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New Hobbies, New You

If you are going through a divorce, it is no secret that your life is going to be turbulent for the foreseeable future. One way that you can combat the stress and anger of a divorce is to find new hobbies that you enjoy. It is important to find hobbies that will help you grow and change as a person and not ones that leave you in a self-destructive rut. Finding the time and motivation to learn something new can be difficult when all you want to do is wallow in sadness, but I promise you that if you take your pent up emotions and put them towards something productive you will be able to cope with all the changes that your life is going through. Here is a list of hobbies that you may have always wanted to try or you could get back into.

Exercise Classes

This one is great because exercise alone will help you in more ways than one. Exercising produces endorphins, relieves stress, lowers anxiety, makes you look and feel your best. But many people hate how boring and hard the gym can be, so by joining a class you can make it fun and learn a new skill! Joining a class or taking private lessons will hold you accountable, let you meet new people and can make exercising feel like a game.  Maybe it’s time to pull out the old tennis racket, cinch on a martial arts belt, or put on some dancing shoes and break out of your comfort zone. Learning a new sport can be just the thing that helps you cope with your divorce in a healthy way and it creates positive habits for the rest of your life.

Cooking Classes

Maybe you did all of the cooking in your last marriage, maybe you did none of it or maybe you split it evenly. Either way, improving your skills is an enjoyable pastime with a yummy outcome. Now that you are cooking for yourself, you can focus on the cuisine that you really enjoy. What you don’t want to do is start eating cheap and easy junk food, because let’s face it, most of us stress eat. Taking cooking classes will keep you eating healthy, help you socialize, and may help you discover a hidden talent you didn’t know you had.

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Creative Endeavors

No one said that you had to be a creative genius to pick up a paintbrush. The best thing about being creative is that it allows you to express yourself at your own pace. Maybe you don’t want to spend the money to take personalized classes (they can be very expensive) but writing, painting, reading, and crafts are all relatively cheap options.  Writing can be a great tool for self-guided therapy and it is very cathartic. Whether it is short stories, journal entries, poetry, or even just getting your confused thoughts on a page, writing has proven positive benefits for mental health. Quiet creativity is a powerful tool to turn to when you are feeling down or nervous, and it provides a personal outlet for stress.  No one has to see your work until you want them too, so you can do something for you that you feel proud of. There are hundreds of thousands of tutorials online that teach you to do almost anything that you would want for free!

 

Going through a divorce can be hard, but the fall out can be even harder. Make sure to surround yourself with friends and family, dance to your favorite music, watch your favorite movies and just know that it is only a roadblock, not a permanent destination. Picking up a new hobby is something that will create a positive and much-needed distraction, and will help you on your journey of healing.

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Getting Married as a Child of Divorce

 

If you are the child of divorced parents,  you might think about marriage differently than your peers growing up. The divorce rate hit an all-time in the 1980s when it was almost 50%. But now that Millennials, who were born between 1980-1996, are products of that statistic, they view marriage differently than their parents. The divorce rate is now decreasing and it is hovering around 40% thanks mostly in part to Millennials and their marrying habits.  Millennials are getting divorced less because less of them are getting married. There is a reason chick flicks and rom-coms are so popular, and it’s because we want to believe in the possibility that true love exists. But in reality, growing up with divorced parents can make you behave differently in relationships. Many thought pieces have been written about how children of divorced parents approach relationships, but here are some of the common traits:

Overly Cautious

While some people love to throw themselves into a whirlwind relationship, children who grew up with divorced parents might hold onto caution and not throw it to the wind. They are wary about who they date, who they say “I love you” to and who they get into long term relationships with. Because they don’t believe that relationships will end in happy ever after, they can’t just sit on the sideline and let the relationship take its course, they tend to overanalyze everything. The benefit is that they have realistic expectations of love. They know that it takes effort between two people, and they are willing to wait to marry the person they are sure is right for them.

Separation Anxiety

While this is a generalization, it is worth noting that some people may experience some form of separation anxiety as a result of their parent’s divorce. This may result that they overly clingy with partners or they may seem very aloof in order not to get attached. This can be particularly hard especially when just dating around, but with therapy and self-reflection, people can recognize negative behaviors that can be acknowledged and changed over time.

