Category : Separation

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When to Introduce the Children


Divorces aren’t fun for anyone involved. The dissolution of a marriage and the breakdown of a family is devastating. However, being happy and true to oneself is of the utmost importance in these situations, and to life in general. Rebuilding your life after a divorce is part of the healing process, and for many this includes romantic interests.

When divorcees do meet that special someone, often times, telling their new significant other about their past divorce is one of the hardest things they ever have to do. Right on par with this hard task is telling them about your children; and harder still, introducing your special someone to said children.

When & How
It’s important to take things slowly when children are involved, especially if the children are of a very young age. When and how to introduce the kids to your dating partner and their kids depends on several very calculated variables:

1) Time is Precious

Waiting a significant amount of time is always best when thinking about introducing a significant other to the children. The simple fact of the matter is depending on how long after the divorce this new relationship is formed, the children are more than likely still going through the healing process. It often takes children longer than parents to fully adapt and comprehend to new situations. Making sure that your significant other is in for the long haul, and can handle children in all settings is something you want to know before introducing these components of your life. Having a slew of “special” people meet your children and have nothing pan out can damage both you and your children in terms of mental stability.

2) Relationship Status

Introducing a significant other to anyone important in your life, let alone your children, is important. However, determining what the new relationship is before all of this introducing is even more important. Establishing ground rules, and setting goals is a good thing to do in the infancy of a relationship. Knowing that both parties are on the same page helps, because if one person is not looking for anything serious, introducing children should be out of the question entirely.

3) Establishing Terms

If introducing the new person in your life to your children is indeed what you want to do, it’s important that the two of you weighed all of the options, discuss, and agree on how it will occur, together. Knowing that both parties are completely in sync with how the process will work is beneficial to all involved. Perhaps only one day a week with the whole new blended family is best, perhaps more. As long as everyone involved, including the children, know what is going on then the process should go smoothly.

In conclusion, it’s best to hold off involving your kids in a new relationship without exploring all options and variables beforehand, as it may cause them further trauma, and possibly sabotage your new relationship too. Wait until you are certain and secure as a couple, and until you both have realistic expectations. If it’s really something that is important to you both, then waiting will not be a problem. The best and smoothest transition is what the overall goal should be, so do all you can to achieve it.

A Brief History of Divorce

Divorce, as we have discussed in our blogs and throughout this site, is prevalent in today’s society. Many researchers point to every little move as either the end of marriage as we know it, or a sign that people are losing their morals. The fact is, divorce, regardless of its time, place, or numbers, has had a place in society for hundreds of years. Different cultures throughout history have had their own way of dissolving marital unions. Some dissolution customs were pretty harsh, but it was the way of the times when religion reigned supreme. Not to bring religion in to the picture, but marriage and its numerous customs are related to religious beliefs.

Medieval Europe

In the post Roman Empire world, familial life was governed and influenced more by religious beliefs and customs than it was by civil courts. As time passed in the 9th and 10th century, the number of divorces had been greatly reduced by the authority of the church so that it became almost unthinkable to approach the subject. The view of divorce, as the process is known today, was for all intents and purposes prohibited after the tenth century. However, a separation of husband and wife, and the annulment of marriage did exist. What is today referred to as “separate maintenance,” otherwise known as legal separation, was termed “divorce a mensa et thoro” (which translates to “divorce from bed-and-board”). The husband and wife were physically separated and were then forbidden to live or cohabit together; but their marital relationship did not fully terminate.

Lack of Civil Influence

In medieval Europe the civil courts had no power over marriage or divorce. Any grounds for annulment were determined by church authority and were accordingly applied in the ecclesiastical courts. Annulment was given for very limited reasons, and was the only consistent causes for a complete dissolution of marriage. The church held the unwavering belief that the sacrament of marriage made two people inseparable from each other. Applying this theory literally was the propensity of religious cultures at these times, especially the Christian church. As far as governing rules, when husband and wife became one person upon marriage, this act could only be completely dissolved or annulled if they initially entered into the sacrament improperly.

