Loading...

Follow The Divorce Magazine | Coping with Divorce on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

Linda Simpson –
Divorce and Parenting Consultant
Writer and Speaker

I can’t get over the fact my husband had been having an affair for years before we separated. I feel so stupid to have missed or overlooked all the signs. My kids are fed up with me being so down about it all. I’ve done some really crazy things just trying to get rid of the pain. My friend has recommended I get counseling. What is the point of hashing it all out again with someone I don’t know?

Everyone is on their own timeline to heal after a traumatic divorce. But a good counselor can be an enormous help in finding your way forward.

After my divorce twenty five years ago I spent 2 ½ years in counseling so can offer these insights.

For me, the counseling was life-changing. She was skilled and gently but firmly put me on a path to take back my personal power and create a new life. I am enormously grateful for that because I have benefited from her skill as a counselor every single day of my life.

First of all, it is imperative you find the right counselor. There has to be a chemistry for counseling to be of value. If you commit to finding a counselor do not feel there is anything wrong with shopping around for the right fit. You can arrange a short half-hour interview and will know if the counselor makes a connection with you.

Once you find the right counselor the next question is –is it worth it? From my experience, it is worth every moment spent with a good counselor.

There are many reasons why this is so. First of all they are skilled at picking up on internal messaging you may not even be aware of that is impacting your recovery.

A good counselor is also skilled at digging out those inner feelings that need addressing. They have been trained to help you find solutions that work for you.

Don’t be deterred by any feelings of a certain timeline to -getting better. The idea that everything has to be fixed in a certain number of sessions can be very stressful. The counselor might offer a set number of sessions but only as a baseline.

You might want more counseling after those sessions or you might feel you have the emotional tools to do the rest of the work on your own. Or you might want to take a break and consider everything accomplished in the first sessions and set a date a few months hence for a re-evaluation.

The common goal for both you and your counselor is getting to a better you. A counselor holds that very distinctive place of objectivity which sets them apart from family and friends. They have the skills needed to help you learn how to move on to your future.

Being honest is an important aspect of the counseling process. Counselors have probably heard just about everything during their counseling career so don’t hold back your honest thoughts and feelings.

A counselor knows how to ask those difficult questions and weave you through your reactions to your emotional issues as they relate to the divorce. They can also help you see the connection to other areas of your life and the reasons why you have reacted as you have.

Family and friends are our own unique support system in life but often might not say something because they fear how you will react. It could be further complicated by them having a friendship with your former spouse or someone in his life. The objectivity of a counselor is important for your healing.

Your family physician can help you with agencies that offer counseling services. If your doctor knows you well, they might know the agency with the best fit for you.

You have everything to gain by investing in time spent with a counselor. Divorce is a detour in life. Sometimes it can be a roadblock until we take charge of our lives and move forward.

You had no control over your former spouse’s choices, but you do have absolute control over your future.

Do whatever it takes to make it the best it can be.

If you are in need of a place to seek some advice on a way forward during separation and divorce please write to letterstolinda@thedivorcemagazine.co.uk – Reaching out is the first step. 

MORE LETTERS TO LINDA 

Letters to Linda Disclaimer

ABOUT LINDA SIMPSON

“I take strength from your calm, your honesty, and the hope you give me for my future.” Cheryl 

Linda is a fresh voice in the divorce advice world. She offers a pragmatic, common sense approach to life after divorce issues based on over twenty years surviving and thriving following a very traumatic divorce.

As a single parent, her sons are an enormous source of joy in her life. She is a loving mother and grandmother to four delightful grandchildren.

She holds a degree from the University of Waterloo with concentrations in sociology and philosophy and guidance counselling certification from Queen’s University.

She is an accredited trainer for The Peace Education Foundation, a leader in conflict resolution training. The institute is ‘dedicated to educating children and adults in the dynamics of conflict resolution and promoting peacemaking skills in home, schools, and community.’

In a long and successful teaching career, she also served as a counsellor and workshop facilitator for SEL (social emotional learning) programming and The Peace Education Foundation throughout her school and school district and was a frequent conference presenter for SUNY Potsdam Faculty of Education USA.

She writes for The Divorce Magazine UK and her blog is seen regularly on Huffington Post Canada where the focus is life after divorce and parenting issues.

She is a writer and poet and is presently at work on a book based on her divorce experience.

The post Letters to Linda – Counselling Post-Divorce appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Wendi Schuller
Author of
The Global Guide to Divorce

Retroactive jealousy can lead to divorce.

This  can be a red flag that something  in the relationship is wrong.  It also can indicate that a partner has control issues or has their own problem of handling jealousy.

Retroactive jalousie  also happens post-divorce when a former spouse cannot let go and is jealous of the other people that came before him or her.

When dating post-divorce, watch out for a love interest who asks too many questions or wants a detailed history of your past.

Retroactive jealousy is when a spouse discovers something unknown from their partner’s past.

It could be finding an old photo or love letter.

A couple may have gone over the highlights of their dating pre-marriage. They gave the headlines version of a distant love life.

The individuals glossed over their past instead of listing each and every person they dated, which would have been unrealistic.

When the other spouse goes ballistic upon uncovering a reminder of their partner’s previous dating period, this is retroactive jealousy.

This type of jealousy goes off the deep end, where a person becomes obsessed with it. The thought of their current or former spouse being with someone else, is swirling around in their brains. They cannot let go of the movie in their head starring their partner and a former flame.

The question is – does a partner have the right to know intimate details of their spouse’s former lovers?   Or names and the number of past flings?  Possibly from a health point position.

If a person has had several long-term intimate relationships, instead of many one-night stands, there is less of a risk for pasting on sexually transmitted diseases.  Being aware of a partner’s history having a string drunken one-night stands would necessitate using a condom.

In one case, a woman’s fiancé repeatedly asked whom she lost her virginity with and how many other lovers she had after that (zero). Although this man was not a virgin himself, he was upset that she had a prior sexual relationship before they met.

