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When you are married or even in a relationship, you are a part of a collective. You are perceived as part of a couple, and that perception can even extend to your own individuality. With how much that can be comingled, such as bank accounts, credit cards, or living space, when you are married or in a long-term relationship, it is easy to see why others may assign your spouse as a part of who you are.

However, when cracks begin to form in the marriage and you no longer are seen in public as often or at all with your spouse, it can start you down the path of finally being your own person, outside of your ending marriage.

Legal assistance

This also is the time when you are going to need to contact a family law attorney, in order to help you navigate the ins and outs of the divorce process. Given how challenging and emotional the experience can be, you need someone by your side who will fight for you and your future.

Your future is what matters here, and you need to put yourself in the best position possible to move forward with life after your marriage. That means getting into the correct head space, which can be difficult for many who go through a particularly tumultuous break-up and divorce.

Fleeting happiness

Many find themselves unable to think clearly, which causes them to make irrational decisions without thinking about the long-term effects of their actions. They believe that irrational spending or jumping into a new relationship will bring them the greatest amount of joy after just experiencing the greatest amount of stress during their divorce.

While in some cases that may be true, more often than not, it is not the case. Fleeting happiness will not serve you long-term and can cause irreparable harm if severe enough.

In order to get out of that head space and forge your own path without making reactionary decisions, it may be beneficial to contact a mental health professional, who can provide the necessary perspective and give you the tools you need to be your own person after your divorce is finalized.

Being your own person

Whether you are going through a divorce or not, being your own person is not an easy task. There are so many people in your life who may rely on you, and an equal amount of people in your life that you rely on that it can feel like your very existence is defined by your relationships.

You may be so dependent on the people in your life that you can feel out of control. You may find yourself easily intimidated by those you have relied on during your life, and during the divorce process, this can be hazardous.

You may inadvertently agree to a decree that does not have your best interests at heart, which is why you need to rely on the experience of your family law attorney. They understand how difficult this time is for you, and they can act in the best interests of your future, even when you cannot.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Taking the next step

Even with your family law attorney’s help, you still need to be able to do something with the opportunity ahead of you. Even though you may have lost a substantial amount in your divorce, it does not make recovery outside of the realm of possibilities.

You have the chance to stand on your own two feet and make a life that has nothing to do with the unhappiness and dysfunction of your marriage. You have the opportunity to maintain balance within your life, and in future relationships, you have the opportunity to avoid having your identity being swept up into the collective. You have the chance of being yourself.

In being your own person after your divorce is finalized, you have the opportunity to reestablish your self-confidence and forge your own path. Recovery can be difficult, and you may encounter setbacks along the way. However, these challenges and setbacks are no reason to not give it a shot. You have to put forth the energy and effort to making the changes necessary to stand on your own two feet, in order to move on from your divorce.

The post Being Your Own Person After Divorce appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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When your divorce ends, your case is not always necessarily over. There are times after the decree is finalized, where you may have to revisit the case, in order to help your post-divorce recovery.

This action is not about your children, who may be caught in the crossfire of additional fighting between their parents. You do not love them any less, and you should not feel the stigma of modifying the decree, in order to pay less child support.

This also is not an action based on how you feel about your ex-spouse. While they may not be your favorite individual, your finances come before your feelings, and you cannot consistently pay them alimony if the required payments send you into poverty.

The fact is, your post-divorce recovery may require the aid of your family law attorney, helping you through the modification process and proving how necessary it is.

You are not alone in the need to modify your decree. Many who go through the divorce process and are responsible for paying alimony and child support, will go through the modification process, in order to reduce payments. This makes the payments more likely to occur, and the money is more likely to help the recipient and the children.

Alex Rodriguez’s case

Cases related to child support and alimony modification are all over the news. Former Yankees third baseman and current MLB Analyst Alex Rodriguez is currently pursuing decree modification, attempting to adjust the combined amount that he pays in alimony and child support to his ex-wife, Cynthia Scurtis, according to the Page Six.

The couple, divorced in 2008, share two daughters, Natasha, 13, and Ella, 10. Rodriguez has been paying $115,000 a month tax-free child support and alimony since their marriage ended. The agreement stated that the amount would be revisited at the time of Rodriguez’s retirement, which occurred in 2016.

Given that his income has decreased by 90 percent through retirement (from $30 million to approximately $3 million), and his claims that Scurtis is wealthy with multiple homes, cars, a Master’s degree in Psychology, a fiancé, and a new child, she is more capable of providing for herself.

He is looking to adjust it to $20,000 a month plus tuition and child expenses, despite the fact that the expenses for his kids are somewhere between $7,000 and $12,000 a month, according to Rodriguez.

Rodriguez always has been an outspoken supporter of his children, actively disputing reports that he has ever threatened to cut off child support payments, due to a legal dispute with Cynthia Scurtis’ brother, Constantine.

“I have always paid far more than the maximum in child support, and that will never change,” Rodriguez told the New York Post. “My daughters are my number one priority and always will be. It’s highly offensive to me that my former brother-in-law, who has been trying to pursue a frivolous case against me for four years and has gotten absolutely no where with it in court, is misrepresenting my relationship with my daughters to manipulate the public’s opinion.”