Those medieval notions of divorce are a far cry from today’s western view for sure. But it shows just how far back the desire and situations of dissolving marriages extends; and the truth is divorce and the dissolution of marriage goes back even further. So when we see “new” information or anyone take up in arms about the impending doom of marriage as we know it, know that it is just history semi-repeating itself. As cultures change, the beliefs in society either change as well. Our views on long-standing occurrences that have been in our culture will fluctuate with the times. Divorce has, and will be, around as long as people get married. Failures, as well as successes, in relationships will persist because it is an extension of a our faulty nature.


What To Do In Cases of Domestic Violence

Regardless of your views on family structure and divorce, when it comes to domestic violence, getting out should be the only decision. Sadly, many people become victims of domestic violence each year, and countless instances are hushed up out of fear.  It is often times harder for someone to make the decision to leave than to actually leave and begin the divorce process. But once your mind has been made up, there should be no looking back.

Domestic violence is about fear, control, and the abuse of false power. If and when you decide to leave an abusive spouse, this could make the abuser lose even more control.. In other words, exercise caution when preparing an exit strategy.

Preparing to Leave

When you make the decision to leave an abusive relationship, you must be prepared for the subsequent fall out and repercussions. You are making the right choice for yourself, potential children involved, and your future. Here are some tips to take inconsideration before planning your escape; some tips are obvious, and some may not be:

  1. If you feel your safety is at risk, get a civil or criminal restraining order and have it in place before you leave.
  2. Have somewhere to go. Research local domestic violent safe havens and shelters.  Ask a friend if you can stay with her/him, or, if you can afford it, rent an apartment but keep your address from your spouse.

It is also important to remember to take important documents with you. Birth certificates, driver’s license, social security card, health insurance cards, credit cards, and all cards that are in your name. Also, if you can, take any property deeds or bank statements. It is also important to take any restraining or court orders you already have against your spouse with you. This may seem drastic, but only you know how your relationship has been and what you situation is.

Domestic Violence Statistics

The most unnerving thing about incidents of domestic violence are the thousands of cases that go unreported. Women, men, and children are all at risk of the residual effects that can go with an abusive relationship. Thousands of serious cases are reported each year, but even more go unreported. Here are some eye-opening stats about domestic violence in the U.S.:

  1. Every day in the U.S., more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends
  2. The costs of intimate partner violence in the U.S. alone exceed $5.8 billion per year. $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.
  3. Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
  4. Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.

Divorce in general is never optimal, but it is a necessity when it comes to abusive relationships. The severity and exposure to abuse can occur on such a wide range, form outright psychical abuse to passive aggressive, emotional abuse. No one deserves to or should live in an abusive  situation. Understandably, these situations are extremely complex, but knowing how to be prepared and what to do will help you when the time comes to make the decision to leave.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, don’t stay quiet, help them attain the freedom they deserve. But help can come in many different ways. For advice on how best to help, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

2nd & 3rd Marriages Destined to Fail?

The rate at which first marriages are lasting for more than 25 years is steadily flirting around the 50% mark. This means that the number of people on their second or third marriage is becoming larger by the minute. Statistics have shown that in the U.S., 50 percent of first marriages, 67 percent of second, and 73 percent of third marriages are ending in divorce.

There are many different theories as to why these numbers are so staggering. One common explanation is that a significant number of people enter into a second or third marriage “on the rebound” of a first or second divorce. This means that they are so used to having a significant other that they rush into another relationship, either not fully knowing their new spouse, or not being 100% sure that they even want to be married to this person.

The divorcees in question are usually vulnerable; they do not wait a sufficient time to recover from their divorce or to get their priorities straight before taking their vows again. They enter their next marriage for the wrong reasons, not having internalized the lessons of their past experiences. Time heals all wounds, as they say. However, many are just not willing to wait for whatever reason.

