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Global Guide to Divorce

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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

Civil Partnerships for Opposite-Sex Couples Denied by the Court of Appeal

A couple from London have lost a Court of Appeal battle to have a civil partnership instead of a marriage. However, the ruling which said they did not meet the legal expectations of being the same sex still stood following the challenge.

There is a possibility that this was a breach of their human rights but the couple were still going to fight the ruling with an appeal being submitted to the Supreme Court.

Why would a civil partnership be chosen instead of marriage?

The government have a wait and see policy when it comes to looking at the numbers of the same sex civil partnerships but this was deemed to be unacceptable when it came to looking at the discrimination that heterosexual couples may face. However, judges are willing to give the government additional time and that is what caused the case to be lost.

Many believe that the institution of marriage is not completely equal as it depends on your religion but many felt that a civil partnership gave people a choice while some just want to have their relationship recognised.

At this moment in time, the government has decided that civil partnerships should not be extended to opposite sex couples but it has decided to see how extending marriage to same sex couples could affect civil partnerships.

The ruling could be a sign that love and equality have been defeated because it cannot be right that gay couples have the option of a civil partnership or civil marriage when same-sex couples only have one option which is to get married.

As a result of this decision, many people are now waiting for the government to shut the civil partnership loophole by making it accessible to everyone. A debate is due to take place where MP’s will discuss changing the law so that mixed-sex couples have access to a civil partnership with many MP’s believing that the government has no-excuse for making people wait.

This could be seen as an element of mistreatment towards same-sex couples and the support for civil partnerships to be available to all is growing as an online petition already has more than 70,000 signatures.

In England and Wales in 2014, The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act was extended so that it included gay couples, making it possible for them to have a choice between a civil partnership and marriage. This resulted in the number of civil partnerships dropping by 85% from 2013 to 2015 as many chose to have a civil marriage instead.

Currently, the only place in the UK were gay and straight couples can access civil partnerships is the Isle of Man, although choosing this option will make the partnership unrecognised throughout the rest of the UK.

Author Bio K J Smith Solicitors are specialists in family law, with an expert team of family law professionals who are experienced in all aspects of family and divorce law.

Divorce Changes Relationships – Both Family and Friends

Divorce brings all sorts of surprises which includes how much it changes relationships. Ones you took for granted may collapse or end up being the foundation of your support. Keep in mind that those close to you are processing their own feelings and may not be able to be an immediate pillar of support. Your parents may genuinely be fond of your spouse and are sorting through their mixed emotions. Family does not have to go into mourning when they realize that their ties are not being severed, but can see your former spouse at holiday get-togethers.


The relationship with in-laws will be different. One woman decided to have a business-like one with her former mother-in law which focused only on the children. She contacts this grandmother about their school and sporting events and takes the youngsters over to her house. They are civil, but not warm to each other, which is okay.


Mutual friends can be trickier and may choose sides. If having an amicable divorce where you plan to stay in touch afterwards, get the word out to others. Their inclination may be to drop one of you, so inform them that both of you can attend the same gatherings. When couples mainly socialize together as a unit, divorce usually puts an end to that. See if it is feasible to have individual friendships post-divorce. The women meet for lattes and the fellows at another time for a sporting event. Unfortunately most of the couples we socialized with, wanted to do so only in a group. That happens and I have made some great new friends post-divorce.


What hurts is when a few relatives or step-ones are firmly in your ex’s camp. Look at family dynamics and history to understand if there is something else to it, such as revenge. One woman who could not have children resented her sister-in-law’s daughter. The aunt had confided that this child should have been hers and was not close to the girl. When her niece later got a divorce, the aunt cut ties and stayed in touch with the ex. Luckily the niece’s sons understood the situation and felt it was the aunt’s loss only. When interviewing people, I heard more similar stories to this case. When a relative pulls away, see if in the long run it really is better. Are you putting a lot of time and energy into a relationship that is more on the toxic side, just because you are both branches on the same family tree?

