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Columbia Family Law Blog

Tips for better co-parenting during the holiday season

The holiday season is supposed to be one of the most exciting and enjoyable times of the year, especially for children. If you've gone through a divorce, you know that co-parenting is not always as simple as it sounds. This is particularly true during the holidays.

Even if you've run into trouble in past years, there are tips you can follow for a better co-parenting experience this holiday season.

  • Plan in advance: Discuss the holidays with the other parent as soon as possible, as this gives you time to work through any disagreements and scheduling conflicts. It's natural to put this off, as you don't want to get into an argument, but you can only hide from the conversation for so long.
  • Remain flexible: When both parents remain flexible, it's much easier for everyone to get what they want during the holiday season. For example, if your ex-spouse requests a few extra hours with your children on Christmas Eve, consider if you can make it happen.
  • Start new traditions: The traditions you held during your marriage may not work for you and your children now that you're divorced, and that's okay. There is no better time than this holiday season to start new traditions.
  • Don't compete with your ex-spouse: You don't need to buy your children gifts you can't afford just to "show up" the other parent. You don't need to provide your children with every holiday experience imaginable, so you can tell yourself that you're better than the other parent.

Things to understand about a parenting agreement

When moving through the divorce process, you may find yourself negotiating the terms and conditions of a parenting agreement. As difficult as it sounds, if you keep an open mind, you should be able to settle on something that works well for you, the other parent and your children.

A parenting agreement is designed to provide structure in the future. With this court-approved document in place, both parents have a clear idea of their legal rights and what's expected of them as a parent. This is much better than hoping for the best.

How to select your health care agent

There is no shortage of questions and challenges when creating a medical power of attorney. While you're doing this for the peace of mind it will provide, you also realize that it can stress you out for the time being.

In short, a medical power of attorney comes into play in the event of your incapacitation. If this happens, your health care agent will step in and make key medical decisions on your behalf.

7 estate planning mistakes you can avoid with the right approach

When it comes to estate planning it's not always easy to make the right decisions at the right time. In addition to federal and state laws, you're staffed with the responsibility of making choices that are best for you and your family.

Even though there are many potential estate planning mistakes hanging over your head, you can avoid all of these with the right approach. Just the same, even if you make a mistake you can always rectify the situation in some way, shape or form.

There are several ways to fight a traffic ticket

If you receive a traffic ticket, it's important to fully understand why this happened and what you can do to protect your legal rights in the future. You may decide to pay the traffic ticket and move on, but this isn't always in your best interest.

If you have reason to believe you can fight back and win, you should learn more about the many traffic ticket defense strategies you can use to your advantage.

  • Dispute the officer's opinion: If you received a traffic ticket as a result of an officer's opinion, such as that you were driving unsafely, you may be able to successfully dispute their claim. Subjective tickets leave a lot to interpretation, which puts you in better position to fight back.
  • Use evidence to your advantage: If your traffic ticket is more clear cut, and less based on the officer's opinion, you should consider if there is any evidence you can use to strengthen your case. For example, the use of a diagram can explain your thoughts on the situation, thus giving the judge a clear idea of what exactly happened. Also, eyewitness statements can work in your favor. The more evidence you present the better.
  • Argue that you had a reason for breaking the law: This sounds silly, but you may be able to argue that your driving was justified. For example, you could argue that you were driving in excess of the speed limit to move your vehicle away from a trucker who was swerving all over the road. If you're going to use this defense strategy, collect and present as much evidence as possible.

I'm worried about leaving my adult son a lump sum inheritance

Many parents struggle with drawing up comprehensive estate plans because they have one or more children who have proven to be ill-equipped to handle their financial affairs.

Maybe they have a history of filing for bankruptcy or have a weakness for betting the mortgage on a trifecta at the track. Sometimes, the problem might not even lie with the adult child, but with their irresponsible spouse.

Answer these questions to improve your co-parenting experience

When you think about co-parenting it's easy to become frustrated, especially if things have not gone as planned in the past.

Regardless of what's happened, there are steps you can take in the future to improve your co-parenting experience and avoid additional stress down the road.

Top tips for discussing estate planning with your loved ones

There is more to creating an estate plan than making decisions on your own, signing a few documents and hoping that you never have to revisit this again in the future.

Instead, there's a very good chance you'll need to discuss your estate plan with loved ones, such as a spouse and/or elderly parents.