Reasons for the Fall
Now, obviously there isn’t just one clear cut, factor to account for such high rates of second and third failed marriages. There are some individuals in second and third marriages who consider divorce manageable and not necessarily a tragedy. They have handled it once, so they will handle it again. They may even recognize the warning signs earlier than they did first time around and are quicker to react.

One of the other popular theories for the increase of first marriages during recent decades is the gained equality between the genders. Women have become more financially independent and more self sufficient in the workplace, and men have become increasingly more domestically independent.

Gender roles and stereotypes are breaking down, and a stigma is no longer being placed on the stay at home father, or the businesswoman who works 50 hours a week. With the economy coming to a slow rise, these things aren’t frowned upon.

Therefore it shouldn’t be surprising that if and when these individuals move on to a second or third marriage, they are likely to feel inclined to protect themselves emotionally and financially.

Food For Thought
These reasons reflect the logical and statistical side of why the divorce rate among second and third marriages is so high, so here are the more human interest aspects of the divorce rate.

Usually, second and third marriages are later on in life, meaning children and family have been established in prior relationships. So in these later nuptials, its safe to say that there is less glue holding the marriage together. Children typically act as a stabilizing factor, and when children are absent the marriage is prone to be less sturdy and withstand the storms that marriage brings.

In the U.S, an overwhelmingly high percent of children are born in first marriages, and to spouses that are 35 and under. Most couples in a second marriage do not have common children to bind them together. Conversely, not having shared responsibility for kids means it’s easier to leave when you are going through a rough patch.

Relationships become increasingly tangled and complicated with subsequent marriages, and it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain an even keel when on your third marriage. The luster and grandeur of marriage is somewhat lost after the first time, and becomes hard to maintain.  On a day-to-day level, maintaining those relationships is not easy and frequently generates animosity. It is just harder to keep the love alive as the years go on and previous marriages have worn the soul. Making your first one count is the best advice that anyone can give those who are married or even contemplating a divorce.

Religious Conversion in Marriage & Divorce

Religion can often be a large factor in why spouses do not see eye to eye. One of the top 3 reasons, besides infidelity and financial matters, for divorce is conflict pertaining to religion. Many couples who are of different faiths typically marry under the notion they will raise any children from the marriage under one or sometimes both religions. One of the many solutions couples have found to this dilemma is to draft up a legal document stating the stipulations under which their family will be governed, as far as religion is concerned.

However, this written agreement would not be enforceable during marriage and it may not be enforceable in the event of a divorce either, depending on the language, the judge, and the jurisdiction. If you’re married and your spouse does not want to follow the terms of your initial agreement about the children’s upbringing, in many instances, the battle will end in a stalemate. There is no civil legal form to enforce this marital problem, so what do you do?

Loopholes & Lawsuits
So, even with a contractual agreement, signed by both parties, if a conflict does arise with regards to the religious upbringing of children, the matter has no weight unless a divorce is pending. It almost begs the question, “What is the point of the agreement, and how do couples solve the issue without dissolving the marriage?” The civil courts will not rule on a premarital contract regarding religion without a termination of marriage proceeding, i.e. divorce or separation. So, if your spouse changes his or her mind after the birth of the child, then you have a problem on your hands.

Divorcing a Religion

Some courts in New York have upheld these “agreements” to raise children with a specific religion, but again, the courts only ruled on the issue in a termination of marriage proceeding. Sometimes a judge wants to acknowledge the agreement and enforce it or a part of it, no matter who has primary custody.  In other situations, the courts first look at custody and then consider whether the agreement is viable

In many states, a civil premarital agreement does not address any custody, parenting, and support issues for future children, and this obviously includes religious rearing. Religion is generally determined by the parent of primary residence when couples are divorced or separated. Divorce often leads to bitter custody disputes, but when religion and the indoctrination of the child are dependent on the sole custodian, custody battles are intensified.

