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Global Guide to Divorce

Jack Jack the Cat

Relationships

Divorce Or Break Up After the Holidays

People who are only staying together for the sake of the kids may find holidays extra challenging. A parent who was trying to stay married until at least her youngest daughter was close to going to college planned a cruise over Christmas. Yes, she only had to be with her spouse in a festive group setting, but the cruise only slightly delayed the inevitable. She filed for divorce the following February long before her target date. The holiday cruise was merely a distraction from her toxic marriage, not a solution.

The holidays can shine a spotlight on problems which are bubbling up just under the surface. Busy day to day activities with a packed schedule can mask issues that are not being addressed. When one or both have long job commutes or kids with jammed agendas, this enables a couple to pretend that everything is okay. When interacting with each other (or attempting to avoid it) during holiday time off from work, spouses can feel empty inside.  When holidays are lonelier being married than they ever were when single, this is a warning that something needs to be done. Holidays can be the big wakeup call that you really do not want to be with your partner for the next set of holidays the following December.

After a few excruciating New Year’s Eves with her husband, a woman thought over their relationship.  Coming to the realization that she did not ever want to be alone with him, pushed her into ending her marriage. Although now divorced, her solo New Year’s Eves are something she anticipates rather than dreads.

The holidays are over and people are thinking about New Year resolutions or changes that they want to make in their lives. This introspection is one reason that divorce solicitors and mediators are extra busy in January and February. Feeling hollow and that the holidays were lacking something, can point that all is not well with an area in life. If things are going fine at work, with kids and so forth, then look at your marriage. Some spouses do not see that they are avoiding each other by participating in a whirlwind of holiday events.

The holidays may have highlighted some hidden issues, so see if your relationship can be salvaged. Talk to your spouse about your relationship to determine if they are also having questions or issues. Some do this when walking which makes it easier to open up without having to make eye contact. Others may choose to discuss their relationship at the pub or over a glass of wine. If things are not resolved, consider marital counselling.  If your spouse refuses to do so, then go alone.

What Should You do if your partner is a bully during your divorce

Divorce, in normal terms, is an agreement where both parties agree on terms and conditions in order to get separated.  Well, generally there is the consent of both the spouses and their families while taking the divorce. However, there is not always an ending with the mutual consent one of the spouses makes it difficult by being a bully. Of course, you need to hire a family law attorney Salt Lake City or divorce law attorney California in order to secure yourself from being bullied.

Hiring an attorney is definitely helpful yet there are some measures you can take if you find out that you are being bullied by your spouse and settle on mutual grounds that are helpful for both the parties.

Protect yourself with mental harassment

There are times when you may feel that your partner is crossing the limits and becoming abusive and you may feel threatened. Well, both mental and physical abuse is illegal in most countries. You can file a complaint against your spouse in any matter you feel harassed or if you are being threatened.

Create a supportive network around you that can help you and work as a witness as it is difficult to recognize that you are the victim of abuse and keep them approachable to help you out.

Consult your divorce lawyer

You must consult and inform each and everything to your divorce lawyer Salt Lake City. Of course, your partner being a bully does not want to communicate with you, then you must let your lawyer communicate. You must be confident enough to inform everything to your lawyer as your lawyer will understand the situation and will not let you get into the uncomfortable zone with your partner.

Keep everything legal

If you know that you cannot pull up your points in front of your partner is a bully and does not allow you to convey your thoughts properly. In general situations, it is advisable that they should sort out through mediation or collaborative law but your situation is unusual as your partner will not allow you to reach mutual consent.  In such cases where one of the partners is abusive, the decision should be taken by an independent judge. And in court, the behavior of your partner can turn out to be useful for you, just make sure you have a skillful lawyer who is aware of the tactics and the nature of the court. A family judge will take the decision on the most ethical note that can save you from all the trauma you are suffering because your partner is a bully.

Conclusion

All the divorce cases are not the same, and all the cases don’t end in mutual consent easy agreement. There might be some exceptions such as your partner being a bully, fraud, or an extramarital case. Each case requires time and attention and keen observation. So if you are in a situation where your partner is a bully, mark the measures that are mentioned above, they can really help you out to overcome the situation. I wish you all the luck that prevails!

 

 

Tips For Learning The Skill Of Small Talk -The Way To Connect With Others

Life’s  upheavals  bring change which may necessitate  finding a new set of friends.  One can have just gotten through a divorce or relocated for a job. Small talk is the way to establishing connections with others.  You may feel like a nine-year old kid again on the first day at a new school.

