silly romantic notions

4 Silly Romantic Notions You Don’t Want To Take Into Your Next Relationship

silly romantic notions

 

I enjoy reading, taking in a good movie, and chair dancing to the “top ten.” Who doesn’t enjoy being entertained, distracted and taken away by fantasy, music, and great prose? So, what’s the problem?

The influence these distractions have on how we view love and relationships can be detrimental. We learn lessons that don’t promote a realistic view of love and relationships. Ain’t it time to get real? Ain’t it time to stop taking unrealistic ideas about relationships into every relationship we enter.

Let’s face it, you aren’t going to kiss a toad and turn it into a prince. There is no night in shining armor going to ride to your rescue, and the only person who can complete you is YOU. So, let go of silly romantic notions and get real in your relationship.

Unlearn These Fairy 4 Tale Lessons:

Prince_Charming.jpgDisney Movies: Seriously? Prince Charming, a Knight in Shining Armor? If you are waiting to be rescued or believe your next relationship will be with some Disney movie “Prince” whose only wish is to fulfill your every need, you need to move on from such beliefs. It’s time to evict that notion, get it out of your head and get real. No one will rescue you, better than you can yourself. No one can fulfill your desires other than you.  Waiting around for a Knight in Shining Armor to do for you what you can do means never discovering your own strength and independence. Choose independence, not dependency! And, for goodness sake, no more frog kissing!

 

4 Silly Romantic Notions You Don’t Want To Take Into Your Next Relationship 1Mad Men: Yes, Don Draper is easy on the eyes and Robert Pattinson really knows how to protect a damsel in distress BUT one is a cheat, the other a bloodsucker. And lest I forget, both are emotionally distant. I bet you think you could tame that bad boy side of them, though, huh? You can’t so, why keep trying?

Angst-riddled, bad guys look good on film and love always wins out but in real life, bad boys are big trouble. Thinking you are the woman who will bring out the good guy is pure fantasy. Snap out of it!

 

 

complete me.jpgHe Completes Me: Ugh! The definition of complete is, “to make whole or perfect.” When you buy into the romantic idea that you are not “complete” until you meet Mr. Right what you are actually doing is selling yourself short. And, you are giving a man way more power over your emotions and well-being than he will ever earn. You aren’t ready for a new relationship if you don’t feel whole or perfect. Therapy maybe, new relationship, I don’t think so.

Stop with the Jerry McGuire thinking! Ask Katy Holmes how good Tom Cruise was at “completing” her. That didn’t turn out well! A successful relationship is attained when you go into it feeling whole and perfect as you are. And I suggest you do your best to find a man who feels whole and perfect in himself. He is going to have so much more to offer than one who isn’t “complete.”

love story.jpgLove is Blind: Or, means never having to say you’re sorry. Loving and being loved is about as good as it gets. Loving and being loved doesn’t mean there will be no conflict.

It doesn’t mean there aren’t things about that guy you love that drives you crazy. And there aren’t things about you that drives him crazy. Never turn a blind eye to hurts caused by your loved one. Never trust a loved one who turns a blind eye to your faults.

This is the real world, and a couple has to join together and face reality as partners to be successful both with each other and in surviving and thriving in a sometimes harsh environment. A real partnership grows stronger with adversity overcome by mutual effort; if one or both partners think life should be easy because they are expecting a fairy tale romance, the normal setbacks of life will have them blaming their partner and running for the exit sign.

Happiness or great sex or a perfect house is not the goal of a successful relationship; the goal is a bond that strengthens both of you and helps you be more the person you want to be. Happiness in marriage, when it happens, is a byproduct of love and loyalty and accomplishments together over time. It isn’t the result of “expecting” your “happily ever after.”

The post 4 Silly Romantic Notions You Don’t Want To Take Into Your Next Relationship appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

older couples are divorcing more

Gray Divorce: Why Older Couples Are Divorcing More?

older couples are divorcing more

 

The term “gray divorce” was first used to refer to those who are getting a divorce after 40 or more years of marriage and is a reference to the gray hair you likely have after so many years.

However, recently the term has been more often used to describe the latest rise in divorce rates among baby boomers. These individuals are currently between the ages of 55 and 75 and have likely been married for 20 to 50 years.

While divorce rates have declined overall in the United States, the rate of divorce in those over the age of 50 has doubled.

If you are one of these individuals and are looking for a divorce lawyer, we suggest finding an experienced family law attorney to speak with. This will ensure you are getting the best legal counsel to help you get through your divorce as quickly and easily as possible.

Why Older Couples are Divorcing More?

