Archive for August, 2014

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Describes the Path of a Typical Fault-Based Divorce

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

In Mississippi, couples have two choices for how they will proceed with their divorce cases. A Mississippi divorce can be no-fault, which means that it is based upon irreconcilable differences, or it can be based upon one of the twelve statutorily recognized grounds for divorce. One of the major distinctions between no-fault and fault-based divorce cases is that the former does not require a trial if the parties are able to agree to mutually acceptable terms, and the latter goes to trial.

Fault-based divorces often take a year or more, from start to finish. At the beginning, the spouse who wishes to file for divorce meets with an attorney and provides them with information regarding their marriage, their finances, their assets, and their family. They discuss their reasons for seeking a fault-based divorce, and their attorney drafts the initial documents for the divorce case, the summons and complaint. These documents set forth the reason why a divorce is being sought, as well as what the plaintiff spouse hopes to obtain from it.

Once the defendant spouse receives the summons and complaint, they have a limited time to prepare their response, or answer, to the complaint. It is recommended that anyone who receives a complaint for divorce seek the assistance of an attorney immediately, so that the attorney will have adequate time to prepare an answer to the complaint, which alleges any defenses or counterclaims that the defendant wishes to present.

After a complaint is filed, either spouse may work with their attorney to decide whether any requests for temporary relief should be made. If it is decided that temporary custody, child support, or other orders are needed, the lawyer for the party requesting the order will file an appropriate motion with the court.

At the same time that any preliminary matters are being decided, the discovery process begins. Discovery is a process through which the attorneys for both parties request and obtain relevant information from each other. The information can be obtained in writing, through the use of interrogatories, or verbally, through the use of depositions. The information which is gathered through the discovery process will be used by the attorneys to prepare the case for trial.

Trials require a great deal of preparation, and fault-based divorce cases are no exception. At-fault cases require the person who filed the complaint for divorce to provide proof of the grounds that they alleged in their complaint. There may be multiple grounds present in any given divorce complaint. The person who has been served with the complaint for divorce has the opportunity to present evidence in support of their defenses to the stated grounds for divorce. Each party must also present evidence that would support a divorce judgment in their favor, and describes what they want as far as a property settlement and a custody agreement, if children are involved. At the close of the trial, the judge will issue final orders on all issues in the divorce.

To learn more about how Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you, call our office today, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule your free initial consultation.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Discusses Fighting About Beloved Pets in Divorce

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Pets are at the heart of many homes. Couples without children often consider their furry, finned, and feathered friends to be similar to children, and families with kids know that having kids and having pets often go hand in paw. Pets, like children, form strong and lasting attachments to their caregivers. It is only natural, then, that the care and well-being of pets is often at issue in divorce cases.

When people bring pets into a relationship before they are married, it is possible to include them in any prenuptial agreements that the couple may make before they marry. This can take the guesswork out of how the pet’s custody will be handled during a divorce, but the reality is that most couples don’t have prenuptial agreements, and, therefore, issues of pet care and custody become part of the divorce process.

While states differ on how pets are to be treated during divorce proceedings, many couples choose to treat them more like children and less like property. For example, they negotiate a schedule for who has the pet when, and they also divide up responsibility for who will pay for food, supplies, vet care, and other things that the pet needs.

It makes sense to treat pets like people instead of like property, because they are living beings with feelings and needs similar to their own. For example, if you give custody of the family dog to one parent, then the dog will still see the kids when they visit that parent, but the dog will feel a loss because of the absence of the other parent. Likewise, if one parent gets the dog and the other gets the cat, the dog and the cat will not only miss each other’s companionship, each will experience the loss of a relationship with one of their human companions. When pets get to spend time with both (or all, in the case of a family) their human companions, everyone benefits.

Whether your Mississippi divorce case is currently going through negotiation or mediation or you are preparing for a trial, be sure to give careful consideration to how you handle the issue of your pets. Spending time creating a visitation schedule and dividing up pet care responsibilities can ensure that everyone, pets included, can continue to enjoy the love and joy that happen when pets and people get together.

If pets are part of your Mississippi divorce, be sure to get help from an attorney who will help you to obtain an outcome that is favorable for you and for them. Matthew S. Poole is a seasoned Mississippi Divorce Attorney with unmatched skill in negotiation and a proven track record for achieving favorable results for his divorce clients. Matthew cares about his clients and their pets, and he works hard to help each client obtain their divorce as quickly and painlessly as possible, while achieving the best possible outcome.  Matthew S. Poole will work with you to settle your divorce in a manner that will help you and your pets transition seamlessly into your new post-divorce life.  Call Matthew today at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Talks About How Divorce Actually Affects Kids

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

If you are going through a divorce, you may not like some of the things that you may have read about regarding how divorce affects children. For some reason, stories about the negative impacts of divorce on children get quite a bit of press, compared to tales of children who have neutral or even positive experiences when their parents split. These stories do exist, and it is quite possible that these are the outcomes which occur more frequently than their negative counterparts.

