Wendi Schuller

Temper Your Expectations During Divorce Negotiations


A divorce attorney once told me that if both parties end divorce not feeling satisfied how the assets were split – then he knew it was fair. When one party is happy – then that person probably got a bigger piece of the pie. The key to divorce negotiations and the subsequent outcome, is to temper your expectations. Do not go to the table expecting to get exactly what you want, but rather be willing to compromise to get what is most precious to you.

My lawyer stated that many clients could easily divide thousands of dollars in investments, yet nearly come to blows over the household goods. Some former couples engage in battle over personal property, not realizing that action prolongs their proceedings. The adage “Pick your battles” aptly applies to this situation.


Feelings such as sentimentality, are attached to material items and are not with money. Sort through your emotions to determine if it is the object itself, or the memory it represents which is causing you to quarrel over it. I wanted the watercolor portrait of our cat, which I had commissioned. I anticipated that my husband would choose this purely out of spite. I pointed out several other pieces that were more expensive, and would bring him more cash. He took those. The fact that I was willing to give up more, made it easier for him to back down and let me have the few that I really desired. When my husband saw that I was not going to get in a fight over things, he ended up taking less. As in a chess game, anticipate the opponent’s moves and use strategy. Sacrifice your queen (what you do not crave) to save the king (the main items wanted).


By asking for less personal property, you can end up with what is most meaningful for you. My divorce mantra was words from a Rolling Stone’s song, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.”


In amicable divorces, possessions can be split in friendlier ways. Flip a coin to see who goes first. Whoever won the coin toss, chooses the first item and then each person takes a turn to get what they would like. Another method is that each party has a color sticker. Both spouses go around the house and put a sticker on possessions they want in their new life. The few pieces that have both stickers on them can be traded or negotiated. A few divorced couples stated that they did not do the personal property split in a lawyer’s office. Instead, this was achieved over lunch or at a coffee shop, in a relaxing, neutral environment.

Divorce is an excellent opportunity to pare down your worldly goods and live with what you truly love. I had no interest in our wedding china and crystal. When my spouse noticed that, they were assigned to me. I was surprised at how much I got for them on e-bay and used the proceeds for a vacation.

Do an inventory of your needs and where you are in life. Do you have small children? Then perhaps staying in the marital home may be more advantageous. Are you over fifty? Then give up other things to ensure a good retirement package. I took more in cash – which helped me to pay off the mortgage on my house which I bought during divorce. Now I am wondering if taking more of our pension plan would have been better option. I looked at what was immediately in front of me instead of the big picture.

If feeling stuck when focusing on the emotional aspect of dividing up property, consider having a session with a life coach. They can help you with this task. If overwhelmed by the financial issues, it can be beneficial to hire your own financial consultant. They can look over the investments. real estate, and pension plans to advise you what to go after in your situation. If you require more time to think things over, then let your attorney know.

Divorce is a short time span in your life., What assets you receive through negotiations, can affect you for a much longer period.      My article was originally printed in DivorceForce   https://www.divorceforce.com/   Affected by Divorce? Join DivorceForce, the online community committed to empowering those affected by divorce. Many helpful articles for those facing divorce.   @divorceforce (Twitter)


Helping Teens Choose A Career Path For Financial Independence

mediaAs parents, we can feel an overwhelming amount of pressure to make sure our teenagers make good choices when it comes to their future careers. This can be difficult if your teen has a behavioral disorder. However, even without behavior problems, it is still hard to help teenagers find their way.

To help teens align their goals with potential career paths without being “pushy”, try a few of these different approaches below.

Keep An Open Mind

There are many industries today which did not exist even 10-15 years ago. When I was a teenager going on dates and dreaming of my future, I never dreamed I would write online for a living. When I talked to my father about my dreams of becoming a writer, he about laughed himself sick and encouraged me to pursue psychology instead. Now I write online for parenting organizations regarding troubled teens. Interesting how these things work out.

