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Postal address:5922 Deer Trail Drive, Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Telephone 231.223.7864 Facsimile. 231.223.7868 Cell. 231.649.2140
jeannemhannah [at] charter.net


Family Connex


Resources for Divorced and Divorcing Parents

By: Jeanne M. Hannah, J.D.

Copyright © 2006 Jeanne M. Hannah. All rights reserved.


Jeanne M. Hannah is a family law lawyer located in Traverse City, Michigan, who handles divorce, child custody, paternity, adoption, neglect, and other family law matters, and who assists fathers and mothers to exercise their rights to custody and parenting time.


Family Connex is an online resource for divorced and divorcing families developed by the National Family Resiliency Center (formerly Children of Separation and Divorce Center). The focus is completely child-centered. www.familyconnex.org.

      NFRC has its headquarters in Columbia, Maryland. The Center guides and supports children throughout the difficult and ongoing process of separation and divorce, with the goal that children will survive the divorce process and emerge healthy and hopeful for the future. NFRC conducts support groups for children and young adults. The groups last from nine weeks for 6 & 7 year olds to 10-12 weeks for older elementary children and young adults. These group sessions are offered twice a year. Most of the sessions are for children only, however, some involve parents and significant others.

     Online resources may be very helpful for parents who do not live close enough to NFRC to take advantage of the group sessions. At a cost of $99.99 for individuals and $149.50 for co-parents, parents may access online the Parent Manual for a Parent Plan Workshop – Cooperative Process for Parent Decision-Making. 

      To me, the strength of the Family Connex Parent Plan Workshop is that it stresses that parents need to stay centered on the idea of resolving their parenting time issues by stepping aside from their interpersonal issues with the other parent and by keying directly on the needs of their children. There are several key focus points for NFRC:  

Helping parents to identify their children’s individual needs according to a child’s developmental stage, and to recognize that each child is unique and has his or her own special needs in a parent-child relationship
Helping parents to focus on each child’s needs when working toward a plan for co-parenting recognizing that the needs of one child are not necessarily the same as the needs of another child
Helping parents assess special challenges that will affect any effective co-parenting plans such as mental illness, substance abuse, or domestic violence
Encouraging parents to work together to make these difficult family decisions to avoid the need for a stranger to the family – a lawyer, a mediator, or a judge – to make such an important decision for the parents’ children. [Articles written by family lawyers and family court judges describe in detail the reasons why parents should do everything possible to facilitate their own parenting plans rather than to rely upon third parties who know little or nothing about the specific parents and children involved.]
Keeping the focus on the children and on identifying specific strategies for avoiding interpersonal conflict between the parents
Helping parents understand the genesis and level of conflict between the parents, advantages to giving up conflict, how focusing on the children can help reduce conflict, and how the level of conflict will influence the structure of co-parenting plans – figuring out what kinds of parenting time arrangements are appropriate in order to minimize fallout for the children
Helping parents to develop parenting plans. A workshop that parents and co-parents who are not located near NFRC can do using online materials helps parents to assess each child’s temperament, learning style, and special needs so that the parents can work together toward a parenting plan that will accommodate each child’s specific needs and the interpersonal conflict issues
Helping parents determine whether there is cause for concern and whether a child or children should be involved in counseling to help them deal with the stress and/or conflict in the family.

Email: jeannemhannah [at] charter.net

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Jeanne M. Hannah, Family Lawyer
Postal address:5922 Deer Trail Drive, Traverse City, Michigan 49684 • E-mail: jeannemhannah [at] charter.net
Practice Areas: Divorce  Custody  Parenting Time  Child Support Post-Judgment Modifications  Paternity  Adoption  Personal Protection Orders  Spousal Support  Property Distribution  Pre-Nuptial / Post-Nuptial Agreements Estate Planning Guardianships/Conservatorships  Neglect/Abuse Cases 

This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Send mail to jeannemhannah [at] charter.net with questions or comments about this web site.



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