The Smart Divorce® Weblog

Move forward with focus, hope, and confidence.


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The many faces of domestic violence

The recent media buzz surrounding allegations of domestic violence between a famous singer and her famous boyfriend serve to reinforce the message that domestic violence knows no boundaries.

 

The background of an individual – economic, cultural, education, age, sex or lifestyle – does not matter. Domestic violence, be it physical or emotional affects all walks of life. I recently attended a workshop on this topic and I wanted to share the following information……..

 

  • The number one problem in society today is that 2/3 of people who are abused don’t come forward.
  • You don’t have to physically abuse your children or partner to harm them.
  • Abuse can take many forms: emotional, financial, cause terror or fear.
  • 80% of children know it is happening when there is domestic violence in the family.
  • There is a link between depression and violence.
  • When there is violence in a family, not every parent can be a co-parent.

 

What can you do about domestic violence?

 

  • Protect children; ensure their safety.
  • Protect the wellbeing of a victim.
  • Encourage the victim to get the help that she or he needs.
  • Hold the perpetrator accountable – ensure this person gets help.
  • Don’t ignore it.

 

If you are living in this terrible circumstance I urge you to reach out to mental health professionals, support organizations, and the courts for assistance in helping you seek safety.

No one should live in an abusive situation.

Everyone deserves to live in a safe environment.

 


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A modern marriage of inconvenience

An insightful article appeared in The National Post today, written by Dave McGinn. It’s about the changing perspective on divorce in these difficult economic times.

Couples would rather stay under the same
roof than divorce in a downturn

A few weeks ago, a woman considering divorcing her husband walked in to Akeela Davis’s Vancouver office. A certified financial planner who specializes in divorce issues, Ms. Davis informed the woman that, given the details of her and her husband’s finances in the current recession, her financial future as a divorcee would be less than rosy.

So that was it. The woman realized that while there may not be any romance in her life these days, there was certainly a need for pragmatic decisionmaking.

“The picture didn’t look good and she said, ‘Well, I guess I’ll stick it out for now,’” says Ms. Davis, author of Divorce Dollars: Get Your Fair Share.

This is hardly an isolated case, says Ms. Davis. “The last six months, I have not heard of or seen a lot of separations. When you are concerned with day-to-day living, of making ends meet, yes it can serve to exaggerate the marital problems, but not to the point where you’re saying, ‘I can go off on my own.’ ”

With house prices dropping, portfolios plummeting and family worth diminishing, there is a smaller pie to divide among spouses, leaving some to ride out the tough times until a brighter financial picture emerges.

“In hard economic times, there is no question that there are more couples who decide to stick it out under the same roof,” says Justice Harvey Brownstone, who presides over the North Toronto Family Court.

“What I do see happening more and more [is] people who can’t afford to split up physically end up staying under the same roof and live as roommates, I guess you’d call it, because neither of them has the money to move out.”

Couples who elect to live under the same roof because divorce is not an affordable option are bound to find themselves in a high-stress environment — one that can be damaging for children.

Those couples that do wind up in family court are driven by “vengeance,” says Justice Brownstone. Last week, for example, he presided over a case where a couple spent more money bickering with one another over everything than it would have cost to put two children through university for a year.

“What were they arguing over? Which summer camp the children should go to and whether it should be July or August,” says Justice Brownstone, who attempts to unveil the workings of the family court system in his new book, Tug of War: A Judge’s Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles and the Bitter Realities of Family Court.

“The most common mistake people make is that they think there is going to be a winner and a loser, and what they find out very soon is that there is no winning in family court, only degrees of losing,” he says.

Divorce specialists say couples who are splitting up need to remove the emotional aspect of a divorce, otherwise they will watch their money go down the drain.

“When it’s too acrimonious they stop speaking to each other and do it only through their lawyers,” says Ms. Davis. “Also, what they tend to do is use money and the children as a way of making a point. … It can be a very costly principle.”

Deborah Moskovitch, a Toronto-based divorce consultant and author of The Smart Divorce, says it is no wonder some couples are putting off divorce for financial reasons. “You have to treat divorce like a business transaction.”

