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Kids Times — Making the Most of the Kid Years

Understanding Your State’s Requirements for Filing a Divorce

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Not all states follow the same rules when it comes to filing for a divorce. Some states have deadlines as to when the divorce information needs to be submitted. Other states have different laws for child custody and assets. You must be aware of the laws that are required in your state regarding divorce. Here are a few of the more well-known laws that vary throughout the states.

Basis of the Divorce

What are your reasons for divorcing your spouse? The reasons can vary, and some divorces take place despite the different residency requirements for divorce in each state. However, the grounds for a divorce must be acceptable and applicable with the laws in your state. Some states allow for individuals to divorce based on irreconcilable differences. This means that the couple can no longer be together since they see things differently. Other states, on the other hand, require that there be a fault with a spouse in order to separate.

Separate Before the Divorce

When divorce is imminent, couples tend to separate before filing for divorce. Separation can sometimes ease the tension between couples, which can lead to reconciliation between them. But if there is no reconciliation, then the only option is to divorce. While some states have no preference as to the couple’s living situation, others may be different.

Some states want to see if the couple has already separated. This will allow them to see if divorce is necessary and can be filed. You may have to be living separately for up to a year before your divorce proceedings can take place.

Military Consideration

This law applies to filing for divorce in another state; but in order for the divorce to be filed according to the rules, the spouse serving in the military must be stationed at a particular base for six months. If they are consistently stationed about, you may have to consent to the state where they have a primary residence. Remember that your lawyer must be cross-licensed in different states. Otherwise, you will need to get a legal representative that practices in the particular state.

Child Custody Laws

These laws vary widely and are established by each state for the best interest of the child. The child custody laws affect visitation rights and modification of child support. In some states, the parents are allowed to have physical custody or full custody, in order to relocate despite how far the child may be. Other changes may be modified, depending on the parent’s living environment or parenting style of the child. Be sure to check out with your state about what is allowed and what is not.

Divorce involves complicated process, controversial issues, and legal negotiations. While you let your lawyer to handle your case, it is also essential to equip yourself with the legal requirements to protect your interests and deal with the process easier.

Knowing the Importance of Your Child’s Welfare

Latino Children Play Swing (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Certainly, no parent wants a child caught in the middle of a divorce. According to a Virginia child custody lawyer, there are three key strategies for keeping children out of the center of a child custody case, take a read on these key strategies:

  • Avoid arguing with your ex-spouse in front of your children. Instead, choose private moments to have adult conversations with your ex-spouse.
  • Speak directly with your ex-spouse instead of sending messages through your children.
  • Make sure your child knows there are no secrets. Make your child aware that she can speak freely with both of you and your ex-spouse without holding anything back.

There is no denying that a great emotional impact of a divorce on children is apparent. There are number of steps parents can take to help their children thrive in a time of family reorganization. For instance, it’s important to remain a role model to your children even in the midst of a divorce. Children can easily notice tension between their parents. They may also imitate uncivil behavior towards their parents that can occur during a custody battle.

Likewise, it’s important to cut conflict in front of children and in front of people who could report an argument to the child. Indeed, children are perceptive and could pick up on signs of conflict even if you are acting as if everything is well in front of them. That’s why it’s important to cut the amount of conflict during and even after a divorce.

Above all else, the dialogue you engage in with your child will ultimately form their opinions on the divorce and your changing family situation. Clear, concise, and age-appropriate messaging is vitally important to your child’s welfare and well-being. Make sure your child knows you love them and that he is in no way responsible for the divorce.

Negatively influencing your child’s opinion on their other parent can seriously damage their welfare. This negative influence at any chance can destroy your child’s perfect picture of what a harmonious family relationship is. Save your opinion on your ex-spouse for your friends and only in private.

Great Legal Help for Your Family

When a legal crisis arises in your household, you’ll need an attorney who specializes in these matters to protect the rights of everyone in your family. Whether someone in your family sustained work-related injuries or got into a car crash, you have to get legal representation before pressing charges. A certified attorney who knows the ins and outs of injury-related cases can effortlessly fight for your family’s best interest.

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Finding the best personal injury lawyer New York is a lot harder than simply sifting through advertisements or looking in the phone book. Both of these sources don’t offer enough information that can help you come up with a reasonable decision. Read on and find out how to find the best legal counsel for your family.

Ask for Personal Referrals

The first step to finding a competent lawyer is to contact neighbors or relatives who have experienced the same legal issue you are currently facing. If you are filing charges against a company that doesn’t observe workplace safety guidelines, you can try talking to trade unions that specialize in this issue. Once you’ve talked to other people who faced a similar problem, chances are you’ll get more leads than you expected.

