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Divorce

Divorce

150 Total Videos
  • Shamsah Amersi, MD, Obstetrician & Gynecologist  | Transcript:A good co-parenting relationship after a divorce is the most important thing you can give your child.  I remind myself every day that my exhusband gave me the greatest gift of my life, which is this child.  He is always going to be my family and the father of this child.  I remind myself that we are one family.  We are at two homes, but one family.   The first thing I would suggest is relinquish control.  Don´t micromanage.   When your child leaves your house, trust that he is going to a parent that loves him as much as you do.  Don´t overreact.  Things aren´t going to be done the way you want them to whether or not you were living in the same house.    When something is not done, make yourself stop from sending that angry text message or that email.  It´s not worth it.   Most of all, just realize it´s not worth it to worry.  My son will call me and say laughingly mommy, I know you are going to have a freak out but it´s not too much blood at daddy´s house.  But I hurt myself.  And you just have to laugh and realize it´s really going to be okay.
    Now Playing
    Obstetrician & Gynecologist

    Shamsah Amersi, MD

    Obstetrician & Gynecologist

    Shamsah Amersi, MD is a preeminent Board Certified physician in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She received her undergraduate degree in psychobiology from UCLA, where she graduated summa cum laude, with Phi Beta Kappa membership. At the prestigious, UC San Francisco medical school, Dr. Amersi graduated with top honors, and was recognized as a distinguished member of alpha omega alpha, an honor society for the top 5% of all medical doctors.

    Dr. Amersi has received numerous professional and academic awards, including the University of California Distinguished Scholar Award for four consecutive years, an endowed merit scholarship, and the UCLA Alumni Association Achievement Award for four consecutive years. Through her private practice in Santa Monica, CA, Dr. Amersi is the personal physician to several Hollywood A-list celebrities. Dr. Amersi has been in private practice as an obstetrician/gynecologist for over ten years. She specializes in natural child birth, offers VBACs to her patients, and focuses on natural conservative treatment options, minimally invasive surgery, and bioidentical hormone replacement. Her favorite part of her job is delivering babies and sharing this intimate journey with her patients. She provides comprehensive compassionate care for all phases of a woman's life from adolescence through menopause.  Her special interest in female sexuality, libido and the effects of childbirth on pelvic prolapse has led to Dr. Amersi's renowned expertise in these fields. She performs both surgical and nonsurgical treatments for pelvic prolapse and vaginal relaxation.

     

    More Parenting Videos from Shamsah Amersi, MD >
  • Shamsah Amersi, MD, Obstetrician & Gynecologist  | Transcript:The divorce has affected our child in a sense that he is thriving and he is very happy. He sees two parents that are extremely well adjusted and that are happy. He doesn’t view our family as being broken, he views it as intact, and one family in two separate homes. His view of the way a family is and the love in a home is very different from other children. He realizes that some homes may have two dads, may have one dad. And the most important thing is that regardless of how family construct is that there is love. 

Sometimes, they feel sad and there are no shortcuts in the sadness. I allow him to feel his pain and his sadness and disappointment, because those are also really important lessons for him. I honor his feelings and support them, but I assure him that this too shall pass.

Sometimes, my child will learn that life doesn’t go according to plan, but you pick up the pieces and you grow from it and you move through it. And with time, everything gets better. 

Most importantly, when my child sees us both attend his functions, and be there as loving participants and focused on his happiness, he also thrives.
    Now Playing
    Obstetrician & Gynecologist

    Shamsah Amersi, MD

    Obstetrician & Gynecologist

    Shamsah Amersi, MD is a preeminent Board Certified physician in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She received her undergraduate degree in psychobiology from UCLA, where she graduated summa cum laude, with Phi Beta Kappa membership. At the prestigious, UC San Francisco medical school, Dr. Amersi graduated with top honors, and was recognized as a distinguished member of alpha omega alpha, an honor society for the top 5% of all medical doctors.

    Dr. Amersi has received numerous professional and academic awards, including the University of California Distinguished Scholar Award for four consecutive years, an endowed merit scholarship, and the UCLA Alumni Association Achievement Award for four consecutive years. Through her private practice in Santa Monica, CA, Dr. Amersi is the personal physician to several Hollywood A-list celebrities. Dr. Amersi has been in private practice as an obstetrician/gynecologist for over ten years. She specializes in natural child birth, offers VBACs to her patients, and focuses on natural conservative treatment options, minimally invasive surgery, and bioidentical hormone replacement. Her favorite part of her job is delivering babies and sharing this intimate journey with her patients. She provides comprehensive compassionate care for all phases of a woman's life from adolescence through menopause.  Her special interest in female sexuality, libido and the effects of childbirth on pelvic prolapse has led to Dr. Amersi's renowned expertise in these fields. She performs both surgical and nonsurgical treatments for pelvic prolapse and vaginal relaxation.

     

    More Parenting Videos from Shamsah Amersi, MD >
  • Chris Fulton, PhD, Clinical Psychologist  | Transcript:You know, when you’re going through a divorce, and you’re trying to help your kids make it through it, you have to try to minimize the other things that happen to them as well. We know as therapists that kids can make it through one big thing, but trying to make it through two or three big things, it’s really difficult. They tend not to be resilient. 

So what you try to do is keep the schools consistent, you try to not move in that first year. And friendships, you keep them going in the same direction. And you make sure that they have an opportunity to talk to you, because parents often feel like, “Hey, if I bring this up, I’m just going to upset my child.” But no, you actually give them a chance to express things, like, “Hey, I feel like this is my fault.” And you wouldn’t know that if you didn’t talk to them. 

You’ve got to reassure them, by the way, lots of times that, “Hey, this has nothing to do with you. We’re not divorcing you. You’re going to have both your mom and your dad.”
    Now Playing
    Clinical Psychologist

    Chris Fulton, PhD

    Clinical Psychologist

    Dr. Christopher Fulton is a licensed clinical psychologist and has been in private practice for over ten years. He received his doctorate in 1994 from the California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles. Dr. Fulton has clinical training and experience in a variety of settings, and also has administrative, teaching, supervision, consulting, research and psychological testing experience. Dr. Fulton provides consultation and ongoing therapy for children, adolescents and adults. He conducts group, individual, couples and family therapy and actively works with a variety of childhood disorders, including: adjustment disorder, ADHD, anxiety, depression, oppositional defiant and other emotional-behavioral disorders. Among his most frequent areas of concentration is divorce, for which Dr. Fulton offers therapy for all involved.

    Utilizing research-supported methods in treatment, Dr. Fulton's approach to therapy involves a combination of cognitive-behavioral, family systems and interpersonal interventions. In his work with children, Dr. Fulton involves parents and assists them in developing appropriate responses to their children, since he believes that ultimately the parent will make the most significant impact on the child. Dr. Fulton helps parents establish appropriate boundaries, communication and methods of discipline in order to increase positive relationships with their children.

    More Parenting Videos from Chris Fulton, PhD >
  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Dating can be one of those semi-tricky areas.

I'll tell you one study that is of interest, which is one poor prognostic indicator of how children did post divorce, is when a parent remarried within the first year after the divorce.  There is some indication that waiting awhile is helpful for them.

When you start dating, I recommend dating on the days that you don't have your children.  If they are at mom's house or dad's house, that's the time for you to date.  We don't want to introduce our children to dates because we don't want them to get attached to another figure in their life that may not be there for them.  When parents feel pretty certain that this is the person that they want to be with, we then can recommend some mild introductions.

We ask parents, no demonstrations of affection.  Just introduce them to the child and help the child get used to be with that particular person.  It is also important to note that the child may not feel that they are being loyal to the other parent.  They may not like that person, they may go home and report to the other parent, so it's important to let the other parent know when you are going to be introducing them to that child.  You'd like the cooperation with that.  That's the start of it.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:How do you know when it's worth getting a divorce. Worth here is a subjective term. Worth getting a divorce. Financially speaking is probably never worth getting a divorce. But emotionally speaking, and that's going to stay with your longer, it probably is worth getting a divorce if you have tried to fix the marriage, fixed the relationship, and not been able to. If you've exhausted your possibilities of working it out, then it is worth it to your partner and to your kids to try to get into a happier situation, which will probably  not happen immediately. It will get worse before it gets better. But then it will be worth that turnaround in the relationship and within the family, emotional stability and adaptiveness of your kids.
    Now Playing
    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Aaliyah Noble, Single Mom  | Transcript:My tips for co-parenting with a long distance parent is establishing a really strong form of communication from the very beginning.

You have to set up plans for when the child is going to travel, who is going to be there, how long are they going to be there, how much it is going to cost, and are they going to keep the child on the same sleep schedule.

The next thing that is important to do to keep the lines of communication open between the child and the other parent is to make sure that you are setting up things such as, Skype.  A normal, consistent Skype call, so that the child has time with the other parent to see them face to face.

Another thing, especially if the child is younger, is letter writing since that is something they are already doing in school and you can never have enough practice writing.  It is always good to have the child write weekly letters to their other parent and have the other parent respond.  It's just a really good way to keep them close and for the child to have something tangible from the other parent.
    Now Playing
    Single Mom

    Aaliyah Noble

    Single Mom

    Aaliyah Noble is the single mother of a six year-old son. Despite having her son when she was just a teenager, Aaliyah has had a successful career in the non-profit sector, helping to educate and empower teen parents, and also in production, spearheading a company that produces documentaries and short films. 

    More Parenting Videos from Aaliyah Noble >
  • Dan Pearce, Blogger & Single Dad  | Transcript:Explaining divorce to a young child is tricky.  Adults tend to think more abstractly, where kids tend to think more in black and white.  And adults tend to kind of overanalyze things.  What´s important when you are explaining divorce to a child is that they understand three things.  One, that they are going to be okay.  Two, that mom and dad are going to be okay.  And three, they need to know whose fault it is.  So obviously it is never the kid´s fault.  That´s probably the number one rule of explaining divorce to your kids.  They also need to know that they are going to be okay, that mom and dad are going to tuck them in at night, that no matter whose house they are at their basic needs are going to be met and they will still have all of the support that children need.  And three, they need to know that as a result of this divorice, mom and dad are going to be okay.  They are both going to be happier.  They are both going to be more healthy and they are both going to have better lives and ultimately be better parents because of the divorce.  If parents can remember to address these three things and keep it fairly simple, explaining divorce to children will be a much simpler process.
    Now Playing
    Blogger & Single Dad

    Dan Pearce

    Blogger & Single Dad

    Dan Pearce is the divorced father of four year old Noah, who came to him through adoption. Dan is also the author of The Real Dad Rules and Single Dad Laughing: The Complete Second Year, and his blog, Single Dad Laughing. When he started Single Dad Laughing in the summer of 2010, his then-wife had left his life almost as quickly as she’d come into it, and he was feeling about as valuable as a dollar-store sweater (and unraveling just as quickly). He started the blog because writing has always had the power to heal him in his darkest of moments. His goal is to spread worthwhile ways of looking at things. Before becoming a writer, Dan worked in retail, in the corporate world, and as an animal artist.

    More Parenting Videos from Dan Pearce >
  • Armin Brott, Dad, Author & Radio Host  | Transcript:When a couple is getting a divorce or breaking up a big relationship, and there are kids involved, you'll hear the words, joint custody.

Joint custody, you hear that and you think it should be 50/50; it isn't.  You should be aware that, as you are going through this process, that you get some terminology down.  Joint custody means that, yes, both parents have to sign the report card; and both parents have to be involved in making medical decisions for the kids; but it does not mean anything near 50/50 physical custody.

What I suggest for the dads that are going through this process, is that you do everything you possibly can to ensure that you have 50 percent custody.  A lot of people say,
    Now Playing
    Dad, Author & Radio Host

    Armin Brott

    Dad, Author & Radio Host

    A former Marine, Armin Brott has devoted the last 15 years to providing men with the tools, support, and knowledge to help them become the fathers they want to be—and their families need them to be. His seven critically acclaimed books for fathers have sold well over a million copies. Titles include The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-Be and The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year. He has written on fatherhood for hundreds of newspapers and magazines and is a frequent guest on such television programs as the Today Show. He also writes a nationally syndicated newspaper column (Ask Mr. Dad), and hosts a syndicated radio show (Positive Parenting). He lives with his family in Oakland, California.

    More Parenting Videos from Armin Brott >
  • Dan Pearce, Blogger & Single Dad  | Transcript:I think that every parent needs to come up with their own set of parenting rules.  I think they need to make these rules and set them in place while life is good.

It's so easy to be a healthy parent and do everything right as a parent when life is good, but life also has a way of throwing you against the rocks as a parent.  Every parent will experience it.  If you have a set of rules in place,
    Now Playing
    Blogger & Single Dad

    Dan Pearce

    Blogger & Single Dad

    Dan Pearce is the divorced father of four year old Noah, who came to him through adoption. Dan is also the author of The Real Dad Rules and Single Dad Laughing: The Complete Second Year, and his blog, Single Dad Laughing. When he started Single Dad Laughing in the summer of 2010, his then-wife had left his life almost as quickly as she’d come into it, and he was feeling about as valuable as a dollar-store sweater (and unraveling just as quickly). He started the blog because writing has always had the power to heal him in his darkest of moments. His goal is to spread worthwhile ways of looking at things. Before becoming a writer, Dan worked in retail, in the corporate world, and as an animal artist.

    More Parenting Videos from Dan Pearce >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:Is there such a thing as a good divorce? I mean, by its nature, divorce is a miserable thing. That being said, I believe that in this day and age, the third generation, if you will, of divorce, not our parents' divorce, not our grandparents' divorce, which was completely taboo.  Our parents's divorce which was the Kramer vs. Kramer days where there was ugliness where people wouldn't go to people's birthday parties and not going to step. We can do this better. We've seen it before. We lived it before. We have help from outside sources, not only mental healthcare professionals but collaborative lawyers, mediators, settlement judges. If you have the level of respect for your partner, which you must have had at some point to get into the relationship and if you care about your children and changing the way that your family unit works but wanted to work going forward then I think there is such a thing as a good divorce. You sit down. You discuss what your goals are. You get someone to help. You don't necessarily lawyer up right away. You maybe find one person, a mediator who can explain the laws to you then you can fit your circumstances into those laws. If you can be considerate and compassionate, know that the other person is as scared as you are about whatever their big ticket items are, whether it's finances or your children or the future or whatever it is, the house. Think about those things. Use them as your strengths rather than as your strategies then you could have a good divorce. You will save money. You will save hurt feelings and you can hopefully move on to the next step in this relationship with this person who again, if you have children, is always going to be very important to you.
    Now Playing
    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Children both young and old actually will still have fantasies of their parents reunited and coming back together as a family.  What you can do as a parent is be consistent with your message.  Let them know I know you don´t like this, I know you don´t agree with this but this is the decision that´s been made.   Anticipate having to say that over and over and over.  Be consistent with your message.  Keep saying the same thing like a broken record.  I know you don´t like this but this is the decision that´s been made.  Listen and talk with your children.  Let them know I want to talk about how our lives are changing.  How are you feeling?  Let´s talk about it.  It let´s them that know you care about their feelings and that although divorce is happening and it´s not going to back, that you care about how they feel.  Children need to know that no matter what they are loved and safe.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Dealing with vacations and holidays is something that needs to be discussed as soon as possible, particularly when it comes to vacations. 

Typically, holidays are predetermined in the divorce stipulation or the divorce agreement. With the holidays like Thanksgiving, those tend to be every other holiday – one with mom, one with dad. 

For things like Christmas, that’s such a special time for families that both parents want a share in it. So what’s typically done is one parent will have Christmas Eve and Christmas morning and the other parent will have Christmas Day. And again, that will alternate the next year. 

Parental birthdays, actually the child gets to be with you on your birthday and when it comes to the child’s birthday, that has to do with your level of conflict and whether you can cooperatively co-parent and come together for the sake of your child, which is best, or whether you’re going to need to do two birthday celebrations. The date doesn’t actually matter when it comes to that. 

As far as ancillary holidays, such as 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, those tend to be dictated by whoever’s custodial weekend it is – they’ll just extend that. And the pick up and drop off time would be after school like a normal custody arrangement.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:If your ex is in a relationship, you need to address it with your child right away.  

Don't wait for the child to ask questions, just assume that they are going to have questions and want to know what's going on.  If you are the one who broaches the subject with your child, then that let's them know that this is an okay topic to talk about.

You want to ask them,
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Armin Brott, Dad, Author & Radio Host  | Transcript:One of the most common I get from divorced dads, from single dads is when can I start introducing the women in my life to my kids.  And my standard answer is generally wait a long, long time.  Much longer than you think.  And the reason for that is that kids are going to be forming relationships with the person that you are forming relationships with.  They are going to want to love the person that you love.  And they are not going to know that you may not love her quite yet.  So if you have got a revolving door and people are coming in and out of their lives all the time, it is going to be very, very confusing that they are going to form relationships, she is going to be gone.  And they are not going to know what happened.  I had this kind of situation in my own life when I was a single dad and I went out with a woman for a couple of years.  It was already a serious relationship, and then we ended it.  And my kids a few years after that told me how angry they were with me for not having consulted them.  Of course, you don´t have to consult your kids and have them have a vote on whether you extend or don´t extend a relationship.  But the point of the whole thing is that they need to know what is going on.  And if you do end a relationship after they have met somebody and have formed a relationship with her, it is like a divorce.  They need to sit down perhaps with both of you if that is possible and explain what is going on and explain this idea that it is not their fault, that it is the grown up are having difficult dealing with each other.  So the bottom line of it is wait as long as you possibly can until you realize that it is truly a serious relationship and if you do have to end the relationship, do let the kids know what is going on.
    Now Playing
    Dad, Author & Radio Host

    Armin Brott

    Dad, Author & Radio Host

    A former Marine, Armin Brott has devoted the last 15 years to providing men with the tools, support, and knowledge to help them become the fathers they want to be—and their families need them to be. His seven critically acclaimed books for fathers have sold well over a million copies. Titles include The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-Be and The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year. He has written on fatherhood for hundreds of newspapers and magazines and is a frequent guest on such television programs as the Today Show. He also writes a nationally syndicated newspaper column (Ask Mr. Dad), and hosts a syndicated radio show (Positive Parenting). He lives with his family in Oakland, California.

