06/04 The Impact of Divorce on Children With Special Needs

06/04 The Impact of Divorce on Children With Special Needs

There are a number of practical issues to address when a couple with one or more special needs children goes through a divorce, such as custody, family support, education, finances, and legal rights.

The post 06/04 The Impact of Divorce on Children With Special Needs appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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06/04 The Impact of Divorce on Children With Special Needs

The Impact of Divorce on Children With Special Needs

There are a number of practical issues to address when a couple with one or more special needs children goes through a divorce, such as custody, family support, education, finances, and legal rights.

The post The Impact of Divorce on Children With Special Needs appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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divorced dads

The Value of Divorced Dads: On Father’s Day And Every Day

divorced dads

Lessons of love always begin in childhood with the parent/child relationship. If children feel authentically loved by a father they will grow up knowing how to love others.

 

Father’s Day is just another day around my house. My father passed away13 years ago and my ex-husband has no relationship with our two sons. I was blessed with a loving father who earned celebrations every day of the year.

My boys, bless their hearts, ended up with the kind of father that perpetuates the old stereotypes about deadbeat dads. I’ve been divorced from their father for 19 years, during that time I’d venture to say that 90% of the time he has been a no-show when it comes to fathering.

When I began this article I was stumped, what can I, a mother whose sons don’t have a father say to divorced dads on Father’s Day? I then realized that the absence of their father has taught me quite a bit about the importance of fathers in a child’s life. Not just on Father’s Day but every day.

Whether you have full custody, 50/50 custody or you are an every other weekend Dad, when your little ones give you a gift and card this Father’s Day it isn’t because you are special to them on one day but, because you add value to their lives every day.

A Divorced Dads Value on Father’s Day and Every Day:

Showing up:

Showing up in spite of a difficult visitation schedule or conflict with your ex teaches your children persistence. If you continue to be involved in your children’s live after divorce, engage in quality time with them regardless of how little quantity, you are teaching your child that when something is important to them, it is worth pursuing with persistence. What a wonderful lesson to teach!

They learn they matter:

You not only teach your children that they matter but, by example, you teach them that what they do matters. You showing them that they matter teaches them to care about others. You teach them that actions, words, and deeds are the true measure of a person when you show up and you show them they can trust your actions, words and deeds.

You give them someone to go to:

If they are hurting or confused over a problem they know you are available. You make a difference when they are down and out. By being there for them, you teach them to be there for others. You have a direct impact on how empathetic and compassionate they become.

You impact their ability to learn:

Children with involved, caring fathers have better educational outcomes. Fathers who are involved and nurturing with their children impact their IQ scores as well as cognitive abilities, verbal skills, and intellectual functioning. So, show up as often as possible because you are raising geniuses!

You impact their mental health:

Children with good relationships with their fathers are less likely to experience depression or exhibit disruptive behavior. Boys with involved fathers had fewer school behavior problems and girls have higher self-esteem. In other words, by showing up you teach your boys the importance of proper behavior and your girls to never settle for that ne’er-do-well boy that every father fears.

You teach your sons how to be good fathers:

Fathering involves commitment, self-sacrifice, integrity, and unconditional love. Responsible fathers are concerned with the well-being of their children, and their desire is to see their children succeed in all areas of life.

Nurturing your relationship with your sons trains them “up right,” as my grandmother used to say, it educates them and fosters healthy development. Do this for your sons and your grandchildren will be rewarded with loving, attentive fathers.

You teach them how to love:

Lessons of love always begin in childhood with the parent/child relationship. If children feel authentically loved by a father they will grow up knowing how to love others. The ability to give love is directly related to the love we receive, especially during childhood. Showing up and filling your children with love will play a huge role in the kind of romantic relationships they involve themselves in as adults.

And that is just the short list! Raising two boys on my own has taught me a lot about the value of a father. Working through the years with clients and hearing from fathers via email, I know that my ex-husband is not representative of the vast majority of divorced dads.

We hear a lot about single and divorced moms but very little about divorced dads. We place value on the mother/child relationship and at times dismiss the father/child relationship. It is my wish on this Father’s Day that divorced dads know that, although others may not be paying attention, their children are.

They are waiting for your phone call, watching out the window, looking for your car, counting the days until your next visitation. They are eager to see you, share their lives with you and love you. And every time you show up your value to them increases tenfold.

If you are a divorced dad who shows up, every day spent with your children feels like Father’s Day to them.

So, Happy “Father’s Day” today and every day.

The post The Value of Divorced Dads: On Father’s Day And Every Day appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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domestic abuse victim

How Should Domestic Abuse Victims Handle Divorce?

domestic abuse victim

 

Domestic abuse typically occurs behind closed doors. If you have experienced continued emotional or physical abuse from your partner, do not remain silent any longer. It’s time for you to experience a sense of calmness and security; it’s time for a divorce.

If you are a domestic abuse victim seeking a divorce, you will need a compassionate yet professional lawyer by your side, every step of the way. They can help protect your rights as well as help you feel safe in your life even after the divorce has been settled.

Different types of abuse:

Abuse has been defined as a pattern of behavior displayed by one person in an effort to gain and maintain control over another. Take note that when we say a pattern of behavior, we mean that this is something that is occurring more than once. While it is easy to assume physical or violent behaviors when talking about abuse, it is important to know there are many different ways your partner can be abusing you.

