5 Common Reasons For Divorce

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It is a common misconception that our nation’s divorce rate is at 50% or higher. Some people rattle off this statistic as if it is a cold, hard fact. In reality, the divorce rate in the United States has been decreasing since 2015 making it the lowest it has been in almost 40 years. That being said, it is still between 42% and 45%. But, why is it so high? What is causing couples to walk away from marriage?

Here are five common reasons couples filed for divorce in 2017.

A toxic relationship takes a considerable toll on both parties. Any form of spousal abuse, be it physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional, can cause a partner to question their role in the marital relationship. Although it may take some time, the degradation may eventually lead to a change in the status quo, forcing the victimized partner to protect their wellbeing by exiting the union

Financial disputes routinely contribute to divorce cases nationwide. In fact, one study found that disagreements related to money “were a top predictor for divorce ‘regardless of their income, debt or net worth.’” Translation: financial harmony is more important than monetary wealth. If a couple has differing opinions on money management, it can lead to excess strain on the relationship in the form of arguments and resentment.

Age plays a significant role when it comes to marriage. Couples that wed at a young age are often the victims of divorce. Current society standards are placing strenuous amounts of pressure on young adults to behave like their elders, and digital prevalence is allowing them to progress through the stages of a relationship faster. Unfortunately, adults in their lower twenties have not yet finished maturing. They are still figuring out their goals, attitudes, and interests. Frequently, the personality they develop as they age is entirely different than the one they had when first married.

Divorce due to identity trouble encompasses a whole breadth of potential marital issues. Things like midlife crises and personal growth fall into this category.  The discord builds on a feeling of inequality. Maybe one partner is evolving faster than the other. Perhaps one partner is not evolving at all. In either case, the other party is left feeling lonely, hurt, or angry. Change is a hard concept to grasp for most individuals, and even hard to comprehend as a couple.

Conventional beliefs often dictate that many individuals stay in an unhealthy marriage for the sake of their kids. It seems, however, that this may not be the case any longer. Parents are becoming more conscious of the environment in which they rear their child. A home life that is considered “unhealthy” is a substantial determining factor in divorce.


Give Your Brain A Workout… With Music

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Do you want to exercise your brain, but hate mathematics and puzzles? Try music! Researchers at premier institutions like Johns-Hopkins and Ashford University are paying attention the effect music has on our brains, and their findings are worth noting.

They posit that music is mathematical, although we don’t realize that when we are listening to it. When we hear lyrics and rhythm and melody, our brains are analyzing structure and relationships and composition.

How Does It Work?

Music is, in its purest form, a series of strategic vibrations. These vibrations make their way into our ear canals, tickling the eardrum as they pass. This tickle is then converted to a form of electrical messaging that is sent to our brain stem. Our brain stems, amazingly enough, translate that message back into sound, which we interpret as music.

Each new song we listen to sends different vibrations down our ear canal, which means that our brain is consistently analyzing new patterns, translating them, and converting them into auditory messages. The work being conducted stimulates specific brain functions like auditory processing, learning, and memory.

Why Is It Good For Me?

Research has shown that music is capable of inducing surprising physiological results in humans. It improves your memory and your sleep quality, as well as lowers anxiety levels and blood pressure. But what is truly fascinating is music’s ability to improve your mood.

As our brain is calculating what auditory message to send us, it is also anticipating our reaction to that message! The electrical signals automatically evoke a response in what’s known as our pleasure centers. These centers are responsible for the release of dopamine, which induces a feeling of happiness. The functionality of our brains also allows them to reference memories and previous neurological pathways to determine where the pleasurable peaks are in the music, if there are any, and trigger the release of dopamine early as preparation for those peaks.

Does It Matter What Kind of Music I Listen To?

The short answer is no. As long as you enjoy the genre you’ve chosen, your brain will respond appropriately. The long answer, however, is a bit different.

Certain types of music are better than others when it comes to performing specific activities. If you’d like to study, a task that can require intense concentration, experts recommend soothing music or instrumental pieces. If you are trying to prepare yourself for a sporting event or physical activity, upbeat genres are the way to go.