However, making a decision based on someone else’s recommendations might not be your best course of action. People respond differently to a lawyer’s personality or style, so you shouldn’t hire one until you have actually discussed your case with him or her. During your first meeting, try to judge whether you’ll be comfortable working with the lawyer you chose before actually hiring him for the case.

Do Your Research Online

Several websites will allow you to find local lawyers based on where you live and the type of legal issue you are facing. After filling out a short questionnaire about your contact information and the legal case at hand, a pool of reputable lawyers will start to call you and offer their help. Don’t forget to browse through lawyer directories and to check the comprehensive profile of the lawyer you were referred to.

Try looking up the name of a reputable law firm online and check if they offer special services for injury claims against the company in question. To supplement the information you’ve gathered, look for lawyer referral services that are recognized by the state bar association. These companies use stringent measures to screen lawyers, and they will only recommend attorneys who have handled cases similar to yours.

After getting the names of some good prospects, you have to talk to each of them personally. Assess your needs before the meeting and share relevant information about your case even if you have not yet decided to hire him or her. Size up prospective lawyers according to three important characteristics—their personality, previous experience and willingness to help you.

Best Smartphones for Gaming

Smartphones are great for a lot of different things. You can buy tickets to sporting events, do research on any topic you need to know about, and tell what the weather is probably going to be like over the next few days. But despite all of those great rational uses, smartphones are also great for games. Considering that around a quarter of all smartphone apps on the market nowadays are games, gaming is a huge part of the deal.

The Rise of the Smartphone

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The first smartphones were not all that special. While they had tons of features in and of themselves, they suffered from the inherent problems of infrastructure. When your phone is superpowered but it is operating on an old-fashioned network, it hits a bottleneck in a hurry. Now that the bottleneck in data delivery is long gone, the sky is the limit for gaming and every other function today’s phone have. One of the best functions any smartphone offers is games.

Gaming’s All Stars

As everybody knows, the iPhone isn’t messing around when it comes to features. Of course, there are pros and cons to everything available. The iPhone’s ultra sleek design, big bold screen and industry defining control scheme make it a very approachable device. Moreover, since it is no longer priced as highly as it was in the beginning, more and more people are enjoying the iPhone. Of course, there are limits to its gaming power.

Android phones, on the other hand, are a whole different animal. While most do feel like clunky little boxes compared to the iPhone’s sexy curves, the support community in the Android Market is a far kinder group than Apple’s illuminati/approval department. Whenever an operating system is open source, you can get a lot more kinds of games, as well as a lot more flexibility for unusual games and their interfaces. The features and specs in an Android phone, as discussed in Smartphone infographic by MyCricket, make most Android phones gamer-friendly.

Ideal Android Phones for Gaming

The Xperia Play by Sony Ericsson is the top full-featured Android phone for gaming. Using a 1 Ghz processor and an Adreno GPU graphics processor, this is a system that can easily rock 60 fps and give you an incredible gaming experience. Couple that with touch-sensitive controls, and you have a super-solid offering.

Coming in a close second is Samsung’s Galaxy S. With its four-inch display, microscopic amount of weight and hardcore battery, you can get into your favorite games for hours, and let the real world get on somewhere. Join that with the fastest processor to ever grace an Android phone, and this offering is no slouch, either.


The iPhone maybe a prettier device than most Android phones as far as aesthetics is concerned. It also has a little bit better images, so you can get an improved view in your games. However, Android phones do not come short in gaming features and specs either as they will ultimately offer you more flexibility and a lot more support from other users who not only know the software but are constantly helping to refine it.





How to Prepare Your Child for the First Day of School

One of the best ways to prepare your child for the first day of school is to let them know that school is a safe and fun place for them to go. Here are a few suggestions to prepare your child for the first day of school.

Play School


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In order to have your child interested in going to school, you can pretend to have school with them. You can pretend that your child is attending school for the first time and play-act a normal day at school. You should start your school play time well in advance from the time that your child has to attend. You should also provide paper, crayons, and books for your child in the same way they would receive them at school.

Talk About It


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Let your kids know they have been enrolled in school, and talk about school in an excited, positive manner. It is crucial to let your child know about school as the day approaches. Do not just take him or her to school without discussing it beforehand. Kids need to have time to ask questions about school and get reassurance from their parents about this new experience.

You should discuss the following different aspects of school with your child:

  • school safety tips from 21st.com
  • school policies from your school district’s website
  • behavior expectations in the classroom


Image via Flickr

One of the best ways to prepare your child for the first day of school is to take them to visit the school while it is in session. Let them meet their future teacher. It might even be possible to allow your child time to play with the children there. Show him the classroom, and allow your child to observe the other children sitting at their desks. That way, when it is your child’s first day for school, they will already be familiar with the environment and the expectations.

