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Parents that are able to work together after going through a divorce can help ensure their children thrive by using the co-parenting model. This enables consistency between homes for children because many of the rules remain consistent from one home to the other home. This is a challenge, but having some serious negotiations with your ex might be beneficial to your children’s circumstances.

Discuss your house rules with your ex and listen to the rules at their house. Decide which ones you can tweak so that they work at both households. Some rules, such as bedtimes, might need to be consistent for younger kids. Other rules, such as loud voices in the house, might not be needed at both homes if only one parent allows that type of behavior. Use your best judgement here.

When you are establishing the initial co-parenting plan, you need to be realistic about what your capabilities. The schedule should be reflect upon your and your ex's schedules so that you have a reliable plan for the children. If the children are very active in extracurricular activities, church or sports, you must consider that too.

Things will be a bit challenging, especially at first. However, co-parenting gives your children a massive advantage post divorce, because both parents are actively working together to figure out what is best for them.

Parenting between two homes isn’t easy, and no method is perfect. There are going to be situations when you and your ex don't see things eye to eye. If reasonable compromise just isn't feasible, you may need to return to court and have a judge give you the answer.

We can provide you with strong representation in these cases.

Orion MeyersFamily Law

Sticking to you and your children’s schedules is tough enough during the school year, but add in a divorce and coordinating schedules may be even more complicated than usual. On top of after-school activities, play dates and school obligations, you may need to keep track of who it is that’s picking up your children, who will attend sports games and dance recitals, and where the kids will sleep at night.

As if simply keeping track of everybody’s busy schedules wasn’t work enough, you may also feel expected to remind everyone else what their plan is too. It’s one thing to remind your kids about the day’s schedule, but it’s probably not at the top of your list to touch base with your ex every day to solidify the details of your schedule. Fortunately, there are a ton of tech tools available to you that can help alleviate your schedule coordination madness.

Some of the top free apps for that help streamline scheduling include:

  • Google Calendar

  • Cozi

  • SquareHub

Sometimes a simple tool is all that you need

Although Google Calendar may be the least flashy app on the list, its minimalism and simplicity help make it one of the most effective tools for scheduling. Google Calendar allows you to make your own calendar and share editing permissions with other members, like your ex-spouse, so you can both make necessary changes to it without requiring communication. You’ve even got the ability to make more than one calendar to organize different types of events in your life. For example, you can keep things organized by setting up one calendar for your custody schedule and another for your children’s activities.

Having everything in one place has its advantages

Among other features, Cozi allows you to include each family member’s events in one color-coded calendar. Each family member can have access to the same calendar, so everyone will be well versed on the day’s events. You can even plug in reminders for important events and tasks. The Cozi app also allows you to store lists, such as grocery lists, to-do lists or packing lists— fully customized to your life.

Older children may want more involvement with scheduling

If you have older children in their teens, you may prefer an app that allows more fluid communication and multiple contributors. SquareHub is a private social network app that you can design just for your family. It allows each member to send messages to each other, coordinate and view schedules, and share photos. The app seamlessly brings all of this to one place. It is designed to be safe for children, and even includes a “check-in” feature so you can know your kids are safe, no matter where they are.

Managing schedules can be difficult during the school year when everyone in the family is busy. It can be even more challenging when divorce has caused changes to your family’s normal routines. However, a clever app may be able to help you get organized. If you find a system that works for your situation, it may help your whole family stay on track throughout the school year.

Orion MeyersFamily Law

Parenting effectively through divorce and other family law issues is hard! Parents and children alike need all the help they can get during times of adversity. Parenting coordination fills a need that many Baton Rouge parents do not even know that they have, but what is it exactly?

If you are getting a divorce or already divorced, you are likely very familiar with conflict. It plagues split families relentlessly, often lasting well into a child's early adulthood or even their entire lives. Parenting coordination answers the need for stability, peace and cooperation between parents. As a non-confidential process centered on the children, coordination helps children by helping parents in conflict-filled family situations.

