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My Ex Has a New Girlfriend

There’s nothing easy about divorce, especially when children are involved. Even when couples choose mediation or restorative divorce to maintain healthy relationships, it can be challenging when one parent moves on to a new partner. I hear from so many of my clients, “My ex has a new girlfriend,” and it sparks so many emotions. These include jealousy, resentment, anger, hurt, and anxiety.

One stressful aspect of an ex having a new girlfriend is how the kids will react, and how co-parenting could change. As a co-parent, how much influence should you have if your ex gets a new girlfriend or wife? The below applies to a new boyfriend or husband, as well.

Making Plans For “My ex has a new girlfriend”

It’s not unnatural for people to seek out new relationships after divorce. According to a Pew Research survey, 43% of Americans ages 25-34 are on a second marriage. One of the best times to deal with this eventuality is to consider how you’ll approach the situation before it happens. In other words, when you negotiate your divorce or child custody agreement, you may get to decide how a partner can and should interact with your child.

Divorce mediation is an excellent way for you and your spouse to identify common concerns and shared values. Instead of creating a long list of “rules,” you can decide through family mediation how you will navigate these situations and continue to focus on your child’s best interests. Remember, anything that will apply to your ex will also apply to you.

Things to consider when creating a co-parenting agreement include:

  • Should overnight stays be permitted with a new partner at a parent’s home when the child is present?
  • Should a new partner be permitted to babysit your child?
  • Under what circumstances would it be inappropriate for a partner to be alone with your child?

As a parent, you are understandably concerned about your child’s welfare. But Illinois law generally presumes the right of each parent to decide who will be around their child during their parenting time. Unless you have a legitimate concern and want to open yourself up to equal scrutiny, you’ll want to be as flexible as possible.


Birt Family Law - Restorative Divorce


Ways To Cope With “My Ex Has a New Girlfriend”

It can be unsettling to learn your ex has a new girlfriend or plans to remarry. If you’re still single, you might feel a bit jealous. When children are involved, the most challenging part is usually coming to terms with the idea that someone you didn’t choose will be involved with your kids. Here are several tips to help you cope with this radical change.

  • Choose Acceptance — You may not like your ex’s new partner, but you’ll probably need to accept that they’ll be part of your child’s life moving forward. Worrying about something you can’t control is a recipe for unhappiness.
  • Respect Boundaries — Unless you’ve established rules around new partners through child-centered mediation or there are some serious safety concerns, it’s important to stay in your lane. Listen to your children, but respect your ex’s boundaries.
  • Value Your Role — If you’re worried about being replaced as a parent, don’t be. You will always be your child’s mother. A new partner is simply another adult in your child’s life who may turn out to be a fantastic influence.

When You Need To Protect Your Child From Your Ex’s New Partner

In a worst-case scenario, your ex’s new partner is a serious threat to the welfare and safety of your child. Fortunately, these situations are rare, but they do happen. As a parent, you can and should take action to protect your child. Again, remember this is worst case scenario and is not the case for all new partners.

If your ex violates the terms of your parenting plan or child custody order regarding contact between a new partner and your child, seek mediation immediately, so that you can go back to court to enforce the order if needed after mediation. If the new partner may endanger your child’s physical or emotional health, you might be able to skip mediation and seek a court order where the court may agree to restrict their access to your child.

Circumstances in which the court could choose to restrict access include(and there is admissible evidence for the Court to consider):

  • The partner has physically or sexually abused the child
  • The partner has been convicted of child abuse or is a registered sex offender
  • The partner has driven with the child while impaired
  • The partner has given the child access to weapons or drugs
  • The partner is emotionally abusive, such as telling the child you don’t love them

If you believe your spouse’s partner poses a risk to your child or you would like to learn more about your options, you should speak with an experienced Illinois family law attorney.

Do You Have Questions About Your Custody Agreement?

If you believe your ex is violating an existing co-parenting or custody agreement because of a new partner, their home environment, or some other factor, you have several options. At Birt Family Law, we understand these can be sensitive matters. Give us a call at 630-891-2478 or contact us online to discuss starting mediation or your legal rights and options. From our office in Wheaton, we serve clients throughout DuPage County & Kane County, focusing on family-centered divorce and other family law matters.

Erin Birt, J.D., CADC, Attorney, Mediator


Since 2003, Erin Birt has focused her practice of mediation and legal services in the areas of parent separation, child centered divorce, and parenting matters.

In 2010, Ms. Birt opened The Law Firm of Erin N. Birt, P.C. (known as Birt Family Law) to provide her clients a variety of alternative dispute resolution and divorce options. Prior to starting the firm, she was employed by several prominent family law firms including Fortunato, Farrell, Davenport & Arnold, Ltd. and Roberts and Associates, P.C. She clerked at Mayer, Brown & Platt, n/k/a Mayer Brown, Earl L. Neal and Associates, LLC, n/k/a Neal & Leroy, LLC, and the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Ms. Birt is also a certified alcohol and drug abuse counselor. Her clinical addiction counseling experience includes DUI risk education and counseling at The Family Connection and inpatient addiction counseling at Adventist Glen Oaks Hospital. Erin now uses her addiction counseling skills and experience to help separating parents, families, and teens effected by drugs or alcohol.  Erin has been a presenter and trainer for the DuPage County Bar Association, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Mediation Council of Illinois, and various mediation, counseling, or collaborative practice groups within Illinois and beyond. 

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Niharika Konidela Gives Clarity On Divorce With Chaitanya | Niharika Divorce Updates | News Buzz


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What to do when your ex lashes out?


Your heart sinks as the familiar ding of a new message lights up your phone. You know exactly who it’s from before even glancing at the screen. Your ex has decided to lash out again in a cruel tirade of insults and accusations.

At first, their angry outbursts left you shaken and upset, but now you’re simply exhausted by the ongoing abuse.

You’ve moved on to happier days while they remain stuck in the past, intent on making you just as miserable as they are. But you don’t have to engage with their manipulative behavior or let their words tear you down.

There are strategies you can employ to protect yourself from their harassment and maintain your own peace of mind. You have the power to cut off their access to you and put a stop to the messages once and for all. It’s time to take back control.

Understanding Why Your Ex Is Lashing Out

Your ex is on the warpath and their rage seems disproportionate and misdirected. But there are reasons behind their anger. Recognizing the underlying causes can help you stay calm in the face of their fury.

  • They feel hurt and rejected. The end of a relationship is painful. Their anger could be a defense mechanism to mask deeper feelings of hurt, betrayal or insecurity.
  • They feel a loss of control. Your ex is lashing out in an attempt to exert power over you and the situation. Do not give in to their manipulation or threats.
  • They want a reaction from you. Do not engage or provide the response they are seeking. Remain detached and indifferent to their outbursts.
  • They feel embarrassed. Breakups deal a blow to one’s pride and self-esteem. Anger is often easier to express than embarrassment or shame.
  • They have unrealistic expectations. Your ex may be having trouble accepting the end of the relationship and is angry you will not comply with their demands. Be firm yet compassionate.

You cannot control your ex’s actions but you can control your reactions. Do not retaliate or sink to their level. Respond with empathy, patience and understanding. Say something like “I understand you’re upset, and anger is a normal part of grief. I wish you the best moving forward.”

Then end the conversation. Over time, their anger should subside. If you continue to feel threatened, don’t hesitate to contact the authorities. You deserve to feel safe and at peace.

Don’t React or Respond Right Away

When that angry text from your ex pops up, it can be tempting to fire off an equally heated response. But that will only make the situation worse. The best approach is:

Don’t react or respond right away

Take a few deep breaths and count to 10. Allow yourself time to process the message and calm down before doing anything. Responding in anger will likely escalate tensions and cause lasting damage.

  • Put your phone away if possible. Out of sight, out of mind. The longer you can delay responding the better. Sleep on it if you’re able.
  • Ask yourself why their words are upsetting you. Is there any truth to what they said or are you just sensitive because it’s coming from them? Try to gain perspective.
  • Remember that you can’t control them, you can only control your reaction. Don’t give them power over you by allowing their insults and accusations to affect you deeply.

Stay calm and composed. Do not insult them back. Politely tell them their behavior is unacceptable if you do choose to respond. You might say something like:

“There’s no need for hostility. Let’s remain civil.”

Or simply don’t respond at all. Their anger is their problem, not yours. Maintain your boundaries and do not engage further. Block them if the messages continue and you feel threatened or unsafe.

Your ex is lashing out to get a reaction from you. Don’t give them what they want. Remain calm and detached instead. In time, their anger will subside, and you’ll be able to move on to happier, healthier relationships.

Set Healthy Boundaries Around Communication

When an ex continues to lash out at you through angry messages and phone calls, it’s important to establish clear boundaries. Their behavior is unacceptable, and you don’t deserve to be treated this way.

Make it clear their actions are unwanted

Politely but firmly tell your ex that their insulting and disruptive behavior needs to stop. Say something like, “I’m asking you to please refrain from contacting me if you’re going to speak to me that way.”

You may need to reiterate this request multiple times. Don’t engage or argue with them, remain calm and consistent.

Don’t respond right away

Wait before responding to their nasty texts or voicemails. Reacting in anger will likely only make the situation worse. Take time to process the message and your emotions before deciding if and how to respond. Often the healthiest choice is not to respond at all.

Set communication parameters

If contact needs to continue due to children or other shared responsibilities, establish very clear rules. For example, communicate only through email or text and limit responses to logistical matters. Don’t engage in emotional conversations. Make a plan for what is and isn’t acceptable and share that plan with your ex. Be prepared to follow through with consequences if boundaries are crossed.

Get help from authorities if needed

If your ex’s behavior becomes threatening or harassing, don’t hesitate to contact the authorities. Your safety should be the top priority here. Save any threatening messages as evidence and consider contacting a domestic abuse help line for additional support and next steps. You may need to pursue legal intervention in some situations.

Use a Divorce Expert to get the best possible outcome: Divorce Club Directory

Focus on self-care

Dealing with an angry ex takes an emotional toll. Make sure to engage in self-care. Lean on your support network, stick to routines and remember that their behavior says more about them than it does about you. Don’t allow their words to define your self-worth. In time, as you establish stronger boundaries, their outbursts should decrease. Stay strong in the knowledge that you deserve to feel safe and at peace.

Focus on Your Own Healing and Growth

Now is the time to turn your attention inward and work on bettering yourself. Don’t dwell on your ex or waste time and energy trying to figure out their motives or next moves.

Instead, make a conscious effort to shift your mindset to focusing on your own healing and personal development.

Concentrate on the things you can control – your reactions, your routine, your relationships with supportive friends and family. Start new hobbies, pick up old ones you’ve neglected, make healthy lifestyle changes. Exercise is excellent for working through difficult emotions and boosting your mood and confidence. Take a yoga class, go for walks or jogs, join a sports league. Connecting with others who share your interests will help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation.


Practice self-care. Be sure to maintain a regular sleep schedule, eat healthy and nutritious meals, limit alcohol and avoid recreational drugs. Engage in relaxing activities like meditation, deep breathing, journaling or bathing. Speak to a counselor or therapist. Talking to a professional can help you work through anger, hurt and resentment in a constructive way. They can also provide coping strategies tailored to your unique situation.


Don’t dwell on the past or ruminate about what went wrong in the relationship. While reflection is important for learning and growth, obsessive negative thoughts will only make you feel worse and stall your progress.

Notice when your mind starts to wander into unhealthy territory and gently redirect your focus to the present moment. Over time, maintaining this mindfulness will become second nature.

Your worth isn’t defined by your ex’s opinion or behavior. You are deserving of love – now is the time to build yourself up with compassion and nurturing. Choose to be happy and remember that this painful chapter will pass. With time and conscious effort, you will heal and find peace. Stay strong in yourself!


You’ve tried your best to move on from the breakup but their cruel messages shake your confidence and reopen old wounds. Don’t let your spiteful ex have that power over you.

Block them on all platforms and focus on surrounding yourself with people who love and support you. Their actions say everything about them and nothing about you. You are stronger and better than their petty insults.

Rise above their toxicity and channel your energy into living your best life. Let their bitterness and resentment be their problem to solve. You have so much wonderful life ahead of you, so keep walking forward and don’t look back.

Their loss will be someone else’s gain. You’ve got this!

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What Happens in a Contested Divorce?

Whether you’re thinking about getting a divorce or have started the process, knowing what happens in a contested divorce is a key first step in determining how you should proceed. Your friends, family, and colleagues might have said divorce is time-consuming, expensive, and emotional. This can be true if it is a contested divorce.

Both parties have disagreements about how to allocate the property acquired during their marriage or determine the custody arrangements for their children in a contested divorce. One party may refuse to split proceeds of the house, for example. Or one party may want to split custody of the children, while the other wants full custody of the children. Compared to an uncontested divorce, where the parties ultimately agree to all the terms of the divorce. 

What Happens in a Contested Divorce?

Generally, in a contested divorce, the parties present their arguments on why they feel they are entitled to certain property acquired during the marriage, labeled, “marital property”, by a judge. The judge will then decide how all the property is allocated. The courts may require you and your spouse to participate in mediation to try to resolve the divorce quickly. If the parties end up agreeing at any time during the divorce proceedings, the courts are usually willing to enter the agreement and finalize the divorce. 

Additionally, what happens in a contested divorce may depend on if you live in a community property state or not.

Check out “Divorce Property Division: Community Property States vs. Equitable Distribution States.”

There are nine community property states, meaning that all the property acquired during your marriage, including but limited to, income, real estate, and retirement benefits, is both yours and your spouse’s no matter whose name the property is under. As opposed to a non-community property state where, when a piece of property is only in one spouse’s name, this property is at risk of being awarded to that spouse only. For example, your spouse may have a retirement account through any means with only their name on the account. In a community property state, you can assert your entitlement to this account. However, in a non-community property state, you may not have a claim to the account.

How long will a Contested Divorce Take and Is it Costly?

In many states, the law requires judges to wait a certain amount of time before finalizing a divorce, contested or not. This waiting period and how much marital property there is to allocate will determine how long a contested divorce may take. A contested divorce can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few years. In New York, a contested divorce takes nine (9) months to a year on average, while in California a contested divorce can take years.

Additionally, going through a contested divorce can cost anywhere from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars. In the contested divorce, you are more likely to spend money on attorney’s fees and expert witness’s fees such as financial consultants. In a contested divorce with many issues to resolve, you can expect to pay around $14,000 to 20,000 or more in most states. On average, California, Connecticut, and Florida are the most expensive state to get divorce in, while North Dakota is the least expensive state.

Consider reading “How Much Will My Divorce Cost Me, Financially and Emotionally?”

Is there Anything Good about a Contested Divorce?

You’ll want to avoid a contested divorce if possible. But if you can’t, there are some good factors of a contested divorce. One of them is that you can get your day in court. You would go through a divorce trial where you can argue your position and present evidence to support your point. A judge will hear both sides and review all the evidence to determine how to allocate the marital property.

A contested divorce also uncovers a spouse trying to conceal assets and can give you a full picture of the spouse’s financials. You may be unsure about every account your spouse may have and in a contested divorce you and your spouse have to share all the assets they have. The parties have to exchange financial documents before the divorce trial starts. This way each spouse is able to get the full financial picture and complete information of the other spouse. If the spouse is found to have concealed an asset, they could be penalized and punished by the court.

Consider reading “Maximizing Your Divorce Settlement with a Forensic Accountant”.

What happens with my Children in a Contested Divorce?

In a contested divorce, a judge will assess what is in the best interest of the child to decide what custody arrangement would be best for that child and will also determine any child support to award. As compared to an uncontested divorce, where you and your spouse agree on custody and child support. In both cases, it is important to remember to consider your children’s long-term needs.

Read “Best Advice on Custody for Divorcing Moms,” written by a top New York City divorce lawyer who specializes in custody issues.

Usually, the judge will try to ensure that the child has continued contact with both parents. The judge will consider many factors including, the child’s needs, who has been the primary caretaker, and the stability of the home each parent can provide. Courts will consider the child’s wants and determine how much weight to give that preference based on the child’s maturity. Many states, such as Illinois and Texas, allow children around 12-14 years old to talk with the judge to discuss where they would like to live. Some states, like New Jersey and Arizona, don’t have a specific age, instead, the judge looks toward the child’s majority level to determine if the child should have a say in these proceedings.


Avoiding a contested divorce is a must if it is possible. But, you may have no choice. No need to fear, these are things to be aware of and prepared for. A contested divorce is not all bad, sometimes you need to go that route to achieve a better outcome for yourself and your family.


Taelor Thornton is a third year law student in Chicago committed to representing the most vulnerable people in society such as older adults, women and children. She aims to work in a family-law related firm after graduation and potentially starting her own firm one day.


Since 2012, SAS for Women has been entirely dedicated to the unexpected challenges women face while considering a divorce and navigating the divorce experience and its confusing afterward. SAS offers women six FREE months of email coaching, action plans, checklists, and support strategies for you, and your future. All of it delivered discreetly to your in-box.  Join our tribe now and stay connected.


*We support same-sex marriages. For the sake of simplicity in this article, however, we refer to your spouse as your “husband” or a “he.”

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Letters to Linda – Family Estrangement


Letters to Linda – Family Estrangement | The Divorce Magazine

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Default Divorce: "I Just Want To Be Done With Him!"


Today we have a series of hearings in a divorce case where one
spouse has motioned the court to sign the default judgement
because the other party did not respond.

Let’s see what the judge thinks…


This video and the added commentary were created for educational, informational, and entertainment purposes. I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. All defendants are innocent until proven guilty.

This video constitutes fair use under US copyright law.

If you enjoyed this video and know of interesting or educational videos you think could be featured on the channel, please feel free to contact me through my email.

Thanks for joining me today, if you enjoy the channel please consider subscribing. Thanks for stopping by!
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Understanding High Net Worth Divorce: A Comprehensive Guide

Most divorcing couples go through a process of figuring out how to split their property, such as the home they share, retirement accounts, and other assets. However, high-net-worth couples often face significant obstacles during a divorce because they have substantial wealth and frequently own complex assets that are challenging to assess and divide among parties. If you and your spouse have significant assets and want to get divorced, you need practical legal advice to protect your financial interests, the value of your assets, and your future.

Understanding the Legal Landscape of High-Net-Worth Divorces

Attorneys and courts usually consider a divorce “high net worth” when a couple has a combined net worth of $1 million or more. Although a high-net-worth divorce will involve many of the same issues as other divorces, including division of assets, alimony, and child custody/support, resolving these issues can become much more complex in a high-net-worth divorce. A high-net-worth couple may have complex assets, including stocks/bonds, real estate holdings, and business ownership interests. Some high-net-worth couples also have a significant disparity in their earning capacities, with one spouse earning substantially more than the other. Accordingly, high-asset divorces often require financial experts and investigators to help the parties and the court understand the full scope of a couple’s net worth.

In Alabama, most divorces are “no-fault,” meaning that no fault is assigned to either spouse for the breakdown of the marriage. However, under Alabama law, a spouse may also file for divorce on any of the following grounds:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment for at least one year
  • Imprisonment for at least two years on a sentence of seven or more years
  • Commission of a crime against nature
  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Confinement in a mental hospital for at least five years for incurable insanity
  • Separation for at least two years
  • Domestic violence
  • The wife’s pregnancy at the time of the marriage without the husband’s knowledge or agency

The duration and timeline of a high-net-worth divorce will depend on various factors, including the size of the couple’s estate, the complexity of their assets, whether the couple has a pre/postnuptial agreement, and whether the spouses can settle outstanding issues without the court’s involvement. When couples have complex finances, inventorying and appraising their assets can take time. Couples can speed up divorce by negotiating or mediating their outstanding issues.

The Foundations

couple agreeing on legal divorce mattersFor most couples, the home is usually the most significant asset in the marital estate, making dividing other assets the couple owns much easier. However, in high-net-worth divorces, spouses may own complex assets such as vacation homes, income properties, investment portfolios, business interests, jewelry, artwork, and collectibles/antiques.

The unique complexities of a high-net-worth divorce make pre-divorce planning critical for spouses. Pre-divorce planning can streamline the divorce process, reducing the time and financial expense spouses must spend on their separation. Pre-divorce planning will ensure spouses can protect their financial and parental rights. Pre-divorce planning usually involves gathering your family’s financial documents and records, securing access to funds your spouse cannot cut off, and figuring out where you will live once you and your spouse separate.

Costs and Implications of High Asset Divorce

High-net-worth divorces can become incredibly expensive because high-net-worth couples sometimes contest financial issues. These couples may need to hire appraisers, financial experts, and forensic accountants to understand the marital estate before considering how to divide assets. Spouses should also seek legal representation from an attorney experienced in high-net-worth divorces; not all divorce attorneys will have that experience. When couples have assets in multiple jurisdictions, they may need to hold legal proceedings in each jurisdiction to split up the marital estate. All these factors can increase the cost of a high-net-worth divorce.

Dividing assets in a high-net-worth divorce can also result in loss of value or depreciation of assets. Depending on the assets involved, splitting a marital estate may cause assets to lose value or spouses to incur higher tax liabilities or penalties, such as when selling capital assets or withdrawing money from retirement accounts.

Finally, divorce comes with an emotional cost for the family. Divorce can be difficult even when couples have an amicable separation. The breakup of the family can cause significant trauma for children. The pain of divorce can amplify when spouses have a bitter relationship, fight over every detail, or treat divorce like an “all or nothing” affair or an opportunity to “hurt” the other spouse.

Couples can reduce the financial and emotional costs of divorce by pursuing settlement negotiations or divorce mediation to resolve the outstanding issues in their divorce without the need for litigation.

Asset Division and Evaluation

High-asset divorces frequently involve dividing valuable or complex assets such as investment portfolios, vacation homes/income properties, business ownership interests, and executive benefits like stock options. Couples and courts must obtain appraisals to determine the value of high-value or complex assets. For example, a spouse may hold a partnership interest in a small or closely held business. The couple and the court must determine the value of the business to calculate the value of the spouse’s ownership interest. Usually, couples and courts rely on expert appraisers and forensic accountants to calculate the value of complex assets.

Dividing intangible assets like business ownership interests can be challenging. Businesses may have ownership agreements that prohibit the transfer of interests through divorce. However, a non-owner spouse may have the right to half the value of the other spouse’s business ownership interest. Often, a couple or the court will resolve this problem by awarding the non-owner spouse another asset of equivalent value.

During asset division in divorce, the court must also identify spouses’ assets as marital or non-marital. While marital property gets divided in divorce, each spouse typically keeps the non-marital property they own. The law presumes that any property acquired during the marriage or the growth in value of assets during the marriage is considered marital property. In contrast, any property or value acquired before the marriage usually constitutes non-marital property, aka separate property. Inheritances and exclusive gifts received during the marriage also qualify as non-marital property. However, spouses can convert non-marital property into marital property by comingling non-marital assets with marital assets or using non-marital funds to pay for marital property.

Unfortunately, hiding or siphoning assets can occur in high-asset divorces. A spouse who earns most or all of the family’s income may believe they deserve to keep the family’s property. Do you suspect your spouse may have concealed assets during your marriage or in preparation for divorce? If so, you need a high-asset divorce attorney who can work with investigators and forensic accounts to locate those assets and prove they belong in the marital estate.

Divorce Financial Strategies

A high-net-worth divorce will require careful financial strategy planning. The planning process begins with understanding Alabama’s equitable distribution laws. Under Alabama’s equitable distribution system, the court will divide a divorcing couple’s assets fairly, though only sometimes evenly. A court will consider various factors to determine a fair or equitable division. These factors may include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s financial contribution to the marriage, including contributions that a spouse made to the other spouse’s education or professional development
  • Other non-financial contributions to the marriage, such as homemaking or raising children
  • Each spouse’s overall physical and mental health
  • Each spouse’s education and training
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity
  • Each spouse’s post-divorce parental responsibilities
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • Whether either spouse has substantial, non-marital assets or income
  • The tax implications of a proposed division
  • The value, nature, and location of marital assets

Courts may weigh each relevant factor based on the individual circumstances of a case.

Financial planning should also consider how to protect your family’s assets from losses that may occur due to divorce. Plans should include ensuring you can access money after separation, especially if you don’t currently earn income. You should also carefully consider any significant financial decisions or transactions you make if your marriage is headed for divorce, as a court could find that your spending amounts to waste.

