Brian D. Perskin & Associates

Modifying Child Custody Orders in New York

Child custody modifications

Child custody is one of the most important components of divorce. Your child custody agreement will determine if your child will live with you, or if you can make decisions on their behalf.

It is likely that your child custody order will need to be changed as time goes on. What are some of the most common reasons parents seek a child custody modification? What will a Judge consider while making their decision?

Significant Change in Circumstance

There are many reasons why you can petition the court for a modification of child custody. A few of the most cited reasons for a modification include:

  • Relocation after divorce
  • Changes to either parent’s lifestyle (finances, health, etc.)
  • Allegations of child abuse or neglect
  • The desires of the child

You must prove that there has been a significant change in circumstance, regardless of why you want to modify your Order.  For instance, a new job in another state, access to critical health care, or unsafe living conditions all constitute a significant change in circumstance.

Best Interest of the Child

Contrary to popular belief, the courts do not favor mothers over fathers in child custody proceedings. The same rings true for modification requests. A Judge must rule in the child’s best interest when deciding if they should grant a request to modify a child custody order.

Some of the factors that help determine the child’s best interest are:

  • Which parent has been the primary caregiver
  • The parenting skills of each parent, their ability to provide for the child, and their lifestyle
  • The child’s relationship with siblings and extended family members
  • Whether there is a history of domestic violence

Each child custody modification case is different, and no two rulings will be alike. These best interest factors are merely a guide for Judges. Discuss your case with an attorney prior to filing your petition.

The Modification Process

You must file a Petition for Modification in order to start a new child custody case. Your petition will be denied if you fail to provide enough evidence that a significant change of circumstance has occurred.

The Court will issue a Summons with Petition for Modification when your request is granted. As with any other legal action, you need to have the other parent served with the Summons. Your Summons will have a court date listed, and you and your ex will need to appear in front of a Judge.

During your modification trial, a Judge will hear testimony and review evidence. After which, they will decide whether or not to grant your request.  The Judge will issue a new child custody order if your Petition is approved. Keep in mind: your current visitation and child support agreements might change if your custody order is modified.

New York’s Child Custody Attorneys

Child custody modification cases are very complicated. You do not want to file your petition without speaking to an attorney first. You are taking the first steps when you hire an experienced family law attorney.

The team of lawyers Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. have represented thousands of New Yorkers in sensitive divorce and family law matters. For more information on child custody modifications, contact the firm at 718-875-7584 today!

Divorce During the School Year: Q&A

Divorce during the School Year

Back to school season can be tough for families of divorce. There can be a lot of uncertainty surrounding custody, support, and co-parenting during the school year. Things can become even more complicated if your divorce case is just beginning.

What are the most common questions divorced parents have regarding the school year?

Will my custody agreement change?

Your custody agreement may change, depending on what schedule you and your ex currently follow. For instance, it may be best to modify your agreement for the duration of the school year. This way, your child doesn’t have to split their time between households during the week. Visitation can occur on the weekend, or on weeknights.

How do extracurricular activities affect visitation?

There is a good chance that extracurricular activities will affect your visitation schedule. Sports games, debates, and school plays are often held on the weekend. This means that the non-custodial parent’s visitation schedule will be interrupted. While this is not an ideal situation, attending extracurricular activities allows for you to perfect your co-parenting skills!

Who pays for additional academic expenses?

Additional academic expenses should be addressed in your support or custody agreement. Typically, the custodial parent will bear the brunt of additional costs. However, the non-custodial parent will often agree to pay a share of extra expenses. It’s best to review your agreement prior to petitioning the court for a modification.

Do we need to tell the school?

You are not required to inform your child’s school of your divorce. However, it is a good idea to let the principal and guidance counselor know, so they can be on the lookout for any behavioral changes your child may experience. Provide the school with updated contact information, and request that they send copies of all documents to you and your ex. This way, you are both being kept up to date and informed during the school year.

How can we make the school year easier for our child?

Back to school time is hard for kids, especially those whose parents are getting a divorce. To make the transition easier, try to implement the following strategies:

  • Create consistency between households (same rules, bedtimes, etc.)
  • Have separate sets of school supplies, clothes, or uniforms at each household
  • Create a schedule for visitation and parenting time, but remain flexible
  • Let your child decorate a calendar that shows which parent the child will spend time with each day
  • Encourage your child to video chat with your ex during your parenting time
  • Never use your child as a messenger to relay information to your ex-spouse

Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C.

