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Philadelphia Family Law Blog

A narcissistic ex can make child custody miserable

In the best of circumstances, co-parenting might be a challenge. This is compounded exponentially when your ex is a narcissist. Individuals who have this mental health condition aren't able to compromise like everyone else. They don't understand anything but getting their own way in everything. This presents a problem because neither parent always gets their way in child custody matters.

A person who has a narcissistic ex will wind up sucked into a vacuum of negativity if they don't take protective steps. One of the most important things you can do is to set firm boundaries for the custody matters. Don't allow those to be crossed.

Narcissistic spouses impact the emotional health of their victims

When people think of domestic violence, they often think of physical abuse. They might not realize that many individuals who walk away from a marriage have been subjected to emotional abuse. For example, a person who's divorcing a narcissist has likely been dealing with verbal and mental abuse for some time.

Being married to a narcissist means that you learn how to walk on eggshells. The person might put on a personable fa├žade when others are around; however, they can turn into a manipulative monster when they're alone with their immediate family members. They don't want anyone other than their victim to see the abusive side of them. This can make divorce a challenge.

Emotional attachment can make property division challenging

Out of the many stressful situations you may encounter when you divorce, the property division aspect of the legal case might rank close to the top of the list. The reason for this is usually two-fold. First, you know that you need to have a good settlement to help you build your new life. Second, you have to try to battle the emotional attachment you have to some assets.

We know that dealing with the emotional ties that you have to some items might be hard when you know they're going to go to your ex in the property division. There isn't any easy answer to this conundrum, so you have to think about what's best from a practical standpoint. There's a good chance that letting go of some assets will help you in the long run.

Importance of direct parenting communication

Communicating with an ex isn't always easy, but it is necessary when you share children. Being able to do this in a mature and respectful manner is imperative in child custody situations. This sets a good example for the children, and it can help you come up with solutions to issues that put the child's needs first.

Parents who share children shouldn't ever fall into the habit of using the children as messengers. The children should be free to just be kids without having to worry about the adults are trying to work through.

Divorce: Do you suspect a hidden asset problem?

Any number of issues may have arisen in your marriage to prompt your decision to file for divorce. Perhaps, you feel like it's been a long time coming and that you overlooked many problems through the years. Then again, you might be among many other Pennsylvania spouses who made the decision to divorce after a specific stressful event, such as catching your spouse in an extramarital affair.

No matter what led you to determine that you'd rather move on in life on your own than stay in an unhappy marriage, making the decision to file for divorce sparks a series of other decisions you'll have to make. To achieve a fair and agreeable settlement, you and your spouse must be honest and willing to cooperate, especially when it comes to property division proceedings.

Leaving an abusive relationship is dangerous for some victims

Leaving an abusive relationship isn't as easy as what some people think it is. The tolls of the abuse in the marriage can make it difficult for a person to walk away. One of the impacts of living as an abused spouse is that your self esteem waivers, which makes it hard to start a new life.

Understanding that you aren't alone in what you're going through might help you as you plan to leave. The rollercoaster effect is one that can lead to things becoming even more challenging when you try to walk away. After each incident of abuse, there is likely going to be a phase where things seem like they're getting better. This is the up period, but at some point, there is going to be another down period during which the abuse begins again.

Harassment in a parenting relationship is never acceptable

While many co-parents make a pointed effort to get along for the sake of the children, there are some who just can't put themselves aside; they work hard to make the situation as complicated as possible. If you're being subjected to harassment, you will need to take steps to make it stop.

One of the first things that you can do is to communicate with your ex and ask them to stop the behavior. Instead of framing this as an accusation, try to focus on how it's impacting the children. You might even be able to start the conversation out by asking them if they're OK because harassment may come from internal struggles.

Specific requirements are found in child support orders

Both parents need to help financially support their children. While this is easy when they live in the same house, there are often challenges when they divorce. Because there has to be some type of plan for who is going to pay for what, a child support order is a part of the split. This helps to ensure that both parents know what to expect and sets the obligations for both parents.

We know that dealing with child support matters isn't always easy. One of the most important things you can do is to know the full extent of the order. In many cases, these orders go far beyond the basic child support payment that one parent gives to the other to cover the expenses of the children.

Retirement account division in divorce requires special steps

One of the assets that you have to divide during the property division process of a divorce is the retirement accounts you and your ex have. If you have to move any of these around, you'll need to have a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO. This is a court-issued document that provides instructions to the plan administrator so you aren't left having to pay penalties when you move them around.

The QDRO covers 401(k) accounts and other qualified plans. IRAs are handled using the transfer incident to divorce process. When the court issues a QDRO, it sets the terms for the retirement plan to issue a payment to an alternate payee.

Child custody modification: Things you should know

As in all matters of divorce in Pennsylvania or elsewhere, a key to accomplishing your goals is to be as well-informed as possible before heading to court. The more you know about your parental rights, for instance, and how to protect them, the less likely it is that you will encounter a legal obstacle you can't resolve. Child custody issues can be difficult to handle on your own; however, if you know where to seek additional support as needed, you can improve your ability to protect your interests.

When you and your ex signed a co-parenting agreement and the judge overseeing your case issued a court order, you and your co-parent became legally obligated to adhere to its terms. However, issues can sometimes arise that make it reasonable to request the court's permission to implement a new plan.

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