Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Should You Keep Your Married Name After A Divorce?

One issue often overlooked during a divorce, is whether or not to keep your married last name. I remember my lawyer asking me if I wanted to continue to use my married name during a divorce hearing. It was honestly something I hadn’t given much thought to at the time. With all of the divorce drama going on, it had slipped my mind that I had the option to revert back to my maiden name.

I initially decided to return to my maiden name and asked for it to be changed at my final divorce hearing. But then something strange happened. As the months passed, I continued to use my married last name, putting off changing my driver's license and credit cards. Something just did not feel right about changing my name back to the name I once used long ago. I felt like I wasn’t that person anymore, yet I also did not feel comfortable using my married last name. I certainly was not the same person who used that name either.

In the end I decided to give myself a new last name. One that I choose. I shortened my married last name and gave myself a brand new identity. I went to court and legally changed my name. It felt right and it was empowering to begin my new life after divorce with my own chosen identity, not the name I was born with and not the name I got from being married.

There are several issues to consider when deciding whether or not to keep your married name after a divorce. Here are few:

1. Your children. Do you want to avoid confusion at school by keeping the same last name as your kids?

2. Paperwork. Changing your name means changing your driver's license, bank accounts, credit cards and countless other documents. Expect to spend time and energy taking care of this.

3. Have you established yourself professionally with your married name? If so you may not want to change it.

In the end, make sure it is your own decision to change or not change your last name. Don't give into pressure from your ex, who may object to you using your married name. It is perfectly legal to continue to use your married name after a divorce. If you no longer wish to use your married name, then make sure you are comfortable going back to your maiden name. If not, you may want to do like I did and create your very own new last name.

Monday, January 28, 2008

4 Secrets To Saving Your Marriage...

Divorce might seem like an easy fix, but the ramifications and consequences are serious. Not only will you end a relationship that you have invested years in, other people, like your children are deeply affected. If you are considering divorce, it makes sense, barring any physical or mental abuse, to do everything in your power to try and save your marriage. If it is your spouse who wants the divorce, you may be facing an uphill battle, but if saving your marriage is something you desire, it is worth attempting.

Here is a four step blueprint, based on the principles of the law of attraction, to help get your marriage and your life back on track:

1.Change yourself first. This may seem radical, but if you want to see changes in your relationship, you must first change yourself, not your spouse. The only person you are in control of is you. Wishing hoping, pleading and begging will not turn your spouse into the person you desire him to be. Take some time to do some inner work and clear up issues in yourself that are preventing you from being happy. Remember the qualities and traits that annoy and bother you in others are issues in yourself that need healing. Start by making a list of everything your spouse does to drive you crazy. Then consider if you are guilty of any of those sins yourself. You may be shocked and what you find. Does your spouse withhold affection? Think of a time in your life where you withheld affection from someone. Does your spouse lose his temper quickly? Again, look and see if there are times in your life where you are short tempered or maybe times when you feel angry and repress your emotions. Going through this list, without self-blame, but with the intent to heal yourself first, can be life changing.

2. How do you want your marriage to be? What does an "ideal" marriage look like? Spend some time visualizing the perfect marriage. See it, feel it and experience it like it was really happening. Feel the joy and love you get from sharing your life with a partner who loves and respects you.

3. Make a list of all of the qualities you wish your spouse had. List everything. Maybe you want him to be more attentive, loving, spontaneous and exciting . Now take that same list and start becoming that person. Become more attentive,loving, spontaneous and exciting. You may be reading this and feel skeptical and maybe even a little angry.After all, it is not your fault your spouse acts the way he does. But just try it. It can't hurt and you will feel better about yourself no matter what the end result is.

4. Let go of how you think your marriage should be. Release all expectations. Concentrate on yourself and creating a life you enjoy. Whether or not your spouse changes is not important. Spend your energy on becoming the best person you can be. Find a hobby or passion that excites you. Join a group of fun loving people and start getting out more. Take action and control of your life

After following these steps your spouse may or may not change, but one thing is for certain, you will have changed for the better. This will strengthen and prepare you for whatever lies ahead. If your marriage is saved, that would be wonderful, if not you will emerge a stronger, more confident and self assured person, ready for whatever life hands you.

