Divorcing Parents: Don’t Bring Your Battles to Court

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 By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT

 You’re getting divorced and you’re angry, resentful, hurt, vindictive or any combination of other painful emotions. You want to lash out, to get back at your spouse or boost your own sense of esteem. Hiring the most aggressive litigious divorce lawyer you can find seems like your smartest choice. Your ex is in for a fight!

 If you’re a parent who is thinking along those lines, you’re making a choice you may long regret.

 If you choose a lawyer who directs you straight into a vicious court battle, the costs to you will be insurmountable – not only in financial outlay, but in emotional turmoil as well. Think long and hard before you move your divorce battle into the legal system. It is likely to take its toll on every member of your family – including your children – in the most destructive and gut-wrenching ways. It happens all the time. But it need not happen to you.

 When you give your divorce outcome over to the courts, you are paving the way to unimaginable stress and frustration compounded by a sense of powerlessness that is hard to comprehend until you are in its grips. As you stand by and watch attorneys and judges make decisions about your life and your future you can’t help but feel violated and helpless. The taste of revenge that you were after can easily turn into anxiety and shock when issues get twisted and victors become victims right before your eyes. The consequences can play out for years, and often decades, to come.

 Sadly, your children are not protected from the emotional and psychological repercussions. When custody decisions are made by those who are focused more on financial issues than family issues, children’s needs often get pushed aside in favor of other objectives. Relationships, balance and good will are not prime objectives in the battle of divorce, and the scars on your children’s psyches are often overlooked in the legal blood-bath that ensues.

 There are other ways. Better ways. And more ways than ever before to create a divorce that respects the rights of every one in the family.

 Before engaging that “killer” attorney, talk to a Collaborative Divorce attorney who specializes in creating peaceful outcomes without going to court. Collaborative Lawyers are trained to use their own special skills along with the aid of financial planners, therapists, mediators and other resources to bring both sides into conversation about win-win outcomes. Children’s needs get high consideration.

 Certified Mediators offer another opportunity to create a fair settlement without litigation at a considerable cost savings. Many mediators are former divorce attorneys who have battled it out in court and know there are saner solutions for all concerned. They care about creating peaceful resolutions.

 Learn from the lessons and mistakes of others. If you want to save yourself considerable expense – both emotionally and financially – and if you want your children to thank you when they are grown up for creating a civilized, sensible, harmonious divorce – make the right decisions today. Stay out of court. Stay out of the hands of killer attorneys. Stay in the good graces of your children. Create a Child-Centered Divorce – and reap the rewards for years to come!


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Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is the founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network and author of the new ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids … about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! For free articles on child-centered divorce or to subscribe to her free ezine, go to: www.childcentereddivorce.com.


© Rosalind Sedacca 2008.  All rights reserved.



Stages of a divorced father’s life


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Stage 1: Ambivalence Over the Divorce

The immediate changes in your life may lead you to ask whether you have done the right thing. Going to sleep and waking up without the children in the house and no contact with them for weeks at a time can cause deep anxiety, even in those cases where a father is otherwise happier for having escaped an unhappy marriage. All decisions in life require tradeoffs, and this is nowhere better illustrated than in the case of the father who makes the decision to divorce.

Stage 2: Hope that the Divorce Will Go Smoothly

Since most fathers will be unable to reconcile with the children’s mother, they hope that the separation and divorce will go through without a hitch. At least they will be able to agree on how to divide things up, share parenting of the kids, and work out a way to minimize the impact of the divorce on the kids. Dream on. People who were once lovers and intimates can become enemies whose focus on what is best for their children takes a back seat to punishment and revenge. Love has become war and both the parents and their children become casualties.

Stage 3: What Really Happens

According to the U. S. Census Bureau, of the almost 12 million single-parent homes, 85% are headed by women.7 This means that 85% of fathers are non-custodial. In effect, the children in these homes (almost 16 million of them) live with their mothers and “visit” their fathers.

Stage 4: Trial and Error Responses

Because the role of the divorced father is new, we learn to fill it only through trial and error. For example, when the kids are not happy to see you, should you ignore their indifference or scold them? When they forget Father’s Day, should you forget it or call them on it? And when they tell you they would rather go back early this Sunday, should you remind them that this is your time or offer to take them back even earlier?

Stage 5: Things Settle Down

While you may need call the sheriff if your wife won’t let the kids come out of the house on your visitation clock, or take her to court if she leaves town with them, there comes a time when you can get relaxed about seeing your children since the attempts to thwart your access will stop. Both your ex-wife and children will come to know how important time is with your children and accept that “dad’s time” is something that will occur. This promotes stability in your children’s lives because they know when they will be with you. It also gives them a clear message that they are important to you. No matter what anyone else says, they see that you care about them.