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Fall in Love with their Parents

If the only example they had growing up of a relationship was a tumultuous one, there is a very high likelihood that they will fall in love with someone who can give them that same relationship. As humans, we learn the meaning of love from our parents, so if our parent’s love comes with conditions, then we will tend to look for those same conditions in our partners. If, for instance, you have a loving father but he is very needy, then you will grow up believing that someone expresses love by needing you all the time even if you didn’t like that trait in your father. It can be hard to recognize the same flaws in your potential partner that are similar to your parents, and sometimes they aren’t there at all, but they can cause long term problems.

Humans will always be flawed, its in our nature. Having a high divorce rate or a low divorce rate does not mean that one generation is better than the other, or that couples are doomed from the start. But if you did grow up with divorced parents, you might notice that you don’t relate to hopeless romantics as much as you would like to.  Love and relationship have been studied by psychologists for a very long time, but people’s individual needs and wants will always vary from relationship to relationship.

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Steps to Take Before Divorce

Steps to Take Before Divorce

If there is one thing that almost everyone can agree on, it’s that human relationships are complicated. If only we could live in a fairytale, where after we marry someone, we can ride off into the sunset together. But the truth,  is a lot of people get divorced for many different reasons. These reasons can be deeply personal or glaringly obvious, but in the end, it is the couple’s choice. But in some cases how do you know if getting a divorce will solve your problems? There are steps you can take before signing the divorce papers that might save your marriage or will help you solidify the decision to end it.

Identify Problems to Find Solutions

Sit down and write down all the frustrations you have about your spouse. They can be as petty or as deep as you want them to be, just take some time out of your day to gather your thoughts. If you immediately take them to your spouse, chances are going to cause more harm than good.  So journal your thoughts and feelings and ruminate on them for a couple of days. Thinking through some of your problems and researching the solutions can be a helpful start to fixing your marriage. Maybe the cracks in your marriage were not as big as you thought, but you won’t know until you have a clear idea of what is going wrong.

Couples Counseling

I know it is cliche, but it works. Just like having a mediator in a divorce case can help you navigate through your problems, being able to talk to a trained professional will be very beneficial to both you and your spouse, especially if every conversation leads to a fight. The catch with couples therapy is that you have to be willing to put in the work that is assigned to you, not to just show up and say that you tried. It can be very difficult to open up to a stranger, but choosing a professionally licensed therapist with lots of experience will give you the tools you need to have a healthier, happier life. But going to therapy is not always about saving your marriage, sometimes it will help you see that you don’t want to be married anymore and that can be the better option.

 

 

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Taking a Moment

This can mean a couple of different things. Maybe take a moment for yourself to get away from the stress, or you can take a moment together and see if you can work out your problems in a different environment. Probably the last thing you want to do is go on a romantic getaway with your spouse, but if it will help you rekindle the spark that you once felt for each other, it will be worth it. It does not have to be anything fancy, it can even be a staycation just for a weekend, but getting out of the house, away from friends, kids, parents, and jobs might help you see if that maybe your marriage isn’t falling apart, instead it is just outside stress that is causing you to fight amongst yourselves.

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Getting married is a hard decision, staying married is a hard decision, and getting divorced is a hard decision. There is no guarantee that one choice will make you the happiest. In most cases, if a couple decides to get a divorce, they probably have already gone to through

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Small Business and Divorce

 

Splitting assets in a divorce is a complicated and lengthy process. But what about a business? Depending on who owns the business and how much it is worth, even more complicated. All the details of separating a  business cannot be covered in one blog post, but it can cover some general questions that people may have about the future of their business.

Establishing Who Owns It

In a divorce case, in order to split up assets equally, it has to be established what is separate and what is marital. Separate means that it was owned by one person before the marriage and therefore will be retained by that same person, or if it was bought after the couple was married and therefore it needs to be split evenly. If a couple started a business after they were married, then the business interest will belong to both people evenly, and you must go from there. But in more complicated situations, sometimes a business can be started by a spouse ten years prior to getting married, but after the couple is married and they share finances, then whatever money was invested into the business from the personal savings can be given to the other spouse in court.  For instance, let’s say that Mark owns a business ten years before he met Jessica. While married, Mark invests $10,000 of their personal savings into his business and it grows exponentially. Now when they are getting divorced, Jessica is entitled to half $10,000 even if she doesn’t own the business itself.

