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5 keys to creating a happy blended family

5 Keys To Creating a Happy Blended Family

5 keys to creating a happy blended family

 

Finding new love and a committed relationship after divorce is a delightful experience. Those positive feelings can, at times, get in the way of the reality of blending two families into one.

Below are 5 keys to creating a happy blended family once you’ve moved forward into a new marriage.

1. Love and Acceptance:

Every member needs to feel loved and accepted by the other members of your blended family. Transitioning into a blended family is difficult for all involved. Parents and children will respond and react differently to the idea of coming together and building relationships. For children, this means building relationships with people they barely know.

For that reason, they may be obnoxious, obstinant and down-right hard to deal with. When this happens it can pit parents against each other and they may begin to see traits in each other that aren’t attractive. The quickest way to defuse angry children and unreasonable new spouses is to show love, acceptance, and empathy for what they are feeling.

If you can step outside yourself and attempt to view the situation from the other person’s perspective, love, acceptance, and empathy will be easy to offer.

2. Security and Attachment:

Healthy relationships can’t be formed if everyone isn’t feeling secure and attached. This problem can be an issue with children who’ve experienced the divorce of their parents. For children, divorce can be traumatic and result in a loss of trust or, an unwillingness to trust again too quickly. Along with love, acceptance, and empathy, children will need quite a bit of reassurance that they are an important part of the new blended family.

It takes time to heal children who are still trying to adjust to their parent’s divorce. It also takes time to bond with children who aren’t used to sharing parents with other people. Validation for what the children are experiencing and consistent love will break down barriers and help children attach to other members of the blended family and begin to feel secure.

3. The Other Parent:

I know a therapist who is also a step-mother. She has no children of her own and has become consumed with every aspect of her stepdaughter’s life. She insists she is at every doctor’s appointment, every parent/teacher conference and part of every decision made about the child’s life. As a result, there is great friction between her and the child’s biological mother.

My therapist friend has crossed boundaries that no step-parent should cross. The job of a step-parent is to respect the biological parent and their boundaries, not the other way around. When boundaries are crossed you are sending your step-child the message that you don’t feel their biological parent is doing a good enough job of parenting.

Never do anything that gets in the way of a step-child bonding with and receiving love from the biological parent. You are the step-parent, not the biological parent, know your place!

4. It Takes Time:

It can take 2 to 8 years for a blended family to navigate the basic stages necessary for developing a sense of harmony and loyalty.  The older the children at the time of blending, the longer it will take for bonding to occur. Blended families will need to pass through many stages, the getting to know each other stage, the forming attachments stage in order to develop into a strong blended family.

Research has shown several models of the stages of development for blended families. Blending is not a smooth process and, knowing that from the outset will go along way in keeping one parent or the other from throwing in the towel when the waters aren’t smooth. You have to be willing to give it time!

5. Not All Problems Are About Blending:

Life, stress and everyday problems have to be dealt with at the same time you are blending your family. Your new blended family can experience problems that have nothing to do with an obnoxious step-child or whether a member has attached and is feeling loved.

As a blended family, you are expected or, will have to deal with all the normal crap life throws your way. Children will grow and develop their own sense of autonomy, spouses will argue, the mortgage will need to be paid and life will go on if you don’t allow outside issues or normal personal changes to interfere with your commitment to maintaining a happy, healthy blended family.

The post 5 Keys To Creating a Happy Blended Family appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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We Divorced But Our Family Thrived, Especially Our Children

We Divorced But Our Family Thrived, Especially Our Children

 

We divorced. It felt like I was jumping off a cliff and taking my children with me. I was bad now. I was to blame. I felt ashamed.

At the same time, my brother was also getting divorced, which meant my mother was going through the breakup of both her children’s marriages. This was very tough on her. My mother had raised us by herself with no help from my father. None! At that time, a single woman raising children on her own was practically unheard of. When my mother finally saw both her children marry lovely people and have beautiful children of their own, she felt relieved that things had turned out well.

But with two divorces pending, it was all coming apart. We were all so sad and angry. The children were in the middle of all this strife. My mother had always been my rock, but now she too was slipping off the cliff, we were all struggling.