    More Parenting Videos from Armin Brott >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:My advice to make your divorce easier on your children is be nice, be considerate. Tap in to whatever it was that had you with that person, in the first place, deciding to have kids; whether it was a moment in a bar, a sunset, or years of IVF that you went through together. The fact that you guys have children means that, at some point, you loved each other. If you can back to that point, think of your beautiful children, and know that in today's society, families looked very different than they did when we were growing up. You have multicultural, multiethnic, and multigender. You've got stepparents. You've got single-parents. You've got grandparents that really does take a village to race children these days. Anybody that we can bring in to help with making our children  well-adjusted to the transition that's going to take place in our family, and to also really be dignified and civil to the person who's going to be your ex. You're going to know them for the rest of your life. You're not divorcing your children. You're divorcing them. But they're going to have to be a co-parent, a commiserator, a baby-sitter, a united front with you. You better figure out a way to make a relationship work with them. That will benefit your kids.
    Now Playing
    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:I think one of the things you really need to do when you’re raising these concerns is examine whether they are genuine concerns or whether it’s some kind of a retaliation or maybe even just something that’s been magnified, because you know your ex-spouse. 

If what we’re talking about is recreational drug use, something that maybe you did together and you know that he or she still does, it’s probably not something that’s occurring when the children are with him or her. 

That being said – if this is something that really concerns you, most likely it will manifest itself in some way, hopefully not when the children are with your ex. Either a drunk driving arrest, some kind of rehabilitation, some kind of crying for help, whether it’s at work or at home, other family members you might want to get involved and have kind of a semi intervention. Depending on the age of your children, they may at some point come to you and say, “Look, we’re really concerned, because when we’re over at dad’s, we can’t wake him up when he’s sleeping, or he talks funny.” These are the kind of things to kind of look out for and again, very importantly, try to think of any other remedies that you can before bringing it to court. Because then you’re going to be dealing with escort sheriff policy. 

So if you need to say, “I’d really feel more comfortable if when the kids are with you, we send the nanny, we send your mother, we send even a monitor that I paid for, just to be there to make sure that everything’s okay,” your ex may say, may intuitively know that you’re serious about this and you’re trying to take the path of least resistance and may agree. 

If you’re met with just complete “I don’t want to hear about it” denial, you may have to take the next steps. And that would be really sad. I would always caution to wait, not only because of the emotional problems that you will experience with your ex for making these accusations, but the time and money that you will spend going through this court battle and there is a risk that you don’t win. Now you’ve burnt a bridge and you’ve also spent a lot of money and not effectuated your goal at all.
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    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:If you have a spouse or ex-spouse who has substance abuse issues and those concern you, that’s definitely something to discuss. 

Before you get to a point where you’re compiling evidence to show to a court, I would speak to your partner or your ex about the substance abuse problems or concerns that you have. It might be a good idea to have that conversation with someone else in the room, perhaps a mental health professional. If you guys weren’t able to work your marriage out, you should be able to figure out a way to work out your divorce or your separation. And if it’s a substance abuse issue and your concerns are for the safety of your kid that should be something that he or she is willing to listen to. 

Before you start compiling evidence to present to a court, I would address it with the individual that you think is having a problem, keeping in mind that most courts want children to have relationships with both of their parents. Even if the parent has a substance abuse problem, courts are probably not going to take custody away completely. They will put protective measures in place – a monitor, supervised custody, somebody that makes sure that the parent is never driving in a car with children or isn’t in impaired state with the children. But that relationship with the parent is more important than – as long as there is the safety protective measures in place – than taking it away. 

So if you are thinking about doing something regarding substance abuse and you’re doing it for reasons that are other than you’re genuine concern for the well-being and safety of your children, weigh that against what it’s going to do to your children if you take away their relationship with their father or mother. Know that courts usually are not inclined to take that relationship away as if there is a way that you can figure out some way around this problem or what you perceive to be a problem.
    Now Playing
    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Dan Pearce, Blogger & Single Dad  | Transcript:Single dads have needs just like all human beings.  

They have the need to be close to other people.  They have a need for companionship.  So many times for single dads, the whole dating experience gets pushed to the side.  Some dads are okay with that and some dads need to get out there and make that be a part of their life because that is what's going to make them more healthy of a parent.

The important thing is they make it a healthy experience with their kids.  They teach their kids the proper way to court women.  They teach their kids the proper way to have relationships when you are in the situation you are in.

Overall, dating can be a healthy experience, even as a single parent, as long as he does it correctly.
    Now Playing
    Blogger & Single Dad

    Dan Pearce

    Blogger & Single Dad

    Dan Pearce is the divorced father of four year old Noah, who came to him through adoption. Dan is also the author of The Real Dad Rules and Single Dad Laughing: The Complete Second Year, and his blog, Single Dad Laughing. When he started Single Dad Laughing in the summer of 2010, his then-wife had left his life almost as quickly as she’d come into it, and he was feeling about as valuable as a dollar-store sweater (and unraveling just as quickly). He started the blog because writing has always had the power to heal him in his darkest of moments. His goal is to spread worthwhile ways of looking at things. Before becoming a writer, Dan worked in retail, in the corporate world, and as an animal artist.

    More Parenting Videos from Dan Pearce >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:In most states, after date of separation and certainly after date of filing, that debt would be separate property debt.  But that debt is between the two of you.  As between MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, they may well come to you and say,
    Now Playing
    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:In terms of child custody, status quo, again, really, really is the norm. If you have been the only parent that this 6-year-old has known for the entirety of his or her life, it is very unlikely that the court is going to give a half-time custody to dad. That being said, courts very much want kids to have relationships with both parents. 

So while joint custody generally means fifty-fifty, it doesn’t to the court. What it means to the court there are two parents who are actually exercising custodial time with the child, no matter what the percentages are. 

So if dad now, 6 years later, wants to be a part of the picture, the court will probably implement some way to make him a part of the picture in a reasonable manner that gives your child a chance to get to know his father, start exercising time with him, maybe during the day, maybe a couple days a week for visits and implement him into your child’s life to a point where it’s eventually appropriate for this child to be spending more time. 

If it’s an issue for you to get to that fifty-fifty, then you really need to tell the co-parent, “We need to take it slow, I don’t know if this is going to work.” By the time you work up to that kind of custody scheme, your kid may be 12 and really wanting to spend more time with his dad. And that could be something that at 12 would be very acceptable to you, especially if it’s a girl and they’re like 13.
    Now Playing
    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:I often get asked when can somebody introduce their partner to their child, and the rule of thumb is not until it is a committed relationship. And a committed relationship means that you've been with the same person for at least three, optiminally six, months. This way the child doesn't get attached to someone then have to experience another loss. When you're going to introduce the child, you don't want it to be a surprise, so you want to give them as much advanced notice as you can. You can say something like,
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:In determining custody arrangements, the first thing you need to consider is the level of conflict and whether you're going to be able to cooperatively co-parent with your ex-spouse. And, cooperative doesn't mean you have to like your ex-spouse, but it means that you have to be able to communicate effectively about things that involve your child in their day-to-day activities. There are four factors to consider when it comes to custody arrangements. The first one is the age of the child. The second one is the attachment to the parent. The third is the competence in parenting. And, the fourth is the availability of the parent. Younger children need more frequent contact with each parent while older children need more blocks of time and can tolerate longer periods of time going back and forth between home. When it comes to toddlers, toddlers are considered special cases based on their developmental needs. Attachment is the first three years of life, so there tends to be a primary caregiver, where the other parent will get hours of time or blocks of time, four or five hours. Depends on the child's nap schedule, feeding schedule, you know, sleep and wake cycles and activities that they do. Overnights won't typically start until a child is verbal, which is about three years old, then they can tolerate one overnight a couple of times a week. When a child is school-age, which is considered 5-11, then they extend that time to three to four overnights. You can expect at that time, though, for there to be a little bit of separation anxiety, and the way you can address it is just to have what's called a transitional object where the child brings familiar things back and forth to each home. When a child gets to be a teenager, they tend to have more say in where they want to be because friendships, peer relationships, tend to be more paramount so they may want to spend the majority of time, say the school week, with the parent that lives closest to the school or where their friends are.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Gioconda Aviles, Mom & Court Reporter   | Transcript:The way to make the transition between marriage and divorce more comfortable for the kids is to have a schedule and to stick to the schedule. And if it’s one week on, one week off, so they know what to expect. But also not to make the time between seeing each parent too long. My ex-husband and I, whoever had the kids that week, the opposite parent would take them to dinner on Wednesday, or Thursday. So it breaks up the week and they don’t go too long without seeing you. 

And having accessibility by phone, by email and so they know that it’s okay to contact the other parent, even though they’re on the other parent’s time.
    Now Playing
    Mom & Court Reporter

    Gioconda Aviles

    Mom & Court Reporter

    Gioconda Aviles, 45, is a mother of six: Four boys, ages 23, 21,19, and 17 from her first marriage, and twin girls, ages 2 ½, from her second. She had her first child at 22 and her last two at 42. She is a Certified Court Interpreter who has operated her own interpreting agency for the last 24 years. She loves being a mom - it is the best and most challenging thing she has ever done.

    Gioconda enjoy cooking, Pilates, dancing, hiking, making new friends and having new experiences.

    More Parenting Videos from Gioconda Aviles >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:If your partner is difficult and refuses to talk to you, it’s probably going to be difficult to save your marriage. If you need to figure out a way to deal with the new family unit that you’re going to be having, I recommend very strongly getting in front of some kind of health professional. If your spouse knows that you’re not going there for the purpose of rehashing and discussing all the terrible things that he did to you during your relationship, but instead going to talk about how we’re going to raise our kids and how we’re going to work out these things and it will save us money, because we won’t have to have two dueling attorneys, he or she may be more willing to enter that room with you.

 Having a third, unbiased party there, I find, is very helpful. If there’s been a breakdown in the relationship, often there is some hurt feelings and resentment. If you can have a third party there to be kind of a voice of reason, rather than hearing, “You’re being unreasonable,” or, “This position doesn’t really work and it won’t work for a court from you,” hearing it from a third, unbiased party who also may call you out on some stuff sometimes, I think is extremely helpful. 

So I always recommend that people figure out somebody to talk to that can be unbiased and really give their opinion and help through some of these difficult situations.
    Now Playing
    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Aaliyah Noble, Single Mom  | Transcript:As a single parent, dating can be wonderful and scary thing.  It's always hard to bring someone new to meet your child because you want to make sure that that person is worthy of meeting your child.

The first step in dating is to take time and really become friends with that person that you are thinking of dating before you decide to introduce them to your kids and to make that step.  If you are a single parent, then there is an assumption that there was this other person that is part of the kids life that is no longer there.  You don't want to bring someone too soon and have the child become connected to a person that might not be there very long.  Then you will have to transition your kid again.  It's just really good to get to know the person.  Make sure they are an outstanding person and worthy to be around your kid.

Another piece of advice I would give to other single parents that are thinking about dating is to consider other single parents.  It's a lot easier to date someone that has their own child or children.  It's much easier to date someone with children than someone who doesn't have children.
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    Single Mom

    Aaliyah Noble

    Single Mom

    Aaliyah Noble is the single mother of a six year-old son. Despite having her son when she was just a teenager, Aaliyah has had a successful career in the non-profit sector, helping to educate and empower teen parents, and also in production, spearheading a company that produces documentaries and short films. 

    More Parenting Videos from Aaliyah Noble >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:Health insurance for kids is one of the most important things that we look at.  It will always stay in effect for both of the parents.  If health insurance is available to the children through your employer, they stay on your policy.  If it is on your spouse´s, they can also stay on his policy as well.  If they are on neither, then one parent will be responsible for keeping the kids on a policy and that will be one component of his or her child support for those kids.  If you have resistance to paying health insurance for your kids, think about the fact that if God forbid something happen to one of your kids and you did not have health insurance, you would have to pay for that and it would be much more costly.  So health insurance is one of the things that we put in place right away and we keep it there.
    Now Playing
    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Parents need to know that divorce always affects children because of the disruption in their life. Some children may fare better than others – others may not. Parents can expect a full range of emotions from spitefulness, uncooperativeness, feelings of depression, being withdrawn or combination of all the above. 

There are two factors that affect the positive adjustment of a child when it comes to a divorce – number one is that the child has adequate time with each parent, and number two – is a level of cooperation and co-parenting between the exes. 

What a parent can do is be aware of your child’s emotions. When a child is having a feeling, use this as an opportunity for teaching; give them an emotional vocabulary, help label what they’re feeling, let them know that it’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to be angry – it’s okay to feel all these things. Help them to come up with ways to problem solve, help them with their communication skills. The more effectively a child is able to articulate what they’re thinking and what they’re feeling, the better able they are to get through this divorce.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:One of the most powerful tools that I have in working with parents is working with their children and letting them know what their children are really thinking and really feeling.  Some of the most common things that children tell me are keep me out of the middle, don´t get me involved, stop telling me one thing about the other parent.  They wish that parents could just get along and not involve them.  Another thing that affects children a lot is parents´anger towards the other.  If they are hearing the other parent being badmouthed, what they say to me is how can they hate my dad or how can they hate my mom.  They are half of me and hating them is hating half of me.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:After the divorced is finalized, you really want to know that the divorce is final. That being said, provisions regarding custody and support, particularly child support, are always modifiable. So there is never anything locked in stone that regards your children. If something has changed and the best interest of your kids are going to be met by having a custodial plan, that can be revised. Same with money; somebody's making more money, somebody's making less money. Children should live a lifestyle that's commensurate with their wealthiest parent and therefore that can be modified too based on what the earning parent or spouse is making. In the event that there's something in the divorce judgment that isn't right because an asset was valued incorrectly, that could actually set aside the entire judgment. We want to avoid that happening but keep a certain amount of liquidity, if you will, regarding the custody and the child support provisions.
    Now Playing
    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:I think a lot of people have a fear about the finances of a divorce. Most states take into consideration that one party will be the earning spouse and one party isn’t, or that there is a disparity in income. Most states want there be parity or an equal playing field, so when you say, “I don’t have any money to afford an attorney,” your ex will be paying for all or some of your attorney’s fees in order that both of you have a voice with the courts and have an opportunity to be well represented in whatever your financial and custodial settlement is.
    Now Playing
    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Special events can often be a challenge for parents. One of the things that I constantly tell parents is,
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:When it comes to different religious and cultural views, this typically will have been discussed beforehand, or it also may have been a source of conflict before the marriage ended. What we need to realize is that studies show that 96% of adults actually believe in a God. Children are going to hear about religion no matter what. What's most important is that they hear it from you. And the way that they hear it is going to affect them the most. Depending on your level of conflict is going to depend on whether you continue what you initially agreed on or not. If there's a high level of conflict, unfortunately there's no enforceability with the other parent as to how they raise the child. What you can do to positively affect your child is to teach your them about diversity, to teach them that difference is okay and to understand that your child is half of you and half of the other parent. So they share these two religions. And acceptance of both is going to help them fare the best.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Michelle Mahendra, Mom & Herbalist  | Transcript:If my ex is dating someone I feel uncomfortable having around my child, I would personally explore why I'm feeling uncomfortable. If it's because my ex-husband is dating someone new, I would definitely try to suppress that feeling of being uncomfortable, but if it's something that's affecting the relationship with my child, I would want to see what that is about. If the person has a character flaw that I'm uncomfortable with, I would probably talk to my ex first. And if it was something that was a major problem and was going to be in the future, to lead to future issues between my ex-husband and myself, or my ex-husband and my daughter, then I would want to speak with him and make sure that everything was clear, that maybe his new girlfriend and I could spend time together with our daughter and see if maybe the time spent together would actually mend the relationship. But, if there was something major going on, if I suspected she was a pedophile and I spoke to my ex-husband about it, for example, and he did nothing about it, at that point I would probably approach a lawyer. I would not give her over for weekend visits. I would make sure that there was some sort of court process going on before I felt comfortable enough to send her back to him again so that she was protected, and Michael is always to keep her emotionally and physically protect as a mother and I won't compromise.
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    Mom & Herbalist

    Michelle Mahendra

    Mom & Herbalist

    Michelle Mahendra is an Herbalist and the Marketing Director of a new tea import company. The divorced mother of a four year old girl, Michelle graduated from the Tai Sophia Institute in Laurel, Maryland with a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine – the highest level of education available in the United States in this specialty.

    More Parenting Videos from Michelle Mahendra >
  • Tristan Coppersmith, Stepmom & Expectant Mom  | Transcript:There are so many challenges and so many rewards that come from having the step-mom role.

I think the biggest challenge, for me at first, was accepting that I wasn't a mom; I was a step-mom.  Therefore, I didn't need to become the perfect step-mom.  There was a lot of learning curves with that and I had to be kind to myself.  Instead, I had to figure out, I'm just going to be perfect enough for me as a step-mom.

