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Harry Benson: Number 10 needs a Family Policy Unit

Harry Benson is Research Director for the Marriage Foundation and co-author of What Mums Want (and Dads Need to Know).

A friend of ours is an amazing woman who has brought up her now teenage children on her own, having split from the father soon after their youngest was born.

Her children are polite, motivated, sociable, intelligent and a credit to her. With limited resources, and not much encouragement from her own family, she has struggled through. She has depended almost entirely on housing and other benefits, surviving from hand to mouth just above the poverty line. Escaping the dual poverty trap – where every pound earned meant the loss of most of a pound of tax credits and benefits – was a deliberate choice. But for her own sanity and well-being, she persevered despite earning little more. Now in a secure full-time job, she is largely free of the welfare system.

Hers is a great success story because she leaned on the state for the time she needed it before becoming independent and self-reliant on the other side.

But could a more stability-focused family policy have improved her odds of avoiding the split in the first place?

If ministers are ever asked to explain their family policy, they might talk about general services – such as health, education, welfare, childcare, mental health and Surestart Children’s Centres. Or they might refer to more specific services that deal with the consequences of family breakdown and dysfunction – such as the criminal justice and care systems, and Troubled Families programme. These are all important aspects of family policy.

But the question that is rarely, if ever, asked is how and whether family policy can limit or reduce the scale of family breakdown. This is a massive social justice issue simply because of the consequences for children.

For much of the past two decades, Britain has been at or near the top of the Western European league table for family breakdown. (Having been top in 2012, we are now fifth due to falling divorce rates, though not government policy.) According to the Relationships Foundation, the taxpayer spends £51 billion per year in picking up the pieces.

Nobody disputes that some relationships are best ended. But when the majority of break-ups occur ‘out of the blue’, with no obvious evidence of serious conflict or unhappiness, it makes sense to ask why we do so badly and how policy could reduce its prevalence.

First, a genuine family policy needs to be rooted in robust evidence.

There is already a huge body of research that has identified factors associated with a higher risk of breakdown and explored the consequences of breakdown. Some of these factors are general – mother’s education, age, ethnicity. But others offer the potential for specific policy initiatives – marital status, parental happiness with the relationship, parental well-being.

However, the UK research base into family stability is almost non-existent. The vast majority of what we know about relationships and their outcomes comes from US research and journals.

Cambridge University has a world class Centre for Family Research, though their focus is ‘new family forms’ who probably represent around two per cent of families. With rare exceptions (e.g here, here, and here), what UK research there is for the other 98 per cent tends to come from a handful of think tanks such as the Marriage Foundation, Centre for Social Justice and CARE.

A Number 10 Family Policy Unit should encourage the development of UK research into mainstream family stability, instability, and its consequences.

Second, government policy itself can and does influence the decisions couples make.

Most couples start off wanting and seeking reliable love. The odds of achieving it improve massively if they make a clear formal commitment together. And staying together improves the likely outcomes for their children. The absence of a father from the home, for example, is one of the biggest predictors of teenage mental health problems.

This finding in no way undermines the heroic efforts of lone parents like my friend. But it would be odd if the cut in resources from two pairs to one pair of hands had no effect whatsoever.

Anything the state can do to improve the way couples commit will help maintain their resources.

The government was right, therefore, to extend civil partnerships to heterosexual couples because, like marriage, it requires clarity of decision and commitment. But it would be wrong to extend marriage-like rights to unmarried cohabiting couples because it negates the need for a clear mutual decision.

And it is bordering on the obscene that couples are paid thousands more in benefits and tax credits to live apart – or pretend to – rather than to formalise their relationship and live together. A marriage allowance of a couple of hundred quid can’t compete with the scale of this ‘couple penalty’ bribe, although it might if it were better targeted. No wonder half of all family breakdown takes place among unmarried parents either during pregnancy or in the first two years of their child’s life.

A Number 10 Family Policy Unit should be looking at how government policy encourages or discourages couples to make clear decisions about their future and to formalise those decisions.

Third, policymakers need the confidence to base their public policy on the same principles most of them apply in private.

Politicians clearly understand the importance of personal commitment in their own lives. The vast majority are married. This is a good decision because, across all backgrounds, couples who marry are generally much more likely to stay together.

Yet few ministers are willing to stick their head above the parapet and say this. The policy signals they send out are that marriage doesn’t matter.

The tragedy is that those with fewest financial resources are listening. Nine of ten parents in the top income quintile with young children are married. In the lowest quintile, just a quarter are married. Pile relational ambiguity on top of low income and a system that bribes you to live apart, and you have the perfect recipe for family instability.