Stay with Your Child

For the first day, you can stay with your child if they are upset or nervous about the transition into school. Some parents will spend a few days doing this. If your child is having a hard time, reduce the amount of time you spend each day until your child feels comfortable in the new environment.

If your child is fearful about the first day of school, use these tips to help prepare him or her for this new and exciting experience. These simple preparations can ensure that this is a smooth transition for your child.

Taking a Break

Parenting is a stressful job; it’s highly rewarding, but since the job is basically 24/7, it can really wear on you. The important thing to remember when you’re a parent is you need some time to decompress and get your energy back. You need times where you have a chance to miss your kids so you can come back rejuvenated and ready to go again. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Take time after kids are in bed. Some parents don’t set strict bedtimes and this leads to dealing with kids all the way up to their bedtimes. This isn’t good; parents need time at the end of the day to relax. If you don’t have that, you won’t be able to sleep either. So enforce a strict 8 p.m. rule. This means that whether your children need to go to bed at 8 p.m. or not, they are in their rooms. If they aren’t sleepy, then they can read or play quietly.
  • Take breaks during the week. It’s important to have some time during the week as well. If your spouse works, then have him or her watch the kids at night so you can go out and have some alone time. This could be shopping or just getting a treat and relaxing.
  • Take breaks when you can get them. If you have friends who have kids the same age as yours, take opportunities for the kids to play together. If your parents live nearby, see if they’d like to have some time with them to become closer to their grandkids.

Exotic Pets Found in Classifieds

No one sings “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?” anymore. Nowadays, kids are more likely to sing “How Much Is That Two-Toed Sloth?”

Forget Fido and Spot: the latest pet craze is exotic pets, and vendors are stocking the ebayclassifieds with everything from hedgehogs to sugar gliders. Here are some of the craziest, cutest or just plain weirdest exotic animals found in the classifieds.

1). Hedgehog

Characteristics: Having a pet hedgehog is perhaps best compared to having a hamster. It’s cute, small, quiet and not particularly interested in social interaction with humans. Since they aren’t rodents, hedgehogs don’t have the same chewing, destructive drive that rats or mice do.
Average Life Span: Three to four years.
Price Listed: $180.
Good For: People in apartments or people with allergies (Hedgehogs don’t have dander like furry pets, such as cats and dogs).
Not Good For: Owners who want lots of pet/owner interaction.

2). Sugar Gliders

Characteristics: These tiny marsupials live in social “family units” in the wild, so they thrive on social interaction. A sugar glider without social interaction can become depressed or die, so it’s essential to get a pair or a group. Sugar gliders require plenty of mental stimulation, so cages should be outfitted with plenty of toys and climbing equipment. Sugar gliders bond closely with their owners and will gladly ride around in hats or shirt pockets.
Average Life Span: 12 to 14 years.
Price Listed: $225 for a pair.
Good For: Owners craving small, cute pets who are great long-term companions.
Not Good For: Owners looking for a low-cost and low-maintenance pet or owners not willing to make a significant cost and time commitment.

3). Prairie Dog

Characteristics: Prairie dogs are actually quite affectionate pets as long as they’ve been handled by humans since they were young. Make sure your vendor has been properly handling and socializing them since they were babies.
Though the 2003 prairie dog national ban was lifted in 2008, prairie dog ownership is still illegal in many states, so check your individual state laws before purchasing. Prairie dogs need plenty of room to play and social interaction with their bonded owners or they’ll become sullen or prone to behavioral issues.
Average Life Span: Eight to 12 years.
Price Listed: $125.
Good For: Prairie dog fans willing to take the time to bond with their unique pet.
Not Good For: Owners looking for a low-maintenance pet or owners with children, as a child’s sudden movements or excitable nature can make a prairie dog overly anxious or prone to biting.

4). Kinkajous

Characteristics: By and large, kinkajous are still wild animals. These tree dwellers must be handled when young in order to make them tame, but they will never show traditional domestic behavior the way cats or dogs do. Kinkajous need plenty of room to climb and mental stimulation, so be sure to let them climb outside often.
Average Life Span: 20 to 25 years.
Price Listed: $2500.
Good For: Owners with lots of land and lots of patience.
Not Good For: City dwellers, low-maintenance owners.

