Starting 2017 Fresh

If you got divorced in 2016 and still cannot seem to find your new ‘normal’ or have a divorce that will be finalized in the new year, consider making your new year’s resolution to find peace with your former spouse and your own happiness. Use the pointers highlighted in the article below as a starting point. You will see there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

If you’re like many unhappy spouses, you probably have a list of
New Year’s resolutions. If filing for
divorce is one of them, your list of resolutions is probably very different than
it was in previous years.

Instead of planning to “read more” or spend more time at museums,
you’re probably planning on getting fit, spending more time with
family and friends, creating a balanced budget as a single person, taking
new classes, and improving your value career wise. After all, when you
file for divorce, there is no better time than to start focusing on yourself.

For recently separated or divorced people, it’s easy to get emotionally
caught up in the divorce. Often, feelings of anger, sadness, and loss
are overwhelming, but they don’t have to be. Instead of viewing
a divorce as a failure, you want to think of it as a liberation, a second
chance at happiness – and the sooner you get started the better.

Surely, you can expect to go through the initial emotions, which can be
intense, but you don’t want to let these feelings limit your happiness
for too long. If you have children, now is a great time to
focus on them, without your cellphone distracting you.

If you don’t have children, you may want to focus your energy on
your family and friends, or consider taking a trip to change the environment
and get your mind off of things. If what you really need is “alone
time,” then by all means use that vacation time you have saved up
and get away.

Put Your Needs at the Top of Your List

If you have children, you need to find balance with their needs, but you
certainly want to put your needs at the top of the list. When a family
is struck by divorce, children need their parents to be loving and emotionally
strong. If you’re constantly angry or sad, it won’t be good
for your children and it won’t help them cope with the divorce.
So, you need to look for activities that can be therapeutic, that can
improve you mood.

Think, what will help me right now? If re-enrolling in college, or getting
a new job, or visiting close friends or family, or taking a trip with
your children will put you in a better place, then by all means do what
needs to be done to ease this major transition.

Money Matters Post-Divorce

A large percentage of Americans feel like their finances could be better.
When you get divorced, you want to put adequate attention on your personal
finances. Since the majority of divorcées find themselves more
cash-strapped after a divorce, it’s critical that they take a good
hard look at their finances and start implementing smart financial strategies.

For example, let’s say a stay-at-home mom has been out of the workforce
for the last five years. While she may be anticipating spousal support,
it’s not automatic. If a woman’s husband cannot afford to
pay spousal support, she may not receive it. In that case, she needs to
start thinking about re-entering the workforce and how she’s going to do it.

If her children are school-age and her husband does not earn a lot, she
may have no other choice but to find a job. She needs to evaluate her
situation and ask herself:

  • What will I do if the judge does not award
    spousal support?
  • With my work experience, can I get a good-paying job?
  • Should I go back to school so I can get a better job?
  • How much money will I need each month to support myself and my children
    after the divorce?

For husbands and wives that have been out of the workforce so they can
raise children, often, their education and job skills are out-of-date.
In these situations, it may be necessary for them to return to college,
take online classes, or attend a vocational school so they can get a decent-paying
job, one that allows them to afford Southern California’s high cost
of housing.

Aside from improving one’s employment situation and opportunities,
it’s important to put focus on money itself. Unless you’re
wealthy, you probably don’t want to look for happiness in a new
flat screen TV, or with a lavish home you can’t afford. Instead,
you’re better off creating a balanced budget, putting money in savings,
paying off debt, and finding ways to
increase your income.

As a matter of fact, if you feel somewhat or completely out of control
during your divorce, the one thing you can control is your money: how
you spend it, how you save it, and how much you make.

During a time when you feel helpless, you can take your energy and focus
it on improving your financial health. If you can afford one, now is a
great time to see a financial advisor and get advice on saving and investing.

