Tips for a Sucessful Divorce

woman and man sitting on brown wooden bench

Are you or your spouse considering divorce? Has either of you already filed?

You are not alone. While divorce rates have been on the decline, U.S reports over a million divorces each year. The average marriage only has a 50% chance of success, and it’s understandable when things get to the point of no return.

It’s no secret that divorce can be an overwhelming process. You are likely to have numerous questions about the process. How long it will take, the best course of action, and what the process will cost you are just some of the things divorcing couples worry about.

Luckily, you do not have to go through this daunting period alone. You may find it helpful to seek legal services from an experienced Riverside family attorney to guide you through the process.

On your part, there are several things you can do to make your divorce a peaceful and successful one.  See these tips below.

Maintain mutual respect

Maintaining mutual respect with your soon to be ex can be a hard tackle depending on the situation at hand. If there has been unfaithfulness or abuse involved, you could hire an attorney to fight your case in court no matter how stormy the situation is.

Nevertheless, a prolonged court battle can only do more harm than good, including financial, emotional, and physical strain. Hence, it would be wise to proceed with mutual respect, no matter how you feel about each other. It will also save your kids the emotional distress common in divorce cases.

Get proper knowledge

Before filing for a divorce, gather everything you can on divorce. Reach out to lawyers who can guide you through the legal proceedings and things to expect.  A thumb of rule is refraining from jumping into the water without measuring its depth.

Make your kids a priority

Most divorces include fighting over children. It might be ok for you but think about what this means to your kids. Understand that no child wants to see their parents separate. Seeing you fight only makes it harder for them.

So, the best thing is to come up with an agreement that won’t affect them. For instance, you can make a list of visitation options to provide your kids with stability during and after the divorce.

Take responsibility

True, divorce can be overwhelming, but don’t be a passive observer. Even with legal help, be prepared to make your own decisions- it’s your divorce after all. It helps a lot to take an active role even when you are not the initiator. This way, the process is likely to take less time, be cheaper and be less stressful.

Protect your sanity

You can’t underestimate the emotional trauma that comes with a divorce. It would help to get a support system to help you get through the process. The system could include an attorney, a therapist, a financial advisor, family, and friends.

However, it would be wise not to involve your family and friends in your divorce. They should only be a support team.

Manage your expectations

Many couples have preconceived perceptions of what they want to achieve often driven by their emotions. Without a clear head and high expectations, the divorce may frustrate you and leave you bitter.

A family attorney can explain what to expect so that you set your expectations at a reasonable level.

Mind your money

Even before the divorce process begins, you need to take stock of your money with an inventory of your credit cards, bank accounts, etc. Even if you are the spouse who manages the family finances, you should ask yourself what you would do if your accounts were closed.

On that same note, it would help set parameters for your lawyer to follow to minimize unforeseen legal fees.






4 Documents Newlyweds Should Consider

get in the boat, marriage, increasing libido

Getting married can be a wonderful event in someone’s life. There is usually a lot of planning and preparation involved, even for simple ceremonies. It can be easy for newlyweds to dwell on the immediate needs of the wedding and taking care of the things that need to happen immediately afterward, like filing name change paperwork or combining bank accounts. However, there are important legal documents that should be considered by newlyweds so that they can have peace of mind in the case of any emergencies.

Continue reading “4 Documents Newlyweds Should Consider”

Deep Marriage Troubles

woman and man sitting on brown wooden bench

If your marriage is like every marriage that has ever existed since the beginning of time, you and your spouse have experienced some rough patches. There are mountains and valleys to every relationship, but the marital bond seems to have be created only to be frequently tested by fire. There comes a time in many marriages when one or both partners comes to the difficult conclusion that the relationship no longer works as is and it needs more help than what a mere tweaking can accomplish. Continue reading “Deep Marriage Troubles”

Get In the Boat

get in the boat, marriage, increasing libido

At the ripe young age of 28 my marriage was heavily on the rocks. Not just waves breaking at the shore, more like icebergs to the Titanic. Our ship was sinking, we each had one foot out of the boat. Not fully committed to making our marriage work and swimming towards opposite shores, struggling with the loss of identity as new parents, and only been married six years. Each of us was toxic for the other where even the smallest of discussions turned into a catastrophic argument just for argument sake. Continue reading “Get In the Boat”

