Archive for October, 2014

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Shares Four More Good Reasons to Hire a Mississippi Divorce Attorney

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

There are many good reasons why you should hire a Mississippi Divorce Attorney to represent you in your Mississippi divorce. It is true that people can and do represent themselves in their divorce cases, but those people are often less satisfied with the outcome of their case than people who were represented in their divorce cases by attorneys. Here are a few more reasons which may contribute to clients’ satisfaction with the outcomes of their Mississippi divorce cases in which they were represented by counsel.

Divorce attorneys have a great deal of experience with divorce cases, so they know the rules and they know what different types of people can expect to get out of their divorce cases. Some people file for their divorces thinking that they can take the other person for everything that they have, or that they can leave the other party with little or no contact with their children when there is nothing going on that would support such a turn of events. It is up to you to decide what your priorities are during your Mississippi divorce, but your attorney provides a valuable reality check against which your aspirations can be measured. In other words, your attorney can let you know whether what you are trying to get is reasonable or not. Also, if you are thinking of accepting a settlement offer and your attorney thinks that you may be selling yourself short in doing so, they will let you know so that you can have an honest idea of what your position is worth.

Another thing that happens when you are represented by counsel is that you do not have to communicate with your spouse or their attorney. Your attorney will handle those communications, which can leave you feeling less stressed and freer to take care of yourself and your family. If communications with your spouse are strained, imagine the relief that could occur when the task of communication is delegated to someone else, someone who is an advocate for your position in your divorce case.

Your attorney is able to help you understand many different things about your divorce case. They are also able to help you see the difference between the emotional and the practical aspects of divorce so that you are able to make choices that will serve you in the long run, instead of impulsive decisions made under extremely emotional conditions.

A fourth advantage which a Mississippi family law attorney can provide to you is that they can handle a great deal of the work that goes into getting a divorce. From completing and filling out paperwork, to handling communications and negotiating, they are working on your behalf while you go about the activities of your daily life. Your divorce case and others like it are the daily work of your attorney, who ensures that each of the cases in their care is handled in a competent and expedient manner.

Anyone who is contemplating a Mississippi divorce would benefit from seeking assistance from a Mississippi Divorce Attorney. Your attorney can help you with any questions that you may have regarding divorce in Mississippi. 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 Discusses Habitual Drunkenness as Grounds for Divorce

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Mississippi recognizes a number of different, fault-based grounds for divorce. Some of these grounds are more frequently cited in divorce complaints than others are, but it is important that couples be aware of them in case they do pertain to your marriage. Habitual drunkenness is one such infrequently cited grounds for divorce.

It is no secret that many people enjoy drinking alcohol, and some people enjoy alcohol frequently, either in the company of their spouse or with friends. There is a difference, though, between recreational use of alcohol and the type of habitual drunkenness that the state of Mississippi had in mind when it listed it as a grounds for divorce.

Since habitual drunkenness is not a frequently used grounds for divorce, there is not a great deal of case law describing instances where a court has found that it was in fact an issue and a divorce should be granted because of it. Mississippi residents who cite habitual drunkenness as the grounds upon which their divorce should be granted must be prepared to present evidence that would support a conclusion that the defendant was frequently or habitually drunk, and also that the drunkenness affected the marriage and was an ongoing issue at the time of the divorce trial.

From the above description of the elements of a successful habitual drunkenness divorce claim, you can see that the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption are only part of the picture. The effect of the alcohol on the behavior of the defendant spouse is very important, and is essential to a successful claim. It is possible for a defendant to drink every day without the drinking having an impact on the marriage, if the defendant acted like their usual self even after consuming quite a bit of alcohol. In contrast, even someone who drinks a few nights every week and then acts in an abusive and violent manner at home would be found to be habitually drunk in a way that affects the marriage.

Since habitual drunkenness has a few requirements, some people may be disappointed to learn that the divorce case that they would like to file is not likely to succeed on those grounds. Fortunately, there are many other statutorily recognized grounds for divorce which can be used in situations where alcohol abuse creates marital problems even without being habitual. For example, if someone drinks a couple of times a month and physically abuses their spouse every time that they do it, the spouse may be able to cite cruel and inhuman treatment as a grounds for divorce depending upon what other behaviors the person engages in and how the victim has been affected.

