If you choose to live together during divorce, you should keep in mind how doing so might affect the outcome of your divorce case.
The post Living With Your Spouse During Divorce: 5 Tips to Help You Remain Sane appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
If you choose to live together during divorce, you should keep in mind how doing so might affect the outcome of your divorce case.
The post Living With Your Spouse During Divorce: 5 Tips to Help You Remain Sane appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
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.
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.
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.
No one likes to think their spouse isn’t telling the truth but if you’re getting divorced or your marriage is in trouble, then the chances that your spouse isn’t being totally honest increase and you need to know how to tell your spouse is lying to you.
If you’ve always believed your spouse, how to do start to detect the lies?
On the other hand, if you’re convinced now that everything out of your spouse’s mouth is a lie, how do you know what’s true?
What are the telltale signs the experts watch for?
Accept The Possibility Of Lies
The first step to detecting untruths is to be open to the possibility that your spouse may not be telling you the truth and that is not easy.
“Everyone wants to believe that they’re hearing the truth and when you’re so in love with the person who may be lying, it gets even harder,” said body language expert, Traci Brown.
The key is to take the emotion out of the situation and ask yourself if you’re wanting to hear a particular answer. That wanting tricks you into discounting the red flags and signs that you’re being deceived. It’s self-preservation at work because deep inside you know how crushing it will be to realize your soulmate is lying to you now and may have been lying to you for a long time.
It’s Easier To Detect Lies Face To Face
Email is hard for any communication and it’s easy to misinterpret written words because what’s missing is everything that comes with in-person communication – the intonation, the pitch, the pace, the visual clues … Phone conversations are better for this purpose than emails but when you really want to know if someone is lying, you need to do it in person.
You Are Not Crazy
Once you open up to the possibility of lies, you might start to see them in many situations. You may even start to think that this can’t be, that this doesn’t make sense and maybe you’re the one who is crazy, imagining things. The possibility here is that you are a victim of gaslighting: “a malicious and hidden form of mental and emotional abuse, designed to plant seeds of self-doubt and alter your perception of reality.” (Psychology Today)
Brown says that lies happen in every relationship and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some lies are told to make you feel better. You know those. They’re the ones about your choice of what to wear or what to have for dinner. They’re harmless and perhaps well-intentioned.
According to Brown, about 15 percent of the population is between sociopaths and psychopaths. Many of them end up in the criminal justice system but a lot of them are really high functioning and totally put together. They may not show the signs and it might be really difficult for you to tell if they’re lying.
“They have no guilt, no compunction, no remorse, no regret,” said Brown. “They’re just extremely skilled at it. They’re not trying. It’s just the way they are wired.”
The lies these people tell are not the harmless ‘white lies.’ They are the most dangerous lies. To spot these you need to pay attention and you need to start trusting your gut.
A Lie Is A Lie
Brown identifies five different types of lies: exaggeration, fabrication, minimization, omission, and denial. While it doesn’t really matter what type of lie it is, some are more common than others.
“People will conceal before they will fabricate,” said Brown. “It takes less effort to conceal than to make up something new.”
That reminded me of a client situation where my client suspected that her spouse had bank accounts overseas. When asked about that he denied the existence of an account in the specific country she had asked about. Long story short, spouse was eventually required to turn over all sorts of records and it came out that he had bought a business in that country and that the business did have a couple of accounts there.
Technically, he had answered her question correctly – they did not have any personal accounts but it was not the whole truth. Brown says in this situation, an investigator would word the question differently, perhaps, “Do you have any financial interests overseas?”
Get A Baseline
A baseline is how someone normally responds and when there’s a shift from the normal response, it’s a “hotspot.”
“Husbands and wives can often tell when each other are lying because they know each other so well,” said Brown. “What you want to do is to look for the differences in their response from their typical response to a very pointed question such as ‘Hey, what’s out address?’”
The way they respond to a straightforward question is their baseline. Just to make things a little harder, Brown says everybody is going to be little bit different and that’s why you need a baseline for the person you suspect of lying.
A single hotspot is not sufficient to be sure someone is lying so Brown looks for three hotspots and she has a number of signs she watches out for.