Stage 6: A Special Bond with Your Children

As events work themselves out, you will gradually build a new relationship with your kids. It will be different from the relationship you had with them before the divorce, but, in some ways, it can be better. Strong father-child relationships which emerge from divorce require fathers who are determined to maintain a strong bond with their children and children who are resilient enough to weather the changes. But there is a specialness in knowing that both father and children can come through a difficult time and keep a close relationship. One father told me that your kids never say anything to you, but both of you know that you have been separated by circumstance. And they know that you never abandoned them and that they have always been important to you. That’s the message that sticks with them.”

Stage 7: Continued Changes

As years pass, your relationship with your children will continue to change: your time with them will decrease as they graduate from high school, attend college, and/or enter the working world and move away. Your relationship with your former spouse will also continue to affect your children. Most divorced couples mellow with age–they may even become friends. But others remain at war. When they do so, the children, even as adults, continue to suffer as innocent bystanders. Quite often the children of divorced parents go off to college and avoid returning home, since that would only renew their feelings of being caught in the middle of an ongoing parental conflict.

Source:  http://www.heartchoice.com

Parenting after divorce: Help your kids adjust to two happy homes

By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT

All human beings are resistant to change. It’s especially difficult for children. One of the greatest disruptions in a child’s life can be the upheaval caused by divorce. For this reason it is incumbent on you, as a parent, to doing everything possible day by day, month by month, to help your children adjust, assimilate into their new routines and accept the changes in their lives in the most positive possible ways.


To do that, you must be committed to putting your children’s physical, emotional and psychological needs foremost in your mind and heart. In that way, you will make decisions that are child-centered rather than based on your needs for getting back, proving your points or hurting your children’s other parent.


Yes, it’s not always an easy proposition to parent after divorce from this perspective. However, it’s the only option that will allow your children to have a sane childhood, good self-esteem, joy in their lives and a future that includes healthy relationships for themselves. Isn’t that what we all want for our children?

You can help your children adapt to two happy homes if you make that a priority and respect the fact that your kids are attached to their other parent. Don’t force them to break that bond or make them feel guilty for still loving their Dad or Mom, despite your divorce.

Because helping your child feel happy, safe, and loved is such an important goal for every parent, you can make joint parenting (custody is becoming a word of the past in many legal systems) arrangements work out if that is your honest intention.

To help your children feel wanted – little things count a lot!

All children need to know that they are loved and wanted in both homes. To help instill that important sense of belonging, try to avoid the need to pack a suitcase when children move between Mom and Dad’s homes.

It is smart to talk to your children early in the divorce process about starting a new chapter in their family life. Some things are changing – others will not change. It’s all part of the new chapter ahead – and new doesn’t have to mean sad or bad.

Many parents start by taking the kids shopping for some new things so they’ll have their own personal “stash” at both houses. Let each child make some personal selections of bedding, toiletry and clothing items. Little things like new pajamas, underwear, toothbrush, alarm clock, pillow, sunglasses, towels, shampoo, etc. can make a big difference in helping your children feel more at home, welcome and excited about some of the transition process.

A few new toys as well as old familiar ones are also important at this time. Selecting some DVDs or games together that are part of the new home environment will also help with readjustment, giving the kids something to look forward to when they arrive.

If your relationship with your former spouse is on a positive level, the family can get together to divide much of the children’s belongings as a family, letting the kids make some decisions about where certain items will remain or move. Try to have enough clothing changes and other routine possessions in each home, so you can avoid last-minute emergency pickups or misplaced items. Also allow the children to carry a few items back and forth if they choose, such as a favorite toy, jacket or photo.

Ideally each child should have some private space – a place in each home where they can keep their things – be it a closet, drawers, shelves, etc. The goal is to create a sense of “home” when they spend time with either Mom or Dad so they know they are safe, wanted and very much belong in the lives of both parents.

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Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is a relationship seminar facilitator and author of the new ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids … about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! The book provides fill-in-the-blank templates for customizing a personal family storybook that guides children through this difficult transition with optimum results. For free articles and other resources on child-centered divorce or to subscribe to her free ezine, go to: www.childcentereddivorce.com.


© Rosalind Sedacca 2009.  All rights reserved.

Children, divorce and summer vacation

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Divorce. This seven letter word changes everything in your life and continues to impact your life for years after it is so-called “finalized,” especially if you have children. However, a lot of the conflicts that occur between you and your ex-spouse don’t have to get as ugly as they sometimes do. All you have to do is change your mindset and view each interaction with your ex-spouse as an interaction with your parenting partner, then discussions, decisions and other interactions can flow much more fluidly.

Summer Vacation and Divorced Parents

Depending on your parenting plan, summer vacation can be a challenging time to schedule when the kids are with you and when they are with their other parent. Most divorced families view the summer as a particularly stressful time, because the kids are home from school and they have a lot of available time that needs to be scheduled. If you are in the middle of your divorce it may be best for the kids to spend the summer with their grandparents or at a summer camp. This will keep them out of the firing line, however, some kids find this isolation from the divorce as alienating and therefore you need to get their opinion about the situation before you make any concrete decisions about their summer.