Letting Go of the Past

If you’re feeling down and out, or holding on to the bitter aspects
of your divorce, it’s time to let go of the past. Here are a few
ways to help you let go and move on with your life:

  • Spend loads of time with family and friends
  • If you have children, spend
    quality time with them
  • Don’t regret yesterday, instead focus on tomorrow
  • Tell your loved ones how fortunate you are to have them in your life
  • Engage in your favorite hobbies and leisure activities
  • Eat right and get into the best shape of your life
  • Do something you’ve always wanted to do
  • Consider trying something new and exciting
  • Forgive your ex and yourself for the divorce and
    move on
  • Create happiness in your own life before looking for someone to share it with
  • Close the book on your marriage and focus on the next chapter of your life
  • Be polite and respectful to your ex, regardless of how you feel about him or her

If you are contemplating divorce, one of the best ways to feel good about
the process is to have an experienced divorce attorney representing you
and looking out for your best interests from day one. For the dedicated
legal representation you need,
contact Claery & Green, LLP for a
free consultation!


Suing A Spouse…

Most people would think lawsuits between spouses don’t happen, but unfortunately sometimes they do. This may happen if something truly catastrophic or damaging happens and someone needs to protect themselves and/or their assets. Now this wasn’t always possible, but as laws have changed so has this circumstance. Read more about the legalities of this in the article below.

Historically a marital partner could not sue a spouse because of “interspousal tort immunity.” The historic common law viewed spouses becoming one legal person with the husband having control over the person and property of the wife. Thus, for example, there was no criminal law of marital rape, and a wife was required to have the consent of her husband to contract and obtain credit. Additionally, it was feared, allowing lawsuits between spouses would overthrow the institution of marriage, create serious social disorder, flood the courts with frivolous claims, and encourage fraudulent activity that targeted insurance companies.

This legal viewpoint significantly changed in the U.S. legal system in the 1970s with the expansion of legal rights for women. The following are several of many examples. In 1970 California was the first state to legislatively create no-fault divorce [signed by Governor Reagan]. Marital rape became a crime with Nebraska legislation in 1976. The federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act (1974) granted married women the right to obtain individual credit, and the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (1978) protected against firing and discrimination due to pregnancy. Supreme Court decisions echoed this trend, such as Roe v. Wade (1973), and a unanimous decision in 1986 recognized sexual harassment as a form of unlawful discrimination [Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson].

Of course, precursors to these developments might be traced to many events including state Married Women’s Property Acts in the 1800s that allowed married women to manage their own property and sue and be sued. As early as 1882 a New York intermediate appellate court decision, reversed, would have allowed a wife to sue her husband [Schultz v. Schultz]. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1910 interpreted the District of Columbia marital property statute as not allowing a wife to sue her husband [Thompson v. Thompson].

Hence, today it is possible for one spouse to sue another for both intentional (deliberate) and negligent (unreasonably careless) torts (injuries). This comment briefly provides an incomplete educational overview of spousal lawsuits. Always consult an experienced attorney in all family law and litigation matters.

The rationale for allowing interspousal lawsuits was that the injury (tort) had already disrupted any domestic harmony and that a wrongdoer should not be able to escape the consequences of his or her conduct. One might initially think of physical and emotional injuries but the contemporary approach also includes property fraud.

Statutes of limitations (time period after the injury to sue) vary from state-to-state, so do not delay legal action. In some situations, the running of a statute of limitation may be stopped (“tolled”). Many spousal torts are continuing and each new wrongful action may restart the statute of limitation. A physical or emotional injury from a tort may be latent (hidden) and possibly the statute of limitations may not begin to run until the impact is apparent. Statutes of limitation issues are complex and require consultation with an experienced attorney.

There are any number of intentional torts such as parental kidnapping of children, invasions of privacy via wiretapping, video or audio surveillance, assault (threats of harmful or offensive contact) and battery (actual harmful or offensive contact), and transmitting sexual diseases. One could easily list several pages of potential torts. Depending upon state law, the damages are both compensatory (actual dollar loss including items such as property damage, medical expense, and lost wages), punitive (damages to punish a wrongdoer), and potentially attorney fees and court costs. Of course, monetary judgments do not automatically collect themselves. So a preliminary consideration in any tort lawsuit is if there are assets or insurance coverage that might be seized or applied to collect a judgment. Most homeowner’s insurance policies exclude coverage for intentional acts, among other things. Many torts are also crimes that might be prosecuted.

Some states do not allow a recovery for emotional distress without some physical manifestation of the injury. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); however, produces widely recognized physical symptoms.

A different set of legal standards may govern lawsuits separate from divorce from those that arise as part of a divorce action. A major issue is what standards a given state utilizes in dividing marital property upon divorce. Additionally, attempts to reopen property divisions in a post-divorce lawsuit may be difficult.