If you’re merely looking for mental exercise, you can listen to the genre of your choice. Your brain will experience a healthy workout as it perceives and interprets the music regardless of which type you choose.

6 Yoga Poses To Improve Your Surf Skills

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Summer is here and your fitness routine is about to get a lot more adventurous. Access to good weather means you can officially move your focus from the gym to the water.

We’ve covered paddleboard yoga, but it’s time to take it a step farther. Surf yoga. Don’t worry, I don’t mean yoga on surfboards. That would be dangerous. I’m talking about a yoga practice that helps improve your surfing skills, of course!

Why should surfers do yoga? Surfing requires a great deal of core strength and balance to be successful. Yoga just happens to build core strength and balance when used regularly. So, it stands to reason that yoga and surfing are a match made in heaven.

Here are 6 poses you can add to your practice to improve your surfing skills.

Improve Your Balance

Tree Pose:  Tree pose is a standing pose executed on a single leg. Stretching your arms overhead in this pose helps to elongate your spine and forces you to concentrate on various aspects of your own body in order to maintain your balance.

Crow Pose: Considered tough for beginner yogis, crow pose actually requires balancing on your arms instead of your legs. This is extremely useful when attempting to pull off an epic surf stunt, or to avoid being thrown when caught by surprise!

Warrior 3: Warrior 3 is another one-legged standing pose. It is similar to tree pose in that it focuses on balance and elongation simultaneously, but it is a bit more challenging. The straight-backed, forward lean in the pose adds a bit of core weight to your balancing act.

Improve Your Core Strength

Locust Pose: This particular pose is a back strengthener, making it extremely helpful for all levels of surfers. Locust mimics the position of your body while paddling. You can choose to practice locust as a single, stationary pose or you can raise and lower opposite arms and legs to feel a bit of a stretch while you strengthen.

Boat Pose: Boat pose is, for our intents and purposes, the opposite of locust. It focuses on strengthening the front side of your core: the abdomen. A strong abdominal section is crucial to surfers, as it serves as an anchor for balance. Bonus! Boat pose is excellent for increasing focus.

Four-Limbed Staff Pose: Although it may look relatively easy, four-limbed staff pose is no joke. This single pose helps to strengthen your back, your front, and your triceps all at once. It strongly resembles the critical position most surfers take on prior to their pop-up. Try entering this pose as part of a coordinated flow, then work your up to holding it in a static form over time.

Unique Water Sports You Haven’t Tried

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I love the water. Any activity that gets me out on the ocean is one that I’m willing to try, and I thought I’d tried almost all of them! As it turns out, I was wrong.

It had come to my attention recently that there might be a few unique watersports out there that I hadn’t yet dabbled in, so I did a bit of research. What I found out is that there are a whole host of weird watersports I’ve yet to discover. And if I, an avid water enthusiast, haven’t tried them…you probably haven’t either!

Ranging from simple to extreme, here are 5 watersports you probably haven’t tried!


Yes, horse-surfing exists and it looks marvelous! It’s similar to kiteboarding except that there’s a horse pulling you along instead of a boat or jetski. On average, the horse should reach top speeds of about 25 mph, so you’re not sacrificing thrills…just engine fumes. It’s important to note that this watersport requires two people: one to surf and one to steer!

Snuba Diving

A bit milder than horse-surfing, snuba diving is the latest craze in underwater exploration. A combination of snorkeling and scuba diving, snuba diving is a pressure-free way to experience sights up to 20 feet below the surface without having to come back up for air or carry heavy equipment. Your oxygen mask is connected to a hose, which is supported by a lightweight raft sitting on top of the water. This means the entire setup is relatively portable.

Spinnaker Flying

This particular watersport actually takes place in the air. Spinnakers are typically used as boat sails, but someone has found a way to turn them into fun in the sun. You start by orienting the sail in a specific way (bottom to water, top to mast), and securely attaching yourself to the portion in the water. From there, all you have to do is wait. When a gust of wind comes along, it will fill the sail and you will be lifted from the water into the sky.