5). Flying Squirrels

Characteristics: If you get a flying squirrel at a young age and invest the requisite bonding time, your flying squirrel will bond to you in much the same way as a sugar glider would. They are nocturnal, but don’t mind napping during the day in an owner’s pocket or pouch.
Average Life Span: 10 to 12 years.
Price Listed: $150.
Good For: Owners looking for reasonably-priced, moderate exotic pets. Flying squirrels can be kept in small apartments as long as they have a tall cage and opportunities for outdoor stimulation.
Not Good For: Owners with little time for initial bonding or exercise.

6). Fennec Fox

Characteristics: This native desert fox is mostly nocturnal. Unlike other breeds of foxes, the fennec fox doesn’t give off a strong odor. A fennec is a very social animal that, if given proper training and socialization, can make a great companion.
Average Life Span: 12 to 16 years.
Price Listed: $1500.
Good For: Fox-loving fans living in warmer climates.
Not Good For: Cold-weather climates or owners who want a cat or a dog–the fennec fox is a wild animal and will behave accordingly.

7). Wolfdog

Characteristics: Quite simply, the wolfdog is a wolf-dog hybrid. Always inquire about how much wolf your wolfdog has in his genealogy. The more wolf in the bloodlines, the more aggressive, will and overall wolf-like your pup will be.

If this is your first wolfdog, strongly consider getting one with more dog than wolf. Wolfdogs love having room to roam and plenty of mental stimulation.

Average Life Span: 12 to 14 years.
Price Listed: Prices vary widely; anywhere from $600 to $2000.
Good For: Owners with large spaces of land and plenty of time for training.
Not Good For: Owners looking for a dog like a Labrador Retriever or Basset Hound.


As with any pet, be sure to do plenty of research before you commit to getting an exotic pet of any variety. Do some soul-searching and make sure you’re definitely the right owner for your exotic pet species.
Research your state’s exotic pet laws to make sure your dream pet isn’t illegal where you live. Consider your future plans, too: could you see yourself moving in the future? After all, it’s much harder to find homes for exotic pets than domestic ones. Exotic pets aren’t for most owners–just make sure you’re making the right decision before you adopt one.

Sleep Training Your Infant

Baby Sleeping

Image by sean_mcgee via Flickr

Many parents seem to think that their children will sleep when they get older, but really, children need to learn to sleep and parents can help them do it. Here are some tips for sleep training your infant.

  • Use soothing techniques with newborns. Newborns are not able to get themselves to sleep on their own. Their brains are not developed enough to do it, but you can do things to help soothe them. These include swaddling, swinging, pacifiers, and white noise machines.
  • Putting down the baby when he’s drowsy but not asleep. As the baby gets older, he will start to be able to get himself to sleep if you get him close, especially if he has help through a pacifier and/or swaddling blanket.
  • Start training at 6 months old. When your baby is six months old, she will be ready to get herself to sleep without help and will likely sleep through the night without a feeding, though it depends on the baby. You can help your baby learn to fall asleep on her own by letting her cry until she falls asleep. Check on her every 15 minutes or so to remind her you’re there for her but she needs to fall asleep on her own.
  • Wean your baby from feedings. If your baby is ready to go throughout the night without eating, you can wean the feedings. This is done by waking your baby about an hour before he typically wakes up to eat and feeding him. Each night, reduce how much or how long he usually ate by either 2 ounces or 2 minutes until it’s 0. Then stop waking him up. You may find that he sleeps through the night.

Helping Your Child to Have a Good Relationship with Food


Image via Wikipedia

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your kids get the proper nutrition. This puts a lot of stress on parents as they try to get their wee ones to eat their fruits and especially their vegetables. Unfortunately, this pressure has led to parents using threats and punishments in order to get their children to eat healthy. But at what cost?

When children are forced to eat foods that they don’t want to eat, it leads to children seeing the food as an obligation; they don’t eat it because it’s yummy, but because it’s a responsibility. There are ways to help your children to have a good relationship with food and eat a balanced diet naturally. Here are some tips:

Let your children see the vegetables, but don’t force them to eat it. Basically this means you should put the vegetables on their plates and let them choose whether they eat it. Be sure to let them see you eating vegetables as well. They may not eat the vegetables right away, but they will eat them eventually. More importantly, they will never see eating vegetables as a punishment.

Never use food as a reward or punishment. This includes desserts. Many parents use desserts as a reward for eating vegetables, but this can lead to a poor relationship with food where you see food as something you have to eat or something you only get to eat as a reward. Many overindulge on the sweets when they’re older or on special holidays because of this mentality.

Facts & Stats On What Dads Get For Father’s Day

Sometimes dads have to get creative with asking what they want for Father’s day. Often times they have interests that their kids may not even know about. The infographic below shows some interesting statistics and information regarding Father’s day gifts and shopping each year. You may want to pass this off onto your kids and let them know exactly what kind of dad you are. Let me know what you think.