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Barbara Johnson-Stern
Divorce Solicitor
Cordell and Cordell

Making the decision to end a marriage is not an easy one and can bring with it numerous considerations on top of significant emotional strain.

To assist in making the decision to end a marriage and all the key considerations more manageable and concise, we have mapped out the need-to-knows when it comes to the divorce process in a step-by-step format.

There is certainly much to consider when it comes to embarking on divorce proceedings but the information below should make the prospect of ending a marriage less daunting, with much-needed clarity to help make the process as manageable as possible.

From applying for a divorce to contesting a divorce petition, with regard to all key legislation and terminology, we map out the divorce process, what you can expect and how the process can be made simpler in our comprehensive guide.

The Divorce Process Explained: Step by Step

In England and Wales, a divorce can be granted to any couple who have been married for at least a year and whose marriage has irretrievably broken down.

This however is only possible if:

(1) their marriage is legally recognised in the UK; and

(2) at least one party to the marriage has a permanent home/residency in the UK.

Why Choose Lawyers in the Divorce Process?

Whilst it is not a compulsory measure, many couples deciding to end their marriage do choose to seek advice from lawyers during a divorce. This can be for numerous reasons, including:

  • an unfamiliarity with the legal process and a need for guidance and legal advice
  • support needed because of the emotional strain inherent in many relationship break-ups.
How to Apply for a Divorce

For anyone who is looking to apply for a divorce, a divorce petition must be issued. This is essentially a means of seeking permission from the courts to divorce. Whilst many couples decide to do so, it is not compulsory to seek and engage lawyers to assist with the divorce process.

A divorce petition must:

  • give details of the parties to the marriage
  • state the grounds on which a divorce is sought
  • provide evidence that the marriage has irretrievably broken down
  • be accompanied by the marriage certificate or another form of proof of the existence of the marriage.
Proving Irretrievable Breakdown

There are five possible ways of proving irretrievable breakdown:

(1) Two years’ separation if both parties to the marriage give written agreement to the divorce.

(2) Five years’ separation if both parties have not provided written agreement to the divorce.

(3) Adultery, which means that the petitioner’s spouse had sexual intercourse with a third party. It is not possible to rely on this ground if the parties to the marriage continued to live together for six months or more after the petitioner discovered the adultery.

(4) Unreasonable behaviour, which means behaviour making it unbearable for the petitioner to continue their marriage to their spouse. Domestic abuse, including emotional abuse, and alcohol or drug issues are commonly cited examples of unreasonable behaviour. It is important to note that this is a subjective test and many different behaviours could be classed as unreasonable.

(5) Desertion, which means that the petitioner’s spouse has abandoned them without good reason and without seeking their agreement. The period of desertion must be at least two of the past two-and-a-half-years.

Challenging a Petition

Whilst this is relatively unusual, anyone wishing to contest a petition, or who receives a defence to their petition, is best advised to seek legal advice if this hasn’t already been carried out.

Next Steps Decree Nisi

Following the issuing of the divorce petition, and providing the petition is undefended, the court will grant a decree nisi when it is satisfied that the petitioner is entitled to a divorce. The decree nisi is the precursor to the decree absolute.

Decree Absolute

This is a legal decree that officially dissolves the marriage and frees each party to marry another person should they wish to do so. The decree absolute can be applied for after six weeks and a day have elapsed since the decree nisi.

If the petitioner fails to apply for the decree absolute within four and a half months of receiving the decree nisi, the respondent is able to apply instead.

More articles from Cordell & Cordell

About Barbara Johnson-Stern

Barbara Johnson-Stern is proud to be a London divorce solicitor. She works hard to continually improve the level of service and representation given to her clients.

One of the biggest and most important aspects of her work is being prepared.  As Abraham Lincoln said it, ‘If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my axe.’ The vast majority of the work I do every day for our clients is sharpening the axe,” Ms. Johnson-Stern said.

