Living with Uncertainty

It’s hard to believe six weeks have passed since the official Stay at Home Order was issued. In some ways it seems longer, but we have been tasked with having to figure out how to adapt to this new reality. For those of you who are somewhere on the divorce continuum, the uncertainty that was intrinsic to divorce in the world before COVID-19, combined with our current obstacles, can be hard to handle.

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Dealing with Divorce During Shelter in Place

You might be embroiled in a destructive relationship, contemplating the release of divorce, or you could be well along your way in the progression of events. Divorce in our normal world can be extraordinarily traumatic. When you add the anxiety brought on by our current chain of events, for some people it may be arduous. We are all navigating the pitfalls for our very first time, perhaps we can learn from one another.

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Back to School Time for Divorced or Divorcing Parents

As we move from the lazy, relaxed days of summer into the hectic days of early fall and back to school, I am reminded that these kinds of transitions can be difficult for any family. When your family is divorced, or going through the process, the challenges can seem insurmountable. Here are some tips to make this year’s transition go more smoothly.

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Getting Through the Holidays During Divorce or Separation

by Tami Sollo LCSW, Divorce Specialist

When a family is going through a divorce, everything changes, including the comfortable tradition of how they spend the holidays. Thanksgiving may have been celebrated with one side of the family, and Hanukkah or Christmas with the other, or a blending of the two families. That very first holiday season is the most difficult. Often the divorce does not just affect the immediate family, but may include extended family and friends as well. If there are children, it is very important to find a way to establish a new sense of normalcy. This can be complicated by the loss of one side of the family, or the children having to spend different holidays with a different parent.

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The Road to Healing—During and After Divorce

by Tami Sollo LCSW, Coordinator of the Divorce Specialty Center

I encounter many couples experiencing the early phases of divorce. Marked by the tearing down of comfortable routines, fear of the future and its unknowns, and sadness over the loss of a familiar way of life—no matter how unhappy it may have been—the early stages of divorce are chaotic and emotionally overwhelming. Like any time of grief or great loss, recovering from divorce is a process. How quickly couples move towards healing depends upon several factors:  how well spouses work together to co-parent or make decisions for their separate futures; the level of conflict between the couple; the couple’s financial situation; how well developed the couple’s psychological coping skills are; and the external support systems of the soon-to-be ex-spouses.  

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The Divorce Specialty Center at JCFS and The Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois Introduce Low Cost Divorce Program

by Tami Sollo, LCSW, Divorce Center Specialist, Mediator and Collaborative Divorce Coach

As the Coordinator of the Divorce Specialty Center at JCFS Chicago, one of my first tasks was to research affordable ways for low-income families to divorce.  I discovered that the services are limited, and to qualify a family has to have a history of domestic violence and/or be very close to poverty.  For those families that make too much money to qualify, but not enough to pay for a divorce, there was nothing available.  Many times couples stay married, often leaving the family in very difficult circumstances.  

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JCFS Chicago Launches New Divorce Specialty Center

Sarah, a 44 year old mother of two, is finding herself back in the job market after 15 years, as she and her husband begin the divorce process.  The prospect of finding a full time job in a very different job market than the one she knew, and concern for how the children will cope with the changes, has her feeling anxious and overwhelmed.   And, with 53 percent of marriages ending in divorce in 2012 according to the Centers for Disease Control, Sarah is not alone.

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