Regina’s Blog

Regina’s Blog2016-11-01T18:59:38-04:00

Regina's Blog

GenXSmartie

This is a blog about relationships, and it covers dating, marriage, parenting, modern family dynamics and divorce as seen from the very personal perspective of a divorced divorce lawyer.

2109, 2022

Are You Ready To Meet Your Forever Person?

By |September 21st, 2022|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

They say we learn more from our failures than we do from our experiences with sucess, and never has this statement been more accurate then when applied to dating. When everything is super easy you're just riding that cocaine high and enjoying the good times together.  But when things become difficult, that is when you really see if the relationship can really go the distance. Ever since I divorced my college sweetheart in 2005, I spent the better part of the past 17 years playing 20 questions.  Honestly, it was a great distraction when I wasn't focused on work or raising my son.  I personally enjoy mapping people- it's interesting to see where did they come from, where are they now, and where are they heading?  And if you enjoy similar activities, it's very easy to get lost in the moment and just enjoy the present without thinking too far down the road as to whether you could ever settle down with this person.  Unfortunately, when you are busy having fun, precious time can fly by and before you even realize it you've spent months or perhaps years settling for Mr. Right Now instead of holding out for Mr. Right.   This past decade started off with an engagement on my 40th birthday, and six months later I called it off.  Then I fell hard during a 2 year whirlwind romance with a Brazilian that ended abruptly 6 months after we started cohabitating and real life hit us hard.  After a long-term break from any boy-drama, I eventually met a doctor, who sadly turned into a stalker when I ended our 16 month relationship.  The authorities had to be involved, and honestly it has taken me a very long time to forgive myself for ever allowing that person into my life.    The only good thing that came out of that experience was that he introduced me to the game of golf, which has allowed me to meet an incredible group of friends during COVID and provided me a great escape the past two years. One might think that after three huge fails I might take a break from playing 20 questions, but the reality is that as I approach this next decade I realize I want to share my life, both the highs and the lows, with someone special.  Over the past two decades, I've not only proven that [...]

3008, 2022

Have You Tried To Quietly Quit At Home?

By |August 30th, 2022|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Quietly quitting, which is defined as doing the bare minimum in response to crappy jobs, low wages, and/or abusive bosses is not a new thing in the workplace, although it certainly has gained momentum during COVID.  It's easy to become increasingly apathetic when we don't feel appreciated, and why would you continue to give 100% when it's not being reciprocated?  Normally in these situations, I prefer to address conflict directly, but sometimes there is something to be said for taking a more subtle approach, particularly with kids at home.  As someone that never quietly quit at work or with a romantic partner, it took me a while to come around to seeing how this tactic might come in handy or apply to my own life, and then it hit me: parenting.  Being a single mom to a teenager during COVID has not been easy, and in response to a significant lack of respect or appreciation I admit that I quietly began to pull back in order to regain my equilibrium.  The fact is there are only so many years as a parent that you can ignore how your patience, generosity and kindness are taken for granted. And as children are about to launch, they need to learn to take on more responsibility, which is a huge part of adulting. This winter the sense of entitlement and disrespect reached an intolerable level, and I told my son that he needed to go live with his father.  After a few months there, they too had a falling out, so my son went to Florida for the summer and stayed with my family.  For six months, I barely spoke to my only child and although I missed him, I knew he needed time to gain some perspective while I used that time to heal.  Ultimately it took a village to help him transition from high school to college with the clear message being that there are no more free rides as an adult because the fact is all healthy adult relationships are based on a balanced amount of give and take. Despite being an expert in families in transition, experiencing this level of family discord this past year was not easy, but it did provide me the perfect opportunity to see everyone's true colors. I was incredibly fortunate to have the support of my son's father and his parents.  My father was [...]

2508, 2022

Now That The Kids Are Gone, What’s Next?