“I think it’s essential that I’m prepared so that my clients are prepared to either reach a resolution or litigate. Preparation is essential in helping clients develop goals and develop strategy for how to reach those goals.”

cordellcordell.co.uk

Feature Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

The post A Step-by-Step Guide to the Divorce Process appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

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Hilary Sharpe
CEO and Founding Director of Family Focus Consultancy

Did you get divorced this week?  Do you know how many other couples did the same?

Well in 2016, sorry I don’t have the numbers for 2017, I guess it takes a while to calculate the figures, but if you did divorce in 2016 you were one of the 106,959 couples who also divorced. Yes, even I was surprised by the number. (Office for National Statistics)

That is a lot of people getting a divorce.  All those loving feelings no longer around, all those wishes and hopes, dreams for the future all now part of just that, dreams, that were once going to be reality and see you through to the sunset of your life.

Sorry to make you feel worse, but with an increase of divorce up 5.8%, from 2015, there are some hard choices you now have to make.

If you are lucky some aspects of your life will stay the same, work, bricks and mortar that you call home, friends – maybe, extended family – hopeful.

Sorry I am not painting a helpful picture, but things do not have to be so bleak.  Take for instance your children, yes children who suddenly take on a new existence, new needs, new wants and most importantly new demands.

Then you realise your role and job as a parent has changed, you are either no longer living with them each day, or caring for children alone.  Either way the role of a parent is different and dare I say it, scary.  Surely it cannot be that difficult, after all you know your children and they know you, so that is fine, nothing can go wrong, one less thing to worry about.

However, we all know that is not entirely true, caring for children is not the easiest job in the world and with changes come even bigger responsibilities, both on a practical level and an emotional level.

Dealing with divorce through the Courts is fraught with difficulties, not least the taking of sides, never easy and often it is the children who suffer and get lost in the myriad of he said/she said allegations.

The need for time out, to have space to think and work out how you really feel is not easy to find.  Years of experience has taught us having the space and opportunity to work out some of the issues about divorce and what happens to your children is crucial if children are not to struggle with this massive change in their life and, yours.

Acquiring new skills, you thought you may never really need, is an area that adults suddenly realise could be the difference between how often, or not, they see their children. The novelty can wear off very quickly when children are sleeping on a camp bed in the spare room, especially if this is a regular weekly occurrence.

Then your ex-partner tells you the children need more than a take-away, don’t give them fizzy drinks all the time and what about getting yourself organised if you want to see the children more often or take them on holiday, the list can go on and on.

There are not many programmes, or support, out there that offer divorced parents the opportunity to address the practical issues as well as the emotional issues of divorce. Support is at hand.

Your children need to have and should expect to have, both their parents still parenting them, as you did before the divorce, you also need to get on with your life and, juggling the two can be difficult but it can be done, just in a different way.

About Hilary

Hilary Sharpe is the CEO and founding director of FamilyFocus Consultancy an independent organisation offering range of support and training to families at times of need and crisis, hilary.sharpe@familyfocuslincolnshire.org.uk

Hilary has worked in social work for over 37 years and would still chose this as her career if starting all over again. The setting up of FamilyFocus was the result of a ‘menopausal hissy fit’ after hearing about the closure of a local Sure Start family centre. Prior to this she was working as an independent social work consultant and after moaning about this closure, felt she should stop moaning and do something about it herself –hence FamilyFocus.

FamilyFocus is a small, independence Community Interest Company, offering bespoke support and training for families at times of crisis and need. She has said ‘We offer good old fashioned family support, which means we have the time to listen and talk to families, helping them to make the changes they feel can work for their families.’

Hilary spent many years in residential work, followed by working in Fostering and Adoption teams as well as setting up a respite scheme for families who needed a short break whilst caring for their child with either physical or emotional needs. At one point she ran a residential unit for adolescent boys and girls, again by a voluntary independent agency, were supervision took the form of staff group psychotherapy as well as individual psychotherapy for Hilary, as the officer in charge.

