Getting a Divorce is stressful. Here are some articles to help.

Browse Articles on the topic of Getting a Divorce

Divorce on the upper east side

What’s Different About Divorce on the Upper East Side?

Wealth, luxury, affluence . . . these are words that often come to mind when thinking about Manhattan’s UES.  A unique neighborhood with a culture all it’s own, everything is different — or so some people think — when you reside here.  Christopher Cameron of Luxury Listings Magazine asks SAS if divorce on the Upper East Side is different for women, too. And while we think divorce is hard no matter where you call home, for a peek into how things can go particularly “imperfectly” in 10028, read our interview.

For more information on SAS for Women™ and our divorce coaching program, or how to divorce and lesson the pain for you and your children, visit our divorce coaching page or schedule your free consultation.

Finding light in your divorce story

New York Times: “How to Divorce” is Changing for Women

The “newspaper of record,” the New York Times is shedding light on how to divorce and how it’s changing. Women are no longer navigating it alone in a desperate, anxiety-ridden journey. Allying themselves with a partner, a team, a tribe, women are moving through this major life-challenge differently.

Read about SAS — but what’s more — our friend Elise Pettus, founder of UNtied (— the women’s divorce-support community you should definitely join if you live in the NYC area) in Penelope Green’s NYTimes piece, A New Cadre of Experts Helps Women Navigate Their Divorces.

For more information on SAS for Women™ and our divorce coaching program, or how to divorce and mitigate the pain for you and your children, visit our divorce coaching page or schedule your free consultation.

 

8 Things Divorced Moms Want Divorcing Moms to Know

Does it seem like your life will never, ever get better? With each day and each new challenge you face, does it feel like every single solution centers on you? How can you possibly tackle all of these challenges, when you don’t know the first thing about what you are doing right now? You are getting divorced and the sky is falling.

Take a breath and think about what these divorced moms want you to know right now:

1. Don’t freak out

That’s right, you don’t know or understand everything that is going on. It’s normal that you are afraid. But don’t panic. Get educated. Find out what your rights are. Knowing what your choices are makes you feel more in control.

As divorced mom Lisa explains, “Education is power. When I look back I realize I was afraid of everything I couldn’t answer—and that was a lot! I tormented myself with horrible scenarios of how the kids and I would end up. It wasn’t until I faced my fears and started to investigate what was real and possible that I began feeling better.”

“Life was not going to be easy or simple, but it was never going to be as bad as I imagined it. And guess what? Now, eight years out, my life now is better than I ever could have imagined it.

“Go online and find out about divorce in your state,” suggests Susan, a high-functioning professional and mother to two. “Make a list of questions and meet with a mediator, lawyer, or collaborative law attorney, so each one can tell you how you might get your divorce done and what it will cost. Talk with a financial advisor, too, because money is the Number 1 scariest thing for all of us.”

2. Don’t do it alone

“Doing it alone, because I was ashamed of what I would look like, is precisely what kept me spinning in a bad marriage for years!” says Maddie. “I hate to say it, but I was a master at lying to myself. Just when I thought I could take it no more, my Ex would do something that would make me stop and hope all over again. When our marriage cycled down again, as it always did, I hated myself, for the fool I was for still being there. It wasn’t until my best friend called me out that things changed,” Maddie adds. “She asked me, what the hell was wrong with me? How long was I going to keep living like this? This was like her clobbering me on the head. She was right, and I was embarrassed then, for what I looked like, for staying.”

Getting perspective and hearing from someone else as they reflect on your circumstances is powerful. However, this person shouldn’t be just anybody. Find somebody you respect and trust. Better yet find a professional who will listen to you objectively; a divorce coach who will help you do something or a therapist with no agenda and who can make suggestions that will help you climb your way out. “Divorce,” says Maddie, “is not just about finding a lawyer, it’s about reinventing your life. It’s about you deciding who you want to be now that you have no more excuses, no one else to blame. It’s about growing up.”