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Splitting Up Assets

There is a reason that a lawyer is needed to help with the divorce process. Trying to value and split assets can almost be impossible without financial and legal help. The husband may be a partial owner of a company and then when he gets divorced, the judge might order him to pay out for all their personal assets including half of his worth in the company. Now, what if the husband knew that the company was going to be sold soon and he knew that his shares of the company were going to be much more valuable in the near future. If the divorce goes through before the company sells and the wife didn’t know about it, she might have a reason to sue.

Trying to value what a  company is worth is also a hassle. How much is a desk worth? Or the tables and chairs? How do you account for the fact that it has depreciated over time? Who gets to own the business after the divorce is settled? All these questions can only be answered by a lawyer on a case by case basis with a thorough dive into all the couples finances. These legal proceedings take time and money but it is better for everyone if they are done properly. The truth is there is no short cut to getting a divorce, but getting an experienced lawyer to walk you through the steps and will fight for what is yours will help expedite the process.

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How to Tell People You Are Getting Divorced

 

Your relationship with your spouse is a fairly private affair, but once you get a divorce it sometimes feels like all of your dirty laundry is aired in public. Close friends and family should be supportive and understanding, but what about co-workers? Or your children’s friend’s parents? Or even extended family members? Do you owe them an explanation as to why your spouse is no longer attending parties with you? It can be hard to talk about a divorce, especially when it is still painfully recent. Here are some tips that help you break the news to others while still allowing yourself to have boundaries.

Who Should Speak First?

Do you go to friends and family and tell them first? Do you wait until they approach you to avoid starting an awkward conversation? The truth is, people are going to talk no matter what. You can get ahead of the gossip by telling people how you want the discussion to go. It will help your family and friends if they hear it directly from you first, but you are not obligated to go into details right away. There are multiple ways that you can spread the news that doesn’t require you to speak with people face to face. Sending out a text message might be a little too cold, but an email or a letter will allow you to organize your thoughts without having a barrage of questions thrown at you. It will also give people time to craft their own response that is more thoughtful. When it comes to extended friends, family and acquaintances, it is best to have a pre-thought out response. News travels fast, and people you haven’t talked to in a long time are bound to hear about it even if you didn’t want them to.

If you have an automatic response, it will be easier to avoid unwanted advice or questions if you say something to the effect of “X and I are getting a divorce. I appreciate your concern but this is something that is I need to work through and it is very private so I don’t care to go into any more detail right now.” Most people are very understanding but if someone keeps pressing for details you have a right to let them know that they are being rude.

What You Shouldn’t Do

You will probably experience a lot of pain an emotion leading up to the divorce, so you may want to take that out on your ex-spouse. You will regret dragging people into your divorce if you tell them all the details right away. Posting a message on social media for everyone to see can create unwanted attention that you might not have the emotional ability to handle right now. Bashing your ex-spouse in public will create more problems than solutions and it can be used against you in court. If you feel like you have to talk to someone then a therapist, who provides an unbiased opinion, will be a great option for you and they can help guide you through your grief. People mean well when they give you unsolicited advice and want you to talk to them, but they are not trained professionals that are contractually obligated to secrecy.

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There is no right way to talk about a divorce. Both parties will say and do things that they will regret later on, or tell people secrets that they wished they hadn’t. There is no way that you are going to avoid the rumors, but you can stay on top of them. Telling people exactly what details you deem important enough and ignoring all the gossip that surrounds it will help you navigate your divorce until you get to the other side. The truth is, people will care about your divorce for only a short time and then move on with their own lives. The best thing you can do for yourself is to surround yourself with close friends and family and try and move on as well.

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Divorce After Adoption

For most children, divorce will be a confusing and traumatic time. But if they are adopted, it might make the situation even more difficult.  Children might experience attachment issues, anger issues or even lash out in unpredictable ways. The laws surrounding custody of adoption cases are pretty straightforward but the emotional turmoil that is can cause won’t be.  There are many resources out there that can help you and your family get through this trying time, especially for children.

Custody laws for Adoption

If a child is legally adopted by both parents, then in the court of law, they are treated the same way as a biological parent. Both parents will be eligible to get full or partial custody of the children and they will receive visitation rights. If only one parent is the adoptive parent and the other if the biological parent, then it will be much more difficult for an adoptive parent to get full custody unless they can prove that the children are much better off without the biological parent. The best course of action in a divorce is to always have a lawyer mediate, especially with custody battles because they will be the ones to help you get the most rights to see your children.