Whether your divorce is based upon habitual drunkenness or some other grounds for divorce, it is important that you seek assistance from a knowledgeable Mississippi Divorce Attorney. To learn more about how Jackson area 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 the Role of Debt in Your Divorce Case

Monday, October 20th, 2014

When many people decide to get divorced, they begin thinking about what they would like to come away from the marriage with. For couples with children, family time issues are likely to be at the top of the list of concerns. However, concerns about the property distribution are also often at the forefront because parents want to know how they will be able to provide for their own needs and the needs of their children. Property distribution concerns are also a top priority for couples without children, as the divorcing spouses want to know how they will be able to provide for themselves moving forward.

People’s thoughts about property settlement often involve which assets are most desirable. It is important to think about which items and assets are most important to you so that you can effectively negotiate a property settlement that meets your needs. It is also important that you think about the amounts and types of debts that you and your spouse are responsible for. These debts are divided during the property division process, right along with your assets.

On the surface, dividing debts during a divorce may seem like it could be a simple and straightforward matter, with each spouse taking on responsibility for approximately half of the debt, or whatever percentage of the debt could equitably be attributed to them. It is important that divorcing parties understand that although they are dividing up responsibility for their debts, the agreements that they reach of that nature do not impact the interests of the creditors to whom the debts are owed. In other words, creditors are free to pursue payment from either spouse, divorce decree notwithstanding. In other words, if your former spouse fails to pay the debts that they agreed to pay, the creditors will look to you for payment.

Dividing up debts and going in separate directions with the knowledge that creditors could still pursue payment from you if the other does not pay as agreed is not an ideal situation. Some divorcing couples do what they can to reduce the extent to which this happens in their divorce cases by paying off as many debts as they can prior to the divorce. For the debts that you cannot pay off before the divorce, it is a good idea to contact your creditors to inquire about any options that may be available to you. An example of an option which is available in some cases is the novation, where the spouse who would be keeping the debt submits an application to the creditor in an effort to qualify for the debt on their own. If they qualify, the other spouse’s name is removed from the debt and they cannot be reached for future payment.

The allocation of your debts is an issue in many divorce cases. Your Mississippi Divorce Attorney can help you to pursue a division of debts and assets that works for you. To find out how Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you with all aspects of the divorce process, please call our office today at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Shares Four Good Reasons to Hire a Mississippi Divorce Attorney

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

Whether you are planning to file for divorce or you have been served with divorce papers, you may wonder whether you will seek out the services of a Mississippi Divorce Attorney to represent you in your divorce case. Divorce is a stressful time, for both practical and emotional reasons. Undertaking representation of yourself in a divorce case adds to that stress, and you could also miss out on some of the benefits of being represented by counsel in a Mississippi divorce.

One reason why many people choose to be represented by a Mississippi Divorce Attorney is that divorce attorneys understand that every client’s case is unique. Your Mississippi Divorce Attorney will thoroughly assess your individual situation. Once your attorney gets to know your situation and what your priorities are, they can work with you to pursue a resolution to your divorce that will give you as much of what is most important to you as is possible.

Another advantage of retaining counsel for your Mississippi divorce case is that it increases your chance of resolving your divorce through settlement rather than through litigation. Trials are expensive and stressful, and outcomes that are designed by judges who do not personally know the parties are not nearly as satisfactory as outcomes which are designed by the parties themselves through negotiation. It may seem like involving attorneys will increase the level of conflict and decrease the chance of settlement, but the opposite is true. When attorneys are doing the communicating instead of divorcing spouses, the level of conflict often decreases so that negotiations can occur.

Of course, not all divorce cases are settled through negotiation or mediation. If you and your soon to be former spouse are unable to agree on how to resolve some or all of the issues in your divorce case, you will have to go to court. Parties who litigate their divorces derive great benefit from being represented by counsel because attorneys know how divorce cases work, and they are comfortable with presenting information in the context of court proceedings in an effective manner.

A fourth good reason to hire a Mississippi divorce attorney is paperwork. Getting a divorce involves a lot of paperwork, and there are various deadlines for filing the various forms with the court. When you are represented by counsel, your attorney can take care of your paperwork for you, as long as you give them all of the information that they need to complete it. They are well aware of filing deadlines and procedures, so you can be assured that your documents will be filed properly and on time. While parties who represent themselves must figure out how to understand the divorce paperwork on their own, a divorce attorney can help you to understand it and can answer any questions that you may have.

