The Smart Divorce® Weblog

Move forward with focus, hope, and confidence.


Leave a comment

The Shared Custody Experience

On this episode of The Smart Divorce with Deborah Moskovitch, our guest is Denise Whitehead, a lawyer with a Ph.D. in Family Relations & Human Development.  She combines her legal and social science backgrounds and shares her important research on socio-legal practice and policy issues related to separation and divorce that affect all members of the family system – mothers, fathers and children.

Denise Whitehead

Dr. Whitehead discusses her dissertation research that involved in-depth interviews with young adults who spent time in shared custody as children and examined their perspectives on transitions, relationships and fairness.  The information is helpful on so many levels – but most importantly looks at what children really want, the outcomes and impact.

Topics in this program include:

  • How shared custody is influencing parent child relationships
  • Fairness in decision making
  • What children want in a custody arrangement
  • The importance of quality time with children
  • Who “owns the time”
  • ‘Managing-up:’ Young adult children who experienced shared custody reflect on their efforts to make family relations work
  • Custodial decision-making and fairness: Young adults who lived in shared custody give their ‘expert’ opinions
  • And so much more…….

This is a must listen show if you are thinking of, working through or implementing your parenting plan.  Dr. Whitehead provides practical and creative thinking about parenting and the relationship with your children.

To listen click here

Don’t forget, Like us on our Facebook pages, The Smart Divorce and Divorce Source Radio.  Join the community!


1 Comment

Don’t Divorce Me! Kids’ Rules for Parents on Divorce

Have you watched the new documentary on HBO – Don’t Divorce Me!  If you haven’t already done so, I strongly suggest you do.

This is the most incredible program providing a voice to children of divorce.  They share their do’s and don’ts of what their parents are doing right and wrong throughout the divorce process and beyond.  The important tips they share are:

  1. Don’t use your kids as messengers
  2. Let them know that the divorce isn’t there fault
  3. Don’t fight
  4. Love your children (too much)
  5. They want to spend time with both mom and dad
  6. Keep the kids out of the middle
  7. Try to make sure that your parents get both kids kind of equally
  8. Don’t ask me to spy

These kids are smart are tell parents in such a powerful way what they could be doing better.  Children are the ones that live out the divorce…..so let’s give our children the best chances and listen to their message.

If you’re having trouble coping emotionally, understanding the importance of putting your children’s best interest first, healing through the divorce process for a happier, healthier future, then you will definitely want to check out The Smart Divorce ToolKit – a cost-effective and valuable divorce support resource.

I’ve written previous blog posts about The Children’s Best Interests.  Check them out:


Leave a comment

Keeping the Family Foundation Grounded

Family is The Foundation of Our Society

I interviewed Dave Quist of the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada on The Smart Divorce on Divorce Source Radio.  Tune in to hear this great perspective and ideas on keeping the family together.

The health of our children, communities and nation depends on strong families. The institute of marriage and family Canada (IMFC) states that the aim of society and government policy should be to protect and support this foundation.  How is this accomplished?

David QuistOur guest, Dave Quist, Executive Director of theInstitute of Marriage and Family Canada  (http://www.imfcanada.org/) outlines the many challenges facing families today, and provides ideas for overcoming the obstacles for confronting families in our fast paced society. Mr. Quist has been an active participant in an annual, international meeting of think tanks who collaborate to advance the position that marriage and strong families act as a protector against poverty.  This is a energetic conversation brimming with ideas for developing stronger, healthier family relationships.

Topics include:

  • Staying connected with the “family dinner”
  • Pre-marriage counseling
  • The challenges of family financing
  • Understanding the “me” generation
  • How to make relationships stronger with your children and within your marriage
  • Making marriages successful rather than divorce easier
  • What co-parents need to understand so that children become positive contributors to society
  • The cultural shift of marriage
  • And, so much more……

The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada (IMFC) conducts, compiles and presents the latest and most accurate research to ensure that marriage and family-friendly policy are foremost in the minds of Canada’s decision makers.