It can be challenging to make small talk. Individuals have avoided parties and gatherings because the thought of engaging in this is scary. Small talk is an important skill – whether on the social scene or in networking. It enables one to make crucial contacts in their field. Small talk is necessary to establish a relationship which can result in a sale or a regular client.

Small talk starts out on the surface. You are both fishing around initially to discover a common link – an interest or activity. It might be the stage of life you are currently in – getting a divorce, or being parents to a toddler, etc. When the common link is found, then a portal opens to a deeper place of communication. You took the plunge and are now having a fulfilling conversation.

There are ways to make small talk less painful and more spontaneous. Attend an event. You have an instant topic of conversation – the concert, rugby match, school play or whatever it is. A co-worker who loathes small talk joined several MeetUp.com groups. The initial conversations are focused on the specific purpose of the group (hiking, books, travel). She can handle talking about the subject and picking up tips from the other members.

At a party, a good ice breaker is to ask how a person knows the hosts. You may find out that you both have things in common. Other sure topics to get things started, is to inquire about pets/children/grandchildren/holidays.

I comment on a person’s unique jewellery or article of clothing. This often leads to “I bought it in India” and we go on from there. Even something as banal as the weather can start an involved conversation on sports. I talk about how weather impacts my running and they may talk about skiing.

An acquaintance feels small talk can be superficial. She does not like it when strangers at a gathering, ask her questions. She feels this is an invasion of her privacy. People may ask questions to loosen your tongue. These individuals are merely trying learn a little bit about Rose. If she would volunteer information first, then it would not seem like an interrogation. Rose could turn the table around and ask them questions, thus not feeling on the spot. People have different levels of what they consider is private. An introvert like Rose, finds it more challenging to open up about their life.

In this digital world, small talk seems to have disappeared. Texting gets right to the point, by-passing the nuances which are picked up when being face-to-face. When in person, if one skips small talk and communicates in the digital style, it would be perceived as too abrupt.

Small talk takes practice, like other things in life. One does not pick up a violin and play it like a virtuoso on the first try. Nor be proficient at getting goals when learning football. Start in little increments. Talk to a person standing in the queue at the grocers. Chat with a sales clerk. Work up to more challenging encounters, such as at a wedding reception or Bar Mitzva celebration. I have made close, life-long friends by starting with small talk.

I am also a dating consultant and release weekly podcasts.     datingcoach.coach

More Than Just A Snore: The Impact Snoring Can Have On A Marriage

Snoring can be incredibly annoying, especially if you aren’t the snoring partner. Many people are nighttime snorers, but did you know that over time it can cause problems for your marriage? Not only can snoring be a sign of a bigger health issue, but leaving it unchecked can progress into relationship issues no one wants to encounter.

So, just like you would work to get your child the help they need, you need to tackle a snoring issue with as much concentration.

What Can Cause Snoring

Anyone can be affected by snoring, and there are a variety of issues that can lead to snoring. Some common symptoms are:

  • Sleeping on your back
  • Nose or throat infection
  • Deviated septum
  • Obesity
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Sleep apnea

Now, most of those causes you have probably heard of before, except for maybe sleep apnea. This sleep disorder is triggered by your airway being blocked, leading you to wake up multiple times a night to restart your breathing. There are many complications associated with sleep apnea, and as snoring is one of the key sleep apnea symptoms, it is essential that the snoring partner is tested to rule out the problem.

How Snoring Can Impact Your Marriage

It can seem like hyperbole that snoring can have any real impact on your marriage, yet it can take a toll, especially as disruptive snoring can lead to heightened negative emotions.

For example, say your partner has started to snore loudly on a nightly basis. Not only can it be difficult to get to sleep if someone is snoring in your ear, but if your partner snores loudly enough to wake you up multiple times a night, it is highly likely that you will feel pretty irritable with the lack of sleep. And we all know when we feel irritated, it is far easier to pick fights and take offense to things we normally brush off.

In fact, researchers conducted a study that examined how married couples were affected by having one partner constantly woken up by snoring. Their initial survey revealed that people who slept near a snorer often had low satisfaction with their relationship, and often, communication deteriorated as tempers shortened with the lack of quality sleep.

