Archive for March, 2015

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Discusses Financial Issues for Divorcees

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Divorce can make life easier in some ways, but more difficult in others. One way in which divorce is often very difficult is in the area of finance. All divorcees are at risk for encountering financial instability after they divorce, but people who are low-income or middle class seem to be at the greatest risk for doing so.

People who are working at the time of their divorce can encounter financial problems just as easily as people who have been out of the work force for a while. If you have children, your divorce may change your schedule in such a way that you are not able to work as many hours as you could before the split. You may have to spend more money on child care, too. Of course, there is also the possibility that you work in a job where your reduced availability just won’t work because of your position, and you may have to leave that job behind.

Whether you are able to keep your job and work fewer hours or you have to go out and find a job that will fit your skill set and availability, you may have trouble making ends meet even while you are employed because you have to pay all of the bills for your new household. For this reason, bankruptcies, defaulted debts, and foreclosures are not uncommon among people who have divorced.

Another way in which divorce can harm individuals financially is education. Some people may be in the middle of completing a college or professional degree when their spouse files for divorce. They may have to put that educational experience on hold, and it may be difficult for them to find the time and money to complete it after divorce. Also, if parties had plans to pursue educational opportunities before they divorced, they may find themselves wondering when, if ever, they will be able to find the time and money to pursue those goals and increase their earning capacity.

Although divorce can be financially devastating in a number of ways, some people are able to find creative ways to earn more money, make the money that they earn go further, avoid bankruptcy and foreclosure, and finish or begin educational endeavors that will help them find work in careers that they want. Working with a Mississippi Divorce Attorney can help you to think carefully about what you want to get out of your divorce and pursue a resolution to your divorce that will work well for you, both now and for years to come. Obtaining a favorable result in your divorce case will put you in a good position to work towards the goals that you have set for your future. To learn more about how a knowledgeable Mississippi Divorce Attorney can enable you to avoid the financial pitfalls that are often associated with divorce, call Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole today, at (601) 573-7429, to schedule a free initial consultation.

Mississippi Family Law Attorney Shares Divorce Tips for Parents of Toddlers

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Divorce can be difficult for a child of any age. Fortunately, it is possible for parents to help their children understand and adjust to the changes in their family situation in such a way that the divorce does not have a negative impact on them. Toddlers can be confusing to parent whether you are in the midst of a divorce or not. Many of them can speak quite well, which might fool us into thinking that they can comprehend much more than they actually do. Their moods can fluctuate wildly at a moment’s notice. They are tiny people who are doing so much learning about the world and about themselves every day.

Caring for toddlers, as you know, takes a great deal of emotional and physical energy. All toddlers, whether their parents are divorcing or not, need a great deal of time with each parent for bonding and attachment. When one parent leaves the home, toddlers can feel abandoned, and can express their feelings of abandonment through regressive, needy behavior. Parents can work together to create a parenting schedule which gives each of them a lot of time with their toddler, so that they can sustain the bonds that they have created and avoid long separations.

All children who live in families who are divorcing must be informed of what will be happening before it happens. Children like to know what to expect, and knowing that a parent will be moving into separate quarters before they actually move can help children prepare for their departure and adjust to the new living situation once it happens. Of course, explanations should be age-appropriate and based upon what you have observed your child’s level of understanding to be. For toddlers, this means simple statements and plenty of reassurance that you and your soon to be former spouse love them, and that the divorce is in no way their fault. Less is often more as far as these conversations go, because toddlers require short and simple communications. Don’t forget to ask them if they have any questions, and to provide honest answers to any questions that they do have.

With toddlers, as with children of any age, it is important that you talk about your feelings about the divorce with other adults, so that you do not find yourself expressing those thoughts and feelings to the kids. Also, it is essential that you refrain from criticizing your child’s other parent in front of them. They love both of you, so if they hear one parent speaking poorly of the other, they may begin to feel hurt and confused.