It used to be thought that unmarried cohabitation would look increasingly like marriage as it became more widespread. In fact the gap is widening. Today’s marriages are more stable than any since the 1960s. Divorce rates have plummeted because those who choose to marry really embrace their commitment to one another. And yet the UK continues to languish near the top of the family breakdown table because unmarried breakdown rates are typically three times higher.

There’s an important lesson here about commitment and stability. Few businesses succeed without making a clearly agreed plan that everyone understands. This is why today’s marriages are doing so well and today’s cohabitees so badly.

My friend never married. Would she and her partner have stuck at it had they made a more explicit commitment in the first place? Who knows. But had the policy signals been more encouraging, a clearer plan might have shifted the odds in their favour.

A Number 10 Family Policy Unit should have the key role of giving senior ministers the confidence to promote clarity of commitment – and therefore marriage and civil partnerships – as the centrepiece of a bold new family policy that boosts the odds of stability.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Newly divorced with kids? Here’s what to know ahead of the holiday season, according to two experts

Westlake Legal Group mom-and-daughter-putting-ornament-on-tree Newly divorced with kids? Here’s what to know ahead of the holiday season, according to two experts kids holidays holiday stress holiday season family tips Family Features family dynamic Family expert advice divorced couples divorce management divorce children
© Tatyana Gladskih / stock.adobe.com

While the holidays are full of joy, they also tend to evoke stress. 

From family members flying in from across the country to decorating the tree, there’s a lot to think about. And for divorced individuals with youngsters to care for, that stress can skyrocket as you try to maintain a sense of normalcy for both you, your former partner and, most importantly, your kids. 

“During the holidays, everyone has this picture-perfect way they want it to go, which becomes more difficult when a family is divorced because you have to split that time in a way you never had before,” says Sheri Mitschelen, owner and clinical director of Crossroads Family Counseling Center in Fairfax. “It’s not picture-perfect anymore, and having to navigate that with an ex-spouse—who you maybe don’t want to spend time with—that makes it more difficult.”

While challenging, it’s not impossible. Here, Mitschelen, as well as Amy F. Parks, Ph.D., LPC, owner of The Wise Family Counseling in Assessment in Alexandria and Arlington, share tips for giving your children the best of the holidays, no matter the circumstance. 

Develop a plan

In any family, finding a routine that works is essential to successfully completing day-to-day tasks. And come the holiday season, planning and preparation are more important than ever, especially for children who are going to experience two separate celebrations instead of one. 

“Coming up with a plan that the parents both agree upon and then letting the children know exactly what that is, is key,” says Mitschelen. “Children do better emotionally when they know what to expect.”

To make it even clearer, according to Parks, keeping a calendar in both homes so that kids know when they have time with each parent is extremely beneficial, especially when it’s time for holiday parties, family dinners and annual celebrations.

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Evoke positivity

Once a clear plan is set in place, whether that means the kids spend Thanksgiving with you and New Year’s Eve with your ex-partner or vice versa, it’s important to portray a positive attitude on the entire situation. 

“Although a divorce can be acrimonious, it doesn’t have to be that way around the kids,” says Parks. 

In fact, adds Mitschelen, parents should avoid revealing the emotion of the situation in front of the kids entirely, and rather treat it as they would a business-style relationship. 

“A lot of times when parents divorce, they physically divorce but they don’t emotionally,” explains Mitschelen. “When kids pick up on emotional tension, they feel torn or guilty spending time with one or the other. If the parents can act as if it was a work colleague, the whole thing becomes more civil and easier to manage.”

Plus, when your kids go to your ex-spouse’s home for the holidays, encouraging them to have fun and really enjoy their time is key, according to both Parks and Mitschelen. 

“When they do come home, don’t interrogate them,” says Mitschelen. “Let them freely share what it was like and what happened. You can ask open-ended questions, but let it be natural as if your kid was just coming back from a play date.” 

Embrace tradition

When young kids and teens alike think of the holiday season, family traditions tend to be one of the first things to come to mind. Yet when a divorce happens, those traditions sometimes get diminished or forgotten. 

“Keeping some old traditions, like opening one present before Christmas Day or whatever it might be, is definitely a good idea,” says Mitschelen. “But also creating new ones so the routine seems more normal is important too.”

According to Mitschelen, traditions are a form of predictability for kids, something that’s unique to their specific family and provide a sense of closeness that they know nobody else has. When it comes time to celebrate the season in a new family dynamic, Mitschelen suggests both partners create at least one new tradition to do with the kids on their own. 

