How You Are Sabotaging Your Divorce

It is no secret that the divorce process is incredibly difficult and often heartbreaking. When times get tough, otherwise-rational minded people can overreact, or act in a way that proves detrimental to the process. We know how overwhelming the entire process is, so we have highlighted a few behaviors to be aware of when you are navigating the rough waters of divorce.

They are:

Watch Your Words

As the old adage goes,”If you cannot say something nice, do not say anything at all.” With the ease of today’s modern technology, you never know when your ex is recording your interactions. It is very common to have recorded conversations brought out during divorce proceedings, and if you have spoken harshly — out of frustration or anger — your words can be used against you in the future.

Getting Physical

Always keep your hands to yourself. If you make physical contact against your soon-to-be spouse, particularly if it is harmful or aggressive, you are committing a crime. The physical interaction may be considered battery or assault, both of which will prove detrimental for your case. No matter how upset you get throughout the divorce process, you will never have a judge side with you if you are physical with the other person.

Moving Too Fast

Refrain from moving too fast into a new relationship. Aside from allowing yourself time to heal, moving in with a new boyfriend or girlfriend before the divorce is finalized is frowned upon. Children have a difficult time when their parents go through a divorce. It is hard for them to understand that their parents no longer love each other in the same way, and that they will no longer be living together as a family. Moving in with a significant other only adds insult to injury, where time can provide everyone the chance to settle and move forward.

Child Support

No matter how angry you are at your spouse, failing to pay child support ultimately hurts the child and, in turn, your divorce. The law demands child support is paid; failing to do so is considered contempt of court. If the judge finds you are in contempt, you can be fined or put in jail.

Removing Your Child

If you have a planned trip away, it is necessary to coordinate the dates and travel with your spouse. It will be viewed as an attempt at kidnapping if you leave the area with your child without making a prior arrangement with your ex. It is also likely your restricted visitation with the child, or your custody, will be terminated.

It is important to consult with a professional divorce attorney to determine the behaviors you should, and should not, undertake while filings and proceedings are underway. When it doubt, remember it is better to be safe than to be sorry.

The True Cost of Divorce

If you fear the financial burden of facing a divorce, you are not alone. Divorce is a daunting experience, one that can feel like an insult to injury when reconciling the end of your marriage. Fortunately, many of the costs that accrue during a divorce depend on the relationship that still exists between former couples. Divorce can prove costly in less-than-ideal situations, when couples have to work out custody arrangements and split up assets. For those couples that are still on good speaking terms, a compromise often arises without the stress of excessive of legal fees.

Assets and Debt

Some couples may have a more expensive divorce simply because they have more assets and debts to consider. Those who have retirement accounts, more than one home, or business assets, may need to spend ample time in the courtroom in order to come to a fair agreement. These cases are far more complex for lawyers to argue, and state laws regarding the treatment of the assets may further complicate the situation.

Attorneys

The attorney each member of the former couple chooses can make a big impact on how much is spent on the divorce. The expense of a great divorce attorney varies widely. Some are more expensive than others, but can offer the extra value to more than compensate for higher per hour fees. It is important to look into how much each attorney is going to charge per hour before making a choice. The key is to find a lawyer who makes you feel comfortable and charges a rate that is in line with the value that attorney can offer.

Avoid Court

Those who really want to save a lot of money should try to keep their divorce out of court entirely. Choosing a mediator or a collaborative lawyer can greatly reduce costs. This is the best option for a civil divorce where the former couple is still in good standing and will be able to agree on the terms of their divorce pretty easily. When this occurs, a divorce settlement can be drafted quickly with each party able to go on his or her separate way without having a long and expensive divorce.

Each situation is different, so be sure to talk to a lawyer about your options before deciding which choice is best for you. While most people try to avoid a long and hard divorce because of the stress it brings, it is also important to make sure that a settlement is reached that works for you.

How to Blend A Modern Family

In today’s modern world, more and more families are becoming blended. A blended family occurs when two separate families come together to form one stepfamily. As you can imagine, a blended family possesses its own unique set of challenges.

When two families come together, each brings its own history and ways of operating as a family unit. The way the families previously functioned will need to evolve to accommodate the new arrangement, but never fear — you can create a long-lasting, happy and healthy relationship as a new family.

Challenges

It’s important to keep in mind, as within any family, there are challenges to merging two families into one.

They often include:

  • Stress on parents balancing their children’s needs
  • Social etiquette difficulties
  • Conflicting family responsibilities and values with regards to appropriate behavior, daily chores and other expectations
  • Conflicting roles of family members (this occurs mostly when the children are of different ages)

Fortunately, there are a number of solutions that have proven to help in overcoming these challenges:

Positive Attitude

Begin with realistic expectations and a positive attitude. Accept that you will experience challenges and frustrations, as all parents do. Surveys of remarried couples with children show parenting blended children is often the main reason for conflict within the marriage. The good news is that willingness to work together, and take the right steps to understand the needs of the children and how to provide them through structured co-parenting, will result in a supportive and loving blended family.

Parenting Plan

You will need to come up with a parenting plan that takes into account your new spouse and stepchildren. In a blended family, the parenting that worked for you in the past may not be as effective.

Since the new family involves individuals who have not lived together, a new set of rules has to be created to accommodate the changing family dynamic. It’s important to set boundaries, but remember to have compassion for your children as rules shift.

Empathy, Communication, and Respect

For this to work, communication is key. Even though you cannot force blended families to love each other, you can make successful strides toward constructive behavior and respect. Talk to your children if they are of an age where they understand the changes are occurring. Help them understand what is happening and be firm in your decisions. It is important all parties feel heard and loved as these big changes happen.

One-On-One Time

Prioritize one-on-one time. Being together as a blended family is great, but you do not have to spend all your time together. In most cases, spending some time apart is helpful and allows space to process the changes.

Each family needs one-on-one time without step-relatives, particularly so children feel they are still valued and loved by their parent. Mixing how each family spends time with each other strengthens the bonds in the stepfamily, and the blend does not have to happen over night. Take the time to evolve together, and do not feel you have to rush it.

Bringing two families together through marriage can present a variety of challenges. When two families come together and learn to truly respect and love one another well, it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.