San Diego Divorce Lawyers

Julia M. Garwood • Certified Family Law Specialist

Testimonials


The mercury is climbing and the sun is reluctant to hit the horizon these days. It’s summertime, and a perfect time for getting back to dating after divorce while the temperature’s hot. Feel the Heat Sunscreen? Check. Towel? Check. Steamy romance novel? Check! Any summer adventure should begin with the right preparation. Getting your dating life started again is no different. Actually finding people to date may be as easy as an Internet search, but you’ll want to do a temperature check on where you’re at first to be sure you’re really ready to feel the heat and date again after your divorce. It may seem counterintuitive to begin your new dating life by revisiting the past, but just like packing sunscreen for the beach, being properly prepared for dating can help you avoid getting burned. Have you given yourself time to mourn the end of your marriage and heal? Divorce proceedings can be a hectic and often contentious time; be sure you’ve given yourself time to fully process this major change in your life. A good indication of whether you’re ready to feel the heat again or not is your excitement level. Are you excited at the prospect of dating again? Or does just thinking about it put a lump in your throat? If you’re filled with trepidation that’s likely a pretty good indication that you might need a little more healing and preparation time before getting back to dating after your divorce. Of course, only you can say whether you’re ready again or not, but check out our post Dating After Divorce: First Get Ready, Then Jump In! [1] for some additional pointers on preparing to date. Beat the Heat Don’t let the summer heat and doldrums hold you back! There’s no better excuse than summertime to throw caution to the wind and mix things up a little. And the best way to gain some newfound and unexpected confidence is to discover new things and a new you. Step out of your comfort level a bit and buy a hot new summer outfit, or even a whole new wardrobe. (You don’t need to break the bank though; if money’s tight just head to your local thrift or Goodwill store.) Ready to try a new hairstyle? Or maybe find a new radio station to expand your musical interests? Is there an inspiring book you’ve been wanting to read, or a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to try? Taking some time to make sure you’re happy with yourself—inside and out—when you look in the mirror, can take a lot of the anxiety out of summertime dating. As they say, you can’t love someone else until you love yourself… For more ideas on how to rejuvenate your life after a divorce, read our post Spring Cleaning for a New Life [2]. Enjoy the Heat! From a practical standpoint, dating these days has never been easier. No matter who you are [3], what you believe [4], how old you are [5], or what you’re interested in [6], there’s probably an online dating tool [7] specifically catered to your needs. And if the prospect of connecting with someone online isn’t your style, there are plenty of real-life singles meet-ups [8] centered on engaging social activities. Yes, first dates are going to be a little nerve-wracking. They’re supposed to be! The trick is not to take them too seriously. Dating doesn’t have to mean jumping into a committed relationship with the first person you date! Enjoy the experience of getting to know new people and new adventures. Remember to stay positive, welcome uncertainty, and yes, even to expect a few disappointments. Perhaps the most important thing you can do when dating after divorce, however, is to be honest. Be honest with yourself, with your family, and with those who you date. Divorce is rarely a deal-breaker in the dating scene. There are a lot of single divorcees out there dating these days, so you’re not alone. As long as you’re honest and open with yourself and those who are looking to share the journey with you, you’re off to a good start for your new life. Sizzling Summertime Dating Ideas in San Diego San Diego is a great place for summertime fun! It could be argued that there’s no better city than “America’s Finest” to explore dating in the summer. Where to go? Where not to go! Here are a few sizzling hot summertime dating ideas for starters: See what all the buzz is about during a paddle boarding lesson [9] on one of San Diego’s world-class beaches. Rent a GoCar [10] and discover a side of the city you’ve never experienced before during a self-guided GPS tour. Try your hand at rock climbing at Solid Rock Gym [11]! If there’s one thing that’s synonymous with summertime, it’s baseball! Catch a Padres [12] game at beautiful Petco Park. Enjoy a classic movie under the stars at The Pearl’s Dive-in Theatre [13]. Take your movie date to a whole new level with a glass of wine and luxurious seating at Cineopolis [14]. Farmer’s markets, museums, parks, the Gaslamp Quarter—there’s certainly no shortage of great dating destinations in San Diego. So prepare yourself for getting back to dating after divorce and enjoy a sizzling hot summer! Image credit: Muramasa [15] [1] http://www.garwoodfamilylaw.com/dating-divorce-first-get-ready-jump/ [2] http://www.garwoodfamilylaw.com/spring-cleaning-new-life/ [3] https://www.zoosk.com/ [4] http://www.christianmingle.com/ [5] http://www.ourtime.com/ [6] http://www.eharmony.com/ [7] https://www.okcupid.com/ [8] http://blog.match.com/category/stir-events/ [9] http://www.supcoronado.com/ [10] http://www.gocartours.com/ [11] http://www.solidrockgym.com/ [12] http://www.padres.com/ [13] http://www.thepearlsd.com/default.aspx?pg=divein [14] http://www.cinepolisusa.com/ [15] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dating#mediaviewer/File:Couple_01.JPG

