Posts Tagged ‘DivorceAndChildren’


Spring’ Cleaning for your Separation or Divorce

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Spring’ Cleaning for your Separation or Divorce

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

Spring is in the air! The new breath of life that enters with the change of season can apply in more ways than one. If you think you might be filing for divorce this year, I’m here to encourage you to put some of that springtime energy into getting yourself organized. Here are some tasks to put you in excellent shape for spring, tax filing and the beginning the divorce process.

Get your financial documents in order:

As part of your preparation for divorce, you need to gather and secure copies of all financial documents. My Divorce Workbook-(free for Amazon Prime Members) is a great tool which has a checklist as a starting point, from there you can add whatever is unique to your individual circumstances. Keep the copies with a trusted friend or family member, or use a safe deposit box that your soon to be Ex can’t access.

Having important documents on hand early in the divorce process means you save yourself the time, expense and possible unpleasantness of trying to get copies of them later.

Check into your credit:

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Holiday the Divorced Way

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Holiday the Divorced Way

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

Every year I write an article with holiday advice. These are helpful tools and suggestions; however, we recognize that reading and doing are two very different things. This can be one of the most difficult times of the year, regardless of your marital status. My number one advice- do the best you can. You’re human and no one- NO ONE can or should tell you how to feel. In the meantime, here are some tips to help. And remember, gym memberships don’t have to be just for getting in shape, it’s a great way to meet new people and get out those pent-up emotions!

  • Accept your parenting plan and choose to make the best of it as it is. Schedule your holiday plans around your parenting agreement;
  • Create and enforce a conflict-free zone around yourself and your children. (At least try to);
  • Focus on your time with your children instead of the time you aren’t going to be together;

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The Four Divorce Alternatives

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

The Four Divorce Alternatives

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

No two marriages are the same, and so it only follows that no two divorces will be the same either, hence the following four broad categories of divorce alternatives: Do-It-Yourself (DIY), Mediation, Collaborative and Litigation. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each one.

 

DO-IT-YOURSELF DIVORCE

The best advice I can give you about Do-It-Yourself Divorce, is DON’T Do-It-Yourself! Divorce is very complicated, both legally and financially. You can easily make mistakes, and often those mistakes are irreversible. The only scenario I can envision when a Do-It-Yourself divorce may make any possible sense, might be in a case where the marriage lasted only two or three years and there are no children, little or no assets/debts to be divided, comparable incomes and no alimony.

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SCHOOLS OUT FOR SUMMER

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

“SCHOOLS OUT FOR SUMMER”

The Divorce Anthem

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

That used to be the anthem we blasted on our radios as loud as can be…now the tune can equate fear. I think the most difficult part of summer break is unilateral for all parents; keeping your children occupied. Twice as hard when you have to split time with an EX. Of course it is important for parents to spend as much quality time with their children as they can, but add Divorce into the mix and you have yourself a real fun uphill battle.

If you are in a high conflict situation with your co-parent it may not be the best idea for the kids to be switching back and forth between co-parents very often during the summer months. When dealing with divorce and summer break you must always have the benefit and welfare of your children as your number one priority. If your current situation with the co-parent is unsuitable for your children to be around consider having them spend the summer with relatives or at a summer camp. It is also always a good idea to discuss with your kids about summer plans prior to their summer break and to come up with options and hear their opinions.

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The Divorced or Separated Back to School Guidebook

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

The Divorced or Separated Back to School Guidebook

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

Summer went by faster than expected yet again and school is back in session. That means a change of schedule, a change of weather and — when you’re divorced — a change in how you need to interact with your ex.

After all, just because you are no longer husband and wife (or boyfriend and girlfriend), you are still mom and dad. With school starting, this means you both need to be on the same page with how you’re going to manage transitions and support your child’s scholastic needs.

This is no easy task. It requires a mix of little details and big picture thinking. In some cases, it requires re-imagining trusted traditions (where will the “first day” photos be taken?) or re-arranging work schedules. In all cases, it requires that you and your ex bring your best selves to your relationship with your kids and each other.

Kids who are focused on succeeding in school, typically succeed in life. Do whatever you can to help them focus. Eliminate relationship drama and give them the security of knowing both parents are engaged.

Kids don’t care if it’s “your week” or not. Showing up for school events sends a strong message, one that will be remembered for a lifetime.