There are a wide variety of reasons that there has been an increase in divorce in baby boomers. Here are some of the reasons why they would want a divorce:

  • Delayed divorce: Often couples choose to remain married until their children are old enough to be on their own or can further understand and be less affected by the divorce.
  • They’re now empty nesters: Older couples often find that once their adult children are all officially moved out, there isn’t enough holding the marriage together.
  • Retirement: When one or both of the individuals start retirement, there are a lot of lifestyle changes and can cause issues within the marriage.
  • Longer life expectancies: With life expectancies being higher than in the past, the idea of remaining in an unfulfilling and unhappy relationship forever is causing more couples to turn to divorce.
  • Women being more economically stable: With women being more financially stable today, women are no longer in need of a marriage to be able to support themselves.
  • The stigma of divorce is dissipating: Especially within religion, the stigma and negativity surrounding divorce are not as prevalent as it was in the past.
  • Prevalence of online dating: The ease of online dating has given hope to baby boomers that they can more easily find a new and better relationship.

What Happens After the Divorce:

Sometimes getting a divorce later in life can be very unnerving and a lot of questions will leave you feeling uncertain and confused about what to do next.

  • Where will I live?  You will likely move out of your home you shared with your soon-to-be-ex and maybe consider finding an apartment, a condo, or a small house. Maybe consider moving in with a friend or family member if you want some company. Just make sure that you end up living in an area that you are comfortable and happy.
  • Who do you turn to?  Don’t be afraid to turn to any friends or family to talk to or just spend time with.  Use this opportunity to connect with anyone you may not have seen in a while and have been meaning to see.
  • Splitting of assets: Speak with a divorce lawyer to discuss the best option when splitting your assets such as social security, 401(k), and pensions.
  • Child custody: With gray divorce, it is more likely that your kids are grown and moved out; meaning child custody or child support won’t play a factor in the divorce. If your kids are still young though, keep in mind that sometimes child support to help pay for the child’s college is required and can impact your retirement savings.

How a Divorce Lawyer Can Help You:

We suggest speaking with a divorce lawyer to ensure that you are receiving the best help in getting through your divorce at any age.  They can assist and provide you with high-quality and attentive legal counsel. They’ll make sure you get the best and most informed help when it comes to your divorce.

The post Gray Divorce: Why Older Couples Are Divorcing More? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

financial stability after divorce

5 Steps To Achieving Financial Stability After Divorce

financial stability after divorce

 

Many of us tend to focus on the emotional damage that can accompany divorce. It is important to keep in mind that divorce can have a significant financial toll as well. Women tend to fare worse than men economically after divorce, with one government study finding that a woman’s household income might fall an astounding 41 percent after divorce – almost twice as much as the reduction generally experienced by men.

There are real and significant costs associated with ending a marriage, finalizing a divorce case, and establishing separate households. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to establish financial independence and stability after divorce. The following are some of the most important.

Steps To Achieving Financial Stability After Divorce

1. Establish Separate Accounts

Moving forward after divorce means establishing a completely separate financial life. As a result, you should close any joint bank or investment accounts that you and your ex may have together, make sure that any joint credit accounts that you and your ex had been closed or the appropriate user is removed from the account, obtain a credit card in your name only, and make a list of your individual assets and debts.

When you open your own accounts, be sure to set up a savings, money market, or investment account where you can begin building emergency funds and achieving other savings goals.

2. Set a New Budget

Once your divorce is final and the dust has settled, it is time to set a new budget, which might look substantially different from your prior budget during the marriage. In order to do so, you should first determine your post-divorce income.

If you are working, find out exactly how much you will be making every paycheck, and do not forget to include income from alimony (maintenance) or child support. Next, determine how much you need to maintain the lifestyle you would like and see if the numbers work out.

You may find yourself pleasantly surprised with your post-divorce income or realize that you may need to find another job or cut financial corners in certain areas. For example, keep in mind that as a single person, you probably do not need as much space as you did while you were married.

You may be able to significantly reduce your housing payment and utility bills by moving into a smaller apartment or house. Once you have a budget that works, try to stick to it as closely as possible. It might seem easy to pay for things outside your budget with credit cards, but the balances will add up quicker than you might imagine, and you might not have room in your budget to add in credit card payments.

3. Avoid Crisis Spending

The time immediately after your divorce is over can be an extremely difficult time emotionally. For this reason, you should avoid making big financial decisions during this period. While it may be tempting to purchase that new car you have always wanted, move to a new city, or take an expensive vacation, you should hold off on these and other large purchases until you are in a more emotionally stable place.

One of the best ways to prevent yourself from engaging in crisis spending is to limit your purchases to things that are going to meet your basic needs – your food, shelter, clothing, and transportation.

4. Build Your Credit

Divorce can wreak havoc on your credit, and it’s important to start building your own credit profile so that you can truly live independently and finance large purchases like homes or vehicles. Start with being sure to pay your bills on time every month. As soon as you feel like you are comfortable with your new financial situation, open a credit card in your name and make sure that you pay it off each month.

Avoid applying for too much credit in a short period of time, however, as this can negatively affect your score. Finally, regularly check your credit score on a free site. Make sure that all of the information in your credit report is up to date and that debts are marked closed as you pay them off.