Abuse/Domestic Violence


 

From the beach to the books, this transition is a “bummer” for most school-aged kids, but for parents it’s often a relief. When kids are back in school, schedules normalize, routines get back in place, and the possibility of those pesky water-balloon ambushes decreases. Of course, along with that also comes the frantic back-to-school shopping, planning, and yes, dealing with “the ex” if you’re divorced with shared custody. Here are some tips to help make the transition back to school easier for both children and parents. Plan Ahead Summer flies by, and before you know it you’re scrambling. The more you can plan ahead the less stressful the transition will be for both you and your child. Create a checklist for your child’s back-to-school needs and start checking items on that list off as early as possible. Here’s a great printable one to get you started: “mom’s back-to-school checklist [1]”. (Works for dads too!) Start With The Fun Stuff Shopping! Yes, shopping for back-to-school can be stressful—especially if money is tight—but it can also be fun, and a great way to bond together and start thinking about the upcoming school year. Of course, back-to-school shopping can also be stressful for children too. (Remember showing up with the “wrong” brand of jeans your first day of school?) Help alleviate their fashion concerns and do a little online shopping for the latest fashion trends and “must-haves” before you go so you both have a clear idea of what the other children their age will be sporting. Ease Back Into Structure If you’re like most parents, you’ve probably gotten a little lax on some rules and routines over the summertime. Easy to do when juggling vacations, summer camp, and seasonal activities! About a week before school starts though it’s time to re-establish some structure to help with the transition. Getting your child used to set bedtime and mealtime routines can mean a lot less fidgeting in class, and less chance of your child being tired or unfocused at school. Schedule Some Quiet Learning Time Into The Day While most parents continue to work through the summer and actively engage their brains on a daily basis, unless they’ve gone to summer school or computer camp or such, chances are your children have pretty much simply switched that off for the summer. Help focus them and get their brain used to learning again with some quiet downtime for educational games, puzzles, or even just reading. Get To Know Your Child’s School and Teachers Apart from health, there are few things more important than your child’s education. Where and how they get their reading, writing and arithmetic education can be just as important as the subjects themselves! Have you met your child’s new teacher(s) for the year? If your school has a back-to-school night, make it a point to attend if you can. This is important even if you don’t have primary physical custody and won’t be the parent dropping off or picking up your child for school—let them know you’re interested in, and care about, your child’s education. Visiting the school with your child before school begins is also a great way to help alleviate the back-to-school jitters most children have—especially if this year they’ll be attending a new school. You can help them find their lockers and navigate their classrooms schedule, while answering any questions they may have. (Be sure to call ahead to confirm if there is a time your child’s school has allocated for this.) Back-To-School Transition Relief Like every transition, the stress of going back-to-school can help be relieved by a little preparation and a lot of communication. Help your child focus on the excitement of the new year ahead, but also look for ways to open conversations with them about their fears and anxieties. (Is there a bully from last year they’re worried about seeing again? Are they afraid they won’t make any friends?) Remind them that everyone struggles with transitions and try to share your own transition worries to show them they’re not alone. Most importantly though, if going back to school is causing undo anxiety for either you or your child, get some relief! There are many great websites such as Parent Information Center [2] and Education.com [3] with additional informational resources to assist you with the back-to-school transition. For support relating to back-to-school as a divorced parent, read our article: 10 Co-Parenting Tips for Back-to-School Time [4].   Image credit: © sherrie smith [5] | Dreamstime Stock Photos [6] [1] https://www.momagenda.com/printable/back-to-school.pdf [2] http://www.parentinformationcenter.org/ [3] http://www.education.com/topic/back-to-school-preparation/ [4] http://www.garwoodfamilylaw.com/10-co-parenting-tips-for-back-to-school-time/ [5] http://www.dreamstime.com/smitea_info [6] http://www.dreamstime.com/

Abuse/Domestic Violence


 

