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How to enjoy your first Valentine's Day without your spouse

Valentine's Day can be difficult for anyone who's not in a relationship. However, for those who are facing their first V-Day following a separation or divorce, it can be particularly difficult. It doesn't help that you're hit with it in just about every other TV commercial or every time you walk into a store. Even if you and your spouse barely celebrated the holiday when you were together, particularly towards the end, being alone can still hit people harder than they expected.

If you just can't bring yourself not to care that Feb. 14 is here again, there are plenty of positive alternatives to curling up on the couch and watching a movie while downing a pint of ice cream. For example:

-- Get together with a group of single friends. If you want to avoid restaurants and night spots filled with couples, invite your pals over to your home for a game night, pizza party or whatever's fun for you.

-- If you have kids, make the holiday about them. Focusing on what they want to do will help you take your mind off of your own feelings about the day. If your ex has custody or visitation with the kids on V-Day, choose another day before or after for a big celebration.

-- If socializing doesn't appeal to you, do something physical that allows you to focus positive attention on yourself. Whether you go to the gym, take a long run or go on a bike ride, you'll feel better.

-- Treat yourself to a gift. It can be something big like a spa day, a nice piece of jewelry or a weekend away. However, it can be something as simple as that special drink at Starbucks you've been wanting to order.

Society places a lot of pressure on us to celebrate holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine's Day a certain way and adhere to traditions. However, as a newly-single person, this is a good time to start fresh and create your own traditions for yourself and your kids. If you need some extra help getting through this V-Day, your family law attorney can likely recommend some support groups and meetups in your area for newly-divorced people.

Source: Huffington Post, "How Not To Want To Curl Up In a Ball and Die On Valentine's Day When You're Divorcing," Magna Pecseyne, accessed Feb. 09, 2016

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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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