Florida Women's Law Group - February 2020

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WOMEN’S

Advocate February 2020

Toxic Relationships and Why We Stay For so many women out there, “Groundhog Day” can feel like more than a movie. But, while Bill Murray faced reliving just one cold day in THE REAL ‘GROUNDHOG DAY’

February again and again, these women are trapped in broken relationships that never get better or move forward. As bad as this repetitive dilemma can be, what worries most people in this situation is something not explored in the 1993 rom-com at all: the day after Groundhog Day. It’s a question that many who’ve never been in a toxic or abusive relationship ask: “Why do so many people stay with a partner who’s wronged them?” Depending on the situation, a range of factors can make leaving such a situation feel difficult or impossible. But nearly across the board, women facing this challenge express concern about what comes after they leave. After all, for as difficult a crumbling marriage can be to keep up, at least day-to-day life is predictable. We see this in the movie itself when Murray’s character finally accepts he’s going to relive the same day again and again and begins to make himself at home in his strange new life. But, while the protagonist of “Groundhog Day” was free to do anything, like learn French and master ice sculpting, most wives don’t have such luxury. Between work and family obligations, the stress of the toxic relationship can eat up any remaining time they may have otherwise had to themselves. Even without these pressures, Murray still ultimately wanted to break the cycle — imagine if he’d been trapped with a neglectful, antagonistic, or narcissistic partner. Most people do want out of a failing marriage, but getting out requires a lot of effort and heartache to step into an uncertain future. It’s a scary process, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Just as Murray is helped by Andie MacDowell to find the way out of his unending day, an outside perspective can lend the support you need to get out of your own rut. Our firm strives to be this kind of helping hand.

2018 Jacksonville Business Journal Fast 50 2018 Florida Super Lawyers list

Part of our responsibility here at the Florida Women’s Law Group is to assure you of the stability and hope on the other side of divorce. The best part of my job is watching women break the cycle they’ve been trapped in and go on to take their lives back into their own hands. What they share is a steadfast determination to remain committed to their happiness, no matter the challenges along the way. Of course, I had an example of this attitude well before I’d entered law school. My mother was always good at recognizing when a relationship wasn’t working. She wouldn’t simply give up on relationships at the first sign of trouble, but when she found herself sinking into those repetitive patterns of unhappiness, she had the courage to call things off. I’ll never forget her explaining to me when I was just a teenager, “I do believe in love. I do believe in trying again.” She never became bitter, never closed her heart off to the world. To some, that’s a valid choice to make — if you aren’t okay dating after divorce, that’s perfectly natural. But in a broader sense, having the courage to hold on to hope for a brighter future, whatever that looks like to you, can give you the strength to break the cycle you find yourself in.

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Here’s to making your own happily ever after,

FloridaWomensLawGroup.com -Heather Qu ick

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DON’T FEAR ONLINE DATING.

Online dating is a great way to meet people outside of your social circle, and there are many dating sites and apps specifically for singles over 50 who are ready to mingle. Julie Spira, a relationship expert with senior dating app OurTime, says that “Authentic dating profiles get the best results.” Basically, don’t lie on your profile. Use a picture of you from this year and be proud of your age. That’s the best way to find people who will love the real you. GO TO 26 DIFFERENT PLACES. Prefer to meet people in person? Lisa Copeland, a dating coach who works exclusively with women over 50, recommends creating a list of 26 different places in your area, one for each letter of the alphabet, then going to those places. While you’re out, Copeland says, “You want to smile. Make eye contact. Ask a question. Give a compliment and put a question behind it.” BE PRESENT WHEN MEETING NEW PEOPLE. Dating as a senior means coming to the table with a lot of baggage. Dating is when people get acquainted, so be careful about sharing that baggage right out of the gate. This doesn’t mean you should never talk about heavy topics, but remember this advice from the popular dating site, eHarmony: “Early on, focus on enjoying each other’s company here and now.” It doesn’t matter if you’re 26 or 62, dating is always hard. You have to step outside your comfort zone and trudge through a series of terrible first dates. But in the end, it’s all worth it when you find that special someone with whom you can spend your golden years. Just remember, you’ll never meet that person if you don’t make the leap.

Time to Get Back Out There!

Expert Advice to Beat the Stigma of Senior Dating

Getting back into dating can be hard when you’ve been out of the game for a few decades. In fact, some would-be romantics are so self-conscious about their age that they never even try! In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ve rounded up some expert advice on dating at any age.

