Divorce Survival Tips


Divorce can be a very messy, costly and stressful time.  I just wanted to share some helpful strategies for those in this dilemma from  experienced civil and family attorney Areva Martin  who offers her tips for how to protect yourself if you’re getting a divorce. Know your rights when it comes to spousal support, child support and marital assets — you’re not as powerless as you may feel.

Divorce proceedings are like war in most cases. You need to be prepared for the battle.
Before you even consider filing, consult with at least three attorneys in your area to find out upfront fees, etc. Seek good advice early on. Most cities have legal aid societies, and many lawyers offer free 30-minute consultations. Also, meet with your accountant to understand tax consequences and other issues related to valuation of property, retirement plans, stocks, etc.
Consider the timing of your divorce. If your spouse is due a bonus or raise, wait until it is paid out before filing, to avoid any claim that its not marital property. If you have been in long-term marriage, stick it out to the 10-year mark. This will help you get more of your spouse’s social security. Once you decide to get a divorce, file first. There are some advantages in a divorce proceeding for the person who files first.
Make yourself indispensible. Make sure your name is on all bank accounts, investment accounts, deeds of trust, utilities, etc. and that joint signatures are needed. This will prevent your spouse from raiding your bank accounts.
Make copies of all documents (tax returns, bank statements, credit card bills, W-2 forms, mortgage statements, loan agreements, etc.)
Track down the assets. You need to know where every penny is. This includes bank accounts, stocks, bonds, jewelry, etc. In a divorce, each spouse has to disclose all assets, but often individuals are less than forthcoming. Know what is out there as half, or some portion of it, is yours.
Protect your credit. You will need your credit to start your new lifestyle. Don’t co-sign for your spouse.
Stash some cash. You need to start saving your money well before you file. Your spouse probably already has money tucked away.
Try to negotiate temporary support payments. If you and your spouse are able to talk, try to negotiate temporary alimony and child support payments that will tide you over until divorce is final.
Separate your money. Take half of the money out of your accounts so that you will have some money to live on and so that your spouse won’t beat you to it.
Dust off your resume. Even though you may be entitled to alimony, it’s discretionary, and it won’t last forever.
Custody is decided by the courts when contested. It’s better to try to work something out before getting the courts involved. The courts have an obligation to determine who is in the best position to care for the children and what is in the best interest of the children. In most cases, assuming both parents are fit, the court will award joint custody, as law assumes children need both parents.
Don’t put the kids in the middle. Keep your kids out of it. Don’t involve them in the decision to get a divorce or any of the particulars. It’s bad for the kids, and it makes you look bad in a custody battle.
Don’t alienate your children from your spouse. Judges hate this, and it’s bad for the children.
Child support is mandated by law ” don’t worry. If your spouse has a job, and you have the kids, he or she will pay child support, and it can be garnished from his or her wages.
Document any type of abuse.
Decide who to confide in. During this planning stage, keep your discussions limited to one or two people you can trust and who you know won’t talk to your spouse.
Don’t fall for the hype. Don’t let your spouse convince you that you will end up with nothing, or you will be kicked out of the house. Your spouse doesn’t make these decisions, the judge does. Half of everything your spouse owns belongs to you.

ReEvaluate Your Relationships

evaluateYou know it’s time re-evaluate and sometimes separate from people in your life…

 . When the people around you question your assignment and they are jealous, insecure, instigate drama and can’t celebrate your success.

 . When the people around you shake your ladder of success instead of holding it for you.

. When they blow things out of proportion, exaggerate and dramatize every situation.

 .  When your friends become territorial and jealous of your mate, children, friends or your personal drive for success.

. When you have a “high maintenance” friendship (e.g. too needy, requires too much time, attention, compliments and reassurance because they are easily offended, they have no boundaries, they need you to co-sign all of their drama, gossip and poor decisions.)

 . When they smile in your face while trying to take your place.

. If they rather talk about your past instead of your possibilities.

. When they help you decorate for your pity party instead of encouraging you to get up.

. When their drama filled/toxic relationship is influencing your marriage/relationship.

.  When small thinking people try to speak fear into your big faith.

. When they think like a chicken and stay on the ground floor but you think like an eagle and you are ready to soar.  It’s time to re-evaluate or separate from people they don’t want to see you fly and try to pull you down from the sky.