3. Create boundaries

With your Ex, you will always have your children in common; but that does not mean it’s the “same old, same old” in terms of communicating and interacting with your Ex. Things are different now.

Don’t let your Ex intimidate you anymore, or sometimes more subtle, take advantage of your guilt and confusion over doing things the “right way.”

“When my husband and I first separated,” explains Keisha, “I wanted my kids to be the least affected possible. So when my husband would bring them back from the weekend on Sundays, I knew the kids would be hungry, and I would make dinner for everybody—just like old times. He would join us. He started taking it for granted that I would always serve him food. Sometimes he’d complain about a dish. Eventually, I realized this was masochism! I was tolerating, even entertaining a man in my home after he had left me! I was acting like it was business as usual, when it was really killing me seeing him. I wanted to be an adult and rise above it, but what I needed was space away from him, so I could heal and stop being reminded of him. Now, he’s learned, for the time being, he can’t just send me random texts, for example, and expect me to respond like I used to when we were husband and wife. If he has something important to say, it goes in an email for when I can read and respond to it. As for limiting our seeing each other, he drops the kids off at the front door and understands he is not welcome inside. Outside, in public, I try to be civil and sit with him at school events or our kids’ birthday parties, but my home is mine. It’s not his to visit or relax in. The moment I created boundaries, my life started uncluttering. I started focusing on me and my needs. I stopped hearing him and started listening to me.”

4. Don’t seek to REPLACE him—face yourself

“Listen, chances are, it was not just his fault your marriage failed. What did you do to contribute to its downfall? How will you avoid the same pitfalls in your future?” These are the big questions Charlotte, a divorced mom to four children thinks you should ask. “Are you investing in you now? Are you doing work on yourself? I’ve got a girlfriend,” says Charlotte, “who’s been married three times. Each time she’s either left her husband for somebody else or she’s immediately hooked up with somebody who becomes her husband when the previous relationships failed. She’s afraid to face herself is my guess, like a little girl. She’s never spent anytime alone but turns to others to fill the void. She’s in a constant repeat cycle and then she’s surprised when it doesn’t work out.”

“Breaking up is extremely painful, especially when you have kids,” Charlotte adds. “God do I know it. But part of my redemption and growth has been being with the pain and loneliness. It’s about feeling the feelings and not just pushing them under a rug.”

5. Do something

As alone as you might feel, as bad as you think your kids have it, there’s another woman out there who has a worse divorce tale. “Go to a support group for women,” suggests Melanie, a divorced and single mother to a 14-year-old boy. “Meet your friend who got divorced years ago, and ask her again, what went wrong. Listen to their stories. What can you learn? Get over yourself and do something to change your circumstances. Maybe it’s just baby steps, like going to that support group, or meeting with a lawyer to find out your rights.”

“But do something. And if you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your kids.”

6. Use your kids

“For years, I was staying in a horrible marriage for the children. I thought I was the only one suffering. I reasoned if I was the only one hurting than I could justify staying because the kids had, what I thought, a good life,” said Annie, a mother to two teenage daughters. “But the day I heard my kids parroting the way my husband spoke to me … they were no longer these precious, innocent little lambs, but these teens who were insulting and disrespectful toward me, I realized this was my fault. I was allowing a dysfunctional model to rule our house. What was worse, I worried what kinds of choices would my girls make for mates because of the pathetic role model I had become. This is what caused me to actually seek a divorce. It was no longer about me. Now it was about the damage clearly impacting my kids.

If you can’t find the strength to save yourself, think about how your kids may be suffering, internalizing, or modeling your behavior. Harness that deep, primal power to do the right thing for them, and it will lead to the right thing for everybody.

7. Learn about money

“You need to learn what is coming in and what is going out. Create a budget, even if you are like I was, and never had a budget before,” urges Debra. When you start understanding the basics, you will understand what you need for child support and/or alimony and where you will have to cut back. Don’t ignore the financial or waive your rights just to be done with the divorce. Your decisions now have long-term impact on how you and the children are going to live for a long time. If you don’t understand, find someone to teach you.

