Monday, December 31, 2007

How Single Parents Can Get Ahead In 2008...

For single parents, it seems like there is a never ending amount of expenses incurred each month and having money left over to invest is often impossible. Most single parents shoulder the bulk of the child care expenses, even if they are receiving some form of child support. Children cost a small fortune to raise and often child support does not cover all of the extras, like dance lessons, sports, birthday parties, camp and other items the children need.

So how can a single parent get ahead financially? Fortunately there are ways for even the most cash strapped parents to develop new habits that will get them on the road to financial security.

Here are three ways to prosper in the new year:

1. Pay yourself first. You may laugh at the suggestion of being able to put aside part of your paycheck for yourself, but it is possible with some careful planning. The trick is to allot a specific percentage of your paycheck every week and automatically deposit it into a savings account. Make that the first payment you make, even before paying the bills. You may only be able to devote a very small percentage at first, but you will gain satisfaction watching your little savings account grow each month.

2. Record everything you spend in a typical week. Don't forgot to include money spent on incidentals, like coffee. An easy way to do this is to get a receipt for everything you buy and then tally it up at the end of the week. You may be shocked at how much you spend on fast food, Starbucks and other non-essential items. You don't want to completely cut out all of your guilty pleasures, just cut back on how many you indulge in.

3. After you have taken inventory and know now exactly how much you spend each month , you can develop plan to cut back. For example, if you decide to eat out once a week instead of two, take the money you would have spent on that second meal and put it into a jar. After a few months, take out that jar and now divide it equally into three sections: one third of the money is for investing, one third for your savings account and the remaining third is for you. Get a massage, buy a new outfit or spend it on something that you enjoy. As single parents we tend to spend most of our money on our kids and it is important to have some funds available to treat yourself with. Knowing that you are investing in your financial future and also taking care of yourself and your kids, you will gain control over your finances and your life.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Divorce On The Rise For the New Year
The holidays are coming to an end and a new year is on the horizon. Most of us will list losing weight, exercising and making more money for our new year resolutions this year. Some will also have divorce on that list too.
Many divorces are filed this time of year. If divorce was something you have been considering, you may have held off making a final decision until after the holidays.
If getting a divorce is a choice you are about to make for the new year, please think carefully about your your decision. The notion that a divorce is the cure for your martial problems, may be misguided. The realities of divorce are harsh and permanent. Some people, feeling depressed, restless and unhappy with their lives, think that a divorce will give them a new lease on life and free them from the misery they are now feeling. This may be true. A divorce may be just what you need to take control of your life and begin anew if you have been wrestling with these feelings for a long time.
But more often than not, a divorce will create a whole new set of problems, both financially and emotionally. Take time to seriously contemplate if you are really going to better off without your spouse this year. There are consequences and divorce affects everyone in your family, not just you and your spouse.
Recently, the rapper Snoop Dogg, made the following statement about calling off his own divorce several years ago: "I was going to split up with my wife - my wife wasn't going to split up with me,” The Sun quoted Dogg, as saying. "You know, I was caught up with Hollywood, and the girls and the night life. "I thought I was the man and I was willing to give up what I had at home for that, until I realized that what I had at home was irreplaceable, so I gave that up to go back home.
"I just don't want another man raising my kids. That was the main goal. I had kids with my wife because I wanted to be with my wife. And those three babies are all wanted, and I wanted to be with them."
I think what Snoop said was profound. He was able to save his marriage by understanding what was truly important to him in his life: his kids and his wife. Too often we under the illusion that somehow "the grass is always greener on the other side".
Whatever decision you make, take time to do some serious soul searching and consider marriage counseling before filing for a divorce. A divorce may be the right decision for you and your family, but make sure that you have come to this conclusion carefully, and not impulsively.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Selling The Family Home During A Divorce....

Many couples, facing a divorce decide to sell the family home and divide any profits after the sale. That is the way it used to work, back when the real estate market was thriving and couples were able to pull large amounts of equity from the sale of their homes.

Not so anymore. The real estate market is in trouble and many divorcing couples are at a loss about what to do about the family home. With the market flooded with homes for sale, foreclosures on the rise and homes on the market for many months before selling, what is a couple to do?

