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5 Major Fears That Kill Relationships
A Lesson in forgiveness 9 Are you playing the blame game in your relationship 17 life steps to transform to a new you 11
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Love Thy Self
A Lesson in Forgiveness
Life Steps to Transform to a New You Conâ€™t...
5 Major fears that kill relationships
Are you playing the blame game in your relationship
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Special Recognition WRITERS Karen Becker Margaret Pickard, Esq MarQue Stephanie Holland, PhD Michelle Skeen Aaron Kaplan STAFF Publisher, Cynthia Spirlin, J.D. Associate Publisher, Patty Gines Editor, Kiera Kennedy Graphic Designer, T. Javier Photographer, Zeny Hilton
Disclaimer: No part of this website or digital magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher. The content in this magazine is for information purposes only. DIVORCE 411 Magazine, assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The information contained about each individual, event or organization has been provided by such individual, event organizers or organization without verification by us. The opinion expressed in each article is the opinion of its author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of DIVORCE 411 Magazine Inc. Therefore, DIVORCE 411 Magazine Inc. carries no responsibility for the opinion expressed thereon. Comments are welcome, but they should be on-topic and well-expressed. Abusive, antisocial or off-topic comments will be deleted by web administrators.
Copyright ÂŠ2015 DIVORCE 411 Magazine. All rights reserved. Divorce 411 April 2015 | 3
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Love Thy Selfâ€Ś
By Stephanie Holland, PhD and Margaret Pickard, Esq.
ivorce is one of the most stressful events that can occur in life. It often represents the loss of hopes and dreams, not only for you, but for your children as well.
Give yourself permission to take care of yourself; take a bath, go for a run or a hike, go out to lunch with friends, go to a movieâ€Ś relax. This will benefit you, as well, as your children. Your children take their cues on how to respond to the divorce from you; if you accept this change, they will too. If, however, you are sad and sorrowful, they will follow your lead. Your kids will adjust much better if they see that you are able to cope with the changes that divorce brings. Understand that adjusting to the divorce will take time, usually about a year and a half, if not longer. Here are a couple of things you can do to help minimize your stress and help you cope:
the additional stress you are facing. A vitamin B complex is important for maintaining your energy level, reducing stress and boosting your immune system.
Stay physically active, it is the best therapy there is. Exercise makes you feel great and helps to eliminate stress, anger, frustration and anxiety. If you donâ€™t exercise regularly, this is a great time to start to get in the habit; join a club to make re-make yourself and get to know people who have a healthy lifestyle and will be a great cheering team for you. Kick boxing and high energy classes like spinning allow you to blow off steam in a positive way.
Eating a healthy diet helps you maintain a positive outlook. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables Have Fun!! Be sure to schedule some and drink plenty of water. fun into your daily life. Make time for fun Multivitamins, especially and do things that you love! Spend time with vitamin B, can help you combat the effects of friends and family who support and love 4 | Divorce 411 April 2015
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you. Take a bath, read a book, have a nap, watch your favorite movie and indulge yourself. Avoid negative people and search for friends who have similar interests. It’s important to have a support group and surround yourself with positive people.
Journaling is a great way to explore your feelings and work through problems and feelings. When your ex does something that is frustrating, journal about it and explore your feelings. If you’re angry about something, remember that anger usually comes from a sad place, not a bad place – we usually get angry because we are hurt, frustrated, or sad. It’s normal to experience highs and lows when you are going through a divorce and letting yourself experience the grief will actually help you heal and move forward.
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head to your toes. Allow each part of your body to relax, beginning with your eyes, your jaw, your shoulders, your arms, and working down to your toes. Don’t let anger overcome you – allowing your ex to “make” you angry allows your ex to control your life. Decide to be the master of your own destiny.
Sleep is rejuvenating. Getting enough sleep helps us emotionally and physically and dreams are an important part of working through our feelings. As you lie in bed at night, think about the beginnings in your life. Don’t dwell on the past, look to the future. Remember, moving on doesn’t mean you forget about things, it just means you learn to live differently and continue on.
