Parenting plans provide a viable option to argument and debate surrounding physical and legal custody labels. Rather than focusing on "what to call it," litigants focus on  the specific needs of their child(ren) and create a plan to deal with schedules, decisions, communication, transportation, and other needs that are certain to arise.

There’s no escaping it: your divorce will be tough on your children. While they may ultimately benefit from happier parents and reduced household fighting, any change this significant is bound to be challenging. Unfortunately, the trouble doesn’t end with emotional duress; your split could have a real impact on your kids’ academic pursuits both now and years in the future.

Struggles in Math

A 2011 study published in the American Sociological Review found that children of divorce struggled to keep up with their non-divorced peers in math. Unfortunately, these issues did not disappear after the divorce; children who fell behind their peers remained behind. Interestingly, researchers didn’t see kids suffer academically until their parents’ divorce was underway.

The silver lining? Children of divorce maintained similar reading scores, perhaps because reading does not rely on cumulative knowledge to the same extent as math.

Long-Term Effects

Divorce-related academic problems in grade school may lead to further issues in high school and beyond. In The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25-Year Landmark Study, Judith Wallerstein, Julia Lewis, and Sandra Blakeslee reveal that adult children of divorce are less likely to graduate from college than their parents.

Researchers theorized that children of divorce were more likely to complete college in states that mandate child support until age 21, or for couples that planned for higher education in their divorce settlement. However, many students received support their freshman and sophomore years, but not their final two years of college. Unable to handle the financial burden, these students typically dropped out.

Careful planning can mitigate the potential academic issues associated with divorce. Call 763-323-6555 to learn how the Brown Law Offices can assist you in achieving favorable child custody and support outcomes.

You’ve filed for divorce. It’s a process that can take plenty of time, even when uncontested. Your lawyer will likely advise you to avoid contact with your ex at this time, but checking in on them on social media can be tempting. Resist the urge to check his or her Facebook page; it’s unproductive emotionally, and it may even affect your case.

Social media is a useful tool for many things, but it’s made divorces more difficult. It means we have to see our ex’s posts every day. Lawyers may even scour your Facebook page for incriminating information. For example, say you’re in the negotiating stage of spousal support, and you’re posting information about your latest shopping spree. Lawyers could use such posts as evidence of disposable income.

Use the following good social media habits during a divorce:

Watch What You Post

If you’re feeling frustrated about the latest blip in your divorce proceeding, it can be quite tempting to vent on Facebook. Such an act may negatively affect your case. Join a private support divorce group, or talk to friends privately. It’s healthy to talk through your emotions but not in a public medium.

Keep your soon-to-be ex-spouse and children out of all your status updates. Refrain from commenting on your days in court or any communications from the other side. Post about other things. Save your arguments for your lawyer and the courtroom.

Check Your Privacy Settings

Block your soon-to-be ex-spouse on Facebook and other social media outlets to avoid temptation. Such an act will prevent you from seeing his or her status updates. It also prevents him or her from finding you. Check your privacy settings on all social media outlets to see who can find your page and what information is available to the public—and lawyers.

Step Away From the Computer

Divorces are emotionally-trying proceedings. Checking Facebook constantly won’t help you feel better. It may actually make you feel worse. Get away from your virtual friends, and start spending time with your real world ones. Get out of your house for a night: see a movie, get dinner, or organize a game night. Socializing with others will take your mind away from your current situation. Sitting at home and posting on social media will make you yearn for what you’re missing.

Once a divorce or paternity action has been initiated, physical and legal custody issues may arise, along with a need to determine the appropriate parenting time schedule.

Rather than fighting over custody labels, Minnesota law allows the litigants to simply enter into an agreement called a “Parenting Plan.”

The details of a Parenting Plan are finalized by the parents themselves, and are not based on an Order of the Court; Judges have no authority to unilaterally order a Parenting Plan.

The Parenting Plan will be used in place of a specific child custody order.

The Plan, however, is a legally binding document. Both parents are required to adhere to its terms. Either party may be found in contempt for a failure to do so.

There are variations in Parenting Plans depending upon the needs of the child, as well as the needs of the parents. Some are a few pages long, and others are several dozen pages in length.

You can expect a Parenting Plan to include details about the primary residence of the child, and who is responsible for the child’s medical, educational and religious needs.

We also recommend that Parenting Plans address the circumstances of not only the child – but also the parents, including household routines, schedules and the geographic distance between households.

Finally, many Parenting Plans take into account a child’s relationship with extended family, including grandparents and other family members.