Another challenge is those amazing first experiences with my husband.  He's been married before.  He's had kids before.  We had to get creative in creating new firsts for us. 

It's also been challenging staying connected with my friends, people who aren't moms, let alone step-moms.  So that we can understand each other, even though we are in different places in our lives.

The rewards outweigh all of those.  It is so much fun being a step-mom.  I get to give so much love to kids without having the pain of birth.  They also confide in me more than they confide in anybody else because they know I'm not going to judge them.  My advice is not loaded.  They can come to me for any positive, helpful advice.

More than anything, they crack me up every single day.  I'm always laughing and learning from them every single day.
    Now Playing
    Stepmom & Expectant Mom

    Tristan Coppersmith

    Stepmom & Expectant Mom

    Tristan is a stepmom of two and a mom of one-on-the-way. By day she is a Love Stylist, helping single women navigate the challenges of dating. She is the author of Menu Dating and the soon to be released, Getting Out of Love's Way. By night she is a psychology grad student at Pepperdine. What she really lives for, though, is lazy strolls on the beach, eavesdropping at local coffee shops, shopping for vintage dresses and of course, snuggle time with the family. 

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  • Tristan Coppersmith, Stepmom & Expectant Mom  | Transcript:Transitioning between households can be really tough, not only for the parents, but for the kids, too.

It's unnatural to be expected to adapt so quickly from one day to the other.  It's probably important to keep in mind that they probably need between 24-48 hours to reacclimate.  

For us, what we do, is post rules and values in our home, so they can easily reference them when they come back.  They can know, what is okay at mom's house is okay at dad's house, or vice versa.  We also have them go to their room and acclimate.  It's sort of like pushing a re-set button when they get home.
    Now Playing
    Stepmom & Expectant Mom

    Tristan Coppersmith

    Stepmom & Expectant Mom

    Tristan is a stepmom of two and a mom of one-on-the-way. By day she is a Love Stylist, helping single women navigate the challenges of dating. She is the author of Menu Dating and the soon to be released, Getting Out of Love's Way. By night she is a psychology grad student at Pepperdine. What she really lives for, though, is lazy strolls on the beach, eavesdropping at local coffee shops, shopping for vintage dresses and of course, snuggle time with the family. 

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  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Divorce is stressful on children.  What determines whether it become detrimental stress or not are several factors.

The primary and most important factor, is the quality of the parents relationship with each other.  Therefore, if there is continued fighting and hostility, it increases the amount of stress in the child's life and increases the likelihood of a poor adjustment to the divorce.

We also know that having regular and consistent access to both parents, regular and consistent custody plans, help the child feel less stressful.  Certainly, a parental attitude towards the other parent of forgiveness, acceptance, and wanting that child to have a relationship with that other parent is critical in reducing stress in children.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

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  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:There is definitely  a healing process to divorce.

Generally, when parents get divorced, there is a higher level of conflict.  They haven't worked out custody.  They haven't worked out finances.  That goes on for a while.  There is some light at the end of the tunnel, which is generally, about one to one and half years post the working out of all those details.  In most divorces, there is a lessening in anger, a lessening in resentment, and some healing takes place.

What I say to parents, when they are in the middle of it,
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Loyalty issues are very common. What we ask parents to do is looking inside and see if you are doing anything to create the child feeling like they are being unloyal to you by having a relationship with the other parent, by telling you that they enjoyed the time with the other parent, by even saying to you on a weekend that they would rather spend that time with the other parent. So we want to enhance communication, allow the communication to take place. Don't take it personally even though sometimes it feels like that. Do a careful self assessment with regard to,
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:There are instances where because one parent is using drugs or alcohol, the child is not safe being with that other parent.  There are some ways to try and explain that to a child.

Number one, you can sit down with the child and say,
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:It’s not unusual that occasionally a child doesn’t want to visit the other parent. 

There’s several things that we should look at – one is the age of the child. Young children often have difficulty with separation; teenagers oftentimes don’t want to leave one home to go to another home. 

We also want to look at – and ask each parent to look inside – and say, “Am I doing anything that’s making it difficult for this transition to happen? Am I being too loving at the moment that the transition is to take place? Am I not encouraging this? Have I said anything about the other parent that would make the child hesitant to want to go over there?” 

If none of those things happened, then we want to encourage the child to speak directly to the parent that they’re having trouble going to their home. And we’d like the child to sit down and say, “Mommy or daddy, I have a hard time coming over here. And here’s the reasons.” We’d like the parent to know number one – listen, create an environment that the child feels heard and then together, they could come up with some solutions that might make the transition smoother and easier for the child.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Charlotte Reznick, PhD, Psychologist & Author  | Transcript:Divorce is a fact of life. It’s not going away. Most kids would rather their parents stay together but that's not always possible. What I suggest is for you both to always remember how much you love your child, how you really want to put their best interest forward. So, you don’t want to involve them in your anger, in your squabbles. You want to protect them from that because it’s not fair to put the child in the middle. I have so many kids that felt they’ve been torn apart and that's not really what you want to do for your child so what I suggest if you possibly can is don’t speak badly about the other parent, don’t fight with the other parent in front of the child and really encourage a good relationship with the other parent and take your own upsetness or anger and take that to your friends, to your therapist. Get your own help but it’s best for the child not to involve him. What’s really important to remember is your kids want to know concrete information. They're going to worry where they're going to live, who they're going to live with, when they're going to see the other parent, how will it affect their school. So, you want to give them clear information and let them know how their lives will be affected. If you don’t know all the answers, that's okay. Just let them know that both parents will work on it and work at that so it’ll be okay for them.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist & Author

    Charlotte Reznick, PhD

    Psychologist & Author

    Charlotte Reznick, PhD, is a child educational psychologist, an Associate Clinical Professor Emeritus of Psychology at UCLA, and author of the Los Angeles Times bestselling book, The Power of Your Child's Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success. Dr. Reznick is also creator of Imagery For Kids: Breakthrough for Learning, Creativity and Empowerment, a mindful, positive coping skills program, and writer/producer of several therapeutic relaxation CDs for children, teens and parents. In addition to her private practice, she is a frequent media consultant, and teaches workshops internationally on the healing power of children's imagination.

    More Parenting Videos from Charlotte Reznick, PhD >
  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:There are many predictors of how children do post-divorce and post-separation. Parents who have continued arguing, hostility, and anger towards one another is a predictor of poor outcome on the part of the children. So it's terribly important that the children are protected from that anger. We usually tell parents, if you're angry, have a private call with that parent, but don't do it front of the child. Conversely, what we do want is for the parent to model an attitude of acceptance, not put the child in the middle in any situations, and allow the child to have a positive and healthy relationship with both parents.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Elsa Chahin, Mom and Infant & Toddler Consultant  | Transcript:My advice for divorced or step families is basically to consider the child first. Most important thing is to consider is the child. When my husband and I got married, he had a 5-year-old daughter at the time, now she’s 9, and my son was 8 at the time, now he’s 12. After the wedding ceremony, the little girl came up to me and hugged me and said, “Mommy.” And I said to her, in a very loving way, I said, “Sweetheart, let’s come up with another special name for me. You have a mommy. We never want to hurt your mommy’s feelings and I never want you to think you have anything else but your own, real mommy to love. I am here to love you in very different ways. I will be your best friend. But you only have one mommy and we need to respect her.” 

This has led to a wonderful relationship with myself and my husband’s ex-wife. One day she was standing across a room with her and a little girl that was one of my dancers, pointed to her and said, “Is that your sister?” And I said to her, “No, she’s my step daughter.” “No, she’s your sister.” I said, “No, honey, she’s my step daughter.” “No, not the little one. The mother. She’s your sister. Think about it. You share her.” 

And in that moment I had a realization and such a compassion and empathy for this mother that could not be with her child 100% of time. She had to share her with me. So I had a conversation with her and I told her, “I want you to know that I will always respect your parenting styles. I will always be your daughter’s friend, but you will always be the mom and I want you to feel safe with that.”
    Now Playing
    Mom and Infant & Toddler Consultant

    Elsa Chahin

    Mom and Infant & Toddler Consultant

    Elsa Chahin was born in Mexico City and grew up in both the United States and Mexico, feeling at home with both cultures. She is a RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) Associate, and PITC (Program for Infant Toddler Care) Trainer, working with professionals and parents of babies zero to three. She is a UCLA Certified Lactation Educator; as a Certified Interpreter-Translator, she collaborated in the translation into Spanish of Magda Gerber’s book Your Self Confident Baby and translated and narrated Magda Gerber’s videos “See How They Move“ and “Seeing Infant With New Eyes”, and the audio guide for caregivers.  Elsa is a Certified Teacher of English as a Second Language, passing her Proficiency in English exams at Cambridge and Oxford Universities.  She studied In Budapest, Hungary under the tutelage of Anna Tardos, Dr. Emmi Pikler’s daughter. She has authored several articles and speaks nationally and internationally on the topic of caring for babies with respect.  She serves on the Board of Directors of the Pikler/Loczy Fund USA. Before embarking in her career in infant development, she was a professional ballerina who continues to teach dance to little ones. Above of all, she is a joyous mom!

    More Parenting Videos from Elsa Chahin >
  • Gioconda Aviles, Mom & Court Reporter   | Transcript:The way that two divorced people can effectively co-parent is by having one plan and deciding ahead of time what’s going to be okay and what’s not going to be okay for the kids. And telling the children, I guess, the rules as well, so they know the expectations. And if the rules aren’t exactly followed, you also have to have some flexibility and realize that you can’t control everything.
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    Mom & Court Reporter

    Gioconda Aviles

    Mom & Court Reporter

    Gioconda Aviles, 45, is a mother of six: Four boys, ages 23, 21,19, and 17 from her first marriage, and twin girls, ages 2 ½, from her second. She had her first child at 22 and her last two at 42. She is a Certified Court Interpreter who has operated her own interpreting agency for the last 24 years. She loves being a mom - it is the best and most challenging thing she has ever done.

    Gioconda enjoy cooking, Pilates, dancing, hiking, making new friends and having new experiences.

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  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:If you’re concerned about the safety of your child’s, number one, you need to look at your motivation. Are you truly concerned for their wellbeing? Or number two, are you angry at your ex, because you feel like you’re a better parent, because they’re not doing what you would do? 

If number one is the case, if you are truly concerned for your child’s safety, there are two things that you can do. Number one, you can tell a mandated reporter. A mandated reporter is somebody like a teacher, a pediatrician, a doctor, a therapist. Someone who if there’s any suspicion of child abuse is mandated to report it to the local authorities and to Department of Children and Family Services. 

Another option that you have is remembering this number and calling 1-800-4-A-CHILD. This is a free service where you can call and talk to somebody. It’s a hotline that’s open 24 hours and you can let them know what your concerns are and they can let you know whether this is a reportable instance or not. If it is reportable, then they will call the local authorities and it will go to Department of Children and Family Services for further investigation.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:Does the fact that your partner cheated make any difference in a custody battle? It makes a difference to you; it doesn't make a difference to the court. Almost every single state in the U.S. is a no-fault state, meaning you can sleep with your secretary, you can sleep with your tennis coach, you can sleep with a goat and it's not gonna affect the legal parameters of what's happening in their case. However, if you are going to be sharing custody with somebody for the next however many years and beyond, because let's be honest, even after 18, you're still co-parenting with this person, you're gonna be angry if you got cheated on. So there is still some reconciliation that needs to be made for things that have gone wrong during the marriage. Again, I believe that communication and some kind of mental health professional can be very helpful. But in terms of the law, nobody's gonna  say the fact that your husband was a jerk by cheating on you precludes him from having a relationship with your children.
    Now Playing
    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Julie  Hale, Progressive Mom  | Transcript:Just beginning the divorce process is a really painful time.

What's important is to keep the children separate and away from the problem.  If there is ever at time to be a grown up, it is now, during the process of a divorce.  Making sure that the child comes first, really comes first.  Making sure that, every step of the way, you are motivated by what's best for the child.

You can't keep it away from the child, the stress that you might be feeling, but what you can do is make sure that your child knows,
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    Progressive Mom

    Julie Hale

    Progressive Mom

    Julie Hale, LMFT, RYT, is a psychotherapist in private practice on the Westside that specializes in adolescents, divorce, co-parenting, and other familial issues. Julie is also the mother of 3 amazing, intelligent and interesting children (11,15,17) but wishes she could turn back the clock because they got too big too fast. She can be reached at www.juliehale.net

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  • Shamsah Amersi, MD, Obstetrician & Gynecologist  | Transcript:With divorce, new people enter your life and some, not by choice.  If your ex-partner has a significant other, it is essential for you to befriend this person and to have them become your ally.  Refuse to fall into the label of being the
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    Obstetrician & Gynecologist

    Shamsah Amersi, MD

    Obstetrician & Gynecologist

    Shamsah Amersi, MD is a preeminent Board Certified physician in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She received her undergraduate degree in psychobiology from UCLA, where she graduated summa cum laude, with Phi Beta Kappa membership. At the prestigious, UC San Francisco medical school, Dr. Amersi graduated with top honors, and was recognized as a distinguished member of alpha omega alpha, an honor society for the top 5% of all medical doctors.

    Dr. Amersi has received numerous professional and academic awards, including the University of California Distinguished Scholar Award for four consecutive years, an endowed merit scholarship, and the UCLA Alumni Association Achievement Award for four consecutive years. Through her private practice in Santa Monica, CA, Dr. Amersi is the personal physician to several Hollywood A-list celebrities. Dr. Amersi has been in private practice as an obstetrician/gynecologist for over ten years. She specializes in natural child birth, offers VBACs to her patients, and focuses on natural conservative treatment options, minimally invasive surgery, and bioidentical hormone replacement. Her favorite part of her job is delivering babies and sharing this intimate journey with her patients. She provides comprehensive compassionate care for all phases of a woman's life from adolescence through menopause.  Her special interest in female sexuality, libido and the effects of childbirth on pelvic prolapse has led to Dr. Amersi's renowned expertise in these fields. She performs both surgical and nonsurgical treatments for pelvic prolapse and vaginal relaxation.

     

    More Parenting Videos from Shamsah Amersi, MD >
  • Shamsah Amersi, MD, Obstetrician & Gynecologist  | Transcript:The most important thing to make the divorce less painful for your child is not to fight. I cannot emphasize the importance of this. Don't make your child feel bad if he's not with you. Never tell your child that you miss them so they feel guilty that they're not with you. Instead, use terms like, I love you all the time. Support the time that they have with the other parent. Be excited for them, instead of feeling sad. Protecting your own anxiety, and you're sense of lost when they leave your home. Don't be Disneyland to Mom or Dad. Give them consistency. Discipline them. Say no to them. They need to structure. They need a boundaries, regardless of how much time they spend with you. And most importantly, help your child to view a divorce as a positive experience and the sense that they have loving parents who are there for them, and two very happy parents to support them in every sadness.
    Now Playing
    Obstetrician & Gynecologist

    Shamsah Amersi, MD

    Obstetrician & Gynecologist

    Shamsah Amersi, MD is a preeminent Board Certified physician in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She received her undergraduate degree in psychobiology from UCLA, where she graduated summa cum laude, with Phi Beta Kappa membership. At the prestigious, UC San Francisco medical school, Dr. Amersi graduated with top honors, and was recognized as a distinguished member of alpha omega alpha, an honor society for the top 5% of all medical doctors.

    Dr. Amersi has received numerous professional and academic awards, including the University of California Distinguished Scholar Award for four consecutive years, an endowed merit scholarship, and the UCLA Alumni Association Achievement Award for four consecutive years. Through her private practice in Santa Monica, CA, Dr. Amersi is the personal physician to several Hollywood A-list celebrities. Dr. Amersi has been in private practice as an obstetrician/gynecologist for over ten years. She specializes in natural child birth, offers VBACs to her patients, and focuses on natural conservative treatment options, minimally invasive surgery, and bioidentical hormone replacement. Her favorite part of her job is delivering babies and sharing this intimate journey with her patients. She provides comprehensive compassionate care for all phases of a woman's life from adolescence through menopause.  Her special interest in female sexuality, libido and the effects of childbirth on pelvic prolapse has led to Dr. Amersi's renowned expertise in these fields. She performs both surgical and nonsurgical treatments for pelvic prolapse and vaginal relaxation.

     

    More Parenting Videos from Shamsah Amersi, MD >
  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Many studies indicate that continued arguing by the parent, is a predictor of poor outcome on the part of the children.

We ask parents to, number one, don't argue in front of the children.  If you have something to say, say it while the children are at school.  Two, we stress that parents learn neutral communication.  How can you talk without accusations and blame.  We even teach them to write emails neutrally, so that the parent doesn't become defensive in responding to the child.  That is very important.

Lastly, I tell the parents, go learn some meditation or take some yoga classes so you can calm your mind.  Being divorced often makes our mind and our body very excited.  We often respond out of anger, disappointment, hurt.  Learn to calm one's mind, in the way that you would like to so you can feel proud of yourself, is critical.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:When it comes to rules in the other household, communication and cooperation certainly serve the children best.  However, there really is no enforceability as how the other parent parents.  Children are going to get different things from the mother and they are going to get different things from their father.   If you are able to cooperatively co-parent, then consistent rules, consistent discipline, consistant bedtime, consistent food that you feed them is what´s best for the child.  But again, if there´s high levels of conflict, then there really is no enforceability of your rules in the other parent´s household.  But what you can remember though is that high levels of conflict damage a child.  Children who are impacted by high conflict dynamics are unable to articulate their thoughts and feelings.  They are unable to differentiate between the external influences and their internal perceptions and they are ineffective in problem solving.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:The main factors that the court will consider when determining who’s going to have primary custody of the children will be the status quo – what happened prior to the separation? So if you had one parent who was a stay-at-home dad – he either worked out of the home or didn’t work, he was the care taker in the home and mom was out of the home working, that’s probably going to remain how it is. That being said, it has to be adjusted in such a way that when mom comes home or has her custodial time, she actually gets to spend quality time with the children, not just when they’re asleep. 

