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

Dear Cynthia:

My husband and I are getting a divorce and due to financial restraints we are choosing to separate in the same house. The tension in the house is palpable and I am afraid it is affecting the children (I know it is affecting me). We do not talk and go days without making eye contact. We can’t talk about the divorce without getting into a screaming match. I am not sure how I can do this for a year and stay sane. What can I do?   Signed – Living Together and Hating It.

Dear Living Together and Hating It:

I can understand your frustration and anxiety at your situation. Living with your ex and children can be a recipe for disaster. I also lived with my ex during my divorce, and it certainly wasn’t easy. It all comes down to setting healthy boundaries and sticking by them every day.

First I would send your soon to be ex an email – if you can’t talk – and explain exactly what you said to me. I am sure he is feeling the exact same way. Let him know that you would like to make this separation more comfortable for you both and make the following suggestions:

  1. Create a chore chart. Who is responsible for what and when – including the children. Divvy up the chores that need to be done in and out of the house.
  2. Create a Schedule – What days will you need to use the laundry. What days does he want to use the laundry? Who will take the kids where and when? Who will cook for the kids when?
  3. Which spaces are off limits without asking permission – you should each honor each other’s personal space (at least bedrooms) and a knock or previous permission should be asked before entering.
  4. Only speak about the divorce in a public space away from the house. This insures that you both will need to contain your anger and behave like the adults you are and also insures the children will stay insulated from your divorce issues and emotions. Little ones have big ears.
  5. Arrange days/times each week to discuss the divorce.
  6. If either of you begin to get heated, call a time out and pick up the conversation another time when you both have cooled off and come back to center.
  7. If your home is large enough make sure you have your bedroom and another “free” living space for your tv, computer, etc. If your home doesn’t allow this, then you might want to add to the schedule or choose who (besides the kids) will watch tv and relax in the family room.
  8. Make your bedroom your sacred space. Repaint it. Add plants. Get new sheets and comforter. Make it yours. If you don’t have another place to relax, make this your place with a tv, computer, and anything else you might need to make it cozy for you.
  9. Make a promise to each other that you will at least be cordial. Treat each other the way you would a business associate…with respect and common courtesy. Remember what you are teaching your children – how do you treat someone you once loved…

It will be up to the two of you to make sure these boundaries stay in place. That will make the difference between an anxiety, angry separation and one that is cordial and doable for all parties. If you would like more suggestions around boundaries while living in-house, please purchase my book, You Were In Love, Once Upon A Time. It can be found on my website: www.transform-heal.com.


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 have gone to a Second Saturday workshop about divorce and am still a bit confused about who to hire. This is already an expensive process. Why do I need to hire a financial advisor AND a divorce attorney? Why do I need to hire someone for the emotional side of divorce? My friends and family will be good enough. By hiring additional people it seems to drive the cost of my divorce up even higher and I just DON’T have the money! Expensive Divorce – Not Me!

Dear Expensive Divorce – Not Me:

I can understand why it seems counter-intuitive to hire three divorce professionals when you are already scared about how much this process will cost with just an attorney. Here’s a quick answer to your questions.

By hiring a financial divorce professional (CFP plus CDFA) they can model for you and your attorney (and your soon to be ex’s attorney as well) how best to divide up the marital property and still keep everyone intact. Their goal is to make sure you can pay your bills on the day after your divorce and still be financially healthy five years later. This is what they do ALL day long, versus your attorney that specializes in the legal aspects of divorce. It will take the attorneys much longer to put together the financial part of your Property Settlement Agreement. More time and more expensive hourly rate equal you paying more overall.

By hiring an emotional coach for your divorce you will be able to make the decisions you need to make (about your finances, house and legal aspects) from a clear place. This is the place to work out all of your feelings and to get your feet under you in a way that you can look at the bigger picture of divorce. If you rely on friends and family, they will tend to fuel the emotional drama and trauma. They also give poor legal, financial and emotional advice. You will end up using your divorce attorney’s office as a therapeutic environment – which can be almost three times more than a therapist or coach! Finally, the decisions you make when you aren’t clear can lead to regrets on the other side of divorce.

