The Bledsoe Firm - September 2022

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The Bledsoe Firm | 949.363.5551 SEPTEMBER | 2022



One of the best ways to spend time with our kids is through a family game night. Not only is it fun to play board games, but it also opens up opportunities to learn more about your kids, their passions, and how well they are learning. When done properly, a family game night will be full of laughs, smiles, and maybe even some competitiveness. But not everyone knows how to make family game night a success.

enjoy the experience because it’s not what they want to do. Find a time and day that works for everyone and stick to it. It doesn't have to be at night either. If everyone is free on Saturday morning, you can play family board games then instead.

In a similar vein, you need to make sure the game choice is right for everyone. A 5-year-old is probably not going to enjoy Scrabble as much as adults or older children, and older kids may grow bored of Hungry Hungry Hippos. Find a game or two that is appropriate for all ages involved. This may take some trial and error, since there may be games that are age-appropriate but are still not entertaining enough for everyone involved. Put that technology down. These days, we’re not comfortable unless our phones are within arm’s reach, but there’s no need to have your phone on you during family game night. They serve as distractions and can slow down the game, making it less enjoyable for everyone. Unless it’s required by the game you’re playing, you should keep your phones and tablets away and the television off. This rule needs to apply to everyone, kids AND parents. Give it a try and you’ll see just how fun a distraction-free game night can be. Provide food and drink. A great way to encourage your kids to participate in family game night is by providing special treats and drinks. It will help turn the event into a special occasion. Your kids might

While it might sound easy to start up a game of Scrabble, Monopoly, or Operation, some

kids may be disinterested at the time and want to do other things. That’s why it’s important to prepare for a game night so that everyone has an enjoyable experience. If you’ve tried to play your favorite board game with your kids and it ended in boredom, hurt feelings, or some other

negative feeling, we’re here to help. I’ve gathered a few of my favorite tips to ensure that your next family game night is a success! Choose the proper time and game. In order for game night to be a success, you need to find a time that works for everyone. If you plan it for too late and you have younger

start to look forward to each game night so they can get that special treat that they don’t get very often. The food will help keep them energized so they can successfully make it through game night without getting grumpy or hungry. Family game night can be a fun and exciting time for everyone involved. Take some time to prepare and when the activities start, relax and enjoy them. You are making memories for yourself and your children that will last a lifetime. —John Bledsoe

children, they will get tired quickly, which will put an early end to game night. They may also get cranky and upset. If you try to spontaneously have a game night and your kids already have plans, they will not

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FIND YOUR BALANCE Though we may not always think about it, balance is essential to just about everything we do in our daily routines. From simply getting out of bed, leaning over to tie our shoes, or even walking to the mailbox, we need good balance to keep ourselves steady while performing normal tasks. Though balance training is important for everyone, it is especially important for those who have problems due to illness, weakness, or dizziness. It allows them to overcome stiffness or unsteadiness and to develop an awareness of body segments and how to align them. 5 Exercises to Improve Balance

Know why balance is important. Balance is the ability to control your body’s position, whether stationary or moving. It is a key component of fitness that many people neglect while developing their fitness regimen. Balance training is a great way to help your body recognize where it is and control movements in a given space. When

These exercises help with balance. Balance training involves exercises to strengthen the muscles that help keep you upright and improve stability. These types of exercises can be done as often as you like or even every day. Consider trying the following exercises: • Standing with your weight on one leg and raising the other leg to the side or behind you. • Putting one heel right in front of the other foot, as if you were walking a tightrope. • Standing up and sitting down from a chair without using your hands. • Walking while alternating knee lifts with each step. • Stretching and gentle movement as part of yoga or tai chi. Balance is essential to living a healthy, functional life. It’s important to incorporate balance training into your fitness regimen. That way you can decrease the risk of injuries and help move freely and confidently.

the body knows where its limbs are in space — known as proprioception — it is able to produce smooth, controlled movements with fewer risks of injuries.

Reaction time and agility are also improved with balance training. The body learns how to quickly correct itself but not overcompensate

and has the ability to quickly change direction effectively and efficiently.


Many concerns and fears will arise during a divorce case, but one of the most consistent is the fear that one’s child will have to attend the trial. Most parents don’t want to put their children in the middle of their divorce, but in some instances, the child may be requested to appear. According to California Family Code Section 3042, there is no “statutory mandate, rule, or practice requiring children to participate in court or prohibits them from doing so.” This essentially means that the judge will determine if a child’s appearance is necessary on a case-by-case basis. When deciding whether to allow the child to testify, the court uses the “best interest of the child” standard. To make this determination, the judge considers the child’s age, capacity, and ability to state an “intelligent preference.” The judge also considers whether other portions of the proceeding might put the child at risk emotionally. The judge also considers relevance and can limit who is present during the child’s testimony in an effort to keep them protected.

