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Theatrics are rarely effective in court

A Kansas man recently made national news when he filed a motion for trial by combat. His goal was to meet his soon to be ex-wife or her lawyer “on the field of battle where he will rend their souls from their corporal bodies.” David Ostrom came upon this unlikely solution after claiming that his wife, Bridget Ostrom, and her lawyer had legally destroyed him.

Ostrom was unhappy with the custody agreement and an obligation to pay property taxes owed. He also requested 12 weeks so he could have a Katana sword and a Wakizashi sword forged for the duel. While he is a fan of Game of Thrones, which may have inspired his request, Ostrom has no experience wielding a sword of any kind.

Tips for coping with a high-conflict divorce

Divorce can be one of the most difficult challenges that any of us ever face. This is especially true if the spouse intentionally or unintentionally makes matters worse with their actions. Perhaps this behavior was the cause of the marriage's demise, or maybe it's a new. Either way, marriage experts and therapists agree that it's crucial to take steps to protect yourself and your well-being during this unnecessarily difficult process.

7 issues to consider

Recognize the warning signs of a fragile relationship

A married couple faces some of the greatest highs and lows revolving around a relationship. The initial blush of love can leave twosomes giddy with happiness, while the breakdown of that relationship can be heartbreaking.

Those couples who feel that their relationship is tenuous or problematic may not understand why it is happening and may not even recognize the signs. There are, however, signs that marriage therapists identify as red flags.

Moms -- take care of yourself after the divorce

The divorce process is demanding on many levels. There are important decisions to be made, providing comfort to the kids during this time of transition, worrying about the uncertainty of what comes next, and maybe even moving to a different home. It is a lot. These were all priorities, and some may linger for months or years. But sooner or later, the mother needs to focus on themselves, which can be particularly hard for parents who routinely set aside their needs to take care of the family.

The instructions to put on the airplane mask before assisting others may not apply, but mothers help themselves and others if they take time to care for themselves. Each divorce is as different as the couples going through it. Some will be a slow slog that leaves the family depressed; others can be a moment of enlightenment where a tremendous weight was lifted.

Why men pull away, and can they come back

Parenting is a delicate balancing act where there is so much to do and never enough minutes in the day to get it done. These demands can make it hard for parents to get some time together, minus the kids. It also robs mom and dad of “me” time or personal space. Most couples complain about this, but it can lead to some parents pulling away, often from their spouse. Unfortunately, recognizing this behavior and complaining about it may only make it worse.

Why men pull away

Borderline personality disorders are hard on families

Sometimes divorces occur because a spouse has a borderline personality disorder (BPD) that makes him or her impossible to live with. Nevertheless, the disorder might be undiagnosed, or they still function well enough to hold a job as well as get joint allocation of decision making and parenting time rights. This means that you not only face the challenge of raising children as a divorced parent but one who has to deal with an unreliable co-parent with a disorder.

What are the symptoms?

January is the most popular month to file for divorce

It’s a tradition to have a New Year’s resolution, but some may be surprised to find that the resolution is filing for divorce. Nonetheless, there have been many studies on the timing of divorces, and January is the most common month to do it. Other supporting data comes from Google (the search topic “divorce” peaks for the year during the week of Jan. 6-12), and even Pinterest (queries for “divorce party” went up 21% from December 2018 to January 2019).

Why January?

Choose what to fight for in a divorce

One of the hardest parts of getting a divorce is making smart decisions. Smart decisions often start with a couple who is willing to mediate their divorce and find areas of compromise during this process. Sometimes couples will fight over things of little financial value because of sentimental attachment, or, worse, they know the other spouse has an emotional attachment. But even in the most civilized divorce negotiation, there can be times when a spouse has to draw the line about what is acceptable and what is not.

Some may assume that every part of the marital estate is up for serious negotiation, but this is not true. Nor is every arrangement going to seem fair to both parties. Colorado, for example, is a state that divides assets “equitably and fairly” which is not the same as a half-half split. This leaves some room for negotiation, but the chances are that the spouse who earns more money will end up with more money regardless of how hard a spouse and their attorney fight for half.

Parallel parenting minimizes contact with an ex

Everyone has their approach to parenting, and often it is in combination with a spouse and their style. No matter how well the two co-parent together, there are going to be at least subtle differences, and these can even be complementary strengths in healthy relationships.

Parents often try to carry this over to a parenting plan if they divorce. Still, sometimes divorce and the relationship that led to it is so acrimonious that both sides agree that they need to minimize contact. Rather than conventional co-parenting where parents work collaboratively, parallel parenting is an arrangement for exes who wish to reduce contact with each other while still actively fulfilling their parental duties.

Does interest in divorce really increase in January?

Many people know that divorce has its seasons. Married couples go through certain times of statistically higher chance of divorce and other times when the chance is lower. Divorce keeps a calendar, it seems.

Of course, every couple's marriage is so much more than some blip in the divorce statistics. And yet, patterns in divorce's schedule do appear in the census and other data.

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