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How to prepare for divorce when your ex is a narcissist

 Posted on January 13, 2021 in Divorce

Personality disorders are deeply rooted patterns of behavior that somehow diverged from how the average person behaves. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a relatively common condition.

Those with NPD may use others to get what they want. They also probably have a massively inflated sense of self-importance. They generally feel like they can do no wrong and that the world owes them something.

Narcissists are often very manipulative and good at controlling what they show to others. It may have taken many years of marriage before you started to see the signs of your spouse’s NPD. Whether they have a formal diagnosis or a vicarious diagnosis through your therapist or similar professional, their condition will impact what your divorce will be like for you.

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5 situations that may require changes to child custody arrangements

 Posted on November 10, 2020 in Child Custody

As you move through the divorce process, a large portion of your attention will turn toward child custody, visitation schedules, parenting agreements and related subject matter.

While your child custody arrangement may have worked at first, there’s no guarantee this will hold true until your children reach the age of 18.

Here are five situations that can lead to changes to your current child custody arrangement:

  • Physical relocation: For example, if the custodial parent is moving out of state, the non-custodial parent may be able to request a child custody modification.
  • Refusal to follow the terms and conditions of the arrangement: Both parents should have a clear idea of the details associated with the child custody arrangement. Refusal to follow these terms can result in a modification.

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5 ways parents can put their children first in custody battles

 Posted on September 15, 2020 in Family Law

Divorce is typically about you and the relationship that you have with your spouse. You have hit a rough patch, have grown apart or have experienced some relationship-shattering trauma like infidelity.

It’s easy to get sucked into your personal narrative during a divorce and keep the focus entirely on you and your ex. Unfortunately, your kids will also struggle during a divorce, even though they aren’t the ones going through the end of a marriage. For children, parental divorce is very difficult.

If you can take steps to put your children first, you can reduce how hard it is for them to adjust to your new family situations. There are five practical ways for you to make your children your top priority in the divorce.

Make custody exchanges safe and amicable

Limiting how much you interact with your ex during the divorce can make things easier for everyone. Sharing custody isn’t easy, especially at first. In some cases, while tensions are high, you may want to have a neighbor, friend or family member manage the custody exchange for you.

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5 money-related conflicts that can lead to divorce

 Posted on August 17, 2020 in Firm News

Issues regarding money send up red flags in a marriage, and the financial problems couples struggle with can easily snowball over the years. Many married couples fail to compromise, especially when it comes to making financial decisions.

Here are five money-related conflicts that frequently result in divorce.

1. Different priorities

Major goals such as purchasing a home or enjoying a trip abroad take planning. Planning includes saving to meet the intended goal. One spouse may pinch pennies and the other may spend excessively, which can lead to marital problems.

2. Credit card debt

Piling up credit card debt is one of the biggest issues leading to arguments about marital finances. When one spouse uses the card and the other struggles to make the payment, heated disputesare almost inevitable.

3. Overextension of budget

Marriage usually means combining incomes, which may give couples the feeling they have more money to spend. As a result, they go overboard on the budget. For example, the couple may buy a home that is more than they can comfortably afford. They find they have little money left over for the enjoyment of everyday activities, and the financial stress puts a strain on their marriage.

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How to handle a child’s separation anxiety at a custody exchange

 Posted on August 14, 2020 in Child Custody

You love your child — and you hate to see them emotionally overwrought because of anything. That’s why it’s absolutely gut-wrenching when you have to peel their fingers off your shirt and pass them over, sobbing hysterically, to your ex-spouse for visitation.

What can you do? You know your ex-spouse isn’t a bad parent, but your child simply reacts badly to the changes that come along with the visitation schedule because of their age or stage of development right now. Here are some tips that may help your child cope:

1. Control your own anxiety

There’s a possibility that you’re actually sending your child nonverbal cues that signal your own anxiety. Maybe you just hate the thought of your child not being with you 100% of the time, or maybe you get worried that your ex-spouse won’t parent as effectively as you do. Either way, your child can pick up on your fears. That can amplify their own.