Love and marriage

Thanksgiving of 1996 I was drunk at the home of two prominent San Diego physicians. So drunk that when I started with my probing questions in front of the dinner party of 15 you could hear a pin drop…a mile away. I was naive. Not necessarily sheltered, but my parents moved me to a tiny, LDS prominent and oppressive town in Northern Arizona. We never talked about the topics that mattered. We never really saw or experienced diversity anymore. We never discussed love, marriage, sexuality, feelings or what happens when you grow up and move out. So my question to the couple, “What is it like to be gay?” was valid on my part and appalling on theirs. Continue reading “Love and marriage”

What Divorce Taught Me About Marriage

wedding party Dadwedding party MomToday would have marked my parent’s fortieth (40) wedding anniversary. I am in awe because they have been divorced longer than they were ever married. I was inspired to write this post because of an interaction by proxy of both of my parents. Feeling like a gossip as I held these secrets between each of my parents in separate conversations. During those conversations I learned what their divorce taught me about marriage, my marriage. Continue reading “What Divorce Taught Me About Marriage”

Playing the Good Wife

On the twilight of a day where I completed a fifth and successful interview with the organization that will be bringing me on board I wanted to share my joys, triumphs and excitement for where my life and career are taking me next. Truly this moment is divine, not because I have been struggling in embracing unemployment the last eight months, but because this job is in and of itself Heaven sent. Instead I find myself seeking prayer around each emotional turn, celebrating in quiet as my small triumph has been shadowed by my husband’s tremendous news. I suppose as a good wife it’s our job to put aside our girlish desires and superficial wins in order to celebrate the men in our lives. But today I want a win, I just want my humbling moment to be celebrated by my equal half, I want to celebrate the awesomeness together.

Instead I am playing the doting wife. Ecstatic for the opportunity that presents itself  for my husband in his career, not mine. Selfish all the same because of how dramatic his opportunity will adversely affect our family.

Would our behavior as women behoove us to fall into medieval roles as token matriarchs that lack authority? True figureheads to the men we stand beside, trophies of their accomplishments. Today I feel like that moment. I feel as if all my accolades as a person and woman were somehow dwarfed by the crowning moment of a husband’s career defining job offer. Suddenly, my university studies, self made career as a financial guru and gift to put emotions to words are as belittling as housework. Somehow I have never felt so inferior.

Part of me is wallowing in my own self pity and anger to not speak up to my husband. Somehow I don’t know this woman who is suffering in silence. I have never held my tongue and cannot for the life of me grasp the reason for silence at a time that should be carried out in joy, for both of us. All the while I know I should say something to him in regard to my feelings. I should be exerting my feminine prowess, but I sit in front of my monitor struggling to find the words for the emptiness at such a joyous moment.

Another part of my mute moment would be due to the fact that I fear his resentment. Job of CIO is not to be taken lightly as an offer. Job as CIO that would uproot my children from their home, estranged from our family, friends, community; the comfort and solace, which is like a warming in the heart that we feel when we are at home, the warming replaced with the frigid unknown. Would I be so selfish to ask him to cast aside this offer that would take us to the other end of the nation in the name of money? With no friends. No family. No community. So part of me begs that question of what really matters? Sadly my heart breaks and tears burn in my eyes because I know what matters and none of the aforementioned feel like a factor. His decision is made regardless of my feelings.

The plan is to have the offer maker visit and speak with me about this grand opportunity. Ensure I am on the boat, arm-in-arm with my husband as the quiet supportive spouse, to be there as he needs me as I maintain a stoic appearance of strength and resolve in an unsettling time. All of which makes me want to vomit and scream. A deep desire to share my feelings, fears, triumphant challenges that I eagerly accept but resent all the same for lack of ardent qualities. If only they knew of the big picture in my small offer.

Maybe this is my own faults being played out. Falling too far into humility to never boast of my own accord as this is truly God’s work of the accomplishment, his and my own. Excited to be fulfilling the job in The Kingdom, as I seem to have this higher calling, aside from the desires of the flesh with money. Or silently I sit in jealousy for the dream I formerly had for myself to climb the imaginary ladder…to what end.