Everyone needs support at one time or another. Whether that’s help learning to tie your shoes as a child, or a shoulder to lean on in difficult times as an adult, life transitions can be much easier with a little support from others. Thankfully, in San Diego there are many local resources for support during your divorce. Divorce and Mediation Attorneys One primary source of support during your divorce often comes from your divorce or mediation attorney. A good family law attorney will not only help you navigate all the legal aspects surrounding the dissolution of your marriage, but will also act as your advocate for a better life and support you with counsel in your best interest. Your attorney will likely know many local organizations and professional resources to refer you to for additional support during your divorce as well. Professional and Group Support San Diego has a wealth of professionals and support groups to choose from. You can find support through your religious affiliations, the company you work for, associations or organizations you belong to, counselors, therapists, and many other avenues. Here are just a few San Diego resources for support during your divorce to get you started: Psychology Today searchable directory: Professional Therapists [1]. Psychology Today searchable directory: Divorce Therapy Groups in San Diego [2]. The Therapist Directory: Therapy Groups And Support Groups In San Diego [3] Divorce Meetups: Find one in San Diego [4], or start your own. San Diego Recovery Zone [5]: Christian divorce recovery and support groups in San Diego County Jewish Family Service: Divorce & Separation Group [6] San Diego Navy Community: Fleet and Family Support Centers [7] Second Saturday: Divorce Advice Workshops [8]   Additional Resources In today’s world of Internet information, the resources available to find support for your own unique needs are virtually endless and easy to find with a simple “Google Search [9]”. You can even filter your search based on personal preferences, such as those who speak your native language, or gender-specific support groups or professionals. For additional California and local San Diego support resources please visit our Helpful Resources [10] page. And don’t hesitate to reach out to us [11] if the team at Garwood Attorneys can be of support during your divorce. We’re here to help guide you through this time of transition to a new, empowered life. [1] http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_results.php [2] http://groups.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_results.php?city=San+Diego&spec=26 [3] http://www.sandiegotherapists.com/therapygroups.html [4] http://divorcesupport.meetup.com/cities/us/ca/san_diego/ [5] http://sdrecoveryzone.com/divorce.html [6] http://www.jfssd.org/site/PageServer?pagename=programs_counseling_support#divorce [7] http://navylifesw.com/sandiego/families/ffsc/ [8] http://www.secondsaturday.com/locations/directory-category/ca/ [9] https://www.google.com [10] http://www.garwoodfamilylaw.com/helpful-resources/ [11] http://www.garwoodfamilylaw.com/contact/

Abuse/Domestic Violence


 

If you have suffered from infidelity in your current or a past relationship, forgiveness might be the last thing you want to think about. While hurt and anger are normal reactions to cheating and betrayal, taking the mask off infidelity and working through your emotions is the first step to moving past the heartache for healing after infidelity. Taking The Mask Off Infidelity The truth is, many people are embarrassed to admit that they have been cheated on. Despite statistics stating that between 30-50% of the population engage in infidelity, there’s a societal stigma attached to not only cheating, but also to being cheated on. Infidelity is often about much more than just sex. Understanding more about why some people cheat [1] can aid in the healing process after infidelity. It can also help you recognize indicators in possible future partners that they might be more likely to cheat on you, and even potential problems in your existing relationship that might lead to cheating in the future. When talking about infidelity, recognize too that different people have different views on what constitutes cheating. For some people, kissing is considered cheating. For others, having an intimate emotional relationship could be a form of cheating. For others, it requires the actual act of intercourse. And there are many other definitions in between. It’s important that you define what constitutes infidelity for yourself. Discuss your definition and establish boundaries regarding infidelity with your future partners – or even with your current partner if you decide you want that relationship to continue [2] – to ensure that you’re both on the same page. If You’ve Been Cheated On Even supermodel Christie Brinkley’s husband cheated. It’s important not to blame yourself. Even supermodel Christie Brinkley’s husband cheated [3]. She came forward publicly to help take the mask off infidelity by explaining that it can happen to anyone, and it has nothing to do with how beautiful you are or how “sexy” you are to your partner. Knowing that many others – even supermodels – have been cheated on as well won’t necessarily ease your own emotional pain, but it can help in lessening your embarrassment and moving past blaming yourself or feeling like you are not good enough. Often cheaters will cast blame on their partner and you may be internalizing some of this and making excuses for why it happened to you. Covering for your spouse because you are too embarrassed to admit what has happened means that you’re not only holding this pain and betrayal internally, but you’re shutting out your support system. Taking the mask off infidelity exposes the cheating for what it is and allows you to let it go. Don’t allow the anger, pain, resentment and betrayal of infidelity to leave a deep scar in your heart. You deserve more and by taking the mask off infidelity, you strip away the power it has over you. This is when forgiveness and true healing after infidelity can begin! If You’ve Cheated On Your Partner Perhaps you’re the one who cheated and you’re feeling a lot of guilt or shame for your actions. Again, understanding why it happens [4] is the first step to healing after infidelity. Statistically, men are more likely to commit infidelity than women. A study from Texas A&M [5] says this is because men have stronger sexual impulses. There are a lot of other variable factors considered as underlying to why people cheat: religious backgrounds and political beliefs, where a person works, the type of work they do, education levels, sexual incompatibility, dissimilar personalities and unresolved conflict within the relationship, to name a few. What’s important, however, is to decide if you are willing and ready to take responsibility for your actions and get the support you need to remain faithful in the future; whether that’s in your current relationship or future relationships. Recognize that healing from infidelity is a process, and the partner you cheated on might need time before they’re ready to even consider trying to work things out. Regardless of whether or not your current relationship can be salvaged, the decision to prevent future infidelity rests solely on you. Getting Support and Help If you have suffered from infidelity, either as a victim or as the “cheater”, there is help available to deal with the emotions and the consequences that come with infidelity in a relationship. Communicate with your family and friends. It might seem awkward if you have mutual friends and now you have split. You may feel uncertain of some friendships and if you were the one cheated on, you might even have anger that some might have known about the infidelity and not told you, leaving you feeling doubly betrayed. Or perhaps you're feeling ostracized from mutual friends because you are the one who did the cheating. The best way to work through all of this is to take the mask off the infidelity; be open and honest with friends and family. The support of close friends and family, as well as professional counseling or therapy, will help you work through the process of healing after infidelity to learn to love (and trust) yourself and others again. If you’re considering divorce as a result of infidelity, please contact our office [6] to discuss your individual situation and how we can help you through this difficult time. [1] http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/more-chemistry/201403/why-people-cheat [2] http://www.divorcebusting.com/a_healing_from_infidelity.htm [3] http://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/celebs/news/g1406/famous-women-cheated-on/?slide=12 [4] http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/more-chemistry/201403/why-people-cheat [5] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/23/male-sexuality_n_3976689.html [6] http://www.garwoodfamilylaw.com/contact/

Abuse/Domestic Violence


 