Please read more:

Signs You are Dating a Narcissist

Narcissists can be charming people who are the centre of attention. The spotlight shines on them and it can be enticing to be their date. They crave admiration for their overinflated egos. Something may seem a bit off, but then one thinks,” must be my imagination” since they are the focus of an adoring crowd. Here are some signs your new partner is a Narcissist:

  • Lack of empathy. These individuals do not get how others feel and are unable to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. They do not comprehend another’s viewpoint. They may appear callous and could care less about the plight of people or animals. While they may volunteer or work at a charity, it is because they garnish attention and are in the limelight. It is not because of a desire to make the world a better place. If you are upset or want to discuss a problem, they show no support.
  • Narcissists have an unrealistic sense of importance. The topic of conversation will be about them and their perceived achievements. Some of this is embellished or outright lies whether on a CV or about awards which were never really received. When caught in lies about false accomplishments, they have a plausible cover story or attack the accuser. Narcissists put others down who are perceived competitors, especially when others win awards. They are not team players and can view co-workers as obstacles to their success. See if you can talk about yourself, or if the conversation bounces right back to them.
  • They are social climbers who exploit others to help them move up to more elite social circles. They are rude and dismissive to those who cannot advance their careers or social standing, such as wait staff, sales clerks and so forth. See how staff is treated to get a true picture of someone. They will turn the charm on like a faucet when they desire a perk – airline seat upgrade, discount, prominent table in a restaurant, for example. They may make “jokes” (really insults) about those who seem worthless. They tear others down in order to build themselves up.
  • Their lives are about being seen. Yes it is fun to go to the latest clubs, restaurants and high profile events, however your role is to be arm candy. That gets old. Narcissists can exhibit hostility to those who do not give them the praise and adulation which they think they deserve. When not given the red carpet treatment, they can get nasty and belittle others.

Narcissists may not be that interested in meeting your family and friends. They make a charming first impression and then feel that they did their part. They are not going to be going to your mums for weekly Sunday roasts or chilling out with your gran watching Coronation Street. They will not be helping your parents with DIY projects or doing deeds that do not directly benefit them. They may seem bored or distant when out with your friends.

When dating, there is give and take in relationships.  With a Narcissist as a partner, there is an imbalance with them doing the taking. They may be using you, such as asking for money right away.  If you have a crisis or illness, is your partner a source of compassion and support? If having a problem, can you talk it through with your partner? Are you with someone who can just listen? If no, get some feedback from friends and family.

Cannot tell you how many folks I interviewed who chose not to listen to their friends’ warnings and said they could have avoided getting divorced if they had. If feeling confused, consider talking with a dating or life coach to ensure you are on the right track.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine

Podcast on narcissists

Ways to Make New Friends after Divorce

It is a blow to lose friendships that you thought would last forever. Some close ones may have initially been your girlfriends and then you went out as couples with spouses. To have these pals align with your former spouse is a surprise. Look at it this way, divorce lets you know who your true friends are. How do you fill these vacant positions?

  1. is global and has many groups for varied interests. I am in the local girlfriend’s one, ages 40s to 60s. We go to restaurants for lunch or tea, happy hour, lattes or whatever. These women are well-travelled, intelligent and a lot of laughs. My divorced buddy is in the hiking group. Some larger cities have divorced and single parent groups in
  2. Join special interest groups to encounter like-minded people. You may develop a friendship which deepens into love and then marriage which has happened to a few divorced people that I know. These groups may be political, civic, for a particular cause such as animal rescue, or in many other areas. Some churches have singles’ groups which do a lot of fun activities. I joined an international organization, Toastmasters, which has the added bonus of enhancing my career and boosting personal confidence.
  3. Ask your friends to invite their other friends and you do the same. Meet for Happy Hour, get together at someone’s house or at some event. This is a way to get to know others who may have similar interests since you have friends in common.