There are still some options left. One spouse can buy out the other and retain the property. If this is the option you choose, make sure to have the home appraised by a certified appraiser, not just a Realtor giving you his or her opinion abut how much the home is worth. Another option is to hold off selling the home ,if possible and stipulate in the divorce agreement that the home will be sold at a later date when the real estate market recovers. Some issues that must be worked out with this option are: Will the spouse occupying the home pay the mortgage,taxes and other household expenses? This is important because the spouse who does not contribute to the financial upkeep of home should get less profit when the home is eventually sold. These kind of issues need to be clearly outlined in the divorce agreement so that there are no problems down the road.

If selling the home right now is something that you must do in order to settle your divorce, use the following tactics to sell your house faster.

1. Hire the best realtor in town. Ask around and see who has the highest home sales in your area. You do not want to waste time trying to do a "for sale by owner" in this situation. You need someone to aggressively market and sell the house fast.

2. Be realistic about the asking price. Price the house to sell and you will be more successful selling in today's market.

3. Ask your spouse to help foot the bill for any minor improvements you must make to get the home ready to show to potential buyers. Things like painting, new carpeting, landscaping and fixing any obvious eye sores on the property can help sell your house much faster than other homes in your neighborhood. Home repairs can be costly, so set a budget with your soon to be ex and try to come up with a realistic amount the two of you can spend. If you are involved in a bitter divorce, you may have to have your lawyer ask your spouse's lawyer to include this in your divorce settlement.

Whether you choose to hold on to the family home for a few years until the market turns around or sell your home now, it is important to research all of your options carefully and make a step by step plan to protect one of your most important assets-your home.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Celebrating the Holidays After A Divorce...
As I was putting the decorations on the Christmas tree, I came across two very special ornaments from a Christmas long ago. They were the hand prints of my sons, ages 3 and 4, dipped in paint and pressed upon paper plates, decorated with gold glitter. After marveling how much bigger my boys hands are now, at ages, 13 and 1/2 and 15, I was reminded of the many Christmases before my divorce.

I recalled the many happy Christmas mornings with my ex and four children. If you would asked me back then, I would have never guessed that years later our family would be broken apart, my children's father never to spend Christmas morning with us again.

As joyous as the holidays are, after a divorce, they can also be bittersweet. A divorce forces you to develop new holiday traditions and abandon old ones. Most of the rituals of Christmas at my home are the same. "Santa" presents wrapped in special paper, carefully placed under the tree after the kids have gone to sleep and a plate of cookies and milk with a note written to Santa from my youngest daughter. My husband's job was to drink the milk and eat the cookies making sure to leave a few crumbs behind. It was also his job to take pictures Christmas morning while I helped the kids unwrap the presents. Now these jobs are mine.

The holidays signify the loss of the dreams and traditions you created with your spouse. This time of year forces you to remember what was and will never be again and can bring about a sense of sadness. It is normal to feel this way. The grieving process after a divorce takes time and a part of you, deep down inside,will always be sad for what has been lost.
Each year, as I celebrate the holidays with my children as a single parent,we create new memories and although I will never forget those Christmases with my ex, instead of feelings of loss and sadness, I now remember those Christmases with fondness. A happy day celebrated with my family. It is important to remember that although you and your ex will never celebrate the holidays as a couple again, you can create new memories and new traditions and embrace this new chapter in your life. Try focusing on the positive aspects of your life now and be grateful for your many blessings. By being in the moment and creating new holiday traditions and rituals, you will create new memories that you will remember for a lifetime.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Do's And Don'ts For New Step Parents
If you are divorced and dating, you might someday find yourself in the role of a stepparent. If you decide to date and marry a man who has children, there are some simple rules you need to follow.

1. Be sensitive. Do not ask the kids to call you "Mom". Recently, Katie Holmes, wife of actor Tom Cruise and step mom to his two children with Nicole Kidman, told People magazine that the kids call her "mom". Although it is wonderful her step kids love her, they already have a mother and I can only imagine how hurt she must of been by this comment.
2. Have patience. Children of divorce are dealing with many issues, and often have a hard time accepting a new mate for their mom or dad. Give the kids time to accept you and don't go overboard trying to gain their affections.