Often, a child’s emotional struggles manifest in school work. If your child is struggling academically and your efforts are failing to yield results, consider seeking professional help. Redirection is easier months into their struggle instead of years into their struggle.

Here are some suggestions. (more…)

Law Office of Steven B. Chroman P.C. Santa Clarita Divorce Article: Divorce sucks, but yes, I’ve heard that one before…

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Divorce sucks, but yes, I’ve heard that one before…

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

I’m going to be one of the few Lawyers to say it, but I’ve heard it all. I’m not saying this to be cocky or arrogant, I am saying this because if you are reading this, it’s because you are in the divorce section, looking potentially for an attorney and deciding when and how you will make your move as the holidays and a New Year approaches. That or you are reading it for a friend or loved one. How do I know this? Because, I’ve heard it all before, and for you, that’s a good thing because support systems matter.

I’m not implying you won’t receive individualized attention (in fact we pride ourselves on that vs. some of the larger firms out here) and I am not insinuating that your case doesn’t have its own unique nuances, but what I am saying is that I know the system, I know the players, I know the way things tend to fall and I am honest with my clients about all of the above. Just like I am saying it now.

Speak with your friends and commiserate. Go out or stay in. Cry or laugh. Do all the things you can read about in magazines, and then come in for your complimentary consultation where we can discuss your case, I can listen and give you guided professional advice as to your specific situation. You won’t scare me away, because I’ve heard it all before and then some and you will get to see if our practice is the right fit for your case.

In the meantime, here is an excerpt from our divorce coaching dialogue which we offer in addition to our legal services.

  -If you act inappropriately by being rude or disrespectful or not mindful of the judge’s orders or comments, you will dig yourself a hole that it is nearly impossible to escape from.

 – Visit the courthouse/court room in advance of your hearing- see how people act, dress, when they arrive, and how the judge acts.

  -Always say thank you to the judge at the end of your hearing, even if the outcome is less than desired.  You are thanking the judge for his/her time and consideration, even if s/he didn’t agree with you.

  -Do not interrupt the judge. Ever.

  – If you are represented by counsel, you may not speak directly to your opponent’s attorney, and conversely, your opponent’s attorney may not speak to you without your attorney present.

  -If you call or write to your opponent’s attorney when you are represented, it is not only a bad idea, but the attorney will not speak to you because of this rule.

  -Judges are people, too. This means that not only do they have bad days and make bad decisions sometimes, but also they differ in their approach to certain issues.

For more information and a complimentary consultation regarding all dissolution matters, custody, support, pre and post nups, contact the Law Office of Steven B. Chroman, P.C. at 661-255- 1800 or visit us at www.chromanlaw.com.

Author of the #1 Best Selling Divorce Workbook, visit www.chromanlaw.com.

Law Office of Steven B. Chroman P.C. Santa Clarita Divorce Article: Spooky Times

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Spooky Times

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

Halloween, when you’re separated or going through a divorce with children can be a spooky time if not approached with your children in mind. Halloween is one of those tricky holidays where both parents want to have that ‘fun and scary experience.’ So what should you do so that everyone is able to have a good time, despite the fact that you’re no longer living in the same house together as a family? While Halloween isn’t nearly as tough on divorced families as other holidays, it is difficult in that it is only for one night.  This year Halloween is on a school night so the opportunities to expand into the weekend present greater challenges.  It’s only one night of walking the streets with your children saying the famed ‘Trick or Treat’ whereas Thanksgiving, Hanukah or Christmas can be spread out over two days, or even a week.

Halloween is one of those holidays that are often forgotten when laying out a parenting plan. Parents remember Christmas, Hanukah, and Thanksgiving but forget about Halloween, and that can become a source of contention since most kids report that Halloween is one of their favorite days of the year.

Some families split the day, others alternate years, while still others try to come together for the sake of the children. The good news is this is a relatively stress free holiday.

TIPS FOR SEPARATED OR DIVORCED FAMILIES ON HALLOWEEN:

1. Don’t put the kids in the middle. Don’t ask, ‘Do you want to spend Halloween at my house of your mom’s (or dad’s)?  That approach tests your child’s allegiance.

2. Share your children. If possible, see if you can share the time so that all participate. Agree to share one neighborhood, each taking the children half the time.

3. Treat the other parent well. Don’t use this occasion to reminisce about the pass or say negative things about your former spouse.

