Since I started supporting those going through the divorce process, I have been amazed at the extremes I have witnessed. Some clients start out pursuing an amicable termination of marriage only to be drawn into a high conflict situation by their soon-to-be-ex. Others are extremely angry when they first reach out but find healing through the process and work together toward reasonable settlements over time. Then, of course, there is everything in between.
I knew I needed more training to support those going through high conflict divorce. I was fortunate enough to attend one of Bill Eddy's live trainings when he came to Cleveland several years ago. He is an authority on managing high conflict personalities through the divorce process, and I have several of his books on my shelf that I refer to regularly.
In the latest edition of Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or...
Holidays are a time for family, friends and spending time together, but this can be very complicated if you’re divorced and are trying to figure out how to make it a great holiday for your kids. And if it’s your first Christmas after a divorce, there will definitely be challenges.
I still remember my first Christmas after my divorce. I struggled to keep our family routines as close to “normal” as possible, especially for my then-toddler. And honestly, it was very tough - dealing with my own emotions while trying to make the season special for my kids.
So, if you’re going through this, I feel for you right now. It will get better (I know, it doesn’t feel like it, but it will). I do think that with some planning you and your co-parent can create a happy Christmas for your kids, and hopefully these five tips will help.
1. Make Plans in Advance
As the holidays get closer, emotions can get more intense as we often become stressed...
Whether Thanksgiving will be your first major holiday after your divorce or whether you’ve been divorced for many years, the holiday season can be tough. November and December holidays usually include a lot of annual traditions, and those may feel quite different after your divorce.
Sometimes people try to recreate those same traditions minus one person, and it doesn’t work out - it usually ends up being so obvious that someone is missing, and everyone ends up feeling sad about the loss.
So instead of trying to keep all of the same traditions, this is the perfect time to make new traditions - or at least try something new, even if it’s only for this year. It’s not set in stone that you do have to do the same thing year after year.
Here are some ideas to add to your Thanksgiving list of traditions (or maybe replace some that don’t fit into your life anymore).
Go Informal...or Formal
If your family usually eats on fine china with cloth...
What is a gray divorce?
Gray Divorce is not a new term and has been used in the United States since 2004. But gray divorce has been used more commonly in recent years as the divorce rate for those 55 and older has been on the rise. The term was originally coined “gray” divorce to signify a group of older adults who may have gray hair that are getting divorced.
A True Act of Love
In a Facebook group that I am a part of, someone commented that people over 55 should not get divorced. They should just stay together for the rest of their lives since they are already middle aged. What’s the point of starting over at that age? The comment upset me as I don’t think people should simply stay together because of their age, and I have seen gray divorces where the couple is very respectful and loving toward one another. It’s a true act of love where the couple is setting each other free to live his/her best life!
I have worked with hundreds of people...
To ensure a smooth divorce process, some people think you need to have the best lawyer, a negotiation coach, or for your ex to give you everything you asked for without question. And while those things will make the divorce process easier and more pleasant, they only come after having this one thing under control.
When I work with couples, the most successful clients are organized clients. They are on top of their paperwork, they have all of their documents prepared and ready to go, and they have double-checked that they have everything they need.
If you aren’t organized, a whole host of headaches could pop up. You could be treated to additional back-and-forth with your lawyers (which means more billable hours used), delays, or even possibly having to go back to court to have your separation agreement revised. What’s more: if it isn’t corrected, you wouldn't get your retirement settlement. It isn’t as simple as just knowing an account number: you have to be...
When I look at divorce settlement proposals for clients as part of my Financial Consultations, there’s one thing I consider above everything else. I’d encourage you to do the same. In evaluating your divorce settlement, think of this first and foremost: Are you able to uphold this agreement?
Oftentimes, people want the maximum child and/or spousal support possible — and I get that. However, if someone is making a promise they can’t uphold yet they’re signing a legal, binding document saying they will, it could land everyone in hot water (or, at the very least, lead to unnecessary drama and possible post-decree issues).
It’s important for you and the other person signing the divorce agreement not to make promises you can’t keep. Consider these three things when evaluating your divorce settlement to ensure you're not forgetting the cardinal rule of “don’t make promises you can’t keep.”
Like I wrote in...
There are many factors to consider when putting together a financial settlement agreement, but one of the things that’s come up recently among my clients has been refinancing your house as part of your divorce financial settlement. (Enough so that I did a Facebook Live on the topic.)
There are two main things to consider when agreeing to anything, but especially when agreeing to a financial settlement that has pretty serious consequences if you’re no longer able to uphold your end of the deal.
First thing’s first… You have to make sure it’s actually realistic and that you A) can refinance on your own and B) are able to do so within the terms of the agreement.
Some of the language I’m seeing lately has been around the time limit for refinancing. In some cases, there are some pretty serious consequences if you aren’t able to — in some cases, I’m seeing as little as 30 days for refinancing....
Divorce can be a bit like a special club that you never anticipated having access to. That time before divorce is confusing, hurtful, and a host of other emotions. Once you’re on the other side, you truly can see clearly again.
So, if you’re in the fog and not sure what to expect, you’re not alone. Trust me, even with the best of advice and resources, every person who’s going through a divorce is unique and has some level of anxiety about it.
While I don’t recommend listening to just any old advice about divorce, I do recommend seeking out people who have experience with it to guide you, both when speaking candidly with others and when seeking expert support (like a mediator, financial advisor, and so on).
As such, I asked a group of divorced and soon-to-be divorced women, “What do you wish you knew before your divorce?” I got so many responses, I couldn’t fit them into one (or even two!) blog posts!
(Both of my previous posts...
“Divorce coaching, is that something I really need, and is it worth the expense?” asked a mom in a Facebook group I joined several months ago.
The group moderator, a divorced mom who is not a divorce professional and who never worked with a divorce coach, answered. “Divorce coaches are only for high conflict high net worth cases”. In her opinion, divorce coaches are:
Feeling overwhelmed by emotion (something I warn my clients about daily), I could not remain silent. Offering to chat with anyone who wanted to learn more about divorce coaching. I explained that a divorce coach
In my haste to set the record straight, I overstepped a...
I have worked with a lot of women and couples through the years as a divorce financial planner and mediator, and I truly believe that you can thrive after divorce. I have seen it first hand, both watching the people I’ve worked with and having been through it myself!
If there’s one thing that’s a common factor between all successful mediations and divorce cases, it’s this: you have to cut through the noise to reach your own internal guidance system and build up your confidence in yourself.
Before, during, and even after a divorce, we get so overwhelmed with input from so many places that we lose touch with our intuition. The reality is that no one knows what you’re going through except for you. There are people who are more trained and qualified to offer assistance, but only you know what’s right for you.
How do you cut through the noise to hear yourself again? These three tips will help you prepare yourself well so you can once more trust in...