Family Law Blog

Children in Single Parent Homes Just As Happy

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Divorced parents, who have been worrying about the effect of their divorce on their children, will be relieved at the findings of a new study. According to the study, there isn't much truth to the oft-held belief that children, who are raised in intact homes with two parents, are much happier than children from single families.

The study seems to indicate that the quality of parenting is much more important than the quantity. The research was conducted in the United Kingdom, and found that children who were brought up by a single parent, or a step-parent did not report lower levels of happiness, compared to children who grow up with an intact family with their biological parents. The research was based on an analysis of more than 13,000 children, and found that the children's reported happiness levels had no association with their family structure at all. Children were much more likely to be happy when they got along with their siblings, and had fun and positive experiences with the family at weekends.

Among the seven-year-olds, approximately 36% said that they were happy all the time, and 64% reported being happy “sometimes” or “never.” Those levels of happiness remained the same regardless of whether the children were being raised in a single family structure, or by both biological parents. In fact, the researchers found no difference in the happiness levels, even when they controlled for social class of the children. The researchers said they found similar results when analyzing another group of children aged between 11 and 15.

The researchers found that it was the relationships that the children had with family members as well as friendships at school, that were much more likely to indicate their levels of happiness or unhappiness. For instance, bullying at school was much more likely to be linked to unhappiness reported by a child, than having a single parent.

“Hangry?” You Might Want to Avoid a Conversation with Your Spouse

Friday, April 18, 2014

We’ve all experienced it at some point. When you're hungry, your irritability and anger levels simply skyrocket. Those high levels of anger when you're hungry actually have a new name - “hangry.” According to new research, such hunger-induced irritability could also lead to marital conflict.

The researchers evaluated a group of married couples, and followed them over 21 days, during which time the couples’ blood glucose levels were monitored every night. They found that blood glucose levels were actually a very clear indicator of how angry the person would be with their spouse. Persons with low blood glucose levels- an indication that they were very hungry and needed a meal - were much more likely to be hostile with their spouse.

The researchers actually found that there was a link between low blood glucose level and aggression. In other words, it is highly likely that low blood glucose levels are linked to marital conflict, and contribute to domestic violence incidents. The researchers measured aggression by giving the subjects voodoo dolls representing their spouse, and asking them to stick pins in their dolls. The lower the blood glucose levels, the higher the number of pins that the subjects stuck into their dolls.

Sometimes, marital conflict or even an incident of domestic aggression may simply be the result of a body that is starved for fuel. Glucose fuels the brain, and when there's a shortage of glucose supply to the brain, there is a risk of not just aggression, but also irritability.

All in all, it’s just not sensible to pick up an argument with your spouse around meal times.

Student Loans and Divorce

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Most young students now graduate with thousands of dollars in debt, and there may be important questions about who's responsible for paying off those loans in the event of a divorce.

The question of who is responsible for student loans is critical in light of the fact that in 2012, college students, who graduated with bachelor's degrees, graduated with approximately $29,400 in school loans. The average debt is much higher in the case of students earning advanced degrees. In a marriage where both partners have student debt, the accumulated debt is bound to be hefty.

For the most part, your student loan is yours alone, and your spouse will not be liable for it in the event of divorce. If the student loan was taken out while you were single, the loan remains yours alone to repay, which means that you may be in for a nasty surprise when you get divorced, and have to go back to living the single life again. Those monthly payments that you make will become burdensome when you take into account your daily household living expenses, including rent, groceries, utilities and other expenses that may have been shared when you were part of a marital relationship. That's why it's vital that you make a complete analysis of all your potential monthly expenses during the proceedings, as soon as you make the decision to file.

If the student loan was taken out while you were in a marital relationship, things may be a little different. You will still be responsible for your own student loan, but there may be exceptions. California is a community property state, and debts that are incurred during a marriage may be considered joint debt. However, exceptions are typically made in the case of student loans, barring some cases, depending on when the loan was taken out and other factors.

Are You Twitting Your Way to Divorce?

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Persons who can't resist twitting their opinions regularly could be jeopardizing their marital relationship. A new study at the University of Missouri specifically focused on the risks to relationships from overuse of Twitter, and found that there was an association between relationship strain and Twitter use.

The association between Facebook and divorce has been investigated quite extensively. In fact, divorce lawyers have found an association between higher use of Facebook, and strain on a marriage, even ultimately leading to a divorce. In many cases, the result of such social media overuse is cheating on a spouse. In other cases, the relationship is strained because of the amount of time that one spouse may spend on the site.

Similar concerns also seem to exist in the case of Twitter. The results of the study published recently in the Journal Cyber Psychology, Behavioral and Social Networking found that excessive Twitter use leads to conflict between partners which can actually strain the relationship. There are a number of negative outcomes that were pointed out to in the study, including infidelity, breaking up, separation and divorce.

The researchers focused on 581 users of Twitter, who were questioned about their Twitter use, their relationship status, and the existence of any conflicts related to their use of the social networking site. All of the respondents were between the age of 18 and 67. The researchers found that subjects who admitted to being much more active on the site were much more likely to report relationship conflict, which ultimately often resulted in a bad outcome for the relationship. Persons admitted to cheating or fighting frequently with their partners over Twitter use.

As with any social networking site, Twitter use needs to be minimized especially since the platform works on bite- sized 140-character messages that can be exchanged between parties, increasing the risk of excessive use of the site.