Young Kids and Summer Vacation

If you have very young kids then it is in their best interest to spend as much time with each parent during the summer as possible. If practical, try to arrange a 50/50 schedule, so that your young children can spend a lot of quality time with each parent. If not possible, then schedule their time with each parent so that time is quality. Try to arrange vacation time from work so that it doesn’t overlap with your ex-spouse’s vacation time, this way your young children get to spend two or more weeks of vacation time with each parent, without having to go to a babysitter. During these special vacation weeks, spend time bonding with your young child and creating a new relationship with them.

Older Kids and Summer Vacation

While older kids may want to spend more of their summer vacation with their friends than with you, they still need quality time scheduled with both parents. Because older kids have the capability and desire to be an active part of the planning process for summer vacation it is a good idea to hold a family meeting that includes both parents and all the kids to determine how the summer schedule should be formatted. They can tell you what plans they all ready have and what they would like to do this summer, and you and your parenting partner can bring to the table when your vacation time is and what your schedule looks like. As a family unit, you can all work together to put together a summer vacation schedule that will work the best for all the members in your family unit.

Divorce is something that many parents have to deal with. When planning your summer vacation, try to keep in mind that you need time for yourself as well. Try to schedule in time for you to explore personal relationships

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Janice_Andersen

Divorce Overseas

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The United States Department of State posts this information on divorce overseas:

DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION IN THIS CIRCULAR IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND MAY NOT BE TOTALLY ACCURATE IN A PARTICULAR CASE. QUESTIONS INVOLVING INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFIC U.S. STATE OR FOREIGN LAWS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO LEGAL COUNSEL IN THAT JURISDICTION. STATE v. FEDERAL JURISDICTION: Marriage and divorce generally are considered matters reserved to the states rather than to the federal government. See, Sosna v. Iowa, 419 U.S. 393, 404 (1975) and Armstrong v. Armstrong, 508 F. 2d 348 (1st Cir. 1974 ). There is no treaty in force between the United States and any country on enforcement of judgments, including recognition of foreign divorces. RECOGNITION BASED ON COMITY: A divorce decree issued in a foreign country generally is recognized in a state in the United States on the basis of comity (Hilton v. Guyot, 159 U.S. 113, 163-64 (1895), provided both parties to the divorce received adequate notice, i.e., service of process and, generally, provided one of the parties was a domiciliary in the foreign nation at the time of the divorce. Under the principle of comity, a divorce obtained in another country under the circumstances described above receives “full faith and credit” in all other states and countries that recognize divorce. Although full faith and credit may be given to an ex parte divorce decree, states usually consider the jurisdictional basis upon which the foreign decree is founded and may withhold full faith and credit if not satisfied regarding domicile in the foreign country. Many state courts which have addressed the question of a foreign divorce where both parties participate in the divorce proceedings but neither obtains domicile there have followed the view that such a divorce invalid (Weber v. Weber, 200 Neb. 659, 265 N.W.2d 436 (1978); Everett v. Everett, 345 So. 2d 586 (La. Ct. App. 1977); Kugler v. Haitian Tours, Inc., 120 N.J. Super. 260, 293 A.2d 706 (1972); Estate of Steffke v. Wisconsin Department of Revenue, 65 Wis.2d 199, 222 N.W.2d 628 (1974); Commonwealth v. Doughty, 187 Pa. Super. 499, 144 A.2d 521 (1958); Bobala v. Bobala, 68 Ohio App. 63, 33 N.E.2d 845 (1940); Golden v. Golden, 41 N.M. 356, 68 P.2d 928 (1937). AUTHORITY COMPETENT TO DETERMINE VALIDITY OF FOREIGN DIVORCE IN A U.S. STATE: Questions regarding the validity of foreign divorces in particular states in the United States should be referred to the office of the Attorney General of the state in question. It may be necessary to retain the services of a private attorney if the office of the state Attorney General does not provide such assistance to private citizens. Provide counsel with copies of foreign marriage certificates, divorce decrees and copies of foreign laws concerning divorce which may be available from the foreign attorney who handled the divorce. MIGRATORY DIVORCES: ” Foreign “migratory” divorces fall into four basic categories: (Nichols, Recognition and Enforcement: American Courts, Look at Foreign Divorces, 9 Family Advocate 9-10, 37 (1987). — “Ex Parte” divorces, based on the petitioner”s physical presence in the foreign nation, with notice or constructive service given to the absent defendant; — “Bilateral” divorces, based on the physical presence of both parties in the divorcing nation, or the physical presence of the petitioner and the voluntary “appearance” by the defendant through an attorney; — “Void” divorces, where an ex parte divorce is obtained without notice, actual or constructive, to the absent defendant. Courts do not recognize or enforce this type of divorce; — “Practical recognition” divorces, wherein practical recognition may be afforded such decrees because of estoppel, laches, unclean hands, or similar equitable doctrines under which the party attacking the decree may be effectively barred from securing a judgment of invalidity. 13 A.L.R. 3d 1419, 1452. Many jurisdictions will prohibit the spouse who consented to the divorce from attacking it later under a principle of fairness called “estoppel”. Thus, a party may be precluded from attacking a foreign divorce decree if such an attack would be inequitable under the circumstances. Scherer v. Scherer, 405 N.E. 2d 40, 44 (Ind. App. 1980), Rosenstiel v. Rosenstiel, 16 N.Y.2d 64, 209 N.E.2d 709, 262 N.Y.S.2d 86 (1965), and Yoder v. Yoder, 31 Conn.Supp. 345, 330 A.2d 825 (1974).

