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Should A Marriage License Come With Warnings?

Should A Marriage License Come With Warnings?

Potential new pamphlets to accompany marriage licenses may list rights and obligations from marriage and on divorce.

The post Should A Marriage License Come With Warnings? appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Lessons From “Marriage Story” That Can Save Your Marriage

5 Lessons From “Marriage Story” That Can Save Your Marriage And Your Sanity

Lessons From “Marriage Story” That Can Save Your Marriage

 

Everybody is talking about the movie “Marriage Story.”

The media has been weighing in on the quality of the film, the performances, the awards, what is realistic and what is not. Is it a story about marriage or about divorce? Forums and social media exploded with discussions taking sides about who is right and who is wrong.

The most valuable lesson of this film, however, has remained unexplored: “Marriage Story” is a cautionary tale about a marriage that could have been saved and the unnecessary ugliness of divorce.

If you are contemplating divorce, take some cues from “Marriage Story” as a starting point to explore the state of your union and deepen the communication with your partner before heading to court.

While the brilliance of the film is getting most of the attention, perhaps the greatest value of “Marriage Story” is that it provides a framework for couples in trouble to witness the traps that lead to a toxic divorce, so they can avoid them.

Even though Charlie and Nicole’s marriage didn’t have a happy ending, you can learn from their mistakes.

Here are five takeaways from “Marriage Story” that can spare you from a painful divorce:

Lessons From “Marriage Story” That Can Save Your Marriage

Before calling it quits, evaluate whether your marriage can be saved

Charlie and Nicole’s marriage could have been saved.  Maybe yours can be saved, too.

While the movie begins with the couple already in divorce mediation, as we glimpse into their relationship, we realize that Charlie and Nicole had enough going for them to make their marriage worth fighting for. They deeply loved each other, enjoyed parenting together and shared a passion for the performing arts.

If you still love your spouse, do not rush to a lawyer’s office. Do emotional inventory first and determine if you and your partner should give your marriage one last chance.

Tackle marital problems early on

Once you get to the point of no return, there is no way back! Do not let your marital problems fester until you can’t take it anymore. Nicole’s grievances could have been resolved if she had spoken up sooner and made clear to her husband that these problems endangered their marriage. Talk to your partner about the issues that trouble you and give him or her a chance to do the same.

Support your partner but not at the expense of your identity

Supporting your spouse is key to any marriage, but it should never be done at the expense of your fondest dreams. A promising actress, Nicole sacrificed her aspirations to become the supportive wife of an up-and-coming theater director. Over time, this “lesser” role led to resentment until she felt too stifled to go on.

We all deserve self-fulfillment. Strive for balance in your relationship and rebalance when things are becoming one-sided. Continue to pursue your passions and make it clear to your partner that they are necessary for your happiness.

Control your divorce process: do not let the divorce process control you

Even if your marriage can’t be saved, you still have control over the divorce process. Do not allow reactivity and clinging to unreasonable positions to blind you from reaching a fair result. In “Marriage Story,” Charlie’s insistence on being a “New York family” unleashed a series of events that fueled reactivity from both partners until what begun as an amicable divorce turned toxic.

Divorce is an emotional rollercoaster and there will be times when you lose your cool. In volatile situations, step back instead of firing back. Do not be afraid to walk away when things are getting out of control to avoid saying and doing things you will regret later. When negotiating a settlement, seek solutions that make sense and lead to the highest good instead of stubbornly insisting on having your way.

Choose your lawyers with care

Contrary to popular belief, there are no winners in a divorce. Charlie and Nicole may have saved themselves money and grief if they had worked with different lawyers. Before you file for divorce, investigate the reputation of your local lawyers and select one whose values align with yours and your priorities.

Even with the best of intentions, not all marriages can be repaired. But practicing the above tips will increase the odds of living happily ever after—with your current spouse, in a new relationship or alone.

 

This article was originally published on www.soniafrontera.com and reprinted with permission from the author.

The post 5 Lessons From “Marriage Story” That Can Save Your Marriage And Your Sanity appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Marriage Story : 4 Lessons for Divorcing Couples

Marriage Story : 4 Lessons for Divorcing Couples

From the outset of a divorce, parents should be vigilant in thinking about how their actions impact the children.

The post Marriage Story : 4 Lessons for Divorcing Couples appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Dropping the “D Bomb”: How to Tell Your Husband Your Marriage Is Over

Dropping the “D Bomb”: How to Tell Your Husband Your Marriage Is Over

Contemplating divorce? Your first divorce conversation sets the tone for a respectful process and must be planned with care. Before you tell your husband you want out, consider these helpful pointers and handle this difficult conversation with poise and grace.