5. Seek Help from a Financial Advisor

As a newly divorced woman, you should certainly seek help from a trusted financial advisor who understands your situation. Even if you had a financial planner during your marriage, it might be a good idea to find a new one who does not know your ex-spouse.

You should start working on your retirement plans on your own immediately, and a qualified advisor will certainly have some options for you. In the event that there were retirement accounts that were split up at the time of your divorce, you should certainly look into a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) that can allow you to move money out of retirement accounts without any tax consequences.

An advisor can help you start a new investment portfolio with a lump-sum payment or periodic payments you received as part of the divorce order.

Finally, if you have any questions about your legal or financial obligations or rights as part of your divorce, you should speak to a family law attorney in your area.

The post 5 Steps To Achieving Financial Stability After Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

Custody Issues that Can Arise during the Holidays

3 Custody Issues That Can Arise During the Holidays

Custody Issues that Can Arise during the Holidays

 

For many people, the holiday season is a time to relax, spend time with friends and family, and engage in various religious or secular traditions. If you are a mother that shares custody of her children with their father, however, it is important that you consider the fact that the holidays can present a virtual minefield of custody issues that can be difficult to navigate.

Fortunately, by recognizing these issues and planning ahead, you can usually avoid them and have a holiday season free from any conflicts or fights related to child custody and parenting time.

Here are some of the most common issues that mothers who share custody should consider as the holidays approach.

3 Custody Issues that Can Arise During the Holidays

1. Not Having a Plan

One of the worst things you can do as the holiday’s approach is failing to make a plan as to how the kids will spend them. This is a recipe for disaster and a ruined holiday season. If your current custody order does not specify how custody is to be divided over the holidays, you should address the matter immediately, either informally or by requesting a modification to the order.

Some of your options include assigning fixed holidays to each parent (for example, you get Thanksgiving and their dad gets Christmas), alternating holidays, or splitting a holiday in half. The arrangement that works best for you will depend largely on the specifics of your living arrangements and the things most important to you.

2. Traveling Out of State

If you are considering traveling out of state this holiday season to see friends or family, it’s critical that you ensure that you check the terms of your custody arrangement prior to making firm plans. In some cases, your child custody arrangement may require you to obtain permission from your kids’ father in order to travel out of state – but it also may not.

Even if your child custody order does not require you to obtain their father’s permission to travel out of state, it’s not a bad idea to discuss the matter with him anyhow. First of all, it’s a show of good faith that you are willing to engage in open communication and co-parenting; secondly, it can work in your favor should a dispute arise in the future.

3. Unusual Custody Schedules During Winter Break

Unfortunately, an existing holiday custody schedule does not always make things go smoothly during this often hectic time of year. First of all, a departure from normal schedules can be hard on children, so it’s important to keep them aware of what’s going on and why. Furthermore, there are often logistical issues regarding holiday custody schedules.

For example, if your arrangements involve your children spending more consecutive nights with their father than they normally do, make sure that you pack enough clothes and discuss any issues that may arise with their other parent. Similarly, your normal schedule for dropping off or picking up the kids may not work because of holiday commitments, so make sure that these potential problems are discussed ahead of time.

Avoiding Custody Issues Now and in the Future

Fortunately, these and other issues related to child custody can usually be avoided with some simple planning and communication. If you and your child’s father have an amicable relationship and are able to talk, it’s not a bad idea to try and work out a holiday custody schedule yourself. In the event that your relationship is not so good, it may be necessary to petition the court to modify your custody schedule and assign holidays to each of you. In either case, it’s highly advisable to discuss your custody goals with a family law attorney in your jurisdiction.

Making New Traditions

One regular concern for mothers – especially those who are newly divorced – is how to maintain the family’s regular traditions for the holidays. The reality is that you might not be able to keep all of the same traditions, but the good news is that you can make new traditions with your children.

While you might normally have a special breakfast you make for Christmas morning after your kid’s open presents, you might be switching off Christmas morning with your ex-spouse. This means that you might miss the morning tradition, but maybe you can make a new special-breakfast-for dinner tradition for Christmas Eve.

That being said, if you have a special tradition with your family that your ex-spouse does not have with his family, you might want to negotiate to ensure you can continue that tradition since it means more to you.

Find Support with Family and Friends

No matter how well you plan ahead for custody issues, the holidays can still be difficult when you are not always with your children. It can be difficult to adjust, so you want to make sure that you have the support you need emotionally. When you do this, you can ensure you are in the best possible position to celebrate the holidays when your children are with you. If you need to adjust custody for the future, never hesitate to seek legal support from a trusted attorney, as well.

The post 3 Custody Issues That Can Arise During the Holidays appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

living with your spouse during divorce

5 Tips To Help You Remain Sane While Living With Your Spouse During Divorce

living with your spouse during divorce

 

Some state laws require that two spouses live apart for a certain period of time if they want to file a no-fault divorce. In other states, however, you have the choice of whether one spouse moves out of the house or whether you continue living together as you wait for the divorce to be final.

