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Redefining Families

AN E-NEWSLETTER COURTESY OF MELISSA PEARCE & ASSOCIATES, PLC

October 2018

IN THIS NEWSLETTER: 
  • FOOTBALL LESSONS ON PARENTING TIME
  • CHANGES TO THE FIRM
  • HOW ARE NON-TRADITIONAL HOLIDAYS ADDED TO PARENTING TIME?
  • UPCOMING EVENTS
  • THIS MONTH’S INSPIRATION
Football Lessons on Parenting Time
 
For the last five years, I have been taking photos of my grandson’s football team. My daughter has been the team mom and every year she sorts the tens of thousands of pictures to create a slideshow for the team party. My grandson is in instructional football as he is in elementary school. However, the lessons that I have learned from his team each year have been invaluable.

The first lesson that I have learned is from actually taking the photographs. I watch football through a lens. I follow the action and often do not see what is happening elsewhere. I may have missed a tackle that my grandson made because I thought I was following the ball. Typically, this happens because the quarterback was successful in faking off a hand-off to a player with me. I failed to see who truly received the football. This often happens during a divorce. The focus is one issue that another larger issue is overlooked by the clients. It then becomes my job to announce what the client is not seeing because he has been tricked by a lesser issue to focus on it. 

The next lesson I have been taught by these young players is to never give up. I watched a young man get injured on the field. He walked off holding his elbow. He stood on the sidelines cradling his arm, but when his coach called for the offense team, he ran out onto the field cradling his arm. He was a lineman and he had a job to do. Help the center protect the quarterback. This young man, a friend of my grandson, was willing to risk his health and arm to do his job. Often in life, things happen that put us on the sideline. But are we willing to run right back out when our team is called and get back in the game despite our bruised or injured self-esteem.

The final lesson that I have learned is there is plenty of room in the stands for everyone. My daughter will often point out the family’s of her son’s teammates. Knowing what I do, she shows me just how many different kinds of families are in the stands. There are grandparents, step-grandparents, aunts, uncles, new significant others, mothers, fathers, step-mothers, step-fathers and other various extended family members sitting in the stands. Some will sit on other sides of the stands from one another, but together they are cheering on their child. Some blended families are sitting in one big bunch understanding that they are there to celebrate the game of football and the child’s accomplishments. 

It is in those families that I see the hope and potential for our future. It is parents and families, who understand on Sunday afternoons, no matter the weather, the focus is what the child loves to do and to celebrate the growth in skills and teamwork occurring on the field. From this positive parenting time interactions among these divorced and blended families, I see where we, as a society, are headed and it inspires me.

Melissa Pearce
CHANGES TO THE FIRM
 
 
      In February, Melissa attended a workshop on marketing the firm. After that workshop, she made the decision to re-brand the firm and divide out the two main practices area. Melissa Pearce & Associates, PLC now handles family law matters. Our new division, Michigan Gun Law handles the firearms law and related practice areas of criminal defense and estate planning. If you subscribed to this newsletter to stay on top of firearm-related issues, please subscribe to “Mama Bear Instinct,” the newsletter for Michigan Gun Law. You can sign up at http://www.michigangunlaw.com/contact-us/

 

HOW ARE NON-TRADITIONAL HOLIDAYS ADDED TO PARENTING TIME?

        When it comes to holiday parenting time, there are only four holidays besides the Christmas break that are recognized in the State Court Administrative Office’s Michigan Parenting Time Guideline. Those holidays are Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving. There are also provisions for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. The guidelines state that parties are free to choose up to four (4) other secular or religious holidays. However, many county Friend of the Court offices have a standard holiday parenting time schedule.
        Sometimes our client have felt that they are required to follow the standard schedule for their county. This would be true if an Order from the Court states that the parties must follow the standard schedule. This will happen if the parties are unable to agree how to share parenting time. However, parties can work together to create a schedule for holidays that meets the best interests of their children within a judgment entered by consent. In this type of order, the parties are agreeing to continue to raise their children and exercise parenting time schedule that they have agreed upon that can deviate from the county’s standard schedule.

            Often, this deviation occurs to celebrate religious or secular holidays that are not recognized by the court system. Secular holidays, such as Halloween or Martin Luther King Day,  are not recognized by some counties and can be included in the holiday parenting time schedules. Parties are free to alternate the holidays, split the time on the holiday, or allow the parent that observes the holiday to exercise additional parenting time. The key in choosing to add non-traditional holidays to the parenting time schedule is to preserve family holidays and traditions in the lives of the minor children.

            For instance, extended family members may gather at one house on Halloween and take all the children trick-or-treating in that neighborhood. Often, the costumes may be themed throughout the whole family and include the family pet. In these cases, finding ways to still walk around a neighborhood with the minor children in costumes will demonstrate how to have healthy relationships with extended family members to children. If the parties are unable to be civil for a few hours, then alternating the holidays can teach children to share as they observe their parents and extended family amicably sharing time with the children.

            If you are worried about continuing your families’ holiday traditions after a divorce or break up, call us today. Our team understands the importance of preserving family traditions and maintaining consistency for children. We are ready to help you redefine your family.




 
UPCOMING EVENTS
 
  • Northville Kid Friendly Halloween Fun – Barn Yard Play Land
    Three Cedars Farm and Cider Mill (7897 Six Mile Road, Northville, MI 48167, 248-437-8200)
  • October 27th: Milford Boo Bash, Downtown Milford from 5:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m.
  • October 31st: Trick-or-Treating hours from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • November 15th: Big Reveal, Downtown Milford at 6:30 p.m.
THIS MONTH’S INSPIRATION




 
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Copyright © 2018 Melissa Pearce & Associates, PLC All rights reserved.
October 2018 Edition

1100 Corporate Office Drive, Suite 320, Milford, MI 48381
info@melissapearcelaw.com
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