REGISTERING FOREIGN DIVORCES AND THE ROLE OF U.S. EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES ABROAD : There are no provisions under U.S. law or regulation for registration of foreign divorce decrees at U.S. embassies or consulates abroad. 22 C.F.R. 52 does provide for authentication of foreign marriage and divorce records. This is not a form a registration, but simply the placing of the seal of the U.S. embassy or consulate, or other competent authority in countries party to the Hague Legalization Convention, over the seal of the foreign court. See below for a detailed discussion of the authentication process.

UNIFORM STATE LAWS AND REGISTRATION OF DIVORCES: The Uniform Act on Marriage and Divorce (1970, 1973), 9A Unif. Laws. Ann. 461 (Supp. 1965), is in force in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, and Washington state. Section 314(c) of the Uniform Act on Marriage and Divorce establishes a procedure for the clerk of court where the divorce decree is issued to register the decree in the place where the marriage itself was originally registered. The Uniform Divorce Recognition Act, 9 Unif. Laws Ann. 644 (1979), specifically denies recognition to a divorce decree obtaining in another jurisdiction when both spouses were domiciled in the home state. The Uniform Divorce Recognition Act is in force in California, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Wisconsin. Information about uniform state laws is available from the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws , 676 North St. Clair Street, Suite 1700, Chicago, Illinois 60611, tel: 312-915-0195 or via the Internet at http://www.law.upenn.edu/library/ulc/ulc.htm.

U.S. CONSULAR CERTIFICATES OF WITNESS TO MARRIAGE: With the repeal of the old 1860 statute on “solemnization of marriages”, 22 U.S.C. 4192 on November 9, 1989, U.S. consular officers ceased issuing “Certificates of Witness to Marriage”. Copies of certificates of witness to marriage issued between 1860 -1989 are available from the Office of Passport Services, Vital Records Section , CA/PPT/PS/PC, Suite 510, 1111 19th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20522, 202-955-0307. See also the Passport Services section of the Consular Affairs home page on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov.

FOREIGN MARRIAGE CERTIFICATES: In the absence of the issuance of a “Certificate of Witness to Marriage,” copies of foreign marriage certificates may be obtained directly from the civil registrar in the foreign country where the marriage occurred. Contact the embassy or consulate of the foreign country in the United States for guidance on how to obtain copies of foreign public documents. The documents may then be authenticated for use in the United States as explained below. English translations may be certified by translators in the United States before a notary public. When requesting copies of foreign public documents such as marriage or divorce records, it may be advisable to write to the foreign authorities in the language of the foreign country. Enclose copies of pertinent documents and any required fees in the form of an international money order.

PROOF OF FOREIGN DIVORCE: Obtain a certified copy of the foreign divorce decree from the court in the foreign country where the divorce decree was issued. Then have the document authenticated for use in the United States as explained below. Finally, obtain a certified English translation of the divorce decree (the translator executes a certificate before a notary public in the United States). When requesting copies of foreign public documents such as marriage or divorce records, it may be advisable to write to the foreign authorities in the language of the foreign country. Enclose copies of pertinent documents and any required fees in the form of an international money order.

AUTHENTICATION OF DIVORCE AND MARRIAGE RECORDS: It may be necessary for you to provide foreign authorities or your attorney with authenticated, translated copies of your foreign divorce decree and any other pertinent documents. Consult your foreign attorney before going to this expense. An information flyer explaining the authentication process is available from the Office of American Citizens Services via our home page. Other available topics include Hague Legalization Convention and General Authentication Flyer . See also the main U.S. State Department home page at http://www.state.gov/.

 U.S. SSA, VA and IRS DETERMINATIONS REGARDING FOREIGN DIVORCES: There have been a number of determinations by the U.S. Social Security Administration , Veterans Administration , and Internal Revenue Service regarding the validity of foreign divorces based on the laws of the state of residence applicable with respect to claims for benefits. For SSA, see http://www.ssa.gov/. See also, 20 C.F.R. 404.314, SSR 66-1; 20 CFR 404.328(a), 404.1101, and 404.1104, SSR 72-61; 20 CFR 404.335(a), SSR 73-10a; 20 CFR 404.336, SSR 75-16; SSR 61-65; 20 CFR 404.340(c), SSR 88-15c, Section 202(g)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 402(g)(1)(A) (Slessinger v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, 1A Unempl. Ins. Rep. (CCH), 17,843 (1st Cir. 1987). (Cunningham v. Harris, 658 F.2d 239, 243 (4th Cir. 1981).; Thompson v. Harris, 504 F. Supp. 653, 654 (D. Mass. 1980); Lugot v. Harris, 499 F. Supp. 1118 (D. Nev. 1980). For Veterans Administration, see 27 FR 6281, July 3, 1962, as amended by 35 FR 16831, October 31, 1970; 40 FR 53581, November 19, 1975; 52 FR 19349, May 22, 1987. For the IRS, see Estate of Felt v. Comm”r, 54 T.C.M. (CCH) 528 (1987). It is our understanding that when obtained in good faith and not a sham for tax-avoidance purpose, the Internal Revenue Service recognizes foreign divorces.

