Divorce: A New Year’s Resolution

Posted by California Divorce Lawyer: It’s mid-way through December, so if you haven’t started thinking of your new year’s resolutions yet… it’s time. “Divorce” is certainly not as common as “going to the gym” when it comes to resolutions. In fact, it may seem odd. However, Bari Weinberger, Esq. believes that it’s fairly common… and a good idea.

According to a recent HuffPost Divorce article, January is the most with the most divorce filings. Here are three reasons why you might want to jump on the bandwagon:

1) New year, new you: Enjoy the holidays. Don’t file for divorce early or mid-December unless you really need to. Let the holiday spirit get you through that time and into the new year. This is especially true for parents who know the divorce will upset their children.

2) Bonus check: A more logical reason might be that you just received your holiday bonus. Divorce is expensive and you’ll want to figure out your budget as a single person again for the new year. A holiday bonus is definitely a good way to start off the year/divorce process on the right foot.

3) Planning for the new tax year: There are many divorce tax implications, and it’s smart to finish the year before drastically changing your financial circumstances. You will have more time to attend to tax planning for the year, figuring out things like who will get the mortgage interest deduction and who will take exemptions for kids. While filing in January doesn’t guarantee that you will meet the end of year requirements for filing differently next year…you have a better chance.

 

When Co-Parenting is Tough

Parenting is known as the hardest job in the world, and that’s when both parents are under one roof. After a divorce or separation, parenting (or “co-parenting”) can be even more challenging. You’ll go through ups and downs, and some days will be more challenging than others. Psychologist Dr. Peggy Kruger Tietz recently shared some advice about what to do when it’s not going as well as you’d hoped, and we thought we’d share that here: [Read more…]

Gray Divorce Revolution

A used-to-be great marriage, three kids and a few dogs later… there is an increasing number of spouses that are getting divorced in their 40’s and 50’s. Once you send the last kid of to college and you actually have to start focusing on your relationship again, your relationship may crumble. [Read more…]

New California Law Will Allow For More Than Two Legal Parents

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill into a law that will allow a child to have more than two legal parents. California is joining two other states and D.C. by making this change.

According to a press release, the bill was written to match the growing number of families with same-sex parents, biological parents, etc. Senator Leno, who wrote the bill, stated to The Sacramento Bee that he doesn’t believe this will be the case for many families, but that it needs to be a possibility for families that are in those circumstances.

The court must look at all “relevant factors” and specifically how they affect the child in determining if someone should legally have more than two parents.

The new law will take effect in 2014.

Spruce Up Your Home

Author and divorce blogger Lois Tarter recently wrote a post regarding a new, fun way to help you move on from your marriage– a home makeover! You may have the place to yourself now, and the way your house/apartment looks may remind you of your husband or wife. It may not be the smartest time to invest in a big renovation or new home, but there are cheap ways to do it right. [Read more…]

How to Prepare For Your First Mediation Session

We’ve discussed in this blog whether you should or shouldn’t use mediation, what it is, how it can help, etc. So let’s assume that you’ve decided to go through with the process. Where do you start? Divorce Mediator Michelle Rozen recently shared these eight things you should do prior to your first mediation session, and we want to share them here with you: [Read more…]

Using Experts in Divorce

While our family law attorneys are experienced in helping families throughout the divorce process, they are experts in the law. Child advocate Caroline Choi recently shared a few other experts you may want to consider using, and we thought we’d share her information with you. An expert can be court-appointed or retained by you and/or your spouse. [Read more…]

Negotiate or Litigate

That’s the million dollar question. Everyone going through a divorce needs to decide what process they’ll take. The decision you make may have a great impact on you and on your loved ones who will ultimately feel the pain of the divorce as well– such as your children. [Read more…]

Telling Your Child He/She Needs Therapy

The simple title of this post could cause some parents anxiety. For a variety of reasons, some parents are truly terrified to even try to tell their children that they may need to see a therapist. Many children should see a therapist after their parents divorce or separate, but that’s a tough thing to talk about.

Will they be angry? Defensive? Emotional? Will he think that you see him as a failure or not mentally stable? Psychotherapist Kate Scharff believes that the parents often have a harder time believing that their kids need therapy than the children do. Here’s what she says you can do to make the discussion go as smooth as can be:

Wait for a calm moment. This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many parents will get into a fight with their child and, in the heat of the moment, yell “You need therapy!” This is obviously not a good idea and will only elicit a negative response.

Identify the problem. Don’t make vague statements about what you think may be happening. Tell them exactly what you’ve noticed that has concerned you. This may help them realize some of their issues that therapy might help fix.

Offer compassion. Again, this might not need to be stated, but be as compassionate as possible. Your child will need comforting and an understanding ear to speak to.

Explain therapy. Research it and study how therapy works. This will take away some of the mystery and scariness.

Once therapy is underway…

Don’t “grill” your child. He/she may want to talk all about it or not at all. It’s ok to ask a question or two, but don’t ask 20. That may actually be quite counterproductive.

Remind them that therapy is a resource, but don’t say it too often. And please, do NOT say it as a defense mechanism… ie- “You should really see your therapist more often…” in a heated moment.

Don’t use therapy as discipline. Don’t make your child see it as a punishment, or he/she will never want to go.