He demanded to know who that person was and kept insinuating that there were more guys she was not mentioning. She eventually kicked him to the kerb and got on with her life.

On an emotional level, accidentally finding out about a deep, dark secret can hurt – even end a relationship.

Not being told of a previous marriage or about a baby given up for adoption who is now an adult knocking on the front door, is a shock.

This can get the other person wondering about what else might be hidden.  A spouse may lose their trust when a situation like this occurs.  Feeling lied to or there was a cover up is a bit more than a spouse having reactive jealousy over a forgotten photograph being found.

If you are the one struggling with retroactive jealousy, examine what specifically bothers you.

  • Is it the fear of abandonment? You possibly are afraid of being dumped for a former lover.
  • Feelings of being inadequate – that you are not enough? This could be an insecurity issue.
  • Are you too controlling – resenting your spouse’s ties to other people and friendships?
  • Are you fantasising -seeing images of your spouse and their former lover over and over?
Steps to take

Consider talking about your jealousy with your partner. Most likely they have no idea, will have a laugh and then be reassuring that you are still number one. They might be trying to revive your relationship in an unhealthy way, by talking about past romances. This has to stop.

Does your relationship seem shaky and not stable? Talk to your partner. Perhaps they are feeling the same way and are motivated to get it back on track.

Perhaps your love life got a bit routine and boring and that is why you are focused on your partner’s past one.  Spice it up, such as with a naughty weekend in Paris. Get out of your familiar environment.

Is there something lacking in your life now which propels you to dwell on your partner’s past?

This could be due to not feeling fulfilled or knowing your purpose in life. Enrich your life with stimulating new ventures, activities or sports. Perhaps connect with a Higher Power.  When one has too much time on their hands that encourages the mind to wander and dwell on the past. Meet new people and reconnect with ones you already know.

Post-divorce, retroactive jealousy can be an issue, especially when you were you the one left behind.

  • Avoid triggers. Go to new places and avoid the ones you frequented as a couple. No need to see your ex snuggling with someone new.
  • Shake up your routine. If you went out for morning cappuccinos as a couple, then go out in the afternoon. Not helpful to daydream about whom she is sharing coffee with now. If he enjoyed Friday after work drinks, then go to the pub at another time period.  It is avoiding doing things that you did when married and lessening the chance of an accidental encounter.
  • Avoid stalking them in person or online. Living with retroactive jealousy is a waste of one’s energy and time when the marriage is over.

To help get regarding retroactive jealsouy, talk to your friends who are great listeners and allow you to vent. Also, they may give a reality check.

There are divorce charities which help individuals to move on post-divorce.  A relationship counsellor can help people deal with reactive jealousy and see a situation more clearly.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE ARTICLES BY WENDI SCHULLER ABOUT WENDI

Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certified in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP).

Her most recent book is The Global Guide to Divorce and she has over 200 published articles.

She is a guest on radio programs in the US and UK. Her website is globalguidetodivorce.com.

The post Retroactive Jealousy During Divorce And Beyond appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Georgie Hall
Head of the Family Law Department at Prettys and Head of Private Client

The ‘round table’ way of working is an unusual method many law firms should be adopting, Georgie Hall, Prettys’ partner and head of private client speaks on how the work is necessary to stop stressful child dispute cases going to court and causing worry and anxiety for children and parents alike.

As well as bringing together both parents for a round table discussion sometimes it is necessary to bring in other experts, such as psychologists and counsellors.

This year has seen a seven per cent increase in child dispute applications being made to court, according to Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service.

With child dispute cases often ending up in court, we need to encourage families to sit down and talk through issues which ultimately can be much more productive.

Whilst the court process struggles to alter parental behaviour, the round table process looks to take a more practical and constructive approach.

Even if a court order is in place, it doesn’t mean the problems go away. It is up to the two people involved to do that, which is something we work on during round table discussions.

In some cases, the child may be including in the discussion with proper expert support. This depends on their understanding of the case and in our experience, this is generally considered to be after 11-12 years old.

What we look for is for parents to think in the same way in putting the child first, to find common ground and to agree on a process going forward.

One parent who referred herself and her teenage son for roundtable work, wanted to ensure her son’s voice could be heard. She said: “I felt in safe hands when I was at my most vulnerable and had previously found it hard to trust professionals.”

From issues surrounding where a child should live, to one-off cases involving holidays and schooling, child dispute cases can present themselves in a number of ways.

Communication is the key to resolving the problems and often, people falsely believe the legal process can deliver the undeliverable.

What can often be useful is to get the parents to open up a discussion to see which elements benefit from the legal framework and which most benefit from other non-lawyer children focussed experts.

Sometimes it’s just about making parents aware of the impact they are having on each other and their children. When this is brought to the surface it becomes more straightforward as people become more aware of their behaviour.

When a relationship breaks down it can cause deep divides and going to court won’t always solve this – it’s like putting a plaster on a festering wound. Round table way of working really helps break down barriers.

About Georgina

Georgie has headed the Family Law Department at Prettys from 2003 to 2019 and is now Head of Private Client which encompasses: Family; Estates, Wills and Trusts; Residential Conveyancing; and Personal Injury Team.

Georgie’s entire case load comes by way of recommendation, either from her own clients or other professionals.

Whilst Georgie covers all areas of relationship breakdown whether it be finances, children, pre or post-marriage clarification as to asset division, her hallmark is seen as the quality of client care provided.

Georgie specialises in dispute resolution alternate to court so works as a mediator and a collaborative solicitor; with the bulk of her case load dealt with resolution through negotiation and round table work.

The post Lawyer says More Round Table Work is Necessary to Reduce Stress on Children appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Daniel Weintroub
Divorce Solicitor
Cordell & Cordell

As part of a recently launched campaign, Helping Kids Cope with Divorce, we interviewed three prominent parenting experts about their advice for divorcing parents, exploring the best way to break the news to your children about your separation, what can you do to proactively reduce your kids’ worries about the future, and how to protect them from suffering long-term psychological damage.

