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Discipline Strategies for Special Education Students in Pennsylvania

Parenting a child with special needs comes with unique challenges and rewards. Discipline, or guiding children towards positive behavior, is particularly nuanced within the realm of special education. In Pennsylvania, where educational policies and practices are always in development to better serve students with diverse needs, understanding effective discipline strategies...

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Navigating the Emotional Turmoil of Divorce and Custody Battles: The Importance of Individual Counseling

Divorce and custody litigation can be among the most emotionally challenging experiences in a person’s life. The process not only involves legal complexities but also brings to the surface a myriad of emotions, including grief, anger, anxiety, and fear. In such turbulent times, individual counseling can be a crucial support...

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Why Collaborative Law Makes Sense in Custody Cases: A Guide for Potential Family Law Clients

Going through custody litigation can be one of the most challenging and emotionally draining experiences for any parent. The traditional litigation process can often exacerbate the situation, leading to increased conflict and stress for all parties involved, including the children. This is where collaborative law comes in as a viable...

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How to Write an IEP from a Parent’s Perspective – Part 4

In the previous blogs, we talked about present levels with a parent’s vision statement, SMARTER goals, and specially designed instruction. This blog will discuss the formal transition plan for high school students. Strategic planning for your child’s future involves the crucial process of reverse engineering. Revisit our initial blog, where...

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The High Rate of Divorce Following the Holidays

A study by the University of Washington identified a spike in divorce filings in the first three months of the year. Several factors can influence when couples decide to pursue divorce. If you’re considering seeking a divorce after the holidays, you should familiarize yourself with the following tips and suggestions...

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How to Write an IEP from a Parents’ Perspective – Part 1

When a child with a disability needs specially designed instruction, they qualify for an individual education plan (IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), U.S. federal law. This 30+ page document contains information about the child, including present levels, diagnosis, goals, specially designed instruction, transition planning, related services,...

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IEPs: What Parents Need to Know

In the world of education law, few acronyms carry as much weight as “IEP.” An Individualized Education Program(IEP) is a crucial document designed to ensure that every child receives a tailored education that meets their unique needs. For parents navigating the complex landscape of education law, understanding IEPs is paramount....

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Is Your Child Making the Grade?

Do you know what “grades” represent in school? Generally, an “A” is great, and a “D” or “F” is failing. What work or lack of work went into those simple letters? Some schools do not give letter grades. They may provide an “O” for outstanding and “S” for satisfactory. Perhaps,...

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Us vs. Them

It’s the day of your IEP meeting. You’ve reviewed the draft IEP that was sent home (if you didn’t get one, we’ll discuss that in another blog). You can tell that your child is not making progress, but you have no idea how to help them. You go to the...

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The “I” in IEP

Have you ever heard someone from the school say, “for kids like yours, we offer this”? Or have you ever heard “we don’t do that here”? The “I” in IEP stands for individualized. The definition of individualized is something tailored to one person. In this case, the education plan is...

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Preparing for an IEP Meeting

Most of us are not happy campers when it comes to long meetings, especially at IEP time. Did you know that you can cut the amount of time you spend in an IEP meeting with a few simple steps? First, two weeks prior to the meeting, write an email to...

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Reasons to consider mediation for your divorce

Going through a divorce is a painful, exhausting process for anyone. Whatever the reason- it takes its toll on the parties divorcing. If they have children, things get more complicated, and the parties must balance many things simultaneously. In addition to the emotional toll that divorce takes on the family,...

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Why people break child custody agreements

Child custody agreements outline the rights of both parents, including who has physical and legal custody, visitation and other rights. In many cases, judges seek to build fair agreements where the child spends equal time with both parents. However, these agreements differ based on the case and jurisdiction. Therefore, parents...

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What is the first step in the divorce process?

As in other states, in Pennsylvania divorcing couples generally pursue either an uncontested or contested process for ending their marriage. In an uncontested divorce, the couple comes to an agreement outside of court on matters like property division, child custody and spousal support. In a contested divorce, spouses are not...

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3 FAQs about settling a divorce out of court

If you are like many Americans facing divorce, you may have serious concerns about how the court process will affect your family as well as your finances. Divorce litigation can be time-consuming, expensive and contentious. Mediated and collaborative divorce are two forms of alternative dispute resolution that may help you...

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Finding happiness for divorcees over 50

A divorce is never an easy option for a Pennsylvania resident who chooses to end their marital union. However, the complications that come with a divorce can be more dramatic for some divorcees than others. One group that needs to plan for potential complications before securing a divorce is couples...

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Why are gray divorces increasing?

