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Frequently Asked Divorce Questions
Most people have the same common questions about divorce. As such we really have a handle on the rumors and misinformation that prevents folks from making good decisions.
Do I need to file first?
Usually, it won’t matter who files for divorce first. If you actually end up litigating your divorce (God forbid!), then the person who files first will present his case first, so it could make a difference. Presenting first can be an advantage because the initiating party sets the stage for the trial. But the other spouse’s evidence may be fresher in the judge’s mind when she rules, so it is difficult to say which is better.
If you choose a form of courtless divorce or alternative dispute resolution, which most people do, the race to the courthouse becomes irrelevant. In fact, then you can wait to file until you have completely resolved all of your divorce issues.
Do mothers still usually get custody?
Divorce court should be gender neutral, considering the best interests of the kids and therefore treating both parents equally, regardless of their sex. While there is always a possibility, if you go to court, that you will end up with a judge who does suffer from gender bias, if you choose a form of alternative dispute resolution, like collaborative practice, you do eliminate that risk.
Am I abandoning my rights to my house if I move out during the divorce?
Absolutely not! This especially becomes a critical issue if one of the spouses is staying in the home under the mistaken impression that s/he would be abandoning his/her interest in the investment if s/he moves out. However, if the conflict between the two spouses has become so intense that domestic violence is likely to result, you should move. Your safety is always paramount.
Do note, however, that, while you will likely still have a right to your share of the equity in the home as an investment, you may diminish your argument that you should receive the home to live in if you have moved out and made other living arrangements while your spouse has not.
What should I do if my spouse is becoming more aggressive to me?
If your spouse has become violent, or even close to it, it is important that you go to the courthouse to file a petition for a protective injunction. Emotions are heightened during a divorce, and violence that would normally seem unthinkable may erupt.
Even more important than getting an injunction, which may take time if your significant other has not been removed from the home already, protect yourself and your children. And your pets, if necessary. This may mean relocating yourself and them from your home.
How is child support computed?
In most states, child support is computed using a statutory guideline that considers a number of factors. These considerations usually include the number of children, each parent’s net income, their contributions to the children’s daycare expenses and health insurance, and the number of overnights with the children each parent enjoys per year. You can use this calculator to plug in your personal numbers to get a rough working child support amount.
Will I have to pay alimony?
Whether you will have to pay alimony depends on many factors such as whether you have income available to pay it, whether your spouse has a need for it, and the length of your marriage. Courts are veering away from high permanent alimony awards as spouses are now more similarly educated and able to take care of themselves.
Does my spouse have a right to the property I owned prior to my marriage?
If you kept your premarital property completely separate from your marital property, it may have kept its premarital status, meaning that your spouse has no right to it. However, premarital property is often commingled with marital property, which means your spouse may have a right to a portion of it.
Are prenuptial agreements worth it?
Prenuptial agreements are important if either party has premarital property she wishes to keep separate or if a party has a much higher premarital net worth. Additionally, premarital agreements can provide for how the spouses will handle issues that may arise during the marriage, like adultery.
Do I have to go to court if I get divorced?
If you choose a form of alternative dispute resolution like mediation or collaboration, you’ll only need to go to a brief uncontested hearing to finalize your divorce, rather than litigating all of your issues.
Can a postnuptial agreement help my marriage?
Postnuptial agreements are like prenuptial agreements, except they are drafted and executed during the marriage rather than prior to the marriage. Sometimes postnuptial agreements are created as the parties are coming into significant assets or debts, and they want to define how these assets and debts will be handled during or, in the event of divorce, after the marriage.
As Florida does not recognize legal separations, postnuptial agreements can be drafted to help parties define their rights as they are going through a trial separation. Not only can they discuss the division of assets or debts and the provision of alimony/spousal maintenance, once a postnuptial agreement is executed, it may be submitted to a court to address immediate issues of child support and a parenting plan as part of an action unconnected to a divorce.
What if I agree to 50/50 custody?
We all know the negatives that come with not having your children 100% of the time. But the coparenting world is new to you and you will soon discover that there are, indeed, some positives that come with sharing your children across two households. You’ll find, for example, that it affords you time to perform tasks or participate in activities that you want to do, but that your children are too young to do with you or simply can’t enjoy. When married, you never really appreciated that you could leave them at home with your ex, but you can’t do that anymore. So now you can still find the time to join in those activities, but you do that when the kids are with your ex.