It is impossible to predict how well your family will handle the school year while in the midst of a divorce. It might not be easy, but that is why you need a top rated law firm by your side. The team of attorneys at Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. have represented thousands of New Yorkers in tough divorce and child custody matters.

For more information, or to schedule your free consultation, contact Brian and his team at 718-875-7584 today!

Parallel Parenting: Conflict Free Co-Parenting

Parallel Parenting: Alternative Co-Parenting

Last week, we briefly touched on parallel parenting during our discussion on alternative forms of co-parenting. However, this method deserves more in-depth coverage, as it can be helpful for divorcees who are unable to co-parent successfully.

What is Parallel Parenting?

Parallel Parenting allows for divorced couples to co-parent while keeping their interaction with each other to a minimum. This method was developed for couples involved in high-conflict divorces. It is also useful for parents who can not interact without fighting.

During parallel parenting, parents are able to make decisions regarding their children without having to consult with their ex. For this to work, parents much agree on which aspects of their children’s upbringing they want to have control over. For instance, one parent will make all medical decisions, and the other will handle schooling and extracurricular activities.

Changing Communication Strategies

The main goal of parallel parenting is for children to be raised in a conflict free environment. In order to do this, parents must change the way they communicate with each other. To accomplish this, parents can:

  • Only communicate via email, text message, or on co-parenting apps
  • Keep conversations factual, and do not let emotion take control
  • Never attend the same school or extra-curricular functions
  • Do not spend time alone with the other parent
  • Arrange a neutral location for custody exchanges
  • Use a third-party to help with custody exchanges

These changes will not happen overnight. They take work. Parallel parenting is not easy, and there will be some trial and error. But, remember: this co-parenting method is good for children.

Pros and Cons to Parallel Parenting

The pros to parallel parenting far outweigh the cons. Since communication between parents is limited, there is less stress. Parallel parenting may even result in lower legal fees, as parents won’t get stuck in a loop of conflict and litigation. This method also helps to foster a stronger relationship between the child and each parent.

In some cases, parallel parenting can have a negative impact on children. Some kids can have difficulties moving between households, and may develop a sense of loyalty to one parent. Children can also feel hurt when they can’t have both parents at graduations, sporting events, and birthday parties.

Get the Help Need

In order for parallel parenting to work, both parents need be on the same page. They must realize that they cannot co-parent without a great deal of strife. Developing an effective co-parenting method is a marathon, and not a sprint. It requires the help of an experienced family law attorney.

Trust the team at Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. to customize a hand crafted divorce and co-parenting strategy for you. For more information, or to schedule a free consultation, contact us at 718-875-7584 today!

Alternative Forms of Co-Parenting After Divorce

Alternative co-parenting strategies

Traditional family dynamics are changing, and so are co-parenting arrangements after divorce. Gone are the days when a divorced mother would be the primary custodian. What are some of the new forms of co-parenting, and will they work for your family?

Parallel Parenting

Parallel Parenting was designed with high-conflict families in mind. The purpose of parallel parenting is to help you and your ex care for your child, while limiting communication.

During this form of co-parenting, you are able to make your own decisions regarding your child, without having to consult your ex. But, keep in mind, your ex is allowed to do the same. Typically, each parent would choose aspects of their child’s upbringing that they would like to have control over. For instance, you would be responsible for decisions regarding medical care, and your ex would choose which schools your child attends.

This form of co-parenting allows for both parents to play an active role in raising your children, without having to risk tension filled arguments. Many people practicing parallel parenting rely on parenting apps to keep verbal communication to a minimum.

Bird’s Nest Parenting

Bird’s Nest Parenting is a unique approach to co-parenting after divorce. The goal of bird’s nest parenting is to put your child’s needs and comfort first. It is 100% child centered.

During this form of co-parenting, your child will remain living in one home, and will not travel between households for visitation. Instead, you and your spouse would take turns living with the child. You are responsible for maintaining a separate home to live in during your non-parenting time. Your ex will have to do the same.

The bird’s nest approach can help alleviate the amount of stress and anxiety your child feels because of the divorce, but it can be quite costly. Review your finances prior to agreeing to this co-parenting arrangement, and make sure your family can afford to support three different households.

Living Together After Divorce

The most unusual way to co-parent after divorce is to live with your ex. Whether in the same home, same apartment building, or same neighborhood, a growing number of divorced parents are choosing to live within close proximity to their ex.

