The New Decade: Will You Choose Freedom or Fear?

The New Decade: Will You Choose Freedom or Fear?

2020 begins a new decade, will you choose to have the decade be one of freedom or fear?

The post The New Decade: Will You Choose Freedom or Fear? appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

Read More –>

before you get married again

7 Things You Should Consider Before You Get Married Again

before you get married again

 

In my work as a divorce coach, I’ve had a front row seat to all kinds of situations. Situations from easy to navigate divorce, amicable separations to crazy and antagonistic splits between couples. The tips below are based on, not only personal experience with divorce but, the knowledge that comes from years of working in the divorce industry.

I hope these tips help you before you say “I do” again and keep you from ever saying, “I don’t anymore” again.

7 Things You Should Consider Before You Get Married Again

1. Talk About Money Early in Your New Relationship

Woman Money After Divorce.jpg

It is important that you and a potential future life partner have similar financial goals and habits. Even if the relationship is new, if you believe there is the possibility of it turning into something serious, how he deals with his finances is something you need to know.

If you find he is less than careful with his money, it could help you decide whether or not he is someone you want to consider becoming more involved with. And, don’t make the mistake of believing that you can change someone who has spent their life running up credit card debt or being less than responsible financially.

2. Make Sure You’ve Had Enough Alone Time

 Woman Home Alone.jpg

Even if you are confident about the way you feel, rushing into marriage is not a good idea. Sometimes people meet each other, and within three or four months, they say, “Oh this person is the one for me.” In my opinion, if you don’t know a person at least a year, you don’t know them well enough to marry them.

How long is long enough between marriages? That answer will be unique to you and your situation but, as a standard, I recommend waiting at least a year before believing you know exactly who your new love is and before jumping into a new marriage.

3. What Impact Will Marriage Have On Your Children?

 Happy Children3.jpg

Nothing torpedoes a second or third marriage like conflicts over the kids. His, hers, and yours together. Be realistic! Seriously realistic! The relationship you have with each other’s children will play a HUGE role in whether or not a marriage will last.

Spend time with each other in the company of your children. Make sure the children are familiar with each other. Allow yourself time to assess any problem areas and come up with a game plan on how to deal with those before marriage.

Children who are happy about a parent’s choice in a new mate before the marriage or, more than likely, going to be happy with the situation after the marriage. Be compassionate if your children struggle with your new love. All that means is, they need more time whether you do or not.

4. Consider What You Want to Do Differently This Time Around

Woman Thinking Legs Crossed.jpg

You don’t want to take into a new marriage dysfunctional relationship skills that helped kill your last marriage. Consider things like, how did I communicate? What could I have done differently in my last marriage? How much energy did I put into nurturing our love? Was I more of a giver or taker? What makes me happy in a relationship?

These are questions that will help you identify areas you need to work on and what you need to change to make sure the next marriage doesn’t end in divorce also.

I recommend any person considering remarriage take an introspective look into why their first marriage failed and even consider therapy to make sure those old wounds have truly healed and aren’t being taken into a new marriage.

5. Discuss The Tough Questions with Your New Love

Couple Talking Outside.jpg

Don’t avoid talking about how you will create a successful marriage in the midst of challenges that come along with second and third marriages. Children, ex-spouses, ex-in-laws will all play a role in your new marriage.

Ask each other questions like, “What will be the rules for both of our children in our new home? What kind of relationship will each of us have with our exes? Is your spouse going to be spending time alone with his/her ex to discuss the children and how do you feel about that? How will we deal with conflict with our exes if or when it arises?”

No one likes baggage but, if you’ve been married before, like it or not, you will bring baggage into a new marriage. You both need to have a clear understanding of how that baggage will be dealt with.

6. Make Sure You Are Remarrying for The Right Reasons

 Bride fingers Crossed.jpg

Women marry for a myriad of reasons. They want financial security, they want a father for their children, they are afraid to be alone, they feel pressure from friends and family. All horrible reasons to remarry, reasons that will only lead to another divorce.