From October through January the media bombards us with messages telling us to be “Merry”, “Jolly”, and “Full of Good Cheer”. But if you’re feeling like you have more in common with Scrooge, dreading the holidays and wishing that the whole ordeal were over, you’re not alone. Taking the Mask Off the Holiday Blues No one wants to admit that they may be depressed, especially during the holidays when everyone else seems to be in a perpetual state of celebration. Although it may be tempting to ignore the “bah humbug” mood, taking the mask off the holiday blues to acknowledge your feelings and address them can help you reclaim your holiday cheer. Even comedian Robin William struggled with depression. According to depression statistics [1] from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 9 percent of American adults from all walks of life suffer from some form of depression. Earlier this year, the news of Robin William’s tragic suicide [2] after his longtime struggle with depression, sent America tweeting and discussing this difficult – and secreted – subject of depression. And even the “upbeat comedian-turned-TV star”, Wayne Brady, recently came forward [3] to help take the mask off depression and encourage others who share in this affliction. Clearly both of these public figures struggled with more than just the holiday blues; however, if you’re experiencing anxiety and depression this holiday season, it’s important to recognize that the holiday blues may signal a more deep-seated depression. Keep in mind though, that it’s normal to feel down at times – and the holidays are a very stressful and depressing time for many people. Common Causes of the Holiday Blues The “holiday blues” are generally characterized by anxiety and depression during the holidays. Many factors can contribute to the holiday blues, but some common causes include: Financial Pressures: The holidays place extra pressure on our pocketbooks, both from the desire to purchase gifts for family and friends, as well as expense of the extra social engagements. For those with limited financial resources, the financial strain can be stressful and can also lead to feelings of inadequacy and despair. Time Pressure/Fatigue: Between shopping, decorating, cooking, school programs, social obligations, travel, and family gatherings, someone with a normally full schedule can get quickly overwhelmed. And too often sleep is sacrificed to keep up with a busy holiday schedule. Lack of sleep can lead to crankiness, irritation, and exacerbate stress and depression. Unrealistic Expectations: Whether it’s the memory of joy-filled childhood holidays or just the societal pressure for merriment, many enter the holiday season with unrealistic expectations for themselves and others, trying to create a perfect Norman Rockwell holiday scene. When the perfect holiday celebration proves unachievable, feelings of disappointment and despair often arise. Lack of Sunlight: Fall and winter bring shorter days with less sunlight and colder weather, which can trigger decreased energy, sadness, decreased interest or pleasure in activities, and sleep disturbance, and even lead to a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder [4]. Separation/Loss: The holidays can be a painful reminder of the past—what once was, and now is no more. This is especially true for those still grieving over the death of a loved one, or the dissolution of a marriage.   Beating the Holiday Blues Just as causes of the holiday blues vary, there are many different ways to beat them too! The following tips can help reduce the stress and anxiety of the holidays, making the season more enjoyable: Give yourself permission to feel what you feel. Putting pressure on yourself to feel “happy” or “joyful”, when in fact you feel down and depressed, can just worsen these feelings. Instead of beating yourself up for not feeling what you “should” be feeling, take the time to recognize and acknowledge how you are feeling, and why. Create a realistic budget. The financial stress of the holidays can be reduced by setting a budget before beginning your holiday shopping. Being realistic about what you can afford to spend and sticking to a budget can alleviate stress, not only during the holidays, but also in the months that follow. Avoid isolation and seek support. When depressed its common to isolate oneself from friends and family. But isolation, especially at a time when there is so much emphasis on togetherness, just creates more loneliness. Find at least one person you trust and share what you are feeling with them. You may also find counseling or support groups to be a safe place to share your struggles without feeling like you are putting a damper on others’ holiday celebrations. Manage your calendar. Your time, like your money, is a limited resource, and needs to be budgeted. While isolating yourself from friends and family can be unhealthy, so can running yourself ragged. Maintain a good self-care regimen. Eating well-balanced meals, maintaining regular sleep habits, and exercising all have been shown to positively affect our moods. On the flip side, eating too many fatty or sugary foods leave us lethargic. And despite its prevalence at many holiday celebrations, alcohol is a depressant. Taking good care of your physical self during the holidays can help combat the holiday blues. Get some Vitamin D: Luckily, in San Diego we can soak up some sun pretty much every day of the year, but with the natural tendency to hibernate in the winter months, it’s easy to forget to step outside when the sun’s out. If you can’t get 20 minutes of exposure to sunshine every day, taking a Vitamin D3 supplement [5] will help your body get the vitamin D it needs. Set reasonable expectations for holiday celebrations. It would be wonderful if all our family celebrations lived up to our ideal of perfection, but that rarely happens. It may be that you have to let go of old traditions and open yourself up to a new way of celebrating the holidays. If you’re not up for cooking the entire holiday meal from scratch this year, enlist some help with the cooking, have it catered, or even go out for dinner instead. Setting realistic expectations for yourself, as well as your friends and family, can allow for enjoying the holiday for what it is, rather than what you hoped it would be.   Remember, if you are experiencing the holiday blues and have more anxiety than “Peace on Earth” this holiday season, you are not alone, and help is available. If being newly divorced, is adding to your holiday blues, read our Surviving the Holidays after Your Divorce [6] article for help adjusting to new family dynamics. Want to do more than just “survive” the holidays? Check out our Holiday Thrival Kit [7] to help you thrive instead of just survive this holiday season!   Image credit: © Chrissie Shepherd [8] | Dreamstime Stock Photos [9] [1] http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-report/major-depression/depression-statistics.aspx [2] http://www.etonline.com/news/149661_robin_williams_found_dead_at_age_63/ [3] http://www.etonline.com/news/153335_wayne_brady_opens_up_about_his_depression/ [4] http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/tc/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad-topic-overview [5] http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/how-do-i-get-the-vitamin-d-my-body-needs/ [6] http://www.garwoodfamilylaw.com/surviving-the-holidays-after-your-divorce/ [7] http://www.garwoodfamilylaw.com/holiday-thrival-kit-thrive-holidays-youre-newly-divorced/ [8] http://www.dreamstime.com/islandergirl_info [9] http://www.dreamstime.com/

Abuse/Domestic Violence


 

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1450 Frazee Road, Suite 501, San Diego, CA 92108