To hear the interview click on the link:

http://www.divorcesourceradio.com/family-the-foundation-our-society/


1 Comment

It’s All About The Kids, “Stupid” – Parenting During Divorce

One of the most important concerns parents have post divorce is how their time is to be shared between their children.  Is there such a thing about the right parenting plan or how parenting time is shared?  In this episode of The Smart Divorce with Deborah Moskovitch, our guest Dr. Phil Stahl  has some very insightful answers and thoughts on parenting during divorce.

Dr. Stahl is one of the North America’s foremost parenting experts; a practitioner, author, and teacher, specializing in high conflict families of divorce. He has served on numerous committees and task forces designed to improve the quality of work in his field. He teaches judges, attorneys, psychologists and other mental health professionals about issues affecting families and children. His expertise is accepted in courts across the country.

If you are a parent going through a divorce, you will want to learn more about custody evaluations and some of the issues affecting families and children. This show is insightful for grandparents and step-parents…..or anyone who wants a better understanding of the parenting plan and putting the children’s best interests first.

Topics include:

  • Communication blunders, and apologizing to our children for our mistakes
  • Wise advice from Dr. Stahl’s book – Parenting After Divorce
  • What makes a good parenting plan
  • Parenting plan ideas
  • Parenting through conflict
  • How to share your child – your child is not a percentage

For more on Dr. Stahl, visit: http://www.parentingafterdivorce.com/index.html

To hear this insightful interview chock full of great advice tune in at http://www.divorcesourceradio.com/its-all-about-the-kids-stupid-parenting-during-divorce/


1 Comment

Moving Out and Moving On: Overcoming Domestic Violence

Our guest, Sharon Zarozny of Brilliant Exits  (http://www.brilliantexits.com/) shares her personal story of overcoming the trauma she experienced as a victim of Domestic Violence and abuse.  Domestic Violence can happen to anyone, and Sharon was hard pressed to believe that this was happening to her.  Fact was, as an educated woman who’d traded in a successful career to be a stay at home mom, there was no wayshe and her daughters were the “victims” of that ugly phrase “domestic violence.” Sharon’s family had the trappings of a privileged life thanks to her husband’s thriving surgical practice. He was a brilliant Ivy League grad. It just didn’t add up.

If you can identify, get a copy of Susan Weitzman’s book Not To People Like Us: Hidden Abuse in Upscale Marriages or check out nottopeoplelikeus.com. Knowing you are not alone is so crucial to getting out. In your world that swirls with “unreals” and craziness, you’ll find this book/site a gift of validation. You’ll know you are not crazy.

Also visit The Weitzman Center and download the free Care Kit provided. It too will help you understand and safely plan for when you are ready to get out. And plan you must. When you leave a high earning, narcissistic professional you can be in for quite a rough ride through the legal system. Often the upscale abuser has the means, power and leverage to hire a legal dream team and use the courts to further the abuse.

To learn more about Sharon’s story, read her article that appeared in The Huffington Post:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sharon-zarozny/are-you-brave-enough-to-l_b_837390.html

To hear this important interview click on the link below

http://www.divorcesourceradio.com/overcoming-domestic-violence-moving-out-and-moving-on/


1 Comment

Finding Your Bliss After Divorce

For those residing in the Toronto area..Stay tuned this Wednesday, November 23rd at 7 pm for “FINDING YOUR BLISS AFTER DIVORCE” On ROGERS TV (Channel 10 in Toronto, 63 in Scarborough) Great show, with amazing prizes, giveaways and excellent guests, coaches and authors who are here to coach you on life after divorce. Please give us a call at 416-446-7090. The first two callers win great prizes including 4 CD’s from The Smart Divorce ToolKit and and a half hour one-on-one complimentary consultation with Divorce author and consultant Deborah Moskovitch!


2 Comments

How You Can Divorce With Focus, Hope and Confidence

The Smart Divorce®  ToolKit

Get Through Your Divorce While Saving Time, Money – and Your Sanity!

