man with head in hands feeling depressed

10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Post on Social Media During Your Divorce Process

Divorce can be an emotionally turbulent time, and social media might seem like a good outlet to vent or seek support. However, it's crucial to understand that what you post online can have significant consequences on your divorce proceedings. What you say can and will be held against you - don’t make your divorce any harder than it has to be.

man with head in hands feeling depressed

1. Privacy Protection

Sharing details about your divorce on social media can lead to unwanted public scrutiny and invasion of privacy. Once information is online, it can be shared, screenshot, or archived, making it nearly impossible to erase. This exposure can add stress and complicate your divorce proceedings. By keeping your divorce matters private, you protect not only your personal information but also your dignity and peace of mind during this challenging time.

2. Legal Implications

Social media posts can be subpoenaed and used as evidence in court. For example, comments or messages could be interpreted as admissions of fault or contradict statements made under oath. It's important to remember that anything you post can potentially be scrutinized by lawyers and judges, affecting the outcome of your divorce.

3. Emotional Well-being

Divorce is an emotionally charged process, and social media can amplify negative feelings. Seeing your ex-spouse's posts, mutual friends taking sides, or encountering judgmental comments can increase stress and hinder your emotional recovery. Taking a break from social media allows you to focus on self-care and healing without the added pressure of maintaining an online presence.

4. Protecting Your Children

If you and your partner had any children together, it’s also important to think about them during this time. It’s easy to access information and let's face it, our kids tend to be more tech-savvy than we are, reading negative comments about their parents is not what a child needs during this vulnerable time. By refraining from posting about your divorce, you protect your children from unnecessary emotional distress.

Posting about your late-late habits of meeting others in bars or casinos for rounds of alcoholic beverages may be interpreted as leaving your children during your parenting time to fend for themselves, instead of spending quality time with your kids. 

5. Financial Consequences

Your social media activity can inadvertently affect the financial aspects of your divorce. Displaying a lavish lifestyle such as purchasing new vehicles or traveling often could impact spousal support or property division decisions. It's wise to be cautious about what you share, as it can directly influence the financial outcome of your divorce proceedings. Its hard to convince a judge that you can't afford guideline child support. 

6. Avoiding Misinterpretations

Social media posts are often subject to interpretation, and what you intend as harmless or humorous could be misconstrued. These misinterpretations can be used against you in court, affecting custody arrangements, asset division, or other aspects of your divorce. Staying off social media eliminates the risk of your words being taken out of context.

7. Watch What Your Kids Post

As a parent, you're held liable for your children’s actions, and while social media is its own beast, it’s vital to monitor your child’s online presence during your divorce process. While it’s not meant to scare you, something as simple as your child complaining that you won’t let them out on a Friday night could turn into proof that your child doesn’t want to live with you. Even vulgar comments from friends could be used to show that your child is hanging out with the wrong crowd and might need to live with their more responsible parent. 

8. Preventing Harassment

Social media can unfortunately be a platform for harassment or cyberbullying. During a divorce, you may be more vulnerable to such attacks, which can add to your stress and anxiety. Staying off social media protects you from potential online harassment and helps maintain your mental well-being.

9. Maintaining Professionalism

Your online presence can impact your professional life. Employers and colleagues may view your social media profiles, and negative or unprofessional posts could harm your reputation or career prospects. By keeping your posts positive and professional, you safeguard your professional image during a divorce. 

It’s also important not to use social media at work. Anything that you use at work can be monitored and traced back to you. Therefore you’ll be held liable and considered irresponsible for taking time out of your employer’s paycheck to post petty things online.

10. Facilitating Settlement

A contentious social media presence can create animosity and hinder the negotiation process. By staying offline, you reduce the chances of escalating conflicts and increase the likelihood of reaching an amicable settlement. This can lead to a smoother divorce process and a faster resolution.

Posting on Social Media During a Divorce Can Have Far-Reaching Consequences

Additional Considerations:

  • Confidentiality: Respect the confidentiality of your divorce proceedings by not sharing details online.
  • Legal Advice: Consult with your attorney before posting anything related to your divorce.
  • Mindful Sharing: If you must use social media, be mindful of what you share and consider the potential implications; try to think of others options.

