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Wevorce by Wevorce Team - 4M ago

Among the many assets a divorcing couple has, there is usually a house where the couple lived. If the house was bought during the marriage, the house is usually considered a marital asset (depending on where the purchase money came from) and therefore the house’s value will be divisible in the divorce.

If a house was purchased before the marriage it may be considered non-marital property unless the house becomes marital property via a mortgage refinance or by putting both parties on the deed. If either of those events happens, the house may become marital property no matter when and how the house was originally paid for.

The problem with dividing a house’s value is that a house is not a liquid asset. Each party to a divorce cannot just walk away with half of the house. Also, usually one party wants to keep the house…especially if the kids are registered in the house’s school district.

So, how do you divide the equity (value – outstanding mortgage) of a house in a divorce?

Just Put the House up for Sale

If someone buys the house, that’s exactly what the house is worth. The two parties divide the proceeds after paying off the mortgage, the closing costs, and the realtor.

If one of the parties desperately wants to keep the house but cannot refinance the house in their own name and pay the other party some share of the equity then a judge will just order the house be sold. Sadly, there is no other way.

If refinancing and buy out are not an option at the time of the divorce, the parties can simply delay the sale of the home and divide the proceeds later.

When the sale of the house is reserved, whoever is staying in the house is usually responsible for all the expenses of the house until the sale. The equity that is built from mortgage payments during this period will often be allocated to the person actually paying the mortgage post-divorce.

Real Estate Agent Valuation of the House

There are two different types of professionals who use two different systems for determining a house’s value: real estate agents and appraisers.

Real Estate agents do a comparative market analysis of the home. A comparative analysis compares the house with three other similar houses which are either currently for sale or have been recently sold.

The comparative market analysis determines the price that the house should be listed at for sale. Is that the value of the house? Probably not.

Listed price will often get reduced after negotiations with potential buyers. That’s the real value of the house.

Appraiser Valuation of the House

A licensed appraisal is totally different in quality and comparison to a comparative market analysis.

A licensed appraiser does not do a simple “back of the envelope” comparison between a few similar properties. An appraisal is more of a science that takes in hundreds of variables instead of just three other houses’ prices. The housing crisis of the early 2000s has strictly regulated this process.

Because of the non-comparative, up-from-the-ground analysis of a house’s value, the appraisal price is usually much lower than the comparative market price.

One note about appraisals: they cost money up front. Comparative market analysis is a quick estimate real estate agents will do in the hopes of being hired.

Comparative Market Analysis or Appraisal?

The appraisal will always win in court over a comparative market analysis. Appraisers are licensed professionals using a strict system. Comparative market analysis is just too driven by the whims of the market.

Offsetting Other Marital Assets

Houses do not have to be sold and the value divided. Often one party can keep some other asset that has an equivalent value of the portion they would have received if the house had been sold.

Most typically, this is done by one party keeping the house and the other party keeping an equivalent value of a retirement account like a 401k or a pension. When this happens, it should be kept in mind that a house’s value often has no capital gains taxes if sold while a 401k is pre-tax income and the values should be adjusted accordingly upon division.

About the Author: Russell Knight is a divorce and family law attorney in Chicago, Illinois. For over a hundred family law articles about Illinois law, specifically, visit www.rdklegal.com.

The post Valuing a Home In A Divorce appeared first on Wevorce.

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It’s been said that healing isn’t linear. Well, we’ve found that sometimes the divorce process isn’t, either.

In our years helping families, we’ve found that couples often need access to mediators, financial experts, and a variety of educational resources — to help them navigate the process with kindness and fairness. And oftentimes, the expense of divorce can be overwhelming. But we believe a kinder divorce should not be cost-prohibitive.

Increased Support, Affordability

To help provide the necessary support to families, we are making some adjustments to our pricing model and services in the weeks ahead.

For starters, we are now offering a subscription option for families who may not be able to afford a single, larger payment as they begin their Wevorce. This new subscription model is $199 for the first month, then $99 each following month for as long as you need. This includes up to three hours of mediation per month, and documents are included. Learn more by visiting our Product Pricing page. Please stay tuned as we roll out additional services in the coming weeks.

Share Your Story

Additionally, we’d like to say thank you to the one million people who have trusted us to help them find their way through a kinder divorce experience. Watch the video below to hear Wevorce CEO Michelle Crosby share how we got here and our mission moving forward.

If you would like to help, we are offering our new co-parenting coaching plan (for free) to the first 100 families who call 1-855-WEVORCE and share their divorce story (anonymously, if you choose).

Our Children and the Air We Breathe: Co-Parenting Workshop

If you’ve ever wondered if it’s possible to co-parent with grace — even while divorcing and separating lives, you’re not alone. Next week, we will be holding a co-parenting workshop in our Boise offices — designed to help co-parents reframe our thoughts and actions so as to focus on our children and their future. 

This will be a time to learn from a professional how to parent (and co-parent) honestly and kindly. You will have the opportunity to sample ideas and guidance and be challenged to focus on what works and to overcome events you may find difficult as a single parent and a co-parent.

This event is free to attend (either in-person or via a Facebook live stream), but please RSVP here.