3. Be prepared to share. Remember the kids had your new spouse's attention first. There is a different dynamic to marrying someone with children. Don't expect your new mate to always put your first. A divorced parent must prioritize and many times that means putting the kids' needs ahead of their own. This doesn't mean your new mate doesn't love or care for you. Keeping the kids happy and a new spouse from feeling ignored can be a daunting task. Give your spouse time to adjust and work out the kinks so that everyone can eventually merge into a happy,well balanced ,blended family.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How Much Do You Think Your Divorce Will Cost?.....
After much soul searching, you have finally made the decision to divorce. Your next step, after informing your spouse, is to seek legal representation. But do you really have any idea how much this divorce will cost you? Unfortunately, most divorcing couples are unaware of how expensive a divorce can really be.
You may have the best intentions in the beginning of your divorce proceedings and even contemplate hiring a mediator to negotiate your divorce settlement. If however you or your spouse, decides to wage an all out divorce war, you may find yourself embroiled in a lengthy and expensive trial.
So just how much money does a divorce cost? Boston Law Collaborative, a law firm specializing in collaborative divorce analyzed 199 of its recent divorce cases, and found that mediation, collaborative divorce and litigation all produced high rates of successful settlement. Mediation was by far the least expensive option, with a median cost of $6,600, compared to $19,723 for a collaborative divorce, $26,830 for settlements negotiated by rival lawyers, and $77,746 for full-scale litigation.
These numbers represent the harsh reality of the high price divorcing couples pay financially when they refuse to settle their divorce amicably.From the Boston law firm's study, there is a difference of over $71,000 in savings by choosing to use a mediator instead of going for full scale litigation. That is money that can be used for your children's college educations instead of thrown away on divorce attorney fees.
Hopefully this information will serve as a wake up call to divorcing couples who are hell bent on destroying each in the courtroom. If there is any chance of settling your divorce through mediation or by using collaborative divorce lawyers, do it. The price you pay both financially and emotionally by battling your spouse in court is just not worth it.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ten Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring A Divorce Lawyer...

If you are ready to interview divorce lawyers, you should be armed with the following questions to ensure you hire the right attorney. Many divorcing couples find out too late that they have invested money and time with the wrong divorce lawyer. Although it is possible to fire your lawyer and hire a new one during a divorce, save yourself the hassle and pick the right one from the beginning. Here is what you need to ask:

1. Do you specialize in divorce and family law? How many years have you been practicing in this field? (This is crucial. Do not hire a lawyer that does not specialize in divorce and family law.)

2. Are you experienced in the courtroom and how many of your divorce cases ended up in a trial last year? (You do not want an inexperienced attorney representing you at trial. Finding out how many cases went to trial will give you an idea of what kind of negotiator this lawyer is. If most of his cases end up at trial you can expect yours to as well.)

3. Are you a mediator or a collaborative divorce attorney? Do you encourage mediation for your clients? (Although not required, it is better to find a lawyer who is either a mediator or believes in settling divorce cases with one. Collaborative divorce lawyers tend to resolve your divorce in a more amicable and less expensive way.)

4. Will you be the attorney handling my case or will any other associates in your firm be involved? Do you have the time to devote to my case? (Do not hire a lawyer who does not have time for your case and will push your case off to a newer, less experienced associate.)

5.Will I deal directly with you or your paralegal or secretary? Is there a separate hourly rate to speak with paralegals, secretaries and assistants in the firm? (If there is no additional charge to speak to these employees, that is a good sign. You can save money by calling the secretary or paralegal directly for minor questions instead of being billed by the minute by your lawyer)

6. How much of a retainer do you require? What are your hourly fees? Do you require additional retainers after the initial one has run dry? If my retainer runs out, can you delay payment until my divorce is settled and take the funds out then? (Don't be shocked when your retainer runs out and you are required to replenish it or lose representation. Negotiate a deal now with your new attorney to have additional fees paid after your divorce is settled)

7. Can you file a motion in the court asking that my retainer and attorney fees be paid by my spouse? Is it possible for you to give me an estimate of how much my divorce will cost? (If your spouse is the primary breadwinner or controls the martial funds, it is beneficial to find an attorney who will ask the court to direct your spouse to cover legal expenses.)

8.What other costs can I expect during my divorce? Will I have hire other professionals like accountants, appraisers, investigators,etc? Do I pay extra for photocopies, faxes, and other office services? Do you charge for travel to court? If so, how much? (Find out the additional costs now so there won't be any surprises later)

9.Within what time frame can I expect you to return my phone calls? Do you bill by the minute or in blocks of minutes? (Many people are shocked when their divorce lawyer takes days, even weeks to return a phone call, find out this ahead of time and save yourself grief.)

