How To Handle The Pressures Of The Holiday Season When Your Divorced or Separated

How To Handle The Pressures Of The Holiday Season When Your Divorced or Separated

After I divorced and left my husband just before Christmas in 2012, I was forced to face the unenvied position of an unhappy holiday season. That has prompted me to embark on a mission to help others through this difficult period. When I had to face Christmas alone after 22 years of marriage, I never thought it would affect me, as it did. I was struck with grief and loss of tradition. The last thing I wanted to do was deal with busy shopping centers, decorations, and Christmas parties. It nearly made me come undone.

I could never have imagined how I would end up crying under the Christmas tree just after my family and children finished exchanging gifts. I’d been the one to leave the unhappy relationship. This was how I was going to get my ‘Happiness’ back, but the reality was I had never felt so sad and lonely. No thought went into gift selection, the Christmas tree best described as ‘under the weather’, and the house in turmoil. I had a to-do list as long as my arm. Rather than trying to feel festive all I wanted to do was stay under the covers.

Good news was within a few months, I had changed my life around and was back in control. Four years later, I opened my business Divorce Angel and is now passionate about the seamless parting ways of married couples. I now love empowering clients with my 5 Steps to A Seamless Divorce Program.

So with all my experience I decided to share with you some of the tips I encourage others to use in coping with this season (to make it a joyful one) : 

Start Planning Early – This applies to almost everything. If you know your budget is tight, make simple gestures like personally cook dinner, baking cookies or something yummy. Even spending time with the kids and your loved ones, doing something meaningful instead of trying to impress with expensive price tags. Speak with your ex and agree on how to share time with the kids. Rather than decide last minute. Be fair on how and where the kids spend their time, remember the ‘Christmas cheer’. If you are alone, ask a friend or family member if you attend their celebrations? Don’t always wait to be approached.

Change your approach and make new traditions – Don’t have the holiday blues, as I did and dwell on the things you are missing, look at this time as a new era. Get the kids involved in new and different ways. Maybe you want to bench watch some holiday movies, go caroling or spend time with your family and friends. Think positive. Give yourself the permission to enjoy life, the way you want it. Do something outside the box, that you have always wanted and couldn’t before.

Don’t drink your sorrows – Yes, what you consume has an impact on your mood and the stress levels. Be mindful with how you consume alcohol. Overconsumption of food or drinks can cause more stress on the body and increase negative emotions. Take time to look after yourself and maintain a healthy diet.

Keep it simple and smooth – It’s not a competition unless you make it one and kids are smart. It’s never the expensive things that make traditions and memories; it’s how you make a person feel.  Avoid hostile interactions and split time between visits with your ex. Make sure to spend your time with those who matter more. Don’t put yourself in a position to make others happy. Do what feels right for you.

The inability to fully understand the emotions of Christmas and New Year left me with a time I would rather forget. Learn from my situation. It was one of the worst periods of my life and I only wish someone had explained these things to me before.

To get your future in shape with the help of Divorce Angel, go to

About the author:

Tanya Somerton Tanya Somerton is the ‘Divorce Angel’, whose business is to facilitate a seamless and amicable divorce and separation with the aid of her ‘Army of Angels.’ Tanya provides a step by step process which limits cost and conflict that sees you achieving your most financially beneficial outcome possible, now and for the future.

Tanya is also the Director of TLC Investment Group, a finance and mortgage company. She helps her clients budget and plan, rather than wondering if you can keep the family home. If you need help and support in this area, contact for help and advice.

She is also the author of ‘The Jelly Bean Jar – Empowering independence through Divorce’. If you are looking to prevent any mistakes and save money this book is a must. Purchase your copy here

Why Organisations Should Care About their Divorcing Staff Members


You may or may not have heard the saying ‘ A business is only as good as it’s best employees.’ And let’s be honest, good staff many times are the backbone of a successful company. Here’s the thing, research shows that a divorce is the second most stressful time in a person’s life, even more so than going to jail, can you believe it? So for those staff in a critical role within your business you can understand how going through a divorce can be emotionally distracting for them and inturn cost a business a fortune in bad decisions or lost productivity, if that person is not properly supported.

Emotions and stresses during separation are not easily identifiable, especially in senior management. We know for a fact with our clients, they want to remain professional and if possible hide their feelings in their work environment. They think it is expected of them and it’s how any good leader would act. The ability to work under pressure and manage stress, can be a job requirement for many senior roles. But you may soon discover that ‘family’ related issues require a different set of skills, especially when people can’t remove themselves from the hurt, anger and even the possibility of betrayal of an interment partner.