Seek out a support group.
No single strategy will ease the pain and loss that divorce brings. But time and time again, when asked how Relax. When best to weather the effects anxiety starts to of divorce, respondents say this: lean on a overtake you, close your support network. eyes and relax from your
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Most people who are going through a divorce are actually leaving behind a negative relationship, even if they don’t realize it at the time. They may have gotten comfortable in a routine that was dragging them down. We often mourn the loss of our DREAM of a perfect marriage, rather than the relationship we actually had. You can still have your dreams if you stay focused, take care of yourself, and prepare yourself for the new life ahead of you. Don’t let your ex hold you back from enjoying your future; you deserve all that life has to offer. Remember, when things feel like they are falling apart….they may actually be falling into place. Life is what you make it, so make it a great one!! Stephanie Holland, PsyD is currently in private practice, working with children to overcome psychological challenges and assisting families in with post divorce issues. She also currently works as an Outsource Provider for the Las Vegas Family Courts as a Special Master/Parenting Coordinator and custody evaluator. Margaret Pickard, Esq. is a family law attorney, author/educator, parenting coordinator, and mediator, specializing in family mediation and high conflict custody cases. She serves as an Outsource Mediator and Parent Coordinator for the Las Vegas Family Courts. The Mediators of Southern Nevada awarded Margaret their 2011 "Peacemaker of the Year," recognizing her for her work in developing and teaching UNLV’s Cooperative Parenting program to Las Vegas community members and family court litigants.; she was again nominated for the Award in 2012. In 2014, Margaret was recognized as one of the Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in Nevada, by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys.
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Call for research participants Greetings!
We are researchers from the Psychology
Department at Skidmore College and are requesting your help in an exciting new study on how journaling relates to adjustment after divorce. If you are divorced, or are currently going through a divorce, you are eligible to participate. The first 100 people to sign up will receive up to $25 in gift certificates to Amazon.com. This study will only take 2 1/2 hours spread out over two weeks, and is done entirely online.
Confidentiality Your name and identifying information will remain confidential and will not be included in presentations or published materials connected to this study.
How do I sign up? For more information, please contact us at email@example.com with a brief message indicating your desire to participate. Feel free to pass this letter along to divorced friends who might be interested. Thank you for your time and attention, and we look forward to working with you Best, Karen Rothman and Dr. Mark Rye Skidmore College Positive Psychology Research Team
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Lesson in Forgiveness By Karen Becker
s a Co-Parent Coach, I work to help divorced couples see the facts in the situation. I help them take the emotion out of communication so they can focus on what’s important – their children.
phrases like “I never wanted a failed marriage” or “I can’t believe I got myself in this situation” or “If only I could go back and change my decisions.” First, a failed marriage does not end in divorce. A failed marriage is one where the people in it are miserable, but stay in it because they don’t want a divorce. How is that a successful marriage? Yes, there are many successful marriages out there and through divorce; you’ve given yourself an opportunity to be in one, if you choose. Second, know that you’re in this situation for a reason. Know that divorce is happening now for a reason and that reason will present itself when the time comes. In the meantime, learn all the lessons you can so you can move on.
I help them learn to communicate in a new way because divorce is just like dating, you have to learn how to be in this new relationship together. If there was one lesson I wish every divorced person would learn, it’s that forgiveness is necessary to move on. Most people cringe when I bring up the word forgiveness, but before you turn the page on this article, give me a chance to tell you what I think forgiveness can do.
I’m not talking about forgiving your ex right now, I’m talking about forgiving yourself. I can’t count how many clients have used
When it comes to your ex, this is a harder pill to swallow, but once you’ve forgiven him or her, it will make your divorced
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relationship that much easier. Isn’t that what people want? To stop arguing, stop the bad feelings, stop the insinuating, the backhanded compliments or anything else that comes from a difficult divorce? It starts with forgiveness.
