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Relationship killers: Avoid these bad habits

Divorces are frustrating for the people involved, and they can stem from many issues in the relationship. If you're not yet sure if a divorce is the right answer for you, then you may want to learn more about some of the most significant killers of relationships.

One of the most significant relationship killers is putting down the other person. For instance, blaming them for dirty dishes is a bad habit. It takes all blame away from you and makes it seem like it's a criticism of your partner's actions. Instead, you should phrase the reaction differently. Saying, "When the dishes aren't cleaned up after dinner, I feel like my request doesn't matter to you." Then, have a discussion. Perhaps there is a reason why your spouse can't, or won't, clean up.

Know your right to fatherhood before your child's born

When a child is born to two adults who are married, there isn't usually any question about who the child's parents are. For that reason, the husband is assumed to be the father. This gives him the rights and responsibilities of fatherhood immediately.

If you are not married at the time your child is born, then there are some additional steps you must take to make sure you obtain your rights. While you may be able to voluntarily accept your parental rights at the hospital when your child is born, you may not know about the birth or be unable to attend. In that case, you still deserve the chance to assume those rights.

These tips can help you adopt a child more quickly

If you want to adopt a child, you may be unnerved by the long time it can take to bring a child into your home. However, there are some ways you can address that concern and reduce the amount of time it takes to adopt.

By making sure you're prepared before you apply to adopt, you can help speed up the process. There are other options, too, like fostering children you're interested in so that you can bring them home sooner than with a full-fledged adoption.

Don’t be like Bezos, get a prenup

Marriage is meant to last forever, but sometimes things don’t work out the way we planned.

That’s why a prenuptial agreement – also known as a prenup – is always a good idea. Just ask Amazon founder and world’s richest man Jeff Bezos. He’s getting a divorce without a prenup.

How do you choose where to divorce?

A divorce isn't always easy, but it's sometimes a necessity that comes after years of marriage or months of trying to work through difficulties. The reality is that some people do better when they're not in a relationship with each other, and a divorce can help that happen. Unfortunately, ending a marriage is not as simple as ending a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend. There are legal steps to take to make sure you resolve issues with your divorce and that you can start fresh.

Deciding whether to divorce or not is up to you and your spouse, but if you're ready to start the process, then it's time to look into filing. You'll want to file for divorce based on where you currently hold residency. If you and your spouse currently hold residency in two places, then either state could have jurisdiction over your case.

Establish paternity to guarantee your parental rights

Fathers have many rights when it comes to their children. Fathers need to make sure they establish those rights, though. While a mother can be assumed upon a child's birth, the same isn't true about a father. As such, the best thing for a father to do is to make sure he seeks a paternity test or agrees to a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.

After a child's birth, you can sign a legitimation form, which is the form that grants you the right to provide for and raise your child, even if you are not married to the mother. If you're not sure that you are the true father, you may want to ask for a DNA test. If the mother won't agree, you can file a paternity lawsuit to seek a DNA test to prove that you are or are not the father of the child.

Do unwed fathers have a right to custody?

When you aren't married, it can make obtaining custody much harder if you are the father of a child. Why? It's because the mother is the only guaranteed parent.

As an unmarried father, there are steps you can take to make sure you can see your child. For instance, you can ask for a paternity test or exercise your rights based on signing the child's birth certificate and an Acknowledgement of Paternity.

Is there still a bias in custody cases?

As a father, the last thing you want to find out is that you're going to have limited time with your child because of your gender. In court, there is not supposed to be a bias against fathers. Instead, a judge is intended to look at the child custody case and to make sure that the child gets time with both parents (when it is safe to have this arrangement).

There is not supposed to be a bias toward mothers receiving custody. This is an old thought process, and it's one that should not be pervasive in today's courts. If you believe that a judge is biased, there are some steps you can take, like asking the judge to step down and be replaced by another judge or having your attorney help you settle your custody arrangements outside court. By settling your custody arrangements without the judge's influence, you'll have the most control over what happens with your parent-child relationship.

What needs to be determined before my divorce becomes final?

As a father seeking to end your marriage, you likely have concerns not only about the divorce process, but also related to continuing your relationship with your children.  As with any divorce, you and your partner must agree upon the terms of your divorce for it to move forward. To end your marriage with your rights in mind, the two of you must agree on the basics.

Be aware of divorce's effects on kids during the holidays

If you are a parent going through a divorce and your first holiday season as newly single, it may feel overwhelming. Perhaps Thanksgiving didn't go as planned, and you're dreading spending the winter holidays as a single parent.

For most children, their parents' divorce will be the most challenging event that they have ever experienced. Despite their own feelings of sadness and loss at the end of the marriage, divorcing parents must still protect their children's tender feelings at this difficult time.

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