In the same way, it also gives you valuable time even, perhaps, relax. Not only will you have extra time when the kids go to their other home, but you’ll have less homework, laundry, dishes, and cooking to do, and less people to pick up after while they’re gone.
You won’t have the worries that accompany hiring a baby sitter because, when they’re with your co-parent, you’ll know that they’re with someone who loves them.
Surprisingly, you’ll find that you also have more time with your children. While you won’t have as much physical time with your kids, you’ll have more quality time with them. (And quality time is one of the five love languages, right?) You’ll be less inclined to put off playing a game with them or to take them to the pool in favor of cleaning the house or working. You’ll get those chores out of the way while they’re at your co-parent’s home.
And when they are around, you’ll appreciate them even more.
When do I introduce my new love interest to my children?
Is it better to wait to introduce your children to your significant other? You may feel that you can better protect them by waiting, without a revolving door of new people entering and exiting their lives. Until you’re sure how this person is going to fit in your new (divorced with children) life, maybe s/he has no reason to be in front of your kids.
On the other hand, is it better to fall in love with someone based on who he or she is when in the room with your children? How are you supposed to figure out how this person will fit in your life if you can’t even see how s/he interacts with your kids? And, if s/he has children, how do all the children interact with each other?
Also, ensuring that your children see how you act when you date different people will be important as they themselves begin to date. They should learn to meet people and see how they fit into their lives before making a lifelong decision. They should see that you date, get to know a person, and sometimes that person becomes more, but not always.
When introducing children to a potential love interest, keep it casual. Choose a group setting where there are a lot of unfamiliar faces so that if they never see him/her again, they probably wouldn’t even have noticed.
Dating with children can be a very rewarding experience.
What is the first right of refusal?
The first right of refusal is the rule that the timesharing parent, if called away from the kids for a specified period of time, must first, if their parenting plan or agreement requires it, offer the other parent the opportunity to spend time with the kids instead of using a grandparent, a significant other, or a babysitter.
The first right of refusal goes both ways. While you may initially feel that a shorter time might seem like a good idea, it can actually be a burden. Consider not only what you want from your ex, but also what you’re willing to be obligated to do yourself. Do you want to have to call your ex just so that you can have dinner with a friend? Do you want to involve him/her every time the kids want to sleep over at a friend’s or a relative’s home? Do you want to involve your ex in your day-to-day comings and goings? Why should your ex be obligated to contact you because s/he wants to go out with a friend for a birthday?
As you might well imagine, a first right of refusal that is too stringent can create more problems than solutions.
Consider travel time to accommodate your right of refusal. A shorter right doesn’t make sense if you live farther away from one another. It’s not fair to you or the children to spend more time in the car than you’ll enjoy once you get them back to the house.
Know that you are not obligated to exercise your first right of refusal. You have shared custody for a reason. Ultimately, if you have work or plans, or even something else you prefer to do, it is the timesharing parent’s responsibility to provide childcare during his time.
Consistency is key in your children’s lives. Bouncing them back and forth unnecessarily to accommodate your first right of refusal guidelines can unintentionally create more inconsistency.
Should I try on-line dating after my divorce?
The world of online dating may seem great to you. You can go through half of the process of getting to know someone by reading his/her profile. You never even need to meet the person.
Initially, you might be overwhelmed and discouraged by the selection of dates. But as you continue to sift through the many profiles and messages, you’ll gradually find that no one is perfect and the more people that you meet, the more charateristics or personality traits you uncover that you do or do not want in your next relationship.
There are interesting, funny, and smart people out there. Even if those people aren’t the ones with whom you would choose to pursue a relationship, it is fascinating to see how different people walk through life. Just enjoy the experiences, good and bad. It is a different world, dating after divorce!
Should my ex and I use My Family Wizard?
It takes different tools for different people to co-parent effectively post-divorce. If communication is challenging for you and your ex, telephone and in-person conversations may only incite your disagreements as you trigger each other and tensions escalate.
