Divorce and Summer Schedules.


I want to talk to you today about divorce, separation, mediation and summer schedules.

The first thing to know is that according to Minnesota law (and I would guess most states), in a divorce the most important concern is the children (if you have any together). That means that if something is helpful for the kids and inconvenient for you, the kids come first. For example, at a young age, it is better for kids to see their father or mother more often for less time than less often for more time. This may seem intuitive, and yet I had a case where the parents were exchanging a baby every other month, and drove 500 miles.That’s crazy. for babies several times a week are most helpful for good bonding with each parent

I urge you to work out a schedule that works for the children as much as possible. Do what you can, even if it means the driving division is not even. Maybe one parent is unwilling or unable to transport the children to an activity. Best for the child to simply do the transportation and understand that you are helping the children move forward and heal. Isn’t such healing worth a little of your time? Yes, it can get annoying when one parent can’t or won’t step up to responsibility and yet you are still helping your kids at a difficult time for them. get help from me to work out visitation schedules and parenting time if you can’t do it yourselves.

Having said that, summer is a usually time of less stress for kids: less (or no) school, less homework, fewer activities etc. So kids can tolerate irregular or late schedules better. Summer is often the best time for longer vacations or for one parent who had less time during the school year to “catch up.” make up your summer schedules carefully and wisely and your kids will thank you for it, and reward you with happy stress-free memories and solid growth.

Happy Parenting!

Minnesota Qualified Neutral

Suitable Candidates for Mediation

When is a person not suited to mediation? Various Chemical dependency and mental health issues come to mind. If a person is so locked in their position that they will not consider any alternatives then mediation should not be encouraged. Unfortunately, people are ordered to mediation and at times they are following court orders without any real intent. Often I will ask people if they are open to changing their position, for if they are not, mediation is a waste of time.

Even in evaluative meditation a party can be so locked in that they cannot change. Typically this is when they are emotionally stuck. Occasionally I get people whose egos are on the line so that compromise or change is tough. There can be circumstances with parents where they promise to do their best to their kids so would feel the need to exhaust every avenue so they can say to themselves or their kids “I tried my best.”

It is too bad then as often it is the parties and kids who suffer.



Holy Week, Easter and church fights

Strangely enough, Holy Week is not a week for church fights in most places. Simply put, the people in church who love being traditional are too busy preparing and helping with Easter breakfasts, commuinion, music, footwashing etc.. Working together to ┬ámake sure the traditions get done well (in the traditional style) generally takes precedence over any conflict. Sometimes after Easter, sadly, ┬áthe conflicts come back as if the togetherness of Holy Week had never existed. Miost times, though, church conflict will fade away as winter fades. By summer very little activity, including conflict, occurs in most churches. Summer is a season for working in the garden, going to the lake etc. and any conflict then is most often handled quickly and easily or the damage has already been done and pastor or others are on their way out. In rare cases the conflict reemerges in fall when people return to church after “Rally” Sunday or the first Sunday School day in the fall.

These patterns are especially pronounced in small rural congregations where summer is a time of feverish activity outside church.