In 2019, divorce is sadly a common reality for many families. But despite how usual it’s become, it’s often a messy and confusing process which take a tremendous toll on everyone involved – particularly the children of a marriage.

The ordeal of the divorce process can impact significantly on young people’s mental health and leave lasting emotional scars.

So how can parents manage the process in a way that doesn’t make them think their world is about to collapse?

Breaking the news

Noël Janis-Norton, from Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting, recommends that parents sit together when it happens. Depending on the age and stage of your children, it may be worth telling each child separately to adapt the message to their levels of understanding. She says:

“Tell them: ‘We’ve got some sad news for you. We’ve been arguing a lot, and our home has not been a happy place – there are too many differences between Mummy and Daddy. We have decided to live in different homes to see if then we can be happier. You can still live with both of us.’ Keep reminding them that it is not their fault.”

“You can expect children to be upset, even if they do not show upset in the first place. Just acknowledge how scared or anxious they might be.”

Noël recommends that parents stay very polite and friendly with each other, even if there is underlying conflict. This will help the child feel more comfortable in these times of uncertainty and change.

Reassurance is key

Some of the concerns that your children might have about your divorce might not be things that you, as an adult, will have considered.

Young children might worry about seemingly small things, such as whether they will have toys at both parents’ houses, as well as larger things, including how much they’ll see both parents and other family members.

Teens might be wondering whether they’ll still be able to stay at the same school, whether they need to move house and whether there will be financial problems.

Parenting journalist and author, Liat Hughes Joshi, says: “Fundamentally, children don’t like uncertainty, and particularly at the beginning of the separation process there can be a lot of that. You might not know the answers to some of their concerns, such as whether you’ll need to move house, because you don’t know how the financial settlement is going to work out yet.”

She recommends: “Provide reassurance where you can but avoid false promises, as these could undermine their trust in you later on. Let them know you will do all you can to provide stability and contact with both parents. For the immediate, focus on the things that won’t change – particularly that both you and your ex love them.”

Constructive and Destructive Behaviours

Divorce can have lasting emotional effects on the children involved, but it isn’t a forgone conclusion.

Image by Chris Thornton from Pixabay

According to Noël Janis-Norton, adverse outcomes of divorce come from high-conflict divorces, not from divorce in general. It is very important for parents to realise which practices are constructive, and which are destructive to the child’s wellbeing.

“As long as both parents and children learn how to resolve disagreement without conflict, children can come out of your divorce unscathed,” she says.

“Think of yourselves as a team in front of the children. Be positive about the other person. Praise the other person. Children must feel like they can love both parents – if not, they are likely to become depressed and distressed.”

If tensions are running particularly high, it’s important to try to limit your children’s exposure to this as much as you can.

“Try whenever possible to have difficult discussions and arguments with your ex out of earshot. Stick with communicating by email if you really have no other way of avoiding things turning into a slanging match”, recommends Hughes Joshi.

Janis-Norton adds: “Another important thing is to not let your children overhear you while you’re talking to another adult – such as a friend or family member – about anything that implies conflict, like child support payments for example.

Children are very sensitive to those things, but they don’t necessarily understand them yet, so they often jump to the wrong conclusions.”

The aftermath – building a new life post separation

Recreating a sense of familiarity post separation is vital, according to Christine Lewandowski from Single with Kids. “New traditions and routines can build a comfortable framework during this transition period, and spending quality time with the children is essential,” she says.

It’s also important for children to feel that both their parents’ places are their homes.

“If you have decided on dual custody, avoid language like ‘when you visit or see daddy’, as this implies that one home is more important than the other,” adds Noël Janis-Norton.

Recognise that it may take time for your children to adapt to their ‘new normal’.

Society tells us that the nuclear family is the ‘right way to live’, which can make kids of divorced parents wish that their parents would live in the same house again.

“Meeting up with families who are in a similar situation, however, suddenly makes it all seem more normal. It helps the kids accept that they’re still a family, just a different shaped one.”

Following a separation, your different parenting styles may become more obvious – and when emotions are running high between you and your ex, it’s tempting to want to be the ‘favourite parent’.

“It’s tempting to roll your eyes when your child tells you that Mummy let them stay up until 10pm to watch TV” says Janis-Norton.

“Instead of showing disapproval of the other parent, acknowledge that Mummy and Daddy disagree on that. Stay with the conclusion that Mummy and Daddy prefer to do some things differently.”

Remember to self-care

Going through divorce is often physically and emotionally draining.

For a period of time, it will take over your life completely – and at the same time, you have to remain strong for your children and keep up with day-to-day responsibilities.

Once the transition process is coming to a close and you and the kids can start to settle into a normal routine again, it’s very important to invest in yourself and to find your happiness again as a single parent.

“Kids are like emotional sponges,” says Lewandowski, “they soak up the emotions of the parent. If one parent is desperately unhappy, the child is hurt.”

As a parent, remember that your wellbeing is important too, and directly impacts the wellbeing of your child.

Contributors

Noël Janis-Norton is a learning and behaviour specialist, parenting author, speaker, coach, and the Director of Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting, working with families and schools.

She’s currently working on two new books about divorce and blended family structures: Calmer, Easier, Happier Separation and Divorce and Calmer, Easier, Happier Blended Families.

Liat Hughes Joshi is a parenting journalist and author of five books, including 5-Minute Parenting Fixes and Raising Children: The Primary Years.

Christine (Chrissie) Lewandowski is the Director of Single with Kids, an organisation that offers holidays for single parents, abroad and in the UK.

Click here for more articles from Cordell & Cordell

About the Author – Daniel Weintroub
London divorce solicitor Daniel Weintroub was drawn to family law because of the complexity and variety of the cases.