A parenting coordinator is an unbiased third-party--usually a legal or mental health professional--trained to assist in high-conflict parental relationships. One of the main goals of parenting coordination is helping families put parenting plans into place and then abiding by the terms of these plans. Coordinators also help in other ways, including:

  • Educating co-parents about children

  • Monitoring the behavior of each parent

  • Helping parents resolve their disputes

  • Making suggestions or recommendations

The list above is far from exhaustive as parental coordinators often help parents address serious family law issues as well. Examples include psychological assessments for children and substance abuse testing for parents and/or children.

Most co-parents in Louisiana will never need a parental coordinator. However, if you hear this term in a family law court, it is probably a good idea to ask an attorney for guidance. Anything that can help children survive a divorce with their emotional and mental health intact is always worth pursuing.

Orion MeyersFamily Law

In Louisiana and other states, many couples are choosing to enter into a covenant marriage. In a nutshell, this family law term means that couples promise to remain married forever. While most people intend marriage to last forever anyway, how does a covenant marriage even work?

According to the state's Department of Health, couples must agree to two significant provisions when choosing a covenant marriage.

  • The parties make a legal agreement to pursue counseling if their marriage begins to deteriorate

  • The spouses may only seek to divorce or separate legally for specific and limited reasons such as abuse, adultery or abandonment

The impetus behind these unions is to preserve the covenant of marriage, which has suffered greatly in recent decades with so many marriages ending in divorce. However, it is wise for couples to learn as much as possible about covenant marriages before entering into one. The following pros and cons of such unions can help you decide if it is the right choice for you.

  • Pro: Requires pre-marital counseling, which can help couples avoid relationship issues that might arise

  • Pro: Strengthens the bonds between all members of the family

  • Pro: Agreeing to take marriage preservation steps in the face of adversity can make a marriage stronger

  • Con: It is typically more difficult to get a divorce

  • Con: Some consider these unions "too religious" in nature

  • Con: The difficulty in divorcing can pose financial hardships for each spouse

Before agreeing to a covenant marriage, it is wise to explore the matter further by speaking with a family law attorney. With sound legal guidance, you can avoid ending up in an unsatisfactory relationship from which it is hard to break away.

Orion MeyersFamily Law

You and your spouse are preparing for a divorce. In addition to dividing your assets, you may also be wondering whether you’ll be responsible for your spouse’s debt.

Continue reading to learn how Louisiana handles marital debt and what you can do about it.

Defining community debt vs. separate debt

Louisiana defines community debt as debt acquired from the day your marriage began until the day of your divorce. Such debt must have either been acquired for both spouses’ interest or acquired by one spouse for the other spouse’s interest. Both parties are responsible for such debt. In the event of a divorce, community debt is divided in a 50/50 split.

Separate debt describes the personal debt you acquired—usually before your marriage—which you are solely responsible for.

How to start dealing with your community debt

You may be so overwhelmed with your and your spouse’s debt that you don’t know what to do next. You will have to work with your spouse in some capacity to deal with your marital debt, so it’s important to remain cordial.

A good place for both of you to begin is by making separate lists where you document the debt you individually brought into the marriage. After that, you can start on a list of the debt you have acquired since you got married. These kinds of debts could be auto loans, credit cards, mortgages, personal loans and student loans. Determining the exact amount of debt will help you to set up a debt repayment plan.

After your divorce is final, you’ll still want to make sure your ex continues paying their part of your shared debt. It will also be useful to keep tabs on your credit report to make sure your ex is continuing to make payments. If not, this could negatively affect both of your credit scores.

Realizing how much debt you’ve acquired before and after getting married can be a stressful realization. By organizing a list of the debt you owe and the debt you and your ex owe together, you’re taking a step in the right direction.

Contact Us

Contact us with any questions you have regarding your divorce.

Orion MeyersFamily Law