When your divorce comes down to the bare bones of finances, that’s often the time when tempers fray and subversive plans are hatched.
A good and fair solicitor should advise you to split your joint wealth 50/50 so you both have an equal opportunity to get on your feet with the funding you’ve both acquired. Sadly, that’s not always the case.
A bad advisor with the bit between their teeth might urge you towards disposal of your assets to family and friends, for example, selling your boat to your sister for £5.00. This would leave you with a bottom line on your financial statement of far less than you are actually worth and would of course reduce the fair division of wealth between you and your ex to unreasonable levels.
You run a huge risk of being caught out and if the tide turns, of walking away with a fraction of the value you amassed during your marriage.
Dirty tricks are precisely that, dirty. Bad karma has a way of catching up with you and biting you in the backside when you least expect it; play fair and be a decent human being.
I imagine your tender constitution is also being bombarded with relentless reminders of the fact that Christmas is around a not too distant corner (sorry, but it is October!)
There are greetings cards, rolls of wrapping paper and spangly bunting in all of the major supermarkets, even the local independent shopkeepers have swivelling displays of paper greetings waiting to be bought and scrawled on.
If you are immersed at any point in your divorce right now, consider yourself in quite a unique and favourable position. The Christmas card list is in your control! You can legitimately scratch off anyone that has racked you off, you can halve your postage bill by slicing off anyone from your ex’s side of the fence and you can probably take a year off from sending any, simply because.
Interestingly enough, anyone who is insistently fond of you will send you one and not grumble if you don’t send one back. Perhaps you might like to rewrite your friends list too.
I don’t think anybody that has been through the divorce process would claim that there are any periods during it that are less distressing than others. Being completely honest, it’s a bumpy ride from the moment you sign on the dotted line and engage your solicitor.
The decisions you have to make on a daily basis about simply living and eating are arduous enough, so what do you do when elderly parents exacerbate your hurt by wanting to know the ins and outs of the duck’s backside that is your divorce?
One example of this domestic madness occurs when they insist on talking to you about the children you are struggling to organise visits with and they’ll stamp over your feelings by trumping your pain with their pain, which is of course far worse.
All I can advise you to do is hold your ground and tell them firmly but politely that you do not want to talk about it. It is your business, it hurts like hell and whatever they are feeling, you are almost certainly feeling worse. Look after yourself and do all you can to avoid wounds from friendly fire.
Today’s tip was inspired by a mother who dropped me a line asking for advice on how to deal with an arrogant son in the wake of her divorce.
He is riddled with anger that arose during the tail end of her marriage to his father and it’s in serious need of management, for him primarily, but the poor mother is at the end of her string.
His attitude is steeped in illogical, selfish behaviour and it feels as though he is on a constant mission to push her patience beyond it’s limit and to make her suffer for the misfortunes he has to deal with as a child migrating between two homes.
Which one of them needs a guiding hand? They both do. He, towards understanding that he will suffer throughout his life if he chooses to shoulder his angst; counselling to help him address the root issue is probably the best way forward. His mother also needs to learn how to step away from the desperate frustration she feels, as she make futile attempts to pour love and logic over illogical situations.
Sometimes, walking away is the only way, at least until heart rates slow down and cool dialogue can begin. And no, this isn’t an instant fix tip, but when children are involved, it very rarely is. Just hold onto what your life was like before the breakup and affirm your love for your child. Things can only get better but it might take a little longer than you hoped.
There’s nothing like reverting to a little juvenile behaviour when the world and your ex are raining down on your parade.
All you need is a piece of paper and a pen. Begin by writing out their name in full, vertically.
Then, depending upon the mood you are in, either pen a harshly insulting word, a cutting profanity, or a funny send up which embodies them, spurring off of each initial.
It won’t get you anywhere particularly, but it might relieve a modicum of tension, stress, anger, frustration or general boredom.
To top it off, you could even tape a photo of your victim underneath the masterpiece. I suspect the best place for it afterwards, is the paper recycling box.
Now breathe deeply, get an early night and go live to fight another D A Y.
Cut yourself a large slice of calorific slack while you coast through your divorce.
This isn’t the best time to embark upon a diet of any sort, however much you feel you need to slice a few pounds off your mid or any other regions.
