Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Top 10 Tips For a Great Divorce

What if your divorce is the best part of your marriage?

For some people, divorce inevitably will be ugly. For lots of reasons it's how it will play out. For many people, though, splitting up is a grief-filled experience full of genuine loss and wonderful opportunities. If that's where you are, if you simply were not meant to be married anymore and you are two people of good will, trying to be decent to each other, here are 10 great ways to protect and insulate your fragile peace: 

1. Don't try to be friends too soon.
Your reactions, impulses, needs and interests will cycle differently. You need a safe, professional distance from each other to conduct the business, set the rules and boundaries that will allow you to move into a parenting partnership and to see if a new friendship might flourish.
 2. Lawyers prepare for the worst. Mediators bring out your best.
Start with a great mediator who is also a lawyer. If you're not at war already, heading to a sharky lawyer out of fear will certainly start one. If you have a working relationship, similar goals and no huge wedge issues up front, try an experienced mediator first. You'll save oodles of money and are more likely to come out of it with the good parts of your relationship intact

3. Write a Parenting Plan that speaks directly to your children.
If you start out with "To Adam and Ella," you are more likely to write a plan with your kids' best interests in clear focus. Picture them reading it. If they are old enough, share it with them. Show them you are working as a team, from the beginning, on their behalf.

4. Trust But Verify: Write everything down
Do not assume either of you will remember or abide by the agreement no matter how friendly things are. Get it all in writing in a coherent plan and agreement so nobody 'forgets' or acts out. This is why a mediator who is also a lawyer is such a strong choice. Especially with issues of money and parenting, the more details are in writing the better. For example, if you live in the same area and are comfortable with the non-custodial spouse or co-parent visiting during non-visiting times or if you are agreeing to a degree of flexibility, write it down.

5. Agree on how to disagree
Failure is inevitable. Things will zig when you thought they'd zag. Minefields will blow in areas you had no idea were even tender. Have a plan for that. What's your process for when you hit a snag? What if somebody gets a better job and the money changes, or if somebody wants to relocate or if you think parents should pay for graduate school but he doesn't? What is your process? Head back to mediation? Write down the precise process so everybody is clear.

6. Time Outs: Outline clear and effective consequences
.Agree on what happens if one person does not abide by the agreement or somehow does not follow through. Like with parenting, you need to know what happens to those who break the rules - make sure you know what happens to the rule breaker and what the ex gets to do about it.

7. Resist old patterns
Part of the relief of divorce is you are no longer responsible for your partner's insecurities, self hatred, wacked relationship with his/her family, professional disappointments or any other despair you had to live with. Same for them. No more front-loading onto them and no more listening TO them. You both are released so be released. Resist the urge to give or seek old patterns of support.

8. Let your relationship transform. Burn the old and see what emerges.
If your relationship is going to have any chance at re-emerging in a new, healthy form that allows you to be friends and strong parenting partners, you have to let it all go first. Who knows what you'll keep or who you will become. Don't feel betrayed if the other person withdraws or remains silent when you start a riff on how hard it is to blah blah blah. She/he is wisely trying to build new boundaries for the care and safety of your relationship. It may feel lousy and lonely for a while but it's the only way to move forward in a healthy way.

9. Get together as a (newly-reconfigured) family
If you can, make time to gather as a family. Go out for dinner. Show the kids you still care about each other. They are going to want you back together anyway and you might as well start demonstrating early that they still have two parents who love them and value each other, and we are still a family no matter what.

10. No new people
If there are third parties involved, you're probably not going to be able to take any of this advice because somebody done somebody really wrong and somebody is enraged, betrayed and deeply wounded. If, however, somehow there were others involved or others come enter the scene early on, do not, DO NOT involve them with the kids. Even if the kids are teenagers it's too confusing and raw. Let the focus be on the family of origin.   

For your copy of Divorce Hell, CLICK HERE!  

*article found on psychology today

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dealing with Personal and Family Issues After Divorce

After your divorce is over, you enter a new phase in your life. You may feel happier than you have felt in a long time, free of the tension and strife that plagued your marriage. Life after divorce can represent a time of personal growth, rediscovery, and new opportunities.