You may not even realize that you have been experiencing abuse in your relationship if you only consider physical or violent behavior as abuse.

Below we’re going to discuss some of the behaviors your partner may be exhibiting that fall under the term abuse:

  • Physical Abuse – This can include punching, hitting, slapping, kicking, strangling, physically restraining someone against their will, driving recklessly with your partner in the car, or in general making someone feel physically unsafe.
  • Sexual Abuse – While sexual abuse can be physical, it can also be non-physical as well. This can include rape, forced sexual acts, withholding sex, using sex as a weapon or even to pass judgment or assign value. Not only can sexual abuse have an effect on your body, but it can take a huge toll on your emotions and mental state.
  • Verbal/Emotional Abuse – These types of abuse may be harder to spot, but using words against your partner can cause severe emotional damage that can take a long time to recover from. This can include spreading lies, calling someone stupid or ugly, or even talking down to your partner.
  • Mental Psychological – In this case, your partner is likely abusing you through actions or words that have been attacking your sense of mental health and wellbeing.
  • Financial/Economic – Abusers will find any way possible to maintain their control, this can include controlling your households budgeting, not allowing you to have access to accounts, withholding spending money, preventing you from having a job or earning your own money.
  • Cultural/Identity – You partner may be using your identity or cultural beliefs as a way to cause you to suffer or control you. This can include not allowing you to follow dietary customs, preventing you from dressing accordingly to your beliefs, using racial slurs, threating to out them to their friends and family.

How Should Domestic Abuse Victims Handle Divorce?

Where do I start?

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you need to find the courage within yourself to advocate for your own rights and happiness. The first thing to ask yourself is if you feel physically safe in the environment in which you live. If you live with your spouse and feel threatened by potential violence from your spouse, you must seek safety before anything else. You may wish to call the police. It is only after you feel safe that you should look into legal matters.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Once you are in a safe environment, it is best to begin your search for a lawyer as soon as possible. Seeking assistance quickly regarding divorce can help you battle legal matters and gain freedom in your life. You’ll be able to sort through the following topics:

  • Child Custody – It is likely that if someone is abusing their partner, they will potentially abuse their child sometime in their life. A lawyer can make sure both you and your child/children are protected from the abuser.
  • Division of Marital Property – In some cases, the behavior of the abuser can impact the outcome of how the property is divided, giving the victim the larger share.
  • Order of Protection – A lawyer can help you file for an order of protection against your abuser. It will state that your abuser cannot have contact with you. Having an order of protection can help you feel safe during and after the divorce process.

Seek Assistance:

Do not feel trapped in an unhealthy, abusive marriage. Muster up the courage to find a lawyer who supports you throughout the entire legal process in order to end your unhappiness and worry. Going through the court system can be an effective way to end your marriage as well as feeling like someone has your back during this time. Find the strength to save yourself from domestic violence and live the life you want.

It’s time to take action. If you or someone you know is caught up in an abusive relationship, know there is a way out. Asking for help shouldn’t be something you are afraid of. Get in touch with a legal team who cares about you, and your well being.

The post How Should Domestic Abuse Victims Handle Divorce? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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The Narcissist Has No Power Over You

The Narcissist Has No Power Over You

 

Narcissists can leave you feeling overpowered, helpless and hopeless and wondering if you will ever feel safe and healthy again.

I understand these feelings as this is how I felt at the hands of narcissists too.

When we are in the middle of narcissistic abuse it is easy to hand over all our power to someone we believe is powerful but into today’s episode, I want to share with you why I believe that a Narcissist is NOT powerful and why Quantum truths will set you free.

The irony is that the WAY to do it has been there waiting for us all along, in an accessible place – we just may not have realised it.

 

 

Video Transcript

I know that narcissists seem all-powerful. Many people, myself included, have likened them to Terminators – relentless machines that just do not give up when they seem determined to destroy your life.

Today I’m telling you this is not the truth. There is a way where you can take your power back and know that narcissists do not have power over you.

If you are suffering the horrible, unspeakable trauma of what a narcissist has done or is doing to you, you really need to know what I am about to share with you.

This information literally saved my life. And I know it could save yours from almost certain destruction as well.

So … before we get started I want to remind you that if you haven’t yet subscribed to my channel please do. And if you like this video, please make sure you hit the like button.

Okay, let’s move on into this information.

 

Some Quantum and Energetic Truths

Those of you who are logically based, you may find the following pretty woohoo. Once upon a time I would have too. Yet I will say this – when you have had enough of being defeated and smashed at every turn by a narcissist, you will try radical things to stop it.

This I believe and live with every part of my Being – so within so without.

Which means quite simply and succinctly: ‘If I change my inner emotional experience about something, then the experience must change in my outer experience.’

Why is this the case?

Because Quantum and Neuro Scientists are now proving what spiritualists have known for a very long time. That our consciousness is directly connected to everything and everyone as interconnected wave functions. Therefore, we are no longer a part of a random ‘separated’ Universe – we are Quantum Creators able to change our outer Universe by consciously adopting a new inner Universe.

I don’t know about you – I was always spiritual and very much in the belief of ‘interconnectedness’, however, I was never forced to truly ‘get’ this until narcissistic abuse. The reason I wasn’t was because NEVER in my life had I lived the experience of being attacked so mercilessly and cruelly in ways that were obviously without conscience – and therefore to me were senseless.