So I sit at my couch listening to the silent whir of traffic, the cool scent of the desert’s musk in the air of my open window, reminding me that spring is in the air, all thoughts pulling me away from reeling moments of frustration. Quiet contemplation of whether I should speak up or hold my tongue. Personally at an impasse. He clicks away at his keyboard unassuming of my intentions, feelings, frustrations. I chew on my thoughts like a clod of rawhide, never breaking through but continually foaming into thoughts which lead into more prayers for answers, comfort, guidance. Cursing all the while.

Our relationship has never been so uneven. Never have we chartered these waters. When did I become subservient to him? When did my needs become any less important than his? When did my dreams and aspirations become any less fruitful? When did we no longer become equals. The conflagration of emotions stirring inside my abdomen, indifference, anger, frustration, hurt, jealousy, love and hate. How can one event create such unrest.

Sober with my emotions. Drunk in my thoughts. Ever hopeful that I will find the moment to speak life into my husband and into our marriage for how life will play out next in these earthly theatrics. Ever hopeful to celebrate in my joy with my new career on the horizon, while his causes our lives to teeter off balance. For tonight I am playing the good wife for him.

The Secret to a Successful Marriage is in the Sauce

weddings, The Five Fish, KariewithaK, Karie Herring

Last night while trolling Facebook I couldn’t help but to comment on a status about how a cheap wedding leads to a successful marriage. Being that I can’t help my flippant self I commented about how its not about the wedding but its about the after-party and the honeymoon. Yes, I have a dry sense of humor, much like a fine Bordeaux. I digress. My husband and I just celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary and have been together 18 years. We have a secret sauce for our successful marriage; trial by fire with various traumas that require us to come together as a united front. You want to know if a marriage is successful, go from the frying pan to the furnace to see how they handle a crisis.

The Chad and I were a very tumultuous couple when we were initially courting. Fighting over the most trivial issues and concerns. We both have Type-A personalities, Einstein brilliance, and a will that won’t break. Spliced with our youth, we were a recipe for disaster. Aside from that, we love(d) each other unconditionally which prompted us to spend the rest of our lives together. Our marriage for the first years was a lot of fun. We enjoyed a great amount of freedom just the two of us. Traveling, socializing and exploring what new adventure we would take on next. The next big adventure happened to be having kids.

Crisis number one.

Peace at the beachBy all means our first crisis of having a child is not negative, but as young 20somethings having a child is crisis management because your entire life changes. Late nights having drinks are now late nights of your child taking drinks…of breast milk. Building dreams are now replaced with building dream palaces for your child. Fashion and couture are replaced by burp cloths and onesies. Adjusting to having a child can be hard if you struggle letting go of your old self, which both of us struggled with a bit. We still wanted to be “THAT” couple. We still wanted to be ourselves, but with having a child you have to evolve, which means your marriage does as well.

Crisis number two.

Karie and her LexusEvolution of self and marriage. Personally, I struggled embracing and juggling all my jobs. Wife. Mother. Woman. Food source. Business woman. Sex kitten. Karie. Suddenly my self was a swirling smorgasbord of uncertainty. I didn’t know how to handle all these people, responsibilities, who came first was my child, but I needed to make sure I was able to care for him. My husband needed attention, but I needed to make sure I had taken care of G which meant I needed to be in tip top shape. An internal argument of Darwinism, which came first the chicken or the egg. I began to get lost in myself and the search for who she was and is. Somewhere in there our marriage started to become disoriented.

Crisis again.

In all the disorientation we really complicated matters as I found I was pregnant again. Our son was barely eight months old and now I was pregnant again. The crisis threat level was now about to go supernova, but we were able to bear down. Coming together we grieved the loss of ourselves and that our dream included these extensions of ourselves, extensions of our love, our children, our new world. Just as we were finally comfortable again we were hit with devastating news that our pregnancy was doomed and I would miscarry at home. Not an ordinary miscarriage though, this was a premature delivery with labor pains, pushing in order to counteract the pain, a battle I fought alone through blood, anguish, loss and solitary despair. Yet another crisis, but one I chose to conquer on my own.