If you would like to find out how to use the law of attraction to change your life, I recommend reading The Attractor Factor and The Key both by Joe Vitale. Seat Of The Soul author Gary Zukav has many great books that will help inspire you and change your life for the better as well.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The 5 Worst Celebrity Husbands And Fathers...

1. Hulk Hogan-Sneaky Hulk Hogan is being accused of trying to trying to trick his wife, Linda, into signing a post-nuptial agreement and hiding millions that were made in a real estate transaction. He also has said that his"ex-wife can support herself". Not very nice considering he was married to his wife for over 20 years, while she stayed at home with the kids so he could advance his wrestling career.

2. Eddie Murphy- Eddie has separated from his new "wife"Tracey Edmonds, after only 2 weeks of marriage. Apparently their marriage was not legal. Let's also not forget how Eddie denied he was the father of Spice Girl, Melanie Brown's baby and reportedly has never met his child, even after a paternity test proved he was the baby girl's father. What a shame that the star of "Daddy Daycare" is a deadbeat dad.

3. Charlie Sheen. This insensitive jerk allegedly emailed his ex-wife, Denise Richards the following message:"You are a pig. A sad, jobless pig who is sad and talentless and, um, oh yeah, sad and jobless and evil and a bad mom, so go [expletive] yourself, sad, jobless pig." What a nice guy. No wonder he has court ordered, supervised visits with his two young daughters.

4. Alec Baldwin- Who can forgot Alec's vicious rant on his 11 year old daughter's cell phone last summer. If he can call his daughter a ""a thoughtless, rude little pig" you can only imagine the emotional abuse he might of inflicted on Kim Basinger while they were married.

5.Peter Cook- Ex-husband of Christie Brinkley. This man was married to one of the most beautiful women in the world and cheated on her with his teen assistant. What was he thinking? It is unsettling to think that a man in his mid forties would have an affair with a 19 year old, especially when his own step daughter, Alexa Joel, was around the same age.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Should Lifetime Alimony Be Banned?

"Mass Alimony Reform" will address the Joint Committee of the Judiciary in Massachusetts and challenge the current laws on the books that allow for lifetime alimony. It is interesting to note that the majority of the residents that are scheduled to address the committee regarding alimony reform are women. They are the second wives of husbands who once divorced.

These women feel that they are forced to "share the expense of providing living and other expenses for their present husband's first wives who are unwilling to support themselves".

This is unbelievable. Did these women know when they married their husbands that their husband had to make alimony payments? Now they are upset that they have to "share"their husband's income with the first wife? Give me a break, did these women ever stop to think that maybe the first wife was awarded lifetime alimony for a reason?

Lifetime alimony is usually awarded in most states when a marriage is over 20 years in length and the spouse receiving the alimony was either a stay at home parent during the marriage or made a significantly lower income than their spouse. Does staying at home raising children and giving up your career not count for financial compensation after a divorce? The women who gave up careers to raise families while their husbands advanced in their careers are at a great disadvantage after divorce. That is why we have alimony.

When you date and marry a divorced man you should know what you are getting into. It irks me when the "new" wife gets upset that her husband has to support the first family he created. You cannot expect to marry a man who has financial obligations to his ex-wife and children and not feel the financial repercussions on your own family. If a man who has been ordered by the court to pay alimony to his ex-wife cannot afford to due so, he has no business getting married again and starting a new family.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Do Couples Who Go To The Bathroom Together, Stay Together?..

A company who has invented the "TwoDaLoo - A Supertoilet That Saves Rocky Marriages and The Planet" seems to think so. According to the manufacturer's website "It brings couples closer together and conserves our water supply all with one flush. The TwoDaLoo features two side-by-side toilet seats with a modest privacy wall in between. An upgraded version includes a seven inch LCD television and iPod docking station". For a mere $1,400 you too can own a love toilet for two.

But why would you want to? If your marriage is on the rocks the last thing you would want to do is start going to the bathroom together. How horribly unromantic and disgusting. A person's bathroom activities should remain private. Couples usually start fighting because of too much together time and not enough personal space. This crazy product will probably cause more divorces. It is amusing and better left as an entertaining story than something someone would actually go out and purchase.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Top 5 Songs To Cheer You Up During A Divorce...

Going through a divorce can be an emotional roller coaster, some days you feel sad and other days you feel angry. Listening to music can be a great way to lift your spirits. Here are 5 breakup songs that will empower you, make you feel better and help you move on.