4. Your workplace may have a potential pool of new friends. See if some co-workers would like to go out to lunch or after work. You may work in IT with not much partying. The sales team for example, may be very social and have plenty of get-togethers that you could attend.   Please read more

Why People Stay in an Unhappy Marriage

Sometimes we miss the first signs that our marriage is over. It is not because we are dense, but rather that we choose not to notice these clues. Are we so wrapped up in our lives that we cannot recognize when a marriage is dead and is on life support? Avoidance is a way of not dealing with a situation. By wearing blinders – one can pretend all is fine. Admitting that there are problems is a given, that effort will be required to address them. It takes a lot of energy surviving in an unhappy marriage, and some do not want to exert more energy in fixing it or getting a divorce. This is taking the path of least resistance and keeping the status quo.

  1. Fear. One may be in a dead marriage, but fear of change can keep someone trapped. Some women enjoy their lifestyle of being a soccer mom and household manager. When not needing to bring in a second income, they can volunteer, be active in their children’s school and have more time to get together with friends. Getting a divorce is unknown territory that potentially affects their social standing, where they live and finances. Now days, alimony is usually given for a few years or so after a marriage has ended and this can be a motivator to stick out a loveless marriage. Divorce often involves moving, which is especially traumatic when liking the neighbors and house location. Divorce may feel like a gamble – so some choose to stay put in their current marital situation where they know what to expect.
  2. For the sake of the kids. People may stay in a bitter marriage because they think that is best for the children. Some dads are very hands on and active in their kids’ lives, such as being their sports’ coach. Mothers may feel guilty if the kids would not have both parents in the home. While it is a noble thought to be with both parents round the clock – in actuality that may not be in the youngsters’ best interest. Living in a tense atmosphere or with angry adults is not healthy and spending time with happy parents, albeit separately, is. When caught up in the turmoil of a miserable marriage, it can be difficult to envision that there will be quality time spent with each parent. Kids will adjust to divorce especially when being with calm, less stressed and happier parents.

3. Some people stay in a marriage because they feel that they can fix their spouse.  Please read more

Fun with Friends Post-Divorce

One can have fun out with friends and not break the bank. Years ago, an acquaintance of mine was going broke in NYC because her pals only met up for dinner at pricey restaurants. They split the bill evenly so Mandy was funding filet mignon for others when she was ordering salad. This got me thinking about how to have an active social life while having plenty of cash left over for my passion in life, travel.

  1. Ditch the expensive restaurants or go there occasionally for lunch. Tally up your share and add 25% which includes tax and tip when presented with one bill for the group. I just put my money in and do not participate when someone tries to make all pay the same price. It is not advanced math to do this simple calculation which is fairer. Some upscale grocery stores have a nice buffet with plenty of tables both inside and out. I occasionally meet friends there.
  2. Meet your friends at a coffee shop for lattes instead of lunch. One orders at the counter and pays individually which is simpler. Those that want delectable food can get it. Another alternative is to meet pals in a Starbucks that seem to pop up in many grocery and discount stores and do your shopping together.
  3. Go to a reasonable nail salon for pedicures. The Asian owners can accommodate around six people for pedicures and charge a great price. We like the coffee shop a few doors down and sometimes combine these two indulgences.
  4. There are some free lectures in town and great plays at a nearby college. Nice that the student center has a coffee shop which serves lattes. Check with the chamber of commerce for free community events from concerts, craft fairs to the annual tree lighting on the green. I’ve gone to a few high school plays that have been outstanding.
  5. Watch DVDs and have a potluck at someone’s house. One friend has a small art studio which is perfect for these movie nights. This group of friends was so nurturing to my sons during my divorce and beyond. Sometimes we do quick meditations before the movie which gets me back on track.

