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Finding Yourself - Life after Divorce

Moving on with your life after your divorce is a challenge. It forces life event changes – whether you like it or not. You have gone through a major loss and the healing process may take some time. However, there IS life after divorce. Life after divorce is a process of moving on and finding yourself. It could be filled with the unknown but it could also have excitement. At this very moment, you may think your world is coming to an end – you are lonely, depressed, angry and just about ready to give up. You may even feel overwhelmed with issues and other arrangements set by the judge such as money, children, downsizing your family home, and who you are ‘in the now’. Hold on. Things will turn around and you, one day, will feel great – even– better than great. Once you get through the divorce process – the legal, financial and emotional aspects involved – things will get better.

Below are some helpful hints to help you feel encouraged – not discouraged:

  • Find a friend to talk to – share your feelings about what is happening
  • Write your feelings on paper – talk about your day
  • Hit the delete button on revenge – there is no place for revenge, especially when you need to concentrate on the future
  • Focus on your job – it’ll take your mind off divorce
  • Do stuff you wouldn’t do before – broaden your horizons – take a dance class or vacation
  • Be social – don’t stare at the four walls or the television screen

Even though you are no longer part of a couple, you are still a complete person. Take the time to find that new person and make yourself your number one priority.

Don’t Get Caught Off Guard

Life after a divorce is separation is going to be different. Different can be good, different can be bad… but either way it’s change and it can be hard to deal with. Lee Sears at DivorcedMoms recently wrote a post of the most surprising things post-divorce that she wasn’t expecting. We thought this information could be helpful so you’re not caught off guard by some of the life-altering changes:

  • You can do more than you think. You might feel like your ex handled finances, house repairs, cooking, etc. and that you’re helpless, but you’re anything but that. You can learn if you try, and when push comes to shove you’ll make yourself do it. There are always YouTube tutorials!
  • Friends aren’t forever. As much as we all wish they were, you’ll lose friends during the divorce process. Some for good reason, and many for not… it will happen. Don’t let it get you down. Think of it as an easy way to weed out the people who aren’t friends you want anyway.
  • Good men have boundaries. Men worth your time will tell you right away if they’re married. They do this as a sign of respect to their wives and because they know you’re single. If they don’t say, they may be a cheater… or they’re single and good luck.

If you are dealing with a divorce case or want another look to a finalized divorce case consider the law offices of Holstrom, Block & Parke, we offer the experience and understanding needed with such sensitive matters. Because this is a life changing experience we know the last thing you want is to be stressed, we have the resources you need to help you and your family cope and be able to live happily under the new circumstances. We will fight to protect you’re interest we know that the outcome is very important and it will reflect years to come in your life.

We are proud of our reputation for providing personalized service to every client. Our attorneys treat you like a person, not a case number. We understand that you are facing serious legal issues and it is our job to help you resolve them in the most efficient and beneficial manner possible.

How Can Women Increase Their Income After Divorce

Divorce affects everyone differently. For the lucky few, divorce is a relatively pleasant experience. Some individuals are able to amicably wrap up their relationship and move on. For others, divorce can be a tedious and stressful process. Individuals can get to such an unhealthy point in their relationship that they want to fight over every asset and issue surrounding the divorce, almost as if for sport.

Regardless of the type of divorce you are going through, there is often some stress related to the unknown because imagining life after divorce is impossible. On top of worrying about issues such as your future living situation and the effect that divorce may have on your children, there is almost always stress surrounding finances.

A lot of stress regarding finances can be overcome by increasing your income. Some of us are stay at home moms and some of us work either part-time or full-time; but even for those of us that work full-time, our family’s total income has likely decreased because we no longer have our ex-spouse’s income coming in. But how can we, as women, increase our income?

First, sit down and write out what marketable skills you have. It is important to actually write down what skills you have so that you can create a plan for yourself moving forward. Even if you did not work during the marriage, it is still likely that you have marketable skills. For example, a stay at home mom that helped volunteer as a team mom or helped coach her daughter’s soccer team has plenty of marketable skills. That individual has experience working with children, has the ability to coordinate events, has experience dealing with unruly parents, and has the ability to both lead and be a team player. These skills will transfer into a plethora of job opportunities that are not necessarily limited to the realm of sports. While applying for a job at a sports complex or getting paid to coach are some of the more obvious options, these marketable skills will also transfer well into other fields such as an event planner, babysitter, or customer service representative.

