Monday, March 26, 2007
Last update: March 25, 2007 – 11:26 AM
CINCINNATI — Customers at some suburban pizza parlors are getting something extra with their pepperoni and mushrooms — wanted posters for parents accused of failing to pay child support.
The idea came to Cynthia Brown, executive director of the Butler County Child Enforcement Agency, while she was ordering pizza.
"It suddenly dawned on me that most people running from the law don't eat out, they order pizza," said Brown, whose county is north of Cincinnati.
Enforcement agencies across the country use a variety of methods to locate support scofflaws and collect past-due payments. Virginia has issued subpoenas to cellular phone companies seeking addresses and phone numbers. California's Kern County seizes and auctions parents' vehicles, with proceeds going to the children, said Kay Cullen, a spokeswoman for the National Child Support Enforcement Association.
State child support agencies collected more than $23 billion in child support for 17.2 million children in 2005, but the cumulative past-due child support since the agencies were first formed more than 30 years ago is $106 billion, Cullen said.
"While we have made progress, putting the wanted posters on pizza boxes is an example of the innovation and commitment that we need," she said.
Other Ohio counties put posters on their Web sites and work with local Crime Stoppers programs, and a few contract with companies that can track people through rental and cell phone records, according to the Ohio Child Support Directors Association. Some include fliers in water and sewer bills.
Butler County has printed posters with mug shots of its 10 most-wanted parents, placing them in post offices and other government buildings and sending them to Ohio's 87 other counties. The lineup, chosen by prosecutors, is changed twice a year.
The Butler County sheriff's office served 1,224 nonsupport warrants last year, said sheriff's Sgt. Todd Langmeyer. The county has about 350,000 residents.
Brown approached several restaurants and chains with her idea of affixing the posters to pizza boxes, but so far only three pizzerias are participating.
Since the first pizza posters appeared in August, they have led to one arrest, Langmeyer said. "It's a good idea any time you can put the faces out there," he said.
The owner of Karen's Pizzeria hasn't heard any complaints about her participation in the poster program.
"Some customers joke about it and say they're glad they aren't on it," Karen Willis said. "Most seem to think it's a good idea."
An attorney who focuses on fathers' rights cases called the tactic "horrible."
"It's just a way of shaming people," said Maury Beaulier, whose firm is in Eden Prairie, Minn.
Many circumstances can cause people to get behind in support payments, but that doesn't make them deadbeats, he said.
Widespread public shaming also can devastate the children, said Michael McCormick, executive director of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children.
"Think how children feel to see a parent on a wanted poster and know their friends might see it," he said.
Brown said her agency tries to work with parents by trying to help them find work and seeks most payments through civil court. Criminal charges are a last resort. Conviction on a felony count of failing to pay child support brings a prison sentence of up to 18 months, with fines usually set in the amount of the support owed.
"We aren't trying to penalize these people," Brown said. "We are just trying to help the kids who have a right to be supported."
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I recently started a divorce support group in my area. Our first meeting was Thursday night and it was wonderful to meet other people whoare either getting a divorce or are already divorced.
I would like to invite those of you who live in the New Jersey area to join my group on Meetup.com.
Meetup.com has divorce and single parent groups all across the world! Membership is free and it is a great way not only meet people in the same situation you are in, but be able to share your feelings with someone who has been there and understands.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Have you seen this?
Man Chainsaws House in Two for DivorceReutersBERLIN (March 9) - A 43-year-old German decided to settle his imminent divorceby chainsawing a family home in two and making off withhis half in a forklift truck.
Police in the eastern town of Sonneberg said on Fridaythe trained mason measured the single-storey summer house -- which was some 26 feetlong and 6 meters wide -- before chainsawing through the wooden roof and walls.
"The man said he was just taking his due,"said a police spokesman. "But I don't think his wife was too pleased."
After finishing the job, the man picked up his half with the forklift truck and drove to his brother's house where he has since been staying.
Well, I thought I had heard it all, but I guess not! Thankfully most of our divorces will not go this far.
This is a perfect example of how divorce can make even the saniest person go a little crazy.
So remember when your ex or soon to be exstart pushing your buttons, take a deep breath,count to 10, and think about the peaceful outcome you desire!
Monday, March 12, 2007
Why does divorce turn ugly? What makes one partner turn on the other? I have often pondered these questions. It amazes me that two people who stood at the altar and vowed to be together until death do us part, can ultimately destroy each other.
While I was married the thought of a couple going through
a vicious divorce made no sense to me. I always thought that when a couple decided to divorce they should simply divide their assets in half and part ways amicably. There was never a reason for a bitter divorce, I naively thought.
I was stunned when during my own divorce my ex husband refused to settle and split our assets. What followed was a long, expensive legal battle. I never imagined that I would be engaged in the same kind of divorce I once scorned.
