By the end of 2011, the majority of our soldiers will be home from Iraq.
The Tampa Bay area, and especially Galveston County, will see many soldiers,
both men and women, come home to families whom they may have not seen
for some time. Unfortunately, these homecomings may be strained because
of marriage difficulties, economic difficulties, PTSD, and many other
physical and mental health issues which affect our military personnel
and their families.
This all means that many of our local families are going to have less money
and more stress from interpersonal relationships.
As a result I would like to share some tips from my many years of experience as a
family law attorney.
The right way to handle things:
- When you have the opportunity - be generous instead of stingy with the
timesharing schedule for the holidays with the other parent.
- Even if you are in a strained marriage, let December be a month of Peace
in your household.
- Keep sarcastic or negative comments to yourself or share them with someone
you trust away from your family.
- Be patient and understanding to your soldier coming home. Remember the
trauma they have just been through. Even if you have an unhappy marriage,
try to keep your home life calm. Your children will thank you for it later.
- Please remember our teenagers are especially vulnerable this time of year.
Do not use them as a sounding board for your marital difficulties.
- Try not to move out or throw out your spouse this time of year. It can
be particularly traumatic to everyone.
- Do not complain to in-laws or other family members about marital discord.
Your children or spouse will find out what you have said one way or another.
- Focus on special time with your children together as a family (perhaps
for the last time) or if not separately with each parent so your kids
feel loved and wanted.
- Our children often blame themselves for divorce or marriage difficulties.
Remind them often how much each parent loves them and wants them.
- Focus on one community charity and do something to help this year with
your children. The charity may be another family in need or an organization.
If all else fails see a family law/divorce attorney for advice on how and
when to plan and file for
divorce to minimize the effect on the family during the holidays.