Divorce is a time to focus on your future and heal from the past. Social media can complicate this process, so it's wise to take a step back and think before you post. 

For more information and guidance on navigating your divorce process, visit Jeanne Browne's website

Please Note: Articles posted on this website are for general information purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice. Every situation is unique and we recommend you reach out for a private conversation about your specific circumstances and concerns by booking a consultation.

photo of couple in deep discussion

10 of the Best Communication Methods for You and Your Partner to Use While Building a Marriage or Ending One Amicably

Marriage is rewarding but tough. Open, effective, empathetic communication between partners is essential for a marriage to thrive. 

It’s probably no surprise that communication is one of the topic issues cited by people who have divorced. Sometimes it’s a lack of communication and failure to talk about important issues. Sometimes it’s damaging communication patterns that hurt feelings and cause emotional wounds. 

If poor communication habits lead to a divorce, it’s reasonable to predict the couple will bring those poor habits into the divorce process, resulting in more hurt and frustration, a longer and more expensive process, adjudicated outcomes that seem unfair, additional stress on the children, and emotional pain for everyone that can take a long time to recover from. 

So, if you and your spouse are considering a divorce and you haven’t developed effective communication habits during the marriage, is there any hope of communicating better during the divorce process? 

YES! Even if you don’t know how to communicate well with your partner, within the supportive environment of mediation or a collaborative divorce, you will have tools and experts to help you speak and listen effectively, moderate your emotions, and remain focused on the goal of reaching compromise, mutual understanding, and resolutions you both agree with. 

If that sounds too good to be true, let me reassure you, IT IS POSSIBLE. 

As a mediator, I am uniquely trained and skilled in helping couples have productive conversations. As a collaborative divorce attorney, I’m very experienced working with my clients and with a trained team of collaborative experts to facilitate communication and reach positive outcomes. (By the way, in a collaborative divorce process, each of you even can choose to have a dedicated “coach” to support you and guide you in communicating effectively. It’s an amazing aspect of collaborative divorce.) 

When I start working with a couple in either of these "no-court" divorce processes, one of the first things I do is share with them a list of 10 keys to effective communication, and I’m sharing them with you here.  

1. Remember that we have the chance to be “problem solvers” together.  

It took two people to create your marriage and the problems in it. With mediation or collaborative divorce, you will have a bigger team to work cooperatively with both of you to address issues and come to satisfying resolutions you can both live with. 

2. Sometimes it’s helpful to stop ourselves and ask, “Is this really the most effective way to resolve this issue or talk about it?” 

It’s natural to bring unhealthy communication habits from your marriage into the divorce process, but the ways you spoke to each other back then obviously weren’t optimal. Be mindful about the fact that you both can probably speak to each other in more productive ways. Your mediator or collaborative coach will be helpful in making suggestions in the moment. Be patient and open-minded.  

3. Using inflammatory language usually is not helpful to resolve conflict. 

Whether you’re the target of inflammatory language or the one using it, the end result is the unnecessary escalation of negative emotions, hurt feelings, and less opportunity to find common ground.  

couple looking in each other's eyes

4. Speak for yourself using “I” statements, and let your partner share his/her own feelings or needs. 

When you focus on expressing your own feelings, thoughts, and perceptions without being accusatory, your partner will be less defensive, and this will help keep the lines of communication open.  

5. This process is completely voluntary. 

When you both realize you’re engaged in the process because you want to be and not because someone is forcing you to be, it’s easier to remain present. While you might at times feel an impulse to retreat, shut down, or attack, remember why you’re here and what you can accomplish together. 

6. It’s okay to be creative and ask for help from others who might have more information or insight on a particular issue. 

We all want to be right, but is being right more important than being happy? Of course not. When you’re not sure how to proceed, or you need more ideas about how to resolve an issue, ask for help. You’re not on your own. 

7. It’s okay to disagree. It may feel tense that you cannot agree right now, but try to tolerate that for a little while to give time to look for other solutions. 