Ways To Tackle Snoring As A Couple

Rather than allow snoring to become a wedge between you and your partner, there are ways to tackle snoring. Some of these solutions depend on the snoring partner taking action, but having a supportive partner to assist and cheer on can make all the difference as changes are made. Ways a snorer and their partner can tackle this sleep-disrupting issue is by:

  • Sleeping on their side, using supportive devices if needed.
  • Making sure they are not overweight and losing weight when necessary.
  • Being tested for sleep apnea, either with a home sleep test or sleep study.
  • Resolve allergies or infection to open airway.
  • Have surgery to correct nasal passageway issues, such as overly large adenoids or a deviated septum.
  • Avoid substances like muscle relaxants, alcohol, and nicotine.
  • Use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to reduce breathing stress.
  • Elevate the head so that it is slightly above the rest of the body.

While there are clearly other associated factors, snoring can be the catalyst that leads to serious  marital struggles. Do what is needed now, as managing a partner’s snoring is far easier than couples counseling, separation, or even divorce, when the right steps are taken.

Author of this article, Tyler Jacobson, enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative work. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere. Follow Tyler on: Twitter

 

7 Ways To Express Your Love For Your Partner Without Saying It

Love is that effortless emotion that can transform even the most impassive person. Sometimes we miss out on the signs or moments where we can express our love, without saying a single word. These are simple gestures towards our partner. Understanding the tiniest detail of your loved one shows how much you love him/her.

Saying ‘I Love You’ always works and will end your fights magically. Here are a few other creative ways to express your love for your partner without having to say it.

  1. Share your deepest fear/secrets  

Our deepest and darkest fears or secrets are very personal. Sharing these with your partner will make him/her believe that you trust them entirely. This can make them feel really special and loved. It expresses your faith in your loved one and assures he/she is the most important person in this entire world. Also, it allows your partner to help you get out of it if you wish to. Growing together in love, eliminating flaws or accepting them, finding serenity is all that matters.

  1. Attention to Details 

When does he/she wake up? What is his/her favorite dish? Or favorite T.V show? Small details can bring immense happiness. If you know your partner’s favorites, what keeps them happy or what puts them off, you will be able to express your compassion towards them. It will show that you care for the minute details only to bring that smile on your partner’s face. For instance, opening the car door for her, placing the food on her plate, keeping the hot water ready for his/her bath. Small acts matter in love. And these are not just a onetime action. Practice it to engrave it in your nature. Be genuine and don’t make it pretentious.

  1. Listen  

Listening involves paying interest to no matter what your partner is saying. Put your phone down, and prioritize the person in front of you longing to communicate. To listen to your partner is to show that you genuinely care for him/her. It shows your involvement physically and mentally. Look at them and show your concern, and when the need arises, give your opinion. Your partner might need your consideration or assistance with something which they might have shared just yesterday. It is the simplest way of expressing your affection without the need for uttering a word.

  1. Send Gifts  

Yes, and there is no need for any special occasion. Randomly pick a flower and surprise her. Send gifts to his/her office, giving them a chance to chuck out tensions. As said earlier, a gesture of your love, your presence that you are there for him/her forever, makes a huge impact. That is how you can convey love. Send your girlfriend a dainty piece of casual white dress to let her know that she is the angel of your life. Or surprise him by planning for an adventure, a dinner date, where you could cook for him and eat with some wine like Stella Rosa Black and champagne like Totts or maybe a football game date or any other sport he enjoys the most.

  1. Understand Each Other’s Ambitions or Choices 

At the end of the day, you and your partner are two separate individuals with different aims in life. Your ideologies are compatible, but ambitions might differ. Your way of expressing affection should involve an understanding of that. Compassionate love is about appreciating by allowing your partner’s individual growth and success. It becomes a matter of respect. Give your partner space. Believe it, giving each other space will make your relationship healthier. How much you value your partner’s dream to achieve something. Learning how to cook a new dish is also an achievement. Celebrate it without any reason to show her love.

  1. The Magic of Touch 

Animals express their love through touch, and that is always mesmerizing to witness. The magic of touch is effective enough to heal even an ailing person. Hold hands while watching a movie. Make your partner feel exceptional because he/she has you to support and stand by any day. A simple act of touch and cuddle can tickle that spark between you every time. A kiss on the forehead itself speaks a thousand words.

  1. Stay Positive  

‘To err is human; to forgive, divine.’ Focusing too much on flaws will bring negativity to your relationship. Instead, ignore those aspects and center your relationship on positive things. What binds you together? What do you love about him/her? Life is too short to hold on to grudges or fights. Be thankful for who your partner is. Imperfection makes us the person we are. So, figure out how to accept those and move on. That will show your true love.

