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Minimizing The Impact Of Divorce On Children

Minimizing The Impact Of Divorce On ChildrenWhile Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen are divorced, they have two children together, Benjamin and Vivian. However, they’re also raising Tom’s 15-year-old son, Jack, from a prior relationship.
Gisele has been a constant in this boy’s life since he was born, as she started dating Brady when Jack’s mother, Bridget Moynahan, was pregnant. We’ve often seen Jack in the luxury box and even on the field during and after games, but that will likely change with the divorce.
Breaking up a family is always tough. Breaking up a blended family is even tougher. Attorney Jeffrey Bloom, who specializes in Family Law, provides insight on the impact this type of breakup has on children and what can be done to lessen the blow.
In this article, you can learn about:

  • What legal rights a step parent is entitled to with their non-biological child.
  • How a non-biological parent can obtain legal rights as a “psychological parent”.
  • Strategies for helping your child cope with a changing family dynamic.


What Rights Does A Non-Biological Step Parent Have To Spend Time With A Child?

Non-biological step parents usually have no rights, unless they have adopted the child. Under New Jersey law, being a step parent does not provide you with any rights, whether related to spending time with a child or otherwise.

Does That Change If The Biological Parent Is Completely Out Of The Child’s Life?

In cases where the biological parent is not in the child’s life, there are certain circumstances that could change a non-biological parent’s rights. A non-biological parent can petition the court to be declared a psychological parent.
If a court grants psychological parent status to a non-biological parent, they would then be entitled to legal rights that being a step-parent does not afford them. This would usually apply to specific situations, such as when the parent and the non-biological parent are both actively involved in the child’s life – they are raising the child together, the child is living under their roof, and the non-biological parent is everything but named as an adopted parent.
In order to be designated as a psychological parent, a non-biological parent must meet established criteria and get a court order. If you believe you should be entitled to rights as a psychological parent, a family lawyer can assist you in obtaining a court order.

What Can Be Done To Help A Child Transition Through A Family Breakup And Cushion The Blow?

Going through a divorce, separation, or other significant family change is stressful for the entire family – parents and children alike. Every child is different, and their response to a difficult situation can vary depending on their age, emotional background, and their perspective of the events.
As a parent, you should approach the situation based on your knowledge of your particular child. Explanations and discussions can be determined by the age of the child, their personality, the acrimony in the breakup, and what exactly is occurring.
However, it is important to reinforce and reiterate that your child is still loved. It is also a good idea to involve psychological or mental health professionals, who can best assist you in creating a strategy to help your child experience a smoother transition during this challenging time.
From a legal standpoint, following New Jersey law, you must always act in the best interest of the child. This applies to every aspect, including financially and emotionally.

Do You Have Any Recommendations For Parents Who Are Planning To Separate Or Divorce To Minimize The Impact On Their Children?

There is a lot to think about when evaluating how a divorce or separation may affect your child. This includes the dynamics of the parents’ relationship with their child, and the age and maturity of the child. It’s also important to keep in mind what the child has seen and experienced in the household concerning the parents and their breakup, such as any fighting or arguments.
It may be best to consider which approaches might be most effective for helping your child, guided by your knowledge of your child and their personality and experiences. This could include strategies such as:

  • Speaking to your child as a couple
  • Speaking to your child individually
  • Involving a mental health professional
  • Notifying a school guidance counselor, nurse, or favorite teacher
  • And more…

It is important to involve a professional who can be there to guide your child when they have questions, when they’re curious or confused, or experiencing other emotions. While you may know your child, you may not know the best strategies to help your child cope with the situation.
A significant change in a family environment can be traumatic for children, and it’s difficult to predict how a child will react. Seeking professional guidance can help ease your child’s transition and minimize the impact of a divorce or separation.
For more information on Minimizing The Impact Of Divorce On Children, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (855) 208-3650 today.

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