Sometimes it’s difficult to create a plan or find a compromise about a certain issue right away. You might have to explore several different options before you find the one that is really and truly best. Resist the urge to dig in your heels and defend your position. And don’t run from issue either. Be patient and remain engaged--resolution will come. 

8. Consider conflict an opportunity and listen for the other person’s expressed feelings, interests, and goals. 

When you’re not seeing eye to eye, try not to argue. Acknowledge that you’re being confronted with ideas with which you may not agree, but they may just be ideas that you don’t understand. If you can listen with empathy and a desire to find common ground, you may find that your partner has something worth sharing that will help you both reach a solution. 

9. Have faith that a mutually acceptable resolution is possible. 

In the heat of the moment or while discussing a particularly contentious topic, it may feel as if it will be impossible for the two of you to reach a compromise. But I have worked with countless couples through mediation and collaborative practice, and I assure you that if you stay committed to the process and to working together, you will find solutions and create plans that both of you will be satisfied with. Trust the process. 

10. We are all responsible for helping each other to use the best communication methods. 

It’s easy to criticize others and feel justified about our own familiar ways of expressing ourselves. But the best thing to do is focus on what you can control—yourself. You get to decide what to say and how to say it. You get to decide how to respond to what you hear. You’ll have support during mediation or a collaborative divorce in using the best communication methods, and doing so will make it easier for your soon-to-be ex-spouse to do the same. 

The Bottom Line 

If your marriage is salvageable, perhaps you will find these helpful in fostering more positive communication patterns with your spouse now as you continue to build a healthy relationship. If you’re already planning to divorce, perhaps you will both find it useful to start practicing some of these best communication methods now as you prepare to enter the difficult conversations and negotiations that are part of dissolving a marriage and moving on with your lives. If you have children, these methods will be invaluable as you co-parent into the future. 

If you’d like to know more about mediation and collaborative practice, please set up a confidential consultation so we can talk about your situation and your options. I’m ready to help. 

Explore your no-court divorce options and the prenuptial process in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County and schedule a confidential consultation with divorce lawyer Jeanne Browne. With more than 30 years of experience helping couples divorce without court through mediation and collaborative practice, she will give you compassionate legal advice on your issues related to family law, divorce, and prenuptial/postnuptial agreements. Click here to schedule a meeting.  

Please Note: Articles posted on this website are for general information purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice. Every situation is unique and we recommend you reach out for a private conversation about your specific circumstances and concerns by booking a consultation. 

How to Know if You are Hiring a “Real” Collaborative Attorney?

These are the questions to ask the attorney you are interviewing:

1.   “What percentage of your practice involves Collaborative Divorce cases?

It is important to hire an attorney who is very skilled in collaborative process conflict resolution, and has a number of ongoing collaborative clients.   Merely having a web site reference that he or she practices “collaborative law” is not enough.    I’ve seen this in other local family law web sites, and yet that particular family law attorney is almost always in court, and is not a member of a collaborative practice group.  Even if they were previously trained, they may or may not be taking formal Collaborative cases any more.

2.     “How often do you participate in Collaborative Training?”

All collaborative divorce attorneys require specific training in the negotiation skills for this process.   Find out if that attorney is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professional (IACP) group, or CPCal, the state organization that provides annual trainings for attorneys, coaches, and neutral financial specialists.

All collaborative attorneys have also undergone significant mediation training and are trained mediators.  Not all mediators can be collaborative counsel. Special collaborative training is required.   While the process is amicable, the ultimate result still depends on the legal, emotional and financial implications of each desired outcome.  Your collaborative attorney is there to help you consider all possible options before reaching agreement.

3.   “Do you Have Satisfied Clients who have Used the Collaborative Process?

The answer should be ‘Yes!”    While giving out names of specific clients is not permitted,  client testimonials posted via social media sites can be a good way to see if that attorney has accomplished successful results in the past.

4.    “What are the Benefits and Risks of Using the Collaborative Divorce process?”

Most attorneys, coaches and financial divorce professionals will correctly identify that the primary benefit of this process is having control over the decisions being made over their family, finances, and division of property.  Another benefit is control over the scheduling, thus not being bound to the court’s availability and backlog of court calendars.