And I have seen parental relationships which – believe it or not – actually improved as a result of the out-of-the-house parent having time that he or she knew was his custodial time or her custodial time, really spending it with the kids, not using the stay-at-home parent as a crutch. And it is one of the very few upsides of actually going through a family separation in that both parents really get to enjoy their kids and the kids really get to enjoy the relationship with both of the parents.
    Now Playing
    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:If one parent is unavailable during the scheduled visit, there’s something that’s called first right of refusal. But this is for overnights only. And this is where if the custodial parent is going to be out of town, rather than having the child stay with a third party caregiver, the non-custodial parent is actually offered this first right of refusal. But it’s for overnights only. 

If the parent, if the custodial parent, is unavailable for things such as a tutoring appointment, or a therapy appointment, or an occupational therapy appointment, or pick up and drop off  – that they can delineate to someone else. First right of refusal is for overnights only.
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    Psychologist

    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:A parenting plan is typically written in a divorce stipulation or agreement, and what this is is a mutually agreed upon plan that provides structure on the day-to-day life of their kid, of their children, or child, such as setting up two households, who's responsible for the pick-up and drop-off, who's responsible for medical care, who's responsible for schooling, who's responsible for the child when the child's sick and can't go to school, who's responsible for driving a child to a medical appointment, do both parents go to the medical appointments or not, who schedules the appointments or not, who buys the birthday presents or clothes for the child when they're in their care. Parenting plans can be specific to the minutia of day-to-day activities, or it can be as broad as a custody schedule that just dictates when the pick-up and drop-off times are and what the agreement is for vacations and holidays.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Rules are almost always different in both houses.  There´s two types of parenting post divorce.  There is cooperative parenting where the parents sit down together and decide on bedtime and whether or not there should be soft drinks in the house and whether or not the kids can watch PG movies, etc.  That´s cooperative parenting.  And then there is also parallel parenting where essentially the parents do and have rules that are different in both houses.  It´s interesting.  The studies don´t indicate that parallel parenting is detrimental for the children unless one parent criticizes the parenting of the other.  So clearly children can learn the rules for soccer are different than the rules of baseball.  The rules at dad´s house are different than the rules at mom´s house.  Children learn that and they can become resilient around that.  We ask parents don´t criticize the other parent´s rules.  There can often be more than one way to raise a family and unless the parent is doing something truly detrimental, you can explain to the child that´s the rule at mommy´s house or that´s the rule at daddy´s house.  The rule here is different.
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    Psychologist

    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:It’s very common that a parent would not like a new stepparent that comes into the child’s life. However, we ask you to – as much as possible – keep those thoughts and opinions to yourself. That is if you tell that to the child, it puts the child in a loyalty bind. The child wants to be loyal to you and if you tell them that they shouldn’t listen or that you don’t like the step mom, they will soon develop those attitudes as well. 

If there are some things that the step parent is doing that are truly detrimental to the child, I would suggest a conversation perhaps with the parent and the step parent there in as non defensive a way as possible and also presenting with as much neutral communication as possible. 

Remember that stepparent is now going to be in the child’s life. You’re going to have a way to include that person in the child’s life, knowing that they may parent very differently from you. It’s not necessarily wrong, but it is going to be different. You’re going to have to find a place for that in your child’s life.
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    Psychologist

    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:If you can find it within yourself to have some family time with your ex and your child, that is one of the best things you can do for your children. What that teaches them is that although the marital relationship has dissolved, the parental relationship is still in tact. This promotes your strength as a parent and lets the child know that their needs are important. So many kids come to me thrilled when their parents were able to go to a basketball game together or go to dinner together for their birthday or celebrate after a holiday together. What this does is set the tone that even though we're not together, we're okay as a family. It's the parent's responsibility to let the children know that they are loved, cared for, and protected by each parent. And this is one of the things that you can do to let your child know.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Elsa Chahin, Mom and Infant & Toddler Consultant  | Transcript:For divorced parents, I really would like to stress how important it is to consider your child's needs.

For example, you may have a dispute towards each other as parents, but it's very important that he knows that, together, you are there for him.  You can come to events together.  You can coexist socially.  It is very important for your child, to go to an event at school or go to the movies, together as parents. 

I know it's very, very hard for a divorced parent to be in a social situation with his ex-spouse, but it's very important that you let go of your ego. Put aside your emotions.  In that moment, the child becomes your child.  It is nurturing for him, in this moment, to have both of you together.

Another important aspect can be, if you both have re-married.  I remember one time, when my son came to me after an event at school, and said,
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    Elsa Chahin

    Mom and Infant & Toddler Consultant

    Elsa Chahin was born in Mexico City and grew up in both the United States and Mexico, feeling at home with both cultures. She is a RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) Associate, and PITC (Program for Infant Toddler Care) Trainer, working with professionals and parents of babies zero to three. She is a UCLA Certified Lactation Educator; as a Certified Interpreter-Translator, she collaborated in the translation into Spanish of Magda Gerber’s book Your Self Confident Baby and translated and narrated Magda Gerber’s videos “See How They Move“ and “Seeing Infant With New Eyes”, and the audio guide for caregivers.  Elsa is a Certified Teacher of English as a Second Language, passing her Proficiency in English exams at Cambridge and Oxford Universities.  She studied In Budapest, Hungary under the tutelage of Anna Tardos, Dr. Emmi Pikler’s daughter. She has authored several articles and speaks nationally and internationally on the topic of caring for babies with respect.  She serves on the Board of Directors of the Pikler/Loczy Fund USA. Before embarking in her career in infant development, she was a professional ballerina who continues to teach dance to little ones. Above of all, she is a joyous mom!

    More Parenting Videos from Elsa Chahin >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:The United States has two different property division schemes in family law.  There is community property, which is what we have in California.  And there is equitable distribution, which is what´s used, for example, in New York state.  In California, you would be able to keep what you brought into the marriage.  That´s your seperate property.  And anything that´s earned from the date of marriage onward and not received by gift or devise of somebody dies and you inherit it is community properly and would be split in half.  Equitable distribution states deal with income and assets acquired during the marriage in a different way and the examination of how those assets came to be in a different way.  So you should check and see what the state you are living in and getting divorced in, which property scheme they use and research that and perhaps talk to somebody that can give you more information about how those assets would be divided and whether you actually come out with what you came in with.
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    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:The claim to a business or property that´s acquired or earned during the marriage depends a lot on what state you are in.  That being said, if you are going to try to negotiate a settlement, it´s interesting to know that what your spouse has done during the marriage may or may not depend a lot on you.  I have had people come in very successful businessmen and say to me I was married to her for 25 years, she´s the mother of all four of my children.  There´s no way I could have built this business without her being there for me.  I want to divide everything down the middle.  I want to do what´s fair.  I want to give her half of everything and more.  And then there´s people that come in and say she didn´t do anything.  She sat on the couch.  She ate bombons.  She didn´t help at all.  She didn´t network.  She didn´t make casseroles for my boss when I was a young whatever starting out.  In California, it doesn´t make a difference.  Community property is one half.  Equitable distribution states, the judicial officer will listen to the circumstances, how the property was acquired or built up.  So it´s going to depend.  One thing I think is important is as you are trying to negotiate how to settle the case if your spouse understands what you did and understands what you are going to continue to do if you have children and you are raising those children because you are still going to be a partner with this person to some extent, the settlement might go easier.  And if can spend less money on attorneys trying to figure that out, there is more for each of you.
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    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Financial issues are one of those areas that we recommend to parents they almost never talk about. That is the finances are not the child's business. So we want the child protected from that type of information. What we do recommend is to say something along the lines of,
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    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:There are some parents that simply cannot get along, due to the level of conflict; whether they are not willing to, can't, or won't get past this.  If they are not able to cooperatively co-parent, which would be the best for the child, then they do something that is called parallel parenting.

Parallel parenting comes from a term in child's play, where when children can't interact with one another, they just play alongside each other.  That's typically what the parents are doing.  When the child is in the dad's care, the mother has no contact.  When the child is with the mother, the dad has no contact.  It is only where they intersect in common activities, such as, school activities or sports or games.

The pick up and drop off is clearly defined.  There is minimal contact with the other parent as possible.
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    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Anger is one of the most prominent emotions I see clients dealing with in my practice and it's one of the most difficult to get over. You need to understand what's driving your anger. Anger tends to be a secondary emotion driven by hurt, sadness, guilt, loss, frustration. If you can understand what's driving it, then you're better able to manage your anger. One of the things you need to remember is how your anger and hostility affects your children. Feelings are like currents. Children pick up on your anger. And if children are guarding against parents' angry or hostile feelings, that doesn't give them the capability to learn what am I feeling? What's going on with me? And they're not able to separate their internal voice, what am I feeling, from the external influences. A client once told me a mantra that she used to get over the anger she felt towards her ex-husband was that someone once told her love your children more than you hate your ex.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:There seems to be no struggles that parents can't have post-divorce.  

Parents report fighting from everything on how to do homework or time to do homework, bedtime, what to eat.  If one parent has remarried, how does one integrate the blended family.  What parents should do as far as having a relationship with the other parent.  

There is a number of things that parents argue about rather consistently.  To try to mitigate that, we try and tell parents,
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    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:It's never an easy conversation to tell a child that their parent is incarcerated, but it is important to be honest about it.

I usually suggest that the parents sit down with the child and say,
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    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Tristan Coppersmith, Stepmom & Expectant Mom  | Transcript:Going from the transition of being a fabulous single girl to an instant mom was tough, for sure.

I had to continually remind myself that, first and foremost, I am me.  I am Tristen.  Then, I am a wife and a step-mom.  To do this, I had to preserve all of the things that I'm interested in, even if they didn't fit into my new role.  I had to preserve the relationships with my friends.

I got really lucky because I was blessed with an awesome step-mom in my own life, and she sort of trained me, by default, that I had to preserve my own identity.  I also have an awesome husband who gets it.  He gets it when I need a few days off of being a step-mom and a few days on, of being a single girl.

I would say that the hardest transition was giving up my two-door convertible coup, for a more family friendly, definitely less sexy, car.
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    Tristan Coppersmith

    Stepmom & Expectant Mom

    Tristan is a stepmom of two and a mom of one-on-the-way. By day she is a Love Stylist, helping single women navigate the challenges of dating. She is the author of Menu Dating and the soon to be released, Getting Out of Love's Way. By night she is a psychology grad student at Pepperdine. What she really lives for, though, is lazy strolls on the beach, eavesdropping at local coffee shops, shopping for vintage dresses and of course, snuggle time with the family. 

    More Parenting Videos from Tristan Coppersmith >
  • Michelle Mahendra, Mom & Herbalist  | Transcript:Once we decided that divorce was the best option for us, my personal approach to how to co-parent well was to make sure that my child knew I loved her more than any dislike or hate that I would have had for my ex husband and to make sure that we both felt the same way, that we were on the same page and to focus on compromising whenever and wherever we could just to make sure that she knew that she was the priority in our lives and that nothing else was as important as she was to us.  So that is what we ended it doing and it ended up working really well for both of us.
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    Michelle Mahendra

    Mom & Herbalist

    Michelle Mahendra is an Herbalist and the Marketing Director of a new tea import company. The divorced mother of a four year old girl, Michelle graduated from the Tai Sophia Institute in Laurel, Maryland with a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine – the highest level of education available in the United States in this specialty.

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  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Good divorces are possible. In fact in 20% of divorces, there’s less arguing and fighting, and the parents even get along better than they did when they were married. So that would be an example of a divorce that actually could help the parents and help the family. 

In the other instances we find that the kids who do best come from homes in which mom and dad have made the transition from being co-partners to being co-parents. They come from homes in which the children have regular and continued access to both parents. They come from homes in which children are not put in the middle. They come from homes in which children do not carry any messages. And lastly, they come from homes in which children encourage love and acceptance and forgiveness and therefore encourage a healthy relationship with the other parent. That’s what we’d like to see.
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    Psychologist

    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Parents should sit down together whenever possible and try to address a variety of issues. Firstly, it would be a good idea to address on what days each child is with which parent. It’s also a good idea to determine who gets to decide on the extracurriculars that the child is going to do. It’s also important that parents know that they should never ever schedule anything on time that is not their time. So we only want to make schedule on our time and not our co-parents time. 

A good parenting plan therefore addresses extracurriculars, it addresses friendships, it addresses how each parent should stay informed about what’s going on with the child, about the back and forth communication of report cards, teacher comments, etc. It’s a way that allows each parent to stay involved and knowledgeable about the child’s life.
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    Psychologist

    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Whether you wanted the divorce or not, getting over grief and sadness is an important part of your process as a parent. Don’t hide your feelings and don’t pretend that you’re not sad when you really are. Your children may learn that unhappy feelings aren’t okay. So if you’re sad, be sad. 

One thing that I like to tell parents is there are five stages of loss and grief: denial, bargaining, anger, depression and sadness. And you’re not necessarily going to go through those in those orders, but you’re going to bounce back and forth – you may go from depression to anger to acceptance to denial. 

What I like about that is that it’s something tangible to hold onto. Well, you may be depressed one day and angry another, that lets you know that you’re moving through this process and that healing is happening.
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    Psychologist

    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:I have had a few custody cases where one parent is accusing the other of sexual abuse. They are the most heinous of cases. It is a violation beyond any other that what a parent could do, I believe, and on both sides. If it's actually happening, terrible. You would have to call the Department of Children Family Services, get them involved immediately. Your entire family's life will change. By the same token, if you somehow feel that this is happening, check yourself. Make sure whatever allegations you're going to make are well-founded. Because although parents really want to protect their children more than anything else in the world, what you are about to embark upon is going to change your entire family unit and your child's life. To make an accusation like this without really being sure is going to probably make it impossible for you to ever have an effective co-parenting relationship with your ex. And it's also gonna change the way your child looks at him or herself sexually in terms of victimization and self-esteem and everything else, whether it's true or not. So if you're trying to get a leg up in custody, if you're being overly sensitive, if there are things that are happening that you feel are inappropriate, sleeping in the same bed, being naked in front of the kids, showering in front of the kids at a certain age, these are all valid concerns. It doesn't jump to the level of sexual abuse. Talk to your co-parent, talk to somebody else that can get involved in the mix and get on the same page; this is no longer appropriate when our 10-year old daughter is around. Don't make accusations unless you're very, very certain.
    Now Playing
    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:Inappropriate is a very subjective term.

Generally, the answer is that court's feel, when children are with their parent will exercise his or her best judgement in regard to what is both safe emotionally, and physically for the children. 

That being said, I've had cases, for example, I was representing a musician and he was dating a porn star.  Mom's lawyer came in with many pornographic films to show how inappropriate this woman was to be around her children.  The Judge said,
    Now Playing
    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Gioconda Aviles, Mom & Court Reporter   | Transcript:The advice that I would give somebody going through a divorce is most importantly to be reasonable with each other, and to remain calm, and to have a plan, especially when there's children involved; to be able to be civil and nice to each other, and to reassure the kids that the divorce is not about them. It's about two adults and not at all about the kids.
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    Mom & Court Reporter

    Gioconda Aviles

    Mom & Court Reporter

    Gioconda Aviles, 45, is a mother of six: Four boys, ages 23, 21,19, and 17 from her first marriage, and twin girls, ages 2 ½, from her second. She had her first child at 22 and her last two at 42. She is a Certified Court Interpreter who has operated her own interpreting agency for the last 24 years. She loves being a mom - it is the best and most challenging thing she has ever done.

    Gioconda enjoy cooking, Pilates, dancing, hiking, making new friends and having new experiences.

    More Parenting Videos from Gioconda Aviles >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:Whether or not you're going to have to go back to work after divorce depend a lot on the situation that was happening during the marriage. In many states, the supportive spouse has the right to live the life felt which he or she was accustomed during the marriage. Other states have different laws, but most states try and maintain the same level that happened during the marriage, the status quo again. If your earning spouse is somebody that makes a great deal of money, you may not have to go back to work. If he or she is not, you may have to go back to work to get to the level of where you were during the marriage. A court won't order you to go back to work. But a judge might say,
    Now Playing
    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Dan Pearce, Blogger & Single Dad  | Transcript:When my wife and I decided to get a divorce, there really wasn't much of a question of who would get the child.  We both knew that we would both be there, at least half of the time.  We both knew that neither one of us would slack.  We both new that being in our child's life was important.  And we knew that the other person was just as important in our child's life.

It was never a question of who would have custody of our child.  I think that every parent should put aside everything negative, everything that has lead up to the divorce, all of the problems and all of the drama, and all of the resentment, anger, and even, hatred.  They need to present a united front to their child.  A front that says,
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    Blogger & Single Dad

    Dan Pearce

    Blogger & Single Dad

    Dan Pearce is the divorced father of four year old Noah, who came to him through adoption. Dan is also the author of The Real Dad Rules and Single Dad Laughing: The Complete Second Year, and his blog, Single Dad Laughing. When he started Single Dad Laughing in the summer of 2010, his then-wife had left his life almost as quickly as she’d come into it, and he was feeling about as valuable as a dollar-store sweater (and unraveling just as quickly). He started the blog because writing has always had the power to heal him in his darkest of moments. His goal is to spread worthwhile ways of looking at things. Before becoming a writer, Dan worked in retail, in the corporate world, and as an animal artist.