Conclusion:  

Communication is the key to build that mutually engaging relationship where both can pour out energy and soul in making each other feel special every day. Compromising at times on petty issues will prevent unnecessary arguments. Love might mean different for each one us. Do not conclude that your partner doesn’t love you on the basis of these. He/she might express it in another way. An act of kindness, a piece of thoughtful advice, touch, is some everyday actions that show love and compassion.

Author’s Bio:
“Jessica Smith has been writing for a few years now. She is a writer by day and reader by night. She was a very quiet child but writing always inspired her and that is why she began writing in her free time. She loves reading, be it a newspaper, a book or anything. She also loves cooking, traveling and dancing. She wants to be a successful writer as writing is her passion.”

 

 

 

How to Maintain a Relationship – People Share Their Secrets

After getting divorced one may be more cautious when dating again – wanting to avoid potential pitfalls. Your marital union has ended and it can be puzzling how other folks stay together for half of a century. A variety of couples graciously revealed their secrets to what makes a relationship last.

Just let go

At the end of the day, let go of the trivial things which happened. Do not get worked up over the small stuff, but rather focus on what is important. When we carry all of these insignificant grudges around, they become a big load. No one is perfect – so give your partner some slack. Do not keep score. “I did this so you had better do that.” One acquaintance kept a tally of grievances and when she reached a high number, they got a divorce. A friend kept track of who did what chores. She expected them to be split 50/50 even though she worked fewer hours outside of the home. That ended in divorce. Your spouse’s actions are not motivated by malice, so just let go. We all have annoying quirks.

No one has the power to  “make” you happy

People have divorced or broken up with partners when that individual no longer “made them happy.” We choose our feelings and no one else has the power to make us feel a certain way. It is in our control to be happy or not. Long -term couples said that they required other relationships besides the marital one, such as being in clubs and with friends. The Dalai Lama states “True happiness does not depend on an external being or thing. It only depends upon us.” When becoming unhappy, that is a red flag to have a discussion with your partner. One woman informed her husband that she wanted a divorce because she was so unhappy. Talking this through, they discovered that she missed her old job and was miserable being a stay-at-home mom. Once back in the workforce, she was content with her life.

Follow your gut instinct

A priest said that he talks to both mothers when doing weddings. He tells these ladies not to interfere with their children’s relationship. Do not let your friends interfere with your relationship either. Friends can mean well, however give lousy advice that is detrimental. They may have their own agenda, which does not align with yours. Two co-workers were close and the friend played racquetball with the other’s husband. She pretended to support her married pal, but the end result was that the couple got divorced and the other two got married. Trust your gut instinct and do not rely on others to offer opinions on what to do. I knew it would be a mistake to get married to my now ex-husband. An older family friend kept insisting it was only “pre-wedding jitters” and to go through with it. Big mistake listening to her.

Be  careful about what you say

Be careful of what you confide to others -especially when going through a difficult time. Friends will side with you and may not like your partner after hearing your complaints about him or her. They often continue to loathe them after your problems are resolved. You may be told you are too good for your spouse, when personal details are overshared with family and friends. What you say in anger can have a negative effect on their viewpoint of your partner and of you remaining in the relationship.

Share

Couples stated that sharing was important, which includes sharing child care responsibilities. One father said that he is “the bottle washer” since his wife also works full time. Sharing household duties means looking around for what needs to be done and not waiting for a partner to ask for help.

Have fun and a sense of humor

Many said having a sense of humor keeps things running smoothly. Laughter connects people and having fun adds spice to the relationship. Couples have taken up Salsa dance lessons, golf, joined gourmet dining clubs or got into volunteering. They have become active in community issues or rediscovered a long-lost passion in life. These people are reinventing themselves together on the same path. Life events have kept some individuals from traveling in the past. I have met many couples in second marriages exploring the world and ticking off exotic places from their Bucket Lists. Others have gotten involved in projects together, such as renovating a house for retirement is a sunny locale.

At a fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration, the wife said that “commitment is love – you can’t have love without commitment.” When they went through rough patches, they each knew the other was committed to the marriage and was not going to bolt. Secrets to lasting love is to have kindness, be respectful of your partner and put them first in your life above others.

