Talking With Your Kids About Your Divorce

For many couples, the most worrying thing about divorce is how it will affect the kids. Parents worry how to tell them and, worse yet, what the other parent will say about them. The stress and worry can have a huge impact on the entire family. To reduce them, here are some things to keep in mind about talking with your kids.

Each Family Is Different

Each family is different, and each child is different. There is no one best way to tell children about divorce, so it’s best to do what is right for your family. When you have the conversation, keep the message age appropriate. Choose a time when your children are not likely to be overly stressed or tired. And choose a location where you will be comfortable having a talk.

Remember That the Conversation Will Be Memorable

Most adult children of divorced parents can tell you exactly where they were when they heard the news. So, when you choose the time and place for your conversation, consider how your children will remember it.

Gather the Whole Family and Tell Everyone

Telling only some of your children forces those children to keep a secret that they may not be mentally and emotionally prepared to keep. So, sitting everyone down together is best. If you and your spouse are on reasonably good terms, it may be best for you to tell the children together. That way, you can coordinate the message and convey some very important ideas–that their parents still love them very much, and that both parents will continue to work together to be present in their children’s lives.

Answer Questions and Keep Talking

Divorce can be hard to talk about, and it may be painful to answer some of your children’s questions. But it’s best to keep lines of communication open. Answer the questions you can as appropriately, honestly and openly as possible. Encourage your children to come to you with questions. Check in with them regularly to see how they are doing and how the divorce is affecting them as things change.

Be Respectful

It may be tempting to talk badly about your ex–especially if they are not fulfilling their obligations. But saying negative things about the other parent can cause stress and worry for your children. When talking with them about the divorce, it’s best to avoid saying negative things (even if you’re thinking them).

Questions About Divorce? Ask a Lawyer.

If you have questions about how divorce might affect your children and what steps you can take, get started by scheduling a confidential consultation. At the Ft. Worth office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., we have answers and insight. Call 1-817-755-1852.

Sources

Psychology Today: Six Tips for Talking to Your Kids About Divorce

Do Half of All Marriages Really End in Divorce?

It’s a common myth, and many of us have grown up believing it–that half of all marriages end in divorce. That statistic may have been true in the 1980s, but it is no longer accurate. For the last few decades, the divorce rate has been falling steadily. Researchers estimate that it is now around 39 percent.

So, does this mean that married couples are now statistically much more likely to find eternal wedded bliss? Not at all. There are many other factors that impact the lowering divorce rate.

The Likelihood of Divorce Isn’t the Same for All Couples

First, calculating the divorce rate in the United States can be misleading because it isn’t the same across all demographics. For example, for people who are in a second or third marriage, the divorce rate is closer to 75 percent or higher. There may be many reasons for this. Maybe their lives are already complicated by ex-spouses and children from previous relationships, which makes the current marriage more complicated. Maybe they already know that divorce is a viable option when times get tough.

Couples Are Getting Married Older and Less Often

The divorce rate also differs depending on the age of the couple. Statistically, Millennial couples have lower divorce rates than Gen X and Baby Boomer couples. This could simply be because fewer Millennials are getting married. United States census data released in 2018 shows that the median age at first marriage is now nearly 30 for men and 28 for women. In 2003, census data showed the ages at first marriage as 27 and 25.

Living together before marriage has become more common, and people are more likely to live together before committing to marriage. But researchers have found that marriage rates are lower for people who live together first.

And–just like with divorce rates–some couples are more likely to live together than others. Couples with lower incomes are more likely to live together than couples with higher incomes. (Researchers believe that this is simply a matter of economics. It’s easier to afford household expenses when you have a partner.) That means that the people getting married in America today are more likely to be wealthier.

Divorce Is Still Common

So yes, the people who are getting married are more likely to stay married than they were in 1980. However, fewer people are getting married. They are getting married later and living together longer before marriage. But divorce is still common and about 39 percent of marriages still end in divorce. If you are considering a divorce, you are not alone. The team at Schneider Law Firm, P.C., is there to support you.For a confidential consultation about divorce, call our Arlington office at 817-755-1852.

Sources:

Time Magazine: The Divorce Rate is Dropping: That May Not Actually Be Good News

Psychology Today

How Common Is Military Divorce?

According to the most recent data released by the Pentagon, about 21,290 of 689,060 married troops divorced during the military’s 2017 fiscal year. That means on average, about 3 or 3.1 percent of enlisted troops divorce. But, divorce rates among female troops are much higher than men. And divorce rates for both male and female Marines are higher than in other branches of the military.
How does this compare with the national average? It’s challenging to tell exactly. The government measures the military divorce rate in a different way than the U.S. national divorce rate. In the military, the divorce rate is calculated by comparing the number of married troops listed in the Pentagon’s personnel system with the number of troops who report divorces over the year. In the United States, the divorce rate is calculated per 1,000 residents and does not factor in six states, including California. Overall, the U.S. divorce rate 3.2 percent–just about the same as the military divorce rate.

Common Issues in a Military Divorce

While the military divorce rate and the U.S. divorce rate for civilians are nearly identical, many other things set military divorces apart:

Filing for Military Divorce

All divorce actions require that the military status of the respondent be documented in compliance with a federal law called the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The SCRA protects active duty military members from civil lawsuits so that they can properly focus on serving our country. Under the SCRA, divorce proceedings can be paused temporarily (“stayed”) for as long as the military member is on active duty plus 60 days. This does not mean that the divorce cannot proceed in all cases, however. It’s a good idea to talk with a lawyer.