Remember what it’s all about

Divorced parents need to remember one vitally important thing: At one point in time, they decided to bring a tiny human into the world,” says Powers. “That tiny human is innocent in the divorced-parent scenario and the grown-ups in this child’s life have the power to encourage emotional resilience and well-being or to minimize it.”

Throughout the holiday season, according to Mitschelen, parents really need to focus on making it all about spending time with one another, even though it may look different than years past. 

“Taking the negative emotion and shining positive light on each situation is essential, that’s what children really want,” says Mitschelen. “They just want to spend time with their parents. If the parent can be emotionally and physically present, that’s a gift for the children.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

BREAKING: Todd Palin Files For Divorce From Sarah Palin

Westlake Legal Group sarahpalin BREAKING: Todd Palin Files For Divorce From Sarah Palin Todd Palin Sarah Palin Sad republicans Politics John McCain Front Page Stories Front Page Family divorce Breaking News

This is pretty shocking news.

After 31 years of marriage, Todd Palin has filed for divorce from Sarah Palin, who rocketed to national prominence after providing a much needed pick me up for John McCain’s floundering 2008 campaign as his vice presidential nominee.

This per Anchorage Daily News.

In a document filed Friday in Anchorage Superior Court, Todd Palin, 55, asked to dissolve the marriage, citing an “incompatibility of temperament between the parties such that they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife.”

The divorce filing uses initials rather than full names, but identifies the couple’s marriage date and the birth date of their only child who is a minor, Trig Palin. The filing asks for joint legal custody of the child.

Anchorage attorney Kimberlee Colbo is representing Todd Palin in the divorce. In a filing, Colbo said she would ask the court to designate the divorce confidential as it moves forward.

The proceeding will be confidential, as they should be, but no doubt people will start talking sooner rather than later.

Sarah Palin was of course savaged in the wake of the 2008 campaign by McCain’s own self-serving advisers and she would later go on to become a vocal Trump supporter, earning her more angst from the media at large (and some former RedState writers). She was continually painted as being mentally deficient despite no evidence of that. She’s largely been out of the news the past several years.

The viciousness with which the left and some on the right treated her was a preview of what would eventually manifest in 2016 and beyond.

————————————————

Enjoying the read? Please visit my archive and check out some of my latest articles.

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The post BREAKING: Todd Palin Files For Divorce From Sarah Palin appeared first on RedState.

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Jonathan Clark: Brexit. Is democracy at risk?

Jonathan Clark was a Fellow of Peterhouse; at Oxford, he was a Fellow of All Souls College; latterly he has been Visiting Professor at the Committee on Social Thought at Chicago, and Hall Distinguished Professor of British History at the University of Kansas. His latest book is a study of Thomas Paine.

Observers agree that this is the most impassioned episode in British politics for over a century. But it has been so under David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson alike. The last alone is not to blame. Why, then, is it so bitter? We ought to be able to debate whether GDP will be slightly higher or slightly lower in 15 years if we leave or if we remain in the EU without expulsions, mutual denunciations, threats, and lawfare. Other things are at stake, far beyond economists’ guesswork. At least two are at issue, for the Brexit crisis is at its heart a proxy war.

The first is democracy itself, for two conceptions of it are widely held in the UK, representative and direct. In 2019 they collide. What are they?

Representative democracy assumes that Parliament once seized sovereignty from the King, and the Commons then seized it from the Lords; or, alternatively, that if the People once had sovereignty, they surrendered it completely and for all time to members of the Commons, who, collectively, now have absolute authority. Being wise and restrained patricians, MPs rule in the national interest. This theory looks more unpersuasive the more one explores it.

Direct democracy assumes that sovereignty resides with autonomous individuals thanks to God’s gift or to Nature – thoughtful individuals who know all they need to know in order to govern, and who exercise their authority just as they please via universal suffrage. Again, this theory is not wholly plausible. Which of the two predominates is likely to depend on practice more than on theoretical argument.

Practice depends on logistics, and these continually develop. Representative democracy seemed obvious in days when communication was slow and expensive. Members of the Commons might visit their constituencies seldom. The franchise was restricted, newspapers reported little, the actions of most MPs at Westminster were seldom in the public eye. Members were unpaid, so normally had to be rich: they were seldom inclined to defer to the poor. But all that was long ago.

From the mid-1990s, and increasingly every year, the internet has transformed everything. For the first time, it is possible to conduct opinion polls in a shorter time than it takes MPs to file through the division lobbies. For the first time, I can watch my MP speak live in the Commons, or in a recording. I can monitor her every vote. I can email her almost instantaneously (I have even exchanged brief emails with one distinguished MP while he was in a debate). Thankfully, my MP is admirable, in her labours both in Parliament and in her constituency. But for voters who differ from their MPs, the potential for active involvement is far greater than ever before.