Associated with these underlying changes and mounting anxiety in an employees life, comes lost productivity and taking an eye off the ball. Neither is good and can add to losses a company would not want to incur. Now none of this is intentional and the benefits of supporting those staff as they deal with their divorce and the unfortunate impacts on their personal life becomes absolutely vital.

Having a valuable trained team member misguided, and inefficient may lead to problems or even dismissal; as we know the cost of advertising, hiring and training new staff is equally high and time consuming. For any company that is keen on empowering and strengthening their staff, while looking after their well-being, this is something that needs to be addressed.

In 2017 HR consultancy Boudica & Eir research, carried out a study on HR Implications of Managing Divorce Wellbeing in the Workplace, which exposed realities faced by men and women, across the UK. The detailed survey found that (24%) of divorced respondents felt that they were pushed or managed out of the business because of their journey. 71% of respondents, working at the time of their separation/divorce, ended up leaving their jobs within the first year of their relationship breakdown. 62% said they were let down by their employer, with 41% feeling not at all supported. 26% said they would have benefited from dedicated divorce wellbeing support.

Then this brings us to; Why An Organisations Should Care About Divorcing Members;

1. The cost of replacing a staff member who leaves because of a divorce.

Great staff members are an asset. Many with years of experience and knowledge which no doubt leads to a profiting business. The need to lay off a staff member during a time of personal crisis can be costly in many ways. When the opportunity to support them at a critical time in their life may lead to great loyalty, overall productivity and greater retention rates.

2. Controlling operational costs.

According to the research findings of Boudica & Eir research 30% of respondents who felt supported said their employer saved money, by not having to replace them. 13% of respondents who felt supported said their employer saved operational costs, by helping them maintain performance. When a company is ready to create connections with its employees beyond work it allows your team member to have a sense of control over his/her situation and therefore have clarity with their decisions and direction. This places them in a better position to focus on the job at hand. They feel empowered to handle their divorce and therefore the stress of divorce will not impact their performance at work. In fact they will be more motivated to perform better knowing they are in good hands.

3. Managing the engagement and performance of staff

It is important to humanise the employer and employees relationship. While it’s important to maintain the level of professionalism, it’s times like these that an employer should view the person going through a divorce as another human first, and as an employee, second. This will help to connect with them more effectively. This will avoid the negative snowball effect over one’s work or team. When they are heard and are given the flexibility to work around their problem rather than expect to perform without consideration, employees will be better able to manage themselves around their work and team.

4. Looking after the organisation’s reputation.

As discussed earlier your existing staff member is your asset. Life may take them through a rough patch but that does not make them bad at what they were already good and experts at. If the right care and support from the company is given at these times, an employer has gained loyalty beyond the years of service. This intern will result in the staff member wanting to work for and prosper the organisation They are convinced! Word of Month and actual testimonials have an impact far beyond any reputation management tool. In a day and age where social media gives access to everything, a loyal employee is nothing but an advocate for the organisation.

So What Steps Can be Taken to Support:

  • Make sure your HR team is well-versed. The HR department should be prepared with information and have a policy to guide employees going through a divorce. Regarding matters of absenteeism due to issues such as legal appointments, court appearance, counselling and prioritising quality time with children such as picking kids up from school. Be approachable, with an open-door policy where employees feel that they can tell you their situation.
  • Provide training. With 40,000 plus Australians getting divorce each year and even more going through a separation, the need for mental health support is essential. A workshop for senior staff members / managers/ supervisors and team leaders should be given so they can better deal with divorcing employees appropriately.
  • Offer practical support. Outlining practical steps that people need to go through to minimise stress. Discuss how you can manage the work tasks and working hours of the party concerned. Consider flexible hours and work from home options which are much easier now that we are in a more digitally accessible world. Something as simple as allowing breaks or a time off may be the best solution and can go a long way. Have a support program for employees both before and during a divorce such as offering counselling. You can achieve this with an individual Strategy Session.
  • Consider engaging with a divorce concierge service for your organisation. This becomes a very practical approach for conscientious corporations who prioritise the wellbeing of their employees, just like you. In this specialised and extremely stressful area, some businesses are putting divorce concierge services on a retainer or providing a referral to the experts. This allows for the employee to feel support and organised as they are guided through the steps required for a successful divorce. By partnering with a Divorce Concierge Service provider, organisations minimise stress, losses and disruptions in their day to day operations, so the divorcing executive can continue to focus on fulfilling the responsibilities in both their business and personal roles successfully. Divorce Angel by Tanya Somerton offers several practical programs for individuals and couples going through a Divorce resulting in a less stressful and a more strategic road to a life beyond divorce. To know about the services just contact Tanya Somerton – Divorce Angel –
What I Learnt from Online Dating

What I Learnt from Online Dating

Some years ago after my marriage break up and l was working at the airport, l realised it was time to start dating again, but l really didn’t want to go out to sleazy bars to meet the ‘man of my dreams’. For me, it wasn’t as easy as getting onto a dating website because l worked with some nasty individuals, who, if they had the chance would hurt me…and l am not kidding!

