My top 6 tips for surviving Valentine ’s day when divorced



My top 6 tips for surviving Valentine ’s day when divorced


Candy hearts, greeting cards and advertisements, they are everywhere. Valentine’s day rolls around and you are wondering how you are going to cope alone. It is a day dreaded by some and cherished by others. I for one was never a fan of Valentine’s Day. I think the “perfect date” happens unexpectedly and not by pre-planning and spending heaps of money. But then again I am a hopeless romantic.

For a newly divorced or separated person, Valentine’s Day reopens wounds that may have just started to heal. You may be tempted to throw darts at a picture of your ex, stab at a voodoo doll effigy or shred some old pictures. But that is not going to make you feel better and  it does not have to be that way. You need to think about yourself and how you can make yourself feel good. It’s maybe the day to celebrate You!  By making a plan you take power over the situation so grief can’t sneak up on you. This year instead of dreading the day, do something for yourself.

Here are my top tips for surviving (and maybe if I may dare say!) enjoying the day.

  1. Make a plan – with your single friends. Plan a fun night out and go some place you have not been before. Or if you don’t feel like going out, plan to have the party at home. It does not have to be one of those fancy parties with fancy food and drink. It can just be a gathering of good friends with some good music. Am sure you will have lots of friends who don’t really want to go out on “Valentine dates” so you can all celebrate the day and have some fun together instead. You will be surprised at how much fun you will end up having.


  1. Celebrate being single – and maybe plan a solo activity to spoil yourself. Indulge in a visit to a spa and get pampered, schedule a dance class, do a yoga class or just do some home baking. Do something you have been meaning to do for a while and just did not find the time. You now have the freedom, so make your choice and do something that really excites you and make the day all about You.


  1. Become a Giver – instead of lamenting the fact that no one has sent you roses or chocolates. Take the initiative and make a list of people you love and surprise them with something special like roses, chocolates or just an unexpected visit. You will have so much fun doing this and you will feel so good when you see all those smiling faces. Spread the love.


  1. For those of you who don’t want to be alone – check out the singles events in your local area and sign up for something fun and exciting. You never know who you may meet and you may even be in for a surprise!


  1. Take a break from social media – for the day or maybe a week. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat maybe filled with photos and stories of love and this may not be what you want to see now. So it’s best you just take a break. You will feel so much the better for it.


  1. Don’t feel like doing anything – then Don’t! Go about your business as you would on any other day and stay focussed on what you have to do during the day. You don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to. You may just want to curl up on the couch and watch Netflix and what better way to spend an evening! Pretend you didn’t hear if someone wishes you a happy Valentine ’s Day! After all it’s only one day out of a whole year.


It may not be easy but remember that you are taking the steps towards getting better and healing. There are going to be reminders and hard days and Valentine’s Day may be just one of those days. Don’t beat yourself up. You are healing. Remember to be Kind to yourself because who knows what life has in store for you.

Being Heartbroken was the best thing that happened to me


Being in love is a most intoxicating and all consuming feeling and nothing else seems to matter. I had a plan for my life and part of that plan was that whatever happened my marriage would remain intact. I was convinced that if I worked at it hard enough it would all be fine and everything would be normal again. I kept shutting out that little voice in my head that ever so often would cast a shadow of doubt that my life was not going according to plan and I convinced myself that I had everything under control.

In the process of trying to fix something that was broken I  was feeling emotionally, physically and mentally drained. I was putting band aids on in the hope that it would temporarily ease the pain and I kept wishing and hoping that things would get better. In reality I was putting my energies into something that was not working and was blinded to the opportunities that came my way. In doing this I was neglecting the other areas in my life. I was living a lie and was in denial. And then one day I was faced with the cold face slapping awareness that this was not something I could fix and it was infact something I did not want to fix anymore. I had being lying to myself all along about my life when infact I was deeply unhappy. I was devastated and thought I would not survive the loss. I would sob uncontrollably and then I would suddenly feel better. I finally came to the realisation that he did not fight for me. It is really hard to come to the realisation that you love someone so much  and they don’t love you back. It was very difficult to deal with.  This realisation also made me question my self worth. I was heartbroken and when you are heartbroken it is hard to lie to yourself and control how you feel.