Child Support

Texas courts usually make child support calculations according to state law, but things can become complicated when one parent is deployed overseas. And interim child support payments are a factor while the divorce is proceeding. Each military branch has its own regulations for determining the amount paid in interim child support payments. Typically, the amount is based on a formula that accounts for a service member’s gross pay and Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH).

Child Custody

Child custody determinations are uniquely complicated when one parent is deployed. Courts make an effort to protect the best interests of the child, even when one parent cannot be with the child due to active military service.

Military Pensions

Military retirement benefits are often a source of dispute in military divorces. State and federal laws protect both spouses’ access to military retirement benefits upon divorce. A federal law called the Uniform Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) directs states to treat military pensions as property, dividing them according to the state’s laws on property division in a divorce.

Get a Lawyer’s Help With Military Divorce

If you or your spouse are in the military, work with a divorce lawyer who is familiar with military divorces. Start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125.

Sources:

Military.com: Troop Divorce Rate Remains Unchanged

Finances and Divorce: Studies Reveal Three Key Things

Researchers have done many, many studies on the relationship between love and money. Not surprisingly, they have found that financial issues are a great source of stress in marriages and one of the leading factors in divorce. Here are three key things that studies have revealed about finances and divorce.

1. Money Is the Leading Cause of Stress in Relationships

A survey done by SunTrust Bank revealed that money was the leading cause of stress in 35 percent of relationships. That stress is pervasive. In a separate study, The American Psychological Association found almost 75 percent of Americans are experiencing financial stress at least some of the time, and nearly 25 percent are feeling extreme financial stress. So, if you and your partner are arguing over money, know you’re not alone.

2. When Wives Earn More than Husbands, Divorce Is More Likely

It’s increasingly common for wives to earn more than their husbands. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the wife earns more than the husband in 38 percent of marriages.
While the gender of the household’s primary breadwinner is changing, studies indicate that couples may be up against social and cultural forces that are slower to change. Some research suggests that couples are at higher risk of divorcing when the male partner earns less than the female partner. A study done by Harvard professor Alexandra Killewald reports that the risk of divorce is nearly 33% higher when a husband isn’t working full-time.
There could be many reasons for this, including the effort it takes a woman to shatter the glass ceiling, marital dynamics and social pressure. For example, a separate study done by the Pew Research Center found that about 40 percent of Americans believe it’s extremely important for a father to provide income for his children, but just 25 percent said the same of mothers.

3. Arguing About Money Is the Number One Predictor of Divorce

A 2018 study of 4500 couples published in the journal Family Relationships found that financial disagreements predicted divorce more strongly than any other common sources of disagreement, like how much time a couple spends together or how the household tasks are divided. The authors concluded that arguing about money–especially early in the relationship–could be the number one predictor of divorce.
Of course, arguing about money does not always mean you’ll divorce. But if you and your partner are involved in a financial dispute and you are considering a divorce, working with the right lawyer is the best way to protect your interests. Start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125. Consultations are confidential.

Sources:
MarketWatch – When Wives Earn More Than Their Husbands, Marriage is Less Likely to Last
Money, Work and Marital Stability Study
CNBC: Money is the Leading Cause of Stress in Relationships
Family Relations: Examining the Relationship Between Financial Issues and Divorce

3 Things You Should Know About Social Media Before, During and After Your Divorce

In 2019, social media is just as popular as ever. Studies show that social media has 3.397 billion active users worldwide. That’s more than 42 percent of the world’s population. With such significant usage, it’s no wonder that social media has impacted the way courts handle divorce. In fact, polls show that 81 percent of divorce attorneys now consider social networking evidence worth presenting in court.

1. What You Do on Social Media Can Be Used Against You in Court

Remember that your spouse can use what you do and say on social media against you in divorce or custody proceedings – whether or not they can currently see it. The law allows spouses to request social media records as evidence of many things, including:

  • Your income and spending habits
  • Proof of where you were at specific times
  • Violations of restraining orders
  • The company you keep
  • Your communications with your ex
  • Your state of mind

So, complaining about your spouse on Facebook isn’t a good idea – even if you set the filters so they can’t see your profile. And avoid bragging about big purchases, trips and job promotions. Those things can lead to disputes over property and spending. In fact, it may be a good idea to take a break from social media in general when going through the divorce process.

2. Destroying Evidence or Playing Tricks Can Get You In Big Trouble

As damaging as social media posts can be, destroying them can be worse. Texas courts place harsh consequences on parties who intentionally destroy evidence. If the court finds that you have intentionally destroyed text messages, chat sessions or social media posts, you may be in more trouble than if you had just left the messages alone.

Likewise, it’s also not a good idea to try to “trick” or “bait” your ex through social media communications, text messages or posts. The plan could backfire and have a negative impact on your case. Instead, tell your lawyer if you believe that your spouse is not being truthful.

3. Get Legal Help as Soon as Possible

If you think that a divorce may be in your future, it’s a good idea to talk with an attorney sooner rather than later. The meeting is private and confidential, so your spouse will not know that you contacted counsel. In getting an early start, you can begin making plans ahead of time, including how to protect yourself financially, preserve your relationship with your children and move forward with your life.

You can also have time to adjust your social media habits accordingly before you’re in the middle of a heated divorce. Consider all of your posts as if you were viewing them through the eyes of the court. That way, you won’t be left at a disadvantage because things you have posted in the past can be used against you.

Questions About Social Media? Ask a Lawyer.

If you have questions about social media in divorce, get started by scheduling a confidential consultation with a lawyer at the Ft. Worth, Arlington/Mansfield, or Alliance/Keller office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C. Call 817-755-1852.

Sources
https://www.natlawreview.com/article/family-law-social-media-evidence-divorce-cases
https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/amazing-social-media-statistics-and-facts/