The Body Language Doesn’t Match The Words
A very common hotspot is when someone responds to a question with ‘no’ but is nodding their head or responds with ‘yes’ and is shaking their head. You can find video clips of celebrity cases like OJ Simpson, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at Brown’s blog for plenty of examples of this.
What gets these people into trouble is that you can rehearse a script and control the words but it’s extremely difficult to control the subconscious, involuntary body actions. There is an art to detecting these inconsistencies and it’s harder at home since it’s a bit challenging to suddenly start videotaping your spouse for analysis later.
“Other things that people do is when their lips disappear, their lips fall down over their teeth or they’ll cover their mouth,” said Brown. “Maybe they’ll cover some of the throat area with a hand. The next thing out of their mouth is somewhere between a half-truth and a lie, many, many times.
Look For Shifts
You can also detect when someone is being deceptive by shifts in their behavior. Do they go from still to speedy or speedy to still? Does their eye blink rate change all of a sudden? Do they scoot away from you? Does the volume of their voice change?
“This is why you get a baseline and then look for shifts,” said Brown.
This is one of my favorite signs.
“Sometimes, you ask people a very incriminating question and they’ll smile really big and they’ll shake their head,” said Brown. “There’s no reason to smile on a very incriminating question and it happens because they think they’re getting away with it, having a little bit of fun. It’s deeply subconscious, not anything they would pick to do but it’s a dead giveaway.”
See Brown’s blog for her analysis of Tom Brady and Tonya Harding for great examples of this.
Getting To The Truth
Once you feel fairly certain your spouse is lying to you, your next step might be trying to get to the truth. I say “trying” because frankly, with a pathological liar you may never know the truth.
Brown suggests one strategy is to get a copy of her book, How To Detect Lies, Fraud and Identity Theft and leave it on the kitchen counter. “A lot of times just people knowing that you have a leg up in finding the truth will cause them to admit a lot of things,” said Brown. “That’s more than half the reason that polygraph tests work.”
Police interrogations can last six to twelve hours and over time people start to break down. We’re not suggesting you should adopt that approach with your spouse but what you can do is to ask the same question several times and then notice how the answer shifts.
You can also say something like, “Seems like you’ve got more to say about that. Why don’t you let me know?”
Lies are not connected to emotion and they’re not connected to time. These details have to be fabricated. So another strategy that Brown uses is to ask the person to tell the story backwards by asking, “What happened before that?”
You’ll find that there are gaps in time and that’s where you may detect more deception because “filling in the gaps, we get into cognitive overload,” said Brown. “It’s more than the brain can handle to answer all these questions so the body language again breaks down.”
It’s also important to break your questions down in small chunks, asking one thing at a time. So rather than asking if they went to the liquor store and a friend’s house, it is better to ask two separate questions.
With the technology that is readily available, even just being friends with your spouse on an app, you may discover more than you thought possible and it may be best to not let on how much you know. “You can get them in a really deep lie and use that information when you need it, just by not telling them that you know they are lying,” said Brown.
Traci Brown is often seen on TV analyzing the likes of Lance Armstrong, Hillary Clinton, Tom Brady, and Tonya Harding. She is the author of How To Detect Lies, Fraud and Identity Theft.
This article was originally published on SinceMyDivorce.com
It is a scenario that plays out over and over again in divorce courts everywhere.
You took care of the home during your marriage while your spouse made the money. When it became clear you were heading for divorce, you discussed your case with a lawyer, who told you that you had a “classic” alimony case.
Then out of the blue, your spouse lost his job. Now, your spouse’s position is that alimony is not appropriate because the money is not there.
If this has happened to you then take action immediately. While most State laws will put a burden on you to prove that your spouse is voluntarily unemployed, the divorce courts provide you with all the tools you need to succeed.
Pull Your Spouse’s Tax Returns to See Total Income Earned When Working
If you and your spouse filed jointly, then you can pull your tax returns yourself in less than 15 minutes.
Simply go online to the IRS here: www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript. . or simply google “Pull Tax Transcript”, and click on the IRS website.
You will be prompted to create a username and password on the IRS website, and you will be asked private questions to confirm your identity.
Once complete, you can simply download a PDF of your Record of Account transcript, which will provide all of the information you will need.
