Top Ten Ways to Prepare for Divorce

Top Ten Ways to Prepare for Divorce

We all know that divorces can become very ugly, very fast. It is not in your best interest to have your head in the clouds when your spouse is thinking strategically.

Top Ten Ways to Prepare for Divorce:

  1. Hire an Attorney Immediately!
  2. Gather Copies of Records and Crucial Documents
  3. Have Access to Your Own Money
  4. Be Aware of Outstanding Bills and Debts
  5. Keep a Daily Journal/Calendar of Significant Events
  6. Change Passwords to All Online Accounts (email, banking, Facebook, etc.)
  7. Do NOT Say, Text, Email, or Post on Facebook Anything that You Do Not Want Your Divorce Judge or the Police to Hear
  8. Prepare to Be Treated Like the Enemy by Your Spouse
  9. Keep Track of All Mail Coming to Your House
  10. Do NOT Involve Your Children in Adult Problems

**The above list is for educational purposes only and is not meant to provide legal advice. Every case is different, and it is essential to seek legal advice immediately.**

Tips for Helping Children Cope with Holiday Stress

Tips for Helping Children Cope with Holiday Stress

For most children the holidays are happy, fun and exciting. Children are on a break from school, and the holidays serve as a time to see friends and relatives and enjoy special food and family traditions. For some children, however, the holidays can be stressful and confusing. When parents are newly divorced, the holidays often remind children of what has changed in their lives. Although things have changed, it is important to make sure that both the children and the parents have peaceful holidays.

For those parenting out of two households, seasonal festivities often send stress levels soaring. But with these useful tips, these stressful situations can be manageable for the children as well as the parents.

  • Keep the holidays tension free. Orchestrating a Christmas between split parents can be frustrating. But be mindful that they key to making things work for the children is to have a tension free holiday. If you can reasonably manage your feelings, a holiday together could be meaningful for the children. If not, you will be better having separate celebrations. Just keep in mind that even though you may have personal differences, putting on a tension free front to your children will be for their best interests.
  • Keep the children in the loop, and smooth out transitions. Going back and forth between two households during the holidays can be challenging as well as frustrating for children. Many kids will not understand why they are being shuffled between so many people and locations. Keep the children in the know of what is going on and give them a heads up of what’s next. Instead of telling them when it is time to go without notice, inform the children of what the plan is ahead of time. Set time aside to sit down with your children before the holidays begin and map out a schedule for them. The more they know ahead of time, the easier the transition from one family to another will be.
  • Don’t focus on “fair”, but what is right for the children. When it comes to scheduling holidays between households, parents can often become overly concerned with conflict or competition with each other and forget how it feels for the children. But parents must remember that what is “fair” for the mother and father may not be what is best for the children. Do your best to stay flexible and make sure to keep your children’s needs at the top of your agenda.
  • Holidays present challenges for lots of families. While the holidays can be stressful, keeping the children’s best interest in mind will be the best way to ensure that you and your family have a stress-free holiday. Talk with your children. Ask them what they would like, and do your best to take that into account. By following these tips, you can make sure that you and your children have a successful holiday season.
Divorce: A New Year’s Resolution?

Divorce: A New Year’s Resolution?

January is traditionally a time for new beginnings. Many people set New Year’s Resolutions for themselves, and they begin to turn over new leaves in their lives. During these new beginnings, January is also the time we see the most new divorce filings. If you have been contemplating the idea of divorcing your significant other, but excuses keep standing in your way, then this is the year that you need to let go and move on. Facing fears of moving on can be scary, but it is also the first step of becoming who you will be once the divorce has been finalized and you have moved forward in your life. Below are a few good reasons why it is beneficial to file for divorce at the beginning of the new year:

1. Re-discovering yourself on your own is liberating!

If the new year is a great time to get healthier, get out of debt, or plan to travel more, it is also a good time to open a whole new chapter in your life. If the thought of being alone has scared you and kept you from filing for divorce in the past, then you have been letting fear control your future. As anyone who has been in an unhappy relationship knows, it is often much lonelier to be with someone who doesn’t “get” you anymore than it is to be single. It is time to change! When you decide to move forward with divorce proceedings and suddenly find yourself single for the first time in a while, you find new interests, friends and hobbies that you neglected to pursue in your past relationship. By doing this, you will begin to discover that piece of yourself that has been missing.

2. The longer you stay, the more you could pay.

Deciding whether or not you should file for divorce from your spouse is undoubtedly a decision that deserves very careful thought. However, there comes a time when a decision must be made. If you know it is over, don’t let fear keep you in a bad relationship. Also, the more time that you spend with your spouse, the more money is accrued in your marital accounts and the more you risk losing when it comes time to settle your finances. So while you should never rush the decision, try to remember that the more time you spend in undecided self-reflection, the more money you may be putting on the line in the long run.