By |August 25th, 2022|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

According to the 2020 Census, there are 22.5 million empty-nesters over age 50 in the U.S. and the odds are 1 in 4 couples will divorce now that the kids are out of the house.  For some, this may come as a surprise but for most, the marriage was over years ago, however they did their best to keep it together at least until the kids launched.  Either way, it is important to realize that for everyone involved, this is a very sensitive time of transition where everyone will question their new roles. Those couples that choose to end their marriage and embark in a "gray divorce" may think that the process will be less complicated without having to tackle the issues of child support and custody, however, there still remain difficult discussions surrounding the division of assets and potentially spousal support when there is a disparity in incomes.  Experienced attorneys are needed to help navigate these complex negotiations, and individual counseling is key to managing expectations and all the emotions associated with the loss of your marriage and creation of a new life. Even those couples that opt to stay together now that the kids have launched may benefit from some couples counseling as they start a new phase of their relationship.  As household responsibilities and demands on your time shift, it's important to check-in with your partner regarding your expectations of one another, your finances and your plans for the future.   You may find you are not on the same page about slowing down or ramping up at work, how much you will continue to support your adult children, or where you see yourself in ten years.  Rather than avoid these difficult conversations, try working through them with a mental health professional. Trust me, it's better to face these issues now rather than later. Although I am part of the 25% that divorced years ago, I am still going through an adjustment period.  While I have gladly resigned from my duties as a watchful warden at home, and I definitely don't miss dealing with my teenager's mood-swings or messes, I am taking my time acclimating to my new-found freedom.  After almost two decades of sacrificing as a parent (often without much appreciation or acknowledgement) I want to be mindful of how (and with whom) I choose to spend my time and energy going forward. Ultimately, becoming an [...]

1908, 2022

Can You Be The Bigger Person?

By |August 19th, 2022|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It's not easy to take the high road, but it does pay off. Trust me, I have now spent half my life helping families in conflict navigate our court system in our nation's capital. After more than two decades of working on highly complex family law cases, I have come to accept that it is very difficult to change someone's perception of reality, especially if they don't want to see another point of view. Rather than argue with someone intransigent, you need to find a different path forward that allows you to preserve your dignity and integrity. In court, every email, text, or other written exchange between two parties can be introduced as evidence, so I always encourage people (even without litigation pending) to filter what they write.  Before you hit send, ask yourself: would you be okay having that message read out loud in an open courtroom? If the answer is no, then don't send it.  Wait until you are calmer, maybe ask a friend to help you edit your message, and try your best to keep it simple and polite. When dealing with someone that has a mental health issue, especially a personality disorder, you cannot expect rational behavior from someone that is irrational.  Less is best in these situations, so keep your messages brief and be firm about your boundaries.  In the heat of the moment, it's easy to say things you will later regret, but what I tell my divorce clients to remember is this: don't wrestle with a pig, the pig just likes it and you get dirty. Families are complicated- not only are there varying personalities and constant changes that play into the dynamics, but we can all have widely different expectations of each other, and these are not always communicated clearly.  For example, I know my mother expected me to return to New York City after I finished my studies, but the fact is I left home at age 15 for boarding school for a reason and it was a very conscious decision after law school to make DC my home, which provided a nice long buffer.  Certainly when she got cancer or my grandmother was in her final stage of life, her unspoken wish was that I would have been there, but I was living over 200 miles away, busy with my own family and career.   I have come to accept [...]

1808, 2022

Regina DeMeo Named in the new 2023 Best Lawyers in America Award for Family Law

By |August 18th, 2022|Categories: Media Coverage|

I am grateful to be named one of the 2023 Best Lawyers in America for Family Law! View the Best Lawyers website. Read the full Associated Press News article.

208, 2022

What’s On Your Bucket List?

By |August 2nd, 2022|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This year, many of my fellow GenX friends are celebrating a milestone birthday, and it's been super interesting to see how each one has decided to commemorate half a century here on Earth.  We've all been talking about our bucket list items, and as we compare notes, I realize that it is these shared dreams and aspirations that truly inspire us and deepen our bonds of friendship. At this age, no one really cares what we all do for work, as long as it makes us happy and allows us to cover our basic needs.  Those that never married or had kids (which is at least 20% of the population) can now relate more with those of us that are recent empty nesters, who are enjoying a new-found freedom that simply wasn't possible for almost two decades.  Despite the fact that these are incredibly uncertain times, there is almost a fundamental need among us to find a way to make the most of the time that remains available to us. Here are my top 30 activities for you to consider adding to your bucket-list: Tour North America and Europe, including France, Spain and Italy Visit Iceland, and make sure to do the Golden Circle tour as well as stop at the Blue Lagoon Take a helicopter tour, particularly over Iguazu Falls in Brazil or the volcanoes in Hawaii Go horseback riding out west Try camping, or maybe glamping Go white water rafting  Stay at a ski resort and try skiing, snowboarding or snowtubing Ride a hot air balloon Take a long train ride, especially through the Rocky Mountains Visit Vancouver, including Victoria and ride a seaplane over the glaciers in Western Canada Try ziplining Play golf at a really nice private course Go scuba diving Get great seats and see your favorite band in a live concert Take a flying trapeze class Go skydiving, or try the indoor version at Ifly Visit Las Vegas and Hoover Dam Try rock-climbing See a Broadway show and tour NYC, especially during the holidays Take a cruise to Alaska and see the glaciers or the fjords in Norway Visit Disney and/or Universal Studios Go to the Caribbean and swim or kayak in the pale blue waters Explore some ancient Aztec or Mayan ruins in Mexico or Central America Tour a nice winery (Napa Valley is next on my list) Enjoy the great outdoors [...]

2007, 2022

My Happiness Project in 2022

By |July 20th, 2022|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

This year started with a high potential for profound personal disappointment, despite immense professional success. What my inner circle understood was that I was facing a milestone birthday during a pandemic, as a single mom without family close by and a teenager that showed zero interest in launching after his high school graduation.  I quickly realized that the only way to get through this year was to give myself a challenge: within 9 months, I must do 50 nice things for myself before turning 50 this fall.My happiness project began in January with some home improvement projects, including rearranging all the furniture in my bedroom once my new bed and mattress arrived.  I purged a ton of junk and eliminated my storage unit, then once my son moved in full-time with his father, I converted his room into my study.  During the winter, I also treated myself to two meal-prep services that got me through those cold months in hibernation with limited supplies at the stores. Mid-February, I put together a Galentine's Day brunch with friends which was a blast.  On Valentine's Day, I made sure to get my favorite flowers and splurge on personalized golf balls along with some nice new outfits for this golf season.  Then in the spring, I took a vacation and went to golf school for a few days.  Later, I invested in new clubs and based on various recommendations, I started researching and booking nice clubs I wanted to play this year.  As word spread about my happiness project, my friends came up with their own ideas of how they could help me celebrate this milestone year.  Together, we have played some beautiful courses this season, and attended a few professional tournaments including KPMG at Congressional and Wells Fargo at TPC.  With friends that don't golf, I went to New York City for a weekend in May to do some shopping and see a new show, then all summer we've been enjoying outings to the movies, some great hikes, wine tastings and various local concerts, including Yacht Rock and Barenaked Ladies at Wolftrap. My images on Facebook and Instagram during this milestone year probably make me seem like a fairytale princess living her best life, and while I am indeed trying my best to do so, the reality is that it's been far from easy.  The trials and tribulations of real-life demands, particularly [...]

1506, 2022

Celebrating Father’s Day, Embrace The Simple Pleasures

By |June 15th, 2022|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Father's Day is this weekend, and most guys I know don't need or want a big celebration to acknowledge the day.  All they really want is the freedom to relax either by the pool while enjoying a good book and some good food, or having the ability to go for a long run/hike/bike ride, play tennis or golf, go fishing, sailing or kayaking, or just stay home and watch their favorite sports. The main theme is they don't want to be burdened with any chores or a lot of fuss, and presents are not particularly important because being unencumbered for the day is the real gift.I'm not sure why more moms don't steal a page from the dads' playbook.  For the longest time, I tried to find the perfect gift and make the perfect plans for either my own father, my father-in-law, or my son's father, even after our divorce. But eventually, I stopped-- not because I no longer cared, but simply because I realized that for them the real reward was being acknowledged for their efforts as fathers and being permitted to enjoy a low-key day. 21st century dads are a whole new breed. Unlike their fathers that mostly focused on providing financially for their families, these guys have to be there emotionally, share in household responsibilities and take more time off work than any other prior generation to be present for their kids' activities.  To do all this without a real role model isn't easy, but I've found that most aren't just stepping up to meet today's expectations, they are going out of their way to exceed them for no other reason than just love, often without sufficient acknowledgment in my opinion. For over two decades now as a divorce attorney, I have had the incredible experience of working with dedicated fathers, who all want to be an integral part of their children's lives.  Not once has a father abandoned his children under my watch, and seeing the love and commitment these dads show their kids has warmed my heart and given me an incredible sense of purpose all these years. Now, my divorce clients that are single dads do have a little bit more of a challenge than those in an intact family, mainly because on Father's Day they are usually 100% responsible for their kids, so they don't necessarily have the ability to just relax [...]

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