Kenneth Clarke speaks for the old school of Parliamentarians in insisting that the referendum of 2016 was merely advisory. But he is out of date. The European Union Referendum Act 2015, which made the arrangements, nowhere said that. Nor did the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. No legislation has ever provided that votes cast in general elections are merely advisory either. On the contrary, the electorate decides things.

We can only deduce the advisory status of referendums by implication, from the premise ‘Parliament is sovereign’. But no Act of Parliament can establish parliamentary sovereignty, any more than Kenneth Clarke can rise into the air by pulling on his shoelaces. Since the People elect members of the Commons directly, by binding votes, and of the Lords indirectly (via elected members of the Commons), it might plausibly be argued that the People are sovereign.

Yet representative democracy is widely championed, and here lies the second great point at issue: a culture war, over what might be called the recent hegemony of social democratic values. It was not so in 1962 when Anthony Sampson published his famous Anatomy of Britain; it shaped the subsequent understandings of ‘The Establishment’ as a closed social circle of the public school and Oxbridge educated who staffed the boardrooms, Parliament, the judiciary and the church.

But a wind of change has swept over Britain as well as over Sampson’s beloved South Africa. The public schools and Oxbridge are still there, but captured for other purposes. Rank derived from birth and class now derives from style and political correctness. The old boy networks are replaced by the luvvie networks. Sampson himself (Westminster and Christ Church) became a Social Democrat during the 1980s.

Set aside the party label; its opponents perceive a state of mind shared by larger numbers of people. They are the commentariat. They allegedly run the media, the universities, the civil service, the judiciary. They are not, indeed, socialist: that would be too uncool an ideology for the twenty-first century. But they are not democrats either, and instinctively reject the outcome of the largest democratic exercise in British history, the referendum of 2016. To them this is ‘populism’, the opposite of themselves.

In this sense, say their opponents with ever clearer definition, social democrats are ‘anywheres’ rather than ‘somewheres’: they have no particular loyalty to a country, let alone Bolsover or Sunderland. They encourage mass migration and multiculturalism. They have places in the sun. They countenance divorce, sex change, and gay marriage. They are secularists who favour religions that are loud against religious establishments. The EU suits them perfectly. Its Roman Law tradition fits their world view, since it works down from grand statements of principle; England’s common law tradition worked up, from specific concrete entitlements. In their eyes, social democrats champion correct, modern, enlightened values. These entail membership of the EU.

Against this perceived social democratic hegemony have developed two great protests: Momentum, and the Brexit movement. To simplify, Momentum wants real socialism; Brexit wants real democracy. They can only achieve either by championing an old ideal that now becomes a new one: the People are sovereign.

Both these conceptions of democracy are plausible, but flawed. They have historic force, but they are contradictory. A collision was inevitable sooner or later. What better ground on which to fight than the UK’s membership of the EU?

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Did Ilhan Omar’s Husband Spill The Tea? He Reportedly Told Friends She WAS Married To Brother

Westlake Legal Group ilhan-omar-black-coffee-live-SCREENSHOT-620x344 Did Ilhan Omar’s Husband Spill The Tea? He Reportedly Told Friends She WAS Married To Brother Ilhan Omar Front Page Stories Fraud Featured Story divorce David Steinberg Abuse of Power

[Screenshot from BET & Twitter, https://twitter.com/choffmann10/status/1146505607157075970]

If they ever make a Real Housewives of Capitol Hill, I nominate Rep. Ilhan Omar to be the highly judgmental, weirdly aggressive, holier-than-thou scold who does all the finger pointing to hide the fact that she has a significant number of skeletons hiding in her own closet.

Thanks to some reporting by Powerline — which seems to have been ultimately partially confirmed by The New York Post — that’s going to be an easy casting decision.

According to Powerline, Omar’s current estranged husband Ahmed Hirsi (who is not related to her by blood), has been telling friends and associates that not only did Omar have an affair with an aide while paying him (Lord have mercy), but that she also, in fact, did marry her brother with intent to defraud.

Oh, and that he has no intention of going down for the Congresswoman.

According to sources, Hirsi is telling friends:

• that he will not go to jail for Omar;

• that while Omar did indeed marry her brother (Ahmed Elmi) for fraudulent purposes, Hirsi did not know at the time that she had married Elmi;

• that Omar is threatening Hirsi he would be in trouble along with her if the truth were to come out;

• that Omar has asked him to state publicly that all is well with their marriage even though it is completely done and finished; and

• that in fact they are living apart and have been divorced under Islamic law (although they remain legally married).