3. You know what your income picture looks like.

In January of each year, you know what your prior full-year of income, expenses, and debts looks like. This is especially important if you have income that fluctuates due to self-employment, overtime, commissions, rents, and other streams of income. In addition, you may have your year-end bonus in the bank waiting to help you hire an attorney, move out and move on.

4. Removing toxic people from your life opens new doors.

If your marriage is unsupportive, abusive, unfulfilling or just plain unhappy, staying in the relationship is bound to give you self-respect issues. Many believe that after a while that lack of passion is inevitable and that you are not worthy of affection and love. But that is wrong! You deserve to be in a relationship that is uplifting and positive, receiving encouragement and love from your partner. Once you decide to leave your spouse, you will feel hopeful, lighter and ready for all the new adventure that life has in store for you.

5. It’s a great time to plan for the future.

You may have just experienced your last Thanksgiving and Christmas as a family. January is a great time to think about new traditions. Also, January is the perfect time to plan your financial future – who will pay the Visa card? Will I keep the house or get a new place? Who will get the mortgage interest deduction? What access to funds will I have to start over? Should I take this as an opportunity to further my education? Should I change careers or stick with my current path? What custody, visitation or parenting time arrangements work best for our family? The longer into each year that you wait to make these kinds of decisions makes them that much harder.

There is absolutely no better time than now to begin a new life and a new you. So, if you have been weighing your options and know that you have a second chance during this new year, it is time to use these helpful tips and start becoming the new you!

Talking With Your Children About Divorce

Talking With Your Children About Divorce

Divorce can be a difficult situation for all parties involved, especially the children. Many children are confused about the situation and do not understand why their parents are separating.

Although this can be difficult, talking with children is a crucial part of the puzzle when you are dealing with a divorce. Parents often put off talking to their children about divorce because they are unsure how to explain such a complex situation. But a delay in talking with your children can actually make the divorce more difficult for the children in the long run.

When children are suddenly surprised with the divorce of their parents, they go through a great deal of emotions. Many feel as if it is their fault that their parents are separating, while many begin acting out and become angry with others. This is another reason why explaining to your children why you and your spouse are divorcing is very important.

To help you make this process easier, here are six strategies for talking with your kids about divorce. While it may seem beyond your capabilities, just remember that there are ways to make it easier on both yourself and your children.

  1. Talk to your children with your spouse, if possible. If you present a united front to your children, they may not be as confused about the situation.
  2. Carefully, and appropriately, explain the reasons for the divorce. Make sure whatever you tell your children is appropriate to their age and maturity level.
  3. Make it clear that the divorce is not the child’s fault. Many children struggle with guilt during their parent’s separation. Be sure to reiterate that this is not their fault.
  4. Maintain eye contact and a calm attitude. In order for your children to believe the situation, you must remain calm and truthful. If you begin to get angry, the child may become angry and upset as well.
  5. Avoid blaming your spouse. Although you will have personal issues with your spouse, they are still the child’s parent. Do not put down your spouse to the child. This will only create more stress on the child, making them feel like they should have to pick sides when they should not.
  6. Allow plenty of time for children to ask questions. They will have many questions as to why this is happening and what is going to happen in the future, and they deserve to have those questions answered to your fullest abilities.

Remember, every family is different. Talking about your divorce with your children can be difficult, but will be a critical step forward in the healing process.

Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

In the world today there are countless means of communication with others. Thanks to social media websites the world is more connected than ever. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and more we are able to reconnect with your first love, childhood best friend, or college buddy. Unfortunately, with social media websites people can discover information you did not want them to.

If you are in the process of a divorce, child custody, and/or support case you should be cautious when using social media. You should think of social media activity as both public and permanent. If used properly social media can be entertaining and innocent but, if it is not used correctly it can be damaging to your case.

Here are some helpful tips to think about when using social media while going through a divorce, child custody, and/or support case.

1. DO NOT post pictures or comments revealing a wild, or out of control party lifestyle.

2. DO NOT post negatively about your Ex, your Ex’s family, your Ex’s attorney, or the Judge. Negativity will get you nowhere.

3. DO NOT post pictures of lavish vacations, fancy cars, new motorcycles, or luxury items (especially if child support is an issue).

4. DO NOT post status about your new boyfriend/girlfriend, particularly when your divorce is not finalized.

5. DO NOT post a profile on a dating website.

6. DO be selective about the information you share. Remember to think twice about what you post, even the smallest comments can be used against you in a divorce or custody/support case.

7. DO try and be positive, yet realistic. Posting negative, pessimistic, discouraging things about yourself can only hurt your case in the long run.

8. DO pay close attention to the photos your friends are posting of you or tagging you in. Your page is not the only one that could be monitored.