Posts Tagged ‘Mississippi Divorce Attorney’

Expectation vs. Reality: My Lessons in Practicing Domestic Law

Friday, July 27th, 2018

My name is Kenneth Davis, and I have been working for Matthew for close to two years total now. When I first began working in domestic law, I fell victim to much of the overly optimistic enthusiasm that so many young lawyers encounter. Coming from a very close family that has never needed intervention to solve conflicts between us, I was rather naïve to just how petty people can be in litigation over family matters. Family is the most important thing in this world, and sadly that often gets lost in the maze that is a domestic lawsuit. I say this not to downplay people’s emotions or investments in their goals for their family, but rather to be up front with people on the things I see on a day-to-day basis.

Much like professional golf, a lawyer-client relationship is much more of a team than most people think. The client does not only sign a petition and then sit back and let the lawyer do the rest. Clients are their biggest advocate, and they know more about their case than anyone else. The lawyer’s job is to trigger the client’s mind for information they can use to prove their case, and to present that proof to the judge in an effective way. Like a golfer and their caddy, a client and their attorney must be on the same page every step of the way to achieve the best result possible.

When I tell people I practice domestic law, what follows is usually a form of “that must be dramatic.” It certainly is, as family law impacts people’s everyday lives and their relationships with their children. Most of the stories I tell are the really ridiculous ones, such as fighting over the most minor things. I then realized that while many litigants mean well with their lawsuit, sometimes they are mostly fueled by spite. That is most unfortunate, because often the client’s reasonable goals take a back seat to that anger toward the other party. That can add unnecessary baggage and stress to an already volatile situation, and it can put strain on the attorney-client relationship at the expense of the result.

Domestic law can be a challenging and stressful arena in which to practice, although for the most part it is satisfying. It brings me great pride to know that these clients have trusted me with their familial relationships, which are sacrosanct. As with any area of law, proper discipline and teamwork make a world of difference in the outcome of a domestic lawsuit. The most important thing in a domestic case is to never lose sight of what you are wanting to achieve. It can be easy to get lost in the trees and lose sight of the forest. This is truly the best advice I can give to anyone I meet, whether it be a litigant, another attorney, or anyone with a goal they want to achieve.

Isn’t Marriage Grand? Of course it is – Until it’s not.

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

And when it takes that turn towards divorce, no one feels secure.  The same way you plan for a marriage (booking the venue, the caterer, finding the perfect photographer, and let’s not forget the dress), you should also plan for a divorce – only, it’s not as much fun as wedding planning.  Divorce can feel like the death of a family member in a lot of ways.  You will likely grieve over the loved one you used to know.  It may feel as if the home you once lived in together as a loving family now feels like a cold, empty place where the love died.  You need legal help.  You want to know what your rights are as a spouse.  You want to know that by moving out, you’re not doing anything “wrong,” per se.  Not just these few items, but there are millions of other questions floating around in your mind.  One of the biggest questions is: How much is all of this going to cost me?  Let’s dive into that.

Poking around the internet you will find quite a few ads stating something similar to this: file your divorce papers in as little as 30 minutes with “100% Court Approval Guarantee” for just $139.  There are a number of websites dedicated to getting you the documents you need to file for divorce yourself.  However, there’s a problem in doing this – there is no legal advice to protect you and your particular rights to property and rights to your own children.  It’s very important to note that in doing this on your own would require that both parties agree to every aspect of the divorce, from who gets the house, couches, and antiques to child custody and visitation as well as child support.  You also have bigger issues such as real property possession.

It is important to note that companies that provide instant or quick divorces for a low cost make the assumption that they have particular compliance with every state’s regulations pertaining to divorce.  Also, all issues would have to be agreed to by both parties in order to obtain a divorce by filing it yourself.  Although, it is possible to obtain a divorce by doing so yourself; however, in counties in the state of Mississippi that require electronic filing it will be necessary that you apply for privileges to the online filing system in the respected county of your residence.  Also, many of the online divorce companies that provide paperwork are a source of revenue for attorneys and so far that we must correct any deficiencies to state particular requirements that the company has not addressed in the forms that are provided to the consumer.  It is important to know that an uncontested divorce could potentially be had by purchasing paper work will require that you and your spouse have total agreement on every single issue involved in your divorce.  These issues are as obvious as child custody and support but can also entail issues regarding visitation, structuring of the visitation, structuring of where the child/ren will stay on holidays, whether or not specific provisions are needed to provide for specific relief such as prohibiting a parent from a certain behavior that is not in the best interest of the child/ren during a visitation or custody period (consumption of alcohol or allowing a significant other to spend the night being two common examples).

Although, attorneys that handle divorce cases are well-accustomed to asking the right questions that are needed in order to ensure that the court order is in keeping not only the best interest of the child/ren, but in the interest of both parents.  It’s important to also note that online divorce companies are unable to provide specific legal advice to a client in any state unless it’s provided by an attorney with a license to practice in that state.  In other words, you have to trust an unqualified person to protect your fundamental divorce and custody rights when you waive your right to legal representation.  It’s notable that many attorneys that practice domestic law are aware that the vast majority of statute and federal law on point only goes to issues such as original jurisdiction and parental kidnapping or other associated matters that deal with the crossing of state lines.  Therefore, there is a plethora of information regarding specific state child custody laws contained within the statutes of each individual state.

