Nurse programming heart monitor machine

The Physical and Mental Effects of Divorce

There are many studies to suggest that getting a divorce does not just affect your emotional state, but it can also take a toll on your physical health. If you are considering or have already gotten a divorce, make sure to watch out for these symptoms or to try and be proactive to counteract them. Getting a divorce can be one of the hardest things that people got through, but there are ways that you can counteract the negative physical and mental outcomes.

Mental
Just like with any long term stressful situation, it can wreak havoc on your long term health. Anxiety during a divorce is usually sky high, and it can cause you to have a myriad of other health problems. When you are stressed, your body releases adrenaline into your system that causes your “fight or flight” response. Over time, having adrenaline built up in your system manifests itself in many different ways. You can feel moody, irritable and nauseous. You might have trouble sleeping, gain or lose weight, lash out at people, have heart palpitations, weakened immune system, high blood pressure or IBS. There are a lot of symptoms that develop from anxiety and stress, so it is important to acknowledge if you start to notice them so you can stay on top of them right away. We live in a day and age where mental health is acknowledged and encouraged to be taken care of, so there are many healthy ways that you can deal with your anxiety that is proven to work.

Stressed Mature Woman With Laptop Working In Home Office

When going through a divorce, it is normal to feel betrayed, sad, insecure and angry. But once those feelings start to disappear and are replaced with a feeling of numbness, that could be a sign of depression. Anxiety and depression can only be treated and diagnosed by a medical professional, but there are some common signs that can indicate that you need to seek professional help. Many symptoms of anxiety and depression overlap, so it can be hard to know which one you have, but if you can’t sleep or experience excessive sleepiness, irritability, hopelessness, thoughts of suicide, lack of concentration, or repetitive thoughts, weight gain or loss, or apathy persistently, then you should see help right away. Therapy is always a good step in the right direction in helping you take steps for recovery.

Physical
In long term study released by the AHA academic journal, they found that women who had been through a divorce were 24% more likely to have a heart attack. Women who experienced multiple divorces were 77% more likely to have a heart attack. People who went through a divorce were also more likely to develop chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes and have mobility issues later in life.

While these are troubling statistics, the reality of the situation is that these are the side effects of long term stress, which can be caused by a number of things. Unfortunately, as humans, we will always be prone to stress and dealing with the aftermath. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to be strong enough to admit when you need help, surround yourself with friends and family, know that you are not alone, and understand that you deserve to be happy.

Happy attractive young woman in hat and glasses thinking and drinking coffee outdoors

Modern family values. Father addicted about using electronic devices tablet pc, while his wife and daughter unhappy sitting in a cafe.

Staying Together for the Kids

You have probably heard that phrase before, or maybe you tell it to yourself. It would have been easier to walk away from a bad relationship before there were children involved, but now there are a lot of factors to consider. Everyone wants what is best for their children, and staying in a miserable marriage to make sure that they are happy is a very tough decision to make that can have some negative consequences in the long run. Raising kids is very difficult and fulfilling work, but it can be terrifying to think that you would be doing it on your own. Here are some aspects to consider when thinking about staying together just until the kids have moved out.

Observation
One of the biggest risks, if not the biggest risk is that if kids grow up in a contentious household they will start to imitate those behaviors and will carry it with them for the rest of their life. Parents that are constantly bickering or putting each other down will be viewed as part of a normal relationship and they seek out relationships that mimic that. It is very true that we marry and date people that have similar traits as our parents, and if those traits are fighting, nitpicking, anger, and resentment, then children who grow up with that will gravitate towards that later on, starting the cycle all over again.

Black couple fighting and depressed

When parents are so wrapped up in their own problems either with work or with each other, it can have the unintended consequence of neglecting some aspects of their children’s lives. Maybe it is easier to go out to eat every night then to try and cook a healthy meal, or if one parent is going to an event the other won’t attend because it is easier to split. Children can still be raised in a home and given everything that they need but still feel emotionally neglected from their parents if their parents are emotionally distant from them.

Coparenting
Parents are a team. You and your spouse should feel united in your common cause to make sure that your children are raised happy and healthy. Once that team falls apart it can be hard if not impossible to fake it for the kids. Communicating becomes harder, parenting styles differ, and chaos starts to take over. It can be hard to imagine not having someone around to help with day to day tasks, but it can be as equally hard having someone around that is questioning all of your decisions. There are a lot of parents that are great co-parents either before, during, or after a divorce, but if that doesn’t work for you and your spouse, don’t feel guilty. Human emotions are complicated and even though your love for your children will unite parents, sometimes it’s not enough to keep them together.