When you consider the range of experiences that parents go through during divorce, it is easy to see how children may have vastly different experiences during divorce as well. Depending upon the ages of the children and the nature of the relationship between the divorcing parents, going through a divorce can actually provide children with some important lessons about love and life.

One of the things that can happen with children whose parents divorce is that sibling bonds can become stronger. For some reason, this seems to be just as true for kids travel between their parents’ new homes as a group as it is for those who spend some time with their siblings and some time with their parents individually.

If your marriage has been strained for a few years, your divorce may provide some relief for your children. Kids can feel tension at home, so they are likely to be aware of it even in homes where couples have been careful to have their arguments when and where the kids could not hear them. When parents in these situations separate and move into separate living quarters, there may still be tension, but probably not nearly as much. The kids will pick up on that change, and they will also take notice if their parents gradually become less and less tense following the split.

Much of what your children will experience as a result of your divorce comes from what they see you doing. When you take a second job to help pay the bills, you are likely to begin managing both your time and your money differently than you have in the past. As you succeed in doing that, your kids are watching you. Depending upon their ages, they may implement some of what they see in their own lives. The same goes for communication. When they see you communicating in a respectful way with their other parent, they learn that it is possible to speak respectfully with someone that you disagree with. As you move forward and find happiness after your divorce, that happiness will undoubtedly be shared by your children, and they will likely not only feel happier themselves, but happy for you, too.

Divorce does not always have to be a negative experience for children. Parents who are divorcing can rest assured that some of the things that their children may experience during their divorce are likely to be neutral or even positive in nature. To find out how Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you with your divorce, please call our office today, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.

Mississippi Family Law Attorney Discusses What You May Have in Common With Many Professional Athletes

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Did you know that if you are divorced, divorcing, or considering filing for divorce, you have something in common with many professional athletes? You? Yes. You. Marriage woes are not just a problem for regular people like you; they are a problem which is experienced by many professional athletes. In fact, professional athletes are even more prone to divorce than the rest of us are. Their divorce rate is approximated at between sixty and eighty percent, while the rate for the general population remains fairly constant at about fifty percent.

When you consider the lifestyle of a professional athlete, you can see the areas where troubles often arise. Athletes have schedules which are demanding, between the on season, the off season, training, and other obligations. What’s more, those demanding schedules usually involve travel all over America, and, in some cases, all over the world. The travel and work schedule of a professional athlete can make it difficult for them to establish and maintain strong, long-lasting relationships. Even when they own homes and have children, athletes may not get to spend as much time at home as they would like, or as much as their spouses and kids would like them to.

On top of the traveling and the intense schedule, there is the issue of money. Many athletes are well paid, but some of them mismanage their money. Others come into the unfortunate situation of being in marriages where their spouse mismanages their money for them. Even when money is not mismanaged, it can cause stress if couples disagree over what to do with it.

Infidelity is a leading cause of divorce among athletes, and it is easy to see how that can happen. Athletes often have to spend a lot of time away from their spouses and their families. On top of that, adoring fans are practically throwing themselves at them everywhere they go. Temptation is everywhere, and, it can be hard to resist, especially if your peers are also participating in it.

While some of the problems that lead to the divorces of many professional athletes are unique to those who live lives of fame and fortune, other athletes divorce for reasons that may sound rather familiar. Some decide that they married someone who is not compatible with them. Others have grown apart from their spouses. Some have decided that they would be happier to be single than to be in a relationship.

Another way in which your divorce may resemble that of a professional athlete is that whether you are headed for mediation or negotiation, or your case is going to go to trial, there are athletes whose divorces have gone both of those ways. Some have settled outside of court while others have engaged in very expensive, very public court battles. Whether you are an athlete or not, your Mississippi Divorce Attorney can help you to define your goals and pursue a resolution of your divorce case that will help you to meet those goals. To find out how Mississippi Family Law Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you with your divorce, please call our office today, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Shares Thoughts on Divorce Mistakes to Avoid

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

It is well established that people tend to do things that they later regret when they are under a lot of stress and they are experiencing strong emotions. This explains why many people do things during the course of their divorce proceedings that they would never have done at any other time – things that they later regret and things which make their divorce even harder than it would have been had they not done them. Fortunately, one way to be successful in avoiding mistakes is understanding how and when they often happen, as well as what they are. We have already covered the how and when, so here are a few examples of mistakes that you could avoid making during your Mississippi divorce.