THINKING OF GETTING BACK TOGETHER? Consider These Things First

It can happen even after the messiest divorces — despite everything that led to your separation, you’re thinking about reconciliation. These thoughts can crop up during the divorce proceedings or even years down the line, and they’re completely natural to have. As family law professionals, we of course understand any decision you want to make regarding your past marriage, but we also want to lay out a few things that should be seriously considered before moving toward reconciling with your former partner. BEWARE OF ROSE-TINTED GLASSES. Most marriages have bright moments that can make you nostalgic. It’s human nature to remember the good times and forget the frustrations of the past, which can make divorce even harder than it already is. But if you find yourself pining for these moments, it’s helpful to take a step back and revisit the reasons your divorce happened in the first place. ASK WHAT YOU’RE WILLING TO FORGIVE. Chances are that your divorce didn’t happen on a whim. At some point, it was clear the relationship was untenable and reconciliation may not fix the issues that led you there. What are the odds that your former partner changes for the better this time? What issues would you have to face all over again? What would you have to compromise on? These can be complex questions to unpack on your own. Often, seeking out a relationship counselor when considering a reconciliation can help untangle your thoughts on the situation. 2 Florida Women’s Law Group | 904-549-6553

KNOW THE LEGAL RAMIFICATIONS. Getting back together during or after your divorce can end up costing you time and money should things not work out between you. Whether you filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss the dissolution proceedings during your divorce or you get remarried after you are both declared legally single, getting a second divorce will mean starting the whole process over from the beginning. This includes paying the filing fee and rehashing the same emotional arguments that went into your first divorce proceedings. It’s always advisable to talk to your lawyer before seeking reconciliation. We can also point you toward resources, such as marriage counselors, to help you find the path that is best for you.

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“Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.” Women Speaking Wisely

–Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Meet Andrea Kast

“My mom says that when I was in kindergarten, I declared that I was going to be a valedictorian and a lawyer,” Andrea laughs. “I don’t remember that, so you’ll have to ask her.” Andrea may have been too young to recall her promise, but she still made good on both counts. She graduated top of her class and earned her Juris Doctor from the Florida State University College of Law. “I’m still an avid Seminole fan,” she mentions while discussing her education. “Seven Saturdays a year, our family makes our way to Tallahassee to see them play.” After passing the Florida State Bar in 1999, Andrea worked in many areas of law until she found a practice area that fit. “I’ve been doing family law since 2012,” she explains. “I love the work because it’s so rewarding when a client walks away with a good result.” And Andrea understands that a good result where divorce is concerned means more than success in the courtroom. She strives to help the women she represents understand that “This is a moment in time. There is going to be a tomorrow; there

is life after divorce.” This dedication to the emotional well-being of her clients is part of what brought Andrea to our team. “What I love about the Florida Women’s Law Group is their personal touch and availability,” she reflects. She credits Susan Birch, our client liaison specialist, for bringing our client focus to the next level. “Having a non-billable liaison for clients is incredible,” the experienced lawyer remarks. “She’s literally gone on walks on the beach with clients … She makes sure they’re heard.” When she’s not at the office or cheering on the Seminoles, Andrea is most likely playing “Mom Taxi,” as she calls it. “I have a 14-year-old son,” she explains, smiling. “And at some point, his social life became my social life!” We’re lucky to have such a talented, experienced attorney join our team. Andrea’s dedication to her clients’ needs inside and outside of the courtroom make her a perfect fit for this firm.

This firm has always prided itself on offering experienced legal counsel our clients can trust. That’s why Andrea Kast, the newest attorney to join our team, was such a natural fit. Not only does she have over 20 years of legal experience, but Andrea also spent her whole life aiming to get where she is today.

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Inside Is Your Marriage Like ‘Groundhog Day’?

Too Old for Love? No Such Thing!

Is Reconciliation Possible?

Meet Andrea Kast!

Fearless Women Who Pioneered Motor Sports

FROM ZERO TO 300

Meet the Women Who Pioneered Motor Sports

DOROTHY LEVITT Dorothy Levitt is known for her driving skills on both land and water, setting the first water speed record and an early women’s world land speed record.

While Danica Patrick and Courtney Force are well known as modern faces in motor sports, they’re far from the first women to cross the finish line. Since the early 1900s, women have been a constant fixture of automotive racing, including the following three who each left their marks on the sport.

SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY Shirley Muldowney is professionally known in the drag racing community as “The First Lady of Drag Racing.” In 1973,

JANET GUTHRIE Janet Guthrie had her sights set on the stars from day one. A skilled aerospace engineer, she began her racing career in 1963. After taking home

Her motor racing career started slow in 1904 due to illness and various car troubles, but Levitt eventually went on to garner a reputation for her speed and earn the nickname “The Fastest Girl on Earth.” When she wasn’t racing, she spent her time writing. In her book “The Woman and the Car,” Levitt recommended that women carry a small mirror with them for driving in traffic, effectively inventing the rearview mirror five years before it went into production. If you want to learn more about these women and others in motor racing, pick up Todd McCarthy’s book “Fast Women: The Legendary Ladies of Racing.”

two class wins in the famed 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race, Guthrie became a well-known figure among racing gurus. In 1976, she became the first woman to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series when she finished 15th in the Coca- Cola 600, then called the World 600. To date, Guthrie’s storied career has landed her in the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, and the Automotive Hall of Fame.

she was the first woman to earn a Top Fuel license from the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and, despite backlash from competitors, went on to win the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series an unprecedented three times. Twentieth Century Fox documented her trials and accomplishments in the 1983 biopic “Heart Like a Wheel.” Muldowney famously loathed her own characterization but still lauded the film as required viewing for anyone interested in the sport of drag racing.

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