As your children get older, there are new challenges for co-parenting families. While you once balanced pick-ups and drop-offs at each parent’s house, now you might be discussing how your teenager will drive themselves to and from their parents’ homes. There are plenty of other conversations too, especially when it comes to who is paying for what when it comes to big purchases and on-going expenses.
If you’re divorced with children, you know all too well how challenging it can be to navigate co-parenting plans. It’s not uncommon to have to modify a plan – especially as your children get older and their needs change. However, when circumstances change for a parent, it could further impact your agreement, even if you have a great system in place. This can range from a parent’s job relocation, unemployment, financial strain, illness, and other things that are out of your control.
Charlotte-based certified mediator and collaborative family law attorney Robin M. Mermans recently earned a co-parenting specialist certification from a national training group. She attended the Mosten Guthrie Academy for Mediation and Collaborative Training in February 2022 to enhance her practice in using an innovative child-centered approach in her work with separating and divorcing parents. Mermans, owner of ROAD to RESOLUTION, attended four days of intensive training and seminars with experts across the country to receive the certification.
When the COVID-19 vaccines were released for adults in early 2021, it was a sigh of relief for my family. My husband and I have five children, four of whom are over the age of 18. We were so grateful to receive the vaccine; however, for our youngest, who is still in high school – we had to wait a little longer for his dose. A few months later, his age group was approved to get the shot and we became a fully-vaccinated family.
Getting our vaccines was an easy decision for my family. However, as a collaborative family law attorney with expertise in co-parenting and parenting agreements, I know that this is not the case for all families.
During a divorce journey, it’s common to create a parenting agreement that details custody arrangements and children-related protocols. However, there are many instances when these types of plans need to be reassessed.
I’m a divorce mediator and collaborative family law attorney with over 15 years of personal and professional experience in this process. I work with divorcing spouses to create their parenting agreements and I also offer co-parenting guidance to families after their divorce. In addition, I’m a mom and stepmom who has personally raised five children under two separate custody agreements. My husband and I have made several revisions and updates to our parenting plans over the years.
It’s hard to believe that we’re talking about back to school season already. Looking back, it feels like summer just started yesterday – another few months gone by too fast. My husband and I are getting ready to send our youngest child back to high school in just a few short weeks. Our four older children have since graduated, so this is the last child we have going through K-12 education. The back to school routine has been part of our lives together for the past 12 years as we’ve co-parented our five children with two separate parenting agreements.