This form of co-parenting should only be attempted if your divorce is uncontested, and you maintain a close relationship with your ex-spouse. The two of you need to have the same approach to parenting, and vow to put your child’s needs first.

Living with your ex after divorce can have tremendous benefits for your child, but this form of co-parenting needs to be approached with caution. Speak with a therapist of mediator, and develop a list of rules that you and your spouse must follow. Doing so can help ensure that this unique co-parenting arrangement is successful.

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The law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. specializes in complex divorce and family law cases. Brian and his team of attorneys have represented thousands of New Yorkers, and successfully advocated on their behalf. For more information on how we can help you, call us at 718-875-7584 today.

Dealing with Anger during Divorce

Anger during divorce

Feeling angry during divorce is perfectly normal. In fact, it’s to be expected. Divorce is a major life change, and your case will not always go as planned. You need to learn how to recognize when you’re getting mad, and how to deal with your anger during divorce.

Physical Signs of Anger

Nothing is more infuriating than an already stressful situation becoming even more complicated. When going through a divorce, it is important that you learn to recognize your physical signs of anger. You should be on the lookout for:

  • An increased heart rate or rapid breathing
  • A headache or stomach ache
  • Feeling hot in your chest, neck, or face
  • Shaking or trembling
  • A general tightening of muscles throughout your body

Take note of your physical signs of anger next time you fight with your ex. Do you start to tense and feel hot? Knowing how your body responds to stress will help you better deal with your anger during divorce.

Dealing with Anger the Healthy Way

It is easy to lash out when you’re angry, but that will get you nowhere during your divorce. Bottling up negative feelings is horrible for your mental and physical health. Instead of suppressing anger, try dealing with it in a healthy way.

You should already have a general idea of ways to calm yourself down when you’re mad, but if you’re feeling especially agitated, try something new. Enrolling in a kickboxing or cross-training program lets you sweat out your frustration. Or, calm your nerves by taking a walk in the park or visiting the beach.

The best way to deal with anger during divorce is to set time aside to focus on yourself. Pick a day to do what makes you happy. Read a book, spend time with close friends, or cook your favorite comfort food.

Co-Parenting while Angry

One of the worst things you can do during your divorce is co-parent while angry. You may not get along with your ex, but it is best to put your differences aside for the benefit of your kids. How can you do this effectively?

  • Develop a communication plan to minimize interaction with your ex
  • Use co-parenting apps
  • Do not respond to your ex’s threatening or confrontational messages
  • Refrain from contacting your ex when you are angry- take some time to cool down first

You might need to cut off all contact with your ex if the two of you are unable to co-parent effectively because you cannot get along. This kind of arrangement is not ideal, but it is common.

When to Seek Help

If you are still having a hard time letting go of negative feelings, thoughts, or emotions, you should consider seeing a therapist. Admitting you need help coping with divorce is hard, but it is nothing to be embarrassed about. Many children need therapy during divorce, and adults are no different.

Talking about your divorce with a trained professional is incredibly therapeutic, and doing so will make the process easier and less stressful. Divorce doesn’t have to be a life ending event, nor does it have to scar and haunt you for years to come.

The Right Attorney Matters

Hiring the right attorney is a great strategy for dealing with your anger during divorce. An experienced lawyer, much like those at Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C., is able to make the divorce process easier and less stressful for you.

Don’t try to handle your case on your own- rely on the experts. Call Brian and his team at 718-875-7584 to schedule your free consultation, and get back to focusing on your well-being.

Tips for Celebrating Father’s Day during Divorce

Father's Day During Divorce

Last month, the team at Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. published a guide for surviving Mother’s Day during a divorce. With Father’s Day quickly approaching, we thought it’d be helpful to bring you our top tips for celebrating Father's Day during divorce.

Let Your Kids Have a Say

Your children may be having a difficult time coping with divorce. Allowing them to help plan Father’s Day activities or gifts is a great way to assist in their healing. The change in routine, and chance for celebration, will be a much needed break from the struggles of divorce.

Have a Plan, but be Flexible

Life in unpredictable. Weather can change, kids can throw tantrums, or time can get away from you. To make the most of your Father’s Day, you have to plan it out. Have a list of possible activities or restaurants, and be prepared to make last minute changes. Having a backup plan can help alleviate stress, and being flexible will help you enjoy Father’s Day.

Celebrating with Long Distance Dads

Some fathers do not live in the same city, state, or country, as their children. Just because they live far away, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to celebrate Father’s Day.