Hilary has said ‘This was a new and exciting way of offering supervision at that time and, is still not seen as a way of offering supervision, but my experience of this was very positive and has a direct bearing on the way I work today.’

As an independent organisation we have the ability to contribute in a very significant way by providing services that public services just are not able to do so.   As a small organisation we are also able to specialise in areas that others are not able to do so, because of time restraints or simply because there is no specialism within teams. We are not governed by red tape, which gives us a flexibility to meet the needs of those who come to us for support.

Further details can be obtained from – enquiries@familyfocuslincolnshire.org.uk

Web: www.familyfocuslincolnshire.org.uk
Follow familyfocus on twitter @SharpeHilary

The post Co-Parenting – Did you get Divorced this Week? appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

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Kerry Smith
Head of Family Law
at K J Smith

Becoming a parent is the most joyous and rewarding moment of your life, but it can also be the most difficult challenge that you are ever tasked with, and if you separate from the parent of your children, you may well think that the task is about to get much harder.

However, this does not have to be the case and you can indeed manage as a single parent living without the other parent of your children, without the failure of your relationship having any form of negative impact on them.

Parenting Post-Divorce: Our Top 5 Tips

Although certain aspects of parenting may become harder being on your own and without the other parent of your children, our top tips will certainly go a long way in helping you to manage.

Here are our top five tips to parenting post-divorce:

Ensure that your Children aren’t Involved in any of your Disputes – Before, during and after a divorce, you are likely to have many disputes with your former partner, and this is very understandable.

However, one thing that you should always make sure of is that you never allow your children to be involved in any of the conflict. Not only can it have a big impact on your children, it can also damage the relationship that both you and your former partner have with them, and that is not good for anybody involved.

Take Advantage of Counselling – After a divorce, issues that you were suffering from can often stay with you, even if they are as a result of the marriage rather than just the divorce.

If you are suffering from any issues, then it may be wise for you to seek counselling in order to deal with those issues in the most effective way possible. By gaining support and advice from an expert, you will be able to move on from those issues, helping you to be a better parent to your children.

Make sure that the Children don’t blame themselves – One of the biggest worries as a parent going through a divorce is that the children will begin to blame themselves for your separation, which can cause them deep distress.

You should be looking to dismiss these thoughts as soon as you can, telling them that it was nothing to do with them or anything that they did, allowing them to focus on feeling like a normal child once again.

Be Civil with your Former Partner and Never Speak Badly of them – In order to move on from the relationship and any issues that you have previously suffered from, you should refrain from speaking badly of your former partner to anybody, especially your children, whilst also focusing on being civil whenever you come into contact with them.

Although you are likely to have issues with the other parent of your children, it is not fair on them for you to express them, as they still love them and look up to them. Voicing your issues is only going to cause further issues, and may well place a barrier between you and your children.

Work as a Parenting Team with your Former Partner – Your children should be the main priority and focus of both you and your former partner, so you should both do all that you can to do right by them.

The best way to do this is to set aside your issues and work together as a team to be good parents to your children, which is sure to enable them to have the best childhood possible.

ABOUT KERRY

Kerry Smith is the head of family law at K J Smith Solicitors, a specialist family law firm who deal with a wide range of issues including divorce, domestic violence, civil partnerships and prenuptial agreements.

The post Top 5 Tips for Parenting after Divorce appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

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Linda Simpson
Divorce and Parenting Consultant
Writer and Speaker

I was divorced over the past school year and our children are facing their first summer of divided holidays. How can I make sure that our children feel Ok with plans? What can I do to keep myself on track?

First of all include your children in plans if they old enough. Talk to them about the possibilities. They can go here with you and go there with your former spouse. What is the best arrangement for them?

Approach this conversation calmly. Your children’s first effort will be to try to say what they think you want to hear. Assure them that their preferences and opinion matter and you will do everything to make their wishes possible.

