After a divorce or a breakup, there are still going to be awkward interactions with your ex. After being together, you share friends and therefore, you will continue to have some social groups in common. As much as you may want to, you won’t be able to completely control the situation, especially at social gatherings. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to face these moments without a plan. Here are some steps you can take to make these interactions as smooth as possible.
Mentally prepare yourself before you go. Remind yourself why you aren’t together anymore. Seeing your ex in a situation where they are on their best behavior may remind you why you loved them. However, these rose-colored glasses are not going to help you. So when you find the world taking on a rosy tint, take a minute to shake it off and keep enjoying yourself. And it’s okay to feel sad about your former relationship, so you shouldn’t feel bad if you need to take a minute to step away and collect yourself before you head back out.
In the moment, don’t panic and ignore them or look like you’re trying too hard. Now is not the time for a miniskirt, nor is it the time for pretending to be blind to an ex’s existence. These actions will simply make you seem immature and childish. Also, don’t bring a date in hopes of making your ex jealous. This will only leave you feeling awkward with a date you may not even enjoy. Remember, you once loved your ex. Respect them now and act maturely and they’ll probably do the same. You don’t need to completely avoid your ex, just keep it short, simple, and civil when you do need to interact with them.
Take a wingman (or wingwoman) with you. Going alone leaves you without a buffer to make small talk. They can also help by steering you towards the dessert table instead of accidentally towards your ex. There’s something very comforting about having a close friend by your side in an awkward moment, especially someone who understands the situation and won’t leave you alone to flounder while they gab.
Finally, don’t let your ex being there ruin the day for you. Remember, you came to this event because you wanted to see friends and celebrate them. Try not to dwell on their presence or focus on your ex at all. Relax and have a good time knowing that while you can’t control everything, you’re prepared for most of it.
When going through a divorce, one person may be eligible for spousal support from their partner. This can be temporary support whereby one spouse makes payments to the other for them to maintain the status quo during the divorce proceedings and before everything is finalized. Then there is “permanent” spousal support, or alimony (these terms are interchangeable) this is meant to help maintain the marital standard of living for the supported spouse during the duration of the support order. The supported spouse will also need to be making all good faith efforts to be self-supporting during this time. Often during a divorce, one spouse has been out of the workforce and they cannot quickly reintegrate and find employment, and maintain their lifestyle. Therefore, spousal support laws aim to prevent one spouse from suffering a decrease in the marital standard of living.
Not all cases require or include a party to pay either temporary or permanent spousal support. If it is a part of a divorce it can immediately become one of the biggest expenses incurred. Spousal support can last for years, so every adjustment can mean a difference of thousands of dollars. To calculate spousal support, you can settle out of court or pursue litigation. Temporary spousal support in California is calculated by a formula, while “permanent” support is not. “Permanent” spousal support is determined by the weighing of several factors, so while settling out of court may save you legal fees in the short term, the long-term effects of a spousal support agreement that does not include the analysis of the factors or is not litigated could cause you to lose money in the long run. By pursuing litigation, the terms of support will be much firmer. Spousal earning capacity can be established by the testimony of a licensed vocational counselor, arrangements for making modifications or termination of support in the case of a change in income for either party, and the paying spouse will be able to hash out their payment in accordance with all aspects of their income.
There are numerous factors to consider in determining spousal support. Things like the final division of the assets and debts, the marital standard of living, upcoming retirement, remarriage, and self-employment can affect spousal support amounts while something like a prospective raise cannot. Similarly, since California is a no-fault state, any affairs your partner may have had are not taken into consideration when deciding support unless they are cohabitating with another partner, which may merit a decrease their need for support.
In addition to the amount per month that is paid, the duration of spousal support payments also needs to be determined. A general rule of thumb is that payments will last for half the length of a marriage that lasted less than ten years. If the marriage lasted longer than ten years the court can not set a time limit for spousal support absent an agreement by the parties. In this case, the burden to prove that spousal support is no longer necessary will fall on the party who pays support.
In total, spousal support is something that can weigh heavily on divorce proceedings. For the paying spouse, it can be a large expense on top of divorce proceedings that needs to be realized and for the unemployed spouse, it can save them a large financial burden in the long run. If you find yourself in a position where you may need to receive or pay spousal support, taking the proceedings for support to court may seem like a hassle in the short-term, but the long-term effects of such a significant part of a divorce can make the extra court proceedings worth it.
Going through a divorce can be an incredibly personal and emotional time in your life not only for you but also for your friends and family. The closest people in your life will naturally want to be there for you during this time but having them around will not always be the most healthy situation. Therefore, it is important to establish clear and healthy boundaries for your relationships with friends and family as you progress through your divorce. While they may not completely understand your reasons, in the end your decision to keep your friends and family out of your divorce will help you, your spouse, your children, your friends and family, and your future relationships to be healthier and happier.
