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Affording Divorce: How to Do It Right

Divorce is often cited as one of the most costly legal actions you’ll ever go through. To be fair, that’s not always true particularly if you and your spouse have few issues and are able to work it out without a lengthy litigation. Unfortunately, more often than not, a divorce action goes to trial, clogging up the court system and sending costs to the stratosphere.

But it is possible to afford divorce with or without an attorney provided you’re able to accomplish the following. 

1. Work on your relationship. 

No, we’re not telling you to do the impossible. You don’t have to resolve all of your differences or concede defeat in order to make your spouse happy. But if you want to keep things from spiraling out of control, you should work on your relationship with regard to how you deal with conflict. Don’t say or do anything that might escalate the situation or pour gasoline on the fire. Try to maintain a business-like approach, keeping your focus forward instead of backward. 

2. Use an attorney referral service. 

Attorneys know that there is a lot of competition in their sector, and so to attract clients, they often offer special incentives to let them handle your case through an attorney referral service that specializes in connecting clients in need to local practitioners. Some of the online divorce reviews that we offer at MDD actually cover attorney referral services to point clients in the right direction.

3. If possible, work it out on your own. 

Even better than using an attorney, you could partner with a reputable forms site that has the ability to walk you through the paperwork step-by-step for a fraction of the cost. These options typically work best for people who are able to manage conflict well or work out any of the divisive issues before filing. 

4. Don’t forget to budget other costs.

Additional costs that you will encounter in a divorce might include filing fees and other unforeseen expenses. Before you sign with an attorney or take the task on yourself, make sure that you’ve examined the laws in your region and that you are aware of all the costs associated with the divorce, not just the price on the service you are considering. For this information, your county clerk is a great resource. 

While divorce can be a financial hardship, it doesn’t have to drag on for years and break the bank. Try the options above, and get focused on the future.

4 Tips For Dealing With Toxic People

Toxic people are unfortunately abundant in life. As an online divorce review site, we’ve seen them ruin their marriages, ruin other peoples’ marriages, and get in the way of divorcees on the road to recovery. If you encounter a toxic person, the best thing to do is to shut them out altogether. It’s not your job to change them, and more often than not, they’ll simply take them down with you. But it’s not always possible to avoid, and so when you encounter one that you can’t get away from — particularly after the divorce is final — here are some tips for handling them.

1. Be On Guard. 

One way for not getting sucked in to the web of toxicity is to anticipate a toxic person before they have the chance to act. If you can be more observant of the way people carry themselves, communicate with others, and react when things don’t go their way, then you can temper the level of involvement that you have with that person. For example, if there is someone at work who always seems to be talking about others in the break room, then you may want to avoid a one-on-one with them, or avoid sitting down with their group of “regulars.” This way, you can smile politely, say hi, and keep tensions non-existent without letting them suck you into their inner circle.

2. Have A Line That You Don’t Allow Them To Cross. 

If you do get caught up in a conversation with a toxic person, be frank with them and say something that calls their attention to the fact that you won’t play their game. You can do it without being combative, though it’s probable that no amount of niceness will keep their feelings from being hurt. Still, it’s not your job to make them feel better about themselves. Think about saying something like, “Sorry, but I don’t like to say anything about someone I wouldn’t say to their face,” or if you’re not comfortable with that, just lie and say that you have to be somewhere else any time they start up.

3. Do Not Let Them Make You Feel Guilty.

If your whole relationship with someone is based on their ability to shower you with negativity, then do NOT let them make you feel guilty for backing out of that relationship. What’s more, back out of the relationship in the way that feels the most comfortable for you — letter, email, text message, in-person. This is your mental health at stake, and it shouldn’t be jeopardized by a code of etiquette that they determine.

4. Don’t Feel You Have To Justify Yourself.

If you don’t want to be around a toxic person, then there is no justification needed. Just back away whenever you can, and if you have to confront, do so. But if they try to goad you into explaining yourself, don’t do it. That’s their game, and you shouldn’t have to play it. Plus, the more you engage toxic people, the more they will bring you into their web.