We invite you to join us in helping to provide a better legacy for the next generation.

The post “D.I.we” — A Better Way + More Resources for Families appeared first on Wevorce.

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Substance abuse and drug addiction are issues that affect many families all across the United States. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 24 million Americans are currently suffering from some form of drug or alcohol addiction. This is an issue that affects people of every background — including parents.

Suspected substance abuse and/or illicit drug use could become an issue in a child custody or child visitation case. In certain circumstances, a family court may order drug testing of a parent. Though the law varies somewhat from state to state, family courts around the country are generally tasked with protecting the best interests of children.

How Family Courts Handle Drug Testing

It is not the role of a family court to ‘punish’ a parent for substance abuse, even if that substance abuse involves the use of illegal drugs. In accordance with the relevant state laws, a court has a duty to protect the safety, health, and overall well-being of children. Whether a family court will require drug testing depends entirely on the specific situation. In some cases, one parent will make allegations against the other parent. In other cases, a family court may decide to order drug testing on its own. Notably, the standards for requiring drug testing can vary from court to court.

In emergency situations, a concerned parent has the legal right to seek a temporary order from the court. In attempting to obtain such an order, the parent should be prepared to present compelling evidence that indicates that their child’s other parent should be drug tested. Generally, the judge will consider the evidence presented and determine how drug testing will be conducted, if it is to be conducted at all. Family courts generally favor the least intrusive type of drug testing that is appropriate for the given situation. A urine sample test is the most common type of drug testing required by family courts. Though other tests, including hair follicle tests and blood sample tests, may be ordered as well.

The Results are In: What Happens Now?

All child custody and child visitation cases are complex. Family law courts will always assess the results of a drug test with an eye on the totality of the circumstances. Some judges will enter a temporary order after a drug test; whereas others will require a subsequent hearing. A failed drug test does not automatically mean that a parent will lose their custody or visitation rights. Similarly, passing a drug test does not automatically mean that the court will drop the issue entirely.

That is not to say that the results of a drug test are unimportant. Quite the contrary, a failed drug test will have a major impact on a parent’s family law case. A judge may even decide to enter a temporary order against the parent — requiring supervised visitation or otherwise restricting their parental rights simply because they failed one drug test. Still, in all custody and visitation cases, the deeper context matters. Family courts handle these issues on a case-by-case basis.

About the Author: Modern Law is a family law team carefully crafted with individuals who all love what they do and have a deep-seated commitment to clients going through stressful and emotional situations. When you have hit the last straw, call Modern Law.

The post [INFOGRAPHIC] Drug Testing in Family Courts: Understanding the Basics appeared first on Wevorce.

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When you get married, you promise until death do you part. Unfortunately, this isn’t always how it ends. More than 780,000 marriages ended in divorce in 2017.

While the number of divorces has declined over the years, it is still a real issue that people may find themselves dealing with. Things can get even more complicated when you combine divorce and mortgage payments.

Divorce is already an emotionally charged situation. When you add the division of property, emotions can rise even more. The good news is, if you can come to an agreement logically, you can find an agreement that will work best for everyone involved.

What are your options when it comes to the family home? This will depend on the factors involved. There are a couple of options to look into when it comes to dealing with a mortgage while getting a divorce.

Divorce and Mortgage

How you deal with your home during a divorce will depend on many factors.

  • How much do you owe on the mortgage?
  • Is either person able to take on the financial responsibility on their own?
  • Are there children involved?
  • How well can both parties work together to come to an agreement?

Of these factors, the biggest consideration is how much you still owe on the mortgage. What you can do with your home will depend on whether you have any equity in the home or not.

Options if You Have Equity in the Home

If you’ve paid down enough of the mortgage, you have a couple more options available to deal with dividing the equity involved. The option you choose will depend on some of the other factors involved.

Option 1: Selling the House

If both parties agree, you have the option to sell the property and divide the profits between you. This is the least stressful option available when dealing with a home during a divorce.

For this option, both people will have to agree to the sale since both names are on the mortgage. You will need to set the price where you can pay off the rest of the mortgage owed. Whatever profit is left after the mortgage is paid off is equally divided between both people.

Option 2: Refinancing the Mortgage

If you have children or one person is attached to the home, refinancing a mortgage is an option. For this option to work, you can’t owe more on the mortgage than the house is worth.

The refinancing process involves the person that wants to keep the property refinancing so the property is only under their name. This is important to ensure the other person isn’t held responsible if mortgage payments are late.

The person refinancing will need to have the ability to finance the property with their income alone. The person refinancing is then solely responsible for the payments. This can sometimes lower the mortgage payments as well.

Option 3: Quitclaim Deed

A quitclaim deed is an agreement to turn over all legal claim to the home to the person keeping the property. If you are refinancing a home in your own name, it’s a good idea to get a quitclaim deed as part of the agreement.

The person that signs over the deed has no legal claim to the property. The lender can still hold them responsible for late payments though. This is why it’s a good idea to combine this option with the refinancing option.

Keep in mind, if you sign a quitclaim deed, you have no monetary claim if the other person decides to sell the property later. This is an important consideration when deciding the best option.