When you spend time with your toddler, it can be very calming and reassuring for them if you follow their established routines. The same goes for rules and discipline. The positive effect that consistent routines, rules, and discipline can provide for your toddler is well worth the additional effort that may need to go into discussing these topics and agreeing on them with your soon to be former spouse. Morning struggles to get ready and fights at bedtime and mealtime are just a few of the things that can happen less frequently at both your home and the home of your soon to be former spouse when discipline, rules, and routines are consistent.

Mississippi Family Law Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you understand the divorce process, and he can help you work through it every step of the way. Please call our office at (601) 573-7429 today, to schedule a free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Says March is a Popular Month for Divorce

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Many family law attorneys report that divorce filings always seem to increase in the first few months of each year. In fact, between thirty five and forty five percent of all divorces are filed within the first four months of each year. The month with the most filings is usually March.

While it may seem random that there is one particular month where there are more divorce filings than any other, the uptick in divorce filings in March is completely explainable. The reason that divorce filings tend to reach a high point in March is that many couples tend to follow a similar timeline of events at the beginning of their divorces. January is the month in which many couples decide to split, after the holidays have passed and at a time when many people are thinking of making positive changes in their lives. The end of Dedember also marks the close of the tax year. In February, these same couples search for lawyers and plan for their divorces. Because of that timing, divorce cases are often ready for filing in March.

After a divorce is filed, though, it’s anybody’s guess as to which couples will resolve their divorces quickly through mutual agreement, which will eventually reach agreement after a bunch of back and forth negotiating, and which will become entrenched in their positions and unable to resolve their divorce through settlement, opting instead to proceed to trial. Couples without children have fewer issues to discuss and decide upon than couples with children do, so their divorces may take less time.

Of course, couples file for divorce at all different times of the year. If you have reached a point in your marriage where you are thinking of filing for divorce, do not rush to file for divorce until you are ready to do so. You can do plenty of planning and preparation for your divorce before you file, including finding an attorney, looking into alternate housing arrangements, and figuring out how you will pay for the various costs that are associated with getting divorced.

It is worth spending as much time as you need to find a Mississippi Divorce Attorney who you can feel confident about. Make a list of the things that are most important to you in your divorce, and make it a point to discuss those issues when you speak to any attorney who you are considering retaining. Pay attention to how each attorney makes you feel, because it is important to choose someone who you feel comfortable working with.

If you are thinking of filing for divorce in Mississippi, it is important that you do so with the help of an experienced and dedicated Mississippi Family Law Attorney. Consulting with a Mississippi Divorce Attorney can help you to understand the divorce process and think through all of the decisions that you will make along the way. To learn more, please call Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole today, at (601) 573-7429.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Shares Legal Mistakes to Avoid in Your Divorce

Friday, March 13th, 2015

When you are going through a divorce, it is best to do so with the aid of a divorce attorney. Your attorney can help you understand the process of divorce both in general, as well as how it relates to your particular situation. During your divorce, you will come across situations where you will make decisions about how to proceed. In these situations, it is essential that you have all of the information that you need in order to make a decision that will work out well for you. Your attorney can help you by providing you with information to help you make decisions, but they may not realize that you need additional information unless you ask. Here are a few things that you may want to make sure that you talk about with your attorney.

One common mistake that people make in divorce cases is having unrealistic expectations about what you might expect to get from your divorce. This is one area in which your attorney can provide valuable guidance. When you share the details of your personal and financial situation with your attorney, they can explain how things like property and child custody are handled and what you might reasonably expect to happen in your case.

Another thing that sometimes happens is that divorcing people do not ask their attorneys questions when they have them, especially in regards to signing documents. Your attorney may not realize that you have questions or concerns about something unless you ask them. When it comes to something as important as your divorce case, it is important that you ask questions when they arise. This is especially true when it comes to signing documents, because you want to know exactly what it is that you are agreeing to before you sign.