OTHER CONTACTS: It may be helpful for American attorneys not familiar with enforcement and recognition of foreign divorces to consult the following resources: ABA – the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association, 750 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60611, 312-988-5000; ABA Center on Children and the Law , 740 15th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005, tel: 202-662-1740, http://www.abanet.org:80/child/home.html; State or local bar association; American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers , 150 N. Michigan Avenue, Ste. 2040, Chicago, IL 50501, 312-263-6477, http://www.aaml.org/; International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers , Secretariat, 13 Claybury, Bushey, Herts WD2 3ES, United Kingdom, tel: (011)(44) 0181-950-6452; fax: (011)(44) 0181,950-8895; http://www.iaml-usa.com/; International Society of Family Law, Brigham Young University School of Law, 518 JRCB, Provo, UT 84602; American Society of International Law, 2223 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, Tel: (202) 939-6000; Fax: (202) 797-7133. International Bar Association (IBA), 2 Harewood Place, Hanover Square, London, WIR9HB, England, Tel: (011) (44) (171) 629-1206; Fax: (011) (44) (171) 409-0-456. Library of Congress Law Library, Room 240, James Madison Bldg., 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20540, tel: 202-707-5079.

TREATIES: The United States is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Recognition of Divorces and Legal Separations of June 1, 1970 (978 U.N.T.S. 399 (975). See also, 5 Int”l Legal Materials 389, 393 (1966); 14 Am. J. Comp. L. 697, 700 (1966); 8 Int”l Legal Materials 31, 34 (1969); 8 Int”l Legal Materials 787, 800 (1969); 18 Int”l and Comp. L.Q. 488 (1969); 5 Family L.Q. 321 (1971); Reese, The Hague Draft Convention on Recognition of Foreign Divorces: A Comments, 14 Am. J. Comp. L. 692 (1966); Von Mehren, Draft Convention on the Recognition of Divorces and Legal Separations: Introductory Note, 16 Am. J. Comp. L. 580 (1968); Hampton, Hunning, & Wadsley, Current Legal Developments, Hague Convention on Recognition of Divorce and Legal Separation, 18 Int”l and Comp. L.Q. 483, 488 (1969). The Convention relates to such recognition but not to any ancillary matters such as findings of fault, orders for maintenance or custody of children. The Convention is in force in Australia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS: The Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services has available a general information flyer on the subject of enforcement of judgments which is accessible via our automated fax service or our home page on the Internet as explained below.

