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Month: April 2024

April 2024

Divorce Survival Guide for Those Over 50

According to recent statistics, approximately 25% of U.S. divorces involve couples over the age of 50.   The incidence of what has become known as “gray divorce” has risen drastically over the past decade, but there are ways you can survive — and even thrive — if you keep these tips in mind: Prepare emotionally and legally.  Even if you have been married for decades, do not expect that you will be treated with the same care you experienced during your marriage by the person you are divorcing.  Divorce is always challenging, so be sure you find a good divorce attorney
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The Last Thing

“I agree with the parenting plan for our son and the child support amount.”  Pause.  “I agree with receiving half of the retirement accounts and home equity.”  Pause.  “I agree with how the debt has been distributed and it is fair.”  Pause.  “But I want the snow blower.” If I had a snow blower for every time negotiations in a divorce action came to a screeching halt over an item of personal property, I could pass them around like Oprah at Christmas.  “You get a snow blower, and you get a snow blower – snow blowers for everyone!” Although it
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What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order?

To divide many types of retirement accounts in a divorce, federal law requires that special court orders called Qualified Domestic Relations Orders be submitted and approved by the court. This order, referred to as a QDRO, provides instructions to a retirement plan administrator on how to divide funds from a retirement account after a divorce becomes final. Obtaining a QDRO is often a necessary and critical step in the divorce process. What types of retirement accounts need a QDRO to be divided? The most common types of retirement accounts that require a QDRO are 401(k)s, 403(b)s, pension plans, and federal
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Single Parent Seesaw

I looked at the month ahead.  Wait. Is that a mistake, I wondered.  Three weekends in a row I had marked down “girls” in my calendar.  Just the thought perked me up.  3 weekends in a row!  Simultaneously a shift and a gift!  My feet danced a little in my shoes as I felt the irresistible urge to jump around and bring my fist down in a triumphant “yes!” I remembered that my former spouse was going on vacation and the result was 3 weekends in a row for me, followed by 3 weekends in a row for him.  As
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Translating Legalese

Law has its own language. Here’s some you may encounter during your divorce. Affidavit: A written statement of facts made under oath and signed before a notary public. Affidavits are used primarily for court hearings. Instead of listening to live testimony, judges may rely on the sworn statements they receive via affidavits. Affidavits may be signed by the parties or, in some cases, by witnesses. The person signing the affidavit may be referred to as the affiant. Bailiff: The bailiff provides support for the judge and lawyers in the management of the court calendar and the courtroom. He or she
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Taking the Cake

“It’ll keep for a few days, won’t it?” they ask.  My eyes get big. I smile nervously.  “What’s wrong?” they ask.  “I’m not sure I can be trusted with it,” I say.  The last quarter of the delicious dense spice cake with thick buttercream frosting sat on the pink stand with a pedestal.  If it stayed within my sight, I knew that in a matter of a few days —or possibly a few hours—-I could polish it off with ease. With a hot cup of chai or a cool glass of milk, it would be my perfect breakfast, snack, or
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Preservation Paradox

We woke early with our mission in mind.  On this misty morning, we found the tide reaching as far back into the ocean as possible.  We walked quickly on the smooth, sand-soaked surface to discover this spot of local magic.  Here in the tiny town of Neskowin, Oregon (population 134) – just past Proposal Rock – we ventured to Ghost Forest. Ghost Forest reveals the remnants of an ancient spruce forest.  It is presumed that the trees were likely abruptly lowered due to an earthquake and then were covered by mud from landslides or debris from a tsunami.  The forest reappeared in
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How Your Social Media Habits Can Impact Your Divorce

One thing that couples divorcing only a decade ago didn’t have to take into consideration was their social media habits.  Today, with the vast majority of Americans living their lives out loud online, social media can be a virtual minefield when it comes to divorce.  Don’t supply evidence against you. Once your divorce is initiated, it’s possible that your spouse and his or her attorney may seek out your social media pages for potential evidence in your case. This is why you need to be very careful about what you post.  When posting, remember your ultimate intentions for your case. 
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Locked Out, Not Alone

I pull on the car door handle. Locked. I try the passenger door. Locked, too. I peer inside and see the small red purse containing my keys sitting right beside my bag of frozen fish and bunch of fuchsia tulips. I feel the familiar ache in my gut— the one I get when I can’t solve my problem alone and I’m to blame for the cause of it. Someone was about to be inconvenienced because of. my thoughtlessness, carelessness, or sheer stupidity. My loathing of being a bother is so great that I once walked for miles in my party
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Featuring Fun

I couldn’t catch my breath.  I was in a public place and tears were streaming down my face.  The threat of urinating on myself was real.  I could not stop laughing.  It came wave after therapeutic wave – the fits of giggles in between the gasps for air. When I think back to the four days I recently spent in New Hampshire with two of my dearest friends since age 12, what I most remember is the laughter:  tons of it – days of it – literally stomach hurting from it.  I felt alive, refreshed, and so happy. Traci and
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