If your spouse filed separately, then your attorney will have two options to get the tax returns from your spouse. Preferably, your spouse will simply comply and turn over a copy of the requested returns. If your spouse is being difficult however then it will be easier to have the Court force the Husband to execute an IRS Form 4056-T and go directly to the IRS to pull the statement.
Gather Your Spouse’s Previous Employment Records with a Subpoena
Now that you know exactly what your spouses reported income, you want to dig further into the employment file.
You will be looking for additional income and benefits as well as nature and reasons that your spouse is currently unemployed.
Your attorney can get this information by sending a simple subpoena to your spouses’ former employer requesting his file.
Because unemployment compensation is a real issue for businesses big and small, employers usually thoroughly document the details surrounding an employee’s’ exit.
You are looking for records that show your spouse either left his or her job voluntarily or that the poor performance by your spouse that led to termination coincided with the divorce.
Frequently, the employment file provides slam dunk evidence when a spouse leaves a job to tactically help his or her divorce case.
Gather Your Spouse’s Medical Records
Is your spouse claiming an inability to work for health reasons?
While this is a common tactic in alimony and child support cases, you can swiftly and quickly debunk this claim by requesting authorization for release of medical records.
Simply, you will ask your spouse to sign a document allowing your attorney to pull any and all medical records related to his or her ability to work.
And if your spouse refuses to sign this document, your attorney can ask the Judge to force the signing of the release.
A common tactic to increase leverage is for a spouse to feign ill health and the inability to work. By pulling health records immediately, you can disarm this tactic before you enter settlement negotiations.
Find Job Opportunities and Your Spouses Potential Income
Now that you have gathered your spouse’s’ employment and health records, you need to show the Court the jobs in the community and earning potential available to your spouse.
And while you can certainly gather this evidence yourself, when possible you should hire a vocational expert in your community to prepare an occupation report.
These reports typically do three things:
These expert reports can be very difficult for your spouse to defend.
A voluntarily unemployed spouse can seriously damage the value of your case unless you take action. While it will require work, you have the tools needed to cut through the gamesmanship and get a fair resolution in your case.
The post How To Fight Back When Your Spouse Quits His Job During Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.
Talk about a tricky conversation, announcing you want a divorce is not something any of us look forward to. It may mean facing conflict; it may mean hurting your spouse and most of us shy away from either of those situations.
How you tell your spouse will greatly depend on whether or not divorce has been a subject of discussion in the past or your husband is under the impression that all is well in the marriage.
If there have been discussions of divorce in the past, breaking the news that you’ve decided to divorce should be met with less conflict, anger and hurt feelings. If your spouse is unaware of your unhappiness this is going to be a hard conversation to have.
Whatever has been going on in the marriage you should always consider how the news is going to affect your spouse emotionally. In other words, don’t let your fear of telling your spouse you want a divorce to tempt you to do something that will only make the situation worse.
This article is born out of my initial divorce experience. I wasn’t given the “talk.” I came home from work one day with my child and my husband had packed up and left without any notice. The way he left the marriage not only impacted me greatly, but it also caused my daughter to lose all trust in her father. This is a subject I take seriously because I’ve lived the damage that can be done by someone who let the fear of having a discussion about divorce do a lot of harm to all concerned.
How Not To Tell Your Spouse You Want a Divorce
How To Tell Your Spouse You Want a Divorce
Dealing with Your Spouse’s Reaction
If your spouse is surprised by your desire for a divorce, there will more than likely be a lot to deal with once you share your feelings. “Dealing” means being able to take into consideration the needs of the spouse you are leaving.
Let’s look at the situation from the perspective of your feelings. Divorce is something you’ve been thinking about for a long time. You’ve put effort into being happy, you’ve come to terms with the fact that you can’t stay in the marriage and more than likely have already emotionally divorced yourself from your spouse.
In other words, you’ve already worked your way through feelings of loss, hopelessness, and depression and have now detached from your spouse and the marriage.
When you share with your unknowing spouse that you want a divorce, they’re going to begin the process of working through those feelings of loss, hopelessness, depression and a myriad of other negative emotions.