    More Parenting Videos from Dan Pearce >
  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:One of the questions that I get most asked is:  How do we tell the children we are getting a divorce?

Number one, there is never a good time to tell your children, so don't wait.  If you can tell them together, as a united front, that's best because guards against the children having two separate stories; and it also shows them that, while the marital relationship is ending, the parental relationship is still intact.

Children are going to be affected by this, but what they want to know the most, is how are they going to be affected by the divorce.  What's going to happen to them?  What you need to be clear about is that you have a plan.

One of the lines that I like to use, is to tell the kids,
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Christine Carter, PhD, Sociologist & Happiness Expert  | Transcript:A lot of parents ask me if they are in an unhappy marriage, whether or not they should stay together for the kids; whether it would be more beneficial for the kids.

The key question is really about conflict.  What research shows that conflict between two parents is what can be really damaging to kids and make things harder for them than they need them to be.  What's important is not the status of your relationship, whether or not your married or stay together, but the quality of your relationship.

The particular measure of quality that is important here is how high conflict your relationship is.  If you are in a really high conflict relationship, it would be better for the kids, in many cases, for you to dissolve that relationship.  Actually, sometimes when people divorce, the conflict goes way up, so you will be going from bad to worse in that situation.

The things I like parents to think about is that if they are staying together for the kids, are they providing an environment that is more or less free from conflict?
    Now Playing
    Sociologist & Happiness Expert

    Christine Carter, PhD

    Sociologist & Happiness Expert

    A sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, Christine Carter, PhD is the author of Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents. Dr. Carter also writes an award-winning blog for Greater Good, which is syndicated on the Huffington Post and PsychologyToday.com. Carter has helped thousands of parents find more joy in their parenting while raising happy, successful and resilient kids. Known for her parenting and relationship advice, Carter draws on psychology, sociology, neuroscience, and uses her own chaotic and often hilarious real-world adventures to demonstrate the do’s and don’ts in action.

    After receiving her B.A. from Dartmouth College, where she was a Senior Fellow, Dr. Carter worked in marketing management and school administration, going on to receive her PhD. in sociology from UC Berkeley. Dr. Carter has been quoted in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle and dozens of other publications. She has appeared on the “Oprah Winfrey Show,” the “TODAY” show, the “Rachael Ray Morning Show,” “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” and NPR.

    Carter has been a keynote speaker at hundreds of events and professional groups. In 2010, she received an award from the Council on Contemporary Families for her outstanding science-based reporting on family issues. In 2011 she won Red Tricycle’s award for the “Most Awesome Parent Education,” and so far in 2012 she has been nominated for a Bammy Award and for an award from the American Sociological Association for public sociology.

    Dr. Carter teaches parenting classes online throughout the year to a global audience on raisinghappiness.com. She lives with her family in Berkeley, CA.

    More Parenting Videos from Christine Carter, PhD >
  • Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney  | Transcript:Communication is my advice for somebody considering getting married. I actually believe that communication is important if you are thinking about taking the relationship to the next level and moving in together. I know a lot of people have prenuptial agreements, I think they are great; but in young marriages or marriages where the parties don’t have a ton of money, it may not be necessary. What I do believe is necessary is determining what the expectation of each of the parties are, determining what the deal if you will is. Every relationship has a contract, and when you enter into a marriage contract, you are being governed by the state where you live and even if it’s an easy divorce, when you go through divorce, you have to file paper work and pay fees, and fill out forms; that means that getting into this should be a little more difficult. You should discuss, Do we want to have kids? What religion is our family going to be? How much are we going to put away for savings? Are you going to continue working after we have kids? Are we going to a family vacation every year? If my mom turns 80 and has a stroke can she come live in our back house?  Obviously, you can address every single thing that’s going to happen every single course of your hopefully very long marriage, but there are certain things, particularly financial things, that are not very sexy or romantic to discuss but I highly advised having this conversation with either a priest or a rabi or a good friend, somebody that you both respect that’s had a little life experience, a mental health professional again and maybe taking some notes and jotting things down. There will be times in your relationship when you will have to renegotiate the terms, things have changed, one of us is working more now, one of us is making more money, we ‘re buying a home;  my mother did end up coming to live with us. Things need to be discussed and you need to have good communication about what the deal points are even if it may not sound like the most romantic, it will save your relationship time and time again, and if you start doing it before you get married, it will be easier to do throughout the course of your marriage which will hopefully last a very long time.
    Now Playing
    Family Law Attorney

    Laura Wasser

    Family Law Attorney

    Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

    More Parenting Videos from Laura Wasser >
  • Claudia Flores, Mom  | Transcript:My advice to parents who are only starting a divorce would be to contain the challenges and the process that the dissolving of the couple represents in the wholeness of what a family actually is. Just to contain that, allow that to unfold in the most grace and ease. Whatever is present for you would be present for you, but just not pollute the whole system with that challenge that’s present. Because it doesn’t have to take your family away, it doesn’t have to take your life away.
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    Mom

    Claudia Flores

    Mom

    Claudia Flores was Born and raised in Mexico City.  Claudia has three children. “Since a little girl my priority has been clear and steady: service. I have been fortunate to live a great life in all ways, where I enjoy exploring, observing, learning and, most especially, serving a number of causes and people around the world. I am committed to communicate the best of the resources available to me. It has been such a joy to share this passion and adventure with my children.” In 2012 she founded "The Angel Station Project": holding for creatives, innovators, transformational leaders, artists, humanitarians, activists and visionaries.

    More Parenting Videos from Claudia Flores >
  • Armin Brott, Dad, Author & Radio Host  | Transcript:When couples are going through a divorce, they tend to focus on themselves. They’re focusing on the end of the relationship, how much they hate the other person, on what sort of custody they’re going to be getting, or they’re not going to be getting. And they tend to forget the most important people in the room, which are the kids. 

And it’s so critical, as you’re going through a divorce process, that you pay attention to what’s going on with your children, particularly the boys, because they boys are going to be much less likely to be open about their issues. 

So you’re looking for simple things – are their friends changing? Are they hanging out with a different crowd that they were before? Are their grades… did they just take a big, huge nosedive after the divorce kind of came out? Those sorts of things – pretty much any sort of way off kinds of behavior that your kids are exhibiting are absolutely red flags. 

Start talking to them about it, but then you also might want to consider two really important things to remember about what your kids are going through that you may not notice. 

One is that almost all kids – and this goes for the littlest kids all the way through to teenagers – believe in some way that they caused the breakup of the relationship. You have to make absolutely sure that you emphasize over and over again – you cannot just say once, you have to tell them – that this had nothing to do with them: “This has to do with mommy and daddy not being able to get along and this is a grown up issue. It is not your issue.” 

The other part to keep in mind is that kids  – and this is again from the littlest kids to the oldest kids – they really are very self-centered little creatures and it’s all about them. And what they’re concerned about most of all is “How is this going to affect my life? If dad isn’t moving out of the house, is mom going to move of the house? If dad and mom are yelling at each other, does that mean they’re going to be yelling at me?” 

Think about those kinds of things and it will really help you to put things into perspective and pay more attention to the kids than you are to yourself.
    Now Playing
    Dad, Author & Radio Host

    Armin Brott

    Dad, Author & Radio Host

    A former Marine, Armin Brott has devoted the last 15 years to providing men with the tools, support, and knowledge to help them become the fathers they want to be—and their families need them to be. His seven critically acclaimed books for fathers have sold well over a million copies. Titles include The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-Be and The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year. He has written on fatherhood for hundreds of newspapers and magazines and is a frequent guest on such television programs as the Today Show. He also writes a nationally syndicated newspaper column (Ask Mr. Dad), and hosts a syndicated radio show (Positive Parenting). He lives with his family in Oakland, California.

    More Parenting Videos from Armin Brott >
  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:There are many factors to consider in determining custody arrangements for children. We always like to look at the age of the child, the developmental needs of the child and the relationship that that child has with each parent. We also want to look at what’s in the child’s best interest – that is given the age of the child and the assets of each of the parents, which parent is best able to meet the developmental needs of that particular child. We also want to look at some history of the relationship that the parent has had with the child. Which parent has been everyday kind of parent? Or is there a parent who is just the Disneyland kind of parent? So there is a lot of things to consider. There is no hard and fast rules, but we want to consider all of these things to make a determination about what’s a parenting plan that will work for that particular child.
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    Psychologist

    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Claudia Flores, Mom  | Transcript:The way that I deal with my children asking about their father while we are separated.  It's truly about honoring their feelings and emotions, not making them mine.  Their personal process, their individual process as a prop for my own story of victimization or whatever.

Allowing them to have that process that they are experiencing.  Just not trying to change the subject.  Not trying to make it bigger or smaller, just hold and listen.  If I have an answer to it, I will answer it.  If I don't, I will just hold.  I will just say,
    Now Playing
    Mom

    Claudia Flores

    Mom

    Claudia Flores was Born and raised in Mexico City.  Claudia has three children. “Since a little girl my priority has been clear and steady: service. I have been fortunate to live a great life in all ways, where I enjoy exploring, observing, learning and, most especially, serving a number of causes and people around the world. I am committed to communicate the best of the resources available to me. It has been such a joy to share this passion and adventure with my children.” In 2012 she founded "The Angel Station Project": holding for creatives, innovators, transformational leaders, artists, humanitarians, activists and visionaries.

    More Parenting Videos from Claudia Flores >
  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Sometimes one parent may have more custody than the other parent.

What the one parent that has less custody can do is listen, talk, and be interested.  Share in their child's life every day.  Make use of that phone contact.  Ask open-ended questions.  Ask,
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Katherine Sellwood, PsyD, Psychologist  | Transcript:A conflict divorce is the most damaging to a child’s character and personality over time. In high conflict dynamics, the child doesn’t learn how to problem solve, how to communicate effectively, how to elicit support from others, how to use their gifts and talents to serve them well. They’re so focused on self-preservation and just getting through their day to day, just getting through each day whether they’re with their mom, their dad, their friends. 

I’m reminded of this story of a girl who was graduating from high school and was winning an award and she was telling me that as she was at the podium getting her award, and that she had to give a speech. And instead of focusing on her speech, what she was most worried about is, “My mom is over there and my dad is over there. When I get off this stage, who do I go to to hug first?” And the embarrassment that this caused her. And she also said that her parents were the only one in this whole auditorium who were on separate sides of the school.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Katherine Sellwood, PsyD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

    Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

    More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Well, children almost always have fantasies about reuniting, particularly young children, grammar school age children, etc. That's why when a parent dates, the child often has such difficulty with that. Because in a way it's kind of ruining the fantasy that the parents are going to get back together. It is a reasonable thing to do, to tell children every now and then,
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Parents often expect children to be able to remember to carry things from one house to the next.  We think that is unfair.  We say that you are the ones who got divorced.  Your children did not ask to get divorced.   It is very common that children have a lot to remember and a lot of responsibility.  Help your child to remember to take things from one house to the next.  Go over with them what should be in their backpack.  Ask to see it.  If they forget something, do not be angry.   Let the child call you and you bring it over to that house or bring it to school.  It is not the child´s responsibility to remember to pack up everything in transitioning from one home to the next.  It is your job to help them.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Some children naturally blame themselves for the divorce. And because they feel powerful, they oftentimes even feel powerful that they can get their parents reunify. We let children know many times that they didn't cause it, they can't cure it. They didn't have anything to do with the divorce. Those were grown up kinds of problems. They won't be able to get mom and dad back to reunification either. So we let children know that. We want them to know that these were grown up kinds of problems. We don't tell the children what the problems were, because that's not children's business. But we do let them know that these were things mommy and daddy tried to work out, and we found we just couldn't work out these things. That's why we're getting a divorce. We also tell the children a lot, parents never divorce their children. They just divorce each other. Dad still loves you. Mom still loves you. We're going to be in your life forever and ever. The divorce really is between parents. It never ever has anything to do with the children.
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    Psychologist

    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

    More Parenting Videos from Alan Yellin, PhD >
  • Claudia Flores, Mom  | Transcript:The way I experience my ex having a significant other who is interacting with my children is by really bringing peace to the center of my house.

How would I collaborate peace in other parts of the country?  How would I collaborate a world that is in balance?  The loving world that I'm wanting my children to experience.  Then it takes some sacrifice.  It does.

Then, from the center of my house, I see a little plant and I sacrifice my judgements.  I allow them to have the experiences they need to have, and I deal with my own emotional roller coaster.  It is what it is.  At the same time, you can see for peace.  You can see for peace by saying,
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    Claudia Flores

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    Claudia Flores was Born and raised in Mexico City.  Claudia has three children. “Since a little girl my priority has been clear and steady: service. I have been fortunate to live a great life in all ways, where I enjoy exploring, observing, learning and, most especially, serving a number of causes and people around the world. I am committed to communicate the best of the resources available to me. It has been such a joy to share this passion and adventure with my children.” In 2012 she founded "The Angel Station Project": holding for creatives, innovators, transformational leaders, artists, humanitarians, activists and visionaries.

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  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Co-parenting in different cities can be a real challenge. However in today's world it is probably a little bit less of a challenge than years ago. I know parents that Skype the children on a regular basis. It is important to stay in contact via email. It is important to have phone calls so that the child knows that you are involved and you stay in the child's life.If the child has a soccer game it would be nice if the other parent takes a video of that soccer game then transmits it to the parent that is out of state. It is important and it should be a burden on the parent that is living with the child to include that is not living here. So sending report cards, counseling the child about what to tell the other parent about how the soccer game went that day. Keeping that other parent involved is very, very important so that the child feels love and connected with both parents.
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    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

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  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:We want fathers to stay involved regardless of the percentages of time the father has. We tell dads it's not the percentages; it's the quality of the time when you're with the child. We've learned a couple of things from some studies over the years. One, for men, their degree of involvement with their children is directly proportionate to how they felt about the marriage. So, men who were not as good of a father often times weren't happy in the marriage. Some fathers are better parents divorced than they were in the marriage. There's also a number of studies that indicate that children do best when two parents are involved, and studies indicate that fathers' involvement really helps children a great deal. I'm telling parents a lot of the time, too, there is a difference between mothering and fathering. Fathers do things differently than mothers. Mothers need to accept that about fathers. Fathers need to accept that about mothers.
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    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

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  • Tristan Coppersmith, Stepmom & Expectant Mom  | Transcript:It's inevitable that 2 different houses are going to have 2 different sets of values, different rules, and different philosophies on life. And you always have to remember that the kids are getting a taste of both, which is great, because ultimately, they are going to get the twist that are most comfortable for them. However, to keep your own home in a sane atmosphere, you have to be really clear about the values that you have, and teach your kids when they differ from Mom's house, that  moms aren't bad. They're just different. And explain, specifically, why we choose the values and the rules that we do so that they can understand that, and therefore, authentically adopt them.
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    Stepmom & Expectant Mom

    Tristan Coppersmith

    Stepmom & Expectant Mom

    Tristan is a stepmom of two and a mom of one-on-the-way. By day she is a Love Stylist, helping single women navigate the challenges of dating. She is the author of Menu Dating and the soon to be released, Getting Out of Love's Way. By night she is a psychology grad student at Pepperdine. What she really lives for, though, is lazy strolls on the beach, eavesdropping at local coffee shops, shopping for vintage dresses and of course, snuggle time with the family. 

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  • Tristan Coppersmith, Stepmom & Expectant Mom  | Transcript:No matter how awesomely perfect you think your stepkids are, from time to time they are going to need discipline.  But it´s important to discipline your kids without overstepping your boundaries.  So to do that, you want to work really closely with your partner so that he not only gives you permission to discipline but also supports the discipline decisions that you make.  Once he puts that into effect, the kids will begin to respect that you are an authority in their household and they will follow suit.  Kids definitely crave discipline.  So you don´t want to become the weakest link.  It is very easy to just put it off on hey, I will tell dad when he gets home what you did.  But therefore, they will prey on you knowing that you are the weak link.  And when you become the weak link, you become a really disempowered stepparent.
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    Stepmom & Expectant Mom

    Tristan Coppersmith

    Stepmom & Expectant Mom

    Tristan is a stepmom of two and a mom of one-on-the-way. By day she is a Love Stylist, helping single women navigate the challenges of dating. She is the author of Menu Dating and the soon to be released, Getting Out of Love's Way. By night she is a psychology grad student at Pepperdine. What she really lives for, though, is lazy strolls on the beach, eavesdropping at local coffee shops, shopping for vintage dresses and of course, snuggle time with the family. 

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  • Tristan Coppersmith, Stepmom & Expectant Mom  | Transcript:Dealing with a bio-mom has its share of challenges.  It is not easy.

I think it is the role of the step-mom to make it as easy as possible for the sake of the kids.  This can take time.  Be fair with yourself and realize that you might have issues with her. She might not be kind to you.  You might not like her, but at the end of the day, you have to keep the kids first.  Realize that any interaction between you and their bio-mom is going to affect them.  If you insult her, you insult her kids.  You certainly don't want that.

It is important to remain cordial and respectful at all costs.  After all, she was the one that brought them into this world so that you could be a part of their life.  To remember that, it will definitely heighten your ability to be respectful of her.