What are some things that you have done to shut toxic people out of your life? Sound off in the comments section.

How To Shed A Post-Divorce Inferiority Complex

A divorce can turn your life upside down. Everything that you were once so sure about becomes questionable. Before you know it, you start wondering if the full blame of the marriage’s failure should rest on your shoulders. It’s understandable especially when someone promises to be with you forever and then decides it’s time to end it. Inferiority complexes are common in the aftermath. You may even start developing unhealthy habits. Here are some ways you can break the cycle and reclaim your power.

One: Know what you can control and what you can’t.

There may be conditions that you have to live with or physical features that can only be corrected through surgery. You can classify these as things that are beyond your control. Be aware of them, but realize you can’t do anything about it. Now turn to the facets of your life that you CAN control. Resolve to make those things the best they can be. Want to lose weight? Look at your diet and exercise. Want to be more productive? Know when your “prime” working times are — day or night — and exploit. You may be imperfect, but guess what: so is everyone else. You can distinguish yourself from most of the population by setting aside your imperfections and making yourself stronger in the areas you can control.

Two: Give back.

When I was divorced, I didn’t think that any other person in the history of civilization had it worse than I did. How wrong was that? Someone always has it worse, and while you can try to make yourself feel better with that bit of knowledge, you’ll have an easier time if you do SOMETHING to give back. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Give to a children’s hospital — money and/or time. Seek out those who are less fortunate and resolve to do something special. You won’t even have to pat yourself on the back because if you do get involved in helping others, your focus will shift away from yourself and onto the environment around you. This will lead to a more realistic view of the world and your place in it, and you’ll come to a helpful realization: inferiority is an attitude and it’s well within your control.

In Summary

Did you feel like the whole world was better than you after a divorce? How did you get over that feeling, or did you? If not, what’s holding you back?

4 Resolutions To Make For Your Divorce Afterlife

The term “divorce afterlife” always seemed to be a fitting one. If you’ve ever been through a divorce, then you know what I’m talking about. You really aren’t the same person post-divorce as you were before, and if you play your cards right, that’s a good thing. The key to making the most out of your situation is to have resolutions, just like you would at the start of a new year. Recently HuffPo took a crack at this and came up with 50 one-word resolutions. Here were what I would consider to be the most essential.


When you get a divorce, it’s easy to let yourself throw a 24/7 pity party. That’s because no one likes to fail, and it’s easier to dwell on what went wrong than it is to take a hard look at yourself and make changes. That’s where a sense of adventure comes in. By making an effort to try new things and make decisions you never would have made married, you can get to know yourself at a deeper level. Chances are, you’ll like the discoveries you make.


Divorce is often dangerous because it causes us to grow calloused to the world around us. We allow the maddening pace of everyday life to take over and pretty soon we’re just going from one day to the next “getting by” without ever stopping to enjoy new people or experiences. By taking some deep breaths, meditating, and getting away from negative influences, you can approach your life in a rejuvenated fashion where you actually notice the world around you (and the opportunities).


The faster that you can accept the person that you are and move forward instead of looking back, the faster you will reap the benefits of divorce instead of looking at it as a negative.


People who can envision good things happening are much more likely to experience them. Don’t let pessimism take its toll on your body and mind. Tell yourself that this divorce happened for a reason, and that reason is to help you become the man or woman you’re supposed to be.

Read the full list of one-word resolutions at Huffington Post, and think about how you can implement them in your life.

ShredYourEx Is A Better Way To Deal With Breakups

Valentine’s Day can be pretty rough stuff especially if you’re like one of the many who come to our online divorce review site for direction on how to file. If it’s your first V.D. without a husband, wife, or significant other, it can be especially revolting. Luckily, there is a new service that can help you deal with the heartache in a way that is more therapeutic than most.

ShredYourEx is a website that actually allows you to watch a photo of your ex torn into ribbons. Here’s how it works. Simply go to the ShredYourEx Instagram or Twitter, send @ShredYourEx a photo of your ex tagged with #ShredYourEx, and then head over to to watch the pic be shredded live through a commercial grade printer over a fireplace.

