Coping With Divorce When You’re Living With a Disability

Coping with divorce is never easy, but it’s something 40-50 percent of all couples in the U.S. face at some point. And while there are many factors to every split, individuals who are living with a disability share the fact that the dissolution of a marriage can take a toll mentally, emotionally, and physically. If you have children, the stress of navigating a divorce while figuring out how best to care for the kids—and doing it without daily help from a partner—may be overwhelming.


It’s important to find some resources that will help you get through this tough time, and it’s equally important to take care of yourself. It can be difficult to think about when you have so much to do and manage, but self-care is imperative in reducing stress and staying healthy. And as a parent, you need to be your best self in order to provide for your children.


Here are some tips on how to navigate a divorce when you’re living with a disability.


Garner support


Having support from friends and family has never been more important, so talk to them about what your needs are and how they can help. You might ask one person to help with picking up your children from school, while someone else can assist in getting you moved into a new place. Divorce comes with lots of change, so the more familiar people you have around to help, the better.


Research resources


As an individual with a disability, you are likely entitled to some benefits, and there other resources that can help you with daily tasks and funding. Do some research to ensure that these benefits will continue uninterrupted after the divorce. If you have been ordered by the court to pay child support, your state or federal benefits may change, but there are some options depending on which state you live in. Look online or talk to your case worker about how to plan for your finances.


Get some help


With so much to think about and take care of during a divorce, it’s important to find ways to make life easier. Depending on the nature of your disability, you may become tired easily or have trouble carrying out daily tasks on your own, so look for help where you can find it, such as hiring a dog walker to come and take your dog for walks. You might also think about boarding him for a brief period if you’ll be moving. This way, you can ensure he’s safe during all the activity and keep him from becoming anxious due to the changes.


Practice self-care


Taking care of yourself is so important during a difficult time. This can mean different things to different people, but for an individual with a disability, it might mean getting adequate rest, exercising daily, taking medication as prescribed, and not engaging in drug or alcohol abuse. Substance abuse is common for many people during a divorce because it numbs the emotional pain, but in the long run, it only makes things worse. Look for healthy ways to cope, such as practicing a hobby or learning a new one, and ask for help when you feel you need it. Click here for more tips on self-care.


Coping with a divorce is never easy, but with the support of your loved ones and a good plan for the near future, you can get through it. Remember to take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health every day and keep communication open with your loved ones so they’ll know how best to support you.

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Just Getting Through the Holidays: Why Not to Push Off Your Divorce

Many parents who think about divorce before the holidays often push it off until December is over in order to not burden their children or families with the divorce during the stressful holiday season. However, if you’re that unhappy with your relationship that divorce is the final option, pushing it off a few months isn’t going to do anybody any good. In fact, pushing it off can actually make it much worse, especially if you have little ones at home.


Why Wait?

For most people, the idea to wait is so they can give their child one last happy family memory before his/her parents split up for good. In addition, some people don’t want their families associating the holiday season with their parents’ divorce for the rest of their life. Both these reasons are completely understandable, but they’re not reason enough to stay in a bad relationship.


Why Not Wait?

First, if you wait, you are simply allowing your negative feelings toward your spouse to fester, and this could result in even more bickering and even more arguing. Your child will gladly accept you and your ex not being around one another if it means that you’re no longer fighting. In fact, separating before the holidays will actually make it less stressful on your child, as he or she will know that you’re both happy.


However, in order to do this effectively, you need to ensure you are keeping open lines of communication with your child as you and your spouse go through the divorce. Make sure neither of you are talking bad about the other parent in front of your child, and be sure that you have a parenting agreement in place to ensure you each get equal time with the child during the holidays. After all, both of you are the child’s parents, which means you each deserve to see your child during this time of year and do what you can to make it extra specials.


Another reason to not wait is because you’re only delivering poor memories for your child. Your child isn’t going to think of this as his/her last Christmas with a healthy family, but will instead think of it as a time where his/her parents just argued with one another. Obviously, this isn’t the type of Christmas memories you want to create, so it’s better to just rip the bandage off quickly.


