Wife.org Wants to Know Is Divorce on your Holiday Shopping List?

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Six Steps from the Experts on Handling the Holidays when Your Marriage No Longer Feels Like a “Gift”

Thinking about shopping lists, presents, parties, and…divorce? Holidays are usually a time for reconnecting, but if you are married -- and not so happily -- the next few months of seasonal preparations can put major strain on relationships that are already teetering on the brink. And, according to a recent Huffington Post Divorce article,* “January has the most legal breakups.” So: How do you celebrate the holidays when you don’t think your marriage will make it?

According to Ginita Wall and Candace Bahr, two top Certified Divorce Financial Analysts and nationally recognized wealth and divorce experts, keeping emotions in check is key. Wall is also a Forensic Accountant, CPA and CFP®; Bahr is also a CEA, and co-founder of Bahr Investment Group. The pair co-founded the Women’s Institute for Financial Education (WIFE.org) almost twenty-five years ago, launching nationally acclaimed programs that include the “Second Saturday Divorce Workshop for Women,” the longest-running program of its kind. Here’s what Ginita and Candace have to say:

1.    Ask for help from friends and family: If it looks like getting divorced will be one of your New Year’s resolutions, but you and your spouse are still together, you may want to confide your situation to a friend or family member. But limit what you share to just one or two people. If you blab to everyone, your spouse could hear of it, your marriage will suffer even more, and your holiday will explode into ruin for everyone – especially if you have children.

2.    Curb holiday spending: Heading into divorce deeply in debt complicates everything, so don’t drown your guilt or sorrow in shopping. This may not be the most picture-perfect memorable holiday season, and that’s okay – right now, you are just trying to get through.

3.     Lighten up your expectations. Holidays are about getting together, but divorce is about breaking up. Get through this pressure-packed time of year by focusing on others. Maintain a gracious spirit and be grateful for every good thing you have. Consider what's most important to yourself and your family, and pare celebrations down to just those things.

4.    Don't let marital storms destroy your joy. Think of your marital problems the same way you would a big snowstorm during the holidays. You might have to change your plans a bit, re-arrange schedules and deal with some unpleasantness. But you can still figure out ways to celebrate without the storms derailing your holiday. Find and share every little joy you can this holiday season.

5.    Don’t squabble with your spouse. It’s very easy to let emotions overcome you during the holidays. If you act in anger now, you may ruin your chances to get to a peaceful divorce settlement with your spouse in the New Year. And, fighting in front of the kids is never a good idea. Children learn what they see at home, and they will take to heart things you say in anger.

6.    Take your time. When the holidays draw to a close, don’t rush headlong into divorce. Take as much time to plan your divorce strategy as you devoted to shopping and decorating for the holidays – this preparation will pay off for an entire lifetime, instead of just one season.

ABOUT WIFE.ORG
The Women’s Institute for Financial Education (WIFE.org) is the oldest non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial education to women in their quest for financial independence. It was founded in 1988 by wealth management experts Candace Bahr and Ginita Wall, who have a lifelong mission of helping women connect with resources that help them prosper and grow financially. WIFE.org was recently named one of the top 500 financial sites by “Online Investor,” capturing the interest of women and the press seeking financial advice and information for women. For more information, visit http://www.wife.org.

Candace Bahr is a nationally known advocate for women’s financial independence. Ginita Wall is also a nationally recognized expert and columnist on the subject of women and money. Wall has authored eight books on personal finance, and was named one of the 250 top financial advisors in the country by Worth Magazine eight years in a row. Both Bahr and Wall have been named Five Star Wealth Managers for 2012, the fourth year in a row. This designation puts both women in the top three percent of wealth managers in San Diego.

Bahr and Wall have been speaking nationally on behalf of their non-profit since it was founded in 1988, offering workshops and making media appearances on shows like NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, CBS This Morning, CNNfn, PBS and National Public Radio and they travel the country speaking to women’s conferences organized by State Treasurer offices. The women have never taken a salary from WIFE, and allocate all proceeds into running their non-profit.
*http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/04/january-more-divorces-tha_n_803958.html

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Elizabeth Bryan
WIFE.ORG
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