The other thing that is important is to make sure that dad is the key contact.  He should be the messenger.  He should be the one relaying information to her, so that you don't need to.  When you do need to cross paths at drop off or pick up, always offer a very kind, respectful
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    Stepmom & Expectant Mom

    Tristan Coppersmith

    Stepmom & Expectant Mom

    Tristan is a stepmom of two and a mom of one-on-the-way. By day she is a Love Stylist, helping single women navigate the challenges of dating. She is the author of Menu Dating and the soon to be released, Getting Out of Love's Way. By night she is a psychology grad student at Pepperdine. What she really lives for, though, is lazy strolls on the beach, eavesdropping at local coffee shops, shopping for vintage dresses and of course, snuggle time with the family. 

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  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:There is a lot of variation with regard to professionals telling parents when to introduce a significant other.  We are pretty much in agreement that you should not be introducing children to dates, that is parents do date but we don´t want children to attach to someone that the parent is not certain is going to remain in that parent´s life.  So generally, to be most conservative, I usually tell parents the time to introduce a significant other is when you are pretty certain that you are going to move on the path towards engagement or you are engaged.  Then when that happens, we want to start off rather slowly where they meet, there is no demonstration of affection.  The child meets that other person for a shorter time and then over time increases the frequency and the length of time they spend with that significant other.
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    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

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  • Tristan Coppersmith, Stepmom & Expectant Mom  | Transcript:Therapy for kids going through a divorce or blending into a new family; it's like a magic pill.  It is such a safe-haven for them and outlet them to unpack all of their junk; all of their fear, all of their insecurities, their worries, their concerns, all of the icky stuff that is going on for them.  All of the things that they think their parents or friends can't understand, their therapist can.

A therapist is completely objective.  A therapist is just there to listen to them, help them understand their feelings and express them in healthy ways; and give them loads of coping strategies that they can use, to help manage their difficult situation.

It's also important, I think, for families going through a transition like this, to all engage in family therapy.  A good family therapist can help each family member relate to one another, so they can have a more effective, healthier family.
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    Stepmom & Expectant Mom

    Tristan Coppersmith

    Stepmom & Expectant Mom

    Tristan is a stepmom of two and a mom of one-on-the-way. By day she is a Love Stylist, helping single women navigate the challenges of dating. She is the author of Menu Dating and the soon to be released, Getting Out of Love's Way. By night she is a psychology grad student at Pepperdine. What she really lives for, though, is lazy strolls on the beach, eavesdropping at local coffee shops, shopping for vintage dresses and of course, snuggle time with the family. 

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  • Michelle Mahendra, Mom & Herbalist  | Transcript:I think it is really easy to be nostalgic for the way it was when you are spending time out with your ex husband and your child or your children.  I know that for a fact that my child was nostalgic for the way it was because she was asking to spend time together in situations where we would be cuddling in bed and she wanted daddy there.  When we would go to a movie and she wanted daddy there.  There were several situations where she actually wanted the three of us to be together and the way I coped with it myself was to sort of grieve the relationship the same way I would grieve a death.  I went through the five stages of death because it was essentially to me the death of a relationship.  And I wanted her to be able to cope the same way.  And in order for her to have some finality with the divorce, I had to let her know that these were things we were no longer going to be doing together, that even though she was nostalgic for us to be a family again, that we weren´t going to be a family again.  And I had to let her grieve through the process and just support her through it.  And eventually she came to accept it and she has been fine since she went through that whole grieving process.  But it was a challenge and we made it through.
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    Michelle Mahendra

    Mom & Herbalist

    Michelle Mahendra is an Herbalist and the Marketing Director of a new tea import company. The divorced mother of a four year old girl, Michelle graduated from the Tai Sophia Institute in Laurel, Maryland with a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine – the highest level of education available in the United States in this specialty.

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  • Michelle Mahendra, Mom & Herbalist  | Transcript:I have personally felt that divorce was the best option for our family, because my daughter was picking up on some unhappiness between the two of us and I didn’t want to continue that path. 

I felt that in my own experience with my parents. My parents stayed together for far too long and they should have separated much earlier. And it led to a lot of issues that I ended up having with men that took me a very long time to resolve.
 
And I wanted her to see that she could live by my example, that she would see that I was strong enough to walk away from a marriage that wasn’t making me happy any more and that she could do the same thing. That she wouldn’t stick around with someone and be unhappy for a long period of time, because she felt like she had to be.
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    Michelle Mahendra

    Mom & Herbalist

    Michelle Mahendra is an Herbalist and the Marketing Director of a new tea import company. The divorced mother of a four year old girl, Michelle graduated from the Tai Sophia Institute in Laurel, Maryland with a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine – the highest level of education available in the United States in this specialty.

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  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Parents should sit down with their elementary age school child and tell them directly that mom and dad have not been getting along.  If the children have had a chance to observe a lot of arguing or fighting, the parents may want to call on that and say you can probably remember or tell that mommy and daddy have had a hard time getting along.  But we want you to know that our not getting along has nothing to do with you.  It has everything to do with grown up kind of problems.  And so we want the child to know they are loved by both parents.  We want the child to know that both mom and dad will remain in their life.  We want them to know that they will always be their mom and dad.  And we want parents to stay as involved in the child´s life as possible.  So if there is a soccer game, both parents go to the soccer game.  If there is an open house, we would like both parents to go to the open house.  So we would like the child to feel like even though mom and dad don´t live together anymore, both my parents still love and are involved and are concerned about me.
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    Alan Yellin, PhD

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    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

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  • Shamsah Amersi, MD, Obstetrician & Gynecologist  | Transcript:For a parent starting a divorce, I want you to know that things are happening exactly the way they should. It's the detours in your life that make your life more interesting. Although the divorce was the most painful, life-changing experience of my time, I found that it helped me grow in ways unimaginable. I've become a better mother, a physician, and most importantly, a person. It's allowed me to view the world not as black or white, but a grey area where I don't judge anyone, and I know there's a story behind what anyone is experiencing. What I've learned is that it's okay to fall; it's okay to fall flat on your face, but to get back up and ask for as many hands possible to help you. I've learned to laugh and to find humor in my situation. I've learned, most importantly, to realize that it's okay and you will be fine. Things that I would have done differently are not being angry and not overreacting. It's not a time to blame, but it's a time to focus on your child and make him or her the priority. Attorneys, they truthfully just exacerbate the situation and cause so much emotional rift between the two of you. Never bad-mouth the other parent; they love the child as much as you do. Never fight for custody; both of you are parents and both of you are equally important in the child's life. At the end of the day, the child needs both mother and father to love them and to co-parent effectively.
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    Shamsah Amersi, MD

    Obstetrician & Gynecologist

    Shamsah Amersi, MD is a preeminent Board Certified physician in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She received her undergraduate degree in psychobiology from UCLA, where she graduated summa cum laude, with Phi Beta Kappa membership. At the prestigious, UC San Francisco medical school, Dr. Amersi graduated with top honors, and was recognized as a distinguished member of alpha omega alpha, an honor society for the top 5% of all medical doctors.

    Dr. Amersi has received numerous professional and academic awards, including the University of California Distinguished Scholar Award for four consecutive years, an endowed merit scholarship, and the UCLA Alumni Association Achievement Award for four consecutive years. Through her private practice in Santa Monica, CA, Dr. Amersi is the personal physician to several Hollywood A-list celebrities. Dr. Amersi has been in private practice as an obstetrician/gynecologist for over ten years. She specializes in natural child birth, offers VBACs to her patients, and focuses on natural conservative treatment options, minimally invasive surgery, and bioidentical hormone replacement. Her favorite part of her job is delivering babies and sharing this intimate journey with her patients. She provides comprehensive compassionate care for all phases of a woman's life from adolescence through menopause.  Her special interest in female sexuality, libido and the effects of childbirth on pelvic prolapse has led to Dr. Amersi's renowned expertise in these fields. She performs both surgical and nonsurgical treatments for pelvic prolapse and vaginal relaxation.

     

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  • Michelle Mahendra, Mom & Herbalist  | Transcript:For me, I decided not to tell my child we were divorcing, simply because she was so young when we decided to part ways.  She was just over a year and a half old, and I didn't think she could comprehend what divorce meant.  I still don't think she can truly comprehend what a divorce means.

What I explained to her, in simple, basic terms, was that we were no longer going to be a family.  Daddy was going to have his place, and mommy was going to have her place, and she was going to be spending time at both places.  She would be with Daddy on the weekends and be with Mommy during the week.  We weren't going to be in the same house anymore together.

I don't think she could understand things because she is too young.  I still think she is too young to understand a term like, divorce.
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    Michelle Mahendra

    Mom & Herbalist

    Michelle Mahendra is an Herbalist and the Marketing Director of a new tea import company. The divorced mother of a four year old girl, Michelle graduated from the Tai Sophia Institute in Laurel, Maryland with a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine – the highest level of education available in the United States in this specialty.

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  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Telling children that their parents are getting divorced, is one of the most difficult conversations a parent will ever have.

We ask parents to do that conversation together.  To sit down with the children together, hopefully, on a weekend; so the parents have lots of time to be around and answer questions for the children.  We want the children to understand that the divorce never, ever has anything to do with them.  That divorce is a grownup kind of problem.

We also ask parents to not give details of the reason that they are getting divorced, so that neither parent is to feel to blame.  We also want children to know, that mommy will always, always be their mommy; and daddy will always, always be their daddy.  We want them to know that parents are going to try to work very hard to be good friends.

That's the conversation that we want to have with the children during the first time.
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    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

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  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:When a child finds out that a parent had an affair, it can often be devastating news to the child.

The first thing I would like to inquire about is, how did the child get that or obtain that information?  Did the other parent tell the child that?  Or exactly how did the child come to learn that information?  That gives us information about the family dynamics.

The second thing is that I think it should be confronted with honesty and yet, privacy.  I would suggest that the parent sit down and explain to the child that they have engaged in some behavior for which they are not very proud.  The parent is also entitled to some privacy, so I think it would be fine to say,
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    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

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  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:First of all, it´s important to remember we have to discuss and use the D word, the divorce word, with preschool  age children.  So we would suggest telling them sometimes mommies and daddies don´t get along and sometimes mommies and daddies can´t live together but that they will also be their mommy and daddy.  And when mommies and daddies don´t live together anymore, it´s called divorce.   And that we want to use the word specifically for that child. We also want the child to know what´s going to happen in their life.  That is, mommy is going to be living here and daddy is going to be living here.  We want the child to see where both homes are and we want the child to have a concrete understanding of what it means that mom and dad are not going to be together.
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    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

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  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:There are a number of warning signs that happen to children after divorce.

One is regression of behavior, where the child starts acting younger than they are.  The second is aggression, where a child can be more violent, acting out.  A third would be depression, which would be that some kids get very sad after a divorce.  The fourth would be withdrawal.  They don't want to play with friends.  They want to stay home.

We look for things like that.  We look for things like; does the child still have happiness in their life?  Are they still willing to engage in extracurriculars?  Does that child have more temper tantrums now?  Is the child able to be alone or is the child no longer able to sleep alone at night?  These would be some of the things that we would look for in children that would be having difficulty.

Remember the children who do best are ones that come from lower conflict.
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    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

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  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Young children often have little role in determining what the ultimate custody is going to be. And that's because children sometimes will pick a preferred parent based on things like which parent lets them stay up later, which one gives them ice cream, etc., So we don't look to those factors.

We know in general the best parents parent. They set limits. They set limits that are clear, firm, and restrictive. As children get older, however, we do begin to accept the reasoning and the input of a child. There's nothing written in the law about the age at which any child gets to make a custody determination, but generally about the age of 14, in some a little bit younger, in some a little bit older, we begin to take into consideration the preferences and the reason for the preferences of the child.
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    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

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  • Alan Yellin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Raising children in two households is a challenge. But there's many things that we can do to help with that process: (1) I tend to like something that we call
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    Alan Yellin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

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  • Michelle Mahendra, Mom & Herbalist  | Transcript:I handled the process of starting to date again with my child, simply by not telling her about it.

I felt that if somebody comes along who is fantastic and we are in a very serious relationship, then I would probably mention it to her if the talk between me and my new partner was along the lines of us moving in together.  I don't want her to think that every man who comes into our home to pick me up for a date is going to be her next step-father.

I am going to wait until I meet the right man, the talk is that we are moving in together, and let her have the time to know him and love him the same way that I love him.  Move on in that way.
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    Michelle Mahendra

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    Michelle Mahendra is an Herbalist and the Marketing Director of a new tea import company. The divorced mother of a four year old girl, Michelle graduated from the Tai Sophia Institute in Laurel, Maryland with a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine – the highest level of education available in the United States in this specialty.

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  • Michelle Mahendra, Mom & Herbalist  | Transcript:I think the reason for a divorce whether you tell your child or not should depend on the reason for the divorce. For example if there is divorce based on sexual orientation, I think the child should know that one of his or her parents is gay and that there is nothing to hide from the child, that there's nothing to be ashamed of, that this is who the parent is and it doesn't change the relationship between the parent and the child. So I think in that case, it's better to tell your child. 

But in terms of infidelity, I think that that sense of betrayal is between the parents and not between the parent and the child. So I think it's better the actually keep it from the child, because it can negatively impact the relationship that that child has with that parent who had the affair. And it's better to protect your children from things like that so that the relationship isn't negatively impacted.
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    Mom & Herbalist

    Michelle Mahendra

    Mom & Herbalist

    Michelle Mahendra is an Herbalist and the Marketing Director of a new tea import company. The divorced mother of a four year old girl, Michelle graduated from the Tai Sophia Institute in Laurel, Maryland with a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine – the highest level of education available in the United States in this specialty.

    More Parenting Videos from Michelle Mahendra >
  • Rebecca Eberlin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:The most important thing that I want to remind parents as they go through a divorce is to remember their kids.

A lot of times, families are really struggling and parents feel really hurt, no matter what the cause of the divorce was.  It is pretty typical that parents get wrapped up in how hard this is for them.  We want to remember that not only is it hard for you, as a parent, as a mother, as an individual going through this rough time; but your kids are also having a hard time.

I always remind parents, how are your kids doing?  How hard is this for them?  Making sure that they are the focus and making sure they are managing the situations between mom and dad, no matter how hard they are.  You, as a parent, while you are focusing on your child, always keep in mind that you don't have to do this alone.  It's okay to ask for help.  

Get social support.  Social support is one of the most important things that pulls people through difficult times; whether it's friends, family, a support group, therapy; whatever you have to do to not feel alone in your situation, do it. 

Always remember, your children need to be the focus.
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Rebecca Eberlin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Rebecca E. Eberlin is a licensed psychologist and family coach who specializes in providing evidenced-based treatment and assessment to children and their families with a variety of emotional, behavioral and developmental challenges. Dr. Eberlin graduated from the University of Michigan with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Political Science. She then returned to California and completed her Doctoral training at Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. As a psychologist and family coach at the UCLA Family Commons, Dr. Eberlin provides individual and group intervention for children, adolescents and their parents. 

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  • Rebecca Eberlin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:It's really important for parents to create a positive perception of the family because the reality is the child's probably already having a hard enough time as it is. We want to make sure that there's positive family-esteem so the child can have positive self-esteem, and the way we see that happening is by making sure that kids know it's not their fault and that, most importantly, you love them no matter what. In addition to making sure that your children know that you love them, which I'm sure they already do, we want to help your children find the positives in this really tough situation. Often parents can approach this by finding the good things and by pointing them out to your children, like,
    Now Playing
    Psychologist

    Rebecca Eberlin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Rebecca E. Eberlin is a licensed psychologist and family coach who specializes in providing evidenced-based treatment and assessment to children and their families with a variety of emotional, behavioral and developmental challenges. Dr. Eberlin graduated from the University of Michigan with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Political Science. She then returned to California and completed her Doctoral training at Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. As a psychologist and family coach at the UCLA Family Commons, Dr. Eberlin provides individual and group intervention for children, adolescents and their parents. 

    More Parenting Videos from Rebecca Eberlin, PhD >
  • Douglas Green, MFT, Child Therapist  | Transcript:How should we deal with the effect of our divorce on children? Children, when they’re very young, develop absolute rules about the world – objects fall down, the sun raises in the east, my parents will always stay the way they are right now. If you divorce, you are literally overturning their world. They are confused, they’re upset, they’re angry, they’re hurt, they’re scared – all that. 

So what you need to do, most importantly, is to put through the message that they will be safe. Sit down with them and tell them what’s really going to happen. Don’t lie. They want to know – “Am I going to have two homes?” “Am I still going to have mommy and daddy?” “Am I still going to have my siblings?” Everything. Make sure they know and tell them the truth. Also, if you can, it’s much better if the two of you tell the kid together. It’s much scarier to hear about a divorce when there’s only one parent there and the other is I don’t know where.

Now, another point about this – very young children have a special thing going with this – they will believe that it’s their fault that their parents are divorcing. I know it sounds crazy. So with them, you want to absolutely make sure and let them know over and over and over that it’s not.
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    Child Therapist

    Douglas Green, MFT

    Child Therapist

    Douglas Green left a successful career as a writer and director of film, stage and television to become a Psychotherapist, specializing in helping children and teenagers live lives they can be proud of.  He has a degree in Drama Therapy, and uses creative active techniques often in his work.  He has extensive experience in working with numerous childhood issues, such as ADHD, autism, Asperger's, depression, anxiety, and recovery from physical, sexual, and emotional Abuse.  He works at two offices, one in Woodland Hills, CA and one in West Los Angeles, CA, and is an Adjunct Professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

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  • Talitha Davies Wegner, Attorney  | Transcript:How to know when you should get a divorce and when you should try to work things out, is a complicated question.