Options if You Still Owe too Much to Sell

If you still owe too much on the mortgage to have equity in the home, you won’t have the option to sell the home. This means you’ll have to find another way to deal with the dual-owned property when getting a divorce.

Option 1: Complete a Short Sell

If you owe too much on the mortgage to sell the house outright, you might still have the option to short sell the property. A short sell is when you set up an agreement to cancel the rest of the debt.

With a short sell, the lender has to agree to accept less than the full value of the home. They also have to agree to cancel the remaining debt on the property.

While this option removes the mortgage burden, it does affect your credit score negatively. You may also have to claim the canceled debt as income on your tax return.

Option 2: Rent Out the House

Another option if you owe too much to sell is to rent out the house until you’ve paid the mortgage down enough to sell. This option will require cooperation between both parties in the divorce.

Since the mortgage is still in both people’s names, both are responsible for maintenance, upkeep, and property tax on the home. If you choose this option, it’s important to write up an agreement to deal with the responsibilities assigned to each owner.

Other Considerations

While it’s sometimes difficult to come to an agreement during a divorce, dealing with a mortgage agreement during a divorce is one place where you need to agree. Failing to deal with a mortgage situation can lead to further financial headaches for both parties.

The best way to deal with mortgage issues is to take care of any agreements before finalizing a divorce. This is something that a divorce lawyer can help you work through. Coming to an agreement before the divorce is complete will cut down on the possibility of trickery or shady dealings later on.

Letting a lawyer help you work through the agreement will also help cut down on financial burdens for both parties. You should work out a deal that deals with all payment and division issues as soon as possible.

How to Find Divorce Support

When dealing with divorce and mortgage issues, it’s important to get all the help you can. Before you make a decision, it’s important to find out what option will work for everyone.

If you find yourself needed additional support during the divorce process, contact us for additional resources.

About the Author: As a writer at Redfin, Angie enjoys writing about real estate trends, home decor, and financial topics. She finds her inspiration by staying up to date with the ever-fluctuating housing market of Seattle. In her spare time, Angie enjoys spending time with her family and exploring her city.

The post Divorce and Mortgage Payments: Everything You Need to Know appeared first on Wevorce.

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Wevorce by Wevorce Admin - 5M ago

Getting a divorce can be physically exhausting and frightening. It’s life-altering, filled with decision making and turbulent emotions. And, it’s not a journey you should take alone.

Having a support system in place before, during and after can give you a consistent lifeline to pull you through even the most difficult divorce or separation. Here are several ways to ensure that you have the support you need, right when you need it.

Surround yourself with family and friends.

In the beginning, it can be very painful to repeat your story again and again. Think about entrusting a point-person, a trusted friend, or family member who can convey basic facts and answer simple questions. Be clear about what you are willing to share with others, and what you are not. Remember that even if you consider your personal business to be private, gossip will likely surround you. So choose someone who will respect your boundaries and not want to stir the pot.

When you’re ready, let those closest to you know what you need, and what you don’t need. People don’t always know how to react to news of divorce, nor do they know what to do. Start by letting everyone know exactly what you would find helpful: a shoulder to cry on, someone to go with you to a difficult event, or someone to sit with the kids while you see a counselor or therapist. On the other hand, you also should be clear about what you don’t need: to hear about your friend’s own divorce and how awful it was, platitudes and criticism, or angry comments about the soon-to-be ex.

Be selective.

Not everyone you know will respond in a positive light (it’s sad but true). These individuals may not be appropriate to look to for emotional support. This is a time to let others support you with compassion and not be judged, so be selective when building your inner circle. Choose those friends and family who honor who you are and those who are faithful and trustworthy at a time when you are vulnerable and hurting.

It’s also important for you to realize they may not fully understand what you are going through. Even if they have experienced divorce first hand, different beliefs and thoughts about the final outcome will vary individually. Their divorce is not your divorce. Nor does it need to be.

Realize the grief you will experience over the loss of your marriage will be uniquely yours. The grief cycle isn’t a one-fits-all process and you will be on your own clock, not theirs.

But, it will be your responsibility to be sensitive to those you choose as confidants, even at a time when you may barely be able to get through the day. While they may be great listeners and provide you a place to softly land where you can vent or cry, everyone has their limit. Your support system is in place to help you get to the end, not remain stuck in the middle in an unending cycle of anger and pain. If this is the case, seek professional help to move past issues that may seem to be impossible hurdles, knowing your family and friends are there when you need them to heal.

Keep in mind, there will be awkward times, both now and in the future, when you may need someone to help you face certain situations with grace and strength. This may mean attending school events, wedding, funerals, or any other occurrences that bring you and your ex together in close proximity. Instead of going it alone, ask a friend or family member to attend with you. Beforehand, consider asking this person to help you prepare for potentially awkward situations or conversations. A plan is always beneficial in all situations. It’s the surprises that can rock the boat, but being prepared with a flotation device at the ready can save the day.

Seek out community support circles.