Gray divorces, or divorces for those over the age of 50, are on the rise. There are a variety of different reasons couples over the age of 50 divorce and it is important for divorcing couples over 50 and of all ages to be prepared for what to expect from...

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More time together may mean more reasons to divorce

Stress is a detrimental factor that plagues many divorces. Throughout Pennsylvania, married people may find that it is harder to get along with their partners when they are worried about job security, money, health challenges, and even vacations and holidays. When individuals spend longer periods of time with their spouses,...

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How to track down hidden assets in a divorce

One of the ways that a Pennsylvania spouse ends up shortchanged during the divorce is when their spouse hides assets during the settlement process. As a result, one must be vigilant to make sure that they are receiving the full picture when their spouse declares assets. Spouses will hide assets...

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How to talk to your children about your divorce

Are your kids the most important thing to you? If so, then you’re probably worried about how breaking the news of divorce will affect them. It’s a legitimate concern because children thrive in stable and secure and environments, and a divorce threatens the very foundation of those characteristics. Additionally, many...

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How to talk to young children about divorce

When people Pennsylvania go through a divorce there are many changes that will take place in their lives. They will no longer be sharing one life together and will now have two separate lives. This is true for the couple’s children, too. Divorce can be particularly difficult on children as...

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How to cope after a marriage ends

It is estimated that up to half of all marriages in the United States will end in divorce. While a divorce may be an emotionally painful event to experience, there are things that Pennsylvania residents and others can do to move past it. For example, individuals should focus on what...

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Divorce and privacy

The reasons for ending a marriage are deeply personal, and often deeply painful, and yet if a divorce goes through the courts, it will be at least partly public record. There are good reasons for the public record in general; a good judicial system operates with transparency. However, sometimes people...

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How do you break news of divorce to your child?

Pennsylvania parents like you value your child’s health and happiness above all else. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to ensure that your child’s well-being stays maintained. There are some situations in which it is incredibly hard to put their mental health first. Divorce is one of those situations. If...

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Raising a happy child after a divorce

If you are thinking about delaying a divorce for the sake of your children, you may have nothing to worry about. Research has shown that children in Pennsylvania and throughout the country can still have normal lives even after their parents split. In some cases, staying in a toxic marriage...

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Parenting time interference and failures

Pennsylvania courts take parenting time orders seriously. When a parent fails to uphold his or her end of the agreement or order or interferes with the other parent’s parenting time rights, the court may take several remedial actions. Interfering with the other parent’s parenting time may result in the court...

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Why is gray divorce becoming more common?

The consensus among those who follow divorce statistics is that, as the divorce rate drops among younger people, couples over 50 are turning to it more and more frequently. So-called gray divorce has roughly doubled over the last generation. In 1990, 5 out of every 1,000 married people over 50...

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Follow the money in divorce

Ending a marriage can upset many parts of your life, especially your finances. You should take several precautions from when you seriously begin to think about divorce until after the decree is issued to protect your finances and your rights. First, document any conversations you have about divorce. Change all...

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Divorce can make some people happy

A divorce can have an emotional and financial impact on your life. However, a survey conducted by Carphone Warehouse found that individuals in Pennsylvania and elsewhere who have gotten divorced can find happiness again. The study polled more than 2,000 people to learn more about how they felt after their...

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Co-parenting and the challenge of celebrating birthdays

After a Pennsylvania divorce, co-parenting is often one of the biggest challenges that parents face. Along with making decisions about the child’s schooling, medical care, religious upbringing and extracurricular activities, celebrating special events and holidays can be problematic. There are many factors to consider in these circumstances. Parents may debate...

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What to do about parental alienation

Co-parents in Pennsylvania must work together for the good of the children. Even if you and the other parent do not get along, there are certain minimum basic expectations for the co-parenting relationship that cannot be violated. One of these is that you are free to have a relationship with...

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What does healthy co-parenting look like?

Making decisions with regards to a child’s upbringing is difficult enough when the parents are married to one another and have a generally healthy relationship. When a Pennsylvania couple divorces and now has to agree on matters such as which holiday will be spent with which parent and which religion...

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Advice for co-parenting with a difficult ex

When you share custody of a child after a divorce, you’ll have to maintain some sort of a relationship with your ex-spouse. Some people maintain the bare minimum required for coordinating visits, while others must engage in more involved interaction to co-manage medications, health, and social obligations. While many couples...

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3 mistakes to avoid making during a divorce

Divorce can be an extremely stressful process. Emotions are running high and it can be hard to focus on what needs to be done. During this emotional time, mistakes are common. Although they’re common, it will affect your divorce for the worse. Below are three commonly made mistakes during divorce...

