He was a young boy with a nasty temper. One afternoon, his father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he would be required to hammer a nail into the fence.
The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He proudly shared this accomplishment with his father. The wise father praised him and suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.
The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You've done well, son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one.” You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. Make sure you control your temper the next time you are tempted to say something you will later regret.
Two Americans, who eloped in 1932, have recently been recognized as America’s longest married couple. As everyone asks John and Ann Betar (yes, that’s them) their secret to marital longevity, one has to wonder if their marriage could have made it had they married in 1992 instead. The world is different. Even though they remained married through the turbulent 90’s, they were most likely insulated from much of the change. Anyway, John and Ann have been generous enough to provide the world with tips for a long marriage along with their love story. The details might be where the secrets lie.
If you have a question about home life and your pending divorce, feel free to send it to us and we’ll do our best to find you an answer.
Q. I recently filed for divorce and am wondering if it’s okay for me to date. I don’t want anything too serious but I do feel like I need to move on.
A. Good Question. As a rule of thumb, don’t date until your divorce is final (or at least for 6-12 months out). This gives you a chance to grieve your ending relationship and prepare yourself for a future one. Many people say they start dating right away because they are lonely. If you’re lonely find a good therapist or friend for the short term.
That said, if your divorce drags on for longer than 6-12 months, you might want to go ahead and start dating. You most likely will have grieved the old relationship by then and would only have to worry about additional drama and complicated issues. Bringing a new significant other into the divorce process can complicate issues, create unnecessary drama, and stir up bad behavior from the other side. This will sometimes prolong the time it takes for the issues of your divorce to be settled. Is I worth it? Only you can decide that.
Q. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for the past 6 years (since my son was born). My husband is telling me I need to find a job because he is going to divorce me. I’m in a panic! I don’t want to put my son and baby daughter in daycare but don’t know my rights in this situation. Please help!
A. If you have been a stay-at-home mom and can afford to continue doing so through the divorce action, do so. It is best for your children to have a familiar home life as they work through your divorce. Because you have children, it would be wise to ask for a Temporary Order. This order will clearly state what he is required to provide to you as far as child support and alimony are concerned until your divorce is final. Remember, this is a temporary order and is subject to change at the time of the divorce. A Temporary Order will also clearly state who has custody of the children and when – which is a very good document to have. (For those of you who have been working throughout your marriage, don’t quit your job. Just try to keep your household and daycare situation as stable as possible for the sake of your children.)
Q. I am in the midst of a big hairy divorce and am pretty bummed. My ex took half of our furniture and took our one good car; leaving me with the old wreck of a car from his college days. I can’t live like this. Am I in trouble if I go buy some replacement furniture and a car that actually runs?
A. Purchase what you need but don’t go overboard or your ex may try to use your purchases to show the court that you can pay more alimony (or don’t really need the alimony you are requesting). The courts can be very strict about not wasting assets during the divorce proceeding so keep this in mind as you make your purchases.
If you have a question about home life and your pending divorce, feel free to send it to us and we’ll do our best to find you an answer.
Please remember information provided on this website is general, and not specific to your situation. It provides an excellent resource to you if you’re unsure about how the divorce process works. This advice doesn’t take the place of the advice you would receive from an attorney but might help you decide whether you need to hire one.
Divorce can create a lot of anxiety. You aren’t sure how much money you will have, what belongings you’ll end up with, where the kids will be spending their time, or what will happen to your house. You might also be worried about having to make a court appearance. First, be assured that not every divorce case ends up in court or even goes to trial. But if yours does, you want to be prepared to successfully present your case. Most people haven’t spent any time in a courtroom but realize the courtroom is an unusual environment with its own set of rules and etiquette. Knowing a bit about what is expected from you in court can reduce your anxiety and help you navigate your hearing with ease.
Love your neighbor as you love yourself; an age-old adage that is easy to remember but often difficult to do. Neighbors can be a lot of fun and they can also be a big nuisance. Many times a relationship with a neighbor can sour the entire neighborhood or, at the least, make your life miserable. These neighbor disputes often spin out of control – which is not good for you, your neighbor, or even your neighborhood. But what can you do if the neighbor is making your miserable (or, ugh, says you are the one making the misery)?
The list of what causes neighbor fights is endless. However, most conflicts will fall under one of these headings:
Most conflicts have at least two sides to the story. Once you add a few extra neighbors, you may see a small conflict balloon into a large one. The best way to handle neighbor conflict is to actually make friends with your neighbors before conflicts arise. Visit with your neighbors when they’re out in their yards, host a neighborhood cook out, or have a few neighbors over for dinner. People are often more tolerant of each other if they have taken the time to get to know them.
If you are friendly with your neighbors, a problem may be easily resolved by heading over to their house and chatting with them. This isn’t always effective, but it’s worth trying if your neighbors are approachable. Don’t send anonymous notes or letters; this would most likely offend and upset them without moving toward actually resolving the problem. Carefully consider asking the authorities to intervene but only if there are laws being broken that support your position. If these remedies fail to produce peace between neighbors, consider using mediation to resolve the dispute.
