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Not every couple can go their separate ways with level heads. In many cases, one spouse may be extremely controversial – expressing feelings of anger, resentment, and attempting to make the divorce a living Hell. While divorce is never a walk in the park and always stirs up negative emotions, some may catastrophize the situation. When it comes to splitting up financial assets and property, they may hide marital assets. They may try their hardest to take a majority and leave you with little. If you have children, they may even try to pin them against you, manipulating them into disliking you.
It’s important you protect yourself from toxicity that may come along with a combative spouse – while you’re going through divorce, and even after. You have to safeguard your future as well as your children’s lives. It can be difficult when your ex or soon-to-be ex-spouse is overbearing, manipulative, or narcissistic. But there are ways you can take the wheel. Here are 4 tips for dealing with a toxic divorce…
With a volatile soon-to-be ex-spouse, phone conversations may end in shouting matches. Limit your interactions to only written forms of communication, such as e-mail, texts, or messages sent between both your attorneys. Written communication can be presented in court if needed. It can also be reflective for you, helping you deal with your aggressive soon-to-be ex or ex-spouse. Make sure you keep your messages short and concise, though. There’s no need to be extremely descriptive. If you receive an extremely explosive message through text or email, try to take time if necessary. You may be tempted to say something that you regret. Don’t let angry messages evoke anger in yourself. With written communication, you have the time to reflect on how you will respond.
Written communication can also be extremely beneficial when it comes to temporary custody and support orders as well as alimony. These may be put in place before the finalization of your divorce. While some divorcees on friendly terms come to verbal agreements and stick to them, high-conflict divorcees may deny ever making verbal agreements. It’s best to have these agreements down in writing. Your attorney can help you establish written orders and file, or you can file with the courts.
An aggressive or manipulative spouse may try to hide marital assets when they know a divorce is imminent. These assets are important when it comes to determining alimony, child support and asset division. These types of assets may include pay stubs and tax returns, bank statements and credit card bills, stock portfolio and retirement account info, and more. They may do this either as a means of obtaining more than you in terms of your financial split or as a means of revenge.
So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s best collect as much financial paperwork as possible before the divorce process. You should run a credit report to help identify financial accounts that are open in both of you names. If you do happen to file your taxes together, you can request a copy of your tax return from the IRS. This may help you in determining whether or not marital assets are being hidden from you.
An aggressive or resentful ex may actually use your children as a weapon against you in your divorce. This is highly detrimental to children. It’s a good idea – until cooler heads prevail – to have someone with you when you drop off your children. You don’t want to get into a verbal argument in front of them. You can immediately end the conversation if your ex tries to lure you into an argument. If your ex is extremely aggressive and you believe they intend to sue you for full child custody (ie. with allegations of child abuse), keep a parenting diary that details your day-to-day life as a parent. This journal may become a valuable piece of evidence to disprove these types of allegations.
If you’re ex is overstepping your boundaries, you have full control to file a restraining order. You ex may be sending you angry texts, stalking you, etc. Anything that makes you feel unsafe should be a red flag to file a temporary restraining order for both you and your children.
Once you’re divorced, you and your ex-spouse need different car insurance policies. If the two of you have a teenager who needs car insurance, it may be a little confusing to decide whose insurance policy (yours or your ex-spouse’s) your teenager should be covered under. We’d like to help clear this type of situation up.
If you have primary custody of your teen, it’s likely best that you place your child on your own insurance. If, however, they have access to a car at your ex-spouse’s home, your ex-spouse should check with their insurance carrier to see if they need to have your teenager on their policy as well.
If you and your ex-spouse share joint custody, and your teenager has access to cars at both homes, it’s best to add them to both of your policies.
If your teenage driver spends most of their time at your ex’s home, they should be listed under their policy. If, however, they do drive a car at your home, you should ask your insurance carrier if they need to be covered under your policy as well.
According to studies by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm, setting clear rules can cut the potential of a teenager having a car accident in half. Parents should also pay attention to where their kids are driving and with whom. It’s also important to have rules about when your teenager can borrow your car. They should be required to request permission to use your car, and research says controlling access to your car keys, “at least for the first six to 12 months after a teen gets a license, is one of the best things parents can do to keep their kids safe.”
According to research, the way in which you set the rules is just as important as the rules you set. Your teenager needs to know that your rules are set in place for their own safety, and not just to control them.
With that said, it’s important that you and your ex-spouse, even if there is resentment, come to an solid agreement regarding the rules you set for your teenager’s driving privileges and that you both stick to those rules.
Starting over financially after a divorce can be extremely difficult for some. When you had shared assets, such as a mortgage, it can be overwhelming to understand what steps you must take to ensure you’re financially stable following a divorce. Especially since it’s not something you prepare for.
It’s important to reclaim your financial independence. It can be difficult to maintain your own wellbeing when your financial foundation has been shifted. Following these tips may help you regain you financial stability.
It’s difficult to think about your finances following a divorce, which can stem a lot of emotional turmoil for many of us. But regardless, it’s important to get a handle on your finances. Shomari Hearn of the Palisades Financial Group in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, says, “The first step to getting a handle on your finances following a divorce should be to evaluate your living expenses, any outstanding debt you may have, and your income, including any alimony or child support.” Laying out your financial responsibilities in relation to your income will help you establish a footing with where you stand financially and is a great place to start. You may recognize that some of your spending habits need to be reevaluated in your new financial situation, and having a grasp on that is important.