Second, look at your schedule and write down the realistic hours that you have available to work. It may be the case that you only have a couple hours on the weekends when your ex-spouse has parenting time. Or, it may be the case that you have to work from home. Regardless of how little “extra” time you have to work, any extra work you do will lead to an increase in your income and a decrease in your stress.

Third, start actively looking for a job. If you do not look for a job, be certain that a job opportunity is not going to just fall into your lap. Remember that creating a new opportunity for yourself will also help you to move on. This job will be something “new” that doesn’t have anything to do with your ex. This is a healthy way to start paving the road to creating a new life after divorce.

How To End A Marriage

Telling your spouse that you want a divorce, for most people, is easily one of the most terrifying things they’ll ever do. If you’ve been in that position, you may recall the need to be sick or the complete lack for words. If you’re wondering what to say and how to say it… this article is for you. Psychotherapist Abby Rodman outlines for HuffPost Divorce several ways you can end the relationship.

We’ve summarized her thoughts below:

  • If you’ve been staying married for his/her sake: remind him/her that making a clean break is everyone’s best chance at finding true happiness and love.
  • If your spouse has no idea you’re thinking of ending the marriage, apologize for not being open about your feelings. Realize he/she knows you’ve been distant and it’s time to explain why. Explain that poor communication is just one reason the marriage isn’t working.
  • If you’ve screwed up, own it. Tell her she’s been a wonderful spouse and you know that you screwed up. You may have done it because of the relationship issues but you realize that’s no excuse. Regardless of how sorry you are, you think it’s best for both of you to part ways.
  • If your partner is going to freak out and be emotionally unstable, preface the fact that it’s taken you a while to tell him because you know it won’t be easy. But regardless of his feelings, you need to do what’s best for both of you and you know he’ll recover and move on in time.

My Children Need Help

I have heard so many times that after a divorce the parent’s getting along just fine. But there are times where the children themselves cannot get along with their parents.

Children of any age may feel angry when their parents are no longer living together. They are uncertain of what the future holds for them, making the situation stressful and confusing.

It is up to you, as the parent, to make the transition less painful for your children. Helping your children cope with your divorce means being understanding and supportive and attending to their needs with a reassuring and positive attitude.

I know that you are in uncharted territory, but you can help your children to feel loved, confident and strong. Here are a few tips to help your children adjust:

  • Keep your patience
  • Have a listening ear open at all times
  • Provide your children with routines they can depend on
  • Make sure they know that divorce was not their fault
  • Remind them that they can always count on you for stability, care, and structure
  • Try to maintain a cooperative and communicative relationship with your ex
  • Make your children your number one priority

Children go through a range of emotions during the divorce process. Their biggest source of anxiety is the fact that their parents will no longer be together and will no longer be a part of their day-today activities. Pay attention to any changes in your child’s behavior, such as anger or depression.

The practice of family law entails more than just an attorney advising a client about their rights.

If you are going through a divorce and your children are having problems coping with it, contact Holstrom, Block & Parke family law office located in Orange County for the help you need.

Because family issues involve highly emotional and personal situations, we can help you and your children get through what could be the most stressful experience of your lives.

The Perks of Being Single

Most of what we write about deals with successfully making through a divorce. And then after divorce we give advice on co-parenting, coping, moving on, etc. What about the perks? You’re single again! If that doesn’t make you a little happy, you need a new perspective. Not being tied down, no matter what the age, can be exciting. You have your freedom again. In case you need some inspiration, Huffington Post readers shared the following best things about single:

  • Your days of feeling lonely even though someone is right next to you are gone
  • No more arguments—for the most part
  • You have your own bed every night. Well, every night that you want your own bed.
  • Spend money however you want. You know all those things you didn’t buy because you didn’t want to deal with your ex being pissed about it? Go buy them.
  • Create your own future. You have no one in your way and you don’t need to think about how a partner might be affected by your decisions.
  • You may actually have the best sex ever. Find that passion again.
  • If you were ever emotionally or physically abused, that will no longer have a place in your life. You should never put up with that again.
  • You know that horrible feeling looking at someone, or your wedding ring, and thinking “worst mistake of my life?” Never again.
  • You have an excellent chance to learn from your past mistakes and be more careful when it comes to choosing a new partner.

What's Keeping You From Moving On?

Once it’s all said and done, divorcees just want to “move on.” A long divorce process can involve a lot of blood, sweat and tears and you’ll want to put it all behind you and start living. Yet a few months have passed and you find yourself stuck in a post-divorce or separation rut. Life doesn’t seem to be moving and you’re not sure what’s holding you back.