A claim for property fraud or for a breach of duty in managing property may exist separately from a division of property incident to divorce. However, some jurisdictions only allow property fraud claims in the context of a divorce. Some jurisdictions distinguish a physical injury claim as being uniquely personal to the injured person, and hence, always allowable either within or outside of divorce. Some states have specifically addressed these issues with legislation. Transfers of marital property to third parties, such as a paramour, that are “capricious, excessive, or arbitrary” may be subject to a lawsuit for reimbursement. The overall theory is that there has been a breach of the fiduciary duty (imposing utmost honesty and fairness) that one spouse owes the other.

Actual fraud involves proof of the following: 1. An intentionally or recklessly false, 2. Statement (words or actions that communicate), 3. Of a material (significant) fact, 4. That was justifiably relied upon, 5. Producing loss or injury. Intentional action (“scienter”) is key. Deliberately false statements concerning assets might be an example.

Constructive fraud, more commonly asserted than actual fraud, does not require proof of an intent to deceive. It is a fairness approach focusing on violations of confidence and public policy considerations. Giving away marital property, changing life insurance beneficiaries, or creating mortgages without the other spouse’s knowledge or consent are common examples. This is especially true when transfers are made to paramours.

However, note that bad investment decisions alone do not constitute constructive fraud. “Waste” of marital property involves affirmative actions of dissipation, transfers, and gifts made in bad faith to the detriment of the spouse. However, if the spouses are in business together or one spouse holds a power of attorney for the other spouse, an additional obligation of fairness from corporate, partnership, and agency law applies.

The old doctrine of “unclean hands” penalizes one who comes to court with violations themselves of good faith and fairness. It only applies to conduct related to the specific transaction(s) in question and does not relate to issues of character or conduct generally. It might be utilized as a defense to claims of actual or constructive fraud.

This brief and incomplete educational overview of complex topic is not intended to provide legal advice. Always consult an experienced attorney in all family law and litigation situations.


Letting Go

Divorce brings on changes, emotional roller coasters, a new sense of self and much more. There are things you gain and things you lose, too. Some might be by choice, but some are simply reciprocal effects from the separation. You have the choice to let go of certain feelings and items after everything is said and done, and we think the 7 things discussed in this article are a good start.

Divorce can be a complicated legal and emotional battle, but what people don’t really talk about is that divorce is an ongoing evolution, especially when you have children with your ex. I have been divorced almost three years, yet I still don’t think I’m fully through all the transitional stages. Even on a practical level I still haven’t let go of everything physically or emotionally. It is common to repeat certain things that you promised yourself you never would. Whether you are being attracted to people that you shouldn’t be with or whether it’s not finally calling Good Will and having them remove the entire contents of your garage. Here is a list of things to help in the” letting go” process.

1. Anger

A big thing for a lot of people, we aren’t great at letting go of anger, or forgiving, we can often have not such positive thoughts, related to our exes, but you have two choices focus on the past or let it go and focus on a happy future, try to constantly, remind yourself that your future is bright and in part it is a result of your divorce story. This reshifting of focus allows you to let that anger go.

2. Love

In every divorce there is usually at least one broken heart, the one that loved and lost, the one that still secretly hopes for a change of heart or reconnection with an ex spouse. This “love” you think you have for your ex is most likely not going to reignite, so you really need to learn to let this go, my motto in all relationships is why would you wish to be with someone, who doesn’t wish you to be with you? You shouldn’t because out there, somewhere there are seven billion more people you can meet who want you for you and will reciprocate this unrequited love. So let this love go focus on new people and new things.

3. Rings and things

Until my own divorce I had not really realized how important this is to moving on, when you get divorced you probably have an array of wedding items, attire and gifts from your ex, keeping these items I think takes up both physical and mental space — you open a drawer you see a ring, jewelry; you go to a closet notice your dress hanging in the back; maybe your china cabinet is still filled with wedding china and gifts? Mentally these items are constant, subconscious reminders of your ex of your failed marriage, of your past when things didn’t work out. When you purge these items you make some money but more importantly you free space in your home, mind, heart and soul for new to come into your life. I personally find it very liberating to free your soul from your past, so you can focus on the future.There is also that whole practical thing too that I have never met a man since my divorce who would approve of wearing jewelry gifts from an ex spouse, so it is also just a waste to leave these pricey trinkets in your home.