Why would anyone want to destroy someone’s life?

Why would someone want to bring another person to their knees with pathological lies and malicious acts and treat them with such contempt?

It defied everything that I believed to be ‘human’.

Like most of us, I tried to combat this is the human way. I was distraught, devastated and incensed and I tried to fight back. I went to authorities and friends, family and associates to tell them what was happening to me.

Yet I was powerless to make any headway with these people – they didn’t believe me. Even when I had proof, they didn’t believe me. I didn’t get any help from them. Instead I was distrusted and blamed by them, and I became further traumatised and abandoned. People thought I was the crazy one and that he was the abused one.

I was missing the biggest piece of the puzzle – so within, so without.

I didn’t realise that narcissists and narcissistic abuse is an energetic phenomenon of epic proportions showing us the utter Quantum Truth of matters – Our inner, unhealed, traumatised state is exactly what the narcissist continues to deliver to us.

Please know in no way am I invalidating what you have been through. Of course, you will be traumatised! I remember being so traumatised that even getting an hour’s straight sleep or eating a few mouthfuls of food was a major accomplishment. My life-force ended up so disturbed and dysregulated from narcissistic abuse that I had a complete psychotic and adrenal breakdown.

I need you to know in no way am I being glib or dismissive about the shocking mind-boggling trauma that narcissists inflict on us.

But rather than bang on about that, my mission and my job is to save your life-force just as I did my own. That is why I am here to help you awaken to the ONLY way we can do this, which is to release and up level beyond the trauma inside and become emotionally calm and clear regardless of what the narcissist is or isn’t doing – and then narcissists can no longer be the experience of trauma in our life.

 

A Quantum Leap

A narcissist’s supposed unstoppable terror campaign can be shocking.

Judy had been divorced for five years from her narcissistic husband. She reported to the police still random suffering break-ins to her apartment (she had moved twelve times in the last five years), her tires being slashed, tracking devices put on her car, her technology, including bank accounts, being hacked, and every time she got a new job being fired unexpectedly because of covert smearing.

She said the narcissist had bombarded her with all sorts of horrific episodes that had left her beyond deranged.

Of course, to outside people it seemed like Judy was making all of this up and that she was suffering paranoid delusions. Many of us have experienced ‘things’ with narcissists that are stranger than fiction. Things that people can’t even fathom as believable.

This was the thing – I knew that it was possible for Judy to be suffering these attacks, and I also knew that if she continued being destroyed on the inside that she would be disintegrated on the outside and would forever remain powerless.

Many people like Judy, sadly, who are at this level of feeling smashed by a narcissist, are not responsive to doing inner work and releasing their highly activated trauma. And I understand why – I’ve been there. The more traumatised we are, the more we are in hyperarousal with our survival brain focused on trying to combat the outer world to try to get change and relief.

Yet, we have no power there – at all. The only power we have is inside, in the unseen world, the Quantum interconnectedness with what a narcissist is doing within the wave function of our visceral and emotional self.

Something in Judy clicked. Maybe when you already feel dead inside, hopeless and helpless, you know there is nothing else to do. I understand this because that was my experience too – I like Judy only turned inwards after exhausting every other option.

Most people who are ‘doers’ struggle with this – and quite understandably!

Judy started her NARP (Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program) healings. She took all focus off what he would do next and worked the healings as if there was nothing else to do – and there wasn’t. She had no job, no friends and family supporting her (they had all turned away); no way to pay her bills and absolutely nothing to look forward to.

She was past the point of caring to try to ‘do’ anything – and so she got down to the job of attending to her Beingness.

Small things continued to happen to her, but she ignored trying to combat them. ‘What’s the point?’ she said. She went inside herself with NARP and released all the trauma that was being triggered within.

A little after a month, Judy couldn’t care less what he tried to do; she fully felt like ‘Life’ had her back and would work out in her favour. She was sleeping, eating and had a new job. She had no terror of losing her job, and she didn’t.

Not long after that, while doing a Quanta Freedom Healing with me, she told me nothing had happened – at all. Everything had stopped. We worked on her fear of it starting up again and she shifted into the inner space of ‘If it does, I’ll just go within and release that traumatised trigger as well – that’s all I have to do!’

That was the day the fear was completely gone. Judy had fully anchored into her Quantum Truth – ‘On every topic in my life I am the Creator if it. My inner experience generates my outer – always.’

She never experienced anything happening to her again.

I have seen over the last ten plus years, in thousands of cases, how this formula irrefutably works – it’s a Law as absolute as gravity. I have seen countless people in custody and property battles, and dealing with stalking, harassment, smearing and other obscene things, all get peace, resolution and an end to the narcissist being able to hurt them, when they go inside and embrace and release the corresponding trauma.

Of course, when we are flooded with trauma there may be things we think are happening that aren’t. Or maybe they are. It didn’t matter whether Judy was suffering all of these previous attacks for real or not. Trauma is trauma and when it is purged from our inner experience, then our real life experience shifts – no matter what the source of the inner experience was.

Belief In The Unseen

I know it can be hard to believe in a force that you can’t see. As I’ve mentioned, I used to be very left-brain focused as well.

However, think about this: How does your subconscious instruct your entire being to process billions of tasks in ways that your left brain can’t even begin to understand, and isn’t even consciously aware of happening?