Stick with me here. Forgiveness isn’t calling up your ex and saying, “I forgive you.” It’s far from that. Forgiveness is releasing you from the bad feelings. It’s about you, not about your ex. It’s about no longer allowing those bad feelings you have towards your ex to have power over your life. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten everything they’ve done or said. It just means that your feelings towards those things they’ve done or said aren’t controlling you. Forgiving your ex does not mean you become friends with your ex or forget everything that happened. Forgiveness just means you are better able to make rational, fact-based decisions about your boundaries and future relationship because you’ve let go of the negative feelings. When I tell people this, they usually instantly become defensive and say something to the effect of “you don’t know what they did” or “you would be angry, too, if this happened to you.” I always respond in the same way, “Yes, I would be angry if that happened to me.” Sometimes, I’m able to honestly say, “You know what, that did happen to me and I was angry.” I go on and ask, “How long do you want the anger to control you?” You are allowed to be angry! You’re allowed to be mad! You should be frustrated, disappointed, upset and hurt! When it takes over dayto-day life, however, and you can’t let go
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of those feelings, then it may be time to consider a new way of living. If you’re looking at your personal situation right now and thinking that this sounds like something you need to do, then you’re ready! You’re ready to take the first step in moving on. Did you know that people handle divorce the same way they handle death? They go through the stages of grief. Those stages are denial, bargaining, depression/anger, acceptance and hope. These stages are not meant to go through in any order and you don’t necessarily go through them only one time, but each time you reach one of those difficult stages, consider forgiveness as a way to move into hope. Forgiveness is the key to getting through a divorce with as little resentment and bitterness as possible. Forgiveness is the key to a happier future. Karen Becker is a Family Coach who has spent years working with individuals and couples, one-on-one and in groups. Her own experiences as a single Mom and Co-Parent have helped build curriculum, communication techniques and worksheets. She has helped many parents find the humor and happiness as they navigate the unpredictable job that is parenting and parenting through divorce. She has a Master's Degree in Counseling and applies these skills when coaching clients. Karen can be reached through her website [www.karenbeckerlifecoach.com], Facebook [www.facebook.com/karenbeckerlifecoach], or Twitter [@momandtherapist]. Learn more about Karen Becker at www.karenbeckerlifecoach.com.
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Life Steps to transform to a NEW YOU! D I V O R C E
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This is the second article in this series, “Life Steps To Transform To A NEW YOU!”
e have acknowledged that we are at a crossroad called divorce and we have taken the first step of self-awareness.
Although this first step may have been challenging, stick with it and you will soon see your reward.
what they're really doing. When you think about it, it’s pretty funny – They wobble and bobble, completely un-phased.
Now it's time to move forward to the next step.
It's time for you to search within your heart and mind, and ask yourself, “Am I ready to Now think about move on? Have I grieved this, the baby was enough? No manner crawling just fine, what you answer you and was really will soon realize that this getting good at it. crossroad has uniquely Why do they need placed you in front of to get up and walk? an opportunity, your opportunity to have what Uhmm – INNATE INTUITION TO you want, and desire. MOVE FORWARD There are no limits, and AND PROGRESS. no boundaries – your potential is unlimited.
As you get to know me, you will see that I like to give examples. Have you ever watched a baby learnhow to walkfor the first time?They seem so wobbly, so offkilterbut they push ahead. During this period, theyfall time and time again,but they keep trying and trying. I know it’s cliché but, “if at first you don’t succeed – TRY, TRY, AGAIN”. In my example, the baby doesn't fear falling, they are relentless and determined to walk for the first time. They aren't even sure 10 | Divorce 411 April 2015
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still didn’t get it - I should have known better! At that point, I realized I had to do some selfevaluation so I could break the pattern and figure out why this kept happening over and over. After many months, and many late nights, I plunged deep into myself which revealed The Many M’s of Me – Finally I am Freemy recently release book that showed me a clear perspective of myself which helped me makes the changes I needed to overcome and identify destructiverelationship patterns. I'm imagining you're laughing right now saying “Yeah, Right!” I truly hopethat’s not the case. If you are, then I strongly recommendand "huggingly" suggest that you keep practicing the self- awareness exercises from the first article. You deserve to live a healthy, happy and fulfilling life. You are beautiful, you matter and your wishes and desires are important because they belong to YOU!