However, there are some things that can't be fixed or that you can't take responsibility for.  Generally, if you are married to somebody who has severe issues; alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling, physical abuse, things that affecting the danger of your family and your health.  Then it's time to leave.

When there are issues that come under the umbrella of
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    Attorney

    Talitha Davies Wegner

    Attorney

    Talitha Davies Wegner is a Los Angeles attorney specializing in family matters. Her warm personality and compelling litigation skills enable her clients to navigate legal challenges with confidence and peace of mind. Genuine interest in her clients' issues, her personal life experiences and a passion for justice provide her clients with "a best friend in the law". Talitha is no stranger to divorce - weathering her own in 2004. She is now married to Bill Wegner, also an attorney. Talitha adores Bill's three adult children and their partners as well as being "GrandTali" to four granddaughters.

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  • Talitha Davies Wegner, Attorney  | Transcript:So a divorce attorney's best advice for marriage would be the same as my best advise for getting a divorce, and that is to ask yourself what it is that you want. And then address your conduct to exactly what it is  you want and what is most likely to elicit the behavior that will give you what you want. For example, you are at a restaurant with your husband and he is looking at another woman and you are annoyed, and of course you want to attack him. But now isn't the time because you are going to ruin dinner, he is going to mad and you are not going to be speaking to each other. So instead if you address the question at another time and just say you know sweetie we were at dinner, I was feeling a little awkward and you know, women can be so competitive and catty. And if when we are together if you could just only look at me when we are together. I understand that you might want to look at other women at other times, but it would just make me feel so much more protected. Then he gets to be the hero okay, he steps up to the plate. There's no fight and you get what you want and maybe you won't end up wanting a divorce.
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    Attorney

    Talitha Davies Wegner

    Attorney

    Talitha Davies Wegner is a Los Angeles attorney specializing in family matters. Her warm personality and compelling litigation skills enable her clients to navigate legal challenges with confidence and peace of mind. Genuine interest in her clients' issues, her personal life experiences and a passion for justice provide her clients with "a best friend in the law". Talitha is no stranger to divorce - weathering her own in 2004. She is now married to Bill Wegner, also an attorney. Talitha adores Bill's three adult children and their partners as well as being "GrandTali" to four granddaughters.

    More Parenting Videos from Talitha Davies Wegner >
  • Talitha Davies Wegner, Attorney  | Transcript:My advice for parents going through divorce is understand how much your children cost. The number one thing that people do is underestimate how much it costs on a daily basis or monthly basis to raise their kids. They do not track every dollar they spend. And therefore when you ask how much you're going to need for child support, how much are your living expenses, people don't really know, they ballpark. And they forget that they have birthday parties and gifts they have to buy and uniforms and sports shoes and all of the other things that happen which you just sort of don't plan for. And the reason why that's so important is because when you're asking for support, you only want to ask once. You don't want to have to go back to court. You don't want to change things once they're set; you want to get it right the first time. So do your homework, figure out what it's really costing you, and come up with a realistic number. You'll save yourself a lot of time and money.
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    Attorney

    Talitha Davies Wegner

    Attorney

    Talitha Davies Wegner is a Los Angeles attorney specializing in family matters. Her warm personality and compelling litigation skills enable her clients to navigate legal challenges with confidence and peace of mind. Genuine interest in her clients' issues, her personal life experiences and a passion for justice provide her clients with "a best friend in the law". Talitha is no stranger to divorce - weathering her own in 2004. She is now married to Bill Wegner, also an attorney. Talitha adores Bill's three adult children and their partners as well as being "GrandTali" to four granddaughters.

    More Parenting Videos from Talitha Davies Wegner >
  • Jeffrey Kluger, Science Journalist & Author   | Transcript:The oldest sibling in a divorce family, for better or worse, is likely to become a stand in caregiver. Now, depending on the age gap between the older sibling and the younger siblings that can be just an occasional, very casual bit of authority or it can be real hands-on babysitting and caretaking. 

All of that is not a bad thing necessarily – it helps bring the kids themselves closer together; it alleviates the considerable pressure on the custodial parent, because that person knows that mom or dad has a live in caregiver to help out – so all of this is good. 

But it’s very important though, that the oldest child not feel like he or she is getting special burdens and special punishment. The divorce is hard enough. To be told, “Oh, by the way, now you have a part time job caring for your other siblings, driving them to and from soccer practice, doing all the work that your absent parent used to do,” the child is going to feel doubly punished – in some ways doubly penalized by what has just happened. 

So it’s very important to strike a balance. Enlist that child, use that resource, keep an eye on how well the kids are all adjusting to that new authority the other child has. But also remember the other child is still just a child and deserves a childhood that’s as normal and burden free as possible.
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    Science Journalist & Author

    Jeffrey Kluger

    Science Journalist & Author

    Jeffrey Kluger is a senior editor and writer at Time magazine, covering science, health and other fields. He is the coauthor, along with astronaut Jim Lovell, of Apollo 13, the book that served as the basis of the 1995 movie. His more-recent release, Splendid Solution, told the story of Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine.  His novel, Nacky Patcher and the Curse of the Dry-Land Boats, was published in June 2007, and his newest nonfiction book, Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex, was published in June 2008.

    Before coming to Time, Kluger worked for Discover magazine, where he was a senior editor and humor columnist. Prior to that, he was health editor at Family Circle magazine, story editor at The New York Times Business World Magazine, and Associate Editor at Science Digest magazine. His features and columns have appeared in dozens of publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Gentlemen's Quarterly, The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Omni, McCall's, New York Magazine, The New York Post, Newsday, and, of course, Time. He has worked as an adjunct instructor in the graduate journalism program at New York University; is a licensed—though non-practicing—attorney; and is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore School of Law. He lives in New York City with his wife Alejandra and their daughters, Elisa and Paloma.

    More Parenting Videos from Jeffrey Kluger >
  • Kevin Jennings, Educational Specialist  | Transcript:I think there's a new generation of parents that are very different than my mother's generation. My mother's generation, it was a total shock if they doubt that your kid was gay. This is a generation that has grown up with Ellen and Will and Grace and all of that, and a lot of them are not terribly surprised whenever a child comes out to them as being gay. They have suspected it for quite some time. So, my advice to a parent is if you think your child might be gay, what you do depends largely on the age of the child and they're sophistication developmentally to talk about it. Obviously, a teenager is much more prepared to talk about this than an elementary school student. So, age is one critical factor. The second thing to do is to signal to them that you're comfortable talking about it without asking directly. Like, for instance, you might ask them,
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    Educational Specialist

    Kevin Jennings

    Educational Specialist

    Kevin Jennings is the CEO of Be the Change, a nonprofit that creates national issue-based campaigns on pressing problems in American society.  

    Kevin began his career as a high school history teacher and coach, where he served as the faculty advisor to the nation's first Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). In 1990 he founded the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a national education organization bringing together LGBT and straight teachers, parents, students, and community members who wanted to end anti-LGBT bias in our schools. From 2009-2011 Kevin served as Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education, heading the department’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS). In this role, Mr. Jennings led federal efforts to promote the safety, health and well being of America’s students as well as President Obama's anti-bullying campaign. 

    More Parenting Videos from Kevin Jennings >
  • Sondra Santos Drahos, Educator & Blogger  | Transcript:Single parents have a difficult job.

My biggest recommendation is for tips.  Get a support system around you, whether its other single parents or other people that are in a similar situation or neighbors and friends that can help you pick up the slack.  Someone to help pick up the children, if you are running late.  It's definitely good to have that rolodex on hand.

Communication is key, especially if you are having to communicate with a co-parent.  I recommend that you get those conversations in writing because there is always that
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    Sondra Santos Drahos

    Educator & Blogger

    In 2007, when Sondra Santos Drahos was a single mom, she became a Certified Parent Educator and founded Happy Healthy Hip Parenting.  She is a Parental Advisor at Parental Wisdom and has been heard on NPR’s The Takeaway. She was included in the Nielsen’s list of Top 50 Power Moms in 2009. She is dedicated to Honoring Families, Supporting Parents, and Enriching Relationships. She lives in Solana Beach, California with her husband and two sons.

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  • Rebecca Eberlin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:The challenges that we see children in elementary school face when their parents are going through a divorce is that they feel like it's their fault, that they're responsible, and that they had to have done something to cause the breakup of their family. What we want to remind children is that in no way is this their fault, that divorce is an adult problem and it's something that their mom and dad need to work out together. Another really important thing we want to keep in mind in the elementary school years is that children often feel like they're the only one this is happening to. The reality is, unfortunately that's not the case. Lots of kids their age have parents that are breaking up and families that are splitting up. So we want to make sure that children know even though this is really tough, they're not alone, and they can get support not only from their parents, but from their same-age peers that are going through a similar situation.
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    Psychologist

    Rebecca Eberlin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Rebecca E. Eberlin is a licensed psychologist and family coach who specializes in providing evidenced-based treatment and assessment to children and their families with a variety of emotional, behavioral and developmental challenges. Dr. Eberlin graduated from the University of Michigan with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Political Science. She then returned to California and completed her Doctoral training at Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. As a psychologist and family coach at the UCLA Family Commons, Dr. Eberlin provides individual and group intervention for children, adolescents and their parents. 

    More Parenting Videos from Rebecca Eberlin, PhD >
  • Rebecca Eberlin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Every child that goes through a divorce in their family is going to have a unique experience. And what we typically see is that at different developmental stages, children kind of ebb and flow in the way that they're coping with it. Some of the ways that you might see children acting out is behaviorally. You might see them having more meltdowns or temper tantrums. In totally different situations, that may look completely unrelated to divorce. But the reality is you as a parent need to be in tune to the fact that some of these behavior problems could be related to what's going on at home. Another way you might see a child acting out in divorce is by completely withdrawing, which we don't typically see as
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    Psychologist

    Rebecca Eberlin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Rebecca E. Eberlin is a licensed psychologist and family coach who specializes in providing evidenced-based treatment and assessment to children and their families with a variety of emotional, behavioral and developmental challenges. Dr. Eberlin graduated from the University of Michigan with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Political Science. She then returned to California and completed her Doctoral training at Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. As a psychologist and family coach at the UCLA Family Commons, Dr. Eberlin provides individual and group intervention for children, adolescents and their parents. 

    More Parenting Videos from Rebecca Eberlin, PhD >
  • Rebecca Eberlin, PhD, Psychologist  | Transcript:Children navigating divorce really need a particular set of skills that they can fall back on. Two pop into my mind right away. 

The first is learning how to successfully transition between mom and dad’s homes. This is often one of the hardest things that children and their parents go through. It requires kids to be organized, it requires parents to be organized, but it also requires setting up an environment where children feel contained, safe, secure and loved. So helping your child successfully transition from one home to the next is extremely important. 

Another really important coping skill that children navigating divorce need is learning to accept that the divorce is not their fault and that it’s not their job to make their parents happy. And this requires a certain set of problem solving skills, whether it’s being able to navigate an argument with their parents or being able to stand up for themselves and simply remind their parents that this is an adult issue and not something that they should really be involved in.
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    Psychologist

    Rebecca Eberlin, PhD

    Psychologist

    Dr. Rebecca E. Eberlin is a licensed psychologist and family coach who specializes in providing evidenced-based treatment and assessment to children and their families with a variety of emotional, behavioral and developmental challenges. Dr. Eberlin graduated from the University of Michigan with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Political Science. She then returned to California and completed her Doctoral training at Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. As a psychologist and family coach at the UCLA Family Commons, Dr. Eberlin provides individual and group intervention for children, adolescents and their parents. 

    More Parenting Videos from Rebecca Eberlin, PhD >
  • Linda Gant, Mom & Caretaker  | Transcript:Explaining divorce to a child really depends on their age.  My daughter was three years old when her father and I divorced and it was more about what we did than what we said.  I made sure that I said nothing ill about her father and we showed a lot of love so that if a child can feel love then they will feel more stable in their life.  And also, divorce is a process and so as they get older they may have things that they’ve kept with them that you want to able to bring out so continue the conversation with them and make sure that both parents are involved if you can.  But primarily, I would say don’t allow any negative conversations to come up about the other parent.  Just be loving and supportive of your child.
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    Mom & Caretaker

    Linda Gant

    Mom & Caretaker

    Linda Joy Gant’s life mission and passion is to blend borders and cultures locally and around the world using the language of the arts, music and travel. Linda is a business owner of LJoy Travel, specializing in tours to Asia. As an Agape Licensed Spiritual Practitioner, Linda provides her clients with counseling and life coach services. Her services, seminars and training include strategies for developing life and business missions. Linda is a mother, grandmother, sister and a loving caregiver to her mother. 

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  • Maria Elena Cruz, Mom & Art Curator  | Transcript:The way I helped my 4 and 5 year old understand their dad's drug use, when he went into rehabilitation, we announced it as a special journey. And I basically said to them while daddy is away, he is going to be getting stronger  and healthier so that when he returns we get good quality time with him. And while he was away for 30 days, he let them know, he did talk to them directly and say I will be away for 30 days. They don't know what 30 days look like and so we did have a calender to explain to them you know, he would return  at this particular time and date. And when he returned you know, we spent time together, good quality time together. The moments that they missed him we would pray for him and that would be our way of giving him a special hug. And I just  embraced them whenever they needed a warm embrace. And usually when I attended to their need and addressed it directly, they were fine. And they got through and they were excited to see their dad when he returned.
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    Maria Elena Cruz

    Mom & Art Curator

    Maria Elena Cruz is an active artist and curator, and the mother of two children, aged five and seven. She has taught art for 15 years, and believes that art can help children’s development and ease them through difficult times of transition – something she has experience with firsthand. During the day she teaches at Optimist High and in the evening she teaches watercolor, mixed media art, and figure drawing at UCLA. Maria also directs a project called, “The Pulse,” where she invites the community to paint to the rhythm of drums. Maria also recently began a nonprofit, Dial Art that serves communities in multiple ways through art. Her children are happily involved in most of her art programs. Her son, Clarence, age seven, has been learning to play the trumpet for two years and is involved with the science academy. Her daughter, Amara, age five, is involved with gymnastics and the science academy.

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  • Traci Cummings, Unconventional Mom  | Transcript:We just recently went to 50% custody.  So we have a legal agreement in place that covers a lot of the broad subjects like religion or piercings or extracurricular activities.  So we have already made an agreement that we will have to agree on these subjects when they come up.  Other things that come up, if they are not doing their homework or if they are not getting enough sleep, I will then initiate a conversation with my ex.  These are things that need to be taken care of.  These are things we also need to agree on.  When it comes to television shows that I think that are inappropriate, foods that I wouldn´t let my children eat, those types of situations, it´s no comment.   That´s their dad.  He has to make his own parenting choices.  I make my parenting choices and I am grateful that he is a plugged in parent and at least puts some thought into his own choices.
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    Traci Cummings

    Unconventional Mom

    Traci Cummings is a divorced, self-described unconventional mom of two children, ages seven and five.  When she isn't preparing meals, cleaning up or playing card games with her children, she is busy trying to spread the word about babywearing.  Traci – who is a strong advocate of breastfeeding, the family bed and instinctual parenting – believes her children are the teachers providing daily lessons to further her practice as a parent.

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  • Jeffrey Kluger, Science Journalist & Author   | Transcript:One of the greatest mistakes parents can make during divorce is enlisting one child as an ally. Now often this will be the oldest child, particularly when you are the parent with most of the custody. It is damaging in a whole lot of ways. The child's loyalties are already deeply torn between mom in one house and dad in the other. It's a little bit like iron filings moving between two very powerful magnets. Any attention a child shows to one parent often immediately feels like a lack of loyalty to the other parent. When one parent enlists the child as an ally, as a colleague, as a confidante, it only makes it worse for that child, and it also can strain that connectedness between that child and the other kids. Now this doesn't mean that the rule against doing that should be applied too sweepingly. If you're a single parent either through divorce or through the death of the other parent and you have an older child, particularly one that seems responsible, it's a waste of resources not to enlist that child as a caretaker as a co-disciplinarian or as just someone to keep an eye on the younger kids. But that doesn't mean you should be having family huddles with the older child. That doesn't mean you should be consulting them,
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    Science Journalist & Author

    Jeffrey Kluger

    Science Journalist & Author

    Jeffrey Kluger is a senior editor and writer at Time magazine, covering science, health and other fields. He is the coauthor, along with astronaut Jim Lovell, of Apollo 13, the book that served as the basis of the 1995 movie. His more-recent release, Splendid Solution, told the story of Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine.  His novel, Nacky Patcher and the Curse of the Dry-Land Boats, was published in June 2007, and his newest nonfiction book, Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex, was published in June 2008.

    Before coming to Time, Kluger worked for Discover magazine, where he was a senior editor and humor columnist. Prior to that, he was health editor at Family Circle magazine, story editor at The New York Times Business World Magazine, and Associate Editor at Science Digest magazine. His features and columns have appeared in dozens of publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Gentlemen's Quarterly, The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Omni, McCall's, New York Magazine, The New York Post, Newsday, and, of course, Time. He has worked as an adjunct instructor in the graduate journalism program at New York University; is a licensed—though non-practicing—attorney; and is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore School of Law. He lives in New York City with his wife Alejandra and their daughters, Elisa and Paloma.

