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3 Important Things to Know About Divorce Law in New Jersey

3 Important Things to Know About Divorce Law in New Jersey

One of the most misunderstood aspects of family law is how alimony is calculated.  In some states, there is simply a formula that is utilized.  However, in New Jersey, it is much more fact-specific.

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work after divorce

15 Very Important Reasons You Will And Want Need To Work After Divorce

work after divorce

 

This is a subject that has been on my mind lately…why do some women not feel the need to work after divorce? The vast majority of us understand the need to become self-sufficient and able to provide financially for ourselves and our children.

Some, however, feel their ex-husband should continue to bear all the responsibility post-divorce or, they have the skewed belief that alimony and child support frees them up from having to worry about their future financial security.

I see this belief played out in my Facebook timeline constantly. Women divorce, spend years living off child support and alimony and then BAM, those funds run out and they pay the consequences of not planning ahead.

And, they justify this behavior by saying, “I was a stay-at-home mom and I’m going to continue to be a stay-at-home mom. That is all fine and dandy until your children are no longer at home, the child support comes to an end and alimony runs out.

What then?

Why aren’t these women wondering about who will send them monthly checks when the ex no longer has to or, starts refusing to?

I understand the fear associated with lifestyle changes that can come along with divorce. I was a stay-at-home mom for 16 years before my ex left and if all really were “fair in love and war” he should have been made to take care of the woman he abandoned. It isn’t fair though, and it does none of us any favors to hold onto the way things should be, instead of face the reality of how things now are.

Thanks to no-fault divorce laws women who are left behind can no longer depend on the man who left them to continue to take care of them. And there is no excuse for not taking care of ourselves.

And, women who leave a marriage certainly should not expect a man they no longer want to be married to, to support them after divorce. Seriously, no!

Women, whether you have children or not, need to return to work after divorce. If they want to survive financially, there is no other way to conduct their lives post-divorce.

15 Very Important Reasons You Will Want To Work After Divorce

1. You Earn 

Financial independence and freedom can be one of the most important variables that influence the quality and quantity of a woman and her children’s lives. It means better food on the table, a better roof over their heads, and a bit of money in the bank after the bills are paid.

It can also be one of the most liberating aspects for a decent quality of life and respect.

2. You Learn 

Learning is one of the foundational pillars of personal and professional growth and life, and the sky (rather your view of the sky) is the limit to what you can learn when you work. The most important thing you’ll learn is that you can be self-sufficient.

3. You Become Independent

You have an identity of your own – independent of your personal relationships and associations. There’s no telling how important it is in your own self-confidence and self-worth.

4. You Improve

Your general knowledge improves – just by being part of a world outside of the 4-walls you observe, listen and comprehend a lot lot more. You become more than a mother!

5. You Appreciate Equality

You appreciate the differences and nuances of the world within the 4-walls and outside the 4-walls. Trust me, this bursts your bubbles in terms of what it takes to be a working woman!

6. Your View Changes

You get to see how fair/unfair life is beyond the 4-walls. And that changes the way you view your own life and the way you live your life

6. Your Self-Esteem Increases

Your own self-esteem increases significantly – you just feel so much surer of yourself.

8. You Get Recognition

Your family and society view you in a new light – many times, this translates into more respect and value they associate with you.

9. You Get Empowered

You are better enabled, equipped and empowered to make decisions – simply because you know that you have a choice.

10. You Can Shop

You can “buy” things for yourself – yes! You’re a good prospect for (m)any businesses. You pump money into the economy and boost money circulation. You don’t have to do without things you need if you’re part of the workforce.

11. You Become Role Model

You can be a role model to someone, especially your daughters! I know many of my role models are everyday working women who balance life and work every single day.

12. You Learn Life Skills

You learn a lot of key “life skills”. Top among them are time management, communication, negotiation, saying NO.

13. Learn To Let Go

You tend to let go of a lot of excess baggage. Many times it is simply because you don’t have time to delve into the past or worry about the future.