Radical alterations to eating regimes are best done when you are in a settled, confident and committed frame of mind.
You need dedication to stick to any new eating plan and if you falter, which you are likely to do (we all do on diets) you might fall from such a great height, it might zap every ounce of positive energy you have in order to recover. Quite frankly, you need all the vivacity you can lay your hands on to get through the divorce.
Healthy eating, great idea. A few treats, absolutely necessary. Torture by deprivational kilojoule, forget it.
You can spend from here to eternity feeling guilty for the inevitable repercussions of your divorce, but to be quite honest, there’s very little point.
Your ex might be bleating on about how they’ve been in a flat spin since you split up and your children might be riding a dangerous tide on a surfboard of attitude.
Both may wallow in selfish delight blaming you for their behaviour, because it’s easier than facing facts and taking personal responsibility for their actions.
I suspect right now you have enough on your plate wading through your divorce and whilst I accept that it is important to let your children run through the full spectrum of emotions at this difficult time, sometimes there comes a point where they push their boundaries a step too far; their bad behaviour needs to sit at their doorstep, not yours.
As for your ex, well, if they want to act like a delinquent, let them get on with it; I suspect their personality deficiency was one of the reasons that led you to this point.
Assure your youngsters of your love, tolerate their troublesome demeanour to a degree and guide them towards a straight and narrow path; which direction they take when they get there, is entirely down to them.
I know how frightening it is to stand on the edge of a precipice that requires decisive action of such gravity that you know there are going to be severe repercussions.
It’s the sort of fear that roots you to the spot and makes your stomach feel as though it were being wrung out like a dirty dishcloth.
Braving up to face life-altering situations is arduous and it consumes more than an ounce of your flesh as you prepare for it, regardless of how much you believe a change needs to take place. Here are three ways to get started.
Focus on a role model: think of someone who has faced up to their worst nightmare and lived to fight another day; you too will overcome what lies ahead.
Accept the fear: it will fuel you with adrenaline and help you with your immediate needs.
Think backwards, think forwards, move forwards: ask yourself seriously, can you live as you are now or have things simply got to change? Trust your gut and be drawn towards the safest choice.
And remember, whatever you do, you don’t have to do it alone. Ask a close friend to stand beside you and remain safe at all times; brighter times are just around the corner.
I was tapped on the shoulder by a wonderful old friend today who I’ve not seen in two years and we stood in the middle of Waitrose clucking like a pair of ducks catching up with each other’s news in digest.
I relayed my divorce news in bite-sized chunks and found myself bullet pointing that old relationship. It was enlightening – for me – and I want to direct this Tip of the Day to anyone on the lead up to leaving, or anyone who has been treated badly and is now in the devastatingly heartbreaking early stages of the divorce process.
If you are in any doubt about where you are going/where you were heading, recount out loud the highlights of your relationship, pop the good and bad bits in a nutshell and see what your gut makes of it all. Jot your thoughts on paper if it helps but do your best to be as concise as possible about what your ex was to you.
It’s quite refreshing to listen to your own mini-analysis of what has brought you to this point. It reconfirms your recent actions and affirms you are on the right track. You are, honest.
Today was one of the most emotionally challenging days I’ve had in a long time.
There were no instant solutions and my pain was compounded further by a divorce overspill issue that jumped up and bit me in the bottom. I had used up all of my ‘Be Brave, It’ll Pass’ credits and it was all I could to do look around me for an ounce of saving grace.
I didn’t have to look too far to find it. As I sat on the beach reading, a pragmatic dad sat nearby, his hands and patience completely occupied by two disabled young ones under two. Shortly after, an elderly couple passed me by, he in a wheelchair and she, terribly fragile and struggling to push him along, he grumbling all the way. Finally, a family group wandered past, the mother struggling to stop her children from yelling foul mouthed exchanges between siblings and expressing rudeness and impatience for not being given immediate ice cream; she tried hard to appease and looked to be unsupported by her partner. Everyday problems, everyday people all coping with their lot and getting through the day the best they could.
Your divorce is progressing, slowly perhaps, but it is passing and it will end. Occasionally all you can do is look around you to see other good folks who are struggling along but they all stopped to feel the sunshine on their faces today; don’t forget to do that too.