8. You can’t see it, but it’s there

You can’t know your silver lining in advance, but there is one. Everyone is afraid of change, and going through a divorce is a major life change. You deserve to feel terrified. But today is not your forever. Eventually, you will realize there are unpredicted benefits you never imagined.

“One of my greatest revelations is finding me,” says Sophie, a French woman who is now one year past signing her divorce decree.

“I don’t have to spend time anymore trying to please him. I did not realize how hard I worked trying to make him happy, and he just never was. Today, I spend that time on me and my children. And to be honest, I love what I am finding in the mirror. She’s new, but also familiar. I don’t know everything about her yet, but she’s real, and now, she’s talking to me straight.”

Since 2012, smart women around the world have chosen SAS for Women to partner them through the emotional, financial, and oft times complicated experience of divorce. Schedule your free 45-minute consultation with SAS. Tell us confidentially what’s going on and we’ll give you black & white feedback, resources and suggestions for your next steps (regardless of your working further with us or not). Our goal is to help flatten your learning curve so you can move on to your better chapter.

Understand Your Divorce Attorney: A Glossary of Legal Terms

Sometimes do you feel that the kind of divorce help you need means hiring a translator? Do your eyes glaze over as soon as your divorce attorney starts talking?  Does it sound like s/he is speaking Latin? You aren’t alone. Divorce is complicated and the law does have a very specific language. But that doesn’t mean you can’t figure out what it all means. Just like you might use a travel guide to help you communicate in a foreign country, you can decipher the language of divorce using this helpful glossary written by the American Bar Association.

 

The Language of Divorce. (Click image to view or print)

Glossary of legal terms related to divorce

 

Poor Little Rich Women?

As a working Upper East Side mother (and for many years before, residing there as stay at home mom) I read with amusement Wednesday Martins’ recent New York Times essay on her culture shock in living among the moneyed mothers of this demographic. I say “amusement” as in the same kind of titillation I derive (but try to deny) watching an episode of “Gossip Girls,” or the “Real Housewives” of any city. We want to believe, as F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “that the rich are different.”

But let’s be clear, Dr. Martin’s piece — published a week in advance of the release of her new book Primates on Park Avenue — does not advance our conversation on what modern women need to know about marriage, mothering, and attaining self-fulfillment. It’s a distraction, pitting women against women.

Here’s Dr. Martin, a mother and an anthropologist by training, describing “the tribe” she encounters when she moves to Manhattan’s Upper East Side:

 I met the women I came to call the Glam SAHMs, for glamorous-stay-at-home moms, of my new habitat. My culture shock was immediate . . . to discover that the most elite stratum of all is a glittering moneyed backwater.

. . . .The women I met, mainly at playgrounds, playgroups and the nursery school where I took my sons were mostly 30-something with advanced degrees from prestigious universities and business schools. They were married to rich, powerful men, many of whom ran hedge or private equity funds; they often had three or four children under the age of 10. . . .. (A)nd they did not work outside the home.

Instead they toiled in what the sociologist Sharon Hays calls, ‘”intensive mothering,” exhaustively enriching their childrens lives by virtually every measure, then advocating for them anxiously and sometimes ruthlessly in the high-stakes games of social jockeying and school admissions.

Does Dr. Martin mean to imply that all stay at home mothers deserve her contempt, or just the rich ones? Is the decision to “stay at home” inherently sexist?

I thought we women had attained the right to choose here, and in so many other domains — not only for reproductive rights — but how to live and raise our families, if we are lucky to have the choices?

And what makes this tribe different from wealthy women across this country, be they in New York City, rich suburbs, or Silicon Valley? Aren’t they living out the values of our rich, industrialized society?