If you choose to keep living together, you should keep certain things in mind that can help make the divorce process easier.

Should You be Living With Your Spouse During Divorce?

This is a highly personal consideration, and everyone should consider whether living under the same roof as her soon-to-be ex-spouse is right for her. First and foremost, if you have experienced domestic violence or believe you are at risk of harm by your spouse, you should ensure your safety first. You can leave, or you might be able to obtain a protective order that orders your spouse to leave the house and stay away from you.

If domestic violence is not an issue, you could save money by continuing to have only one housing payment, a set of utility bills, groceries, and more. By saving money now, you might be in a better position following your divorce.

In addition, if you and your spouse own a home together, you might not want to leave the home during the divorce. If you leave, it can be quite difficult to get back in and get property rights to the home following the divorce. Additionally, if you have children, both parents continuing to live together can provide support and stability, as well as help set the stage for healthy co-parenting following the divorce.

5 Tips To Help You Remain Sane While Living With Your Spouse During Divorce

Even though there are reasons why you and your spouse are getting divorced, it is important to set those reasons aside as much as possible if you decide to keep living under the same roof. You should always make an effort to do the following:

Never put the kids in the middle – When spouses argue, it can be all too easy to bring the children into the conflict or say bad things about the other parent to your children. Not only is this unhealthy for the kids, but it also can affect your custody determination. Courts want to know that parents sharing custody will encourage a healthy relationship with the other parent (when possible) and that parents will work together for the best interests of the child. Striving to get along and keeping your kids out of any conflict can only help the custody portion of your divorce case.

Work together with finances – Since you are theoretically saving money by continuing to share a home, you should try to make the smartest financial decisions to maximize the benefits of living together. Decide whether you will pay bills from a joint bank account or split the bills from each of your individual accounts. Remember that now is not the time for big purchases or vacations – no matter how much you might want to get away. Your assets and debts are still part of your marital estate, and wasting those assets or accruing new debts can cause complications for you in the divorce case.

Keep it civil – Spouses who are in the middle of divorce generally have many differences of opinion. However, constant disagreements and fighting can only make the divorce more stressful – or even more expensive. When spouses are civil, they can often agree on the major issues in their cases without court intervention. Doing so often saves significant money and time, as litigation is a costly last resort in a divorce case. If you are constantly fighting, your spouse may decide to cause complications in the divorce and refuse to cooperate, which can lead you right into court.

Give each other space – If you have come to the decision to end your marriage and see little hope for reconciliation, it is only natural that you and your spouse will start to drift apart – even if you are living under the same roof while the divorce is pending. It is not a bad idea to move into separate rooms if you haven’t done so already. In addition, you should cultivate a life outside of your marriage and encourage your spouse to do the same. If your marriage is truly over, you need to let go of expectations of how much time you spend together or what night of the week is “date night.”

Don’t Be Afraid to Move Out – If it becomes clear in a few weeks or months into your attempt to live together that it’s not going to work, do not be afraid of throwing in the towel and moving out (or asking your husband to move out, if that makes more sense). There is no point in making yourselves miserable for another few months while you wait for your divorce to be final.

Many people decide to live together while they get divorced, and there is no right or wrong decision in this situation. If you choose to live together, you should keep in mind how doing so might affect the outcome of your divorce case.

The post 5 Tips To Help You Remain Sane While Living With Your Spouse During Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

Narcissistic Traits Create Complications During Divorce

How Narcissistic Traits Create Complications During Divorce

Narcissistic Traits Create Complications During Divorce

 

Many women who are married to narcissistic husbands become fed up with the situation and decide to get a divorce. While separating and filing for divorce might bring an immediate sense of relief from the challenges of living with a narcissist, the challenges might very well continue throughout the divorce process.

Divorce is difficult enough without the complications that a spouse with a narcissistic personality disorder can bring to the table. You might face unexpected and unnecessary conflict throughout the legal process, as your spouse might repeatedly attempt to make the divorce as trying as possible for you. Even if you have been dealing with their behavior for years, it can be challenging to stand your ground and ensure that you fight for your rights in the divorce.

How Narcissistic Traits Can Create Complications

In many divorces, both spouses will recognize that – despite their differences – compromise and cooperation will save them money, time, and stress.

However, narcissistic personality traits can make it nearly impossible for your spouse to agree to compromise. Some common personality traits of narcissistic people can include:

  • Unjustified sense of entitlement
  • Inflated superiority and self-importance
  • Putting down those they believe to be inferior to them
  • Expecting constant admiration or recognition
  • Expecting others to comply with their wishes without question
  • Being unable to realize the needs or feelings of others
  • Inability to calmly handle stressful situations
  • Difficulty adapting to change
  • Constantly changing their wants and desires
  • Reacting with angry outbursts or even vengeance if they believe they are not getting what they want at the moment

Because they believe they are superior and in the right, narcissists tend to think that everyone else is in the wrong. Even if your spouse caused most of your marital problems and conflict, expect to be blamed and for them to present themselves as the victim in the situation.

