Tag Archives: rules

Things Only a Divorced Parent Understands

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Amicable or not, getting divorced is never going to be a picnic.

When there are children in the equation, things can be exponentially more challenging/maddening.  Aside from the initial concern of “How is this ordeal affecting my delicate offspring?” there are a variety of other issues sure to pop up.   There’s the time you will have to spend apart from your kids, their newfound perception of you and a host of other mentally taxing dilemmas only a single-parent can comprehend.

Here’s a list of the common conundrums that we’ve identified, and how they ultimately can translate into positive experiences in the end.

  • “You’re no fun!” – nothing can be as infuriating as hearing about how much FUN it is at your ex-spouse’s domicile of debauchery.  “Dad let’s me eat Count Chocula for dinner!” …sorry, guess you’re the über boring one since you care about your child’s health.

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positive spin:  When your children are older/grown, they will recognize they you were the parent who was truly looking out for their welfare, and not just providing easy/popular solutions.

  • It can feel a trifle lonely when your child is at your ex’s, ostensibly having a good time without you.  You used to be instrumental in everything they did – now you may feel like your watching from the sidelines.

positive spin: When your child comes home and tells you how much they missed you.  This will never get old.

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  • You now have to monitor every little word that escapes your mouth, as your spawn gobbles them up and giddily reiterates them to your ex.  Heaven forbid if you should accidentally let a remark specifically about your former spouse slip out…

positive spin: Realize that the exact opposite applies.  If your ex says anything about you, it is instantly recorded by your kids as well – so they need to watch their mouths too.

  • Living in constant fear of whose “side” your shared friends will be on.  Whichever parent these people pledge allegiance to will be perceived by the tykes and this inevitably causes them/you anxiety.

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positive spin:  Once things are settled, you then know who your real friends truly are.

  • Determining which rules will be steadfast and should be observed in both parents’ homes.  Is mom saying the kids can stay up to watch Jimmy Fallon, while you want them tucked in before the early edition news broadcast starts?

positive spin:  No matter how contentious your relationship may be with your ex, there will always be some common ground you can reach regarding your kid’s upbringing.

  • Having to hide the emotional lilt in your voice because you physically can’t give your baby a ‘goodnight kiss’ over the phone.

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positive spin:  Again, when you are reunited with your child, their hugs feel that much more magical.

  • Having to show up “childless” to certain extended family functions/holidays because your kid is enjoying the day with your ex and their bizarro family.

positive spin:  Secretly knowing that they have more fun with you and your (possibly equally crazy) clan.

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  • The stabbing pain of hearing your little one cry out “I need mommy/daddy!” …when that parent isn’t you.  It never was all that great before to listen to how you were unneeded in a situation of tantamount importance to them, but now it holds a truly acrimonious tinge.

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positive spin:  Undoubtedly, there are times when they are with your ex and shriek for you in that “end of the world” tone that only children not getting exactly what they want can attain.

  • When you have to ignore/feign that you don’t see the close-knit, smiley family (with both a Mom AND Dad in attendance) enjoying their Pizza Hut dinner feast, while you and you child somberly eat in solitude.

positive spin:  Having the time to focus all of your attention on your kids when you are with them (without the potential distractions of a partner who always seems to want to argue).

  • Not hearing your child’s laughter in the halls when they are at your ex’s for the night.

positive spin: Having license to engage in passionate, grunt-inducing intercourse with a new lover and not having to worry in the slightest that your kid will hear.

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  • When you finally have a new and possibly serious beau, deciding if and when the right time is to present them to your kids.  Will they instantly resent him/her?  Also, maybe this new partner is not good with kids? (Clearly, a deal-breaker – but truly stinks if you like them otherwise)

positive spin:  Inadvertently, your kids can help you quickly weed out people you may be looking at with rose-colored glasses, who are really not going to be great mates in the long run.

  • Feeling the inverse: does your child like your ex’s new “person” more than you??  Will you be “replaced”?

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positive spin:  When these type of questions unsuspectingly pop up in your brain, it’s a good time to take a moment and truly assess the situation.  When you remind yourself that these fears are completely unfounded and irrational, it gives you real clarity and peace of mind.