Not many are aware of the rules that coincide with religion and raising children within a marriage. However, even with said documentation, the law does not fully regulate religion and marriage. These papers will show proof of said agreement, but the problem is finding a judge willing to enforce the agreement in an intact marriage.

If your religion is a large part of your life, it is not a great idea to get involved with someone of another faith, unless they are willing to convert. When people have children, they often revert to and have a renewed sense of pride in the religion they grew up with. They often want to give their children the guidelines, traditions, and values that they grew up with themselves. Setting ground rules and sticking to them is a gamble; but discussing the place of religion in your family at length and theorizing all possible scenarios is good planning.

Kick the Post-Divorce Holiday Blues

The holidays are a time where you and your family celebrate by going overboard on decorations, food, plans, shopping, vegetating on the coach for hours, and driving literally all the way to grandma’s house. Well now that your divorced it’s time to get a new routine, but with the same holiday cheer and good will. Yes, it can be tough being a newly divorced spouse going through your first holiday, but it doesn’t have to be. This is a time when you can lean on your family and close friends for support. Keep things in perspective and you can even make some of these holidays the most memorable (in positive way) in a long time.

The Patient

Be patient with yourself. Be patient with your family. You will grieve your losses, or be angry about your current situation, but remember what you are really celebrating. You can use this time to find new meaning, a deeper connection, and richer joys that you might have missed if this divorce had not happened. Accept the tears. Take it one holiday at a time; enjoy the freedom and ability to be flexible in your potential plans. The true meaning of the holidays will never disappear, and this experience, as hard as it is, can bring a fresh understanding of that truth.

Simplify the Equation

For all the planning, cooking, cleaning, and other exhausting activities, people inevitably always complain and want the holidays to be simpler. A midlife divorce will make you look at your priorities. You usually have moved to a smaller place; you have less money; and you have less time if you have gone back to work. You have an opportunity to do what most people want to do. You have been forced to do something that may be a positive turning point in your family’s life. Take a look at your priorities and simplify.

Bend but Don’t Break Tradition


Keep the traditions you want. Try some new things. Find creative new ways to share the season and create positive memories by enhancing the real meaning of the holidays. Who says Thanksgiving has to be celebrated on the official Thanksgiving Day? If you don’t have the children on Christmas, have a tree-decorating party earlier in December. Make that a new tradition. An added benefit might be to make the week of Thanksgiving and Christmas less hectic, if that’s even possible in today’s world, divorce or not.

It’s Not Me it’s You

The holidays are really about sharing and being thankful. Spread the joy around. Expand your list of people to welcome into your celebrations. There are all kinds of people you could encourage during the holidays. Reach out to old friends, visit family members you rarely get to see. It’s ok to be that single guy or girl that travels around, a true modern holiday travel and family party crasher. The holidays aren’t just about you, anyway. They are about having a generous heart and a gracious spirit. Cultivate those characteristics and be grateful for every good thing you have.

Going through the divorce process is no easy task. Even after you’re done, you then have to get on with your life and rebuild. Whether it is a long, drawn-out legal process or a quick online divorce, the repercussions and immediate effects can be felt for a significant period of time. Your first holiday after getting divorced can seem like an emotional challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. You will find out it is easier to be happy in these moments than you may think.

Divorce, Separation, & Annulment


When a dissolution of marriage is at hand, couples often struggle to weigh their options as far as how to handle all aspects of the situation. There are a number of different options to chose from, but all is dependent on the terms on which the spouses are ending their marriage, how the marriage itself occurred, and when.

When couples decide to end their relationships, they usually have three choices: file for divorce, become legally separated, or get an annulment. However, couples usually do not know the difference between each option, or the advantages and the disadvantages. Here is a brief overview of the three marriage dissolution options.

Divorce, or the dissolution of a marriage, is the legal process in which spouses legally terminate their marital union. Under the law, this means the spouses are agreeing to relinquish themselves from the rights and responsibilities of marriage.