Originally published in Divorce Force   www.divorceforce.com/

Why Staying Together For The Sake Of The Children Is Not Always Best

Parents sometimes feel that they are doing their children a favour by staying together instead of getting a divorce. Are two parents in the house better than in two separate households? Not according to a study done in the UK. 82% of children stated it was better for their parents to separate than stay together because of them. Emotions are contagious which means kids pick up on the unhappiness and tension in the home. Parents may erroneously feel that their angry or hurt feelings are well hidden behind smiling masks. Youngsters are smart and figure out that something is not right between their parents. My sons asked me for several years why I waited so long to get a divorce. My parents screamed at each other behind a closed door when I was a toddler. They divorced when I was four and it seemed like Christmas every day afterwards.

Some couples claim that they are staying together for the sake of the kids when the real reason is fear of the unknown. Consider consulting a professional if this might be the case. If wondering if you would have enough money post-divorce, meet with a financial advisor or career coach. They can look at your assets and financial state to give an idea what to expect. A relationship therapist can help you sort out the pros and cons with staying or divorcing plus give support. One grandmother was afraid if she divorced that it would affect how much she could see her grandkids. A reality check helped her to follow what was really in her heart.

In the same study by the charity Resolution, 31% of the children were upset about their parents putting the other one down in their presence. This draws kids into one’s divorce drama. If they defend the absent parent, the one criticizing may get angry. If they are silent that may be perceived as agreement with the criticism. It puts the youngsters in an uncomfortable position. Nearly 90% of the children felt that their parents needed to stop making the divorce process seem as if they had to take sides. Even if a third party is involved in the divorce – do not talk about them to the youngsters.

Children know that they got half of their DNA from each of you. Trashing the other parent may be misconstrued that part of them is bad, mentally ill or whatever you said about the other parent. I told my sons that each of us made some mistakes and look at what did and did not work. Use that information to become fantastic parents themselves someday. It is okay not to mention the other parent at all. I still do not talk about their father, but will listen without commenting if they feel the need to speak about him. Some people can co-parent wonderfully together and others cannot for various reasons. I interviewed former spouses in the school setting regarding their secret to being able to co-parent so well. All stated “we put our egos aside.” Fabulous advice. Make “doing what is best for the children” be your motto.

When splitting up, keep in mind that you have needs too. It is easy to let friends fall to the wayside when struggling through the divorce process. This is when you need a support system the most. Make some time to be connected with others – even if for a quick latte. One accountant who was swamped with end of tax season work, went off to see a movie. She said when life is most stressful, that is the time for a short break to get one’s batteries recharged and get rejuvenated. Just as you require some fun built into your schedule, so do the kids. They need to blow off steam, get away from the divorce situation and just be kids. Think of some enjoyable activities – a carnival, bowling, ice cream, white water rafting etc.

Shake up the rituals that you did when married with a different twist post-divorce. Go to different restaurants and venues to replace old memories with new ones. I was trying to keep many of the same routines post-divorce with my sons. After they commented about the unpleasant times spent in places that we went while still married, it was my wake up call for a ritual overhaul. We stopped going to the old restaurants and replaced them with lively cafes and coffee houses. We found different travel destinations which were exciting. A way to get over the past is to have new adventures. If fear is holding you hostage, there are professionals who will hold your hand all through the divorce process and guide you every step of the way.

Originally  published in Splitsville    splitsville.com   which is a social utility where you’ll connect with others,
swap stories, get ideas, solutions and much more.

Early Warning Signs Of A Potential Abuser

There are early warning signs that you are in a relationship with a potential abuser. After divorce, one may have joined an online dating site and now has a string of first and second dates. While people put their best foot forward and hide their darker side – it is still possible to catch a glimpse of who that person really is. One may feel it is love at first sight, however if something does not quite seem right, put the brakes on. Trust your gut instinct. Your subconscious is screaming at you to back away when these signs of a potential abuser appear:

