Monday, November 24, 2008

Engagement Ring

Every few months a story pops up about a couple of decides not to get married and a demand made by the man requesting return of the engagement ring. Most states consider an engagement ring a conditional gift, meaning that if the marriage didn't happen, then the woman has to return the ring. In theory I agree with this legal argument, but I question whether fault should some how play into the return of the ring. For example, if the man is the cause of the demise of the relationship, does that still mean he should be entitled to the return of the ring? Is there no consolation prize for not marrying the wrong guy? I'm curious to know other people's thoughts on this subject. Should fault come into play when a legal determination is being made about who is entitled to the engagement ring?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Disillusioned Teenagers

I always say that teenagers at their best are still difficult, but what are you to do with a teenager that is out of control or acting out because of turmoil in their life, including a reaction to their parent's divorce? What are the signs that your teenager is not acting out in a normal manner, but is a danger to him/herself or others? The following article addresses how to deal with difficult teenagers and how to notice the warning signs that your child may not be going through typical teenage angst.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Teenagers and Time Sharing Question

When Judges impose time sharing for children who are young, these types of rulings are very easily enforced and its likely that the children aren't really given a choice as to whether or not they should visit with one of their parents. With teenagers, this is a much more grey area. Teenagers have busy schedules, often times have anger issues towards one parent, and/or are easily manipulated into feeling a certain way towards one parent. What do you do if your teenager refuses to spend time with you doing your designated days? As a parent, how can you encourage your teenager to spend time with a parent when they say they have no interest in doing so? I have the following suggestions:

1. Be flexible. If your teenager primarily resides with you, you have the benefit of spending time with this child during the week. Encourage your child not to make plans that will affect their ability to spend time with the parent who only sees their children during the weekend. If plans are made during their visitation with the other parent, be open to switching weekends so that the other parent doesn't go weeks without any quality time with their child.

2. Don't speak negatively about the other parent or project your own angry feelings towards that parent onto your children. Often times a teenager will feel protective towards one parent and may decide that they don't want to spend time with their other parent in order to protect the parent they feel is being wronged. Remember that your child deserves to have a loving relationship with both parents and its your job, no matter how hard, to insure that this happens.

3. Always keep the other parent informed about extracurricular activities so that the non-custodial parent can be actively involved in your child's life and be afforded the opportunity to see the child even when its not their designated time sharing days.

4. Encourage family therapy if there are issues and problems that preclude the child from wanting to spend time with either their mother or father. Family therapy can be tremendously helpful to a child who feels they don't have the ability to communicate with their non-custodial parent.

5. Don't allow your child to make too many decisions about visitations. Remember that you are the parent and that there are many things that you "make" your children do that they don't want to do, like homework, cleaning their room, etc. One of the things that you should make your child do is spend time with their mother or father.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Same Sex Marriage Black List

While driving home from the office today, I was listening to the CBS evening news and heard a piece about how the ban on gay marriage in California that recently passed is affecting local businesses. It seems that if you contributed to the campaign to ban gay marriage, this fact is part of the public record, so proponents of gay marriage have created a black list encouraging people to black list those businesses that contributed to the campaign to ban gay marriage. Is this right? Should your political and social views be part of the public record and should people be able to publish those views and encourage people to hurt these people's businesses? I would love to hear people's thoughts on this subject. Please post your opinion here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stand By Housing

Every now and then I come across a website that I feel is so helpful to the community that I need to pass it on. During a divorce, many couples do not want to live in the same home, but also don't want to lock into long term leases if they don't really know where they are going to be financially and emotionally in a few months. A website by the name of is a website devoted to providing information to people in divorce or people new to an area, information about short term housing. It also provides you the ability to list your property for rent in the event neither party wishes to live in the marital residence, but given the market conditions, you can't sell. Right now there doesn't appear to be a huge amount of listings, but they are growing every day and hopefully this website can help those people going through a divorce with their housing needs and provide them with one less stressful decision to worry about.