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Entries in Counseling Articles (39)
Shelley Stile ~ Life Coach/Divorce Recovery for Women
The way to recover and thrive after divorce is simple: Until you can release the toxic emotions surrounding your divorce, it is impossible for you to move forward in life and be happy. It takes enormous commitment and effort but it can be achieved. If you want to lead a new life that is both fulfilling and happy, you must let go of the negative emotions and thoughts that hold you back from creating a life you love. And guess what else? Who do you suppose pays the biggest price when it comes to toxic emotions? You.
During the divorce process, the negative emotions that you were already experiencing in your marriage go haywire! During times of crisis, our world appears to crumble and with it our concept of whom we are. Our mind chatter turns up the volume to deafening levels. We question everything. We feel emotions so intense that we often wonder if we will survive them. Anger, sadness, depression, rage, grief, resentment, bitterness, and confusion are some of the feelings we are hit with.
By Isaac Schaver, M.D.
Getting divorced is difficult. Getting clean is difficult. Getting both clean and divorced is downright painful! Yet, some people make it. If done for the right reasons, recovery from this "double whammy" can lead to a new and fulfilling life. I know from personal experience.
Let's take first things first, which means getting clean first. There can be no rational decisions, sound thinking, or good judgment while one is high or under the influence. A reasonable period of sobriety is a must before important decisions can be made.
So what does getting clean mean? And what does it take? Every user must ask him or herself the question, "Am I addicted?" (FACT: The substance can be alcohol, drugs, or any mood altering chemical that is assimilated into the body). How does one answer that question? The experts suggest a lot of answers, ranging from a detailed analysis of personal habits and patterns of behavior to "If you think you might be one, you probably are." Personally, I think that when someone continues to use in the face of negative consequences, one is addicted. If a person honestly answers "yes" to "Does using cause me difficulties?" and "no" to "Can I really stop when I want to," in my view, that individual is addicted.
By Dennis Rozema
Q. My husband and I have threatened divorce for years. I have stayed with him because I wanted my son, who is now 15, to have a two parent family. I am now seriously considering leaving my husband, and am wondering what kind of reactions I can expect from my son.
A. How your son will react depends a lot on your son and how he sees the divorce of his parents. Divorce is a loss and the same feelings of grief, anger, fear, and quilt that are felt with other losses are typical with divorce. Much of the research shows that boys tend to react more severely than girls, but more importantly, the severity of reactions depends mostly on how it is presented and then played out.
By Alvin B. Michaels, M.D., P.C.
My wife and I are contemplating divorce. We have arrived at this decision through the help of a marriage counselor, and have had our first consultation with a divorce attorney. We have a preschooler, and two children in middle school. We would like your advice on how to prepare our children for the family breakup. How should we tell them, and how much? How will we be able to tell if they're having trouble dealing with the change?
Divorce is very stressful for children of all ages, and it is helpful for parents to be aware of the impact of the divorce upon the child. Children react differently to divorce, and some of the differences are functions of the child's developmental age. Very young children often regress to younger ways of behaving and may give up recently achieved accomplishments such as toilet-training. Children often believe that they are responsible for the divorce, and can develop guilt feelings, as well as depression, anxiety, disturbances in eating and sleepingn, or physical symptoms. Trouble signs can take many forms. Some children may become more inhibited and quiet, while other children may manifest their distress in difficulties in doing school work, conflicts with teachers, or fighting with peers. The good news is that children can be resilient to family stresses, particularly in an emotional climate of honesty and support.
By by Janice G. Tracht, MSW, ACSW, BCD
The Dilemma of Parenting Through Divorce:How to Encourage Your Child's Relationship with Someone You Can't Stand Anymore!
As a therapist that treats families going through separation and divorce, the most perplexing issues that I am confronted with (or more accurately bombarded with), are problems that occur when children are stuck in the middle of divorced parents who can't stomach the sight of each other. Kids need both parents, (even though many going through divorce may think you need your ex-spouse like a hole in your head)! Most people in the field of psychology and childhood development feel that for a child to reach their maximum potential, input from both a mother and a father is necessary. Some of us are beginning to question this, however, when we see children who are stuck in the middle of horrendous conflict between their two parents.