Posts Tagged ‘Legal separation’

Readers of the HuffPost’s Divorce section contributed to this list of preconceived ideas about divorce that they found frustrating. Of course everyone’s situation is different, but that’s the point.

1. “That divorce takes two people. It took both to get married, but the divorce can be a decision of solely one person.”

2. “People think that an adversarial divorce is ‘normal’ and exes who co-parent with respect and collaboration are ‘weird’ (I’ve been called that more than once!)”

3. “That divorce is the easy way out. It takes strength to maintain a good marriage and strength to get out of a bad one.”

4. “A lot of men think you must be desperate and ready to sleep with just anyone after divorce. No, thanks.”

5. “I hate reading those posts that say something like, ‘when something is broken, you fix it. If your marriage is broken, fix it.’ It makes it seem like divorce is an easy way out, a cop out or a coward’s exit. I find that tasteless and ignorant.”

6. “That its the end of the world and that it messes your children up for life. My kids are great and the divorce was not the end of the world.”

7. “The stigma of the ‘divorced’ status is so wrong. People think, ‘There must be something wrong with you because you’re divorced.’ It’s like they think you’re destined to be alone.”

8. “People think that getting a divorce makes someone a failure. Really? They say half of marriages end in divorce.”

9. “That all it takes is a good lawyer, a decent amount of money, a couple of signatures and a name change to get back to ‘normal.'”

10. “Your friends treat your divorce like it’s some kind of disease going around and avoid you because they fear they’re going to catch it.”

11. “People think not divorcing and staying together for the kids is a better alternative. That’s not always the case.”

12. “That you’re doomed to be single. I found real love again!”

13. “That you can live separate lives after divorce if kids are involved. Your kids need you to communicate now more than ever!”

14. “That getting a divorce doesn’t hurt the person who decided to leave.”

15. “Some people actually believe men don’t create drama in divorce.”

16. “The biggest myth is that people who get divorced are quitters who don’t take marriage seriously. (Confession: I used to think this.)”

17. “That they are immune. If you’re married, it can happen to you regardless of the promises made. Scary, sad and true.”

18. “A lot of people I know think the process is quick and easy. I get sick of people asking me if it’s over.”

19. “That divorce makes you incredibly sad. So many people said ‘sorry’ to me but my divorce meant freedom! I was thrilled to be getting a divorce.”

20. “People believe that you and your family automatically hate your former spouse. Some do (and deserve it), but plenty of us don’t.”

21. “That you are giving up on love and your life will end. That’s not true at all. You’re starting to love yourself and your life is just beginning.”
— Source: 21 Ridiculous Things People Believe About Divorce


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Frenzy is an emotional state, a feeling of being a little (or a lot) out of control. It is often underpinned by anxiety, sadness, anger, and related emotions.

— Train Your Brain to Focus (www.blogs.hbr.org)

It’s only natural for someone going through a divorce or separation to feel like this at times. When those times come, acknowledge the existence of the negative emotion and they try to find ways throughout your day to balance your negative emotions with positive ones. To do this you can try exercising, meditating, and being mindful of the good and beautiful things around you. Do you have a favorite street? Then walk down it. A favorite scent? Spritz in on. Find ways to laugh. Use your senses to get out of yourself and appreciate the world around you.

And then notice what triggers those frenzy attacks. When you feel one coming on, treat it like you would a headache.

  1. Acknowledge that it’s there;
  2. Take a deep breath;
  3. Balance it with the positive; and
  4. Let it go.

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Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.

— Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Grace Hightower De Niro, wife of Robert, or Bobby as some may say, stopped by (Katie Couric’s talk show) to talk about her marriage – and how she met the award-winning actor.

“What is your secret to a happy, long lasting marriage?” Katie asked.

“I would say a lot of give and take, standing your ground, because then you keep the respect you started out with,” Grace said.

The pair have been together for 21 years…..

From “Katie”

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You know, you hear people talking about how important it is to not only have a vision of what you want, but to also see yourself doing whatever it is you want to do. We think (and others say) that it’s because when you imagine yourself having your vision, it becomes real and you really believe that you can have it, or achieve it, or whatever it is that your vision encompasses.

This is important for you as you go through the period of uncertainty and transition that separation and divorce entail.

And if you have children, it is even more important.

Because who do (or should) children look up to more than their parents? If they see lost parents, what do you think their reality is going to be, both now and in the future when they face setbacks?

If, however, they see their parents moving forward beyond their fear to a positive place,  just think how good it will be for them.

So even if you’re having problems finding that positive vision for you, find it for your children. Everyone will benefit.

How has having positive visions helped you cope with change?

