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Contempt, stonewalling and other behaviors that lead to divorce

According to the author, researcher and marriage counselor John Gottman, there are four elements in a marriage that increase the chances of a divorce. Texas couples who engage in stonewalling, contempt, criticism and defensiveness are displaying behaviors that could lead to the end of their marriage, but they can still repair their relationship even if they have fallen into these patterns.

Of the four, contempt is the most dangerous for a marriage. One example of a person showing contempt to the other is speaking in a disparaging way. When that person protests and the other does not care, this is a sign that contempt has entered the marriage. Other examples of contempt are eye-rolling, name-calling and mocking.

Gottman says that people can try to repair their marriage by thinking about what they originally liked about one another. This can help a couple connect again, and then they can begin working together as a team and tackle their issues. Another way to start rebuilding the relationship is by noticing what the partner does right instead of looking for mistakes.

However, in some cases, couples simply do not succeed in reconnecting. If they get a divorce, they may have to divide property. In Texas, a community property state, this means that whatever they have acquired since the marriage will be considered shared marital property to be divided equally in most cases. In a high-asset divorce, this could mean that one person has been the main breadwinner, but the other spouse is still able to claim a portion of that person's retirement and investment accounts and more. In a complex divorce, there might also be assets such as a business that must be divided. An attorney can often assist a client in negotiating a settlement rather than having a judge make the decision.

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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Attorney Bruce Turner is located in Dallas and represents people and businesses throughout DFW and the Metroplex, including Denton, Carrollton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Farmers Branch, Irving, Las Colinas, Corinth, Highland Village, The Colony, Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Garland and Grapevine as well as Collin County, Denton County and Dallas County in Texas.

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