Family Law is arguably the legal profession’s most volatile field. Certainly, there are a number of other fields that could vie for this claim. Intellectual Property Law is in constant flux, there is often palpable tension at Real Estate closings, and in Criminal Law, individual freedom often hangs in the balance. However, it is in the realm of Family Law that those with deep emotional hurt must plot out the remaining years of those who are most important to them: their children. All too often, individuals are blinded by their disgust and anger with their ex-partners to properly address co-parenting. Are there times when a parent effectively has chosen to alienate themselves from their child? Unfortunately, that answer is sometimes yes, but a significant majority of the time parents simply fail to work well with one another.
The Huffington Post recently took on the subject of the importance of co-parenting. The theme of the narrative is “Don’t Pack A Bag”. In short, the article’s message is that while the child may have separate homes, he or she should not have separate lives. A child should not be made to feel that his or her life is transitory, or that they are a visitor in their own home. In Section B, Paragraph 6, Subsection (c) of New Hampshire’s parenting plan form, the State attempts to address this specific issue with a checkbox. Still, there are many issues that a model form cannot cover. The article wants to draw attention to the fact that details are important. New co-parents are frequently concerned with amounts of time that “they get”, while children just want more time. At Parnell, Michels & McKay, we believe part of the attorney’s role is to try to help guide new co-parents through this transitionary period in their parenting.
Too often, new co-parents lose sight of the little details. New co-parents are unaware of the impact that poorly-managed separate homes that are founded upon equally poorly drafted parenting plans could have on a child. When ex-spouses or ex-lovers seek to structure their lives as an independent bastion against the other, their ability to co-parent is sufficiently diminished. While not suitable for every situation, new co-parents do well to frame their thinking neutrally. The key question ought to be what is in the best interest of our child, not what is my best interest for my child.
Parenting is not easy. Determining a balanced parenting plan between two people who carry significant polarizing emotions between one another is all the more difficult. If you are thinking about divorce, or have recently separated from a longtime companion but were not married, the attorneys at Parnell, Michels & McKay can help. We seek to counsel people through the turbulence that arises from the changes in one’s personal life. We strive to provide a fair evaluation of the legal entanglements involved in Family Law and what one can expect once the unexpected happens. If you are interested in learning more about parenting plans, divorce, child support, or any other legal worries, please contact us to learn more. Let us help you begin to get your life back on track.
-- David M. Stamatis, Esq.
-- David M. Stamatis, Esq.