Ashley Parker Angel’s case

Rodriguez is not the only celebrity having issues with modification. Former member of the band, O-Town, Ashley Parker Angel, is facing child support issues of his own.

Angel, who now works as a Broadway actor and singer, claims to have injured his back in May 2018, while working on the musical, “Wicked.” According to TMZ, his injury cost him the role, and thus, he was not earning his normal paycheck for two months.

He is looking to reduce his monthly child support payment, which currently is $1,836. Angel claims that the injury to his back resulted in a financial loss of more than $26,000.

Additionally, Angel has stated that his custody agreement with his ex-girlfriend, Tiffany Lynn Rowe, over their 12-year-old son, Lyric, has changed. The child support agreement was made when she had 90 percent custody over their son, according to Angel, but as it currently stands, Angel claims that they split custody 50-50.

Rowe claims that Angel has other sources of income, including a supplement company he launched last year. She claims that he does not save his money efficiently enough for someone that has downtime in his employment.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Assess your finances

Whether you are a celebrity or not, you need to maintain financial stability. Without financial stability, you cannot make payments to anyone for anything, and you will find yourself falling deeper into a hole of debt, which may result in jail time.

You need to assess your current payment responsibility and decide if it is feasible for you. If it is not, then it is imperative that you contact your family law attorney, in order to proceed with the modification process.

The post When is it Time for Modification? appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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After your divorce, finding a new sense of normal is important. You feel like your entire world is upended, and you are left to put the pieces back together of your life, with half of them taken away. The comfort and support that you receive at this time are critical to your post-divorce recovery.

One form of support and comfort that you can receive on a daily basis is from your pet. Whether it is a dog, a cat, a bird, or some other type of animal, pets can help you survive divorce through their ability to relieve stress and anxiety and fight off depression.

However, support from pets can be difficult if your pet is not one of the possessions that you have retained in the division of assets.

Courts have been slow to recognize pets as anything more than divisible property that should go to one owner over another during the divorce process. Depending on the state and court, results of pursuing custody of a pet has differed.

Challenges of pet custody

Part of the issue steams from cost issues. The more items you argue about during the divorce process, the longer and more expensive the divorce process can be.

When it comes to pets, the emotional attachment of maintaining your marital pet can outweigh the practicality of getting a new one.

“I’ve had clients spend $15,00 to $20,000 arguing over an animal that they can repurchase for $4,000,” said Cordell & Cordell CEO and Executive/Managing Partner Scott Trout.

The other issue stems from the lack of regulations regarding pet custody. States and courts do not have set regulations on what to do when these highly emotional fights occur, and judges can find themselves “winging it,” when it comes to reaching a fair decision.

“I’ve had a judge tell me we’re going to flip a coin and whoever wins the coin toss gets to pick the first piece of property,” Mr. Trout said. “That includes the animals.”

There also are judges who have put the dog between the two would-be owners and attempted to determine who it liked best, according to The Associated Press.

States are beginning to start to identify the need for legislation in this area, and the most recent of these states being California.

New law in California

Governor Jerry Brown signed a law stating that judges deciding who gets to keep the pet will have the discretion of weighing such factors as who feeds them, who takes them to the veterinarian, who walks them, and who protects them, according to The Associated Press.

The law, previously Assembly Bill 2274, now gives California courts more guidance than they ever previously received. This law will give them a more established process to figuring out who should retain custody of the pet or pets.

Assembly Bill 2274 was introduced by Assemblyman Bill Quirk who believes that pets needed a more defined place in the process.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Reaping the benefits

If you live in California and you are going through the divorce process, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and the potential of you having your beloved family pet by your side to help you in your time of need has never been greater.

While you may not be able to get the life you once had back, you are able to build a new life alongside your beloved cat, dog, bird, fish, or other pet. You are able to keep your blood pressure in check and void the mental stress of a challenging situation.

You are able to lean into a healthier version of a post-divorce recovery. You are able to get yourself into a routine and force yourself to be productive.

You are able to help your children get through this challenging time in their life through their development of emotional intelligence. This is all thanks to having a pet around during your post-divorce recovery and being able to go through the process with general guidelines in place.

The post Pet Custody Law Changing Life After Divorce for California Residents appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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With how much pressure in society revolves around personal relationships, it can be emotionally exhausting for those who have just experienced a divorce. You can feel like you have failed in some way or have not done enough to keep up with peers.

While comparisons like that are rarely healthy or useful, the inclination is a natural human reaction and a result of no longer having someone so ingratiated into your day-to-day life.

With all of this pressure, you may feel like you need to get back out there and start dating as soon as possible. You may rush into a new relationship and not be able to handle it, simply because you are not ready.

Being ready

Being ready for a new relationship is not an exact science. It is not based on the number of years that you have been married, nor is it based on how recently you have gotten divorced. It is entirely dependent on the individual and how they are handling the mental and emotional side of the divorce experience.

You have to know yourself, which can be challenging. You may no longer trust your own judgment after a divorce, because of how committed you may have been to your significant other. Some who go through the divorce process feel that because they entered a marriage that did not last, their judgment is suspect and thus, they are incapable of making impactful life decisions.