I decided to research why divorce becomes ugly. I found that one of the main causes of a bitter divorce is that one or both spouses are receiving bad advice. Sometimes this advice comes from an attorney. Other times it is from family members or friends.
But no matter who provided the advice, it is always received by an angry, vengeful spouse. This is the spouse who feels betrayed, who wants to hurt his or her mate. The spouse who cannot let go and move on with their life. This person has a need to get even. In the emotionally weak state one is left in during the wake of a divorce, he or she is easy prey for a greedy divorce attorney or a mother-in-law who hated her daughter-in –law from day one.
Are more men guilty of being unfair and using devious tactics in divorce than women? I think the playing field is about even. There are probably just as many women as men who resort to despicable behavior during divorce.
You may be tempted to act out and strike back at a spouse that is causing you pain. Remember that the more in control you are of your behaviors and actions, the better you will come out in the end. You are being provided with an inside view of what some men are capable of during divorce. Some of this information is shocking and startling.
You may think that your ex would never do this to you. Hopefully he or she won’t. But you need to be on guard and prepared for battle at all times.
The woman who have already suffered at the hands of a husband who has played dirty tricks will tell you they never saw it coming. Never in a millions years did they believe their husbands could be capable of such actions. Yet it still happened to them. Be forewarned, armed and ready.
5 Simple Rules To Follow During A Ugly Divorce:
1. Watch who you confide in. You must be careful of who you tell your divorce woes to. someone who you consider a friend may pass information either knowingly or unknowingly to your spouse.
2. Do not try and reason with your spouse. Let your lawyer do the talking for you. That is why you hired him. Engaging in conversations with your husband about your divorce can make things a lot worse. He may be setting you up. You cannot trust him. If you could then your divorce would be settled by a mediator.
3. Be prepared financially. Make sure you have the funds available to pay for your attorney’s retainer fee and support you and your children. In my book “Seven Secrets to a Successful Divorce-what every woman needs to know” I go into great detail explaining what you need to do to protect yourself financially.
4. Always control your emotions! Any out of control behavior
will cost you in the courtroom. You better believe that your
husband will be making a list of anything you do that is questionable.
Are you driving by his home? Calling his cell phone?
Harassing him by email? Your husband will use these kinds
of behaviors to portray you as a unfit mother,
crazy woman etc.
5. Be proactive and be involved in your divorce process. You cannot depend on your divorce attorney to win your divorce for you no matter how much you are paying him. Your lawyer cares about his fee. This is his business, how he makes a living. He is not your best friend, or confidante. What you can expect from him is to represent you to the best of his abilities. You need to become involved and stay in control of what goes on in your case.
I hope the information I have given you will help you prepare for your divorce so that you may have the best possible divorce outcome!
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
SEVEN SIGNS OF A CHEATING HUSBAND
1. Is your husband suddenly paying more attention to his appearance? Is he wearing new clothes, using cologne, and making sure his hair is combed? If this is not his normal behavior then this is a huge sign your husband is having an affair.
2. He is critical of you and has been picking fights lately. This is another big sign.
My ex was very cranky around the time he was cheating. I couldn’t understand why he was so angry at me. I remember one night he got dressed, put on his shoes, and brushed his teeth. I thought it was odd because it was late and it looked liked he was going somewhere. Instead he sat on the couch. As I was finishing something on the computer, he yelled, “So you’re not going to spend any time with me? Fine, I am going to my friend’s house,” and he got up and left. I realized later that he was purposely picking a fight with me so he would have an excuse to leave the house. His “friend,” of course, was his lover!
3. Watch out if your ex is suddenly too nice to you. If this not his normal behavior then he could be feeling very guilty and trying to assuage his pangs of guilt.
4. He doesn’t want you using his cell phone. This is how my divorce began. My ex twisted my arm when I wouldn’t give him back his cell phone. He knew of course that I would discover the calls to his lover. Ask your husband if you can use his cell. See his reaction.
5. Is he staying up late surfing the Web till the wee hours of the night? He may be having cybersex, looking at pornography, or instant-messaging his lover. If you are computer savvy, you can check your computer and find out where your husband has been on the Internet. There are also programs you can install on your computer to monitor activity and find out what is really going on.
6. Does your husband have a newfound interest in hanging out with the guys? Did he just start a new hobby or join the gym? Is he gone certain evenings of the week? You may want to discreetly follow him one evening and see where he is really going. My ex started hanging out with one of his buddies several times a week. This was the same guy he would go out with maybe once every few months. It became obvious later that the “buddy” was his girlfriend.
7. Is he no longer interested in having sex with you? Was he always wanting to be with you in the past but now has lost interest? This is another huge sign. Sometimes though it can be the opposite, the guilty husband syndrome. He may want to be intimate with you even though he is getting it somewhere else too! I coached a woman who found out that her husband was cheating the morning after he made love to her. Apparently he had been intimate with his mistress the day before too!