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Gaithersburg Family Law Blog

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Don't allow your kids to play you against your ex

Children who are going through a divorce will often try to find ways to push the limits. This might include trying to play one parent against the other, so both adults must take steps to ensure this doesn't happen. Knowing some of the more common red flags that come with this situation might help you to avoid issues before they start.

Setting the terms of the parenting plan quickly after the separation can benefit the children. Some kids fare better knowing the rules from the start. This gives them the chance to adjust to the new way of life without being confused about what's allowed and what isn't. It also gives you and your ex way to discuss, and be on the same page about, what is acceptable and what isn't.

You might not expect certain thoughts during a divorce

Going through a divorce brings up a lot of emotions and thoughts. Some people are surprised by the scope of these, especially when they wanted the divorce in the first place. Determining how to cope with the things that you are going to experience can be a challenge, but you will feel better once you have a plan in place and can move forward with your life.

One thought that might come to mind is that you are going to lose a partner. Even when you don't get along with your ex, you still had someone there who you could talk to about things that happened. The loss of this might not seem like a big deal until you have big news to share and realize that you don't have anyone to share it with.

Emotions during divorce can vary greatly

The decision to divorce usually isn't made overnight. Instead, it is something that at least one spouse has thought about for a long time before they took the step to file the paperwork. While the filing starts the legal process, there is an emotional process that has already begun.

For some people, the emotional impact of the divorce is much more difficult than the legal side of the matter. Being emotionally overwhelmed might make the legal matter seem frighteningly complex and stressful. Learning how to handle these emotions can be beneficial.

Help your only child through your divorce

An only child spends a lot of time with their parents. If those parents divorce, the child might face some challenges that aren't present with those who have siblings. One of the most important things to remember when an only child is experiencing this is that the bond they form with their parents is critical. They will likely need open access to both parents so they can keep up with the need to feel close.

You can set the stage for the best divorce possible by telling your child about the split together. This shows them that they can still count on both adults to support them and work as a team while they are growing up. It also helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page about how things are going to work.

Obsessive involvement in online gaming can lead to divorce

Many digital worlds are designed to be a perfect experience. They offer users beautiful scenery or hyper-realistic graphics. People can also engage in activities and behaviors they would never dream of in the real world. From flying to fighting martial arts masters, video games can make the impossible a reality.

For some people, unfortunately, the draw of the artificial world of video games can prove far too powerful for their own good. Some people become addicted to video games, which can lead to them neglecting more important, real-world relationships.

Some people wait for the New Year to file for divorce

The New Year brings up a time of change for some individuals. If you are unhappy in your marriage, you might be starting it off with thoughts of divorce. For some, the start of the year is the perfect time to split up. The decision to divorce at the start of the year is practical for some individuals.

They don't want to complicate the holiday season for the kids, so they remain a family until the start of the year. This takes the pressure off the adults to face the holidays without their significant other. It is also an opportunity for them to think about the logistics of the split, such as who is going to live where.

Less common matters to include in your parenting plan

Child custody agreements are based on the children's needs. Because of this, parents tend to focus the agreement on the larger issues that come up. You have to take the time to think about some smaller points so that you don't end up in a contentious battle with your ex over aspects that could have been discussed beforehand.

Once you have the bigger matters, such as the parenting time schedule, set, you can move onto these smaller items. Think about your child and what you feel strongly about so you know where to put your focus. Your ex might have some wishes as well, so be prepared to work out deals.

Your communication with your ex matters in child custody

You and your ex need to communicate directly with each other about child custody matters. This can be through the use of verbal, written or electronic communication. There might be times when you need to have assistance to get the communication moving forward, but you have to do this effectively.

One thing that you should never do is to use the children as messengers. They shouldn't be privy to many of these adult matters, and they don't need to have the responsibility of ensuring that messages are passed along correctly. When parents ask them to relay messages, they might feel as though they have to choose a side.

Women often disengage from marriage long before a divorce

The end of a marriage is a time of big changes. Some people don't realize that these often start long before the divorce is filed. Women who are having troubles in the marriage often disengage long before their husbands ever notice. This is where there is a big problem because by the time the men notice, it is often too late.

There are some specific signs that a wife has emotionally and mentally checked out of a marriage. Any of these can mean that divorce is inevitable:

  • Lack of affection: A woman who is done with her marriage isn't going to want to have physical contact with her husband. This might manifest with changes only in the bedroom because she might opt to keep up with small signs of affection in front of the kids.
  • Seemingly sudden changes: A woman's demeanor will change when she is fed up with the marriage. This is often at the end of the marital road, but the truth is that it didn't happen overnight. The changes have been a long time coming, but the man only noticed them when they became significant.
  • No meaningful communication: A marriage has to be based on open communication. When she isn't willing to speak to her husband any longer about anything other than the household points or the children, there is a serious issue.
  • Shared activities don't exist: It is acceptable for spouses to have a life outside of the marriage, but there should also be shared interests. When those shared interests wane, problems are likely brewing in the marriage.

What are supervised visits in child custody cases?

Parents going through a divorce or a child custody case will have to figure out visitation for the children. This can be either supervised or unsupervised, depending on the circumstances. Child custody paperwork will outline the schedule for the visits with the noncustodial parent and relay the type of visit that's allowed.

The court has to consider what's best for the child when setting the child custody terms. If there is any reason to think that they will be in danger during time with a parent, which might occur in domestic violence situations, an order for supervised visits may be put in place.

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