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Divorce in the wake of a natural disaster

After Superstorm Sandy caused extensive damage across much of the Northeast, it is not surprising that many families in the affected areas are splitting up. Though Arkansas is not rebuilding as some of the other states following this horrible storm, it has had its share of natural disasters. The lessons learned from Sandy can help anyone in Arkansas who has gone through or may go through some kind of destructive storm.

For parents who have shared parenting time, complying with the terms of their custody agreements may be a little difficult when a home is destroyed or one parent is in emergency lodgings. Though one parent may be getting extra time during the natural disaster, there may be a clause in the custody agreement that lays out how that time should be made up. If there are no provisions on how to co-parent during a storm, the parents can try to work out a way to make up that lost parenting time once everything starts to stabilize.

If the spouses have not yet divorced but were considering it, it may be important to try and work together on getting through the disaster. This does not mean that the spouses need to do everything together or that they need to repair a broken relationship, but it does mean that they should both be as civil as possible. If they cannot be, they should divide up the work that needs to be done and work separately.

Whether it is Superstorm Sandy or a tornado that destroys part of Little Rock, there are some weather events that may make family life a little more difficult. Trying to remain civil and remember that everyone is under a lot of stress can go a long way to getting things back to normal.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Dealing with Disasters & Aftermath Of Superstorm Sandy, Divorced or Not," Bari Zell, Nov. 12, 2012

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