How to Help Children

Moving forward,  your main concern should be helping your kids cope. There are many ways that you and your ex-spouse can create a working co-parenting system. If you both have your children wellbeing in mind, then you and your spouse will still create a loving home that your children will still feel loved and welcome.

Always reassure the children that it is not their fault. They might be feeling abandoned, and those feelings might be compounded by the fact that they are adopted. Children are much more perceptive than people realize and so talking bad about ex-spouse can create tension that your children don’t want to be in the middle of. Consider getting professional therapy to help your kids deal with the transition of having divorced parents, and to help them cope with their emotions. Sometimes children who are adopted might feel like their mothers did not “want them” so divorce can make them feel like it is their fault. If you and your ex-spouse diligently work with your children to let them know that they are not to blame, it can help them cope with negative emotions. If they are switching houses back and forth, their everyday routine is thrown into chaos and it will add more stress in their lives. Helping them understand their new routine, and trying to keep as much of their old life in a place as possible will help ground them. Try and create new happy memories with your children to let them know that you can still have a happy home even after divorce.

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Picking Up The Pieces

Going through a divorce is never easy, even if it is needed. After building a life with someone it can be devastating to tear it down and start over. How do you rebuild your life after a divorce? After the dust has settled and the worst of it is over, your life may look completely different than it did before. Here are some tips that will help you through this difficult time, and will help you move forward in a healthy way.

Let Yourself Grieve

A lot of people turn to destructive behaviors to avoid their feelings of sadness, anger, bitterness, and anxiety. Distracting yourself isn’t going to make those feelings go away,  they will linger until they are dealt with. Sometimes you might not feel sad about losing a spouse, but it is still a loss of a dream and a future together. Accepting your negative feelings is the first step to healing so choose activities that channel those feelings into sometime healthy. Don’t be afraid to go to a counselor to talk about them and have someone guide you through your grief. This is an important step that many people skip and those feelings tend to just fester and weigh them down.

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Learn New Hobbies

It might be time to learn to build those model airplanes that you have been wanting to learn. Or try rollerblading again. Maybe reach out to old friends and take a camping trip. Surround yourself with a great support group and do things that you enjoy will help you feel grounded in a time of upheaval. Making too many changes all at once will stress you out, so the more you establish a routine that you are familiar and comfortable with the better you will be able to adjust to your new life. A divorce is heartbreaking, so you should make a conscious effort to do things that you enjoy.

Learning to Love Again

It is not a good idea to rush into a new relationship right after one just ended. You might not be making the best decisions and can be blinded by emotions so instead of looking to start dating again try and give yourself some time. Maybe start slow, like going to group activities with people instead of one on one. You also might be missing your ex-spouse and trying to convince them that you can make it work again, but those might be misplaced feelings of fear of being alone instead of love. Every person’s situation is unique, so it is hard to say when and where they can start dating again.  Use your best judgment and know your emotional state so that you are making the best decisions for yourself when you deiced to enter the dating scene again. It’s best not to feel rushed or scared when starting this new chapter in your life.

Getting a divorce will bring a lot of changes in your life. It might take years before you feel like your life is back under control but that is ok.  A divorce is an intensely personal thing between two people that will cause pain, anger, grief, and bitterness. Learning to cope with those emotions and creating a new life for yourself can mean that a divorce won’t completely ruin your life, instead, it can be a learning experience that may even have some positive outcomes.

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Supporting a Friend through Divorce

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No matter the circumstances, divorce can be heartbreaking and hard. It takes a while to adjust to the changes of a new life. If you are watching a friend go through the divorce process, it can be difficult to know what to say or do to help them. Here are a few tips for being a good friend through the ups and downs.

Be a good listener

Your friend is going through a tough time. They have a lot going on in their mind and may not know exactly how they feel about everything. Right now, they just need to get things off their chest; they need someone to vent to. What they say may not make the most sense, but the best thing you can do is be a listening ear.

Don’t try to give advice

When your friend is telling you all of their problems, your first reaction may be to give them advice or tell them what you think. This usually is not helpful. Sometimes what they need to hear is different than what you think they should hear. It’s better to just hold your tongue, especially if you can tell your friend is sensitive. They can get all kinds of advice from their lawyer and other professionals. Your friend really just needs a friend — a shoulder to cry on.

