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You divorced your spouse, not your children

You are obviously not the only parent in Garden City who does not have custody of his or her children. There is no shame in being a non-custodial parent, although the term is sometimes suspect to speculation as to why children were placed with one parent over the other. The fact that you divorced your former spouse does not mean you are not a good parent. Further, just because you are the non-custodial parent, certainly does not mean you have no rights.

Active participation is encouraged

Don't let anyone try to convince you that being a non-custodial parent means you have forfeited interest in your children's lives. Others who have been in your position in the past have sometimes gone back to court to protect their parental rights and preserve their active relationships with their children. Note the following:

  • The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act protects your involvement in your children's daily lives. This law is in effect in all 50 states and encourages active participation from both parents, no matter who has physical custody.
  • If you are unable to adhere to the visitation schedule in your court order, it does not mean you don't want to see your children. There are ways to request a modification of an existing court order when needed.
  • Your home is your children's home too, even if they're only there sometimes. Loving your children and wanting what is best for them does not stop simply because you don't have full-time custody.

If you believe another party is trying to undermine your parenting, or you have questions regarding New York or federal laws that govern post-divorce parenting plans, you could significantly benefit in your search for answers from the assistance of a family law attorney in your area.

Making the most of visits with your children

As a non-custodial parent, you may relate to the old saying that absence makes a heart grow fonder. In anticipation of your children's visits, there are many things you can do to prepare so as to make the most of your time together. Here are a few tips:

  • Preparing a special room or area for your children to sleep when they're at your house creates a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere that helps them feel at home.
  • Avoiding the mention of any contentious issues you may be facing with your children's other parent is a good way to keep visits joyful and prevent stressful situations.
  • Remember that most children value time with their parents over gifts or other luxuries. Every visit need not include expensive outings or adventures. It is often enough to just spend time together as a family.

The court is typically of the opinion that children adapt to their parents' divorce much better when provided opportunity to spend ample amounts of time with both of them. By being willing to cooperate and compromise, you set the tone for a successful, happy future. If, however, you are unable to resolve a particular issue regarding your custody order or another parenting matter, you can enlist the help of an experienced family law attorney to get things back on track and seek agreeable solutions to any problems that arise.

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