You and Your Spouse
Your divorce is first and foremost about you and your spouse. Friends and family, while well intentioned, do not need to be privy to every challenge you are facing. Divorce means having to hash out every part of your marriage and having other people weighing in, even when they think they are helping, can hurt negotiations with unwarranted opinions. Divorce proceedings need clear heads, and a friend or family member who is strongly biased in your favor can influence your opinion in a negative manner and cause unnecessary conflict. Even if they mean well, unfounded advice from someone who isn’t directly aware of all of the circumstances may cause more harm than good to you and your spouse and potentially needlessly increase your attorney fees and costs, including having to pay for your spouse’s fees and costs.
Friends and Family
Your friends and family will also be affected personally by their involvement in your divorce. If they are friends with you and not your spouse, they are likely to resent your spouse based on their one-sided opinion. Likewise, your spouse’s friends may come to resent you for the same reasons. If allowed to fester, these resentments may turn into a dislike strong enough to affect your opinion and cause even more strife to color your divorce. In addition, married couples often share friends. These are often other married couples and by involving them in your divorce it can cause rifts between them as they watch their friends struggle to separate their lives. They may not realize it, but getting too close to your divorce may bring up issues in their own relationships that could hurt them in the long run.
Finally, involving your friends and family in your divorce can affect your relationships with them in the future. In the moment, divorce my impact your relationships negatively by creating rifts between you and your friends who find themselves in an awkward situation. They may feel the need to provide advice, be fiercely protective of you, or take your spouse’s side against you. All of these situations can lead to resentment, which, when left to fester, can have serious repercussions on your relationships. Even when your friends and family want to be there for you during your divorce, setting clear boundaries on their involvement is best for all involved. Let your friends and family know how they can help you during this time and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Don’t over involve them, but don’t ignore your relationships altogether during your divorce. Take time to be intentional with your friends and family throughout the process and you’ll all be thankful for it later.
Divorce proceedings can be complicated even for the most civil of couples. However, in many case there are things you and your spouse can do to work through the process while saving you time, money, and stress. Settling your divorce out of court can provide major relief in all three of these categories. With the help of your lawyers and a mediator, settling outside the courtroom can be a much smoother process than going before a judge.
Taking your divorce proceedings to court simply takes much more time than settling out of court. You and your lawyer must invest significantly more time in readying your case for the courtroom than readying it for settlement discussions. To build a strong case for court, you must gather all relevant documents, hire expert witnesses to testify on your behalf, prepare your statements and arguments, and much more. On top of this, the court system is slow. It takes time for your case to go to trial and once you get there, the ruling could still be delayed for weeks or months if the judge takes the case under advisement. Additional appeals cost you still more time afterwards. Altogether, the amount of time spent going through divorce court is many times the amount of time spent settling with your spouse out of court. To prepare for settlement discussions you will still need to gather documents and prepare your settlement position, however, this process is not as intensive as preparing for court.
Going hand in hand with the time you lose in divorce court is the money you lose along the way. Settling out of court can save you the enormous expense of divorce court. If you proceed with going to court instead of settling, lawyer fees and taking time off from work can cost you much more than settling. In addition to having to pay your lawyers for working the extra hours to prepare to present your case in court, you may also have to pay expert witnesses to appear in court for your case. You must also take time off from work to appear in court, which will cost you your wages. These dollars add up fast, and before you know it, the cost of court is far larger than settling. There is also the possibility that even after preparing for your case and going to court, you may lose, resulting in even more money lost.
When you look at the time and money spent on divorce court, it’s no wonder that there is also a higher level of stress attached to divorce court proceedings. When you have to spend more time and money on your divorce, you are much more likely to experience high levels of stress. Going to court is not an easy process, and having your future decided by someone else is stressful to say the least. By settling out of court you can work together with your spouse, your lawyers, and a mediator to reduce the stress of a drawn-out divorce court case into a far less time and money consuming agreement. Navigating your divorce does not have to take all of your resources. By working to settle out of court, you are taking the steps needed to ensure that your divorce doesn’t cost you additional time, money, or stress.
Stress and emotion are incredible motivators. When things are stressful, we tend to act very quickly. The first step that people usually take is to physically separate. One person will move out just to remove themselves from a very emotional situation. In some case, after a separation, a divorce happens quickly. There are issues about spousal and child support, asset distribution, and so many other things that make the step after separation come right away.