These women are not poor, as you and I would readily agree. Like you and me, and countless women across this country, they made and continue to make life decisions based on what society tells us is important: getting into the best schools, working hard, and choosing mates for their ability and potential to provide. It’s basic and makes perfect sense from an anthropological viewpoint. The question that arises is does this formula guarantee for happiness and self-fulfillment? Does it make for happy women and men, and grounded, centered children?

I would argue that these thirty-year olds are smart, but still young. They are trying to be good parents, keep up with their peers and do what their social circles expect. It doesn’t mean that they are not individual women who behind closed doors are still wrapping their heads around what their daily lives look like and the compromises they have made. Or that, they are not questioning themselves and what it is to be a modern woman. But for the time being, they are mothers caught up in the values of our system that tells them their kids must excel to thrive; and it’s their job to ensure these goals are successfully attained. Whether their kids will or will not depends very much on the moral compass that exists in that house and the kind of partnership they have with their mate.

The problem with this this “tribe,” or these women, is the same problem that exists everywhere. If the marriages are not a shared partnership, if the wife does not feel respected like an equal partner but an employee, servant, or maid, then the power is not equal and the relationship, regardless of the money, is feudal-based. If ultimately, she feels trapped for being out of the workforce for years, then she might feel imprisoned with an outdated skill set that gives her no way out if her marriage begins to spiral down. Frustrated and stuck, she may become a poor role model for her kids, a self-justifying martyr, a depressive, a drunk, or an angry (for being unheard, unseen) woman. Just like so many of our moms.

What is unique to this tribe is the self-recognition of privilege; the simultaneous investment and compromises one has made to get there and the hidden shame one sometimes feels for having arrived there and not feeling altogether satisfied as a person.

How then to reconcile having so much with feeling so little?

If you’ve spent most of your lifetime investing in what society tells you should be attaining, then to question your decisions and where you are now is to question everything the tribe stands for, it’s tribal-cide. It’s embarrassing, especially when you know there are others in this world who have far less, and mustn’t their lives be so much harder? How dare I complain? These are just a few of the disempowering messages we tell ourselves as women. Shut up, and get over it. Shame, denial, fear of the unknown keeps us spinning for years, or maybe, forever.

As a divorce coach and advisor who assists women from all walks of life, I know the question for all of us is about happiness and self-fulfillment. Forget gender, class, ethnic background, or the social constructs that are used to divide us. It’s about each and every one of us, our basic human right to live a life fully — and authentically.

Staying in an unlived life, playing a small game as dictated by society, limits our impact and shuts down our future. What is truly possible for you, your children, your community, even our shared world, if you were to understand who you are, what your real values consist of, and then unleash that wisdom in the form of your unique, individual power?

Porter Magazine agrees in their current Summer Issue 2015. In a feature entitled “Modern Love,” Porter says that women are increasingly, no longer buying the dictates of society. They are doing things differently from their tribal elders. Educated and Internet adept across the board, women have become skilled in problem solving by sourcing support and advice. Women are finding their mates, seeking out information and experts for sustaining their relationships, and when these relationships begin to unravel, they are turning to others to guide them. Which is how Porter found us.

As cofounders of SAS for Women, Kim and I understand all the hard-learned externalities and personal challenges of changing a life and running against the currents of society. If you are considering upturning the tables and facing the social stigma of divorce, there are all the unknown tactical and logistical decisions to contend with, and also the internal conflicts we have with ourselves. It’s not clear how to proceed, how to breathe, how to get on, how to grapple with the pain, and move through it. This is to say nothing about your fears of how divorce will impact your children.  However, let us remind you, we are modern women. Most of us do have choices — though we might not see them — and there are ways to mitigate the pain for you and your family.