Mediation is a process in which you and your neighbor would sit down and work out your differences. The mediator does not make any decisions, the responsibility and right to fix the fight remain in your arena. The mediator is specially trained to guide you through the fight and toward potential ways to solve the problem at hand. Mediation will cost you a lot less than suing your neighbor and may save your relationship with your neighbor while preserving peace in your neighborhood.
Contact us to hire a mediator for your neighbor fight.
I had to watch this twice. I could have sworn I'd stumbled into something published by The Onion. And yes I have a reply for these....well, we'll call them men although we use the term loosely.
If you actually read the report, the women who are primary breadwinners are largely supporting a family in which there is no man present. She isn't just bringing home the bacon. She's cooking it, serving it, doing the dishes afterward, and changing the diapers when it comes out the other end. And we won't even start to talk about finding a good daycare situation for your child when your household income is somewhere near the $23,000 median that represents income for households headed by women. So don't cry about how the economy has left men unable to remain in the role of Supreme Breadwinner. It's the men, not the economy in most cases, that left the women in the precarious role of primary breadwinner. A quote from the report, "These “breadwinner moms” are made up of two very different groups: 5.1 million (37%) are married mothers who have a higher income than their husbands, and 8.6 million (63%) are single mothers." A woman can find herself in the single mother role by death, divorce, or desertion but she is still trapped in the economic realities we, her society, choose to create for her. Our structure does not support women who choose to stay home and care for their children once the man is removed from the picture. And then they wonder why women feel the need to secure a job that pays well. Read the report.
Yes, the closing of manufacturing jobs may have curtailed a man's ability to provide for his family minus a college education. And the report also mentions men believe that it is better for young children to have their mother at home in larger proportions than do women. But the haunting words of the ABA President keep coming to mind when I think about well educated, skilled women who opt to stay home with their children but then find themselves in need of employment in the future. No one will hire them! No wonder women feel a need to work at least part time after their babies are born. It's the only viable way to actually care for your child if your marriage becomes one of those divorce or death statistics. "About three-quarters of adults (74%) say the increasing number of women working for pay has made it harder for parents to raise children, and half say that it has made marriages harder to succeed."
Just read the report: like these men should have done before babbling their heads off in a national venue. If you want the structure where mom stays at home with the kids - you'd better create the structure to support that family when Dad can't or won't stick around. Saying you want the stay at home mom structure while keeping child support to a bare minimum, keeping death benefits to a bare minimum, removing medical insurance options from the family when dad dies or divorces, creating the myth that a woman's skill are "rusty" and unusable 6 months after she has quit to stay at home, and discriminating against older women when they attempt to reenter the workforce are not the actions to take that would support a woman staying at home to care for her children even when that is the desire of her heart.
Read the report.
You’re getting divorced and you can’t agree with your ex-spouse-to-be regarding what is best for your children. The two of you continue to argue over custody issues: where the kids should live, what parent time should look like, etc. Someone suggests you engage the services of a Custody Evaluator. It sounds like a fabulous solution! In some cases it is a fabulous solution. In many others it is a recipe for disaster. What do you need to think about before asking the courts for a custody evaluation? What are the benefits and the risks? What will the Custody Evaluator do? Are there valid issues here or is this conflict part of your emotional divorce?
Divorces can be time consuming and costly. Adding a battle for custody on top of all of your other issues simply add to the expense, conflict, and grief. A Custody Evaluator is not a magician - in all honesty you can save a ton of money and grief if you understand how the courts view and make decisions on custody. Read Custody Issues: Where Should The Children Live? to get a clear understanding of whether a fight for custody is in your and your children's best interests.
Before you ask the courts for a Custody Evaluation, you should understand that the evaluation will: 1) be expensive (between $4,000 to $20,000); 2) add about one extra year onto the length of your divorce process; 3) create additional animosity between you and that ex-spouse, and 4) will most likely result in the two of you sitting down and making all of the decisions by mutual agreement anyway. On the positive side, a Custody Evaluation can be used at trial as support of your position - should the Evaluator agree with you. However, there is always the risk the Evaluator will agree with your ex-spouse’s perspective. And the Custody Evaluator’s recommendations are not always adopted by the judge, should your case be one of the few (less than 4%) that ends up in trial.
Custody Evaluations are invasive on your privacy. The evaluator is ordered by the court to determine the best living arrangement for your children, so the evaluation will entail examining how the both of you parent, whether the children are emotionally bonded to one or both parents, whether both parents are capable of providing for the physical needs of your children, and whether both parents are willing the make the children reasonably available to a non-custodial parent. This means the evaluator will want to see you in a variety of settings (including your home) and will ask some fairly personal questions of both of you and of your children. It is typically a very stressful process for everyone involved.
Before you ask for a Custody Evaluation you might want to consider using a mediator to help you formulate the best plan for you, your ex-spouse, and your children. Click here to arrange to meet with one of our experienced mediators. If you are struggling with not wanting to let your children see their other parent, do some careful thinking: if your ex-spouse was a good parent and the kids are emotionally bonded, you need to remember that children need both of their parents. If you believe you have compelling reasons to want to limit parent time or to assume complete decision-making authority, and you are unable to reasonably discuss your children’s best interests, you may be in need of a Custody Evaluation.