Articles Tagged with divorce recovery

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Carolyn Woodruff

Dear Carolyn,

I am the father of two children, ages 10 and 12.  The mother of the children lives in West Virginia, where she moved after our divorce. The children were born and always have lived in North Carolina. The North Carolina order for custody allows the children to travel to West Virginia for 5 weeks in the summer. Last year the mother did not return the children when she was supposed to at the end of the summer, and the court here held mother in contempt. She filed for custody in West Virginia last summer claiming fictitious abuse of one child, but that case in West Virginia was dismissed. Then, I got them back. I heard that this might be kidnapping under some federal law. Can you explain kidnapping and whether I have any right with regard to kidnapping if this happens this summer?

– Frustrated and Looking for Options

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Dear Carolyn,

I am a father of a beautiful 8-year-old daughter and a handsome 10-year-old son.  I live here, but the mother lives in California.  The mother has custody, but the children will be visiting with me for the last two weeks of July and the first two weeks of August. While I don’t have much time given the distance between the mother’s house and mine, I really want to make the time count that I do have.  I can take two of the weeks off from work, but I have to work two of the weeks.  What suggestions do you have?

– Dedicated Dad

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Dear Carolyn,

My heart is broken. The mother of my children has bad-mouthed me so much and talked about our nasty divorce to the children so much that the children won’t talk to me or visit with me. She has poisoned their minds. What can I do?

Carolyn Answers….

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Dear Readers, let me hear from you regarding prescription drug abuse and its effect on your family.  In the second Ask Carolyn today, I touch on the Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne divorce and Prince’s death.

Dear Carolyn,

I am a pilot going through a divorce.  My ex is holding my pilot log books hostage.  I have asked her nicely to please give me the log books, and she simply will not do so.  How do I get my log books back from here in this divorce? Does she have any “marital rights” in my log books?

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Divorce and its aftermath can be (and usually are) chaotic. Having kids and keeping track of all their things was tough enough, and now you have to coordinate your parenting with someone you may not even want to talk to, much less strategize with. And on top of it all, you have to manage everything on your own. Talk about a trial by fire.

Luckily for you, there’s an app for that. Or several. These apps can’t do it all for you, but they can make things easier.

SquareHub (Free)

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Whether you are a working parent or stay-at-home mom or dad, each role comes with a huge set of responsibilities. Being a family lawyer, I can only offer one perspective centered around achieving that work/family balance everyone always talks about. I’m not sure the perfect balance exists and have quickly learned that for me, it’s more of a day by day approach, kind of like March Madness – survive and advance. Below are some of the things I’ve learned along the way.

Be present. Whether you’re at work or at home, maximize your time at each by being present in the moment. When you’re at the office, try not to think of the disaster that is your house. When you’re at home, focus on enjoying family time and do your best to leave work at work.

There’s no place for guilt. Feeling guilty for missing time with your kids or feeling guilty for not being able to work late does nothing but cause more stress. There are so many things in life that cause us worry; this should not be one of them. Trust in yourself! It doesn’t matter if you work or stay home, your children look to you as their role model. They watch every move you make and listen to every word you say. Do not feel guilty for the role you have chosen as both provide your children with positive learning experiences!

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Tip #16 – Take yourself on a date and learn to love your own company.Divorce Recovery Tip 16

Dates are a way of spending quality time with the person you love, which reinforces your bond with that person. When we go on a date with someone, we learn new things about them, create shared memories, and cultivate our love for one another. Why shouldn’t we do the same with ourselves?

Going on a date with yourself is a solitary activity – it gives you time to be who you are on your own, to pursue your interests, and to get back in touch with your innermost thoughts and desires. You might be picturing yourself alone at a candlelit table, but it doesn’t need to be anything that cheesy. Try going to an art museum, taking a scenic hike, or watching the sunset. Any activity is fine, so long as it leaves room for contemplation – put your phone away just like you would on any other date!

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Tip #11 – Take time to enjoy the little things.

Divorce Recovery Tip 11
We often get bogged down by our worries, fears, and responsibilities. Remind yourself to take a moment to get out of your head – to breathe and really experience the life you’re living. Don’t allow your stress to rob you of simple pleasures.

Practicing mindfulness can be a valuable tool in reducing this stress and enabling you to truly live. You can start practicing anywhere – just take a moment to refocus yourself on the present. Pay attention to your senses and the information they give you, and allow yourself to observe the world around you without needing to react. It’s ok to go back to autopilot afterward, but try to switch it off every now and then.

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Today is the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., a figure who needs no introduction. Fifty-five years since his famous speech, we are continuing to move towards King’s dream of “a nation where [we] will not be judged by the colour of [our] skin but by the content of [our] character.”

It isn’t just the speech that makes King stand out, however. In addition to being a powerful speaker, King was a champion of nonviolent activism. Tactics such as sit-ins sought to capture the public’s attention and force them to be aware of the discrimination occurring in racially-segregated restaurants. One of the strengths of a non-violent approach is that any retaliatory action on the government’s part just makes the protestors easier to support – they appear as underdogs suffering under the iron fist of big brother. Perhaps the best summary of nonviolent activism is simply Marc Riboud’s photograph of an anti-war protestor offering a flower to a soldier.

marc-riboud-usa-004

Marc Ribaud, “Jeune fille à la fleur (variante),” October 21, 1967.

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Tip #6 – Exercise boosts your mood. Go for a jog or bike ride when you feel overwhelmed.

Exercise isn’t just for getting in shape – it also can help you to regulate your mood better. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, which are chemicals that trigger pleasant feelings in the body and reduce sensations of pain. Endorphins also can help combat depression, anxiety, and stress – all things you may be struggling with after a divorce.

If you’re really exercise-averse, you can find ways to be active that aren’t traditional exercises. Go for a walk downtown, explore a natural park, or try out a dance class.