1. I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor. Best line: "Weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye, Did I crumble ,Did you think I'd lay down and die? Oh no not I, I will survive"

2. Fighter by Christina Aguilera-Best line"'Cause if it wasn't for all of your torture I wouldn't know how to be this way now, And never back down ,So I wanna say thank you"

3. Survivor by Destiny's Child-Best line: "Now that you are out of my life, I'm so much better, You thought that I'd be weak without ya, But I'm stronger, You thought that I'd be broke without ya, But I'm richer, You thought that I'd be sad without ya, I laugh harder"

4. Strong Enough by Cher- Best Line: "I'm strong enough To live without you, Strong enough and I quit crying, Long enough, now I'm strong enough To know ,you gotta go"

5. Good Bye To You-Scandal-Best Line: "Could I have loved someone like the one I see in you, I remember the good times baby now, and the bad times too, These last few weeks of holdin' on, The days are dull, the nights are long ,Guess it's better to say "Goodbye To You"

Friday, January 18, 2008

Postnuptial Agreements Becoming Popular....

So what is a post nuptial agreement? We are all familiar with prenupitial agreements, but a postnup? A post-nuptial agreement is is a contract that is signed after marriage that divides a family’s assets between spouses. It seems that these agreements are on the rise. A poll published this year by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that almost half its members had seen an increase in the practice.

Why would anyone want to sign one of these? The reasons may surprise you. Here is one scenario. A couple gets a postnup when their marriage is in trouble. If a spouse has committed adultery, he offers the postnup as a way to ensure his wife will be financially protected should they divorce, thus increasingly the likelihood of her forgiveness. Another reason is when a spouse gets a major promotion and now wants to renegotiate the terms of a prenuptial agreement. A more unusual reason is that hedge funds and other high-value equity partnerships encourage new partners to get postnups. They don't want a divorcing partner's spouse to get part ownership in the firm.

Although a prenuptial agreement can be very beneficial if a couple decides to divorce, no high cost attorney fees or battling for assets, a post-nuptial agreement sounds ridiculous to me. Can you imagine being married for years, supporting your spouse's career ,and then he comes home one day after getting a promotion at work and asks you to sign a postnup limiting how much money you will receive in a potential divorce? Even worse is your husband having an affair and then offering you assets in exchange for forgiveness.

Can you imagine how many couples will end up getting a divorce because one of them demanded that their spouse sign a postnupitial agreement? I think post-nuptial agreements are just another clever new tool divorce lawyers have in their arsenal to make money off of married couples.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Warning: Blogging About Your Divorce Can Be Dangerous...

A man was recently ordered by the judge in his divorce case to cease blogging about his divorce. Apparently his soon to be ex wife asked the court to stop her husband from writing about their divorce on his blog. Does this infringe upon this man's rights under the first amendment? It may. The man in question did not receive a hearing before the judge demanded he stop blogging.

But there is another issue here to consider. If you are currently going through a divorce and letting off steam by by blogging about it online, you run the risk of your ex using the very information you wrote against you in court. Remember the saying never to put anything in writing? Be very careful what you put out on the Internet if you are currently involved in a divorce or custody case. It could come back to haunt you.

The same goes for emails. Do not hit the "send" button after firing off a nasty email to your ex. Ditto for text messaging. You should also be wary of leaving detailed voice messages on your ex's answering machine. This all sounds like common sense, but when you are in a divorce battle with your ex, logic can fly out the window. Never let your emotions get the best of you. If you are feeling angry and upset with your ex, do not call, email, text or blog about him. Instead take out a good old fashion piece of paper and write him a letter. Then take that letter and shred it, burn it or rip it into pieces. You will feel better and you will not run the risk of harming your divorce case.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Do You Want To See Your Divorce Lawyer Naked?

If you are a client of Chicago attorney Corri Fetman now you can. She has recently posed nude for Playboy magazine. This is the same divorce lawyer who brought us the infamous billboards this summer with the slogan"Life's Short, Get A Divorce" and her latest, "Take Control, Get a Divorce"

The billboards stirred up controversy this summer and Ms. Fetman's firm, Fetman, Garland & Associates came under fire for promoting divorce. Not only is Ms. Fetman posing nude for playboy magazine, she is also writing a column for the magazine called "Lawyer of Love".