If this situation applies to you, try to facilitate an extended Skype session, or make arrangements for the children to visit you. Father's Day during divorce doesn’t have to be a lonely experience if you take time to plan ahead of time.

You Might Not See Your Kids on Father's Day

If you are the non-custodial parent, you may not have the chance to spend time with your children on Father’s Day. Unfortunately, this is a very sad reality for many dads. You have every right to feel sad that you won’t see your kids, but try keep your focus elsewhere. Visit your family. Make arrangements for the next time you see your children. Have a group outing with other divorced dads.

Father's Day during divorce can be tough, especially when you are unable to spend time with your children. Remember to stay positive, and try not to dwell on negative emotions, or to lash out at your ex.

Father’s Rights Advocates in NYC

The law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. specializes in complex family law matters. We are strong father’s rights advocates, and we will do everything we can to ensure dads are not separated from their children.

For more information on how we can fight for you, contact us at 718-875-7584 to schedule your free consultation.

4 Signs Your Child Needs Therapy during Divorce

Divorce is difficult, especially for children. Divorcing parents have a lot to worry about, including how their child is coping with the divorce. Are they adjusting well, or are they misbehaving at school? Some out-of-character behavior is expected, but how do you know when your child needs therapy during divorce?

1. Long term behavioral changes

Your child will experience some behavioral changes during the divorce process. Periods of sadness, anger, or acting out are normal. However, prolonged bouts of these of behavioral changes are alarming and need to be addressed. Ignoring them can lead to long term issues, and your child’s academics, social skills, and emotional well-being will be at risk.

2. Problems eating or sleeping

Your child may be having difficulties coping with divorce if they are showing signs of insomnia or a lack of appetite. Both can result in physical and mental side effects, such as extreme weight loss and irritability. If your primary care doctor has ruled out any medical reasons for this behavior, you should consider sending your child to therapy during divorce.

3. Newfound separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is a key indicator that your child is having a hard time adjusting to the divorce. Signs of separation anxiety usually manifests during visitation pick-up and drop-off. It can also occur when you leave for work, or when your child goes to school. While experiencing separation anxiety, your child can throw tantrums, act irrationally, or become overly clingy.

Separation anxiety during a divorce is an indicator of deep seeded fears of abandonment, guilt, and other insecurities. A licensed therapist is the best person to help address these issues.

4. Decline in school performance

Slipping grades, disruptive classroom behavior, and skipping school are signs that your child is having trouble handling the divorce. Academic and social skills are developed in school, and performing poorly can set your child up for years of insecurity and self-doubt. In some cases, your child may be subjected to bullying from fellow classmates.

To help combat this, speak with your child’s principal, teachers, and the school guidance counselor. Let them know you’re going through a divorce (you don’t have to give details). Educators are trained to spot uncharacteristic behavior, and can let you know if something is amiss with your child.

The Benefits of Child Therapy during Divorce

Therapy provides a safe, candid, and confidential environment for your child to express themselves. Having this safe space is crucial to making sure they cope well with the divorce. You love your child and want the best for them, and during divorce, therapy may be in their best interest.

Not all children respond to therapy in the same way, so you need to figure out what will work best for your child. Individual therapy is great for one-on-one conversation, whereas group therapy can help provide a sense of community. Younger children tend to react well to informal situations, where they will feel more comfortable opening up to their therapist.

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The family law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. specializes in complex divorce and child custody matters in New York City. For more information, or to schedule your free consultation, call 718-875-7584 today!

Traveling with Children during Divorce

Traveling with kids is no walk in the park, but traveling with children during divorce can often present extra hurdles. There is a lot to do before you take off, including obtaining a passport, getting permission, and confirming an itinerary with your ex.

Read on for important information about traveling with children during divorce:

Obtaining a Passport

The process of obtaining a passport for a minor child varies, depending on your current custody order.

If you share joint legal custody with your ex, then you both must consent to the passport application. Both parties must sign a DS-11 form during the application’s submittal. If only you are able to be present at the time of application, you can attach your ex’s notarized Statement of Consent, along with your DS-11 form.

If you have sole legal custody, you are required to bring a certified copy of your custody order, stating the same.

Problems with International Travel

International travel can pose certain risks, especially if your divorce or child custody case has a lot of conflict. The threat of international parental kidnapping is very real, which is why Judges are hesitant to allow international travel with a child during contested cases.

