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Resolutions for newly-divorced North Dakotans

In January, North Dakotans and people around the world are struggling to keep their New Year's resolutions at least through the end of the month. However, for many newly-divorced people, the right resolutions may well impact how happy they are in the new year. Here are a few suggestions.

Make a budget and stick to it. Many divorced people of both genders are handling their finances alone for the first time. Managing your income, support payments and expenses are essential to your and your children's financial well-being. There are lots of apps like Mint.com that can be very helpful. Another tool called SupportPay can help you and your ex-spouse track support payments and manage expenses.

Remember to take care of yourself. Many parents rightfully are concerned with how their children are doing during the divorce. However, sometimes that means neglecting their own well-being. You won't be any good to them if you're not healthy physically and emotionally. Take some time for yourself, even if it's coffee with a friend or a daily run.

Meet new people. Often people's social lives are thrown into an upheaval when they divorce. Your couple's friends may feel uncomfortable "choosing sides" and your own friends may not know how to interact with you during this difficult period. Even if you still have close friends, now's a good time to reach out and meet new people. A support group is a good place, but so is the gym, the dog park or a yoga class. By expanding your horizons, you'll expand your circle of acquaintances and maybe make some long-lasting friends.

Don't worry about finding Mr. or Ms. Right. Well-meaning friends and family may be trying to set you up, but you've already learned that a romantic relationship is not the key to lasting happiness. Learn to enjoy living on your own for awhile. When you're in a happy, healthy place, you're more likely to attract a happy, healthy person without even trying.

If you're struggling in any of these areas and need some good resources, your family law attorney can likely lead you to some. If you're having support issues with your ex-spouse, whether you are the one paying or the one counting on the payments, let your attorney know so that he or she can help you rework your support agreements or enforce the ones you have in place.

Source: Philly.com, New Year's Resolutions for the newly divorced parent" Jan. 02, 2015

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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