Now is the time to take action and recalibrate your life. No more doing the same thing expecting a different result, enough is enough! It's time for a NEW YOU! A lesson I learned very early in life was that thoughts
materialize. The premise is, whatever youfocus on is what you will bring into your life. If you believe, you can achieve, and you will receive! If your desire is to be loved, then say to yourself "I am loved". If you struggle with weight, call out the weight that you desire to be, “I am healthy and at my perfect weight of ____lbs”. If finances have been a challenge, call your budget into submission – “My finances are more than enough to cover my needs and my wants/ desires”. These thoughts and affirmations will help you take authority over your situations and circumstances (your crossroad). Your second tool in this series “Life Steps to Transform to a New YOU!” will help transform your mindfrom the old way of thinking to the NEW YOU!
Click the link for instant access to your second tool:Power of Manifestation Again I say, I don't believe in coincidence. Every part of your life has a divine purpose. This crossroad is a gentle shake to awaken you and help you focus on the unique reason and purpose YOU were created. So be encouraged and inspired to take the second step. Manifestation begins with changing your thoughts We all want to be loved. When I came to my crossroad tohelp lead you in a new direction. the first time, I approached it Here is the tool for the first step Self-Awareness link: Workbook Revelations like the wobble bobble baby. (For Divorce 411 Magazine ONLY). It is our first step on the road to a New YOU! I just got back up and tried
again. The second time, I was still optimistic, but it still didn’t work. The third time, I
www.Called4Purpose.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.facebook.com/called4purpose | NYC_MarQue@ twitter.com | LinkedIn – MarQue Munday Divorce 411 April 2015 | 11
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5 Major Fears That Kill Relationships By Michelle Skeen
re you a perfectionist? Are you clingy when you feel someone pulling away? Do you assume the worse when a text, email, or voice mail goes unanswered? Do you try to avoid some of these fears with food or just a few cocktails? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are likely in the grip of one of five major relationship fears. These fears can undermine your desire to create healthy new connections. Our minds are powerful. Clinging to destructive thoughts and fears can often lead us into vicious cycles of self-doubt, so it’s up to us to interrupt these cycles when we notice they are happening. That way, we prevent our fears from dictating our behaviors, and leading to further insecurity. The first step toward change is understanding these fears. Here’s an explanation of five major fears that destroy relationships. Get to know them, because knowledge is power, and it’s the most essential ingredient for personal growth, both in and out of relationships.
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1. “He/she is going to leave me.”
2. “I’m just know I’m going to get hurt.”
Maybe they are, and it’s important to trust your gut if you feel like you’re not being properly supported by your friends and family members or by your partner.
If you grew up in an environment in which you felt unsafe, didn’t trust the people close to you or were abused, you are likely to identify with this perpetual fear of getting deeply hurt.
But ask yourself if you are truly feeling unsupported, or if you are reacting to a deep fear of abandonment. If you fear abandonment, you likely have such thoughts as these: People who love me will leave me or die. No one has ever been there for me. The people I’ve been closest to are unpredictable. In the end I will be alone. You have a tendency to over-generalize and read into the behaviors of those around you. As a result of your victim mindset: • You may become clingy. • You may start arguments consciously or unconsciously to test the relationship. (This can turn into a selffulfilling prophecy — you push others away so often that they do leave you). • You get involved with people who are unavailable (e.g., they live in a different location, they are in another relationship, you have incompatible schedules, and so on). • You avoid relationships so you can’t be abandoned.