10. Will I receive a written agreement with agreed upon hourly rates? Also, will I get copies of all of my legal documents concerning my case and is there an additional charge for this? (Make sure to get an agreement in writing outlining all of the hourly fees,additional fees and other costs your lawyer will incur)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

How To Cope When Your Spouse Has Cheated.....

At a recent divorce support group I organize, one of the members recounted his recent heartbreak about how he is dealing with his wife's affair. Although he had been separated for almost a year and his divorce was about to be finalized, he was still in a great deal of pain. He confided that just a few months ago, he was unable to even speak about his wife's betrayal. He went on to tell us how he felt sick to his stomach thinking about the woman he once loved with another man. He also spoke of feeling ashamed and embarrassed.

It may be surprising to think that a person whose spouse has cheated would feel this way. After all, they were not the one who committed adultery. But there are many "symptoms" one suffers from when dealing with the painful issue of infidelity. Here a few :

1. Shock and Confusion:You are stunned and feel numb,l ike your life's has become a bad dream and you are waiting to wake up. You just cannot fathom why your spouse would betray you.

2.Sadness. You have physical symptoms, such as nausea, stomach pain, chest pain and dizziness. You may lose your appetite and feel tired and listless.

3. Anger. You become irritable and daydream of ways to get even with your spouse and his lover.

4. Guilt: As you search your mind for answers, you start to blame yourself. You are not good enough, smart enough or attractive enough. You convince yourself that the reason your spouse strayed is because of one or all of these reasons.

5.Shame: Because your spouse has cheated, you feel embarrassed and ashamed to let others know. You feel like they are secretly thinking it must be your fault.

Know that it is normal to experience these painful emotions after discovering your spouse's affair. It will take time to heal from these wounds to your heart and soul. The most important realization that you must come to accept is that it was not your fault. Your spouse's infidelity is a refection on the kind of person he or she is, not who you are. Eventually there will be a day when you will be grateful that you are no longer married to someone who cannot be trusted.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

How To Tell The Kids Your Getting Divorced...

All divorcing parents dread the moment when they will have to sit their children down and tell them mommy and daddy are getting a divorce. It is heartbreaking to see the confusion and fear in their innocent eyes. So many questions arise in their minds from" is it my fault?" to "why do mommy and daddy no longer love each other?"

Often, parents are caught up dealing with their own emotions and the children's needs can get pushed aside. When facing the devastating loss of your marriage, it is often difficult to be strong for your children and know the right things to say about the divorce. Many mistakes are made.

A new, innovative book has the potential to solve the problem of how to tell the kids about divorce in a positive and healthy way. Author Rosalind Sedecca has written How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook(TM) Guide to Preparing Your Children -- with Love! Parents are guided in preparing an attractive personal family storybook, in a photo-album-type format, that children will want to read and reread. Sedacca's two fill-in-the-blank templates talk about the family's past, present and future, reminding children that change, while often frightening, is a natural part of life. Using age-appropriate language, the text conveys the essential messages parents need to share -- and children need to hear again and again.

Sedacca's son, eleven at the time of the divorce, is now a veterinarian. His moving Introduction to the book, personally acknowledges the effectiveness of this unique approach to a tough conversation. "One of the most gratifying moments in my life came when my son, as an adult, confided that he understood why his Dad and I divorced," says Sedacca. "While he was very upset at the time, he said he could now see it was the right decision. He also thanked me for maintaining a positive interactive relationship with his Dad -- what I now refer to as a Child-Centered Divorce."

How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook(TM) Guide to Preparing Your Children -- with Love! is available online as a downloadable ebook. It can also be purchased in CD format from attorneys, therapists and other professionals. To learn more visit .

