Now that it is fall, and my youngest is now off at college, I have started a new routine of going to yoga and running more regularly. Taking care of my physical self always helps with my law practice in immeasurable ways. Working with couples divorcing, it is important to feel centered and grounded as they go through one of their hardest journeys.
Practicing yoga regularly helps me to feel grounded and present for my clients. I was reminded of the first precept of yoga last Saturday. It is compassion for self and for others. I believe this precept applies to being an attorney as well.
Two kids talk about their experience through their teens and beyond in this book written by a Mom and her children. Focused on helping kids cope with separation and divorce, the book covers a range of topics your teen will be able to relate to.
Dealing with parents' relationships going forward are covered in sections dealing with parents' boyfriends or girlfriends, your kids' new step-parents and their experience with step-siblings.
Along the way the book covers teens' feelings at each stage of their teen years. It also covers the common scenarios of moving belongings between houses, planning and coordinating events, and harder details, such as, avoiding parental manipulation.
I recommend this book to kids between 9 and 15 and find many supporting comments about the book on the web.
Other recommended reading for teens
The Divorce Helpbook for Teens
A Smart Girl's Guide to Her Parents' Divorce
Divorce lawyers and family law attorneys have discovered that the early part of the year is often their busiest season. Some couples stay together through the Christmas and New Year holidays only to separate to ring in the New Year. Others wait to get their income tax refunds and use them to finance their divorces. By filing after the first of the year, the spouse is able to discover the other spouse's earnings as reflected on W2s, 1099s, and other tax documents.
So what does Valentine's Day have to do with all of this? Do divorce filings really go up around February 14th? Researches are finding they do. If you and your spouse are feeling disconnected, it stands to reason that when important dates come along, especially those celebrating love and family, the pain of your disconnect may be enough to push you over the relationship cliff. How do you avoid this happening to you? As always, multi-faceted fixes are in order starting with communication. Try not to harbor ill-feelings for past events and focus on the special occasion moment. Working together through the holidays and celebrating the foundation of your relationship is the first step to avoiding becoming a divorce statistic.
Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW, has published a good, brief article on the importance of not badmouthing your ex: Zip Your Lips: Resisting the Temptation to Badmouth Your Ex. She identifies 7 reasons why badmouthing isn't helpful to you or the kids. Like anything said negatively about your spouse, your kids are probably hearing it from the other side as well. Even if you think you are speaking in your defense on a heated topic, you are ultimately making yourself part of any problem a situation may have. In the end, the kids end up hearing he-said-she-said-mumbo jumbo they are never able to make sense out of. Nor do they want to. They just want you guys to get along and talk respectfully and to one-another.
Ashley provides 7 reasons, but if you sit back and think about your kids, you can probably come up with another twenty. Starting with your mental health. Kindness at all time, to strangers, your friends and family, and even that harsh-toned-evil-doer of an ex-spouse will keep your heart rate down and remind everyone that you are doing the all you can to maintain a peaceful environment for your kids. Take the high road down a path of respectful talking about your ex-spouse for your happiness and the happiness of your kids.