Feb 01, 2013 Brenda's article in ExpertBeacon: Divorcing & Divorced Dads Succeed When They Put Interests of the Children First
Divorces are heart-wrenching for all families, particularly when children are involved. Though courts have traditionally favored mothers in divorce proceedings, more and more people are finally understanding that dads matter just as much as moms. Children need strong role-models in their lives, which includes both parents. Divorce is undoubtedly difficult, but this expert advice for dads going through the process - or recently divorced - will help make it easier for everybody. Do remember your child is the priority be a strong role model for your children be respectful of your child’s mother ask your children to help you choose your new home and/or encourage them to help their mothers do the same plan birthday parties with their mother Don't send your child as the messenger send your children back to their mother dirty and hungry discuss child support with your children buy gifts or toys when it’s not a birthday or gift-giving holiday miss games, recitals, school plays, or doctor’s appointments Do Do remember your child is the priority During the divorce process, you need to remember that the divorce is secondary! Many parents get caught up with the divorce rather than child care, which is incredibly harmful to your children. You need to be there. Demonstrate that you want as much time as you can possibly have with your children. Some states mandate this, and some don’t, but it is ultimately your responsibility to seek out time with your children. Do be a strong role model for your children Most divorcing couples are completely clueless that their children, even the very young ones, are picking up on their vibrations. Be aware of what you say in front of your children during this time. But most importantly, be hands on! Diapers need changing, baseball games need fans, tea parties need another participant. Show them that you are first and foremost their dad. Do be respectful of your child’s mother As difficult as it may sometimes be, you need to be respectful of your children’s mother. Keep in mind that the relationship you have with your soon-to-be ex will determine how adversarial your divorce proceeding becomes. And it’s important to remember, you are the one that chose their mother. Do ask your children to help you choose your new home and/or encourage them to help their mothers do the same Dads should make it a point to ensure that the kids know that wherever he is, is home, and wherever mom is, is also home. By including them in the process of selecting your new place, and letting them choose their bedroom (just not the master!), you are conveying to them that their opinion is important to you and that they are. Do plan birthday parties with their mother Before a divorce, kids have spent every birthday with both of their parents. There are enough changes happening due to the divorce; choosing which parent to spend their birthday with shouldn’t be one of them. Don't Do not send your child as the messenger Fathers have the habit of saying “Tell your mother to...” It is important to remember that your children are not your messengers. This makes them feel caught in the middle when they expect that their parents should know how to talk to each other - they used to, didn’t they? Also, do not put messages, documents, etc in your child’s bookbag expecting mom to find it. This is a surefire way to make sure your message never gets delivered. If you have something to say, pick up the phone and call her. Do not send your children back to their mother dirty and hungry This gives mom reason to question your parenting ability. Mom gets furious, which means that you and mom will end up arguing over non issues. Do not discuss child support with your children Phrases like “That’s why I pay your mother child support” or “I don’t have any money, your mother took it all” are damaging to your children because it terrifies them. They will think: “If mommy doesn’t have any money, and if daddy doesn’t have any money, what am I going to eat? What am I going to wear?” Money is a very scary topic for a child because it’s not something they can control. Keep adult conversations between adults. Do not buy gifts or toys when it’s not a birthday or gift-giving holiday When you were in an intact marriage, its unlikely you brought your kids home gifts for no reason. This shouldn’t change because of a divorce, but it is very common for dads to solve every problem at Toys ‘R’ Us. Doing this makes kids feel entitled, and worse, it makes them manipulative. Do not miss games, recitals, school plays, or doctor’s appointments The most important thing a dad can do for his kids is to be present for them; nothing can replace this. Dads tend to leave recitals, doctor’s appointments, and games (unless it’s a sport they like) to moms. Being there for these moments will leave a lasting impact on your children. Summary Most men and women do not realize that they put their children in the middle of their disputes. It’s not something done intentionally, but you need to remember that your anger is not your child’s anger. Love and support are different and it is your job as a parent to make sure your children have both, especially all of those divorced fathers out there.
Jan 17, 2013 Brenda Named Top Attorney by South Florida Legal Guide
This year, our very-own Brenda Shapiro, made it in South Florida Legal Guide's elite list of top attorneys in family and marital practices in South Florida!
Aug 21, 2012 Mediation Tips
Check out Brenda's article featured in this months Maryland Bar Bulletin!
Aug 13, 2012 Brenda B. Shapiro Becomes A Certified Family Mediator
Check out Brenda being featured in the South Florida Business Journal!
Jun 14, 2012 Protect The Children of 'Baby Mommas'
Check out Brenda being a guest author in the BC Family Law Resource Blog!
Mar 28, 2012 Brenda in The News, Again!
Check out Brenda's Midlife Career Change featured in NewsObserver.com!
Mar 28, 2012 Midlife Career Change
Check out Brenda being featured in an article from Retail Me Not - talking about making a job switch during middle age!
Feb 21, 2012 Attorney at Law
Check out Brenda being featured in Attorney At Law Magazine!
Jan 03, 2012 Brenda Shapiro: Today's Honoree
Check out Brenda being featured and honored in Today's Honoree!
Sep 15, 2011 Brenda Shapiro's Article
In Relocation Cases, Consider the Evidence When Deciding What's Best for a Child
Jan 20, 2010 SEMINAR
The Collaborative Law Process - A New Way of Doing Divorce