Look outside your circle of friends and family. Despite the fact that your inner circle is usually there for you no matter what, these people may not truly understand what you are going through. Divorce communities are a great source for connecting, online or in-person, with others who understand exactly what you are facing and the feelings you are experiencing. These forums can add an unbiased source of camaraderie that, unfortunately, friends and family can’t always offer.

Realizing you are not alone in itself can be a lifeline as you move through the trying steps of divorce or separation. Being with others who are going through a similar life-changing process can provide effective results. Communities built around divorce are a great place to gather information and gain understanding, a place to find hope from others who are walking in your shoes.

Find a group you feel comfortable with, and one that is mindful of where you are in the grieving process. It’s also ideal if they’re willing to help you move to the next step, with an end-goal in mind. If you’ve chosen to end your relationship in a way that benefits both you and your ex and keeps your children’s health and happiness foremost in the process, a community that is more focused on amicable resolution may be the best forum for you.

Build and shield your social world.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that there is still a stigma that surrounds “splitting up” when half of today’s marriages end in separation or divorce. But it’s there. And nothing will bring this home more than watching how your personal life transition shakes up a tight-knit group of friends.

In most marriages, you have a close group of friends, friends with whom you meet for dinner, go to the latest movie, or enjoy a fun night out bowling. Often, during a divorce, a person’s circle of friends grows smaller. Yes, it happens. It’s even considered a natural progression amongst divorcees. In Where Have All My Friends Gone, an article written by the Wevorce Team, we explore why some friends won’t survive your divorce. From the article:

“What is it about getting a divorce that causes some friends to disappear? It may be fear, rooted in the simple but illogical thinking that associating with someone whose marriage has ended may somehow cause contamination of their own. Many family and friends will take sides, choosing which spouse to support and who to remain in contact with. It’s rare for someone to remain friends with both ex-spouses, even if you and your ex aren’t mortal enemies.”

Take heart, you will find new friends that will fit into your new life. And don’t take it personally; it happens to just about everyone who divorces. So grieve for your losses, both your marriage and your old friends, and try your best to move forward.

Seek professional help.

At times like this, family and friends are important, but these people are usually not professionals. They probably won’t have the required knowledge to provide advice on the legal, financial, and emotional issues you will need to address to ensure you are making the best decisions for you and your family. They are just one part of your journey, so take care to cover those areas in which only a professional can help.

You will also need to take care of your physical wellbeing. Whether you need a psychiatrist, therapist/counselor, or a doctor, don’t ignore serious signs of mental or physical distress. Seek help when you’re in need, as difficult as it may be to ask for help. This is a good time to call upon your point-person to check in on you and make sure you are getting the professional support you need.

The post Finding Your Support System appeared first on Wevorce.

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What is a toxic relationship? Simply put, a toxic relationship is not a place where one or both partners feel safe, supported, and fully accepted. A toxic relationship often contains dysfunction and usually damages the self-esteem of the individuals involved. Such a relationship is often characterized by insecurity, self-centeredness, dominance, and control. The toxic partner regularly acts controlling and manipulative.

Does this describe your situation?

Characteristics of Toxic Relationships

Spotting toxicity in relationships can be difficult. We build powerful habits and attachments in long-term relationships, and our feelings can often mask serious issues. Toxic patterns are often misinterpreted as passion in relationships — for instance, frequent and intense fighting is sometimes disguised as caring greatly about one another. Regardless of intent, toxic relationships are harmful to one’s emotional health of both partners and impact children that may be living with the toxic couple.

Toxic relationships always feature at least some unhealthy behaviors that can be easily identifiable, once you know what to look for. Below are some types of behaviors that may suggest toxicity in a relationship.

Substance abuse: Any substance abuse within a relationship will immediately render it toxic. If there is drug or alcohol abuse present, it’s crucial to seek professional help and it may be necessary to end the relationship altogether.

Physical or emotional abuse: Seeking immediate help and getting into a safe environment is of paramount importance in the case of physical or emotional abuse.

Putting down and belittling behaviors: These are often delivered as “jokes,” but they are meant to control one’s partner by lowering their self-esteem over time.

Anger management issues: Yelling, rage, and angry outbursts are all toxic behaviors in a relationship.

Inducing guilt: If your partner is constantly making you feel guilty about your actions and decisions, that is a sign of a controlling and toxic relationship dynamic.

Deflection of issues/chronic defensiveness: It’s perfectly normal to bring up issues and negative feelings to your partner with the intention of resolving them — but not if one partner regularly deflects issues and blames their partner.

Over-dependence: When a partner expects to have all of your time to themselves, refuses to make decisions, and generally acts passive, leaving all decision-making to their partner, it qualifies as a toxic pattern that creates an imbalance.

Unreliable behavior: This is often disguised as “independence” within a relationship, but if a partner does not keep their promises and does not fully show up in a reliable way, the relationship could become toxic.

Using a partner: When one partner uses another for money, sex, housing, connections, or anything else, and that is the basis for the relationship for them, a toxic dynamic is quickly created.

Highly possessive/jealous behavior: Healthy relationships are built on a foundation of independence and trust, while toxic relationships have a partner that questions where their mate is at all times, checks on them, and limits their independent time.