I slowly pulled myself together and began thinking of my children’s wellbeing. I once heard a woman, who was talking about her very young children after her divorce, say, “If I’m okay, then my children will be okay. If my needs are met, then I can take care of them.” I think she had it backward. In my view, “If my children are okay, then I’ll be okay. If my children’s needs can be met, then I can take care of myself.”  This became my motto.

I had young children at home and they were at the mercy of me and my decisions. I made a lot of mistakes at first. I began my search for better role models and a better way to do this.

We shifted our focus and although divorced, we realized we were going to have to figure out how to be a family and how to develop a new family structure going forward.

My former husband and my mother had a very close relationship. He had become like another son to her, and they really loved each other. He had helped to make our family stronger and more connected

We wanted to keep our family together as much as possible. Most of all our children were looking for stability and reassurance. So we did our best to be together as a family with the children on holidays and at school functions.

We helped each other meet our children’s needs.

We did it for the sake of the children. We did it for the sake of the whole family. I did it for myself too. We weren’t married anymore, but we had children together and so we were still a family and we needed the support of our extended family more than ever.

I remember thinking at some point that when people divorce they leave each other, not the family. But that wasn’t the message I was getting from my divorced friends or in the media. According to them, divorce was supposed to be like a war zone. We didn’t want to live like that, and we didn’t want to subject our children to that either, so we began creating our own set of new rules to live by. It was the silver lining to a very dark cloud.

We had to be pioneers because we weren’t seeing many examples of healthy post-divorce behavior around us.

We really had to create a relationship based on our own sense of what was going to make our family thrive. I personally had to keep turning inward for direction on how to act, what to say, and how to go on from where I was. This self-reflection proved invaluable in the process of being a parent.

One of the first important things we did as parents of two children was to make it abundantly clear that just because one parent left their spouse, they did not leave the family. It is the grown-ups who are no longer able to live together. It is so important to reassure the children that the love they feel for each parent is still reciprocated and the relationship between them and each parent is therefore strong and protected. I learned that it’s so important to remember to help your children feel loved by both parents even if you are not feeling that way yourself.

As part of a blended family myself, I’ve learned it is best to take a conscious approach to life in a tribe. I’ve encountered all kinds of things that keep me growing and inspire me to turn inward in an effort to be more self-reflective. It is not always easy, but over the years, I’ve realized that in our blended family, I’m but one leg of the table. I’m very important, but the other three legs are just as important for the table to be strong enough to hold all of us. I try to let everyone deal with what they are bringing to the table while I keep my focus on what I can bring. I’ve adopted a meditation of sorts.

These thoughts help keep me focused. It works for me.

If I can remember that I’m not always in control…

If I can give others grace when I feel trespassed upon…

If I can forgive and allow myself to have healthy boundaries…

If I can forgive and allow other family members to have healthy boundaries…

If I can speak up when I need to speak up…

If I can listen to others when I need to listen…

If I can avoid rushing in and pushing my agenda…

Then the family will find its own balance.

One of the things we chose to do differently from most of the family examples we were seeing was to gather as a family for holidays or special school events as well as birthday celebrations.

As long as our children were young and living at home with us, we chose to include all of us. We didn’t trade off years or make the children choose where to go or whom to invite for a special occasion.

And my motto in those circumstances, if there is any discomfort, which there was, became:

 “If anyone is going to be uncomfortable in the room let it be me, not my children or other family members”

 It is my divorce and I must take the initiative and bear the changes with mindfulness so that my family and my children can all be together for these times.

When the going gets tough, we help each other. Maybe it was out of necessity at first, but it soon became normal for us as we became a blended family. Instead of waging war, we have created and provided resources for each other and for our children. In this family, I continue to find grace, love, and understanding.

The post We Divorced But Our Family Thrived, Especially Our Children appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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family court fails to protect women

4 Ways The Family Court Fails To Protect Women During a High Conflict Divorce

family court fails to protect women

 

My divorce was tame compared to some. There were no domestic abuse issues, no custody battle issues; we went our separate ways with no physical harm done. I can’t say the same about emotional harm but, as I learned the Family Court System is ill-equipped to handle the conflict created when a man has a personality disorder or is hell-bent on using the system to punish their ex.

As a matter of fact, it is my opinion the Family Court System is ill-equipped to protect anyone whose divorce is high conflict. Judges, Attorneys, Psychologists, and other court-appointed personnel EXPECT divorce to be one size fits all and when it isn’t lack the skills to support civility. What you get are platitudes and an attitude that if you are engaged with an ex who creates conflict you must be playing a role in the conflict also.

If I had a dollar for every person I’ve heard from and worked with who felt let down by the Family Court System, I’d be sporting a new pair of Manolo Blahniks.

How the family court fails to protect women.

1. Contempt of Court: If a man fails to pay child support or defies a portion of the court-ordered divorce decree, there is the ability to “petition the court for contempt.” The only problem, it will cost you attorney fees to do so, and rarely is a defendant held responsible when found “in contempt.”

In my years working in the divorce industry, I’ve not heard one story in which a defiant, in contempt man, was held responsible by a Judge. If you are a mother dependent on child support you will find very little protection from the Family Court System.

2. Crushing Financial Expense: If you are engaged in a custody battle or high conflict divorce you will find little or no legal support from the Family Court System. Especially if you are in a “he said, she said” situation that increases the time involved in the divorce process. Judges have little patience for those who stall their docket and divorce attorneys who thrive on prolonging the conflict to enrich their practice do nothing but encourage the conflict.

3. The Best Interest of the Children: The Family Court is set up to protect the rights of both parents, which in turn will supposedly protect the rights of the child. This concept is meant to be in the best interest of the child since the focus is on equitable rights for both parents. But, how do you “equitably” divide a child?

Custody battles take place when one parent feels they are better equipped the care for children than the other parent. Personality disordered individuals will use the Family Court System to abuse an ex-spouse which leaves the children as collateral victims.

Judges are busy, skeptical individuals who have packed dockets and little tolerance for quarreling parents or the personality disordered father. They are more concerned with getting a case “solved” and clearing up their docket than taking the time needed to distinguish between fact or fiction and in the end, doing what is actually in the “best interest of the children.”

4. Domestic Abuse Cases: Abusers use the court system to exert control over an ex-spouse. They manipulate attorneys and judges who end up playing a role in further harm being done to the ex-wife and children born to the couples. The very people who the courts are sworn to protect!

When a mother, the parent most likely to make accusations of abuse of herself or her children enters the Family Court System she and her accusations of domestic abuse are met with suspicion and it has been my experience that judges don’t want to hear it.

Many mothers are tuned out and turned out into the cold with few resources because the Family Court System would rather hear a story of cooperation…the “happy divorce” gets much more attention than the high conflict divorce. After all, happy divorces, those with little or no conflict are quick and easy for a judge to run through his/her docket.

Final Thoughts:

Here is an example from personal history with the Family Court System of how women are viewed if you attempt to use the system to protect yourself and your children. I have a friend who is a divorce attorney. She has been privy to the issues in my divorce that kept my ex-husband and me in and out of court for seven years. She knows how many times he defied our divorce agreement and what that defiance me for the children and I.

I recently posted a comment on a Facebook discussion she was having about something that had occurred in the local Family Court. It is has been years since I’ve been involved in that particular court system but, due to my profession, I remain curious about changes.

When I questioned her about the issue, asking about names and the particulars she replied to me by saying, “Please Cathy, don’t stir the pot.” Stir the pot? Her belief that I am a pot stirrer is based on the fact that my ex defied every aspect of our final divorce decree and I filed petitions for contempt to have him held responsible. I’m the bad guy for holding him accountable!!

In my friend’s eyes, I’m someone who stirs the pot or makes waves because I expected a system that is set up to protect my children and me, to actually protect us. I had the audacity to use the system in the way it was set up to be used. And due to that, I am viewed in a more negative light than the person who defied orders from the judge, emotionally abused his children and caused those he left behind extreme financial and emotional distress.

Bottom line, the Family Court System fails us by not protecting those who use the system as the system was designed to be used. If you are a mother trying to protect your children, your assets or your legal rights via the Family Court System, the cards are stacked against you.

The post 4 Ways The Family Court Fails To Protect Women During a High Conflict Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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irreconcilable differences

Irreconcilable Differences: The 2 Words That Destroyed My Family

irreconcilable differences

 

What exactly are “irreconcilable differences” during divorce?

Since the creation of “no-fault” divorce, irreconcilable differences is the grounds upon which most divorces are filed. Generally, it means there is no hope for the couple to work out their problems and save the marriage.

Each state has different requirements for filing for divorce on grounds of irreconcilable differences. For example, New Jersey requires couples to have experienced the irreconcilable differences for at least six months before filing the divorce complaint. Couples must “make it appear that the marriage should be dissolved” and show clearly the couple cannot resolve their disputes and save the marriage.

In West Virginia, couples can divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, only if both spouses agree to this claim in writing.

YAY West Virginia!

I’m all about there being a consensus by both parties to a divorce that the differences are, in fact, irreconcilable. Put that shit in writing and get both parties’ signature or, NO DIVORCE.

Unwanted divorce and irreconcilable differences

I was the recipient of a divorce I didn’t want. The night before my ex left home, we made love and he said to me, “what would I ever do without you?” The next day he was gone. When I requested an explanation for his desire for a divorce, he told me he “didn’t know why but a switch flipped in my head, I heard it when it went click and I knew if I didn’t get out, I was going to die.”

There was no other woman, just a man who was off-kilter emotional, a wife who had had the rug pulled out from under her world and a little boy and girl who were watching the very foundation of their lives being destroyed.

It took him 4 months to get the divorce he so desperately had to have. They say no-fault divorce laws were put in place to keep down conflict during divorce. I say bullshit. Family Court dockets are full, Family Court judges are overworked and overtaxed. No-fault divorce laws were created to clear dockets as quickly as possible and to keep judges from getting tied up in the dirty details of domestic issues.

My husband’s therapist told me that he was in the throes of clinical depression and needed to be on medication. He refused medication and, instead destroyed the one thing that meant the most to him in the world…his family. And, the Family Court system is complicit.

My husband, my children and I suffered because what was most valuable to us was nothing more than a file on some judge’s desk that he wanted to get rid of and call it done. When the judge stamped that final divorce decree, he sealed our fates.

What comes after irreconcilable difference

Since our divorce 16 years ago, I’ve remarried and moved on to plan B. It’s a good plan but, it isn’t plan A and I’ll always resent not being able to carry on with my initial plan. I love the man I’m married to now, not like I loved my first husband, though. He is my second choice and, it hurts me to say that because he deserves better.

My ex has been married 3 times since our divorce. He is working on his 4th divorce now. He never sought psychological treatment for his depression. Imagine where he would be today if a Family Court judge had cared enough about him and our family to force that issue. Had cared enough to say, “I don’t think a family should be dissolved until the last avenue for reconciliation has been explored.”

Our oldest child is married and has a child and wonderful wife. He has a great career, is financially viable and is in therapy to finally “unpack my baggage, as he explained to me the other day. “The divorce really fucked me up, “he said.

Our youngest child is in college and struggling. She is on medication for depression and anxiety. For nearly a year her panic attacks were so bad she wouldn’t leave our home. She has no trust in people, life or her worthiness as a person.

She and her father were attached at the hip. To say she was a Daddy’s girl is an understatement. I’ve watched her suffer since the day he walked out. She lost the person she was closest to in the world. She went from him reading bedtime stories to her every night to seeing him every other weekend. Our divorce changed the direction of her life and cost her the safety and security she had always known. Nothing could fill the hole left in her heart where her Daddy had once resided.

He made no effort to remain close to either of our children. The older they got, the less he came around. Eventually, he became someone they used to know. Our daughter, who should have been taught what it meant to be loved by a man, by her father, was, instead, taught what it meant to be abandoned by a man, by her father.

She will be OK, I’ll make sure that the damage done to her gets fixed. She’ll have a full life, but I guarantee you, she’ll be able to spot a bullshitter from a mile away. The man who ends up with her has got his job cut out for him when it comes to building a bond and trust.

All of us, except for my ex will be OK. We’ll always carry the scars. And, I’ll always wonder what life would have been like for my children if it hadn’t been derailed by a Family Court system that believes “irreconcilable differences” is the only reason a man needs to drop a bomb on his spouse and children.

It’s reasonable to say that I have differences with our country’s divorce laws and Family Court, and those differences are definitely irreconcilable.