Like the cast from any reality show, the tribe on the Upper East Side can be reduced to superficial stereotypes. What’s more important is to recognize that even now, no matter where you are on the social scale, women are still struggling with achieving equality in the workforce and at home. If your mate supports and respects you, and you have an understanding of how you will achieve mutual fulfillment, whether one of you stays home or you both work, then you stand a good chance of dividing and conquering life’s challenges and raising healthy children. If it falls to women to play second-class citizens, if we continue to not unite across all social constructs of class and color and way of life, then we are destined for these divisive, ongoing, internal, external, and tribal conflicts, these fruitless conversations. We will never get to the root of the problem of inequities and how to redraw them. What is worse, our children are destined to repeat them.

Liza Caldwell and divorce coaching celebrated in Porter Magazine

Porter Magazine Explores Divorce Coaching and Modern Women

Women today are more educated than ever before in history. Now the majority gender graduating from colleges and universities, many of us — no matter our age — have more access to information than ever in our lives, thanks to the Internet.

But the flip side to this advancement is that we are also, now programmed for instant gratification. We want to understand everything there is to understand – quickly. From analyzing a subject as a whole to breaking it down to subparts, we want our instant takeaways. Because Google says it’s possible, we seek the right formula for the best outcomes so we can move on with our To-do list.

Next!

But, when it comes to divorce, and if and how you should do it, is it wise to proceed in all haste? Once you’ve researched it up and down, and read and read, can you seek divorce gratification?

Many women who come through our doors at SAS are smart and edgy. They have done their research. They’ve read about mediation and contested v. uncontested divorce models. They’ve evaluated lawyers’ websites and counted the stars. They’ve listened to friends and their divorce tales. But in their quest to disprove or readily self-apply a recipe, women contacting us have reached an impasse. There is something telling them to double check, to look for critical insight to their own particular story: the way their divorce will or is already impacting their kids, or affecting their job, or their health, and their foundering meaning for living. “Support” is one thing some ladies say they need; while others, bewildered and confused, admit they don’t know what they are looking for: they don’t know what they don’t know.

For all of them, one word rings true. “Guidance.” They are looking for safe and seasoned guidance for their divorce challenge — and for all the other parts of their life that are affected.

As the founders of SAS, Kim and I know, among the most important insights we share is to give our clients a sense of real time and what is possible. Those who harness the courage to connect with us are often on overdrive in a frantic cycle of self-preservation or paralyzed by all the unknowns and fears that surround life-changing decisions. Our job is to slow you down and dispel the fog of information-overload so you understand right now where you are and what real choices you face, so you can see more clearly to take the right step for you and your family. Our job is also to tell you, you can’t know it all.

There are no ready-made answers to divorce. It is a life reckoning that is also an awakening, a process, and there is a learning curve. As for instant-gratification, you cannot digest it in two meetings with a lawyer or multiple sittings in front of a computer. You must travel it. Yes, there are many aspects and milestones that will mark your progress on the road, and knowing exactly where you are helps you prepare for what is potentially ahead. The fact remains, you must still navigate the road, the exact destination of which cannot be fully predicted.

No matter how much you study or cross reference, you cannot have all the answers at once and seeking divorce gratification risks too much. The impact of hasty decisions, “just to be done with it!” may negatively impact your children, increase the threat of litigation and court, and impair your long-term mental, physical, emotional health and your financial well-being; all of which ultimately undermines your ability to live the way you choose once the dust settles.

But knowing what you don’t know is hard.

This is why we are honored to be recognized by Porter Magazine as one of three women influencing the conversation on modern love today. Porter states irrevocably that compared to our predecessors, modern women are doing things differently when it comes to love — and, yes, the resolution of their relationships. Women are not only accessing information (and their mates) through the Internet, they are also seeking professional support for nurturing, and sustaining their relationships. And when things spiral down, women today are thoughtfully seeking professional support for the pain and heartache that comes with it. In their Summer Issue 2015 (pages 194, 197-98), Porter endorses divorce coaching and celebrates SAS for Women as the go-to model for thoughtfully and healthily bringing closure to a relationship.

The message is clear: armed with information and the right guidance, modern women are moving beyond the stigma of divorce and doing it their way. Because they are committed to themselves and their families, they are investing in the here and now for their best future.