If you are regularly in conflict with your partner, find that you are walking around on eggshells, are chronically exhausted, anxious or depressed as a result of the conflicts with your significant other, you are likely in a toxic relationship.

How to Make Changes

Once you identify that your relationship is indeed toxic, there are a couple of paths you can take to get to a better place.

Tip 1: End the relationship and seek therapy.

Experts often recommend severing a relationship fully if there is physical, emotional, or substance abuse involved. If you choose to leave the relationship, it is important that you seek professional help – usually in the form of therapy – to support you as you navigate a painful situation. Therapy can also help you rebuild the confidence and security you may have lost in the relationship.

Tip 2: Seek professional help as a couple.

In some cases, if both partners seek professional help and are committed to addressing dysfunction together, the relationship can be salvaged. This usually requires an extended period of therapy, mutual commitment to honesty and transparency, and the desire to explore how the toxic patterns began. Toxic relationships and their aftereffects are challenging to navigate, so don’t go it alone. Utilize therapy, support groups, community relationships, trusted friends and family to begin the healing process.

About the Author: Emily Andrews is the marketing communications specialist at RecordsFinder, an online public records search company. Communications specialist by day and community volunteer at night, she believes in compassion and defending the defenseless.

The post Are You in a Toxic Relationship? Warning Signs and How to Get Help appeared first on Wevorce.

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Parenting is a rollercoaster ride. There are ups and downs, and you don’t always know when the next twist or turn is coming. Sound challenging? Now try and navigate these difficulties with your ex-spouse and you’ve got a potential recipe for disaster.

No matter how long you’ve been separated, co-parenting is usually a struggle. Conflicting schedules, differences of opinion, and past resentments lingering from your divorce may be getting in the way of you being the best parents possible.

But you don’t have to let co-parenting be a negative experience for you or your children. You can choose to be a peace provoker — and promote a happy family life by following these eight parenting goals for the new year.

1. Practice Being Polite

Speaking kindly to your spouse is probably one of the last things you want to do, but remember that co-parenting is all about putting what’s best for your children ahead of your own needs. One of the best goals you can make this new year is to practice being polite to one another.

Make small talk, being brief but friendly. Kill ’em with kindness! This gesture might make your life as co-parents a whole lot easier.

2. Communicate Regularly

While co-parenting isn’t easy, communication is the key to more successful relationships — be it with your children, spouse, or even your ex. Feeling like you have to open up or talk about serious business with someone who betrayed you might feel like a cruel punishment. But, always remember to try and act with your children’s best interests in mind — and it is in your child’s best interest to have both parents up-to-date about the goings-on in their lives.

When you communicate with your ex, do so directly. Try your best not to use the children as a mediator, as this would not be fair for them. If talking in person is too tough, try civil texts to keep each other in the loop.

3. Get on the Same Page

Studies show that children function better in several aspects of their lives (academically, socially, mentally) when their parents work at their relationship. But just because you’re not married anymore doesn’t mean you can’t take care of your relationship as co-parents.

So try to get on the same page when it comes to parenting. Your children grow up so much more well-adjusted when their parents remain partners in child-rearing.

For example, if your child has already asked their mother to go to a sleepover and she has deemed it inappropriate, don’t overwrite her decision just to try and be the “cool parent.” Instead, discuss parenting decisions together as you would if you were still a couple.

4. Commit to Positive Speech

Did your ex break your heart? Cheat on you? Make your life miserable? These are all perfectly reasonable explanations for the not-so-fuzzy-feelings you have for them. But it is no reason for you to project your feelings for your spouse onto your children.

Make it your co-parenting goal this year to ditch the trash-talk in front of your children and only speak respectfully about their other parent. This is a major step that contributes to a happier family life.

5. Pick Your Battles

As hard as you try to be parents, you and your ex are not always going to agree on the best way to handle certain situations with your kids. Just remember that while fighting may have been common in your married life, this should not be the case for your life as co-parents.

You may need to learn to let things go. As you likely learned while married, you are likely not always going to have the same parenting styles. So choose your battles wisely and be careful about what you do and do not make a big deal out of. This will make it a whole lot easier for your children, your ex, and the stress levels of all involved.

6. Be Flexible

When you separate from your child’s mother or father, it can be difficult to align your schedules. That is why flexibility should play a major role in your parenting goals this year.

As long as it is safe to do so, be flexible with your schedule. For example, perhaps you have a court-ordered parenting schedule, but your child’s father wants to take them to an amusement park on a day that isn’t his. Will you let them go?

Spite or jealousy may encourage you to say no, but ask yourself this: Will the children have fun and will the experience be a healthy bonding opportunity? If the answer is yes, be flexible and open with your schedule and consider letting them go. Not only will your children appreciate the gesture, but these types of concessions will foster healthy co-parenting relations with your ex.

7. Respect Family Time

Jealousy has a tendency to rear its ugly head with divorced couples, especially when it comes to the children. This may make it hard to respect the alone-time your kids are sharing with your ex.

Make it your goal this year to let your kids enjoy the private time they spend with their other parent. This means not inundating them with texts or phone calls or putting a damper on their visit.