  • Are they disrespectful to anyone? While no one agrees completely with another, people can agree to disagree in a respectful way. When a date treats others callously so early in a relationship, this is bound to get worse. This may include name calling or derogatory labels. If women are called obscene terms, hit the road.
  • Are they controlling? They want to plan your social life and dictate whom you may see. They may tell one how to dress or where they can go. They want their dating partner to get their permission to do various activities.
  • Potential abusers excel at using sarcasm with little jabs at others. They may mock what you say. They make “jokes” at your expense and say you are “too sensitive” if you are hurt or object. They are critical and judgemental. There do put downs which may begin in private and progress to belittling you in front of family and friends.
  • They are possessive which may seem flattering at first. One can mistake this for affection, when really it means you are their property. For example, a person may keep their arm permanently attached to you in a group setting. Instead of love, it can be marking their territory. They may call multiple times of day to check up on you.
  • They are jealous of your relationships and may attempt to isolate you from others. In some cases, the person is jealous of their date’s children. They resent the time the parent spends with their kids and competes for attention. These potential abusers want to be the centre of the universe and get upset when forced to share their date.
  • They blame you for their bad mood or blame others for any misfortunes. They cannot handle feedback that points to any mistakes they have made.
  • The biggest sign is that they have violent behaviour which may not necessarily be directed at you. They start with a small action at first, such as throwing a book across the room in rage. It progressively increases in intensity, such as hitting the couch near you, or tossing your possession at something. It is only a matter of time before you become the target of physical abuse. It is so important to get out of this relationship immediately and not listen to any excuses. Leave after the first violent act and not wait until you become the punching bag.

This true case illustrates several points mentioned above. Violet dated a medical student from a fantastic family. Ken appeared to be loving and caring, yet a few things bothered her. He blamed others for his mistakes or said they were wrong when his discrepancies came to light. He belittled Violet in front of others and her mum begged her to leave him. She did not. Right before her trip abroad, Violet asked Ken to drive her to a store to get some cosmetics. He refused –saying he did not want her to look pretty for other men. Then he gave her a prominent hickey on her neck which was very visible.

When Violet returned, Ken put a fist through a door inside her flat. Shortly after that he threw her shoe at the wall, which resulted in a hole. The violence scared her and she realized what would be happening next. Violet realized she had given Ken too many chances and promptly broke up with him. A few years later an acquaintance revealed that Ken married and got divorced the next year. She knew why.

It is easy to fall into the trap of listening to excuses and giving extra chances as Violet did. When any act of violence occurs – no matter how small – end the relationship.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine    thedivorcemagazine.co.uk

 

Can Divorce Be Contagious?

Experts suggest that a Friend’s Divorce may encourage you to seek one too

Although a marriage is typically private and not influenced by anything outside of the close circle, it is now thought that a divorce between your friends or somebody else close to you may well have an influence upon you and your own relationship. With this in mind, we look at whether or not a divorce really can be considered as contagious.

Why are Divorces being considered as Contagious?

Expert researchers are finding that the concept of a divorce can make its way through friends, family and even work colleagues, should one couple within those groups start their own divorce process. In fact, those around somebody looking to obtain a divorce may be 75% more likely to get their own divorce. It is thought that the ending of relationships within groups can spark something in other people’s minds, leading them to begin questioning their own relationship and what they want their own future to hold.

It is also said that the divorce often fights against the stigma surrounding breakups and how it may affect children, proving to people that it can be done in a way that doesn’t have too much of a negative impact. However, as many can imagine, these findings also suggest that knowing a number of different people that have previously gone through a divorce can actually be bad for a marriage, putting it at a greater risk of ending in divorce.

Realising the Action that your Marriage Requires

When family, friends or other people close to you get a divorce, you usually look at your own marriage and realise its current state. You may think that the couple getting a divorce were happy, and that it could mean that there are underlying issues in your own relationship, as there may well have been in theirs. This often installs a fight or flight response, encouraging you to realise how lucky you and your partner are, or encouraging you to realise that your own marriage holds some issues.

Once this has happened, you either realise that you can continue as you are and live your happily married life or that you need to make some changes. If you find that you need to make changes, having somebody close by that is going through a divorce can be very beneficial to you. With a helping hand from a friend, a blueprint to follow or even women being empowered, their divorce can help to guide you through your own.

Although ill-feelings will almost certainly have been there before somebody else’s divorce, the fact that they take the plunge and try to change their life often gives others the strength to take action too. Divorce is often a word that people are afraid of, but it can also be something that brings a breath of fresh air to life, and can lead to bigger and better things.

Kerry Smith is the Head of Family Law at K J Smith Solicitors, specialist family law solicitors that deal with a wide range of issues, including divorce, domestic violence, civil partnerships, and prenuptial agreements. Kerry has over 15 years experience in family law and is recommended by the Legal 500 guide to law firms in the UK.

Cohabitation – Why The Law Needs Changing In Order To Protect Modern Families

While marriage is still popular, cohabitation outside marriage is indisputably on the rise. In fact, over the last twenty years, the number of people living together outside marriage has approximately doubled. The level of protection offered to unmarried couples in England and Wales in the event of a separation, however, has not. Scotland does have some recognition of unmarried partnerships, but even so it has nothing like the concept of “common law marriage” which many people believe does exist.