At the time the AFP had a risk assessment against me and my current situation, l had certain procedures l HAD to follow, in which to protect my safety. One of those conditions was NO social media because the individuals in question, could find out personal details and where l lived. As l was a single woman, l was always aware of my safety and those around me.

So what is a woman in my position to do??

 I went to my AFP liaison officer and explained my situation, l felt ready to get back into the game. It turned out which he explained that the AFP had recently done some work on internet dating websites, the person who use them and the ones which were legit and how best to get a positive outcome. So at this time the data had just come back, to say EHarmony had the best conversion rates and algorithms to match people’s criteria and a safe and secure platform.

The thing that was very important to the police at the time, was how my profile was written and the limited information l published for my safety, so they helped me write it up.

Using the information, they had recently collected on successful matchups and how to make a profile stand out and improve what they called conversion rates l learnt the following tips:

  • Make sure you talk about the things you want in a man that are achievable…let’s be honest our imaginary boyfriend or girlfriend is just that, he/she is not real.
  • Don’t whinge or complain about previous relationships, in any form.
  • Be truthful but don’t give too much away. As they say less is best! And make them want to contact you, to learn about the real you. Be alluring!
  • If you know the sort of partner you are looking for and the hobbies he would like, make sure to use photographs which show you doing those things or showing a side of adventure, eg; exploring or trying new things, which men like. The photographs with you looking like a supermodel are those that other women will look at and admire but men who are looking for a lifelong partner, see something different. This is the biggest mistake we women make with internet dating. My male protectors told me, males are turned off by being fully made up, makes you look like hard work and that you are self-important. You don’t want to look like someone that takes all day to get ready and the BIGGEST thing, you want to look like someone they will want to take home to meet their mum’s. We used photographs of me at the Grand prix and another holding up the president’s cup, (which is a golfing tournament). Now to be honest, l liked both of these events but not as much as a man would. I thought l had much better photographs but l was told they would attract the sort of man l was after. What did these photos say about me? Well, they were strategically chosen, they didn’t give to much away about the real me, yet showed that I like different sports. Now as we women know, men love their sport! BOOM.

Now if you are attracting the wrong men, take a look at the photographs you are displaying. If you are only getting losers or one night stands, what do your photos say about you? Are you holding alcohol and looking like a party girl, ask your self would you take me home to mum?

  • Always use positive words and don’t make your profile fluffy. Blokes don’t get it! What men say is what they mean, they don’t think like we do. Be direct in your writing.
  • Make sure when you start communicating that you actually communicate. Don’t just reply with one word answers, give a paragraph back. It lets them know you are interested in them and always ask questions. This then requires a reply and keeps the conversation going and note that this part of the internet dating process is just as important. It also shows you the sort of person you are communicating with and if they are worth your time and effort.

Now maybe l was lucky because not only did l have two police officers help me write my profile and pick my photos, they had also just spent twelve weeks investigating the dark side of internet dating and what not to do. They knew the way for me to get a response. Also, with age and experience the knowledge of what l wanted in a partner and to a bigger extent, what l didn’t want, was just as important. The younger ones out there, will still be learning this but it helps and is half the battle.

So, as you can gather, l am not one who follows conformity, so EHarmony has you go through different levels of matching and checklists before you can actually email each other. l knew straight away that the man on the other end of the keyboard was for me, the way he wrote and the words he used resonated with the person I was. I also knew that the longer it took for me to talk to him one on one the more women he would be also talking to and l needed to get rid of the competition. I therefore jumped all the different levels of internet dating and after three nights of communicating the EHarmony way, I started emailing him directly.

For me, my experience with internet dating was wonderful and the man at the end of the keyboard after only 3 days of communicating became my husband. Some might say l was just lucky but l like to think that the strategies the AFP taught me, minimalised what l would have added to my profile and certainly writing my profile from a male perspective helped. I encourage you to consider what you are looking for in a partner and note it down. This helps when doing your profile and helps with picking your photo… as they say in the corporate world, know your audience.