Your ex-partner will appreciate your respect and, hopefully, will give it back in return.

8. Share Accomplishments

The nature of co-parenting means that you aren’t always going to be there for the exciting moments in your child’s life — and the same goes for your ex. This can be hard to accept, so why not make things easier for each other? One great co-parenting goal that contributes to a happy family life is to share your children’s accomplishments with your spouse.

Even if you aren’t on the best of terms, you can still e-mail or text your ex photos of your child’s amazing report card, fun sleepover, or other accomplishments. Saying something like, “Our little one had an exciting day today and I thought you would love to see some photos. Take care!” is a great way to keep your ex involved in their child’s life.

Co-parenting is never easy. For the coming new year, make it your goal to have the smoothest co-parenting experience possible. Pick your battles wisely, strive to get on the same page about your children, and be flexible with your schedule.

These tips will contribute to a happy family life — with or without your ex.

About the Author: Rachael Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support, and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com who supports healthy, happy marriages.

The post Co-Parenting Goals for a Happy Family Life in 2019 appeared first on Wevorce.

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With the holidays behind us and winter in full swing, now might be just the time to plan a vacation — yes, even if you’re newly divorced.

Adapting to a New Normal

When you and your children are in the process of healing from a divorce, there are many transitions you’ll face as you adjust to this new normal. But in the midst of these changes, it’s important to keep the emphasis on moving forward as a family, and one way to reinforce that is taking a vacation — just you and the kids.

This time to unplug from distractions, routines, and stress of the divorce can help all of you remain connected, united, and focused on one other. So if you’re looking for some warm destinations that appeal to both children and adults, consider one of these hotspots for a relaxing escape with the people you love most.

Rose Hall Estate
Montego Bay, Jamaica

This eighteenth-century marvel of colonial architecture is built on a lush mountainside jutting over the turquoise Caribbean Sea. The restored plantation house will capture your kids’ imaginations, while you take in views that help you forget all the troubles back home.

If you love golf, take advantage of their two on-site championship courses. Meanwhile, the daily Rose Hall Great House Haunted Night Tour will keep your kids on their toes and entertained between snorkeling and sand castles. (Note: the haunted house is not recommended for children younger than ten years old.)

This storied Jamaican landmark will enchant you and your kiddos, making it just the slice of paradise you need to breathe deeper, smile easier, and feel renewed.

Disney’s Aulani
O’ahu, Hawaii

If your kids are obsessed with Disney and you want a reason to get to Hawaii, this is the perfect spot for your first vacation as a new family. With pools, waterslides, and miles of beaches, everyone will be having the time of their life. Plus, you can avoid the lines at Disney World and still meet some of your kids’ favorite Hawaiian Disney characters. Don’t forget to book your spot at a luau to truly take in the culture of the island while keeping your kids immersed and entertained.

Palm Canyon Resort
Palm Springs, California

In the heart of Southern California is this trendy desert enclave, which also happens to be the perfect fusion of child-approved thrills and parent-endorsed amenities. Palm Springs is known for its rugged scenery and distinctive wellness culture, making Palm Canyon Resort an ideal backdrop for pampering while your kids conquer waterslides and stay cool in the heat.

Don’t forget to venture out of the resort to explore the desert terrain. Take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to see this unique world from above or check it out first-hand by hiking around in Joshua Tree National Park.

Oasis Tulum Lite
Riviera Maya, Mexico

This all-inclusive compound on the shores of the Yucatan Peninsula is shockingly affordable and has all you could ever dream of on one deluxe property. Oasis Tulum Lite features both Mexican and globally inspired restaurants, live entertainment for kids and adults, tennis courts and bike rentals, group fitness classes, four unique pools and even a Kids Club with supervised, curated activities. If an oceanside getaway on the Mexican Riviera sounds like your ideal change of pace, this Mayan treasure will not disappoint.

Las Verandas
Roatan, Honduras

Off the northern coast of Honduras lies the exotic island of Roatan, and nestled within its sandy beaches and fertile mangroves is Las Verandas. This postcard-worthy complex of bungalow villas surrounded by exquisite Caribbean vistas is the ultimate escape for both outdoor adventure and relaxation.

From massage and facial treatments to the island’s only golf course and watersports like snorkeling, fishing, and scuba diving, Las Verandas will ensure that each of you feels restored, uplifted and invigorated.

Hotel Renew
Waikiki, Hawaii

If you want to experience Hawaii without the Disney infusion, lift your spirit at Hotel Renew. This sleek and ultra modern destination has a Polynesian vibe, and the hotel is situated mere footsteps from Waikiki Beach where the Pacific swells are a surfer’s dream. You’ll look out over miles of sand and take in the ambiance of distant Hawaiian volcanoes.

Wake up every morning to a continental breakfast before taking your complimentary beach gear to the water and spending every day coming back to life in the sunshine.

Macaw Lodge
San Jose, Costa Rica

This rustic, sustainable eco-lodge in the depths of the Costa Rican rainforest is a haven for wildlife encounters, nature conservation, wellness immersions, and farm-to-table cuisine. The Macaw Lodge is constructed with local materials such as bamboo fiber, the electricity is powered with solar panels, and the food is chef-prepared.