What most parents also need to realize is that children are resilient. Yes, there will be times where the divorce is trying on your child, and he or she may even act out because of it, but what you need to realize is that there will be a time where your child moves past it. This will occur as they mature, but it’s important to remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that as your child grows, they will start to only focus on the good times they have with each parent, even if that means taking place in separate homes.


Finally, you need to be sure you put yourself and your mental health first. If you are stressed all the time because of your current relationship, pushing it longer will only make it worse on you. This stress could build up and take a physical toll on your health, and that’s not something you need to do to yourself or your family. If you have made the decision that you want a divorce, just get the process started instead of making it a bigger headache for others involved.


Divorce is never easy, but taking the steps to move forward will help it all take place quickly and allow everyone to start moving on to healthier parts of their lives.

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We’re Getting a Divorce, What Should I Expect in Court?

One of the most challenging aspects of going to court for a divorce is that you never know quite what is going to happen. If you are going to be part of a child custody hearing where your children are involved, it is especially essential that you know what is going to happen and what you can expect from court. Many people find themselves in a state of panic and fear as they start their own court proceedings.

There are some things that you can be sure that you will experience as you head to divorce court.

The Room Will Be Small

One thing that you will not have to worry about is a packed courtroom. Many people incorrectly think that the courtroom is going to be packed and they become overly nervous about stage-fright. While the criminal courtrooms are generally packed, family matters generally do not have additional people who are not directly involved in the case. The family courtroom setting is not only much smaller but it is also meant to be more intimate.

Prepare for the Testimony

During the court case, one thing that you can be certain of is that there are going to be numerous testimonies happening, so you should be prepared for these. In a custody case, everything that you have done as a parent will come into questioning. Not only will the judge interview you and your soon-to-be ex, but other witnesses can be called to discuss events that happened when the child was present. Even your child could be called to testify, depending on their age, so you should prepare for that as well.

Short Term Time Frame

Each day, judges hear many different cases in family court. This means that your case is not likely to last very long. Since there is a strong chance that more people will be coming into the courtroom after your case is heard, you might find that the whole process feels too quick or rushed. So, make sure that you are prepared to put yourself out there and have your best foot forward.

Be Prepared for a Judge’s Decision

The day might conclude with a final decision from the judge. In some cases, mediation or other courses of action might be taken in order to try and find the best solution for a family. The judge’s job is to put aside the wants and needs of the parents, and figure out what would be in the child’s best interest. His decision will include which parent is going to be the best custodial parent and what the visitation schedule should be.


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Deciding How to Divide Your Child’s Assets

During a divorce assets are divided.  What can be harder than dividing up the marital property is for you to determine where your children’s things belong.  Your children have their own things that are theirs and determining where these things are kept can be a challenge.  The main thing that the parents need to remember is that since these are the child’s things, where they are kept needs to be a conversation that is had with the children.  It is unfair to them if you are determining where all of their things will be without talking to them about it.


5 Steps to Determine Where Your Child’s Assets Belong


Step 1 – Determine Where the Child’s Time Will Be Spent


The first thing that you have to do when you are determining where your child’s things should be is to determine where your child is going to be.  If your child is going to be in one place more than the other, then it is important to take note of this and decide what of your child’s is most important so that they will have it there.


One option that works for some parents is to have two properties that are to be sold and compensated for after the child turns 18.  How this typically works is that one home is where the children live.  The parent who is to spend the time with the child stays in that home with them. Then the parent that is not with the child gets to stay in the other property.


This can work well with parents who are not going to have any other children but if they become involved with someone who has children or have more of their own then it is not something that will work.  So there are many factors to consider before making this an option for your family.


Step 2 – Talk to Your Child


It really does not matter how old your child is.  At some point you are going to have to discuss the divorce with them.  When you are discussing the divorce, you can talk to the child about where they want certain things to be at.  Explain to your child that they will want some things at each parent’s house.  When you do this, they will be able to help pick out what they have at each place.