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How to make divorce manageable

There is no reason to sugarcoat the truth; divorce is difficult for all involved. Though it’s never their fault, children may blame themselves for the split and will need reassurance that it had nothing to do with them. Children will also wonder where mom or dad went, and if they’ll...

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Multi-state divorce

It’s hard enough to go through a divorce in Pennsylvania. Imagine going through a divorce in multiple states. Generally, divorce falls under state law, and every state has its own set of divorce laws, with their own procedures, deadlines and requirements. While many of these are very similar, some can...

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Have the Four Horsemen found your marriage?

They’re better known as a biblical metaphor for the end of the world, but the fabled Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have received a modern revival, courtesy of relationship expert John Gottman. Dr. Gottman’s approach to marriage analysis includes defining four communication styles, which he calls the Four Horsemen. Their...

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Who will get custody of pets in a divorce?

Your pet is not property. You likely consider your pet as part of your family. So, the guardianship of your pet may be a top priority as you begin working through divorce arrangements with your ex-spouse. You may even consider it more important than matters like asset division or alimony....

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When to seek divorce counseling

Not all divorces are the same. Some can be graciously mutual, with both parties agreeing that separation is the best way forward for each individual and their families. Some divorces are unfortunately bitter affairs, full of conflict and spite. For both these extremes, and everything in between, separating couples may...

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The divorce rate is dropping in Pennsylvania

The once-every-10-years Census is scheduled for 2020, but the U.S. Census Bureau does not just sit around the rest of the time. It frequently conducts smaller-scale surveys to learn more about Americans, their changing demographics, and lives. One statistic from a recent Census survey caught our eye: the U.S. divorce...

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Mistakes to avoid when divorcing after 50

Divorcing after the age of 50 has become common, and sometimes, people make mistakes during the process that they later regret. If you divorce after 50, here are some mistakes to avoid. Thinking the divorce will not affect your children At 50, the chances are that you have adult children...

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Common signs that a marriage is ending

Even when one or both partners are unhappy in a marriage, deciding to divorce can be challenging. Have you done enough to try to rejuvenate your partnership and stay together? Will things eventually get better? If you are unsure about the right choice, consider these common factors that frequently contribute...

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Self-care helps moms recover from divorce

The care and well-being of the children should be the priority in any divorce. Even under the best of circumstances, however, parents face a process that takes months and involves countless decisions with far-ranging impact. There is also the stress of not knowing what comes next. Parents typically throw themselves...

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Parallel parenting may be the right option

Some divorced parents have strong working relationships where the children move between households every few days, and parents work together on most parental responsibilities. However, not all divorces work seamlessly. There may be residual anger over the marriage’s demise and divorce settlement, or it can be a situation of outright...

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Divorcing after 50? You’re not alone.

When someone gets a divorce at a later stage in life, there is often a question they might ask themselves: is there something wrong with me? There is nothing wrong with you, and you are not alone. In fact, while divorce rates for younger generations have decreased or stayed the...

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Helpful tips for staying healthy during your divorce

Everyone understands the importance of staying physically and mentally healthy – and that it’s often easier said than done. But prioritizing your health is critical when you’re undergoing a stressful, life-changing event like a divorce. When you’re going through a divorce, you’re most likely concentrating on the big things that...

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How to keep peace with your co-parent

After a strenuous divorce, it can seem impossible to keep peace with your co-parent. You know a peaceful environment is the best thing to offer your child but, when emotions are so fresh, it can be hard to practice. Even though you and your ex-partner don’t work together romantically, you...

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There are two types of spousal support in Pennsylvania

Alimony, properly called “spousal support” in Pennsylvania, is granted when one spouse is financially dependent on the other. If you’re getting a divorce in Pennsylvania, you should know that the financially dependent spouse may be entitled to alimony while the divorce is in process. This is called “alimony pendente lite”...

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The 5 biggest strains on a marriage

In a marriage, there are stressors that appear with time. As life changes, you are challenged with different aspects of your life. This can lead to problematic ways of coping with your stressors. Relationships are hard work and require more energy as challenges arise. Strains on a marriage are reoccurring...

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Genetic testing and how it can affect families

Family secrets have been linked to divorce and marital strain since long before we had direct-to-consumer genetic testing like 23andMe. However, the popularity of these kits has made it easier than ever for people to discover untold stories and mistaken (or hidden) identities. As such, there are families across Pennsylvania...

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Effective co-parenting after a divorce

After a divorce, determining how to have a healthy co-parenting system for the child’s benefit may be a significant concern. Fortunately, there are ways to increase the chances of a smooth transition that is beneficial for the child. Discourse and resentment are often present after a divorce when arranging co-parenting...