Note to Reader: Created by Natalie Massenet, the founder of the 400 million-dollar-a-year online retailer, Net-à-Porter, Porter Magazine is the new, glossy, and revolutionary addition to the fashion magazine scene. Directed and run by smart, empowered women, Porter is doing something new. The quarterly combines the visual concepts of fashion magazine with online-catalogue marketing while also offering great interviews and fascinating stories for and about women. It is digitally-protected, however; which means if you wish to read the Modern Love article and interview with Liza Caldwell of SAS on page 198, you must go-online and purchase the magazine or read the pdf here.

Money under a mattress

How to Pay for Your Divorce

When I was growing up, every Friday night, my father would give my mother her “weekly allowance” when he came home from the office.  It wasn’t really her money, but rather the cash she needed each week to pay for groceries, gas, her hair dresser, and whatever other necessities she had for herself and for the family. Out of these funds, my mother always put aside some undetermined handful. This was her “Piska” money, she told us.

Don’t ask me what the real translation of “Piska” is, but my mother also referred to it as her Rainy Day Fund

Years later, when my sisters and I were cleaning out our parents house before moving them into an apartment, my mother told us to make sure we looked for an old suitcase in the attic. When we found it, we were to look inside and find its pocket and not just throw the suitcase away. When we did, we found stacks of dollars. My mother at the age of 85 was still saving for her rainy day. When we brought the suitcase downstairs to our mother, she immediately confessed that Daddy didn’t know about this money and there was no reason to tell him.

Knowing about saving for a rainy day since childhood, and growing up in a traditional family where mom stayed home raising three daughters, and cooking, cleaning, car pooling in support of the general welfare of our family, when I started working and later married, I, too, always had a designated account for my own use.  While not afraid of a rainy day, I also wanted money for me, money, which I did not have to account to for anyone.

Today, there are many highly educated and functioning women who are fearful when their marriages are falling apart. They wish to leave the marriage but panic because they have no “war chest” to fight their spouses with if it turns adversarial; or they are afraid they will be cut off from marital resources and not be able to afford a divorce.  How to pay for divorce is keeping them in an unhealthy place.

Regardless of the state of your marriage, it’s important for you to consider yourself. Today’s electronic banking and tracking system does not mean there is not a viable method for a woman to secure funds to pay for a divorce. Even if it means taking $50 from the ATM and stashing the cash at your office, a drawer, or your best friend’s house, there are ways for you to know you will have the security to engage a lawyer and will be able to eat if your vindictive partner cuts off the monetary funds.

If it is too late to start “saving ” money, there are other ways to engage counsel

Many lawyers or mediators accept credit cards these days. Alternatively, most credit cards have cash advance limits if you prefer not to leave a paper trail. If your spouse has more money than you, you can request that your spouse pay some or all your legal fees. If your spouse does not agree to this, you can ask a lawyer to help you initiate the legal means to securing your representation. Before credit cards, there were always other ways women helped themselves. These means are still viable. You can turn to a good friend or family for loans (offer to pay them interest), or sell assets, like jewelry or art that may belong to you. The important thing to remember is to not stay in a hopeless place because you think you can’t afford your exit.

For more than 18 years, Nina Epstein and law partner Elyse Goldweber have helped individuals and families in the New York City metropolitan area with the full range of legal issues associated with creation and dissolution of personal unions—including divorce, separation, and child support, as well as employment challenges and related business matters. For more information on how they might assist you with your concerns, call 212.355.4149.

Since 2012, smart women around the world have chosen SAS for Women to partner them through the emotional, financial, and oft times complicated experience of divorce and reinvention. Join our smart, but discreet community and benefit from 6 FREE months of email coaching, action plans, check lists, must know’s and support strategies . No junk, just smart support for you, your family, and your future self. 

Couple in courtyard thinking about divorce advice

When to Introduce Your New Beau or Belle to Your Kids

Ok, you’re finally divorced. You’ve signed the papers and made peace with your decision. You’re done listening to divorce advice and ready to start living again. At long last, you are free to do what you want, go where you want, and be with whom you want.