New relationships

Additionally, you also may jump into a new relationship without considering the feelings of a potential new partner. As much as you may feel like you are ready to move on, if your potential new partner feels as though you are using them to get over your ex-spouse, you need to consider slowing things down or waiting until you have moved on.

This may sound like you are allowing your divorce to have control and power over your life and your decision-making. The reality is that your health and wellness come first. You need to be able to be fully committed to a new relationship and not fall victim to traps like using an innocent person to get over your ex-spouse.

It can be difficult to know when you are ready for a new relationship, and having friends who do not understand that may not help the situation. You need to be able to talk to them about what you are feeling, so that they do not attempt to put you in a social or romantic situation that you simply are not ready for.

Being open about those feelings can be a step in the right direction, but it is not always indicative of being ready. You still may have unresolved feelings or misplaced loyalty toward your ex-spouse. These types of sentiments do not always just disappear because the two of you experienced a divorce.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Mental health assistance

You may require the help of a licensed mental health professional, in order to sort through these feelings in a healthy and constructive way. A licensed mental health professional can create a safe environment for you to sort through your feelings and provide clarity for you, regarding your situation.

When it comes to your divorce, it can be difficult to be the most objective person, given that it happened to you. Therefore, it can be beneficial to sort through any events or feelings you may have regarding the end of your marriage. Therapy can give you the best opportunity to move forward.

Your own pace

Moving forward should not include comparing your readiness to your ex-spouse’s readiness. Just because your ex-spouse moved on does not mean that you should or are ready to. You also should not feel bad about your lack of readiness. Many men take divorce significantly harder than women.

There is no pace to recover from a divorce, just like there is no pace to be ready for a new relationship. You just have to know and trust that you are seeking and entering a new relationship for the right reasons. You need to be able to respect the new partner to be honest and trust that you are making the right decision for you and your future.

The post Being Ready for a New Relationship After Divorce appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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When you were married, you may have had certain habits that you fell into. You may have had certain friends that you hung out with for couples’ nights or for other types of social occasions. You may have grabbed a drink with the guys or hosted a football watch party with other married couples.

When you go through a divorce, these types of situations can change.

The feelings of your friends

You may have long-lasting relationships with these friends, but everyone reacts to a divorce in a social circle differently, and depending on the person, it can change your relationship.

As awkward as divorce is for you to experience, your friends also will experience some level of awkwardness that will dictate many of your social interactions with them. They may not know what they should and should not bring up, and they may not know what to do.

You or your ex

They may have been close with your ex-spouse and are not sure how they personally feel about the fact that you two are no longer together or anything that may have transpired during the divorce process. They also have to navigate their own loyalties. Many attach themselves to one person experiencing a divorce and lose touch with the other.

Sometimes, it is unintentional. Sometimes, a friend of yours stays a friend of yours and loses touch with your ex-spouse when you divorce. Sometimes, that is not the case.

There are social situations where you may have introduced a friend to your ex-spouse when you still were married. They became friends, and when the divorce occurs, you lost that original friendship. A person who was your friend suddenly has changed their view of you and has gravitated toward your ex-spouse.

Suddenly, you no longer have that person to talk to about what you are going through in post-divorce life. You no longer have that person to hang out with, grab a drink, and watch a game together. This can be a loss that you grieve in a similar fashion to the loss of a spouse through divorce.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Awkward topic

Another issue that you may face is friends unwilling to discuss what you are going through as a newly divorced individual. It is understandable why they would not wish to dive into such a heavy topic. They might be newly married or in a place in their lives where they cannot quite empathize with your situation.

Some of the actions that occur as a result of a divorce, such as spending less time with your children or having to pay alimony and child support, may be difficult topics that your friends cannot relate to.

They also may prefer that you look to vent outside of the friend group. Many friends may prefer that you speak to your family law attorney about modifying your divorce decree, in order to change the circumstances surrounding your divorce, or to a mental health professional, in order to improve your mental health and wellness.

You may have friends who do not want to be your shoulder to lean on or your ear to listen. That is okay, so long as you do not push the situation. You always can utilize the comfort of other friends, who may be more willing to empathize and help you through this challenging time in your life.

That does not necessarily mean your unempathetic friends are no longer your friends. It just means that they have emotional boundaries in place within your relationship, and while they may wish to continue to hang out and shoot the breeze with you, they do not wish to get into the complex emotional tapestry of the divorce that you just experienced.

In terms of relating to a situation, since every divorce is unique, they may not quite understand all of the complexities surrounding the situation, which is why it is important to go into a social setting with that sense of understanding.

Avoid seclusion

You should not avoid social settings, due to your divorce. As much as you may want to seclude yourself and avoid people after the emotionally draining experiences of the divorce process, it is neither healthy nor helpful to you to avoid human interaction. You cannot allow your divorce to define you.

You have a new opportunity ahead of you, and through your reliance on those willing to help you and empathize with your situation, you have the opportunity to move forward with your life.

The post Navigating Social Waters After Divorce appeared first on Men's Divorce.

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