4. Take the children to a weekend trick or treat event. If all else fails, research other Halloween events are going on, such as haunted houses, neighborhood markets and stores that are having Halloween events, or have a costume party for your children and their friends on a different night. The alternatives are endless with a little creativity if you and the other parent are unable to reach an amicable resolution.

Try to adhere to the rule of ‘Put your children first’.  Remember this is their fun day.   Don’t loose perspective and hold tight to a visitation schedule that may force them to spend their time away from their friends simply because it’s your designated time with your child. In truth, it’s not your time or your ex’s time…it’s your child(ren)’s time.

The Law Office of Steven B. Chroman was recently recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal for the Corporate Citizens Award and The San Fernando Valley Journal for the Trusted Advisor Award. For more information and a complimentary consultation for divorce and divorce coaching, custody, support, pre and post nups, contact the Law Office of Steven B. Chroman, P.C. at 661-255- 1800 or visit us at www.chromanlaw.com.

Author of the #1 Best Selling Divorce Workbook, visit www.chromanlaw.com.

 

Divorced Moms Article: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Single Moms

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

7 Habits of Highly Effective Single Moms

By: Terry Gaspard with Divorced Moms

There is definitely an art and a science to successful single parenting. Since I was raised by a single parent and raised two children solo for a few years, it’s worth mentioning that there is a silver lining to being a single mom. Fortunately, many moms gain self-confidence in their ability to handle challenges and their children become more determined and independent.

However, making the transition from married to single life won’t be easy for you or your children. It takes time to adjust to financial changes, expanded household and child care responsibilities and to being alone. It’s essential that you develop daily habits and routines to smooth the way for you and your children.

The key to successful single parenting is to reflect daily upon the importance of preparing for your new life and accepting that change is necessary. It will take time for you and your children to adjust to your new lifestyle but developing a positive mindset will help ease the transition.

Since I’ve always found paradigms and principles useful to setting goals, I will borrow habits from Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and adapt them for single moms. In several cases, I borrowed his heading and in others, developed my own.

7 Habits of Effective Single Moms:

  1. Be proactive: Get support for yourself and your children. This includes counseling, social outlets and child care. Avoid playing the role of victim and remind yourself that things will get better over time.
  2. Create a positive vision: Take control of your life and develop a clear picture of where you are heading. Decide what your values are for raising your children and start with setting three goals that are meaningful to you. Keep in mind that it can take up to a month to see any change.
  3. Prioritize: Don’t sweat the small stuff and keep the focus on spending time with your kids and positive interactions. For instance, in our house we had pizza on Tuesday nights which gave us one week night to spend more time together when I wasn’t so focused on cooking and cleaning up. (more…)

The Stir Article: 17 Things Only a Divorced Mom Knows

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

17 Things Only a Divorced Mom Knows

By: Jodi Meltzer for on CafeMom’s blog, The Stir.

After the divorce tear gas stops stinging and the OMG-I-should-have-been-a-lawyer bills are paid, there’s a period of awakening, of embracing your new reality as a divorced mom.

At times, it’s intoxicating. The freedom, the firsts, the time you have to devote to your precious child. Other days are wracked with guilt, with “what if”s, with longing for your baby. It’s a bumpy road only those who have gone through it can possibly understand. Here are 17 things only a divorced mom knows.

