Healthy Marriage Tips

I recently wrote an article discussing my tips on how to maintain a healthy marriage.  As a divorce attorney, I hear a lot of interesting stories about relationships.   And as time goes on and the more stories I hear, it becomes pretty obvious that there are certain things that contribute to the demise of a relationship. That is why I decided to write an article outlining some of the key ways you can ensure a solid foundation for a healthy relationship.  I like to call this “marriage management.”

My tips to maintain a healthy relationship?  Keep the romance alive and continue to date throughout your marriage even when things get busy with work and kids; respect and kindness towards one another; transparency and communication so there is healthy dialogue. Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of things you and your spouse can do to keep the relationship on solid ground.  However, this is certainly a starting point in creating a solid foundation day by day, week by week, month by month and year by year.  One step at a time!

What are your tips for maintaining a healthy relationship?


Pet Parenting Plans

In my last blog post, I introduced the concept of pet parenting plans.  In my new Huffington Post article, I discuss this concept in more detail, outlining some creative ideas for pet parenting plans.  I think crafting a creative pet parenting plan is a brilliant idea if you and your ex-spouse are fighting over the division of your family pet.   For a pet parent, a dog or cat or bunny is not just a “thing” but a valuable member of the family….so it makes sense to come up with a creative plan so that the pet relationship can be maintained even after a split.

Do you and your ex-spouse share custody of the family pet? If so, how do you split timeshare?



Who Gets The Family Pet In Divorce?

Pets are becoming increasingly integrated into the family unit.  So when couples decide to divorce, one of the harder decisions they will have to make will be about who gets the family pet.

I can’t imagine the difficulty in making this decision.  I am a pet lover and I can’t wait to get my mini ginger goldendoodle (from Copper Canyon Goldendoodles in Utah):  Adorable right?

So what happens when you’re divorcing and a pet is involved?  I recently wrote an article for The Huffington Post about pet custody.  Is there such thing as pet custody like there are child custody orders issued by courts?  Not really….and that’s because pets are considered “property” under the law and not a person.  And because pets are not legally treated the same as “children” many couples heading for divorce are becoming a lot more creative when dealing with the division of a pet.  In my article, I look at some of the things you should consider when you are dealing with divorce and have pets, including pet parenting plans.

A pet parenting plan is creative indeed and could help ease the pain of the divorce, knowing that your pet will still be a part of your life.

What do you think of pet parenting plans?




Do Grandparents Have Rights In Divorce?

Sometimes we forget that divorce affects relationships other than the romantic bond between two spouses.  Grandparents, sisters, brothers, nephews, nieces and friends all have a stake in your relationship and they all can be just as heartbroken as you are when a breakup occurs.

Grandparents may sometimes seek court intervention if they are iced out of a relationship with their grandchildren.  But if you’re a grandparent and you are seeking court intervention for visitation with your grandchildren, make sure you know your rights and the likelihood of success in court.  Grandparent rights are not absolute and you should always seek advice from an attorney in your state before you file your paperwork.

Here is an article I wrote recently for The Huffington Post discussing things to consider regarding grandparent visitation.





Risks In Litigating Move-Aways

In my final installment of my three-part move-away series, I focused on the risks that you may face litigating a move-away matter.  There is always a risk when you ask a court to make decisions about your life.  Think of it this way:  you’re asking a neutral to make a major decision for you and this decision will have ramifications on your life and the direction of your life.  That is why the preferable method of resolving conflict is to try and work things out with your ex-spouse so that you both have a say in the decision.  But with all that being said, I do understand that sometimes it’s almost impossible to resolve issues with an ex-spouse that isn’t willing to cooperate or even communicate with you.  If communication has broken down to where you can barely even talk to your ex-spouse, your only option is to ask a court to make a final decision on your behalf.

But before you move forward with any court litigation, keep in mind all of the risks that you may be exposed to.  The more you know, the better off you are at figuring out your best option.

Here’s the article I wrote for Huffington Post outlining the risks to keep in mind.  Enjoy!


Is “Divorce Envy” A New Thing?

I was flipping through Harper’s Bazaar magazine recently and came across an article titled “Divorce Envy.” You can check out the article here.  Divorce envy….is there such a thing and what is it? The article explains that many couples going through a heated divorce are experiencing “divorce envy” when their colleagues and friends are ending their unions in a more peaceful and friendly way. Think of it as “keeping up with the Joneses divorce style.”

What better example than Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay’s Chris Martin who refer to their separation as “conscious uncoupling.”  It is not a surprise that many couples are opting for a zen divorce.  Heated divorce battles are costly and can become a very long drawn out process.  Would you want a divorce that lasts longer than the amount of time you were married? Likely not.

Nevertheless, it’s important not to beat yourself up if you are involved in a bitter divorce rather than an amiable one.  Sometimes a civil divorce is impossible if you are not getting the cooperation you need from your ex-spouse.  Cooperation and commitment is needed from both parties to have a somewhat peaceful divorce.

While envy is never a great feeling, it perhaps is a great motivator to cooperate with your ex-spouse in the divorce process.

Tell me what you think.  Have you experienced “divorce envy?”