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What is the definition of “best interests of the child?”

Child custody can be a particularly contentious part of going through a divorce. Figuring out how courts determine whether or not you will receive any custody of your children is difficult and can be stressful for parents going through the process.

You may have heard the term “best interests of the child,” many times during the custody process. But what does this really mean and how is it used to determine custody?

Making parenting time work during the holidays after divorce

Regardless of how recent a divorce is, families in Virginia living separately often deal with a mixed bag of emotions during the holidays. Since this is usually the time when kids have more time off from school, there's often an increased need to shuffle them back and forth between two homes. Add family gatherings and other obligations and traditions to the mix and it's easy to see why parents are advised to have a clear plan in place to reduce holiday stress as much as possible.

With parenting time, divorced couples are encouraged to put their children first. Some parents may benefit from developing a strong support network that includes friends, loved ones or a therapist so that they don't let lingering animosity affect arrangements. Punishing a former spouse by not letting them see their child during the holidays, for example, does more harm to the child than the other parent. A more productive approach is for parents to work out details about which days each parent will be with the child in advance.

Extra Front Royal DUI enforcement expected over holiday weekend

The holiday season is upon us. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, of course, but tonight is when you can expect to see the beginning of increased police presence in Front Royal and surrounding communities. Law enforcement agencies traditionally target drivers on the night before Thanksgiving because Thanksgiving eve is considered a heavy bar attendance night.

That means police officers are likely to be out and about looking to make arrests for drunk driving. But the heightened law enforcement won’t end after this evening -- it is expected to continue throughout the weekend.

Benefits and drawbacks of nesting after divorce

Some parents in Virginia who are going through a divorce might consider an arrangement that is sometimes called nesting or birdnesting. This allows the children to remain at home while the parents alternate staying there. Usually, parents share another place that they also take turns living in when they are not with the children.

Birdnesting can offer children stability after divorce. However, experts say it is best if the arrangement only lasts for a few months. For example, parents might want to nest while their children finish out the school year. If it goes on for much longer, it may increase the likelihood of conflict between parents. This, in turn, is not good for the children. Nesting might also give children a false hope that their parents will reconcile.

Planning ahead for the co-parenting dynamic

Every breakup comes with its own set of challenges and issues. For couples who are also parents together, those challenges compound with the onset of a new family dynamic. Co-parenting after a divorce take careful planning and open dialogue in order to prioritize the wellbeing and success of any children involved.

If you and your partner have decided to split up, there are most likely already underlying issues that brought on that decision. Those issues were important in the relationship, but they need to take a backseat when it comes to shared parenting after a split.

Planning to get through divorce financially intact

When someone in Virginia decides to divorce, he or she may worry about the potential financial implications of a split. After all, the financial consequences of divorce can linger long after the emotional and practical entanglements have been sorted out. However, people can take action to help protect themselves from making costly mistakes when they end their marriages.

In the first place, it can be tempting to spend money after a divorce. People may want new clothes, new styles and new adventures to help them get over the divorce. However, it is important to be frugal when developing a new single identity. Major investments like new cars or homes may not be the best choice for a person adjusting to living on a single income. In addition, when people find it hard to make ends meet, they may think to turn to their investment accounts. However, cashing in an investment can be costly. It can carry significant tax or other penalties and can set people back from achieving their financial goals. Overall, it's better to look for ways to save rather than dipping into investments.

What to do if you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI.

If you are ever pulled over by a police officer, regardless if you had just consumed alcohol, it can be nerve-racking and stressful. There is a certain protocol you should maintain to make sure the interaction goes smoothly and efficiently. Here are a few things to keep in mind during the stop.

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