Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Are Divorced Women Angry, Desperate and Miserable?...
Of course not! But sadly there are some stereotypes out there about female divorcees. We are often cast as angry, bitter women desperate for sex. The term "Cougars" is now being thrown around to describe older women supposedly hunting down young men half their age.
Funny how I have not heard any derogatory terms used to coin divorced men. When a man gets divorced and starts dating a girl young enough to be his daughter, no one seems to notice.
I recently received an email about my book Seven Secrets to a Successful Divorce from a woman. Here is what she wrote: "Is there really a secret to a successful divorce? All the single women that I know are miserably single from what they tell me and almost 100% cannot find another man because they become too picky about the type of man that they are looking for."
I coach woman who are going through a divorce and most of the women I speak to are not "miserably single". In fact, many are relieved to be free from a unhappy marriage and excited about what the future holds. Although there may be some women who cannot get past their divorces and choose not to move on, they are the minority.
I think this kind of thinking is a great disservice to women . Most divorced women are raising kids, holding down full time jobs and trying to squeeze in a social life. Believe me, they have no time to be hanging out every weekend in nightclubs picking up young men in their 20's.
I think the stereotypes and myths about divorced women may stem from some people's inability to accept that women today can survive without a man. No longer are we destined to marry and stay in a miserable marriage, giving up our self worth. We can stand on our own, be successful and choose whether or not we want a man in our lives.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Rebound Marriages After a Divorce...
Sara Evans, country singer and former Dancing with the Stars contestant, revealed that she is engaged, just six short months after a nasty divorce battle. Even more shocking is the news that French President Nicolas Sarkozy , remarried model Carla Bruni, shortly after he divorced his wife of 11 years. His ex-wife also remarried in NYC over the weekend, only four months after their divorce was finalized.
What is going on with the trend of marrying again on the rebound shortly after a divorce? I have been divorced for almost 3 years and still cannot even imagine getting married again yet. I just don't get it.
After a divorce you need time to recover emotionally. Jumping into a new relationship too soon can be disastrous. What usually happens is that a person will find that the problems he or she had with their first partner are also in the new relationship. Until you have taken the time to reflect and analyze your marriage, the good, the bad and the ugly and take some responsibility for the divorce, you will just bring the same issues and problems from one relationship to another, never resolving them.
The time period after a divorce can be a great time to spend on yourself, learning to enjoy your own company ans rediscovering what makes you happy. After a divorce you need time to be single again before finding a new love. If you are contemplating a new romance shortly after a divorce, slow down and take some time out before committing too soon.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Sex with Ex? Are you kidding me?
Personally, I cannot even fathom having sex with the ex, the thought makes me queasy. But apparently there are divorcing couples out there who continue to have sex with each other after a divorce. I find this quite surprising.
Why get a divorce if you still want to sleep together? Maybe couples who have had an amicable divorce still find each other attractive and use each other physically until they find a new relationship? But it seems more likely that couples who are intimate after divorce are unable to sever the ties between them. It makes it twice as hard to move on if you are still having sexual relations with your ex.
There are so many things to worry about when you are trying to rebuild your life after a divorce. You have to be willing to let the physical side of your relationship go so that you can free your mind and body up for the next chapter in your life. You can still continue to have a platonic relationship with your ex and it is great if you can still be friends. But that is where it should end.
Although it may be comforting and safe to continue relations with your ex, you are preventing yourself from meeting someone new. By holding on to the past, you put your dreams for your new life after divorce on hold too. It is time to let go and move on.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Crazy in The Courtroom: Are you out of control?
Yesterday, Heather Mills, former wife of Paul McCartney, was awarded 48.6 million in her divorce settlement. Not bad for 4 years of marriage. But legal analysts are saying that Ms. Mills could of received even more money considering Paul McCartney's enormous wealth and the lack of a prenuptial agreement.
So what turned the court in Sir Paul's favor? In the judge's ruling he said this of Heather Mills "I am driven to the conclusion that much of her evidence, both written and oral, was not just inconsistent and inaccurate but also less than candid."
Obviously, the judge does not think highly of Heather Mills. He did not view her as credible and it hurt her in the courtroom. There are reports today that she even throw a glass of water at her ex-husband's attorney. Although I would have loved to have done the same to my ex-husband's nasty lawyer during our divorce, thankfully, I was able to control myself.
