3 Reasons Why Divorce is Not Bad for Your Children

3 Reasons Why Divorce is Not Bad for Your Children

3 Reasons Why Divorce is Not Bad for Your Children

Wondering if there are reasons why divorce is not bad for your children? There are many proven reasons why divorce is better for your children than keeping them in the presence of a bad relationship.

Oftentimes, people who want to get divorced may choose to stay together because they think it is better for the children. Staying together versus getting divorced is not always bad for children.


Here are three reasons why divorce is not bad for children:


1) The environment is less contentious after divorce

Divorce is not bad for children because parents who are divorced can often have a better, or less contentious, relationship than parents who stay married when they shouldn’t. 

Think about it – if you think you may want to get divorced, what are the reasons why? 

Reasons you are considering divorce might involve, arguing, yelling, tension in the home, financial problems, infidelity, domestic violence, emotional or verbal abuse, or a host of addictive behaviors related to alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography, or other issues. Despite your best efforts, your children will see and feel this conflict in the home. 

Children crave peace, structure, and stability in their environment. If your marriage is tumultuous, divorce may help bring more peace into your children’s lives, and yours.


2) Children have better role models after divorce

The number one way you teach children is not with what you say but with what you do. For this reason, divorce is not bad for your children, and to the contrary, is often a better situation for them.

Every day, you and your spouse are modeling behavior for your children, which is how your children learn how they should be treated and how to treat others in relationships. 

If your spouse is mistreating you to the point that you wish you could get divorced, consider what example it is setting for your children if you stay. Your children will be learning that both the mistreatment of a spouse and the tolerance of that behavior are normal and acceptable.

Simply by taking the appropriate action, you will be communicating to your children that mistreating your spouse is unacceptable and should never be tolerated.


3) High-conflict marriages result in poorer outcomes

There is now a huge amount of psychological research and literature that shows that children of divorce do not have poorer outcomes in life than children whose parents are married, but children whose parents have a high-conflict divorce do have poorer outcomes in life. 

Examples of a high-conflict divorce include things such as repeated and protected litigation, constant arguments between the parents about minor issues, expecting the children to take sides, and putting the children in the middle of adult matters and arguments. 

If you and your spouse can learn to co-parent in a peaceful and constructive manner, despite your differences which led you to divorce, your children can flourish. 


There are many reasons why divorce is not bad for your children. If your goal is to have a peaceful divorce that helps create a fresh start and a brighter future for you and your children, please give us a call or schedule a consultation. Our team of expert divorce attorneys is happy to help you achieve these goals for your divorce and your children.


Author: Alison Herlihy

Family law attorney Alison Herlihy is a native of Mobile, Alabama. Alison has engaged in the private practice of family law since 2005, focusing primarily on domestic relations, divorce, and child support, child custody law, adoption law, juvenile, probate practice, and wills.

Alison Baxter Herlihy earned the prestigious AV Preeminent peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which recognizes attorneys for the highest levels of legal ability and professional ethical standards. Alison is a certified Guardian Ad Litem. In 2015, Alison became a Registered Mediator on the Alabama State Court Mediator Roster, in both general and domestic relations mediation.  

4 Reasons You Should Hire a Lawyer for Your Divorce

4 Reasons You Should Hire a Lawyer for Your Divorce

4 Reasons You Should Hire a Lawyer for Your Divorce

Are you considering reasons you should hire a lawyer for your divorce? While there are many reasons to hire an attorney for your divorce, here are four main reasons to hire an attorney to handle your divorce.

1. Attorneys are professionals

Practicing attorneys are professionals that have graduated from both an undergraduate university and law school. After passing the state’s bar exam, attorneys may practice in courts within their state and represent others during the pendency of their legal matters.

It is imperative to choose a lawyer that specializes in divorce and family law. Knowledge of the law and skills acquired from prior cases allow our attorneys to best represent you in your time of need and help to better ensure a fair outcome based on the facts we are presented, within the constraints of the law. 