“In family law, every case is different, and a solicitor can make a real difference in a person’s life,”

Mr. Weintroub said. “It is also the sense of the achievement and satisfaction in helping someone get contact with their children or a better than expected settlement in a financial dispute. You don’t get that sense of satisfaction in other areas of law.”

Mr. Weintroub’s attention to detail and his determination to get the best possible outcome for his client separates him from many other solicitors. He is willing to listen to his client’s case, understand the issues at the heart of the matter, and then explain the law to them and what is the most effective way to progress their case to ensure the best possible outcome.

“I speak to clients in a sympathetic, but direct manner, so they understand what the law says and how it can be applied to help them to achieve the best possible outcome,” he said. “I do this so that the client is not confused about what I am going to do for them and what they can expect to achieve at the end of their case.”

dweintroub@cordelllaw.com

020 7203 8431

The post How to Help Children Cope During Divorce: Parenting Experts Share their Advice appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Linda Simpson –
Divorce and Parenting Consultant
Writer and Speaker

My best friend is having an affair with my stepson. I can’t believe this is happening. I am married to a man 17 years older than me and his children are adults. She has been involved with him for several months now. Her husband is a very good friend of mine too. I am devastated, confused, and furious with her. She hasn’t told her husband but wants to leave him and move in with my stepson and they are even talking about getting married. It’s such a mess.

You are feeling betrayal at several levels in this situation.

Amidst all this emotion you are no doubt grappling with the odd possibility of having your best friend become your stepdaughter in law someday.

However, remember a whole lot of things must happen before any future marriage could become a reality. This needs to be taken one day at a time.

First, the biggest burden at the moment is the secrecy. I am guessing that nobody knows but you at this point. That is an enormous responsibility she has given you. It is also quite likely that people will take their anger out on you for keeping the secret from them if the truth is not revealed soon.

The very first thing that needs to happen is that everyone needs to be honest about the relationship. The secrecy gives the whole affair oxygen and creates a certain excitement for your friend and stepson that is detached from reality.

Honesty is necessary to move forward. Your friend and your stepson need to tell her husband and your husband. Both conversations are going to be very stressful, but they do need to happen as soon as possible.

Listen and support by encouraging everyone to avoid any quick decisions and hasty judgments. That initial shock will be a huge hurdle for all involved. Every stage of separation and divorce is painful. The easy part, however selfish it might have been, was all the excitement of the affair.

There will be the inevitable criticism and fallout from those involved and from extended family and friends. There will be a lot of anger from many places in your life. You might find yourself drawn into the criticism because she is a friend.

Try to maintain an emotional distance. It won’t be easy because you are connected at many levels.  When you slip and get angry or say something you regret, just regroup and carry on.

Remember that none of this was your doing or your choice. These two people, your friend and your stepson, are adults and made the choices that have brought two families to this point. They need to fully accept that responsibility. Their choices are going to cause enormous pain for many people.

Be cautious with assumptions. People will surprise you- both in good and bad ways. Let the future evolve at its own pace.

You have a difficult place in all of this because of your connection to both people. It is important that you look after yourself. Attempting emotional distance, as difficult as that might sound, will help you to navigate the future.

It won’t always be possible because there will be times when emotions run high and maintaining distance is impossible. But work towards that. It will be that role as a voice of reason that will allow you to be the most helpful to everyone involved.

If you are in need of a place to seek some advice on a way forward during separation and divorce please write to letterstolinda@thedivorcemagazine.co.uk – Reaching out is the first step. 

MORE LETTERS TO LINDA 

Letters to Linda Disclaimer

ABOUT LINDA SIMPSON

“I take strength from your calm, your honesty, and the hope you give me for my future.” Cheryl 

Linda is a fresh voice in the divorce advice world. She offers a pragmatic, common sense approach to life after divorce issues based on over twenty years surviving and thriving following a very traumatic divorce.

As a single parent, her sons are an enormous source of joy in her life. She is a loving mother and grandmother to four delightful grandchildren.

She holds a degree from the University of Waterloo with concentrations in sociology and philosophy and guidance counselling certification from Queen’s University.

She is an accredited trainer for The Peace Education Foundation, a leader in conflict resolution training. The institute is ‘dedicated to educating children and adults in the dynamics of conflict resolution and promoting peacemaking skills in home, schools, and community.’

In a long and successful teaching career, she also served as a counsellor and workshop facilitator for SEL (social emotional learning) programming and The Peace Education Foundation throughout her school and school district and was a frequent conference presenter for SUNY Potsdam Faculty of Education USA.

She writes for The Divorce Magazine UK and her blog is seen regularly on Huffington Post Canada where the focus is life after divorce and parenting issues.

She is a writer and poet and is presently at work on a book based on her divorce experience.

The post Letters to Linda – Devastated, Confused and Furious by this Clandestine Relationship appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Shabana Walayat
Specialist Family Lawyer
and
Co-founder of
Shortlands Law Firm Ltd.

When parents split up, there are countless decisions to be made about the future arrangements for their children.

Chief amongst which is where the child will live, and with whom.

Depending on the child’s age and capacity for understanding the consequences of making decisions like this, the child can have a say in what happens to them, and all decisions taken must be in their best interests.

This leads on to the tricky area of having contact with the non-residential parent, and how this should be handled.

As long as the non-residential parent isn’t placing a child in danger, it is normally best for that child to maintain access to both parents after a divorce has been finalised.

This can be a hard area to navigate and many non-residential parents can come away feeling concerned that they will lose touch with their child as he or she grows up. Especially if the parents involved are living, or propose to live, in separate countries.

Here are some ideas to help you and your children stay in touch and maintain a good relationship, wherever you are in the world.

Digital links

High tech methods of staying in touch are game-changers for many families in this position. Emailing, texting, ‘skype-ing’ and phoning all allow for instant contact, with visual contact an added bonus if you can skype.

