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Tulsa Family Law Blog

'Conscious uncoupling' versus divorce

As residents of Oklahoma may have heard, musician Chris Martin and actress Gwyneth Paltrow are heading towards divorce. However, what readers may not have heard of is the unorthodox way in which they are referring to their separation: conscious uncoupling.

Hidden reactions can adversely affect divorce

In Oklahoma, many people going through divorce understand the need for restraint and not overreacting in obvious ways. However, it has become increasingly apparent that subtle reactions are the true enemy of divorce decorum. In a name, that understated foe is called social media.

During a divorce, emotions run high, spurring anxiety and combative thoughts. While negative social media imprints are not exactly blatant, the effects are enduring. When a contentious accusation or comment finds a virtual home in cyberspace, it becomes a permanent member of record that can be used in legal proceedings.

Reduce stress in divorce through organization

Many Oklahoma residents considering divorce may be concerned about how stressful the process can be. Those people may consider making an effort to get organized before starting the process. While organization will not remove all stress from a divorce, it might reduce it by removing the worry of finding important documents or other information that will be needed throughout the process.

When many think of divorce, they think of dividing assets and liabilities. Assets can often be found by using tax returns or statements for bank accounts or other financial holdings. In order to avoid leaving something out of the settlement, determining what, if any, assets that a couple owns that are not on a tax return can be important. Similarly, liabilities could also be discovered by using credit card bills and other statements for mortgages, car loans or other loans.

Health care becoming a non-issue in divorce settlements

In Oklahoma and throughout the nation, health insurance has become less central to divorce negotiations, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. This change is due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. While the implications of the ACA as it pertains to divorce are only just emerging, it appears that unhappy couples will no longer be bound together because of the fear of losing their health insurance.

Before the ACA, divorce was difficult for some spouses, especially those who may have been out of the workforce for a significant period of time in order to care for children or aging parents. Since health insurance was tied to employment, difficulty finding adequate employment not only created financial hardships, it also created a health insurance vacuum. The problem of finding health insurance was made even more difficult and expensive for those with pre-existing conditions.

Can physics help create child custody plans?

Child custody disputes can be so heated and difficult because both parents believe in the rightness of their cause. The parents may have on unrealistic expectation of an optimal child custody arrangement.

In addition to being fair, a child custody order must be workable. While some child custody arrangements may be fair, they may be so complex that they become overwhelmed by the day-to-day chaos that can strike a divorced family with multiple children moving between events and activities and multiple parents.

A prenuptial may save your marriage

Prenuptial agreements are a delicate subject. How does one approach the love of one's life by requesting that they sign a document that will prevent them from obtaining some of your assets in a divorce? And maybe for a first marriage of a young couple with few assets, a prenuptial agreement may be unnecessary.

But for a moment, indulge us. What if your parents have substantial assets that you may inherit someday, or own their own business? Even if you do not have a great deal on your marriage day, you might be concerned about the fate of a family business or a vacation home or cabin that has been in the family for decades. 

Economic activity drives divorce rate and vice versa

The economy in the last few years has been hard on many people in Oklahoma. Many have endured loss of income from fewer hours at work or in the case of a job loss, no hours at work. Home values in Tulsa stagnated or fell, often leaving homeowners owing much more on their mortgage than their home would sell for on the real estate market.

For many unhappily married couples, this meant they had to put their divorce plans on hold. No matter how badly they wanted to divorce, the prospect of their property division being focused on the division of their mortgage debt sank many prospective divorces.

Do we really make divorce too easy?

A common complaint is that divorce is too easy. That seems something of an overstatement, given what many people who have gone through the process of obtaining a divorce recently seem to think of their experience. Nevertheless, a legislator in Kansas, like ours here in Oklahoma, believes divorce is too easy, and wants to remove "incompatibility" as a ground for divorce.

On the surface, it does not seem that great a change, as he includes eight new grounds for divorce. Items like child and spousal abuse, adultery or abandonment are on the list. But these items are problematical. 

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