Trauma experts and neuroscientists now know that the subconscious brain is responsible for 95% of the unfolding of your entire life experience by the time you are 35 years of age. Your subconscious is in your body; it is all going on in your visceral and emotional experiences. This is where your attention, focus and efforts need to be to change your life.

I totally agree with the experts, and this is why my healing system humbly works. It is what the Thriver Movement is all about – getting us into our Beings to get the real healing work done where it needs to be.

True healing is an inner, unseen, somatically felt journey that I created in a practical, step-by-step way. A journey where you don’t have to work any of it out, you just need to follow the instructions and try it for yourself.

If you have had enough of the fear and the pain of what the narcissist in your life is doing to you or the trauma continuing in your inner world, even if he or she is gone from your life, it’s time to release yourself

If you are with me, please write below, ‘It’s time to turn inwards and release myself NOW!’.

To start turning your fear into relief and personal power today, click the link at the top right of this video, to connect with my free inner transformational resources.

And if you want to see more of my videos, please subscribe so that you will be notified as soon as each new one is released. And if you liked this – click like. Also, please share with your communities so that we can help people awaken to these truths.

Please write your comments and questions below, as I love answering them for you!

 

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leave a narcissist

Why It’s Hard To Leave a Narcissist

leave a narcissist

 

When we fall in love, it’s natural to become attached and form a romantic bond. But once in love with a narcissist, it’s not easy to leave, despite the abuse. Although you’re unhappy, you may be ambivalent about leaving because you still love your partner, have young children, lack resources, and/or enjoy lifestyle benefits.

Outsiders often question why you stay, or urge you to, “Just leave.” Those words can feel humiliating because you also think you should. You may want to leave, but feel stuck, and don’t understand why. This is because there are deeper reasons that keep you bonded unlike in other relationships.

Why it’s Hard to Leave a Narcissist

Narcissists, especially, can be exceedingly charming, interesting, and enlivening to be around. Initially, they and other abusers may treat you with kindness and warmth, or even love bomb you. Of course, you want to be with them forever and easily become dependent on their attention and validation. Once you’re hooked and they feel secure, they aren’t motivated to be nice to you. Their charming traits fade or disappear and are replaced or intermixed with varying degrees of coldness, criticism, demands, and narcissistic abuse. (See “Narcissus and Echo:  The Heartbreak of Relationships with Narcissists.)

You’re hopeful and accommodating and keep trying to win back their loving attention. Meanwhile, your self-esteem and independence are undermined daily. You may be gaslighted and begin doubting your own perceptions due to blame and lies. When you object, you’re attacked, intimidated, or confused by manipulation. Over time, you attempt to avoid conflict and become more deferential.  As denial and cognitive dissonance grow, you do and allow things you wouldn’t have imagined when you first met. Your shame increases as your self-esteem declines. You wonder what happened to the happy, self-respecting, confident person you once were.

Research confirms that it’s common for victims to attach to their abuser, particularly when there’s intermittent positive reinforcement. You may be trauma-bonded, meaning that after being subjected to prolonged belittling and control, you’ve become childlike and addicted to any sign of approval from your abuser. This is referred to as Stockholm Syndrome, named for hostages who developed positive feelings for their captors.

You’re especially susceptible to this if the relationship dynamics are repeating a pattern you experienced with a distant, abusive, absent, or withholding parent. The trauma bond with your partner outweighs the negative aspects of the relationship. Studies show that victims of physical abuse on average don’t leave until after the seventh incident of violence. They not only fear retaliation, but also the loss of the emotional connection with their partner, which can feel worse than the abuse.

Additionally, codependents, who are usually preyed upon by narcissists and abusers, often feel trapped and find it hard to leave any relationship. They can be loyal to a fault due to their codependency.

After You Leave a Narcissist

Narcissists and abusers are basically codependent. (See “Narcissists are Codependent, too.”) If you distance yourself from them, they do what it takes to pull you back in, because they don’t want to be abandoned. Narcissists want to keep you interested to feed their ego and supply their needs (“narcissistic supply”). Being left is a major humiliation and blow to their fragile self. They will attempt to stop you with kindness and charm, blame and guilt-trips, threats and punishment, or neediness, promises, or pleas―whatever it takes to control you so that they “win.”

If you succeed in leaving a narcissist, they usually continue their games to exert power over you that compensates for their hidden insecurities. They may gossip and slander you to family and friends, hoover you to suck you back into the relationship (like a vacuum cleaner). They show up on your social media, try to make you jealous with photos of them having fun with someone else, talk to your friends and relatives, text or call you, promise to reform, express guilt and love, ask for help, or “accidentally” appear in your neighborhood or usual haunts.

They don’t want to be forgotten but keep you waiting and hoping. Just when you think you’ve moved on, you’re reeled back in. This may reflect their intentional spacing of contacts. Even if they don’t want to be with you, they may not want you to let go or be with anyone else. The fact that you respond to them may give them enough satisfaction. When they contact you, remember that they’re incapable of giving you what you need.

You might feel guilty or tell yourself that your ex really still loves you and that you’re special to him or her. Who wouldn’t want to think that? You’re vulnerable to forgetting all the pain you had and why you left. (See “Why and How Narcissists Play Games.”) If you resist their attention, it fuels their ambition. But once you fall into their trap and they feel in control, they’ll return to their old cold and abusive ways. Only consistent, firm boundaries will protect you and disincentivize them.

