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dads divorce law marital homeIf you’re in the midst of the divorce process, you probably aren’t getting along with your spouse very well, and this can make sharing a home very difficult. As you plan for the changes that you’ll be making in your life, you’re probably considering finding new living arrangements. However, moving out could result in legal and financial issues that may affect you going forward, so you’ll want to discuss these concerns with your divorce attorney to make sure you understand your rights, your options, and the best ways to proceed.

Exclusive Possession, Property Ownership, and Child Custody

You may expect that you and your spouse will be selling your home during your divorce. If you’re planning to move out, your ex may wish to continue owning and living in the house. This can ensure that your children can keep attending the same schools while maintaining relationships with friends and others in the community. However, if you move without ensuring that issues related to homeownership and marital property are addressed properly, this could lead to complications that affect your divorce and your finances.

As long as your name is on your home’s title and mortgage, you will have financial responsibilities toward the property. This means that even if you have signed a lease on a new apartment or another type of home, your ex may ask that the court require you to continue contributing to mortgage payments and other living expenses, such as utility bills or property taxes. Before moving, it is best to make sure the proper arrangements are made and that your obligations toward the property are addressed in court. By ensuring that your name is removed from the home’s mortgage, you can also avoid potential conflicts that could affect your ability to buy a new home in the future.

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dads divorce lawyer infidelityThere are many reasons couples get divorced, and infidelity is high on the list. When one spouse has an extramarital affair, the other spouse may feel betrayed, and this could lead them to attempt to get revenge either before ending the marriage or during divorce proceedings. The strong emotions that these situations can evoke will often lead to increased levels of conflict between spouses, making it difficult to reach agreements during the divorce process. If infidelity is a factor in your divorce, you’ll want to be sure to understand your rights and determine how it may affect the decisions made in your case.

Filing for Divorce

Whether you plan to begin the process of ending your marriage by filing a petition for divorce or need to respond to your spouse’s divorce petition, you’ll want to determine whether infidelity should be addressed at this stage. While some states may allow spouses to cite fault-based grounds for divorce, such as adultery, most states allow for no-fault divorce. In these cases, a divorce petition will simply state that the marriage has broken down due to irreconcilable differences. While listing infidelity as a grounds for divorce may be possible in your state, it may be best to avoid laying the blame for your divorce in the initial filing or response, since this may help you avoid conflict later in the divorce process.

Addressing Infidelity During Divorce Proceedings

In many cases, an extramarital affair won’t play a direct role in the decisions made during a divorce. Typically, issues such as the division of marital property will be based on what is fair and equitable for both parties, and “marital misconduct” will not be a factor that is considered. However, some states do allow adultery or other forms of misconduct to be considered when making decisions about whether to award spousal support. An affair may affect the property division process if a spouse is accused of dissipating assets, or using marital funds or property for non-marital purposes.

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divorced dads lawyer mental illnessMental illness is an issue that has been on many people’s minds over the past year. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people and families to experience extreme levels of stress. Those who were already struggling with mental health concerns may have found it difficult to deal with additional problems related to safety issues and economic concerns, and political issues, widespread protests, and other events certainly haven’t helped. Even those who have never experienced issues such as depression or anxiety may have found themselves struggling to deal with everything that has been happening, and in some cases, this has led to the breakdown of relationships between married spouses.

While divorce can be difficult in any situation, it is likely to be even more complex if either you or your spouse has a mental illness. Whether these issues were the primary reason for the end of your marriage or are just one of multiple stresses on your relationship, you’ll want to be sure to understand the role that mental health may play during the divorce process.

Divorce Considerations Related to Mental Illness

Mental illness can take a variety of forms, and depending on whether a person is receiving treatment and managing their symptoms, these conditions may or may not play a significant role in a divorce. In some cases, a spouse may raise concerns about the safety of themself or their children, especially if the other party is acting erratically or has been unable to provide the proper care during their parenting time. In other cases, a spouse may exhibit narcissism, leading them to prolong conflict, act manipulatively, or even make false accusations of domestic violence or abuse.

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social media advice for DadsSocial media is pretty much inescapable these days. Whether you are sharing photos on Instagram, commenting on a friend’s posts on Facebook, retweeting jokes or memes, or liking videos on TikTok, you probably spend a good portion of every day interacting with others through phones or computers. This type of connection has arguably become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic, since it gives people who are staying at home a chance to stay in touch with friends and family members that they can’t currently visit in person.