In addition, you and the kids can spend your afternoons hiking to waterfalls, bird watching, practicing yoga, learning to make cocoa, touring the botanical gardens, or participating in off-the-grid excursions.

Sky Ranch Lodge
Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is known for its iconic red rock buttes and mystic healing energies and Sky Ranch Lodge is an unrivaled setting to experience the electric landscape. Bask poolside in the famous Arizona sunshine, roam the bluffs and canyons on foot or mountain bike, or treat yourself to a deep-tissue massage. Get out and about with the resort’s free shuttle, which will take you to nearby Southwest-inspired eateries. Head back just in time to watch the sunset paint a watercolor light show as you all unwind in the hot tub together.

Your First Vacation as a Smaller Family

The post-divorce transition can be a difficult and painful season, but you can find meaningful opportunities to bond as a family despite the changes in your world. Show your child that there are still hundreds of reasons to smile and a new horizon is on the other side this challenging time. While a vacation won’t make everything perfect, it can be the perfect opportunity to take a deep breath and escape the stress of home.

About the Author: Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than ten years and is currently a full-time writer and content marketing consultant. She’s written for Reader’s Digest, AARP, Lifehack and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07 for money-saving ideas, health tips and more.

The post 8 Warm Weather Locations for Your First Vacation as a Smaller Family appeared first on Wevorce.

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Parenting is a rollercoaster ride. There are ups and downs, and you don’t always know when the next twist or turn is coming. Sound challenging? Now try and navigate these difficulties with your ex-spouse and you’ve got a potential recipe for disaster.

No matter how long you’ve been separated, co-parenting is usually a struggle. Conflicting schedules, differences of opinion, and past resentments lingering from your divorce may be getting in the way of you being the best parents possible.

But you don’t have to let co-parenting be a negative experience for you or your children. You can choose to be a peace provoker — and promote a happy family life by following these eight parenting goals for the new year.

1. Practice Being Polite

Speaking kindly to your spouse is probably one of the last things you want to do, but remember that co-parenting is all about putting what’s best for your children ahead of your own needs. One of the best goals you can make this new year is to practice being polite to one another.

Make small talk, being brief but friendly. Kill ’em with kindness! This gesture might make your life as co-parents a whole lot easier.

2. Communicate Regularly

While co-parenting isn’t easy, communication is the key to more successful relationships — be it with your children, spouse, or even your ex. Feeling like you have to open up or talk about serious business with someone who betrayed you might feel like a cruel punishment. But, always remember to try and act with your children’s best interests in mind — and it is in your child’s best interest to have both parents up-to-date about the goings-on in their lives.

When you communicate with your ex, do so directly. Try your best not to use the children as a mediator, as this would not be fair for them. If talking in person is too tough, try civil texts to keep each other in the loop.

3. Get on the Same Page

Studies show that children function better in several aspects of their lives (academically, socially, mentally) when their parents work at their relationship. But just because you’re not married anymore doesn’t mean you can’t take care of your relationship as co-parents.

So try to get on the same page when it comes to parenting. Your children grow up so much more well-adjusted when their parents remain partners in child-rearing.

For example, if your child has already asked their mother to go to a sleepover and she has deemed it inappropriate, don’t overwrite her decision just to try and be the “cool parent.” Instead, discuss parenting decisions together as you would if you were still a couple.

4. Commit to Positive Speech

Did your ex break your heart? Cheat on you? Make your life miserable? These are all perfectly reasonable explanations for the not-so-fuzzy-feelings you have for them. But it is no reason for you to project your feelings for your spouse onto your children.

Make it your co-parenting goal this year to ditch the trash-talk in front of your children and only speak respectfully about their other parent. This is a major step that contributes to a happier family life.

5. Pick Your Battles

As hard as you try to be parents, you and your ex are not always going to agree on the best way to handle certain situations with your kids. Just remember that while fighting may have been common in your married life, this should not be the case for your life as co-parents.

You may need to learn to let things go. As you likely learned while married, you are likely not always going to have the same parenting styles. So choose your battles wisely and be careful about what you do and do not make a big deal out of. This will make it a whole lot easier for your children, your ex, and the stress levels of all involved.

6. Be Flexible

When you separate from your child’s mother or father, it can be difficult to align your schedules. That is why flexibility should play a major role in your parenting goals this year.

As long as it is safe to do so, be flexible with your schedule. For example, perhaps you have a court-ordered parenting schedule, but your child’s father wants to take them to an amusement park on a day that isn’t his. Will you let them go?

Spite or jealousy may encourage you to say no, but ask yourself this: Will the children have fun and will the experience be a healthy bonding opportunity? If the answer is yes, be flexible and open with your schedule and consider letting them go. Not only will your children appreciate the gesture, but these types of concessions will foster healthy co-parenting relations with your ex.

7. Respect Family Time

Jealousy has a tendency to rear its ugly head with divorced couples, especially when it comes to the children. This may make it hard to respect the alone-time your kids are sharing with your ex.

Make it your goal this year to let your kids enjoy the private time they spend with their other parent. This means not inundating them with texts or phone calls or putting a damper on their visit.

