Q. I lost my Thanksgiving this year and I'm afraid I'm going to lose my time over Christmas break, as well. My son and daughter, age 5 and 7, were scheduled to be with me, but because my mother lives with me and the state suggestion is to limit visitors over the holidays, their mom and I decided that they should stay with her this year. I feel ...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My employer recently went out of business because of COVID, but my wife, who was staying at home with our toddler, was able to get a job. That means that I'm going to be the at-home parent. What am I in for?
A: You're in for a lot of fun — and a lot of challenges.
There are more than 2 million stay-at-home dads in the U.S. ...Read more
Q. Is it acceptable to bring my new partner's gifts for my children into my ex's home after being asked not to?
A. It's not acceptable to bring ANYTHING to anyone's home if they have asked you not to; why would you think a co-parent is any exception? Your attitude demonstrates blatant disrespect and is an indicator that you may want to ...Read more
Q. My ex's husband just reached out to invite me to join them for Thanksgiving dinner. We have been divorced for six years and have had our ups and downs. It's mostly up now. They have been married for three and a half years and have recently added a baby. The kids are with them this year, they know I am alone, and I think it's their way of ...Read more
Q. My children's mother and I are breaking up. We are trying to figure out what's best for our two young children — should they both go back and forth between our homes or one live with each of us? How do we decide? What's good ex-etiquette?
A. Good ex-etiquette is that you continue to look for ways to positively interact with their other ...Read more
Q. All I want is to be part of my daughter's life 50/50, but every time we go to court they just ask her stepmom, who is her attorney, and my ex-spouse, and both say no, so nothing different happens. What's good ex-etiquette?
A. As clarification for my readers who may not be familiar with the terminology, 50/50 refers to equal custody of your ...Read more
Q. My ex insists on some sort of Halloween trick-or-treating with the kids, but with COVID looming I think we must be cautious. That, and the fact that we never really designated who the kids should be with on Halloween, and they are scheduled to be with me on the 31st. We are now butting heads and normally, I would find a way for them to see ...Read more
Q. It's generally known that divorce damages children. I spent months researching when it became obvious my wife was having an affair and was going to dissolve our family. I pleaded with her to stay until at least our boys were off to college (four years away). She decided against it, left, and now our boys are hurt, angry and confused. I've ...Read more
Q. My ex and I are both in our 60's. We were together for 12 years. I caught him in a lie (not cheating) and he has ghosted me as a result. We have not spoken in 4 months. He has two young grandchildren, ages 1 and 3. I was involved in their lives and he insisted I be included as a true grandparent. I have examined my motives and I would like to...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: My fourth-grader is really, really smart but he's something of an underachiever. We're trying to be understanding of how COVID has complicated school, but his grades just aren't what they should be. What can we do to help him do the kind of work we all know he's capable of?
A: Before we get to how to help you help your child with ...Read more
Q. My son and daughter-in-law have been separated for a year. They have shared custody of their 4-year-old son. My son was very unhappy but chose to put up with it until he met someone else. Daughter-in-law did not handle the break-up well. There was lots of crying, screaming, threats, accusations, and harassment by phone, text and email. As a ...Read more
Q. My son and daughter-in-law have been separated for a year. They have shared custody of their 4-year-old son. My son was very unhappy but chose to put up with it until he met someone else. Daughter-in-law did not handle the break-up well. There was lots of crying, screaming, threats, accusations and harassment by phone, text and email. As a ...Read more
Q. I'm a regular reader of your column and most of the time I find your suggestions helpful, but I did not find your answer last week to a woman with an uncooperative ex of any benefit. Basically, you just told her to call a meeting and work it out. Her point was she didn't get along with her ex. How can you expect exes who don't get along to co...Read more
Dear Mr. Dad: Almost exactly a year ago, my husband and I sent our last child off to college. We were thrilled. Our house is paid off and we'd just started thinking about selling it and traveling around the country and the world. Then COVID hit and everything changed. Our youngest's college closed and she had to come home. Then, our oldest lost ...Read more
Q. My ex and I do not agree on much. Our children go back and forth between our homes and will return to school next week. They will go to school Tuesday and Friday. The rest is online learning. Tuesday is my day, but Fridays alternate and he will not take any responsibility to get them to school. He said he will just drop them off and I can ...Read more
Q. I have recently moved in with a man who has three children. We plan to marry but have not set a date. Although I am 26, this is my first really serious relationship. I always want to feel like my partner's first priority, but I question his loyalty to me. He's constantly talking to his ex and will even cancel dates if his children call on him...Read more