Author Lisa Ardens recently wrote that there’s a good chance you’re probably doing one of these things wrong if you’re having trouble moving on:

  • Forgiveness: Most people respond with frustration when asked to forgive their ex. “How could I possibly forgive him/her?” is a common response. But the old saying is true—you’re not hurting him or her by not forgiving your ex, you’re only hurting yourself.
  • Grasping: When we lose a part of ourselves, or big changes occur, it’s common to grasp at whatever is left. Often the only thing left after all the paperwork is signed is pain. You hold onto that pain because it’s the only thing you have left to remember the last time you were a family. (Or what you view as a family.) Letting go of that pain means you might start to forget that time. And that’s ok. It’s time to let go.
  • Associations: That song, that image, that dress, that car… there are so many things that can immediately pull you back into “that life” and “that time” with your ex. Good news- you can retrain your brain. It will take time and it’s not easy, but you can consciously decide to think of those things for what they are now, and what they could be, not what they were.
  • Isolation: This is an issue for introverts, more often. It may seem like a natural reaction to isolate yourself from the world. And if you need to for a week or so, go for it. But know that it’s not healthy and you need human interaction. There are friends and family members who will listen and want to be there for you. Or they will just go out with you and get your mind off it. Let them help. Humans are not meant to be alone.
  • Self-care: This can be the biggest struggle for single parents, especially if you now bare the sole responsibility of caring for your kids. Remember that you can only sufficiently take care of them if you’ve taken care of yourself first.

Divorce: How to Begin the Healing Process

The divorce process takes a toll on your emotions, which range from sadness to anger. It makes sense that after all the commotion, you should step back, take a breath, and begin healing so you can love again, learn to live, and survive on your own.

Four Steps to Healing After Divorce:

  1. Find out what causes your personal issues. Everything you are revolves around who you think you are and what you think of yourself. After a divorce, take the time to go on a personal journey of self-exploration and use that to your advantage. Use it to strengthen your weaknesses and improve your self-image.
  2. Don’t resist the pain and agony of your situation. It’s important to feel your pain in order to push through it and become a stronger, happier you. If you fail to feel and accept your pain, you do yourself a disservice that will prevent you from making peace with your situation. Once you experience your hurt and pain, you will find it easier to let go of it and feel peaceful and happy again. You will find you don’t need a mate in your life to be happy and fulfilled.
  3. Let go of what was and embrace what is in your life now. It’s okay to talk about and remember good and bad memories. However, when you do, let the ones that cause you the most stress go since they hold power over you that keeps you from moving forward in your own life. You are no longer “we” but “me,” so own it and embrace it for all its worth.
  4. Accept how you feel and know it won’t last forever. You already know in your head that bad times and feelings eventually fade away and don’t have any bearing down the road in your life. Take that information and use it to empower yourself every single day. Take control of your life, live it, and let yourself thrive. Don’t fight or resist life.

Be patient with yourself and ask for help when you need it. Don’t be afraid to feel, remember, let go, and renew yourself while you are going through the process of healing.

If you are getting ready to go through a divorce, the first step is to find an experienced Corona attorney to handle the legal aspects of your situation. A good attorney will take a lot of stress off you and let you begin the healing process before the divorce proceedings are over. You need to know your rights and take care of divorce business before you can move on and heal. You have nothing to lose when you take advantage of a free initial consultation with an expert divorce lawyer.

Forgetting About Your Ex

Unfortunately, the quest for love is not always smooth sailing. At some point, most of us will have to endure the heartache of a breakup. Whether you have been in a relationship for years or a few weeks, getting over your ex and moving on can be both a laborious and emotional process. During this time, it is important to remember that you need to take care of yourself and proactively move forward in a healthy direction.

  • Manage your expectations. Most relationships were not built in a day, so it is unrealistic to presume that you can get over your ex overnight. Give yourself some time to work through your feelings. This is important because you will not be able to move on if you have not dealt with your past. If you are having trouble coping, reach out to your friends and family or seek counseling. If you are not in the mood to talk to others about your situation, write your thoughts down in a journal. Suppressing your feelings at this stage in the process can be unhealthy and can cause you more emotional strain later down the road.
  • Accept that your relationship is over. You cannot move on with your life until you let your ex go. If you feel haunted by old photos and/or belongings, get rid of them. Stop communicating with your ex and resist the urge to respond to him/her. Try to avoid running into him/her around town and at social gatherings. The less you see your ex during this period of grieving, the better.
  • Look on the bright side. Remember that there are positives to being single. Often, in relationships, we spend an extensive amount of time catering to the needs of our significant others and we forget about our own needs. Take this opportunity to focus on yourself and cater to your own needs.
  • Stay busy. It is natural to feel lonely after a breakup. Instead of dwelling on what your ex is doing, make plans to hang out with your friends and family. This will help you to take your mind off your breakup for a while.
  • Embrace new experiences and try new things. Whether you go camping, hiking, join a club, take a cooking class, learn to surf, or just make some new friends, you are creating new memories that don’t revolve around your ex. This will help you remember that you can live a happy, healthy life without him/her.

