How 'Bout Those Assets?

Guest post by Jason Levoy, AKA The Divorce Resource Guy

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that part of any divorce is the distribution of assets...marital assets. 

In New Jersey, courts divide assets by a method called equitable distribution.When you get divorced, you are splitting a marital household/lifestyle into two single pieces.  Each state is different.  If you're in a community property jurisdiction, everything is considered joint. 

All those marital assets you accumulated have to be divided and distributed as part of the dissolution process.It may be different in your state, so check to be sure.In an equitable distribution state, this means that the assets are divvied up in a manner that is equitable to both parties.

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DivorceKate Anthony
On rejecting diet culture and what comes next

In April of 2017 I sat on a beach on an island in Mexico and bottomed out on 20 years of compulsive dieting.

Exactly a year earlier I’d shot an infomercial for a fitness machine giant. They’d put us on an extremely restricted diet for 10 weeks and rigorously trained us. I’m not gonna lie, I fucking loved it. I got free food and personal training, and in the end I was almost at my goal weight. (Looking back, I’m horrified that I still thought I had more to lose, but that’s trickery of diet culture.)

A year later, I’d gained back all the weight, and more (because #dietscience), and as I sat on the beach in Mexico comparing myself to every body I saw, I spiraled into the darkest place I’ve ever been, very quickly.

My first thought was, “I’m going on another diet when I get home. Gotta get back on track. No carbs, no alcohol, paleo only! This time for real!”

But with a sinking feeling I knew that another diet wasn’t an option and even worse, that I was hitting bottom.

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Kate Anthony
Top reasons people leave their marriages - and what they mean for you

Many marital issues can be worked through, and many of them simply can't. If you have two people who want the marriage to work, and two people who are really willing to do the work to heal the marriage, it is possible (although not a guarantee) that you can make this work.

And… it is still true that too much water may have gone under your marital bridge to be able to continue on with the marriage.

But how would you know? And more importantly, when will you know? Because if you're anything like I was when I was at this stage, you've been pondering this for months, and maybe even years.

You're waiting for this to be really fucking clear, and it's still not.

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Kate Anthony
Are Your Expectations of Your Spouse Totally Unreasonable?

Up until the mid-20th century, marriages were, essentially, business arrangements, and in many cultures they still are. Families merged to increase power and land-holdings. If you ended up with an affinity for your spouse, that was a bonus, but it certainly wasn’t the impetus, and women had almost no choice in the matter whatsoever. Families had children, not because of a biological yearning, but because more hands were needed to support the family business, and indeed the family itself.

Single-family homes, while seen as early as the 15th and 16th centuries, really began to boom with the advent and proliferation of the automobile. With cars came greater freedom to commute, and housing spread into more rural areas, which led to greater and greater space between us. We left our family homes, found our partners, and moved into these new single-family dwellings, white picket fences and all.

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Three Things Women Wish Men Knew About Online Dating

(File under: Is the grass really greener on the other side?)

I’ve been online dating off and on since my divorce almost ten years ago. I’ve watched (and experienced) a shift in the medium over the years; I’ve seen it go from deep and introspective to downright lazy, and I have a few things to say about how (many) men are doing this online dating thing.

If you’re a man who has any interest in meeting a woman of substance online, read on. If you’re just looking for a hookup, you might want to read on as well, because there are ways to get in a woman’s pants, and they’re not what you seem to think they are.

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Kate Anthony
Valentines Day in Divorce

I remember my first Valentine’s Day after my divorce. My ex had a girlfriend, and the guy I’d been seeing had dumped me a month before on a trip to Big Bear, hours before having to drive down the windy mountain in a rainstorm. We hadn’t had breakfast (because get me the fuck off this mountain), and I am really sensitive to altitude adjustments, so trust me when I tell you that I was SICK coming down those windy passes.

But I digress.

So I was freshly broken-hearted, licking my wounds, mostly in my bed with wine, and here comes Valentine's Day...

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DivorceKate AnthonyDivorce
Dating After Divorce

After our divorce, while we each dated other people, my ex and I still did holidays together, go to the theatre together, and have family dinners together. After all we’d been through we were now close, and as he began to date I took on the awkward yet esteemed role of First Wife.

I’d befriend his girlfriends. Partly because it all seemed easier; we could all just be a family, and it would be less complicated for our son. But the truth was that I couldn’t let go. I didn’t want to lose my spot as the primary woman in my ex’s life. We’d spent 10 years together, and I barely had an identity outside of him.

Ultimately it was a power-play based on my own insecurities. I was pissing on my territory, and my ex was my territory.

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DivorceKate AnthonyDivorce
Should You Tell If You Cheated?

I received an email not too long ago from a reader who asked:

I cheated on my husband. It wasn't a one-time thing, but it's over now. I'm wracked with guilt, but I also know that if I tell my husband, it will destroy him. But I also feel like I should be honest and like I'm keeping a terrible secret, even though I actually feel closer to him now than ever. What should I do?

This is certainly a complicated issue many of us have faced. There's a spark of attraction with someone new. Things haven't been quite "right" in your marriage for a long time, and you get swept away in a moment. Or two, or three... Now you're left with the question: should you tell your husband?

Here's my take on this, shared by the always awesome Dan Savage, and I'll warn you, it's a bit controversial, and not a perspective shared by everyone: 

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Kate Anthony
New Year's Resolutions And The True Meaning Of Self Care

Last November I was hospitalized from drinking a protein powder that had Maca Root in it. Three weeks ago I just missed being hospitalized again from drinking bulletproof coffee. A few weeks before that I'd gone off my antidepressants because I was having all the side effects. After some significant research, and multiple private messages from a therapist friend urging me to read a particular book, I realized that I am what's known as a Highly Sensitive Person.

HSPs have high sensitivities to most things. We get all the side effects from all the medications (we're the 1% who experience the random side effects no one else gets). We fully absorb most medications into our systems, which means we need far less than most people; this is why it takes us forever to wake up from anesthesia (outpatient surgery? HA!). Our bodies take twice as long to heal from injury (or surgery), and we are far more sensitive to things like stimulants (which is why I was hospitalized from Maca Root and the MCT Oil in bullet-proof coffee was leading me down the same road). We get easily overwhelmed by the world around us because we fully absorb all the energy surrounding us.

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Kate Anthony
How To Talk To Your Child About An Absent Father

Every two weeks I answer anonymous questions to an exclusive segment of my list. This week's question, however, was important enough that I wanted to share the answer more widely. (If you'd like to be on this exclusive segment of my list, you can sign up here.)

An anonymous reader asked:

My son often asks for his daddy. I don't know what to say to him. It breaks my heart because I've done everything I can to bridge the gap and encourage his father to be a part of his life. But he's totally absent. Only visits maybe 20hrs a month sometimes less. Can you give me any advice on what to say to my son about where his father is? Why he isn't here etc?

First of all, let me say that these kinds of questions break my heart. According to Psychology today, "...24 million children live in biological father-absent homes— in the United States alone. And 1 in 3 children grow up without a father." What this means first and foremost is that you are not alone. 

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An Open Letter To Your Ex

Many moms tell me that their ex simply won't collaborate with them. It breaks my heart to see people who are otherwise mentally stable, intelligent people refuse to put their own resentments aside in service of what might truly be best for their children. 

{I also have a lot of women come to me who are divorcing malignant narcissists, and this letter absolutely doesn't apply to them.}

If your ex is a mentally stable person who's having a hard time letting go of resentment and blame and it's affecting your kids, I wrote this open letter for you to share in hopes that it might move the needle towards greater collaboration in service of your children.

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The Truth Of What It Means To Be A Stay-at-Home Mom—If You Get Divorced

When I became pregnant, I had just lost my job managing a successful fitness studio that was being financially mismanaged. I was also an actor, and while I still had to have a day-job (as most of us do), I’d been doing pretty well in theatre and television most of my life.

I started my acting career when I was about 3 years old, when I became one of the regular kids on Sesame Street

Being raised by actors in New York City, I had access to some pretty insane opportunities. By the time I was 12, I had the kind of career most actors would kill for.

When I was 23, I had my picture in almost every newspaper and magazine across the country because of a highly controversial TV movie I starred in (we had the second lesbian kiss in TV history. In 1994 that was a BFD, even for HBO).

All this to say, I had a career, and not an insubstantial one.

But pregnant, I wasn’t exactly taking Hollywood by storm.

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How To Do Holidays In Divorce

Holidays in divorce can suck holy hell.

There's the loneliness factor, the confusion factor, the "Fuck-do-I-really-have-to-collaborate-with-the-one-person-who-stresses-me-out-the-most?" factor. There's the who's-traveling-when factor, the "But-will-I-still-get-to-see-my-in-laws" factor, the "Who-do-I-buy-presents-for-now?" factor. And the worst factor of all: Will I wake up alone on Christmas morning?

While I can't answer all of these questions for you specifically, there are a few ways you can make the holidays somewhat less hellish for yourself and your kids.

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When To Introduce Him To Your Kids

OK, so you’ve met a new guy (because you are all that and a bag o’ chips) and it seems like  this new relationship might actually be going well. Your next big question is, how do you know when to introduce him to your kids?

At some point it will be nice to ease into a more relaxed kind of dating where you have dinner at home and watch a movie, rather than going out all the time.

While there is a delicate balance in all of this, it’s actually more simple than some would have you think.

Let’s start with what doesn’t work, and while these may seem super-basic, you’d be surprised at what I’ve seen...

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Are You Staying In Your Marriage For Your Kids?

One of the most common reasons people stay together is for their children. Depending on your unique situation, this might be the best reason to stay together, or the worst.

We're told over and over again that we have to stay for our kids; that children from "broken homes" (I hate that term) do less well in school, are damaged, and grow up to have poor coping and relationship skills. So we try. And we try harder. We bend ourselves into pretzels trying to make this square peg fit in this round hole come hell or high water, because if we don't, our children will suffer, and we will have failed.

I call bullshit.

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Why Now is the PERFECT Time to Work on Yourself

I once met a man who had been separated for about 2 years. He and his ex-wife had no children and one day (according to him) she up and left him with no warning and no explanation. Two years later, when I asked why he thought she'd left, he said, "My best guess is that she had a psychotic break." I was dumbfounded. He hadn't taken the two years since his separation to figure out what might have been missing in his marriage, to examine what it was he hadn't seen. He'd simply decided that she had had a psychotic break.

Divorce is fertile ground for self-realization and growth, and while it may seem like you don't have it in you to deal with your personal growth simultaneous to dealing with the actual divorce, believe me when I tell you, now is the time.

Why? Two reasons:

  1. While ~50% of all first marriages end in divorce, 75% of second marriages do too.
  2. Not dealing with your own shit now is what puts your kids in the middle.
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Kate AnthonyDivorce