Take the opportunity to make it more than a question and answer chat. Too often in our busy lives, a family discussion can get rushed. The first for everything after a divorce is always the most difficult so you want to get it right. It will get easier.

But the most effective step is to ensure everyone knows the plans or possibilities and that they know them well in advance for these first post-divorce holiday plans.

Divorce creates an element of uncertainty in a child’s life. They have probably entertained the notion they are somehow to blame for the divorce. The last thing they need right now is uncertainty for what should be some fun planning a holiday.

Communicate with your X what your preferences are but be open to negotiation within reason. You set the tone.  Make sure that whatever is planned is fair and equitable for both sides. It may mean that the equity is not possible during the summer holiday for a variety of reasons that can’t be changed- work holidays being an example.

So an alternate plan or rebalancing can happen at the next school holiday. Negotiate, compromise and let your children see that you and your former spouse can make decisions for the greater good of the family even after a divorce. Explain these negotiations to your children so they understand there will be a give and take.

The more that you and your X endeavour to work together without any arguing, the greater the chance that the holidays will go smoothly for everyone. Children of divorce do not need more worry arranging summer holidays.

Once arrangements have been finalized then you can begin to organize what you will do while your children are away.

This is the time to be good to yourself. Divorce is traumatic. You have probably expended an enormous amount of energy adjusting to the new circumstances after the divorce. So plan something special for yourself- whatever the budget allows. If it means a holiday with friends then enjoy it. If it means a staycation and local museums and fairs then enjoy that too.

One of my great joys in life is traveling alone. I have met the most interesting people because I am not with anyone who absorbs my attention. I am free to talk to the person beside me on the plane or the people beside me at the picnic table in the park. Being on your own opens up a whole new field of possibilities.

It’s a new life with many new challenges. View it as a time with many new opportunities as well. If you are in control of your own life then your children will be able to breathe out and enjoy life too.

Whatever it is that you need help, advice or support  with contact Linda at letterstolinda@thedivorcemagazine.co.uk.  We will never print your name nor email, nor add you to any mailing list.

MORE LETTERS TO LINDA  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 – Co-parenting Over the Summer Holidays appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

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Bradie Pell
Partner and Head of Family Law Department at Graysons

A fifth of unstable marriages in the Yorkshire region are held together due to concerns over children, new research suggests.

In a survey conducted by Graysons Solicitors, 22.3% of respondents said their children would be the main factor holding them back from instigating divorce proceedings, despite a breakdown in their marriage.

This comes after researchers established a link between poor handling of a marriage breakdown on the part of parents and a subsequent increased risk of health disorders in their children — including gastrointestinal and neurological issues.

Fear of losing financial security was also cited as a reason to reconsider ending the marriage, which echoes previous research showing the more time or money that has been invested in a relationship, the more likely a couple is to stay in it.

And for some, the fear of being alone was enough of a deterrent to stop them filing for divorce (7.5%) — a trend also reflected by findings from a psychological study.

But despite recent figures suggesting a downward trend in divorce, a large proportion of respondents said that none of the options offered as reasons to save their marriage — which also included family and peer pressure and concern over the loss of assets — would stop them from instigating divorce proceedings.

What our findings appear to suggest is that, although many of the common reasons for wanting to make a marriage work still stand, couples whose marriage is in crisis might feel divorce is the only option.

However, while wanting to protect your children and finances from the impact of divorce is understandable, neglecting to address issues within an unhappy marriage can often do more harm than good. Research has found that even the brains of children as young as six months can identify and be adversely affected by parental conflict.

We would advise couples to communicate with each other, right from the outset of the relationship.

Small misunderstandings can snowball into serious issues. Tackling them early can save a lot of emotional and financial hardship. Marriage guidance and counselling for couples is available should an independent party be needed to help address issues within the relationship.

If, after exploring all avenues, couples make the difficult decision to divorce, it is important that the lines of communication remain open so that issues such as financial matters and care of children can be addressed as swiftly and amicably as possible.