In addition, having agreements in writing is helpful, so text messages can be useful. But if you’re like most co-parents who have multiple conversations with one another, the relevant message (or piece of message) may be difficult to locate when you need it. Email may solve some of these problems, but is not as effective or as quick as one of the parenting apps, and can be more easily ignored.
Our Family Wizard is a valuable tool for many co-parents. At a cost of around $100 a year, your communication swith your co-parent can be more efficient and limited.
And knowing that these messages can be admitted in the event that a court proceeding becomes necessary is helpful because the parents, in theory, are more cognizant of the words they choose to communicate with each other.
In fact, Our Family Wizard includes a tone meter which tracks “trigger words” and, through an increasing number of bars, will inform you if you have used these these types of words in your message. It helps you to reword messages that you might not otherwise have recognized would trigger a negative reaction from your ex.
There is also an option for a read receipt so you can see if and when your ex reads the message. If necessary, it also shows the court this information.
There are other features that are helpful to some families, depending on their individual dynamics. Some of these features include a shared information bank, an expense log, and a calendar.
There is no doubt that Our Family Wizard can be a valuable tool for co-parents. Will it be one for you?
How should I integrate step-parents into my family?
Integrating step-parents into a family can be a sensitive, and potentially stressful, situation. As with everything else divorce-related, there is no clear answer or direction, only what is best for your family. A step-parent can be a very powerful role, and a very influential relationship for your children to share in. Step-parents sometimes have as much importance or impact in a child’s life as a his or her natural parent.
A step-parent should be involved in the everyday life of a child. It is important for your children to know that there is someone to be there when you are not, a resource and, perhaps, a champion when needed.
Assuming the step-parent is not deliberately trying to interrupt bonding between a parent and child, it is important to have him or her involved.
The bottom line . . . the more people who love your children, the better.
Should a step-parent have input into the natural parents’ parenting plan?
Above all, the parenting plan should promote a positive relationship between the natural parents and their children. Parents should work together to cause the least amount of disruption in the lives of everyone, and that includes the children’s step-parents.
However, there will always be more to consider when a step-parent becomes involved, especially if the step is bringing his or her children from a previous relationship into the family.
This is a delicate time for all involved. First, listen to your partner’s suggestions. Then try to determine if what is being proposed is in the best interests of your child. Then consider if there will be a negative effect on your life or relationships or those of your kids. Finally, look at it from your partner’s perspective before reaching a conclusion.
If you reach an impasse, the natural parents should take first consideration. No doubt, it can be difficult to balance between a new spouse and a former spouse. It can feel like it’s a competition and you must take a side. But you should always remember that the side to be taken is that of the children. Do not let yourself forget the silent party.
How should communication work between a step-parent and other parent?
Ideally, everyday communications should not be an issue. Homework, doctor appointments, teacher/parent meetings, etc. However, any potential disagreements should be strictly parent-to-parent. A relationship between natural parent and step-parent is already a difficult one to navigate; there is no reason to make it harder.
Obviously, open communication is not possible in all co-parenting arrangements. In more tense co-parenting relationships, it is best to leave all communications to the parents, the exception being an emergency. Emergency situations should always involve open communication between all parents, natural and step.
How much should the step-parent be involved in discipline?
It should be encouraged to respect the step-parent as a person, an adult in general, and a leader in the house. There should always be a certain amount of respect and authority that comes with being an adult. A step-parent has the same authority as a babysitter or a teacher regarding discipline.
Any strict discipline, however, should be left to the natural parent.
Co-parenting can be difficult. Adjusting for step-parents can be another obstacle. Open communication and respect for the feelings and thoughts of ALL involved parents can make it much easier. It is important to promote a positive relationship between the child and his or her step-parent.
However, the most important thing is to put the children first. Make a conscious effort to separate whether you are fighting for you or for them. The lines can get blurry . . . .
This is especially important when the natural parents have reached an impasse. Avoid making a major decision without all parents having input into the agreement. Most decisions do not require immediate action, even if it may feel like it at the time. To do so could have a detrimental impact on the children and leave them with the feeling of having to choose sides. That is a never acceptable.
Is your new partner jealous of your relationship with your ex?
When parents separate, their relationship does not end; instead, it morphs. Where there is shared parental responsibility (almost always), there is co-parenting.