You may wish to pay for your child to have access to a phone, tab or PC to facilitate this contact, plus it will help them stay in touch with other friends and family from your local area if they are the ones who move further away.

Set up a regular time for you to call, email or text that is convenient for all parties. That ensures a continual contact routine, plus you can get in touch outside these times if you have something else to talk about that can’t wait.

Pigeon post

If digital contact is hard, or you are unable to make arrangements with your ex-spouse to facilitate this, then falling back on old fashioned pen and paper is a great way to let your

Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash

children know that you are still thinking about them and are there for them.

You can send postcards, letters and parcels, especially around celebrations such as birthdays or Christmas if you cannot be there in person. You may like to give your child a special box to keep your letters in. If you are worried that letters may not reach them for any reason, try sending them to another family member or store them up until you can see them in person.

Personal touch

Of course, the best form of contact is in person, seeing each other face to face and catching up on each other’s lives. Staying civil with the residential parent, and remaining sympathetic and supportive to their established routine will help with this.

The more flexible you can be, fitting in around their work commitments, school clubs, homework and social events, the more successfully you can co-parent at a distance. Remember, the child’s needs and feelings must come first.

Never give up

It may seem easier to simply walk away if you are being denied contact with your non-residential child, but this is far from the case. Your child will, more than likely, want to know who you are and to foster a relationship with you into adulthood.

If you stop trying to stay in touch, they may blame themselves or become extremely angry. Contact a family solicitor with experience in securing contact for non-residential parents who can help you secure meaningful, long-term contact.

Don’t forget that older children and teenagers will be increasingly able to seek a relationship with you by themselves as they gain independence. Make sure you remain findable e.g. on the electoral roll and on social media so that they can track you down later on.

Never use social media to criticise their other parent. When writing a post or replying to someone else’s, always think whether you would be happy with your children reading what you write, even if it is many years from now. Again, a family solicitor can offer you advice around keeping in touch with your older children.

About Shabana

Shabana is a co-founder of Shortlands Law Firm Ltd. She is a Specialist Family Solicitor and has vast experience in all aspects of family law cases.

She believes in adopting an approach which is not only sensitive and cost-effective but constructive with a view to reaching a settlement at an early stage of the case. She takes practical and decisive Court Action quickly when necessary.

Shabana is an Honorary Legal Advisor at the High Court’s Principal Registry of the Family Division where she offers pro bono advice on a regular basis for those who qualify. She is an SRA -Accredited Specialist Family Lawyer.

The post Keeping in Contact with your Children after Divorce appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Dan Woodruff
Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Wealth Manager

This article aims to answer the question: “How much does a divorce cost in the UK?”

To answer this question, we have used insight from divorce solicitor, Lauren Howard, of Holmes and Hills, based in Braintree, Essex.

We also examine divorce costs from a financial perspective – trying to look beyond the initial divorce, and more into the long-term effects on your finances.

Key points
  • What does the average divorce cost?
  • Cost of a divorce lawyer
  • Cost of a financial settlement or arrangements for children
  • Financial Planning after a divorce
  • About Lauren Howard
What does the average divorce cost?

Lauren Howard tells us: “Divorce is a very difficult time and can be very expensive. It is emotionally demanding and is life-changing. The emotional and financial costs can vary dramatically.”

According to the Money Advice Service, in 2018:

  • Approximately 42 in 100 marriages now end in divorce.
  • The average divorce cost in the UK stands at £14,561, in respect of legal fees and lifestyle costs.

The average divorce cost only tells you part of the story. According to Lauren, “When we think of the cost of divorce, we think about legal fees; however, there are also other costs involved. One party will often move out and if the family are supporting two homes instead of one, this can lead to considerable costs. If either party needs to buy a new home, then we need to consider the costs of sale and purchasing a new property.”

Cost of a divorce lawyer

What is the average cost of a divorce lawyer? It seems that the costs vary according to a number of criteria:

  • The location and experience of the lawyer
  • Whether you opt for fixed fees or hourly rates
  • Whether the divorce is contested
  • Whether you are the petitioner or the respondent
  • Complicating factors in your particular case

Lauren says, “The costs vary depending on what lawyer you use and your particular case. What everyone agrees on, however, is that it is the arguing that costs the money. The more you argue, the more expensive your divorce will be.”

Petitioner divorce costs

You are the petitioner if you are the person seeking the divorce.

Again according to the Money Advice Service, typically you will pay £450 to £950 in solicitor’s fees (+VAT), and £550 as court fee to issue the petition. Therefore, the total cost should be between £1,100 and £1,700.

For an uncontested divorce, Holmes & Hills Solicitors charge a set fee of £600, plus VAT, plus court costs. 

Respondent divorce costs

You are the respondent if your spouse is divorcing you.

Typically fees are lower for the respondent, and you will not need to pay the court fee to issue the petition. The range of solicitor’s fees are typically £250 to £600 (+VAT), making a likely fee of £300 to £720.

Reducing costs by doing the divorce yourself

You can save costs in the short term by not using a solicitor. You will still have to pay the court fee of £550 if you are the petitioner. Saving on legal fees may seem attractive, but you should also consider the risks of this approach:

  • Speed
    If you use a solicitor, you are much more likely to get the divorce completed without unnecessary delays.
  • Technical knowledge and wisdom
    Your divorce lawyer will have completed rigorous training and has experience in navigating the often complex legal system.
  • Getting it right first time
    You should avoid unnecessary mistakes that are more likely if you take on your divorce yourself.
  • Avoiding financial pitfalls
    Your divorce is likely to lead to some sort of financial settlement (see below). Your lawyer works for you, and can advise you as to whether any offer from the other side is fair. Without legal advice, you may accidentally enter into an agreement that could later damage your financial interests.
Cost of a financial settlement or arrangements for children

When you divorce, you not only have to pay to cease the marriage, but may also have additional costs related to your separation of assets, as well as arrangements for any children.

