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What are some common issues in military marriages?

When one spouse is in the military in Texas, it can cause some unique situations and problems in the marriage. Such issues are not usually something civilian couples have to deal with. This may make it difficult for others to understand what is happening with your marriage and why you even have problems. However, it helps to know others are in the same boat.

The University of Florida explains some of the common and unique issues found in military marriages that may lead to separation or divorce. To begin with, deployment takes a huge toll on a couple and the family as a whole. It is an up and down of emotions. It can make it hard for couples to stay connected and nurture their marriage. It may make the spouse at home feel isolated and neglected. He or she may even begin to resent the military spouse. In addition, being apart increases the likelihood of infidelity, which brings a whole other set of problems into the marriage.

Sole-custody vs. joint-custody: Which is best?

Going through a divorce involving children can be extremely complicated. Not only is it difficult to come to an agreement with your spouse about property division, child support and alimony, but it can be hard to determine whether you should file for sole-custody or joint-custody of the children. It is important to keep in mind that there are two types of custody, physical and legal. Parents may get sole or joint physical or legal custody. Physical custody determines whether the children will reside with one parent or equally between both parents, while legal custody determines whether one parent or both parents will be responsible for making critical decisions regarding the child’s healthcare, education and religion.

Some studies show that joint-custody may be best for children, as they are able to spend a significant amount of time with both parents. Children who have active mothers and fathers in their routine life are generally better adjusted than those who reside with one parent most of the time. Yet, joint-custody is not ideal in every situation. Children who have an abusive parent or who has parents that live far apart from one another may fair better in a sole-custody arrangement. In this situation, the child would reside with one parent most of the time and the non-custodial parent would have visitation rights.

What factors are considered when setting child support

If you are filing for legal separation, divorce or just considering it, there are many issues that you must negotiate. One of the most difficult may be that of child custody and child support. In most cases, child support is set by the court, and has little to no room for negotiation when it comes to adjusting the amount.

However, a court-appointed judge may consider several factors when setting a child support payment. These include the age and health of the child, as well as any special needs he or she may have. The judge may look at the parent’s ability to contribute to the support of the children, including their employment. It is also important to look at how much time the child spends with each parent. For example, less child support may be issued in a situation where the non-custodial parent spends more time with the child. Other expenses may be added to the child support payment, including the following:

  •          Child care expenses
  •          Medical costs, such as copays and deductibles
  •          Educational expenses
  •          Extracurricular activities

Studies show benefits of involved fathers

It is not surprising that both mothers and fathers play a crucial role in their children’s lives. When parents file for divorce, however, children often get stuck between homes, either in the sole-custody of one parent or traveling back and forth between parents. Research on the importance of parent roles and the way they contribute to a child’s development has been in the forefront, challenging parents to put their marital differences aside and do what is in the best interest of the kids.

The Father Involvement Research Alliance conducted a review of studies focused on families and found that children who are involved with their fathers are more confident in new situations, emotionally secure and comfortable exploring their surroundings. Children who spend time with their dads are more likely to do better in school, achieve better educational outcomes and are less likely to develop depression. When boys spend more time with their fathers, they are not as likely to show impulsivity, aggression and have more direction in life when compared to those who do not have access to their fathers. Furthermore, girls with active fathers are less likely to become pregnant at an early age and often display a higher sense of self.

What situations are paternity tests helpful in?

Texan fathers like you may find yourselves in a bit of a tricky situation if you and your partner ever get a divorce. In these trying times, the Law Offices of Keith E. Holloway, will be here to explain the benefits of getting a paternity test done and why you may want to consider it.

Paternity tests can reveal a direct biological link between people. It shows that a child is biologically tied to their father, which is important if you were not able to sign the birth certificate or don't otherwise have legal paternity established yet.

What happens if child support isn't paid?

Texan parents who get a divorce will have to deal with matters of child support in addition to everything else. In some cases, a parent may be worried about their estranged spouse not making their child support payments despite court orders. However, there are ways that these orders are enforced.

FindLaw takes a look at the enforcement of child support orders and what can be done if your ex-spouse refuses to pay. In order to ensure the payment of child support orders, a district attorney is allowed to make certain impositions upon the person whose payments are delinquent. Some examples include:

  • Suspending a business license
  • Suspending an occupational license
  • Garnishing wages
  • Revoking a driver's license
  • Seizing property
  • Withholding tax refunds

Same-sex divorce in military families

It takes bravery to admit that a marriage is over, especially if it was a hard fight to win the right to become married in Texas in the first place. The fact is that getting a divorce does not nullify any previous effort. It is simply the beginning of a new phase. Divorce, while it is largely seen for its function to terminate a marriage, also often builds many new, formal relationships between the previously married individuals.

Apart from the concerns common to civilian divorces, such as alimony, child support and property division, there are certain things that military couples often must consider. Specifically, federal laws and individual institutional guidances now treat same-sex and mixed-sex unions equally when considering how to handle various military-specific items, such as benefits from the Department of Veteran Affairs. 

What does “fair and equitable” mean?

As you and your spouse begin your Texas divorce, your property settlement agreement likely will become one of your main concerns. Texas requires that the way in which you and your spouse divide your marital assets between you must be a fair and equitable one. But what exactly constitutes “fair and equitable?”

The Huffington Post points out that while many people consider “fair and equitable” to mean a 50-50 split, that does not mean that you and your spouse must divide everything exactly down the middle. Other considerations apply.

Do dads get depressed after divorce?

When it comes to the emotional and psychological impact of divorce on people, much of the attention is focused on mothers. Of course, women have many valid reasons to suffer psychologically after a divorce. However, the same applies to dads in Texas and elsewhere. After a divorce, society expects you to be stoic and strong, even when inside you feel as if you are falling apart.

Post-divorce depression can affect men more than most people think, according to Fatherly. In fact, recent studies suggest that divorced men are more likely to commit suicide than divorced women, as well as fail to take care of their health and die of health conditions that are preventable and treatable. Divorced fathers are also more prone to drinking, smoking and engaging in riskier activities than divorced mothers. Loneliness might be a major cause for your feelings of depression, anxiety, hopelessness and anger after your divorce. You might mourn the loss of a partner, but even more, you could miss the time you spend with your children.

How do you recognize emotional and psychological abuse?

It’s easy to recognize domestic violence when the abuse is physical. If your spouse has ever harmed you or your children, you know that he or she is abusive. It can be hard to leave an abuser, whether the abuse is physical or emotional. However, it may be even more difficult for Texas residents to recognize the latter type of abuse.

Psychological and emotional abuse is often subtle, explains PsychCentral. The goal of an emotional abuser is much the same as a physical one – your abuser uses tactics to intimidate and control you. The following signs are common behaviors of emotional and psychological abusers:

  • Making threats or ultimatums to keep you afraid of what might happen if you defy him or her
  • Periodically using gifts and positive behavior to emotionally manipulate you into second-guessing your instincts
  • Giving the silent treatment or withholding affection
  • Having no respect for your privacy regarding social media, test messages, voicemail and emails
  • Damaging your personal property, especially items that mean a lot to you
  • Blaming you for everything and taking no responsibility or apologizing
  • Isolating you from your family and friends and controlling your resources
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