Invite him/her to spend time with you

There are many consequences of divorce that your friend will be experiencing at this time. One of those is losing a lot of social interaction. Many of their married friends, especially ones they met through their ex, won’t keep in contact very well. That is why it’s important that you keep your friend a part of your life. Invite them over for dinner or a night on the town. Keeping them engaged will help them understand that you are a true friend.

Offer to babysit

Your friend has a lot on their plate. However, they often won’t know what they need or how to ask for it. You can be helpful by offering to watch their kids (for free) if they need to run errands or just have some down time. If your friend doesn’t have kids, you can find other ways to help them out. You could offer to clean their house, pick up groceries, cook dinner, etc. It may take a while for them to accept your acts of service, but if you keep trying, they will see that you are sincere.

If your friend is looking for a divorce attorney in the St. George, Utah, area, recommend that they look into The Huntsman Firm. The associates here focus specifically on family law and can offer legal advice and representation.

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How to Protect Yourself When Leaving an Abusive Marriage

If you are caught in a violent relationship, your first priority should be to get yourself and your children to safety. To be safe from harm, you need to find housing somewhere the abuser can’t find you, whether it’s a women’s shelter, a hotel or the home of a friend the abuser doesn’t know. Never go to your parents’ house or to stay with a close friend, because he can find you there. The majority of battered spouses or partners are women, but if you are a battered man, the same advice applies to you.

Plan for Safety

Sometimes you have time to plan and you can put aside cash, preferably somewhere other than your house. Leave clothes and other important items with a friend in case you need to leave the house quickly. Document every incident of physical or emotional abuse in your household, whether it involves you or your kids. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence recommends that you make a list of safe people to contact, memorize phone numbers of people or places to call for help, keep change and cash with you at all times and establish a code word to alert others for help without alerting the abuser.

You should also take important papers with you, such as your credit cards and checkbook, social security cards, birth certificates, copies of deeds, proof of income, copies of bank or credit card statements and any documentation that proves past abuse.

Additional Suggestions from the NCADV

  • If you’re staying in your home, have the locks changed
  • Don’t stay alone
  • Change your routine frequently
  • Think about how you’ll get away if confronted by the abuser
  • Meet the abuser in a public place
  • Contact people you trust at your workplace and your children’s school so they are alert to anything unusual

Child Custody

If you share legal custody of your children with an abusive spouse or partner, you need to make arrangement for neutral pickup sites or for others to pick up and drop off your kids. If you have sole custody of your children, but the judge has ordered some type of visitation rights, ask for conditions to be placed on that right. Consider a restraining order if you don’t think it’s safe to be in the same place as your spouse, and in extreme cases, ask the court to appoint a visitation supervision monitor.

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Getting Through the Holidays with Your Ex-Spouse

After a divorce, approaching the holidays becomes difficult. You probably don’t want to spend time with your ex, but it’s important for your children to spend the season with both parents. If you’ve had certain traditions for years, things are going to change after divorce. To enjoy the holidays and create a good experience for your children, be flexible and open to change.

Avoiding Conflict

If you get along well with your ex, a holiday gathering with both of you and your kids makes sense. However, any risk of conflict means it’s better for each parent to have a separate holiday celebration with the children. Another important thing to keep in mind is how much alcohol you drink at these gatherings, as too much could cause you to become argumentative or hostile.

Make Plans in Advance

Discuss your holiday plans and schedules well in advance to prevent any misunderstandings or arguments about who has the kids at what time. Keep your kids in the loop early on so they know who they’ll be with and where they’ll be going.

Let Your Kids Have Influence

Let your children have input into the holiday plans. Think about their favorite traditions as you’re planning. Children need to feel reassured and have some sense of control amidst the family changes. Maintaining traditions in both households gives children a sense that not everything is changing and some things will stay the same.

Create New Traditions

New holiday traditions will make the season special and show that you can embrace the changes in your life. Volunteer work, crafts and community activities are all good ways to celebrate the holiday season with your children.

Reach Out for Support

Take care of yourself during the holidays. Get rest; eat healthy food and exercise, as this gives you more patience to be loving and respectful. Don’t hesitate to reach out to close friends or family members. You can even visit a mental health professional if you’re having a particularly difficult time.