What you can learn from this story is that any out of control behavior in the courtroom will impact your divorce case. If you are currently involved a divorce battle right now, it is crucial that you find a way to control yourself in the courtroom. You may be seething with rage at your ex, you must exhibit self-control.
It will not be easy, but you can do it. Here are a few quick reminders to help you stay in the good graces of the judge during court hearings:
1. Do not stare or look at your soon to be ex in court. Do give him dirty looks or make faces either.
2. Do not speak in court unless asked to by the Judge. Write notes to your lawyer if you need to communicate while court is in session.
3. Dress appropriately and remember to also watch your behavior while waiting for court to begin. Do not speak to your ex outside of the courtroom.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
An Important Tax Form You Must Include in Your Divorce Decree....
With the deadline to file taxes only weeks away, many divorced men and women may find themselves in a tricky position when it comes time to file their returns. In the final divorce decree, the settlement outlines which parent can claim which child. Usually, if there are two children for example, each parent gets to claim one. But some divorce parents ignore this court order and file before their ex spouse and claim both children on their tax return.
This is a clear violation of the divorce decree but since divorce decrees are usually only binding on the parties that agree to it, the IRS does not have to honor your divorce order. Meaning your ex can get away with claiming your kids. If the child lived with you for more than half a year you can go ahead and claim the child anyway, but the IRS may challenge you and you will have to prove the child resided with you.
There is an IRS form that can solve this problem. The best way to protect your rights is to tell your divorce lawyer you want your soon to be ex to sign a IRS Form 8332, waiving the right to claim the child. One must be filled out for each child. You can then in return sign one for your ex waiving any rights to claim the child he has been assigned to claim.
It amazes me that most divorce lawyers do not tell their clients about this form. It will prevent aggravation and a possible trip back to family court to enforce a violation of the divorce order later on. If you are in the middle of a divorce right now make sure to inform your attorney you want this form included in your final divorce decree.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Why Women Stay With Men Who Cheat...
The big story in the news this week is how Governor Elliot Spitzer cheated on his wife by frequenting high price prostitutes. It appears, for now, that his wife is standing by her man.
I cringed while watching the T.V footage of the Governor's confession while his poor wife stood silently by his side. Can you imagine the torment this woman going through? She is most likely in a state of shock right now and who knows if she will eventually file for divorce.
Why do some women stay with men who have betrayed them? I think there a number of reasons. Low self esteem and guilt are high on the list. Women tend to blame themselves when things go wrong. We are notorious for trying to fix problems and feel responsible for the actions and behaviors of our family members. A mother often blames herself when her child does poorly in school, for instance.
A women who discovers her husband's affair might torture herself wondering what she did wrong in the marriage to cause her husband to stray. In the case of Governor Spitzer, his wife might be wondering what was so wrong with their sex life that her husband felt the need to have sex with a call girl. What women need to understand is that their husband's infidelity was a choice he made and was not cause by anything she did. You cannot drive a man to commit adultery.
A woman may also feel guilty. Maybe she did not spend enough time with her husband or gained weight and feels he no longer finds her attractive. She becomes determined to fix her marriage and sweep the affair under the rug.
But is it emotionally healthy to stay married to a cheater? I think it depends on how the cheating husband reacts to being caught. Is he genuinely remorseful?Was it a one time occurrence? Or does he blame his wife for the affair?If he is honestly wracked with guilt and truly sorry for his actions, there may be some hope to save the marriage. But usually an affair is preceded by other martial problems that caused cracks in the marriage. If the marriage was not solid before the affair, it may be very difficult to rebuild the trust that is essential to a healthy marriage.
Time with tell if Mrs. Spitzer can ever forgive her husband. After the public humiliation she has suffered, I hope she at least takes some time out to take care of herself. She needs to explore her feelings and decide whether or not she can ever trust her husband again.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I spoke to a man the other day who is going through a tough divorce. After 30 years of marriage, his wife has left him for another man. This man is so enraged that he has considered hiring a hit man to do his wife in and also said he rather commit suicide rather than pay his wife alimony.
So what puts someone over the deep end during a divorce? I often say that people going through a divorce are temporarily insane. Emotions take over and perfectly normal, law abiding citizens become capable of acts they would of never dreamt possible. Let's face it, it hurts like hell to find out your spouse has cheated on you or wants to leave you. Feelings of betrayal and abandonment can overwhelm us.