The post Irreconcilable Differences: The 2 Words That Destroyed My Family appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Supervisor Susan Ellenberg Caught Up in Family Court Corruption Through Ties to Walter Hammon

Walter Hammon Investigated for Interfering with the 2018 Supervisor Election

Susan Ellenberg was like many other women riding the #metoo movement into historic midterm elections. Promises of big changes made in 2018 fell short when Ellenberg cast her first votes in 2019 and demonstrated her loyalty to lawyers including divorce attorney Walter Hammon  who was front and center in Ellenberg’s campaign. 

Walter Hammon is a “clean-up” divorce lawyer, retained by the most nefarious  spouses divorcing in Santa Clara County. Most recently Hammon represented an employee of the Santa Clara County District Attorney, Jeff Rosen, where Hammon’s client  reportedly sexually harassed a subordinate, sending  two families into the local courts. Hammon reportedly took the case as a favor to Rosen, and to hide the settlement the county made with the employee in 2018, just before a 2019 law would require the case to be fully disclosed. 

Divorce lawyers Sharon Roper and Valerie Tarvin reportedly cleaned up the other divorce arising from the DA office scandal, where the husband, an employee for Uber, was suspected of abusing his immigrant wife after he learned of her infidelity. The divorce was quickly settled up and the settlement with the county kept secret. 

Santa Clara County employee Terry Harman has been covering up sexual abuse and harassment in the DA’s office for years. Harman reportedly threatened  employees who tried to speak up and ignored complaints from the public brought directly to the DA, or through the county’s Whistleblower program. Harman also reportedly helped cover up sexual abuse claims against Dominic Caserta who ran against Ellenberg andwas reportedly ” outed” as a strategy designed to assure Ellenberg’s win. 

Hammon, whose sons work for criminal law firms and hold leadership positions in the State Bar, is being investigated for RICO and Antitrust activity along with other lawyers from the county.  Hammon, who opposed Bradford Baugh and James Mc Manis for show, has  also been linked to Rebekah Frye and the Los Gatos police, where domestic violence is falsely charged,  or carefully covered up,  for the right price. 

Frye has also been linked to drug deals involving local youth, some of whom Frye knew faced financial problems because of their parent’s divorce. 

Walter Hammon is being investigated for collecting campaign donations for Susan Ellenberg in a manner that violates the Political Reform Act and that included his Trust Account, Hammon reportedly  collected and donated cash that was not reported on Ellenberg’s campaign forms. 

Parents in the county worried that Ellenberg’s close relationship with Hammon would prevent her from helping families struggling with the county’s family courts and complicit District Attorney, out of the gate Ellenberg may have demonstrated parents should have been worried. 

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How Facebook Rigged California's Family Courts

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Photo: Left is what Mark Zuckerberg looked like when James Towery of Hoge Fenton, and Chief Trial Counsel at the State Bar heavily litigated the Facebook case and stole that business from Boston and from the Winkelvoss twins. 

The Lawyers Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Hired ….

Looks like Facebook and privacy issues can be blamed on the crooked lawyers who acted on behalf of Mark Zuckerberg and U Conn, mainly James Towery, who had moved on to California’s State Bar, and locked up the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office which allowed Facebook to violate privacy and incite conflict in divorce cases.

A startling number of court orders show judges ordering one parent to not post on Facebook, or share photos of their own children when they are involved in a custody case.  More alarming are the number of subpoenas and search warrants that have been served on Facebook, a court process intended to criminal parents for using social media other parents use freely. 

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen has a history of seizing online information to reserve engineer crimes that  benefit his political career.  This happened as Rosen’s office prosecuted the Saratoga High students during the investigation of Audrie Pott’s death. 

Leaked records show that Rosen used the Facebook pages of former 49er Ray McDonald to stalk victims of 49er football players in an effort to ” clean up ” claims of sexual assault and domestic violence that would tarnish the reputation of the 49er;s who moved to Santa Clara in 2015.

Lisa, Shelia and Larry Pott have also used an abuse of process to stalk Michael Larazin’s  social media accounts, falsely claiming  that  Michael acted under various fake names on Facebook.  

