Divorce Blog

Wrapping Up 2012

Most of us tend to be forward thinkers. We’re always looking at what’s next. As soon as we finish one thing, we rarely take the time to savor our success before we’re off to the next task or adventure.

This time of year, most Americans are gung-ho about their New Year’s resolutions before the struggling of achieving them sets in over the next few days.

One of the best ways to build the strength and determination to achieve your New Year’s resolutions is to build your belief in yourself by spending a little time reviewing all the good things that happened in 2012 – especially those things that help you know you can achieve your resolutions.

When you’re going through divorce, it’s especially important that you take time out to savor the good things. For most people, divorce has a way of coloring things with a more negative cast. The thing is there are usually good things that happened during the past year too. It’s worth the time to find and appreciate them so your world view can be a bit rosier and happier.

When I review all the things I’ve done, accomplished, and experienced in the previous year, I’m always amazed at how much…

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Flexibility: It’s About More Than Just Muscles

Life changes a lot when you separate and divorce. Things that used to be a regular part of life just aren’t anymore. And when things change in unexpected ways, we can get scared, frustrated and angry.

When clients begin working with me, they’re usually experiencing some combination of fear, frustration and anger. One of the first things we do is dive into what’s behind or at the root of these emotions. What we usually discover on our deep dive are limits that have been disregarded in some way. The limits could be behaviors, expectations, thoughts, beliefs or even habits.

The identification of your personal limits is a critical part of restructuring your life during and after divorce.

Some people are quite adept at identifying their limits – what they can and can’t do, what they think and why they think it, what they expect and why they expect it and what their habits of thought, belief, response and action are.

Others aren’t as aware of their limits. They aren’t quite sure of what their limits are or even if they want to know because they do and think what others tell them to.

And then there are people everywhere in between these two extremes.

Regardless of…

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Small, Simple Things Can Make A BIG Difference

Little things make a big difference e.g., a shopping cart.

On Wednesday last week, I had a busy day planned. I had a breakfast meeting in one part of town immediately followed by a one-on-one meeting and a luncheon in a completely different part of town. Then I needed to head back to my office for a call with my coach and to get some other tasks done before heading out for my dinner plans.

My day got even busier than expected because I didn’t do the simple things I know I need to do to be at my best.

I’ve learned that I need to eat a substantial breakfast in the morning. If I don’t, I have a hard time thinking and moving. My body just doesn’t have the energy it needs to keep all systems working – at least that’s how I think of it – unless I feed myself well in the morning.

Well, my breakfast meeting was VERY light on the breakfast part. You might expect that I would take something with me just in case I needed something more for breakfast. And you’d be right! I did take something with me – a Clif bar.

Unfortunately, that Clif bar was the small, simple thing that wound up making a BIG…

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Watch For Tax Angles In A Divorce Agreement

This week’s post is by Wendy Knutson, CPA.

If you’re getting a divorce, you’ll have to work through a variety of financial issues governed by prevailing state law. But don’t overlook the federal income tax implications. Advance planning can be critical in the following areas:

Alimony vs. child support. Generally, payments designated as alimony in a divorce decree are deductible by the payer and taxable to the recipient. But the opposite is true for child support; the payments can’t be deducted by the payer and are tax-free to the recipient. Make sure that the decree accurately reflects your intentions.

Filing status. If you divorce before year-end, you must file your 2012 federal income tax return as an unmarried individual. Depending on your situation, you may fare better or worse as an unmarried filer. For instance, joint filers could be hurt by the “marriage penalty” if the income of the spouses are relatively equal. In that case, it may be advantageous to finalize the divorce before year-end.

Dependency exemptions.Generally, the parent who has custody of young children for most of the year is the one entitled to dependency exemptions for the children. However, a noncustodial parent may claim the exemptions if the custodial parent signs…

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How To Stop Negative Thoughts

A stop sign reminder to stop negative thoughts.

Last week, I had a song stuck in my head for the whole week! Just about every time I tuned into my background thoughts, there it was taunting me.

After a couple days, I’d finally had enough and I got serious about changing the radio station my subconscious was listening to. I decided to start using some of the same techniques I teach my divorcing clients when their mind gets stuck on a race track of negative thoughts.

Here are the steps for how to stop negative thoughts:

First I tried asking myself why this song was playing virtually non-stop in my head. My answers were that it is a bizarrely catchy tune and that it is pretty popular right now. So I’m hearing this song a lot right now in the real world in addition to hearing it in my head.

Being repeatedly exposed to the song isn’t the best for kicking it out of my head, so my next question was how can I limit my exposure to the song? I thought about avoiding the TV, radio, internet and my family and friends, but that didn’t turn out to be too practical. So, what I did instead was tell my family and friends that…

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