Whether you've been married for several years or only a few months, divorce is never simple. It's easy to get overwhelmed by legal and financial worries, not to mention emotional stresses. Knowing your options and choosing the appropriate path will make this difficult time no harder than it needs to be. Learn the difference between no-fault, at-fault, absolute, limited, contested, uncontested divorce and more.
The worst part of the end of a relationship can be the lack of one. We've all been there, waiting for answers that never came and wasting precious time trying to get that closure from an ex who just wasn't willing to give it. Whether it was a long drawn-out breakup or one that ended abruptly without warning, below are some tips on how to move on to bigger and better things—specifically a new you.
When you're getting over a breakup you friends support you with support and ice cream—usually it's your female friends who come to the rescue. But after breaking up with her fiancé, one woman realizes how helpful and understanding her guy friends can be. "When the s**t hit the fan with the ex, I immediately called three people—two close girl friends and my mom. For a long time, they were the only people I told and certainly the only people I leaned on for support. And they were amazing, in so many ways. But as more people in my life started to find out, I was utterly stupified by how hugely compassionate and kind all of them were, but especially my male friends."
The December holidays are a time of romance and sex, right? Whimsical jewelry commercials, love-themed Christmas songs and invitations on pretty paper to parties for "you and a guest" all add up to a magical time of year… except if you're single. This time of year can feel bewildering and lonely for women who are just out of a relationship or single and looking. Fortunately there are ways to tweak the holiday traditions so they're fun for single gals, too!
A bad economy takes a toll on marriage. Whether your spouse has lost a job, your stock portfolio has lost value or you're unable to pay your mortgage, financial crises can create new pressures within a marriage and exacerbate old ones. With couples facing so much stress, you'd think that the divorce rate would go up during times of economic hardship—in fact it's just the opposite. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, divorce rates go down in a bad economy. In new survey conducted by the divorce attorney's organization, 37% of respondents said they manage fewer divorce cases during an economic downturn; 19% said the see an increase.
when Joe, my boyfriend of only six months, and I called it quits, I couldn't stop thinking that things weren't supposed to turn out this way. I must've been on to something because in just a few months Joe came calling and his "let's get back together" speech was heavy. Something like: "I want to make this work. Get married. Have kids." Could it work after our difficult break up? And for good? Well, in under a year we were engaged. And as I sit here today I can say we've been happily married for almost two years. But what was different that second time around? What made it work?
From celebrity relationships (Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry) to television (Lipstick Jungle, The Old Adventures of New Christine and ABC's Cougar Town set to air in 2009) it's clear that the older-woman-dating-down double standard has undergone a major shift. The term "cougar" even surfaced in a T-Mobile commercial. In the following five reasons, you'll learn from women loving the lifestyle why you should embark on your own May-December (or just September) romance. But do yourself a favor and stick to guys over 21 unless you want to be buying all of the booze.
Most state laws still classify pets a property, much like the TV or your vintage T-shirt collection, but with one key difference: If you and your ex can’t decide on who gets the pet, you can’t liquidate it like you would a car and split the proceeds. "There’s a lot of informal mediation and it’s the rare case that goes to court," says David Favre, a professor at Michigan State University College of Law and editor in chief of animallaw.info, "but some people are so emotionally invested in their pets that there’s no compromise available in the custody issue."
Many Christians are dealing with the conflict between religion and divorce in the same way Henry VIII did, by redefining how they interact approach their faith. "When I sat down and thought about my divorce and my faith," says Dr. Linda Seger, who holds her doctorate in theology from The Graduate Theological Union, "I thought, if it's true that a divorced person can't get remarried, and find happiness after the misery of a marriage, then a bad marriage is the only unforgiveable sin. I could murder someone, serve my time, be forgiven, and start life again and, possibly, find happiness. But this would mean that I couldn't marry someone, divorce him, and then find happiness through love and marriage."
I'm a social liberal, a product of my New England upbringing who thinks government can be run by professional Robin Hoods who redistribute wealth and carefully protect civil liberties. She is a fiscal conservative who thinks that the free market should be upheld at all costs. She's no war hawk, but she's no pacifist either. She thinks wars should be fought with hostile takeovers and marketing blitzes. I called her a robber baron, and she called me a socialist lite. They were like pet names. It's our luck that we met during the reign of Bush. We were equally disgusted by the ruling executive. Sure, we had different points of attack: I was horrified by the assault on civil liberties, while Karen was more concerned by the fiscal incompetence and costly doctrine of interventionism (she was, and still is, one of the few true isolationists I know). But we had a common enemy, and that allowed us to overlook the differences. But it was just that: an oversight.
"It's a little strange here," I wrote in my journal on the first night alone in my new apartment. It was a small concession, wedged between a list of to-do's ("paint my walls," "need lamps…better linen…a new comforter") and things done ("unpacked," "straightened up my files"). The overall sentiment about my new world order? "It is a fairly good feeling."
My older sister Catherine warned me. She had picked me up from the airport a week before Christmas in 2006. As the dusk gave way to dark and the Texas horizon rolled out before us, we rode in silence—until I confessed. I had come dangerously close to cheating on Nathan (some names have been changed), my boyfriend of four years, with a friend of mine. Everything was confusing save for one devastating confirmation: I wanted to break up with Nathan. Catherine heard me out, her face stony and unyielding like a sphinx, as I presented my side. Finally, she sighed. "All I have to say," she said, her eyes fixed on the highway, "is that if you're going to break up with him, you better have your exit plan in place.
While financial rifts are often listed as the leading cause of a breakup, it's what's behind the dollar signs that tears couples apart. Money issues are often just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to rocky marriages. Certain amounts of stress, hurt, and resentment just manifest themselves in the form of financial conflict. Martha Baer, a financial expert, explores the hidden stresses money often masks.
What if your future husband was a guy from your past, and finding him came with a deadline? That's the premise of The Ex List, a relationship dramedy premiering Oct. 3 that's based on a hit Israeli series. Elizabeth Reaser (last seen as Ava, Dr. Karev's patient-turned-lover on Grey's Anatomy) stars as the aptly named Bella Bloom, a florist who gets surprising news from a psychic. She's already dated "the one," and she's got a year to find him or she'll never marry. Is he a longtime love, a one-night stand, a boy she had a crush on in kindergarten? In the premiere, the ex is a hypersensitive musician (Eric Balfour) she dumped on his birthday seven years earlier, now an angry punk rocker. You can guess how that works out.
A story about a dysfunctional relationship; between a recently divorced woman and her bedroom closet. Part of moving on for her meant ditching the old her and that woman's wardrobe. Losing wait and a general make over were only part of it, there was a sentimentality attached to her old clothes. So, as Katrina Heron began to appreciate the importance of clothes she decided that getting over the divorce meant reclaiming her sexuality by dressing sexy and dressing single meant feeling single.