The holiday season is upon us and for many that also means it’s time for meaningful family traditions and sentimental decorations. While this time of year is often one of the merriest, it can also be one of the hardest for families who are impacted by separation or divorce. I’m a certified mediator and family law attorney who has a unique personal perspective when it comes to divorce during the holidays.
A healthy relationship between parents is the ultimate example for children and a template for their future relationships. Even in cases of separation or divorce, a positive and healthy co-parenting partnership will help to shape how children adapt to their own relationships and friendships. This is especially true when it comes to raising empowered daughters. One of the greatest joys in my life has been the relationship that I have with my daughter, who is now in her 20s.
As your children get older, there are new challenges for co-parenting families. While you once balanced pick-ups and drop-offs at each parent’s house, now you might be discussing how your teenager will drive themselves to and from their parents’ homes. There are plenty of other conversations too, especially when it comes to who is paying for what when it comes to big purchases and on-going expenses.
If you’re divorced with children, you know all too well how challenging it can be to navigate co-parenting plans. It’s not uncommon to have to modify a plan – especially as your children get older and their needs change. However, when circumstances change for a parent, it could further impact your agreement, even if you have a great system in place. This can range from a parent’s job relocation, unemployment, financial strain, illness, and other things that are out of your control.
Charlotte-based certified mediator and collaborative family law attorney Robin M. Mermans recently earned a co-parenting specialist certification from a national training group. She attended the Mosten Guthrie Academy for Mediation and Collaborative Training in February 2022 to enhance her practice in using an innovative child-centered approach in her work with separating and divorcing parents. Mermans, owner of ROAD to RESOLUTION, attended four days of intensive training and seminars with experts across the country to receive the certification.
When the COVID-19 vaccines were released for adults in early 2021, it was a sigh of relief for my family. My husband and I have five children, four of whom are over the age of 18. We were so grateful to receive the vaccine; however, for our youngest, who is still in high school – we had to wait a little longer for his dose. A few months later, his age group was approved to get the shot and we became a fully-vaccinated family.
Getting our vaccines was an easy decision for my family. However, as a collaborative family law attorney with expertise in co-parenting and parenting agreements, I know that this is not the case for all families.