Relative Evolutions - Evolve, Don't Dissolve
Jun 6, 2016 - divorce, family    No Comments

Let’s Talk About Gray Divorce

While “Gray Divorce” (Baby Boomer Divorces) has been a hot topic for a few years now, I haven’t written about it. There are a few reasons for this:

1… I divorced in my twenties, so I’m not personally familiar with the phenomenon.

2… My parents divorced in their thirties, so I can’t comment as a child of such divorces.

3… Personal preference:  I’ve never liked the branding. For as awesome as I think Divorce is, I don’t want to treat it like a trend. 

But, despite my ignorance-and-arrogance-induced silence, Gray Divorce isn’t going away.  It’s time for me to embrace it (and appreciate the fact that the trendiness is bringing more attention to the overall topic of divorce). And so a few weeks ago, I decided to delve into the matter with someone who has been there, done that and created a web site devoted to the issue.  Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Barry Gold, Coach and Proprietor of DivorcedOver50.com.
 
As you’ll see in the interview below, Barry and I had a nice chat. We compared personal stories and discussed some challenges (and advantages) of separation at different stages of life.

I now find myself contemplating which, in theory at least, is “better”… Those who divorce young typically have a lot of time to reset, recover and rebuild their lives.  On the other hand, those on the Gray end of the spectrum have the advantage of maturity, self-confidence and grown children. …But of course, age and income can’t predict everything, thus the process and outcome of divorce depends mainly on the individuals embarking on the journey.
 
If Gray Divorce pertains to you (or just piques your curiosity), check out my interview with Barry and then head over to DivorcedOver50.com where you can dig deeper into the trend. There’s even a special section for those who are “Di-Curious” 😉

If you have an opinion about whether gray or non-gray divorce is better, feel free to leave a comment.

Jun 1, 2016 - divorce    No Comments

The Second Saturday Program

The first time I heard about the Second Saturday program was a few months ago when I received a LinkedIn connection request from Second Saturday Central Mass. I looked into it and saw that it was a monthly program for individuals embarking on their divorce journey, and I was intrigued… But then I got distracted and forgot about it for a while.

I was reminded again, last month, when I was planning a trip to Cape Cod. Staring at the calendar, I noticed I’d be on vacation over the second weekend in May. Second weekend… Second Saturday! I consulted the web to get some more information. I learned that Second Saturday is a nationwide program which takes place at countless locations across the country. I also learned that the Central MA location was only a two-hour drive from where I’d be staying on the Cape. I could work that in to my trip.

So I did… I arrived at the office in Westborough in time for the 9am start of the program on May 14. The program hosts were Polly Tatum, an attorney and mediator, and Pedro Silva, an Investment Executive and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst.

second saturdayPolly spoke first. She provided an overview of the divorce options and processes in Massachusetts. She also discussed child support, alimony, custody and insurance. Polly was extremely knowledgeable and patiently answered a plethora of questions from the audience. I was fascinated and took a lot of notes— there are many differences between MA and PA.

Next up, Pedro talked about the financial side of Divorce. He reminded attendees to act, not react, and to keep their emotions out of their transactions (such good advice!). He also noted the financial documentation that will be needed as couples travel through the separation process (tax returns, investment statements, pay stubs, etc), and he reminded the group to review all beneficiary designations.

Overall, I thought the program was a fantastic value. I paid $25 for three hours with skilled professionals who not only provided useful information but they also answered individual questions. If I was preparing for a divorce in Massachusetts, I’d be feeling pretty empowered right now.

And did I mention it was only $25?

For more information, check out Second Saturday on the web. Here’s hoping there’s a workshop near you.

 

 

May 31, 2016 - divorce    No Comments

Join the Thank Your Ex Challenge

 

Thank Your Ex Challenge

Thank Your Ex Challenge

 

On June 6, it will be 10 years since I signed my Separation Agreement (and unexpectedly met my ex’s Other Woman). I’m celebrating by kicking off my first 5-Day Challenge: Thank Your Ex!  (Because gratitude heals. I feel totally grateful to my ex and the journey we shared.)

Each day, participants will receive an email with a different assignment:  a new reason to Thank Your Ex. I promise to keep it simple and there’s no requirement to share your answers with anyone. Also, it’s free. And it’s super-easy to sign up.

You can learn more and join the challenge by clicking here.

May 23, 2016 - divorce    No Comments

Interview with Greg Gann, a Divorce Financial Analyst

Greg Gann

Greg Gann

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of sitting down with Greg Gann of Gann Partnership LLC in Baltimore, MD. Greg is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. Have you heard that title before? Not everyone has, but everyone should.

We all know that when a couple separates, their conflict typically revolves around money and parenting time. Given the intricacies of the former, I was eager to talk to Greg about how his specific training can assist STBXs* as they navigate the divorce process.

During our discussion, Greg explained that he can operate as a financial neutral for clients seeking a collaborative process (whether officially or unofficially). His job is to present a comprehensive financial picture and help couples make empowered decisions about how to divide their assets. His knowledge enables him to dig deeper than attorneys or accountants, thus providing a more specialized and comprehensive service.

And the best part? Couples who come to Greg are likely to save money over paying separate attorneys for financial discovery.

If you’ve heard me speak, you’ve probably heard me say, “Choose and use your team players wisely.” A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst is an excellent member to add to your team. In the interview below, Greg illustrates the importance of his work with real-life examples. I learned a lot from him, and you probably can too…

 

*STBX= Soon To Be Ex 😉

May 18, 2016 - divorce, marriage    No Comments

Divorce Shaming Drives Me Crazy!

I’ve seen this divorce shaming content before, and today I saw it again:

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I really hate this. I hate it enough that I stopped what I was doing in order to write this blog post because I am so hopping mad. I’d really like to curse a whole bunch, but I try not to do that here. I don’t know the profile of the people who share these memes. I don’t know how many are married or what percentage wish they were. I don’t know if their intent in sharing is because they want to celebrate lasting love or if they want to shame those who divorce.

But, whomever they are and whatever their motive, the message is clear:  “Older generations stayed together because they didn’t give up… unlike people today.”

Bullshit. (Oops, I said I wasn’t going to curse)

Well… yeah, OK, I can admit that these days we’re quicker to replace rather than repair. But that logic applies more to phones and refrigerators than human relationships, which are much more complicated.

And it’s not like divorce is a trendy new phenomenon. In the 1950s, the Divorce Rate bounced between 20-25%. A few years earlier, in 1946, it was 43% (I got those numbers here). Even people who were born and raised in the Good Old Days got divorced.

I wonder what that meme would look like if it was an honest Q&A without a passive-aggressive attack.  Perhaps the woman would say…

“We were born in a time when it was legal for him to beat me, so I never questioned my own worth.”

or…

“I kept my affairs a secret and he never found out.”

or…

“There wasn’t any love between us, but we were good roommates.”

or…

“We made it 65 years because we both exceeded the average life expectancy.”

or…

“We never stopped dating.”

or…

“We were honest and had an open marriage.”

or…

“We didn’t have children. We stayed in the same town and kept the same jobs and the same friends. There wasn’t a lot of stress on our marriage.”

There are many reasons for couples to stay together… or not. And the interworkings of any relationship are as unique as those in the relationship. It’s not fair to compare couples or make generational generalizations. (if it was, I’d like to accuse all older couples of doing a crappy job of instilling their fix-it-don’t-throw-it-away values in their children)

Stop the shame! Each of us is responsible for our own health and happiness. Sometimes you just can’t “fix” a toxic relationship.

 

 

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