Having humiliated Ahmed Hirsi by her affair with Tim Mynett, Omar now wants Hirsi to perform public relations services for her to suppress the scandal. That is cold.

Hirsi has maintained his silence through all the scandals so far. One may infer that there is a good reason why Hirsi has never spoken up on Omar’s behalf in any of these scandals. Hirsi’s knowledge of Omar’s conduct is knowledge of her wrongdoing.

A new piece in The New York Post seems to confirm at least some of the Powerline blog post by detailing that Omar’s husband — who had initially declined to file for divorce — has now been reported to have started thinking about that process.

The congresswoman’s husband, Ahmed Hirsi, the source said, is poised to file for divorce after the revelation in a bombshell court filing that she allegedly had an affair with DC political consultant Tim Mynett.

The Minnesota congresswoman and her husband allegedly separated in March, and Omar asked Hirsi to divorce her around that time because she didn’t want to file the papers — but Hirsi refused, telling her if she wanted a divorce she should do it herself, said the source, who has known both parties for 20 years.

The husband allegedly changed his mind after Tim Mynett’s wife last week filed bombshell divorce papers claiming her spouse was having an affair with the Somali-born US representative — with Hirsi said to be angry he had been made to look the fool by the allegations of an extramarital affair.

Powerline also takes the opportunity to stick up for journalist David Steinberg, who has broken most of the Omar story over the last few years and been roundly ignored for his efforts while other outlets laid claim to the same information. The New York Post reporter who wrote the story insists she did not use the research of Steinberg for her piece. which he disputes on Twitter.

The post Did Ilhan Omar’s Husband Spill The Tea? He Reportedly Told Friends She WAS Married To Brother appeared first on RedState.

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NY Post: Omar’s husband looking for a divorce over extramarital affair

Westlake Legal Group omar-sideeye NY Post: Omar’s husband looking for a divorce over extramarital affair tim mynett The Blog tax fraud MN-05 Minnesota immigration fraud Ilhan Omar divorce ahmed hirsi Ahmed Elmi

Could the strange, on-again-off-again marriage of Ilhan Omar and Ahmed Hirsi be heading for court? Perhaps in more ways than one, although the New York Post’s sources are sticking to the obvious route for now. Hirsi now plans to file for divorce, the paper reports, after allegations of an affair between the congresswoman and her political consultant went public in the latter’s own divorce action.

This would be the second split between Omar and Hirsi … officially, anyway:

The Minnesota congresswoman and her husband allegedly separated in March, and Omar asked Hirsi to divorce her around that time because she didn’t want to file the papers — but Hirsi refused, telling her if she wanted a divorce she should do it herself, said the source, who has known both parties for 20 years.

The husband allegedly changed his mind after Tim Mynett’s wife last week filed bombshell divorce papers claiming her spouse was having an affair with the Somali-born US representative — with Hirsi said to be angry he had been made to look the fool by the allegations of an extramarital affair.

“I’m surprised he hasn’t filed already,” the source told The Post, adding that Hirsi was “very confused” in the wake of the bombshell allegations but still loved his wife and was reluctant to expose their three children to a public divorce battle.

Hirsi and Omar wed in a religious ceremony — but not legally — in 2002, and then split up six years later. In 2009, she married Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, but that’s where the story gets interesting. Despite her marriage to Elmi, Omar continued to file joint tax returns with Hirsi, which is illegal for unmarried couples in Minnesota. Omar later claimed that the Elmi marriage was also only a “faith tradition” ceremony, but a legal civil marriage certificate exists for it. Omar moved back in with Hirsi in 2012 but didn’t divorce Elmi until 2017. She married Hirsi last year, but that doesn’t retroactively clear the criminal issues regarding Omar’s taxes.

That might not be the only criminal risk that Omar faces if Hirsi decides to play rough in a divorce. According to Scott Johnson’s sources on Omar, Hirsi might be ready to finally explain exactly who Elmi is, and why Omar might be vulnerable to an immigration-fraud prosecution:

In the past three weeks I have circled back to interview sources whom I have found to be highly reliable in the Omar saga. They open a window onto the scandals from the perspective of Ahmed Hirsi, her long-time partner and the father of her three children. According to sources, Hirsi is telling friends:

• that he will not go to jail for Omar;

• that while Omar did indeed marry her brother (Ahmed Elmi) for fraudulent purposes, Hirsi did not know at the time that she had married Elmi;

• that Omar is threatening Hirsi he would be in trouble along with her if the truth were to come out;

• that Omar has asked him to state publicly that all is well with their marriage even though it is completely done and finished; and

• that in fact they are living apart and have been divorced under Islamic law (although they remain legally married).