There is the risk of not getting everything you want  and possibly having to resort to litigation later where you turn over decision-making to a judge (basically a stranger to your family and situation.)  In my experience, a well-functioning Collaborative Team digs deeper into helping the couple create acceptable compromises and the risk of later litigation is substantially reduced.

(This is Part 1.  More questions to be answered in Part 2.)

Please call me or email me for a consultation.  Or check out our collaborative group web site: for more information. )

I’m in the middle of a divorce – How can I find the right Realtor?


Divorce is a painful chapter if you have to sell your cherished home, even if you are using mediation or a collaborative process. Find a Realtor who understands this process and has compassion to help you have peace of mind. Here are three major considerations:

1) Experience/Knowledge is Key:

* Does the person have his/her pulse on current Market Conditions?

What is happening now after the Sonoma County Wildfires of October 2017? With so much heartache in our community, especially Santa Rosa’s Fountaingrove and Coffey Park area, what will be like for you if you are looking for a new home? What if you have lost your home and you decide to sell your cleared lot instead of rebuilding? What is an appropriate listing price for your home that survived the fire but is near the devastated area? Will my agent schedule a open house, or home tour with other agents? How will all the paperwork be handled? These are questions to ask.

It is a distinctive PLUS when a Real Estate Agent also has experience in the mortgage industry because you may want information about how to buy out your spouse’s community property interest and keep your home.

* Questions to address: What is our equity interest? Do I have a timely payment history? Will my income be sufficient to take over the loan or refinance the current mortgages? Are their any other liens against the property and how can I resolve them? What is my work and credit history and how do they effect my ability to accomplish a buy-out?

2) Trust is Important.

* Does the Realtor focus on his/her own Commission… or on a Commitment to you?

Take time to meet with your prospective Realtor before deciding to list with him or her. You need a Realtor who cares about your bottom line needs and goals more than his/her own. Ask a lot of questions, and be cautious about the “know-it-all” types. No one Realtor KNOWS all the answers, and if you meet with one who admits they do not, but they are willing to help you find expert advice and resources on that issue, that is a very good sign! Trust is earned.

* Questions to ask:
How long have they been in the business? Do you primarily work Sonoma County? Will you be honest with me during negotiations, such as whether the roof damage credit is reasonable or not? How quickly do you return calls?

If you are buying a replacement home after your divorce, choose a Realtor who is willing to review local Sonoma County school districts and neighborhood’s public records where the home is located. Whether you are looking in Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Sonoma, Sebastopol, or even Windsor, each location has its own benefits and drawbacks when finding a new home, especially if you have children and their schools and after-school care locations are effected.

2) Trust is Important.

* Does the Realtor focus on his/her own Commission… or on a Commitment to you?

Take time to meet with your prospective Realtor before deciding to list with him or her. You need a Realtor who cares about your bottom line needs and goals more than his/her own. Ask a lot of questions, and be cautious about the “know-it-all” types. No one Realtor KNOWS all the answers, and if you meet with one who admits they do not, but they are willing to help you find expert advice and resources on that issue, that is a very good sign! Trust is earned.

* Questions to ask:
How long have they been in the business? Do you primarily work Sonoma County? Will you be honest with me during negotiations, such as whether the roof damage credit is reasonable or not? How quickly do you return calls?

If you are buying a replacement home after your divorce, choose a Realtor who is willing to review local Sonoma County school districts and neighborhood’s public records where the home is located. Whether you are looking in Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Sonoma, Sebastopol, or even Windsor, each location has its own benefits and drawbacks when finding a new home, especially if you have children and their schools and after-school care locations are effected.

3) Cooperative, Not Cut-Throat!

* Is your Realtor Willing to Go the Extra Mile for You?

If you are a seller, you will want a Realtor to give you advice about how best to prepare your home to impress a prospective buyer. Some Realtors hire professional staging companies to give the best impression to receive the best price. Many agents I know have done extra to extended extra care. One helped advertise and attended her seller’s garage sale, yet another helped coordinate the last-minute moving of a refrigerator! Another guy fixed a front lawn sprinkler system for an elderly lady. Certainly these are not the Realtor’s job, but occasionally when we see human kindness in action, that is amazing and noteworthy.