    More Parenting Videos from Jeffrey Kluger >
  • Talitha Davies Wegner, Attorney  | Transcript:If you are planning to leave your partner and depending on the circumstances, especially if your partner has their own business, you need to get your ducks in a row.  You need to document what your lifestyle is.  You need to make copies of your tax documents.  Make copies of credit card statements.  You need to get profit and loss statements from the business.  The more information you have about your life style before you separate, the more ammunication you are going to have for child support for your children.  What you do not want is a he said, she said, especially if income is coming in through a business where the partner has control over the money that is declared.  So the best divorce possible happens when you are organized and you have as much evidence and information as you need to get the support that you are going to need after the divorce.
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    Talitha Davies Wegner

    Attorney

    Talitha Davies Wegner is a Los Angeles attorney specializing in family matters. Her warm personality and compelling litigation skills enable her clients to navigate legal challenges with confidence and peace of mind. Genuine interest in her clients' issues, her personal life experiences and a passion for justice provide her clients with "a best friend in the law". Talitha is no stranger to divorce - weathering her own in 2004. She is now married to Bill Wegner, also an attorney. Talitha adores Bill's three adult children and their partners as well as being "GrandTali" to four granddaughters.

    More Parenting Videos from Talitha Davies Wegner >
  • Talitha Davies Wegner, Attorney  | Transcript:As a divorce attorney, it becomes a big issue of when they can start dating and when to introduce their children.

Depending on the circumstances of the divorce, if there's been cheating in the other relationship and the children are upset; depending upon the ages, depending upon the conduct of the people involved.  You are always safe waiting.  You can never wait too long.

The other thing you should ask yourself is:  Are you doing this for your own convenience or because it is really time to bring the kids into it?  When people are getting divorced, they are not thinking in their right mind.  It's a form of grief.  The things that I witness from my clients are, somewhat, irrational behavior, on occasion.  Your judgement can be altered.

Generally, I would suggest waiting as long as you can.  If you have a question, have your child speak to a therapist.
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    Attorney

    Talitha Davies Wegner

    Attorney

    Talitha Davies Wegner is a Los Angeles attorney specializing in family matters. Her warm personality and compelling litigation skills enable her clients to navigate legal challenges with confidence and peace of mind. Genuine interest in her clients' issues, her personal life experiences and a passion for justice provide her clients with "a best friend in the law". Talitha is no stranger to divorce - weathering her own in 2004. She is now married to Bill Wegner, also an attorney. Talitha adores Bill's three adult children and their partners as well as being "GrandTali" to four granddaughters.

    More Parenting Videos from Talitha Davies Wegner >
  • Traci Cummings, Unconventional Mom  | Transcript:When my kids asked me if I still loved their father, which they do often, I say,
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    Traci Cummings

    Unconventional Mom

    Traci Cummings is a divorced, self-described unconventional mom of two children, ages seven and five.  When she isn't preparing meals, cleaning up or playing card games with her children, she is busy trying to spread the word about babywearing.  Traci – who is a strong advocate of breastfeeding, the family bed and instinctual parenting – believes her children are the teachers providing daily lessons to further her practice as a parent.

    More Parenting Videos from Traci Cummings >
  • Maria Elena Cruz, Mom & Art Curator  | Transcript:The way that I handled our separation was I just kept everything upbeat in the normal routine. We had to move so I just announced it as a special journey. “Let’s go. We’re going to go on a special journey.” They, for a 4 and 5-year-old, were excited as long as I was excited and the times that they felt like they missed their dad, I would usually say, “Come one. Let’s send dad a special hug through prayer” and we’d pray for him and they’d be fine. Whenever they saw their dad, I just, “Oh, go run to your dad.” I invited him out when we went to the park and so everything just seemed normal to them as long as I kept myself in check and upbeat and not frustrated with what was going on.
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    Maria Elena Cruz

    Mom & Art Curator

    Maria Elena Cruz is an active artist and curator, and the mother of two children, aged five and seven. She has taught art for 15 years, and believes that art can help children’s development and ease them through difficult times of transition – something she has experience with firsthand. During the day she teaches at Optimist High and in the evening she teaches watercolor, mixed media art, and figure drawing at UCLA. Maria also directs a project called, “The Pulse,” where she invites the community to paint to the rhythm of drums. Maria also recently began a nonprofit, Dial Art that serves communities in multiple ways through art. Her children are happily involved in most of her art programs. Her son, Clarence, age seven, has been learning to play the trumpet for two years and is involved with the science academy. Her daughter, Amara, age five, is involved with gymnastics and the science academy.

    More Parenting Videos from Maria Elena Cruz >
  • Jeffrey Kluger, Science Journalist & Author   | Transcript:It is too much to say that the sibling bond is indestructible, but it does a remarkable job of surviving divorce and surviving physical separation.

In fact, some of the studies have shown that when you talk to siblings who are very, very close later in life, were asked if there was a pivotal moment that brought them to that indestructibly together; often they will say it was because of a divorce.

When there has been a divorce, kids tend to draw much closer together.  This can even often be the case when kids are in separate homes.  I experienced this myself.  After my parents were divorced, my brother went off to New York while we still lived in Baltimore at the time.  We actually found no strains, no breaking of the fraternal bonds among us.  They simply stayed the same.  In some ways, we got stronger because we made an effort to stay in touch.

The sibling bonds themselves stay intact, but that doesn't mean that the parents aren't doing damage by separating their kids.  Remember, when parents get divorced, the two main anchors in the child's lives have become unmoored.  That's the reason kids hang on to each other.  They are life buoys at that point.  

When you pull them apart, that is only going to give them a greater sense of dislocation and separation.  It is critical that they be kept together.  If at all possible, they should stay together in the family home and the parents should move in and out as they share custody.
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    Science Journalist & Author

    Jeffrey Kluger

    Science Journalist & Author

    Jeffrey Kluger is a senior editor and writer at Time magazine, covering science, health and other fields. He is the coauthor, along with astronaut Jim Lovell, of Apollo 13, the book that served as the basis of the 1995 movie. His more-recent release, Splendid Solution, told the story of Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine.  His novel, Nacky Patcher and the Curse of the Dry-Land Boats, was published in June 2007, and his newest nonfiction book, Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex, was published in June 2008.

    Before coming to Time, Kluger worked for Discover magazine, where he was a senior editor and humor columnist. Prior to that, he was health editor at Family Circle magazine, story editor at The New York Times Business World Magazine, and Associate Editor at Science Digest magazine. His features and columns have appeared in dozens of publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Gentlemen's Quarterly, The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Omni, McCall's, New York Magazine, The New York Post, Newsday, and, of course, Time. He has worked as an adjunct instructor in the graduate journalism program at New York University; is a licensed—though non-practicing—attorney; and is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore School of Law. He lives in New York City with his wife Alejandra and their daughters, Elisa and Paloma.

    More Parenting Videos from Jeffrey Kluger >
  • Maria Elena Cruz, Mom & Art Curator  | Transcript:The way that I supported my husband during his rehabilitation was I did set up boundaries that he could only visit the kids if there was someone else present; myself, my mom, or his mother.  He always respected that.  I'm always grateful that he respected that.

Because he always respected that, I always needed to remember that I was warm, welcome and receptive, gracious, not taking things personally; allowing him that time with the kids.  Be open to inviting him with us, despite our circumstances at that moment.

It was really important for the children to open to that and as long as those boundaries were established and respected, I needed to make a compromise to be open to whenever the time was available.  To be open to that.
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    Mom & Art Curator

    Maria Elena Cruz

    Mom & Art Curator

    Maria Elena Cruz is an active artist and curator, and the mother of two children, aged five and seven. She has taught art for 15 years, and believes that art can help children’s development and ease them through difficult times of transition – something she has experience with firsthand. During the day she teaches at Optimist High and in the evening she teaches watercolor, mixed media art, and figure drawing at UCLA. Maria also directs a project called, “The Pulse,” where she invites the community to paint to the rhythm of drums. Maria also recently began a nonprofit, Dial Art that serves communities in multiple ways through art. Her children are happily involved in most of her art programs. Her son, Clarence, age seven, has been learning to play the trumpet for two years and is involved with the science academy. Her daughter, Amara, age five, is involved with gymnastics and the science academy.

    More Parenting Videos from Maria Elena Cruz >
  • Maria Elena Cruz, Mom & Art Curator  | Transcript:Some of the ways step mothers could be supportive of their step children during the divorce or separation is basically just staying open, I think, maybe overlooking that discomfort that you definitely feel in the beginning of the separation. And for me, it was important for me to let my three step children know that I was always open if they ever needed to talk and I know that the time is difficult but I am available in here in present if they need me. I didn’t call them a lot, I just kind of stayed open. Whenever they did call me and said they wanted to come over and see their brother and sister was open to that and welcomed them. We did invite them to some events that we had, maybe going to the raspberry farm or something like that and if they wanted to join us they came. But just staying open and available. They needed help with anything, I made myself available to assist them, but without being forceful.
    Now Playing
    Mom & Art Curator

    Maria Elena Cruz

    Mom & Art Curator

    Maria Elena Cruz is an active artist and curator, and the mother of two children, aged five and seven. She has taught art for 15 years, and believes that art can help children’s development and ease them through difficult times of transition – something she has experience with firsthand. During the day she teaches at Optimist High and in the evening she teaches watercolor, mixed media art, and figure drawing at UCLA. Maria also directs a project called, “The Pulse,” where she invites the community to paint to the rhythm of drums. Maria also recently began a nonprofit, Dial Art that serves communities in multiple ways through art. Her children are happily involved in most of her art programs. Her son, Clarence, age seven, has been learning to play the trumpet for two years and is involved with the science academy. Her daughter, Amara, age five, is involved with gymnastics and the science academy.

    More Parenting Videos from Maria Elena Cruz >
  • Jeffrey Kluger, Science Journalist & Author   | Transcript:Children of divorce parents already have loyalty issues. Every moment they spend with the other parent, every sign of love they spend with the other parent feels like a betrayal of the parent on the other side of town. When parents enlist their kids in carrying messages back and forth, or keeping an eye on the other parent: How was your Dad when you stayed with him? All that does is exacerbate their problem. Now, you've made the child an ally. Now you've made the child a confederate. It makes it even harder for that child to connect then feel comfortable with the opposite parent. That, in turn, can damage the relationship between the other parent and the child. Remember, if the other parent feel spied on by one of his kids or her kids, they're going to be less inclined to be intimate with that child. They're going to be less inclined to be candid with that child. They're going to be less inclined to feel comfortable with that child. What a parent does, who enlist another child then, has not only damaged the child, but damaged the bond that child has with the opposite parent.
    Now Playing
    Science Journalist & Author

    Jeffrey Kluger

    Science Journalist & Author

    Jeffrey Kluger is a senior editor and writer at Time magazine, covering science, health and other fields. He is the coauthor, along with astronaut Jim Lovell, of Apollo 13, the book that served as the basis of the 1995 movie. His more-recent release, Splendid Solution, told the story of Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine.  His novel, Nacky Patcher and the Curse of the Dry-Land Boats, was published in June 2007, and his newest nonfiction book, Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex, was published in June 2008.

    Before coming to Time, Kluger worked for Discover magazine, where he was a senior editor and humor columnist. Prior to that, he was health editor at Family Circle magazine, story editor at The New York Times Business World Magazine, and Associate Editor at Science Digest magazine. His features and columns have appeared in dozens of publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Gentlemen's Quarterly, The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Omni, McCall's, New York Magazine, The New York Post, Newsday, and, of course, Time. He has worked as an adjunct instructor in the graduate journalism program at New York University; is a licensed—though non-practicing—attorney; and is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore School of Law. He lives in New York City with his wife Alejandra and their daughters, Elisa and Paloma.

    More Parenting Videos from Jeffrey Kluger >
  • Tanayi Seabrook, Single Mom  | Transcript:First thing is divorce is a huge decision and it's different for everybody.  For me personally, you make that decision based on your ability to function in a day-to-day.  If it's gotten to the point where you cannot function; if you are not able to function as a family anymore.  Where the disagreement and the stress that you have with your partner is interfering with your parenting.  Where you ability to function as a parent within your proximity of the person; it's time to go.
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    Single Mom

    Tanayi Seabrook

    Single Mom

    Tanayi Seabrook has performed multiple roles on television productions-managing staffs, writing scripts, scheduling, budgeting, rights clearances, archival research and location scouting. At Peter Jones Productions, Tanayi was part of the production staff for a variety of episodes for A&E Network's Biography series, plus multiple programs for Turner Classic Movies. For five years Tanayi was on staff at Blackside, Inc., producers of the landmark PBS civil rights documentary series Eyes On the Prize. Tanayi worked on the PBS programs I'll Make Me A World: A Century of African American Art and Artists as well as This Far By Faith: African American Spiritual Journeys. She recently finished shooting a short film entitled The Cab, which she wrote and produced. Tanayi attended State University of New York (SUNY) Purchase, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Women's Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish. She also studied abroad at La Universidad de Salamanca in Spain. 

    More Parenting Videos from Tanayi Seabrook >
  • Tanayi Seabrook, Single Mom  | Transcript:Divorce is painful and how we make divorce less painful for children is one to be really mature.  If it did not work out between you and your spouse.  For me it did not work out for me and my guy.  And it has been a process to get on away from your hurt and anger with each other to the point where we have to work together for them.  We might not like to be in the same room together but we have to realize that our mission in life is not just about you and I.  It is about how we relate to each other in relation to our children.  And they need stability in terms of not chaos and drama.  They need to know they can count on us and they need to know that we are not going to be dumping, emotionally dumping, physically dumping, our anger and disappointment on them.  It is not their responsibility.  So my understanding is that you get really grown up really quickly.
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    Single Mom

    Tanayi Seabrook

    Single Mom

    Tanayi Seabrook has performed multiple roles on television productions-managing staffs, writing scripts, scheduling, budgeting, rights clearances, archival research and location scouting. At Peter Jones Productions, Tanayi was part of the production staff for a variety of episodes for A&E Network's Biography series, plus multiple programs for Turner Classic Movies. For five years Tanayi was on staff at Blackside, Inc., producers of the landmark PBS civil rights documentary series Eyes On the Prize. Tanayi worked on the PBS programs I'll Make Me A World: A Century of African American Art and Artists as well as This Far By Faith: African American Spiritual Journeys. She recently finished shooting a short film entitled The Cab, which she wrote and produced. Tanayi attended State University of New York (SUNY) Purchase, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Women's Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish. She also studied abroad at La Universidad de Salamanca in Spain. 

    More Parenting Videos from Tanayi Seabrook >
  • Tanayi Seabrook, Single Mom  | Transcript:You know, I still have my desire to be out and to meet men, but now that whole process is totally different because, you know, I cannot just bring somebody home. I've just basically set up a rule for myself that I would allow myself the time to meet men in the world, and they would have to pass certain criteria before they come home. And right now, very few people come home. My kids do not meet men that I am dating unless the person has reached the point where either he will be a friend for a long time or I see the potential of him being a father. That's a big deal. Not every guy you meet--you might be attracted to that person--but not every guy you meet is going to be someone who has that father potential, the ability to translate to not only be your lover and your friend but a father to your children. That's a big deal.
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    Single Mom

    Tanayi Seabrook

    Single Mom

    Tanayi Seabrook has performed multiple roles on television productions-managing staffs, writing scripts, scheduling, budgeting, rights clearances, archival research and location scouting. At Peter Jones Productions, Tanayi was part of the production staff for a variety of episodes for A&E Network's Biography series, plus multiple programs for Turner Classic Movies. For five years Tanayi was on staff at Blackside, Inc., producers of the landmark PBS civil rights documentary series Eyes On the Prize. Tanayi worked on the PBS programs I'll Make Me A World: A Century of African American Art and Artists as well as This Far By Faith: African American Spiritual Journeys. She recently finished shooting a short film entitled The Cab, which she wrote and produced. Tanayi attended State University of New York (SUNY) Purchase, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Women's Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish. She also studied abroad at La Universidad de Salamanca in Spain. 

    More Parenting Videos from Tanayi Seabrook >
  • Tanayi Seabrook, Single Mom  | Transcript:Divorce is so difficult and I think what I would have done differently as a parent is I would have made the separation clearer. Because I thought my ex and I could still have dinners sometimes and go to our kids games together, do Christmas and Thanksgiving. That was nuts; I don't know what I was thinking. Because what happened was the separation wasn't clear. My kids weren't clear about what was happening, my ex wasn't clear about what was happening and it prolonged the misunderstanding that we were not together as a family anymore. So what I would have done differently was made a clearer break, a very clear separation. We could not have dinner together, we wouldn't be able to do the family things together; that unit would now function differently.
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    Single Mom

    Tanayi Seabrook

    Single Mom

    Tanayi Seabrook has performed multiple roles on television productions-managing staffs, writing scripts, scheduling, budgeting, rights clearances, archival research and location scouting. At Peter Jones Productions, Tanayi was part of the production staff for a variety of episodes for A&E Network's Biography series, plus multiple programs for Turner Classic Movies. For five years Tanayi was on staff at Blackside, Inc., producers of the landmark PBS civil rights documentary series Eyes On the Prize. Tanayi worked on the PBS programs I'll Make Me A World: A Century of African American Art and Artists as well as This Far By Faith: African American Spiritual Journeys. She recently finished shooting a short film entitled The Cab, which she wrote and produced. Tanayi attended State University of New York (SUNY) Purchase, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Women's Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish. She also studied abroad at La Universidad de Salamanca in Spain. 

    More Parenting Videos from Tanayi Seabrook >