14. You Inspire

You can inspire someone somewhere. Just by being a live example of “It is possible, you can do it

15. Your Family Prospers

Your work will directly / indirectly play a significant part in your children’s standard of living. There is no better reason to work after divorce than that!

The post 15 Very Important Reasons You Will And Want Need To Work After Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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forgiveness after a toxic marriage

Forgiveness After a Toxic Marriage: Here’s Why It’s Important

forgiveness after a toxic marriage

 

“There is no future without forgiveness.” Desmond Tutu

The single most important step you must take in order to move on after divorce is to forgive. 

Over the course of your marriage, things must have been said and done by both yourself and your husband that were hurtful and toxic.

Hanging on to these hurts will perpetuate their destructive effect, unless and until they are released.

Hanging on to past hurts is like strapping an anchor to your neck and dragging it wherever you go.

Unforgiveness will bring you down and prevent you from rising up to your highest potential. It will deprive you of the peace that you need to create a happy life.

You won’t be able to start over with a clean slate if you’re still obsessed with the wrongs of the past.

When you forgive, you release yourself from the bondage of blame and resentment and break free from the spell past hurts have placed on you. 

Forgiveness is freedom from judgment, ill feelings, and being “right” at the expense of being happy.

Sometimes we adopt a posture of righteous indignation because we mistakenly believe that not forgiving the other person makes him or her the bad guy while making us the victim, the nice guy. We feel morally superior.

But being unforgiving doesn’t make you good and the other person bad. It makes you unhappy! The other person can very well go on with his or her life untouched by your anger and hatred.

Remember, you deserve to be happy. So, tap on the power of forgiveness to set yourself free.

You need to forgive your husband for every wrong, real or perceived.

Yes, every single one of them. You need to forgive yourself for all the things you regret associated with your marriage and in every area of your life.

You need to forgive every person who, in your opinion, contributed to the breakdown of your marriage. That includes friends, relatives, in-laws, even “the other woman.”

This is hard stuff, I know, and don’t get mad at me for saying so. But as hard as this may be, it is essential to your happiness.  Release the charge. Stop thinking about it, or at least think about it with neutral feelings.

We are often unwilling to forgive because we assume that forgiving turns us into doormats. That forgiving is condoning offensive behaviors. That, by forgiving, we are making them acceptable. We are enabling the perpetrator. We are inviting more of the same.

But that isn’t true.

Forgiving is not about condoning bad behaviors, especially forgiveness after a toxic marriage.

Some behaviors, abusive ones, in particular, are wrong and unacceptable, and should never be tolerated.

Those behaviors may have given you good reasons to end your marriage. But they do not justify ending your peace and depriving yourself of the happiness that is your birthright.

Forgiveness opens the door to a life of freedom and possibility.

Forgiveness makes room in your heart to allow love to flow in.

Maybe you’re not comfortable forgiving because you fear it makes you seem weak.

To the contrary, forgiving is empowering, because it dissolves the grip past hurts have over you. It allows you to face your vulnerabilities and gives you the opportunity to heal and dissolve them.

When you hang on to past hurts and resentments, you are giving your power away.

Holding on to resentment actually poisons you. It keeps you bound to the person you badly want out of your life.

Every time you think about the hurtful event, you are allowing it to continue hurting you over and over again, even after the conduct has stopped.

Some people hang on to hurts that happened long ago, by people who may no longer be alive. Who do you think is hurt by the unforgiveness? Not the dead guy, for sure!

You are not alone.

We have all been hurt, often by people we love. By people, we thought loved us. And we have to process feelings of betrayal as well.

Perhaps you have endured vicious behaviors that were totally uncalled for. You may think you have been inflicted the unforgivable. I understand.

I am not trying to minimize your pain, but open your mind to the possibility that other people have endured horrifying experiences, even worse than yours, and have found it in their hearts to forgive. Through forgiveness, these people have achieved freedom, and inspire us to allow the power of forgiveness to heal our deepest wounds.

