Category Archives: Divorce Corner

Divorce Corner: Dear Cynthia

by Cynthia Battino

In this column Cynthia will answer your emotionally based and general questions about divorce. Cynthia is a life coach and energy worker who specializes in working with people considering, going through, or stuck after divorce. To ask Cynthia a question about divorce, you can email her at: cindy@transform-heal.com. You can also email Bliss Magazine: editor@blissmagazine.net

True Confessions from “Cynthia” of Dear Cynthia:

Learn from my mistakes: Downsize, downsize and downsize some more after divorce!

Dear Divorcing Men & Women:

White piggy bank with measuring tape on white background

A GREAT friend and divorce financial guru, Bonnie Sewell with American Capital Planning, preaches each month at Second Saturday about cutting back after divorce. “You have to go down before you can go back up.” She tells those that will listen that you must live on a budget and get rid of all that you can so your time line of rising back up to your previous financial state will be shorter – not longer. “Expect your financial ‘diet’ to be 3-5 years. Then your wealth will begin to increase again.” Why 3-5 years? Your expenses will be stabilized, you will have a better job and your income will begin to rise.

What will happen if you don’t downsize enough? Well, if you were the payee of the spousal support in your divorce, you will go through your money more quickly and it will most likely put you on a much slower trajectory to financial abundance and comfortable living.

My recommendation to all of you reading this important article is to suck up your ego and pride. Downsize, downsize and downsize some more! Move into something just big enough for you and your kids. Don’t buy. Rent. Go from your Acura or Audi to a Honda or a used Toyota. Sell your designer clothes and jewelry. Put this money away for months where you have extra expenses. Only buy clothes that are on sale. Forget Whole Foods and shop at Wegmans. Get a job with growth potential and start working your way up the ladder. If you choose to start your own business then cut down even more and get ready to hold on for a wild ride.

Work that budget!!! If you are the payee with spousal support, make a budget where you can put some of that money away each month. Create a financial timeline where you can live without this money as quickly as possible. This will shorten your overall timeframe to financial comfort and abundance substantially! Keep your eye on the goal – financial security.

Trust me. I know of what I speak. I went through the hundreds of thousands because I didn’t want to downsize more than I should have in the beginning. I am now on a positive trajectory, but I could have been on one MANY years ago. Learn from my Confessions!

Blessings


Cynthia Battino is a Life Coach, Healer & Separation/Divorce Specialist, author and speaker. Her company, Transformational Healing, specializes in working with people going through life crisis, specifically separation/divorce. She has written a healthy divorce workbook, You Were In Love, Once Upon A Time, which you can find on her website: www.transform-heal.com.

Divorce Corner: Dear Cynthia

by Cynthia Battino

In this column Cynthia will answer your emotionally based and general questions about divorce. Cynthia is a life coach and energy worker who specializes in working with people considering, going through, or stuck after divorce. To ask Cynthia a question about divorce, you can email her at: cindy@transform-heal.com. You can also email Bliss Magazine: editor@blissmagazine.net

Dear Cynthia:

I went from a full time mom before my divorce to now a working mom. Summer is coming and my children will be home all day. Without just shoving them onto their friends’ families, what can you suggest I do for care this summer? Sad Mom Missing Fun Summers

Dear Cynthia:

I am a newly divorced dad and I will have my kids for a few consecutive weeks in the summer. I can only take one week off for vacation. What do I do? Single, Summer Dad

Dear Sad Mom Missing Fun Summers & Single, Summer Dad:

This is an adjustment for all parents and kids who had a working parent and a full time caregiving parent. I have many suggestions and hope some of them work for you.

Happy African American Father and Mixed Race Son Playing with Paper Airplanes in the Park.

There are lots and lots of summer camps to choose from. There are art camps, sports camps, all around camps, horseback riding camps, tech and science camps (check out George Mason’s cool camps), and even cooking camps (Cookology and more). Find out what your kids love to do and book the weeks ASAP. The great camps fill up quickly. Don’t know what camps are in your area? Google it!

Want part or full time care? Put an ad at NOVA or George Mason. Look on Care.com or bring an au pair in from Europe to teach your kids a new language (aupairworld.com). Share a nanny with your ex or another person in your same boat. You can even put an ad in your HOA newsletter for just graduating seniors from high school who want to earn some money this summer. If you choose this route, make sure the sitters have lots of rules and tools. Make a list of all the things you would like your children to do, where they can, who they can spend time with. If your sitter has a driver’s license and you trust them, there is Washington, DC to explore, putt putt golf, batting cages, picnics, the Baltimore Acquarium, and the National Zoo – to just name a few.

No worries. Kids will still have lots of fun this summer if planned well and planned in advance! Get on your computers and let your fingers sprint across the keyboard to find the best camps and help for your kids this and every summer.

Blessings


Cynthia Battino is a Life Coach, Healer & Separation/Divorce Specialist, author and speaker. Her company, Transformational Healing, specializes in working with people going through life crisis, specifically separation/divorce. She has written a healthy divorce workbook, You Were In Love, Once Upon A Time, which you can find on her website: www.transform-heal.com.