Monica Mizzi, of Legal Templates, explains how a financial plan should be set up following a divorce. Think of your short-term, mid-term, and long-term financial goals – and plan out what steps you need to take to get to each, “including gradual milestones to keep you motivated and on track.” It might be difficult to think of these goals following a divorce, but it is important. What do you need to do now in your life to keep financially stable? What financial goals would you like to meet within a few years? And what financial goals do you have planned for the future? Knowing the answer to these questions will help you make informed decisions on your spending and saving.
A financial planner can help you figure out what your next moves are going to be in life in order to establish financial independence. Especially if you’re new to managing your own finances. Sometimes, there’s one party in a marriage that took care of all the finances (paying bills, figuring out where to spend money, where to cut back on spending, etc.). A financial planner can help educate those who don’t have the strongest understanding of finances.
Sitting down and creating a new budget is a great tip following a divorce. New Jersey attorney Jef Henninger advises his clients to “use the divorce process as a reset button on their lives.”
“Since you are laying everything out there anyway, this is the best time to examine your spending and saving habits…seek professional advice if you need it but use this as an opportunity to start over and change your habits,” says Henninger. It makes plenty of sense. Your budget used to include another’s income and spending habits. Now that that other is no longer in the picture, your budget has to change.
If you’ve been left the home, it’s a good idea to remove your former spouse from the title of your home by refinancing and executing a quitclaim deed. It’s recommended by experts to consult with a mortgage company on your next steps.
It may be extremely important to do away with any joint accounts following a divorce to protect both parties. If you leave joint accounts open, a resentful ex-spouse may make purchases without your approval, which can put your credit at risk.
Most of the time, couples will place the name of their spouse as the primary beneficiary on insurance policies, retirement accounts, 401Ks, IRAs or life insurance policies. Now that your primary beneficiary is out of the picture, it’s best to choose a new one.
It’s important to keep documentation of your divorce decree for financial records, especially if you’d like to apply for a new home loan.
Divorce can be an extremely emotional transition for many, and for many it can create financial instability. We hope theses tips can help any struggling divorcees achieve their own financial stability.
While no divorce is ever easy, some divorces are the epitome of divorce gone wrong. Rational thinking is absent and emotions become explosive. As the crazy side of yourself and your partner emerges, you find yourselves arguing over the “kitchen sink.” Maintaining a rational perspective can be difficult, and for this reason it is vital to hire a seasoned divorce lawyer. A divorce attorney will protect your interests and advise so you can listen to a voice of reason.
It is important to consult with a lawyer early on in a divorce case to avoid unnecessary entanglements. Don’t allow your emotions to get the best of you. Attorney Chris Palermo offers compassionate legal help and can help you protect their rights.
Anyone going through divorce knows it is costly and not without repercussions. For one thing, the adage two people can live more cheaply than one definitely holds true. Two homes or apartments, each with separate utility expenses and other maintenance costs create a greater expense than one residence. In addition to dividing assets and paying for lawyers, each spouse starts a new life with less income.
Economicdevelopment.org1 reported studies conducted in 2012 that showed when divorce rates dropped, economic health increased and vice versa. This is not only true individually but also on a national basis.
It is a fact that women and children experience a significant decline in income following divorce.2
As it stands, divorce rates for first marriages have dropped and are now at 41 percent. One factor leading to lower divorce rates is that many couples now marry later in life. Later in life marriages tend to last and not end in divorce. Also, fewer people are marrying.
Granted, some couples may stay together for financial reasons, and this is especially true if they are in a low conflict marriage. Marriage counseling and mediation helps many couples resolve their differences short of getting a divorce.
So, given the fact that divorce is not good for economics on a personal or national level, why are divorce rates so high?
Today’s statistics show women initiate divorces more than men do, by 70 percent 3.
A relatively new study by the University of Arizona and University of Colorado Boulder3 found that unhappiness was a main factor in women’s initiation of divorce. Women in general are more concerned about the quality of their marriage and relationships than men are.
Researchers studied 1,639 men and women between the ages of 25 and 74 who were married when they first took a personality test and divorced when taking the test 10 years later.
Women with much lower quality marriages than average experienced greater happiness after divorce than women who stayed in comparable marriages. However, women in marriages that were just slightly lower in quality than average were less satisfied after divorce than women who stayed in comparable marriages.
Despite the fact that men are far less likely to experience an income decline after divorce, they are also more content about staying in a low quality marriage. In fact, research showed divorce had either little or no effect on their level of life satisfaction.
If you have questions about divorce or family law litigation, Attorney Chris Palermo is glad to provide you with legal help.
1 Economicdevelopment.org http://economicdevelopment.org/2014/12/the-impact-of-divorce-on-americas-economy/
2Future of Children http://www.futureofchildren.org/publications/journals/article/index.xml?journalid=63&articleid=411§ionid=2802
3 Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-new-resilience/201508/women-initiate-divorce-much-more-men-heres-why
4 Fusion http://fusion.net/story/126905/divorce-study-marital-happiness/