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Should So Many Couples Choose Divorce?

From the Huffington Post

Deborah Moskovitch

Divorce Coach, Author, Speaker, Guide, Radio Host

Should So Many Couples Choose Divorce?

Posted: 01/15/2013 12:17 pm

*This article first appeared on more.ca

Have you ever stopped to ponder why the divorce rate has risen so dramatically over the past 50 years? When my parents married in the 1950s the divorce rate was minimal. According to Statistics Canada, in 1951 there were only 5,270 divorces in all of Canada. The number rose dramatically to a staggering 70,226 divorces in 2008 — a whopping 1,232 per cent increase in total divorces over 50 years.

This compares with an increase in the total population of only 139 per cent. Divorce was a rare event previous to the first world war with a rate of less than one per 1,000 of the yearly number of marriages, says Stats Can. And I suspect the statistics are not too dissimilar in the U.S., although the hard numbers are usually ten times that of what occurs in Canada. For example, the number of divorces in the U.S. in 2008 was reported at 840,000, by CDC/NCHS National Vital Statistics System.

There has been significant progress in divorce reform, making it easier and fairer to obtain. Researchers would most likely agree that not only has divorce become more socially acceptable, but divorce laws have also changed to provide a more equitable resolution for many since the late 1960s. The amendment to the Divorce Act to permit the reason for divorce as no-fault (in other words, no-blame divorce) has radically altered the factors influencing the decision to divorce.

In other words, divorce has become less of a stigma — you don’t have to prove fault, and there is more fairness in addressing financial concerns for the disadvantaged spouse. In addition, there has been extensive research on the impact of divorce upon the family, children, social outcomes and so much more.

This learning has enabled the development of more effective resources to help the divorcing individual. No longer does one feel forced to stay in a marriage when there is a serious breach of trust, or any kind abuse. These are very positive outcomes of divorce reform.

The grass isn’t always greener, so why the high divorce rate?

But, knowing what we do — that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, that divorce can be hard on children, lifestyle is often diminished, and the divorce rate rises with each subsequent marriage — why is the divorce rate still so high? Has the traditional wedding vow promising to love and cherish each other in sickness and in health until death do us part lost its meaning? Or, have expectations about marriage and what we want out of a partner changed over the years, resulting in this dramatic rise in divorce.

Choosing to divorce is certainly not an easy decision. For most, the decision to divorce is a result of a great deal of soul searching and questioning. While the legal system for divorce is far from perfect, it is significantly better than it was in the 1950s. But, upon closer examination, it appears that changing attitudes towards relationships and marriage have impacted the divorce rate over the last 50 years. I spoke with one of the foremost sociologists and researchers in North America, Dr. Paul Amato, who has conducted extensive research on marital quality and stability.

To read the whole article and view the HuffPost slide show click here


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Five Steps to a Healthier You, Post-Divorce

Make no mistake; divorce is upper case Emotional. When I decided to leave my marriage, I could not imagine how I would ever say the “d” word to my children or spell out how their lives would change. While I accepted whole-heartedly that my priority was to put my children’s best interests first, I was also painfully aware of how my world was uncoupling and changing. Even though almost 40 per cent of marriages end in divorce, I felt little comfort from a statistic.

At first, I felt very overwhelmed most days. I vividly recall many dreams of moving through scary-divorce-land bogged down by a big bad trunk of fear, anxiety, guilt and anger. I knew I had to unload the trunk to get anywhere but I did not want to “deal.” And, who could even think of dating. But the truth is, that while I knew it was important to put my children’s best interests first, I also knew that it was important to get my own life on track if I was going to be a good parent and role model.

As I began to rebuild my life post-split I quickly realized I had choices — I could choose to be a victim, or I could choose to move on, and it was up to me to build a good life, a happy and fulfilling life. Yes, the future was fraught with uncertainty but I reframed that thought and looked at what I could do to make life better, happier and brighter. The life I’ve now created is beyond my wildest dreams. If anyone would have told me in the darkest of my emotional days that I would be a divorce coach, a best selling Canadian author, a keynote speaker at The Divorce Party — and so much more, I would have told them they were dreaming. But, by opening myself up to new experiences and being open minded, I learned that divorce is rich in opportunity to learn and grown from — and grow I did.

To find out the 5 steps, read the full article here 


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Don’t Let Divorce Destroy Your Relationship with Your Kids

The calendar year starts in September for many families, and along with that comes many adjustments. One of the most serious fall-outs of divorce may be a diminished child-parent relationship.