How to Leave a Narcissist

As long as you’re under their spell an abuser has control over you. In order to become empowered, you need to educate yourself. Come out of denial to see reality for what it is. Information is power. Read up on narcissism and abuse on my website. If you’re unsure whether you want to leave, take the steps in Dealing with a Narcissist to improve your relationship and evaluate whether it’s salvageable. Regardless of your decision, it’s important for your own mental health to redeem your autonomy and self-esteem. Take these steps:

  1. Find a support group, including a therapist, 12-Step group, like Codependents Anonymous (CoDA), and sympathetic friends―not ones who bash your spouse or judge you for staying.
  2. Become more autonomous. Create a life aside from your relationship that includes friends, hobbies, work, and other interests. Whether you stay or leave, you need a fulfilling life to supplement or replace your relationship.
  3. Build your Self-Esteem. Learn to value yourself and honor your needs and feelings. Develop trust in your perceptions and overcome self-doubt and guilt.
  4. Learn How to be Assertive and set boundaries.
  5. Learn how to nurture yourself. This is a life skill and also insulates you from abuse. See “12 Tips to Self-Love and Compassion.” Get the Self-Love Meditation.
  6. Identify the abuser’s defenses and your triggers. Detach from them. On my website, get “14 Tips for Letting Go.”
  7. If you’re physically threatened or harmed, immediately seek shelter. Physical abuse repeats itself. Read about the cycle of violence and actions to take.
  8. Don’t make empty threats. When you decide to leave, be certain you’re ready to end the relationship and not be lured back.
  9. If you decide to leave, find an experienced lawyer who is a family law specialist. Mediation is not a good option when there is a history of abuse. See “Do’s and Don’t’s of Divorce.”
  10. Whether you leave or are left, allow yourself time to grieve, build resilience, and recover from the breakup.
  11. Maintain strict no contact, or only minimally necessary, impersonal contact that’s required for co-parenting in accordance with a formal custody-visitation agreement.

The post Why It’s Hard To Leave a Narcissist appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Emergency Child Custody in North Carolina

Emergency Child Custody in North Carolina

Even in situations where you may not be able to get emergency child custody in North Carolina, the standard custody process is available to ask the court to determine a custody matter.

The post Emergency Child Custody in North Carolina appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Joe Cordell Receives Missouri Lawyers Weekly ICON Award

Joe Cordell Receives Missouri Lawyers Weekly ICON Award

Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner and DadsDivorce sponsor Joseph E. Cordell recently was named selected as one of 27 attorneys to receive the ICON Award from Missouri Lawyers Weekly for notable and sustained success and leadership both within and beyond the field of law.

Launched in 2018, the ICON Awards are presented to distinguished
attorneys age 60 and older in recognition of their exemplary careers and
commitment to the Missouri legal community. Honorees must hold or have held a
senior position with significant decision-making authority with the firm or
organization.

The list of 2019 honorees includes founding partners,
judges, and public officials. Mr. Cordell and the rest of the 2019 honorees
will be celebrated at the second annual ICON Awards luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2
p.m. Friday, May 31, at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo. Honorees
also will be profiled in print and online in a special section of Missouri
Lawyers Weekly published May 27.

Throughout his career, Mr. Cordell has worked diligently to
better the legal community in Missouri.

Fighting for fathers’ rights is what motivated Mr. Cordell
to become a divorce lawyer for men. In 1990, while practicing general law, he
realized 85 to 90 percent of his clients were coming to the Cordell &
Cordell firm for domestic relations help.

“I was galvanized by guys who were my clients and trying to get
primary custody of their children. Even though they were the better parent,
they still couldn’t get across the finish line in the courts,” Mr. Cordell
said. “The more frustrated I became, the more incentivized I was to help them.”

As the Co-Founder and Principal Partner of Cordell & Cordell,
Mr. Cordell took this passion and created the largest family law firm focused
on representing men in divorce in the world. The firm has represented tens of
thousands of clients and is powered by nearly 300 attorneys and more than 100
legal staff in more than 100 offices throughout the United States and United
Kingdom.

In 2016, Mr. Cordell founded Cordell Planning Partners, an elder care law firm that provides individuals the resources and information needed to make responsible decisions concerning their estate, assets, health, and well-being as they age.

Mr. Cordell is an active member of the American Academy of
Attorney-CPAs and was installed as the organizations 51st president
in 2014. In 2017, he was elected the AAA-CPA Missouri Chapter President.

Philanthropically, Mr. Cordell and has wife, Yvonne, have
continually given back to the legal community. They generously made a gift
commitment of $1 million in 2014 to establish and endow the Cordell & Cordell
Visiting Professorship at their law school alma mater, Washington University
School of Law in St. Louis, Mo. In 2018, the Cordells pledged $5 million to
Washington University to establish a new institute, the Joseph and Yvonne
Cordell Institute for Policy in Medicine & Law, to study issues of
ethics, medicine, and law. Additionally, the couple will provide annual support
to the establishment.

Mr. Cordell also has prioritized continuous learning and
education throughout his career and is committed to providing these opportunities to
other attorneys through ongoing education both internally and externally.

He is the driving force behind Cordell & Cordell’s annual
daylong CLE Domestic Litigation Forum, which each year gives the local legal
community the opportunity to earn a year’s worth of Missouri CLE credits in one
day for free.