This is one area that can make the case more complex, based on your individual circumstances, and whether both parties agree.

Your divorce solicitor can help you to come to an agreement, and then assist you to incorporate that agreement into a legally binding document. According to the Money Advice Service, costs may vary, depending on the circumstances:

Simple agreement

Solicitor fees may be between £500 to £800 (+VAT), plus a court fee of £50. Therefore, the range of costs may be between £650 to £1,000.

Complex assets

If you have more complex assets, you may need more legal work. The total fee could be up to £1,500.

Mediation costs

You may opt for mediation if you are unable to come to a straightforward agreement with your spouse. The cost of this may be around £1,200.

Divorce court fees

If you are unable to agree on how to settle your financial affairs, or arrangements for the

Image by Speedy McVroom from Pixabay

children, then you may have to go to court to settle matters. This involves a significant increase in costs. The fees you will pay depend on the additional work done by your solicitor, and this is likely to be performed on an hourly rate rather than a fixed fee, mainly because the work is more difficult to quantify.

Total costs for legal work and court fees typically range between £10,000 and £15,000 (but can be greater).

Lauren reminds us of the value of good legal advice in contested cases: “Your solicitor should be able to provide you with a very good idea as to what you can achieve at Court, and hopefully therefore, you can reach a settlement and avoid Court proceedings.”

The implication is that good legal advice will help you to save money by avoiding unnecessary court-related fees.

Legal aid

Legal aid is quite limited for divorces. According to Lauren, “Legal Aid is available if you are on a very low income for mediation. Legal Aid is also available in some other circumstances, if for example there are concerns in respect of domestic violence.”

Financial planning after a divorce

The divorce cost does not end with the actual proceedings, and the legal end of the marriage. You should also think carefully about how the divorce will affect your future financial security. We explore this issue more in our divorce financial planning case study.

Separation of finances

At the basic level, you will undergo a significant change to your financial situation. When you were married, you would have shared lifestyle costs such as bills, and housing. When you divorce, you will need to budget for a completely new situation. Both parties will need to pay for separate housing, and your bills will change.

Preparing a new budget

As a minimum you should prepare a budget to understand how your finances will change once you have divorced. Your finances will become separate before you divorce, but this is not the end of the matter.

You should also consider how any financial settlement may impact your short-term and long-term future. Be careful to consider whether you are giving up long-term stability in exchange for short-term needs.

The family home

It is very common for the family home to form part of any financial settlement when you divorce. This inevitably means that there will be an impact on your finances. You may have to pay for a mortgage on an ongoing basis, or instead may need to fund a new home if the family home is to be sold.

 Maintenance

You may receive maintenance from your former spouse, particularly if you have children; alternatively, you may have to pay maintenance, if your income is greater than your former spouse.

Take account of the agreed schedule of payments: how much is due, and over what period.

You should consider what you will do when the maintenance stops. If you are receiving maintenance, will you be able to live comfortably? If you are paying maintenance, you may need to hold back certain financial decisions until a later date.

Pensions

Pensions are often one of the largest assets in a divorce settlement. Often pensions are greater value for one spouse than the other. In this case, it is common to pass part of the pension assets from one spouse to the other. This needs careful attention from a financial adviser, as important decisions will need to be made. Read more about pension options on divorce.

How financial planning can help with divorce costs

If you are getting divorced, you may benefit from having a clear view on what your future financial situation could look like. You will want to know that your future is secure and that you will have enough.

A divorce can be a financially challenging time and you will have a number of questions relating to things like the value of your pensions and those of your spouse. You will also be interested to know how much money you will need to maintain your existing lifestyle.

About Dan Woodruff

Dan Woodruff is a certified financial planner and chartered wealth manager with over twenty years’ experience as a financial adviser.

Woodruff Financial Planning helps you to navigate and anticipate significant life changes. Our aim is to help you to ensure your money is managed wisely to give you the financial security that will fund the future and lifestyle that is important to you.

Click here to find out how we help people who are getting divorced.

For more information, please visit Dan’s website.

The post How Much Does a Divorce Cost in the UK? appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Karim Assad
Partner in
Family Department of Fletcher Day

Breaking up is famously hard to do, but sadly it’s a fact of modern life and in reality it probably really is better than two people sticking in a relationship which has clearly run its course “for the children”.

When there are children involved, the law will put their needs right at the forefront during any divorce proceedings and, hopefully, both parents will do likewise.

It is, however also important to remember that parents need to take care of themselves in order to be able to take care of their children and that this includes their mental health as well as their physical health.

This can be particularly true for dads as they are often the ones who move out of what was the family home and have to deal with the notorious stress of moving home as well as the stress of the divorce and of becoming a “live-out dad”.

With that in mind, here are five tips on how dads can stay positive during divorce (which will also apply to unmarried couples with children who are going through a break up).

Get your employer on your side

You may want to keep it private that you are going through a divorce, but there is a big difference between telling your employer and telling your workmates.

If necessary you can usually bypass your line manager and go direct to HR, although in reality it may be helpful for your line manager to know your situation.

Most employers will be sympathetic and will do what they can to help, especially these days when employers, by and large, are becoming more aware of the importance of being able to balance work with family responsibilities.

Tell the people who need to know on your own terms

It may sound brutal, but in these days of the internet in general and social media in particular, it is probably going to be extremely difficult to keep rumours about your divorce out of general circulation for any length of time, especially not once you actually move out of the family home (in fact from that point on, you should probably take it as impossible).

Beat the internet gossips by telling the people who need to know on your own terms. This will be best for them and you.

Work on your physical fitness

There is a strong link between physical health and mental health so make time to work on your physical wellbeing (or to keep working on it if you are already active).

Image by HamiJeezy from Pixabay

Even if money is tight, there are many and various affordable ways to exercise regardless of whether you prefer to work out alone or as part of a group, at home or at a gym or outdoors.