The post Dropping the “D Bomb”: How to Tell Your Husband Your Marriage Is Over appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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The Real Story Behind “Marriage Story”

The Real Story Behind “Marriage Story”

Rich or poor, the currency is communication. The challenge is to hire a divorce professional (or team) to help get you to the finish line with preserving dignity, civility – -and, most importantly, if there are children, the priceless co-parenting relationship.

The post The Real Story Behind “Marriage Story” appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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my bad marriage

My Bad Marriage: Why I’m Not Leaving…Yet

my bad marriage

 

Why I’ll “wait and see” about my marriage (even though we don’t have sex!).

Marriage is not going so well for my husband Tod and me. Our fifth anniversary approaches, and we haven’t had sex in more than a year. We’ve buried our feelings about that deep. We also avoid talking about finances and children, and anything else you could file under the category “future hopes.”

Outside of an hour of couple’s therapy every week, we go about our lives as if nothing were amiss—running our household, dining out with friends, and catching new movie releases on Friday nights. We’re good pals. (Yawn!)

When marriage promises so much more—stability, growth, intimacy—why am I content to stay put? In short, there’s work to do, and I’m not talking about forever anyway. For the near future—six months, a year, maybe two—here are the ties that bind.

My Bad Marriage: Why I’m Staying, For Now


1. I’m giving myself a break. 

I wasn’t always content to wait and see. In fact, I was nearly out the door earlier this year. Frustrated with our deteriorating rapport and needing space where I could think straight about the future I wanted for myself, I set out looking for an apartment of my own, crunching and re-crunching numbers to see what I could afford and worrying about breaking the news of separation to family and friends.

The worst two months of my life ensued. Stress, broken-record thinking, and fear of loneliness—and about what others might think—had me crying every night. I couldn’t get out of bed to face each new day. Figuring out how to rip apart a union, even an imperfect one, is agony. Needing a rest, I decided to focus instead on the silver lining of our relationship and to gather my reserves for another go at serious contemplation later.

2. He makes life easier and even sometimes more fun. 

Tod may not be my ideal life partner, but he’s a sweet guy who would give you the shirt off his back… or clean the bathroom even if he thinks it’s clean enough but you’re hell-bent on sparkling tiles in time for your visitors yet have no energy left to scrub them yourself. He’s also enthusiastic about checking out new restaurants with me, or just catching the ball game on TV from the couch, cold beer in hand.

While for better or worse we ignore our deep-seated issues around sex and money, we enjoy laughs together and keep each other amused. Life without him would require me to find new fun. If that sounds lazy, and you wonder just how much the bigger issues matter to me, remember, I’m giving myself a break at the moment. (See #1.)

3. It would be arrogant to think there’s no hope. 

The work Tod has done to improve himself in the last year is amazing. He went from avoiding any sort of therapeutic situation to undertaking both individual and couples therapy. And while I say I’m sitting back and relaxing at the moment, that’s relative. I always strive to make each day happier for us than the last. And in couples therapy we’re learning to communicate better. There’s potential, and to refuse it some time to reveal itself fully would not be fair.

4. I need to save some money of my own. 

Due to my admittedly insane and overblown need to “pay my own way” and not depend on a man, we’ve always kept our money separate. The thing is, Tod, earns three times as much as I do, and so after paying our bills, his disposable income is considerably higher. He is a generous guy, and he supports me in ways that remain well enough below the radar to avoid offending my independent sensibilities—he unassumingly picks up the check at dinner and forgets to ask for my share of the grocery bill.

If I leave, however, that’s the end of his help, and with no family to count on, it’s also the end of my safety net. It will be some months before I can save up for an apartment of my own. I’m not in any danger at home with Tod, so I have the luxury of being practical about this and can wait until I have more funds available.

5. Life is hard. 

Let’s face it: Life isn’t easy. Separating would be hard, but so would staying together forever. To think we can make it through life and without effort is naïve. So which challenge is the right one for me—rework this partnership into something more fulfilling, or separate and start anew?

If I’m at all uncertain (which I am), a bold move would be foolish indeed. With all the challenges life throws at us—for me, an alcoholic brother and father with rapidly progressing Alzheimer’s Disease come to mind—perhaps a supportive friend is more important than an intimate partner. Not sure I’d take that in the long term, but it’s something to think about.

