The Smart Divorce® Weblog

Move forward with focus, hope, and confidence.


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How Divorce Can Be Empowering

I share with More magazine online (more.ca) my most personal journey through divorce…..the purpose is to inspire and empower the reader with focus, hope and confidence.

There’s a story I often share in the hopes that it inspires and empowers others. I call it: Reframing your thoughts to create the best life yet. It’s about how my engagement ring changed from a symbol of love as a couple to love of myself. I know what you’re thinking: This sounds cliché, and this divorce consultantand educator is just one more flake trying to sell swampland in Florida.

A week after my youngest child was born I learned some devastating facts about my marriage which were about to turn my world upside down. But, fifteen years later my world is not only sunny-side up but also a whole lot different — very fulfilling. I’m living out my dreams.

I’ll never forget the day a week after my third child was born. I tried to buy diapers for my son and my credit card was declined, yet again. The humiliation I felt when I approached my car empty handed, while my parents and baby were waiting for me, was devastating. There is usually a breaking point that causes people to make difficult decisions. And that episode was to be the start of mine. It was the low point that began my catalyst for change.

I believed in the sanctity of marriage in good and bad times. I grew up fairly sheltered, with tunnel vision and naiveté. The “D” word never existed in my vocabulary and I was determined to stay married. I made my life about my children. But all that unraveled that fateful day my diaper purchase was declined – the day I realized that the trust, communication and honesty were gone from my marriage.

To read the full article, click on the link: http://www.more.ca/relationships/single-life/how-your-divorce-can-be-empowering/a/37626


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The Great Giveaway for Parents Caregivers and Kids of Divorce

Have you heard about the Great Giveaways Event for Parents, Caregivers and Kids of Divorce?  Check out over $20,000 in gifts being given away at http://giveaway.divorcemoneymatters.com/

To support parents, caregivers and kids who have been touched by divorce, Divorce Money Matters is  gathering together a diverse group of high-integrity authors, coaches, consultants and service providers, to GIVE AWAY Tens of Thousands of $$ in books, products, programs and services that are meant to assist you and your children mentally, emotionally, financially and spiritually.

If you have children and are going through divorce, or have experienced divorce in the past and are seeking guidance – you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to our community of heart-centered professionals who want to honor and support you and your family as you deal with the transition and challenges of raising children amidst divorce in the best ways possible.

Divorce Money Matters knows and understand the difficulties you may deal with as a single parent or other caregiver and respect and greet you with open arms here!

Click on the link to learn more http://giveaway.divorcemoneymatters.com/

 

 

 


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How To Tell Your Kids You’re Separating or Divorcing

I recently appeared on The Marilyn Denis Show on CTV.  We discussed the issues, considerations and preparation going into the conversation to tell your children about your separation and divorce.  We also talked about this very critical conversation.  Click on the link to see the interview

http://www.marilyn.ca/parenting/segments.aspx/Daily/October2011/10_18_2011/DivorceGuide

I also provided a tip sheet…..here’s what I had to say

Divorce expert Deborah Moskovitch shares tips on how to tell your kids you’re getting a divorce.