Go to a class together. My Zumba one only charges $5.00 and my Qigong one is close in price.   Please read more



Friendships May Surprise You Post-Divorce

Divorce is a transition which means a change in many aspects of life. One of these areas is relationships, particularly with friendships. Divorce is a time to reevaluate these friendships to see if they are still beneficial or have run their course. Pals that have stuck by you through thick and thin may no longer be as supportive and it is better to not be taken by surprise. If someone is really your friend they will stick around. If they do not, is that a person you really want in your life? Divorce gets rid of these dead branches and allows new growth (friendships) to appear.

Friendship is a two way street. If you feel drained or that you are tip toeing around, then something is not right. Beware of energy vampires who seem to suck the life right out of you. I had a longtime friend who was also godmother to my youngest son. She was divorced and became fixated upon mine, wanting a lot of details. My sons would ask her to talk about something else. During my divorce, I had trouble getting a house mortgage and was under extreme stress. This friend disappeared for a few months until I ran into her and asked what had happened. She said that I had snapped at her on the phone (right before moving day) and no one had done that to her before. It was just about her and nothing about my anxiety. I most likely snapped at anyone who crossed my path, but everyone else gave me some leeway. A year later she dropped out of our lives permanently for no apparent reason. When these friends disappear it can be hard on your children.

A person who has been a mere acquaintance may surprise you and become a good friend.  A divorced acquaintance is now a pal and we sometimes compare notes about our former husbands’ antics. I feel the understanding and validation from her that I do not receive from my marvelous married chums. I became closer to some mothers at my child’s school who were recently divorced and gave me stellar advice. We called ourselves members of The First Wives’ Club.

Friendships are not static and change regardless of situations. Value the ones that stay in your life and you will meet others in serendipitous ways.

On the Fence About Getting Divorced?

The beginning of a new year is when people take stock of their lives and see what is not working out well so that resolutions can be made. Relationships are one aspect that comes under scrutiny. New Year’s resolutions may be to exercise more, cut down on booze or make a decision about the future of an unhappy marriage. It is time to resuscitate a dying marital partnership or end it. When on the fence about divorce, consider marital counselling, even if your spouse refuses to participate. This will help you recognize if the marriage is salvable or if you have been missing these clues that have led others to file for divorce.

  • You are repulsed by your spouse and do not want to be alone with them. Being in different postal codes would be even better. Sex is a distant memory. Doing things together is just not your cup of tea. You do not even like them and feel trapped being in the relationship. This is not the same as couples losing the spark that initially attracted them to each other. That often can be relit by a holiday in an exotic local or discovering a new passion that draws them back together.
  • Are your beliefs and ethics opposite? When a spouse continues to have affairs and states that you are overreacting, then consider making a permanent exit. It is being callous with complete disregard for your feelings to say you are the one with the problem, since you cannot accept it. This repeated bad behaviour with no remorse, is showing a lack of respect for you.
  • Your partner has an addiction and no amount of rehab has stopped it. There are repeated promises and tears, yet the problem remains. It could be gambling away your joint finances or being impaired. You have been patient but enough is enough. It is not healthy for you to watch someone you love self-destruct with this slow suicide. Stop playing a part in their destructive drama and walk away to protect your well-being.

One or both of you are completely indifferent. You may lead separate lives but still share the same address.

  • Having a spouse turn into a roommate keeps you trapped in a rut. Consider breaking free to have a fulfilling life and the opportunity to meet someone else. Getting a divorce takes money and energy and this may not be the path you choose at this moment in time.

Is there some type of abuse, even if not physical? Emotional and financial abuse erodes a spouse’s self-worth.

Please read more

Signs Your Relationship is Over

There are little hints that a relationship may be teetering towards divorce, but we often overlook these signs. It is easier to make excuses or to keep the relationship status quo, rather than analyse what may be going wrong. Some people felt if they pretended everything was okay, then it really was okay. Change can be hard and some may not be willing to put forth the effort. These red flags are indicators that help may be needed.

