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What Healthy Self-Care Looks Like When You Separate

In Health, Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

It is hard to feel like yourself when you separate from your spouse. This is a completely natural consequence of the end of a significant relationship, the complete disruption in your daily routine, and the process of coming to terms with these major life changes. While separation and divorce are fairly common, it is also unfortunately common to see people fail to properly take care of themselves during this time of need. It is worth taking care of yourself during a difficult separation. In the future, when you are in a better place and look back at these times, you will not regret it. Proper self-care includes stepping back and considering the combination of your mind, body, and soul. Mind — Separations are a traumatic experience. It is important to …

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Self-Care Suggestions for Fathers

In Child Custody, Health by Elizabeth Stephenson

When you are a single father, you can get pulled in a lot of directions: role model, provider, co-parent, friend, and co-worker, to name a few. If your separation or divorce occurred recently, you find yourself in new and uncharted territory. You are likely stressed about finances, trying to navigate your own emotions, working out a custody and visitation plan, and trying to find a way to co-exist with your child’s mother. Even more importantly, as much as you are struggling with a separation or divorce, you are painfully aware that your child is experiencing grief and loss as well. You are therefore trying to be a good parent to a sad and confused child. You try to do the right things and say the perfect words to reassure them …

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In Health, Lifestyle by Sarah Hink

If you take notice of what people are wearing this month, you may notice a lot of people wearing pink shirts or adorned with pink ribbon accessories. This is because October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). Founded by the American Cancer Society in 1985, this important recognition was designed to promote the use of mammograms to detect breast cancer. In 1993, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation introduced the pink ribbon as its symbol to raise awareness for breast cancer research funding. It is estimated that about 12% of women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. At New Direction Family Law, we proudly recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month and encourage the women of North Carolina to get mammograms. If you have health insurance, please contact your doctor and …

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A Band-Aid for Your Heart

In Health by Elizabeth Stephenson

Ninety-seven years ago, in September 1920, Earle Dickson had an idea. As a Johnson and Johnson employee, he was frustrated by how difficult the company’s large tape bandages were to apply to small cuts. Inspired by treating his wife’s small cuts and burns at home, Mr. Dickson decided to cut and place gauze onto strips of tape and apply them precisely on the wounds. Johnson and Johnson liked the idea and eventually begin selling this product, but with only moderate success. After some design tweaks, the product took off, and “BAND-AID’s” became a household name, synonymous with protecting and healing wounds. Healing Your Heart Separations and divorces can feel like deep emotional cuts, and we all wish a BAND-AID could make things better. Unfortunately, when you are heartbroken, there is …

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Seeking Help for Suicidal Thoughts

In Health by Elizabeth Stephenson

By now, you have probably heard the story of Michelle Carter, a teenager from Massachusetts who was accused of convincing her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, to follow through with his threats of suicide. When her case went to trial, the evidence revealed that her boyfriend had informed her of his plan to kill himself by filling his truck with toxic gas. Instead of seeking outside help or trying to prevent his suicide, Carter wrote Roy numerous messages encouraging him to kill himself. Even worse, Carter texted Roy to “get back in” the truck when he had second thoughts and had exited his truck. Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Suicide is a real and prevalent problem that causes devastating losses for families, friends, and communities. What Michelle Carter did was …

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Planning a Safe Separation

In Domestic Violence, Health, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Separations are difficult for everyone. Even if a couple separates amicably, there is still a loss in the end of a long-term relationship. But for people in physically or emotionally abusive relationships, separations are remarkably more difficult to navigate. This is because in addition to the pain of ending a relationship with a person you love, you are also facing great risk of physical or psychological harm, or even death. This is why if you are considering separating from an abusive spouse, you should plan with your safety in mind. Domestic Violence is About Control Domestic violence is very real and it is incredibly serious. In fact, in North Carolina, there have already been forty domestic violence-related homicides in 2017. Under North Carolina law, domestic violence includes the following acts …

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Living with Anger

In Health, Lifestyle by Sarah Hink

We physically feel anger. When an event triggers this extreme emotion, there is a rush of adrenalin, our hearts pump, and blood rushes to our head. These physical symptoms can quickly turn into impulsive actions and poor decision-making. Separations and divorces present countless opportunities for anger to rear its head. This will manifest as angry words, petty actions, threats, harassment, and violence. This is why it is incredibly important for us to understand our own anger, what brings about our anger, and how we live in that anger without acting in a destructive manner. Be mindful of the potential consequences of your anger. This includes the end of relationships, losing your job, going to jail, or physically harming somebody. For legal purposes, if your anger manifests as harassment or domestic …

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Healthy Grieving for a Better Tomorrow

In Health, Lifestyle by Sarah Hink

Every person who goes through the experience of a separation and divorce suffers. What was believed to be a forever relationship, “till death do us part”, has ended, along with all of the hopes and dreams that you had a couple before your marriage. It is the often-messy conclusion of a significant relationship, which for some people, has lasted a significant portion of their adult lives. In addition, it is easy to lose one’s identity when your relationship ends, as amongst your family, friends, and social circles you have been known in the context of a married couple and not as individuals. At New Direction Family Law, we have witnessed twenty years of people coping with separation and divorce, and have seen healthy behavior and incredibly unhealthy behavior. Please consider …

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Have You Considered Adopting a Pet?

In Lifestyle by Elizabeth Stephenson

Regardless of your age, or the circumstances in your life, pets can be a wonderful, healthy addition to your life. They are cute, fluffy, and loyal companions who love you unconditionally (even cats). In addition to companionship, it is a kind act to adopt an animal. You are saving an animal’s life when you adopt. This is because the adoptable population of animals in shelters are there because they are stray, abandoned, or owner-surrendered animals. In addition, when you adopt an animal, a kennel becomes open for another animal’s to stay. Should I Adopt? At New Direction Family Law, we love animals. However, we also understand that pet ownership is not for everyone. Before you make a decision, there are several things to consider. Whether your home can accommodate a …

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Separating Emotion and the Legal Process

In Health, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Separation. Divorce. Child custody disputes. All of these experiences are life altering. A relationship that was supposed to last forever has just ended and the emotions are new. Regardless of the circumstances that got you here, there is some combination of grief, betrayal, regret, anger, and fear that fills your mind and heart. Further, you are now picking up the pieces of your life and trying to figure out what is going to happen next. And when children are involved, the anxiety and pressure skyrocket. While adjusting to these sudden and dramatic changes, it is important to keep an eye on your future. The legal process of separation, divorce, and child custody determinations are about looking toward your future and your children’s future. That is why it is important to …