He also developed Cordell College to provide an additional layer
of practice development for Cordell & Cordell attorneys. The internal
curriculum program ensures Cordell & Cordell attorneys are not only highly
skilled in domestic litigation but also in areas such as organization, time
management, and providing communication to their clients that is transparent and
easy to understand.

Click here to read more about the ICON Awards or to purchase tickets to the Awards Banquet.

The post Joe Cordell Receives Missouri Lawyers Weekly ICON Award appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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child custody & vacation

Child Custody & Vacation: How Can Travel Plans Affect Your Custody Agreement?

child custody & vacation

 

Traveling as a family isn’t very complicated. As a duo, you were able to decide on the best location, dates, budget, meals, and packing strategy. In a divorce, traveling with children is a whole new ballgame. Suddenly your plans require extra steps and the law can get involved.

Traveling plans affect custody agreements in a variety of ways. Depending on traveling plans, custody agreements are subject to modification. If you have concerns about your custody agreement and are in search of a divorce lawyer, please refer to your local directory and get the answers you need regarding child custody.

Local lawyers will fight for you and your child’s best interest and will provide you with unique and individualized attention. While there are little-to-no ways of avoiding traveling issues between you and your ex, there are steps that can be taken to ease the process.

Please consider the following step by step maneuvers when dealing with child custody and vacation:

Have a Written Agreement

Needless to say, upon divorce there must be a written document in place that addresses child custody arrangements. There are no defined rules for custody and you and your partner are allowed to modify pre-established agreements. Within this agreement, should be a section designated to special occasion custody circumstances. When undergoing a divorce, it is critical to have in writing, under what circumstances one parent is allowed to travel with the child.

Can the child and parent leave the country? Will they be unsupervised? Is the other parent allowed contact with the child during the vacation? All these concerns and more must be addressed in writing to avoid disputes and serious legal complications.

What is a Controlling Document?

Specific conditions related to travel should be included in a controlling document. There are basic provisions that should be clarified within the document, such as whether the parent must be notified if the parent is taking the child out-of-state.

More specific issues should be clarified as well. If one parent has pre-decided custody for a certain holiday, but the other parent wishes to take the child on vacation during the same holiday, the protocol for those circumstances must be made clear.

Who is allowed to travel with the child and parent and who is not? This should also be included in the document. Who will provide proper travel gear for the children and who will store this equipment? Is the child allowed to miss school days for vacation time? All of which must be addressed in advance. An important issue that must be decided upon divorce is which parent will store travel papers and official documents and how soon must they provide the other parent with that information.

Travel Rules

If your ex successfully takes the children on vacation and then begins violating your previous agreements, you are allowed to sue them for breach of contract. If your ex does not allow you to speak to the children on vacation, you can file a motion with the court and have your former spouse held in contempt of a court order. This notifies your ex that if they continue to breach the agreement, you will take legal action – just because they are not physically reachable, they will face consequences.

Don’t Wait, Contact A Divorce Lawyer Who Can Provide Assistance

There is no way to completely prepare for every possible scenario that may occur upon traveling. The more issues you and your ex are able to address and reach consensus on prior, the better. If you are in search of a qualified divorce lawyer and want legal guidance on custody issues, contact a legal team to schedule a meeting with a passionate professional today and ease your custody concerns.

The post Child Custody & Vacation: How Can Travel Plans Affect Your Custody Agreement? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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a message of hope on mother

Becca’s Story: A Message Of Hope And Love On Mother’s Day For All Single Moms

a message of hope on mother's day

Courtesy of Brooke Kelly Photography

We have all the odds against us, but we are going to beat those odds.

 

“Four years ago, my life fell apart. I was married with a 3-year-old little girl, and we lived in an adorable gated neighborhood in the suburbs, just 4 miles inland from Jacksonville Beach, Florida. I could cross highway A1A at work and eat lunch on the beach. My Jeep always had sand and seashells in it.

I felt so fortunate to have this opportunity in life after working my way through nursing school, and eventually finishing grad school with a newborn. I finally had my dream job as a pediatric nurse practitioner. My career took me to Nashville, Kansas City, and that’s where we ended up on the beach. Sounds like an amazing adventure, right? Well, little did I know, my husband was living a double life and my world was going to come crashing down on me very soon.

I was on my way home from work on a Monday afternoon, just 2 days after my daughter’s luau birthday party, and I found out we had been evicted. All of our belongings were thrown out like trash, even her new birthday presents. I wasn’t allowed back in our home, and I was told the locks had been changed.

I felt sick and like I had no control, like I had been stabbed over and over and I was moving too slow to stop the bleeding. After questioning my husband and our landlord, I discovered that we were 3 months behind on rent and other bills, despite the fact that I was shelling out money to him for our living expenses. He couldn’t answer where the money was going, but all of a sudden, things made sense. His erratic sleep habits, weight loss, running errands all the time. He always had somewhere to go and never wanted us to tag along.

I did some digging and found empty pill bottles and many empty beer cans in his car. The car that drove my child to daycare. The car that always parked in the guest parking spaces in our neighborhood instead of the driveway. I also found several years worth of MY mail in his trunk. He had been keeping random letters from collection agencies, bills, and birthday cards from me for YEARS. Why did he keep all these secrets from me?

Confused, hurt, and angry were my only emotions for the next few days.

I was running on fumes and couldn’t eat or sleep. I felt so stupid for not seeing the signs. I had been so busy with raising a child and building my practice at work. I was married to a drug addict who abandoned us in a Target parking lot 4 miles from the beach.

