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.

Communication Strategies for a High-Conflict Divorce

Communication Strategies for a High-Conflict Divorce

What is a High-Conflict Divorce?  A High-Conflict Divorce is one hallmarked by constant fighting, where one or both parties fight for the sake of fighting without regard to the effect on the family, particularly the children. There is a lot of overlap between high-conflict divorce and personality disorders or traits such as narcissism, controlling behaviors, and lack of empathy.

When you have children with someone, you will have to communicate with them, no matter how unpleasant it may be. Here are some strategies:

1. Stick to the issue at hand

When you contact the other parent to ask about your son’s baseball game, and they respond with a 10-page email diatribe how none of this would even be happening if you weren’t such a terrible person and terrible parent, do not respond to their attack. A high-conflict person wants you trapped in a power struggle with them and if you engage, they win. Avoid the temptation to defend yourself or reply with your own attacks, and keep the discussion to the baseball game.

2. Get it in Writing

A high-conflict person may often manipulate or twist reality, even to the point of telling outright lies. Whenever possible, communicate in writing to avoid the inevitable “You never told me that,” “I didn’t say that,” or even “You threatened me.” You can use text, email, or a host of the co-parenting apps and websites that are on the market now.

3. Take the High Road

When dealing with the near-constant needling of a high-conflict person, it may be tempting to engage in your own antagonistic behavior because you are tired of feeling bullied, such as bringing your girlfriend to a visitation exchange because you know it will make your ex-wife furious, or refusing to swap visitation days with your ex-husband when his family is visiting simply because you don’t want him to get his way. In the long run, these behaviors only hurt your children. Taken to the extreme, high conflict divorce can even be lethal, like this recent news story from North Alabama.

Co-Parenting Apps & Technology

Co-Parenting Apps & Technology

Technology and apps have come a long way in assisting in co-parenting. Co-parenting apps can provide an essential tool to aid in communication and scheduling. Some also offer secure messaging, which is useful in high-conflict custody situations. 

If you are in a high-conflict custody situation where you have experienced a lot of litigation, it can be very difficult to cobble together emails and text messages etc. to prove who said what when, so the messaging feature would be especially useful to you. Additionally, the app shows what information was shared and when so there is an automatic record. 

Here are a few options:

1. Google Calendar

Cost: FREE

Benefits: Can create a shared calendar specifically for co-parenting issues, while also having a work or personal calendar that only you can see right on your Google calendar app on your phone. Parents can share scheduling information, extra-curricular activities, and doctor’s appointments. You can also create a recurring event for visitation schedules, so you will always know whose weekend it is.

Drawbacks: No messaging, no ability to upload documents such as expense information.

2. Our Family Wizard

Cost: $99 per year, per parent

Benefits: Has all of the calendar features of Google calendar, with the added features of secure messaging and the ability to upload expenses that need to be reimbursed such as medical bills. You can also store family information such as immunization records and insurance cards. The use of Our Family Wizard has been ordered by courts all over the United States, so it is widely considered a reliable record for communications scheduling and expenses.

Drawbacks: For cash-strapped parents, the cost can be prohibitive. Amazon indicates a lot of 1 star reviews with complaints about the app crashing, not very user friendly, and not worth the money.

3.  AppClose

Cost: FREE

Benefits: Provides all the calendar features of Google and Our Family Wizard, has secure messaging, sharing and exporting of records, and incorporated expense reimbursement through the app itself. This app has scheduling templates or you can fully customize your schedule. Online reviews are excellent and indicate that this app is very user-friendly.

Drawbacks: This app is relatively new compared to the other options, so other parents, courts, or attorneys may be more resistant or skeptical of using it.

6 things to look for to find the best divorce lawyer

6 things to look for to find the best divorce lawyer

6 things to look for to find the best divorce lawyer

First of all, what exactly is family law? Family Law is an umbrella term that applies to any type of dispute that affects families, such as divorce, child support, child custody, adoption, termination of parental rights, petitions for protection from abuse, alimony, pre and post-nuptial agreements, and more. It can also include wills, powers of attorney, health care directives, guardianships, and conservatorships.