4. Right and wrong

Another thing we can struggle with, we all on some level feel hard done by, unfairly treated by the court systems, the exes, the laws, the way things played out, maybe we feel 100% that we are right and our ex is wrong, maybe they cheated, maybe they lied, maybe they didn’t declare financial statements and now you see them driving around in new car. A million actions by our exes make us want to scream this is wrong, I am right, but ultimately you have to let this go. Shift your thoughts into “it is what it is” and let it go. Focus on changing what you actually can have the power to change within your own life, focus on making today, tomorrow and the here and now all it can be, because sometimes the very best thing you can do is let it be.

5. House

This one is tricky because often finances dictate where or how you live, I think though that new beginnings are better in new surroundings. We often ask to keep our marital house in our divorce but almost as soon as you actually get to stay in it you can regret that choice, much like the wedding items, homes are filled with memories, good bad and otherwise, I remember the internal awkwardness of having my first boyfriend spend the night in my home, there is something liberating of letting your home go, starting fresh in a new home, new place, new beginning a place that only you alone have ever lived in. So if you can financially make a move do it, let your home go too.

6. Expectations

Wow, expectations can be so different of what divorce and dating would be like compared to what it actually is, I always tell people divorce is basically switching one set of issues, with a new set being single. Over the years you come to realize life is much more about enjoying the journey than achieving your goals. I have learnt that you can be happy alone, that you can gain joy from dating people you like and enjoy their company you don’t always have to only date the one. I wish someone had told me, that there is no kind of instant happy after divorce, no super cure or band aid for the pain endured, but that like everything in life it takes both time and work to get anywhere. So expect to work, focus on yourself and daily happiness in yourself, love yourself, let go of what you thought it would be like and let it be what it is. This is you new life, that you are in control of your happiness in.

7. Sadness

Sadness after divorce and through your divorce journey can come and go like waves, prickly feelings of failure, grief, uncertainty, this is all normal, cry when you want to, get a massage, go for a run, do something that makes you happy. Surround yourself with people who genuinely care, read a book, go on a trip, but let the sadness leave you. Don’t hold it in, just let it go, daily make a choice to be happy and to let sadness go, it can be done. Daily small steps, as a friend of mine once said “actions can change thoughts” really good thing to remember when letting all these things go. Small daily actions can change and alter your thoughts and cause much happiness.

Everything can always get better, everyone can be happy and happier after their divorce, but if you carry all the baggage with you after divorce, you won’t get there very fast.


Who Gets What?

If you are going through a divorce and you own property/assets as a couple it might be challenging to decide how to split things up. This blog post, written by fellow California attorneys, does a great job of thoroughly explaining how the State handles property division in a divorce. Read the full piece below and be sure to explore the rest of their blog!

If you are a resident of Los Angeles County and are headed for a
divorce, you will surely have questions about your rights to marital property
and your obligations to pay off certain debts acquired before, during,
and after your marriage took place.

For starters, you should know that California is a community property state,
which means that each spouse is entitled to half of the marital assets
and property acquired during the marriage. Spouses are also equally responsible
for the marital debts.

Not all property owned by two spouses is considered “marital or community
property.” Separate property is
not subject to division during a divorce, meaning the spouses get to keep their separate property,
which includes:

  • Property acquired before the marriage
  • Gifts and inheritances acquired before, during, or after the marriage
  • Personal injury settlements or jury awards

Generally, everything else is considered community property and is subject
to a 50/50 split. But, just because spouses are entitled to half of the
marital (community) property, it does not mean that couples have to divide
everything down the middle. Spouses have every right to reach an agreement
of their own; they are NOT required to split their assets equally.

Facts About Property Division in a California Divorce

Now you know that in a California divorce, under the law spouses are entitled
to half of the marital assets, but they are not required to stick to that formula.

Since spouses generally prefer to craft their own marital settlement agreement,
the courts rarely have to step in and decide for them, but when a couple
cannot agree, a judge will divide the couple’s assets and debts
according to California’s
community property laws.

With these basics in mind, there are still other factors that come into
play when a couple divorces and divides their property. You may be wondering
if you need a divorce attorney to help you divide your property, and the
answer is not straightforward, it depends on your individual situation.