What happens when you’re a kind, loving, caring parent whose relationship has been downgraded for what seems like no reason at all? How do you maintain a relationship with your children when their priorities change from family to now focusing on school and friends? Here are five ways to maintain a relationship with your kids during the school year.

1. Re-frame your thinking: Don’t measure time spent with your children in quantity — minutes and hours — but in terms of the quality of time you are spending together.

2. Be creative: Keep the relationship going by doing what is in their best interest — driving them to programs, helping them with homework and asking them what they need from you. By doing so, you get to know who their friends are and understand what they are doing at school; it will help promote conversation.

To read the whole article, click on the link below

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-moskovitch/dont-let-divorce-destroy-_b_1853231.html?utm_hp_ref=divorce&ir=Divorce


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Celebrating Mother’s Everywhere

And to all….a very happy mother’s day.  Although, to be honest, I feel everyday should be mother’s day — by that I mean, it shouldn’t be only one day where our children show their love and respect, it should be everyday.

I came across some articles I would like to share , and I hope you enjoy.

What my mom taught me about being a working mother

by: JUDITH TIMSON, The Globe and Mail

Whenever there’s a tedious new eruption of the so-called Mommy Wars (watch out, Ann Romney), I summon up an indelible image of my mother from when I was around 11. She was heading out, dressed in a form-fitting black coat with a mustard-coloured little hat perched on her head.

In the midst of a difficult marriage that would eventually end in divorce, she was off to a momentous job interview. She landed the job – as an executive assistant at a scholarship trust foundation. And for more than two decades, her work shaped and sustained her.

She taught me valuable lessons about the role of work in a woman’s life: I learned that work can be a solace, a refuge, a turning point. It can boost your mental health, give you pride and self-sufficiency, and make you feel necessary in the wider world. And yes, it can rescue you when your marriage goes belly up.

We don’t hear much about the sustaining value of work itself in the trivial furor over whether “good” mothers should work outside the home when their children are young. Of course, I know that being a mother IS work, and argued as such in my book Family Matters.

To read the rest of the article click on the link

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/mothers-day/what-my-mom-taught-me-about-being-a-working-mother/article2429188/?utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_source=Globe%20Life&utm_type=text&utm_content=What%20my%20mom%20taught%20me%20about%20being%20a%20working%20mother&utm_campaign=94932576

My Mother: The Ultimate Fearless Role Model

by Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post

The first experience of fear I remember was a particularly strange one. I was 9 years old. Over dinner one night, my mother started telling my younger sister, Agapi, and me about the time during the Greek civil war, in the 1940s, when she fled to the mountains with two Jewish girls. As part of the Greek Red Cross, she was taking care of wounded soldiers and hiding the girls.

She described the night when German soldiers arrived at their cabin and started to shoot, threatening to kill everyone if the group did not surrender the Jews the Germans suspected (rightly) they were hiding. My mother, who spoke fluent German, stood up and told them categorically to put down their guns, that there were no Jews in their midst. And then she watched the German soldiers lower their guns and walk away. And just hearing it, I remember the fear rising inside me, not just fear for my mother and the danger she faced but fear for myself. How would I ever live up to this standard of fearlessness?

My mother did not let financial concerns stop her from leaving my father when I was 11-years-old. For my father, as for many Greek men of his generation, there was nothing wrong with extramarital affairs. “I don’t want you to interfere with my private life,” I remember him telling my mother when she complained. His marriage was part of his public life, his affairs part of his private life. But that was not okay for her, and even though she had no job and no obvious way to earn money, she took her two children and left, trusting that somehow she would make ends meet. And, somehow, she did.

Super Moms

by BARBARA HOFFMAN, New York Post

Who would have guessed there were so many Wonder Women out there? Not to mention an army of Beyoncés, multiple Michelle Obamas and a batch of Sandra Bullocks.

At least, that’s how The Post’s young readers see their moms. For this year’s Mother’s Day contest, we challenged them to compare the leading women in their lives to a star, superhero or historical figure. More than 200 kids responded with heartfelt comparisons, though a few insisted their mothers were like no one else. Still others proved that love is blind, seeing the essence beyond age and gender, seeing their moms as George Washington . . . and the Incredible Hulk.