However, Judges are more inclined to permit international travel if the destination country is part of the Hague Convention. Many countries, including the United States, are part of this treaty. These countries have an agreement in place to help protect children who fall victim to international kidnapping.

Letting your child travel overseas is nerve-wracking, but you can take comfort knowing that your child is traveling to a country that is a member of the Hague Convention. It isn’t common for a non-custodial parent to refuse bring their child home after an overseas trip, but it does happen. The process to have your child returned to you is complicated. Do not try to handle this matter yourself.

Hague Convention Map

Members of the Hague Convention 

Domestic Travel

Your child custody order should contain rules for domestic travel with either parent. These stipulations are put in place to prevent misunderstandings between you and your ex. Typical rules may include:

  • Time of year travel is allowed, and for how long
  • The amount of advanced notice that must be given to the other parent
  • Whether or not consent is required
  • Restrictions on activities or destinations
  • Access to the child during travel

Traveling Without a Court Order

It is possible to travel with your child without a court order. However, it is recommended extend these courtesies to your ex before you make any reservations:

  • Get written permission and confirm the dates and location of travel
  • Provide your ex with your itinerary, including travel arrangements
  • Provide your ex with contact information for your hotel
  • Offer to schedule short evening phone calls between your ex and child during the trip

Being courteous during travel has two main benefits, the first being that your ex will appreciate the gesture. They will most likely extend the same to you when they want to travel with the child. The second benefit is that it will help you build a strong co-parenting relationship with your ex-spouse. Learning how to co-parent successfully is crucial to your child’s post-divorce development.

Traveling With Children During Divorce

Traveling with children during divorce requires that you clear a few hurdles, which is why hiring a family law attorney is so important. The law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. routinely handles a wide range of child custody matters, including issues surrounding travel. For more information, or to schedule a free, no obligation consultation, call 718-875-7584 today!

Co-Parenting Tips For The Holiday Season

The 2016 holiday season is officially here. While usually a chaotic (but joyous!) time, the holidays can bring about additional challenges for divorced couples as they try to figure out how to juggle co-parenting responsibilities during this festive time of year. To help alleviate potential problems, the staff at Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. have compiled their top co-parenting strategies for the holiday season.

Alternate Holidays Each Year

A common strategy divorcing couples implement is to alternate which parent the children will spend time with on a specific holiday. In fact, this strategy is so popular that former Hollywood it-couple Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon have practiced it since they divorced 2008. In an interview with Today, Phillippe said, “We trade off. So last year my kids and I went to my parents’…, (and) this year they will be with their mom”.

The first Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas after a divorce can be very difficult for children. They may feel anxiety over which parent to celebrate with, while also not wanting to hurt the other parent’s feelings. This is why alternating holidays can be such a successful strategy. Doing so will allow children to have a less stressful, and more joyous, holiday season.

Focus on Communication

The key to successful co-parenting is communication. This rings especially true during the holiday season. In order to implement the strategy discussed above, both parents need to work together to create a fair schedule.

In addition to outlining a holiday schedule, it is important to keep the lines of communication open in case there are any last minute changes that would affect the plans. Both parents must be available via phone, text, or email, to receive word of uncontrollable travel changes, due to weather, traffic, or illness.

As always, it is important that divorcing parents have a communication strategy hammered out prior to the holiday season. Some former couples are unable to communicate or interact over the phone or in person, so downloading a co-parenting app is highly encouraged. These apps can even benefit amicable parents, as they feature shared contacts, calendars, and notepads.

Parents Pick Schedules

To avoid conflict, and feelings of guilt in children, parents need to be the main driving force behind holiday visitation schedules. While it is important to let children have some say in activities, they shouldn’t be the ones to decide who they will spend time with on Thanksgiving, or whose house they will go to for Christmas. Parents should never put the weight of such a burden on a child, as it is not in their best interest.

Parents need to take special care while discussing plans with their children if this is this the first holiday season in which a child will have to split his or her time between households. Kids may feel anxious and nervous, but also guilty and sad because they don’t want mom to be alone on Thanksgiving. Children need the reassurance that they are not hurting their other parent’s feelings, and that they are going to have a very enjoyable time, regardless of which side of the family they are with.

Enjoy the Season!

Enjoying the holiday season is just as important as the three co-parenting strategies discussed previously. It can be easy to get lost in a divorce, focusing on negative emotions such as anger, sadness, and grief. Children are intuitive, and will often pick up on how their parents are feeling.