Or are you?

It’s not so simple if you have children.

I claim no formula or easy divorce advice

But I suppose this is as good advice as any: First, have the Newbie, or if you prefer, your New Beau or New Belle, pick you up for dates with a brief introduction to the kids. (And no, he* should not bring presents!)

If this new relationship goes on for two or more months and you are speaking to or seeing him on a regular basis, then the next step is to have the “talk” with him. The “talk” centers on how he has to be sensitive to the kids and their love for their dad, and how, in general, he can’t move too fast.

Your New Beau can begin to establish a relationship with the kids (perhaps he might offer to take them to the park, bowling, or bicycling), but activities should be neutral—things that will neither excite them too much nor dismay them. Keep it simple.

Staying over will have to wait. Children understand that sex is a whole other step towards something that might be permanent. If your children are pretty secure and your New Beau has handled this right, you can explain in your way that you are now “going steady” with your new partner and he might be staying over once in a while. If that plays badly, postpone the overnights for a few months.

No matter how many times one tells the children the divorce was not their fault, many kids still think it is. Many also fantasize about their parents reconciling. Never, ever agree that this is a possibility! Do not let them hold out hope, but rather remind them that Daddy has a new life and is probably dating some nice people. Remind them you have a new life, too, and that you and Daddy are much happier now.

It may not be easy

Your kids may weep or get angry. Comfort them, but hold your ground. It is certainly possible that other symptoms will emerge: bed-wetting, depression, sadness, and meltdowns are often typical for children of those recently divorced.

If these symptoms or behaviors continue, I recommend you talk to a professional who specializes in divorce advice and perhaps secure professional help for your children as well. This may include family counseling. Do not let it fester. Unusual symptoms are literally a cry for help. If you cannot afford private counseling, call one of the many agencies, religious or secular, who might help you find a low cost or volunteer professional.

This said, some children may very well welcome a new person, someone who can help them with homework, throw a ball around, or talk movies or hobbies. Here, too, be cautious. Unless you are certain this person is indeed your next partner, you do not want your children to become too attached to him and risk yet another disappointment. It is, for sure, a delicate balance.

If it works out, you’ve dodged a bullet and can look forward to a happy new future. But what if it doesn’t?

What if your New Beau has his own version of the “talk” with you?

The “I can’t commit” talk, or you just sense he is cooling off? Don’t try to convince yourself otherwise if you sense he is distancing himself because he probably is. This is why—like everything in life—timing is so important. You do not want your children newly invested in a relationship that will upend their world again. For if they are, you will have to start all over with your kids; explaining that you are sorry that he was not the right person for the family, but it was something between the two of you, and the demise of your romance did not hinge on them, the children, whom he thought were great.

Never let the kids think it had anything to do with them. And even while you are dealing with your own loss, and perhaps comforting your children, you must show them by word and deed that life goes on. There are movies, games, and adventures that await—all kinds of exciting and marvelous family activities that will distract both you and the kids.

Remember to learn from this relationship, too. Gauge for yourself if you brought him into the family too soon and do not make that particular mistake again. As a divorcée and mother, you must go smartly into your new life. Maybe, just maybe, there really isn’t going to be a time in your life when you should ignore good divorce advice. You are free in many ways, but most importantly, you are free and wiser as a result of your life decisions.

A novelist, therapist, mother to three, and grandmother to five, Sheila Levin is twice divorced. Find her books, Simple Truths and Musical Chairs at Amazon.com.

Although SAS periodically features links to and writing by other professionals on the SAS website, SAS for Women™ is not responsible for the accuracy or content of that information. As for what is best for you and your future, SAS always recommends you speak to a professional to discuss the particulars of your situation.

*At SAS for Women, we respect same-sex marriages, however, for the sake of simplicity in this article we refer to your spouse as a male.