Huffington Post notes that it was started by the ad agency McKinney. Agency staffer Renee Montpetit told the website that her team “created the site to squeeze some fun out of a day that can be less than thrilling for singles.” 

“Plus, deleting a picture doesn’t give you the same satisfaction as physically destroying it,” she said. “This gives singles that cathartic release in a fun way.”

While it’s a lighthearted concept, it definitely raises some points that are important for the healing process:

1. It’s more difficult to get over someone if you constantly see reminders of the way you were but no longer are.

2. Destroying such mementos is a way of taking back the destruction you may have felt during the breakup. It really is cathartic, in other words.

3. It may not be as satisfying, but while you’re at it, go ahead and delete those old photos, too. You don’t want your old life hanging around preventing you from starting a new one, do you?

Even if you don’t give ShredYourEx a tryout, consider destroying some pictures on your own. You’ll be surprised at what it can do for the soul.

How Money Matters Are Key To Surviving Divorce

As an online divorce review site, we are eager to point you toward the attorneys or forms completion services that best fulfill your needs throughout the dissolution process. However, we also know that the struggle to survive divorce doesn’t end with finalized paperwork. In fact, every day after the marriage is over can be a struggle without the proper routines and a return to normalcy.

And while money matters may not be the answer to all of life’s little problems, we believe they are key to surviving divorce for the following reasons.

One: They Force You To Establish New Routines. 

Routines aren’t a bad thing. Yes, you can become trapped in them, but for the most part, they give you purpose, keep you working towards positive goals, and help you feel stable after losing a relationship. The simple act of setting a budget will help you think of other healthy routines.

Two: They Force You To Consider The People Who Really Matter In Your Life. 

One of the biggest things I did to clear my head following the divorce was change the beneficiary on all my accounts. I had had my ex-wife as the beneficiary, but when the marriage ended, I knew I didn’t want that any more. Changing those names sure made me reevaluate the people who really mattered in my life. From there, it was easier to find the support unit that would get me through the emotional turmoil.

Three: They Help You Get Your Groove Back.

Taking care of one person is a lot easier than taking care of two. Even if you’re a two-income household, you’ll usually find that you have less money living with someone than living without. By simplifying your life, it’s easier to hold on to more of your money, pay down debts, and invest in your future. These are all things that contribute to your emotional happiness as well as your financial.

If you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to getting your financial affairs in order after a divorce, our online divorce reviews can point you to some multi-faceted forms services. (See our LegalZoom review for an example.) Find the help you need to get your money matters taken care of, and carry on with the life you deserve.

Alcohol Relapse More Common In People Who Get A Divorce

Alcohol relapse more common in divorceA new study has found that the act of divorce causes those with a history of alcohol dependence to relapse within three years after the fact.

The findings come from a joint study involving researchers at the Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health; Columbia University; Department of Psychiatry, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons; and the New York State Psychiatric Institute.


Researchers examined the results from two interviews about three years apart to come to the findings. From the study abstract:

“We examined associations between stressful life events and relapse among adults in the United States with at least one year of remission from DSM-IV alcohol dependence,” the authors note. “The sample consisted of individuals in remission from alcohol dependence at the Wave 1 interview (2001-2002) for the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) who also participated in a Wave 2 interview (2004-2005; N 1,707).”

According to the results, “respondents who were divorced or separated in the year preceding the baseline assessment (Wave 1) were over two times more likely (OR = 2.32; CI = 1.01-5.34) to have relapsed three years later (Wave 2), compared to those not experiencing a divorce/separation in the 12 months prior to Wave 1.”

No other life events resulted in relapse.

The Takeaway

The study’s authors note that “These results highlight the need for social work practitioners to consider the possibility of relapse following a divorce when one or both partners have a history of alcohol dependence.”

Prior studies of those who’ve had a partner file for divorce indicate that depression is often a large part of the fallout, particularly as it relates to men. Women tend to bounce back better and initiate more courtroom and do-it-yourself divorce procedures.

