Michigan Senate Approves Cyberbullying Ban

Michigan Senate Approves Cyberbullying BanThe Michigan House of Representatives hasn’t given civil rights advocates much to smile about recently. But the Michigan Senate has just passed a bill that would, if approved by the house, strengthen protections for students against cyberbullying and hold schools accountable. Read the full post »

How Do Teens React to Divorce?

How do Teens React to Divorce?Teens are notoriously temperamental, especially when there is conflict in the family. This last in a four part series will help you and your teenager weather the storm of divorce. Read the full post »

Michigan’s RFRA and Adoption Agencies Bills OK Discrimination

Michigan House Bills OK DiscriminationIn the past week, the Michigan House of Representatives has approved 4 different bills, each of which allows discrimination and refusal of service to anyone based on the religious beliefs of the one serving. Many believe that this is a veiled attempt to OK discrimination against the LGBT community. And it may well be. But these bills, if passed by the state senate, will be so much worse than that. Read the full post »

How Do Tweens React to Divorce?

How Do Tweens React to Divorce?Later elementary aged children or “Tweens” pose special problems for parents going through divorce. This third in a four part series will help you learn the do’s and don’ts for this transitional age to help them make the adjustment more smoothly. Read the full post »

How Do Elementary Age Children React to Divorce?

How do Elementary Age Children React to Divorce?Divorce can be hard on children at any age. But for elementary age children, the process can cause developmental delays and significant emotional distress. This second in a four part series will tell you the signs to watch for and how to minimize the harm. Read the full post »

How does an Infant React to Divorce?

How does an Infant React to Divorce?Sometimes a new child can push a strained relationship to the breaking point. Other times the divorce was in the works long before the child was born. This first of a 4-part series will tell you how to expect your infant to react to divorce.

Empathy with Parents

Infants up to 8 months old simply do not understand divorce, but they do understand the feelings and energy of their parents. If mom or dad gets depressed or anxious it can affect baby, who may become fussy or disinterested. This is why it is important for your baby’s well-being for you to manage your own mental health and minimize conflict in your divorce.

Disappearing Parents

Until about age 4-6 months, infants don’t know that things they can’t see still exist. Young babies also do not remember things for very long. That means that if a parent has infrequent parenting time, even every other weekend, visitation could cause the baby to experience stranger anxiety, which will frustrate creating parent-child bonds. That is why, for very young children, shorter, more frequent parenting time visits may be the best way to foster a relationship with both parents.

Separation Distress

Between 8-12 months, infants will begin to experience separation distress during parenting time exchanges. They may cry, scream, or cling to the parent who is leaving. They may also demand that they want the other parent. This can be very hard on parents and children alike. It is best to maintain a consistent parenting time schedule so the infant learns that both parents will be coming back.

Unpredictable Schedule

Infants and toddlers do not understand the passage of time or how long it is before something will happen. So if you tell your toddler “you will see Daddy on Saturday” they do not know whether they should start packing now or not. This makes even the most regular schedule unpredictable. Try explaining the schedule in terms of concrete events like “after dinner” or “two sleeps from now.” That will help them predict when things are happening and reduce stress and anxiety.

Personal Security

Toddlers are primarily concerned with their own needs. They may become needy during the divorce process and concerned with things like who will cook their dinner or tuck them in to bed. To help them adjust, allow them pack their favorite toys or books so they know those will be available. You should also reassure the toddler that the other parent will be able to take care of them.

Infancy presents a very unique set of challenges to divorcing parents. But by recognizing the developmental stages for babies and toddlers, you can minimize the stress of parenting time exchanges and custody issues for your infant. If you are a new parent going through a custody battle, Lisa J. Schmidt from Schmidt Law Services in Southfield, Michigan, can help craft a parenting time schedule that works for you and your baby. Contact Schmidt Law Services today for a free consultation.

Is There a Right to Education?

Do Michigan students have a right to education?Do Michigan students have a right to education? Top students’ rights advocates have taken on this important issue, but earlier this month, their efforts hit a road block. Read the full post »

Is It Okay to Say “No Thanks” to Custody?

It is ok for moms and dads to say no thanks to custodyA divorce without kids is all about dividing assets and debts, but as soon as kids get involved, custody inevitably becomes the big issue. So what do you do if you are a parent who doesn’t want custody? Is it okay to say “no thanks”? Read the full post »

Ferndale Schools Close Digital Learning Center over Gun Incident

Gun Incident Closes Ferndale Digital Learning CenterIt may be easy to tune out school violence on the news, but when it happens in your own back yard it can become impossible to ignore. For the Ferndale School District, a recent near miss has sent a clear message. On November 7, 2014, the district announced it would close its Digital Learning Center.

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In Revocation of Paternity Cases, Conception Date is Key

Conception date is key to a biological father's rights under the Revocation of Paternity ActWhat does it matter whether a child was conceived during or after a marriage? Doesn’t the Revocation of Paternity Act erase that difference? A recent Court of Appeals decision says the conception date is the key to determining a biological father’s right to seek paternity. Read the full post »