The DarknessLooking back I probably should have included The Chad but I know his heart and I wanted to spare him the horror that I was experiencing. The war I waged through my loss that late night and early morning in my bathroom is not one for any human to experience, ever. I just couldn’t bear to see his pain, our pain, maybe I was selfish but I couldn’t let him have that memory. From that day forward I got lost again. I battled with postpartum depression. Somehow The Chad and I were making it through, maybe by grace.

Crisis hit again as we came to arms with my mental capacity to overcome depression and how the medication nearly destroyed my life, more evolution of selves. We then became that couple as we sought counseling. Barely married six years, late 20something, early 30s, suburbia yuppies seeking counseling. How cliche I thought. So gauche. I ate my thoughts as we discovered so much about ourselves, our marriage, our family in those sessions. We learned to become a united.

Sitting on a couch bleeding your emotions of anger, rage, hurt, sadness, brought forth so much information, elightenment and respect for each other. Though we had to get through the emotional grenades and gun cocking and firing at one another, we saw light, we saw each other. We saw we were people, with faults, with love for each other. The moment of truth came when we went to bed after a session and we said it was time to move on, too much damage was done that we could no longer swim to shore in a sinking ship. Admitting love for each other but that we might be better off without the other for the sake of our child.

Laying under the sheets, looking at each other through clenched jaw muscles and tears, breathing through the pain that felt as if gravity would crush me, I saw lifetimes pass by, almost as if on fast forward. We both took a deep breath and went to sleep, stubborn love saying goodbye.

The next morning we agreed divorce was not on the horizon, we made the commitment to work on our marriage, ourselves; we were finding a way to let the wounds heal and move forward. The path was not easy, the hurt, the pain, almost numbing. No one said this would be easy. We wanted this, we chose this life; love isn’t easy, life isn’t easy. Anything of value does not come easy but through hard work and a great deal of effort. Boundaries were set and agreements were made, compromise, understanding, and we started to listen to each other again instead of placing blame.

Progress was being made. We were at a pivotal point when we found we were pregnant again, pregnant again with twins. Crisis.

twins, twin infants, twin babiesThis crisis really was an eye opener as we melded as a team. Twins taught us about how two people should and can truly be different, yet so similar. G defined this ideal. For eight months I told him Seth and Sara were “in my tummy.” I understood two people. His understanding was that Seth and Sara was one entity; imagine his surprise when he saw two baby carriers the day we came home. He guffawed as he pointed at each of them and asked why there were two, we had to tell him one was Seth and one was Sara. His innocent outlook about his siblings was the definition of our marriage and how I would raise him and these two blessings. Individually plural.

The Chad and I struggled with various other marital struggles that arise as you age and life lobs softballs of challenges. The single most important fact was that we were the same people, changed by the events and environment of our experiences. Admitting we loved each other and we wanted to make it work, took acknowledging that our marriage, our family was not about us as individuals, but about the other person. Compromise was admitting when you are wrong, no matter how much damage you took to your pride. Communication was about taking out the fault, the finger pointing, having a poignant conversation about facts, proposing solutions that worked for everyone, including the kids, especially the kids, even if that meant looking to divorce.

Our most recent crisis was financial. The timing aligned with the world financial crisis. Like most couples we could have fought endlessly, but we chose to talk. We talked deeply, passionately, about our future, our family like we never had before. Setting aside differences in the goals we had, ideals we learned based on how we were raised. The Chad lost his job and I was barely making enough at the bank to keep us afloat. We were drowning, but we did not fall victim to our misfortune, we banded together, set out a plan. Family came first, the kids were our primary concern and we were making every effort to ensure this would not affect them in the least.

Only by grace were we able to survive. If we had not connected as people and respected each other through adequate communication and compromise we would have probably been divorced years ago. I am ever thankful for each of our crises, decisions, I hold no regrets. The magic sauce for our successful marriage came in the form of hard work, commitment to do what was right, even if doing the right thing meant divorce, and above all else we had love. Today I love The Chad more than the day I married him, I am more in love with him than the day we met. I could not have asked for a better man to partner with in this adventure we call life.