November 2016 Archives

Can Divorce Have An Impact On Men's Mental Health?

Mental Health & Suicide Prevention

It's Movember. You might have noticed from the mustaches you've seen around your office. Growing a mustache is a fun way to bring awareness to men's health issues like prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Did you know Movember was created to also bring awareness to a lesser known issues, like mental health and suicide prevention for men? Divorce can be particularly hard on men. Results of a 2013 Study from Journal of Men's Health Research suggested that divorced men actually have a higher rate of mortality, depression, and substance abuse than women. The paper concluded that divorced and unmarried men's mortality rates are 250% higher than married men. In general, they have less social support than their counterparts too. The study turns the notion on its head that men are likely to have less physiological trauma than women after a divorce. One of the negative effects of divorce are a change in lifestyle after a divorce. Often wives encourage healthy behavior and without this guidance men can fall into old and bad habits. Alcohol and tobacco use may go up. Married men live longer than single men and single men tend to have more health problems in general. Of course, these are not reasons to stay in an unhappy marriage, but it is something to think about. Men may also lean on wives more for emotional support. They also may have fewer friends or alternate support sources. When a married woman gets a divorce they may turn to friends and family for emotional support. Men, in general, are not used to going outside their marriage to seek support from other sources. They may even be closed off or embarrassed to discuss the downfall of the marriage. Bottling up emotions is not good. Below are some recommendations for taking care of your mental health if you are going through a divorce or already have: Reconnect with Old Friends. Friendships tend to drift apart when you are married male. Maybe you were busy with work and kids and you didn't have the time to devote to these relationships. Now that you are single, it might be a good time to think of some of your past relationships and reach out again. Or maybe there is a new friend you like but haven't yet had time to build a relationship. Divorce is a mentally and physically taxing time, finding a support network is a good idea. Friendships can help you through it. Be Compassionate to Yourself. Now more than ever you should be kind to yourself. Some people externalize conflict, blaming an ex-wife or someone else in their life for all that went wrong. Other people blame everything on themselves. Obsessing over every mistake you made or going down the rabbit hole of what you could have done differently isn't going to help anything. Right now, is time to be forgiving of yourself. Find a Positive. If you are going through a divorce, there are a lot of negatives in your life. So now is a good time to arm yourself with a positive. Why not take on a new hobby or return to one you liked in the past but forgot about. Train for a 5K, fix up your car, learn to speak Italian - anything to get your mind off the negative is a good thing. You know how fast time can go when you are immersed in something you enjoy? Search for that something. Not only is a new hobby great to give you something positive to do but it is also a great way to meet like-minded people. Reevaluate Your Life. When you are in a relationship it can be hard to focus on yourself and the man you want to be. Now is the perfect time to think about yourself and your future. How do you want to be remembered, what brings you joy? It might feel uncomfortable to face the truth, but this time in your life is a great moment for a self-evaluation and check-in. You can adjust and make some needed changes to find your right path. Do you think you might be suffering from some mental health issues? Here are some quick and easy tests you can take to find out. Michael Puhl of Puhl Law Group, P.C. is a board-certified family law attorney who can guide you through a divorce. He was recently selected to the Texas Super Lawyers list in 2016. Call 972-569-3166 for an appointment.    

Women and Divorce: Should I Keep The House?

Divorce can truly shake your foundation. Many women feel in such uncertain times keeping something known, like the family house, is important. But is that really the best option for you and your family going forward? The answer isn't always easy for women getting a divorce. There are a few big questions to ask yourself when you are making this important decision on whether you should ask for the house in the divorce settlement.

Stay at Home Moms (SAHM) Not Often Rewarded for Their Job in Divorce

SAHM and Divorce

Stay at Home Moms (SAHM) might have one of the most important jobs in the world. Most people don't dispute the work is hard, the pay is low (for the hours worked) and the "work benefits" of this full-time job are slim. This life choice can be rewarding for a SAHM but is seldom rewarded in divorce court. Here is a story we hear often in the practice of family law. Two people meet, fall in love, and get married. Both are college educated and are working in professional jobs. Young and without other obligations they climb the work ladder. The married couple reaps the benefits of having two incomes - at this point in their career, the wife might even be making more money. They enjoy life, travel, eat out most nights, and put money away in their separate 401Ks. They have a name for this carefree phase of life, DINK (Dual Income No Kids). Then comes a baby, or maybe two or three children. At some point, the parents decide, with the rising costs of daycare and the desire to raise their children themselves, that one parent should stay home. Though there are around 1.75 million SAHD (Stay at Home Dads) in America it is usually the mom that pulls back at work and becomes the primary caregiver staying at home with the kids. This works well for a while until it doesn't. Being the sole breadwinner, Dad carries a lot on his shoulders. He sees women at work "balancing it all" with families and high paying jobs. He wonders why he is carrying all the load. Pressures mount, kids act like kids and parents drift apart. Divorce enters the picture. Once supportive father confesses that he never wanted wife to quit "real job" and stay at home with the kids in the first place. Or maybe he just doesn't remember how they got to that decision originally. Now SAHM and husband are going through a divorce. She wants to continue to live the way she has become accustomed too. Mom wants to be able to pick the kids up from school, help them with their homework and not worry about a paycheck. In other words, keep the job she was doing before. Unfortunately, family court judges are not always sympathetic to the SAHM plight. The legal system doesn't usually consider SAHM a full-time job and a judge usually does not reward spousal maintenance to educated women who chooses not to earn a living. So it is time to get back to the workforce. Since she hasn't had her toe in the water for a while, most likely the job won't be as good as the one she originally walked away from to stay at home with the kids. The pay will probably be lower. It is going to be a lifestyle change.

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