SELECTED REFERENCES: 24 Am. Jur. 2d, Divorce and Separation, Sec. 971, 972, 27B C.J.S. Divorce Sec. 364-366. Berke, Mexican Divorces, 7 Prac. Law. 84 (1961). Bronstein, The Question of Haitian and Dominican Divorces, 166 N.Y.L.J., Sept. 21, 1971. Ceschini, Divorce Proceedings in Italy: Domestic and International Procedures, 28 Family Law Quarterly, American Bar Association, 143, 150 (1994). Comment, Mexican Bilateral Divorce — A Catalyst in Divorce Jurisdiction Theory?, 61 Nw. U.L. Rev. 584 (1966). Domestic Relations – Jurisdiction, Extension of Comity to Foreign Nation Divorce, 46 Tenn. L. Rev. 238, 241 (1978). Dyer, Recognition and Enforcement Abroad, 9 Family Advocate No. 4, ABA Family Law Section, 5, 11-14 (1987). Forscher, Haitian, Dominican Laws of Divorce Evaluated, 166 N.Y.L.J., (October 19-20, 1971). Foreign Divorces, A Question of Jurisdiction, 5 Southern University L. Rev. 139 (1984). Fulton, Caribbean Divorce for Americans: Useful Alternative or Obsolescent Institution?, 10 Cornell Int”l L. J. 116, 133 (1976). Glassman, Recognition and Enforcement at Home, 9 Family Advocate No. 4, ABA Family Law Section, 4, 6-8, (1987). Hackworth, Digest of International Law, Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State, Vol. II, Chapter VI, Section 168, 382-391 (1941). Holden, Divorce in the Commonwealth, 20 Int”l and Comp. L.Q. 58, 74 (1971). Howe, The Recognition of Foreign Divorce Decrees in New York State, 40 Colum. L. Rev. 373, 376 (1940); 23 Colum. L. Rev. 782 (1923). Juenger, Recognition of Foreign Divorces: British and American Perspectives, 20 Am. J. Comp. L. 1 (1972). Mendes da Costa, The Canadian Divorce Law of 1968 and its Provisions on Conflicts, 17 Am. J. Comp. L. 214 (1969). Nichols, American Courts Look at Foreign Decrees, 9 Family Advocate No. 4, ABA Family Law Section, 9-10, 37 (1987). Pedersen, Recent Trends in Danish Family Law and Their Historical Background, 20 Int”l and Comp. L.Q. 332, 341 (1971). Swisher, Foreign Migratory Divorces: A Reappraisal, 21 J. Fam. L. 9, 25n, 71-72 (1982). Stone, The New Fundamental Principles of Soviet Family Law and Their Social Background, 18 Int”l and Comp. L.Q. 392, 406 (1969). Turner, Divorce: Australian and German “Breakdown” Provisions Compared, 18 Int”l and Comp. L.Q. 896, 937 (1969). Whiteside, Domestic Relations – The Validity of Foreign Divorce Decrees in North Carolina (Mayer v. Mayer) 20 Wake Forrest L. Rev. 765 (1984).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The Office of American Citizens Services has available general information flyers on international judicial assistance , many of which are available through our automated fax system or via our home page. Using the Autofax System: Dial (202) 647-3000 using the phone on your fax machine. Follow the prompts to obtain the information that you need. Using the Internet: Many of our judicial assistance flyers are also available on the Internet via the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page under Judicial Assistance . See also, the Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser for Private International Law (L/PIL) home page for information regarding private international law unification. See also the home pages for many of our embassies. QUESTIONS: Additional questions may be addressed to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of American Citizens Services, Room 4817 N.S., 2201 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20520, tel: (202) 647-5225 or 202-647-5226.

Divorce and illness

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 The disruptive effects of a divorce can extend even to the immune system, the body’s line of defense against disease, according to a recent study at the Ohio State University College of Medicine.

In a study comparing women who had been separated from their husbands for one year or less with women still married, blood tests showed the separated women had a lower level of cells that resist tumors and bacteria, and higher levels of cells indicating susceptibility to virus. The overall pattern indicated a loss of effectiveness in the immune system’s ability to resist disease in the separated women.

The research, reported in the current issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, was done by Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, a psychologist in the department of psychiatry at the medical college, working with immunologists there.

The more recent the separation and the greater the woman’s atachment to her former spouse, the more impaired her immune function was likely to be. The new study is the first to go beyond reports of illness to measure the functioning of the immune system itself.

The study also showed that marital conflict could have a deteriorating effect on the immune system.

Source:  http://www.newyorktimes.com

How to delay divorce until the economy gets better

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 By Kathryn Vercillo,

The bad economy is putting a big strain on marriages. Many people want to get divorced. However, now could be the worst time to get a divorce. Not only is divorce expensive but it’s also not smart to make such an important decision during such a tough time in your life. Here is a look at how to hold off on that divorce decision until the economy is looking brighter.

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging


Things You’ll Need:

  • Marriage.
  • Time.
  • Patience.
  • Love.
  • Self-knowledge.

Step 1

Open up the lines of communication with your spouse. The most important thing is that you discuss what is going on. State clearly that you are concerned about your marriage but that you don’t want to divorce right now and ask your spouse if he or she is willing to hang in there for a little while with you.

Step 2

Discuss what you both want from this marriage at this time. This is the starting ground for making a plan to stay together. Be willing to compromise on what you want in order to keep the marriage lasting through the tough times.

Step 3

Commit to a specific amount of time during which you will both work on the marriage. Delay any discussion about divorce until after that time. One year is a good length of time to give your marriage a chance as well as to see if the economy changes a bit.

Step 4

Set common financial goals to strengthen your relationship and your finances at the same time. Goals related to frugal living, saving for a big gift for your children or learning to use finance software together can bring you closer while helping out with money. Don’t work on goals that require you to be together forever (for example, don’t save towards an anniversary trip) but rather goals that will benefit you both individually even if a divorce does eventually take place.

Step 5

Stop fighting about the little things. Once you’ve decided to stay together, make it as pleasant as possible. Stop nagging and fighting about the little things. In times of stress, we often take our stress out on those closest to us but this damages relationships. Learn other outlets for your stress and simply stop fighting. There’s just no point anymore.

Step 6

Work on understanding the stres that your spouse feels. When he or she does nag or take things out on you, try to understand that it’s coming from a place of stress. This doesn’t mean that you need to put up with it but it allows you to approach asking for change in a constructive way instead of getting defensive and fighting back.

Step 7

Take time apart. A relationship needs time to breathe particularly during stressful times. Make sure that you’re both hanging out with friends, taking walks alone and doing things that you enjoy separately.

