Annapolis Family Law Blog

A divorce can change your life for the better

There is no doubt that going through the divorce process will change your life in many ways. Upfront, you may get the feeling that you made a mistake. This is common when you're bogged down by all the details and wondering what the future will bring.

However, as you push forward and close in on the end of the divorce process, you'll come to realize you're in a position to take back full control of your life.

Are you preparing for international adoption? Follow these tips

If you're interested in adopting a child, there's a good chance you'll consider your international options. While there are many reasons to proceed with an international adoption, there's a lot that goes into the process.

Before you do anything, here are several tips to keep in mind:

  • Understand the rules and regulations for each country: Every country is different in regard to its rules and regulations for adopting a child. Knowing what you're getting into makes it much easier to proceed in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Be aware of the costs: An international adoption is sure to set you back some money, so you want to become familiar with all the fees associated with the process. This is based largely on the country you adopt from. Fees can include child foster care, travel, escorting fees, legal fees and passport and Visa fees.
  • Be patient: Any adoption, international or not, will take time. With an international adoption, there's often more red tape. Remaining patient will go a long way in helping you keep your sanity during this time.

Can you minimize the impact of divorce on children?

There's a lot to think about when going through a divorce, including the impact it will have on your children. Since their well-being is more important than anything else, you should do whatever it takes to minimize the impact and ensure that they're in a good place moving forward.

Here are five tips that are sure to help you:

  • Minimize conflict in front of children: You may argue with your ex-spouse after divorce, but never do so in front of your children.
  • Be careful when entering a new relationship: It's your right to do this, but consider the impact it will have on your children. They may not be okay with the idea just yet, so you need to watch every move you make.
  • Make the most of the time you spend together: It doesn't matter if you're the custodial or noncustodial parent, do whatever it takes to value the time you spend with your children.
  • Work together: Let your children see you and your ex-spouse working together to give them the best life possible. An example of this is attending events together.
  • Answer questions as they arise: You should expect your children to have questions about your divorce, the future and where they fit in. Answer these as they come up to the best of your ability.

Answer these child custody questions for a stress-free holiday

With the holiday season quickly approaching, now's the time to answer a variety of child custody-related questions. By taking the right steps upfront, you can avoid disagreements with your ex-spouse and ensure a good time for everyone.

Here are five child custody-related questions to answer today:

  • How will you communicate with the other parent? You must have a clear idea of how you'll stay in touch during the holidays, such as with phone calls or text messages.
  • What does the schedule look like? Your parenting agreement may include language on where your child is to spend the holiday season.
  • Will you remain flexible? You hope to stick closely to the schedule that's in place, but flexibility is essential during the busy holiday season.
  • Have you discussed gift giving with your ex-spouse? You don't have to talk about every last detail, but you should try to get on the same page to avoid a conflict.
  • How will you deal with contact with extended family? Your child may want to spend time with your ex-spouse's side of the family, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Take 1 of these paths when asking for a divorce

There is more to asking for a divorce than telling your spouse you want out and then leaving the home. While you have the right to take this path, you don't want to make poor decisions during this time that harm you when it's time to move through the actual process.

Here are several paths to consider when asking your spouse for a divorce:

  • Discuss your divorce and then leave: It may sound abrupt, but you may want out of your marriage so badly that leaving your home is the only thing you can think to do.
  • Ask for a trial separation: Yes, this can drag out the process, but it also gives both individuals the time to determine if divorce is truly the right answer. You may find that you enjoy living apart. You may also find that you can't live without the other person. This is what the trial is all about.
  • Work together to push forward: There's a chance that you and your spouse agree that divorce is the best solution to your personal problems. In this case, you can work together to move through the process in the most efficient and time-friendly manner possible.

How to tell your family you’re getting a divorce

Even if your loved ones see it coming, telling them that you're finally moving forward with the divorce process can be a challenge. You want to get it out in the open, all the while ensuring that you don't do anything to make your situation worse.

Here are a few things you can do when telling your family you're getting a divorce:

  • Write it out: Rather than hope you find the right words at the right time, write down what you want to say to your family.
  • Use a different script for different people: The way you tell your parents about your divorce may not be the same as the way you break it to your siblings. Take a unique approach with everyone to ensure that you have the most meaningful conversation possible.
  • Think twice about social media: In today's world, it's easy to use social media to connect with a large number of people quickly. However, since divorce is such an intimate process, think twice about using social media to tell others.
  • Find the support you need: The primary goal of telling your family about your divorce is to obtain the support you need to get through this challenging time. Don't hesitate to lean on your loved ones.

Tips to avoid arguing while co-parenting

If you don't have any children with your ex-spouse, you never have to speak again after your divorce is final. However, if you have at least one child together, you'll have to communicate every now and again.

This can result in additional arguments, which doesn't make things any easier on you or your children.

Be prepared for the many emotional stages of divorce

Even if you no longer love your spouse and realize that divorce is the best way to improve your life, it doesn't mean that you won't experience a gamut of emotions about your situation. You know that divorce will change your life forever, so it's only natural to feel sad sometimes during the process.

Below are some of the emotions that you may feel before, during and after divorce:

  • Denial. At first, you may find it hard to believe that you're going through a divorce. While you may not want to accept it at first, reconciling yourself with this reality will hope you cope with any fallout.
  • Shock. From panic to rage, you may be shocked that divorce is disrupting your life.
  • Roller-coaster. One day you're ok with the idea of divorce, but the next you're back to square one and playing the blame game. The only good thing about a roller-coaster of emotions is that eventually the ride ends.
  • Letting go. There will come a point when you realize that you have to let your marriage go. You know that the divorce process will be finalized soon enough and that there is nothing you can do to stop it. Once you let go you can then move on with making a full recovery.

Are you prepared for divorce mediation?

As you prepare for divorce mediation, you'll have many things running through your mind. Your goal is to move through the process as quickly as possible while getting what you want in the end.

While you're sure to compromise many times along the way, there are some tips you can follow to put yourself in a position to succeed:

  • Get organized. It's important to arrive at your first divorce mediation session as organized as possible. This means gathering all your financial and personal documents pertaining to your marriage and divorce.
  • Stay calm. Even though you may be upset and angry, you can't let it show during divorce mediation. You need to remain cool and calm at all times, as this will work in your favor.
  • Negotiate rather than argue. Preparing for divorce mediation means being ready to negotiate with your spouse rather than arguing about the details at hand. Instead, you're working with one another to compromise and move on.
  • Think about the future. As you make decisions during mediation, such as those regarding child custody and property division, you should always be thinking about the future.

Answer these questions as you prepare to ask for a divorce

Preparing to ask for a divorce can make the actual process much less stressful. While you never know what exactly will happen, the steps you take to prepare can put you in position to get started on the right foot.

Here are five questions to answer as you prepare to initiate a divorce:

  • How do you believe your spouse will react? There is no way of knowing for sure, but you should think about all the possibilities. This allows you to prepare for anything that comes your way.
  • What's the best time and place to ask for a divorce? You need to carefully consider the location and time, as making the wrong choice will only complicate things.
  • How will you get your point across? It's one thing to ask for a divorce, but another thing entirely for your spouse to understand your reasons for doing so.
  • What will you do if your spouse becomes angry and violent? If you have any reason to believe this could happen, you need to ask for a divorce in a public place or over the telephone.
  • Will you discuss the details? You don't have to discuss the finer details of the actual divorce, such as child support, child custody and property division. You'll have time for this later on.

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