Top 4 Tips for Managing Stress During Divorce

Top 4 Tips for Managing Stress During Divorce

Top 4 Tips for Managing Stress During Divorce

Stress is a serious factor in modern life. Stress is particularly prevalent during a divorce, which is said to be the most stressful and traumatic event that anyone can experience, second only to the death of a loved one. Stress can harm your immune system, cause weight gain, and even interfere with your cognitive functioning.

Some tips for managing stress:

  • Exercise has tremendous physical, mental and emotional benefits which cannot be overstated. Yoga is particularly effective in helping cope with stress, as numerous studies have shown that yoga can decrease depression, reduce the levels of the cortisol (stress) hormone in your body and increase gray matter in your brain.
  • Sleep is key to stress management. Losing even one hour of sleep each night can cause mental and physical impairment, which means you cannot make good decisions during this tough time in your life. Practice good sleep hygiene by making sure you have a dark and cool room, avoid electronics before bed and sleep and wake around the same time every day.
  • Maintain a balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, unprocessed whole grains and high-quality proteins. Certain vitamins and minerals are essential to regulating the levels of cortisol and adrenalin in the body.
  • Avoid potentially harmful habits in dealing with stress. Remember that what we use to make us feel better should not make us feel worse. That means, when you are stressed, do not turn to a bottle of wine, a bag of chips or a pint of ice cream. Engage in a healthy activity instead, like taking a walk, meditating, or practicing a relaxing hobby that you enjoy.
What is a Guardian Ad Litem?

What is a Guardian Ad Litem?

When it comes to divorce, child custody and visitation disputes are no picnic. These events can be a very emotional and intense process. Frequently in divorce, child custody, or visitation disputes a Guardian Ad Litem, also known as a GAL, will be appointed.

In Alabama, a GAL is an attorney appointed by the court to represent the “best interests” of the child or children involved. A GAL’s duty is not necessarily to advocate for what the child wants which can sometimes be opposed to what is in the child’s best interests. The Guardian Ad Litem will often be asked to present a report and recommendation to the Court for consideration at the conclusion of the case, and, while the Court will take into consideration the recommendation of the GAL, the Court is not bound by what the GAL recommends.

A Guardian Ad Litem is not only appointed in divorce and custody cases but might also be appointed in cases such as;
• Minors involved without living parents
• Juvenile Delinquency Cases
• Child Abuse and Neglect cases
• Guardianships, Conservatorships and Decedents’ Estates in Probate Court.
• Civil Suits of all kinds where minors are involved.

Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

Divorce and the sale of your home often go hand in hand. Below are some tips from Carolyn Hasser, a local Realtor with Roberts Brothers.

Getting your home ready to sell

If you’re thinking of selling, here are a few tips to help you get top dollar for your home!

1. Spruce up your yard – plant a few flowers, hang a couple of ferns on the front porch, trim your shrubs back so that your windows can be seen, pull vines away from the house or eliminate them completely, edge, replace missing grass, and pick up toys. Curb appeal beckons your buyer to come inside, and if the outside doesn’t look neat and well kept, no one will want to go inside!

2. Declutter – Take personal pictures and put them away – buyers want to imagine their pictures and belongings in the house, and too many personal items like collectibles and pictures are distracting. Even too much furniture can keep the home from looking spacious. In the kitchen, remove as much as you can off the countertops. Either pack it away or put it into a cabinet. And don’t forget the garage! You’ll be moving anyway, so pack up as much as you can and store it. It may help to hire a professional stager to give his/her opinion and help you rearrange. Your realtor should be able to help you as well, or ask a friend whose taste you appreciate to be honest with you.

3. Clean out your closets – Space is a big seller, and if there are out of season clothes you don’t need at the moment, pack them away under beds or take them somewhere to be stored.

4. Keep rooms clean and neat – Sometimes a buyer will want to see your house at a moment’s notice – and you don’t want to pass that up, so keep everything in its place. If you have children (or a messy spouse!) just grab everything and put it in a container if you need to show quickly. Clean windows and bathrooms and make your kitchen sparkle.

5. Take Fido with you – or at least kennel him. You wouldn’t believe how many people are terrified of dogs. And if he does his business in the yard scoop it up!

6. List with a realtor – I know, it sounds self serving, but the fact of the matter is that realtors are the oldest profession in our country (well – maybe the SECOND oldest), and with good reason: a realtor can almost always sell your home faster, and for more money, than you can. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), over 78% of those who list a home for sale themselves either (a) give up, or (b) list with a realtor. Realtors have already prequalified buyers, so you don’t waste your time showing your home to someone who can’t afford it. And, realtors are trained to negotiate and can keep the “emotions” out of it.

You may reach Carolyn Hasser at 661-4660 or

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.