If you are already a gym-goer and are thinking of giving up your membership to save cash, then make sure that you are being honest with yourself that this is the real reason (and not that you are making an excuse for losing motivation) and then make an informed decision about what it was you liked about the gym and how you could either take that with you or recreate it in another way.

For example, if you have your gym buddies, you can give them your contact details and keep in touch socially in another way, then use some of the money you saved on your gym membership to join an online gym class while exercising at home.

Keep eating properly

This is really picking up from the above point. Our eating habits can be massively influenced by our emotions, some people comfort eat, others lose their appetite.

Practicalities can play a role too, if you’ve moved out of the family home then your kitchen facilities may not be what they were and if you’re rushing about trying to navigate your way around a new routine, then it can be only too easy to skip meals or turn to junk food.

Compromising your diet can compromise both your physical and mental health so do your level best to eat the way you’d like to see your children eat.

The same comments apply to what you drink, excess alcohol is obviously to be avoided but you also want to steer clear of excess caffeine and of excess fizzing drinks especially of the sort which are advertised as energy drinks.

Consider some form of therapy to help you manage your emotions

Therapy can range from buying downloadable guided meditations (from reputable sources) to visiting online forums, to going to real-world support groups to having one-on-one sessions with a counsellor or therapist.

In fact, you may opt for a combination of any or all of the above depending on your situation, needs and wants. If budget is an issue, then your local GP may be able to help as mental health is now much more of a priority than it used to be.

Keep your eyes on the prize of maintaining a good relationship with your children

You’re breaking up with your ex not with your children. You will always be your children’s dad and nothing can ever change that. Keep this thought front and centre in your every decision and every action.

Hard as it may be, try to focus on what you can do rather than dwelling on what you can’t.

For example, instead of smarting over the fact that you cannot be there in person to read your children a bedtime story and then kiss them goodnight, focus on the fact that you can still read your children a bedtime story over the internet.

Nobody’s pretending that this is as good as being there in person, but it is a whole lot better than nothing and men who have to work away from home (for example members of the armed forces) often maintain good relationships with their children even when they’re at a distance by making sure that they are in regular contact with their children and playing a meaningful role in their lives.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE ARTICLES BY FLETCHER DAY

About Karim Assad

Karim Assaad is a partner in the Family Department of Fletcher Day.

Fletcher Day have an experienced team of family solicitors in London who specialise in divorce, civil partnerships, prenuptial agreements and financial settlements.

The post How Dads can Stay Positive During Divorce appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Linda Simpson –
Divorce and Parenting Consultant
Writer and Speaker

‘fame is no talisman against human pain ..adultery is still adultery’ wrote Julia Cameron in her book The Right to Write.

It was in reference to her very public divorce from Martin Scorsese in the 1970s and his very public affair with Liza Minnelli.

She goes on to describe the feeding frenzy on her grief. There was the gossip that exploded everywhere. Friends thought she should see everything written in the tabloids. All of it caused Cameron enormous pain and yet the gossip continued.

Unfortunately, divorce breeds gossip in our society. It happens whether your breakup was tabloid-worthy or just the talk of your hometown.

Although I am not a public figure, our family was reasonably well known in my hometown at the time of my divorce.

It was a traumatic divorce based on his secret life, deception and abuse. It didn’t fit with his public persona, so I made the choice to tell people the truth. I hoped it might head off gossip. It didn’t.  The gossip trickled into my life through every crevice in my battered psyche.

When I read Cameron’s account and recalled my own experience it made me wonder- why do people gossip over someone’s divorce misery?

My closest friends were a circle of love and support. But people I didn’t know or knew very casually had a different reaction.

Does emotional distance affect the need for gossip-something like reading a tabloid? What happens to our compassion I wonder? Perhaps the person is thinking -phew I am glad that is not me -or naively-my spouse would never do that. No doubt, there are many reasons. As Cameron observed – we are all real people in the divorce gossip story, with real feelings.

You can’t stop people gossiping. But what can you do about the gossip that inevitably finds you after your divorce?

Photo by Toomas Tartes on Unsplash

Prove to the people and the community that you are more than your divorce. How do you do that? Be big and bold in your post-divorce life. Cameron says “use your negative feelings as positive fuel’.   You do it in whatever way works for you. Julia Cameron got to work on a new script and the day after it was done she sold it to Paramount Studios.

I got to work on a project to work abroad for a year. It was a dream I’d had for some time. I had no idea how I was going to pull this project together but I went at it with the philosophy -You eat an elephant one bite at a time.

First and foremost, I wanted to make sure my sons supported the idea. They were young adults at the time. They were extremely supportive and excited about this opportunity.

There were many mountains to climb. After twenty-five years of marriage and being a couple, I was alone. This was my sole responsibility to make happen.

I wrestled with personal fear but gradually the excitement took over as my goal inched closer. It took me two years of meticulously checking off the ‘to do ‘ list.  My finances needed shoring up because like most people he left me with debts and commitments I had to fulfil.

I started getting more organized financially which was important given the project. After much planning, the day arrived. I filled two large duffel bags with a year’s worth of my life and boarded the plane. For a year there would be an ocean between me and my divorce.

The year abroad was life-changing. My future took shape. I began my writing career by writing a once a month travelogue for my hometown newspaper. I was slowly shaping a post-divorce me.

When I arrived in the country I knew no one. I made good friends quickly and travelled extensively. I learned to love the country and found out that my ancestral roots were there.

From that year experience, I was introduced to hill hiking. That led to a decade of organizing hiking trips and introducing many to the natural beauty of my adopted country.

The experience changed my life in many ways. There were many challenges and they helped rebuild my emotional strength. When I returned, I was not ‘the woman with the sordid divorce story’ but the woman who made the big bold decision to work abroad on her own for a year.