Planning should also account for the tax implications of divorce. Under federal tax law, your marital status for filing purposes depends on your marital status on the last day of the tax year. If you receive tax benefits from a married or head-of-household status, your divorce can cause you to lose those benefits for the year you get divorced. However, this also means you must continue to file as married while going through divorce; if you continue to file jointly, remember that you and your soon-to-be-ex remain jointly liable for any errors or misrepresentations on the return. Finally, you should consider other tax issues, including who will claim dependency exemptions for your children, potential tax liabilities if you liquidate marital assets during division, and tax implications of dividing retirement accounts.

Finally, consider your finances post-divorce, including how much of the marital estate you might receive in an equitable division, whether you will receive alimony, and whether you currently work or plan to return to the workforce following divorce.

Children and Custody Considerations

Like any other family, high-net-worth couples must consider child custody following separation and divorce. Alabama has child support guidelines to help courts calculate support obligations. Courts may deviate from the guidelines in high-asset divorces because the law states that children have the right to benefit from both of their parents’ good fortune. Thus, even if a lower-earning parent becomes the parent of primary physical custody, the children should continue enjoying the living standard from the marriage.

Couples should also consider how their divorce may impact their children’s financial future. High-net-worth families may set up trust funds or investment accounts to help pay for higher education. If families don’t have this kind of financial planning, one parent may insist on establishing trusts or other financial vehicles to ensure a high-net-worth parent doesn’t disinherit their children after divorce.

Agreements and Their Impact

navigating legal disputes when divorcingMany high-asset couples will have a prenuptial agreement, especially if one or both spouses enter the marriage with significant wealth, or they may create a postnuptial agreement after accumulating wealth during the marriage. Pre/postnuptial agreements can make a high-net-worth divorce easier because spouses have already agreed on financial issues like property division and alimony. A court will enforce a valid pre/postnuptial agreement, even if a couple’s financial circumstances have drastically changed since signing the agreement.

Substantial growth in family wealth may lead one spouse to find the pre/postnuptial agreement they signed years ago unfair under the present circumstances, potentially resulting in a legal challenge to the agreement. However, a successful challenge to a pre/postnuptial agreement will require a spouse to prove the agreement’s invalidity. Grounds for invalidity may include one spouse failing to disclose material financial information, coercion, undue influence, or duress.

Navigating Disputes

When spouses in a high-net-worth divorce have disputes over outstanding financial issues, they can resolve those disputes without resorting to costly litigation. Couples may choose to pursue one or more forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including:

  • Negotiation: A conversation between spouses (or through their legal counsel) to hammer out an agreement settling a dispute
  • Mediation: A more formalized type of negotiation facilitated by a neutral third party called a mediator who helps spouses understand each other’s positions and identify mutually agreeable solutions.
  • Arbitration: A trial-like proceeding where both sides present their case to the arbitrator, who will resolve the dispute based on the parties evidence and arguments

Although many couples resolve their divorce disputes through ADR, in some cases, court litigation becomes inevitable. Given the stakes in a high-asset divorce, high-net-worth couples may have a higher chance of ultimately ending up in court to resolve their disputes.

Role of Experienced Legal Counsel

Leigh Daniel You can best protect your financial interests and future in a high-asset divorce by hiring an experienced high-net-worth divorce attorney with the resources to retain financial experts, property appraisers, and forensic accountants to help you pursue your fair share of the marital estate or other financial benefits like alimony.

If you and your spouse have a high net worth and are getting a divorce, you need experienced legal counsel to guide you through the complexities of high-net-worth divorce litigation. Contact Leigh Daniel, Attorney At Law, today for a confidential consultation to discuss your legal options with a high-asset divorce attorney.

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A Guide to Plastic Surgery After Divorce

There are many emotions associated with divorce, some of which include insecurity, a lack of self-confidence, and feeling lost—like you just don’t know who you are and who you want to be moving forward. These feelings lead many people to consider facial procedures and plastic surgery after divorce.


Why? A few reasons. First, sometimes improving your appearance leads to more confidence. Maybe you’ve never liked your nose; you always wanted it to look smaller or the bump on it removed. Or, maybe when you look in the mirror, you see lines that weren’t there a few years ago, and it’s making you feel insecure about your age. These small improvements via plastic surgery or facial procedures can make a huge difference physically, which can then help you feel more self-assured and poised.