Having humiliated Ahmed Hirsi by her affair with Tim Mynett, Omar now wants Hirsi to perform public relations services for her to suppress the scandal. That is cold.

Assuming this is all true, Hirsi faces two big problems in this mess. He filed those taxes along with Omar. That makes him just as vulnerable to prosecution over the fraudulent claim of joint filing status. If he knew that Omar had married her brother to fraudulently provide him legal status in the US, he could be charged as an accessory. If Scott’s sources are accurate, Hirsi needs good legal representation and a willingness to cut a deal.

Omar, however, has far more headaches ahead of her if this is all true. Prosecutors won’t be looking to cut a deal with her, after all, and she can’t afford to take one even if they were. Her political career would come to a screeching halt if she admitted to tax and immigration fraud; even in Minnesota’s extreme-liberal 5th congressional district, that’s a few bridges too far. Minneapolis has other up-and-comers who can replace Omar, and likely provide a lot less embarrassment for her district, too.

Just how true is it? The court filings will give us some clue, but Omar’s political adviser is denying the affair in his:

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s alleged lover Tim Mynett has denied bombshell allegations that he left his wife for the Somali-born representative — accusing wife Beth Mynett in a counterclaim of waging a campaign to “ruin his career” after he left their unhappy marriage.

The DC political consultant, who has been working for Omar, denied accusations leveled by his physician wife in her divorce filing that he was having a love affair with Omar and said he hadn’t been in a relationship with any other woman during their six-year marriage, according to the counterclaim filed in DC Superior Court.

“Since the time of Mr. Mynett’s departure from the marital home, Ms. Mynett began a negative campaign against Mr. Mynett, seemingly in an effort to ruin his career and permanently damage his relationship with William and his step-daughter,” read the court papers.

Mynett might have other reasons for issuing a denial. Omar’s campaign spent a lot of money on Mynett, which might create some issues of campaign-finance violations if it turns out that the purposes of that were personal. Those would most likely be civil violations rather than criminal, but that distinction won’t help Omar’s political career — even if she survives the tax and immigration investigations that might soon be coming.

The post NY Post: Omar’s husband looking for a divorce over extramarital affair appeared first on Hot Air.

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Turns out, despite the combat, marriage helps prevent dementia

Westlake Legal Group GodfatherWeddingPic715 Turns out, despite the combat, marriage helps prevent dementia wedding The Blog pets mental health marriage health study Health divorce Dementia

Sometimes, married life seems to invite disagreements, disputes, arguments, the silent treatment, all sorts of personal discord and turmoil.

At least that’s what a friend tells me.

But, it turns out, the good news is that marriage also seems to help prevent dementia, that ominous omnibus diagnosis that covers memory loss, personality and behavioral changes and disorienting loss of reasoning skills.

The bad news is that divorced individuals are more than twice as likely as marrieds to develop dementia, especially the men.

This is no minor concern. Experts on aging estimate nearly six million Americans currently live with Alzheimer and related dementias and their treatments cost some $290 billion annually

The new study was conducted at Michigan State University and is among the first such population-based U.S. research of variations in dementia diagnoses based on marital status.

The study sample consisted of 15,379 respondents — 6,650 men and 8,729 women. All were at least 52 years old in 2000 and symptom-free and examined every two years.

Researchers closely looked at four categories of non-marrieds — separated/divorced, co-habiters, widowed and never married. The divorced came out the worst for dementia.

The study’s head researcher, Hui Liu, noted, “Marital status is an important but overlooked social risk/protective factor for dementia.”

She added:

This research is important because the number of unmarried older adults in the United States continues to grow, as people live longer and their marital histories become more complex.

Other studies have shown that unmarried individuals have a higher risk of death from heart disease. One of those authors, Dr. Arshed Quyyumisaid, of Emory University said:

I was somewhat surprised by the magnitude of the influence of being married has. Social support provided by marriage, and perhaps many other benefits of companionship, are important for people with heart disease.

That companionship theme may have some under-appreciated health advantages. Previous studies have shown that owning a pet like a dog can extend human lifespans by promoting more social interaction and physical activity and reducing depression.

Elderly people with dogs, especially single elderly, were 33 percent less likely to die early. Quick plug for adoption: Google “pet rescue” with your Zip for the nearest shelter for dogs and cats. They’re lonely too.

The post Turns out, despite the combat, marriage helps prevent dementia appeared first on Hot Air.