Your new relationship will undoubtedly have some kind of impact on the co-parenting relationship. So, what do you do when your new partner disrupts the co-parenting relationship or becomes jealous of your rapport with the other parent of your kids?
You are in control of who you allow into your life. A new partner who has a negative effect on your co-parenting relationship may be a deal-breaker. While a new significant other does not have to like your ex, he should have a courteous and civil relationship with your ex.
Your ex comes with your children, who come with you. Therefore, you should require your new partner to have a respectful relationship with your ex, especially in front of your children. This is so even if your ex refuses to do the same.
You need someone to stand by you and to support you in a positive way. Depending on your situation, it may even make sense for the ex and new partner to get to know one another. After all, you are all involved in parenting the same children.
Your partner needs to trust you to have an appropriate relationship with your ex, regardless of how she may act. It is ultimately how you conduct yourself that matters. Your partner should understand that you must communicate with your ex. He should be able to listen to any disagreement that you may have and help you work through it. If your ex is instigating problems with your partner, you should be able to count on your partner to avoid escalating them.
If your partner is struggling with jealousy of your co-parenting relationship, consider the other types of co-parenting relationships around you and discuss the how you might change your current relationship. Consider counseling to help address the situation before it develops into a negative pattern that has a lasting impact. At the end of the day, you live overlapping lives with your ex and both you and your new significant other must make the best of it.
How should I deal with my ex’s jealous new partner?
What happens when a new partner is jealous of you? It is common for a new spouse to feel competitive, especially if she has no children of her own. Unfortunately, that creates a split environment for the children, with the new spouse creating tension in an otherwise positive co-parenting relationship.
Step-parents should play an active part of a child’s life, and, at the same time, be a positive role model. As important as it is for a parent to include any new step-parent into the life of the child, it is equally as important for the step-parent to learn how to be involved in the child’s life.
There is only so much that you can do if your ex’s new partner agitates your co-parenting relationship. Sit back and refuse to participate in the competition. That does not mean that you roll over on your principles. Be flexible when you can, respect new boundaries so that the new partner feels comfortable, and continue to do what is right for yourself, but, most importantly, for your children.
When should I introduce my children to my new partner’s children?
Is it better to wait to introduce all the children to each other until after you have introduced your partner to your kids and feel that s/he fits in well? Or is it better to introduce everyone at the same time?
It is vital to understand your position, experiences, and focus towards an attempt at blending two families into one. The process does not come without its difficulties. Various factors may impact how you approach the introduction of your blended family.
Are your children in middle or high school? Are they boys or girls? Are you new partner’s kids the same sex, the same age? Do you start the process with a conversation between just you and your children, or do you include your new partner, as well?
You should always start the conversation by explaining your faith in your new partner and how that person impacts you, as their parent, but also as someone who desires that new love and family.
No family environments are the same, and ultimately, there is no correct or incorrect way to make these important introductions. Go with your gut. It will take time for these new relationships to blossom, but putting forth the effort and creating an atmosphere that fosters love, family, and healthy relationships is the best way to blend a family.
Do do-it-yourself divorce apps work?
The do-it-yourself divorce process is supposed to be easier, to cost less, and to be less stressful than dealing with attorneys. However, these services should only be used when couples have few complications, like children or assets and liabilities. Because spouses rarely agree to all issues in their divorce, especially when children are involved, DIY apps can lead to additional fees if the couple winds up needing assistance from an attorney after all.
In many divorces, spouses feel that they can use a DIY application, unaware of the potential for issues to arise later because of their ignorance. Ideally, divorce should be a do-it-yourself process, but that rarely ends up happening. In fact, it is almost always ideal to have an attorney at least review your documents before you file them. There may be something glaringly wrong of which you, your spouse, or even the DIY divorce app is not aware.
This is not to say that you must hire an attorney for every aspect of your divorce. There are many divorce processes that cut costs. The bottom line, however, is that having an attorney review your documents can save you from post-judgment issues that will no doubt be more difficult, more expensive, and more time-consuming to resolve in the long run.
Should I forgive my stepparent who treated me poorly during my childhood?
Has your stepparent changed? Does he or she now seek a positive relationship with you, your family, and your siblings? While it may feel natural to lash out at that stepparent, to disallow your own children from enjoying a relationship with him/her, the past is the past. Your kids may miss out if you hold a grudge for too long.
