Strategies for Overcoming Co-Parenting Conflicts

When you’re trying to co-parent with your ex, it can make things more difficult for you and your child. Successful co-parenting results in happier children, parents who are less stressed, and an overall greater level of contentment after divorce. While it can be difficult to get adjusted to having a healthy and happy co-parenting relationship, use these strategies for overcoming co-parenting conflicts! 

Above All Else, Consider Your Child 

The reason you’re doing this is for the one who is most important to you, right? It’s all about your child and making sure they have the healthiest childhood for them. Keep that in mind during any type of conflict and you’ll immediately diffuse the situation with your ex. It’s also important to kindly remind your ex why you are both doing this. By keeping the common denominator, your love for your child, in mind, you’ll make it easier to negotiation and compromise during all conflicts with your...

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Talking to Your Family Members at the Holidays About Your Divorce

divorce family mediation Dec 03, 2019

I have seen the tension in a divorce increase too many times as a result of meddling family members or friends. During the holidays, we tend to interact with family members and friends more than we do all year long, so there is even more opportunity for meddling than there typically is.

From my professional experience, it is so hard to watch when a couple has committed to handling their settlement in a mature and amicable way, but someone gets in one of their ears and tears the whole thing apart.

When I sit down with my clients who are going through mediation, I always encourage them to keep the conversations that happen in mediation in the mediation room. I know that when you're emotional, you may want to vent to a friend or a family member. However, divorce is a difficult process for everyone who is involved, and a meddling family member can make it even more complicated. 

Related post: How to Ask Your Spouse to Mediate Your Divorce

If you're dealing with...

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Your First Christmas After Divorce

If it's your first Christmas after your divorce and you are feeling sad or lonely or even angry, that's completely normal. Feelings often intensify around the holidays.

I remember my first Christmas after my divorce well. My ex and I didn't have a lot of conversation regarding how it was going to go. We didn't have a plan. Our divorce was still relatively new, and we were barely on speaking terms at the time.

I was overwhelmed by simple things like getting the tree and other decorations out of the basement without my ex to help.

Related post: 6 Survival Tips for Dealing With Divorce Over the Holidays

No matter the circumstances, divorce is one of the most traumatic events you can go through in your adult life. The impact of divorce on your psyche could have you gearing up for a Christmas in the dumps. It t doesn’t have to be that way, though. Here’s how to make your first Christmas after divorce feel like something special again.   

Realistic Expectations...

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30 Quotes About Gratitude to Inspire You During Tough Times

gratitude quotes Nov 19, 2019

It's easy to focus on the negative when going through a divorce. In honor of this season of Thanksgiving, let's focus on the positive. Here are 30 quotes about gratitude to help you.

30 Quotes About Gratitude

"Being thankful is not always experienced as a natural state of existence, we must work at it, akin to a type of strength training for the heart." - Larissa Gomez 

"Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you." - Eileen Caddy

"I don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness - it's right in front of me if I'm paying attention and practicing gratitue." - Brene Brown

"The root of joy is gratefulness." - David Steindl-Rast

"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." - Melody Beattie

"Gratitude turns what we have into enough." 

"When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around." - Willie...

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Can Pre-Mediation Coaching Really Make a Difference?

It is my pleasure to welcome our latest guest blogger, Karen Dorsey. Karen is sharing some important information about a service often overlooked - pre-mediation coaching. Often those seeking mediation are looking to save money and aren't willing to consider additional services. However, some of those cost savings measures could cost you more in the long-run.

Pre-mediation is an excellent example of an investment that is well worth your time and money. It helps you to make the best use of your mediation sessions. While I (and I believe most other mediators) offer pre-mediation coaching on an informal basis for all my clients choosing mediation, Karen provides a more formal approach (described below), which could be especially helpful in high conflict cases.

Can Pre-Mediation Coaching Make a Difference?

Are you and your spouse deciding on whether or not to go to mediation?

Is your attorney recommending mediation instead of a costly court battle?

Is the court in your state...