Do you have significant assets, such as a home, several real estate properties,
or a business? Or, are you and your spouse in a significant amount of
debt? If you are a high-net-worth couple or if you have a lot of debt,
it is wise to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer.

Even if you do not anticipate a contentious or a litigated divorce, an
attorney can be very helpful when it comes to saving time and drafting
a fair marital settlement agreement, one that ensures your rights are
protected during the divorce.

Do you believe you already divided your property?

Let’s say you and your spouse physically separated. Each one of you
took the furniture you wanted, and each one of you kept your own vehicles.
You already divided your property, right? Not exactly.

Under California law, a friendly agreement among spouses about furniture
and vehicles is not enough. It does not matter if you took the living
room set and your spouse took the bedroom set, or that you took the truck,
while your spouse kept the four-door sedan.

According to the divorce laws, it doesn’t matter who took what. Until
a judge officially awards the items to one of the parties, they still
belong to the community. On the other hand, the separate property that
belongs to one spouse remains his or hers, even if they allow their spouse
to use it.

Determining Fair Market Value

In a divorce, one of the most complicated aspects can be dividing the marital
property, especially when a couple as accumulated a significant amount
of assets over the years. Often, spouses will have to determine the fair
market value of an item during the division process.

Determining the fair market value has nothing to do with retail, or what
you paid for it. It has to do with how much you could get if you sold
the item “as is” today, in its current condition. For example,
if you bought a couch and loveseat for $2,000 10 years ago, how much could
you get for the set at a yard sale or on Craigslist today? That $2,000
couch and loveseat may only be worth $200.00 today, if that.

If you are trying to figure out how much your car is worth, you can find
out its fair market value by checking the
Kelley Blue Book. On the other hand, if you need to figure out how much your home is worth,
we recommend contacting a local real estate agent.

The agent can give you several comparable values in your neighborhood,
or you may want to have an appraisal done.

What if I bought something with my own money?

Let’s say that during your marriage, you worked and put your paycheck
into your own, separate bank account, and you used that money to purchase
your own vehicle after you became separated.

Not only did you pay for the car with your own income, but the vehicle
is titled in your name alone. So, this means that the car belongs to only
you, right?

No, that is not the case. Even if you paid for the car in full with the
money that you earned, and from your personal bank account, your spouse
still owns half of the vehicle. This is because all of the money that
is earned by two spouses or domestic partners during a marriage (or domestic
partnership) is considered “community property.”

This means that all community property belongs to both spouses equally,
regardless of who paid for it, or whose name is on the title.

Do you have further questions about how community property and debts are
divided in a California divorce? If so,
contact our Los Angeles divorce firm for a free case evaluation.


Things to Consider Post-Divorce

If you are recently divorced and are having a hard time wrapping your mind around what to do next, this article might help. Whether your marriage was one year or twenty years, you have lost a big part of your life. Going forward, there are things you should keep in mind about healing and starting new relationships.

Confession. I was never the girl that dreamed of my wedding. I always thought that brides were beautiful, but I didn’t fantasize about being a bride. I didn’t comb through wedding magazines or wonder about the man that I would marry. I’m not too sure why, I’ve just never been that girl. 

When I got married, I was happy to do so. Being a bride was a wonderful feeling. I love fairy tales and romances. The wedding was not the thing that I focused on. It was the marriage part that worried me. 

And now that the marriage is over, the marriage part still worries me. People ask me when and if I want to remarry. I’m not so sure that I want to and if I do, I don’t want to rush into anything. Marriage is something that I’m not so sure I have a grasp on.

I have baggage. 

And I’m aware of it. 

We all have those things that we hold on to. Those feelings and emotions that have served us throughout life, even if they were dysfunctional. 

When we are seeking a relationship, we are focused on what we do want. We rarely talk about what we are bringing to the table ourselves. And we all have baggage. Residue that travels with us from life experiences in general. That load can be heavy after a while. 

We all need to unpack at some point in time. Take an honest look at ourselves, when it comes to relationships and life in general. 

I got married thinking that it would change my view on marriage. And for the most part it did, but looking back, I’m not sure that I was ever really completely sold on the idea. There was always a slight nagging in the back of my mind that kept me partially unavailable. No one else can unpack your bags for you. It’s a job that you have to do all on your own. 

Here’s a few things that I’m learning in the process.

