The Aftereffects of Cheating on a Marriage

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The Aftereffects of Cheating on a Marriage

Once you find out about cheating, it can cut you so deep that it feels as though the pain will never go away. If you are the cheater you start to realize how getting sucked up in the moment can have tremendous consequences on your life. But what are the real aftereffects of cheating on a marriage? If you are staying together, it means trying to pick up the pieces and reestablish trust, no easy feat there. You may feel like you are in jail or constantly on trial in your own house. If you are the victim of cheating you’ll feel like you’re living with a criminal, someone who reminds you constantly of the betrayal, someone you are always suspicious of no matter what they are doing. It’s hard to reestablish trust and it takes lots of time.

If you aren’t staying together, realize that unless the assets were used to conduct an affair, no fault divorce laws in every state means that cheating has no legal bearing on the separation of assets. In Florida the law is such that if a husband was meeting a lover, let’s say at a hotel room using his and his wife’s shared account, if she can prove it she can recoup that money. Adultery may come into play in a custody battle if the lawyer can prove that it shows evidence of that person being a bad parent.

The psychological aftereffects of cheating after divorce are low self-esteem, anxiety, anger and the need for revenge, depression and for some a disconnect from reality. Sometimes you realize the affair all of a sudden and it ends the marriage. Sometimes it’s one person’s dirty little secret that the other knows about, but tolerates for a time. But sooner or later enough is enough. Either way when you find out you’ve been cheated on the pain can be overwhelming. And when it leads to a divorce it is compounded, especially if it is a long, drawn out and painful divorce with fighting over the assets or custody of the children.

Lots of people need to rest after that, reconnect with themselves, their friends, and their family. They have to get used to being divorced and being single again. There are lots of adjustments to be made. Where will you live? Do you have to go back to work? There’s the need for validation which usually comes from dating again or a rebound relationship. Am I attractive? Will others find me sexy? Sooner or later everyone gets over infidelity even if it leads to divorce. It’s a painful journey but light is at the end of that tunnel. Usually things fall into place in the long run. For more help with recovering from an affair, read the book, Transcending Post-Infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD): The Six Stages of Healing by Dennis C. Ortman, Ph.D.

Watch how you use Social Media when Divorcing

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Before you badmouth your ex on your social media sites, you might want to double think that impulse. A quick little message that takes seconds to compose might play out differently in the courtroom. Most people when going through their first divorce know little about the legal system and how it interprets messages on social media sites. But what you write on Facebook, Twitter and whatever else can affect divorce proceedings. So make sure you watch how you use social media when divorcing. One important thing to remember is that social media isn’t private. So whatever you post be it written, a photo, anything and on any site can be used against you in court. Blocking your friends or your ex and anyone attached to them isn’t going to change this fact. Aaron Abramowitz an attorney in Los Angeles recently put it this way, “Posting anything on social media is like standing on your front lawn and shouting it.” Blocking your ex isn’t effective. They can just go on someone else’s and take screen shots of what you have posted there, to turn over to their attorney. It’s best to keep what you are feeling private. Lots of people are starting to use social media like therapy. But remember it’s really just a public square.

You may think deleting a post can make a difference, but that isn’t the case at all. In fact, it may make things worse. Deleting a post can be seen as if deleting evidence, according to Caroline Choi a divorce attorney for Lowenstein Brown. She tells her clients instead to keep quite on social media. The reason according to Choi “once it’s out there, it’s out there.” Abramowitz says that “It comes up in child custody cases a lot.” Say a teenage son or daughter has photos of underage drinking or drug use on their Facebook page. The ex’s divorce attorney may make you look like an unfit parent. So it’s key not only to watch what is happening on your social media sites but those of the children as well. You may see a son building a half pipe for his skateboarding hobby. But your ex’s attorney could spin it as allowing dangerous activity to occur at your home. Make sure both you and your children’s pages broadcast only sound parenting. Also check and make sure what you have on your social media reflects what you are saying in court. If you are telling a judge you don’t have enough money to live on but you have photos of your last trip to a resort in the Bahamas, the judge may not believe you. Just remember to be civil, project a wholesome look on your pages, and save your gripes and rants for your friends to share at a bar, on the couch with tea and tissues or around the dinner table with two pints of Ben and Jerry’s. For more advice on getting through your divorce, read Divorce The Drama! by Melissa Sindeband Dragon, Esq.

State Law Determines What Is Considered Unfit Parenting

Law Unfit Parenting

According to the American Bar Association, state law considers unfit parents as those who don’t maintain regular contact with their children and/or do not provide some level of support to them, financial or otherwise.  Abusive behavior and inadequate care of one’s child also warrant an unfit parental status.

The popular assumption is that if an individual is considered an unfit parent, they will have limited and possibly monitored visitations with their children.  This isn’t always the case, however.  Many parents who are abusive will surpass the unfit parental status due to being a better provider overall for their children.  Mothers who are victims of domestic violence, for instance, often suffer from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, which usually leaves a negative impression on the court regarding their parental capabilities.

It cannot be assumed that parents who fall under the unfit category will not gain custody or unsupervised visitation of their children, because within a single family both parents could be unfit by legal standards.  There are no parenting classes or exams that individuals are required to take before having children, and so it often happens that courts see families that contain two unfit parents.  Unless there’s an obvious amount of abuse or neglect, the children will likely not be taken from their parents.  The courts will make decisions based on what they feel is in the best interest of the children involved, but this will be limited to what each parent is capable of providing for their children, not to what the children should ideally receive.