Secondly, a lot of women coming out of a marriage wanted to have plastic surgery and the ex was against it, so they just gave up. Or they lost themselves in marriage and want to get back to who they really are. And lastly, many people are getting ready to start dating after divorce, and they want a fresh start, looking and feeling their best.


I have been a plastic surgeon for 13 years, and much of my practice includes newly separated and/or divorced women. With today’s technology and options, it’s easier than ever to jumpstart your new look. The options range from very subtle to more extreme, depending on your goals, and include non-invasive injectable procedures and skin care to surgical procedures that can really improve one’s appearance.

Maybe it’s time for that lower face and jowl tightening, or perhaps that mommy make-over you never got around to during marriage and raising children. And with advancements in surgical procedures, many of these can now be done in the office under local anesthetic with amazing long-lasting results.


Something to consider before having plastic surgery after divorce:


My career is very fulfilling because I change people’s lives by making them feel better about themselves, which makes them happier. But, happiness doesn’t solely come from looking better physically. That’s why I recommend being honest with yourself and asking yourself why you truly want the surgery. Is it because you think you’ll get more dates or get married again? In my opinion, that is NOT a good reason to change your face.


Fillers and plastic surgery after divorce should be done for YOU and no one else. If this is what you truly want because you want to feel better and prettier, that’s a great reason to do it. Another thing to think about is, how happy is this going to make me? If nothing else in your life is working, don’t count on plastic surgery after divorce to cause you bliss.

Plastic surgery doesn’t solve your divorce and/or life problems, which is why it’s important after divorce to work on yourself in many, many ways. This can include: exercise, meditation,therapy, getting a job if you want or need to, staying social, finding hobbies and/or volunteer work that makes you feel fulfilled. What I’m saying is, plastic surgery should compliment these other things in helping you feel happy and healthy.


Warner Institute - The confidence you've always wanted.


Finding the right plastic surgeon


It’s very important that you find the right physician, one who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). There are many surgeons out there who will tell you they are a plastic surgeon, but the ABPS specifically is the only legitimate plastic surgery board.


Your surgeon should listen to your concerns, develop a plan with you, and deliver results that are realistic and that both you and your surgeon have discussed at great length. It’s important to feel that you “connect” with your surgeon and that you feel the plan has a high chance of achieving success. It’s also important to feel comfortable enough to talk to your surgeon with honesty, and have more than one consult, if you feel like you need to talk again.


In closing, facial procedures and plastic surgery can have a significantly positive impact on your mental well-being. Patients routinely say that rejuvenation procedures and injectable treatments helped them feel better about themselves through divorce; a process that inherently created a lot of negativity, fear and self-doubt.

What I have learned about my patients over the years is that when a woman looks in the mirror and is happy with her appearance – remember, perfection is impossible, but if she feels good about the way she looks, it can feel empowering, inspiring and provide hope for a bright, happy and healthy future.

Jeremy Warner
Dr. Jeremy Warner, MD, FACS


Jeremy Warner, MD FACS is a private practice physician in the northshore suburbs of Chicago. He is on staff with the University of Chicago Section of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Warner is double board certified by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.

While Dr. Warner provides comprehensive care in all areas of plastic surgery, he specializes in facial plastic surgery procedures. He serves as President of the Warner Institute, Director and Founder of the Chicago Rhinoplasty Symposium, serves as Mission Director of the Nepal Surgical and Medical Mission under the Face the Future Foundation, and serves as Fellowship Director for the Warner Institute.

Dr. Warner performs both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic facial procedures including Facelift, Necklift, Otoplasty (ear reshaping), Botox®, Fillers, Blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), Hair Restoration, Chin Implants, Liposuction, Fat Injections, and Browlift. He also performs reconstructive facial procedures including Facial Reconstruction, Reconstruction after Mohs Surgery, Facial Reconstruction for Facial Paralysis, and also general body contouring procedures upon request.

His patients come from all over the U.S. and abroad. He has been featured on ABC News for his state-of-the-art facial surgery and his research has been featured on ABCnews, CBSnews, Toronto Sun, Chicago Tribune, Business Week, Bloomberg, LA Times, Baltimore Sun, US News, Washington Post, and the Doctors Lounge.

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