Survey data

Loss of financial security – 11%
Family and peer pressure – 3.8%
Children – 22.3%
Fear of being alone – 7.5%
Concern over loss of assets – 4.9%
None of the above – 60.1%

About Bradie

Bradie is a partner and the head of the family law department at Graysons.

With significant experience in family law, Bradie deals with the whole spectrum of legal issues that affect families, including divorce, separation, finances, injunctions and children matters.

She is also able to advise on pre and post nuptial agreements, separation agreements and cohabitation agreements.  Having worked throughout South Yorkshire during her career, her empathy and dedication to her work has led to a loyal following of clients.

She is a member of Resolution and, confident and experienced in standing up in court, carries out most of her own advocacy. Bradie is on the Family Law Panel, which works exclusively with Resolution members and is highly rated on the independent website, VouchedFor.

The post Children: The Main Reason Warring Couples in Yorkshire Stay Together appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

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Linda Simpson
Divorce and Parenting Consultant
Writer and Speaker

He had a closet full of secrets and now I had to move forward alone. My whole marriage had been a threesome or more unbeknownst to me.

His rationale-family life was never impacted because what he did outside the family home did not matter to him.

In his words when he walked through the door he flipped a switch to be husband and father. What?

How do you disavow trust in any relationship? He believed it didn’t matter because nobody knew about it. What about the persona you present to those same people—that presumed you were trustworthy? In his mind, he was blameless.

No one I knew at that time, nearly thirty years ago, had ever had to figure out this kind of deception. Where did I begin on the heels of the years of emotional abuse?

Very badly is the short answer. I got angry at the deception, at the years of abuse, at being the innocent party to living a lie all of my married life. Living a lie not because I chose to live a lie but because I was the victim. I had no choice in the history I was now given at the end of our marriage.

I call it my ‘burning bed’ of words. They spewed out of me for nearly a year- a very dark night of my soul. Could I say the worst things to him via voicemail and tell everyone what he did to our family? Could I make him feel remorse? Turns out I could and did say the worst but did he feel remorse? Not likely. In his dismissive words after the divorce –all just water under the bridge.

I finally reached a place where I knew I had to claw my way back to respectability, let go of the past and reclaim my dignity.

I was still seeing my counsellor. Fortunately I was in good hands and she knew what she was doing. Just who was I, this person that had been deemed so inferior by my former husband?

Slowly I began to see some worth. My life started to take on new meaning. I had a circle of unfailing family love and a career that offered enormous satisfaction but ultimately this was my personal struggle.

Many career opportunities and challenges gave me a place I could go in my mind to rest from the trauma of the abuse. It had seeped into fibre of my being. I frustrated family and friends because everyone is on their own timeline to heal. Thankfully they were forgiving.

There was not a lot of reading material and certainly nothing but one book to address the type of deceit I’d lived. For the rest of my recovery I had to rely on my own ingenuity hunting books in bookstores.

I found the books I needed and have written about them in detail in other postings. My journal became my new best friend. My journal and my words were the marker for my emotional growth.

Betrayal of this magnitude is a huge mountain to climb. I spent time beating myself up for such stupidity. Why had I always believed him?

Eventually my life started to be less about what was done to me and more about me and my future.  I remember very clearly the last time I cried about what had happened to me. A song- it’s always a song- isn’t it?

Tears were streaming down my face for the loss- the loss of what I thought I had, the loss of my innocence because my marriage had been a sham, the loss of our history and our future as I thought it would be, and the profound loss of misguided belief in another person whom I deeply loved. Me, him, us, our family were all in the tears that trickled down my cheeks that night.

On to my future.

Life started to speed up in a variety of ways. New opportunities presented themselves both personally and professionally. I began to see that what had happened to me, in many ways, saved me.

As painful as it was, it forced me to finally grow up. It forced me to be independent and self-sufficient. I was worthy because I believed it and not because of anyone’s validation.