Along with this official divorce procedure, there are many issues the couple must address. These issues include, but are not limited to: child custody, child support, division of assets, division of debt, and spousal support.

Each state has its own specific and unique divorce laws and has different residency requirements. Conventional divorces (those not done online) typically take around six months to be finalized. When a couple finalizes a divorce, each party is no longer liable for any future debt of the other spouse and no longer has to equally share their income and profits with the other spouse.

Legal Separation

Legal separation, also known as a judicial separation, is a legal process in which a married couple formalizes their separation but remain legally married. This often occurs before the finalization of a divorce. Legal separations are granted only through a court order in the county of the state in which the spouses reside. When a couple files for a legal separation, they address the same issues as in a divorce, such as child custody and spousal support.

One of the benefits of a legal separation is that certain rights are not eliminated, such as access to social security and medical benefits, which is why many couples choose to take this option. Another advantage is that a legal separation does not take long to finalize. In addition, if a couple decides to move forward with a divorce, the court will use the separation agreement as a template for the divorce settlement agreement. However, each state varies in their laws regarding legal separations.


An annulment is very similar to a divorce in that it does indeed dissolve a marriage. But, an annulment differs from a divorce in that a judge will proclaim the marriage null and void. In other words, the marriage is considered to be invalid from the inception and there is no legal record of its existence. To be granted an annulment, the parties must have legal grounds for an annulment; again, these legal grounds vary depending on the state. Grounds for an annulment include: fraud, concealment, inability to consummate the marriage, or a marital misunderstanding. A religious annulment differs from a civil annulment in that each religion has their specific grounds for annulment, which also varies upon religion.

The Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce

Legal separation and divorce, contrary to some thinking, are considered two separate things. However, many of the stipulations in legal separations, as well as the rights that one person has when entering legal separation, are comparable and similar to that of a divorce. Legal separation allows couples who may consider their marriage to be “failing” make a temporary arrangement of separation, while it is understood they will  continue to work out their problems, as they still remain legally married. Reconciliation is the goal in legal separation and can be issued, like divorce, through a court order.


In a sense, legal separation is a form of temporary divorce. While the word divorce implies a permanent separation, legal separation is meant to be temporary and does not automatically lead to divorce. Couples can reconcile, but if they wish to move on and get a divorce, they will have to go through the divorce process dictated by where they live.

The legal separation process and relief offered, however, is very similar to divorce; in some situations in can mirror the process of divorce. For example, a court can grant legal separations due to “irreconcilable differences leading to the breakdown of the marriage.”

Legal separation also can allow both parties to set provisions and guidelines concerning the following areas:

  1. Child Support
  2. Child Custody
  3. Visitation
  4. Division of Marital Property
  5. Spousal Support
  6. The Marital Home
  7. Health Insurance Benefits
  8. Life Insurance

The Difference

The lines can often be blurred when it comes to individual differences between legal separation and divorce. As stated, it’s more of an overarching difference meant to give marriages a chance to take a break in an attempt to solve their issues and move forward, rather than just having a black and white decision of marriage or divorce.  Some of the differences specified between legal separation and divorce will vary due to the state’s laws and jurisdiction when handling these kinds of cases.

Although MyDivorceDocuments does not provide legal separation papers, those who have tried legal separation and decided to move forward with a divorce can benefit from an inexpensive online divorce. Online divorce is meant to help couples who amicably understand their marriage is over and can agree to certain grounds to pursue an uncontested, no-fault divorce. To learn more about an online divorce or to get started on the divorce forms, visit today.