Good Realtors usually have a list of trusted and qualified professionals such as painters, contractors, cleaning services, plumbers, electricians, pool service companies, and landscaping experts. You can trust the ones who have shown up and got the job done before, as their reputation is at stake!

I have worked with a number of different professional Realtors and can give you a referral any time. You will get through this, and you certainly don’t want to do it alone! For more information contact me today.


How Can I Be Happy and Secure if My Spouse Wants a Divorce?

You were blind-sided, you had no clue, and you don’t understand how this could have happened to you. Your wife just told you she hasn’t loved you for years and she wants a divorce. She wanted counseling years ago, but you didn’t want some shrink telling you how to run your life. How could she? She knows you’re a good provider, working overtime to keep the bills paid, the house repaired, and hey, you even took the whole family to DisneyWorld last year. What’s not to love? You think some roses may change her mind, but she already moved out with the kids.

Maybe instead you are a devoted wife who noticed your husband’s cell phone bill had a repeated unfamiliar number, logged while he was working late. You swallow hard as you call the number, hoping you are overreacting. A woman’s voice answers. Your husband’s explanation confirms your worst fear: “She’s my high school sweetheart that I never stopped loving — she’s my true soul mate.” He found her on Facebook, or was it his profile? Your heart thuds, you go numb inside, unable to think straight for months.

While these stories are changed to protect the innocent (or the guilty) they reveal incidents that change our lives, and threaten our security and happiness. Your situation might involve less trauma because your children are grown and there is a mutual decision to separate. You may still be asking “Where do I go from here?” As a family law attorney in Santa Rosa for over 25 years, my goal is to help separating or divorcing couples navigate through painful situations such as the above. My goal is to make a positive difference for clients and their children who are surrounded by swirling emotional tides beneath their ocean of legal issues. The undertow of the breakup tries to snatch away their trust, and waves of doubt crash over their rock of security, so they need a safe harbor to repair their human vessel and make it seaworthy again.

If you are ready to start rowing your boat ashore toward a protected cove, I’m ready to grab an oar to help. Simply call to schedule an appointment and we will discuss how best to secure your future. I’ll also give you a copy of our newly released book, while supplies last! “Happy and Secure in Sonoma County”

5 Principles: Encouragement

Divorce is not a simple process and you are probably facing uncertainty.

Here are some common questions that divorcing clients often ask me:

  • Will a judge make all the decisions or can my spouse and I agree on our own?
  • How can we get through this separation or divorce without financial and emotional ruin?
  • How can we best protect our children in this difficult time?

To help answer these questions, allow me to share five important principles and an easy way to remember them.

            1)  Encouragement

            2)  Direction

            3)  Responsibility

            4)  Commitment

            5)  Strength

Remembering these five principles is as simple as referencing the five fingers on your hand.  Let’s start with your thumb.

  1. Encouragement – Thumb:

First, give yourself a “thumbs up” as a reminder that you can get through this and not give up.  If you were my client I would encourage you to surround yourself with positive emotional support.  Realistically, I usually compare the divorce process with a roller coaster — the “Big D Dipper” with unexpected velocity, extreme highs and lows, and plenty of screaming!

You need reassurance from your friends and family to avoid depression or self-medicating behaviors.  “Encourage one another and build each other up” is a Biblical reference I use as a reminder.  If you don’t have anyone who fits this role, join a divorce support group. You also may need a trained therapist with divorce expertise.  Think of him or her as your emotional “safety harness” to keep you from revenge or subversive tactics (like slashing tires or sending that nasty text you will later regret)!  You need to learn how to “keep your hands and arms inside” until this shaky ride comes to a complete stop.

Do you love roller coasters so much that you rush to get back in line for another thrill variation?  Maybe your response is the same as some of my clients: “Are you kidding? I’m never getting married again!”  I tell them that while I appreciate their referrals, I really don’t hope for their “repeat business” (unless they need a prenuptial agreement, of course)!  I encourage them to get more information before choosing to repeat their negative experience.