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Stressed out over your divorce? Don’t let it make you sick

 Posted on August 06, 2020 in Divorce

Stress can do a pretty big number on your immune system — and that’s bad news if you’re going through a divorce. Studies have shown that the more stressful a divorce ends up being, the more likely it is that the participants will end up sick.

Simply put, the human adrenal system is designed to cope with short bursts of stress — not the kind of daily grind that comes with a long, difficult divorce. That kind of stress gradually triggers problems with your cortisol levels and makes it harder to stay healthy. How do you cope? Here are some suggestions from the experts:

  1. Eliminate as many unknowns as possible. You can cope better with your situation and your future when you know what to expect. Find out everything you can about the divorce process and your rights as early as possible.

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What’s the right of a ‘fit parent’ in Texas to custody?

 Posted on July 31, 2020 in Child Custody

Imagine this: You and your ex have a child together. Your relationship with your ex remains amicable despite the breakup because you both care deeply about your child. Eventually, your ex moves on and gets into another relationship. It turns serious — but then your ex is killed in a tragic accident. Suddenly, your ex’s new love interest is suing you for custody of your child — and a judge gives it to them.

Sounds insane, right? Well, that’s exactly what happened to one Texas father after his ex — the mother of his child — died in a car wreck. Her fiance, who had lived with the mother and child for a while, asked the court for partial custody of the little girl over the objections of the biological father and his new wife. The lower court granted the fiance’s petition — ultimately forcing the child’s father to take the case all the way to the state’s Supreme Court.

In what has been called “the most significant parent rights case in Texas history,” the Supreme Court said that the trial court relied on the “best interests of the child standard” when it made its decision. That’s standard in all custody cases. However, the higher court ruled that the trial judge, in essence, substituted the court’s opinion about what was best for the little girl in place of what the child’s own father believed was best for the little girl.

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Divorcing a narcissist isn’t easy: Here are some tips

 Posted on July 23, 2020 in Divorce

“You can’t live with them — and they don’t want you to live peacefully without them, either.” That’s probably the best way to describe the situation when you’re divorcing a narcissist.

While most divorces (about 95%) end up being settled without litigation through some combination of negotiation, mediation and collaboration, you can’t expect a divorce with a narcissist to go that way. In fact, you should probably anticipate ending up in court.

The nature of a narcissist’s psychological disorder almost guarantees that they’ll approach the situation as if there can only be one winner — and they’re determined to be it. They may also use a court battle to force you to keep engaging with them and get your attention. They also frequently like the sense of power they get from aggravating you with motion after motion and dragging you into court over yet another issue.

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3 signs marriage counseling may not be working

 Posted on July 16, 2020 in Firm News

All marriages have their ups and downs. Nevertheless, if your union seems to have a greater number of bad days than good ones, marriage counseling may be an option. While couples therapy usually does not fix everything, it may be a convenient way to solve many of the problems with your marriage.

You can probably trust your marriage counselor to do his or her best. If you and your spouse commit to working with the counselor, you may improve your marriage. Still, couples counseling does not always stave off divorce. Here are three signs marriage counseling may not be working for you.

1. Your spouse is already done

When couples counseling works, spouses often wish they had started it significantly earlier. If you wait too long, though, your spouse may have already decided to call it quits. Continuing with counseling may not only waste your time, but it may also needlessly deplete your financial resources.

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Can you adopt an adult in Texas?

 Posted on July 14, 2020 in Family Law

Adoption is a great way for a family-in-fact to become legal family. It’s used all the time in cases involving parents and minor children. But what if you want to adopt an adult? Can you do that in Texas?

You can. As long as the adult you want to adopt consents to the adoption. The process is actually fairly simple:

  • You file the adoption petition. If you are married, your spouse must also be part of the petition and agree with the adoption.
  • The adult you wish to adopt must consent in writing to the adoption.
  • Both the petitioner (you) and the adult you wish to adopt usually must attend the hearing (although the court can waive that requirement if there’s a good enough reason)

Once the process is complete, the adopted adult is legally your child. (Bear in mind, this terminates the legal ties and inheritance rights that adult child may have with their biological parents.)

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