Not knowing much about your family’s finances prior to filing for divorce can lead to problems later on. It is possible that your soon to be former spouse has not been managing the family’s finances well, and that they have been incurring debt in order to pay for things that you think are being paid for by their income. Cheating spouses may be paying for gifts, expensive dates, and sometimes even day to day living expenses for their new love interests. There are many dangers to allowing the family’s finances to operate in unseen territory. Fortunately, you can acquire a working knowledge of your family’s finances prior to filing for divorce. Take some time to look at bank statements, bills, and other financial records to see what’s really going on.

Deciding to represent yourself in your divorce could set you back in multiple ways down the road. Depending upon the dynamic of your relationship with your soon to be former spouse and whether they have an attorney, you may agree to terms that you should not agree to. For example, you may accept less time with the kids than you could have under an arrangement that an attorney would help you to obtain, either through negotiation or by trial. You might accept less property, fewer assets, if your soon to be former spouse convinces you that you deserve less than they do. Again, an attorney can help you to determine what you can reasonably expect to get out of your divorce, and then they can help you to get it. It does cost money to hire an attorney, but it is an investment worth making.

Treating the divorce like an emotional battle instead of a business deal can also cause trouble. It is impossible not to feel many feelings during divorce. Fortunately, it is possible, albeit not easy, to work through your feelings separately from working through the process of negotiating your property settlement and child custody agreement. For example, you can cope with your emotions in any way that you find helpful, whether that entails spending time talking with friends, discussing things with a therapist, spending time outdoors, or finding solace in a spiritual community. When it comes to discussing how you will divide time with the kids or your marital assets, approach that discussion as if it were a business deal, complete with plenty of negotiation and give and take.

Your divorce is a one-time occurrence, and a Mississippi Divorce Attorney can help you to avoid making mistakes that could bother you for years to come. To find out how Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you navigate the divorce process, please call our office today, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Shares Tips for Keeping Your Cool During Your Divorce

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

There is no denying that divorce is hard, for everyone. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to remain relatively calm and keep your wits about you as you go through the divorce process. Here are four ways that you can have the divorce that you want, instead of the divorce that you dread.

 The first thing that you can do is to choose an approach and commit to it. If a peaceful or less stressful divorce is what you want, then commit to making that happen. The very act of setting a goal makes it much more likely that you will accomplish what you set out to do. After you commit to a course of action, stop yourself and recommit to it every time you catch yourself about to say or do something that would work against what you are trying to accomplish. This is not always easy, but over time you may find that it gets easier as you go along.

A second thing that you can do to increase the level of calm in yourself and in your home during your divorce is to keep the kids out of it. It is true that children need to know that their parents are getting divorced, and certainly they need to know that the split is about their parents and not about them. What they don’t need to know is the nitty gritty of exactly why you are divorcing. While honesty is certainly the best policy, it is a good idea to respond in very generalized terms when kids inevitably ask “why”. For example, instead of telling them that your soon to be former spouse cheated on you, you can say that your relationship has changed to a point where it is best for you to go your separate ways.

The third thing that you can do to decrease the level of conflict in your divorce is to keep your conversations about your divorce private. It is not a good idea to confide all of the details of your split with the two women that you just met last week at a friend’s house. You will undoubtedly be making new friends, and instead of disclosing very personal information about your divorce, let them get to know you for who you are. Talking about your divorce may be crucial to working through the rough spots, so choose trusted friends that have been in your life for a while to have those serious conversations. You can trust that they will respect your confidentiality, and, since they already know you, they will be able to provide support and comfort in a way that is meaningful to you.

The fourth thing that you can do to promote calm and reduce conflict during your divorce is to adopt an attitude of forgiveness. Things have happened. Mistakes have been made. The two of you have decided to separate yourselves so that each of you can begin anew. By choosing to leave what happened between you in the past and forgive your soon to be former spouse for whatever he or she has done to contribute to the circumstances that led to your divorce, you give peace to yourself, your soon to be former spouse, and your kids.

If you are planning to get divorced in Mississippi, it is essential that you speak with an attorney who understands the divorce process. Your Mississippi Divorce Attorney can explain the Mississippi divorce laws as they apply to your particular situation, and they can help you resolve your divorce in a way that works for you. To find out how Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you navigate the divorce process, please call our office today, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.