People change, and there is no point in holding onto your bitterness. You’ll only miss out on relationships that could be amazing. Always strive to be the bigger person who puts the past where it belongs and forgives others for their mistakes. No one is perfect, and we’re all continually learning.
How do I deal with devastating news?
Try to see the good. Has your experience made you a more loving, protective, fierce person? There is a deeper meaning behind everything.
Get help. There is no shame in seeing a counselor. There is no shame in taking anti-anxiety medications or anti-depressants. You may only need them for a while. You may need them forever. But they can help, and you should attach no stigma to them.
On the other hand, avoid drugs and alcohol. You will probably feel like you need and deserve a bit extra when you’re struggling. But understand that, while they may take the edge off briefly, they do more harm than good. If you are sick, they make you sicker. If you are depressed, they sadden you even more.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Didn’t finish your laundry today? Didn’t get your Christmas tree up in time? Were your kids five minutes late to school? In the grand scheme of life, does this stuff really matter?
Don’t waste time thinking of what use to be or might have been. This is your reality. Rather than focusing on how it used to be, how can you make it livable?
Get a hobby. What do you love to do? Do it. Run every morning, Spend an hour reading a book every night. Take walks in the park. Go to yoga once a week. Go every day. Learn to crochet. Play an instrument. Whatever it is, do the things that you enjoy and that take your mind away from your pain.
Keep busy. If you sit around being depressed, you’ll find yourself partaking in other unhealthy habits, like using drugs and alcohol, overeating, and overthinking the bad in your life. Stay busy with your hobbies and work. Life shouldn’t stop because you experience pain or tragedy.
Take time to smell the roses. That being said, take the healthy time that you need. People should understand that you must put yourself first for a while. If you need time, take it. But be sure to spend your time on constructive, rather than destructive behaviors.
What are the five stages of grief?
If you are experiencing grief, understanding the stages can help you or your loved ones get through it. In the denial stage, there is avoidance, confusion, elation, shock, and fear. In the anger stage, there is frustration, irritation, and anxiety. During bargaining, we struggle to find meaning, reach out to others, and tell our story. During depression, we feel overwhelmed, helpless, hostile, and as if we want to remove ourselves from the situation. Finally, in acceptance, we explore our options, develop a new plan, and move on.
Two people usually don’t experience these stages at the same time, and it is normal to go back and forth between the stages until you reach acceptance.
If you and/or a loved one is grieving, understanding the feelings associated with it can make a difficult time a bit easier.
What are healthy ways to deal with stress?
Take time for yourself. Even if you just read a book or watch a favorite television program or just sit and stare at the wall for thirty minutes a day, taking time for yourself daily can really help to recharge you, to restore you, and to calm you.
Get yourself a hobby. Explore your passions. Wherever they lead you, you’ll have a personal place to channel your stress and some time to think about something other than whatever is causing it.
Treat yourself to a massage. They are therapeutic, and, as all those toxins are kneaded out of you, you might discover the clarity that you need.
Exercise. Even if it’s just for thirty minutes a day, three days a week, moving around will nourish your body and your spirit.
Eat more healthily. A poor diet is actually tiring and increases the chances you’ll come down sick. On the other hand, a healthy diet builds a more solid foundation for your body to deal with the stress.
Drink less caffeine and alcohol. Too much caffeine heightens anxiety and can cause insomnia, which is especially tiring when you’ve got a lot on your mind. Alcohol is a depressant that reduces communication between your brain and body.
Sleep more. Sleep allows the body to repair itself and be fit and ready for the stress another day.
Write it out. It helps to share your feelings, even if it’s just on paper with yourself.
Spend time with your family and friends. Even if you don’t feel like talking about whatever is stressing you, being around people who love and support you is always positive for your mental state.
Talk about it. Sometimes just getting your feelings out makes you feel better, helps you find solutions, and empowers you to move forward through the anxiety. Whomever you’re talking with might suggest solutions that you hadn’t considered. If you don’t feel like sharing your problems with your family or friends, trying talking to a counselor.
Am I ready for a second child?
Are you financially secure enough? It costs about $233,610 to raise one child from birth through age 17 for a middle-income family. That doesn’t include college. Consider talking with a financial professional about how she can help ensure that your paycheck stretches as far as you will need it to.