A Look at Conflict — To Camp or Not to Camp, is that Really the Question?

A Look at Conflict — To Camp or Not to Camp, is that Really the Question?

by Jeanne M. Browne, Collaborative Attorney & Mediator

If we want to resolve our conflicts, then we have to look deeper at the underlying “need” for our desired result.

For example, I tell my husband that I want to schedule a camping trip. It’s a favorite pasttime from my childhood and we have great memories of camping together when our kids were small. I love taking in the nature hikes along the river that give me the sense of relaxation. That’s probably my favorite part, that I desire that type of relaxation. Even though setting up camp and sleeping outdoors may not be as kind to my body as times in the past, it’s still fun to do with my family.

If my hubby is not ready for the entire “project” that camping involves, he could start in on the reasons that my idea is a bad one, such as pointing out the hassle of packing, getting reservations, and the high cost of gas for our truck. I’m now thinking, “Wow, my great idea has just been shot in the shoulder.” This leads to the thought of “I’m injured, and he doesn’t care.” Then I say to myself, “This is important to me, why can’t he understand that?”

He’s learned some conflict resolution skills over the years. He started out by listening to my ideas about places I might want to camp, and when would be a good time to schedule it. He then responds instead with “Let’s think about when we can do that. We do have some wonderful camping memories together. What do you like best about it?”

When I mention the hiking part, he could “remember along with me” about how much we enjoy doing that together. Then he might suggest a day hike next weekend in the area where we live. I recognize my “relaxation need” for the outdoors and hiking met by that activity, and may reconsider my need to do the entire “camping” experience right now. I might even respond with “Wow, that sounds great, let’s make a date to do that!” If we are smart, we will write it in on the calendar.

Rather than starting an argument about the pros and cons of camping, we directed our conversation instead toward “What’s special about that for you?” and looked for ways that we had mutual thoughts or needs about the subject.

Try this the next time you face a conflict:

1) Really listen to what the person is saying.
2) Confirm that you heard what they said until they say, “Yes, that’s what I’m trying to say.”
3) Then say, “This sounds really important to you, tell me more about that.”
4) Listen again, and confirm that you heard what that person is needing.

Let me know how that works for you. It has worked for me!

Got to go now, as I’m heading out for a hike with my husband. Ahhh….time to relax!

Forgiveness vs. Trust

Forgiveness vs. Trust with Jeanne Browne

Sonoma County Divorce Lawyer specializing in collaborative mediation.

My last two blog entries addressed “HOW can I forgive my ex?” “And WHY should I forgive my ex? Now we address, “Do I have to trust him/her again?”

What if my ex continues to yell at me in front of the children?

Example: Let’s say you are exchanging the children at Starbucks and your ex is mad you are late, so while grabbing your shoulders he/she screams in your face and pushes you against your car door. This is not healthy behavior! IT IS IMPORTANT to remember that “trusting” him/her again is not the same as forgiveness. Trust must be earned.

A person must show through action that he/she is trustworthy before you trust again.
How do you set appropriate limits to prevent future harm?

Here’s a strategy:

State Your Expectations/Limits. Example: “Les, I am noticing that you are starting to raise your voice in front of the kids, and that is unacceptable to me. I will only listen to your opinion if you speak in a calm voice, without accusations.” “If you do not lower your voice, and agree to have this conversation away from our children, I will leave right now.”

Then you MUST follow through!

ONCE YOU DO, you send a clear message that you are going to do things differently in the future and your word can be trusted.

Only when your clear stated expectations are routinely followed by your ex, should you be willing to trust having ANY conversation in front of the children. If you honor this boundary and walk away, or not get out of the car to allow a conversation to occur at a custody exchange, then eventually your ex will figure out that you are not going to engage. (A friend’s strategy was to sip her iced mocha and keep her teeth clenched on her straw to resist her temptation to utter even one syllable!)

Do whatever you can to move forward with good boundaries for yourself and your children. Building trust again is possible if your limits are honored. If they are not, then protect yourself.

* Ask: Has this person proven himself/herself trustworthy? This guides wise decision-making.