Every week, for the year following my return home, someone stopped me on the street to congratulate me and tell me they followed my adventures in the newspaper. I was more than another divorced woman with a salacious divorce story. I had successfully made a giant leap into my future.

Divorce is a detour and not a stop sign. Take control and fuel up your life with conviction. Write a brand new, exciting chapter in your life story.

If you are in need of a place to seek some advice on a way forward during separation and divorce please write to letterstolinda@thedivorcemagazine.co.uk – Reaching out is the first step. 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE ARTICLES BY LINDA SIMPSON  ABOUT LINDA SIMPSON

“I take strength from your calm, your honesty, and the hope you give me for my future.” Cheryl 

Linda is a fresh voice in the divorce advice world. She offers a pragmatic, common sense approach to life after divorce issues based on over twenty years surviving and thriving following a very traumatic divorce.

As a single parent, her sons are an enormous source of joy in her life. She is a loving mother and grandmother to four delightful grandchildren.

She holds a degree from the University of Waterloo with concentrations in sociology and philosophy and guidance counselling certification from Queen’s University.

She is an accredited trainer for The Peace Education Foundation, a leader in conflict resolution training. The institute is ‘dedicated to educating children and adults in the dynamics of conflict resolution and promoting peacemaking skills in home, schools, and community.’

In a long and successful teaching career, she also served as a counsellor and workshop facilitator for SEL (social emotional learning) programming and The Peace Education Foundation throughout her school and school district and was a frequent conference presenter for SUNY Potsdam Faculty of Education USA.

She writes for The Divorce Magazine UK and her blog is seen regularly on Huffington Post Canada where the focus is life after divorce and parenting issues.

She is a writer and poet and is presently at work on a book based on her divorce experience.

The post Be More than the Gossip after your Divorce appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Linda Simpson –
Divorce and Parenting Consultant
Writer and Speaker

My Mum depends on me too much. I know she is lonely. I know she feels cheated out of a life she thought was good. But she won’t stop talking to me about it. I am really sad my parents split. But my Dad is happy. He has a new girlfriend and they include me in a lot of things. He laughs and is so different from when we all lived together. I am beginning to hate coming back home to Mum. I love her but she needs to get a life.

You are experiencing something that happens to a lot of kids when their parents split.

Often there are members of the family – like you – that feel caught between the two people they love very much.

Let’s start with your Mum. It sounds to me like she didn’t expect this to happen. So there is a certain element of shock she is experiencing right now. She is also afraid for her future for any number of reasons. She might have financial worries. She might be afraid of being alone when you leave home. She probably feels very insecure about the future.

Her self esteem has taken quit a hit and she probably harbors fears she might never find the happiness your father has found. She sees you go off with your Dad and his new girlfriend and feels envious that he can offer something she can’t.

However, you are feeling burdened by her over sharing and there are a few ways to deal with it. You can begin by exerting some control over conversations.

When she starts to tell a story you may have heard several times, very gently but firmly say, ‘Yes Mum, I know that hurts. You’ve told me this story before.” Then change the conversation topic.

Likewise if the topic becomes too personal, you say gently but firmly, ” Honestly Mum , I feel uncomfortable with this topic. Let’s talk about ..then pick something that interests you both.

It is also helpful to be honest with your Dad. If he asks about your Mum, be honest. Tell him she is having some challenges. This is not said to make him feel guilty but to perhaps spread a bit of empathy. You don’t need to overshare but you don’t need to pretend either.

It is a lot to feel your Mum relies on you and there are a few proactive things you can do. You know your Mum’s interests. Look around the area to see where she might begin to get involved with others. Drop some hints.

If you feel comfortable talking to one of her good friends, then do so. Enlist their help. Perhaps between the two of you there is a plan to encourage some new activities in your Mum’s life.

You do not have to be your Mum’s counselor, but you can be her coach. As a coach you shift the focus from talking about the past to planning the future, which is much more fun.  Remember that as a coach, your Mum may need encouragement to take those baby steps into a new life. It also gives you a topic when you want to change the conversation channel.

Don’t overwhelm her with options. Pick one or two things that you know will be of interest.  Offer to either participate with her initially or ask one of her friends to go with her.

It is that first big step that is the hardest. Once your Mum starts doing things for herself, she will begin to develop some independence. It will also build her self-confidence.

Divorce is a shattering experience. Everyone in the family experiences the divorce in a different way. Your Mum needs to see and believe in a future. With love, support, and encouragement she can do that.

If you are in need of a place to seek some advice on a way forward during separation and divorce please write to letterstolinda@thedivorcemagazine.co.uk – Reaching out is the first step. 

MORE LETTERS TO LINDA 

Letters to Linda Disclaimer

ABOUT LINDA SIMPSON

“I take strength from your calm, your honesty, and the hope you give me for my future.” Cheryl 

Linda is a fresh voice in the divorce advice world. She offers a pragmatic, common sense approach to life after divorce issues based on over twenty years surviving and thriving following a very traumatic divorce.

As a single parent, her sons are an enormous source of joy in her life. She is a loving mother and grandmother to four delightful grandchildren.

She holds a degree from the University of Waterloo with concentrations in sociology and philosophy and guidance counselling certification from Queen’s University.

She is an accredited trainer for The Peace Education Foundation, a leader in conflict resolution training. The institute is ‘dedicated to educating children and adults in the dynamics of conflict resolution and promoting peacemaking skills in home, schools, and community.’

In a long and successful teaching career, she also served as a counsellor and workshop facilitator for SEL (social emotional learning) programming and The Peace Education Foundation throughout her school and school district and was a frequent conference presenter for SUNY Potsdam Faculty of Education USA.

She writes for The Divorce Magazine UK and her blog is seen regularly on Huffington Post Canada where the focus is life after divorce and parenting issues.

She is a writer and poet and is presently at work on a book based on her divorce experience.

The post Letters to Linda – Mum Needs to Get a Life appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview