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.
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...
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....
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.
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
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...
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.
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.
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.
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...
Going through a divorce is hard but the transition doesn't end when the divorce is settled. The negotiations are over but there are still many changes to face. When you begin life after divorce, sometimes you just need a reminder that you are amazing and you can get through this. Here are 21 quotes to remind you of just that.
“Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.” – Roy T. Bennett
“Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered.” – Michelle Obama
"When we deny our stories, They define us. When we own our stories, we get to write the ending." – Brené Brown
"Throw us an obstacle and we grow stronger." – Brad Henry
“I have not ceased being fearful, but I have ceased to let fear control me.” – Erica Jong
“My mission in life is not merely...
You've decided you want to try mediation but you aren't sure how to ask your spouse to mediate your divorce. I get it. When your marriage is ending, and both of you are going your separate ways, it can be hard to be on the same page about anything, much less mediation. Use the following tips to help you ask (and convince) your spouse to mediate the divorce.
As with anything, preparation is critical. While you don't need to be an expert on mediation, having enough background knowledge to understand why it interests you is essential. Do some research ahead of time. You might be able to find all you need to know with a simple online search, but if you are missing information, contact a professional for those details.
Once you have the details about mediation, you must communicate carefully with your spouse. Keep in mind that you may both be reeling from the changes taking place, so this is a great time...
Change can be difficult whether you choose to make changes in your life or someone else has made that choice for you. Let's face it. Divorce changes many facets of your life and will test your ability to handle change to an extreme.
Some people struggle more than others with change. They fight it, they avoid it, fear it, and sometimes feel guilty about it. These notions would make anyone want to keep things as same as possible. One would think that only adrenaline junkies and dysfunctional people would want to disrupt what could be a perfectly normal situation for something that could be worse. Keep in mind that the situation could be better.
If you've been in an unhappy marriage, your divorce can bring about a lot of positive change in your life. I remember how real the fear was when I was going through my own divorce. I had fears about parenting and about money and about basic things like taking care of the house. As it turned out, when I committed to dealing with the changes I...
One of the hardest things to do as a divorced parent is to encourage your kids to go with your ex when they don’t want to. However, consistency is key to making those transitions easier over time. When my ex and I first separated, my youngest was a toddler. We all know how toddlers act when they're not happy. He would throw a tantrum every time he had to transition between our homes. It used to break my heart the way that he would cry and fuss.
As long as the kids aren’t avoiding going due to neglect or abuse, it's your job to encourage them to. Some children don’t do well with change, so the transition between households can be especially difficult. Keep in mind that it doesn't have anything to do with the other parent. You'll be doing your children a favor if you work to make transitioning as smooth as possible.
Use the following tips to encourage your children when...