Dating was a whole new hurdle. I had to get over my embarrassment of telling dates why my marriage ended. If I thought I had been stupid what would they think? But eventually that faded too. The layers of the old were shedding. A weight was being lifted.

He’s an old man now, living a very comfortable life, and to my knowledge quite unrepentant for his deceit and abuse all those years ago.

I have created opportunities for myself that would not have been possible had my value and worth as a person continued to be insidiously sabotaged. I have an inner happiness never previously experienced and a treasured circle of love. And I know unequivocally, that his leaving was the greatest gift he ever gave me.

Part 1: – Emotional Abuse – Silent and Unseen

LETTERS TO LINDA  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 Coping with Divorce: My Whole Marriage had been a Threesome Unbeknownst to me appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

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Linda Simpson
Divorce and Parenting Consultant
Writer and Speaker

Toward the end of the second decade of my marriage, he surprised me with a 40th birthday party.

My underlying thought from that night was that he must really love me. I could not understand why I might have doubted him. It is only from this vantage that I see what came before and the emotional deterioration of our life together afterward.

That party, that year and that place in time marked the turning point in retrospect. I was thrilled at the surprise party, seeing friends I hadn’t seen in a long time. All the while he assumed the dutiful, loving husband to the group.

My 40th birthday became a more sinister turning point. He implied I was now old, I looked old and that diminished him in public for me to look so old.

It was also time for me to push toward finally obtaining my undergraduate degree. I had taken courses for years but now it was time to make a firm commitment.

What happened then was later admitted as his goal. I was diminished with every course I took. Not only was there enormous isolation and pressure to be doing my degree by correspondence, the online education of its day, but my abilities were constantly scrutinized. Essays were dismissed. I didn’t write well and I probably wasn’t smart enough to complete my degree.

He began a curious public display of affection. He’d stand behind me and put his hands right around my neck. Almost daring himself.

He started finding reasons to be away from home for long stretches. Where work had been strictly 9 to 5 before, it now required many evenings ‘at the office.’ If I felt mentally alone, I now felt physically alone as well.

Piece by piece my psyche was being shredded. But in the midst of it, an older friend became my mentor. She knew what abuse looked like and she told me I needed a counselor. She knew the best one and directed me to her.

His reaction? He smirked. For the next 2 ½ years, through my subsequent separation and divorce this social worker kindly and thoughtfully put me back together.

In the death throes of our marriage, I had a home accident that resulted in a large cut to my hand. He stood there, stared at me, didn’t help me up or get anything to help clean up the blood. Then just walked away. The unsaid was I don’t care about your wellbeing anymore and haven’t for a long time. You are on your own.

Emotional abuse is a systematic destruction of a person. The perpetrator knows you well, knows all your insecurities, and knows where to stick those emotional knives for best effect. There are sly, clever daily emotional assaults all to cause a state of disequilibrium.

It’s a bit of a game too, because later I discovered he’d subversively invited one of his latest paramours to several social gatherings at our place. He would shift the conversation during the course of the evening to expound his disdain for a friend’s marital unfaithfulness.

In the final months of our marriage I found out our whole life together had been built on secrets and lies. It was a relationship that stretched back to high school some thirty five years previous.

We met when were we were in our early teens and more or less dated until we married ten years later in our early twenties. I realize we both never really grew up emotionally. In many ways we behaved as teenagers until the day we parted some twenty-five years later. We went through the motions of being adults but there was an emotional immaturity in our relationship from beginning to end.

All the insecurities we experience as teenagers followed me to the end of the marriage. He had always held the power and I never challenged that. The emotional abuse was just an extension of his power. In many ways he did it because he could. During the years of abuse I was complicit because I allowed him to treat me as he did.

There had never been any fidelity toward me I discovered in those dying days of the marriage. There was always another in his closet. There were at least three in our crowded marriage from our wedding day.  My counselor said don’t ever feel sorry for him because he made the choices that brought about the demise of our marriage.

I did not fight back initially because I wanted what had been. I lived this teen fantasy that my marriage was idyllic. He turned to abuse as a pathway out the door.