So I’m biding my time, and meanwhile being kind to myself and gentle with Tod. After I’ve put in a good-faith effort in couples therapy and saved a bit more of my own money, I’ll reassess. If there’s a chance at all that in the next year or so I’ll be starting the long, painful process of extricating myself from a life lived together with Tod, I’d like to enjoy the calm before the storm.

The post My Bad Marriage: Why I’m Not Leaving…Yet 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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How Financial Mismanagement Impacts a Marriage

How Financial Mismanagement Impacts a Marriage

There are many reasons why divorce in couples occur, money is one of the biggest ones.

The post How Financial Mismanagement Impacts a Marriage appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Millennials, Marriage and Mortgages

Millennials, Marriage and Mortgages

Originally published by The Law Office of V. Wayne Ward.

For generations, Americans tended to (or at least aspired to) get married, buy a house, and have kids—in that order. For many reasons, economic ones particularly, the millennial generation hasn’t fallen into that pattern. This change in the order of big life events brings changes to the legal world as well, at least in the context of divorce.

Financial Struggles Lead Millennials to Delay Marriage & Home Purchases

The youngest millennials are now entering their mid-20s.  The older members of the generation are approaching 40.

Older millennials were impacted heavily by the Great Recession, which struck as many of them were graduating college and trying to start a career. Those who did find work often found it lower paying than they were counting on, due in part to a challenging job market where older workers, whose retirement accounts took big hits during the Recession, stayed on the job instead of retiring.

Burdened by huge student loan debts and skyrocketing housing prices in most large cities, many millennials found that the only way they could save enough to buy a home was to move in with their significant other. But they did not necessarily feel the need to get married, often reaching the homebuying milestone before decided to marry.

An Example Scenario

Let’s use an example to illustrate how a millennial couple might progress through their relationship (and what happens when the relationship ends).

Lisa (33) and Brian (35) were in a relationship for nine years before they married. Brian proposed to Lisa seven years into the relationship.

About a month after they got engaged, Brian bought a house. He took out a mortgage in his name only, and his name was the only name on the property deed. The couple intended that the house would be for both of them, and they decided together that buying before marriage made financial sense.

After closing, Brian and Lisa moved in together. They lived in the house for about a year, and then got married. Before the marriage, they each paid half of the mortgage and bills from money in their own personal accounts. After the wedding, the couple opened a joint account and paid from that.

After two years of marriage, Brian filed for divorce. The question is: what rights do Brian and Lisa each have to the house?

How Texas Law Applies to This Scenario

Texas is a community property state, so the house is treated as Brian’s separate property because he bought it before marriage and his name is on the deed. As a result, the judge will not award the house to Lisa.

Can Lisa seek reimbursement of any house payments? Well, each party was paying half the mortgage before marriage. Most likely, Lisa’s payments would be considered gifts to Brian and she is unlikely to be reimbursed for these pre-marriage payments.

Now, the mortgage payments made during the marriage are a different story. Lisa can request reimbursement for her portion of those payments, because they were made with “marital funds.” She would argue that Brian’s estate benefited from those marital funds, which were partially hers, so she should get money back.

However, under Texas law, Lisa would only be entitled reimbursement of funds that were allocated to mortgage principle, not to mortgage interest. The judge would have full discretion to decide how much Lisa receives.

Millennials, Marriage and Mortgages
The Fort Worth divorce lawyers of the Law Office of V. Wayne Ward help people of all ages through divorce. Call 817-789-4436
for a consultation.

Cohabitation Agreements Can Help in These Scenarios

Unmarried millennial couples (and any other unmarried couple) can protect themselves and their property better than Brian and Lisa did by creating a cohabitation agreement. Such a document could have stated that Lisa would get full reimbursement for mortgage payments made before marriage. This would prevent her from having to start over financially after the breakup.

The attorneys of the Law Office of V. Wayne Ward in Fort Worth can advise you on cohabitation agreements and all other legal issues affecting the end of any relationship. Contact us anytime to arrange a confidential attorney consultation.

Sources:

www.cnbc.com/2018/07/09/these-are-the-reasons-why-millions-of-millennials-cant-buy-houses.html  www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/02/21/young-adults-after-the-recession-fewer-homes-fewer-cars-less-debt/

The post Millennials, Marriage and Mortgages appeared first on Fort Worth Family Law Attorney.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.

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7 Signs Your Marriage is Over, According to Expert

7 Signs Your Marriage is Over, According to Expert

One of the signs your marriage is over is if you constantly find yourself thinking about leaving your partner. That and these other 6 are sings it may be time to divorce.

The post 7 Signs Your Marriage is Over, According to Expert appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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