Flyboarding & Flybiking

I grouped these two unique watersports together because they seem to go hand in hand. They are both forms of water-fueled jetpacks. The flyboard is most easily compared to a hoverboard that is securely attached to some sort of water vehicle. It’s a similar balancing act, only your board is being lifted by jets of water as opposed to jets of air.

The flybike is more akin to a bicycle without wheels. In fact, there are jets of water where the wheels should be. It has pedals like a bicycle, but they aren’t used for steering. They are used to increase or decrease the water pressure instead.  Once you’ve mastered staying on, the flybike can help you execute a wide range of cycle stunts usually reserved for big air jumps.

An Adopted Child Comes from a Mother’s Heart


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“A Mother’s true love for her children knows no boundaries.”


This cartoon was on our fridge growing up for as long as I can remember. My parents tried for years and didn’t think they could have children together, so they adopted my big sister in 1968 and then my big brother shortly after in 1969. ⠀

As the story goes…

On August 15, 1971, my daddy bought my mom a brand new Pontiac Catalina for her 28th birthday. My parents went out for a date that night, alone, for the first time since adopting my sister and brother — My mother told us it was the first time she let my siblings out of her sight since she was blessed with them as HER babies.

Without going into any mortifying details, I was conceived that night, even though my mother didn’t know it.  My mom was pregnant for five months (and still had an abbreviated monthly visitor) before she went to the doctor thinking something was wrong. Both the doctor and my mom knew she could not possibly be pregnant and her doctor gave her a shot to make her “cycle” regulate itself.  Within hours, my mom was at the hospital learning that she was pregnant, bleeding heavily, and fighting to not have a miscarriage.  Somehow both she and I survived the ordeal.  She was ordered to have “bed rest” for the rest of her pregnancy. (You know that was impossible with two active toddlers, but she tried her very best.)⠀

Exactly the number of days later required to “cook up” a baby, I was born on Mother’s Day: May 14, 1972, at 8:13 am, 8 lbs. 2 oz. and 21 inches long.  I was the ugliest baby ever born. I swear.


Look at this photo, and you will agree. I was a baby only her mother could think was beautiful. My dad admits he freaked out a little at the sight of me. Afterall, my sister and brother had been such gorgeous babies. My body looked kind of like Kermit the Frog’s, and my face, well you see it…

The point of this story is that we children knew every day of our lives how we came into this world. My mom told us often how:  I came from her tummy, and my sister and brother came from her heart.  They were wanted and fought over, and I was a surprise miracle.  I wanted so badly to be adopted like them. Nothing pleased me more than when folks would say: “You look just like sisters!” Or “I can sure tell you are sisters!” Or “You look just like your brother!” I so wanted to come from my mom’s heart and not her tummy. I would never correct anyone when they assumed or thought all three of us were adopted. To this day, folks are surprised to learn I wasn’t adopted like my siblings. Folks often ask, “Did your parents treat you different?” Or “How was their love divided between the three of you?” The answer is: Their love was never divided or different. It was multiplied!

I was blessed to learn by example as a young child a lesson I have carried throughout my life: Love is a choice. It is not just a feeling. It is a commitment that knows no true boundaries and isn’t based on any conditions. You choose to love others with all your heart. Choosing to love another person is the most beautiful thing you can do with your life.

Everyone has a special family story, thank you for reading mine.

Recipe for a “Carin Maxey”

How do you make a Carin?

Add 1-pint shenanigans, 1/2-cup of Daddy Cool, 1-tsp of wit & charm. Combine it with 4-Tbsp Blonde Ambition, 1-stick of determination and mix with gentle Grace. Sprinkle with Sugar. Bake until Golden. Love Unconditionally.  Hope for the Best. Not everyone will like it, but that’s okay. If you love this recipe, please thank Big Daddy and Sweet Sanja. I do, with all my heart, each and every day.


This photo is of my loving parents who were all I could ever ask for and more. I have my Father’s mouth and my Mother’s eyes. On my face, they are still together.