Louise Hay had been sexually abused as a child. Yet, she turned her painful experiences into an occasion to heal herself and to help others heal through a lifetime of inspiring works. Likewise, Immaculee Ilibagiza, in her book “Left to Tell: Discovering God in the Midst of the Rwandan Holocaust,” shares her stirring story on achieving freedom through forgiveness, after her family members were murdered by friends and neighbors during the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s.

Their examples underscore how forgiveness can serve you.

Forgiveness doesn’t stop with your husband. Also, forgive yourself. The past is over and done. You cannot change it, but you can choose again. Learn your lessons and be the better person from it.

Consider incorporating a forgiveness practice into your life.

It will support you as you examine your relationship, decide whether to leave or stay and start your life anew, with or without your husband. It will pay dividends in every area of your life and will enable you to enjoy better relationships and a serene existence.

If you’re not sure how to go about it, there is plenty of help available. The subject is so vast and complex that you could fill a whole library with books about forgiveness. There are lots of amazing teachers, all of them courageously sharing their personal stories and unique forgiveness techniques. Find one that resonates with you. Or feel free to create techniques of your own if you can’t find one that is right for you.

My favorite book on the subject is “Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything” by Iyanla Vanzant. This fabulous little book comes with a built-in, 21-day workbook and includes a CD with guided meditation exercises for every day of your forgiveness journey. By day 14, I felt considerably lighter and more peaceful.

I have also found inspiration in Louise Hay’s book “You Can Heal Your Life,” as well as Colin Tipping’s “Radical Forgiveness: Making Room for the Miraclewww.amazon.com/Radical-Forgiveness-Miracle-Tipping-Paperback/dp/B00OX8BXFG.”

You can also join forgiveness support groups at a local church or online.

The key is to allow the power of forgiveness to release you from the wounds of the past and pave the way for a brighter future.

If You’re Not Ready to Forgive Yet

Maybe your spouse or others have engaged in very damaging behaviors that you need to process. Perhaps your emotions are still too raw, and you are not yet ready to forgive. Be kind to yourself and honor your feelings.

Forgiveness requires you to be ready and receptive. You may want to wait until the heat is off, the dust settles and you are out of the emotional danger zone. That is perfectly okay.

Take baby steps down the road to forgiveness. Louise Hay taught that you can start by being willing to forgive. Take the first step now and get ready for a life in which your husband’s misdeeds are not even worthy of a passing thought.

Now you’re ready to begin anew. Rebuild your life on a clean slate with the power of forgiveness.

Note: Excerpt adapted from the book Solve the Divorce Dilemma: Do You Keep Your Husband or Do You Post Him on Craigslist? by Sonia Frontera.

The post Forgiveness After a Toxic Marriage: Here’s Why It’s Important appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Family Lawyer Answers Most Important Divorce Questions

Family Lawyer Answers Most Important Divorce Questions

Divorce can be a painful and traumatic experience not only for the couples involved but also for their family and friends. If you are planning to file for a divorce, make sure to read these questions first. According to statistics, about half of marriages in the United States end up in divorce. The most common […]

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Individual Divorce Tasks:  Updating Important Information

Individual Divorce Tasks: Updating Important Information

When divorce terms are finalized and binding  it does not necessarily mean it is time for the divorcing couple to sit back and relax.

The post Individual Divorce Tasks: Updating Important Information appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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financial advice for new single mothers

9 Pieces of Important Financial Advice For New Single Mothers

financial advice for new single mothers

 

Life is different now. You have recently been through a divorce and are now the single head of a household, which is a huge personal – and financial – responsibility. While you may still be doing many of the same things as before, you now are 100 percent responsible. There is no one to share the myriad responsibilities and decision-making.

This may be all new to you. It is also likely that you are still riding an emotional rollercoaster. Now is a good time to step back and take a deep breath. While many financial challenges lie ahead, understand that you can do this.

Financial Advice For New Single Mothers

What do single mothers have to do differently financially? To achieve financial success, newly single mothers should heed the following advice.

Just say no to credit card debt

Don’t live beyond your means and rack up high-interest credit card debt. This is one of the worst debts to have due to high-interest rates. Credit card debt should be paid off first when prioritizing bills.

Prioritize what is most important.

Take a moment (or longer) to assess your new financial life. Your family needs you to clearly understand how you can make everything work, without sacrificing too many of “the good times.” Review your lifestyle and analyze what changes and/or adaptations need to be made. Prioritize and differentiate between your needs and wants, and those of your family. Make notes. Create lists. Write things down.

Ultimately, let this “prioritization” process guide your budget. Focus on just a few practical lifestyle/financial priorities and learn to make concessions with others.

Get real with what you can afford.

Create a realistic budget. Track your spending over a specific time to see where your money goes. The goal is not to set up an austerity program that is so severe that everyone is unhappy; rather you just need to accurately understand your spending habits so you can manage and track your flow of money in an honest manner. For example, if yoga makes you happy and less stressed overall, look a reasonably-priced studio in your area or do an at-home workout.

Not spending money on yourself (within reason) can be detrimental in the long run. It is fine to put some of the focus on you. Every mom has been told that she needs to take care of herself first, so she has the energy and resources to take care of others. This applies to finances too.

Don’t try to keep up with everyone else.

Even if your lifestyle had been different previously, now is not the time to try to keep up with your neighbors and friends. As we said earlier, your life is different now. The financial decisions you make going forward will be based on a different set of circumstances.

For example, prioritize making mortgage payments and saving for (or taking) one annual family vacation, rather than putting yourself into debt to drive a more expensive car.  Even if it seems that’s what everyone else is doing, prioritizing driving the Mercedes instead of keeping up with your everyday bills will only hurt you in the long run.

Manage risk smartly.

Having only one income means it is just that much more important to protect. Obtain life and disability insurance to protect you and your family in the event the unforeseen should happen … because it can. Unfortunately, I have worked with clients who depended exclusively on one income and that person became sick and was out of work for several months.

It was both unfortunate and sad. Purchasing a cost-effective disability policy is a prudent way to safeguard against a potential loss of income.

Develop a plan B.

Planning for the future is an important component of ongoing financial awareness. Many people have asked me what is necessary for an estate plan when you have young children. At the very least set up a will. Should something happen to you, you want to have a say in who will care for your kids and where your assets will go. You do not want to be in a situation where the state determines who the guardian of your children should be – what if that is not aligned with your intent? Get it in writing.

A full estate plan is recommended (including health care proxy and power of attorney), but creating a will is a good, productive first step.

Pay yourself first.

With only one income, it may seem harder to save for retirement, especially if you envision having college educations to pay for, but it is critical to do so. Children can receive financial aid, scholarships, and loans to help pay for school, but those alternatives do not exist for retirement. Put away as much as you can into your retirement savings on a pre-tax basis and make sure to contribute at least as much as your employer matches (it’s free money!).

Don’t try to do everything on your own.

Not having a knowledgeable team of resources on your side can be the biggest disservice possible to yourself. A smart parent – especially a single parent – is aware of what they don’t know and asks for help when she needs it. This includes seeking help with your finances. Work with an advisor who places your interests first to help you make sense of the various aspects of your financial life and empower you to become educated on these topics.

Get referrals for accountants, estate planners, etc., from trusted friends or colleagues who you know have been in a similar situation to what you are facing. Building a support system will make managing finances as a single parent much less overwhelming.

Proactive Approach

Taking a realistic, proactive financial approach as a single mother is essential to your well-being and that of your family. Following the advice in this article can help you avoid unnecessary anxiety and keep your financial options open as a single parent.

