Archive for April, 2015

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Shares Some Interesting Information about Divorce

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

While some sources say that the divorce rate in America is rising, others say that it is falling. The divorce rate has been hovering around fifty percent for years, now, and sometimes it is a little more and sometimes a little less. There is, however, an emerging trend of increasing numbers of divorced men and women remaining divorced and not remarrying. Marriage and divorce statistics are interesting, because they do offer a big-picture view of what is happening in society as a whole. Of course, since divorce is a very personal matter, statistics are just one small part of the larger story of what is going on inside the lives of married couples. The following interesting pieces of information regarding divorce are just that, interesting. Some couples whose marriages, according to statistics, are not built to last stay married for their entire lives, while some others, whose marriages would appear to have a low risk for divorce, end up calling it quits.

The connection between divorce and health has been getting a lot of attention lately, with a link being reported to exist between divorce and an increased risk of heart attack. Interestingly enough, cheating men experience an increased risk of heart attack when extramarital relations take place at a location that is not their home. Divorce has also been shown to affect men’s health more than women’s, and it has been linked to increases in depression, alcohol use, and substance abuse. Younger divorcees tend to experience more health issues than those who divorce when they are older, possibly because older adults have built coping skills over the years that can help them to handle the ups and downs of divorce.

If you enjoy alcohol, you may find it interesting that couples with similar drinking habits tend to remain married, while couples in which one spouse drinks a lot more, or drinks much more frequently than the other are likely to divorce. If you are surprised that alcohol consumption can have an effect on the likelihood of divorce, you may also be surprised to learn that the length of a person’s commute can contribute to divorce risk. People who drive more than forty five minutes each way to work are at a higher risk of divorcing than those with shorter commutes. Not surprisingly, Facebook has earned a place in the category of things that increase a couple’s risk of divorce. If one or both spouses are excessive Facebook users who check their accounts every hour, there is an increased risk of divorce because of fights over Facebook use, jealousy, or infidelity linked to reconnecting with old friends or connecting with new acquaintances.

Divorce is an interesting thing, because although there are trends and statistics, the experience is unique for each couple who decides to end their marriage. If you have decided that it is time for you to get a divorce, Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you. If you have questions about getting divorced in Mississippi, call (601) 573-7429 today, to arrange a free, initial consultation.


Mississippi Family Law Attorney Discusses Domestic Violence

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

Divorce is not easy for anyone, but it is even more difficult for those who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence. Unfortunately, the number of people who are affected by domestic violence continues to increase, which means that there are more divorce cases where domestic violence is a factor. There are also people who would like to get divorced from their abusers, but their abusers effectively prevent them from doing so. Since domestic violence is an issue in many divorce cases, it is an important topic to discuss.

Sometimes, people who are affected by domestic violence do not realize it, or they do not know that what they are experiencing is, in fact, unacceptable treatment which no one deserves to be subjected to. Some situations where there is domestic violence are obvious, marked by incidents of physical abuse. However, there are other ways in which spouses can be abused. When one spouse restricts the other’s access to resources, thereby limiting their options and their freedom, that is a form of abuse. Likewise, a pattern of humiliation, degradation, and belittling that leaves one spouse constantly feeling inferior is indicative of emotional abuse.

If you are in a marriage where you are being abused, you may be afraid to file for divorce. Abusers use scare tactics and threats to deter their spouses from pursuing divorce, but the threat of living with continued abuse that endangers their well-being and the well-being of their children can be enough to cause an abused spouse to commit to ending the marriage, even if it takes a great deal of effort to do so. For example, an abused spouse may have to get themselves and their children out of the home and to a safe living situation before consulting with a family law attorney or filing any paperwork.

It is important that people who have experienced domestic violence do not let it deter them from pursuing a divorce and moving on to the better life that they and their children deserve. Some people who have experienced domestic violence have been made to feel as though they deserved it, they caused it, or that they are somehow to blame. This can make them reluctant to speak to a family law attorney, because they may feel as though the attorney will judge them, or that they will be unable to help them. Family law attorneys are able to help people get divorced, whether they are in abusive relationships or not. Your Mississippi Family Law Attorney is here to help you, and to provide you with guidance that meets your unique needs.