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The other day we read that Rupert Murdock had filed for divorce from his wife. The news seemed to have surprised a lot of people. “Hey wasn’t she the one who saved her husband from getting a pie thrown in his face?” Yes, she was. But as anyone knows who’s going through a  divorce, marriages as seen by the public may only be the tip of the iceberg. Dark issues can lurk beneath the surface.

What we’re saying here, is that if you are surrounded by people who are shocked that such a “happy” couple is getting divorced and this is making you depressed or giving you second thoughts, if you are really getting divorced for a good reason (not just because marriage is hard work) remember that only you know for sure what you marriage was like.

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English: Ivana Trump departs the 10th Annual A...

English: Ivana Trump departs the 10th Annual Angel Ball 2007 that helps raise money for the G&P Foundation for Cancer Research. Marriott Times Square, October 29, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you seek revenge, dig two graves.

–Chinese Proverb

That’s the message I got from the movie “War of the Roses.”

But for some, it seems to have worked liked negative advertising. You know, whatever commercials say don’t do, people do anyway. The attitude is like, “It happened to that person, but I’m smarter (the Man of Steel…whatever) so it won’t happen to me.

To see what I mean, you have to read the article we just read on http://www.telegraph.co.uk, titled “Don’t let divorce turn out worse than the marriage.”

But before you go, I want to say that the stories you are about to read aren’t just other people’s stories. We’ve seen case after case where someone sought revenge and ended up living in the prison of their own making in the end. And, if you are on the receiving end, take the high road. Don’t engage. It will really be hard to do at the time, but in the end you will be glad that you did. Really.

Here’s the article. It is by Julia Llewellyn Smith

7:00AM GMT 10 Feb 2013

“There was one client who let loose the handbrake of her ex’s Mercedes and sent it over a cliff,” recalls divorce lawyer Vanessa Lloyd Platt. “Another went naked under a fur coat into her husband’s office, where he was in a meeting with important Japanese clients. She threw it off, shouting: ‘This is what he’s given up.’”

A marriage might be unhappy, but that misery is often nothing compared with the agonies that accompany divorce. Last week, many of us may have decided to forgive our spouses’ hogging of the duvet and the remote control after witnessing the spectacular fall-out from the break-up of the former cabinet minister Chris Huhne and his wife, the high-powered economist Vicky Pryce.

Pryce told a newspaper that she unwillingly took speeding points on her husband’s behalf eight years earlier, when they were happily married, to save him from a driving ban.

Having steadfastly denied the accusations, on Monday Huhne pleaded guilty in court and resigned from Parliament. Pryce’s case continues to be heard. It was alleged that she was driven by revenge; Pryce, however, denies this and says that she has been manipulated by the press. “I was beginning to feel that actually I had been perhaps manipulated in a way and that things had probably been pushed too far,” she said last Friday.

Both high-flyers face a possible jail sentence. Never has the Chinese proverb “When you seek revenge, dig two graves” rung more true.

Even more tragic, however, were the expletive-laden texts read out in court between Huhne and his then teenage son, who now refuses to talk to his father, or see him. “Happy Christmas. Love you, Dad.” “Well I hate you, so f— off” reads a typical exchange.

According to Lloyd Platt, a huge number of divorcing spouses she counsels are initially hell-bent on vengeance. “Every practitioner has noticed that clients’ behaviour is getting worse. It’s always been bad, but over the past few years it’s become even more common. All those films such as The War of the Roses and The First Wives Club have made us think that it’s acceptable to behave insanely.”

Family lawyer Alex Carruthers agrees. “There is a lot of talk about judges becoming very stressed, that with legal aid for most divorce cases about to be stopped in April, the amount of anger they’re witnessing is really taking its toll on the judiciary.”

At his practice, Hughes Fowler Carruthers, partners have heard of clients dumping white paint over cars, shredding clothes, scattering possessions in the garden, and a wife arranging for the actress who had been having an affair with her husband to be served with divorce papers just before she went on stage in the West End. “It can be the people you’d least expect, the middle-class people who hold down respectable jobs, who can be very, very manipulative and nasty and display some really low cunning,” says Carruthers.

Last year, Kevin Fiore from Staffordshire sawed in two all the furniture in his former family home, labelling each half “Kev’s half” and “mine”. He was outdone, however, by Cambodian Moeun Sarim, who suspected his wife of an affair with a policeman. In 2008 he bisected the entire family home, removing the debris to his parents’ house and leaving his ex-wife’s half still standing, at the mercy of the elements.

But even this pales beside the exploits of American doctor Nicholas Bartha, who, in 2006, died from his injuries after he blew up his New York townhouse rather than hand it to his ex-wife. Then there’s the 2009 story of another US doctor who donated a kidney to his wife, thereby saving her life. When their marriage ended, Richard Batista demanded the return of his organ or $1.5 million (£950,000) in compensation, but his case was thrown out by a judge who ruled that organs were not marital assets.