You are ahead of your spouse in the grieving process that comes along with divorce. I spoke with a man recently who was surprised by his wife’s reaction to the news that he wanted a divorce. He told me that she was “fragile” and, “seems to be falling apart.” He couldn’t understand why she wasn’t sharing his sense of relief and had no idea how to deal with her behavior.
There can be a HUGE contrast between what you are feeling and what your spouse will feel once told of the divorce. You are ready to move on with your life, your spouse will question how you are ready to move on so quickly and be hurt by the fact that you are.
It is always helpful to the spouse being left behind if the spouse leaving can show compassion and empathy for their pain. It may not be easy to be around the person you’ve hurt but taking the time to give your spouse closure is something you won’t regret down the road.
When a spouse is left and handed an unwanted divorce, they feel like they’ve lost control over the path of their marriage and plans for their future. You, the spouse who wants the divorce are now in control and if you behave badly toward the spouse you are leaving this will only promote more conflict and do more emotional harm.
I’m not telling you that you must like your spouse’s reaction. More than likely there will be some very unlikeable response to your desire to divorce. I do believe that showing compassion for what he is experiencing and the transition they are going through will make the process of divorce easier for all involved.
The post Here’s The Right Way To Tell Your Spouse You Want a Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.
Midlife crisis is an emotionally uncomfortable period that some men and women go through between the age of 35 and 65. For most, it is a time of question priorities and adjusting their lifestyle to fit better with their emotional needs.
For others, midlife can bring about a true “crisis,” one that causes them to stray outside the marriage for the affections and attention of a member of the opposite sex. They can question every choice they’ve made during the first half of their life. It is these folks who usually destroy their families and seem to completely change their character and belief system.
Feeling a Need for Adventure and Change
He goes out and buys a new sports car or Harley. She becomes a bar-fly who comes in at 3:00 am every morning. It’s all about having fun and re-capturing their youth. If your spouse is neglecting things that were once important to him/her in favor of skydiving…something they have never expressed an interest in, they are probably experiencing a midlife crisis.
You have choices in such a situation. Skydiving and hanging out in biker bars is better than sitting home alone wondering what your spouse is up to. Participating a bit in their new found need for adventure can bring you closer together instead of creating the distance that can cause the midlife crisis spouse to start questioning whether or not to stay in the marriage.
Feelings of Depression
Some who go through a midlife crisis will experience depression that affects their mood and to the point that activities and relationships are negatively affected. Friends, family, and work may all be neglected. If you think your spouse is suffering from depression watch for the following symptoms:
A Loss of Interest in Things That Used to be Important
I received a letter from Jason who was concerned about changes he was seeing in his wife. After 23 years in a career as a nurse, she quit her job. According to Jason, she wanted to go back to school full-time and major in philosophy. His wife had gone for a “straight-laced Christian” to a woman who questioned whether or not there was a God.
Jason said he no longer knew the woman he had been married to for 18 years and was concerned she might be going through a midlife crisis. One thing is sure, she is questioning her values and beliefs and no one knows where these questions will lead her.
Anger and Blame of The Spouse
You are the problem! If it weren’t for you, life would be grand for the midlife crisis spouse. If he trips on a banana peel at work, you will get blamed. The spouse who is in a midlife crisis never looks internally and examines why he/she is feeling discontent.
They look outward and blame others and since you are the main relationship in their life it makes sense that you will bare most of the blame for their bad feelings. Expect your spouse to be short tempered and angry. Do not respond when your buttons are pushed. A response is what they want and you don’t want to play into their need for conflict.
Unable to Make Decisions About Their Future
Joan’s husband found a new woman and wanted a divorce. He refused to file for divorce, though. He left Joan telling her that he had never been in love with her, that marrying her had been a mistake. Joan was devastated!
Over a period of eighteen months, Joan’s husband changed his mind about his feelings for Joan on a regular basis. He would pack his bags and leave out the door spewing verbal abuse. A month later he would call in tears wanting to come home. Before long he was out the door again and moving back in with the other woman.
Joan eventually filed for a divorce and helped him make the decision he seemed unable to make. They are both now living with the painful consequences of his indecision.