The post 9 Pieces of Important Financial Advice For New Single Mothers appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Why It

Why It’s Important To Put Children First During Divorce

Why It's Important To Put Children First During Divorce

 

I’m not one of those experts who believe that divorce has little significant effect on a child’s life. I’m of the opinion that divorce can set a child up for lifelong emotional struggles. The divorce of a child’s parent leaves them with negative emotions they will deal with throughout their lives in one way or another.

Yes, they learn to adjust to the fact that their parents are divorced but, the sadness caused by the divorce lessens with time but never goes away. On top of the regret, a child feels over a parent’s divorce there can be devastating consequences if the parents do not handle the divorce in a responsible manner.

I bristle when I hear parents say that children are “resilient” and can “handle” their divorce. I’ve talked to adults who were devastated years after their divorce was finalized, yet for some strange reason they believe that their children are more capable of getting over and learning to live with a situation they, themselves are finding hard to accept and move on from.

It is this belief by parents that children resilient that sets children up for disaster when their parents’ divorce. A child’s divorce experience is shaped by whether or not parents continue to put their children’s well-being and security first during the divorce process.

Why it’s Important to Put Children First During Divorce

Divorce means huge changes in the lives of children. It can also mean direct involvement in conflict between parents, changes in where they live, economic hardship, broken bonds with a parent, loss of emotional security and a multitude of emotional stressors.

Divorce means the loss of a child’s family, something that is the center of their universe. If a child is raised in a happy or low conflict family, that family is the base of their security. It is what allows that child to go out into the world and broaden their horizons because they know there is a safe place to return to.

The loss of an intact family is like a death to the child. There will be a period of grieving and a need to replace, with something new the security they had in the intact family.

Divorce increases a child’s risk of psychological, educational and sociological problems. A parent’s divorce touches every aspect of a child’s life. A child’s relationships with friends will change and their ability to focus and concentrate in school will be affected. As a result, there is an increased possibility of problems with anxiety and depression.

Divorce causes children emotional pain. Regardless of how hard a parent tries and how well they parent, a child will feel sadness and loss during and after a divorce. Your divorce is going to hurt your children! And please, don’t fall for the nonsense belief that if the “parent is happy, the child will be happy.” I promise you unless your child is witnessing or a party to domestic abuse or high conflict the child could care less if Mom and Dad are happy.

Some parents have a misguided belief that their children are spending time and energy worrying about their happiness. Nothing could be further from the truth, children are concerned with their own happiness and security, as it should be.

So, please, don’t project your need to divorce so you can be “happy” off on to your children. You will do them no favor and it will free you up to ignore their pain due to a skewed belief that is not correct.

What Are The Negative Effects of Divorce For Children?

If you contrast children from intact families to children of divorce, children from divorced families are:

  • Twice as likely to have to see a mental health provider,
  • Twice as likely to exhibit behavioral problems,
  • More than twice as likely to have problems with depression and mood disorders,
  • Twice as likely to drop out of high school before graduating,
  • Twice as likely to divorce themselves as adults,
  • Less socially competent and tend to linger in adolescents before moving into adulthood.

Andrew Cherlin, a family demographer at Johns Hopkins University, said that even those who grow up to be very successful as adults carry “the residual trauma of their parents’ breakup.”

In other words, when we, as adults make the decision to divorce we are going against our natural parental instincts…protecting our children from harm. Some would argue that divorce in and of itself does not cause harm to children. They believe that it is the behavior of the parents during a divorce that determines how a child will fare or what the consequences will be.

I agree that as parents we can lessen the negative effects of divorce on our children. There are obligations that parents have during divorce that can help our children cope. The issue I have though is this, during my career as a therapist who has worked closely with divorcing clients children seem to take a backseat to their parent’s needs during that time.

Parents are more focused on the legal process of divorce and their own emotional needs than their children’s needs. Until I see a change in the way the majority of parents behave during a divorce I will hold onto my belief that children are irreparably harmed by divorce and suffer due to parents who are unable to parent and divorce at the same time.

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