The Phases of Moving On

Once a divorce is finalized, you may decide to move on. Some people may also have family or friends that encourage or force them to move on. It must be noted, forcing oneself to move on can make it harder to recover, we outline some stages people may go through if they do force it. Even if your are ready to take the plunge, you may notice your actions in some of our phases.

  • Bunny Hop - This phase can be seen just as a person starts divorcing or is finalizing their divorce and we call it the “bunny hop” phase, where the person hops from this to that. They may date different people, start internet dating, remove old friends and make new ones, travel, get a new job or try new jobs all together. This period can be necessary to understanding your new self and trying things you never would have before – which is healthy. The problem can substantiate if you never step out of this phase and grieve your marriage. Confronting your failed marriage and the pain or anxiety that comes from it is a necessary step to moving on.
  • Wallowing - This stage is complicated. A recently divorced person has decided to grieve but life has just caught the better of them. Their new relationship ends, they can’t support themselves financially, they bounce from job to job for a significant amount of time, depression sets in and they feel nothing will ever get better. This stage of wallowing is where one can get stuck in cynicism and sullenness. Getting trapped here can be very lonely. Getting the right support, either through friends, family, therapists or joining new social groups can really help someone in this phase.
  • Phoenix - Actually moving on is the phoenix phase, and the symbolism is certainly on purpose. Rising from the ashes of ones divorce having moved past both of the above phases – they have let go of their marriage, they have become self-motivating and accept themselves as a flawed person but forgive themselves for it. This self-realization is empowering and allows them to find their true self. This person is open to new love, never adventures and is happier for it. This doesn’t mean this person will never feel pain or sorrow again or that they won’t think about their divorce one morning and send those old emotions right back to the forefront, but this person has an easier time moving past those moments. One day they realize they haven’t thought about their ex or their marriage for some time -that alone offers comfort and relief.

Moving on isn’t an exact science. It’s a maze one needs to navigate on their own. Our phases above can be experienced in no particular order. Obviously, other factors such as co-parenting children can be a reminder that forces movement from phase to phase as well. In this instance, remember that children grow up at some point. Our takeaway is divorce is a journey that will end eventually and we encourage our clients or anyone going through one to take comfort in that.

There is much to prepare before filing for divorce. To learn what steps you should take before filing divorce, contact our firm and set up a consultation with an attorney.

How Men Can Survive Divorce

Women are often favored in courts, whether we want to believe it or not. They’re viewed as the people who primarily raise the children, and the courts are usually more lenient on women.

So what can men do differently? Let’s look at the top five divorce mistakes men are making…

  1. Using children as pawns. When visitation or custody is a threat, it’s common for any loving dad to react powerfully. But don’t respond the same way. Don’t issue threats, and remember that the truth will come out. If you’re a good parent, Holstrom, Block & Parke attorneys will ensure your rights are protected.
  2. The other woman. We know it may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many men start dating or sleeping around before they’re actually divorced. It’s dangerous and will create issues for you. Hold off until it’s finalized.
  3. Not hiring an attorney. Your spouse may try to convince you otherwise, but you DO need our help. Look at the outcomes for men who don’t hire attorneys—it’s not pretty.
  4. Being passive. You may want a calm divorce because you simply just don’t want to fight anymore…but this is probably not the time to stop fighting just yet. You should fight for what is yours when it’s important: money, property, your children, your rights.
  5. Embarrassing your spouse. We’ve all seen the wife on TV get served divorced papers in awkward settings. You may find that comical, but it is NOT smart. Don’t add fuel to the fire unless you absolutely need to.

Tips for Guys Going Through a Divorce

AskMen recently posted some tips for guys going through a divorce trying to make it out alive.

They’re useful tips for our friends, so we thought we’d share them here.