To make matters worse, once your spouse starts blaming you, they will likely be unwavering in this position. They will likely start to believe this narrative themselves.

Expecting Too Much

Because your spouse might believe they are the victim of the divorce, and they might already have an inflated sense of entitlement, they likely will feel entitled to much more than their share in the outcome of your case. They might refuse to agree to a reasonable division of property, custody arrangement, or financial support order.

This might also be the case if your spouse is feeling vengeful and trying to “get back” at you by trying to take everything away from you. This fight to “get everything” can cause serious complications in your legal case.

First, divorce is always simpler and faster when spouses can reach their own agreement. Whether you can agree on the major issues on your own or through mediation, presenting the court with an agreement upfront can save the time and expense of litigation. You should not have to give up more than necessary, however, just because your spouse demands it.

If your spouse is making unreasonable demands that deprive you of property or custody rights under the law, you should stand your ground, no matter how difficult that might seem.

How the Right Divorce Lawyer Can Help in this Situation

Narcissists know how to manipulate a situation to get what they want, so it is important that you have the right divorce attorney on your side from the start of the process. An attorney can look at the situation objectively and keep reminding you of your rights and what you deserve in the divorce outcome.

An experienced lawyer will not take your spouse’s actions and words personally and can help you stay the course until your divorce is final with a fair outcome for you.

In many cases, having an attorney act as an intermediary between your soon-to-be-ex and you can give you the time and space you need to see your situation clearly. In addition, not communicating with your husband directly can prevent you from falling into the unhealthy patterns of communication that likely played a role in the demise of your marriage.

This can often facilitate reaching an out-of-court agreement, which will almost certainly save you a significant amount of time and money.

In some cases, it may be a good idea to ask your spouse to agree to a psychiatric evaluation in order to establish evidence regarding his personality disorder. This is particularly true in cases where you believe your children may be put in danger of emotional or physical harm due to his issues. An official recent diagnosis could be used as evidence in your favor when it comes to the determination of child custody.

Just because your spouse has narcissistic personality traits does not mean you should give up your rights in your divorce case. When you meet with your lawyer initially, be honest about your spouse’s personality, so your lawyer knows what they will be dealing with right from the start. They can then plan a strategy to help you obtain a successful outcome as efficiently as possible.

The post How Narcissistic Traits Create Complications During Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

self-care after an affair

Self-Care After An Affair: 7 Things That Helped Me Survive

self-care after an affair

 

I can’t stress enough the importance of self-care after an affair. Living in a state of trauma, chaos and stress are bad for your body and mental health. Stress causes cortisol to rise and can wreak havoc on your body.

I knew that I needed to find some peace, calm and serenity during this dark time, but I didn’t really know in the early phases what would create this kind of environment for me.

There were days where I didn’t want to get out of bed, so the thought of self-exploration and reflection to reclaim a calmer state of mind sounded exhausting.

Self-Care After an Affair

Acknowledge and Validate Your Feelings

There’s a fine line between distraction and avoidance when dealing with a traumatic situation. You can’t avoid it forever and inevitably when your feelings arise or you are triggered, rather than trying to push it out of your mind, instead try to understand what you’re feeling and why.

Nailing down the feeling (sadness, pain, abandonment, loneliness) and what caused the trigger is helpful. Acknowledgment and validation, even to yourself, makes you realize it’s ok to feel what you’re feeling because it is. You are where you are and that’s ok. Identifying what caused your emotions to flare up can help you recognize it in the future to prevent it or soften the blow.

The Art of Distraction

While it’s important to not constantly avoid your feelings, you can’t live in your pain all day every day. Once you’ve acknowledged your feelings or triggers at the moment, go do what you enjoy doing, if that feels acceptable to you. Try something new or default to an activity you love with someone in your inner circle who you can trust.

Journal/Write

I’ve never really been into journaling, but I will say – if you have the time and you are seeking better or different ways to cope, writing your feelings down can be therapeutic. Ahem…I did end up writing this book!  Write a letter to your partner if that helps you articulate the pain you’re in.  It’s up to you whether you share it or not – it’s more for you than your partner. Burn it, share it, whatever feels best to you.

Meditation

I’ve also never been into meditating but out of necessity, this felt like something worth exploring. There are many applications you can download on your phone for a guided meditation which may help calm your mind when it’s wandering on repeat with all those negative or painful thoughts.

It also can include the practice of gratefulness. It’s hard to be grateful in your trauma, but I’m willing to bet there are things in your life you are grateful for that bring you happiness and joy (your health, your job, your kids, your family, your friends).