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A Letter of Gratitude to My Ex

A letter of gratitude to my Ex in honor of this month of Thanksgiving...

To the Father of My Children, My Partner in Parenting:

I know that I haven't always been grateful. And I know that there was a time in our lives when I could not think of a nice thing to say to you. There was a time when I was filled with so much hurt and anger that gratitude felt like an impossible idea. But that time has passed.

We've had our moments - but we had a lot of good times, too. For more than ten years, you were there for me. You were there for me in the dark hours when my dad was sick, and you were there for me when my father passed away. For that, I am grateful.

You were also there for wonderful memories. We went on trips together, and we grew up together in a lot of ways. We explored new faith communities together. We shared a life together, and for that, I am grateful.

Together, you and I created an incredible family. Words cannot even begin to describe the depth of my gratitude for that.

...
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How to Divide a 401K in a Divorce

In general, there is a lot of confusion around different types of retirement accounts. Some people refer to all retirement accounts as pensions or all retirement accounts as 401Ks. Referring to retirement accounts by the wrong account type becomes problematic in divorce cases because the accounts don't all have the same rules, and they need to be correctly identified. If you are not sure which type(s) of accounts you are negotiating, contact a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA). 

This post is referring specifically to how to divide a 401K in a divorce. A 401K is an employer-sponsored retirement account that is governed by ERISA. The division of a 401K in a divorce is different from how some other retirement accounts get divided. You can see some of my other posts regarding how to divide other types of retirement accounts below.

Related posts: 

What Everyone Ought to Know About Divorce and Retirement Accounts

How to Keep Your Pension in a Divorce

...

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My Spouse Just Asked Me for a Divorce - What Should I Do?

If your spouse just asked for a divorce, you are likely experiencing a lot of different emotions. Take a step back and breathe. It might not feel like it right now, but you are going to be okay.

The first thing you should do is start taking really good care of yourself. This may seem like a strange recommendation, but when difficult things happen in our lives, it's easy to put self-care on the back burner. This is when we need it the most! 

Related Post: 30 Journal Prompts to Help You Through Your Divorce

Emotionally Preparing for a Divorce

Give yourself time to process your feelings. If you want to try to work on your relationship before moving forward with terminating the marriage, you need to be as clear-headed as possible. If your spouse is adamant that they want to end the marriage and are not interested in trying to improve things, you are going to need a clear head to make all of the big decisions that will be coming your way.

I always encourage people to...

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30 Journal Prompts to Help You Through Your Divorce

emotions journaling Oct 15, 2019

I have journaled off and on since I knew how to write. Journaling helped me through some of the toughest times in my life. Whether you've journaled previously or not, the action of putting pen to paper is an extraordinarily beneficial way to improve your life. Journaling is an effortless way to change your life when it feels like nothing is going right.

Discover what’s important

When you free write, you end up writing about the things that are most important to you. They may be things that you don’t even think of as that important but looking back over your writings later will give you a strong inclination of what you find the most rewarding in your life. For example, if you find yourself coming back to the idea of starting your own business over and over again, it’s evident that it’s a dream that’s important to you. When your life is in chaos, you have less to lose, and you might decide to go for it and see what happens.

Note your accomplishments

We...

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7 Tips for Social Media During Your DivorceĀ 

Social media has become such an important part of our lives. However, when going through a divorce, you may want to be a little more cautious. I am thrilled to welcome guest blogger, Elizabeth Billies, to share the seven don'ts of social media during a divorce.

7 Tips for Social Media During Your Divorce

by Guest Blogger, Elizabeth Billies, Attorney

We share our lives on social media. Birthdays, vacations, pet photos, it's all out there for the world to see. Social media posts, text messages, and emails have become the most common ways we communicate with our friends and family. So, it makes sense that if you are willing to share your latest sunset photo or what you ate for breakfast on the internet, you are also likely to share your thoughts on your divorce/breakup online as well. 

However, you need to think about what you post on social media during this process. Certain social media don'ts can have a direct effect on your divorce.  The last thing that you want is to...

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