2. You have obligations to both your family and your job

Because your divorce case is extremely important, assembling the best legal team possible to handle your case will make your life easier, the process less stressful, and increase your likelihood of personal success.

When getting divorced, your life does not stop. Parties still have to wake up and work daily, provide for their families, and continue to pay their bills. Therefore, having an attorney to advocate for you will allow you to spend less time stressing over your divorce and more time enjoying your family, friends, and life outside of the courtroom. 


3. Divorces involve complex litigation and procedure

Divorces and family law are their own specialized area of practice. Your divorce case is governed by both the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure and the Alabama Rules of Evidence. There are many important dates, deadlines, and rules that must be followed in your divorce. Having a responsible attorney will help you prepare the best legal case possible.

There is not only one way to try and prepare for a divorce case. Divorce can go many different ways and strategic, difficult decisions must be made when needed. Hiring a lawyer will promote your best interest and encourage an end to your marriage that best enhances your desired life post-divorce.


4. Your divorce outcome is lifelong and important

Although the process may be difficult at times, the fact is, you will eventually get divorced by the Court. Therefore, it is important to help craft the outcome that you desire with representation either through your divorce trial or an agreement struck along the way.

The judgment of divorce you will receive at the end of your case is final and will become instrumental in dealing with your ex-spouse, splitting your assets and debts, and/or navigating life as parents to child(ren) post-divorce. Addressing the end of your marriage is a serious matter, and will be best handled by an attorney who is qualified to protect your livelihood and shield you from potential adverse consequences.


These are the four most important reasons you should hire a lawyer for your divorce. At Herlihy Family Law, we are honored when members of the Mobile and Baldwin County communities entrust us to handle their divorce. We have an excellent team of experienced attorneys and staff that are prepared to help during your time of need.


Author: Walter Gewin

Attorney Walter Gewin is a native of Mobile, Alabama. After graduation from law school, Walter clerked for Circuit Court Judge John Lockett before pursuing a career in the private practice of law. Initially, practicing a wide variety of law; Walter’s practice has become more focused on family law, including juvenile, probate, and domestic relations matters. Walter also currently serves as a certified Guardian Ad Litem in Dependency, Delinquency, and Domestic Relations matters.

How you can make divorce easier on your kids

How you can make divorce easier on your kids

How you can make divorce easier on your kids

The number one predictor of whether children fare well after a divorce or not is whether a divorce is a “high conflict” divorce.  A high-conflict divorce is one that is marked by conflict for the sake of conflict; preoccupation with assigning blame, being “right,” and winning at all costs; and manipulation or even outright abuse.  When someone has a high-conflict personality, they will not think twice about using the children to get what they want, even at a cost to the children.  When children experience a high-conflict divorce, they are more likely to have substance abuse problems and experience mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and less likely to finish college or have children of their own.

The first way to make a divorce easier on the kids is to leave them out of it!  Do not involve your children in adult matters, either directly or indirectly.  You may think that your children are not listening to your conversations with other adults or do not understand, but they are and they do. Do not use your children as messengers and try to avoid arguing in front of them.

The second way is to get some advice on how to have age-appropriate discussions with your kids about the divorce.  Both Mobile and Baldwin Counties require parents to participate in a class about helping children cope with divorce, so you can get some helpful tips there.  You could also seek the advice of their school counselor or a therapist who works with children.

Lastly, always remind your children that they are not the cause of the divorce, that you love them and that will not change, even if you and the other parent have two different households.  This may seem obvious, but divorce is hard and the stress can sometimes make you lose sight of what is most important – your children.

Can you move out of your house during a divorce?

Can you move out of your house during a divorce?

Can you move out of your house during a divorce?

Moving out is one of the most common questions we receive, but the answer is not as simple as you might think.  Many people think that moving out in the middle of a divorce constitutes “abandonment,” but this is a misconception.  The legal definition of abandonment, pursuant to Alabama law, is voluntary abandonment from bed and board for one year next preceding the filing of the complaint.  This means that simply moving out does not constitute “abandonment” as a fault ground for divorce under the law.  You do not forfeit any assets or any legal right in the marital home because you move out.

