offer you the effective and healthy representation you deserve. Call our Office today to schedule a consultation to go over your legal rights when the heat of summer turns into legal complications with your ex-spouse.

Here is one good article on tips for a divorced parent to navigate summer vacation:

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How to Choose the Right Divorce Lawyer

1. Know What Is Important to You – In any one divorce case there are endless issues that can be fought over. From child custody and child support to alimony and attorney’s fees. If you don’t narrow down the issues in order of importance to you, you will spend a great deal of time and money litigating everything. Know what your not willing to back down on and what you are willing to negotiate on will give the lawyer you do choose a better understanding of what you are looking for and can ensure you have reasonable expectations when it comes to results.

2. Stay Focused on Your Goals – Often times the other side will attempt to make things difficult during a divorce, particularly when there is a lot of animosity amongst the parties. The nature reaction can sometimes be to fight fire with fire, but in doing so, you often lose sight of what your goals are for the case and you begin to fight over things that have little or no importance to you. Stay focused and be the bigger person.

3. Have Realistic Expectations – The worst thing you can do is go in to a divorce with unrealistic expectations. Not only does that make it very difficult for your divorce lawyer to effectively represent you and you will never fully be satisfied. A good divorce attorney will manage your expectations and give you a realistic result based upon your goals and those issues that are important to you. It’s important to always remember that an attorney’s job is not to tell you what you want to hear, its to tell you what you need to hear, particularly when it comes to what kind of result you can expect. So please do disregard an attorney during a consultation simply because he is not telling you exactly what you want to hear, chances are that’s a quality divorce lawyer.

4. Ask for Referrals – The best place to start when searching for the right divorce lawyer is by asking your friends and family. Not only are they more likely to steer you in the right direction, but usually a referral is based on a positive experience they had with that particular divorce attorney. Please keep in mind that the facts and results for every case are different and you cannot hire an attorney expecting the same results that a friend or family member may have received.

5. Do Your Research – Whether it’s a divorce lawyer that was referred to you or one you found on the internet, you need to do your research. Like many other professional service providers, you can find reviews and disciplinary histories for most attorneys. In addition, nowadays almost every attorney has a website that you can browse to get information on the divorce attorney’s experience and accomplishments.

6. Sit Down With More Than One Attorney – In most cases you will want to sit down with more than one attorney in order to find the right divorce lawyer for you. Sure there are people who will hit it off right away and skip this step, but for the vast majority you will want to shop around to find the best fit.

7. Cost Should Always Be a Consideration – Just because you’re not a millionaire, doesn’t mean you can’t find a quality attorney. There are plenty of divorce lawyers who do amazing work at a reasonable price and aren’t knocking on your door on the 1st of the month when you haven’t paid last month’s balance in full. Whenever you meet with a potential divorce attorney you should ask about any cost saving measures they can employ and whether or not they offer payment plans.

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Bill to end alimony draws acrimonious debate in Tallahassee

“Lawmakers are considering a bill that would put an end to permanent alimony payments, and allow the courts to modify existing arrangements between former spouses. The bill would also require judges to give divorced parents equal custody of their children, unless one parent could make a convincing case otherwise.”

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Supreme Court says Army dad must be heard in custody battle for daughter

An Army dad whose wife left him and took their daughter to Scotland gained  new hope when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the American courts can assert  themselves in international custody battles.
In a 9-0 vote that overturned an appeals court decision denying Sgt. Jeffrey  Chafin’s bid to get daughter Eris back, the high court rejected the idea that  Chafin’s appeal was “moot” because the six-year-old girl had been in Scotland  for more than a year. The justices sent the case back to the Florida-based 11th  Circuit court, telling the judges there to rule on the merits.
“Such return does not render this case moot; there is a live dispute between the parties over where their child will be raised, and there is a possibility of effectual relief for the prevailing parent,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in the written ruling. “The courts below therefore continue to have jurisdiction to adjudicate the merits of the parties’ respective claims.”
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As FBI investigated Petraeus, he and Allen intervened in nasty child custody battle

“Then-CIA Director David Petraeus and Gen. John Allen, commander of  U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, intervened in a Washington, D.C., custody battle in September, writing letters on behalf of a woman who was found by a judge to have ‘severe personal deficits in the areas of honesty and integrity.'”
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Police: Va. man shot at lawyer in custody dispute

Police say a man shot at the opposing attorney in his child custody case in  Virginia.

Chesterfield Police Capt. David Pritchard says the man fired one shot at the  entrance to a law office across from the Chesterfield County Courthouse around  1:30 p.m. Thursday. Neither the shooter nor the attorney was immediately  identified.

Pritchard says police believe the man fired one shot, which missed the  attorney. Two others received minor injuries as they tried to run away from the  scene.

The shooter is in custody but has not yet been charged.

Pritchard says the man and the attorney had been in court Thursday morning  for a hearing. The shooter was arrested at the scene by an off-duty Capitol  police officer who was there on personal business and a Chesterfield  officer.

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Desmond Hatchett: Man With 30 Kids Requests Child-Support Break

A 33-year-old Knoxville, Tenn. man with 30 children appeared in court this week to ask the state for child-support help, Memphis news station WREG reported Wednesday.

Desmond Hatchett has fathered 30 children — which is believed to be the record in Knox county, according to the Los Angeles Times — with 11 different women. His youngest children are toddlers and his oldest is 14.

Hatchett reportedly asked the court to give him a break on his payments, claiming that he’s struggling to make ends meet with his minimum-wage job. Currently, the state requires him to divide 50 percent of his earnings among the 11 women, some of whom receive as little as $1.49 a month, WREG reports.

How did Hatchett come to father so many children? “I had four kids in the same year. Twice,” he told Volunteer TV in 2009. He also told a local news station that year that he was “done” having kids (he had only 21 at the time).

Hatchett isn’t the only serial father to make headlines. NFL player Antonio Cromartie, 28, famously fathered 10 children by eight women in six states.

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