On the other hand, being single again can be an intimidating and lonely experience — particularly if divorce was not your idea and you are unprepared for life on your own or if you have sole custody of your children. Even if you sought that custody arrangement, having full-time responsibility for your children seven days a week, night and day, can be overwhelming, not to mention exhausting.

Being easy on yourself

To help you adjust to all the changes in your life, avoid piling unreasonable expectations on yourself. Just do what you must to tie up the loose ends of your divorce; otherwise, take a breather and regroup mentally and physically. Although you may have big plans for what you want to do with the rest of your life, give yourself the opportunity to recover from what you've just gone through.

In other words, being a little lazy — letting your house get messier than it usually is, eating fast-food dinners once in while, skipping a few workouts at the gym — is okay. Pressuring yourself to make important decisions right away, before you can think them through with a clear head, may cause you to make some mistakes you'll regret later on.

On the other hand, you need to maintain those habits that make you feel good about yourself and about life in general. If you get too lazy, you may slip into a funk you can't crawl out of, which will definitely interfere with your ability to get on with your life as a single person.

Taking time to reflect on what happened

Try to put your recent experiences into perspective. Take time to understand why your marriage didn't work out and how you may have contributed to your marital problems. Otherwise, you may end up making the same mistakes twice. Keeping a journal is a good way to do this and therapy can be a big help, too.

Accept the fact that your life is no longer the way it used to be and it never will be again. This doesn't mean that your new life has to be a disappointment — it's just different. Try to identify some benefits to your being single again (they may be hard to find at first, but they do exist). For example, you have more privacy and time to yourself, your relationship with your children is stronger, and you can sleep better because you're no longer stressed out by your divorce.

Finding a support group

Consider joining a divorce support group. Its members can help bolster your confidence through the inevitable down times as you rebuild your life and can provide you with advice and feedback when you encounter problems you're not sure how to handle.

Becoming handy around the house

Being divorced usually means having to take on new household chores — cooking, grocery shopping, balancing the checkbook, home repairs, mowing the lawn — chores your ex-spouse used to do. If you need to get up-to-speed quickly on unfamiliar household tasks, relatives and friends may be willing to give you a quick lesson (don't be ashamed to ask them for the help you need). Reading how-to books or taking classes are also good ways to acquire new skills. Soon you'll feel proud of what you can accomplish on your own and gain confidence in your ability to learn even more.

Finding activities you and your children enjoy

If you are a noncustodial parent, being with your kids may be awkward for all of you at first. Seeing you living in a new place and not having you in their everyday lives may feel weird to your children.
To help everyone feel more comfortable and adjust to the new situation, try to avoid making every get-together a special event. Simple activities such as a trip to the grocery store, a bike ride, doing homework together, or watching a video — the kinds of things you used to do with one another — take some of the pressure off and helps reassure your kids that not everything in their lives has changed.

You can reassure your kids that you're still an active parent by attending their school's open house, attending their recitals or sporting events, or joining in their scouting activities. Even if you live out of town, making it a point to show up at least a couple of times a year to lend moral support means a lot to your children and assures them that they're very important to you.

If you are a noncustodial parent, don't be upset if your kids don't act overjoyed to see you when you pick them up, but then seem sad to leave you. Their initial nonchalance may be their way of protecting themselves emotionally, or it may reflect their confidence that you will always be in their lives and divorce hasn't changed your love and concern for them. Don't make assumptions about the ways your children are responding to the changes occurring in their lives. Instead, observe your children and try to understand the true reasons for their behavior.

If your children are living with you but spending some nights with your former spouse, give your kids time to get used to their other parent's home and the different rules your ex may expect your children to follow. Your children may have a hard time falling asleep when they spend the night at your ex's or may act reluctant to spend time there at first, but most likely they'll adjust fairly quickly to their new living arrangement.

Working at rebuilding a sense of family

As you recover from your divorce, rebuilding a sense of family with your children is important. This is particularly critical if your marital problems have affected how your entire family functions.

Whether you are a custodial parent, a noncustodial parent, or share custody with your spouse, your children need to feel that they're still part of a real family, which is essential to your child's sense of self-worth. To help maintain a sense of family, hold on to as many family rituals as possible, such as attending religious ceremonies with your children or arranging for all of you to spend holidays with your extended family.