Last year, an open-mouthed British public UK witnessed the unedifying case of Kavanagh versus Kavanagh: two lawyers who lost their £3 million home after spending five years and nearly £1 million bickering over their children and assets.

Recent research by Manchester law firm Pannone revealed that one in five divorce rows features custody disputes over items such as a packet of smoked salmon and a mustard jar, in each case invoking a lawyer’s bill that could probably have paid for the same item 100 times over.

“These cases sound funny, but the reality of someone being assailed with that degree of heartbreak is deeply sad,” says divorce lawyer Ayesha Vardag, managing director of Vardags Solicitors. She adds that the internet has given estranged spouses a whole new boxing ring.

“They get hold of their spouse’s online address book and send an email to all their contacts outlining what they’ve done; or they alter statuses on Facebook.” Husband and wife Kate Rothschild and Ben Goldsmith, scions of two of Britain’s wealthiest families, last year heaped humiliation on themselves by attacking each other on Twitter, with his calling her “appalling” and her responding that her new lover had “saved my life.”

Social media apart, Vardag’s experience is that men most commonly express their anger at marital breakdown through physical violence, or by withholding money – stopping credit cards and emptying bank accounts.

In contrast, women try to withhold contact with the children or damage the father’s relationship with them. “It happens again and again, but fortunately, the courts will not sanction any of this. I tell my clients that it’s much better not to be vindictive but to follow Ivana Trump’s maxim of, ‘Don’t get mad, get everything.’”

Lloyd Platt agrees that many clients are initially too angry to think logically. “So many people say: ‘I’m going to tell the Inland Revenue about his dodgy tax returns’, or ‘I’m going to tell the boss he had an affair with someone in the office’. I have to ask them to think things through.

“The Inland Revenue may accuse you of colluding, and you’ll end up involved in criminal proceedings. There could be tax penalties, interest, and it could wipe out everything you want to get. If you reveal his affair with the assistant director, he could lose his job and then you won’t get maintenance. I can usually persuade around 85 per cent of vengeful clients to step back, but the other 15 per cent get into all kinds of difficulties.”

Lady Sarah Graham-Moon became a poster girl for scorned wives when, in 1992, she cut up her philandering husband’s Savile Row suits and distributed the contents of his vintage wine cellar on neighbours’ doorsteps. But Moon’s actions distressed her children and ended all chances of a favourable settlement. “I ended up living in a basement flat in Swindon feeling completely wretched,” she said a decade later. “Being seen to be happy is the greatest revenge.”

Christopher Compston, a retired judge who has written a book on divorce, Breaking Up Without Cracking Up, is the child of divorced parents and has himself divorced and remarried. He agrees. “Lady Moon delighted the media and the public. She did about £30,000 worth of damage, I believe, and severely embarrassed her children. Years later, she conceded that wisdom had not been her friend at the time. The moral is be as angry and bitter as you like but don’t publicly harm your former partner. After all, the divorce itself is traumatic enough for the children, and they, not you, are the most important people in this tragic breakdown.

“I have been divorced and, over many years, both in court and outside court, have dealt with these problems. One of my favourite stories concerns a middle-aged vicar’s wife whose husband had run off with a younger woman. She was devastated. Furthermore, she lost her status and her home. Her reaction? When in great pain she would place a photograph of her husband on the sofa, collect every cushion in the house and then throw them at the photograph. She’d collect up the cushions, put the photograph away, and make a cup of tea! That’s the way to do it.”

Marriage therapist Andrew G Marshall, author of My Wife Doesn’t Love Me Any More, is another advocate for restraint, not only for financial reasons, but for the sake of any children.

“People think older children, such as the Huhnes’, won’t be hurt by divorce, but it’s just as painful, especially if your parents start confiding to you inappropriate things like ‘your mother didn’t have sex with me for six years’ or ‘you were an accident’. It makes you question your whole past and wonder if your childhood was a lie, which is incredibly upsetting and destabilising.”

Mary, 35, was shaken by her parents’ divorce when she was 26 (which included her father cutting down her mother’s pride and joy, the ancient wisteria that grew around the family home). “The divorce was the first time I became aware of my parents as people with distinct personalities, strengths and foibles rather than just Mum and Dad in bad ways as well as good. It was also the first time I felt I had to look after them rather than vice versa. The feeling of having lost the people who looked out for you, that your wellbeing was no longer the focus of their attention, was surprisingly painful.”

Marshall agrees that most rejected spouses entertain revenge fantasies. “But most people are sensible enough not to act them out. So when somebody else does, they have incredible resonance.” This, Pryce is discovering, to her and her children’s eternal cost.


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