 Yoga

You might be noticing a theme here, but again…I’ve never been into yoga!  My friend told me specifically about yin yoga and we’ve jokingly referred to it as a “guided nap.” Sorry if this offends any yogis out there. There’s science behind the benefits of tapping into your parasympathetic nervous system and how that correlates to a reduction in stress. I did this once or twice a week during my most stressful months and I always walked away from the class feeling relaxed. I’m still not a die-hard yoga fan, but I recommend it for the above mentioned reasons and it did help calm my body and mind.

Massages (or any spa treatment)

Now, this is something I’ve always enjoyed. A little pampering and relaxing are good for the mind and soul.

Being in Nature

I started to seek out environments and landscapes that made me feel at peace. Being in nature or on the water for me was relaxing and it fed my soul. Enjoying views and watching sunsets made me feel calm and gave me a sense of serenity I desperately needed.

I live in a big city with bumper to bumper traffic and that did nothing to bring me the feeling of calm I was seeking. I started to do day trips away from the city and a handful of trips alone where I’d rent a place with a view, near the water and far away from the hustle and bustle of both the city and my internal thoughts.

Identify how you can best take care of yourself will greatly help you in your journey after infidelity.

The post Self-Care After An Affair: 7 Things That Helped Me Survive appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

unpack your emotional baggage

3 Tips For Unpacking Your Emotional Baggage

unpack your emotional baggage

 

Most of us have been there at some point. Standing at the airline ticketing desk and crossing our fingers for a hopeful outcome as we place our bags on the scale.

But alas, our luggage has exceeded the allowance we’re able to check for free and we’re slapped with a hefty overage fee.

Our frustration, however, overshadows the reason for this limitation – to keep the weight of the aircraft less than a certain amount. If the plane is overloaded, it may not make it off the ground.

And even if it does take off, it will likely have trouble maintaining level flight. If we equate these concepts with relationships, romantic or otherwise, and simply use the term “excess emotional baggage,” we can often draw the same conclusion. If both parties are entering into a relationship with overloaded with baggage from the past, it is bound to have problems.

And if it manages to get off the ground safely, it still may have trouble maintaining level flight.

What is Emotional Baggage?

Emotional baggage can be many things, including:

  1. The misinformation we received about coping with grief and loss
  2. The poor habits we developed in past relationships
  3. The accumulation of well-intended communications gone wrong

Emotional baggage feels like emotionally stepping back in time. Rather than reacting to a situation like a mature adult, we may react like a younger version of ourselves. And much like lugging a massive suitcase through a busy airport, carrying excess emotional baggage can be exhausting or even crippling, and demands a high price. Physical side effects (high blood pressure, headaches, insomnia, depression, etc.) aside, excess emotional baggage is detrimental to our behavior and attitudes and can harm our relationships.

Unpacking Your Baggage

Digging up the past isn’t easy, but it is a critical step in moving forward.

Here are a few tips to help you lose that emotional baggage.

  1. The first step to unpacking that excess baggage is to identify it. First, try and jot down some of the problems and conflicts that have surfaced in your life. How much of your time and energy is spent in dealing with these issues? How has your emotional, physical, and spiritual health been affected by the weight of these issues?
  1. Next, stop blaming others for your problems. You have to take responsibility for your life, your actions, and your emotions. The blame game won’t change anything. And this includes blaming yourself! Break the blame chain and you’re bound to escape this vicious cycle.
  1. Finally, extend forgiveness to yourself and others so you can truly let go of the hurt that you have experienced. It won’t be easy and a person may not be deserving or even ask for your grace, but it is crucial to paving a positive path forward.

Unlike luggage, we don’t have the option to pack up our emotions and ship them off to a faraway destination. We do, however, have the option to take charge of them and choose how they will affect us from this point forward. Choosing to drop our baggage can lead to a much stronger, more balanced life.

The post 3 Tips For Unpacking Your Emotional Baggage appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

child support

Child Support: Options For Enforcement Against The Non-Paying Parent

child support

 

Success!

You’ve received an Order from the Court that requires your Ex to pay you child support each month, as well as an Order that your Ex pay some percentage of costs for things like extracurricular activities and extraordinary medical expenses for your child. The long legal battle is over, and you can rest.

Then, a few months later, the inevitable happens.

Your Ex does not pay.

Now what?

Options For Enforcement Against The Non-Paying Parent

Fortunately, for those parents who have been awarded child support and/or reimbursement for extracurricular or extraordinary medical costs, the law provides several options for enforcement against the non-paying parent (“Obligor”).

Unfortunately, this process can be confusing, and many legal practitioners – and even Judges – struggle to understand which options apply in certain scenarios. (In any case, a party may seek a Citation for Contempt against a party that has failed to comply with a Court Order, but the focus of this article is enforcement, i.e.; how to get money in-hand).