Ending a marriage to an abusive spouse is difficult, but continuing to live with an abusive spouse is even more so. If you have questions about divorce, Mississippi Family Law Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you understand the divorce process, and work through it every step of the way. Please call us today, at (601) 573-7429 today, to schedule a free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Discusses Four Life Events that May Lead to Divorce

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Marriages that end in divorce did not begin that way. Each marriage starts with the best of intentions on the part of both spouses, and then, as time passes, life happens. Circumstances change, people change, and relationships are tested in ways that spouses could not have imagined when they said “I do”. While many couples are able to navigate most of the ups and downs of life, there are some challenges which can push even the strongest of relationships past its breaking point.

For example, health issues can drastically change the course of a marriage. When people get married, they often have goals and dreams for themselves as individuals and as a couple. When a serious or chronic health condition enters the picture, those goals and dreams must be revisited, plans must be reworked, and the focus often shifts from thriving to surviving. Roles which a couple had previously established may have to be reassessed, and the spouse who is not ill may add caregiving duties to their already full plate of responsibilities. It is not surprising that couples in which one spouse has experienced or is experiencing a serious or chronic illness divorce more often than couples who do not face that challenge.

Changes in employment can also lead to divorce. When one spouse, often the husband, becomes unemployed, he is at a greater risk for being left by his wife, and also more likely to decide to end the marriage. When either of both spouses loses their job, their finances and schedules change, and they must adjust their home life accordingly. This is not always easy to do, and all of the stress, shifting around of responsibilities, and general upheaval that goes along with losing a job, looking for a job, and eventually starting a new job can be more than a couple can comfortably handle.

Many couples look forward to starting a family after they get married. Unfortunately, having children can sometimes lead to divorce. In some situations, couples split because they simply cannot agree on whether they want to have children. In other situations, where both parents want to start a family, the arrival of a baby can create stresses and strains on the marriage that far exceed what the couple expected. Taking care of children, especially newborns and young children, is very difficult and demands a lot of time and energy. On top of the financial stress associated with changes in income that are often associated with the arrival of a child and the lack of sleep that accompanies life with a newborn, there are parenting decisions to be made. Couples who have previously agreed on just about everything can find themselves at odds over important choices that they must make regarding how they will choose to raise their kids.

Marriages that start out wonderfully can take a turn for the worse as a couple experiences one or more significant life changes. If your marriage has reached its breaking point, it is important to seek the aid of a skilled Mississippi Divorce Attorney. Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole is here to help you with any questions or concerns that you have about divorce in Mississippi. Please call our office today, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Shares Four More Life Events That Could End Your Marriage

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Living apart from one another is a challenge that is present in the lives of military couples, as well as for some other couples whose work or family obligations require them to live in different locations for an extended period of time. The risk of divorce for couples where at least one spouse is an enlisted service member is directly connected to the length of time that they have spent apart during deployment. The risk of divorce increases even more for veterans, who may face additional challenges like readjustment and post-traumatic stress disorder, which can place a great deal of stress on them, and consequently on their marriages. For military and non-military couples alike, differences in how comfortable each spouse is with spending time apart from each other can spell trouble for a marriage. For example, if one spouse is afraid that they will be abandoned or that their spouse will be unfaithful, the marriage may fall apart due to a lack of trust.

Traumatic events, such as being the victim of a crime, being in a serious accident, or experiencing the death of a parent, child, or close friend or relative can lead to divorce. Sometimes, the process of healing from trauma can make it painful for two people who experienced a traumatic event together to be together because the memory of that event is so pervasive. In situations like this, spouses may find it necessary to let go of each other so that they can heal themselves fully from the trauma that they experienced.

When children grow up and move away, their parents may find themselves sitting in an empty house together and wondering how they got there and whether there is anything left to their relationship. Divorce among older adults is on the rise, due to connections that fade over time or problems that come to the forefront once the kids are grown.