In a field this wide and wonderful, it was hard to pick just three winners. Congratulations to Louise Cruz, Marco Vucovic and Nigel Walker, who won their heroines a massage and facial at the Oasis Day Spa. Let their letters and these honorable mentions inspire you to make your mom feel like a star tomorrow — Mother’s Day — and every day.

Wonder-ful provider

I think my mom, April Bond, is Wonder Woman because she is a single mom who takes care of me and my 18-month-old sister, and she works her butt off to take care of us. She always finds ways to keep us together no matter what. I know it’s not easy for her, but she loves us. My mom is Wonder Woman and I love her dearly.

–Nigel Walker, 10, Brooklyn winner with mom

Just don’t get her mad!

If my mom was a superhero, she would be the Hulk, because sometimes she gets mad and turns super strong. But like the regular Bruce Banner, she’s smart and mild-tempered. Sometimes she tells us why she’s mad, then my brothers and me try to fix the problem. A mom’s work is very exasperating.

–Darshan Singh, 11, Queens

Leader of the pack

The historical figure most like my mother has got to be George Washington. He waged war, she wages a battle to get us to eat a healthy dinner (there really isn’t much of a difference). Washington oversaw an army; my mother oversees four teen/preteen kids and a troop of their friends. Washington helped midwife a country; my mother gave birth to four kids in four years, all over 9 pounds. However, the thing that makes my mother most like George Washington is the fact that both Washington and my mother are known for fighting to keep the home front safe. Come hell, high water or middle school, I have never felt insecure at home, and that is thanks to my mother.

–Eden Hirtzel, 16, Lititz, Pa.

To read aout more Super Women, click on the link

http://m.nypost.com/p/entertainment/super_moms_n1tJydXpK4tG3x8SMjO64K?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Newsletter_Tracking&utm_campaign=%2Anew%2A%20Newsletter%20%28eagle%29%202012-05-12


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How to Remake Your Pad Post-Split

Changing It Up From ‘We’ To ‘Me’

This article first appeared on more.ca
http://www.more.ca/relationships/single-life/reclaim-your-space-after-divorce/a/22636

It was a dream-like experience. Upon returning from a weekend away with our children, the bedroom closets were empty — my husband, now my ex, had moved out. He took the fabulous living room furniture that we had purchased not that long ago. My world was changing.

The reality was, I wanted to stop thinking about who I had become upon divorce — a single woman — and focus on my surroundings. I wanted my home to change from our home to my home.

I wanted to shape my space to reflect my personality. I wanted to transform it into a space where I would be happy. Slowly, this philosophy would influence the décor throughout my home.

Of course, like most of the things I was dealing with, this was uncharted territory — especially learning to deal with my new budget. The first project I wanted to tackle was my new bedroom. The room which we shared, which was ours, was now mine. As I gloriously celebrated more closet space, I needed to create a room which would provide new memomories of the next chapter of my life. I fantasized about my new seductive boudoir, strewn with rose pedals and candlelight everywhere.

But the truth was, that wasn’t me. Reality set in and I did what I could — cost effectively, changing only my sheets, drapery and mattress. It was a fresh start.

The rest of the article can be seen on The Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-moskovitch/changing-it-up-from-we-to_b_1244994.html


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The Financial Realities of Divorce

The Finances of Divorce

A client came into my office the other day in tears. She was just about to sign papers to purchase her new home, but was now feeling unsure of her decision. My client was in the middle of negotiating her financial agreement and wanted to prepare herself for the fresh start she desired once her divorce became final.

After a few more tears and 30 minutes of talking, she began to understand how the “emotional divorce” could impact “the legal divorce.” What this means is that there are two sides of divorce to wade through — the emotional and the legal. Divorce is upper-case Emotional, and if not managed properly, it can wreak havoc on the legal process and financial outcomes. While it would be really nice if the two elements could be handled one after the other — you could spend a few years dealing with the emotional issues, and then, heart and head clear, go through the legal process — but the truth is that emotions and legal processes cannot be clinically separated, and usually have to be managed at the same time.

To read the rest of my article which appeared on The Huffington Post, click on the link

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-moskovitch/the-finances-of-divorce_b_1214050.html


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Moving on When Your Ex Has Moved On

The following article recently appeared in the Huffington Post

This article first appeared on more.ca http://www.more.ca/relationships/single-life/when-your-ex-has-someone-new/a/18818

“How could I have been replaced so quickly!” my friend Beth wondered.

