Category Archives: Opinion

Dealing with Disappointment; Divorce, Stress and Uncertainty

Unfortunately, disappointment is a part of life.  It can also be a major part of family law cases.  Most often in a family law case, someone is going through just about the most difficult thing they do as an adult when dealing with a divorce/custody matter.  Either they have done something, or their spouse has, which has caused significant upheaval, loss of trust and despair   A large part of family law includes helping someone cope with those feelings and emotions.

While there is no easy answer on how to cope, there are a number of things that can be done to promote healing.

  • Seek Counseling.  I recommend counseling to almost every client.  This is NOT because I think something is wrong with them.  It is because Counselors are people who have expertise in dealing with persons going through emotional crisis.  A lawyer can deal with a legal crisis, and some are good at the emotional issues too, but all are not.  A counselor can help and they have often heard and dealt with a similar circumstance.  Counseling can be with a licensed counselor, a religious leader or a sage friend with experience.
  • Keep a Routine.  Keeping a routine can help more than you think.  A recent study showed that persons who made their bed each morning were more organized and felt better about themselves throughout the day.  This routine made their day better.  This is something easy to do and it only takes 2 minutes, but can make a difference in how you feel.  I encourage my clients to get in a routine and keep it. I encourage them to continue their exercise regimen or start one.  Let’s Go Walking (a la Haley Barbour!).  I also encourage them to eat the right stuff.  While this may sound dumb or not my business – a family law matter concerns mind, body, and spirit.
  • Listen to Your Attorney.  One of the easiest things to say and hardest to do is to follow the advice of your attorney.  Ideally, you are working with an attorney that has handled many situations, which have been similar to yours.  Just like you, attorneys learn from experience.  Hire one that knows what they are doing and then take their advice.  This one factor alone is worthy of its own blog…

Disappointment is a part of life and, seemingly, a large part of family law.  Effectively dealing with the “bumps” in the road will help you get back on track.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms.

black-bow

From No Fault to Yo’ Fault

The clever title to this blog was proposed by an attorney friend of mine that handles some family law matters, but practices extensively in other areas of law.

We were recently discussing how “No Fault” cases get derailed.  While Mississippi is technically not a true “No Fault” state, there are provisions for an Irreconcilable Differences divorce.  (commonly referred to as “No Fault,” blogged prior.)

We were discussing what gets them off track.  The parties, after getting over the initial shock of divorce, decide they will be adults and agree.  They think they can agree to the divorce and resolve their differences.   After all, they did manage to get along for 9 years, have two kids and bought a house.  What could go wrong?   Perhaps they searched online and looked at divorceyourself.com.  A very risky idea!

Well, the old adage that the devil is in the details is never truer than in divorce.  The No Fault idea gets derailed when the fellow realizes he will have to pay 20% of his income towards child support, plus health insurance and alimony. Yikes!  He realizes it’s cheaper to keep her.  (sorry for the cliché)  The wife gets squirrely when she realizes that her half of the retirement account is consumed by balancing the equity in the house, or that the money she gets cannot be realized without significant tax consequences.

Parties to a divorce don’t realize child support is until 21, not 18 in Mississippi.  They don’t know the types of custody, or what that means.  They agree to things that they cannot legally agree  to and fail to consider the consequences.  They agree to “legal terms” that do not exist in Mississippi law, because they saw it online.  And lastly, one of them is finally convinced to see an attorney by a close friend or family member and when they do and realize the consequences of what they were about to do and back out, the other side becomes angry and backs out too.  All of a sudden an easy deal becomes complicated, expensive and adversarial.

Want to keep your situation from going from No Fault to Yo’ Fault?  Do your homework, have an assessment with an attorney that practices family law, keep the peace, and be smart.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney that can handle your divorce whether it’s your fault, their fault, or somebody else’s.  Trust the Bow Tie.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer

 img_6390

Voting & Mississippi -(a very brief history)

With the election one day away, this is the (obligatory) “be sure you vote” blawg.

Tuesday we go to the polls to elect State and National officials.  You get to vote for the person you think should be President, and a MS Senator, (if in your district) Congressmen, 2 MS Supreme Court Justices , and a host of local positions, such as election commissioners.

We hear and see a lot of talk about Mississippi being subject to Federal oversight in her elections.  Below is a brief explanation of that Federal oversight.

Mississippi has a stormy past when it comes to voting rights – attempting to restrict minority access to voting –  and those past State actions can still be felt in today’s elections.  Mississippi is one of 8 states subject to the Department of Justice “pre-clearance” and oversight on any voting/election law changes pursuant to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (Some sections of other states are subject to the pre-clearance oversight).

This legislation was designed to ensure the right of minority citizens to register and vote, and to prevent discriminatory laws passed by state and local entities. Both permanent and non-permanent provisions are proscribed. One permanent provision applies nationwide and outlaws any voting practice that results in the denial of voting rights on the basis of a person’s race, color, or membership in a language-minority group.

The non-permanent provisions that are relevant to Mississippi require “pre-clearance” of any changes in voting/election laws and  allows the DOJ to send federal observers to the polls in Mississippi

To pass muster any changes in voting/election laws must demonstrate that the voting change does not have the purpose or effect of discriminating on the basis of race or language minority. If the DOJ or the federal court determines that there is a discriminatory purpose or effect, then an objection is issued. If an objection is issued, the change cannot be put into operation.

Source: The Voting Rights Act and Mississippi 1965-2006, A Report of the RenewtheVRA.org, by Robert McDuff.

With that brief history of MS voting you can see the impact and importance that the right to vote has for many citizens.  Exercise your right to vote; let your voice be heard and your vote be counted.

Thompson Law Firm, PLLC            (601) 850-8000         Matthew@wmtlawfirm.com