One more challenge that can lead to divorce is infidelity. Believe it or not, infidelity does not lead to divorce all of the time. In some cases, it serves as a catalyst for a couple to begin working through their problems and coming out stronger as a result. For some couples, though, if both partners are not willing to work on the underlying problems with their relationship, divorce is the next logical step.

Married couples face many challenges which can either bring them closer together or drive them further apart. If you are thinking of divorcing in Mississippi, it is to your advantage to work with a Mississippi Divorce Attorney. Your attorney can help you determine what you want out of your divorce, and they can help you pursue a resolution to your divorce that will work out well for you. To learn more about how an experienced Mississippi Divorce Attorney can help you, please call Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole today, at (601) 573-7429, to schedule a free, initial consultation.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Suggests Prioritizing Parenting over Popularity

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Every parent wants their kids to like them, and, despite any remarks to the contrary, the kids already do. Even better, kids love both of their parents for that very reason – they are their parents. While providing the everyday love, care, and attention that your kids need may not seem like something special to you, it is to your kids.

Some parents do not realize that the ordinary, everyday interactions with their children are what keep their children so closely bonded with them. These parents may believe that they have to “do something” to earn the love of their little ones, like constantly entertaining them or planning weekends that are jam-packed full of fun activities. When parents divorce, even if they did not previously subscribe to the notion that they had to go above and beyond everyday parenting to ensure that their kids would continue to love them, they may begin to do so after the split

Fortunately, parenting is not a popularity contest. The sooner parents realize this, the better, especially in families where the parents are divorced or divorcing. In fact, when one or both parents focus on being popular with the kids, the whole family suffers. Parents lose their parental authority when they avoid saying “no” or other things that they fear would make them unpopular with their kids. Kids lose when they have one or more parents who are more concerned with being liked than they are with setting consistent rules and boundaries that the kids can rely on.

In families where the parents are divorced or divorcing, there is also a danger that parents searching for popularity can do even more damage. If a parent, in his or her quest to be popular with the kids, tries to get them to dislike or disregard their other parents, there will be trouble. Kids who encounter this behavior are likely to feel confused, because they may feel like it is not okay for them to love both parents equally and they don’t want to choose sides. Even worse, they may feel like they cannot ask for help with the confusion that they are experiencing because that would mean talking to the parent who is trying to turn them against their other parent and expressing their love for their other parent and their discomfort with being asked to take sides.

If you are divorced or divorcing, remember that everyday acts of parenting create strong bonds between you and your children, bonds that are not threatened by their strong connection to their other parent. If you take things a step further and make it clear that you support your kids in having a strong relationship with their other parent, they will be positively influenced by the example that you have set. When you make parenting decisions that your kids don’t like, such as remaining firm on a boundary that you have set, you may not feel popular, but you can rest assured that you are giving them something that they need in order to grow into emotionally healthy individuals.

Divorce can be difficult for parents, but when parents approach divorce with the needs of the entire family in mind, there is a great potential for positive results. A Mississippi Family Law Attorney can provide you with the help and support that you need throughout the divorce process. To learn more, please call Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole today, at (601) 573-7429.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Shares Tips for Turning Your Divorce into a Fresh Start

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Divorce is, by definition, the end of a marriage. However, when a marriage ends, each spouse is able to decide what it is that they will begin. Somewhere in between all of the sadness, anger, hurt, and other emotions that you are feeling, there is likely to be at least a small amount of hope for the future. One way to ensure that your divorce will become known to you as the beginning of something great is to focus on that hope and find ways to make it grow.

While you are going through your divorce, and, actually, after your divorce as well, it is important to surround yourself only with people who are kind and supportive. No one else has ever gone through your divorce before, so no one is an authority on what you should or should not be doing except for you. For some reason, though, many people just can’t help themselves when it comes to offering unsolicited advice, along with plenty of judgment and criticism, to people who are divorcing. If you find that there are people in your life who do this, you may want to politely yet firmly excuse yourself from their presence. If you do need advice, seek it from the appropriate professional, like an attorney or a counselor, or from a friend or family member who you can trust.