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The truth about gray divorce

What’s the number one truth of gray divorce? The numbers are rising and have been for some time. Gray divorce is the term referencing divorcing couples aged 50 or older. Individuals in this age group are also a part of the baby boomer generation. The divorce rate for these individuals...

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How does divorce impact children?

Most divorcing parents are worried about how their children will react to divorce. The manner in which parents approach divorce may make a difference on how it affects their children. Studies have shown that divorce can be difficult for children to comprehend. On the other hand, when parents effectively approach...

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How does gray divorce impact retirement?

When a couple divorces, almost all aspects of their life are affected. Their family dynamic changes, their assets are subject to division, and most often, their finances take a hit. Of course, the implications can be even worse for couples who divorce later in life. The possibility of divorce can...

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How can divorce affect women more than men?

As you prepare for your divorce, you may stay focused on your immediate needs. However, as the ruling finalizes and the dust settles, you will start figuring out how to live without your former spouse. But how will single life affect you? Divorce has a significant financial impact on both...

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5 Complaints Of People Considering Divorce

When your marriage is in trouble, it may be tempting to overlook or deny the signs. However, ignoring your problems will not make them go away. It is healthier to address them with your spouse. Sometimes this means getting involved in counseling to try to work out your differences and...

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What are the reasons for an emotional divorce?

Rather than a marriage dissolving because of arguments about money or a spouse stepping out of the relationship, some couples in Pennsylvania go through an emotional divorce. Those who experience this type of split may wonder what happened to their relationship when they were not looking. SAS for Women describes...

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Addressing common co-parent conflicts

Co-parenting can be tough, especially after a contentious divorce. Keep in mind, though, that putting in the work to get along with your child’s other parent can pay dividends when it comes to raising a happy, healthy kid. Try these tips to get past the most common issues that arise...

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Who gets the home in a divorce?

After child custody, property division is usually the biggest concern for divorcing couples. Who should leave the house during the separation period and who ultimately retains ownership of the family home? When determining where to live after a divorce, consider these factors to reach an agreement on dividing real estate...

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How fault impacts divorce

When you are thinking about ending your marriage, you may have concerns about how fault will factor into the divorce process. For example, are property division, spousal support and child custody impacted by infidelity? In Pennsylvania, an individual can file for either a fault or no-fault divorce. You can file...

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Organizing For Your Divorce

Divorce can be a grueling process and may require a significant amount of background work in order to be prepared. The sooner one starts doing that work, the better positioned they may be to move efficiently through the process. Some of that work can begin even before speaking with an...

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How do alimony payments affect taxes?

An individual’s financial future after divorce can seem uncertain. If the final agreement includes spousal support, whether you pay or receive it, that question is likely on the forefront of your mind. Divorces in which alimony may be required that are finalized starting January 1, 2019 could be more complicated....

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How could divorce affect your small business?

For small business owners, divorce can create a lot of anxiety. Owners or operators of start-ups, family businesses or even family farms can suddenly find themselves in complex, technical discussions on how to properly “divide” their business. Like many who go through a divorce, you may be unprepared for what...

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Can your child ask their stepparent to adopt them?

It is possible that while scrolling through social media, you have found videos of stepchildren asking their stepparents to adopt them. If you haven’t, a quick search on YouTube for “surprise stepparent adoption” will produce a few tears. These heartwarming videos typically end with a stepparent opening a present with...

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How to know if you are being emotionally abused

Fighting is an inevitable part of most marriages and long-term relationships. Most couples simply do not agree about everything. However, there is a difference between getting into a squabble with your partner and facing emotional abuse at the hands of the one you love. Unfortunately, emotional abuse tactics can be...

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How can cryptocurrency complicate a divorce?

When it comes to divorce, owning cryptocurrency can complicate a situation that may already be delicate. Splitting typical assets such as other funds and properties may already be a challenge. Now, there is an intangible and very valuable asset that can create additional disputes. Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies are a...

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Understanding open adoption

Until the last few decades the profile of adoptive parents changed very little. The typical adoptive family was a married couple who sought to adopt an infant. Now children of all ages are adopted by parents at various stages in life. As adoption profiles have changed, so have the nature...

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Divorce using alternative dispute resolution

Though many people believe that divorce is synonymous with a long and protracted court battle, Pennsylvania families are able to settle their differences by using alternative dispute resolution. Alternative dispute resolution, which can sometimes be less taxing emotionally and financially, encompasses mediation, Collaborative Law, and cooperative practice. Some family law...

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No Fault Divorce

In a move designed to ease the toll that the divorce process takes on families, the state of Pennsylvania has amended its waiting period from one to two years, beginning in December 2016. Many people mistakenly believe that no-fault divorces always involve both parties agreeing to end the marriage. In...

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