Sometimes, the next step is not so dire. Once the separation occurs, the stress is instantly relieved. This happens often when there are no young children to worry about or there is a hope that the issues can be resolved over time. Another reason that people procrastinate may be health insurance. There are so many reasons that people give for not moving on to the next step. When it comes down to it, it is easier to procrastinate than it is to move forward.
The truth is that there are a lot of reasons why it is beneficial to move on sooner rather than later. Some reasons are emotional, some are financial and others are practical.
This sort of living situation becomes a stressor on its own, not only for the couple but for family and other loved ones around them. If there are children, even adult children, they may start to wonder if their parents are going to end up getting back together again. This sort of unknown can cause a high level of stress.
There is also the case of what happens if someone meets another person and starts a relationship. Whether it is a serious relationship or not, it could be extremely stressful on the new relationship with the new person knowing that the person they are getting involved with is still attached to another. If you hide the fact that you are still married, and the new relationship becomes serious, it becomes a much more difficult situation to deal with. It could very well be the deal breaker of a new relationship.
With the divorce proceeding itself, the length of time you spent separated may be considered if the court decides on the issues of spousal support. The years spent separated can be considered in the analysis of the support issue and may extend the length of time support must be paid.
Until you divorce, your lives are still intertwined. Property ownership may still be under both of your names. Your taxes are still tied together. You may even still have joint bank accounts that need to be managed. If one spouse runs up debt on a joint credit card, then the banks will come after both spouses for payment. You may be separated for years and think you are free and clear until the bank calls and your credit is ruined. To make matters even worse, if you have a credit card and your spouse is still an authorized user on the account, they can run up the bills and you will be totally responsible for them.
It is time to finish the process. Separation is only the first step. The stress and emotion of a bad marriage may be a thing of past, but it does not mean you should forget about the next steps. Get the divorce filed and finalized. The truth is if you have been living separated this long, you have most likely already worked out all the details of support and asset separation. The divorce can be completed without the emotion that tends to lead to ugly drawn out battles.
We are only a few days from the holidays and the end of holiday season. For a lot of people this is an extremely stressful time of the year. From Thanksgiving straight through to New Years, it seems that there is always something planned. More people to see, places to go. There are holiday parties for work and school and family and friends. There is hardly time to breathe, never mind to do any holiday planning of your own or holiday shopping for the gifts.
It is a non-stop train ride that is all meant to be fun, but the truth is that it can be extremely stressful and loaded with anxiety. The biggest stress of the holiday season is the costs related to everything. It is a very expensive time of the year.
When you take the stress of the season and the stress and anxiety of money, it can turn into a very volatile combination.
The months immediately following the holidays are notorious for being the time of the year where more divorces are started than in any other part of the year. On the popular law-related website, FindLaw, searches for divorce climb by 50% in January, February and March.
Why is it that divorce spikes right after the holidays? As we had said, the holidays are very stressful time and a very expensive time, as well. There are things you can do to work through the stress and anxiety with your partner or spouse and avert those emotional fights that tend to lead to divorce.
Most cases of divorce are started after an emotional event. Once proceedings are started based on an emotional event, the process stays emotional throughout the whole process causing you to continue to act emotionally. If you follow the items listed here, you could avert some of the more emotional discussions and learn to deal with the stress and anxiety that often leads to rash decisions.
Going through a divorce is one of the most difficult and stressful things that can happen to a person. There are so many emotions to process that it just becomes confusing and overwhelming. With divorce, especially if there are children, you will be dealing with love, hate, anger, and fear, among other things, and often you are dealing with them all at the same time.
The process of dealing with the divorce starts even before the process of the divorce itself.
Contempt of court order is a legal remedy that is available to either party in a family law case after an order or a judgment is entered when the other party fails to comply with the order. These orders, may include provisions about what the parties are to do or refrain from doing. These orders may arise in several different areas, including, for example, spousal or child support, child custody and visitation, or certain division of assets.
In California family law cases contempt of court is treated in substantially the same manner as a criminal misdemeanor case. In cases of contempt, the burden is on the petitioning party to prove the circumstances of the contempt beyond a reasonable doubt. The person filing the contempt motion will be required to prove that:
If the motion is for something other than support or attorney fees, then the person filing the motion also has to prove that the other party had the ability to comply with the order. This is sometimes a very difficult thing to prove.
Most of time, both parties of a divorce are present when the court orders are signed, however in some cases, one of the parties is not present. In this case, the party that was not present must be properly served with the court order. There are times that a Judge will say that the order is effective immediately even though the written order has not been finalized. I most cases, this may not be sufficient to enforce the order by a contempt motion. It is always best to get the order written and finalized as soon as possible after the Judge makes the oral orders.