 Your associations determine your destination.” ~ Jewel Diamond Taylor, http://www.DoNotGiveUp.net

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Who gets your…

“Who gets your time, energy, support and talent? Who do you talk to about your dreams and goals? If the people around you question your assignment, jealous, insecure, instigate drama and can’t celebrate your success…upgrade! If the people around you shake your ladder of success instead of holding it for you…upgrade!

If they smile in your face while trying to take your place…upgrade! If their words don’t align with their actions…upgrade! If they rather talk about your past instead of your possibilities…upgrade! If they help you decorate for your pity party instead of encouraging you to get up…its time to upgrade.

If their drama filled/toxic relationship is influencing your marriage/relationship…its time to upgrade! If small thinking people try to speak fear into your big faith…its time to upgrade!

If they think like a chicken and stay on the ground floor but you think like an eagle ready to soar…its time to upgrade! Your associations determine your destination.” ~ Jewel Diamond Taylor http://www.DoNotGiveUp.net. e-mail Jewel@DoNotGiveUp.net, 323.964.1736

Confessions from a Wife

confessions from a wifeIn the earlier days of my marriage I focused more on my husband’s flaws. My parents divorced when I was seven(7) years old. My mother’s second marriage was troubled also so I never had a real model of how a husband should take care of his wife. My Mother, Grandmother and significant mentors that could teach me how to grow as a wise wife and mother passed away early in my marriage. As a younger wife I didn’t realize the inner qualities were so much more important than the looks, sweet talk, hot sex, gifts, etc.  My husband John has proven to me how a real husband should treat his wife. Once I stopped focusing on the flaws, I began to see how favored I am to have a husband who is stable, honest, unselfish, dependable and always has my back.  I’m thankful to God for showing me how I needed to change me instead of trying to change him.  He is not perfect and neither am I.  We both made our share of mistakes.  But I’m so grateful I really “see” his character. He never complains. He loves our sons. He doesn’t easily stress or worry. I’ve seen the good, bad and the ugly in men. I’ve seen the unfaithful, the lazy, the selfish, the prayer and the player, the deceiver, the hard worker, the provider, the priest, the protector, the immature and my awesome family that I love so muchthe mature all around me.  I thank God that my heart and eyes see his character and the treasure I have in my husband. He doesn’t like too much attention or accolades. But I feel so compelled after seeing him tirelessly press, provide, care, sacrifice, serve and believe in me and my sons day after day, year after year (43), without complaining or hesitation. In spite of my mistakes and lack of understanding, wisdom and wife-mentoring, I can truly say, “God has smiled on me and our marriage to see better days.

I now choose peace instead seeking a perfect marriage.  It took too long for me to figure out his love language and let go of my unrealistic fantasies informed by movies, TV, magazines and the music from the Whispers, Jeffrey Osborne, Will Downing, etc. God’s grace, provision, guidance and redemptive love is reflecting in our REALationship. It’s a REALationship where we are both secure without games, mistrust, foolishness or selfishness.  In sickness and health, for richer or poorer…John has shown me how a REAL man treats his wife and family.  Because I learned to pursue my purpose and have such wonderful sisterfriends in my life, it takes the pressure off him having to make me feel complete.  That’s my job.”

Ladies I counsel and coach so many women who pass over the “good ones” because they are seeking the ones with the swag, good looks, shiny cars, big wallets, position, titles, power and sweet talk. Take it from me…don’t miss your good thing by only looking at the external and overlooking his character. So many women will settle for the one who will show them a good time in bed, in Vegas, at the club, or concert but he is not there for them when the holidays or hard times happen. This kind of man reminds me of Cherelle’s popular song…he just wants to be your “Saturday Love , never on Sunday, Monday’s too soon, Tuesday and Wednesday just won’t do, Thursday and Friday, we can begin.

If you can’t find him…if he doesn’t answer the phone…if he is abusive emotionally or physically…if he doesn’t come home…if he is selfish…if he doesn’t respect you and your children…STOP in the name of love. I see far too many women lacking in their self-esteem, relationship IQ, patience, faith and wisdom.

Now I play the role of elder and mentor to women because I believe in being transparent, available, honest and dedicated to empower other women to avoid some of the choices I made and learn how to love smart with their heart. ~ The Self-esteem Dr. Jewel Diamond Taylor, author of “Follow Your Heart But Take Your Brain With You”www.DoNotGiveUp.net


Relationship Tips

RelationSHIP steps

1. No two people are the same. Disagreements happen on a mental level.  Disapproval of your mate’s appearance, choices, work, faith and values happens on an emotional level.  Disagreements are to be expected, but constant disapproval of your mate does more damage to your relationship. Harsh words can hurt more than physical pain.  Taste your own words before you spit them out.  Words hurt and scar more than you think, so THINK before you speak.  And remember, what you say about others also says a whole lot about YOU.  Disagreements will happen in any relationship, just remember disapproval with your nasty words, attitude, physical harm, silence or rejection can create deep wounds that never heal.