  • The big sign that I consistently observed in husbands before a divorce, was that they were jittery and nervous. They could be in a zen situation and still exhibited behaviour as if going before a firing squad. They seemed to be on red alert and looking for a quick exit. A few were even shaking.
  • Lack of sex. Are they not initiating sex or has it become more mechanical and less loving? This in itself does not point to divorce – but rather in conjunction with others on the list, it may. Avoiding intimacy and seeming more like a flatmate instead of a lover, deserves a discussion.
  • Secrecy. Your wife repeatedly whispering on the phone in another room and hanging up when you enter is suspicious. Your husband keeping you in the dark regarding his whereabouts and time he will be home is worrisome. Not being open with schedules and evasive answers is a clue that something is off.
  • Not wanting to socialize as a couple anymore is a red flag. One woman decided not to continue going to her husband’s speeches and told him she wanted more time with the kids. She felt uneasy around her husband and was not going to pretend to be the happy wife in public. They got a divorce.
  • Check on the money. Is her grocery bills, and other necessities much higher now? She may be getting cash back with a debit card when making purchases, and socking it away. Are there some discrepancies or recent large withdrawals? A spouse may be planning a getaway from the marriage.
  • Are you being treated condescendingly or belittled? Being taken for granted can happen even in the happiest of relationships, however a lack of respect does not acceptable.    Please read more…

Choosing Friends After Divorce

Guilt by association. Your friends reflect back upon you – so be selective whom you choose. Be with people in this post-divorce time who share your ethics. We do not always agree upon political candidates, religion or sports teams, but our basic values ought to be similar. If someone is skating on the edge of the law, then distance yourself from them. We are starting life anew after divorce and do not need questionable people. If pals are doing activities which conflict with your morals, then consider dropping them. Or at least take a break so you can step back and evaluate these relationships.

We are vulnerable after divorce, so listen to alarm bells going off when you are uncomfortable around someone. We may keep a friendship because it is a habit. Being in the company of unethical folks chips away at our psyche or as one woman said it is a “soul ache.” I felt sorry for a divorced dad in the construction business who needed work. I trusted him and the accuracy of his fees. When I started receiving astonomical bills for some big projects, we parted ways. This was after another guy in the same business informed me that I paid more than double the going rate. We were on friendly terms, yet he still needlessly took a chunk of my divorce settlement for some renovations and repairs. I learned that people have to earn my trust.

If you are in relationships that you normally would shun, determine if it is because you are lonely. Strengthen the connections that you already have, such as with family, workmates and supportive pals. Do not start new friendships on the basis that you feel needy, but rather that you both have something to offer. Please read more:


Getting Back into Dating Post-Divorce

It can be scary getting back into the dating scene after a long hiatus. Work on your own issues first before getting into a new relationship. One’s self-esteem may be close to non-existent after a toxic marriage. One woman I know dated right after the ink was dry on her divorce decree. She equated sleeping around with a slew of men as being popular and these relationships were short-lived. She got a reality check during therapy and now opts for quality over quantity regarding men.

Before You Date Again:

Write down what you are looking for in a future partner:

Ethics, values, kindness, interests and so forth are important in any relationship they are especially important in men you want to date. What is a deal breaker for you? Do an intake of what you have to offer someone else and see if these qualities are similar to what you are seeking in someone else.

Ask trusted friends for an honest assessment of your behavior to see if you have anything which is annoying or off-putting. One of my friends laughs like a hyena, I suggested she tone it down. And I had to suggest to another that she close her mouth when she chews. These are little things but may influence a guy not to want a second date.

Be specific about the kind of man you want to meet in your profile:

Have an accurate profile and be very specific what you are looking for in a partner. Use your intuition to weed out the nutjobs. It may be worth the extra money to go to a professional matchmaking service who does extensive personality testing and background checks. They do personal interviews to ensure compatibility right from the start. This saves time and effort when zeroing in on just the right guy. Please read more….