Getting a Divorce

The Secret To Caring For Pets While Going Through Divorce


One of the most common reasons people relinquish or rehome their pets is because of divorce. Due to couples calling it quits, there are millions of animals entering the shelters every year. You are not a terrible person for wanting to find a better home for your pet when going through tough times, but there are some factors you should consider for your pet.

The Impact of Divorce on Pets

A stable, loving home and a regular routine are what is best for our furry friends. This has been proven time and again by research. However, your pet will not be in good shape if you give them up to an uncertain future in a shelter or a new home. Your pet may also act out or experience anxiety when there is stressful domestic discord. Many pets, especially dogs, are used to habits. They go through a major disruption in their routine and can demonstrate symptoms of separation anxiety during divorce. Therefore, a perfectly trained dog may start to bark a lot or have a few accidents. This does not make them “bad.” It’s just their natural, short-term reaction.

How Pets Are Treated Legally

Those of us who love pets know they are part of the family. But, they are treated like property according to the law. Therefore, the judge probably will not care whose side of the bed your pet slept on or who took care of the cat when your divorce battle goes to court and custody is disputed. A recent study found that there has been a 22 percent increase in the number of custody hearings for pets. Custody battles almost always end in heartache so if you can, try to put together a notarized agreement.

Consider Splitting Custody

After a divorce, different people will prefer different pet care arrangements. For some people, a one month on, one month off split custody arrangement would work well. Others might find it works better to have one primary caregiver, and the other partner can serve as a kind of “petsitter.” One surprising finding is that with split custody, divorced individuals learn to become friends with their exes over time as they are forced to cooperate in a fairly easy-to-manage situation.

Divorce is a painful process, but it almost always leads to a better situation for everyone involved. By keeping your pet’s best interests in mind, you are sure to have a more positive outcome for everyone involved.

 Author of this article, Lucy Wyndham, is a freelance writer and former Financial Advisor. After a decade in industry, she took a step backward to spend more time with her family and to follow her love of writing.  


What To Consider Before Getting A Divorce

Deciding whether or not to divorce is a difficult decision to make. Think carefully before uttering the phrase, “I want a divorce.” Once those words are out of your mouth – you cannot call them back. That statement will affect the rest of your life, so be sure you really mean it and are not issuing a hollow threat. When hearing distressing news, such as your spouse had an affair, it can be tempting to shout out those words. That action can slam the door shut on the possibility of saving the marriage if the errant spouse walks out of the door for good.

We often react right away instead of thinking things through. The sympathetic nervous system floods the body with stress hormones, such as cortisol, to act quickly in a volatile situation. This is the fight or fight phase, where one can say hurtful things in anger. Responding instead of reacting, involves analysing the problem to form a response. There are ways to be more rational in the heat of the moment. Take a pause or a time-out. Decisions do not have to be made on the spot. Remove yourself and say that you require time to think, when hearing something upsetting.

Acknowledge to yourself, that you are in shock or in rage. This is the time to work through intense emotions, instead of exploding. Consider talking over the situation with a life coach to get a handle on these feelings. Together you can explore different options to see if you want to stay in the marriage or not. Getting in a calmer state will help one to gain clarity and be in a better place before approaching the spouse.

In other cases, it can be many little issues that are the tipping point instead of one major event. An individual may be unhappy or no longer want to continue to live life as they have been. They may feel unfulfilled or that something is missing. The person may think this is due to their marriage or spouse, when in reality it is inside of them. Having individual therapy can help pinpoint a problem area, such as suffering through Empty Nest. Therapy is beneficial when a person is at a crossroad at this point in life. In some cases, following a passion, changing careers or becoming an entrepreneur was what was needed and not a divorce.

A frank discussion with your spouse can help in deciding whether to stay or to bail. Take turns actively listening without interrupting. Reflect back what you think you heard, to give the other a chance to correct a misconception. Expressing annoyances and needs might be just the ticket to avoid divorce. Day- to-day communication can be superficial and a couple can drift away from each other. Communicating on a deeper level can boost marital satisfaction.

There may be non-negotiable areas where there are no second chances. This could be infidelity, a porn addiction, or abuse. Deceit with lies and a cover up has led people to divorce. Know what your boundaries are. When my spouse was going on a dark path, I had to leave. In a lesser circumstance, marital counselling may have been an option.

There are many resources for helping to fix a marriage or forming an exit plan if that is not going to happen. Relate is UK’s “largest provider of relationship support” and helps couples to communicate in a more effective way. This is just one example of what is available for troubled relationships. Going to a marriage therapist can save a marriage or help one see if it is worth saving. The therapist works with the couple and may also see them individually. This is a safe environment to air grievances and to start repairing the relationship. Retrouvaille is a program to help couples heal and renew their hurting marriages. The couple learns how to communicate and reconnect with each other. This program is sometimes considered the last resort to save a marriage. It is a weekend retreat, followed up by sessions.

When considering divorce, it is the couple’s decision and not one done on the opinions of family or friends. Others may not be neutral or care for the spouse. If feeling undecided, talk to a person you trust or have a session with a life coach. Take advantage of the many divorce resources available, including what the divorce process entails. Divorce is emotionally draining and can be expensive. Explore all avenues first before choosing to end your marriage. Whatever path you decide, have a support system in place.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine

Avoiding Debt During Your Divorce

Even though divorce can be hard, it can provide a new beginning, a fresh start from where to build a new independent life. With plenty to consider at this time, planning ahead can be vital in ensuring you have a financially stable future. Although daunting, this process provides the opportunity to refresh your financial situation and take control of any previous money issues.

There are a number of finance options available, including consolidation and refinancing, to ensure that you can stay financially afloat, whilst also getting the support to turn your life around and find happiness again. Before you potentially encounter financial concerns and worries, there are some simple tips you can follow in order to solve financial issues between yourself and your ex, making a smoother move forward.

Removing names for joint accounts

A simple task that is often forgotten involves the removal of additional names from a joint account. Although this is not always possible if there is debt owed, you can request that the account is put on hold. This will prevent your ex-partner, or yourself, from using the account and accumulating more debt. Once the debt has been settled remember, to close the account immediately.

Pay up as soon as possible

Although few people are in the situation where they can pay off their debt, especially during a divorce, it is important that you create a plan in order to do so as quickly as possible. The sooner this can be done the better, and if you and your ex are amicable it can make for a much easier divorce process, without having to battle out who will be paying for what account. Again, as soon as the account is zeroed, close it down.

Cancel old accounts

Perhaps you have previously opened a joint account with another bank and forgotten to close it? When separating many people create new accounts and go to alternative banks, however if they inquire and find they already have an account existing they can start using it again. If this is a joint account than any debt created on the account will also be in your name. Hopefully your ex would not knowingly create debt issues for you, however it is best to check that all old accounts are closed down in case you or your old partner decide you wish to open a new account with the bank.

With a divorce you do not need the further stress and worry of financial issues pilling up. If you can make sensible choices in this time, you should be able to avoid the unnecessary worry of getting into financial difficulty and see the independence as a move toward a better future. That way, you will have the time and energy to focus on the important things like you and your family’s happiness.

      Author of this article, Lucy Wyndham, is a freelance writer and former Financial Advisor. After a decade in industry, she took a step backward to spend more time with her family and to follow her love of writing.