Just the other day a 52 year old Tennessee woman burst into a crowded church with a gun, fired it and chased her soon to be ex-husband. Obviously this woman was in a blind rage and all rational thinking went out the window. Her out of control behavior maybe an extreme example of how divorce rage can destroy lives, but everyday restraining orders are filed against spouses who cannot control their emotions during divorce.
So how can you cool down and gain control when anger and frustration rear their ugly head during your divorce?
The key is to let it out. Do not try and bottle up your emotions, you will only explode later on. Feel the rage and the hurt and deal with it when it comes up. Punch a pillow, scream or call a friend and vent. Do not act on your impulses. Force yourself to stop and think before taking action. Anything you do to interrupt yourself during a fit of anger is good. During my own divorce, my husband's mistress called my eldest daughter a slut on the phone. You can only imagine the anger and rage I was feeling at her when I found out. I stopped, took a deep breath and then poured myself a glass of wine. I knew that if I had a drink I would be unable to drive and would not confront her. It worked. I was able to calm down instead of react.
Maintaining control during your divorce is imperative, but not easy. Acting out in anger and frustration can only lead to trouble. Calm down, take a step back and stay in control. Eventually the angry feelings will lessen and you will be at peace once again.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Who Gets The House? A Growing Problem For Divorcing Couples..
We are all aware of the real estate market conditions and how difficult it can be now to sell a home. There is also the issue of those adjustable rate mortgages and many families facing foreclosure because high mortgage payments they cannot afford.
So how does this affect you during a divorce? Dividing assets, primary the family home, has now become much more complicated. Here is one problem. Let's assume the husband and wife divide the martial assets so that the wife and kids get the family home. Both of their names are currently on the mortgage with the agreement that the husband's name will be removed from the mortgage a few months after the divorce is final.
When the wife attempts to get new financing on the home, she is rejected by lenders. She cannot qualify with her income and credit rating alone. Her husband remains on the mortgage and now he cannot purchase a new home. He also worries that his credit rating will be negatively impacted should his wife stop making the mortgage payments. A real life example is a divorced Virgina woman who is facing possible jail time for contempt of court because she has been unable to remove her ex-husband's name off the mortgage. She has been repeatedly rejected by mortgage lenders and has been unable to sell the home. Her ex-husband wants the court to force her to sell the home at a public auction.
This is a serious problem facing many divorced couples in the U.S today. Make sure to find out if you qualify for a new mortgage before accepting the family home in your divorce settlement. You may want to sell the home instead and rent.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
How Kids Get Screwed Up During Divorce...The latest celebrity divorce causality is the 17 year old son of Hulk Hogan and his wife Linda. The Hogan's divorce is becoming increasingly hostile and now both parties are asking the court that the other party be forbidden from speaking about the divorce to their son. In a motion filed by Linda Bollea(the Hogan's real last name), she claims that Terry Bollea (Hulk Hogan) has discussed in detail with his son what Bollea thinks are good reasons for selling the family's $7.2 million Clearwater home. Linda Bollea is currently living there with Nick, and does not wish to sell the property.
"The Husband has ... told the minor child that that the sale of the marital home will ensure the best result with regard to the minor child's pending criminal case, as well as the Husband's anticipated personal injury lawsuit," the motion says. In his own filing, Hulk Hogan accuses his wife of "highly emotional and degrading outbursts as well as ... derogatory descriptions of the Husband in the presence of the minor child."
You can only imagine what the young 17 year old Nick Bollea is feeling right now, being torn between his two parents. Sadly, many divorcing couples get so caught up in the battle with their ex, that the kids are swept into the drama. If you are going through a divorce, do not ask your kids to relay information to your spouse. Do not ask your kids to spy on your spouse either. As difficult as it may be, do not bad mouth your soon to be ex in front of your kids.
I know if is easier said then done, I have been there myself during my own divorce. Divorce has a way of bringing out the worst in people. Divorcing couples often border on being temporarily insane. All logic goes out the window and emotion takes over.That is why it is important that you take a step back and put aside your hurt and anger. Put the kids first. If you and your spouse set ground rules concerning the kids early on during the divorce, you can minimize the emotional trauma to your kids. Keep the kids out of it and you can safeguard their emotional well being.
Monday, March 03, 2008
Is Your Divorce Attorney A Money Hungry Shark?