Where you live will affect the amount you will pay for your divorce.  You hear this about real estate law and the same holds true for divorce: location, location, location.  The national average of a contested divorce is somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000 (Seldon, 2013).  Uncontested divorces can range between $500 and $3,000 depending on all the factors of your divorce.

According to Seldon (2013), some of the fees associated with divorce that you should expect are, but are not limited to:

– Attorney’s fees

– Court costs, filing fees, and service charges

– Guardian Ad Litem, if needed for children

– Parent classes, if children are involved

Talking to an experienced attorney will save you a lot of time and frustration (and money) when it comes to your divorce.  Knowing what is expected of you and your spouse in a legal manner will also help with making the transition from being married to divorce much smoother.  It is important to hire an attorney that has the requisite experience in domestic litigation and has knowledge as to the valuation of property, income, potential for alimony or the defense thereof, as well as all of the intricacies that can arise when dissolving a marriage.  Matthew has practiced law in the state of Mississippi since 2004 and has focused his practice exclusively on domestic litigation and litigation concerning real property, division of property title, and matters that pertain to ownership and use of property.  Matthew has practiced law substantially in the domestic arena since 2005.  Matthew maintains membership in the family law and real law section of the Mississippi Bar Association and has done so since 2005.  It’s important to hire an attorney that is knowledgeable not only as to asset evaluation but is knowledgeable as to the subtleties and differences in approach that are functional as to obtaining custody of a minor child/ren.  Whether your case is based in contempt of a prior court order, the request of modification of a prior court order, or any other Chancery Court matter related to child custody, Matthew has the experience and the ability to provide insight that will greatly affect not only your future interests but the best interest of your minor child/ren.

Moral of the story: Divorce can be expensive, but taking the short easy path has long term consequences which are even more costly.  Be careful hiring someone who has not practiced divorce law for at least 10 years.  Also, those that practice in a variety of law areas are not prone to know all of the laws regarding each area.  Ask a lot of questions.  If you don’t feel at peace with the situation, ask more questions.  In our next blog, we will dive into questions that you may not think to ask your attorney.


Boreden, L. (2015, Apr, 14). How Much Will It Cost? [Web log post].

Kallen III, C.G., J.D. (2016, Jan, 18). How To Save On the Cost of A Divorce

Receive Divorce Forms Easily. (2016).

Magloff, L. (2016, Feb, 28). The Average Cost of Divorce [Web log post].

Seldon, L (2013, May, 30). How Much Does the Average Divorce Really Cost? [Web log post].

Mississippi Divorce Attorney Talks about Arrests and Custody Disputes

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

In some child custody disputes, questions regarding custody arise when one parent is arrested and subsequently incarcerated. A couple in Texas is currently navigating this type of situation. The estranged parents of a four year old had been ordered by the court to share custody. Sometimes, parents are able to make shared custody work for them. At other times, parents have issues with communication, scheduling, or other things, and there is a great deal of conflict over sharing custody. This case is a situation in which the custody battle has been both complicated and contentious.

Things just got even more complicated for the family because the child’s father was recently arrested for assaulting his estranged wife, who is the child’s mother. After the arrest, shared custody and an alternating visitation schedule continued. The father is now in jail after surrendering to assault charges, and the mother is seeking custody of the child.

The four year old was in his father’s care when the father was arrested, and the boy’s mother was not told where he was after the arrest. It is likely that he was in the care of his paternal grandmother, but the grandmother would not return the mother’s calls. The boy’s mother has enlisted the aid of the local sheriff’s office, the police department in the town where the child’s grandmother lives, and even child protective services. She is concerned that the grandmother may have taken the child to Mississippi for a vacation, which could complicate matters even more.

In Mississippi child custody cases, modification of a custody order is possible if there is a material change in circumstances, that the change adversely affects the child’s welfare, and that a change in custody would serve the best interest of the child. Cantin v.Cantin, 78 So. 3d 943, 948 Miss. Ct. App. 2012. Since the aforementioned case is taking place in Texas, the criteria for modifying custody may be different than they are in Mississippi, but the case is worth mentioning because it is possible to predict what would likely happen if a similar situation were to take place in Mississippi.

The incarceration of a parent is an event that could, depending upon the circumstances and other factors like the length of time that the parent is expected to remain in jail, be considered a material change in circumstances because it renders that parent unavailable to provide care and supervision for the child. Depending upon the nature of the offense, it is likely arguable in many cases that the parent’s incarceration and the conduct that preceded it have a negative impact on the child’s well-being. The factor which might weigh most heavily on whether a court would modify custody would then become the third requirement for modification, which is whether the proposed change in custody would serve the welfare of the child. If the parent seeking custody is able to provide a stable home environment, they would likely prevail. Likewise, if the parent seeking custody has not been arrested but is unable to show that their home is a stable, safe, and otherwise suitable environment, they would not likely be granted custody.

If you have questions about your Mississippi child custody case, Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole is here to serve you. Please call my office today, at (601) 573-7429 today, to schedule a free, initial consultation.

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 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.