Other industries parents may be surprised by:

  • Pro esports – Does your teen want to just play video games? Well, there is actually a booming industry centered around professional video gamers, garnering viewers who watch the games much like traditional football games. Which draws in money from advertisers who want to reach those viewers.
  • Social media – The world of social media has been a huge driver in creating new jobs. From social media personalities who create a living from cultivating a following via YouTube, Instagram, and other mediums to more “traditional” positions where companies now seem to all be hunting for social media managers to act as brand managers for companies.
  • App developer – There is a growing demand for apps. This shouldn’t surprise parents as they see their teens glued to their phones but they may not realize the potential money behind careers that can come with app development. Successful apps can make millions, and many commercially successful ones are created by just a few creators.

Create Opportunities For Your Teen To Network

The old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” has become more applicable as the economy struggles to recover. Highly skilled individuals have found themselves jobless for months and even years from the lack of networking.

To help your teen avoid this fate, you can facilitate opportunities for networking early on. This will give them references and connections their peers may lack. Some ways you can help them build up a network as a teen are:

  • Encourage them to volunteer in their community.
  • Have them engage in sports or creative group endeavors like choir or band.
  • Allow them to work a part-time job.

While your teen may not be snapped up for a great career right after high school, they can start learning the basics of building a network.

Help Teens Think Realistically

I don’t criticize my father for not encouraging me to pursue writing as a career. He understood realistically that very few people could make a living from writing alone and while he did support writing as a side hobby, he showed me how my other interests could be made into a career. I follow a similar path with my own teenage son, though I do keep a bit more of an open mind than my father!

You can use tools like employment projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and job salary averages to help your teen take a serious look at their dream job.

This can give them hard numbers that cannot be argued with, unlike their parents. While teens may accuse their parents of exaggerating, these third-party numbers have no reason to stretch the truth and can help your teen refocus their goals.

So, along with giving teens good financial advice for college, try these tips the next time you talk with your teen about their future career.

Author of this article, Tyler Jacobson  enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative designs. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | LinkedIn

How To Help Children Struggling With Divorce

At the end of the day, divorce may be the right option, but it is unlikely to be an easy option, particularly when there are children involved. Divorce can have a brutal impact on children’s lives and can scar them into adulthood – unless it is handled the right way.

Put the bitterness aside 

This statement may seem like the world’s biggest case of “easier said than done”, particularly if you have good reason to hold a grievance against your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, but it is essential for your children’s sake. Whatever wrong they have done to you, they are still your children’s parents.

Keep it together as parents

Children need consistency. While it’s fine for each parent to have their own parenting style, perhaps one being a bit more strict and the other a bit more relaxed, any basic ground rules should be respected by both parents and any differences of opinion resolved away from the children. Parents who try to score points against each other via their children, e.g. by saying yes when the other says no, can simply end up making children insecure and can cause behavioural issues as children learn to play one parent off against the other.

Stick to routines

It’s practically inevitable that divorce is going to cause some degree of disruption to your children’s lives but do whatever you can to minimize it. Arrange any necessary meetings outside of the times you need to take your children to their activities and hold to normal mealtimes and bedtimes as much as possible.

Be honest and open

Children are often superb at detecting lies and evasiveness. Even if they’re “little white lies” or it’s a subject you’re uncomfortable discussing, you need to find a way to manage and satisfy their natural curiosity, which may well be driven by fear. Divorce takes children into the unknown and that can be a scary place. If you need thinking time, then park the question and tell your children that you’ll talk about it later, set reasonable expectations about when “later” will be and make good on your promise. If the honest answer to a question is “I don’t know”, then make a point of finding out as soon as possible. Children need to feel that they can count on their parents even at the best of times and a divorce situation is anything but the best of times.

Provide lots of reassurance

Divorce is about parents, it’s never about children. Children need to feel confident that whatever happens between their parents, nothing is going to change the relationship they have with either or both parents. Point out how changes will be managed, for example if one parent moves out, they can still take their turn at reading bedtime stories over the internet. You might also want to provide examples of people successfully managing divorces, either people they know or celebrity couples.

Be alert to your children showing signs of stress

With everything you may have to manage, it may be easy to miss the signs that your children are experiencing real stress (or even depression) rather than just feeling generally miserable about the situation, or you may dismiss your observations as your imagination. Be vigilant about their emotional welfare and get a second opinion if necessary, even if the divorce is going as well as can be expected, they may still benefit from counselling.

Author Bio K J Smith Solicitors are specialists in family law, with an expert team of family law professionals who are experienced in all aspects of family and divorce law.