Years of anger and frustration were about to pour out. We all have times in our lives where we lose our dignity and a certain animal instinct takes over. The next stage was the painful birthing of a new me.

Part 3 : Revenge, Renewal, Rebirth (Coming Soon)

LETTERS TO LINDA  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.

Feature Photo by Claudia on Unsplash

The post Emotional Abuse is a Systematic Destruction of a Person appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

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Charis Rooks
Author and Speaker

Divorce is complicated; there are no two ways about it.

Knowing what to do after a divorce is not something that comes naturally to everyone and often times help is needed. Some women are able to pick up the pieces and start over fresh with little to no help while others struggle to find a direction that works for them.

There are some helpful tips however that can make your journey after divorce easier and happier overall.

It is important after divorce to first and foremost focus. Making a vision board to help focus on what you want to accomplish in the long run is a great start.

Lists can be a great help as well to give structure to your days and help you figure out just what needs to be done. Another great way to focus is by taking the time to really think about what you want in life then determine what needs to be done to accomplish those goals.

Positive affirmation is another great way to maintain focus. Every time you accomplish something, no matter how small, take the time to feel good about doing so and to really applaud yourself. Everyone needs a pat on the back every now and again to help keep the progress going.

One of the easiest ways to lose focus is to stop feeling good about yourself and to stop feeling good about what you have been able to accomplish thus far.

Even the smallest victories are still victories.

Setting goals and adjusting them as you go, even setting new ones as you complete the old goals at hand is also a fantastic way to create a vision of the life you want after divorce.

Do not be afraid to aim high, you are far stronger than even you can imagine.

Taking the time to focus on your future, to create a vision that is going to help propel you forward, and taking the time to focus on yourself is the best way to make the life you have dreamed of after divorce.

Click here for more articles by Charis Rooks

ABOUT CHARIS ROOKS

After her second divorce, Charis decided that it was time to do something not only for herself but also for other women going through similar struggles.

As a survivor of divorce, Charis knows all about the lies and confusion that come with divorce. Though divorce does eventually end, the emotional scars and stress that come with a difficult divorce do not.

Charis is passionate about speaking the truth to women who are caught in the endless cycle of struggle after divorce and she encourages them to share their stories to help provide not only counseling for themselves but also support for others.

Charis does not limit her time to Draw for Women but also reaches out in other ways.

She is an accomplished and published author, having penned God Rarest Diamonds: A Proverbs Life after Divorce Devotional for women and Coming Soon- The 30 Day Life after Divorce Prayer Challenge for Women, which provides encouragement, support, and spiritual enlightenment to those who are struggling, helping readers bring peace to their life journeys. In addition to Draw for Women and writing,

Charis has a personal life that is as full as her professional life.

Charis is married to a wonderful man and is the mother of two talented and beautiful daughters.

Charis earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Technical Management with a concentration in Small Business and Entrepreneurship- Magna Cum Laude in Spring of 2016 and is currently pursuing her MBA.

When she is not working or studying, Charis loves to read, write, and travel. Charis is a dedicated individual who wants nothing more than to share her ideas, experiences, and knowledge to help other women who are struggling with divorce to become comfortable with themselves and with the state of their lives again. 

Facebook: http://facebook.com/draw4women

Twitter: Charis Rooks @draw4women

Instagram: Draw4Women

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

The post Knowing What to Do After a Divorce appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

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Linda Simpson
Divorce and Parenting Consultant
Writer and Speaker

My X husband waited until after we were married to try and convince me he didn’t want to have children. I reluctantly agreed to his decision. Then I heard he had a child with another woman and we are divorcing. I am devastated. I know I want a family and only agreed to please him. How can I ever get over this anger?

Betrayal is bitter. There is no way round this situation. However, you can deal with it and move on.

You will find yourself going through the stages of grief and your goal is to reach a personal place of acceptance.