  • Trying to deal with/suppress feelings of supreme GUILT.  Do my kids think the break-up is my fault?  Are their new problems in school/ extra-curricular activities/PlayStation ultimately my doing??

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positive spin:  If you are really worried about these things, it’s always good to open the lines of communication with your child.  As long as you present any issues in a sensitive manner, your child may be forthcoming and tell you their own fears.  Then the two of you can come to a real place of resolution.

  • Fighting to stay awake at work the day after you had to stay up with your baby as they did battle with a scary cold through the entire night.  When it’s “your night,” being a single parent means having all the responsibly squarely on you.

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positive spin:  At least you get to sleep in when it’s “their” turn.

  • Worrying about how screaming matches with your ex may have negatively affected your children.

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positive spin: Finally letting out that built-up, monumental sigh of relief when you realize you can love and raise your child in a home without constant spousal bickering, mistrust and tension.

  • Staying up at night, wondering if you’ve been doing the right thing.

positive spin: When it finally dawns on you that your child will love you, no matter what.

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-Joe Leone 

Before You Say “I Do”…

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8 Must-Ask Questions Prior to Proposal

Most people who are on the cusp of proposing/being proposed to are familiar with the standard questions which you should ask your potential new betrothed. Such inquiries, ubiquitously regarded as mandatory, include “Do you want kids, and how will they be raised?”, “Where do you see yourself in 20+ years?”, “What religion do you practice?” and “What’s your financial status?” There are a few more topics which should be broached as well, just to fully ensure everyone is one the same premarital page. Some of these may be a little awkward to bring up, but you probably want to know if your intended spouse incessantly plays World of Warcraft all night or is a communist, right?

Any children / pets / spongy relatives I don’t know about?

Some people live their lives by the “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule. If not prompted, they may never disclose the fact that they have a 12 foot long pet Komodo dragon in their attic, a gambling addicted cousin who “needs to crash for a few…months” or are the matriarch/patriarch of a whole other family, replete with 6 offspring, residing in Des Moines that they live with when on “business trips.” Sometimes you just have to ask.

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Any (other) strange relatives I don’t know about?

If you’re at the point of almost agreeing to get hitched, you’ve probably met most of your beloved’s family. This means you’ve encountered the whack jobs (every single clan has them, no need to feel ashamed of your conspiracy-theory-spouting great uncle with the monstrous monobrow). However, there sometimes lurks an abominable creature of such epic proportions that they are never even mentioned until after the nuptials have been legally confirmed and eternal vows have been spoken. At this point, it’s too late to protest when a Bigfoot-hunting hillbilly cousin shows up at your wedding reception, with a poorly wrapped, “fresh” roadkill raccoon as a present.

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I know what’s currently in your bank account…but what/who do you owe??

Look, there’s nothing wrong with being financially destitute, as long as they are totally honest about it. Even if your soon to be fiance-ed partner has shown you that they have zero available funds, there may also be a sizable debt chimera churlishly pursuing their every move. You need to explicitly ask and find out how much they owe, and to whom. If it’s 18 grand in student loans, that is something you can both work at mitigating. If it’s 100+ k to “Louie the Finger,” you may want to think twice before you walk down the aisle with this potential “hit” target.

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Have any of your exes “boiled bunnies?”

Of course it’s only natural that your honey boo has had some previous relationships (if they haven’t, and you aren’t still in high school, this may be yet another crimson flag). Even if you do not desire to dig deep into their love life past, you should gently inquire if there are any grudge holding, spell casting, stalkerific exes waiting in the bushes for you. This is not necessarily a deal breaker, you just should be prepared (with mace, a machete or judo chops).

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Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the _____ party?

Sure, you and your cuddle muffin are most likely in agreement about important political and social issues …but were they once an active participant in a violent coup, fervently sporting an anti-aircraft rifle? Yes, people can change, but if your relationship has progressed from mere dalliances to the hope of an entire life spent together, it can be vital to know of any lingering affiliations with incendiary organizations or conflicting ideologies they may be harboring. There is no circumstance where it won’t behoove you to know if they used to conduct naked rituals in moonlit forests, offering up sacrifices to various lunar deities. Nothing divides a family like differences in faith or politics…and sometimes tornados, of course.