The Boomerang Kids

Times are tough in the current economy, and how ever that affects the divorce rate is irrelevant right now. Right now we are going to talk about the new boomerang trend. A parent’s work is never done, as most of you parents of adult children know, and this is especially true when your adult child has no place to stay due to a divorce. Of course adults are resistant to the idea of moving back in with their parents, but if an empty wallet dictates that a necessity they will grit their teeth and ring your doorbell.
Naturally, you’ll want to let them stay and give them a sanctuary to heal from the divorce in, but as a parent how to do set boundaries? We dare you to find a parenting book that includes advice for this scenario.
Mommy Dearest

When your child is going through a divorce it can be hard not to play the role of the all-accommodating parent. But just like when your child was five years old and scraped their knee, after a divorce it is your job to calmly help clean the wound and encourage them to get back out there. The only differences you should make in your parenting plan are nixing the whole crust-cutting, and outfit selecting business.
Yes, the relationship between parent and child never seems to change much, and this is especially accentuated when they live together again. Ground rules are a must in this situation, but it’s been a while since you’ve had to make and enforce rules of the house. How do you go about it without seeming like you’re trying to “parent” your child again?
Second Set of Laws of the Land
Be upfront about your expectations. Usually, parents expect their children to stay temporarily, and although this seems obvious, have a little chat to make sure this is the case. Make this conversation two sided instead of you just setting a date for them to move out. Also, this should be a tentative time frame because we all know life can throw crazy things at a person.

Timing is key. Careful having this conversation too soon because it could make your child feel like their safety net is already being pulled from under them. For example, if your child is in the middle of sobbing about their divorce, or having a panic attack at the thought of the future, it is not the time to discuss their boarding time frame.
Let you children know your door is always open to them, but that your house is still your house with your rules. We don’t mean reinstate the rules they used to abide by, like curfew, television limitations, and their diet. We mean general house rules, like cleaning up after yourself, sharing food expenses, and household duties. These tasks and rules are appropriate and aren’t asking too much. After all, they are your child, not a guest.
Divorce is never an easy time in a person’s life, but it also affects the people surrounding the divorcee. As a parent of a divorcing or divorced child, your job is to support your child, but not to overly pamper and coddle them. Life is full of hard knocks, and you raised them to pick themselves up; don’t ruin all your hard work now.

Divorce Your Technology Too

The New Year is almost here, and we all know what that means for many unhappily married couples: Splitsville. Some couples may be just holding on long enough to make it through the holidays, or some spouses may be waiting for the holidays to end to drop the hammer. Either way, divorce is a serious undertaking which requires completely separating one spouses’ belongings from the other spouses’. But beyond packing up your knickknacks and clothes in boxes there is another world that needs to be cleaned out and separated as well, and that is the cyber world.

Technology is a wonderful tool to connect with those you love, but when you’re trying to break from certain people it can be easy to forget about your cyber world. Here are a few helpful tips to making your new single, private life truly private.

iCloud Hazards: iCloud is a great way to ensure you will never lose precious pictures and more because it backs up your phone, laptop, and more on the easily accessible web. If you had iCloud, chances are your spouse has access to it too. Disconnecting your device from the marital iCloud may seem like a hassle, but it’s well worth it. Breaking the connection between iCloud and your phone or laptop will prevent your ex from the occasional late night stalking. It’s not cruel or selfish to do this, it’s smart. Would you want your ex reading your texts?

Wipe the Memory Clean: You may think we are just paranoid now, but if the temptation is there, so will your ex. If you used the family computer just think of all the passwords, usernames, credit card information, and more you saved and stored. Better be safe than sorry, so do yourself a favor and wipe the computer’s history clean. Don’t forget to check and make sure your auto-populated usernames and passwords are cleaned out too.

Location, Location, Location: You may forget all of the nifty things your smartphone can do, but you’re ex might not forget. When you got your smartphone no doubt you went through the phase of buying any and every app you could get, some of which probably included a locator or tracking device. Some apps make the great stalking game open to friends, so check your friends list to make sure you don’t mind any of them knowing where you are. Some smartphones even have a built in tracking device in case they were lost, which can easily be used to track your whereabouts at any time.

Change is Good: If you follow any of these tips, please let this be one of them: Change your passwords. Most, if not all, couples share or just tell each other passwords without a second thought; but your relationship has changed and it’s not a bad idea to change your passwords along with the relationship status.