You can talk about things that they want to take back and forth too like a special stuffed animal and blanket.  You can also help them to choose between things that they will want when they are with each parent.  Try to be fair about dividing things like games and consider which parent played the games with the child while living in the same home.  Also think about these types of things with books.  Being fair is the best way to make sure that your child has what makes them feel at home in both homes.


Step 3 – Think About Where the Item Came From


With big ticket items, think about where the item came from if there is a struggle.  If it came from a friend or family member, consider whose house that friend or family member will see the child at.  Doing this helps those friends and family members see the child enjoying the things that they have purchased for them.


Step 4 – Consider Buying Doubles


There are some items that you will even want to consider purchasing so that you have them at both homes.  Consider buying doubles of favorite toys, blankets, and even bedding if that is going to make your child the most comfortable.  Agree to share the cost of these items.  If you do this, it might cost a little bit of money but it is going to make the child feel more comfortable as they transition between homes.


Step 5 – Discuss It in Court


If you are fighting over items, it can be damaging to your child.  Do not fight over things.  Instead, make a list of the things that you do not agree with.  Then take this list to court with you.  Reasonably consider what is going to be best for your child.  If both parents, feel that it is best for them to have these items then you will have to let a judge determine what the best choices are.


Deciding how to separate the child’s belongings can be quite difficult.  The easiest way for this to happen is for both parents to make sure that they have everything that they need and then to think about what their child wants.  The goal is not for one parent to have more than the other.  Instead it is so that the child has what they need to feel comfortable and be happy in both homes.

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Determining Division of Assets

One of the things that many people struggle with during a divorce is determining the right way to divide the assets. This is because both parties usually have items that they want and sometimes they both want the same items. Deciding who the rightful owner will be during a divorce can take some time and is often a long drawn out process. There are many reasons for this.

How to Get Started

The first thing that you will want to do is to make a list of everything that you own. Your list can be as detailed as you would like. This is the best way to accurately make sure that you get half of everything that you own. If you do not make this list, then there is a good chance that someone is going to end up getting more than their fair share. If property is not something that you are concerned with then you might elect to allow your ex to take what they want. However, if you want to make sure that you are both treated fairly then you might want to make sure that you both get what you deserve.

File the Right Paperwork

Depending on what state you are in, there will be some type of financial and property paperwork that is requires for your divorce. You can find out what paperwork is required where you live easily and then have it filled out with all of the information. This paperwork usually discloses all bank accounts both joint and separate, trusts, any property both personal and joint, and any major items that are worth enough money to be considered an asset.

Things to Remember When Dividing Debt

There are times when you might think that the right thing to do would be divide the entire amount of debt in half. Many people think that stating that each party has to pay off a percentage of the debt (typically 50% each) is the right way to do this. Often times this is not a good idea because if the debt is based on one person’s credit. The issue is that the creditor does not have to agree to any of the divorce paperwork. So, in the end the person whose name is on the credit card is the one that they hold accountable. This can cause financial ruin to you if your name is on something and your ex is ordered to pay and doesn’t. Many people do not realize that this is the case. You can avoid these issues if the judge orders the other to pay the responsible party directly.

What You Need to Know About Pensions

Pensions are also considered part of the marital property. This is the one thing that ends up being the most valuable during a marriage. In many cases it is actually worth more than all of the other assets combined. Make sure that you fill out required paperwork if your soon to be ex has a pension plan. If you and your ex cannot agree on the terms of pension plan division, a judge can decide for you how you will have it divided. This typically means that your ex will be required to send you a check each month. Now, it is a good idea to make sure that your bills are paid out of the previous month’s check or with your own income. The reason for this being that in most cases your ex will be given a day of the month to send you the check by, but it is very rare that they will be punished if they end up getting the check to you by the end of the month.

Deciding how to divide your assets during a divorce can cause a number of fights. Doing the work and filling out the necessary paperwork to ensure that you get what you deserve takes it out of your hands. Typically, this is the best way to ensure that things are done fairly.

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