Spouses complain endlessly about in-laws, but not even divorce will end these gripes. Once your marriage ends, you may encounter a whole host of unexpected in-law issues, as outlined below:

Losing Your Second Family

If you were lucky, you enjoyed a strong relationship with your in-laws while married. You felt like accepted, or, perhaps, secretly preferred your in-laws to your own family. Now, members of that second family feel conflicted. You may see previously friendly in-laws displaying unexpected vitriol. In this way, your romantic split could spell the loss of several valued relationships. Unfortunately, there is little you can do beyond remaining cordial.

Pitting Your Children Against You

If your former in-laws spend extensive time with their grandchildren, watch out: their resentment could alter how your kids think about or act around you. Don’t return the favor by talking smack about your ex-in-laws while your kids are around; this is your opportunity to teach a lesson about taking the high road. If your former in-laws’ efforts infringe on your parental rights or visitation time, seek support from an attorney.

Encouraging a Contentious Divorce

Perhaps you and your ex prefer to resolve your differences through mediation—too bad your former in-laws don’t feel the same way. Vengeful relatives may encourage your ex to seek a more adversarial approach than originally intended. They may convince your ex that agreed-upon alimony or child support levels are unfair—or that your ex deserves a greater share of divided property. No matter which divorce approach you end up pursuing, your attorney can help you prepare for and navigate the process to achieve a desirable outcome.

Your approach to divorce could determine how much your former in-laws interfere with your new life. The Brown Law Offices can help you every step of the way, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

There’s no escaping it: your divorce will be tough on your children. While they may ultimately benefit from happier parents and reduced household fighting, any change this significant is bound to be challenging. Unfortunately, the trouble doesn’t end with emotional duress; your split could have a real impact on your kids’ academic pursuits both now and years in the future.

Struggles in Math

A 2011 study published in the American Sociological Review found that children of divorce struggled to keep up with their non-divorced peers in math. Unfortunately, these issues did not disappear after the divorce; children who fell behind their peers remained behind. Interestingly, researchers didn’t see kids suffer academically until their parents’ divorce was underway.

The silver lining? Children of divorce maintained similar reading scores, perhaps because reading does not rely on cumulative knowledge to the same extent as math.

Long-Term Effects

Divorce-related academic problems in grade school may lead to further issues in high school and beyond. In The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25-Year Landmark Study, Judith Wallerstein, Julia Lewis, and Sandra Blakeslee reveal that adult children of divorce are less likely to graduate from college than their parents.

Researchers theorized that children of divorce were more likely to complete college in states that mandate child support until age 21, or for couples that planned for higher education in their divorce settlement. However, many students received support their freshman and sophomore years, but not their final two years of college. Unable to handle the financial burden, these students typically dropped out.

Careful planning can mitigate the potential academic issues associated with divorce. Call 763-323-6555 to learn how the Brown Law Offices can assist you in achieving favorable child custody and support outcomes.

The best spouses know how to listen. As you discovered in our last post, it’s not as easy as it seems. In this portion of our two-part series, we offer several additional resources to draw upon in your quest to improve your listening skills.

Psychology Today: Deep Listening in Personal Relationships

This article from Diane Raab explores the research on deep listening and how it can transform relationships. Raab reminds readers that listening is contagious —and that, while some people are natural listeners, this is typically an acquired skill.

Forbes: 10 Steps to Effective Listening

Let Forbes break down listening for you in the clearest and most concise manner possible. After this quick read, you’ll know exactly what it takes to be a good listener.

Dr. Phil’s Six Rules for Talking and Listening

When in doubt, look to Dr. Phil for help. In this Oprah.com feature, he offers tactics for becoming a two-way communicator. He insists on establishing your motive, telling it like it is, and checking in with your spouse on a regular basis. He offers clear examples of active listening, which can transform your relationship.

The Lost Art of Listening: How Listening Can Improve Relationships

Therapist Mike Nichols knows a thing or two about the damage caused by a spouse’s failure to listen. In his award-winning book, Nichols offers easy-to-learn techniques for amping up your listening game. You’ll learn the art of deep listening and apply it to every aspect of your life.

The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction

Grounded in the spirit of mindfulness, this transformative book will convince you to embrace the all-encompassing practice of listening. Implement its tenets into daily life, and you’ll be amazed by how quickly your relationships improve.

Listening is like a muscle; it takes time and effort to strengthen this essential ability. Commit yourself to being a better listener, and you just might avoid the pitfalls that ended your last relationship.

Don’t settle for an attorney who doesn’t listen to your concerns. The Brown Law Offices, P.A. is the perfect resource for your difficult situation. Get in touch today to learn more.

Effective communication is the foundation of any working relationship. It’s particularly important in marriage, and yet, many couples struggle to truly listen to one another. Thankfully, it’s possible to build this skill over time. If poor listening contributed to your marriage’s demise, take action now to save future relationships. These resources will help:

Julian Treasure: 5 Ways to Listen Better

In this useful TED talk, sound expert Julian Treasure shares several quick fixes to improve conscious listening. Implement this actionable advice into your life ASAP to recalibrate your senses and improve your relationships.

The Power of Listening

Another TED presentation worth checking out: William Ury’s talk from TEDx San Diego. The co-founder of Harvard’s Program on Negotiation, Ury understands the transformative impact listening can have in personal relationships and on a broader scale. This presentation will inspire you to join the listening revolution.

TED Radio Hour: The Act of Listening

When in doubt, turn to TED. This podcast and radio show compiles the best moments from talks on listening that…make you sit up and listen. After this podcast, you’ll understand how listening can transform your life.

Tony Robbins: Skills For Every Relationship

Inspirational guru Tony Robbins believes that you cannot succeed in a relationship until you master these key skills: selection and connection. He claims that the happiest spouses are each others’ ‘raving fans.’ You’ll learn how to pay attention and cheer on your spouse in this nine-minute clip from one of Robbins’ presentations.