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Helping Deadbeats Catch Up On Child Support....
We have all seen the profile of the stereotypical deadbeat dad: A man who leaves his children, refuses to financially support his kids and often works off the books, hiding money and assets in his new girlfriend or mother's name. These deadbeats often owe thousands, sometimes, hundreds of thousands of dollars in back child support. Programs like garnishment of wages, revoking driver's licenses and jail time work well if you can find the deadbeat. They often stay one step ahead of the law and are difficult to track down and catch.
What we don't' always hear about are the "deadbeat" dads who may be behind on child support because of legitimate reasons. They have lost their jobs or have become ill. These fathers often want to support their kids and may find themselves facing serious legal repercussions if they fall behind in support.
In Carver County, Minn. they may of come up with a solution. The county is offering a new program to help parents who fall behind on support by offering them job training, such as resume-writing and computer classes. Some receive gas cards, bus passes or even have a county-paid cab take them to work. Others have been given work clothes and had their cars fixed so that they may return to the work and catch up on support payments.
Carver County is the state's most effective in collecting child-support payments. It recently was ranked No. 1 by the Minnesota Department of Human Services for the second year in a row. Their new program should be used as a model for other states to follow. Although tough child support enforcement measures, like jail time, are necessary in the collection of child support, a program that encourages and helps parents get back on track financially is needed. Many families' child support issues will be solved by providing parents with the tools they need to work again.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

How To Hire A Divorce Lawyer With No Money...
The Washington State Supreme Court rejected a woman's claim that she had a right to have a publicly appointed attorney in her divorce case. Sadly, the woman lost custody of her three children during her divorce because she could not afford an attorney and represented herself. The court feels that "divorces are civil matters that do not warrant state-funded counsel".
The playing field in divorce court is obviously not level when the spouse who has greater access to money can hire a divorce lawyer and the poorer spouse is left to represent herself. The woman in this case did initially hire a divorce lawyer using her rent money, but was financially unable to continue to pay legal fees.
The old saying "only a fool represents themselves" is quite true in divorce court. Without a lawyer you stand very little chance of being successful, especially if your soon to be ex has hired a legal shark. But there are some measures you can take if you are facing a divorce and have very little or no money for an attorney:
1. Most divorce lawyers do not want you to know this, but they can file a motion with the court asking that your spouse foot your legal bills. If your spouse is the primary breadwinner and you do not have access to the martial funds, this is a good option. But beware, unless there are significant martial assets, most divorce lawyers prefer to get their retainer directly from you. They rather not petition the court before they have received any funds. You may have to interview several lawyers before finding one who will agree to this.
2. If borrowing from family and friends is not an option and you have no open credit or assets, then you can try pleading your case to divorce lawyers and ask them to represent you without a retainer. If there are martial assets that will be divided after the divorce is final, a lawyer may agree to represent you and collect his fee later.
3. If there are no martial assets to be divided in the divorce and you are facing a custody issue, you could try asking divorce lawyers to represent you pro bono (free of charge). This will be difficult, but if you are at risk of losing custody of your kids, and have a solid case, you may be able to persuade a law firm to help you. After all, lawyers are people too and you never know who may have a heart and lend you a hand. If this is the route you must take, you need to be persistent and not give up after being told no. Keep trying until you find someone who can help you.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Is Your Marriage Worth Saving After An Affair?
Looking back, I can now pinpoint when my marriage began to unravel. I was oblivious to the warning signs that my marriage was heading toward divorce. I missed many critical signs. Because of my own inability to see the truth, I was completely blindsided when I found out my husband was having an affair. I was shocked and stunned by his betrayal.For me, saving our marriage was not an option. The one thing I could not tolerate was a husband who cheated. All trust between us had been broken.
But some couples can and do recover from infidelity in their marriage. Can you really get over your spouse's affair? Will your marriage ever be the same? The answer to these questions will depend on many factors. Some couples may be able to forgive and rebuild their marriage after an affair with the help of a good marriage therapist, lots of open communication and the ability of the spouse who has been cheated on to look past the affair and forgive.
The underlying issue will always be a matter of trust. Trusting a spouse who has cheated takes time, love and a deep commitment to save the marriage. Once martial vows have been shattered by an affair, it will take hard work from both partners to repair the damage that has been done. With some soul searching and by trusting your own intuition, you will know whether or not it is worth it to take the long, difficult road toward saving your marriage after an affair.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