If a marriage doesn’t have a strong foundation or love and respect, it will be an exercise in futility. Hold off marrying again until you’ve fallen in LOVE regardless of how lonely you are, how much pain you are in financially and how much pressure you feel from friends and family.

7. Do You Need to Protect Yourself with a Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial Agreement.jpg

Finally, the most important decision before you remarry is deciding if a prenuptial is right for you. When remarrying you should consider having a prenuptial agreement if you have substantial assets or children to protect and/or want to avoid some of the financial problems that could occur if your marriage ends.

Prenuptial agreements are important and can spell out what assets and liabilities each partner is bringing into the marriage and determine how the assets brought into the marriage, and those acquired during the marriage, will be divided should there be a divorce.

The post 7 Things You Should Consider Before You Get Married Again appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

Financial Matters During Divorce: Things to Consider

Financial Matters During Divorce: Things to Consider

If you are going through a divorce, it’s important to understand that this is already a difficult time in your life, even if you want it or you think it is for the best. Remember to take step back and understand that financial matters during divorce can have a huge impact on you for the rest of your life.

The post Financial Matters During Divorce: Things to Consider appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

Read More –>

My First Christmas Tree As a Single Mom

My First Christmas Tree As a Single Mom

first christmas tree as a single momMy first Christmas tree as a single mom.

My first picture of ME lifting him up to put the star on the tree.

You deal with day to day life and it’s fine, you boss up and do your thing every day.

Were MOMS. That’s what we do!

Make sure your child gets to school every day, take them to doctor appointments, make sure they have the right book bags, clothes, snacks, a clean bed and clean house to live in.

Make sure they wake up every day on time and have a nutritional breakfast and start the day off with laughs and lots of pep talks. LOL

Make sure they feel loved every day and read them books every night before bed. Keep the monsters away late at night when they come into your bed and are scared.

But the first Christmas tree stings.

You feel all the pain again. How he gave up on our marriage and our family. How he left me a few weeks before having heart surgery. You get used to someone giving up when the going gets tough and relying on you and yourself only.

And it stings the most because his dad isn’t here to lift him up for the first Christmas ever to put the star on. But it’s EMPOWERING to know I got the picture this year. And To know that I’m STRONG enough to lift him to put the star on the tree.

Running my business from home that my ex never believed in and I’m able to provide for us. To be my son’s safe haven.

To kiss his boos boos when he’s hurt.

To fix refrigerators, vacuums, and anything else going wrong with the house.

To mow all 3 acres.

To snuggle him and feed him chicken soup when he’s sick.

I’m STRONG ENOUGH.

So while I sit here in my PEACEful house with candles lit, tree put up, lights everywhere, the house decorated EXACTLY how I want it. I have PEACE in my heart, PEACE with where I’m at in life, and more importantly for my son and I, PEACE in our HOME.

My little baby and I are happy with just us. I will never stop believing in myself and having faith in God every day and that he has an amazing plan for us.

So keep pushing single mamas out there. YOU’RE NOT ALONE.

Our babies need us as much as we need them.

And we don’t need a man.

Our children come first and they need to see their mamas happy more than anything and never settle for less than that.

I AM ENOUGH.

That’s what matters.

PEACE. Happiness, and most importantly lots of Love.

And Thanks to my mama for the picture. Moms are always there when you need them the most, as I will do for him.

The post My First Christmas Tree As a Single Mom appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

mothers have an advantage in custody disputes

Do Mothers Have an Advantage in Custody Disputes?

mothers have an advantage in custody disputes

 

If you are going through a divorce, a primary concern is often your children and your child custody arrangements. It’s difficult for any parent to contemplate not having their children living with them all of the time, but it can be even more difficult for mothers who have a close bond with their children.

If you and your husband cannot come to custody terms that you both can sign off on, the court will need to decide the matter for you. While many people think that mothers have a natural advantage in such disputes, the truth is far more complicated. Understanding the basics related to child custody can help you navigate the process while standing up for your own parental rights.