To provide some guidance on enforcement options, the most common scenarios are addressed below:

My Ex has been ordered to pay a specific amount of child support each month and has not made the payment(s).

Under Colorado law, a child support payment is converted into an enforceable support judgment on the day that it is due and not paid, and immediately begins to accrue interest at a rate of 12%, compounded monthly. In cases where payments have not been made for many months or even years, the amount of interest owed on the unpaid child support can exceed several thousand dollars.

However, the operation of law that converts a missed payment into a support judgment does not magically deposit funds into your bank account. In order to obtain actual funds from the Obligor, you will need to file a “Verified Entry of Support Judgement” with the Court reflecting the timeframe at issue, the amount that should have been paid, the amount that was actually paid, and the interest accrued thereon.

Once this document is filed with the Court, you may seek enforcement against the Obligor’s employer, bank accounts, and property by way of liens or a Writ of Garnishment. There are pro’s and con’s to each method of enforcement, however, it is important to remember that support judgments are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

While it may take some time to recover all of the funds owed to you, you will continue to accrue interest on the principal amount owed and the Obligor is unlikely to escape ultimately paying the judgment over time.

In the case of garnishment with an Obligor’s employer, you will begin receiving payments directly from the employer each time that the Obligor receives a paycheck. However, Colorado law sets limits for the percentage of earnings that may be garnished, so you may receive smaller payments towards the total amount owed until that amount is paid off.

When garnishing a bank account, you will be limited in the amount that you recover by how much money the Obligor has in the account. For instance, if you seek to recover $1,000.00, and the Obligor only has $100.00 in the account, you will only receive $100.00 until/unless the Obligor places more funds into the account in the future.

Alternatively, a lien against property is a viable option and may result in a lump-sum payment, however, you may not receive the funds until the property is sold or otherwise transferred.

My Ex has been ordered to pay a percentage share of extracurricular expenses and extraordinary medical expenses but has failed to do so.

A distinction has been made, however, between amounts owed that are “sum certain,” such as the set monthly amount of child support, and payment of expenses that may fluctuate over time. Most often, this situation presents itself in cases where a party is ordered to pay a percentage amount owed towards extracurricular or extraordinary medical expenses for a child.

For example, if an Order requires that a party contribute 50% of the cost of extracurricular or extraordinary medical expenses for a child, the actual dollar value of that amount may fluctuate from month to month. Certainly, there will be months when there are no extraordinary medical expenses, and other months when there may be significant expenses (perhaps a child has broken an arm). The same is true for extracurricular costs.

This issue becomes even more complicated when there is specific language in the Court’s Order regarding notice to the other party about the amount of the expense, timelines, and requirements for exchange of receipts and/or invoices, and whether the agreement of both parties is necessary for the expense to be reimbursable.

When dealing with this scenario, the very first step is to ensure that you have complied with all of the notification and exchange of documentation requirements necessary under your specific Court Order. If you have done so, then any failure by the opposing party to pay the amount owed will result in a support judgment, subject to the same interest and enforcement procedures as described in the previous section.

However, because the amount owed can be subject to debate (the other party may claim that you failed to provide documentation or notice as required, or may even dispute the actual amount spent or owed), you cannot simply file a Verified Entry of Support Judgment and immediately seek enforcement. Instead, you must file a “Motion for Entry of Support Judgment” and request that the Court enter an Order awarding you the support judgment and certifying the amount owed.

In this scenario, the Obligor has a due process right to file a Response with the Court, disputing the amount at issue and/or your compliance with the notice and documentation requirements, and may even request an evidentiary hearing regarding these issues. Unlike enforcement of a “sum certain” amount of child support owed, you cannot seek a Writ of Garnishment or enter a lien against property in this scenario until you have received an Order from the Court regarding your Motion for Entry of Support Judgment.

However, once you receive an Order granting your Motion, you may seek the same enforcement options described above.

My Ex has failed to pay both the monthly child support amount AND their contribution to extraordinary expenses.

In the case that your Ex has failed to pay both a “sum certain” amount of child support and has failed to pay their portion of extracurricular and/or extraordinary medical expenses, you will need to seek enforcement under both options outlined above.

You will need to file a Verified Entry of Support Judgment for the amounts owed and not paid as specific child support, and a Motion for Entry of Support Judgement for any amounts that would have been subject to debate or fluctuation over time and seeking a Court Order establishing the amount owed as a judgment.

The post Child Support: Options For Enforcement Against The Non-Paying Parent appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

stay-at-home mom

I Was a Stay-At-Home Mom: I Didn’t Regret That Until I Went Through a Divorce

stay-at-home mom

 

I started dating my high school sweetheart when I was just seventeen years old, and he was 16. Our families were friends since childhood.  Our relationship got serious rather quickly. He was the guy that checked all the boxes for the type of man I thought I was supposed to marry.