Depending upon the reasons for your divorce, your self-esteem may be somewhat damaged. Fortunately, you can rebuild your appreciation for who you are and how you look. Taking time to care for your mind and your body are good ways to show yourself the appreciation that you deserve. Exercising, reading about things that interest you, and developing your personal style are just a few of the many ways that you can celebrate who you are.

Career changes often accompany divorce, and this can be rather intimidating. If you look for work that is interesting to you, you may find opportunities for learning and growth that can provide more than just a steady paycheck. Good work can be hard to find, so if you cannot find a job that you love right away, do not give up hope. Find a job that will pay the bills, and do good work for your employer. Keep looking for an opportunity that interests you, and when you find it, pursue it.

When it comes to the legal aspect of your divorce, it is important that you seek the assistance of a knowledgeable Mississippi Divorce Attorney. Your attorney can help you to understand the options that are available to you in your divorce, and they can help you to decide what it is that you want to accomplish through your divorce and pursue a resolution to your divorce that will work well for you as you move forward. If you have questions about divorce in Mississippi, please call Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole at (601) 573-7429 today, to set up a free consultation.


Mississippi Divorce Attorney Debunks More Divorce Myths

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

People love to talk about divorce, but unfortunately, some of what is said is not true. Even worse, the untruths and misconceptions are often attractively packaged in emotionally charged stories which make their way from person to person much faster than the less dramatic tales of how real divorces actually play out. When you add celebrity gossip to the mix, it can become very difficult to separate fact from fiction. The following divorce myths are just that, myths. If you have questions about divorce, remember that the best source of factual advice about divorce in Mississippi is a Mississippi Family Law Attorney.

One popular myth is that cheating is always taken into account in divorce cases. This myth is popular because people enjoy seeing cheaters lose at things, especially in divorce cases. While stories of cheating spouses being taken to the cleaners in divorce court abound, what really happens is usually much less dramatic. Many couples opt for no-fault divorce, because they can design their own divorce settlements and often finalize the whole thing without the need for a trial. In states like Mississippi where fault-based divorce due to adultery is available as a course of action, some spouses who have been cheated on decide to pursue either no-fault divorces or divorces on other grounds. The reason for this is that adultery is not always easy to prove, and you need proof for a divorce to be granted on fault-based grounds. In divorce cases, while cheating may have led to the couple’s decision to divorce, it is not always reflected in the outcome of the case.

Another myth that it is important to dispel is that assets can be hidden. In a divorce case, the parties exchange financial information as part of the divorce proceedings. If assets have gone missing, or if one party attempts to hide them by simply not including them in their inventory, they can get into a lot of trouble. In fact, the likelihood of getting caught concealing an asset or transaction is so great and the penalty so steep (the asset may be awarded to the other party or you may have to pay for something you gave away or sold for cheap), that it is never worth it to try to hide any asset or financial transaction.

A third myth that is beginning to fade out on its own is that moms always get primary custody of the kids. Families come in all shapes and sizes nowadays, and parental roles can change over time. For example, if a couple has children and the father loses his job, the mother may be able to find better work more easily and the two may agree that she will go to work and he will stay home with the kids. As families change, the types of outcomes in divorce cases change, too. Many couples design parenting schedules that give each parent roughly half of the parenting time and parenting agreements that state that parental responsibilities will be shared. In contested divorce cases, evidence can be presented by each parent to tell the court why their proposed parenting agreement is the one that will most serve the best interest of the children. In summary, a parent’s chance of getting the result that they want as far as custody is concerned depends largely upon whether what they are asking for is congruent with what has already been going on in the family.

Divorce can be confusing because there is a lot of misinformation out there. If you need definitive answers to your divorce questions, please call Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole at (601) 573-7429 today, to set up a free consultation.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Shares Tips for Communicating with Difficult People

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

A divorce can bring big changes for your day to day life, which can be refreshing if you were married to someone who, at the present time, you do not like, let alone love. Divorce can give you a great deal of physical and emotional space, but it is important to remember that it may not be possible to walk away from your marriage and never speak to your former spouse again. In fact, if you have children, your former spouse is someone with whom you must communicate on a fairly regular basis because the realities of co-parenting require it.