  1. Count Your Marriage as a Sunk Cost
    In the finance world a sunk cost is something that’s already been paid and can’t be recovered. It’s natural to continue trying to save your marriage and your relationship, even if deep down you know that it’s no longer healthy and that it will never work. Once you’re sure it won’t work long-term, swallow that fact, accept it, and move on.
  2. Reconnect with Friends 
    You’ll likely lose a handful of friends during a divorce—it’s almost inevitable. So try reconnecting with older friends. Look up friends you didn’t have time to see when you were married. It’s a good opportunity to reestablish a few relationships, ones that may be necessary if you’re struggling being a single man again.
  3. Get a Lawyer 
    Do it now. Many men wait to get an attorney until it’s too late. Unless you have your J.D. you’re not qualified to know how to handle most of these situations. If you don’t want to pull over and ask for directions- fine; but don’t make that mistake in your divorce legal issues.
  4. Indulge 
    Before you were married you probably had many habits that were for single guys only. Now you can get those habits back! Don’t worry about maybe acting a little young for your age at first. That will pass. Let loose and enjoy yourself as a single guy again.
  5. Find a Hobby 
    Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but you didn’t have time? Or maybe your wife didn’t want you to? Now you can! Its healthy to indulge in self-serving practices for a little while when you get divorced, and it will help take your mind off the divorce.

Your Relationship will Change - Not End

How many times have I heard a divorcing parent say, “I just want this to be over?”

Surprise! When two individuals divorce and there are children involved, it is never over.

The divorce process usually entails having the property valued and divided, the debts allocated between both parties, a custody plan is developed and support is established.

Soon after, you receive a document called a “Final Decree.”

However, in many cases, the family home has to be sold, making it necessary for the couple to continue to cooperate in order to obtain the most advantageous sale possible. While the couple waits for the home to be sold, they must make sure the property is maintained and the mortgage is paid. Lives change all the time, making it necessary to review and adjust the child custody plan from time to time. The support may need to be adjusted if one or both parent’s incomes change; what about the children’s needs changing?

In a divorce that involves children, the divorced parents must continue to keep one another informed of decisions they make regardless of how hard that may be. Often they must reach agreements before changes can be carried out, such as a change in residence or even a change in employment.

Don’t forget – every change you might make as a parent has an impact on the lives of your former spouse and your children. This requires ongoing interaction and communication with each other. If you cannot cooperate with your ex-spouse and decide to make changes without consenting him or her first, you can very well find yourself back in court litigating the aftermath of the unilateral change.

You still need to interact after your children have grown.

Did you forget about graduations, weddings, and births of grandchildren?

Just because you have a piece of paper called “Final Decree” doesn’t mean you and your former spouse will never see each other again. You need to realize that even though your divorce changed your relationship with your ex, it did not end it. Since you two have children together, you are connected to each other forever. Why not make it as peaceful as possible?

Keeping a Good Relationship

A bitter divorce or a vindictive parent relationship can have permanent, negative implications on a child’s social life. It’s been shown that children who experience unhappy situations during their growing-up years (like a divorce) find it harder to sustain social relations because it is difficult for them to maintain intimacy with others. Not only can they develop an inability to successfully build relationships can also result in less academic and professional success. Additionally, children who experience these types of situations early on in life are more likely to suffer from depression, alcoholism, and drug abuse.

Knowing this, many parents stay married for the sake of their children. However, this doesn’t sidestep the issue because an unhappy marriage can be just as destructive and damaging to your children as a divorce. The only way to address these issues is for parents to maintain a cordial or, at the very least, neutral working relationship, and to co-parent in a cooperative manner even after their marriage is dissolved.

Do you want to know the key to success after divorce? The answer is to avoid criticizing your former partner in front of your children. Don’t you think your children will notice when you constantly criticize their other parent? They aren’t stupid; they have ears and eyes. Even if your child is too young to make these connections right now, he or she will eventually. So, remember, when you badmouth your ex-spouse, you ultimately hurt your own credibility with your children.

Whether your divorce involved personal or financial betrayal, try to get past it. Although your divorce ended your marriage, it didn’t sever the connections you still have when it comes to your children. You gain nothing by holding on to your resentment and that resentment can very well poison your relationship with your children.

If you cannot control your hurtful feelings about your former spouse, try:

  • Channeling your anger in a more positive direction, such as exercising, mediation, yoga, or housecleaning
  • Avoiding face-to-face meetings – use the phone, texting, or e-mail to communicate whenever possible
  • Not allowing your ex to provoke you
  • To remember you share children
  • Making a truce between you and your ex

If you have questions or concerns regarding divorce or any other family issue, please contact the family law offices of Holstrom, Block & Parke. We can help you move on to the next phase in your life. Schedule an appointment for you free initial confidential consultation, you can also visit us online and submit our contact form.

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