Articles Tagged with divorce recovery

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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 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.

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We started our divorce recovery tip series to provide advice in an easily-digestible format, but sometimes we can’t say everything we want to in one image. This blog series will expand on our tips and provide some extra insight into the divorce recovery process.

Tip #1 – Take time each week to pamper yourself.

After divorce, we don’t often feel great about ourselves. We may wonder why it happened, what we did wrong, or what’s wrong with us. And while we may know that there’s nothing wrong with us, knowing that doesn’t always make us feel better.

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Dear Carolyn,

The ex-wife of my new husband is constantly calling my cell phone, following me in my car, and making faces at me at the children’s soccer game.  I get texts from her calling me names.  She even threatened to come to my work. I feel intimidated.  Can I get a 50B for domestic violence and harassment?


Carolyn Answers:

You may be able to get a 50-C, not a 50-B. A 50-B is a domestic violence protection order that can be obtained if you have certain types of relationships with the defendant.  Unfortunately, 50-Bs do not cover relationship problems between a former wife and a new wife.  Typically, 50-B relationships are romantic relationships or parent-child type relationships.

You are eligible to get a 50-C against your husband’s ex-wife.  Essentially, a victim (you) under the 50-C statute:  “Victim.—A person against whom an act of unlawful conduct has been committed by another person not involved in a personal relationship with the person as defined in G.S. 50B-1(b).”  G.S. 50C-1(8).

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Jennifer A. Crissman, Attorney, Woodruff Family Law Group

          One thing that parents from all walks of life can commiserate over is the struggle to find child care. If you are a new parent, expecting your first child, new to the area, or just considering a change in care, there is a lot to consider when choosing a child care provider. There are several crucial criteria to keep in mind when searching for a daycare or preschool: curriculum, ratings, and your gut.


          Some daycares are just that – care for the child during the day. At the daycare, there may be a schedule for naps, feeding, and playtime, but no set curriculum. What differentiates a daycare from a preschool is the curriculum. While it may sound ludicrous, it is important that all children (yes, even infants) have a curriculum. So, when I first heard of this concept, all I could picture was a child who could barely speak taking a pop quiz on shapes, colors and the alphabet. But this is not what curriculum is all about.

The primary purpose of a curriculum is to identify when teachers should be introducing new concepts, tasks, and challenges to your child at certain developmental milestones. For example, if your child is having trouble walking and is frequently stumbling then the curriculum would address your child’s gross motor skills. Teachers can provide the child with uneven surfaces to walk on or navigate to help your child’s balance and coordination develop. A curriculum is just a plan to help your child grow, and as a parent, you should never feel nervous asking a potential provider for a copy of their curriculum.


          Parents who have a child already enrolled in a facility are likely familiar with the star rating system in North Carolina. The North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education developed a star rating system for licensed facilities to help parents quickly identify the standards their provider is meeting. The star ratings range from one to five, with five stars being the highest rated licensed facilities. Facilities earn their stars based on their staff education and their program standards. The state also has a website where parents can search for a provider in their county and refine by special requirements. A link to this site is provided at the bottom of this article.

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By Sarah Andrew, Blog Writer, Woodruff Family Law Group

s.andrew headshotWhen I think of Friendsgiving, I think of my first attempt at baking pumpkin muffins. I remember my joy at having an excuse to try out my roommate’s fancy stand mixer, my panic at using so much butter at once, the brisk three-block walk to my friend’s apartment, in ill-advised boots, with the warm bowl nestled between my gloves. Steam rising from homemade food is such a cozy thing, even when you’re not jaunting about in the cold.

Maybe you’re feeling more cold than cozy this year. It’s the first major holiday since your divorce, or it’s your ex’s turn to celebrate Thanksgiving with the kids. You could visit your parents and extended family, but you have a news feed’s worth of evidence that dinner will devolve into a political knock-down-drag-out before you can even request the salt. Here’s the beautiful thing about Friendsgiving: Friends. Sanity. Casual, low-stakes discourse over a meal everyone makes together, in one kitchen or in several. If someone gets too mouthy, you can kick him out without worrying that you’ll be left out of the will.

So how do you plan for the ideal Friendsgiving?

First, start a group chat with a few people in your same—or a similar—boat. Suggest a menu with the basics, from the bird to veggies to dessert, and let everyone choose what they’d like to contribute. Maybe everyone wants to cook together at your place. Maybe they’ll cook at home and carry their dishes over. Maybe they’ll secretly buy a pie from Harris Teeter and transfer it to their great-grandmother’s china. Great! If you tend to be a perfectionist, stop and take a deep breath. It’s okay if every item isn’t vegan and gluten-free. Make sure people are aware of potential allergens—and you eliminate cross-contamination by shared utensils— and they’ll eat what they can eat, until they physically can’t anymore.

Have games and icebreakers ready. Perhaps you’re lucky enough that the members of your various social circles already know each other. Even if that’s the case, who doesn’t love games? Go around and let people share their favorite Thanksgiving memory, or funniest-in-retrospect Thanksgiving argument. Have a few games at your disposal, too: Trivial Pursuit, Last Word, and of course Apples to Apples are always popular choices. Continue reading →

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Diana Westrick, Legal Assistant, Woodruff Family Law Group

*This blog has practical wisdom and is not intended as legal advice.

Diana WestrickWe have all been there: something upsetting, traumatizing, and devastating occurs, and we look to those around us for comfort and support.  You know, someone who is willing to nod silently while we vent.  Now, be honest, how often does that actually happen?  The art of “listening” seems foreign to most people, despite their best intentions.  Instead, you get advice.

