Reality Sets In For Two-Household Families As Seasons Change Says Nan Cohen, Divorce Reality Expert

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Parents find spring, summer, and children’s rites of passage even more complicated when dealing with divorce and separation. Children's unique needs require flexibility and focus during busy spring and summer months.

“Reality creeps up on busy parents—especially when two households are involved. Flexibility works in addressing scheduling issues.”

Parents must be vigilant about important life milestones--details that can be even more challenging to track when parents break up, says Nan Cohen, divorce reality expert. She hears from families who are juggling the realities of Mother’s Day Father’s Day, graduations, summer camps, and custody schedules—all as spring arrives and swiftly becomes summer.

Cohen asks: Are prescriptions refilled before kids leave for camp? Did a teen’s learner’s permit expire? Does everyone have the same dates on their calendars? Did anyone remember Grandma’s birthday?

“Reality creeps up on busy parents—especially when two households are involved,” says Cohen. “For example, what happens when a child turns 18 ‘ages out’ of a parent’s insurance benefits? This becomes even more critical for a child heading off to college.”

“Flexibility works,” says Cohen, “in addressing scheduling issues. Spring and summer are seasons full of anticipation for everyone. Children are on school breaks and holidays. Parents are planning for not only end of school year events, but events that involve many others—grandparents, school friends, and step-parents."

Holidays and occasions tumble off family calendars during late spring and summer months. “What starts with Mother’s and Father’s Day is a stream of special occasions followed by school breaks and vacations,” says Cohen. “When it comes to the kids, parents who are operating out of separate households need to stop and apply compromise when their first instinct might be to start an argument.”

“It’s not easy keeping all the details of daily life together when the emotions and processes of divorce are upon you,” says Cohen. “But this is the time for extra measures that will relieve stress on everyone in the household—a household that now may be operating from two addresses.”
NAN COHEN TOTAL TALK, ON THE AIR IN MAY AND ON LINE AT KQV.COM

“Getting through Graduations to Vacations” is the topic when Cohen is joined on the air by Pam Collis, attorney at Walsh, Collis, Blackmer, PC, for “Dealing with Divorce, next airing on KQV-AM 1410 in Pittsburgh and at KQV.com on Thursday, May 12. Attorney Collis returns to discuss “In Matters of Custody” on Thursday, May 19 at 7:30 pm. Both shows will provide tips and tactics for parents juggling seasonal and custody concerns.

In addition to DEALING WITH DIVORCE, Nan hosts MIND, BODY & SOUL a show about emotional and physical well-being with leading regional experts. On May 12 at 7 pm, Nan’s guest will be Jeff Pannier of All About Youth (http://www.allaboutyouth.net/) to discuss state of the art cosmetic procedures. On May 19 at 7 pm, Susan Merenstein of Murray Avenue Apothecary (http://www.murrayavenuerx.com) will discuss natural remedies for women and men.
NAN COHEN TOTAL TALK is on Facebook and can be contacted via e-mail at NanOnDivorce(at)aol(dot)com.

NAN COHEN’S TOP TIPS FOR SPRING AND SUMMER MONTHS

Here are Nan Cohen's top tips:
1.    Father’s Day can’t always for “dad”. For some families where step-parents are in the mix, Father’s Day might be for “both dads.” Work out something where everyone can enjoy the holiday weekend—even it means Fathers's Day is celebrated on Saturday instead of Sunday. Or use the whole weekend before the holiday for a more leisurely and fun time with your kids. “Sometimes being reasonable is just easier for everyone,” Cohen says.

2.    Communication about schedules, flexibility around custodial hours and days is essential, Cohen stresses. “If you can’t talk about giving your kids some space and time for the special events and opportunities that come with warm weather and summer vacation, then you need to take a look at the root problem,” she says. “If it’s really about not wanting to talk to your ex-spouse, then you need to address that issue immediately."

3.    Gather your tools to manage time and priorities. Make a list of all the aspects of your day-to-day life affected by separation and possible divorce, says Cohen. “The little things can suddenly be the largest challenges, such as transportation for a couple who have one car or how to cover all the kid’s activities from dance practices through the big recital. “Write down everything you can think of that may be ‘different’ if you and your spouse are no longer living under the same roof, Cohen advises. “You’ll be able to better see where you can simplify and where you really need to ask for help.

4.    Put the kids in the spotlight. Your simmering emotions-- which may include anger, resentment or downright confusion--deserve a break. “I encourage everyone in any phase of divorce to step back and have an amicable conversation about their children.

5.    Make summer special. School breaks provide room for kids to travel with other family members or friends’ families. Consider working time into the schedule for children to get quality time at their grandparents or other special trips that might not be possible in years ahead. “Most people grow up to cherish that time with spent with grandma and papa,” says Cohen. “Find a way to make that happen despite what you and your ex are doing.”

ABOUT NAN COHEN TOTAL TALK
Following her own painful divorce, Nan Cohen found her voice as a quick-witted, practical and non-nonsense resource, hosting DEALING WITH DIVORCE, on the air since 2004 on Pittsburgh’s KQV 1410 AM on online http://www.kqv.com. Nan leads on-air discussions with a professional from her expert team—a lawyer, psychologist, and/or children's expert. Cohen is an advocate for total wellness and confidence building for both women and men who are dealing with divorce and other life stressors

Nan Cohen is now recognized as the go to person on divorce. While she does not promote divorce, Nan does promote understanding the complexities of divorce: custody, alimony, child support, financial settlements, parenting skills, and even remarriage. Nan has been a contributor on KDKA-TV on “Pittsburgh Today Live” and is a frequent guest expert in programs and media stories about divorce.

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Yvonne Hudson
New Place Collaborations
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