The “HOW” of Forgiveness

The “HOW” of Forgiveness with Jeanne Browne

Sonoma County Divorce Lawyer

Not all spouses will be able to forgive their ex for what happened during the marriage or divorce. But we need to know that “forgiveness” is always an “option on the menu.” Last time I wrote about “WHY” to forgive. Now let’s tackle the “HOW.”

Let’s remember what forgiveness is NOT. It is NOT condoning the wrong, it is NOT minimizing the hurt, and it is NOT the same as reconciliation. It is NOT an admission that the damage done was “OK” in any way. And it is NOT permission to do it again, NOR does it dispose of future accountability for the wrongdoer. It is NOT sweeping conflict under the rug.

As to the “HOW” to forgive, there are physical ways to put the emotional hurt behind you, remember YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF THE “HOW.” Create the “HOW” in a way that matches your unique personality! Maybe write down the offense (or draw a picture) and then burn it up (or bury it with flower bulbs) while speaking out loud the hurt you refuse to continue to carry forward. Others meditate and tell each part of their body (hands, arms, feet, shoulders) to release this pain completely.

A few people I know have another symbolic method. They cut many small slips of paper and separately write each wrong done to them; then they physically nail it to a wooden cross to remind them of how God forgave them and they can no longer bear the weight of the anger and hostility that they know is poisoning them inside.

Others have gone to the ocean. They write all their hurts and pain on a rock with a marker, and then catapult it into the depths of the sea, proclaiming that it will no longer weigh them down. Many choose to
write down at least 20 positive results that could eventually come out of this terrible divorce (like finding a new fulfilling career or learning to manage finances) and either they make a poster or list them in a journal.

We all can look back from a time of pain and find some unusual but wonderful benefit that arose from the grief. It does take having bigger perspective in mind, so keep that focus.

Whatever way you chose, I encourage you to find a way, and do it. Claim your HOPE for the future.

Together, let’s ponder the following statement:

Every Conflict Teaches Us What We Most Need to Learn.

Recall your current conflict and ask yourself: What is it here to teach me today?

Divorce and Forgiveness

Divorce and Forgiveness with Jeanne Browne

Sonoma County Divorce Lawyer

Questions to Ponder during your Divorce:

1. How can I ever forgive my ex for what he did to me?
2. Why would I even want to forgive him?
3. If I do forgive him, do I have to trust him again?

Divorce brings different levels of anxiety, whether you simply agreed to “go your separate ways,” or it’s a knock-down, drag-out fight over everything from the teddy-bear cookie jar to who gets the kids for 4th of July this year. Maybe your ex cheated on you, hid it, and now pretends as if it is fine to introduce your son to the new relationship just three months later. Hurt. Runs. Deep.

Have you found it difficult to impossible to share joint custody with a self-centered co-parent? Are you so injured deep inside that forgiveness seems virtually impossible? You are not alone! Let’s talk about the “WHY” before we get to question #2.

Recently, a collaborative speaker gave us divorce attorneys some insight and medical facts. Grudges, anger, and resentment cause physical harm to our bodies –sometimes even heart attacks. She said when we harbor hate, thoughts of revenge, and a spirit of hostility, this is downright unhealthy for our bodies, mind and spirit!

Here we are taking all kinds of vitamins and special herbs advertised on Facebook or You-Tube to make us “healthier,” “stronger,” or give us” more energy,” yet we arrive to the custody exchange with our handy load of revenge boulders in our designer purses or cargo pants! (Not just you, I’m right there with you – guilty as charged! I have harbored toxic thoughts at court about opposing counsel and his client, and yet that morning I took lots of “healthy” amino acid supplements! (Yeah, that worked… not.)

The emotional piece of divorce is HUGE. We have to remember how POWERFUL we BECOME when we “step up to the plate” and avoid playing the blame game. Best to stop telling ourselves we are victims without a way out. We asked the judge to make a ruling, but hate him the result. Forgive the judge – isn’t that the job we asked him to do? We, ourselves, placed the outcome in his control. Let’s take our control back and find paths to peace with others.

I want shed some hostility today. How about you? Let’s unload these rocks together, OK?