Divorce is a major life event, and you deserve to have every advantage that is available. A 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 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 Divorce Attorney Talks about Bankruptcy and Divorce

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

It should come as no surprise to you that post-divorce bankruptcies are common. It is not difficult to imagine how two people who were able to get by financially when they were sharing living quarters, food costs, and other expenses could run into difficulty staying afloat financially when each of them establishes their own, single-adult household. Couples with children are likely to experience even more financial strain as they attempt to set up two homes where the children can eat, sleep, play, learn, and otherwise feel as if they are at home.

When financial resources are stretched too thin, bankruptcy may be a likely result. Fortunately, if a couple recognizes ahead of time that their divorce is likely to push either of both of them into a financially unsustainable situation, they may be able to make a strategic move that will leave both of them with more money in their pockets. The strategic move that a couple may decide to make is going through bankruptcy while they are still married, and then filing for and completing their divorce.

Sometimes, couples who are thinking of divorcing have a great deal of trouble discussing financial matters. If this is the case in your relationship, it may still be worth attempting to explore the idea because a bankruptcy involving a married couple often leaves the couple with more of their assets and property than two separate divorces by single people would because of the way that the bankruptcy property exemptions are structured. Also, if financial difficulties are a major cause of the problems in your marriage, going through bankruptcy together may decrease your financial stress and improve communications between the two of you to a point where the relationship is able to flourish again.

Whether you and your spouse eventually divorce or not, your joint bankruptcy prior to your divorce would put you in a position where there are fewer debts to be allocated as part of the property distribution than there would be if you did not go through bankruptcy. It is also important to note that if you are assigned responsibility for a debt in a property distribution, some of those debts may not be dischargeable in a post-divorce bankruptcy.

If you and your spouse are concerned about the financial impact of your divorce, it is a good idea to explore whether filing for bankruptcy before filing for divorce may be advantageous. Whether you go through a pre-divorce bankruptcy or not, when you do file for divorce in Mississippi, it is best to do so with an experienced Mississippi Divorce Attorney by your side. Your Mississippi Divorce Attorney can help you understand the financial implications of various choices that you may be able to make in your divorce so that you can resolve your divorce in a way that works for you. To find out how Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you with your Mississippi divorce, please call our office today, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Discusses Divorce for People at or Approaching Retirement Age

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

A decision to divorce can be made at any point after a couple marries. Some couples realize that they are not meant to be together forever after just a few short years of marriage. For other couples, the road to divorce is much longer. Some couples enjoy many years of marriage before problems develop that eventually lead them to divorce. Divorce later in life is different in some ways from divorce at a younger age, but in some ways it is the same. Perhaps the most important similarity is that it enables people to get out of marriages that are not working, so that they can move in directions that are better suited to their needs.

While child custody may take center stage as the major issue in the divorces of many younger couples, property distribution is often the core issue in divorces which involve older adults. When people are at or near retirement age, they are looking at a financial situation that revolves less around salaries and wages and more around pensions, retirement accounts, social security, and other assets. It can take a lot of work to figure out how an older couple can divide their debts and assets in a way that provides each of them with enough resources to live comfortably throughout their retirement. However, if your marriage is beyond repair, it is worth doing that work so that you can move on and enjoy your retirement.

A Mississippi Divorce Attorney can help you to understand your options for equitably dividing the property and assets that you and your spouse have accumulated during your marriage. Since Mississippi follows an equitable distribution theory of property division, the court is looking for a division of debts and assets that is fair, and not necessarily a fifty fifty split. Depending upon the nature and amount of assets that are involved in your divorce, you and your attorney may wish to have a financial planner help you understand what choices you have for distributing the various assets in your possession.

Other issues which may be involved in divorce at or near retirement age include disposition of the marital home and estate planning. Your Mississippi Divorce Attorney can help you to understand your options for each of these things, as well as the potential tax and long term consequences of each option. Your divorce is a major life decision, it is essential that you have all of the information that you need before you decide how to proceed. Your Mississippi Divorce Attorney can ensure that you have all of the information that you need to make choices that are right for you, and they can also 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 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 Divorce Attorney Shares Three More Secrets of Successful Co-Parents

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

There are many things that parents can do to ensure that their family’s experience with co-parenting is a positive one. Here are three additional things that you can do to make your co-parenting experience as simple and conflict-free as possible,

Keeping your priorities in mind can help you to navigate the day to day tasks and interactions you’re your former spouse with a positive or neutral mindset instead of a negative one. The very fact that you have chosen to share parenting speaks to your commitment to being actively involved in your children’s lives. It is true that your divorce has created some extra tasks that you must do, like pick-ups, drop offs, and the like, but those things are part of something bigger, and that something is your children’s experience with you as a dedicated and involved parent. When co-parenting feels like a struggle, it can be helpful to remind yourself of this, because doing so can help you to figure out what is not working and make a plan to address it.