While you may be used to spending time on social media on a daily basis, you may need to change those habits if you are going through a divorce. As you work to resolve legal issues related to child custody, property division, and other aspects, you will want to be careful about what you say and do online. Here are a few tips to follow when using social media during the divorce process:

  1. Change your account passwords - You may have shared computers, tablets, or other devices with your spouse during your marriage, and this means that she may still have access to different social media accounts you have used. By updating your passwords, you can ensure that your ex cannot access your private information. You can also eliminate the possibility that she will attempt to harm your relationships or reputation by making inappropriate posts or comments in your name.
  2. Treat all messages as if they were public - Even if you make your accounts private or only communicate online with friends and family members you can trust, it is possible that any messages you send or information you share could be made public. A mutual friend could pass along your posts to your spouse, or private messages could accidentally be shared in a variety of ways. While your divorce is ongoing, it is best to avoid sharing or posting anything that you wouldn’t want your spouse (or her attorney) to see.
  3. Don’t share information that could be used against you - Even if you normally share details about your life online, you should be very careful about doing so during your divorce. Posts that you think are harmless could be taken out of context and used as evidence in court. For example, a picture of you holding an alcoholic drink at a party could be used to argue that you have a drinking problem and that your parenting time with your children should be restricted. 
  4. Save your complaints for offline - You may be angry about the end of your marriage, but venting about your spouse, your relationship problems, or the divorce process on social media is usually not a good idea. Getting through your divorce will require you to cooperate and compromise with your spouse, and she will be less likely to want to work with you if you have made disparaging public comments about her. When reaching agreements about child custody, you will need to show that you can work together with your ex to provide for your children’s best interests. Angry online comments could be used as evidence that you will be unable to cooperate, and this could have a negative impact on child custody decisions.

Ask Your Attorney About Any Concerns

While you can control how you use social media, you may find that your spouse or other family members who are involved in your lives are acting inappropriately in ways that affect you or your children. In these cases, you can consult with a divorce lawyer to learn what steps you can take. Your attorney can make sure your rights are protected during the divorce process, and they can help you reach an outcome to your case that will allow you to move forward with your life and be a great father to your kids.

Dad's DivorceGetting a divorce is never easy, but it can be especially difficult in cases where spouses are argumentative, hostile, or unable to cooperate with each other. If your spouse is a narcissist, or if you need to deal with high-conflict situations involving your children, your property, or other divorce-related issues, you will want to understand what you can do to protect your rights and reach a satisfactory outcome to your case. Some steps you can take to achieve success in your divorce include:

  • Set boundaries - During your divorce, you’ll want to focus on resolving legal issues rather than arguing about why your marriage ended or who was to blame. To make sure your spouse doesn’t drag you into emotional arguments, be clear with her about what topics you’re willing to discuss, and don’t be afraid to end a conversation that is getting heated. By keeping things as professional as possible, you can work on reaching a workable divorce settlement that will meet your needs and protect your children’s best interests.
  • Keep documentation - If your spouse has lied to you about any issues in your divorce, changed her mind after making agreements, or acted in an abusive or harassing manner, you’ll want to preserve any evidence of this behavior. Make sure to save any emails or text messages you have sent to each other, as well as any other evidence showing that your spouse has behaved unreasonably or inappropriately. If necessary, this documentation may be used as evidence during divorce litigation.
  • Avoid involving your children in your disputes - You should do everything you can to avoid exposing your children to conflict between you and your spouse, including refraining from making negative comments about the other parent in front of them or asking them to send messages between the two of you. In a high-conflict situation, you may need to make arrangements to protect your children’s best interests, such as picking them up and dropping them off in a public place or setting rules for phone calls or electronic communication.
  • Take a break from social media - Even though you may be tempted to complain about your spouse or your divorce on Facebook or Twitter, it is best to avoid doing so while your case is ongoing. Disparaging comments about your spouse could be taken out of context or used to argue that you aren’t willing to work together to protect your kids’ best interests. Other information you share could also be used against you during the divorce process, so it’s often a good idea to avoid social networks altogether until your divorce is over.
  • Get legal help - The best way to make sure your rights are protected is to work with an experienced divorce attorney. Your lawyer can help you understand the best ways to address your legal issues while advocating for your interests in court hearings. They can also help you take the right steps to demonstrate that you can provide for your children’s best interests as you determine how to handle child custody matters going forward.

 

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