Court orders show that family courts have been prosecuting parents for Facebook posts in a manner that is more than alarming. Those parents are now using Facebook, and other social media to investigate lawyers who incite such ridiculous conflicts in divorce and custody cases. 

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Things to Consider When Taking a Family Vacation as a Single Parent

Things to Consider When Taking a Family Vacation as a Single Parent

Planning a family vacation as newly divorced a single parent is a far cry from the vacations you planned as in intact family.

The post Things to Consider When Taking a Family Vacation as a Single Parent appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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San Jose Family Court:  Christmas  Protest During Hanukkah

Parents ignored Judge Lucas’ FAKE  Order as they blasted the San Jose Family Court with Megaphones , Picket Signs  and Christmas decorations in an effort to bring media attention to how California Courts are harming families. 

When the parents  left, on the last day of Hanukkah, they left a decorated  Christmas Tree filled with ornaments in memory of children who were killed, committed suicide or taken from their parents because of family court judges and corrupt divorce lawyers. 

These parents have been protesting the courts for months. Often led by Scott Largent and Michelle Chan with mighty megaphones, the parents are not backing down on getting their voices heard and media attention to the courts. 

Scott Largent was arrested last May for using a toy megaphone in the exact location of Monday’s protest,  but Santa Clara County Sheriffs have reportedly backed off as Sherriff Laurie Smith refuses to enforce what many believe is an unconstitutional order issued by Judge Lucas to silence protesters during the Persky recall. 

Judge Persky was recalled in June 2018 and is now trying to get donations to pay legal fees that are a fraction of what many parents paid to get divorced in his court. 

Meanwhile, lawyers inside and out of the courthouse have become aware of criminal investigations that could get many divorce lawyers disbarred and judges removed from the bench after a link to Judge James Towery and DA Jeff Rosen reveals pressure on the San Jose Mercury to not cover family court issues date back to Rosen’s 2010 election. 

Michael Lazarin was present at the protest, as he continues to fight to raise awareness related to issues involving domestic violence, which impacted his biological daughter, Audrie Pott, who committed suicide in 2012.

Lazarin has been legally abused by Lisa and Larry Pott. the greedy evil step parents of Audrie, who made a fortune off the young girl’s death. Many  in  the upscale Los Gatos community believe Lisa and Larry  used Audrie’s  death for greed and profit. 

Sheila Pott , Audrie’s mother,  is reportedly being investigated for tax fraud and criminal charges related to claims she  assisted in an unreported campaign donation to Jeff Rosen through here real estate lending career. The Potts reportedly used private lawyer Robert Allard to arrange illegal  payments to Rosen that were not properly reported during Rosen’s 2014 campaign for re-election as Santa Clara County District Attorney. 

Also present at the protest were family members of Alycia Mesiti,  the young girl whose mother and aunts could not afford to protect her in family court, where Judge Persky and Judge Chiarello   refused to follow the law and gave custody of Mesiti. and her brother. to their father, despite his criminal history of abuse and refusal to pay the most basic child support. 

Several protestors had been victimized by divorce attorneys Heather Allan, Hector Moreno, BJ Faden, Jessica Huey, Valerie Houghton, Walter Hammon, Leah Amini, Elise Mitchell, Sharon Roper  and Bradford Baugh, lawyers who are currently being investigated  RICO activity where they obtain court orders to send kids to supervised visitation centers or reunification camps where many local judges and lawyers have a financial interest.  

The protest included both mothers and fathers who are united  in exposing family court corruption where  greedy divorce lawyers are appointed to represent children, and fail. And where corrupt judges use  Kids for Cash to the lawyer with the most cash and favors. 

California’s Judicial Council has tried to silence these protestors for decades. Rumor has it they are frustrated the parents in Santa Clara County, the county that just recalled Judge Arron Persky,  simply will not go away. 

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Dr Childress Standards of Practice - 4  Family Systems

Dr Childress Standards of Practice – 4 Family Systems



conscious-coparenting.com – Dr Criag Childress Standards of Practice Books from the Garage 4 Family Systems.

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Dr. Childress - Parents & Solution   Examining Vitae  Finding Family Systems

Dr. Childress – Parents & Solution Examining Vitae Finding Family Systems



conscious-coparenting.com – Dr. Childress – Parents & Solution Examining Vitae Finding Family Systems.

source