We were discussing her husband’s soon-to-be new wife; she felt shock and disbelief as to how he could find a new “serious” partner so soon after their divorce.

Our ex-spouses’ new partners was the focus of discussion one afternoon with my friends and I, while keeping Beth company. Her children were out — at their father’s (and Beth’s ex-husband’s) wedding.

While none of us were jealous or angry about our ex’s new partners, we all certainly had different feelings about the matter.

Mary, the introspective one in the group, had a very objective opinion. She was happy for her ex’s new union and actually felt “lucky.” Her reasons were practical: “I didn’t think that my ex could handle the kids on his own, his girlfriend is a nice person and is good to the kids.”

To read the whole article and view comments click on the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-moskovitch/moving-on-when-your-ex-ha_b_1010219.html


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The Post Divorce Dating Game

The following article recently appeared in the Huffington Post

Children often have difficulty with a divorced parent’s first move into the dating world. Many children, no matter how old, fantasize about mommy and daddy getting back together and becoming part of one big happy family again. While deep down your children know fantasy will likely not become a reality, moving on to the next chapter of your life requires balance and sensitivity.

When Barbara Steinman* first started dating again, she found “dating was exciting and took up a lot of time. I didn’t have balance in my life. I was going out a lot and then realized I had to pull back and spend more time at home with my kids.”

Steinman says she also felt self-conscious, wondering what other people would think of her.

“After being married for so many years I hadn’t thought of myself in terms of being appealing to men in a relationship or sexual sense, rather than as friends.”

To read the whole article, click on the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-moskovitch/getting-into-the-post-div_b_1010925.html


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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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The Smart Way to Celebrate the Holidays

Making It Through The Holidays — Alone and Content

This article can be found on The Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-moskovitch/making-it-through-the-hol_b_975160.html

The Jewish High Holidays are just days away, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I’m sure many are counting down the shopping days until Christmas. Celebrating holidays can be a stressful time when you’re divorced — but it doesn’t need to be.
If you find yourself without your children or extended family at a time when you traditionally celebrated with them, it can be a sad and lonely experience without them now. Who says you have to celebrate those days the traditional route or the way you celebrated when you were married? If you find yourself alone, create new meaning for these celebrations and enjoy them on your own terms.

Here are some tips to get you through these celebrations:

Create new traditions. If the old traditions are too painful to follow, let them go. Instead of trying to re-create the past, create your own positive future. Throw your own party and invite friends or family who have nowhere to go during this time.

Make a special effort to take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Don’t try drowning your sorrows with alcohol or food. Doing anything to excess when you are sad or worried is rarely a smart move.

Be good to yourself. Go for a manicure or massage, buy a great CD, catch up on your favorite hobby. Treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend or family member.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and vulnerable, speak with a trusted friend, therapist or someone in your support group.

Plan ahead. If it looks like you’re going to be spending the time on your own, find an interesting activity or a place to travel so you can be with other people.

Surround yourself with people, whether from your support network, your family, your church or synagogue. You may even be able to attend a special support group holiday function.

Contemplate how you would like your life to look like post-divorce and write down what you need to do to get there. Start doing one of those things now.

Stay in control by making lists of what you need to do and checking each item off as you accomplish it.

Use any time alone to do the things you’ve been putting off — catching up on paperwork; catching up on sleep; reading the great book that’s been sitting unopened for weeks or months; calling the friend you’ve been meaning to reconnect with.

If putting on a dinner or party in the family home doesn’t feel right, try doing something for others off site. For example, you could visit a retirement home and read to those whose families can’t be with them during the holidays.

Continue to make the holidays special for your children. Include them in developing new traditions. Ask them how they would like to celebrate.

Plan ahead how your children are going to spend the holidays. Avoid the stress of figuring things out last minute. This will give you a sense of comfort, relief and control.

Be creative and flexible. If your children are not celebrating the holidays with you, think about making another day during holiday time a special day together.

If your children are going to be with their other parent, phone them and wish them a happy holiday. Let them know that you are thinking about them.

Don’t make your children feel that they have to take care of you during this special time. Send them the message that the holidays are a special time and you want them to enjoy themselves.

Spare the occasional good thought for your ex. Your marriage likely had some good moments. Remembering those times occasionally will help you lift yourself out of your bitterness about your current situation.

Wishing everyone good health, happiness and prosperity; peace and love.