“Make your parents proud, your enemies jealous, and yourself happy.” —The Weeknd

Why You Should Try Acro Yoga


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Yoga has many different benefits to offer people; some of which are increased flexibility and muscle strength, improved respiration and cardiac health, as well as building a stronger mental health. For some, it’s hard to find the right fit when they’re beginning their yoga lifestyle, whether it be their instructor, the intensity level, or simply the wrong variant of yoga. If you’re looking for a way to switch up your workout routine, I suggest grabbing a friend and giving acro yoga a try.

Acro yoga is a combination of acrobatics and yoga. When someone mentions acrobatics, our minds often go to the extreme, such as flips and stunts you would only see on the stage of Cirque du Soleil. However, acro yoga is a much less intimidating form of acrobatics. Incorporating acrobatics into yoga creates a whole new practice that can better your mind, body, and spirit. Here are a few reasons I found that make acro yoga so great.

Increased Core Strength
Having a strong core is not only going to make you a better yogi, it’s going to help you in all things you do physically. A strong core can improve your posture, take away lower back pain, and give you better balance. Acro yoga requires a strong core to perform many of the poses, whether you’re in the base or the flyer position.

Become Stronger
Acro yoga combinations require you to hold up not only your own body weight, but also the weight of your partner. As the base partner, you’ll see the same results as if you were in a gym doing press exercises such as the bench press and leg press. Acro yoga adds an additional challenge to these exercise than if you were using traditional weights because you also have account for your flyers ever changing center of gravity. As a flyer, your pressing exercises resemble that of handstands, wall sits, and planks.

Better Technique
Mastering yoga parallels with understanding where your body is in space. When you add the dynamic of acrobatics to yoga, you’re no longer practicing on a concrete environment. Becoming aware of how your body moves in tandem with your partner’s body will teach you better control and more importantly, help you learn when you’re properly aligned and when you’re not.

Acro yoga can seem intimidating but don’t let that fear stand in your way of trying something new! Start with a beginners class which work on very simple, doable positions. If you stick with it, you’ll find yourself conquering the more advanced moves in no time.

Divorce: Separate vs Marital Property


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Splitting up assets can be a messy task for a family going through a divorce. There are the bigger assets such as the house and the cars, but often people don’t think about the other items that need to be split fairly between the two people. Deciding who gets what can be a challenge, even with the most flexible of divorcees. Contentious divorces can be even more difficult.

When deciding how to divide these assets, their current dollar value shouldn’t be the only thing taken into consideration. Any taxes, its liquidity, and the cost basis should all be noted when deciding who gets what asset. This will aid in both long-term and short-term financial security for both parties. However, it’s also important to note the differences between marital property and separate property.

Depending on which state you live in, the definitions of these two properties can differ. In my experience, separate property, includes the property that was owned by each before the marriage, any inheritance that was received by one individual, a gift to one individual by a third party, and any payment awarded for personal injury. Commingling these separate properties with marital properties can render the status of “separate” void. Classic examples of this are adding your spouse as a co-owner on the deed to the beach house or depositing your inheritance money to your joint bank account.

What I’ve found is that most people don’t understand that property acquired during the marriage is typically considered marital property, regardless of how it is titled. Again, this can vary by state. However, most people don’t realize how much they’re entitled to during a divorce. Marital property doesn’t just come down to the house, the cars, and the other tangible items acquired during the marriage. It also includes incomes, retirement plans (401Ks, IRAs, pension plans, etc.), stocks, insurances, annuities, bank accounts (checking, savings, CDs, etc.), professional practices, and tax refunds.

If a separate property gains value during the time of marriage, that increase could be considered marital property. This can be differentiated into two categories: active and passive appreciation, once again, all depending on which state you reside in. Active appreciation is when you and your spouse work together to increase the value of the property. If an outside force, such as inflation, increases the value of the property, it’s considered to be passive appreciation.

These are all just some of the items that need to be taken into consideration when dividing assets during a divorce. Consult with your attorney to decide the best course of action.

Carin Maxey’s blog posts are not legal advice and are meant for informational purposes only. If you require legal advice, please seek a licensed professional in your jurisdiction.