Do you have time for a second child? Raising one child is a full-time job.
Does your firstborn have special needs? Depending on their type and severity, all your time may be devoted to your first child already. And unfortunately, some special needs, disabilities, or illnesses are biological, increasing the likelihood that your second child will suffer from the same special needs. Consider speaking with an attorney about assistance your kids with special needs may be entitled to.
How old is your firstborn? There are challenges to having two children close in age, but your kids will probably be close emotionally as they mature. By contrast, a larger span between children means that the older one will have a better understanding of how to treat the younger and be better able to help you.
Do you have a child of the gender you want already? If you wanted a boy and you got one on your first try, then you might be all set. But if you yearn for pink bows, maybe the second attempt will be different from the first.
How old are you? The closer you get to forty, the more the fertility door starts to shut, or the higher your risks of having a baby with problems.
Have you lost your first baby weight? I know it sounds vain, but it’s normal to not want to try again until you’re back down to where you started before your first baby, or close to it.
How does your spouse feel about having another child? Not everyone is on the same page in this department, and you and your spouse may disagree about having a second child. Couples who have children when one spouse isn’t really on board are more likely to have marital issues as they raise those children and are more likely to end up divorced.
How does your spouse feel about you? As you probably realize from having your first child, having children adds stress. Relationships that are already rocky suffer. Babies are adorable, but they don’t fix marriages. If you’re having marital problems already, consider seeing a marriage counselor to help you both before you make the life-altering commitment of bringing another child into the world.
Are you content to give up your newfound freedom? Of course, until your first child is an adult, you won’t have total freedom. But as he becomes more independent, you’ll find that you once again have more time to focus on your own wants and needs. However, if you have another child, that clock starts ticking all over again.
Are you ready to be pregnant again or to watch your wife be pregnant again? Being pregnant is challenging for many women. And for some women, symptoms are even worse as they battle through medical issues such as hyperemesis gravidarum, gestational diabetes, and post partum depression. If pregnancy is especially hard on you, you may not be excited about experiencing it again.
What is the reason that you really want a second child? Deep down, you probably have a pretty strong feeling one way or another. If you and your spouse feel the same way, what are you waiting for?
Should I ask for more child support?
The Florida statute on child support warrants a modification if running the guidelines would result in at least a change of fifteen percent or $50, whichever is greater. If the payor’s income has increased, or the receiver’s income has decreased, or a combination of the two, or if either of your responsibilities to pay daycare or the children’s health care expenses has changed, or if timesharing has changed, modifying your child support may be warranted.
But do the math. What if everything is going well enough with your ex, and you don’t want to rock the boat? Sometimes, when a parent petitions for a change in child support, the other parent counters by requesting a change in timesharing. And, if you hire an attorney, your attorney fees could end up being higher than what you win in court, especially if your kids are older, and not much child support is left.
However, if you really need the money and you know that your ex now has it, it’s worth it to fight for what your kids deserve.
If modification of child support is warranted, ask for it. Or if you are the payor, be the bigger person, and offer to pay it. It’s just the right thing to do.
Should I agree to pay for my kids’ college?
Unless a parent has agreed by contract to pay for college, parents in Florida are not required to foot that bill. And I can’t imagine that I would advise a client to agree to it by contract. If the parent wants to contribute, great. But if the situation changes by the time your child is taking his first flight out of the nest, I don’t want my client to be contractually burdened with that expense.
Rather than ensuring that you can pay for your kids’ college, maybe it’s more important to raise children who value their education and will find a way to experience it even if their parents can’t afford for it.
Should we keep our finances separate in our marriage?
When a couple marries, whether to keep their finances separate is often a
question. For some couples, it’s easy. They share the same spending habits as well as views on who should be the primary breadwinner. However, that’s not the case in every marriage.
Financial matters are one of the most common reasons why couples have marital issues and get divorced. In Florida, if you have no prenuptial agreement and find yourself divorcing, marital property is equitably distributed between the parties, usually meaning that it is equally split, regardless of whose name is on it. Marital property includes all assets and debts that either spouse accumulates or takes on during the marriage.
