I find that the things that you love the most are also the things that test you the most and offer you a glimpse into the story you tell about yourself. Our children are a perfect example. The inadequacy that parenting our children brings necessarily invites a story. Sometimes one that is pretty self-shaming.
One of the most common post divorce litigation issues that I see involves the selection and contribution toward college costs. Usually divorce agreements fall into two categories; those that specify exactly what the parties’ contribution toward college will be and those that indicate that a determination of the parties’ contribution will “abide the event,” and be based upon a consideration of the parties’ abilities to pay and the other common law factors found in the seminal case Newburgh v. Arrigo.
For many of us self-care is synonymous with things like trips to the spa or once a year vacation and is permissioned perhaps as only an intermittent break from the stress of our everyday lives. But I believe that a habit of true self-care is essential to how we stay present in our lives, how we resource ourselves to make better decisions and create the sense of agency necessary to make changes. It is also the well from which we draw our energy to give and care for others. But how many of us are running on empty all the time between work and home life? How often is taking care of yourself the thing that comes last or the first thing to go when your schedule goes sideways?
As you can probably guess from some of my blog posts, I’m a big proponent of practicing good self-care. And there are many different ways we can practice self-care; regular exercise, meditation, a healthy diet, and one of my personal favorites (and the subject of my REST blog post)- a habit of good sleep. But over the years, I have come to realize there is another really important aspect of self-care that many of us don’t exercise frequently enough that is critical not only to our health but to our enjoyment of our lives, and that is practicing healthy boundaries with unhealthy people.
The dog days of summer are upon us and a lot of us are enjoying much needed getaways and vacation time with friends and family. In keeping with my “R” theme (check out my blog posts on Resolve, Readiness and Resilience) I want to focus on an under-rated but powerful tool not only for stress-relief but for getting centered; REST. Yes, you heard it. I’m advocating doing nothing.
When it comes to divorce, everyone has heard the time-honored phrases, “I’ll see you in court!” and “you’ll be hearing from my attorney.” But what a lot of people don’t know are that there are several options for how to resolve your divorce that don’t involve going to court. Attorneys call the method by which a divorce is conducted “dispute resolution”...
I read a gorgeous New York Times Article recently about Dr. B.J. Miller, a palliative care doctor, who became a doctor after becoming a triple amputee. He has become famous in the last 2 years from his 2015 TED talk entitled “What really matters at the end of life,” (which has about 5 million views). What struck me most about Dr. Miller is how in learning to embrace his injuries he learned the truth about what truly makes us whole. A truth that he uses to help dying people face death.
The question he asks of his dying patients with maybe only months, weeks or even days to live is “What is your favorite part of yourself?” “What do we want to protect as everything falls apart?”
Sometimes the end of your divorce case is just the beginning of a long road of dealing with your ex-spouse. Maybe you have small children and will be co-parenting for many years, you have a home or retirement assets that you have to work together to divide or maybe you have support obligations that will have to be adjusted or revisited in the years following your divorce. The emotional and financial cost of continuously litigating with your ex-spouse is great and can dramatically impact your quality of life post-divorce. In my almost twenty years of practicing family law, the following are my most frequently recommended tips for avoiding unnecessary court costs and post-divorce conflict:
One of my daughter’s favorite holiday books is Llama Llama Holiday Drama, about a little llama who gets overwhelmed by the holidays. Unfortunately, getting caught up in “holidrama,” isn’t just for little llamas. Almost everyone experiences some form of their own “holidrama.” This is especially true if you are going through divorce or are sharing the holidays after a divorce. With competing personal, work, family and holiday obligations, the cost of gifts and entertaining as well as our emotional expectations around time with family and holiday traditions- the holidays can be overwhelming. They can also create situations ripe for arguing over parenting time with your spouse or ex-spouse. My best advice is DON’T, if you can avoid it. Not only will it cost you money in attorney’s fees, but it can also ruin your holidays and maybe your children’s holidays as well.