Step 8

Revive some romance if at all possible. Getting through this rough economic time is a lot easier if you have happy moments in the middle of it. If there’s any chance of romance left between the two of you, now is the time to turn up the flame on that burner!


Source: http://www.ehow.com

Child-Centered Divorce: Learning from the mistakes of others

 Take the Fisher Divorce Adjustment Scale at http://www.DivorceSeminarCenter.com

By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT

Over the years there have been endless studies on the effects of
divorce on parents and children. Some of the results are
controversial. Others seem to be universally accepted as relevant
and real. Here are a few of my perceptions from studies on children
who experience divorce that I believe all of us, as parents, should
take to heart.

·         Not surprisingly, the first two years of divorce are the most
difficult. In some cases it takes an average of three to five years
to really “work through” and resolve many of the issues and
emotions that come to the surface. For some, the effects of divorce
last many additional years — or even a lifetime — if not dealt
with appropriately. Taking steps toward a child-centered divorce
can dramatically impact the negative effects of divorce on all
members of the family. It will help everyone to move through this
time rather than merely letting “time heal all wounds.”

·         Preschoolers tend to be more frightened and anxious, but seem to
adjust better than older children in the long run. Their biggest
fear is of abandonment. Stressing security and a continuation of
family routines is very helpful for them. Older children understand
more, but do not have adequate coping skills and therefore seem to
have more long-term problems. This is often because they remember
life before the divorce and so experience a greater change of life
patterns and dwell more on comparisons between the past and
present. Stressing the love both parents have for the child — and
that that love will continue forever is vitally important whenever

·         Children who may have witnessed a troubled marriage and family life
may greatly benefit from observing their parents now working out a
reasonable and respectful post-divorce arrangement. This positive
and mature behavior will affect a child’s adjustment more than any
other factor.   

·         It is never too late to create a child-centered divorce, even if
you started on the wrong track. Every step you take toward focusing
on your children’s emotional, psychological and physical needs as
they move through the months and years post-divorce, will be a step
toward modeling for them how loving, compassionate, and caring
parents respond to their children’s needs. I encourage you to make
your relationship with your children’s other parent as respectful
and considerate as you can — for the sake of your children.                   

* * * *

Rosalind Sedacca’s new ebook How Do I Tell the Kids about the
Divorce? can be found at http://www.howdoitellthekids.com. She can
be reached at
Rosalind@childcentereddivorce.com. Her free articles
and ezine are available at

Copyright Rosalind Sedacca 2007




The best relationship advice I ever got

 Take the Fisher Divorce Adjustment Scale at www.DivorceSeminarCenter.com

By Sara Anderson

No doubt, there are days when you feel as though you deserve the “Best Partner in the World” award: You make sure dates with your mate stay fun, you settle arguments with amazing grace and you don’t always go into whining mode when you find his dirty socks next to, rather than in, the hamper. How did you get so smart? You were given some stellar advice from friends and family. Here, the nuggets of relationship wisdom you’ve stayed faithful to over the years.

 #1. Polite Fight “On my wedding-invitation RSVP cards, I left space for guests to write their favorite wedding wisdom. The tidbit that rings truest after almost nine months of marriage is: ‘Attack the issue, not each other.’ How it works: If my husband and I disagree about something, we stay focused on the issue and skip the personal put-downs.” — Melissa Gitter Schilowitz, 31, Metuchen, NJ

#2. Fit to a Tee “My grandmother insisted that I learn how to play golf. ‘If your husband loves to play, you can go along and spend hours together,’ she said. So I took lessons, and now my husband and I hit the links once a month. We both love the game and are thrilled to share a hobby, even when we spend half an hour looking for my out-of-bounds balls!” — Aimee Borders, 27, Houston, TX

 #3. Tabletop Trick “My aunt told me that if I’m running late when it’s my turn to make dinner, just set the table. That way my husband thinks he’ll be eating any minute, so he doesn’t start complaining, which buys me some time. It’s a silly trick that sounds straight out of the 1950s, but I have to admit that I’ve tried it a few times in the three years I’ve been married — and it works!” — Dawn Clayton, 34, Holdrege, NE

#4. Boob-Tube Brilliance “Because my husband is such a remote-control freak, my mom suggested that we have ‘my turn’ TV nights. That means three nights a week I get to hold the remote and watch whatever I want, and on the other nights it’s his turn to hold the remote and watch whatever he wants. Now when he starts flipping through the channels, it doesn’t get on my nerves like it used to.” — Angela Clayton, 27, Odenton, MD

#5. Pop the Question “My sister-in-law passed this helpful hint on to me, and it has served me well for our five years of wedded bliss: ‘Marriage is not mind reading, so ask your spouse what he/she wants and believe what he/she says.’” — Clare Graca, 27, Dallas