But as time went on I did feel better and I started to get honest with myself. I had stopped lying to myself and trying to pretend that I could fix the problem. I had been waiting for a change that was never going to come. Though  my marriage ended and that part of my life did not go according to the plan I had for myself, things seemed to work out for me in other areas of my life. Things I had been blinded to started to fall into place.  I was becoming more creative, I was able to work on my business with no distractions, I was less stressed and I was actually feeling happy.

The emotional trauma of a marriage breakup is no cakewalk but I have come to terms with the fact that lying to myself and trying to fix something to make myself feel better was not the answer. I had been  waiting and waiting a very long time and things just did not seem to get better. There was no point in waiting endlessly, when the decision was actually in my hands. While writing this blog I am reminded of this quote by marketing guru Seth Godin which seems so apt to what was happening in my life:

They told you to get your résumé in order, to punch your ticket, to fit in, and to follow instructions. They told you to swallow your pride, not to follow your dream. They promised trinkets and prizes and possibly riches if you would just suck it up and be part of the system, if you would merely do what you were told and conform. They sold you debt and self-storage and reality TV shows. They sold your daughters and sons, too. All in exchange for what would happen later, when it was your turn. It’s your turn.

It was my turn to make the decision, to let go of the fear of being alone. I had to survive the consequences of my epiphany. When we lie to ourselves we are also lying to those around us who love, care and support us and who we in turn love, care and support. Being broken hearted has enabled me to be my true self again. It is so important to listen to that little voice within you and rely on your own intuition especially in love and relationships. The truth is painful but being honest to oneself will inspire you to get out there and make a life for yourself.

Let’s go to mediation

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Why Mediation?

Reaching an agreement with your spouse once separated can often be difficult and challenging to say the least. With emotions running high, things can get very tense and you may feel that reaching an agreement is almost impossible. Having a lawyer intervene to send off letters to your spouse at this stage is not the answer. It may lead to the other party becoming more antagonistic and the matter may end up in court. This will cause both parties endless stress and will be time consuming and expensive.

In circumstances such as this, an option that you and your partner may explore is Mediation, which may help open the lines of communication again. This is the process where a couple sits with a neutral third party, in an attempt to reach an agreement regarding parenting and property issues. Most often mediation is resorted to prior to commencing court proceedings.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a facilitative process. But in order for this process to be successful the parties must prepare well. Usually issues relating to parenting and property are discussed at the mediation. In preparation for the mediation, you and your spouse must gather all relevant information and share it where necessary. If you feel that you may forget something, you should write things down. The information that must be gathered are generally bank statements tax returns, details of assets and liabilities, valuations of business and property and information regarding the children.

The initial meeting

Prior to the mediation commencing, the Mediator will have an intake session in private with each party in order to ascertain his/her story. This can be done in person or online. The Mediator will meet with each of the parties on their own and have a conversation with them, to ascertain their story. This meeting is confidential so the parties can discuss anything they wish to with the Mediator. At the end of this meeting, usually the parties feel more confortable as they have been able to have a discussion privately with the Mediator and they may feel more at ease going into the mediation.

The Mediation Process

When the mediation commences, the Mediator will brief the parties regarding the ground rules and ask each party to tell their story. Then an Agenda is set, in consultation with the parties. Once the Agenda has been set, the parties are invited to discuss each item on the Agenda, with a view to reaching an agreement.

If the parents feel that a child is struggling to cope with the separation, they can be referred to a child counselor who may see the child and make observations and discuss these matters with the parents. This information may assist the parents when trying to resolve their issues.

It is really important that the parties keep an open mind and listen carefully to what the other party is saying, otherwise conflict can escalate. Parents have to eventually compromise, so it’s beneficial to them to be a little flexible when discussing options. In family law, no one party is a winner. It is important that the parents focus on the “best interests of the children” when discussing their options. Parties should not get positional but think outside the box as tit–for-tat in family law matters does not work.

