Love : Marriage : Divorce

November 24th, 2014

With the U.S. marriage rate at an all-time low, 51% of adults were married in 2011 (US Census Bureau), only 29% of all divorced adults say they would marry again with women definitely in the negative on remarriage.  Americans are also not in a hurry to marry.  The median age of first marriages is a record high of 29 for men and 27 for women (US Census Bureau).

So what about the 48% of adults currently married?  A new divorce report by the Slater and Gordon Law Firm in England who surveyed 1000 divorcees has reflected some very interesting findings:

  • The average person spends about 2 years thinking about getting a divorce before they file.

  • During this time the average person spent 18 months really trying to fix their marriage and working to try to save the marriage.

  • 53% discussed divorce with someone besides their partner before filing.

  • 36% spoke to an attorney before deciding to file a divorce

  • 76% tried to fix their marriage problems before deciding on a divorce

  • 53% said their split was amicable and 45% said they are still friends

  • 31% have no contact with their previous spouse at all!

     How would you fit into this survey?

The Nacol Law Firm PC has expressed 8 of the top causes of Divorce!

  1. Lack of communication: A successful relationship constantly keeps in touch! When there is a loss of open ended communication on all issues affecting the marriage, families may fall apart quickly. Share your feelings, tell your partner what is happening, and listen to your partner.

  2. Money and Finances: If there are constant money problems or major disagreements on financial issues, you may have a serious martial problem. A team effort at all times bodes for a better marriage.

  3. Alcohol and Drug Addiction:  Addiction is one of the most damaging and challenging problems spouses will ever face in a marriage. Because additive behavior touches everyone in a family most marriages are severely damaged years before a decision is reached to end the marriage.

  4. Domestic Violence/ Intimate Partner Violence: Family Violence is the willful intimidation, physical and/or sexual assault & battery or serious mental and verbal abuse perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. The frequency and severity of domestic violence varies dramatically and may include physical or sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse. The violence is often accompanied by irrational and controlling behavior and is intended to result in total dominance and control over the other spouse /intimate partner or other family members.

  5. Trust and Infidelity Issues: Do you truly trust your spouse? Are their jealousy issues that occur with one spouse when other people are involved in your lives? A successful marriage is very difficult absent trust.  If you do not trust your spouse the marriage is vulnerable!

  6. Spouse cannot understand or fulfill your needs and desires: this includes personal and sexual needs and common courtesies to each other. We all have different needs and desires. If you or your partner won’t acknowledge each other’s needs and try to accommodate, the marriage is vulnerable!

  7. Inability to resolve conflict: Often couples have very serious trust issues with each other and cannot get past the needs of one vs the needs of the family.  Smart couples will seek out a 3rd party “referee” to help resolve these differences before the marriage is irretrievable.

  8. Children: Enough said! The married couple must decide on a united front in child rearing and discipline.  The child cannot be in charge or subject to multiple contradictory directives!

Deciding to divorce is a very sad and financially devastating family decision. If you and your spouse are still at the point to possibly change things for the better, explore all other opportunities! There was a reason for the initial attraction and your family will love you for it.  Otherwise, consult a qualified legal professional who can help guide you through this trying period.

 

Dealing with Holiday Child Visitation Issues in Texas

November 12th, 2014

The Holiday Season is usually an exciting time for both parents and children alike, but for families split by divorce or separation, the emotion issues from the result of the break-up on the affected family can cause the joy of the season to be overshadowed by much unhappiness and despair!

Unfortunately, most parents wait too long to confirm visitation planning for the upcoming holiday season and a very sad and unhappy family situation occurs.  Now is the time to contact Legal Counsel if you cannot work out or are otherwise being deprived of a holiday visitation by your Ex.

Children need to have structure in scheduling the Holiday Visitations to ensure that they will be able to see both parents and share the joy of the season with their entire family.  When this goes awry, the children are usually the ones who suffer.

The best gift of the holiday a child can experience is an early proactive arrangement of all holiday plans so everyone knows dates and times for visitation with both Mom and Dad.   This Holiday Season vow to keep your child out of the middle of any family conflict and start to develop new holiday traditions with your child and family.  Many parents have new relationships/marriages and other children in the family group. The new holiday traditions should include everyone and be a bonding experience for years to come.