#6. Nix the Nit-Picking “Before I said ‘I do,’ my mom (who’s been married to my dad for 55 years) told me to take out a piece of paper and write down the top three things that bugged me about my husband-to-be. Then she told me to forget the things on that list and forgive him for not being flawless. Once you make a commitment this big, she explained, you can’t let petty things get in the way. In our eight years of marriage, my husband and I have had two kids, tackled cross-country moves and started two businesses — and so far, so great.”– Rebecca Hart Blaudow, 31, Jacksonville, FL

#7. Space Smarts “Always have separate closets, my best friend told me. It may seem silly, but I listened to her and made sure to find a one-bedroom apartment with two closets (mine being the larger, of course). Now my husband and I each have our own private space, and we respect that: If he wants to keep his shoes in one huge heap or leave his dirty clothes in a pile on the floor, the mess doesn’t bother me a bit!” — Patricia Bontekoe, 26, Lake Hiawatha, NJ

#8. Agree to Disagree “Before we got married, my minister told my husband and me, ‘You are two imperfect people making an imperfect union, and that’s wonderful.’ This advice made me ditch my belief that in a happy marriage, the couple always agrees. My husband and I have learned to appreciate our differences (yes, even differences of opinion!); in fact, we encourage them because we realize now that those differences are what makes each of us unique and special.” — Beth Swanson, 28, Chicago

 #9. Comic Relief “Before I headed down the aisle, my stepfather told me to always laugh and never take myself too seriously. After four years of marriage, I know that this trick works. My husband and I often play practical jokes on each other and always try to crack each other up, even in the middle of an argument. Hey, if one person laughs, a fight tends to fizzle, doesn’t it?” — Lisa Giassa, 31, Bogota, NJ

 Anti-Pop Advice From the Experts

You’ve probably heard a few of these pieces of marital pop wisdom before. If so, these marriage experts say to promptly forget ‘em.

Love means never having to say you’re sorry.

 “Oh, please! In marriage, love sometimes means having to say you’re sorry even if you don’t know what you did or you didn’t mean to do it.” – Trisha Taylor, psychotherapist, Houston, TX

Always be totally honest. “What are you going to do, tell him that he’s just too short and you can’t stand his mother? Sometimes you need to temper the truth.” — Tara Fields, Ph.D., marriage, family and child therapist, Marin County, CA

Children come first.

“This is bad advice if it means your husband always comes second. Of course you should love and care for your kids, but you should never lose sight of your couple-ness. The best thing a child can have is happy, fulfilled parents who are deeply in love.” — Mary Pender Greene, chief of social work services, Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, New York

Always keep the peace.

“No, no, no. If you don’t face a hot issue head-on, you’ll stockpile negative feelings. And before you know it, 20 years go by and you’re still fighting over the same thing because you never resolved it in the first place.” — Rebecca S. Ward, M.S.W., psychotherapist, Little Rock, AR

Never go to bed angry.

“Forget it. Often a couple needs time to calm down before they can rationally wrap up an argument. And that may take a few days, so in the meantime, get some sleep!”

 Source: http://www.msn.com

Divorce your spouse–not your children’s grandparents

Take the Fisher Divorce Adjustment Scale at www.DivorceSeminarCenter.com

By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT

When parents divorce, each member of the family is affected in very unique and personal ways. The age of the child, their gender, their relationship with their siblings, how close they were to each parent and a myriad of other factors all influence the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual repercussions in the months and years ahead.


There re many others whose lives are forever changed by the complexities of divorce. Frequently overlooked and often tragically scarred are the grandparents. Custody issues are hard enough for parents to battle out. Few take into account the consequences for grandparents whose unconditional love for their grandchildren is such a healthy and rewarding part of normal family life.


Once again this is a time for clear thinking on behalf of your children. Should they be deprived of the warmth, intimacy and loving support of grandparents just because you are angry at your former spouse? When you take out your marital frustrations on your in-laws — your children’s grandparents — it’s your children who will suffer.


Grandparents have a special place in the lives and hearts of their grandchildren. Usually they are the ones to spoil the kids, indulge them, take them off your hands when no one else can come to the rescue. Of course, not all grandparents fit the idyllic stereotype, nor are all grandparents emotionally close to their grandchildren. But if your in-laws have a healthy relationship with your children, think long and hard before severing that chord.


A child-centered divorce honors and respects all the adults and children that play a part in your children’s lives. One of the primary factors in easing your children through the challenges of separation or divorce is maintaining their lives as closely as possible to their pre-divorce routines. The less disruption in their schedules, day-to-day and month-to-month activities, the easier will be their transition through divorce and beyond.


Spending time with grandma and grandpa, whether every Sunday, once a month or once a year over Christmas or summer vacation, is a routine that means life is going on with some semblance of safety, security and ease. Consider the consequences before interrupting or sabotaging that relationship. Don’t deny your children the support system they have come to love and depend upon out of spite, resentment or any other motive not of relevance to your children.


Divorce is tough all around. It behooves you to do the right thing every step of the way. Seek out professional guidance if you need help regarding decisions affecting your children. Let those decisions be motivated by your love for your children – not by your resentment against those who love your children, as well.