If you are being accused of contempt, you have several rights, including the following:
If you have a court order (sometimes called a Findings and Order After Hearing) or a judgment and you feel that the other party is willfully violating the orders, or if you are being accused of contempt of court for allegedly violating a court order, contact the TDC Family Law. Tracy is a Certified Family Law Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California and has held this certification since December of 2002.
Tracy has also been named as a Northern California “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers from 2009 through 2016. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.
Prior to same-sex marriage, any issue you could possibly imagine regarding divorce has been seen and settled through legal proceedings. The truth is that due to precedent and previously settled law, in many cases, when a divorce goes to court, a lot of the final settlement is based on pre-determined formulas based on income, number of kids, ages, etc.
Same-sex divorce is quite literally unchartered territory. States that are open to same-sex marriage, such as California, New York and Massachusetts are working to ensure that laws keep pace with this new paradigm. In a lot of states that are hostile to the idea of same-sex marriage, progress on updating laws is either slow or non-existent.
It is going to take time for new laws to be drafted to take same-sex couples into account. In some cases, current law may not be relevant in same-sex cases. In certain circumstances, while the law is relevant, there are no precedents set, so judges decisions, which hold a lot of weight in the American Common Law system, are going to be looked at very carefully. As each decision will be looked at so closely and possibly be used as a guideline for future cases with similar circumstances, judges will take more time in making what would have otherwise been an easy or routine decision to make. Progress is never easy, and it is hardest on those that are blazing a legal trail.
In any divorce proceeding it is vital to keep perspective and it is extremely important to take care of your own needs as to not allow your emotions to overwhelm you. It is also imperative to have the proper representation from a lawyer who will work with your best interests at heart. In the area of same-sex divorce, the case might not only be against your spouse, but against the system as well. As new laws are developed and new precedents set, you need someone who knows how to navigate the waters of divorce. For a free 45-minute consultation contact Tracy Duell-Cazes, a state bar association certified family law specialist. Tracy will work with you through the process of your divorce to make it as easy as possible,
Divorce does not need to be confrontational. Divorce mediation is one of the most frequently used methods of negotiating a divorce settlement. With mediation you can settle terms such as spousal and child support, custody and visitation and separation of assets.
With divorce mediation, as opposed to meeting with lawyers and a judge, you and your spouse hire a neutral third party to facilitate discussion. The mediator does not make decisions, but rather works with both parties to come to terms that everyone can agree with. There are quite a few reasons why mediation is a good way to go. The first is that mediation is much less expensive than a court hearing, which is a huge motivator for a lot of people. Mediation is also very successful. The vast number of people who start with mediation, eventually come to a resolution.
Mediation is not bound by specific guidelines or formulas. When cases appear before a court, support is based on a formula that may not be feasible or make sense in your case. With mediation, the resolution is based on the ideas of you and your spouse.
The main benefit of mediation is that the divorce settlement is not adversarial, but rather collaborative. When there are children involved, you and your spouse are still going to be involved in each other’s lives. You will have to make decisions about what is best for your kids, you will have school events and sports events. There will be milestones your children will hit that will be shared with the whole family. These times do not have to be marred by an ugly, confrontational process that caused anger, hate and hurt feelings. You do not want to have your children put in the position of deciding which parent to invite to an event because they can’t be in the same room at the same time.
Divorce mediation does not mean that you are going into the process alone. You have to know what you are looking to achieve. You have to know on what terms you are willing to compromise and to what extent you are willing to do so. You also need to know what points you will not negotiate as much on. In order to put all of this together, you must to talk to an attorney that specializes in family law. Do not walk into a mediation without reviewing all of the details beforehand.
If you are unprepared, you may also wind up agreeing to terms that are not in your best interest for the sake of just coming to agreement, which you will then regret.
As you go through the process, it is also important to work with a family law attorney to discuss the progress of the negotiations. Things may have started to move in an unexpected direction or items might have come up that you were not prepared for. Do not be afraid to table a discussion if something arises that you were not prepared to discuss. Do not be pressured by your spouse to have a conversation about things you are not ready to discuss. It is also vital that you review the agreement with your attorney before you sign it. You want to ensure the language is correct and you are signing what you have agreed to. Agreements are harder to change after you sign them, if they can be changed at all.
Mediation is not for everyone. Your spouse may use the mediation process to continually delay and stall the process to avoid paying any support. If negotiations are not in good faith, then mediation will ultimately fail. In that case, you must have an attorney at the ready who is familiar with your situation.
If you are starting the process of working with a mediator, contact Tracy Duell-Cazes, a state bar association certified family law specialist. Tracy will work with you throughout the mediation process to ensure that you are negotiating in a way that will protect you and serve your family. While Tracy is not present during the mediation sessions, you will know that you have her guidance and experience behind. Fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.
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