If you have premarital property, it remains your property in a divorce if you haven’t commingled in it, and that’s a big “if.” For example, if you have a bank account in your name before you are married, and you don’t put any marital funds in it, then the entire amount remains yours in a divorce. But if your ex is able to trace marital funds into the account (even interest earned during the marriage), then s/he becomes entitled to half those marital funds. In some cases, premarital property becomes so commingled with marital property that it can’t be traced, and the entire asset is deemed marital property that must be split equally between the spouses.
If you wish to avoid that, entering into a prenuptial agreement helps if you are clear that you want your premarital or non-marital property to remain yours in a divorce. Of course, issues may arise regarding whether a spouse will enter into such an agreement if s/he thinks it steals the romance out of the relationship or that it sets your marriage up for failure.
The bottom line is that whether to keep your finances separate in marriage really depends on each unique couple and their circumstances. If you’re considering this possibility, consider also keeping a joint bank account wherein each of you deposits a certain percentage of your pro rata income to use for joint expenses like groceries and entertainment. That way, you won’t feel as inclined to count every penny spent and feel resentful towards one another when you’re the spouse always paying more.
In reality, keeping finances separate can be very difficult. But depending on your situation, it may be the best fiscal decision for you.
Should I leave my unfaithful spouse?
Learning that a spouse is unfaithful is heatbreaking. Ultimately, infidelity is a symptom of unhappiness in a marriage. While it may be the direct cause of the divorce, it rarely is the reason behind the divorce. The reality of why a person chose to be unfaithful is the reason. It may be because he feels unfulfilled in the marital relationship. He may feel bored or neglected, either emotionally or sexually. He may suffer from low self-esteem and need validation. He may be a coward who is looking for a way to end his marriage, but he’s not courageous enough to admit it. He may just have met someone with whom he connects better. Or he may be the type who craves variety, and no one person, at least right now, will ever be enough for him.
Whether you should leave an unfaithful spouse depends on whether you can truly trust your partner again. Of course, that will take time. But if you know that you can’t trust your spouse no matter what he does for forgiveness, your relationship will never work.
It may not be your choice. Your spouse may realize that he cheated due to his unhappiness in the marriage, and he may want out. He may want to be with the adultress. That’s a hard pill to swallow. But you will eventually move on and find someone who is happy with you.
Uncovering the root of the issue that caused the infidelity will likely lead you being able to answer the question, should you stay or should you go. Some reasons can be fixed. Some can’t. If your spouse has a fixable reason why he cheated and he is willing to put in the time and energy, then infidelity doesn’t have to mean divorce. But if your spouse cheated for a reason that won’t soon change, and he’s not willing to work hard to change for the better, you’ll have a hard time trusting him again.
Should I remarry my ex?
Couples decide to remarry for many reasons. Perhaps they realize that being
single is unsatisfying and difficult and being married to their ex is more comfortable. Maybe they realize they divorced impulsively and not for good reasons. Hopefully, they’re still in love. Maybe they’ve grown. Maybe they have forgiven each other, and trust has returned to the relationship.
Statistics show that the likelihood of a second divorce is higher for couples that were already divorced from each other before. If you are considering remarrying your ex, you should understand that your second time around won’t be easy, and you should seek the help of a marriage counselor. If you have children, before reuniting, ensure that you are even more certain that it will work. Remember all the reasons why you did the hard work of divorcing? Can you live with those concerns now or have they been resolved? If so, remarriage might mean forever happiness for you and your ex. But if not, don’t just slip back into your old relationship because it is comfortable or you are lonely. Take time for yourself, and when you’re ready, find someone new with whom you can really be happy.
Is sex that important in a marriage?
Yes. It’s just a fact of life that sex is more important to most men than it is to women. Biologically, it makes sense. Men are created to procreate with as many women as many times as possible. In contrast, women can only have so many babies, and can’t have another while occupied carrying one, so sex just isn’t as important.
We all go through times when sex is not that important. Maybe we have young kids sleeping in our beds with us. Maybe work has us stressed out. Maybe one of us is sick or pregnant. Maybe we’re just tired.
But sex should always be a priority in marriage. Sex is the one thing that truly sets your relationship apart from those you share with other people. It’s something special that you don’t do with anyone else. So it is important to make it a priority in your marriage.