No one can love away the hurt. It’s up to you to manage your own issues. You can’t expect someone else to fill the voids, make things better, or make you happy. 

Relationships are 100/100 NOT 50/50. Two whole people need to come together in a relationship, not two halves hoping to make one another whole. 

Be open to your compliment, not someone to complete you. We are always looking for someone to provide the missing pieces or at least glue them back together. Instead, we should be open to someone who provides a level of balance in our lives. 

Don’t be afraid to get rid of what’s not working. We clean out our closets. Why won’t we do the same with our lives? Why can’t we say “I always choose the same ‘type’ and that’s not working for me” and stop. 

 A prophet named Erykah Badu once told us that dragging around all of those bags would hurt your back. She suggested that you pack light. I couldn’t agree with her more. 


To all the Single Moms

No one is in any way trying to minimize just how hard it is to be a single parent. The struggle is so very real but when you are having a particularly hard time with trying to make sure that everything is in place and that the kids are taken care of, you should remember the wisdom from this single mom/blogger going through the same things. You are not alone.

June 2016 was one disaster after another for me. I was happy to say “Bye, Felicia” and usher in July. You see, in the course of a month, my HVAC unit needed replaced, the hot water heater went out, and my car broke down (on the way to my son’s birthday party). I wish I were making this up — my life felt like a comedy of errors, except I wasn’t finding any of it funny.

I was stressed.

About money.

About getting to t-ball games and kindergarten meetings.

About doing it all alone.

My hair was going gray at a faster rate than normal, and I was without the money or car to remedy it. My usually bright and cheerful disposition turned solemn and sour. I was snapping at my kids more often. Did they listen to anything I said? I felt tired and weary and slightly crazy.

And I felt like I was failing as a parent.

July 4th rolled around, and the kids went to their dad’s for the day. I had walked into standing water in the kitchen the night before (water heater again?), so I knew I wouldn’t be much fun to be around anyway. I kissed them goodbye and took myself back upstairs to bed wondering if July 2016 was going to be just as bad.

I slept for a few hours, cleaned, did a couple of loads of laundry, watched some grown up TV. Then I waited. When would they be home?

I texted their dad, “Are the kids coming home soon? Too quiet here.”

As tired as I get and as often as I wonder if I’m failing and as flustered as they make me sometimes, those babies are my world. And everything feels off when they aren’t with me.

They finally returned home. I had their pajamas ready, and we turned on a movie and snuggled on the couch. My son asked if he could have a snack (all day, every day). I told him if he got something out of the pantry I would open it for him.


On his way to the kitchen, he stopped and said, “Mommy, you’re the best mommy.” He was so sweet and sincere. Tears welled up in my eyes.

I hadn’t been my best self or parent the past month. I was weary. I was in survival mode. But that’s not what my son saw. And tired single mama, that’s not what your baby sees.

She doesn’t see the gray hair and worry lines.

He doesn’t see the home improvements you think need done or the bills from the ones you’ve checked off.

She doesn’t see the tears you cry after bedtime while you pray you’re a better parent tomorrow.

He doesn’t see the twenty pounds you would like to lose.

She doesn’t see the floors that you need to sweep or the kitchen table with crafts all over or the dishes in the sink.

Instead, they see a home where they can play and learn and be themselves. They see a place that they are safe and well cared for. More importantly, they see a person who is beautiful because she has made it her life work to give them the best life possible. While they cannot comprehend the dedication and sacrifice (can anyone really until she is a parent herself?), they know who is always there for them — from tucking them in to getting them ready for their first year of school. Not just the fun stuff, not just what is convenient or fits into a tidy box. But they see a strong person who is there for all the messy and wonderful parts of parenthood.

Chin up, tired mama. They see the love. Most importantly, they feel it.


Dealing with Rejection

Rejection is a common experience. Even the word rejection gives you a strange tightness in your chest, a pit in your stomach and a furrowed brow. There re a lot of ways that we have been taught to deal with rejection. For many women, we are even taught that it’s a sign that a man actually likes you but this article might change the way you look at unrequited feelings.

Watch video below:

When your partner leaves you, getting over the heartbreak can feel like an impossible task. 

What you may need to process the pain is a change in perspective, philosopher Alain de Botton says in a new illustrated video from The School of Life. 