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How to talk to your kids about divorce (and when to get help)

Westlake Legal Group Divorce-Feature How to talk to your kids about divorce (and when to get help) psychology parenting marriage kids Family Features Family divorce counseling chantilly
© fizkes / stock.adobe.com

It’s not just taking off the ring.

As Amy Poehler puts it in her book Yes Please, “Imagine spreading everything you care about on a blanket and then tossing the whole thing up in the air. The process of divorce is about loading that blanket, throwing it up, watching it all spin and worrying what stuff will break when it lands.”

Often times one of the things couples are worried about, beyond the marriage itself, are their kids. When it’s time to let them know that you’re taking steps toward separation, how do you tell them?

We spoke to Kristi Guadagnoli, Psy.D. and co-owner of MindWell Psychology in Chantilly, about how divorce can be managed with everyone’s best emotional interests in mind. Highlights from our conversation are below.

What would be your first step when talking about a divorce with your children?
It always has to start with the parental communication. Parents need to be having really in-depth conversations about what kinds of messages they will be giving to the children. For couples navigating divorce, there tends to be more animosity especially, in terms of communication, but if you can agree on how you are going to talk about it, you can also agree on the reasons why the divorce is happening in the first place. If parents are having a difficult time agreeing on why the divorce is happening, they should seek out a counselor to practice discussing what decision they’re making and the impact it’s going to have.

What would you say to divorcees who may be against getting help?
A lot of folks say they don’t need to see a therapist because they’re splitting up, but they’re really going to be connected for their whole lives because of the children. And studies have shown that the better they deal with the divorce determines how well their children will do in the future. And there’s so much more that you can get help with than just that initial discussion and understanding your children’s emotions. You can figure out how you’re going to navigate splitting logistics, finances and unexpected challenges. And the better your communication is from the beginning, the smoother the whole situation will be.

What should not be discussed about the divorce around children?
Anything that is an adult-based issue should only be discussed with adults. Pick-ups and drop-offs should be pleasant, and kids should not be communicating for their parents. That can happen frequently when the kids are still living in the house with both parents. And remember that it’s painful for both the adults and the children. As an adult, you want to have a safe space, and if you aren’t working out your own feelings, you could empty them out into your children.

Even after the initial conversations or after the divorce is finalized, how do you keep communication lines open between you and your children?
I am a firm believer in family dinners and having that time to connect and really talk about the day with your kids, even if it’s about current events in the world, what’s going on at school and getting a daily check-in. This would be a great place to check in on how they’re doing emotionally and make sure they can communicate their feelings to you. If they can’t, it’s important to note that kids that shutdown continue to shutdown, and kids who open up tend to keep opening up as long as you continue to encourage communication.

What do you suggest to do if what your child has to say is hard to hear?
Part of being a parent is being able to hear what they have to say to us. We have to have the tolerance. We have to be able to say we’re sorry and that we don’t know exactly what we’re doing sometimes, but that we’re going to try harder. There is no perfect parent. And when you let them know that you’re trying to be better and that they are heard, it teaches them that they can speak about their feelings in a situation where they are hurt, angry, upset, etc. Kids also model themselves after what you do as a parent. If they have access to empathy where they know how to listen and can actually hear what people are saying, they can model themselves after that.

What do you do if you think your child needs counseling services?
They may need their own space to understand what’s happening because they don’t have the verbal understanding yet to explain it outright. When kids are really young, sometimes the more expressive things in therapy can be helpful. Any Google search should be able to bring up someone in the area, and make sure it’s someone who is close to you and convenient. If they’re not, the will to get the help tends to drop and you’re less likely to continue going for help.

For more information on MindWell Psychology, visit mindwell.us. // 14110 Robert Paris Court, Chantilly

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Woman Fearful for Her Life Turns Over Her Estranged Husband’s Guns to the Cops. She Gets Arrested for Grand Theft

Westlake Legal Group courtney-irby-arrested-theft-SCREENSHOT-620x369 Woman Fearful for Her Life Turns Over Her Estranged Husband’s Guns to the Cops. She Gets Arrested for Grand Theft Violence Uncategorized law joseph irby Guns Front Page Stories Featured Story divorce crime courtney irby battery Allow Media Exception

[Screenshot from Rep. Anna V. Eskamani via Twitter, https://twitter.com/AnnaForFlorida/status/1142441348676706304?]

 

An odd case, indeed — one on about which I’d like your opinion.

Florida couple Joseph and Courtney Irby were going through a rough divorce.

On June 14th — having just completed a divorce hearing — the two got into a fierce argument. As Courtney was leaving the courthouse, Joseph rear-ended her; she was on the phone with the cops, and he was trying to run her off the road.