 I also used internet dating as an experience and it was the start of me really stepping outside of my comfort zone. Given way to NOW, how I live my life and the rewards l now see, really knowing what you want makes all the difference. The man of your dreams will not come knocking on your front door, you need to take the reins of your life and control your future. If you’re on the internet and things aren’t working look at it differently. Don’t be desperate because it shines through, make it like you are a needle in a haystack, which you are! If you have been considering joining, don’t hesitate, give it a try, what have you got to loose other than a night out and best case, marrying a wonderful man.

Good luck.

About the author:

Tanya Somerton Tanya Somerton is the ‘Divorce Angel’, whose business is to facilitate a seamless and amicable divorce and separation with the aid of her ‘Army of Angels.’ Tanya provides a step by step process which limits cost and conflict that sees you achieving your most financially beneficial outcome possible, now and for the future.

Tanya is also the Director of TLC Investment Group, a finance and mortgage company. She helps her clients budget and plan, rather than wondering if you can keep the family home. If you need help and support in this area, contact for help and advice.

She is also the author of ‘The Jelly Bean Jar – Empowering independence through Divorce’. If you are looking to prevent any mistakes and save money this book is a must. Purchase your copy here

What Divorce Lawyers Won’t Tell You

What Divorce Lawyers Won’t Tell You

If you’re thinking of getting a Divorce, chances are you assume that the next step is to look up a good lawyer to represent you. If that’s you, you may want to reconsider. Just because you’re getting a divorce, it doesn’t mean you need a lawyer right away, and in some cases, you may not need one at all. Your Divorce is unique to you, and you may or may not have realised that there are actions you can take to set yourself up for success. Here are some of the things your Divorce Lawyer will not tell you, but you should know or be aware of before you make an appointment with a lawyer.

  1. Each Divorce is different; no two divorces are the same.

A lot of people make the mistake of picking their lawyer based on referrals from others. Chances are your ‘divorced friend’ refers you to their lawyer and based on their outcome, you consider getting the same. It’s easy to understand why, but there are so many different factors, and just like DNA, your cells and circumstances are different. The fact that you have debts, asset values such as a family home or business, family needs, etc. means your situations are unique. You cannot predetermine your split (if its 50-50 or a 60-40) because someone else got that outcome.

  1. Time is money

Although at Divorce Angel, we work with lawyers who mostly work on fixed fee bases, in general, most lawyers charge by time increments. It may seem attractive to you, but being disorganized, or unaware of the process (which is usually is the case) can be costly. If 6 minute increments are how your lawyer charges then throughout your file, you will be paying for a large amount of unused time. Some examples of how your Divorce can blow out are; continually contacting your lawyer for answers, print outs, changes and inadvisably for therapy. In this case, the quicker you agree with your ex, the better for you. Which brings us to the next point.

  1. Maintain a divorce folder – You’ll have your share of homework

Your relationships’ history, documents, evidence and all necessary personal and joint financials need to be worked out and presented by you to your lawyer. This is called disclosure. Noting that most often Divorce Lawyers charge by time increments. If they continually follow you up for outstanding information or supporting documents then expect to pay lots of money. We often tell our clients to maintain a divorce file or folder (preferably digitally). This way, you will have every bit of information and paper at your fingertips. Being organised is critical. If you take responsibility not only will you be clearer of the outcome but this will save you money. No matter how tempting it would be to leave tasks for your lawyer, just know this will pay off for your sanity and pocket.

  1. Mediation can be enough

If you use mediation, you and your spouse can work with a neutral third party to negotiate essential areas of your Divorce. It can be a cost-effective method but be aware that you still may need to hire a lawyer to complete your orders.

  1. If you and your Spouse are amicable – You can save money

This is something a lawyer may not want you to know. If you and your spouse decided on an amicable outcome together, showing a level of respect, then the future would look brighter all round. This, however, can be difficult at times and communicate matters. Keeping in mind each other and the family’s best interest. If you do not have that much to divide among yourselves or already are in agreement to work together for your children’s benefit, then you can save on legal fees and even do your Divorce online or follow a step by step process we offer.

  1. Larger legal firms not necessarily result in best results while they certainly can result in high legal fees.

If you are not very worried about your cash, it doesn’t mean you have to settle for the most expensive or largest legal firm. Larger the firm the more overheads, more teams involved so chances are you end up paying more for something that can be done with way less effort. Large legal firms can get good outcomes, and we don’t deny it, but we often notice that more prominent the firm the longer it takes, and more it costs.