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Who’s gonna do what?

In the America of today, both parties in a relationship often have jobs/careers that they are quite vested in. What this leads to is not a whole lot of free time to allocate for chores/home maintenance. Well, so what? The deal is that you need to figure out who is going to be responsible for what in advance, otherwise you may find yourself in a month long game of chicken with your lover over who’s taking out the recyclables. If neither of you like to cook, but both savor delicious homemade tagliatelle bolognese for dinner and western omelets at dawn, you either need to hire a live-in chef, work out a compromise or go your insatiable, separate ways.

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Kids: when, how, where, why…what’s the deal?

The super blatantly obvious topic of kids really need not be addressed here, as you clearly will have spoken to your partner about this already…or have you? You can’t be apprehensive about asking your beau if they a) want kids at all, b) want to raise them in a particular fashion (say, for instance, solely speaking French), c) how many of the little nuggets do you want scuttling about, d) when do you want them disrupting/enriching your lives, and e) who’s taking time off to initially rear the little adorable runts? Get all this out of the way (along with any other …eccentric requests regarding your offspring) and you’ll be all set and can avoid the morass of opposing child upbringing doctrines. Then you just have to deal with actually feeding, clothing and iPhoning them…

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Who’s in charge of planning out the perennially-pressure-packed-to-be-perfect wedding day?

The rules of wedding planning have changed a fair amount over the last decade or so. What was once a “bride-to-be” specific activity is now open territory, as giddy grooms want in on the action. Lest we forget, possible interloping parents in the equation. There’s a solid chance there are going to be a lot of (often imperious) personalities and opinions flying around. Have an open talk about where you want this blessed day to take place, who is invited, how much ground you’re actually going to let your parents cover and who exactly is paying for this thing (which on average costs around 30k in these glorious United States we live in). Better to have this convo now, than later when one of you excitedly suggests a destination wedding at a remote chateau, yet your partner has their heart set on the Elks Lodge in town.

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Hopefully everyone will be able to tackle any and all unresolved issues before sparkly diamond cynosures are slipped on ring fingers. If things simply can not be worked out, and you happen to be stuck with a diamond ring (or, they are temporarily worked out, and only later are you stuck with the dang thing), there is at least a place you can sell it off for a sizable amount. Diamond Lighthouse takes in all diamonds (1 carat and higher), and helps you recover lost funds.  We do not buy diamonds, rather we aid you in selling yours to a vetted network of professional buyers.  We take a commission from the sale (10% on those 1 carat and larger stones), so we naturally want to get you the highest amount possible.

Getting cash back for unneeded diamond jewelry of any nature is always a step in the right direction. Then you will be even better prepared to get out there and find the right person for you: someone who doesn’t have insane relatives or allegiances to despotic rulers or evil entities.

Happy engaging!

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-Joe Leone

Weird Divorce Laws

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via youtube.com

Divorce can sometimes be harrowing, frustrating and even severely emotionally debilitating.  Then, of course, there are the divorce related circumstances that are just flat out bizarre.

Well, luckily nationwide lawmakers never miss an opportunity to cement court case verdicts into permanent mandates.  While our research department was hard at work drumming up and categorizing important and helpful factoids related to divorce legalities, some of us (…ahem) were busy finding “Funny and Odd Tales from the Annals of Divorce Law.”

Here are some of the oddest divorce laws on record, all of which are currently active.
Continue reading Weird Divorce Laws

The Rules of (Broken) Engagement

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He asked the Big Question. You said “Yes!” He slipped the dazzling diamond ring on to your finger. You gazed into each other’s eyes. Then…something went awry. The magic left as quickly as it came and the engagement was officially switched to “off” status. So…now the even Bigger Question: keep or give back the ring?

There are obviously two schools of thought on this highly sensitive issue. On one hand, the ring can be viewed as a present from one person to another; and a present is not something that is typically given back to the bestower. On the other, the ring symbolizes the inception of an eternal union; if that union doesn’t even have a chance to come to fruition, the current holder of the ring really shouldn’t bear claim to it. We’ll begin with the former.

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