When you work with an attorney on your divorce case, they will ask for what seems like a lot of information. You may not want to provide all of that information, and you might think that they don’t need all of it, but it is essential that you provide the information that you have been asked to provide. It is okay to ask your attorney why they need specific information, because they will explain that to you. It is not okay to unilaterally decide that your attorney does not need certain information that they have asked for and then fail to provide it.

If you are not accustomed to having to meet deadlines for work or other purposes, you may not think much of the dates and deadlines that are presented to you during your divorce case. This is a mistake that you cannot afford to make. It is essential to the successful resolution of your case that you sign and submit documents in a timely manner. A failure to do so could mean that you miss out on opportunities to obtain a favorable resolution of your divorce case.

If it is time for you to find a divorce attorney, Jackson, Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole is here to help you with your Mississippi divorce case. If you have questions about getting divorced in Mississippi, call my office today, at (601) 573-7429, to arrange a free, initial consultation.


Mississippi Divorce Attorney Talks About Alcoholism in Family Law Matters

Monday, March 9th, 2015

One reason that a couple may decide to part ways is alcohol or drug abuse. Addiction touches the lives of many more families than most of us are aware of, because many people feel ashamed to talk about it when it is going on in their homes. It has been estimated that approximately twenty percent of middle-aged divorcees split because of drug or alcohol use.

The amount of drinking that each spouse does can affect whether or not they are likely to divorce. When both spouses drink approximately the same amount, they are much less likely to divorce than couples where one spouse drinks more than the other. Additionally, divorce is more common in situations where the wife is the heavy drinker.

Addiction is a serious obstacle to overcome, and the road to recovery is long and challenging. Even alcoholics and addicts who have an intense desire to overcome their addictions and change their lives for the better can stumble, fall, and experience major setbacks. The spouses and families of people who are addicted to alcohol and drugs experience the ups and downs of recovery right alongside the person who is recovering. In fact, family members like spouses and children suffer the most because they care so deeply for their problem drinker or drug addict that they can get caught up in their behavior and focus a great deal of their energy on it. The intense emotions that accompany living with an alcoholic or addict can, over time, cause others in the household to develop disordered ways of thinking and other problems of their own.

Spouses of alcoholics are often deeply saddened by the prospect of divorce because they love their spouse very much. However, when one spouse is an alcoholic, the other spouse can feel betrayed, and this can help them to realize that leaving their marriage is a good idea. Children are also another compelling reason that many spouses who are married to alcoholics choose to divorce, because they do not want to raise their children in an alcoholic family.

If your spouse is an alcoholic, it can be difficult to leave your marriage because you may be holding on to hope that things will get better. Filing for divorce is never an easy task, but remaining in a relationship with an alcoholic can be even harder. You have probably spent a lot of time and energy trying to help your spouse, and to make the marriage work. Unfortunately, it takes two dedicated people to make a marriage work, so it is likely that you will be both happier and healthier after your divorce.

An experienced Mississippi divorce attorney can help you to understand the divorce process and clarify your goals regarding your divorce.  Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole has helped many Mississippi residents achieve positive results in their Mississippi divorce cases, and he can help you, too. To learn more about how you can pursue a Mississippi divorce, call our office today, at (601) 573-7429, to set up a free consultation.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Talks About the Limitations of No Fault Divorce

Friday, March 6th, 2015

South Dakota is considering changing its divorce laws to allow a party to obtain a divorce without their spouse’s consent. If House Bill 1221 is signed into law in South Dakota, Mississippi would be the only remaining state in which no-consent, no fault divorce is unavailable.

Proponents of the legislation say that it would provide protection for victims of domestic violence because it would allow them to divorce without talking about the abuse that they have experienced. The ability to choose not to discuss domestic violence can help domestic violence victims to stay safe. In states where similar measures have been passed, statistics indicate that fewer domestic violence victims are being murdered since the laws were changed.

Opponents of House Bill 1221 understand that protecting victims of domestic violence victims is important. However, they feel that passing the legislation would encourage couples to give up on marriage too easily. They want to make sure that any change in the law that would allow divorce without consent is worded concisely enough so that couples will be encouraged to work through their difficulties instead of running to divorce court.