This being said, the courts in our area all enter status quo orders when a divorce is filed which basically provides that the parties shall continue to pay their bills and expenses in the same ways and from the same sources as they did prior to filing for a divorce.  This means that many people cannot move out because they cannot financially afford to while also maintaining the status quo regarding the payment of bills.

If children are involved, things get more complicated.  If custody of the children is an issue in your case, your spouse probably will not agree to you moving out and taking the children with you.  If you want to be awarded custody of your children, it is not advisable that you move out and leave the children with your spouse because that creates the appearance that you are essentially agreeing for them to have custody of the children.  Courts can potentially hear requests for temporary custody while a divorce is pending, but they often will not award the same absent an emergency or safety issue.  Often, when both parents want custody of the children, they end up having to live together until their divorce is concluded unless they can reach an agreement about temporary custody and visitation.

How long does a divorce take?

How long does a divorce take?

How long does a divorce take?

Uncontested and Contested

There are basically two main pathways to getting a divorce: uncontested and contested.

An uncontested divorce means the parties are able to reach an agreement on all terms, including custody, visitation, child support, and division of assets and debts.  Typically, one party will hire an attorney to draft the agreement which is sent to the opposing party. The opposing party can either choose to be unrepresented and sign the agreement, or they can consult with their own attorney to advise them.  One attorney is not allowed to represent both parties.  Both parties then sign the agreement setting out their agreed-upon terms, and the agreement is filed with the court. There is no case pending with the court until the agreement itself is filed.  No one is “served” and no one appears in court or goes in front of a judge in an uncontested divorce. The agreement has to be on file for 30 days, then the judge will grant your divorce.

A contested divorce means one party files a complaint for divorce with the court and the opposing party is personally served by a sheriff or private process server with the complaint and a summons, which is a notice to respond. In almost every contested divorce case, the parties conduct discovery, which means both parties will have to answer questions and provide documents relevant to the divorce, such as financial information. Once discovery is complete, the divorce case can then be set for trial.  In Mobile County, the average time frame that it takes a contested divorce to go to trial is 6 to 12 months.

Do you always have to go in front of a judge?

No!  As explained above, an uncontested divorce is submitted on the agreement of the parties and you never have to go to court.  Even if a case starts out as a contested case, the majority of cases still settle out of court, either by submitting a written agreement or by participating in mediation which then results in a written agreement being submitted.  For more information about mediation, please see one of our mediation blog posts. As long as both parties are willing to be fair, it is almost always in your best interests to settle your case without going to trial because you can craft your own solution that is best suited to your family’s needs.

3 ways you can do to better deal with divorce during the holidays

3 ways you can do to better deal with divorce during the holidays

3 ways you can do to better deal with divorce during the holidays

Dealing with divorce during the holidays can be a challenge for you, your family, and your children.

At Herlihy Family Law, we’ve walked with many clients through divorce, custody, child support over the holidays. We’ve pulled together a few helpful tips, thoughts, and encouragement based on our experience.

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If you adapt a few strategies, you can make this season a new beginning following your divorce rather than an ending.

Plan ahead: The holidays are a busy and chaotic time, so you cannot assume that old traditions will necessarily be the same this year due to your pending divorce.

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Making Blended Families Work During the HolidaysMaking Blended Families Work During the Holidays

After going through a divorce or re-marriage, many changes can take place. Making things work for a new blended family does come with tests, but they do not have to be difficult. With the holiday closing in a blended family may run into a few challenges. These challenges can be countless, but they do not have to be terrible.

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For most children the holidays are happy, fun and exciting. Children are on a break from school, and the holidays serve as a time to see friends and relatives and enjoy special food and family traditions. For some children, however, the holidays can be stressful and confusing. When parents are newly divorced, the holidays often remind children of what has changed in their lives. Although things have changed, it is important to make sure that both the children and the parents have peaceful holidays.

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