Remaining flexible is an important part of maintaining a good co-parenting relationship. Because parenting schedules are based in large part upon parents’ work schedule and children’s school schedules, they can feel as if they are set in stone. Also, it can take a great deal of negotiation and hard work to come up with a schedule that works for everyone. If an unforeseen event like a job loss occurs, the schedule that the two of you worked so hard to create can become unworkable. As frustrating as this is, especially if the schedule was working well for you, it is important that the two of you work together to create a schedule that works for the family’s current state of affairs. Changes to parenting schedules can also be made in response to events that are not necessarily sudden or unexpected. Children change and grow, and as they do, their needs and desires also change. When parents set aside time to review their parenting schedule a few times each year, they can make adjustments as needed in order to accommodate things like changing preferences in extracurricular activities or opportunities that arise for either parent or one or more of the children.

A final strategy for maintaining a workable co-parenting relationship is learning not to sweat the small stuff. While it is true that consistency is good for kids and that keeping rules and routines similar between households is beneficial, there has to be some allowance for differences in parenting between the two households. With this in mind, try your best to reserve arguments or serious discussions for things that are serious issues.

If your Mississippi divorce involves children, it is essential that you speak with an attorney who is experienced in helping families navigate the divorce process. To find out how Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you, please call our office today at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Shares Four Secrets of Successful Co-Parents

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

When a couple with children divorces, they have options regarding how they can handle the issue of the daily care and custody of their children. While sole custody by one parent with visitation by the other was the standard approach to custody for many years, more and more couples are choosing shared custody arrangements, where each parent spends roughly the same amount of time with their children. Parents who have experience with shared custody agreements can attest to the fact that while co-parenting their children is not always easy, it is so very worth it. Here are four ways that you can prepare yourself for a successful co-parenting experience.

One of the most important things that occurs in families where divorced parents successfully share custody of their children can be one of the most difficult things to do. Parents who enjoy relatively smooth co-parenting relationships consistently choose to take the high road by refraining from speaking poorly about their children’s other parent. Research has consistently confirmed that hearing negative messages about a parent can damage a child. Children love both of their parents, and because of this, they often internalize the criticism that they hear about a person whom they hold in high regard as a negative message about themselves. It is only natural to have negative feelings about your former spouse from time to time, but there are plenty of ways to work through those feelings either on your own or with other adults in ways that will not reach your children’s ears or eyes.

A carefully planned parenting schedule is another essential ingredient in a successful co-parenting experience. Creating a parenting schedule consists of so much more than dividing up the days and times that each of you will care for your children. The best parenting schedules acknowledge the individual needs and desires of both parents and all of the children. Parents should consider their work schedules, as well as their involvement in any personal or community activities that are important to them. For the children, consider their ages and temperaments, as well as their school schedule and extracurricular activities. An example of how temperament can factor into a thoughtfully crafted parenting schedule is recognizing when one or more of the children have difficulty with frequent transitions and trying, as much as possible, to keep parenting time evenly distributed while minimizing the amount of transitions that happen each week.

A third thing that makes co-parenting arrangements more workable is good communication. Contrary to what some people may think, the ability of former spouses is not a matter of you either have it or you don’t. Good communication can happen even in situations where there has been a lot of conflict, if the parties establish rules and methods for communicating for each other and then abide by them. Emotionally charged phone conversations are not required, when families have many tools at their disposal for sharing calendar and schedule information and for exchanging messages.

A fourth factor which is present in families whose shared custody arrangements work for everyone’s benefit is sensitivity to the children’s feelings. Parents who encourage their children to talk to them about their feelings about the divorce and then listen intently when those feelings are shared often find ways to connect meaningfully with their children as they help them to develop creative solutions to any problems that they may be experiencing.

Co-parenting is not always easy, but it is possible. Your Mississippi Divorce Attorney can help you to pursue a shared custody arrangement that will work well for your family. To learn more about how Jackson area divorce attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you, call our office today at (601) 573-7429 to schedule your free initial consultation.