Legal Custody

Custody is divided into two major concerns that include physical custody (related to with whom the children reside at any given time) and legal custody. It’s important to recognize that in the vast majority of divorces, both parents share legal custody, which refers to a parent’s rights to make important decisions on behalf of their children. These decisions include:

  • Matters related to your children’s health and well-being, such as medical care
  • Matters related to your children’s education
  • Matters related to your children’s religious upbringing

These are fundamental issues that shape your children’s lives, and it’s very likely that you and your divorced spouse will continue to make these important decisions together, although one parent is sometimes given tie-breaking authority.

Physical Custody

Physical custody relates to with whom your children reside primarily and to their visitation schedule with the other parent. While many people believe that mothers have an advantage when it comes to physical custody, this really isn’t an accurate assessment in many cases.

Do Mothers Have an Advantage in Custody Disputes?

The Court’s Stance

If you and your divorcing spouse cannot come to mutually acceptable terms regarding your children’s custody arrangements, the court will intervene and make a determination of how you will split custody rights.

The court will always favor what is in the best interest of your children, but this is obviously open to interpretation, and it’s important to remember that the court has considerable discretion in the matter. You obviously know your children in a way that the judge never can, and you know what’s best for them.

Courts often favor the status quo when making child custody decisions. In other words, if the mother has been the primary caregiver and she and the children are living in the family home while the case is pending, the judge may be hesitant to upset the balance and may be more inclined to award the mother primary custody.

This is generally more a function of how things are commonly arranged than it is a function of favoring the mother or of the mother having an advantage in the matter.

The Considerations at Hand

In determining child custody arrangements, the court is guided by the children’s best interests, but in the process, it takes a wide range of variables into consideration, including:

  • The emotional connections between each parent and the children
  • Each parent’s ability to provide the children with a loving home and a healthy life
  • Any criminal history
  • Any history of domestic abuse – either physical, emotional, or sexual
  • Any substance abuse issues
  • Any pertinent parental considerations that could affect the decision, such as age or disability
  • The location of each parent’s residence (who lives closer to the children’s school, for example)

None of these issues are gender-specific and, as such, the court’s decision cannot favor the mother. Many mothers, however, are already providing primary custodial care, and courts are not fond of dramatically disrupting children’s lives when they’re already going through the emotional challenge of divorce. After all, divorce is hard on everyone, but children are especially vulnerable.

Your Children’s Voices

Many parents wonder if their children’s preferences will guide – or should guide – the court’s custody decisions. The fact is that many judges will speak to your children privately (especially older children) and will take their preferences into careful consideration, but the decision is simply not up to your children.

The court is making determinations related to your children’s custody exactly because they are children who need custodial care. When your children are adults, they’ll make their own important decisions, but for now, those decisions must be made for them. Your children’s voices, nevertheless, may help guide the court’s ruling.

Reaching a Resolution

If you’re going through a divorce, emotions are inevitably running high. The stress and heartache of divorce leave many couples unable to reach mutually agreeable terms on many important issues. Both of you, however, naturally put your children first, and if you can find a way to hammer out custody arrangements that you can both live with, the court and its considerable discretion won’t need to be involved in the process.

Reaching a compromise with your children’s father can come in many forms. If you aren’t able to work together personally (which isn’t uncommon), your attorneys can attempt to negotiate an arrangement, and you can also address the issue via mediation – with the legal guidance of your respective divorce attorneys.

The post Do Mothers Have an Advantage in Custody Disputes? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

Kid’s Clothes and Divorce: Dirty, Clean Mixed With Dirty, or Missing!

Kid’s Clothes and Divorce: Dirty, Clean Mixed With Dirty, or Missing!

They either come back, dirty, clean mixed in with the dirty or, missing. How I solved the kid’s clothes and divorce saga.

The post Kid’s Clothes and Divorce: Dirty, Clean Mixed With Dirty, or Missing! appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

Read More –>

single moms at christmas

A Message To Single Moms At Christmas

single moms at christmas

 

A Message To Single Moms At Christmas

Hey! Hey, you! I see you there, staying up late, searching for the best deals and worrying about how you’re going to put presents under the tree. I know you’ve been squirreling money away since July, hoping to surprise your kids with more than you were able to give last year.

I understand all too well how much easier it would be if you had another income to work with. How much weight would be off your shoulders if you didn’t live paycheck to paycheck all year long?