The rise and rise of cohabitation 

Back in 1996 there were about 1.5 million cohabiting couples in a UK population of about 58 million people. In 2017, there are about 3.3 million cohabiting couples in a UK population of about 66 million. It’s unclear what has fuelled this rise. Certainly living together no longer carries the social stigma it once did, but just because you can do something doesn’t mean you necessarily want to. Perhaps the (potential) expense of weddings or the prospect of having to go through a divorce is making people wait longer and think harder before they decide whether or not they want to “tie the knot” at all, let alone with whom. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that increasing numbers of couples are cohabiting rather than marrying or entering into civil partnerships and yet the law relating to such relationships is essentially conspicuous by its absence.

There is no such thing as “common-law marriage”

In legal terms, marriage is a contract between two parties, which creates duties and obligations between them. As part of the marriage contract, couples agree to pool their assets and hence when a marriage is ended through divorce, assets are divided between the separating halves of the couple on the basis of law and precedent. This is by no means a perfect system and in the real world, the nature of divorce may be that neither party feels completely satisfied that the deal was fair, but it does at least offer some level of protection for people in situations where there is clear financial disparity between the partners. Contrary to what about two thirds of people appear to believe (according to a recent ComRes poll), there is no such thing as common law marriage and hence there is, currently, practically no legal protection for those ending cohabiting partnerships in England and Wales and very little in Scotland.

Lack of legal protection exposes cohabiting partners to financial risk

When couples cohabit outside of marriage there is no automatic agreement to pool assets and there is no formal process to follow to disband the union. Hence, dividing assets can ultimately turn into a matter of proof of ownership plus practicalities of possession. This is probably most evident when it comes to property. If the house is in the name of one person, then there is a high degree of likelihood that, under current laws, they will keep full ownership of it, even if the other party has contributed to the mortgage. There are some circumstances in which a party could claim a “beneficial interest” in the property, but these are limited. Given the strength of the housing market and the rise in cohabitation, this in itself would seem a strong argument for the government to act on the urging of both members of the public and members of the legal profession, including Baroness Hale, the president of the UK’s supreme court and introduce much stronger legal protection for couples ending cohabiting relationships.

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

Emotional Aspects of Searching for an Ex-Partner Online

The internet has made it easy to check up on former spouses and boy or girlfriends. In some cases, one may feel relief, “I dodged a bullet on that one.” In other instances, it can lead to the what ifs – “What if I had stayed with him/her.” When deciding whether or not to look up an ex-partner, first think about your motivation. Is it idle curiosity or pondering the question of getting divorced, if an ex may be available?

One acquaintance’s wife went on social media to discover the whereabouts of an old boyfriend. She contacted him and they started having long weekends together that she passed off as business trips. When her suspicious husband confronted her, she confessed about the affair. This couple soon divorced and she later married her former boyfriend. Be clear why you are seeking out information, especially when already in a committed relationship.

People may be delving back into the past to see if they have made good choices. This can get into the dangerous territory of regrets. There may be one person who slipped through their fingers and got away. Seeing that individual’s fabulous lifestyle online can have one questioning why they broke up with them, especially if currently going through a divorce. People may wonder if they were too hasty in letting a love interest go. Instead of saying “what if” think about the great children you now have or the life experiences you would have missed if you did not take the road that you did.

Social media and online searches hit the surface- the great professional accomplishments- but usually do not get at the character traits and values. What tore you apart before, can still do so today unless you both have changed or had some type of enlightenment.

After much prodding by a friend to look up people online, I recently decided to give it a go. I searched for a former fiancé and got quite a surprise. I had broken up with him because of a few character issues and I am sure I had my quirks too. He got married within a few years after our parting of ways, which ended in a divorce fairly quickly. What I discovered online is that he is one of the top surgeons in his field, won all kinds of awards, including “Best Doctor” and is employed at a prestigious institution.

What comes as a surprise is the intensity of emotions that arise as a result of searching for a person from your past. My fiancé and I had a clean break and two years later bumped into each other which ignited our passion. We decided to pursue getting back together again. It  seemed like miscommunication on both of our parts led to us each thinking that the other had changed their minds. When I realized our mistake over two decades later, I went through profound grief  which manifested itself physically, as if big waves were crashing against me. I mourned not having his loving parents, siblings and extended family in my life. I felt a sense of loss. Others may experience anger, sadness, or wanting a time machine to go back into the past. When deciding whether or not to do a search, be prepared for some strong reactions to what is discovered.