Allegedly, of course..

That resulted in Joseph being taken into custody and held overnight for domestic aggravated battery.

Purportedly fearing for her life, Courtney did some proactive protectin’ — she went to Joe’s apartment, searched and found his guns, and took ’em with her.

Ain’t nobody shootin’ her!

She drove the firearms to the Lakeland Police Department and told the boys in blue she didn’t trust her soon-to-be-ex-husband to turn them in.

She explained that she’d taken them from his residence, which resulted in this from the officer:

“So, are you telling me you committed an armed burglary?”

Add to that grand theft of a fiream.

The cops called Joseph at the jail, and he said he’d like to press charges.

Courtney was arrested.

She spent 5 nights in jail.

Strange case…or is it? There’s been a bit of public outcry over a woman afraid for her life taking matters into her own thievin’ hands. Some believe she shouldn’t be punished.

That group includes Democratic state Rep. Anna Eskamani:

What do you think? Should Courtney be prosecuted? She indeed took things from another person’s residence; but they were not fully divorced…are the guns half hers? What about the protection element of all this?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the Comments section.

Joseph and Courtney are due back in divorce court on July 16th. I’m sure a fun time will be had by all.

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

Burger King Gets Shut Down For ‘Cultural Insensitivity,’ & It Only Proves Even More What The World Is Missing

Upping The Idiot Ante: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Comes Up With A New Excuse For Her Blaccent

WATCH: Insane WWE-Style Fight Explodes In The Middle Of A Casino. But The Hulkamaniac Gets A Surprise

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No, Women are Not Happier Being Unmarried Despite What a Misinformed Study Shows

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Right now the mainstream media is circulating a study that showed women are happier being single or divorced than they are being married, however, some experts are saying that the study has been completely misunderstood, and the current conclusion is literally fake news.

It all started when a professor of behavioral science at the London School of Economics, Paul Dolan, was giving a presentation on his book “Happily Ever After.” Dolan was discussing his findings on data from an American Time Use Survey from which he gathered his findings.

Within the survey asked whether there was a spouse present or absent. According to the findings, women said there wasn’t one around, and answered subsequent questions about how happy they were. Dolan took the data he saw and came to a conclusion.

“We do have some good longitudinal data following the same people over time, but I am going to do a massive disservice to that science and just say: if you’re a man, you should probably get married; if you’re a woman, don’t bother,” said Dolan.

The Guardian was in the room during Dolan’s presentation and off it went, spurring on a whole host of articles from various media sites like the New York Post and The Independent, proclaiming that women and marriage just don’t mix. It circulated like wildfire.

However, as some looked into the data itself, they realized that Dolan simply misunderstood the findings because he misunderstood the question.

UVA Professor W. Bradford Wilcox quickly pointed out where Dolan went wrong.

“…Dolan appears to have misread ATUS survey questions regarding whether or not spouse was in the household to refer to whether or not the spouse was present for the interview–and thereby drew incorrect conclusions about marrieds’ happiness, especially wives’ happiness,” tweeted Bradford.

To back up the fact that Dolan reached the wrong conclusion, he posted the findings from a study by the General Social Survey by the Institute for Family Studies, which showed married people being far more happy than divorced or single people by leaps and bounds.

Adjunct professor and time use researcher Gray Kimborough also called out the spread of misinformation based on Dolan’s misinterpretation of the information, by noting that the numbers Dolan cites weren’t even part of the ATUS interview, but were asked of couples by a CPS interview some months prior. A closer look at the question shows that the survey was asking if a spouse was present in the room during the time of the asking.

“These are the values that the marital status variable takes,” tweeted Kimborough. “When I calculate mean “happiness” values over these, they roughly line up with the book figure. So it isn’t measuring a spouse’s presence for the interview, or even for any activities–just presence *in the household*.”

The General Social Survey by the Institute for Family Studies does provide more of a look into the happiness levels of those who are married vs. those who are divorced or never married. The study was conducted over a period of eight years from 2010 to 2018, giving us a near decade of information to work with.

“The story is straightforward: married respondents are much happier. And consistent with prior research, parents are a little less happy than non-parents, provided they are unmarried. In addition, the results don’t look that different when limited to female survey respondents,” said the IFS in their study.

The IFS even found that unhappiness is much higher in divorced or single people, specifically those who have children.

So the truth is that marriage does make people happier. Children do reduce the happiness factor, but only slightly, and married parents are still far and away happier than those who are divorced or single, especially when children are involved in their lives.

The media got it wrong again, and now we’re left with the question of why the media was so ecstatic to report the false narrative that marriage makes women miserable.

 

 

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