  1. How infuriating it is to deal with “Disneyland Dad.” Everything is more fun at dad’s. It’s no problem when your kid hangs from his ceiling fan while eating candy for breakfast.
  2. The loneliness of your kid making mom-free memories, taking mom-free trips, and enjoying mom-free time in a home where you’re most likely not welcome.
  3. Having to censor everything you say because your kid has become a recording device that plays back your conversations to his dad.
  4. Wondering which of your friends will be on Team Mom and which will be on Team Dad. They always choose sides — and this can mess things up for all of your kids.
  5. The challenge of co-parenting. If your ex is spiteful, he may do things just to piss you off (like feeding your vegetarian a double cheeseburger). And there’s nothing you can do about it. Also, see #1.
  6. Choking back tears on the phone knowing your baby wants a goodnight kiss you can’t deliver. Or worrying that he’ll wake up after a nightmare and you won’t be there to comfort him.
  7. Watching your siblings form teams with their kids for the family’s annual Thanksgiving Day lawn football game, but having no ‘team’ in attendance this year. Why do we even play football on Thanksgiving? Football is stupid. So is Thanksgiving. Decide never to celebrate again in solidarity with the Native Americans. Until next year, when your kid will be with you.
  8. The sting when your child says, “I want daddy!” Ouch. It’s so much worse than when you were married.
  9. Trying to act like a grown-up when you talk about your ex so you don’t “tarnish” your kids’ image of him or make them feel like they have to take sides. Even though you know they’d totally pick you. Right?
  10. Pretending you don’t notice your child watching the happy family of four eating dinner at a restaurant. Shiny, happy people holding hands, please go away.
  11. The thrill of post-divorce sex — no worrying about locking the door because your kid definitely won’t interrupt. It’s dad’s night!
  12. Wondering if and when you should introduce your child to your new man. OMG. Is he good enough to be a stepdad? Will my kid like him? Do I like him?
  13. Feeling like a third wheel on playdates that spill into the evenings when that lovely couple invites you to stay for dinner. Nice … but awkward.
  14. Agonizing over whether you’ll be “replaced” when daddy gets a girlfriend. Conducting a seance or doing a rain dance to ward this off.
  15. Feeling guilty about everything. From fearing your kid will blame you for breaking up the family to fearing your kid’s bad grades, allergies, [insert anything here] are all because of the divorce. Divorced mommy guilt is like regular mommy guilt… on steroids.
  16. The incredible exhaustion of being up all night with a sick kid and having to work the next day. There’s no more sharing shifts with the hubby. It’s all on you, baby.
  17. Cuddling with your child in your own home that’s finally free of toxic energy. Just the two of you.

What would you add to the list?


In The Stir’s article “17 Things Only a Divorced Mom KnowsMs. Meltzer states a few feelings that most all divorce moms understand. It’s difficult to go through divorce and feel the pull of what have I done (or what has he done) to this family.  The emotion of wanting to have your children with you all the time and posing the question of whether you could stay in a unbearable situation just so you can be there to keep them safe all the time instead of half the time.  
 
There are so many different thoughts that come into consideration when you are struggling with the back and forth of divorce or separation. Sometimes you feel cornered with no way out and that’s why we are here to help.  If you or someone you know is in a circumstance that is intimidating or even hostile, please call our office for assistant.
 
Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P. C. Santa Clarita Divorce
Call 661-255-1800 for your free initial consultation.

The Long Distance Parent. By: Law Office of Steven B. Chroman P.C. Santa Clarita Divorce

Monday, September 15th, 2014

The Long Distance Parent

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

It’s never easy being a parent. We constantly struggle, wondering if we’re doing the best we can for our kids. It’s so much pressure knowing that you only get a short window of time to prepare them to become responsible, healthy, and emotionally balanced adults. For some divorced parents, there is an extra challenge of being geographically distant from their children. It’s not the ideal situation, but it doesn’t’t mean that as a parent you should have no influence in the lives of your children. In fact, with some effort and planning, it’s possible to have a close relationship with your child even from many miles away.

Keep the lines of communication open with the other parent: One of the most important ways to ensure you have a strong connection to your kids is to do everything possible to keep the lines of communication open with the parent who has primary custody. This is not always easy, but it’s one of the best ways to keep abreast of what’s happening in your child’s life.

Technology is your friend! Today more than ever, people are able to stay connected from a distance. There are so many ways to communicate: texting, email, instant messaging, and Skype, to name a few.

Send a care package: Children absolutely love to get mail! Consider sending small care packages every so often. They need not be expensive items. Small items like Legos, flavored lip gloss, action figures, and art supplies are easy to mail and inexpensive.

Make the most of your time: When those special days finally arrive and you’re enjoying a visit together, make the most of that time. Don’t pressure them with questions or comments about the other parent. Keep the focus on your child and enjoy every precious moment as much as possible. That being said, don’t let discipline and structure go out the window. Kids need routine, so keep a regular bedtime schedule and keep rules in place.

Record your memories: Don’t forget to take lots of pictures and even video if you can. Later on, you can send them a small album of your time together.

So, if you are a parent who is living far away from your child, don’t despair. If you communicate with them on a consistent basis and keep your own expectations realistic, you still have the ability to be an important and meaningful part of your child’s life.

For more information, and a complimentary consultation call the LAW OFFICE OF STEVEN B. CHROMAN P.C. today at 661-255-1800.

Author of the #1 Best Selling Divorce Workbook, visit www.chromanlaw.com