Telling Your Children About Your Divorce

Research indicates that too few parents sit down and explain to their children that their marriage is ending, and they don’t encourage their children to ask questions. Parents that say nothing, leaving their children confused. When parents do not explain what’s happening to their children, the children feel anxious, upset and lonely and find it much harder to cope.  Children don’t need to know the reasons behind the divorce, but what you can tell them is what it means to them and their lives.
Providing age-appropriate information will help your children and adolescents cope with the many changes in their lives initiated by the separation and divorce. It will make them feel less anxious. And it establishes a healthy pattern of communication with your children.
Preparing for conversation
Children and Adolescents are much smarter then we often give them credit for.   There is information they will want to know and appropriate to share such as:
The Parenting Plan.  If you can, try to work out an interim agreement about what your living arrangements will be before you talk with your children. Although this plan might change later, your children will have more of a sense of confidence if they know you’ve put some thought into the separation and how it might impact them.
Provide Reassurance.  Let your children know that they are equally important to both of you, and you both want to be with them. Assure your children that the divorce is between mom and dad, and not your children – we will always be your parents.
Be prepared with answers.  Try to think of the questions that your children might ask, and be ready with an answer – for example, they will want to know if they will be able to attend the same school, or see their friends and extended family and where each of you will be living.
Talk about it together
It is helpful for both parents to talk with the children together.  This gives them a consistent message and shows them that you both love them that you can and will work together and parent cooperatively even though you are divorcing. When it is not possible to talk to children together, do the best you can to coordinate what you are saying to them and be sure not to put down your co-parent or be negative about them.
Provide the right message 
When parents talk to their children about the separation or divorce they are some very important suggestions that you most likely will want your children to hear:
  • That it was a mutual decision to separate; avoid laying blame on one parent.
  • You, their parents, love them very much and that the divorce is not their fault
  • What their lives will look like in concrete terms.  For example: what will stay the same and what may change. Try to provide your children with security and routine.
Allow for grieving 
Don’t rush your children, allow them time to react. Children need their space to grieve and adjust to this new reality too.  Allow your children to express any and all feelings, let them know that is ok to do so. Also, help your children articulate different feelings, and let them know that they can asking you anything.
Help your child understand the new reality 
What will your children’s new reality look like?  Give your children a sense of what will be remaining the same, and what will be changing. Have a family calendar hanging in a prominent place or in your children’s rooms.  Show your children you care, help them keep track of when they will be in each home. Since they will be adjusting to life in two separate homes, you want them to feel comfortable in this new routine.
And lastly, don’t be afraid to tell your children that we, your parents may not have all the answers, but we are working towards goals together.
More helpful tips may be found in The Smart Divorce: Proven Strategies and Valuable Advice from 100 Top Divorce Lawyers, Financial Advisers, Counselors, and Other Experts (Chicago Review Press, 2007).  Or through The Smart Divorce Resource ToolKit.To place an order or for more information email info@thesmartdivorce.com


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Telling Your Children You’re Getting Divorced

I was interviewed on The Marily Denis Show discussing: How Do I Tell My Kids I’m Getting a Divorce

Click on the link to hear the full interview, and outlined below are the tips we discussed http://www.marilyn.ca/parenting/segments.aspx/Daily/October2011/10_18_2011/DivorceGuide

Divorce expert Deborah Moskovitch shares tips on how to tell your kids you’re getting a divorce.

Telling Your Children About Your Divorce

Research indicates that too few parents sit down and explain to their children that their marriage is ending, and they don’t encourage their children to ask questions. Parents that say nothing, leaving their children confused. When parents do not explain what’s happening to their children, the children feel anxious, upset and lonely and find it much harder to cope.  Children don’t need to know the reasons behind the divorce, but what you can tell them is what it means to them and their lives.
Providing age-appropriate information will help your children and adolescents cope with the many changes in their lives initiated by the separation and divorce. It will make them feel less anxious. And it establishes a healthy pattern of communication with your children.
Preparing for conversation
Children and Adolescents are much smarter then we often give them credit for.   There is information they will want to know and appropriate to share such as:
The Parenting Plan.  If you can, try to work out an interim agreement about what your living arrangements will be before you talk with your children. Although this plan might change later, your children will have more of a sense of confidence if they know you’ve put some thought into the separation and how it might impact them.
Provide Reassurance.  Let your children know that they are equally important to both of you, and you both want to be with them. Assure your children that the divorce is between mom and dad, and not your children – we will always be your parents.
Be prepared with answers.  Try to think of the questions that your children might ask, and be ready with an answer – for example, they will want to know if they will be able to attend the same school, or see their friends and extended family and where each of you will be living.
Talk about it together
It is helpful for both parents to talk with the children together.  This gives them a consistent message and shows them that you both love them that you can and will work together and parent cooperatively even though you are divorcing. When it is not possible to talk to children together, do the best you can to coordinate what you are saying to them and be sure not to put down your co-parent or be negative about them.
Provide the right message 
When parents talk to their children about the separation or divorce they are some very important suggestions that you most likely will want your children to hear:
  • That it was a mutual decision to separate; avoid laying blame on one parent.
  • You, their parents, love them very much and that the divorce is not their fault
  • What their lives will look like in concrete terms.  For example: what will stay the same and what may change. Try to provide your children with security and routine.
Allow for grieving 
Don’t rush your children, allow them time to react. Children need their space to grieve and adjust to this new reality too.  Allow your children to express any and all feelings, let them know that is ok to do so. Also, help your children articulate different feelings, and let them know that they can asking you anything.
Help your child understand the new reality 
What will your children’s new reality look like?  Give your children a sense of what will be remaining the same, and what will be changing. Have a family calendar hanging in a prominent place or in your children’s rooms.  Show your children you care, help them keep track of when they will be in each home. Since they will be adjusting to life in two separate homes, you want them to feel comfortable in this new routine.
And lastly, don’t be afraid to tell your children that we, your parents may not have all the answers, but we are working towards goals together.
More helpful tips may be found in The Smart Divorce: Proven Strategies and Valuable Advice from 100 Top Divorce Lawyers, Financial Advisers, Counselors, and Other Experts (Chicago Review Press, 2007).  Or through The Smart Divorce Resource ToolKit.