Your circuitous thought patterns may include ones like these: I always get hurt by the people close to me. People will take advantage of me if I don’t protect myself. People I trust abuse me. So as a result of your doom-and-gloom attitude: • You are constantly on guard for any sign of betrayal or abuse. • You suspect an ulterior motive when you are on the receiving end of a kind gesture. • You find it difficult, if not impossible, to be vulnerable. • You are accommodating and compliant as a way to prevent others from getting angry. • You lash out at others as a way to protect yourself from the abuse you expect. • You avoid getting close to others because you fear they will hurt you. • You avoid relationships because you can’t trust anyone.
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3. “He/she won’t be there for me when I need him/her.”
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• You don’t open up to others in anticipation of being disappointed by their response (e.g., lack of validation or interest).
When you lack emotional support, attention, affection, guidance or • You resent others automatically understanding as you’re growing up, because you aren’t getting the love and you probably also anticipate emotional understanding that you need. deprivation in your adult life. With this fear come such thoughts as: I don’t get the love 4. “I’m not good enough.” that I need. I don’t have anyone in my life If you feel that you are bad, unworthy, who really cares about me or meets my defective or unlovable, your thoughts may emotional needs. I don’t feel emotionally include: If people really knew me they connected to anyone. would reject me. I am unworthy of love. As a result of feeling like you’re always I feel shame about my faults. I present a going to be lonely: false self because if people saw the real me they wouldn’t like me. • You become angry and demanding when you don’t get what you need. As a result of your feelings of inadequacy: • You are drawn to people who don’t express their emotions, as they reinforce your isolation. 14 | Divorce 411 April 2015
• You are drawn to people who are critical of you.
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• You criticize others.
being found a failure.
• You hide your true self.
• You judge and criticize others.
• You demand reassurance. • You have difficulty hearing criticism. • You compare yourself unfavorably to others.
5. “I’m a failure.” The final major fear that can capsize your relationships stems from the belief that failure is inevitable, or that you don’t measure up to your peers because you aren’t as smart, talented or successful. In this case, you may have thoughts that include: Most of my peers are more successful than I am. I am not as smart as other people in my life. I feel ashamed that I don’t measure up to others. I don’t possess any special talents. As a result of your extreme self-doubt: • You avoid discussions or situations where comparisons to others would be made. • You allow others to criticize you or minimize your accomplishments. • You minimize your talents or potential.
The good news is that these fears don’t have to continue to sabotage your relationships. The first step toward making the change to feel nourished and supported by your relationships is awareness. You can first empower yourself by identifying your qualms — and their associated thoughts and behaviors. From there, you can bring an increased level of mindfulness into your life, and begin to shift your habits. So stop right now, and bring yourself to the present moment. Recognize that your fears and the thoughts they trigger are transporting you back to a past experience or mindset that has given you distorted lens. So don’t react immediately, as your reaction, too, will be distorted. Allow yourself time to harness your desire for change and personal growth. Digest your thoughts and feelings without a need to control or judge them. Once that emotional storm has passed, and you can recognize that this present situation may have nothing to do with the fears you are projecting onto it, then you can respond in a way that is helpful — not harmful — to your current relationship.
• You hide your true self for fear of ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle is a therapist, author and radio host specializing in relationships and schema therapy. More at www.michelleskeen.com and www.twitter.com/michelle_skeen
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Are You Playing The Blame Game In Your Relationship? D I V O R C E
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By: Aaron Kaplan CTA-CC, CDC Certified Divorce CoachÂŽ, Certified PrepareEnrich Facilitator
ne of my coaching clients recently told me about a social group that she recently joined, that meets regularly that consists of divorced women. I immediately thought; â€œoh, this is intriguing!â€? She then explained that while the overarching premise of the group is for social activities, my friend did explain to me that dinner conversations tend to morph into what could be described as conversations one would expect to take place during a meeting of a divorce support group.