Your ex-partner will appreciate your respect and, hopefully, will give it back in return.

8. Share Accomplishments

The nature of co-parenting means that you aren’t always going to be there for the exciting moments in your child’s life — and the same goes for your ex. This can be hard to accept, so why not make things easier for each other? One great co-parenting goal that contributes to a happy family life is to share your children’s accomplishments with your spouse.

Even if you aren’t on the best of terms, you can still e-mail or text your ex photos of your child’s amazing report card, fun sleepover, or other accomplishments. Saying something like, “Our little one had an exciting day today and I thought you would love to see some photos. Take care!” is a great way to keep your ex involved in their child’s life.

Co-parenting is never easy. For the coming new year, make it your goal to have the smoothest co-parenting experience possible. Pick your battles wisely, strive to get on the same page about your children, and be flexible with your schedule.

These tips will contribute to a happy family life — with or without your ex.

About the Author: Rachael Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support, and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com who supports healthy, happy marriages.

The post 8 Co-Parenting Goals for a Happy Family Life in 2019 appeared first on Wevorce.

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Here at Wevorce, we’re no stranger to the idea of divorce being a complex and often difficult transition — particularly around the holidays. So when families tell us they’re struggling this time of year, we know all too well how that feels.

“Holiday seasons have been rough over my life,” says Wevorce Family Specialist Lou Engelhardt. “My parents decided to divorce in early November when I was a junior in high school and it was not an amicable divorce. So, needless to say, the pattern of holidays being repeats of loss began young.”

“However, as my own kids came along,” she continues, “we got better at them, and I learned that movies and easy meals were part of the solution. Going to see a movie at the theater has become one of my favorite activities around the holidays, as it gets me out of myself and provides a different story/perspective. We usually choose one that will bring laughter, and this creates something to visit about after.

We asked Lou and a few other Wevorce team members to provide some practical tips and wisdom to help our readers get through this time of year — even when it’s difficult. Here’s what they had to share on the topics of spending Christmas alone, moving through grief, and creating new traditions.

Fela Scott, Document Specialist

“For some reason, people view spending Christmas Day alone as a mixed bag. I’ve had co-workers and friends who’ve reacted in completely opposite ways.

Some get this glossy-eyed look of envy, the stress of the holidays putting them on a one-way track to a less than ho-ho-ho event every year. The shopping, wrapping, the cooking and baking, awkward social events, and family stress robbing them of the true joy of Christmas.

Then there are those who are shocked — in their minds it’s just not right to spend Christmas alone! Don’t get me wrong, I usually have gracious friends and family who invite me to celebrate with them. I’m grateful for their loving kindness to include me, but I choose to spend the day alone.

Okay, I confess, sometimes I join friends for an early dinner out. Then, with leftovers in hand, I’m set for the rest of the day. But if that doesn’t happen, I have an easy to put together, traditional turkey dinner that’s canned, boxed, and jarred. Really. And it’s good. No long hours of cooking required, yet plenty to eat.

My tradition includes spending the day in cozy, flannel pajamas, (green and red plaid of course) watching classic Christmas movies. Some of my favorites include White Christmas, Holiday Inn, and Christmas in Connecticut. I even have a John Wayne movie, Donavan’s Reef, I include as they celebrate Christmas in it.

Or, I may switch things up and toss in non-Christmas classics I have on hand. I’m especially partial to Cary Grant, my favorites being Father Goose, Walk Don’t Run and Operation Petticoat. Who could not be happy watching this line-up?

Oh, and it’s an absolutely no work day. Doing what I want, the way I want, and when I want. How could that be wrong?”

Lou Engelhardt, Family Specialist:

“Give yourself permission to have a day of grief — play sad movies, music, write sad things, cry like a baby and let it all out! Then get out and do something for someone else.

Find a group. Churches/synagogues can be great groups if you look carefully and find someplace where the message resonates with you — don’t feel stuck with one you don’t like. The church in my neighborhood in Boise was amazing; they were always doing group activities to improve the lives of those who lived in the neighborhood. It did not feel I had to agree with everything they said; I just got the benefit from their joyous attitudes and energy.

Since our move, I have found four different church groups I appreciate for different reasons and it has helped us connect quickly and find ways to get outside ourselves and become a part of this community!”

Sarah Christenson, Chief Love Officer:

“This stigma surrounding being single drives me nuts. You’re not single because no one loves you. You’re single because you chose to love yourself first. And our greatest love isn’t something written in The Notebook or shown on Lifetime. Our greatest love story is about the love and relationship we have with ourselves.

Some people go their entire lives and never truly know who they are or how they deserve to be loved. They’re too afraid of feeling vulnerable, uncomfortable and awkward. But little do they know on the other side of those temporary feelings dwell strength, courage, and worthiness. Some say you find love when you stop looking for it but I think it’s when you find yourself that you also find love.”

Happy holidays, all. We hope you are surrounded by love and we wish you the peace and joy that come with creating new traditions for yourself and your family.

The post Finding Silver Linings: Holiday Wisdom from Wevorce appeared first on Wevorce.

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