To place an order or for more information email info@thesmartdivorce.com

 

 

 

 

 


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How to Get a Military Divorce

There are differences between a military divorce and a civilian divorce. Tune in to The Smart Divorce on Divorce Source Radio, to learn about these differences

Our guest, Matt Hamel  is a family law lawyer who understands military divorce.  With legal skills forged in the crucible of the Military Justice System, Matt is an unyielding advocate for military wives, female service members and the children of military families.

Recognizing the lack of easily available information about military divorces and Virginia law, Matt joined forces with the Hofheimer/Ferrebee law firm to co-author an informative book about Virginia family law and it’s impact on military families. Equally important, the book discusses entitlements due military wives as a result of their marriage to military members.

Armed with knowledge as a former Navy JAG officer and motivated with an advocate’s passion to help women through the family crisis of divorce, Matt also wanted to honor female military spouses who often serve their nation in quiet desperation as their family life unravels. Thus, he not only co-authored this book, but he also joined the Hofheimer/Ferrebee firm in order to represent women exclusively in divorce and custody matters. Matt’s not just “talking the talk,” he’s “walking the walk.”

Topics in this program include:

  • What makes a military divorce different from a civilian divorce
  • Where should a military divorce occur
  • How will deployment and new duty stations impact child custody arrangements
  • Do I need to be married for 10-years to my military spouse to be able to get a portion of his retirement?
  • What is the Survival Benefit Plan and is it worth it to elect this?
  • Will my medical benefits cease upon my divorce (health benefits are free to military members and their dependents)?  What about medical benefits for our children after the divorce?
  • What is a 20/20/20 spouse and what is a 20/20/15 spouse?
  • And, so much more!
Click on the link to hear this very informative interview  http://www.divorcesourceradio.com/getting-through-a-military-divorce/


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Get Your Questions Answered- How to Tell Your Kids About Your Divorce

I’m taping a guest appearance on Marilyn Denis on Tuesday, October  18, 2011.  Are you struggling to tell your kids you’re getting a divorce?  The Marilyn Denis Show can help you figure out what to say.  Email us at relationships@marilyn.ca.  Write in with your questions today!


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The Joys of Being a Single Parent: A Dad’s Point of View

Our guest on The Smart Divorce on Divorce Source Radio, is Bruce Sallan who shares his story of becoming a first-time dad, to a son, four days after his 40th birthday, less than 9 months after getting married (they got pregnant on the honeymoon). His second son was born three years later. When Bruce’s sons were still quite young, he left his job as Vice President ABC Motion Pictures for Television to become a full-time dad and to care for his ailing parents, the classic “sandwich” situation.