Like Mississippi, South Dakota has several fault-based grounds for divorce. The proposed legislation, HB 1221, deals with irreconcilable differences, or no-fault, divorces only. No-fault divorce is available in Mississippi, but only in situations where both parties agree to it. Interestingly enough, most Mississippi divorces are eventually resolved as no-fault divorces. This includes some cases which are initially filed based on one of the fault-based grounds for divorce, because parties can draft their complaints for divorce in a way that essentially asks the court to grant them a divorce for the specified fault-based reason or because of irreconcilable differences. In situations where this “either-or” approach is followed, a fault case can become a no-fault case at any time by agreement of the parties.

Since providing evidence of fault or obtaining a spouse’s agreement to irreconcilable differences are the only ways that a person can obtain a divorce in Mississippi, victims of domestic violence may have a more difficult time obtaining a divorce than people who are not affected by domestic violence. A reluctance to discuss the abuse could prevent some domestic violence victims from citing habitual cruel and inhuman treatment as grounds for divorce. While it is true that there are a number of other fault grounds available, it is possible that a domestic violence victim could find themselves in a position where they don’t want to talk about abuse and none of those other fault-based grounds apply. In these situations, domestic violence victims may feel as though they must remain married because the divorce choices that are available to them are not choices that they feel comfortable making.

Deciding to get a divorce is not easy. Once you have made the choice to file for divorce in Mississippi, you need to know that your divorce attorney is there to help you every step of the way. Whether you are preparing to file for divorce or you are trying to get through your divorce and you have decided to seek legal counsel, Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole is here to help you. If you have questions or concerns related to divorce in Mississippi, please call our office today, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Discusses Divorce Challenges for Expatriates

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

In addition to the common challenges that all divorcing spouses must deal with, like property distribution and learning to live off of one income, each divorcing spouse is likely to face some tests that arise out of their unique set of circumstances.

American expatriates can be found all over the world. Some of them move frequently from place to place, following the work assignments of family members. Others are living by themselves, spending time away from their families while they work on extended assignments in distant locations. Each expatriate has a fascinating story to tell, one that is uniquely their own, because the global aspect of the lives of expatriate couples and their families can make things rather complicated.

Any marriage can have problems, and those problems may be brought about by stressors that are present in a couple’s life. The lives of expatriates may contain a variety of stressors, such as feeling alone because they have moved to a foreign country far away from their family and friends, the expatriate culture which tends to shun couples whose marriages are on the rocks while simultaneously seeming to condone extramarital affairs, or the crazy work and travel schedules that are part of some work assignments. These stressors can put so much strain on a relationship that spouses find themselves pushed past their breaking points and in need of a divorce.

Just as expatriate marriages have unique challenges, so do expatriate divorces. It can be hard to figure out where the divorce paperwork should be filed, as different countries have different requirements for jurisdiction over divorce cases. Child custody can become a painful international struggle, and not all countries provide children and parents with the protections of the Hague Convention. The way in which custody is handled in some places could even produce results that would be completely unlike what a family might expect from an American court. Many spouses who have relocated want to go back home when they divorce, because their marital relationship, the reason that they relocated in the first place, is no longer. Unfortunately, international moves can be very costly. The emotional turmoil of divorce can be even harder to navigate without having friends and family close by for support.

Expatriate divorces can be legally, logistically, and emotionally complex and challenging. However, if you are involved in an expatriate marriage which does not support your health and well-being or the health and well-being of your family, divorce may be necessary. Because there are so many things to consider in an expatriate divorce, it is important that you get help from a knowledgeable divorce attorney right away, so that you will have the support that you need in order to navigate your divorce. If you have questions or concerns about divorce in Mississippi, Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you. Get the support and assistance that you deserve today, by calling us at (601) 573-7429, to schedule a free, initial consultation.