Since the common bond that unites this group of women is that they have all experienced divorce, and are each individually at different stages of their respective post-divorce journeys, it was explained to me that many, if not most in the group view their gatherings as an opportunity not just to socialize, but to also share their respective experiences, lessons, and insights. When I heard this I thought it was fantastic. For there is something powerful in the common bonds forged through community. And, divorce can be an extremely lonely experience, not just while you are going through the process, but
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also in the months and years after. A person who is a divorced is part of a club that only those who have also gone through it can truly understand. So I when I heard this, I thought that it was great that these women have created a community amongst themselves with which they can experience camaraderie and support from one another. So I innocently asked my client what the group typically talks about with respect to their divorce experiences when offering support to one another. What she said to me was, in my opinion, rather disturbing. Here is just a sampling that I am paraphrasing:
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“Men suck!” “Men are horrible!” “Men are insensitive!” “Men are selfish!” “Men are %&$*#-holes!” “Men are immature!” “Men are just children!” “Marriage and relationships are hopeless!” I could go on, but I think you probably get the idea. Nothing that my client was sharing surprised me in the least. I encounter this all the time with my female clients as a relationship and divorce coach, and I have heard men who were in the midst of divorce say many similar remarks about women. So it goes both ways. In the interest of fairness and full disclosure, I was in that same frame of mind in the immediate aftermath of my own divorce experience. I think harboring those angry, visceral emotions toward your ex and the opposite gender in general is understandable, and one who has gone
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through the pain, trauma, and stress of divorce is entitled to feel whatever emotions they want to feel. I believe that is one’s right, and is perfectly healthy. HOWEVER, and I wrote that in all caps for a reason, it comes a time during the journey, that regaining some rational perspective is warranted. I pointed out to my client an observation that I had. While I was listening to her describe what these women were frequently saying about men in general, and their ex-husbands in particular, it dawned on me that there was something glaringly consistent about all of this, besides their characterizations about men. What I also noticed based on what my client had shared with me, was that all of these women were placing the full responsibility and blame for the destruction of their marriages squarely, and entirely on their ex-husbands alone. NONE of them, seemed to be able (or willing for that matter) to shoulder any responsibility whatsoever themselves. Divorce 411 April 2015 | 17
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The most important perspective that I ever received about relationships came from my own marriage counseling experience. During one of the sessions, the marriage counselor said that; “each of us (meaning myself and my ex-wife) are EQUALLY responsible for three of us being here, and each of us are 50% responsible for the marriage being in the state that it was in.” To this day, I still view that moment as one of the most profound lessons in relationships and life that someone has taught me. No matter what your ex-spouse may have done that was hurtful to you, it is also important to take a hard, sobering look at what you, yourself did to contribute to the dynamics of the relationship being what they are. When you are at the point when you are ready and able to do this, you are then taking a huge step in the grieving and healing process. To quote Robert Brault; ”Life becomes easier when you learn to accept the apology you never got.” For those who are still unfortunately experiencing the hurt and pain from past relationships, it is my hope that you will experience that ease in your life very soon. 18 | Divorce 411 April 2015
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DIVORCE 411 ORIENTATION T
his program was designed to be a resource to individuals who may be thinking about divorce. These individuals are at the “crossroads of divorce,” facing a challenging decision that has consequences for the future of their own lives and the lives of family members. Each lesson contains research-based information about important questions that individuals at the crossroads of divorce often have. • Lesson 1. Why a divorce orientation education program? • Lesson 2. Can your marriage be repaired? • Lesson 3. How common is divorce? • Lesson 4. Does divorce help adults become happier? • Lesson 5. What are the consequences for children? • Lesson 6. What are the consequences for adults? • Lesson 7. What are the financial consequences? • Lesson 8. What are the legal options and what should you expect during the divorce process?
or email email@example.com FREE DIGITAL MAGAZINES available at www.divorce411magazine.com
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The go to guide for men and women seeking resources, encouragement and inspiration during a difficult transition known as divorce.