Sometimes the court decides not to call the child as a witness but still believes the child’s input could

matter. They may have the child participate in child custody mediation or appoint a child custody evaluator. Sometimes other admissible evidence covers the child’s input. If this is the case, that evidence needs to be gathered and presented in writing by an adult who can testify and be cross-examined while also representing a thorough testimony of the child’s views. Often, the court will opt to use alternative methods because they can provide a healthier environment for a child to express views. Some children want to address the court, and if the child is 14 or older, the court must hear from the child unless there’s a good “best interests of the child” reason not to. There’s a common belief that a child can choose who gets custody of them, which is completely untrue. The court may allow the child to state a preference, but the preference is just one of many factors the court has to take into account when determining the child’s best interests.

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W ord S earch Apples Bookbag Cider

3 Tips to Make It Easier CO- PARENTING WITH A BIPOLAR EX-SPOUSE Divorce is never easy to go through, especially when it involves children. Learning to co-parent with an ex who has a mental illness can prove to be difficult, so we gathered a few tips to help guide you. Get educated. Educate yourself on your ex-partner’s mental illness; this is a great way to gain insight into the emotions and outbursts they’re going to have. If you believe these outbursts are going to negatively impact your children, don’t waste time, and talk with a professional. You may also want to consider talking with your children and educating them on what they should expect from their parents. It’s not just a change for you, but your children too, and they’re probably more aware than you think. Explain to them why their mom or dad is acting a little differently. This way they’ll have clarity and find it easier to talk to you if anything is on their mind. Establish boundaries. This is an especially difficult time for both you, your ex-partner, and your children. So, it comes as no surprise that when so many emotions are up in the air, boundaries can be broken. Whether your ex becomes too reliant on you or both you and your ex take on responsibilities you otherwise shouldn’t, let the professionals determine what should happen rather than taking matters into your own hands. Talk to your ex. Both you and your ex-partner have one main goal, and that’s to co- parent your children. Although it’s difficult to adjust to such a significant change, find what works best for you and your ex-partner. You need to communicate, whether that’s over the phone or with a professional present. You need to work out how you want to move forward and find what works best for your situation. Do this when your ex’s symptoms are stable so you can come to a mutual agreement. Our firm specializes in southern California divorces complicated by bipolar personality disorder and other mental illnesses. Do you have a divorce or family law question? If so, give us a call today!

Football Heritage Honey Labor Literacy Mushroom

Sapphire Supplies Union


Inspired by


2 Chinese eggplants, cut into 1/4-inch strips

thinly sliced

1 red chili pepper, thinly sliced

• •

Salt, to taste

3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided

• •

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp vegan stir-fry sauce (like Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian)

• • •

6 oz green beans, trimmed 6 cloves garlic, minced 1/2-inch piece of ginger,

1/8 tsp pepper


1. In a large bowl, add the eggplant and coat with salt. Cover the eggplant with water and soak for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry. 2. In a wok over medium heat, warm 2 tbsp of oil. Add the eggplant and fry for 4–5 minutes. Remove and set aside. 3. Add the remaining oil and green beans to the wok. Fry for 5 minutes, then remove and set aside. 4. Add garlic, ginger, and chili before stir-frying for 1 minute. Return the green beans and eggplant to the wok and add the soy sauce, vegan stir-fry sauce, and pepper. Toss to coat, then serve over rice!

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23101 Lake Center Drive • Suite 310 Lake Forest, CA 92630



3 Tips for a Fun-Filled Family Game Night

Balance Training Key to Quality Movement Will My Child Have to Attend My Divorce Trial?


How to Co-parent With a Bipolar Ex-Spouse Green Bean and Eggplant Stir-Fry



Your Guide to Family and Medical Leave


When can I use FMLA leave? An eligible employee can be granted up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job- protected leave in a 12-month period for the following reason(s):

Workers shouldn’t have to choose between the job they need and the family members they love. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was created to allow employees to take reasonable unpaid leave for a particular family or medical reason so they can maintain a work/life balance. What does it provide? The FMLA provides eligible employees up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave a year with the requirement of group health benefits to be maintained during the leave as if employees were continuing to work. They are also entitled to resume their same or equivalent job at the end of their FMLA leave. Who is eligible for FMLA? FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. Employees can be eligible for FMLA if they have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, worked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location that employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles.

Birth of and/or bonding with a newborn child

• The placement of a child for adoption or foster care with the employee • To care for an immediate family member with a serious condition (child, spouse, or parent, but does not include parent in-laws) • To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work due to a serious health condition • For qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that the employee's spouse, child, or parent is on covered active duty or call to covered active-duty status as a member of the National Guard, Reserves, or Regular Armed Forces The FMLA exists so employees can tend to their families without worrying about their job, allowing them to provide the best care for their loved ones. For more information regarding whether or not your company is eligible for FMLA, check out your local government agency for more details.

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