When Divorce Turns Deadly
The other day I awoke to the shocking news that a couple was found dead in their car, just a few miles from my home. It seems as though the husband killed his wife and then killed himself. His wife had filed for divorce just 2 months ago in September.
After hearing this dreadful news, it brought back painful memories from my own divorce. My divorce began when my husband of 13 years twisted my arm and threatened to kill me. At that moment I had to make a choice, should I go to the police? Was his threat serious? Sometimes people make threats that do not mean, especially in the heat of anger. But on that day, the look in my husband eyes chilled me to the bone. He had sworn on his late father's grave that he would kill me. I went to the police and got a restraining order.
My neighbor's death, although I have never met her, pains me. So many women, when faced with an abusive husband, may not take threats seriously enough to protect themselves. I coach women who despite threats and violence from their spouse, still put themselves in harm's way.
Here are a few simple rules to follow to protect yourself during a divorce when violence could be a possibility:
1. Never meet your husband alone or allow him in your house after filing for divorce if you have any reason to believe he could become violent.
2. Do not go places alone. Make sure a friend or family member walks you to your car and to your door at home.
3. Get a restraining order. If you have been threatened or abused by your husband, report it to the police.
4. Do not talk to your husband on the phone. If he calls, let him leave a message on your answering machine.
5. When dealing with an abusive spouse, especially after filing for a divorce, be alert and aware at all times. Keep your cell phone handy and programmed to 911. Try not to go out after dark if possible and make sure all doors in your home are locked. If you have received threats and think violence may be imminent, ask someone you trust to stay at your home.
This may feel like extreme measures to take, but consider all of the women who have been assaulted or killed by a dangerous spouse. Laci Peterson most likely never saw it coming, more recently in the news, another Peterson, Stacy, is currently missing and her husband is under suspicion for her disappearance. Take precautions and protect yourself.
An excellent resource I have recently come across is a series of ebooks that teach you how to spot a dangerous man and protect yourself. Click here to find out more information.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Is Divorce Destroying The Planet?
It is bad enough that divorcing couples have to go through feelings of disappointment and loss when their marriage fails. Now they can add guilt.
According to researchers divorce contributes to global warming.
According to a study by Michigan State University, "Divorced couples use up more space in their respective homes, which amounts to to 38 million more rooms worldwide to light, heat and cool" noted the report. And people who divorced used 73 billion kilowatt-hours more of electricity and 627 billion gallons of water than they would otherwise in 2005.

"Dissolving a marriage also means doubling possessions, from the lowly can opener to the SUV. The report, however, did not estimate how many more natural resources the children of shared-custody parents consume by getting birthday and holiday gifts twice."
So now with all of the other issues you have to deal with during a divorce, should you consider global warming when making the decision to get a divorce? Probably not. Staying in an unhealthy relationship for the sake of the environment is silly. This argument is similar to the one used to control the planet's population and tell you how many kids you should have. What you can do to help the planet and reduce global warming is change your lifestyle and go "green". Think of the impact your decisions have on the environment and act in a responsible manner. Saving the planet does not have to mean staying in a bad marriage.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Should You Get A Divorce?
Making the decision to get a divorce is never easy. After investing years of your life with your partner, the decision to end your marriage is one that should be considered carefully.The impact of a divorce affects everyone, the children, your family and even your friends.
Often, when we are in the heat of an argument or feeling dissatisfied with our marriage, it becomes easy to fantasize about what life would be like single again. Images of starting a new life on our own, calling our own shots and being free from the arguments and conflicts we experience with our spouse, flood our minds. Divorce can become romanticized and we can forget about some of the repercussions divorce often brings.
If you are seriously considering a divorce, you owe it to yourself, your family and your spouse to make sure that you have explored all of your options and have tried everything possible to save your marriage first. When you got married you vowed to spend your life with your partner. All marriages go through trials and tribulations. There are ups and downs, good times and bad. A divorce will not simply eliminate your problems. If you are considering divorce because you no longer find your mate attractive, or are bored with your marriage, you might want to try fixing the issues you may have with yourself before looking for happiness elsewhere. The grass is not always greener on the other side. Seeing a marriage counselor is always a good idea. If after therapy, you feel that divorce is your only option, then you will know that you did everything in your power to make things work before ending your marriage.
If, however, your marriage is fraught with serious or even dangerous issues such as verbal and physical abuse, adultery or you are dealing with a spouse who is unwilling to work on your martial issues, then a divorce may be necessary. Filing for a divorce will be emotionally draining experience and require you to gather your inner strength so that you can take the important steps you need in order to protect yourself financially and ensure the emotional well being of your children.
When divorce is the only logical choice left for you to make, keep level headed, control your emotions and take the time to educate yourself about the divorce process. Enter into a divorce with the intentions of treating your spouse fairly and resolving your issues peacefully. It can make all the difference in the outcome of your divorce and how you and your family cope with this life changing event.