  1. They communicate very differently

Yes, legal words, norms and jargons and phrases can seem alien to you. What you should remember is to respect their terms in relation to communicating with another lawyer or colleagues. This is not a letter to your ‘ex’ and altering every draft or request to change a word is costly. Take the context of the message. If it meets the requirements, then that’s all that matters. If you try to alter bring in the emotional responses to the documents prepared by your lawyer, remember your changes cost you money.

  1. Lawyers are not your therapist

The most costly legal blunder divorce clients make, is when you ring your lawyer and have them act as your therapist or friend. Using the lawyer as the therapist is a bad idea and a very costly mistake. If you need a shoulder to cry on, make sure you get the help you require, either from your family, a professional therapist or a divorce source such as us. When it comes to your lawyer, stick to a list of written questions, and do not deviate. Also, remember your lawyer can not provide information on other aspects, e.g., mortgage, finances or therapy; you need to reach out to someone who can help you in this area. The wrong advice from the wrong person can cost not only financially, but it can cost your future and may bring you to an unnecessary breaking point, emotionally.


About the author:

Tanya Somerton Tanya Somerton is the ‘Divorce Angel’, whose business is to facilitate a seamless and amicable divorce and separation with the aid of her ‘Army of Angels.’ Tanya provides a step by step process which limits cost and conflict that sees you achieving your most financially beneficial outcome possible, now and for the future.

Tanya is also the Director of TLC Investment Group, a finance and mortgage company. She helps her clients budget and plan, rather than wondering if you can keep the family home. If you need help and support in this area, contact for help and advice.

She is also the author of ‘The Jelly Bean Jar – Empowering independence through Divorce’. If you are looking to prevent any mistakes and save money this book is a must. Purchase your copy here

The best way to overcome fear!

The best way to overcome fear

If we look way back into human evolution, fear is one of the main reasons why we are still here. The folks that listened to their instinct and prepared themselves for a possible/imminent threat are the ones that survived. The genes of those survivors are the ones we are carrying around inside us today, 

According to Charles Darwin, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution, fear is an ancient instinct that remained untouched by modern civilisation’.

Today, however, our survival fears are entirely different, and some may say unnecessary, yet in our minds evoke the same emotional response.

But, if fear is what drove humankind to the present days, helping us prevent all kinds of danger, what is now stopping us from achieving success?

Every day we overthink things, that could improve our lives. The question is, what are we most fearful of? We are afraid of what could happen if we fail, or in other words, what could happen if we don’t get the outcome we want. Sometimes when we are living in a toxic place, and our reality is physically, or emotionally painful, we will stay there, why? Fear has paralysed us.

Being afraid of the unknown is part of human nature, it is considered the fundamental fear. Nowadays, there is no need to worry about a giant predator trying to hunt us, but we will still avoid a dark alley on a cold night in winter. It’s called self-preservation.

Our minds would consider the change we are looking for in our lives as the more significant danger because we are unassured of a positive outcome. That is the reason why we often choose to stay in unfulfilling relationships, even if it is full of unhappiness. The Fear of leaving is bigger than staying and is stopping us from doing something about our situation. 

“I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.” – William Allen White

It seems like a tricky situation. If I am not happy where I am and need to improve my life and happiness, I have to dive headfirst into the sea of the unknown. Which I have tried to avoid up until now because I am afraid of the consequences?

So, is it possible to overcome YOUR fear?

Yes, it is, my dear reader. And the good news is it takes only two steps. 

Step one is to stop seeing failure as a dead end.

Failure does not need to be negative. To fail is normal during any process. It doesn’t matter what kind of project we start, we will fail at something at some point, and it is okay. Failing is going to lead us to perfection. Thomas Edison described this perfectly when he said: “I failed my way to success.” Edison even had his life’s work burnt to the ground at one stage and called his son, during the blase to say ‘Go and tell your mother we can start again because our mistakes are all gone, and we can start a new.’ Life is full of lessons and also equilibrium. For every negative, there is a positive; we just need to be aware and grateful. 

The second step is a simple one, as well. It is taking action.

We need to put our thoughts aside and start doing. Paraphrasing one of the first thought leaders in history, Dale Carnegie, when we are inactive, we breed doubts and fear. Yet, when we are active, we produce confidence and courage. 

The process of doing generates an outcome, and stepping through fear is where you will find the most growth as a human being. One of my mentors said, ‘The instructions to your best possible life are on the outside of the box you live in, what are you doing to reach those details’. You may or may not have realised but right there in that one statement is the key to a better life. 

It is reasonable and understandable to be afraid of the unknown, and we cannot fight human nature. But we have all we need to succeed in us. All of us are capable of breeding confidence and courage and fail our way to success. 

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