Do your children really need you?
It is an indisputable fact that children are better off when they have two parents involved in their lives. Studies show that a critical factor in healthy emotional development is the amount of contact that children have with both parents. A recent comprehensive study summed it up this way:
The fact is that your children's well-being depends largely in part on your ability to remain meaningfully involved with them. And OPTIMAL can help you do that.
Robert Bauserman, PhD, of the Baltimore Department
of Health and Mental Hygiene, reviewed 33 studies that
examined 1,846 sole-custody and 814 joint-custody children.
Bauserman found that children in
joint-custody arrangements had fewer behavioral and emotional
problems, higher self-esteem and better family relationships and
school performance compared with those in sole-custody situations.
The contact with both parents, he argues, is the key
ingredient in kids' adjustment, he said.
In court, OPTIMAL's Tracker records can provide a solid record of the time you spend with your children, and the activities you share. Documenting the level and frequency of your involvement with your children is critical to have any hope of receiving a fair and balanced ruling in court.
Even better, outside of court, OPTIMAL provides a way for you and the child's other parent to communicate without the tension, stress, or conflict that face-to-face meetings or telephone calls often entail. And when you can communicate, you can collaborate. In time you may find that communicating this way leads to more relaxed and more flexible interaction with the other parent.
OPTIMAL virtually eliminates misunderstandings and scheduling disputes by giving you the tools you need to manage, document, and account for your parenting time. The Calendar lets you and the other parent share a common view of the schedule for the year, while the Private Message Center provides a clear, dated record of what was discussed and what was ultimately agreed to.
In addition, by making a "good faith" attempt to communicate with the child's other parent, you put yourself record as being reasonable and child-focused. Judges and custody evaluators look favorably upon parents who genuinely try to be cooperative. The courts will not fault a parent who is endeavoring to work things out amicably.
If the child's other parent is uncooperative, letting them know that a publicly-accessible record of their behavior is being kept will often prompt an increased compliance and reduced interference.
Severe Visitation Denial
In severe cases of visitation denial or parental alienation, the records OPTIMAL produces can be instrumental in showing the court the extent of the interference. The saying that "A picture is worth a thousand words" is as true in court as anywhere else.
By graphically showing interference with the parenting plan visually, the situation is made clear to everyone, including the court. Being able to produce these kinds of detailed records can be invaluable to your case.
The OPTIMAL printouts are based on years of experience with attorneys and custody issues, and are specifically designed to aid you in court.
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"Children benefit most when both parents can care for them
and when they can have access to both parents."|
[Maryland Governor's Task Force on Family Law, Annapolis, 1992]
"Children need emotional and financial support from both parents in
order to become productive, successful adults."|
[Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)]
"Children from divorced families
are better adjusted when they live with both parents
at different homes or spend significant time with both
parents compared with children who interact with only
[Journal of Family Psychology (Vol.
16, No. 1), March 2002]
"We know children do better when both parents are present in their lives, even if the parents are no longer living together. Children who have healthy relationships with their non-custodial parent are at a reduced risk of early parenting, juvenile delinquency, committing suicide or becoming a high school dropout."|
[Ron Ross, Director of Nebraska Department
of Health and Human Services]