Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 8416 GoodLifeFamilyMag.com SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2016 goodADVICE by AliciaWanek Jim Mueller, family law attorney and managing partner with Verner Brumley Mueller Parker, says, “So often, I have clients tell me, ‘I stay in it (the marriage) for the kids.’ Then I remind them that their children are forming mental constructs of what a dad is, what a husband is. Boys are looking to them as a role model, and a daughter is looking to what she should expect in a future husband. Often that helps the client to see it from a different angle.” He reminds them that even if the spouse is not really abusive to the kids themselves, they are still victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence can take many forms, not just physical; emotional abuse can be just as scarring. WHAT SHOULD A WOMAN DO IF SHE DECIDES SHE’S HAD ENOUGH? 1Call an attorney. An experienced family law attorney will meet with her to discuss her options and let her know there’s someone on her side. 2Let the attorney help decide about the next steps. If there has been abuse, the attorney files an application for a protective order or a temporary restraining order that ensures the other party has to keep a minimum distance. “These cases are expedited,” Jim says, “so the case is usually heard within two weeks.” 3Bringinacounselorand/orpsychologist. After the hearing and the restraining order is in place, the attorney begins working with a counselor and/or psychologist for all parties. “The court doesn’t want kids to testify, so the psychologist can ensure that the child’s voice be heard in court,” Mueller explains. 4Proceed with the divorce. In any case of divorce, there may be other parties that become involved. At any time a parent suspects there may be abuse that their children are being exposed to, they can file a protective order like the one mentioned above on behalf of their children, even in another home. Again, an experienced family law attorney can help someone through that process. Mueller reminds us that “Lawyers, like doctors, have a duty to report suspected abuse,” so if a client is reporting these situations to them, they have an obligation to call Child Protective Services. The most difficult part for most women is making the decision to leave. Mueller likens “You have to take care of yourself before you’re prepared to help your children.” Remember, those kids will respect the strong role model they see in you. How many times have you caught yourself saying something to your kids that your parents said to you like, “Don’t make me pull this car over!” or perhaps “One day you’ll thank me,” or “Because I said so!” Like it or not, we have a tendency to approach raising our children in much the same way we were raised because we learned it from our own parents. However, what happens if you grew up in an abusive home? What if your children are growing up in a home where they witness abuse? What are they learning about how a father or a husband should act? What Should A Dad Look Like? Source: Jim Mueller As managing partner of Verner Brumley Mueller Parker P.C., Jim specializes in child custody and di- vorce matters. He is board certifed in Family Law, a member of the Texas Academy of Family Law Spe- cialists, and one of the youngest members of the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Law- yers. AV-Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards, Jim prides himself on handling complex matters with honesty and integrity. As a result, he has been consistently recognized inThe Best Lawyers in America byWoodward WhiteandTexasSuperLawyers.Jimreceivedhisbachelor’sdegree,magnacumlaudeand Phi Beta Kappa, from Rhodes College and graduated cum laude from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University. Forquestionsoraconsultation,contactJim at214.526.5234 orvernerbrumley.com.