Using your divorce dollars effectively can guarantee you will spend less money and time overall and incur less drama and trauma. Want a cheaper divorce? Hire your best team.


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

7456884 ChristmasIn 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:

It is the holiday season and this will be my first Christmas without my children. I am lost and depressed. I am not sure how I will get through this tough time. I can’t imagine a Christmas without my kids. Signed – Santa Stinks

Dear Santa Stinks:

I know how you feel. The first holiday I spent without my children was very depressing. I can recommend a few things to help you through this time. But, know, that you are allowed to be sad and grieve this loss of the holidays/traditions of the past in your life. Once you allow yourself to grieve the old ways you can move on to create NEW traditions for the many holidays to come.

I encourage you to sit with your children and come up with some new traditions around the holidays. Getting their input on everything from the meals, decorations, songs, movies, and even when you open presents. Preserve the best of what was and add in some new, fun ways to celebrate. Whether it’s different color lights, getting a real or fake tree, adding the kids favorite dish to the holiday meal, opening presents Christmas Eve or the day after Christmas, or having a holiday movie night – now is your chance to re-define your Christmas YOUR way.

Depending on the custody schedule, you can call, Skype or Face Time your kids when they are not with you. You can put a special card in your kids’ bags to open while celebrating with your ex. Whatever you do, don’t hermit and hide. Force yourself to get dressed and out of the house! It might be the last thing you want to do – but you will thank yourself later.

I will be thinking and praying for you and all the other parents who have just gone through divorce this holiday season.

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 have been unhappy in my marriage for many years. We have been to marriage/couples’ counseling without any positive, long lasting results. I would like to learn more about the divorce process and find out about my legal rights. I don’t know where to start. Signed – Sad & Confused Partner

Dear Sad & Confused Partner:

I honor your desire to do your research before you jump into the messiness of divorce. The first thing I would do is go to the closest Second Saturday panel in your area. Second Saturday is an organization that has a panel of professionals that volunteer their time to teach you the process of divorce. The panel usually includes a divorce attorney, divorce financial advisor, therapist or life coach and realtor. Some panels even have mediators, insurance advisors, and custody specialists. I currently speak on three panels locally and have been volunteering my time with Second Saturday for four years.

At Second Saturday you will receive a plethora of information about the divorce process. It is a place you can ask questions. Their goal is to help you so make clear decisions about your divorce. You will also find professionals on the panels that will be perfect people to hire and be on your support team during your divorce. I would recommend you go to a couple of different ones if you can – or go more than once to learn as much as you can – for a minimal cost. Knowledge is Power.

Dear Cynthia:

I am in the middle of my divorce and am very confused. I have hired an attorney that was recommended to me by a business associate. The information I am receiving from my attorney doesn’t match the advice I am getting from my family and friends who have also gotten divorced. Who do I listen to? My bills from my attorney are getting to be ridiculous. Signed – Too Much Conflicting Advice

Dear Too Much Conflicting Advice:

One of the mantras I have for my clients is to not take legal advice or look for emotional guidance from family and friends. Every divorce is unique and even though you think that your friend’s divorce is just like yours – I am sure it is not. You need to trust your attorney. Hiring your attorney is the most strategic decision that you will make. It is also a decision that is made for the wrong reasons and can be financially catastrophic.

Let’s start with some important questions: Did you interview two or three attorneys? Does your attorney appear on any of the Top Family Law lists in your local area? Does your attorney ONLY practice family law? How long have they been doing this work? Did you hire this attorney based on the fact that you liked them and they were the least expensive option? Did you hire this attorney because they would be able to strategically work with the bad habits of your soon to be ex? You said that this attorney was recommended by one business associate. Did this same name come up with anyone else you spoke with who has gotten divorced in the recent past? After answering these questions you might want to consider trusting the one you have hired or looking for another attorney. Just remember – the more you contact and question them the higher your bill become.

Family and friends tend to fuel the drama, trauma and cost of divorce. Hire a great attorney with a great reputation who has been practicing for a long time. Yes, this attorney will be more expensive per hour, but they will also get you through the process quicker and cost you less in the long run.