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parenting time for divorced dadsIf you’re a dad who is going through a divorce, you’re likely to be worried about spending less time with your kids. Unfortunately, this is an issue that is going to be unavoidable, since the time that your children spend with one parent is time that they won’t be with the other parent. You’ll need to adjust to not being with your kids every day, but you’ll also want to make sure you can spend time with them at every available opportunity. One way you can do so is by making sure your parenting agreement includes a “right of first refusal” clause.

What Is the Right of First Refusal?

Your parenting agreement will include detailed information about when your children will spend parenting time with you and your ex-spouse. A daily schedule will specify the days and times when your kids will be with each parent, and your agreement will also cover holidays, school vacations, and any other days where you will deviate from the normal schedule. However, there may be some days when either you or your ex will not be able to have parenting time with your kids as scheduled. These situations may be addressed by including a “right of first refusal” in your agreement.

The right of first refusal is a clause stating that when one parent will be unable to provide care for your children during their scheduled parenting time, they will be required to contact the other parent and see if they are available to watch the children before making other arrangements, such as hiring a babysitter or having kids stay with relatives. Essentially, the other parent will be given the first opportunity to have their children stay with them, and other arrangements can only be made if the parent refuses to take the children during that time.

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divorcing a narcissistGetting divorced is almost never easy, but it can become much more difficult and complicated if your spouse is a narcissist. This mental health disorder can take a variety of forms, but a narcissist will typically act with self-importance and put their own needs and desires ahead of others. They often take advantage of others, refuse to recognize other people’s needs, and demand that other people follow their wishes. Unfortunately, narcissists can also be very charming and persuasive. If your ex has narcissistic tendencies, you may be in for a difficult battle during your divorce. Fortunately, you can protect yourself by understanding the strategies that can expose your ex’s unrealistic expectations and unreasonable demands and make sure you will not be taken advantage of.

Standing up to a Narcissistic Spouse

During your divorce, you’ll need to make adjustments to the behaviors and methods of communication you may have been used to during your relationship with your spouse. What worked (or most likely didn’t work) during your marriage will no longer apply, and to avoid being manipulated, you’ll need to figure out how to put a stop to the strategies your ex normally uses to get their way. As you work to complete the divorce process, you’ll want to do the following:

  1. Stand up for yourself - Your ex may have become used to doing whatever they want and having you agree to their demands. Since you’re no longer in a married relationship, you no longer have to back down in order to keep the peace. Standing up for your rights and interests will let your ex know that you’re no longer going to let them control you and that your needs are just as important as theirs.

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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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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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Dad's divorce lawyersThe coronavirus pandemic has affected many families’ lives, and it looks like it will continue to do so as parents and children begin to go back to school in the fall. In some cases, the adjustments families have made as children have stayed home from school and parents have worked from home or suffered job losses have thrown the usual rules and routines into chaos. Because of this, maintaining consistency when it comes to discipline has been a concern for many parents. 

Divorced dads sometimes struggle to  figure out how to handle discipline of their children and maintain a balance between work, life, and parenting, and this was true even before the COVID-19 crisis became a factor. Adjusting to living in two homes can be difficult for children, and even when dads do their best to stay consistent, children can act out or push their boundaries. The additional stresses and anxieties that children are currently experiencing can make these issues even worse. Being cooped up at home and unable to spend time with friends and extended family members is likely to lead to increased behavioral issues for children, and dads will want to understand how they can provide the appropriate level of discipline while working to meet their kids’ needs.

Here are a few tips for you can discipline your children effectively while addressing concerns related to the pandemic:

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Alimony attorneysIf you’re considering divorce or are planning to end your marriage, you may need to prepare for the possibility that you will have to pay financial support to your spouse. On the other hand, you may be able to receive this type of support if you earn a lower income than your spouse. These payments may be referred to as alimony, spousal maintenance, or spousal support, and they are usually paid by a spouse who earns a significantly higher income than their former partner. Understanding whether spousal support will play a role in your divorce can help you make sure you will have the financial resources you need as you move on to the next stage of your life.

How Is Alimony Determined?

The purpose of spousal support is to make sure that once a divorce is complete, both spouses will be able to continue living at the standard they were used to during their marriage. In some cases, each spouse will be able to support themselves on their own income, and alimony won’t be necessary. However, if one spouse earned the majority of the family's income, or if one spouse is a stay-at-home parent, spousal maintenance may be awarded to ensure that the lower-earning spouse can meet their needs.

The spouse who expects to receive alimony will usually need to make the case that these types of payments are needed. Depending on the laws in your state, a judge may look at different factors to decide whether to award spousal support. They may consider each spouse’s ability to earn an income and support themselves, whether one spouse remained out of the workforce or gave up career opportunities so they could take care of family responsibilities, whether one spouse helped the other further their education or career, and the amount of time a spouse may need to obtain education or training, seek employment, and become self-supporting.

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