“Don’t attempt to minimize what’s happened,” he says. “Being brave
has no place here. Allow your sadness so much room, so much time, so
many melancholic songs, hot baths and indulgent meals, you eventually bore yourself back into an appetite for life.” 

Once you’ve acknowledged your sadness and had some good cries, try not to blame your ex too harshly for the breakup.

Read more at:

Hitting the restart button

Divorce can be such a traumatizing event that lingers as it penetrates every facet of your being. Every part of your life is completely different and the effects of your divorce can be felt by friends and family. This is a touching story from a contributing writer for the Huffington Post about rebooting after divorce.

re-boot: to restart.

It took a long time for me to re-boot post-divorce.

December, 2015 was the last time I had to appear in court or a lawyer’s office…

…I had filed for divorce in December of 2009.

Six years of fighting for what is right (i.e., my ex paying child support and splitting our property in half; he didn’t want to do either) is long, tedious, tiring, and sometimes demoralizing. I spent more of my life in a courtroom, lawyer’s office, and on the phone with said lawyer than I care to really think about.

Although the first couple of years were so hard and so draining, the best thing I did for myself was to legally change my last name to one *I* chose. It was really my first step to taking back my life. It wasn’t about anyone but me, myself, and I. It was a gift to myself.

The next year or so, I began to come out of the fog and re-boot my life. It really did feel as though everything had been on “pause” during the divorce; but of course it wasn’t, and Life has a way of going on about its own business. I had a lot of catching up to do.

I began making decisions, tentatively at first and nothing too big. As I regained my confidence, I made bigger and bigger decisions. I had strong allies in my two best friends, a great therapist, and several other people who have become very important to me. And as T and I began looking at adding him to our little family, I was deciding what I wanted my future to look like for the first time in a long time.

And suddenly I discovered I was happy!

I truly hadn’t felt that way in years. Not just being content, and certainly more than getting by. Actually happy. What a revelation!

groove: a settled routine, situation, or an activity that one enjoys, or to which one is especially well suited; a very pleasurable experience; something that is sustained in a distinctive, regular, and attractive way; performing exceptionally well.

Summing it up like this makes it sound much easier than it was. Ask anyone who was on the journey with me, it was hell: full of setbacks and unfair rulings by the first judge; harassment by my ex and his lawyers (he went through five); and to top it all off, crazy and impractical decisions by the Friend of the Court (who had never had children of her own), who decided that putting a 10-year-old on a plane twice a month to fly across the country unaccompanied, year-round, was somehow in the child’s best interest.

Fortunately (and I say that with much thought behind it), my ex decided he didn’t want anything to do with Z, and stopped all contact with him once the divorce was final: it turns out Z was nothing but a pawn to him to use as leverage against me. Difficult to swallow, yes. But even more heart-wrenching to watch my son realize. But a relationship with ANYONE is only a good relationship if it’s HEALTHY, and my ex did everything possible to poison that one. Z has since moved on (with love and support from his family and friends, and the help of a really good child psychologist), and is happy, healthy, well-adjusted, and successful in all the ways that matter in a child’s life. And to him, T became “Dad” early on, so it turns out he’s not missing anything after all.

So that was one of the first parts to my getting my groove back: making sure my son was ok. The next part was finding some kind of “normal” for us, and that came in with T. He naturally became part of our everyday lives, even when he was across the country. Later, when we decided to buy our house together, I think all of us felt the security that can only come from a real Home with the people you love most.

The last part for me was embracing the dream of writing full-time. I love writing my weekly column; I love writing the stories for the magazines and The Huffington Post, and our local newspaper. And even if my novel never becomes published, at least I will have given it my best shot!

Never easy, but always worth it, I’ve fought to rebuild my life the way I want it. I used to feel “the other shoe” was always about to drop, but somewhere along the line, that thought was discarded by my subconscious as more happiness poured in. I don’t expect Life to always hand me the win — but I also no longer expect it to hand me defeat at every turn. And I know I deserve happiness and even prosperity if I’m willing to work for it: people I love (including the furry ones), work I enjoy, a home for it all. In short, this is my way of saying “If I can do it, anyone can.”

I used to think that Ctrl+Alt+Del was something to dread, that it signified something awful was happening (“Oh my god, I’ve got to re-boot!”). But it’s not: gaining control + choosing an alternate path + deleting the worthless is a BEAUTIFUL thing! That’s my groove.