Tips on Dealing with Holiday Visitation Issues

  • Make sure your children have positive holiday memories. Shield them from conflicts between warring ex-spouses.

  • Plan ahead now on scheduling the upcoming holiday visitations. Longer the wait, more stress involved!

  • If there is a deviation in holiday schedule this year, make sure it is in writing.  Make sure the document shows what times are being exchanged and both parents sign it for future confirmation.

  • Stay flexible and compromise: If you have to work, consider having the kids spend more time with the other parent so they have time with friends.  This is a time for new family traditions and changes from old habits.  Put aside your differences with your EX and make the children’s time happy with good memories.

  • If age appropriate, ask your children what is important to them during the holidays.  There may be a special place or event that is very important to them and try to accommodate this.

  • Sit back and enjoy the Holidays with your children.  This is a special time for wonderful bonding and beautiful memories. Do not undermine their holiday by hateful confrontations and fighting.

  • If a potential problem could arise on holiday visitation schedules, make sure you take action legally in plenty of time to consult a legal expert and get the conflict resolved before the holidays commence!

The Special Needs Child and Parents Going Through a Texas Divorce

November 3rd, 2014

Parents of a special needs child face many challenges while raising and nurturing their child.  Many marriages falter and end in divorce due to the stressful demands required of parents with a special needs child. The stressors and emotional pressure that exists prior to the initiation of a divorce frequently accelerates during the divorce process. A special needs child is seriously affected by their parental decisions made during a divorce.

A divorce does not bring out the best in any couple. In the case of a special needs child, thoughtful and prudent care of the child should always be the main objective of both parents so the child knows that he/she is loved by both parents and is not at risk.  A special needs child will experience serious emotional and behavioral problems during this time becoming more vulnerable and not knowing what is happening in life.  The child is often afraid that he/she is losing Mom and Dad due to false and misplaced self-imposed guilt.

Many parents have already struggled with questions surrounding their child’s special needs such as correct diagnoses or the validly of treatments for their child’s conditions.  During serious custody battles, such concerns become the focus of intense parental conflicts.

Some of the more serious concerns are:

  • A child’s reactions to overly permissive or excessively rigid parenting

  • Use and dosage of prescribed medicines for a diagnosed problem

  • Proper diagnosis being made by a competent professional

  • Whether a professional label and diagnosis will be noted in school records

  • Whether a child be placed in special education classes for leaning or emotional disabilities. Whether one parent is so occupied with the special need child that the parent has lost perspective on how to best manage the child

Often one parent accepts a child’s diagnosis given by the specialist and actively advocates for the child, while the other parent may remain in denial of the child’s obvious needs. Which parent is actually and consistently working in the child’s best interests?

Special efforts are needed when setting up possession schedules for your special needs child. Both parents must understand the nature of the child’s physical/emotional problems and the level that the child can function.  When the child spends time in each parent’s home, both parents must reasonably work together and agree on a parenting approach that addresses the child’s needs.

When parents cannot agree upon the child’s actual needs and course of care, the court may appoint a specialist to conduct a complete evaluation of the child.  From this evaluation the specialist will offer specific opinions to the parents and court regarding the nature of the child’s special needs and specifically address these needs.

In a divorce involving a special needs child many joint decisions are critical to and impact a child’s self-esteem.  Other family issues and problems may need to temporally be put aside between the parents to assure a special needs child will fully receive the attention needed.  We suggest that in the divorce decree a parenting plan be included setting out specific provisions for the care of the child.

Some suggested items to include in this Plan would be:

  • Can the child be cared for in the home or an outside facility and how would these costs be covered?

  • Medical, educational, and therapeutic interventions and decision making authority

  • Treatments not covered by insurance. Who is responsible as to the authority and cost?

  • Working with the child’s school to implement plans for the educational needs of the child.

  • Care decisions on parents’ ability to work outside the home with a special needs child

  • Handling of Lifetime care and support and the cost necessary for the special needs child

Serving clients throughout Texas, including Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Grayson, Kaufman, Rockwall and Tarrant counties and the communities of Addison, Allen, Arlington, Carrollton, Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, Garland, Grapevine, Highland Park, McKinney, Mesquite, Plano, Richardson, Rowlett and University Park, Murphy,Wylie, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Irving, along with surrounding DFW areas.