Think about establishing new family customs (going on an annual family vacation or taking up a new hobby with your children, for example) to make them feel as if some benefits to their new life do exist and to help your children enjoy spending time with you as a family.

For your copy of DIVORCE HELL - Click HERE 

*article from divorce for dummies .com

Friday, January 13, 2012

Crazy Divorce Stories!

A Saudi woman asked for divorce in 2008 because her husband tried to sneak one look at her face after 30 years of marriage. A Saudi Arabian man lived with his wife for 30 years without setting eyes on her face. His 50-year-old wife followed the tradition of her native village near the south-western city of Khamis Mushayt and kept her features veiled at all times.

One night the husband was overcome by curiosity and tried to lift his wife's veil as she slept to take a look at her face. It was an error he is unlikely to be given a chance to repeat for his outraged wife woke up during his sneak peek and decided to demand a divorce.

The betrayed wife said her husband apologized and promised never to do it again, but she insisted she wanted a divorce. It may seem odd, but cases of Saudi husbands with wives forever shrouded in mystery are not uncommon.

In 2001, a Chinese woman launched divorce proceedings against her husband after the family's pet mynah bird reportedly spilled the beans on his marital indiscretions. According to the Xinmin Evening News, the woman first suspected something was amiss when the bird began repeating words apparently picked up from her husband's secret telephone calls to his lover after she returned from a month-long visit to her parents. She said words such as "divorce", "I love you", and "be patient" had become an increasingly frequent feature of the feathered telltale's idle twitterings.

She took her case -- along with the bird -- to a local law office for consultation, hoping it would testify in court against her husband; lawyers however told her they were not optimistic that the bird's testimony would sway the court. The wife filed for divorce but, for some bizarre reason, evidence from a bird was apparently not admissible in Chinese courts.


In April 2009, a German woman divorced her husband because she was “fed up” with him cleaning everything all the time. The wife got through 15 years of marriage putting up with the man’s penchant for doing household chores, tidying up and rearranging the furniture, but she ran out of patience when he knocked down and rebuilt a wall at their home when it got dirty.

A Romanian woman demanded a divorce in 2005 because she couldn't stand having lunch with her mother-in-law every day. The 22-year-old woman had been married for only 10 months when she claimed her life turned into a nightmare because of her mother-in-law.

Elena T. from Focsani, in Vrancea county, said to a judge that the presence of her mother-in-law at the most important meal of the day with her teasing remarks had ruined her marriage. The court asked Mrs. Elena to reconsider her demand, advising her to find a better reason if she wants to separate from her husband.

 To order your copy of Divorce Hell, CLICK HERE

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Facebook Cited in Third of U.K. Divorces

Have you ever been caught flirting on Facebook with someone besides your significant other? Apparently you're not alone.
A new survey conducted by U.K. divorce Web site Divorce-Online found that married couples are increasingly being driven apart by transgressions that occurred on the popular social media site. So much so that 33 percent of divorce petitions in 2011 contained references to Facebook, according to the survey.
Moreover, the amount of Facebook-related divorces ratcheted up in recent years–substantially, according to the survey. In 2009, the last time the survey was conducted, Facebook was mentioned in just 20 percent of divorce petitions. In both cases, 5,000 divorce petitions were queried by researchers.
As in the 2009 survey, the most common reason for citing Facebook in a divorce petition related to a spouse's behavior with members of the opposite sex. Also, spouses used Facebook to comment about their exes and used their public walls as "weapons in their divorce battle," the survey states.
The top three reasons included: inappropriate messages sent to members of the opposite sex; separated spouses posting nasty comments about each other; and Facebook friends reporting a spouse's behavior.
"People need to be careful what they write on their walls as the courts are seeing these posts being used in financial disputes and children cases as evidence," Mark Keenan, a spokesman for Divorce-Online, said in a statement.
Facebook did not immediately respond to questions about the study.
Twitter, meanwhile, appeared in a mere 20 divorce petitions queried by researchers. Those cases commonly involved Twitter being used as a tool to make comments about exes.

To order your copy of Divorce Hell please CLICK HERE!

*Article found on pcmag.com