Posts Tagged ‘Jackson MS divorce attorney’

Why You Should Avoid Dating During Mississippi Divorce

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Many divorcing spouses are eager to re-enter the dating world.  Often, one’s marriage has been effectively “over” long before the divorce papers were signed.  Given the emotional toll of divorce and its isolating effect, it is natural that some soon to be divorcees desire to re-enter the dating world as soon as possible.  However, dating before your divorce is final can be dangerous to your case, as well as to you and your family.  Here is a list of reasons why you should avoid the temptation to date before you are completely divorced:

  1. Dating can negatively impact your spousal support and property division – dating could impact your divorce in a few ways, including financially.  If you plan to move in with your new partner, it can impact your receipt of spousal support and even property division.  Further, dating while still married is a form of adultery in Mississippi and can be grounds for fault based divorce.  You do not want to give your partner the ability to use this fault ground against you.
  2. Dating can negatively impact child custody – dating can become a factor in child custody determinations.  A court looks to a parent’s “moral fitness” in determining the best interests of the child for custody decisions, and dating while still wed, even if the marriage feels over for you, can have negative implications.  Further, courts will want to address whether the new partner is being left alone with the children or spending a significant amount of time with them.  If your new love interest has a criminal record or somewhat unsavory character, you could lose time or even custody of your children due to dating this individual.  Generally speaking, for a child custody determination, dating is not going to be positively viewed in court.
  3. Dating can lead to jealousy, anger, and in turn less cooperation from your spouse or even retaliation – uncovering your soon to be ex-spouse is dating another individual before the divorce is even final can naturally lead to feelings of anger and jealously.  When you are trying to negotiate a favorable divorce settlement, these are not the emotions you wish to evoke in your former spouse.  Dating while divorcing may cause a breakdown in negotiations or revocation of a previously reached agreement.  It may even cause your spouse to act irrationally, seeking retaliation.  Possible retaliatory acts could include requesting sole custody, fighting against an alimony obligation, or reneging on a previously reached property settlement agreement.
  4. It can harm you emotionally – you are just leaving a marriage and emotions are undoubtedly high.  Divorce is a psychologically traumatic event for anyone to experience.  Starting a new relationship before you have completed your divorce and been single for awhile can be emotionally damaging for you, as well as for your new partner.
  5. Your children may suffer – there is no way around it, divorce is hard on children.  Children are often trapped in the middle of a divorce, feeling like their family is being broken apart.  This is a time when your children need all the focus and attention you can muster.  Adding another individual to the mix at this crucial time in a child’s life is generally not in their best interest.

Matthew S. Poole is a compassionate Jackson MS divorce attorney who understands your desire to re-enter the dating world.  Matthew has extensive experience advising divorcing couples on the do’s and don’ts of divorce, and will ensure you do not inadvertently harm your divorce case through dating or any other actions.  Call The Law Office of Matthew S. Poole today at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free case analysis.

When Dividing up the DVD’s Stalls Out the Divorce

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Anyone who has seen the movie “War of the Roses” probably believes that real couples would never go to such extremes during a divorce. They would be wrong. There are scores of divorce horror stories out there, each one more extreme than the last. There is the story of the husband who literally cut the marital home in half with a chainsaw to spite his wife, or many instances of couples who “draw a line” through the middle of the home, daring the other to cross it. While we assume that it would be the big ticket items like the house, car and retirement pension that create the most disagreement during a divorce, in many instances it is the small, seemingly insignificant items that can put a divorce on hold indefinitely.

Couples have been known to fight for years over the family dog, Aunt Emma’s china or even the book or DVD collection they amassed during the marriage. Even though the couple involved in the fight over “stuff” is probably aware on some level just how crazy it is, that “stuff” is always more than a thing—it is a source of deep emotions between the spouses. These “things” can be a symbol of the couple’s relationship and the part of their lives they had invested in one another. Unfortunately, judges are known to get downright crabby when they are required to spend their valuable time trying to convince couples to divide the household goods and some may make arbitrary decisions that nobody is happy with should an agreement not be reached.

When Outside Help is Needed
The problem with fighting over the couch in the living room, the weed eater in the garage or the ceramic owl salt and pepper shakers is that thousands of dollars in legal fees are being racked up every time negotiations ensue. In some cases mediation may be the only way to resolve the issue or a neutral friend might be able to move things along, acting as the calmer voice of reason. It is important that both parties understand the courts will typically award a household asset at a garage sale value. In other words the court will not place the same value on your things as you do. In the case of really high-dollar artwork or antiques, bringing in a professional appraiser will be necessary, but in the case of most people’s household goods, it is unlikely anyone else believes they are as valuable as you.

How to Get Past the Stall
Before you get into arguments about your things, make a comprehensive inventory. You may do this the old-fashioned way—with a paper and pen—or with a video camera or computer-generated list. Both parties will look at the inventory, making notes of what they would like to have, what items they don’t care about one way or another, and what they absolutely must have. On a piece of paper, make a “his” column, a “her” column, a “sell and divide the money” column and, finally, the column of things you are unable to agree on. The items which one person wants and the other does not are easy to categorize. The items nobody cares about, place in the “sell and divide” column. When at all possible, don’t break up sets—keep the table with matching chairs or the matching set of dishes together. Go through the entire inventory until you are left with the dreaded fourth column of items you both want.

Distributing Items You Both Want
Once you get to this point you can either use the method where one person picks one item, the other picks one and so on until the column is empty (flipping a coin to see who goes first), you can agree to sell all the items you can’t agree on and split the money, you can let the judge make the decision and hope for the best or…you can ensure your attorney is able to take that vacation he or she was hoping for. Be aware, however that the longer your divorce stretches on due to disagreements over things, the more negative feelings are likely to build—as your pocketbook shrinks. In the end, it may be necessary to remind yourself that it could be worth losing some of your things in order to get on with the next chapter of your life.

How Matthew S. Poole Can Help
Your divorce attorney can put some perspective on disagreements over household items, and it is wise to allow that to happen. It can be difficult to see the “big picture” when you are flooded with emotion, so listening to your divorce attorney is a wise decision. Matthew S. Poole understands the emotions involved in divorce and has the experience necessary to assist you in making the difficult decision on all aspects of your divorce. Matthew will work tirelessly to ensure you get your fair share in the divorce, while offering the calm voice of reason when necessary. For a consultation, call (601) 573-7429 today or visit our website for more information.