And wait to make any big moves until the economy improves.


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Happy Valentine’s Day………Installing Love

I received this message via email today. I don’t know who the author is, but the writer’s message is right on –

 

Love yourself before you can love others

 

INSTALLING LOVE

Tech Support: Yes, … how can I help you?

Customer: Well, after much consideration, I’ve decided to install
LOVE. Can you guide me though the process?

Tech Support: Yes. I can help you. Are you ready to proceed?

Customer: Well, I’m not very technical, but I think I’m ready. What
do I do first?

Tech Support: The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located
your Heart?

Customer: Yes, but there are several other programs running now. Is
it okay to install Love while they are running?

Tech Support: What programs are running?
Customer: Let’s see, I have Past Hurt, Low Self-Esteem, Grudge, and
Resentment running right now.

Tech Support: No problem, Love will gradually erase Past Hurt from
your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory
but it will no longer disrupt other programs. Love will eventually
override Low Self-Esteem with a module of its own called High Self-
Esteem. However, you have to completely turn off Grudge and
Resentment. Those programs prevent Love from being properly
installed. Can you turn those off?
Customer: I don’t know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?

Tech Support: With pleasure. Go to your start menu and invoke
Forgiveness. Do this as many times as necessary until Grudge and
Resentment have been completely erased.
Customer: Okay, done! Love has started installing itself. Is
that normal?

Tech Support: Yes, but remember that you have only the base program.
You need to begin connecting to other Hearts in order to get the
upgrades.

Customer: Oops! I have an error message already. It says, “Error –
Program not run on external components.” What should I do?
Tech Support: Don’t worry. It means that the Love program is set up
to run on Internal Hearts, but has not yet been run on your Heart. In
non-technical terms, it simply means you have to Love yourself before
you can Love others.

Customer: So, what should I do?
Tech Support: Pull down Self-Acceptance; then click on the following
files: Forgive-Self; Realize Your Worth; and Acknowledge your
Limitations.

Customer: Okay, done.
Tech Support: Now, copy them to the “My Heart” directory. The system
will overwrite any conflicting files and begin patching faulty
programming. Also, you need to delete Verbose Self-Criticism from all
directories and empty your Recycle Bin to make sure it is completely
gone and never comes back.
Customer: Got it. Hey! My heart is filling up with new files. Smile
is playing on my monitor and Peace and Contentment are copying
themselves all over My Heart. Is this normal?

Tech Support: Sometimes. For others it takes awhile, but eventually
everything gets it at the proper time. So LOVE is installed and
running. One more thing before we hang up. LOVE is Freeware. Be sure
to give it and its various modules to everyone you meet. They will in
turn share it with others and return some cool modules back to you.


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Preparing for divorce pays off

Managing a divorce truly is a process. However, you may not know what this process is, how to proceed, and how to process information and counsel along the way to make better decisions.  After all, you probably did not approach your marriage with the expectation that you might some day require an exit plan.

Many lawyers would agree that the divorce process should be handled like a business transaction. Yet, it is difficult during this ‘transaction’ to separate out your emotions which are probably at high tide from the important decisions that will affect you and your children for many years to come. It can also be difficult to get the divorce process started or to know how to choose a lawyer, assess if your lawyer is right for you, select other experts such as accountants, therapists and parenting experts, work cost effectively with legal counsel, and ensure you put your children’s best interests first. All of these are areas where a divorce consultant can be very helpful to you.

A divorce consultant is your support during divorce.  The role of a divorce consultant is to help provide you with the insight, education and knowledge of the divorce process, to help you to be forward thinking and to give you ideas to work more effectively with your legal counsel and other members of your divorce team.  After all, there is life after divorce. Your divorce consultant is there to help you to move forward in a smart way so that you can rebuild your life and move forward with focus, hope and confidence.

If you would like an unbiased view of how I help my clients and my outlook on obtaining your smart divorce, please click on the link to view a recent article in The Toronto Star. The Toronto Star