Divorce Corner: Dear Cynthia

by Cynthia Battino

In this column Cynthia will answer your emotionally based and general questions about divorce. Cynthia is a life coach and energy worker who specializes in working with people considering, going through, or stuck after divorce. To ask Cynthia a question about divorce, you can email her at: cindy@transform-heal.com. You can also email Bliss Magazine: editor@blissmagazine.net

Dear Cynthia:

I want to get through my divorce as cheaply as possible. My wife and I have been married for 5 years, we don’t have children and we started our relationship as best friends. I have learned that there are many different routes I can take to get a divorce. Does it matter if we have been married 5 years or 50? How do I know who to hire and which route to take? Signed, Confused About How To Divorce

Dear Confused About How To Divorce:

Mid adult couple on the couch discussing something

The cheapest and easiest way to divorce is to sit at the kitchen table (or the local Starbucks) and hash out your divorce agreement. It doesn’t matter whether you have been married 5 or 50 years if you two understand your legal rights and finances. Unfortunately, this is not easy and many need help to negotiate the financial, custodial and legal quagmires. You are correct in that there are many routes you can take to get a divorce. You can do litigation, mediation or collaborative law. Most divorces eventually settle and don’t go to court. Going to court is the most emotionally traumatizing and financially draining way to divorce.

My initial recommendations are to first attend a Second Saturday panel to begin the process. Then have a paid one to two hour consult with a GREAT litigation attorney to fully understand your rights with regard to your unique case. By doing these two things, you will have more clarity around the divorce process – Knowledge is Power.

The two people getting divorced, their personalities, bad habits, and the issues around the divorce will usually decide which route you should choose to have a healthy and fair divorce outcome. In your case, if you two can agree on most things but have a few areas of conflict, I highly recommend mediation. You can either have your own attorneys mediate (more expensive), have a retired judge spend the day with you and your attorneys (even more expensive – but cheaper than going to court) to hash out the details, or you can hire a Court Certified Mediator to help you create the Agreement. It’s important to know that a mediator cannot give you legal advice (can’t say if what you are agreeing to is legally beneficial – or not – to you). I highly recommend that each of you hire your separate attorneys to review the Agreement before you sign on the dotted line.

Blessings


Cynthia Battino is a Life Coach, Healer & Separation/Divorce Specialist, author and speaker. Her company, Transformational Healing, specializes in working with people going through life crisis, specifically separation/divorce. She has written a healthy divorce workbook, You Were In Love, Once Upon A Time, which you can find on her website: www.transform-heal.com.

Divorce Corner: Dear Cynthia

by Cynthia Battino

Isolated green road sign on a white background

In this column Cynthia will answer your emotionally based and general questions about divorce. Cynthia is a life coach and energy worker who specializes in working with people considering, going through, or stuck after divorce. To ask Cynthia a question about divorce, you can email her at: cindy@transform-heal.com. You can also email Bliss Magazine: editor@blissmagazine.net

Dear Cynthia:

I was a stay at home mom during my 15 year marriage. I have had to find work and share my time with my children from a husband who didn’t take much interest in their lives when we were married. When my children come home from spending time with my soon-to-be-ex (STBE), I find myself getting very angry at the things that they say and did during this time. Their first few hours back are stressful and I am conflicted about how to handle what they say and how to react. My attorney has recommended that I interview the children and record all that we say so that I can prove that he is not a fit parent for 50/50 custody. When I try to do this, I find that we all become more anxious and upset and I become the mean parent in their eyes. I need the money from custody, I am angry that NOW he wants to spend time with them, he doesn’t parent them the way that is best, and I feel like I am the Ogre with the kids. Signed, Resentful that NOW He Wants To Be a Parent…

Dear Resentful that NOW He Wants To Be a Parent:

Divorce is messy, especially when it involves young children. My opinions on this matter will not win me many “friends” during the ugliness of divorce. However, my opinions stem from the painful experiences that have come from children of divorce – and their lasting trauma due to couples who divorce without keeping them insulated.

Become educated about how your children are emotionally affected during and after divorce. A great resource is from a local psychologist, Dr. Ed Farber, Raising The Kid You Love With The Ex You Hate. Dr. Farber is very clear how you and your STBE can emotionally harm or heal your children.

It’s your job to manage your attorney. You have the final say on the strategy your attorney chooses. Their job is to win you all that they can with regard to time, custody and finances. Your job is to rein them in, keep in mind your intention to insulate your children from the ugly divorce process, and to spend as little money as possible to achieve your goals.

I don’t agree with interrogating your children when they come home. Kids naturally tattle on their parents and this fuels anger. I know this is a difficult time, but try not to forget that YOU are the parent and they are the children. How you handle the divorce will have a direct correlation on how the two of you can co-parent in the future. Keep breathing and try to take the high road – for your children’s sake.

When you are upset, you are not clear. To find more clarity around this subject, ask yourself these questions:

  • Will my children come to any harm by spending more time with their other parent? Are they capable in other areas of their life that show they can become a good parent – even though they weren’t a good spouse to you?
  • Will my children benefit from having a stronger, deeper relationship with their other parent?
  • What am I willing to pay in trauma to my children and money to my attorney to get a different custody arrangement?

If you truly believe that spending time with their other parent is not beneficial to your children, have this opinion corroborated by a family therapist. You don’t want your bitterness/hatred against your STBE to be projected onto your children and hurt them in the long run.

Blessings


Cynthia Battino is a Life Coach, Healer & Separation/Divorce Specialist, author and speaker. Her company, Transformational Healing, specializes in working with people going through life crisis, specifically separation/divorce. She has written a healthy divorce workbook, You Were In Love, Once Upon A Time, which you can find on her website: www.transform-heal.com.