Shortly thereafter, his marriage ended and his wife abandoned their children, leaving the state. He became a full-time single dad, in his late-forties. Hear Bruce share his lessons and musings on being a single dad.

Topics in this program include:

  • Reactions from friends and acquaintances about being a single stay at home dad
  • The inherent differences in the parenting styles of mothers and fathers
  • How gender differences affecting parenting, friendships and dating
  • A single dad’s view on custody and the children’s best interests
  • Triumph over heartbreak; new ventures and lessons learned
  • The real importance of being a single parent
Listen in to this important interview:


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How to be Smart About Divorce on Family Matters TV

I am both proud an honoured to be a guest on Family Matters with Justice Brownstone.   This is by far one of my most informative  and personal interviews; Justice Brownstone digs deep as I share my  research and lessons learned so that anyone can have The Smart Divorce.  He also delves into my own divorce journey,  so that viewers are empowered with information and knowledge.  Tune  in tonight, October 4, at 10:30pm on CHCH TV.

If you are interested in learning more about The Smart Divorce Resource ToolKit ,which Justice Brownstone speaks so highly of, please email info@thesmartdivorce.com for more information.


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How to Make Your Marriage Last

5 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married

This article first appeared on The Huffington Post, Weddings

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-moskovitch/5-questions-to-ask-before-married_b_977064.html

While it sounds rather obvious, picking the partner that’s right for you is a sure-fire way to keep the love flame burning and your marriage last.

As a divorce consultant and educator, I’ve learned so much about why relationships don’t work — and the bottom line answer is that not enough communication and introspection have taken place to make the relationship work. People don’t really understand themselves and their partners. And, consequently, they make decisions to pair up for all the wrong reasons.

According to HuffPost blogger Jennifer Gauvain, 30 percent of women have an inkling before they walk down the aisle that they are going to marry the wrong person. If you want to ensure that you are in the 70 percent majority and are marrying for love and all the right reasons, I’ve outlined some thoughts and considerations. If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it is better to start the conversations now, before you say “I do,” than after and say “I want out.”

Considerations and Conversations:

1. Do you and your partner have similar social values and outlooks on life?

2. Have you discussed finances? Are you or your partner bringing in any debts to this union, and if so, do you have a repayment strategy? Are you a spender or a saver? What about your partner? And, if your spending styles are drastically different, how do you plan on overcoming these differences and work towards common goals?

3. Do you have similar life goals, like starting a family? Work ethic? Lifestyle? And if these ideals don’t mesh, then ask yourself if you can realistically overcome these differences together. If you can’t, is it in your best interest to stay together?

4. If you want children together, have you discussed religious issues (especially important if this is an interfaith relationship) parenting styles and family values?

5. Next on the agenda is to ask yourself what you want and need from a partner. Many people today are looking for their “soul mate” and someone to complete them. But, someone can’t make you happy, only you can really make yourself happy.

There is work required to really get to know your partner — isn’t it worth the effort to ensure a lasting, loving marriage? And remember, don’t expect that things will change once you get married. If your partner didn’t change while you were dating, what is going to be different once you are married? What you will have to change is yourself, your reaction to those behaviors and attitudes that you didn’t necessarily agree with.

Difficult conversations, constant communication, trust, respect and honesty, while not guarantees, will certainly help in keeping your soul mate in your soul, and not under your sole as you walk all over each other.

If you’ve made it this far and still want to say “I Do,” congratulations and may you have a long, happy and healthy partnership together.


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How to be Smart About Divorce

I am both proud an honoured to be a guest on Family Matters with Justice Brownstone.   This is by far one of my most informative  and personal interviews; Justice Brownstone digs deep as I share my  research and lessons learned so that anyone can have The Smart Divorce.  He also delves into my own divorce journey,  so that viewers are empowered with information and knowledge.  Tune  in tonight, October 4, at 10:30pm on CHCH TV.

If you are interested in learning more about The Smart Divorce Resource ToolKit ,which Justice Brownstone speaks so highly of, please email info@thesmartdivorce.com for more information.