If you’ve reached the point of filing for divorce — whether it be online or as part of a DIY divorce action — make sure that you’re aware of the substance abuse risks that can occur as a result. Lean on family and friends and seek counseling before taking that first drink.

Irradicating Irrational Divorce Decisions

Divorce declarationIt has been said that the worst mistake anyone can make during a divorce is to let their emotions cloud their judgement. This is so true that it can be said in any situation, because emotions have a hand in almost all the decisions we make. When you buy an item, no matter how large or small, you base at least a part of your decision off whether or not you like it. You can’t really manufacture an equation to gauge the level of like an item, option, or person musters, you just feel it. So how exactly does one make a totally rational, emotion-free decision?

You can follow the advice of others, or hire someone to do your thinking for you. Or, you could make a few ground rules for yourself to follow during times of emotional turmoil.

The Divorce Rules Charter

There are two life-altering D’s in life: Divorce and Death; while divorce can be avoided, staying married is not always a viable option. Deciding which movie to rent is difficult enough, let alone deciding on who will keep the house or car. So how do you keep a level, emotionless head during a divorce? Draw up a Divorce Rules Charter for yourself (or with your ex if that’s possible without a bloodbath). Here are a few rules we’d include in our Divorce Rules charter:

  • I will not lie. In the divorce process, and basically in life, it’s best to be truthful and honest; this is especially important when money matter are the topic of discussion. In a divorce it may be tempting to hide assets, lie about assets, and unscrupulously try to get all you can, but this guerrilla warfare approach could end up hurting you the most. If you’re in a contested divorce, do yourself a favor and be honest in court and with the lawyers (both your lawyer and theirs). If somehow you are caught in a lie in court, or in a court proceeding, you’d be in deep water and sinking fast. Besides, your mother taught you better.
  • I will vent only to the appropriate outlet. Part of not exploding in rage during a mediation session or in court is having an outlet for your feelings and stress. The other part of not being a human time bomb is having the appropriate outlet, like a counselor or therapist, group of friends, or one really good friend. The upside of a professional “outlet” is although a professional may bring out your less-than-perfect traits, it may be beneficial in moving on to healthier relationships. The upside of the friend route is you have a personal cheerleader, commiserating partner, and at times a reality-checker all in one; just make sure your friend doesn’t let you stay in the resentment/misery-monger phase too long.
  • I will think about what is best for the children first. If you have children from the marriage, think about how your actions and decisions will affect them. By putting the children first, this will cool your jets (hopefully) in your subconscious mission to make your ex pay. Also, a child-conscientious divorce might even pave the way for an amicable relationship with the ex, which really would be the best thing since the ghost of the family will still exist after divorce.

Have any other rules you want to add to the Rules of Divorce Charter?

The Post-Divorce Game of Date or Don’t

78373602For a while after a divorce it may be hard to get out of bed, notice when birds are singing, and enjoy a good romantic comedy. But when it feels like the clouds are starting to break, you may start noticing colors, laughter, and how cute the new bank teller is. Then the internal dilemma is brought forth: Am I ready to date after my divorce?

The magazines and self help books all disagree with each other and often give conflicting advice, except for one thing: Only you can tell if you’re ready to date again. But if you need help deciphering your own signals, we can help. Help is the key word. We can only point out a few clues, you’re going to have to put the puzzle together.

The Decoder Ring

You may feel intrigued by the idea of getting into the dating game, but that doesn’t mean you’re ready to get back at it in full swing.

Clue #1: One of the biggest indicators you may really need some more time is the frequency and way you speak about your ex. If you find yourself bringing up your ex in daily conversations, you might need more time to process the divorce. For example, if you find yourself uttering words like “So-and-so used to fold their towels like that!” or “My wife/husband…I mean ex-wife/husband…” then dating isn’t the best activity for you right now. You are still emotionally attached to your ex, and all you can do is let time create some distance and redefine your relationship.