I know that this time of year is hard, if only because you want to do so much more for your kids than you can.

But I saw you carrying a tree as big as you through the lot all by yourself, never once complaining or asking for help. I saw you bundling the entire family up, going neighborhood to neighborhood to admire the lights as Christmas carols played on your car radio.

I know that most nights, when you’re not too tired or rundown, you try to sit with them and read at least one Christmas story, sometimes in front of a fire. I’ve seen you making hot chocolate and breaking out the advent calendar, determined to make happy holiday memories for those little people you love so much.

I know you’ve been sharing your favorite holiday movies, beaming with pride as your kids laughed at Elf” or giggled through “A Christmas Story” (Fun fact to impress them with: The same kid who played Ralphie grew up to play one of the head elves, supervising Buddy at the North Pole. Ask your kids if they can spot him!)

I saw you flipping through your Christmas cookie recipes, trying to plan a time to bake with your favorite little people—trying even harder not to think about how much you don’t need those cookies around your house. (It’s the holidays, let yourself indulge a little. I promise you deserve it.)

I know you may be worrying (or even heartbroken) about spending Christmas alone this year (perhaps it’s their dad’s turn to have them) or about not being able to give them the Christmas they deserve if they will be with you. I know that it’s not just the presents that get expensive this time of year.

The visits to Santa, the tree, the new ornaments, even the baking supplies; it all adds up. And maybe you have a job where you won’t get paid on the days you aren’t working, making this a short month with less money coming your way.

I see you trying to do the very best you can anyway.

I know you bolt out of bed some nights, remembering that you forgot to hide the elf. So you jump up and move him while it’s on your mind, and then you can’t fall back asleep for another two hours. Only in the morning do you realize how unoriginal your new hiding spot was.

And I know that you are the only one wrapping gifts and that because you’re tired and stressed out and a little short on personal time, the corners aren’t just right. And you’ve got a few presents with scraps of paper taped together because you don’t have any to waste.

But you know what? Your kids don’t seem to care. They don’t mind that there are only a few presents under the tree, or even that the tree is second-hand and a little beaten up.

They aren’t upset you had to skip the Santa visit this year, and they remember all the Christmas stories by heart—because you’ve read them every year before now. And do you want to know the best part? They think you are beautiful enough to eat all the cookies without fear.

Maybe this is the first year you’ve been doing it all on your own, or perhaps it’s always been like this. Either way, there is an extra pressure there when you are solo parenting around the holidays. You never want your kids to miss out. You never want them to feel as though they don’t have everything every other family does. And this time of year, that missing presence can feel even harder to ignore.

But I promise you’re doing just fine. Amazing, even.

Because every step of the way, you are putting your kids first. You are pushing and striving to make this holiday season better than the last, to stick to the traditions, to create the memories and to show your kids just how much you love them.

You are a superwoman. And I’m here to tell you, even if those attempts don’t go exactly as originally planned, they know it.

And they see you, too.

They see you bending over backward to make the holidays special. They see you slapping a smile on your face as you sing, even though the circles under your eyes are dark. They may not be beaming with gratitude just yet; in fact, it might take them years to tell you just how much your efforts meant. But they see you, and the memories you are working so hard to make.

You are singlehandedly creating Christmas, and your kids are benefitting daily from that fact. They see you, and they’ll always remember…

The carols.

The hot chocolate.

The lazy elf.

The love.

All of this will mean so much more to them than anything you could possibly put under the tree. In fact, years from now, they won’t remember what gifts they got this Christmas—but they will remember how hard their mom worked to make it special.

You’re doing an amazing job. So be kind to yourself this holiday season; you deserve some happy memories, too.

Merry Christmas,

Olivia

The post A Message To Single Moms At Christmas appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

5 Travel Tips for Blended Families

5 Travel Tips for Blended Families

Traveling with a blended family can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Below are 5 tips to help relieve the stress of blended family travel.