To begin have a good look at your marriage and relationship. In reality, if you look closely at your marriage, there were probably more reasons than the disagreement over having children that were stumbling blocks.

Betrayal is not usually a one off incident in a relationship. There are threads of discontent that weave throughout.

Your relationship might have had other flaws and it would be helpful to look closely at what else might have been missing. Frame it with the ‘what if we had a family, would I have felt complete with him?’ Or ‘What if he had kept this other family secret?’ Here at trusted friend or counselor can help you sift through those elements of your relationship.

Letting go of any anger is essential at this stage. You cannot change what has happened. You do not want to drag that anger into a new relationship. So spend some time working on yourself.

Do the things that make you feel good and if at all possible avoid any destructive behaviour. Frustration is a powerful emotion and it needs to be tamed. You have no control over what he has done. The very positive aspect of control is that neither does he have control over your choices in your new life.

Your divorce gives you the opportunity to start fresh. It has given you much more clarity in what you want in a partner. However, word of caution, make sure you don’t spend that important getting to know you time with someone new focused on the betrayal of your marriage. Make sure that is truly dealt with in your own mind before you begin anything new.

You have much to offer a person in a new relationship. To the right person, someone who is clear in their desire to have a family, as you are, will be an attractive character feature. You will ensure that any conversation about having children happens before the relationship gets serious.

Your marriage was a learning experience- as difficult as it was to live through. It taught you what you do not want to happen in any future relationship.  Now you have control over your path forward.

Your X husband has moved on in his life and made his own choices and so must you. You have learned much from this experience. Use those lessons to create the future you want it to be.

Whatever it is that you need help, advice or support  with contact Linda at letterstolinda@thedivorcemagazine.co.uk.  We will never print your name nor email, nor add you to any mailing list.

MORE LETTERS TO LINDA  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 – He Lied that he Didn’t Want Children appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

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Vanessa Fox
Partner and Head of
Family Law Keebles

In a divorce, the Respondent is asked to sign and return the Acknowledgment of Service – a document with a series of questions which the court sends to the Respondent with the divorce petition.

The Respondent is required to answer the questions and sign and return the document to the court.

In my extensive experience, respondents frequently fail to return the document to the court.

What happens next depends on what ground for divorce – which I have outlined below – you have used:

Adultery: the Respondent has to sign the acknowledgement unless you have a signed confession statement before the petition was issued.

If the Respondent refuses to sign, and you do not have a clear photograph of the other party having penetrative sex with another person of the opposite sex, you won’t get your divorce. You will have to amend your petition to another ground, which involves an application to court.

Behaviour: the Respondent doesn’t have to sign the acknowledgement – his or her solicitor can sign it. If no one signs it and returns it, you have to obtain a set of papers from the court for personal service, pay for an enquiry agent to give the papers to the other party, file a statement proving that that took place from the enquiry agent, wait 14 days, then apply for a decree nisi – which you will get.

2 years’ separation with consent: the Respondent must sign the acknowledgement or you will not obtain a divorce on this ground.

5 years’ separation: provided you can prove that the other party received the divorce papers, by arranging for the papers to be given to him or her by an enquiry agent, you will be able to apply for your decree nisi.

Making the right choice of ground is crucial. Behaviour as a ground is the best option if you have not been separated for long and you know that your ex is going to be difficult.

Click Here for More Legal Articles by Vanessa Fox

About Vanessa

Keebles partner, Vanessa Fox, has been head of the firm’s family law department since 1991.

The latest edition of the Legal 500 Guide praises Vanessa for her ‘broad knowledge of finance and childcare, and for her passion for collaboration; she is efficient, caring and robust’.

Collaboratively trained and a qualified mediator, Vanessa is a former chair of South Yorkshire Resolution and a member of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel and the Children Panel.

She can be contacted on 0114 290 6232 or at www.keebles.com.

The post My Ex is Ignoring the Acknowledgement of Service? appeared first on The Divorce Magazine - TDM.

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