Don’t get me wrong; sometimes you actively seek input from other people, specifically those closest to you and your particular situation. Yet, most often, the advice seems to come in unsolicited form and only seems to add to the stress of the situation.  As a prime example, here is my advice to you that you should accept and apply whole-heartedly:  Don’t take advice.

After a separation, divorce, custody battle, or even an impending marriage, people will try to tell you what you should do. Continue reading for some of the most common post-breakup “wisdom” people like to dish out and how to respond without kicking them in the shins (while it is always an option, and may be satisfying, it is not recommended).

Scenario #1 – They didn’t really love you anyway; I saw this coming.

Desired Response:

Oh, really? You knew my 10-year marriage was doomed for failure while you helped yourself to the open bar at our wedding?  I’m glad you kept that to yourself!

Hindsight is always 20/20, except when it is not.  Some people gain satisfaction thinking that they can predict the future.  The gloating, itself, apparently is not enough; they need to share it with everyone.  Hence, bad advice.  No one knows your relationships like you do, and despite looking from the outside in, others can only speculate to the truth of your experiences.  So how do you react to these know-it-alls?  Stand your ground and assertively let them know their words are not tolerated.

Recommended Response:

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By Amy Setzer, Legal Assistant, Woodruff Family Law Group

AmyWhen you become newly divorced, a funny thing happens: everyone in Greensboro gets in line to provide (mostly unsolicited and sometimes contradictory) advice on how to move on with your life. It’s a remarkable phenomenon, indeed; all of a sudden you’re surrounded by expert attorneys and therapists. However well-meaning those folks may be, there’s something none of them can help you recover, and that’s your ability to trust.

I suppose you can count me as one of those amateur psychologists too.  Being divorced myself, I usually write about my own experience—I share things that helped me get through my own breakup and the aftermath that was my life in the months following.  For weeks I’ve been trying to write an article—this article—about how to recover faith in people, only to get stuck and give up. I could not for the life of me understand why it was so hard. I mean, I found my ability to trust again, so how come I couldn’t explain how to do it?

I tooled around on Google for a while to get some perspectives.  Let me tell you, the number of editorials on this subject is overwhelming.  Many of them actually do have step-by-step instructions. But none of them made sense to me. I don’t think there is a standard set of directions. That’s why I had so much difficulty with the topic.

I can give suggestions on how to communicate with your ex or share ideas to help you think positively.  Those issues can be tackled by suggesting some small, concrete lifestyle modifications.  Trust isn’t like that. It isn’t exactly built upon anything. It’s not consistent or steady. It’s not an emotion either-no exercises can create it or alleviate it. It’s not a way of life.  I don’t think a few quick tips organized into a quippy blog will help you feel good about putting your eggs in someone else’s basket.

So how do you help someone get it back? How did I get it back?

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Diana WestrickBy: Diana Westrick, Legal Assistant, Woodruff Family Law Group

Ok, you get to choose which unofficial holiday you celebrate in the month of June: Old Maid’s Day or National Hug your Cat Day.  For those that have pet allergies, neither of these options may seem too exciting.  However, try to consider the underlying point of which I’m trying to reach: you may be single, but you do not have to be alone.  Pets are a wonderful option for those overcoming the life change of a separation, divorce, or shared custody.  Not only are these fuzzy beings willing to offer unconditional love, despite your marital status, but they may offer you the comfort and affection that may be void, but intently needed.

I have two and a half cats (the half being a foster), and I cannot tell you how many times these fuzz balls get on my nerves to the point I want to shut them in a different room. Yet, I don’t.  Why?  Because while these balls of fluff do not understand the concept of personal space, they are only invading my bubble because they want to show me affection.  Not to mention, it’s hard to stay upset with their adorable faces.

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By Kristina Pisano, Blog Writer, Woodruff Family Law Group

I know it is a bit strange, a divorce party? They are currently trending in popularity, but think about it. Different major events in your life, graduations, birthday, weddings, and retirements are all celebrated. If you went through a messy divorce, wouldn’t you want a chance to celebrate surviving and coming out a better person? A friend of mine had a “Celebration of a New Chapter” party a few years ago. It was after a divorce from her husband of 5 years who she found out was cheating on her with her close friend. It tore her apart emotionally and financially, but she now realizes how much better off she is now that she is isn’t with someone who could break their marriage vows. She had a simple celebration, pot luck style with her closest friends. She even had a cake that she cut and served to everyone. It made her feel like she could surround herself with her true friends and family and celebrate the new chapter in her life. It was a success!

Not everyone could hold a divorce party. Sometimes it is not appropriate or it just might be too painful. Here are some fun ideas for those who want to have an extravagant event, or for those who want to have a simple and personal celebration.

Go Fancy! Go big or go home and celebrate YOU! Choose a venue space, colors, a theme and dinner. It’s almost like preparing for a wedding, but instead you get to make the decisions without the nagging of your ex-mother in law. Get a DJ to dance the night away, have a bartender make fun theme inspired cocktails and go all out. Invite your closest friends who got you through this divorce as well as your family. Most of the time families need to celebrate your divorce because they were just as close to your ex as you were. It would be very inappropriate to invite your children. Plan the party around a weekend the kids are with your ex and just celebrate you!

Girls Weekend! We all have been to a bachelorette/bachelor party to celebrate the soon to be Mr. & Mrs.’s last night out as a single person. Why not celebrate officially being single and ready to mingle? Go bar hopping around town with a limo, spend a weekend at a winery in the mountains or head to the beach. You can always stay close to home and have a good old fashion sleepover with your friends and watch chick flicks, eat popcorn and gossip all night. Your best friends know how to have fun, so they will enjoy celebrating your new change in life. Continue reading →