The post 5 Travel Tips for Blended Families appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

Read More –>

husband

Is Your Husband’s Professional Degree Marital Property?

husband's professional degree marital property

 

In many marriages, one spouse may decide to earn an advanced professional degree to start a new career path or further an existing career. The degree might be for medicine, law, accounting, or another similar path, and earning an advanced degree is necessary to obtain a license to practice in many different professions.

The problem is that professional degree programs can be lengthy and rigorous, so it is imperative to have the support of a spouse while someone is pursuing this type of educational program.

Is Your Husband’s Professional Degree Marital Property?

How Wives Might Contribute to Professional Degrees

There are many ways that a wife can contribute to a professional degree for her husband. First, it can be difficult for a husband to work while pursuing a degree, so the wife may accept the full bread-winning responsibilities while her husband is in school. Her income might cover all of the household expenses, as well as educational expenses. After the degree is earned, a wife’s income might go toward paying off student loans and other educational costs.

An advanced degree and professional license can increase a husband’s income once he is done with school, which can improve the standard of living of both spouses moving forward. However, what happens if a divorce occurs? Does the husband get to solely enjoy the future benefits of his degree? Does a wife get reimbursed for her contributions to the professional degree?

How Degrees are Treated in Divorce

How a degree will be treated in your divorce will depend on the specific jurisdiction overseeing your case. Different jurisdictions have their own approaches regarding how degrees are treated in divorce. For example, for decades, the State of New York considered a degree to be marital property, and the value of the degree would be divided between divorcing spouses. However, New York reversed this policy as of 2016, and a degree is no longer treated as marital property.

That a degree is not marital property is the majority view of courts throughout the United States and Canada. Most states in the U.S. follow this principle, and the precedent in Ontario and other Canadian provinces is the same. Generally speaking, a degree or license cannot be sold or transferred like property, and the degree itself has no guaranteed future value without the choices and acts of the degree-holder to earn a living based on the degree.

However, this does not mean that a wife should get nothing in return for her contributions to a husband earning a degree. There are different ways courts handle this situation, depending on the specific circumstances at hand and the jurisdiction.

Options for Wives Regarding Professional Degrees

Courts can take different approaches to ensure that wives are fairly compensated for their sacrifices and contributions to a husband’s success. A couple of examples of how this matter might be addressed by a divorce court are as follows.

Reimbursement Approach

This approach acknowledges that a wife used marital assets to pay for the educational program, and requires the professional spouse to replace marital assets a wife lost as a result. While a wife does not necessarily have the right to a degree as property, she might have a right to reimbursement for her investments, from which she received no lasting benefits. This could be in the form of a larger property distribution, a lump-sum payment, or an alimony award.

Alimony as Compensation

In many situations, a husband’s professional degree will give him a higher earning potential for the future. On the other hand, a wife may have put her career aspirations on hold to support the household and husband while he earned the degree and professional license. When a divorce arises, the two spouses may have a discrepancy in their earning abilities.

A wife should not have a lower standard of living than her spouse after contributing to his professional degree and making sacrifices regarding her own career for the good of the marriage. In this situation, a court may award the wife alimony to accomplish one or more of the following:

  • Compensate her for her contributions
  • Help her enjoy the standard of living she had in the marriage if she cannot afford it based on her current earning power
  • Allow her to obtain her own education or training needed to boost her career and earning potential

Overall, the law in most jurisdictions generally supports the fact that spouses have the duty to support one another, including to help them obtain professional degrees and meet other goals. For this reason, a degree is generally not considered to be marital property, though there are other ways that wives can be reimbursed for their selfless contributions to a spouse’s professional future.

When you and your spouse are discussing property division and possible alimony awards in your divorce case, it is important to know your rights in your jurisdiction. This can help avoid agreeing to a property division resolution that fails to properly compensate you for your contributions and sacrifices. It is always a wise idea to discuss the complicated property and financial issues, such as professional degrees and income discrepancies, with an experienced divorce lawyer who can advocate for your rights.

The post Is Your Husband’s Professional Degree Marital Property? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

Negotiating Holiday Gift Giving After Divorce

Negotiating Holiday Gift Giving After Divorce

The best gifts you can give have nothing to do with price tags and are all about time and love.

The post Negotiating Holiday Gift Giving After Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

Read More –>