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...
It may or may not come as a surprise to you that a pension is frequently the most significant asset divided in a divorce. With that said, it's not a foregone conclusion that you'll have to give up a portion of your pension as part of your divorce settlement. I'm surprised by the number of cases I see in which the parties decide the pension owner will retain it in its entirety. So, how can you keep your pension in a divorce?
First, consider your overall financial picture. If you want to keep the pension and it's one of the more significant assets in your marital estate, you're likely going to be giving up other assets. What are you willing to give up in exchange for the pension?
To get a full financial picture, start by determining the value of the pension. Please note that this is not the value shown on the pension statement. A pension is valued by discounting the future benefit back to the present value. Keep in mind that only...
When I first meet with couples seeking mediation for their divorce, I find that many have the same questions. One common question is how long divorce mediation will take to complete. It's a tough question to answer since there are many factors that contribute to the completion of divorce mediation. I'll share the factors that I consider to have an impact.
Most of the divorce mediations that I handle take two to four, two-hour mediation sessions to resolve all the issues that need to be resolved. This is after we meet together for a mediation orientation session. In the orientation, I discuss the mediation process and both parties sign the agreement to mediate. Additionally, by the time we start mediation I have had the opportunity to meet with each party individually to discuss their goals and concerns. Here are the six factors that I have noticed will determine how long divorce mediation takes.
When I was dealing with my breakup, I felt a wide range of emotions - everything from sadness to shame to anger and back again. Sometimes in a matter of minutes. On my best days, I wasn't being very kind to myself and on my worst days, I was my own worst enemy.
When you're dealing with a breakup, some days are just plain rough. Maybe you didn't sleep well and you start the day off grumpy and things only get worse from there. You spill your coffee on yourself on the way to work or the traffic’s terrible. You’re late for your meeting, no time for lunch and you wish you’d spent the day in bed.
When you are already emotional from the changes in your life, every little thing that goes wrong can feel much bigger than it is. If you’re having a terrible day, stop for a minute, take a deep breath and take some time out to be kind to yourself. You can’t undo the bad things that have already...
If you are struggling financially after a divorce, you're not alone. Going from one combined household to two separate ones is expensive regardless of your income or divorce settlement. With a little focus, though, you should be back on track in no time.
Consider the following steps to recover your financial situation more quickly.
The most important thing that you can do is to prioritize improving your financial situation. Sure, you may recognize that your finances are not what they once were, but if you don't take the steps to change your situation, you'll find yourself in the same spot months or even years from now.
Decide to start immediately. You'll thank yourself later.
Once you've made improving your financial situation a priority, it's important to know where to start. Take the time to...
Looking for FAFSA tips for divorced parents? In many of my divorce cases, how college expenses will be handled is an issue that needs to be addressed. It's common for parents to wait to divorce until their children are teenagers or young adults. This tends to be around the same time that people are preparing to send their children to college. Unfortunately, many are unprepared for future higher education expenses.
Applying for and paying for college can be very stressful for many parents. Co-parenting is hard enough without the stress of supporting your kids through the college application process. Often, divorce settlements don't detail how college expenses will be handled. It's outside of the jurisdiction of many states' domestic relations courts. If college expenses are detailed in the agreement, they're often vague with limited concern around the details adding additional stress.
Enter the FAFSA. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal...
With three school-age children, I'll be honest. I dread the beginning-of-the-school-year paperwork. There is so much new information coming at me and lots to remember - not to mention the mountain of forms I always spend the first few days of the school year filling out. If you are sharing parenting responsibilities with your Ex, it takes teamwork for a smooth transition into the new year. Here are some tips for success.
Work with your co-parent to create a transition plan from the summer schedule to the routine for the school year. In our house, we let the kids stay up a little later and sleep in a little later during the summer. About a week before school starts, we start returning the kids to their normal school sleep schedule. That way, they are well-rested for the first day of school. It's a simple thing but it makes our mornings before school go much smoother.
If possible, I recommend...
Talking to your children about divorce isn't easy, especially when still processing your own feelings. Sometimes using books that are designed to guide the conversation can be helpful. Here is a list of age-appropriate children's books about divorce. Click on the picture of the book to find it on Amazon.
Koko is a preschool-aged bear whose parents are getting divorced. Koko is very upset. The book was written to be read by parents to their children and help them talk about how they're feeling. It reassures children that their parents still love them regardless of the changes happening in their family.
Dinah is scared. Mama and Daddy Bear are getting a divorce. Daddy is moving out, and she's not sure when she'll get to see him again. This sweet book doesn't go into details about divorce but helps acknowledge that there are big...
Preparing for a divorce is a lot more than just picking up the phone and calling an attorney. There are the emotional aspects, financial, legal, and, of course, there are parenting issues. It means figuring out what life is going to look like when it's all said and done and includes preparing your children for the transition. For the stay-at-home mom, there are additional concerns around income.
When you realize that your marriage is over, it's normal to feel a variety of emotions. Over time, you'll experience all of the stages of grief. You'll be grieving not only the loss of your relationship but the loss...