Doubt Over The Choice to Marry
You may have just celebrated your 29th anniversary. You may have lived with a spouse who, from all outward appearances, seemed to have been happy in the marriage. It isn’t uncommon for a husband or wife who has never complained about being married to suddenly tell you that they have “lived in hell” from the very beginning.
The spouse in midlife crisis will question whether the marriage was ever legitimate. They will demonize you, accuse you of forcing them into marriage all in an attempt to make the marriage illegitimate. You will be painted as the evil spouse who never met their emotional or physical needs so the midlife crisis spouse can justify their feelings of discomfort with the marriage. If this is the case in your situation you should believe nothing you are told and very little of what you see.
A Desire For a New and More Passionate Intimate Relationship
The husband/wife who is going through a midlife crisis may become tired of the “same old, same old” in the bedroom. It isn’t uncommon for someone married to a spouse who is going through a midlife crisis to suffer the negative consequences of their infidelity.
If your spouse is spending more time in chat lines on the computer, working strange hours or on his/her cell phone more than usual you are seeing signs of a cheating spouse. These are only signs but coupled with the other symptoms of midlife crisis you should consider the possibility that your spouse has found someone to fulfill the need for a more passionate, intimate relationship.
When a marriage loses the positive dynamics it once had, it is easy to say that there is no hope, no love anymore. The thought may be that, “We have just grown apart and it’s time to move on,” but it’s important to realize that there is almost always hope if there is a desire to make the relationship work.
The post Are You Turning Toward, Away Or Against Your Spouse? appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
Emotional Divorce is a psychological mechanism some spouses use when they feel the marriage has become a threat to their well-being. The “walk-away spouse,” in most situations has already emotionally divorced themselves from their marriage and relationship.
When you divorce yourself emotionally from your spouse, you have separated your emotions from the marriage. For some spouses, this happens before the divorce. For others, it doesn’t happen until after the divorce process.
Most divorces are one-sided. Very rarely, will a couple sit down and come to the decision to divorce, together. There is almost always a “walk-away spouse.”
Normally a spouse who has already separated himself /herself emotionally from the marriage wants the divorce. That spouse has gone through an “emotional divorce” and now needs to be unattached legally from their spouse.
Some spouses struggle for years with feelings of emotional distance before they come to the conclusion that divorce is the solution to the marital problems or the way they are feeling emotionally.
A walk-away spouse may become emotionally detached for a variety of reasons. Most commonly detaching emotionally from the marriage and spouse is a mentally assertive way of allowing the spouse to maintain boundaries when they feel they are being hurt or the marriage has become unsafe for them.
Emotionally divorcing a spouse helps a person maintain a sense of psychological integrity if faced with what they feel is an emotionally demanding situation.
Basically, emotional divorce comes before legal divorce for some because they’ve felt the need to withdraw and protect themselves from problems in the marriage.
The spouse who is left to deal with her/his emotions after the legal divorce is commonly referred to as the “left behind spouse.” No matter which role you find yourself playing, you have to come to grips with the end of your marriage and begin to view yourself as a separate individual, no longer a husband/wife.
Either gender can emotionally divorce themselves from the marriage but, it is more common in women.
Characteristics of a left behind spouse
Exerting control over your emotions
The basic instinct of a left behind spouse is to control the situation. They failed to see the warning signs, signs that the marriage was in trouble and don’t know how to respond effectively. As a result, they respond in ways that pushed the walk-away spouse further away emotionally.
They want to do or say something that will draw their spouse back to the marriage emotionally. Due to the fear and emotional pain that comes along with losing someone they love, the left behind spouse often causes conflict during the divorce process that is unnecessary.
It is important to understand that a spouse who has already divorced himself/herself from the marriage is not an evil person. They are not carrying around an agenda of hurt and pain. They are looking for an escape from a situation that is causing them hurt and pain. And, this may cause them to respond to their spouse’s shock and pain in what appears to be a cold and calculating manner.
Their desires and needs can’t be controlled by irrational, bizarre behavior. The best thing a left behind spouse can do is come to terms with the fact that they only have control over their own emotions.
Focusing on controlling their emotions will help them move smoothly through the process of emotionally detaching from their spouse. In turn, they will find it easier to find their way through the legal process of divorce.