Clue #2: Your dating strategy includes listing all the qualities in a partner you don’t want, whether it be on a dating profile, in an email, or verbally on a date. If you catch yourself spouting off the 32 things you don’t want, stop and consider why you’re not listing the things you do want instead. Yes, it’s healthy to know and communicate what we want and don’t want, but when the communication primarily is concerned with the negatives it says you’re still in the negative. It maybe you are still hurting from being on the receiving end of those negative qualities, or it maybe that you are just angry with the world. Being in either situation and mindset is not conducive to being an honest attempt at a healthy relationship, so opt for more reflection and healing instead of a dinner date.

Clue #3: Dating anyone is better than being alone. This is such a red flag that you are in desperate need of healing and self reflection it’s a miracle a red scare didn’t break out already. Yes, as a divorcee you may feel doomed to be alone for life, but take a deep breath, relax, and recognize that is just your flight instinct trying to take over your fight. Until you are forever bedridden due to old age, you are not old. Life is long, so you may as well fight for control of your life and make it enjoyable. So take out your sickle and hammer, and get to work feel comfortable living for yourself and by yourself.

Post-Divorce DIY Healing

Post-divorce DIY healingDivorce has a knack for making you feel angry, remorseful, hurt, empowered, confused, and so many other emotions your head and heart feeling like they’re going to spontaneously combust. Experiencing these emotions (especially confusion) rings dangerously true for the divorcees who never saw it coming. We’ve written a lot about the divorcee who benefitted and even wanted the divorce, but what about the divorcee who didn’t want the divorce? What about the divorcees who didn’t even see the divorce coming?

The Walking Wounded…

Forgive me for quoting such a chick flick, tear-jerking, sweat-pant-night movie choice, but Iris Simpkins of the 2006 movie “The Holiday” found the best words to describe what we’re talking about today:

“…there’s another kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost kills its victims. It’s called unrequited love…Most love stories are about people who fall in love with each other. But what about the rest of us? What about our stories, those of us who fall in love alone?…We are the unloved ones, the walking wounded, the handicapped without the advantage of a great parking space.”

But before you join in on a chorus of “Hear, Hear!” actually hear us out. Divorce may be horrible, and being on the receiving end of a divorce petition may be more than horrible, but there is the opportunity to live a life after the divorce dust settles.

…But Not the Walking Dead

After a divorce, it’s easy to find yourself making little slip ups, like saying “My husband/wife… I mean ex husband/wife…” While these little slip ups feel more like needles and sharp knives, it doesn’t have to be your lot in life forever. What you are in desperate need of is some healing and perspective.

The most common thing unsuspecting divorcees have to deal with is the question: “How do I move on when the person I built my world around just exited my life?” It’s quite a painful predicament to be forced to live “normally” day in and day out with the memory of a lost love nagging at your brain. Like Iris of “The Holiday” said, it’s like you’re handicapped without the perks. But what we want you to recognize is that you might feel like you’re a walking wounded, but at least you’re not a walking dead.

Life is still to be lived, and you can do it joyfully.

About Face

You can take a page from the heroines from “The Holiday” and visit somewhere new for a little while, but that can be expensive and difficult to work into your schedule. So let’s discuss the ways you can about face towards a happy, healthy life after divorce.

  • Create a new space. If you can’t vacate your life for a bit to recharge and boot up the new and improved you, then it’s time to reboot your daily surroundings. Put away, sell, or give away items that bring back painful memories, and replace them with things that make you happy. Make the renovations or life changes you always wanted to make but couldn’t when you had to consider another person’s wants.
  • Exemplify your best qualities. Before your marriage, you were a person who had qualities that enticed someone to marry you. Don’t forget this, and don’t forget the person you were, are, and will be by being yourself completely. It will be hard, but by doing this you will show your children (if you have any) how strong a person can be, which is a valuable lesson. Also, by taking pride in yourself you will learn to love yourself again.
  • Redefine your relationships. While you’re cleaning house of things and feelings that hold you back, do the same with people who make you feel negatively about yourself. In doing this, you will sort out the good friends from the false friends, and also learn to value your time and company. Additionally, this will brace you to redefine your relationship with your ex-spouse. They were your significant other, but now they are another person from your past; if you have children, their role needs to change from significant other to co-parent.