Instead of dwelling on a divorce, both parents should take steps to help making the holiday season enjoyable and memorable. Continue with family traditions, such as picking out a Christmas tree, or spending the first night of Hanukkah with Grandma and Grandpa. Following holiday traditions can provide children with a sense of normalcy, and can also help foster feelings of happiness in parents.

Some newly divorced parents choose to create new holiday traditions with their children, independently of their former spouse. Children will carry the memories and holiday traditions of their childhood with them throughout their adult life. The small moments with their parents are what they will cherish most, so make the best of a tough situation and use divorce as an opportunity create lasting impressions.

Regardless of how stressful a divorce may be, or how hurt one may feel over the separation, a serious attempt at enjoying the holiday season needs to be made. Parties, shopping, and other festivities can be a great distraction from the stresses of a legal action, so get out there and have fun!

NYC Divorce Powerhouse

The law firm of Brian D. Perskin and Associates P.C. is a New York City based divorce and family law powerhouse. The team of experienced attorneys routinely represent New Yorkers navigate the waters of complex child custody and divorce matters, tirelessly advocating on their behalf. For more information, or to find out how their aggressive representation can work for you, call 718-875-7584 to schedule a free consultation.

The 4 Cardinal Rules of Co-Parenting

A divorce involving children can be an incredibly difficult experience, especially when it comes to learning how to co-parent effectively. You will need to go through some trials and errors when figuring out what approach works best for your family. While doing so, you should keep these 4 Cardinal Rules of Co-Parenting in mind.

1. Be Respectful and Mindful

The key to any successful co-parenting relationship is to be respectful towards your ex-spouse. Purposefully disrespecting your ex by ignoring their emails and phone calls, or refusing to let them see the child, will cause unnecessary tension and may even turn an uncontested case into a contested custody battle.

Remember that your ex is just as effected by the divorce as you are, and probably even more so if they do not have residential custody of the child. Your former spouse went from living with their child, and being able to interact with them daily, to seeing them less often. This can be a tough transition for both parties, and as the custodial parent, you need to be mindful of the situation.

2. Learn to Communicate Effectively

Divorce changes a couple’s relationship, and because of this, the parties need to develop new ways to communicate and interact with each other. Learning how to co-parent can be tough, but making sure the two of you communicate well will help to ensure co-parenting runs smoothly.

While it is great if exes can remain friendly and keep arguments at bay (for the sake of their child), it is not always feasible. If you find yourself in a situation such as this, you need to look into alternative forms of co-parenting and implement new rules. For instance, any non-emergency contact can be made via text or e-mail, or phone calls can only occur between certain hours.

Technology is making it easier for feuding parties to co-parent their children during, and after, divorce. Websites and mobile apps feature shared calendars, note sections, and contact lists for other family members, education providers, and other family members. An article detailing the most popular co-parenting apps and websites can be found on Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C.’s blog.

3. Create a Plan, and be Flexible

Before you can begin to co-parent with your ex, the two of you need to create a parenting plan. This can be done with or without lawyers, however, it is always recommended you retain proper representation to advocate on your behalf throughout the proceedings.

Your parenting plan will act as a guideline for how to split time on holidays, birthdays, and school breaks or vacations. The plan will provide a schedule for regular visitation, as well as detail locations and times for pick-up and drop-off. Keep a copy of your agreement handy, and refer to it if issues surrounding visitation and parenting time arise.

Having a set agreement is great, however, it is important to remember to be flexible with changes. Work or personal emergencies may come up, and your ex may be unable to participate in their regularly scheduled visitation time. While an inconvenience, you need to accept the change and be flexible. Remember, you would want the same courtesy extended to you if roles were reversed.

4. Children Come First

Children should always come first during divorce and custody disputes. These kinds of cases are major life changes, and can have a huge impact on children. Making sure your child’s emotional, mental, and physical needs are met should be in the forefront of your mind while co-parenting.

Developing a successful co-parenting relationship takes work, but it can seem less cumbersome if you and your ex both agree to make your child’s well-being the number one priority. This can be done by treating each other with respect, and refraining from putting the child in the middle of your arguments or disagreements. Both parents must support their child during this difficult transition, regardless of their personal feelings towards their former spouse. Keep in mind that a child-centered divorce is a successful one!

Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. is a New York City based matrimonial and family law firm, specializing in complex divorce and child custody matters. For more information on successful co-parenting and divorce strategies, call 718-875-7584 to schedule a free consultation.