Law Office of Barbara Graham, LLC
Local 314.226.1428
Toll Free866.734.9630
Email
Attorney Barbara L. Graham LEARN MORE

St. Louis Divorce Law Blog

5 Tips for Surviving Joint Custody with a Combative Ex

Custody.jpg

When we finish up a "high conflict" custody case in which my client is dealing with a very combative other parent, I always just know that my client is going to have a very rough road ahead for the next 18 or so years.  The following article, from Divorcedmoms.com is by Shanon Lee and it outlines some of the things you can do to make your life easier and (hopefully) stay out of court:

5 Tips for Surviving Joint Custody with a Combative Ex

"Just know that your son loves you and you will receive justice in your case against your ex," were the kind words muttered by a curious stranger in the jewelry shop that day. She immediately caught my attention, as my thoughts shifted to the court hearing scheduled the following week. I would never have sought a psychic, but I was oddly comforted during the few moments I allowed her to share a more hopeful vision of my future.

I prayed for justice during the ongoing custody and visitation battle that began six months after my son was born. The journey had been long and arduous, and with each year, I had gained new scars. But, it also became easier to let the love I carried for my child influence the way I communicated with his father and how I responded to new attacks.

A new mother once again, I was happily involved in what would become the healthiest romantic relationship of my life. Though it was tempting, I knew ignoring the problems with my ex would not make them go away. Experience had taught me that I could not change him, but I could alter the way I reacted to his negative behavior and develop the skills I needed to parent amid conflict.

The following steps can help you survive joint custody with a combative ex:

Nesting: Is It the Best Arrangement for the Kids?

30WELL-NEST-articleLarge.gif

The following article is from the NY Times, about a concept called "nesting".  I have had some clients try it and to be honest, it didn't seem like it worked well for anything but a very temporary basis.  Nesting started in cities like New York, where real estate is SO expensive that divorcing parents couldn't afford to have 2 households.  But would it be necessary in the Midwest?

"MY DIVORCE IS UNCONTESTED", OR IS IT?

Most everyone probably has heard that an uncontested divorce can save people a ton of time, money and aggravation, so it is usually the goal of at least one of the parties to the divorce. Because of that, many people call me and tell me that they need to hire me to do a non-contested divorce. And then they tell me their situation...

MY SPOUSE AND I ARE GETTING DIVORCED... WHO GETS ROVER???

pet photo.jpg

I often have clients ask me how "Custody" of pets will be handled. Can we do a custody schedule for who the dog is with? Will the pets travel back and forth with the kids? And what about a situation where a pet is old or sickly and has high medical bills? Is it fair for one spouse to be left on the hook for all of that?

In divorce, protecting financial well-being is fundamental

RIF is an acronym many in Missouri may be familiar with. It stands for Reading is Fundamental. The organization got its start 50 years ago as a way to improve childhood literacy by getting books into the hands of kids. It promotes the idea that reading is "fun" on one hand, and essential to overall well-being on the other.

At the core, what this reflects is the importance of education. And considering how complicated dissolving a marriage can be, it follows that a good education about key aspects of the process is essential. This might be particularly true as regards sustaining the financial well-being of both the divorcing parties.

My oldest child turned 18, shouldn't my support payment drop?

The issue of child support can present a lot of complications. Those with experience in dealing with such matters under Missouri law know that a so-called "calculator" is used to set levels of payment for parents. But in our computer-dominated world, there is truth in the phrase "garbage in, garbage out."

If the information provided at the time support determinations are made isn't accurate, the child suffers. He or she doesn't get the full support they are due under the law. It is also not uncommon that if one parent is the main caregiver for a child, the other parent is expected to pick up the greater share of the financial tab.

Knowing when to contact a divorce attorney

A great many spouses who eventually end their marriages spend an enormous amount of time considering that possibility prior to taking any action. Some are uncertain at which point they should contact a divorce attorney, and waver in making this critical decision. It is important to understand that when it comes to matters of Missouri divorce, including property division and child custody, taking a proactive approach is the best possible course of action.

For example, one of the first steps in any divorce case involves gathering a significant volume of documentation on family financial matters. It is not uncommon for a spouse who is angry or bitter at the news of a divorce to intentionally block his or her partner's ability to access that information. That can prolong the divorce process, and can drive up the costs for everyone involved. By working with an attorney prior to filing for divorce, a great deal of these paperwork matters can be handled in advance.

Unusual fathers' rights case makes national headlines

An unusual case has led to a great deal of media attention in Missouri and across the nation. The case centers on a family in which a man and his wife invited another woman into their marriage. A resulting pregnancy added to their unusual family dynamic, and eventually to a child custody case that has set legal precedent, and resulted in a fathers' rights victory.

The man and wife had tried to conceive a child, and the wife had suffered a miscarriage. Later, they met a woman living next door, and initiated a sexual relationship with her. That relationship turned into an alternative family structure, and the neighbor eventually became pregnant. The parties agreed to raise the child together, but when the baby boy was nearly a year old, the two women decided to leave the man and reside solely with one another.

Really Bad Divorce Advice....

This is an article from Huffington Post contributor Jackie Pilossoph, and I could not agree more with it:

This is a piece of divorce advice from one divorced man to another: "Separate yourself as fast as you can. Limit your contact as much as you can. With kids it's tough but try not to communicate. Trust me. Just move on and move on fast." Honestly, reading this guy's advice made me sad, depressed, and angry, and left me with a feeling of hopelessness. Here's why: When men and women get divorced, it's very understandable that they don't want to talk to each other for several reasons. Tensions are high, anger and resentment are ever present, and the feelings of shock, hurt, anxiety and fear are at their highest. 

get started
Providing experienced family law representation in an emotionally supportive environment.

Contact us for Responsive and Effective Legal Representation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy