How to Rebuild a Stable Financial Future After Divorce

By Bart Zandbergen, CFP®

I have a special guest on the blog today, Bart Zandbergen, CFP®. Bart is a Senior Partner with Optivest. He has great passion for helping clients realize financial goals and dreams through integrity, focus, and genuine care for their well-being.

Prior to joining Optivest, Bart spent 25 years as a Certified Financial Planner® and Registered Investment Advisor with Financial Management Network, Inc. where he was selected as one of America’s Best Financial Planners by the Consumers’ Research Council of America. Bart is a Five Star Wealth Manager and has been recognized for his integrity and skill in Orange Coast Magazine for five consecutive years. Bart holds a FINRA Series 7 license as well as a Life/Health/Disability Insurance license. He obtained his CFP® certification from the College for Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado and has received his Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Certificate.

I hope you enjoy Bart’s terrific blog on creating a financially stable life after divorce!

Navigating the rough road of divorce can be a strain, physically, emotionally and financially. From a financial standpoint, it can be especially stressful if you were not involved in the financial decision-making during your marriage or didn’t have a good understanding of your financial situation as a couple.

If your divorce is complete, it’s time to start rebuilding your financial house piece by piece. For some, this can be a scary situation, but you can be confident in your ability do it, albeit with some professional help!

Let’s address how you might go about getting your financial fresh start after divorce.

First, you’ll need to an inventory of your current financial situation. Detail out your assets, income and expenses, and create a budget. A budget is essential when you start life on your own, especially if you were not the spouse managing the money when you were married.

Also in this step, I would encourage you to write out your financial goals and future plans. Do you have any big expenditures coming up in the near future? When do you want to retire? What would you like your retirement to look like? These are all questions that are good to think about as you start to address your financial situation and plan for the future.

Next, find a financial planner or wealth advisor to help you map out a financial plan; I recommend a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®). CFPs have completed extensive training as well as met experience requirements and are held to rigorous ethical standards. They understand the complexities of the changing financial climate and know how to make recommendations in your best interest.

This step is critically important if you have received a lump sum of money from your divorce settlement. Before spending any of that, I highly recommend you find a trusted CFP® to help you create a plan for your money.

A CFP® will also help you create a path to retirement.Many people find themselves having to reset their retirement date or modify their retirement plan after divorce. A CFP® will help you address important retirement issues from your divorce, such as:

  • Whether you’re eligible for spousal social security benefits, and if so, when you can file for them.
  • If you have a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO), how that works and what it means to you.
  • How to manage any joint assets you continue to hold with your ex after divorce.

There are some additional topics you will want to discuss with your financial advisor as well:

  • If you have debt, you will need a plan to pay it off and bring it zero as soon as possible. If you are still investing and are carrying debt as well, your advisor might recommend putting your investing on hold until your debt is payed off. Make sure your advisor knows about your total amount of debt.
  • A plan to rebuild your savings, if they have been depleted. A good rule of thumb is to have 3-6 months’ worth of expenses in an easily accessible savings account.
  • Your tax situation
  • The best types of funds and ETFs for your retirement portfolio moving forward
  • An investment plan tailored for your specific personal situation

I know this can all sound daunting and overwhelming if you were not involved in managing your investments and finances during your marriage. One of the best pieces of advice I can give is to start the process immediately after divorce. I have seen many individuals make the mistake of burying their head in the sand because it hurts too much to think about, or they wait until the alimony and child support run out and reality hits.

The first few years after your divorce are transitional ones, so gather your strength and address your financial situation head-on. Though difficult, you will find yourself and your family on a better path to the future, full of excitement and hopes and dreams.

Bart Zandbergen, CFP®
Senior Partner, Optivest Wealth Management
(949) 363-8686

Divorce after 50: How Gray Divorce is Different

Gray Divorce

Divorce among couples who have been married a long time (twenty years or more), also known as gray divorce, is on the rise. Statistics show the number of people over 50 who are getting divorces has doubled since 1990. Today more than 15% of couples over 50 are divorced with one in every four divorces in the U.S. classified as “gray divorces”.

Why do gray divorces happen?

Sometimes people think if a couple has been married for the majority of their lives it’s a case of ‘til death do us part. But, the numbers show that’s not the case. Couples who decide to divorce later in life have usually been unhappy for some time, but they’ve just gone along with it for one reason or another. But,there comes a point when they want and need a change. For many, their kids are grown up and it’s just the two of them now. Either one or both partners decide they don’t want to live the rest of their lives unhappy, so they divorce. The majority of the time it is actually the woman who initiates the break-up. Another reason cited for gray divorce is thatmore and more Americans are living longer and healthier lives and want their remaining years to be the happiest they can be. If that means divorcing, then that’s what they decide.

Gray Divorce Issues

Although all divorces bring their own problems, gray divorces carry a unique set of issues.

Financial Issues

Since the divorce is happening later in life, there is less time to recover financially. If you are retired and on a fixed income, there is now only one fixed income every month, not two. For some this leads to financial problems instead of relaxing and enjoying the retirement years.

Because of financial problems some are forced to go back to work to make up the difference. Sometimes it can be difficult for older people to re-enter the workforce and compete with the college graduate crowd. Also, they may not earn what they need to get by.

Family Issues

Dealing with adult children and divorce can also be difficult. Although they are grown, children of gray divorces are also impacted. Some may feel as though their parents stayed together for so long because of them and are now splitting up because they have moved out of the house. This can cause feelings of guilt. Also, since those children are adults they understand the ins and outs of divorce and may feel the need to side with one parent over another. The most important thing is to let adult children remain neutral and have relationships with both parents if they choose to do so.

If you find yourself later in life and wish to divorce, it’s important to seek the advice of a divorce lawyer who understands the effects of dividing retirement assets relative to you target retirement date. It is also important to consult with a financial planner, preferably a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), who can analyze the impact a divorce will have on your income and make recommendations for both now and in retirement.

Our Top Picks for Holiday Fun in Orange County

Our Top Picks for Holiday Fun in Orange County

The holiday season is in full swing in Orange County with plenty to do and see for the entire family. You don’t want to miss out on these fun and festive events that will certainly get you in the spirit of the season!

The Chill at the Queen Mary

Where can you find a 38,000 square foot ice adventure park complete with skating, an ice track, and Amsterdam Bumper Boats? Nowhere else but at The Chill at the Queen Mary!

Holiday Fun in Orange County 1

Image: Tracy C.

This is the spot for winter fun this holiday season. Besides the winter ice activities enjoy a tribute to cultures all around the world as well as a global sampling of food, music, and live entertainment. All of this takes place at the world famous Queen Mary in Long Beach. You can buy your tickets online, but don’t wait too long. This fabulous winter event will close for the season on January 7th.

WinterFest at the OC Fair

The magic of the season comes alive at WinterFest at the OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa.

Holiday Fun in Orange County 2

Image: Native_Inspired

Whether it’s ice tubing down a 150 foot mountain or catching a glimpse of Santa and his reindeer as they fly over the fairgrounds, there is truly something for everyone at WinterFest. There are carnival rides as well as a massive snow and slide play area for the kids. Don’t forget the nightly fireworks, snow fall and tree lighting. A model train exhibit and light maze are just a couple of the new items you’ll find at this year’s WinterFest. Get your tickets online. The WinterFest is open through January 7th.

Holiday Zoobilation at the Santa Ana Zoo

Sure you’ve probably visited the Santa Ana Zoo before, but have you seen the Holiday Zoobilation?

Holiday Fun in Orange County 3

Image: Ana Zoo

The zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland complete with snow, music, and special decorations. Come see the mischievous monkeys, train and carousel rides.This event is almost over, so be sure to stop by the Santa Ana Zoo soon. When 2017 is over so is this seasonal exhibit as it only lasts through December 31st.

Holiday lights on Birch St. in Brea

Going to check out holiday lights is a tradition in Brea where an entire neighborhood lights the night.

Holiday Fun in Orange County 4

Image: Wu N.

Birch Street is known for its extensive holiday light displays. It all started in 1981 when one man decided to decorate his house for Christmas. Then one neighbor decided to join in, followed by another, and another, giving birth to this holiday tradition. You can drive through or park your car and stroll down the street to take in the sights. The holiday lights on Birch Street will stay lit through December 31st.

The Nutcracker at Irvine Barclay Theatre

It’s a holiday classic for the entire family. The Irvine Barclay Theatre is hosting the Nutcracker through Christmas Eve.

Holiday Fun in Orange County 5

Image: Barclay Theatre

Take a magical journey to mystical lands with the Sugar Plum Fairy and the rest of the sparkling cast. Renowned guest artists as well as professional company dancers make up the ensemble. Tickets can be bought online or at the box officeat the Irvine Barclay Theater.

Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train to Santa

The Irvine Park Railroad is the place to be for Christmas activities for the entire family.

Holiday Fun in Orange County 6

Image: Park Railroad

Come and get your picture taken with Santa, go ice fishing, play carnival games, or let the kids jump around on the moon bounce. While you’re there be sure to taste some great food! There are also free activities inside of Santa’s Village. Hear a story from Mrs. Claus, color some holiday pictures in the coloring corner or take some photos in the picture stands. Santa’s Village and all of the activities are open everyday until December 23rd.

Orange County is bustling with holiday fun for the entire family. Be sure to get in on the fun before the magic of the season is over!

Tips for Navigating a High Conflict Divorce

Tips for Navigating a High Conflict Divorce

When it comes to divorce, some are easier to navigate than others. While some couples can amicably separate with minimal interference, there are others where the situation is anything but friendly. These types of divorce are often labeled as “high-conflict” because they usually involve just that…high levels of conflict. They are often costly as well.

High-conflict divorce can include anything from drawn-out legal proceedings to custody battles. At times it may even include restraining orders and accusations of domestic violence. Sometimes, when children are involved, I have seen them used as pawns.High conflict divorces can seem like a never-ending battle with your soon-to-be ex.

A high-conflict divorce usually happens when you’re dealing with someone who has a high-conflict personality. Psychologists describe people with a high-conflict personality as having four similar traits: unmanaged emotions, extreme behavior or threats, a preoccupation with blaming others, and lots of “all or nothing” thinking.

Psychologists have not been able to pinpoint why people act this particular way, but when you put this personality type into the dealings of divorce you can end up with an explosive situation. There are four specific things you can do if you’re dealing with someone with a high-conflict personality:

Maintain careful and respectful communication. If you’re in the middle of a high-conflict divorce it’s your job to maintain careful and respectful communication. If you are not being treated with respect, it is your right to tell the other person. If you are being bullied in a conversation, end the conversation. If you receive hostile texts or e-mails, your best option is not to respond to them. If you think the communication needs a response (like if it deals with legal proceedings), keep responses as brief and civil as possible.

Work with a skilled divorce team (therapist and family law attorney). You can’t deal with a high-conflict divorce on your own. You need a skilled family law attorney as well as a therapist on your team. The family law attorney will make sure your rights are protected while a therapist can help you work through the emotions of a high-conflict divorce.

Be diligent about self-care. It’s important to take care of yourself when going through a high-conflict divorce. There’s bound to be stress, so exercise is a good way to deal with that component. Also, eating well can help you maintain your health and feel good. Although you may not feel like laughing, spending time with friends to get your mind off things is also a good idea.

Consider parallel parenting instead of co-parenting. Co-parenting involves both parents, who assume joint responsibility for raising their children, after divorce. Co-parenting can be difficult and stressful, even if you have a good relationship with your ex.

So, if every conversation or encounter ends in a full-blown argument, you may want to consider parallel parenting. This is when parents have limited direct contact with each other because they just can’t have healthy interactions. This often helps the child because he or she doesn’t have to see as much arguing.

Co-parenting usually works best when both parents can have healthy and respectful conversations and are able to make decisions together. Often parallel parenting is chosen to allow some dust to settle while still allowing both parents to be involved in their children’s lives. Whether you are co-parenting or parallel parenting, remember to keep the focus on the kids and their well-being.

Keeping these things in mind when dealing with a high-conflict divorce can help you cope during this difficult time.

5 Signs You Are in a Toxic Marriage

Signs You Are in a Toxic Marriage

Marriage is hard; it’s a phrase you’ve probably heard over and over again. While marriage does take work, and all marriages go through difficult times, there’s a point where you may feel intuitively that something is not quite right in your marriage. At that point, it’s time to take a look at the signs of a toxic marriage.

The word toxic is defined by “acting as or having the effect of a poison; poisonous.” It’s a dramatic work to describe your spouse, for sure. But if your spouse and marriage start affecting your well-being and your life in general, that’s a sure sign of a toxic marriage.

Here are 5 signs of a toxic marriage to watch out for:

Your spouse abuses you (emotionally, physically, verbally). Any type of abuse, whether it’s emotional, physical, or verbal is wrong and should not be tolerated. It should go without saying that if you are being abused in any way, you are in a toxic marriage. The best thing to do is to seek help immediately. Some people think emotional or verbal abuse is not as bad as physical abuse, but regardless of what type of abuse it is, it should not be taken lightly!

Your spouse is controlling or manipulating. If your spouse tells you what you can or cannot do, then you’re being controlled. Control can also be in the form of your spouse checking your text messages or e-mails…anything that’s supposed to be private. A spouse can manipulate you by playing mind games, embarrassing you in front of others, and may even try to use your weaknesses against you. Whatever tactic is taken, it’s a sign you’re in a toxic marriage.

Your spouse is gaslighting. Gaslighting is manipulation’s second cousin, if someone is gaslighting you they’re saying or doing things that make you feel as though you must be crazy. If your partner isn’t telling the whole truth or leaves out details to make you doubt your own sanity, he or she is gaslighting you. This is a form of emotional abuse as well.

You feel like you’re always walking on eggshells. Sure there may be some things you don’t particularly want to tell your spouse from time to time, but you shouldn’t be afraid to do so. You shouldn’t feel as though you can’t do or say something around them. That feeling like you’re walking on eggshells can give you anxiety and is a sign your marriage is unhealthy.

You feel as though you can’t share your feelings. When you’re in a healthy marriage you should feel as though you can share any feelings you have, whether they’re happy, sad, or angry. Feeling as though you need to hide your feelings for whatever reason is a sign you are in a toxic marriage. If you can’t be yourself around your partner and feel accepted then perhaps it’s a sign that something isn’t right.

If you are in a toxic marriage, the first step is to actually admit it. It may sound strange but a lot of people are in denial about the status of their “perfect” union. Once you admit and accept the situation, psychologists advise the next step is to believe that you need to be treated better. Building self-esteem could mean seeing a counselor to help you realize your self-worth. Other experts advise confronting the toxic behavior. You need to let your spouse know that what they’re doing is wrong. Since you can’t change a person, he or she needs to decide if they want to change. If your partner is open to change, counseling may be the route to take. If your partner believes nothing is wrong and is unwilling to change, it might be time to consider other options.

As was mentioned above, if you are being physically, emotionally, or mentally abused, please seek help to leave the relationship immediately for your own safety.

As always, please feel free to contact me with questions at

Fun Fall Family Activities Around Orange County

Apple picking, hayrides, pumpkins… they are all signs that fall has arrived in Orange County. There is so much to do and see this time of year to celebrate the harvest season. Check out these fun activities for the entire family!

Riley’s Farm

Riley’s Farm in Oak Glen is known for having one of the largest orchards in the Glen. With over 30 varieties of apples, there are trees that are more than 100 years old, planted by the original owners.

Fall Family Activities in Orange County

Image: Yelp/C.D.

But, there is much more to do at Riley’s than just pick apples and other seasonal crops. Riley’s is also a living history farm and is home to several events, such as period adventures themed for The Civil War as well as The Revolutionary War. You can also take part in several overnight historically themed events. While you’re at the farm, be sure to visit the Hawk’s Head Restaurant as well as the Colonial Chesterfield Bakery. If you’re afraid they’ll run out of your favorite treat before you get there, you can order ahead and pick it up at the window. At Riley’s Farm there is something to do and eat for the entire family!

Riley’s Apple Farm

Often confused with Riley’s Farm, Riley’s Apple Farm is an entirely different business. Also located in Oak Glen, Riley’s Apple Farm sits on three acres of land in what is referred to as California’s “Apple Country”.

Fall Family Activities in Orange County 2

Image: Yelp/Wendy L.

Here you can pick your own apples and other fruit that is in season as well as pumpkins. While you’re here, you and the family can also take park in archery and tomahawk activities as well as cider pressing. Kids can even make their own cornhusk dolls. Don’t forget to check out the yummy treats at the country store before you head home. Just a note — the farm is closed on Mondays.

Oktoberfest Kinderfest

The Kinderfest is held every Sunday from September 17 through October 29th at the Old World German Restaurant and Beer Garden in Huntington Beach.

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Each Sunday afternoon from 2-7:30p.m. kids and the entire family can enjoy carnival games, face painting, and even dog races. Dodo the chicken is around too! The whole family can get on the dance floor and do The Chicken Dance! For the adults, there is a great selection of German beers to try out in the Oktoberfest tradition as well as bratwurst and a mouth-watering barbecue. Buy your tickets online to save time once you get there.

Tanaka Farms

The pumpkin patch is open and ready for picking at Tanaka Farms in Irvine. That’s not all, though.

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Image: Yelp/Maila H.

There are wagon rides, a corn maze, and a petting zoo complete with goats, sheep, and even an alpaca. On the weekends, the activities ramp up with face painting, games, ATV rides, and crafts. Take home some farm fresh produce from the farm stand that’s open daily. Or if you want, pick your own vegetables from the vegetable patch to bring home. If all of that work makes you hungry, take a break and grab a snack at Tanaka Farms Grill and Lemonade Shack.

Peltzer Pumpkin Farm

Not too far away from Orange County, you’ll find Peltzer Pumpkin Farm in Temecula.

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Image: Yelp/ Sarah R.

The name here says it all. If you’re looking for a pumpkin, this is the place. Come with the family to pick your pumpkin and stay for a host of other activities including a petting zoo and pig races.Peltzer Pumpkin Farm is also home to a gem mine where you can come and take part in gem panning.There are also train rides around the farm and a tractor garden on display; end the day with a pony ride for the kids. If you’re looking for an activity just for adults, visit the Peltzer Family Cellars that opened last year.

Fall has never been so much exciting! Take the family to any one of these places for a fun-filled day around Orange County.

The 4 Most Common Signs That You Need Marriage Counseling

Common Signs That You Need Marriage Counseling

Anyone who is married or who has been married can tell you that marriage isn’t always easy. There will be problems, arguments, and hurdles to face. It’s whether you decide to work things out together that will determine if your marriage survives.

While some disagreements can be mended at home between you and your spouse, there are times when an unbiased third party can be helpful. A marriage counselor can help the two of you see the things you can’t or in some cases, don’t want to see.

Here are 4 common signs that you need marriage counseling:

You Become More Like Roommates Than an Actual Married Couple

You share expenses, meals, and sometimes even watch TV together. But, there is no deep conversation or intimacy. For one reason or another, you’ve become more like roommates than a married couple.

If you’re heading off into separate rooms at night, there is no chance for conversation or anything else for that matter. While it’s perfectly fine to have your alone time, too much of it could make the two of you drift further apart. A marriage counselor can help you get down to why your relationship has changed.

You Can’t Seem to Resolve Your Differences

Not liking the way he loads the dishwasher or the way she leaves her hairdryer out on the bathroom counter isn’t really a difference that you need to bring to a marriage counselor; those are more like pet peeves.

Feeling as though you’re not being listened to or continually arguing about the same thing are both issues a marriage counselor can help you figure out.Knowing that you can’t resolve your problems on your own is half the battle. A marriage counselor can help you figure out the root of the problem and help you solve it.In order for this to work, though, both parties have to be willing to talk about the problem.

You Don’t Spend Any Time Together

There was a time when you spent every waking moment together. When you didn’t, you actually missed your partner. Now, you don’t spend any time together and you’re actually okay with it. That’s really not okay if you want to stay married.

Also, the quality of time you spend together compared with the quantity needs to be looked at. If you go out to dinner but are both on your phones the entire time, did you really spend any time together? A marriage counselor can look at your daily routines and schedules and help you carve out quality time together so you can reconnect.

Communication Has Deteriorated and Becomes Negative

Tone of voice and facial expressions play a pivotal role in how you communicate. If you have a less than pleasant tone of voice during every conversation and constantly roll your eyes when the other person speaks, then your communication has definitely taken a turn for the worse. Being on the receiving end of that can make a partner feel depressed, angry, insecure and unwilling to talk anymore. Also ignoring your partner or not speaking at all can spark the same feelings. By seeking a marriage counselor, couples can sort out why the communication deteriorated and more importantly how it can be built up once again.

Remember, both parties need to be committed to fixing the relationship in order for a marriage counseling session to work. Marriage is hard work, and so is repairing a marriage.

4 Things to Know Before You Get Remarried

Things to Know Before You Get Remarried

When it comes to relationships, decisions regarding marriage, divorce, and remarriage are probably some of the biggest you’ll make in your lifetime. Although the saying goes “love conquers all”, sometimes things don’t always end up that way, so it’s important to think things through before saying “I do” once again.Thought the statistics are debated, stats still show that 50% of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, while 67% of second marriages end that way too.

With that said,it’s good to learn from past mistakes before tying the knot again. Here are four things you need to know before you get remarried:

Know how to handle conflict. If you’re getting remarried, you know the honeymoon certainly doesn’t last forever. Conflict and disagreements will arise, but knowing how to deal with them can make or break your relationship.

More importantly, knowing how the other person deals with conflict is key. While no one wants to argue, doing so before remarrying can give you insight into whether your partner fights fair. Does he or she run away from their problems or do they try to resolve them? If you see something you don’t like in this department, it may be a red flag not to walk down the aisle.

Know how to be a better partner. Nobody is perfect. Everyone can benefit from knowing how to be a better partner. Some psychologists advise that before you can be a better partner you need to be good to yourself. Another way you can become a better partner is to spend more quality time together. Also, being grateful for each other can help you become a better partner.

Know how to get along with your ex and their ex. If there are children involved on either end, it’s more important than ever that you can get along with your ex as well as your new spouse’s ex. While you all don’t have to be best friends, being civil and maintaining a decent relationship will help everyone. Some people even say they become better friends as an ex rather than as a married couple.

As far as getting along with your spouse’s ex, start off by just being nice. Although that may sound silly, it can make all the difference. Hopefully it’s reciprocated. Also, be sure to set boundaries so there’s no confusion where things stand.

Know how to leave the past in the past. Bring positive energy and a new outlook into your new marriage. Leave behind any problems you had in your previous marriage.

If your ex cheated on you, leave that baggage in the past. Start fresh with your new partner. Remember to only look ahead together, don’t look back!

Best hotel pools in Orange County

Summertime is beach time, but if you’re burned out on the sandy experience, or Mom just needs a break, here are the hotels and resorts in Orange County with the best pools. Check in, spend the night, and have fun!

Hyatt Regency – Huntington Beach

Hyatt Regency

Image: Yelp/Stacy H.

A Pacific hideaway right on the beach, you won’t need to go far from home when visiting the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach. The views are amazing, and there are three pool areas to choose from: the newly renovated, lagoon-style Mankota’s Pool, Slyders Water Playground, or the peaceful Spa Grotto, a lush garden that features three oversized Jacuzzi® spas.

The kids can check out Camp Hyatt, an activity program exclusively for our guests ages 3-12. Campers will spend their days doing arts & crafts, frolicking on the beach, in the pool and all around our extensive resort, with each day designed around a specific theme.

Montage Laguna Beach

Montage Laguna Beach

Image: Yelp/Ellen M.

Arguably one of the amazing resorts in Southern California, the Montage Laguna Beach has it all: location, luxury, a fabulous pool, and an exclusive feel. The mosaic pool has gorgeous tile mosaic of the sun on the floor, and spectacular views that you won’t forget.

While this is probably more of an adult getaway, a separate pool for children is next to the main pool, as well as a hot tub. Complimentary books and headsets can be borrowed while lounging by the pool, if you forgot to bring your own!

St. Regis Monarch Beach

St. Regis Monarch Beach

Image: Monarch Beach Resort/Facebook

Perched on a hillside overlooking the azure waters of the Pacific, the Monarch Beach Resort has 3 different pools to meet everyone’s need. The largest is the stunning Ocean pool, with luxurious cabanas, if you’re so inclined. There is also the family-oriented Lagoon Pool, which features a wading section for younger swimmers and a jacuzzi for the rest of the family. If you’re looking for a workout, check out the heated lap pool that has three lanes with underwater music.

The Resort at Pelican Hill

The Resort at Pelican Hill

Image: The Resort at Pelican Hill/Facebook

The Resort at Pelican Hill is the epitome of luxury on 504 acres of unrivaled coastal beauty. The Coliseum Pool is a perfect circle 136 feet in diameter, with a very Romanesque feel. While adults will love this lavishness, if your kids find it boring, you can check them in to Camp Pelican.

Camp Pelican is designed for kids age 4-12, and has its own Children’s Pool with umbrellas, chaise lounges, bubble jet fountain and sand play areas, plus lots of other fun activities!

The Waterfront Beach Resort

The Waterfront Beach Resort

Image: Mekayla L./Yelp

You’ll love the tropical setting of the pool at the Waterfront Beach Resort, right here in Surf City. It’s heated year round, and with the ocean right across the street, this is another pool with spectacular views of the sunset. If the night is cool, jump in the hot tub and soak to your heart’s content.

The forecast is beautiful so soak up the sun and relax at one of Orange County’s best hotel pools!

Costly Mistakes Women Make During Divorce

Costly Mistakes Women Make During Divorce

Deciding to file for divorce is only the beginning of the divorce process. Depending on whether the divorce is contested or not and if there are children involved, the average proceedings can take anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years.

With that said, there are a lot of things that can happen during that time frame, including making mistakes that can drain your bank account. Here are four expensive mistakes women make during divorce that should be avoided…at all costs.

Dating. Although the marriage may be over in all sense of the word, I recommend holding off on dating until your divorce is final.If you are in a contentious child custody cases, it is especially important that you don’t date, as essentially, whether fair or not, you will be under amicroscope by your ex and his legal team.

If that’s the case, spousal support and other monetary parts of the divorce could be affected. The best advice is to avoid dating until all the I’s have been dotted and all the T’s have been crossed.

Snooping. While it may be tempting to go undercover and snoop on your soon to-be ex-husband, it doesn’t usually go over well in divorce court. These days snooping has become high tech, and in some cases illegal. Some electronic snooping can include reading private e-mails or accessing password protected devices.

These types of actions are considered illegal and have consequences. If you’re going through a divorce and then get caught snooping like this, it can hinder your case. If you suspect some shady behavior on the part of your soon-to-be ex, ask your lawyer about legal ways to obtain information.

Spending too much money. We’ve all heard of retail therapy, but this is not the time to practice it. Increasing debt is frowned upon when going through a divorce; in fact you want to do just the opposite. Divorce can be expensive, especially when you’re uncertain about how long the process can take. Instead of spending any extra money, save it. You never know when you’re going to need it. Wait until the divorce is final and you know how much money you can rely on before going on a shopping spree.

Leaving a digital trail. Social media has added an entirely new element to the world of divorce, one that’s not necessarily welcomed. With so many people taking to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to document their every move, doing so in divorce could end up costing you, especially if those updates and tweets contradictyour actions or words in your divorce case.

Emails and texts can also be dangerous because they can be admissible in court. Many divorce lawyers advise clients not to email, text, or post anything that they wouldn’t want a judge to read. If you wouldn’t say it in person don’t leave it behind in a digital trail. Along those lines, don’t leave messages or post anything on social media that you might regret later.

In the end, we all know divorce can be costly. Don’t make mistakes that can run up that bill even more and leave your pocketbook empty.