Child Custody Modification – Parents’ Custody Rights

Parents do have child custody rights to make modifications to their custody order. If the circumstances of the parents change, or it is in the best interest of the children to adjust the arrangements, the parents can get the court to accept a custody order modification. Before a parent begins this process, there are several things to keep in mind.

The easiest way for a mother or father to get a custody modification is to talk to the other parent and get them to agree to the changes. If both parents support the changes, they merely have to file some papers with the court and the custody order is modified. So, the first thing to do for a custody modification is to communicate with the other parents. If James talks to Lisa about his work schedule and they come up with a new custody and visitation plan together, the order is very simple to modify.

“Life for Children Today Has Never Been Better” – To What Extent Do You Agree?

(Image Source:“Life for children today has never been better.” This is quite a common comment made by many today, which shows the inherent truth in the statement. Today’s world is globalised and interconnected with the technological revolution at its peak and social media being more widely used. Thus, children’s lives today are indeed very different from any other time in the past as things keep improving. When we say their lives have never been better, we mean that it is at its most optimal, with the best standard of living, quality of life and welfare in general. Regarding the given statement, I agree to an overwhelming extent.

The 21st century has seen unprecedented technological booms and advancements, which give children today the best material standard of living they have ever been able to receive innovation and invention are rapidly increasing which enhances the variety of consumer options available for the young ones today. By this we mean that with the emergence of amazing production technologies like automation, robots like “Baxter” invented in the USA are capable of producing component parts for toys at four times as fast as human’s speed.This has led to many toy firms increasing their production volume of popular toys, giving children much more choice. Innovative technologies on the other hand enhance new toys in ways past generations could only dream of, improving the quality of toys. In the end, we are unable to deny that where material goods are involved, children have never been so spoilt for choice and pampered as they are now.

In today’s world, children are leading better lives with more resources devoted to their upbringing. This is in light of the worryingly low and declining birth rates many developed nations face. Due to this pattern, governments have been devoting more time, effort and resources to encourage childbirth and the rearing of children. As such in South Korea, the government heavily subsidised childcare costs. Such efforts only go to show the extent that the governments are willing to go to increase the importance of having children in our daily lives. We can only comment that children of the 21st century are treated as national treasures and assets to an ageing population. Thus it is true that they enjoy more resources and facilities provided complimentary to them.

In addition to the above, the declining birth rates so characteristic of today has created the phenomenon of nuclear families, consisting of a couple and not more than 2 children. As such children end up having a better quality and standard of living when parents are able to allocate more resources to each child. During the days of large families, each child could only have a small share of the parents’ income spent on them and their needs. However in China, for one, the “Little Emperor” syndrome has emerged due to parents having one child and being able to devote more of their resources to his prodigal spending habits.This goes to show that as nuclear families are the norm today, children are able to receive much more attention and material goods as more is allocated to them. With virtually all their material wants satisfied and their emotional well-being receiving more attention, we have to say things have never been at a better stage for children today.

Perhaps the rapid and unbelievable developments in the sphere of education today have also contributed to such a high standard of living for children on the whole. This is quite a constant factor as throughout the annals of time, educational events increase in number and so do educational discoveries and new knowledge. Thus, the progress of time will always have a direct relationship with the development of education. Knowing this, we can apply this fact to today’s education sector which has never before received as much thesis appears and discoveries. Thus, children in schools today mostly receive the most updated, modified and refined versions of educational content and teachings, as well as have more access to a greater number of interesting theories and discoveries made by past figures. The recent Higgs Boson discovery would never be enjoyed by children of another generation. Such an optimal quality of education is only received by children of today’s age, and this can improve their lives further by making them more knowledgeable and employable or by increasing their levels of spiritual enlightenment via the new perspectives gained. Basically, children feel more fulfilled today.

The above characteristics of the 21st century have also led to the creation of a self-perpetuating cycle where parents are more accommodating than ever and lives for children keep increasing in quality and standard. Due to the general increase in standards of living, people’s expectations also increase as they yearn for luxury goods and consumerism along with prodigal spending to satisfy their wants. As such, such a mindset has translated into a culture of upbringing where parents try their hardest to satisfy their child’s material wants, however unreasonable and demanding they may be. In Singapore and western countries like USA alike, this trend is increasingly evident as many parents vene resort to taking loans to pay for their child’s exorbitant spending habits. Albeit at the parent’s expense, the given statement holds true in the view of many children today. Gone is the traditional culture where children see accepting modest rewards as the status quo, today they are able to demand and receive almost anything they open their mouth for. Definitely, life for them has never been better.

Despite a very strong thesis for the statement by the general public and erudites of child development, there can never be a day where anomalies are not present. Thus, we will need to concede that there is another camp regarding this issue. It would be more mature and partial of us to consider some other viewpoints.

Some point out the fact that technological advancements come at a compromise in the form of social media’s negative effect on children. Amidst the increase in material well-being, children are surrounded by social media channels that showcase content from flashy advertisements to the occurrences of celebrities’ daily lives and the like. Children are bombarded by information of such overwhelming proportions and at such unsustainable rates that their young brains are unable to accurately synthesise them to form their own opinions and judgements of various issues. This inevitably leads to children facing more confusion in their daily lives today, with a particular US-based survey finding that showed that about 60% of children below 14 feel that “their lives are more confusing today”. As such, children may be losing the ability to remain clear and cognizant of their own identity and opinion, something the children of the 1970s-1980s did not mull excessively over. In the end, children have gained material satisfaction at the expense of mental and emotional well-being.