I had a ring on my finger when I was 19, and married before I even graduated college at 21 years old.  We pretty much grew up together. We were still kids trying to figure out life. Everything we had, we built from the ground up.  Nobody gave us anything that we didn’t work for.

Our relationship lasted 19 years; with two beautiful children to show for it, a custom-built home, a pretty substantial real estate portfolio, and a marriage that most people thought would last a lifetime.

Except that it didn’t. 

I was the mom that ran the household.  I worked in real estate part-time (a career that did not light me up) so that I could be there to raise our children.  I cooked all our meals, I made sure the home was clean, and I brought the kids to and from school and volunteered in the classroom.  Managing our home was my first priority.

I Was a Stay-At-Home Mom

Everything changed the minute our marriage was over.  It was as if this person I built a life with suddenly became someone I needed to protect myself from. I was dumbfounded that we instantly became strangers. I went from a life that felt safe, to thinking “what else could possibly be taken away from me?”

I am the one that asked for a divorce, but I was beaten to the punch with divorce papers.  I was suffering and processing the loss of my marriage, I wasn’t thinking that I needed to “protect” what was already mine.  I hired my own lawyer being that I was left with no other option.

My lawyer suggested I check my bank accounts to see if our funds were left untouched.  I can’t even begin to describe the feeling that washed over me when I logged into our joint bank accounts only to find that all the accounts had been closed and credit cards canceled.  To say that I felt terrified is an understatement. How did “our money” all of a sudden become “my money?”

Had I not been savvy, and blessed with the grace of God, I would have been at the mercy of a stranger, a person I was intimate with for 19 years, but none of that mattered anymore.  I was left to fend for myself, completely unsupported by my family, awaiting a court date in order to have a judge determine my fate. I still had basic survival needs.  “How do I pay for gas, groceries, the kid’s necessities, etc.?”

What came next was waking up one morning only to find my car key missing.  A car that I had been driving for a year…vanished. I was told it was a “company car” that I was no longer entitled to drive.  No warning, no conversation, just gone!

Everything changed overnight. 

I was no longer the primary caretaker of our children.  He went from running a family business fulltime to instantly becoming 50% dad, bringing and picking up the kids from school, and when he couldn’t he enlisted his family’s help during his “custodial time.” There was zero communication in raising our children.  It was your time and my time, and on my time, I will do whatever I please. Mind you it was never my intention to take the kids away, I believe children need both mom and dad in their lives. None of this was a topic of conversation, just action taken fueled by shattered pride and ego.

We were both instructed by lawyers to stay in our home until the divorce was finalized, which lasted a year.  It was excruciating. It felt outer body. I was a stranger in a home we built ourselves, a home we raised our children in, and where we hosted many family gatherings. Nothing felt comfortable anymore.  We both avoided being home when it wasn’t our custodial time. Everything was calculated and documented down to the day and the hour.  It was what I call divorce purgatory. Stuck between two worlds; life before divorce and life after divorce.

I write this in no way to place blame or to make myself out to be the victim because to be completely honest, my attorney advised me to do the exact same thing, but I didn’t want to believe that we had become these people.  I didn’t want our children to be placed in the crossfire of two people who felt the need to defend their ego and pride, but I also wasn’t going to stand around and allow someone to pull the rug out from under me.

My story is in no way unique. 

I have heard countless women in this exact predicament, especially when it comes to finances.  Begging for money in order to buy tampons. Meanwhile, their lawyer is unable to do a darn thing without getting in front of a judge, which could take months. Withholding money is financial abuse, and I don’t wish it on anyone.  I was grateful that I had other sources of income that he was unable to withhold from me in the long run, but not everyone is that lucky.

This is what many bulldog lawyers instruct their clients to do… ACT FAST, PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR ASSETS, MINIMIZE FINANCIAL LOSS, and in some cases make the other person out to be unfit and unreliable.  It’s not a lawyer’s job to do what is in the best interest of all parties involved, including the children.  Their only job is to “WIN” for the client. They have no interest in who gets burned in the process. I say this having experienced it firsthand.

I want stay at home moms to be fully aware of the possible outcomes.  If you are financially dependent on your spouse and you want out of your marriage please be aware of the situation and consult a lawyer, preferably a lawyer that isn’t out to win at all costs.  Don’t ever think to yourself that this will never happen to me, that was my first lesson. This can easily be you, too, if you are in a relationship with someone who is fueled by fear and has a bruised ego. Remember healing doesn’t happen in courtrooms, that’s your own personal journey.  Until you are in a desperate state of mind, you have no idea what you are capable of doing.

If you find yourself in this situation feel free to reach out to me for a complimentary strategy session.  Do not try and handle this alone.

Sign-up on my mailing list to get weekly content that will support you in your journey towards healing, and also get notified of my upcoming program coming out soon…Untying the Knots of Divorce.

The post I Was a Stay-At-Home Mom: I Didn’t Regret That Until I Went Through a Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>