Articles Tagged with parenting

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Dear Carolyn,

I am a father of a beautiful 8-year-old daughter and a handsome 10-year-old son.  I live here, but the mother lives in California.  The mother has custody, but the children will be visiting with me for the last two weeks of July and the first two weeks of August. While I don’t have much time given the distance between the mother’s house and mine, I really want to make the time count that I do have.  I can take two of the weeks off from work, but I have to work two of the weeks.  What suggestions do you have?

– Dedicated Dad

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Dear Carolyn,

My heart is broken. The mother of my children has bad-mouthed me so much and talked about our nasty divorce to the children so much that the children won’t talk to me or visit with me. She has poisoned their minds. What can I do?

Carolyn Answers….

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Dear Carolyn,

My daughter is getting married next year.  We have family business and my daughter works in the business. Is a premarital agreement appropriate for her, even though she is only 25?  When should she bring this up with her fiancé?

Carolyn Answers…

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Dear Carolyn,

I have a sixteen-year-old.  What should I be teaching the sixteen-year-old about managing money, retirement, and financial matters?  My spouse and I have a difference of opinion on this topic and I want to know your thoughts, Carolyn.

Carolyn Answers….

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Dear Carolyn,

I have tried co-parenting our seven and eleven-year-old, and it is just not working. My psychologist says my ex is probably a narcissist. Every time I try to talk with him or even text him, he turns the discussion into something else.  He seems to have no concept of teamwork. He manipulates the children and that scares me. What can I do?

Carolyn Answers…

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Dear Readers,

Internet addiction is here and is real! I would like to hear from you on this topic. Do you know that a Kaiser Family Foundation study showed that two-thirds of parents have no rules on internet use, particularly internet use unrelated to homework and research? Today’s second Ask Carolyn continues a discussion of this topic.

Dear Carolyn,

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Dear Carolyn,

I share custody of our son with my ex-husband. Another school year is about the begin. I dread the issues with homework. As my son gets older and homework gets more important, there has to be something we can do as parents to make sure homework is both done consistently and turned in consistently. My ex is a little more concerned with fun at his house that homework, although he is a pretty good father. What are homework guidelines for sharing custody every other week during the school year?

Carolyn Answers…

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Whether you are a working parent or stay-at-home mom or dad, each role comes with a huge set of responsibilities. Being a family lawyer, I can only offer one perspective centered around achieving that work/family balance everyone always talks about. I’m not sure the perfect balance exists and have quickly learned that for me, it’s more of a day by day approach, kind of like March Madness – survive and advance. Below are some of the things I’ve learned along the way.

Be present. Whether you’re at work or at home, maximize your time at each by being present in the moment. When you’re at the office, try not to think of the disaster that is your house. When you’re at home, focus on enjoying family time and do your best to leave work at work.

There’s no place for guilt. Feeling guilty for missing time with your kids or feeling guilty for not being able to work late does nothing but cause more stress. There are so many things in life that cause us worry; this should not be one of them. Trust in yourself! It doesn’t matter if you work or stay home, your children look to you as their role model. They watch every move you make and listen to every word you say. Do not feel guilty for the role you have chosen as both provide your children with positive learning experiences!

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CarolynDear Carolyn,

Now that summer is almost over and school will be starting back, I am reflecting on the summer trip with my two children, who are 9 and 11.  Their mother and I are divorced, and I am trying to make summer memories with them that will last a lifetime.  This summer we ventured to the West Coast to see the sites.  While in Flagstaff, Arizona, we saw advertisements for a place called “Bullets and Burgers” in Arizona. That reminded me of the headlines about a nine-year-old girl from New Jersey, who killed her Uzi instructor in a place like this.   I am just curious if this could happen in North Carolina.  What are the North Carolina laws on this?  Do we have places like “Bullets and Burgers” in North Carolina?  My ex is dating a guy who owns a lot of guns.  Could he take my children to such a place?

~ Curious and Concerned

 

Dear Curious and Concerned:

You are referring to a story of a 9-year-old girl from New Jersey who was on a family vacation in Arizona. This story received lots of attention in the legal arena and in legal publications.  Her family took her to the place called “Bullets and Burgers.”  She was assigned an instructor and shot a single shot weapon without any trouble.  The instructor then let her shoot an Uzi automatic weapon that shoots 600 rounds per minute. She lost control of the Uzi, shooting and killing her instructor, inadvertently.  No charges were filed and the accident was ruled to be an “industrial accident.”             Continue reading →

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Carolyn

Dear Carolyn,

I am in a custody battle with my ex-husband.  My nine-year-old wants to live with me.  Can my nine-year-old simply tell the judge this, and then we are done with this mess?  I have heard a child can talk to the judge in “chambers,” but I am not sure what this means.

 

Carolyn Answers:

I am sorry that you and the Father were unable to decide together as the parents what is best for your child.  But, if the parents cannot decide, a person in a black robe will make the decision on what the “best interests” of your child is.

First, and I want to say this gently to you, a nine-year-old does not have the maturity to make the decision of where he or she should live and what is in his or her “best interests,” generally. Cases of abuse and neglect are perhaps different, but you do not mention that the child is being abused or neglected by the Father. This answer assumes that there is no abuse or neglect of your child by the Father.

Second, the court does not give “final say” to anyone. The court hears the evidence and judges the credibility, maturity, and objectivity of witnesses, and then the court, in its wisdom, renders a decision. Given the age of your child, in my experience, the judge would give little weight, most likely, to the opinions of a nine-year-old on what living arrangement is best for the child. The court may even consider whether you were influencing the child against the Father, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and give the Father even more time to offset your influence.

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