However, regarding this other view, I feel that this slight detriment to children’s lives pales in comparison to the more significant factors mentioned at the start. I say this because the modern age has a way of adapting to changes in society and the like. Like a natural defense mechanism, when a social problem occurs, there will be a group of people who work together to counter it. Amidst the increasing confusion and disorientation faced by children today, the number of childhood therapists and psychology professors as well as clinics have been increasing steadily. This gives more outlets and means for children to seek help when in need and such measures have been working in London, UK for some time. School therapists are increasing in numbers and are capable of providing improved emotional guidance to more children. Coupled with the rest of the improvements in various aspects of life, I feel that my comment to the given statement would be a resounding “yes”.

Perhaps the only significant case where we are unable to rebut effectively is the case for Less developed Countries(LDCs) mentioned by several professors and the public. The 21st century has created a widening development gap between rich and poorer nations and poorer LDCs suffer a dearth from necessary resources. In African countries like Mali and Kenya, we are unable to prove that children’s lives have really improved. When basic needs cannot be met, the poverty cycle ensues. However, today aid organisations like the United Nations(UN) have been ready to provide aid to stave off famine and disasters in these regions. Nevertheless, it is likely that aid alone will not be able to prevent Malthus’s theory from playing out if the inherent capriciousness and corruption of such dictatorship regimes are not vanquished.

My final stand would still remain the stated one at the beginning. Children who are facing the above situation are rare in number and most are not as destitute. Looking at the rest of the world and their children’s lives constantly improving in virtually all aspects of life, I would say the given statement is a testament to the inherent truth of the state of children’s lives today. I believe this would be the case for countless generations to come.

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Assisting Thousands of Widows and Fatherless Children

Who is Raj Loomba and what is his connection with over three thousand poor, fatherless children in India? Who would understand the plight of young children who lose their father at an early age but a person like Raj Loomba who himself lost his father at the tender age of 12?

The 67-year old, London- based NRI, Raj Loomba, has touched the lives of these fatherless children empowering them with education and saving them from a lifetime’s vicious cycle of child labour, abuse and petty crime. The grit and determination of his mother Pushpa Wati Loomba, then a young widow of 37, to see her seven children through life, without letting the incident mar their future, left an everlasting impression on the mind of the young Raj Loomba.

Born in Dhilwan in Punjab on 15 March 1942, Raj Loomba worked in an asbestos factory on first arriving in Britain in 1962. The initial years in England were full of hardships for him. From driving an ice cream van to running a market stall and finally to owning a textile business grou worth millions, Raj Loomba’s is an inspirational rag-to-riches story.

But what makes the story really remarkable is what Raj Loomba did after he made his millions. When his mother passed away at the age of 75, he decided to dedicate himself to a cause which would keep her name alive forever. He took up the cause ten years ago of an oft neglected section of society: poor widows and their hapless children.

Raj Loomba, with his wife Veena, established The Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba Memorial Trust in United Kingdom in 1997 to raise awareness of and care for, poor widows and their dependents. Loomba Trust, which completed ten years, has Cherie Booth QC (wife of Tony Blair) as its President and Sir Richard Branson, head of Virgin Group, as its Patron-in Chief. The Trust is patronised by many blazing personalities including Rt. Hon Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Sir Sigmund Sternberg and Sir Mark Tully, amongst others.

The phenomenal success of the Loomba Trust propelled by untiring effort of Raj Loomba won him accolades like the Asian of the Year award and some criticism in the first few years. While people who were moved by the cause joined hands with him, critics tried to belittle him and his cause by dubbing it as self-promotion to seek honours. Hurt, but not demoralised, he stuck to his noble work and managed to silence his critics as Loomba Trust grew from strength to strength.
The growth of Loomba Trust in the first decade has been remarkable and today is pioneering newer grounds. The Trust, which started with a target of educating at least 100 children in each of India’s 29 states, has exceeded its target last year. It educates over 3,600 children of poor widows across India providing each with a scholarship to fund their education for a period of five years. Besides, the trust is working with Virgin Unite to support HIV/Aids affected children in South Africa and is helping create opportunities for young widows in Kenya, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in partnership with Youth Business International, a charity of HRH The Prince of Wales.

To make widows self-reliant the latest project, Loomba Trust Entrepreneurship programme, will train one hundred widows in Hair and Beauty Care in partnership with Blossom Kochhar Group that will provide this training free of cost. After training, these widows will be assisted to find jobs or set up their own businesses.

The Loomba Trust has organized an intensive programme of fund raising and awareness events including its renowned Diwali dinners every year in London co-hosted by Mayor Ken Livingstone and a charity, London First. The Diwali dinner this year at London raised a quarter of a million pounds – an amount which will be donated to the cause of widows and their children.
Similar dinners have been held in New York, Johhanesburg and Newcastle last year. A glittering charity film premiere of Deepa Mehta’s ‘Water’ on the plight of widows was held by the trust to raise funds. A Bollywood concert was staged at Trafalgar Square last year. For its innovative and socially important projects, Asian Who’s Who International named the Loomba Trust as the Charity of the Year.

Aware that injustice against widows is a significant problem in many countries; in 2005 the Trust designated June 23 as International Widows Day – the day Pushpa Wati became a widow – an annual day of awareness and focus for sustained action to bring about change. Raj Loomba has successfully celebrated the third International Widows Day this June besides holding an International Widows Conference in association with the India’s Minister for Women and Child Welfare.

Working on his philosophy of vision, resources, effort and luck – a philosophy which saw his phenomenal success in business- Raj Loomba hopes that his work one day would move the United Nations to recognise June 23rd as the International Widows Day – which will help Loomba Trust herald a better future for poor widows and their children.

Sangeeta Jain is a media and business consultant for a wellness and beauty company in New Delhi and has worked for leading newspapers and television channels.

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