Listen: The Movie

No, this movie is not about listening in marriage. Yes, it can still empower you in your next relationship. This film will convince you to make a difference in whatever small way you can — beginning with your spouse and your family.

Listening is key to a successful attorney-client relationship. With the team from the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in your corner, you can feel confident that your every concern is heard. Reach out at your earliest convenience to schedule a case consultation.

The internet plays a huge role in modern divorce, for better or for worse. Some divorcees find relief in social networking, but others suffer harassment at the hands of their ex.

Nasty Facebook updates can make your blood boil. How you respond, however, could determine whether you emerge with a favorable divorce resolution. Keep the following in mind as you deal with a difficult ex:

Avoid Facebook Stalking Your Ex

In times of heightened emotion, otherwise innocuous internet updates can seem like personal attacks. If possible, avoid looking at your ex’s social media pages altogether. If a problematic post comes to your attention via friends or family members, monitor the situation and consult your attorney before interacting with your ex.

Forget About ‘Tit For Tat’

Your immediate desire after seeing online insults may be to respond in kind. After all, who could possibly have more dirt on your ex?

Although understandable, this impulse could cause huge problems down the road. Anything you express online could come back to haunt you in the future; that retaliatory tweet or Facebook status may grant the opposing side’s counsel additional ammo.

Resist the urge to write an explanatory post denouncing your ex’s insults. Such a post may prove cathartic in the short-term, but could ultimately be used against you. The less you talk about your divorce in any capacity online, the better.

Take Legal Action for Libel

Severe comments could hurt your reputation, making it difficult to land work or housing in the future. Depending on the nature of the accusations, in certain very specific situations, you might consider taking legal action for libel. Previous spouses have done exactly that on the basis that online publications count as defamation in writing.

Think carefully before taking this approach; a lawsuit could prove costly and may further extend already combative divorce litigation. Furthermore, you’ll need ample proof to demonstrate that problematic language actively harmed you.

The Brown Law Offices, P.A. can optimize your legal approach to make the most of a difficult situation. No matter how your ex-spouse behaves, you can handle the ordeal with a trusted Minnesota attorney by your side.

Divorce tears apart not only immediate families, but also relationships with in-laws. While some spouses complain endlessly about their in-laws, others mourn their loss. But is it really necessary to say goodbye? Depending on your situation, you could maintain a strong relationship with your in-laws long after you sign your divorce papers.

If You and Your Ex Co-Parent

If you and your ex had children together, expect in-laws to play a significant role in your future, for better or for worse. From piano recitals to baseball games, they’ll share in many of your child’s most important milestones. At minimum, maintain a cordial relationship. If you’re on amicable terms, plan outings with both in-laws and your children.

If You and Your Ex Didn’t Have Kids Together

Maintaining a relationship with in-laws can prove tricker for divorces not involving children. It’s far from impossible, but it will take ample effort on your part. Let your intention for an ongoing relationship be known. Exchange contact information and plan regular outings, ideally without your ex.

Don’t Complain About Your Ex

Your need to vent is understandable. That being said, it’s imperative that you find somebody other than your former in-laws to confide in! Instead, focus on shared interests, such as your children or hobbies. Also worth avoiding: using an in-law to communicate with your ex. This person will quickly come to resent playing messenger.

When to Let Go

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, it’s impossible to remain close with in-laws after divorce. Your former in-laws may feel pressured to choose sides—and in all likelihood, they’ll stick with blood relationships, no matter how much they empathize with your situation. If former in-laws fail to respond to your messages or outright reject your invites, wish them well and move on.

No matter your relationship with your in-laws, you owe it to yourself to work with a trustworthy divorce attorney. You can count on the Brown Law Offices, P.A. for compassionate representation. Contact us today to schedule a case consultation.

You’ve moved into a new apartment, signed divorce papers and begun referring to yourself as single. Why, then, does your divorce still feel incomplete? Turns out, your work may not be finished until you grant your ex genuine forgiveness. This may be easier said than done, but it’s absolutely worth the effort. Read on to learn why:

Why Forgiveness Helps Us Heal

Forgiveness prompts tremendous health benefits, both immediately and far into the future. A noteworthy study from Hope College indicates that even brief rumination on a past transgression can immediately increase blood pressure, heart rate and sweating. Angry rumination—equated to unforgiveness—also prompts anxiety. When asked to empathize with the transgressor, however, most people experience reduced physical arousal.

In another study, those who rated their relationships as terrible suffered higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. They also scored lower in regards to their willingness to forgive. Those happy to forgive rated their relationships higher and experienced reduced cortisol levels.

How to Practice Forgiveness After Divorce

The exercise highlighted above could be key to achieving full forgiveness, no matter your spouse’s transgressions. Take a few moments to direct your thoughts to your ex’s behavior. Instead of playing the blame game, express empathy for his or her situation. You can acknowledge that your ex made poor decisions while still demonstrating compassion.

Additionally, it may help to pinpoint the lessons in your difficult experience. What did your ex-spouse’s behavior teach you about choosing a partner and maintaining a positive relationship? Could your previous turmoil have made you more resilient or empathetic? Think of yourself as one step closer to living a truly rewarding life, whether as a satisfied single or with a new romantic partner.

Don’t grant forgiveness merely for the sake of your ex or your kids (although doing so can make life easier for all family members). Do it for yourself. If you acknowledge the physical and mental health benefits of forgiveness, you’ll find it easier to grant it to a former spouse.

As you make progress on your path to forgiveness, let us assist you with the other complications of divorce. Contact the Brown Law Offices, P.A. at your earliest convenience to schedule a case consultation.