I coached a woman today who is going through one of the worst divorces I have ever seen. I thought my divorce was terrible, but this woman's divorce made mine pale in comparison. She is approaching her third year in litigation with no end in sight. I won't go into details here for privacy issues, but the reason her divorce has not settled is because of her crazy husband and his unethical divorce attorney.
It is funny how the law of attraction works. Like attracts like. So her out of control, devious husband has attracted a lawyer who is just like him. Her own attorney informed her that her husband's attorney is not interested in settling because he always goes to trial, that is how he makes his money.
How sad that the average cost for a divorce is reportedly $106,000 per case in some areas of the U.S. That money could be used to put a child through college, instead it is squandered on high price lawyers who prey on their clients, knowing their clients are in a highly emotional state.
Of course, not all divorce lawyers are bad. There are some caring, kind divorce lawyers who genuinely want to help their clients. Many of them practice collaborate divorce law and work with mediators to try and settle the cases they see as quickly as possible. There is also the argument that many aggressive divorce lawyers are just doing their job, trying to win the case for their clients. But at what cost? If you know that your client is lying and trying to cheat his or her spouse how do you represent someone like that? You wonder how they sleep at night.
I think it all goes back again to theory that we attract like minded people into our lives. If we are angry and vengeful we will attract angry, vengeful people. Until divorcing couples wake up and realize that fighting during divorce is only going to bring misery, there will still be plenty of hungry divorce lawyers looking to make a fortune at their expense. When couples remember that it is possible to divorce and be kind and fair, then they will attract the same kind of lawyers and mediators who can help them settle their divorce fairly and quickly.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
You Are Invited to The Largest Divorce Party In The U.S...
After suffering through my nasty, long divorce battle, I was emotionally drained. When the divorce papers were finally signed, I felt like celebrating. I had heard about divorce parties, but never got the chance to throw myself one. Then I met Rosalind Sedacca, a divorced woman who
also never had a divorce party and we decided it would be fun to throw ourselves and everyone else who has been through a divorce, the largest divorce party in the U.S.
The Divorce Party is being sponsored by Divorce Magazine(www.divorcemagazine.com) and co-sponsored by two prominent professionals who practice in South Florida. Cynthia Tiano, Esq., “The Mediator,” is the author of the new book, Happily Divorced (www.divorceTV.tv). Priscilla Marotta, PhD, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and director of the Center of Psychological Effectiveness (www.solutionsnottalk.com).
"Our approach is connect with divorcing or divorced people in a light-hearted, fun way through a Divorce Party at one of the most popular night clubs in the heart of South Florida,” says Rosalind Sedacca, CCT. Rosalind is the author of How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook™ Guide to Preparing Your Children – with Love! “By offering fun games, contests, music, drinks, prizes and a free Goodie Bag, we’re inviting attendees to release some energy and have a good time in a safe, supportive environment.”
“We are expecting between 400-600 people all looking to have a good time. Your'e welcome to bring your friends to the celebration – even those who are married. And who knows, some people may even end up meeting their next ex!” We have planned a full roster of activities including a “Pin the Blame on Your Ex” game, “Toss the Wedding Ring in the Toilet,” and dancing to your favorite break-up songs all night long.
However, the theme is not about bashing and revenge. Quite the contrary. In addition to holding a “Worst Ex of South Florida” contest, we are also having a “Happy Divorce” contest inviting stories about split partners who are still getting along and plan on remaining friends. In fact, we promise that attendees who actually show up with their ex will receive special prizes.
“Our books, CDs and seminars offer sound advice for a very serious subject,” notes Sedacca. “But everyone needs time to kick up their heels and laugh, especially when life is stressful.” “The Divorce Party concept is our way of encouraging people to add balance to their lives,” adds Rowe. “Laughter, especially at ourselves, is one of the healthiest things we can do.”
Several other South Florida sponsors, including www.divorce360.com will be supporting the event with discount coupons and products in the free Goodie Gift Bags. Plus the new management at Christopher’s Night Club will be offering “Marriage on the Rocks” drink specials, discounted Heinekens beer and a Ladies Drink Free promotion from 9:30 to 11:30!
If you live in the South Florida area, come out and join us, it is going to be a lot of fun! Sign the VIP Guest List at www.secretsofdivorce.com/divorceparty.html. VIP Guests will save $2 off the $10-at-the-door admission . Christopher’s Night Club is located at 2857 East Oakland Park Blvd. in Ft. Lauderdale.