When deciding to stay together for the kids, it’s important to understand that kids are only as happy as their parents. If that means separating, it will be better in the long run. If there is still love in the marriage and you believe that it can be salvaged, then working through your problems might be beneficial and you will be happy that stayed for the kids to show them that even though marriage is tough, it is important to solve your problems. If there is ever a case of abuse, then there are available resources to you and your children so you can get out safely. Divorce is never easy, especially when there are kids involved, but if the only thing keeping you from separating is because you want to fake it for the kids, then maybe it is time to evaluate your options and speak with professionals.

Movie night at home with divorced mother, daughter and son. Modern family watching television and eating popcorn, sitting on sofa at home. They laugh while watching comedy show on TV

Divorce and child custody scissors cutting family apart

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.

Relationship crisis in bed with feeling of guilt

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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Unhappy married couple on verge of divorce due to impotence and jealousy

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.

 

 

Relationship psychologist mediating young marriage thinking about divorce

 

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.

Couple romancing in a car at countryside

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

Wooden judge gavel and golden rings,  divorce concept

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.

Retro image of lawyer signing important legal document on black desk. Over black background.

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.

Attorney with scale on the table

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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.

family, parenthood and people concept - happy father and little baby boy with book at home

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.

House concepts,Father and daughter  hold hands model home,White house model with red roof.

Fresh start ahead road sign concept for business opportunity, future and new career

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.

Roller skater rides by sidewalk in city park. Male rollerskater leisure

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.

Old wedding rings Shattering on black background

Unexpected Consequences of Divorce

Old wedding rings Shattering on black background

Divorce is a complicated thing. Each situation is different. Although many people think they know how life will be after they have separated from their spouse, there are often unintended consequences that come after all is said and done. Having a clear picture of what might be waiting for you on the other side can help you have a clear vision of what divorce will mean for you and your family. Here are some common unexpected consequences of divorce.

 

Financial Effects

Divorce is expensive. People usually prepare for the expenses of the legalities that come with the process, but many people don’t anticipate extra costs of living after they’ve separated. Spouses often save money when living together with their children, especially when it is a double income household. Depending on the judge’s orders regarding alimony or child support, finances may be tight for either spouse after the divorce is finalized.

 

Emotional Effects

Many people look forward to freedom when they have separated from their spouse. They imagine entering the “single’s” scene and having a fresh start. However, ending a marriage relationship is always going to be an adjustment. Some people find the adjustment harder than others, and they harbor feelings of loneliness or even regret. Often, divorcees express difficulty seeing their ex find success and happiness during this time of transition.

 

Effects on Children

Learning to communicate with your children can be tough even with the most functional family situation. Throwing a divorce into the mix often makes things even more complex. Many people say that their children still have mixed and complicated feelings after the divorce has been finalized and some children feel the effects years later. It’s important to consider their position in the bigger perspective.

 

Each and every divorce is unique and complicated, regardless of the measures you take. However, having a competent lawyer can take a lot of the stresses off of your plate. The associates here at the Huntsman Firm can help you with all of your Family Law needs and advice. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

Judge's gavel and books

Difference between Divorce, Annulment, and Legal Separation

Law gavel on a wooden desk, law books background


Many people get confused about the differences between the legal actions that you can take concerning your marriage relationship.  Although divorce is the most common course to take, it is not the only option, and it may not be the best fit for everyone’s situation. Annulment and legal separation are less common and apply to a more specific set of circumstances.

Divorce

A divorce, in the most simple terms, ends a marriage relationship. In fact, it ends all legal relationships between the spouses, except for those that are specifically outlined by the court. These relationships can include agreements about child custody, alimony, or division of property. There are many reasons to file for a divorce that are recognized by Utah courts, including “irreconcilable differences.”  

Annulment

Getting an annulment is different from a divorce because it doesn’t just end a marriage, it legally says that the marriage never happened. A court only orders an annulment for limited situations. Some examples of situations that qualify for an annulment are if one spouse was already married, one spouse was underage, or the spouses were closely related to each other. Other court recognized reasons include fraud and misrepresentation. Although the annulment means the marriage didn’t exist, there can still be agreements about child custody and property division. These will be ordered by the court.

Legal Separation

In Utah, this is referred to as “Separate Maintenance.” It does not end a marriage, but provides for a situation in which to spouses are living separately for one reason or another. It includes petitioning the court for alimony, child custody, property division, or a similar legal action without filing for a divorce. This type of action is appropriate in circumstances where one spouse has been deserted by the other, is not receiving support from the other or through no fault of his or her own, a spouse is living separately from the other. If the two spouses show reconciliation, the court order ends.

No matter your situation, the Huntsman Firm in St. George, Utah, is here to help you with all of your family law needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our associates.