It is a good idea for each party to consider their goals, values, needs , their plan for the future of the family as well as the needs and wants of the other party in the course of the discussion. Mediation is a confidential process so what transpires in the course of the mediation cannot be used in court. Mediation is an alternative to the court process and is highly beneficial. You as the parents make the decisions, and not a judge who does not know anything about your family. If you can live with the arrangement you have reached, you have an agreement.

Anne-Marie Cade

Divorce Right

Divorce Right – the “painless” way to divorce

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One does not generally associate the words “painless” and “helpful” with any aspect of the divorce process or the dissolution of a marriage. When you read about the latest celebrity divorces, you find horrifying stories of people resorting to underhanded techniques to seek revenge on former partners and make life difficult for them, which has dire financial consequences for both parties. Unfortunately the current legal system makes things just as ugly for regular couples.
In real life divorce is not pretty. Apart from the emotional toll a divorce takes, both parties take a significant financial hit and it will take them years to recover and rebuild. Arrangements for child support and childcare can lead to bitterness and resentment.

Why Divorce Right

When couples are able to agree between themselves on the terms of their divorce it makes things easier. But the process of navigating through divorce can be daunting. At Divorce Right we address the emotional, financial and legal aspects of a divorce and create solutions to empower families so that they can move forward with a life after divorce.

Divorce Right is an online service that has sets out a 4-step pathway to make your divorce less painful, smoother, kinder and more amicable. Divorce is considered to be the second most stressful life event after the death of a spouse or child. Our vision is to turn every divorce into an amicable one and work with families to empower them to manage the predictable stresses of divorce. We are different because we focus on creating a process that doesn’t damage a couple’s finances and hurt the children.

We have created a pathway in which everyone can move forward without out-dated divorce practices getting in the way and causing pain and more conflict. We put the your family’s best interests first. We assist the couple through the process of letting go of the relationship and help them with tools that will assist them to successfully co-parent and get through the difficult transition more gracefully. There is an existing system for those who want to fight it out in court. What doesn’t exist is a standardised system for those who want to work together to reframe their family and that’s where we can help.

Our 4-step pathway

The first step is for you and your spouse to Connect with a Divorce Right professional who will sit down with you and your spouse and provide you with clear options as to the best way to move forward and resolve your family law matter. We encourage constructive discussions. The legal process will be discussed with you and a settlement strategy for both of you can be set out. You and your spouse will have the opportunity to discuss your goals, values and ideal outcomes. We help you create a pathway that will cause the least damage to your family. When you leave you will have a clear understanding of the options available to the two of you. At this session we can also give you information on the mediation process.

You can then Consult a lawyer and mediator. The next step is to create a parenting plan. It deals with the issue of transitioning from two households to one and having a plan ensures that there is the least amount of disruption to your child’s life. You can also negotiate a financial plan on how you divide the assets and the debts.

Mediation is an option to be considered when there are sticking points and couples can’t agree on certain matters relating to arrangements for the children and also financial matters. Mediation is a facilitative process and the couple will have a meeting with the mediator who will set out an agenda on the matters to be discussed and the couple can discuss their options and try and reach an agreement.

We can also put you in touch with professionals such as financial planners, accountants and counsellors if you require additional assistance to Create and finalise an agreement that will work for your family.

Once the parties come to an agreement, they will meet with the lawyers in order to get the legal advice and Craft the legal agreement. The agreement is then filed in court and the matter finalised.

The advantages

You and your spouse are in control of the entire process. You can move at your own pace and take your time to finalise the agreement.

Also, a Divorce Right divorce will not cost you an arm and a leg. A traditional divorce an end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars. Wouldn’t you both rather spend that money on your family?

Another advantage of a Divorce Right divorce  is that it is a smoother, kinder and less hurtful way to divorce. Also, since it is an online service, you can sort out all matters without having to be in the same room as your spouse. This can make things a lot easier especially if there is a lot of bad blood between the two of you.

Support all the way

We will assist you both, all through the process. We have a team of professionals who are available for a consultation in person or online, at a reduced fee at your convenience, thereby saving you thousands of dollars. We are passionate about keeping families out of the courtroom and will provide you with all the assistance you need along the way to ensure you don’t end up in court. We believe that a peaceful divorce means happy kids and who would not want their kids to be happy!

Anne-Marie Cade

Divorce Right