The 2018 Divorce Matters Scholarship Winner
We at Divorce Matters are proud to announce the winner of the 2018 Divorce Matters Scholarship, Miss Alexia Martin. We received many applications, but Miss Martin’s work ethic and personality shone through. We extend to her our congratulations.

Miss Martin will be attending the University of Florida this Fall semester. She proved her academic acumen in High School, with a GPA of 3.51. She served as the STEM Club President, was a member of the National Honor Society, a member of Key Club and was an AP Scholar.

On receiving the award, Miss Martin said, “I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation and say that I am honored to be the 2018 Divorce Matters Scholarship recipient. Upon receiving the news that I was selected as the winner of your scholarship, I was relieved and overjoyed that I was awarded this form of generosity to pay for my education.

I will be majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Florida in the fall, and I am determined to follow my undergraduate years with a Masters in Cyber Security. With the financial assistance of this scholarship, my student fees will be covered allowing me to dedicate more time to my studies rather than a work-study job, which is of utmost importance to me. Lastly, I would like to pass on my admiration to the Divorce Matters Team. I find your mission honorable and I hope that one day I will be able to mirror the efforts of Divorce Matters by ensuring children affected by divorce aren’t burdened by disadvantages that may accompany a split household upbringing.

Again, thank you so much for awarding me the 2018 Divorce Matters Scholarship, it will undoubtedly help me pursue all of my endeavors in the sphere of academia and reach graduation in 2022.”

It is our honor and privilege to award Miss Martin with this scholarship, with the hopes that it will help her achieve her academic goals in her undergraduate studies.
Self Care In Action
According to the American Psychological Association, more Americans are feeling the effects of stress in life. When surveyed, nearly half reported stress-related insomnia and about a third reported feeling anxious, irritable, or fatigued due to stress. While there are several life events that can generate these stress-related symptoms they are often experienced during separation and divorce. Separation and divorce can turn the world upside-down and lead to questioning everything making them two of the most challenging and stressful of all life events.
 
During separation or divorce, as stress becomes more a part of life, so must self-care. The Oxford Dictionary definition of self-care is “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress”. Putting this definition into action is one way to make self-care a part of life and that can be done by breaking it down into three approaches.
 
1) Self-care is what you do.
This means taking an active role by doing things that support you. Self-care is not a one-shot deal. It serves best as a cultivated, practical, daily practice. When looking for what to do for self-care consider listening to your rhythms. Rest when tired, move when restless, explore when curious. Aligning with yourself even briefly throughout the day is good self-care.
 
2) Self-care is also what you don’t do.
This means protecting one’s own wellbeing by reducing or eliminating the thoughts, feeling and actions that don’t serve. Some examples are no longer buying sweets that will sit in wait to tempt you or taking a mini social media vacation whenever you come away frustrated, exhausted or disheartened by what’s on the screen.
 
3) Self-care is what you let others do.
This could mean letting others do for themselves rather than doing for them. Also, you can let others do for you. There is a common struggle with confusing self-care for selfishness. They are not the same. When you take care of your self in this way, others are strengthened rather than taken from. Letting your daughter arrange her own ride or letting a friend prepare a meal for you can be affirming for all.
 
Sometimes it’s most helpful to start with just one of these approaches self-care. So for today, pick one thing you can do, not do, or let someone else do and begin. Keep it simple and supportive.
 
Sources: American Psychological Association (2017). Stress in America: The State of Our Nation. Stress in America ™ Survey
 
Oxford Dictionary Online: en.oxforddictionaries.com
 
Renee Ellis, MA LPCC RMT is a counselor in East Denver. She is committed to helping clients move through life’s difficult transitions and gracefully bring wisdom to life. For more information visit liveyourknowing.com . Complimentary consultations available by calling 720-984-9575 or emailing renee@liveyourknowing.com.
Balance Is Important: Why Overnights Are So Important For Young Children
When the courts come up with child custody arrangements, they determine the plan based on what is in the best interest of the children. Often, the courts will try to make sure that each parent has adequate overnight visits with the children. It may seem like a no-brainer that children should be able to spend time with both parents, but what arrangement is best? A new study suggests that splitting time as evenly as possible between parents is the best way for children to build and maintain both relationships.

The study, published in the journal Psychology, Public Policy and Law, suggested that adult children who went on the have the best relationships with their parents were those who spent equal time between their parents’ homes as young children.

Previous research on couples showed that a child who spends too much time with the father early in life would suffer damaged bonds with the mother. The new study suggested otherwise: not only did overnight parenting with the father cause no harm to the mother-child relationship, commonly thought of as the most important relationship for young children, it actually appeared to strengthen both relationships.

The study looked at 100 college students whose parents separated before the students turned three years old. The students rated their relationships with their parents and the findings showed that the time spent with the child at age two was highly important. If a child spent less time at one parent’s house, the parents were typically unable to compensate later with more overnight time. As a result, the child’s future relationship with that parent would suffer. The study concluded that an even, or close to even, split provided benefits for all three parties, not just the custodial parent and the child.

Why? The researchers have a theory. For fathers, being alone with the child helped them to learn how to parent the child from the beginning. This led to a better foundation for their future relationship. For mothers, letting the child spend time away gave them a break from the stresses of being a single mother, which made mothers more prepared to raise the children when they had custody.

If you need to speak with an attorney regarding parenting time and parenting plans, feel free to reach out to us here at Divorce Matters and one of our attorneys can help.
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