The Smart Divorce® Weblog

Move forward with focus, hope, and confidence.

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Saving marriages and divorce reform

Tune in to The Smart Divorce to learn more about the proposed legislation for The Coalition for Divorce Reform.

Our guest, Chris Gersten (, is a former high ranking official in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, serving in both Bush administrations. He was responsible for launching the Federal government’s Healthy Marriage Initiative, creating a national organization to reform divorce laws in the U.S. and educate the public about the impact of divorce.

The result is the launch of the Coalition for Divorce Reform, formed in order to increase awareness of the negative impact of divorce, encourage discussion and debate about the effect of divorce on our culture, and support passage of divorce reform legislation.

Topics in this program include:

• How the Coalition for Divorce Reform is trying to make a difference
• Why marriage counseling does not work; education and alternatives
• The importance of marriage education and the potential to save marriage
• The importance of a waiting period before filing for divorce
• Understanding relationships, the impact of divorce and so much more

Click on the link to hear this informative interview:

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Moving from Our Home to My Home

New on The Smart Divorce on Divorce Source Radio

Moving into a new residence upon separation or divorce can be difficult.  Hear Deborah’s interview with interior decorator, Deirdre Dyment about how she works with her decor clients during this transition.

Deirdre Dyment is an interior designer who believes in designing an overall experience at home that leaves you spiritually energized and equipped to live your life passionately.  Deirdre knows all too well, there’s much more involved in leaving the matrimonial home than packing a suitcase and signing a lease. When she separated from her husband in 2007, she, unusually, helped him get set up in his new place, from stripping the floors and painting the walls to measuring and ordering furniture. They also got their two kids involved in creating their bedrooms.

The experience has since motivated Dyment to launch a novel service – post-divorce decorating – that assists in feathering the nests of newly single men in particular, whether it’s coordinating their renovations or sourcing and installing art to enliven their empty walls.

Topics in this program include:

• What are the different things can be done to make transition easier and less disruptive for children
• The emotional strain of leaving the family home; where to live, how much to spend and do you rent or purchase
• Creating an environment that will inspire and get the individual that has moved excited about the next chapter of their life
• Creating a space that reflects your personality and happiness

To listen to this interview and learn your own design ideas click on the link below

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Estranged or Abandoned by a Parent: Are Children Scarred for Life?

I am working on a book currently entitled: “Children and Divorce: The Effects of Abandonment and Estrangement: Understanding the Consequences, The Importance of Healing, And a Chance to Reconnect.” While doing my research, I have spoken with many adult children who have shared their stories on how this loss has affected their lives. I’m often saddened by these stories, but in awe as to how many of these adult children have risen above their loss to develop an emotionally healthy outlook on life.

That’s why I was compelled to watch psychotherapist, Gary Neuman, who appeared on one of Oprah’s last shows. He interviewed two young children, a brother and sister, who were abandoned by their mother when she divorced her husband — their father. The children were crying, and yet were remarkably articulate in their description of their thoughts and feelings regarding their mother’s abandonment of them due to divorce.

Click on the link to read the full article

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Annual AFCC General Conference – October 21, 2011



Dr. Bruce Perry

Principal Speaker

Renowned child psychiatrist from the Child Trauma Academy in Texas will lead us through a program focused on the multi-dimensional effects of trauma, abuse and neglect, from childhood through to parenthood.
Dr. Perry will educate participants on understanding and managing children and adults in divorce, separation and child protection matters. Assisted by our panel of legal and mental health experts, Dr. Perry will question our beliefs on traditional approaches to working with challenging families and challenge our assumptions on policy frameworks. Attendees will be taught important skills to add to our professional toolboxes, including how to: (a) recognize the effects of abuse and neglect on children and adults; (b) identify the best practices for treatment; and, (c) apply effective techniques to improve the outcomes for children and families. Dr. Perry is the author of two books, The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog and Born For Love: Why Empathy is Essential. He is an engaging and inspirational speaker and has been featured in a wide range of national media outlets including: National Public Radio, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Nightline, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, the Oprah Winfrey Show, Time, Newsweek, and The Rolling Stone.



The following topics will be covered

  • Principles of Brain Organization and Development
  • Relational Health and Development
  • Impact of Abuse, Neglect, Trauma and Chaos
  • A Case Discussion which involves a panel of Ontario experts
  • Implications for Policy, Programs and Front-line Professionals
For more information or to register, see the brochure for details

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How you can forgive your ex-spouse

Forgiveness and letting go are topics that often arise in my divorce consulting practice. The individuals who were “wronged” either through betrayal, shattered promises, or a whole host of other reasons want an apology. Many feel that having a sense that justice has been done will ease the emotional trauma. But, the truth is, an apology or restitution is unlikely to happen. Even when apologies happen, offended parties tend to perceive them as less complete and sincere than they ought to be.

I hear:

“He had an affair, he was wrong, and I want him to get down on his knees and beg for forgiveness.”

“He promised we would spend the rest of our lives together, and now he’s leaving? I hate him; he deserves nothing!”

And the extreme, “I’m going to cut his !@#$ off, he doesn’t deserve to be forgiven, only to be in pain for the rest of his life -just like Lorena Bobbitt did to her husband.”

To read the full article, click on the link

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Getting through divorce while saving time, money – and your sanity.

Introducing The Smart® Divorce Resource Toolkit

The Smart Divorce® Resource Tool Kit is now available, order yours today– one easy phone call or email, to get this valuable resource.  It’s one of the  most comprehensive programs providing a full overview of the divorce process — and endorsed by judges, lawyers, and mental health professionals.  The Smart Divorce Resource Toolkit will help you make smart decisions for you and your family – taking you through the entire divorce process, removing the mystery and misconceptions about the outcomes of divorce, how to cut down on your legal bills and so much more.