If having problems after doing an online search for an ex, consider a session with a life coach. They can give you a reality check and get you back on track.  Thinking over our last phone call, I thought maybe my communication was not clear.  The coach pointed out that my fiancé had the responsibility to clarify what he thought my message was, in case of misinterpretation.   He easily could have popped in where I worked to see me. This was before cell phones, so I did not have a way to contact him. My life coach suggested perhaps a marriage for us was not meant to be.

In some instances, former boyfriends and girlfriends have found each other again through social media and got married. The common thread is that they are both single and what broke them up is no longer a factor. These include having been too young, parental disapproval or a long-distance relationship, such as going to universities on different continents. It was not a character flaw.

There is a way to satisfy curiosity regarding old classmates and high school sweethearts. See if your class has a group on social media, such as on Facebook where you can catch up with these friends. You can find out what is new with your former flame in this group setting, without contacting them directly.

After a traumatic divorce, one can be lonely, especially when losing friends and some in-laws because of it. One can feel vulnerable and trying to get comfort from past relationships may not be the right path. Give yourself time to heal and gain self-understanding before attempting any social media searches for past partners. When feeling alone, consider networking, meeting new people and joining clubs. Take up old hobbies and follow your interests. Surrounding yourself with supportive people may be what you need most, rather than searching for former loves.

My article was originally printed in DivorceForce   www.divorceforce.com/   Affected by Divorce? Join DivorceForce, the online community committed to empowering those affected by divorce. Many helpful articles for those facing divorce.   @divorceforce (Twitter)

 

New Trend for Second Marriages

There is a new trend after divorce when getting remarried, which is each person keeps their own home. Some divorced folks whose subsequent marriages are in their second decade or so, claim living apart is their secret to marital satisfaction. Keep in mind, these are people who do not have a child together who would be shuttled back and forth between two places. These couples are childless or have offspring who have flown the nest. Why is this occurring?

In one case, a couple could not decide which location to live in. Although neither had nine-to-five jobs, they had work commitments tied to their residences. He free-lanced in London and she was an artist near Cornwall who painted exquisite landscapes. They felt that they had loads of time to decide where to live which turned out to be the key to making this work. He spends long weekends enjoying the bucolic countryside around her cottage and she likes the excitement of a few days in London. They use their time apart for some solitude or getting together with local friends. What surprised these two was that they had already hit upon the solution – to continue their current lifestyle permanently . When together, they are very focused on each other. How does living in separate households work?

  • Are you both independent types who crave alone time or do not want someone around 24/7, no matter how much you are in love? One couple who each have been divorced, are both in education. He is on the faculty of a college and she is a therapist in a primary school. They live nearby in their own houses and have been together for nine years. She states that they would “Drive each other crazy” if they ever lived under the same roof.
  • Logistically is it better to have your separate places? This may be due to having to be near elderly parents or a family member with a terminal condition. Another example is when job commitments are in different places and each wants to keep their house.
  • It may be temporary, such as when someone has a job contract that will be finished in several months. A divorced woman with a beloved elderly cat married a divorced man who has a severe allergy to them. The cat was not going to be around much longer. She was at her condo every day to feed and be with the cat, sometimes spending the night, particularly at the end. Her husband told me that he has such respect for his wife. They knew this was a temporary set-up and the cat died six months after their marriage. This woman has no regrets since her eighteen-year-old companion lived out his final days in a familiar place.
  • Maybe one is a big city person and the other loves farm life or living in the countryside. This does not have to be an either-or situation. Living separately part-time and commuting to be with each is doable. It helps when the couple’s places are an easy drive or linked by good public transportation.
  • Two opposites may attract, yet not be able to live day-to-day with each other. A divorced woman wed a military man who was a widower. He had been married for fifty years and was used to things being done in a certain way, plus has quirks from his time in the military (extreme neatness). She is a creative artist who is oblivious to a mess and is attached to her tiny home. He bought a condo a block away and so far, this situation is working out for them.

Families may not mix well. I asked my divorced friend what was the happiness secret for her subsequent marriage which lasted twenty years. She replied “Because we each had our separate houses.” Please read more   www.thedivorcemagazine.co.uk/new-trend-in-life-after-divorce/