Fortunately, communicating with a former spouse does not mean that you must continue to endure the behaviors that made your marriage unbearable. You have some degree of control over how the communication goes, which can be a saving grace, especially if your former spouse is a narcissist or a high-conflict person. The following suggestions are useful tactics for communicating with people who are difficult to communicate with, including and especially. former spouses.

Communicating with someone who is engaging in difficult behavior is not easy, but it can be done. Prepare yourself ahead of time and make a plan to not engage in any comment that is not directly on point. If you are discussing what time they will bring the children back to your house after a visit and your former spouse says something sarcastic, like “I can bring them back around eight, unless you won’t be finished with your dinner date with that loser by then”, grit your teeth if you need to and respond only to the relevant part of what they said. For example, either “Eight would be fine.”, or “How about seven.”, or whatever response you need to give, restricting yourself to only discussing what time they will drop off the kids – your former spouse does not need to know why any particular time will work or not work for you, you simply have to find a time that works for both of you. If your former spouse refuses to address the question at hand, end the communication and try again later.

Another thing to remember when communicating with people who are hard to deal with is that “yes” and “no” are excellent replies and they should be used often. People who are hard to deal often stray from the intended purpose of the conversation, in order to sling insults or to try to elicit a strong reaction from you. Responding with a simple “yes” or “no” answer does not supply the strong reaction that they are looking for, while providing the necessary information.

Setting and maintaining firm boundaries will help your communication with your former spouse stay on track. If your ex is constantly dropping the kids off late, let them know that that is not okay. The same goes for when they ask you to pick the kids up from school on a day that is not your assigned day. Stick to your parenting schedule, because once your former spouse asks a “favor” of you and you do it, you may find that they ask constantly and become increasingly difficult if you say “no”.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole has helped many Mississippi residents move forward with their lives through the divorce process. To learn more, call our office today, at (601) 573-7429, to set up a free consultation.


Mississippi Divorce Attorney Shares More Divorce Mistakes to Avoid

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

In the past, we have shared a few lists of mistakes that people would do well to avoid during their Mississippi divorce cases. When someone makes a mistake in the way that they handle their divorce, it can cause them a great deal of regret and frustration down the road. If people who are divorcing become aware of common divorce mistakes in advance, they can take steps to avoid them, thus ensuring that their divorce is a step forward into a future filled with positive things instead of frustration and regret.

One mistake that could lead to a lot of anger and frustration is signing a legal agreement without fully understanding it. Sometimes, divorce papers appear out of nowhere, complete with a settlement offer. While there is a time limit on how long you have to respond to divorce papers or papers that are exchanged during divorce proceedings, there is usually plenty of time for you to take whatever the proposed agreement is and discuss it with a family law attorney. Do not let the other party pressure you into “just signing it”, because it could have far-reaching consequences in every area of your life, including your finances, your residence, and the amount of time that you spend with your kids. Even if you think you understand the document, it is wise to seek help from a family law attorney so that they can help you to assess whether the proposed agreement is fair and propose an alternate agreement if it is not.

Another mistake is accepting less child support or spousal support than you need. If you are entitled to child support or spousal support, make sure that any proposed divorce agreement includes those items in an amount that will enable you to meet your needs and the needs of your children. There may be other ways to accomplish that, such as awards of assets or property in lieu of cash payments, but it is important that you be certain that your divorce agreement will give you what you need before you sign it. Again, this is where the advice of a family law attorney is indispensable.

Making decisions based upon your emotions instead of logic and reason can bring trouble in divorce cases. For example, it may be true that you love the home that your family lives in, and that you would like to continue living there. However, if you do the math on what it would cost you to keep the marital home, including what other assets you would have to give up in order to get it, and you find that you cannot afford to keep it, it is unwise to continue to pursue a divorce settlement that would give you the marital home.

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you avoid common divorce mistakes and pursue a resolution of your divorce that will give you more of what is most important to you. Get the well informed advice that you need today, by calling (601) 573-7429, to schedule a free, initial consultation.