He had been lying to me for YEARS, and my credit was unfortunately ruined because of it. I had no idea how easy it was to open credit cards and take out personal loans in your spouse’s name. I thought I had stayed on top of my bills but had no idea he was secretly hiding things from me over the course of our 7-year marriage.

I later found out that he had another daughter! He lied about being in the Marine Corps, he lied about his education and his job. I had been living nothing but lies for almost a decade of my life! I thought to myself, ‘How could life be so cruel? How could I be so dumb?’

That first night living in a hotel, I made a Walmart run at 8 p.m. to get clothes and toiletries for us to survive the next few days while I planned my next move. I washed clothes in a hotel sink. My daughter and I tried to make the best of our ‘vacation’ as I called it, while I cried over the things we had lost, wondering how in the world I would sort through this mess. My sweet baby girl lost everything, and we had no support there.

Our closest family was in Tennessee, about 10 hours away, and my soon-to-be-ex-husband left us alone to fend for ourselves without showing any remorse. At night, I would just think of all the things we had lost. I cried silently at night, in the shower or while I was driving. I missed my belongings, and I missed the part of my heart that was stolen. I could never get those things back.

I cried for my daughter because she didn’t deserve this as part of her story. I worked so hard to get where I was, career-wise, and everything was just ripped away. Why couldn’t I just go back and change things sooner? He was a con artist, and I got duped.

I tried to smile through the pain and be strong for my daughter.

I tucked my tail, hung my head, and began my journey home. At 32 years old, I moved back into my old bedroom with a 3-year-old. I was so ashamed of myself. I left the beach and moved back to crummy ole Tennessee. To make things worse, it was SNOWING when we moved back. It was March and snowing in Tennessee. How could this situation get ANY worse?!

My daughter, on the other hand, was thrilled to make snow angels and ride in a makeshift sled with grandma and grandpa. My parents were ecstatic to let us come home. My daughter had her own playroom and slept with mama every night. (Fortunately, my parents keep EVERYTHING. Her playroom was like taking a peek back into my childhood. We’re talking original Cabbage Patch dolls, a Little Tykes kitchen from 1985, y’all. It was glorious!)

Since I had to work diligently on getting my nursing licenses in order, I wasn’t able to apply for any nursing jobs for the next few weeks. My plan was to take an assignment as a travel nurse to save up some money and pay off these old bills that I recently discovered. In the meantime, my daughter and I were going to the gym and the park almost daily.

My heart was bruised, and I needed to slowly put my life back together. I needed to show my daughter that this was our new normal and that living with grandma and grandpa would be a fun adventure. I was trying to convince myself of this too.

A Message Of Hope And Love On Mother’s Day For All Single Moms

I desperately needed to find some friends, but I had no idea where to even start.

I finally texted an old guy friend from high school (actually, I think I went down my Facebook list and sent messages to everyone in town. I was THAT desperate for adult interaction). I jokingly asked if he knew any hot single dads. This wasn’t even relevant in our conversation, just a random thought that popped in my head. To my surprise, he said yes and immediately gave me a name.

Good heavens, was I ready for this? I was SO newly divorced, but hey, I needed friends and I wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to get out of my parents’ house to meet people. My Facebook detective brain got to work. This single dad had a daughter, who appeared to be the same age as mine. After showing my mom his Facebook picture with his daughter, she screamed, ‘I KNOW THAT LITTLE GIRL!’

Come to find out, his ex-wife’s sister does my mom’s hair, and my mom had seen pictures of this little blonde girl. We live in a big city, so this is a rare occurrence. My mom wanted some juicy gossip, so she pushed me to meet him. (If she thought meeting a stranger was OK, then surely it was fine, right?!) I sent this random guy a Facebook message, and he answered back. I gave him my number and HE. CALLED. ME. So, awkwardly, I answered the phone.

He said he wanted to talk. Like, with his voice. What in the 1990s was going on?! We talked all night just like teenagers. I think it was 2 am when we finally hung up. Maybe it was sleep deprivation, but I felt like one tiny piece of my heart was placed back.

Two days later, we met for lunch. I was a little rusty on appropriate first date clothing, and I was raiding my mom’s closet for most of my attire since I was just starting to rebuild my life and wardrobe. I happened to have a job interview that day, so I wore some comfortable black flats and a pair of my mom’s black dress slacks. Yup, slacks. With pleats down the front. I also wore this shirt I lovingly call ‘the curtain shirt’. This was my 1st first date since I met my ex-husband, 10 years earlier.

He was on his lunch break, so he showed up wearing police gear and a gun on his hip. I was intimidated at first because he is a big dude with a beard and a lot of tattoos, and again, this was my first date in a decade. I am a nurse practitioner and I had never had any type of personal interaction with a police officer in my whole entire life. Now I was on a date with one!

He insisted we take a selfie that day to send to Brian, the guy that introduced us.

We went to the Bayou and sat on the patio. I don’t remember one thing we said during the entire date because I was nervous and trying not to make a mess. I ordered a shrimp po’boy (I couldn’t have ordered something messier, right?) and I don’t even remember if I ate half of it.

I just remember looking at him and getting butterflies. He had the prettiest hazel eyes and I had never dated anyone with a beard, so I’m sure I stared at it. When we were done eating, he walked me to my Jeep and gave me a hug.