1. Ask your family and friends

Experts currently put the divorce rate at around 39 percent, so the odds are that someone very close to you has been through a divorce. Ask them what lawyer they used and what their experience was like. Keep in mind that every person and every case is different, so the lawyer that may have been a good fit for them and their situation, may or may not be the best lawyer for you.

2. Research online

There is a wealth of information online about attorneys. If they have a website, you can learn about their background and what kind of work they do. You may also have the opportunity to read some of their writing or watch them speak in a video (like on this blog). If they do not have a website or you cannot find them online at all, that may not be a good sign.

In the Mobile, Alabama area, a lot of solo practitioners and older attorneys do not have websites, but it is not necessarily a reflection on their qualifications. It is easy for clients to post reviews about attorneys, so the process and the person is not quite as mysterious as they once were. This means it is also easy for a person who is disgruntled about their situation to hop online and blame their attorney, so online reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt too.

3. Check with the bar association

Information about attorney discipline, which is whether they have been sanctioned by the bar association for ethical violations, can now be found online at alabar.org.

4. Call their office

If you cannot get anyone on the phone or you leave a message and no one calls you back, that does not bode well for future communication and responsiveness. Some solo attorneys may not have any staff or have a small staff, so do not be alarmed if you have to leave a voicemail when you call. If you do not get a return call within 24 hours, it is probably a good idea to look elsewhere. Once you make contact, you can ask questions about consultation fees and the types of cases they take.

5. Meet with them

There is a wide mix of personalities in the legal world, just like everywhere else, so it might be a good idea to try and meet with a couple of attorneys. You will be working with this person a lot, and they may be an excellent attorney, but it is not going to work for you if you and the attorney do not mesh well.

6. Watch for red flags

An attorney can never “guarantee” a particular outcome in a case, so if the attorney is promising you the sun, moon, and stars, beware. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

4 common mistakes to avoid during your divorce

4 common mistakes to avoid during your divorce

4 common mistakes to avoid during your divorce

1. Not Keeping Good Records

Divorce can be a very chaotic, confusing, and stressful time. It may be more difficult than usual to remember everything that is going on or what you need to do, but ironically, it is more important than ever. A divorce case may be pending for a year or more, which only increases the difficulty. 

I ask my clients to keep a log or a journal of significant events that occur while their case is pending. It can also help jog your memory of important information you need to share with your lawyer. You also need to keep records of support payments or other matters that may be disputed, such as what days which person had the children in their care.

2. Not Maintaining Clear Communication with Your Spouse

You are getting divorced, so it is safe to say communication between you and your spouse has been a problem to one degree or another.  Also, spouses may use phone conversations as a pretext to start fights or cause conflict. 

When you communicate with your spouse about important matters, it is a good idea to keep it in writing, such as text or email, or at least memorialize it in writing.  This can be a simple as a short email that says “This will confirm we agreed you are picking Susie up this Friday at 5:00 p.m.”

3. Putting too Much Information on Social Media

Social media is great for keeping up with family and friends, sharing photos etc but it can be a trap for a lot of people. Social media is NOT the place to broadcast the details of your divorce. No matter how secure your privacy setting are, someone on your friends list will pass information about your activities on to your spouse if they think it will be helpful to them. 

When you post a rant about what a jerk your spouse it or post pictures and activities of you and the person you are having an affair with, your children will see it, your children’s teachers and friend’s parents will see it, and your boss and co-workers will see it. If you need to vent, contact a trusted friend or family member or a therapist. Keep it private!

4. Forgetting that Your Spouse is Gathering Evidence Against You

When you get divorced, you and your spouse are opposing parties in a lawsuit. They can and will use every opportunity to gather evidence to use against you. They will be saving your texts and emails. They may be audio and or video recording you. It is very easy to do on your cellphone! 

No matter how angry or upset you get, you need to keep this in mind. Do not say anything to your spouse that you would not want everyone, including the judge in your case to hear.