2. There are so many claims for your attention and time (e.g. TVs in each room, technology, work, church, school and meetings).  Families that pray, talk, share and connect together on a regular basis, especially around the dinner table, have a better success rate for happiness and longevity.

3. Wouldn’t you rather come home to a castle…rather than a hassle?  Do you want peace or to be right.  Choose your battles wisely.

4.  When relationships are new, generally speaking…men tend to rush into physical intimacy.  Women tend to rush into emotional intimacy.  Men think connection is sex.  Women think connection happens from talking.

5.  If you both agree on three books, you can reduce problems.  They are the check book (financial harmony, goals, habits), cook book (sharing meals, talking, preparing meals for each other) and the Good Book (praying together and for each other, spiritual growth, study, maturing in God’s word together).

6.  Women experience hurt more than anger.  It’s healthy for women to learn how to express and own their feelings to avoid depression.  Men are taught to master work, wealth, war, and women.  Men are socially taught to exercise power and to refuse to surrender.  Men are socialized to be silent and would probably have a heart attack before talking about a broken heart.  The average man is socialized to deny, defending against and control his emotions.

7.  Every relationship has a decision-making style.  Poor communication in a relationship is a major cause for breakdowns and divorce.

  1. Supportive – let’s talk, we’ll decide
  2. Coaching – let’s talk, I’ll decide
  3. Delegating – you decide
  4. Controlling – I’ll decide

Relationship status 1~ by Jewel Diamond Taylor, www.DoNotGiveUp.net

Do you have a man or a dog?

excerpt from my book “Love Smart with Your Heart” by Jewel Diamond Taylor

Yes, there are good, mature, loving, caring, responsible and faithful men.  This book is NOT male bashing.  This message helps women to discern bad behavior.  This message helps women to avoid stepping into a dog mess.  This message helps women to guard their heart.  This message helps women to understand how men and women are wired differently.  This message helps women to love smart and build a healthy self-esteem.

Yes, one of the great traits of dogs is that they are loyal.  Yet there are untamed, bad tempered and aggressive dogs that exhibit behavior you should be warned about.  There are some dogs that are too friendly with strangers and will go to anybody.  Some dogs have fleas that you can’t see.  Some dogs bark too much.  Some dogs just want to sleep all day and stay in the house.  Some dogs are good watch dogs and want to protect you.  Some dogs will bite you for no reason.  Many dogs make loyal and comforting companions and love you unconditionally.  And there are those men who are players for life…unfaithful roamers who justify their bad boy behavior by saying…”It’s just the dog in me…chasing the cat.”

Who let the dogs out?@!

A “player” and a “dog” know what to say and how to say it with charm to get what they want.

A dog is nicest when they want to be fed, they wag their tail.

After you give a man what he wants, without consideration for your own needs, values and lifestyles… you are setting  yourself up to be used and mistreated.

Dogs only go where they are fed.    Maintain your self-respect and self-esteem.  If you keep answering the phone and opening the door to your bedroom even though you are being mistreated… you are opening your heart and spirit to trouble, pain, more disrespect and abuse.

Once you stop feeding a stray dog, they stop coming around.

Unless he’s a puppy… have him tested, you don’t know where he’s been.

Don’t handle aggression with aggression.

Compliment good behavior. (good boy)

Understand that men are territorial.

Dogs are territorial.

Puppy love fades – they pant and beg when they don’t get what they want.

If he spends most of his time playing games (i.e. video, play station, sports)…you got a boy…not a man.

If his eyes still roam and he can’t resist flirting with other women or won’t delete the phone numbers from past relationships…he still wants to play…not stay.

Seek respect first.  Love takes time.

Observe family members and friends of your mate because they influence and shape their personality and lifestyle.

Some things dogs do just aren’t cute.  If you are cleaning up after his mess all the time. You don’t have a mature man.  If his pants are drooping like a diaper and he calls his place a “crib”, you’ve got a baby…not a man.

Read more in e-book/PDF format – click here for your copy only $9.99

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