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Category: Doing Divorce

Angela Dunne provides practical advice based on real examples of what she and her clients have faced through the transition of divorce.

Category: Doing Divorce

Angela Dunne provides practical advice based on real examples of what she and her clients have faced through the transition of divorce.

Birthday Bygones

I woke up with a jump-start.  I showered, shaved, and slathered on my favorite smelling lotion.  Despite day 41 of sheltering in place, I was determined.  It was my birthday.  I LOVE birthdays!  I was going to make this day feel as pre-pandemic as possible – and the next day.  My newly minted sixteen-year-old and I share back-to-back birthdays. For her milestone day with no driving to be done – I was on a magic making mission. The day started with a sweet delivery from my dear friend – literally a box full of treats from the best bakery in
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Real, Raw, and Restless

I broke down in front of my girls.  Now it was my turn to cry under the stress of it all.  It was Easter.  No family gathering.  A pre-made rather than homemade meal was planned.  The girls’ Easter baskets were empty for the first time in history because the gift I planned to give was on back-order due to high demand under the pandemic (it wasn’t toilet paper – it was a gaming system). Then my girls were being playful and reciting what Easter would “normally” be like.  Their grandparents and uncle would be over for dinner.  Their aunt and
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Seeking Sense Part 3: A COVID-19 Co-Parenting Series

Backpack-bound and smiling, my girls pierced the silent serenity of my car talking over each other and fussing over who would sit shotgun as we pulled away from their dad’s house.  They were instantly chattering about the topic of the day – the topic now of every day – coronavirus.  We hit the highlights:  How was Susan’s son who lives in New York City?  Are grandma and grandpa being safe when they go to the grocery store?  Did I hear the annual Okoboji soccer tournament was canceled and Sophia would miss her last year?  Has Traci (our ER nurse friend
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The Good, Bad and Ugly – Part 2: A COVID-19 Co-Parenting series

“I don’t want to go to Dad’s.  I have all of my school stuff here and I don’t want to pack it up.”  I knew it would come.  Last week was “I can’t wait to go” and this week it was bemoaning the same fact.  Co-parenting during COVID-19 continues. This week in my lawyer role, we saw the good, bad, and the ugly in co-parenting surface. I used to say that divorce sometimes brings out the worst in parents.  Now I know better.  Divorcing during a pandemic beats that by a mile. The Good For the most part, parents continue
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Trying On Trust: A COVID-19 Co-Parenting Series

“I can’t wait to go to Dad’s!!  HE will let me go to my friend’s house.”  Despite all the instructions not to, both of my hands instinctively went to my face and pulled my eyes and cheeks downward.  And here it was – co-parenting during COVID19. My eldest daughter and I had just traveled over her spring break from school right at the onset of the pandemic breaking.  My youngest had gone to Washington D.C. for a pre-planned school trip during the same time period.  As the news was breaking around us, I knew that we potentially could have been
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Substitute Spouses

It was a startling statement.  “You need to go to the hospital right now for a CT scan to rule out stroke.”  I blinked without focusing and shook my head in disbelief.  I had arrived at my doctor’s office with the confidence that she would give me an antibiotic to alleviate my self-diagnosed sinus infection (despite no actual symptoms).  How else could I explain the pain in my head and the blind spots I was having in both eyes?  A Google search had indicated it could be a sinus infection… I arrived at the hospital gripping the referral sheet –
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Hard Holidays

It was so much harder than I expected. I had successfully navigated the Christmas holidays all seven years prior as a divorced parent with my two young daughters.  Now, in my 8th year as a divorced parent, the Christmas season was upon us.  Their dad made a request to take the girls away for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I cannot explain my response in any other way than I thought it was the right thing to do.  I said yes. Their stepmother’s father had passed earlier in the year.  As the first holiday season approached after his passing,
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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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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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Absent

There was a hole on the wall.  She stared at it with the tears coming anew.  This hole was not the kind that needed spackling and sanding, but the kind that needed time and space to replace the vacancy.  She had just taken down the wedding portrait of her son and now former daughter-in-law.  The divorce decree had been signed and the woman who had frequented their kitchen table would now be permanently absent. There are similar hallways in houses we have all been in.  Black and white photos of founding family members, baby pictures never being replaced to the
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