Get through your divorce as you save time, money – and your sanity! One low price gives you the complete Smart Divorce ToolKit – Smart Audios and Smart Guides – a cost-effective way to reduce stress as you  manage the divorce process.
Whatever your frame of mind or situation at this stage of your divorce, The Smart Divorce ToolKit is a one-of-a-kind tool that will help you gain clarity, perspective and a smarter next step. This valuable resource provides education, tools and strategies to help you be smart about your divorce while moving on to a happier, healthier future.

Information is Knowledge and Knowledge is Power

Endorsed by judges, lawyers and mental health professionals, The Smart Divorce ToolKit provides 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. This one smart package makes it uncomplicated and effortless to understand.

The Smart Divorce Audios

As an introduction to The Smart Divorce approach in an easy to absorb format, The Smart Divorce Audios provide the reassuring, insightful and non-judgmental information you need when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed.  Almost 3 hours of information!
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

The Smart Divorce Smart Guides

The Smart Guides offer you easy-to-use tip sheets put together in one smart book that guides you through divorce specifics, covering a myriad of helpful topics. Empower yourself with information and knowledge. The Smart Guides offer quick summaries, checklists and memory ticklers to help keep you on track.

Smart Guides:

  • Planning for a Smart Divorce
  • Coping with the Stress of the Emotional Divorce
  • How to Increase Your Ability to Cope When Divorcing
  • The Power of Setting Realistic Expectations
  • Understanding Your Divorce Options
  • Finding a Good Divorce Lawyer
  • Understanding Marital Property Laws
  • Getting Your Finances Organized for Divorce
  • Financial Information Checklist
  • Important Financial Steps Required to Prepare for Divorce
  • Smart Co-Parenting
  • Living Separate and Apart
  • Strengthening the Blended Family Bonds

 

Buy just the topics you need, or get the whole ToolKit.  Prices start at the low price of $9.49!

Yes! I want to order The Smart Divorce®ToolKit. Available in hard copy or downloadable format at http://tinyurl.com/thesmartdivorceaudios or you may purchase only The Smart Divorce Smart Guides paperback or downloadable version at http://tinyurl.com/thesmartdivorcesmartguides  If you would like to learn more about this unique and innovative program, and how it may help you, please contact Deborah Moskovitch at The Smart Divorce by emailing info@thesmartdivorce.com, or call 905.695.0270.


1 Comment

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


Leave a comment

The Fresh Air Fund Thanks Its Supporters

THE FRESH AIR FUND, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Nearly 10,000 New York City children enjoy free Fresh Air Fund programs annually. In 2010, close to 5,000 children visited volunteer host families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada. 3,000 children also attended five Fresh Air camps on a 2,300-acre site in Fishkill, New York. The Fund’s year-round camping program serves an additional 2,000 young people each year.

If you or someone you know is able to host next summer, please sign up now.

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!

“We made s’mores and hot dogs over the fire. I’ve never cooked outside before!”

Fresh Air children are boys and girls, six to 18 years old, who live in New York City. Children on first-time visits are six to 12 years old and stay for either one or two weeks. Youngsters who are re-invited by the same family may continue with The Fund through age 18, and many enjoy longer summertime visits, year after year. A visit to the home of a warm and loving volunteer host family can make all the difference in the world to an inner-city child. All it takes to create lifelong memories is laughing in the sunshine and making new friends.

The majority of Fresh Air children are from low-income communities. These are often families without the resources to send their children on summer vacations. Most inner-city youngsters grow up in towering apartment buildings without large, open, outdoor play spaces. Concrete playgrounds cannot replace the freedom of running barefoot through the grass or riding bikes down country lanes. 

Fresh Air children are registered by more than 90 participating social service and community organizations located in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the five boroughs of New York City. These community-based agencies are in close contact with children in need of summer experiences in rural and suburban areas. Each agency is responsible for registering children for the program.