Courtesy of Becca Goedecke

After lunch, I was on cloud nine. I had the biggest grin all day, and I was smitten. I could not stop thinking about him! Was I ready for this? I thought, ‘There was no way he could be interested.’ After all, I was just damaged goods. With my awful credit and all the baggage I had, surely this guy would just move on and there was no reason to get my hopes up. I just couldn’t stop thinking about him, but I definitely wasn’t ready to jump into a relationship.

To my surprise, he called me that night. (What is up with this guy? Why can’t he just text?) We had our second date on Friday night, and our first kiss. I knew at that time this was something special. However, I wasn’t quite ready to trust him, and I certainly didn’t want my tender heart to be yanked out of my chest again.

I saw him again on Sunday, which happened to be Easter. We decided to let our girls meet each other that afternoon. My daughter needed some friends too, and they became instant best friends. We looked at them playing, and then looked at each other. Huh, these girls could be twins. I could feel my heart slowly starting to grow back together.

Courtesy of Becca Goedecke

On Mother’s Day, he told me he loved me.

I knew I was falling hard and fast. When you know, you know. But, I wasn’t quite ready to let my guard down. He gave me a key to his house and told me to ‘snoop away’ while he was at work. And…I did just that. I went through every piece of paper in that house, and I couldn’t find anything. He always left his phone unlocked, his email pulled up on his laptop, he was an open book. He did not have a thing to hide.

He showed me his credit score, his bank account, and his up-to-date mortgage payments. He was a genuine, honest, open, loving person. I was damaged goods with a credit score of 300 and a deadbeat ex-husband. But, for some reason, this guy loved me and adored my daughter. I was slowly letting him into my heart and he was helping me rebuild, piece by piece. I certainly didn’t need to be saved by anyone, but he swooped in and saved me.

We discussed moving in together, but I just wasn’t sure. Things were still new to me, and I just had to protect myself and my child. I couldn’t move her again if things weren’t going to work out with us. And plus, staying in Tennessee wasn’t part of our plan. This was supposed to be just a pause in our story. Or so I thought.

He asked me to be his forever wife.

We were sitting on the couch one morning in June before he went to work, and he pulled out the biggest sapphire ring I had ever seen. He asked me to be his forever wife, while my daughter watched E.T. and clapped for us. At that moment, I knew my intent to move out of Tennessee just wasn’t part of the plan right now. Something brought me back home and love was going to keep me there.

My daughter and I moved into his 3-bedroom, 2-bath bachelor pad, which he insisted that we call OUR house. He had almost no furniture and nothing on the walls, so he told me to ‘go nuts’ with it. I had so much fun starting over from scratch. Losing all of my belongings had been so terribly painful, and I got a lump in my throat when I thought about my things just being tossed out like trash.

I shed millions of tears over the things I would never get back. However, it ended up being a blessing in disguise. I had a blank slate so that we could start OUR home. Funny how life works out sometimes.

We talked about getting married just to make things official, and I started researching courthouse weddings. I knew we needed a photographer to capture our special day, so I emailed a husband/wife team to check their availability. Well, they had 1 available date for a wedding. August 15. Wow. This was less than 2 months away and my heart skipped a beat knowing this was actually happening. I called Steven and asked him what he was doing on Saturday, August 15. He said, ‘Marrying you.’ That was all I needed to hear in order to make this happen.

We decided to elope on August 15, 2015, which was about 4 months after our first date.

I could not believe how my life had changed in those few months. I survived a failed marriage to a con-artist, moved back in with my parents as a single mom, and was now planning my wedding.

The plan was to keep our marriage a secret until our Halloween Party, and then surprise everyone by dressing as a bride and groom and showing off our wedding pictures. However, Steven refused to take off his wedding band and we just couldn’t keep it a secret longer than 2 weeks.

We got ready for our special day in a hotel room at the Peabody and walked to Court Square Park where a family friend performed the ceremony. Our little blonde girls were the flower girls and the bridesmaids. My new husband and I danced to our song playing on his phone in his shirt pocket. ‘Fall Into You’ by Brantley Gilbert. Yes, it’s cliché that we live in Tennessee and danced to a country song, but have you heard it?!

Courtesy The Kennys Photography

The girls went home with my new mother-in-law for a slumber party so we could spend our first night as a married couple, kid-free. We had an amazing dinner, laughed over drinks in the Peabody lobby, and I could not wipe the smile off my face. This was not a dream, but my real life. The entire day was perfect.

We eventually bought a bigger house with a pool, and then right after my 35th birthday in 2017, we found out that we would be adding an ‘ours’ to the mix. We had our 3rd daughter, Junebug, and completed our family. We had our little blonde bookends, and this brown-eyed baby girl is the perfect caboose.

Courtesy of Becca Goedecke

Some people will tell you that our marriage is doomed. We both have extremely stressful jobs (his more than mine). We are both divorced and got married 4 months after our first date. We both have ex-spouse drama and are currently involved in a custody battle (I am winning). We have all the odds against us, but we are going to beat those odds.

People are always curious to hear our story, so we just look at each other and smile. Usually, our story goes, ‘We met on a blind date and got married 4 months later.’ In the end, love wins.”

Courtesy of Becca Goedecke

The post Becca’s Story: A Message Of Hope And Love On Mother’s Day For All Single Moms appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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