Law and Mediation Office of

 Laurel Tuvim Amaya


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Time with Your Children

Your children should cherish the time with you and you should too! I encourage my clients to be positive with their children, to be supportive of the fact that their children are shuttled between parents, often with two very distinct homes and home lives.

You and the other parent invariably run different kinds of households, with different rhythms and expectations for the time the children are in your custody. Both you and your children will have a higher quality experience with each other if you try to respect and honor the differences, as well as encourage the relationships your children have with BOTH of their parents.

Every parent has their own style of parenting, and yours may be different from the other parent. Your child will likely benefit from the different personalities and approaches to life that they learn from each parent. This is not to say that you should condone unacceptable behavior in the other household and if you have concerns, you should raise them with your attorney.

When your children are in your custody, avoid using the time to ask them about the other parent, or comparing and contrasting. Try not to send messages to the other parent through your children and if you have an issue with the other parent, find a way to resolve that issue with the other parent that does NOT involve commenting and/or criticizing that parent in front of your children. Children, whether they are young or they are adults, do not want to be "in the middle" of their parents.

Children are torn by the disputes of the parents and they do not want to take sides but also do not want to let their parents down. Childen should never be asked by one parent where they want to live because the child does not want to hurt the feelings of either. "Do you want to live with me or 'mom/dad'?" is a question which I advise my clients should be avoided.

Cherish your children. Support their activities, know what is going on with their school activities and schoolwork, respect their need for continuity in activities notwithstanding their living at both your home and the other parent. If you have questions about how to best parent, seek the advice of the professionals in your child's life, including their teachers, daycare providers, pediatricians, therapists, religious advisors, and the like.

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