This comprehensive resource  provides an understanding of all aspects of the divorce process; helping you understand the two sides to your divorce – the “emotional divorce” and the “legal divorce”

Move through your divorce with focus, hope and confidence.

The Smart Divorce Resource Toolkit makes the divorce process easy to understand, helping you to be strategic while making sound, smart decisions.  After all, information is knowledge and knowledge is power.

   Call 905 695 0270 or email to get your copy of The Smart Divorce Resource Toolkit. 

Included in The Smart Divorce Toolkit are tips, strategies and ideas, packaged as never seen before.  This smart toolkit comes with:

The Smart Divorce Resource Toolkit is designed specifically to meet your needs — to help reduce stress, educate and inform you about the divorce process in a cost effective, easy to understand way. Guidance and information from leading family law lawyers, mental health professionals, and parenting experts well versed on the needs of those in the divorce process are included.  And, it’s put together in one smart package, making it uncomplicated, and effortless to understand.

The Tool Kit contains 4 CDs covering the myriad of issues, concerns and questions most people have about divorce – removing the mystery, complexity, and confusion about divorce.  Also included are Smart Guides which add another layer of detail to The Smart Divorce Audios, and provide a step by step plan for going through the divorce process.

The Smart Divorce Audios. 

These unique and informative CDs provide tips and strategies to help navigate this difficult time, educate listeners about the divorce process and provide practical information on getting through it with focus, hope and confidence.

  • Audio 1 – The Emotional  Divorce
  • Audio 2– The Legal Divorce
  • Audio 3 – Smart Co-Parenting: Putting Your Children’s Best Interests First
  • Audio 4 – Rebuilding Your Life Post Divorce

Smart Guides.

Tip sheets that support the information in the audios providing detail and understanding of the specific topic.

Smart Guides:

  • Planning for a Smart Divorce
  • Getting Your Finances Organized for Divorce
  • Coping with the Stress of the Emotional Divorce
  • Coping with Stress in a High Stress Environment
  • Understanding Your Divorce Options
  • Finding a Good Divorce Lawyer
  • Smart Co-Parenting
  • Living Separate and Apart
  • Strengthening the Blended Family Bonds
  • Divorce Financial Check List
  • Understanding Marital Property Laws
  • Important Financial Steps Required to Prepare for Divorce

Don’t delay, order your kit today

Call 905 695 0270 or email to get your copy of The Smart Divorce Resource Toolkit.

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Life as a single dad

As father’s day nears my radar has been more tuned into reading articles about single fathers.  The articles below highlight the trials and tribulations of single dads and the appreciation and kudos they have received.

Please post your comments and share your thoughts.  And if you are a father reading this post — Happy Fathers Day!

My father was a single dad ahead of his time

Micah Toub

I used to be my father’s wife.

I mean that in the most old-fashioned, sexist way. I know things have changed, but when I think of the word “housewife,” I still see the 1950s illustration of a woman behind an ironing board, happily removing the creases from her husband’s work shirts and slacks. Replace that aproned woman with a glum teenaged boy and that’s me at 13 years old.

After my parents’ divorce, I lived with my father. He decided that it would be my duty in our new household to iron our clothes. Since my T-shirts and jeans didn’t need it, this really meant that it was my duty to iron his clothes

To read the whole article click on the link:

Juggling life as both Mr. Wallet and Mr. Mom

Sarah Hampson

Deadbeat dads, ghost dads, Disneyland dads, Santa daddies: The divorce culture is rich in labels, especially ones that reduce men to negative stereotypes.

Some may be warranted, but the trouble with simplistic labels is that they rarely shed light on the complex truth of reality.

What is forgotten is that fathers have their own painful adjustment to divorce that is different than that faced by mothers.

I have heard some of that truth from men who write to me and agree to tell their stories.

If the stereotype is that men have a tendency to suffer in silence, the reality is that they no longer want to.

To read the whole article click on the link:

I wasn’t prepared to be a single dad

Graeme McRanor

Two-and-a-half years ago, quite unplanned, I became a dad.

My girlfriend Tina’s pregnancy was a shocker. But, after nine months of heated dialogue on the questionable reliability of Mexican condoms, some light reading on how to be a parent, plenty of obsessive worrying and a summer-long pub crawl, I finally felt ready for parenthood.

To read the whole article click on the link:


Making a difference: The Fresh Air Fund needs your help

The Fresh Air Fund is in need of loving host families for the summer of 2011

If you or someone you know is able to host, please sign up now. In 2010, The Fresh Air Fund’s Volunteer Host Family program, called Friendly Town, gave close to 5,000 New York City boys and girls, ages six to 18, free summer experiences in the country and the suburbs. Volunteer host families shared their friendship and homes up to two weeks or more in 13 Northeastern states from Virginia to Maine and Canada.

Thanks to host families who open up their homes for a few weeks each summer, children growing up in New York City’s toughest neighborhoods have experienced the joys of Fresh Air experiences.

More than 65% of all children are reinvited to stay with their host family, year after year.

Fresh Air Fund Host Families

“It is rewarding to see the smile on our Fresh Air child’s face as she enjoys the simple things we take for granted…”

Friendly Town host families are volunteers who live in the suburbs or small town communities. Host families range in size, ethnicity and background, but share the desire to open their hearts and homes to give city children an experience they will
never forget. Hosts say the Fresh Air experience is as enriching for their own families, as it is for the inner-city children. There are no financial requirements for hosting a child. Volunteers may request the age-group and gender of the Fresh Air youngster
they would like to host. Stories about real Fresh Air host families and their New York City visitors are just a click away!

Click here to learn more about becoming a host or call (800) 367-0003!