This divorce lawyer's tactics at gaining publicity are appalling. Her billboards suggest that divorce is an easy process, and if you are unhappy you should just "get a divorce". The reality is divorce is one of the most expensive, disruptive and life changing experiences a person will go through. To insinuate that getting a divorce is something you should take lightly is insulting. Suggesting that divorce is the cure for your unhappiness and will somehow fix all of your problems is misleading. For a divorce lawyer to promote divorce in such a flippant manner for her own profit is irresponsible . Sadly, many divorce lawyers resort to taking advantage of their clients everyday. It is time for divorce lawyers to step up and get a conscious. Your clients are not commodities, they are people who are vulnerable and need guidance from a divorce lawyer who will protect their interests, not exploit them.

Friday, January 11, 2008

"The Secret" To Getting Over Your Divorce...

By now most of us have heard of the movie "The Secret"and are familiar with the law of attraction. Basically, the secret is that what you think about is what you attract in your life, good or bad.

So how can you use the law of attraction to help you heal after a divorce? The first thing you need to ask yourself is "What am thinking about all day?"

Do you spend your days thinking about the loss of your marriage or are you actively planning a new and exciting life ? If you find yourself feeling depressed, angry and bitter after your divorce, you need to change your thoughts. It is not easy to simply turn off the many emotions you go through after a painful divorce. You do need to go through he stages of grief and let go of your marriage in a healthy way. The problem comes when you continue to feel negative feelings on a regular basis and cannot seem to get your life back on track.

Here are a few ways you can harness the law of attraction to change your life for the better after a divorce:

1. Spend some time each day feeling grateful. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself and dwelling on your divorce, start looking for the good things in your life. Take time to appreciate what you do have, whether it is healthy kids, a roof over you head, your pets, good friends, etc. Make a list and keep it where you can see it daily. When you start to feel down, grab your list and allow yourself to feel grateful for all of the blessings you currently have in your life now.

2. Have some fun visualizing how you want your life to be. Take the time to imagine your new life, in detail, and then commit to writing it down. Make a dream board. Cut out pictures in magazines of the things you want to attract in your life. Make a list of the top ten things you want to accomplish this year. Make sure to put your dream board where you can see it each day.

3. The most important step is to take action. Break down your big dreams into small doable steps and plan on taking one small step everyday to creating the life of your dreams. The things you want in life are not going to just magically appear if you sit on your couch all day just dreaming about them. You need to aggressively go after what you want. By taking very tiny steps at first, and building on those successes, you will be amazed at how different your life will become.

In time, your life will change for the better and you will recover from your divorce. The key is to be grateful for what you have now, see your life as you want it, not how it currently is and then most importantly, take action each and every day.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The top 5 Reasons Why Men Cheat...

Did you ever wonder what drives a man to commit adultery? Do they have no conscious? Do they just not care about their wives feelings or is there some underlying reason why a man would choose to violate his wedding vows?

Here are the top 5 reasons why men cheat on their wives:

1. Not enough sex. Men who are unsatisfied in the bedroom tend to look elsewhere. Naturally, after starting a family and meeting the daily demands of work and family obligations, many couple's sex lives change . For some men, the decrease in sex is an issue and they turn to a mistress to satisfy their unmet needs.

2. Mid life crisis. When a man reaches a certain age and starts to lose his hair, develop a beer belly and exhibit other signs of aging, he wants reassurance that he is still attractive to the opposite sex. An affair can make him feel sexy and desirable again.

3. Boredom. Some men become restless and bored and crave excitement. Having an affair can provide the danger and the "living on the edge" feeling that some men need to keep their lives interesting.

4. Not enough attention. A man whose wife devotes herself to taking care of the children may feel jaded and jealous that he no longer has his wife's undivided attention. A mistress provides him with the attention he is not getting at home.

5. His father was a cheater. Men who grew up in a household where dad cheated on mom are more likely to cheat on their wives. If this kind of behavior was something their own father engaged in, he may subconsciously feel that is acceptable to cheat.

Interestingly, most men who cheat do not want a divorce. They want the wife and family and the mistress on the side too. They only face the consequences of their actions when they get caught and their wives divorce them..Whatever the reason for a man's affair, it still does not justify betraying your spouse. All marriages hit road blocks and experience problems. It is in those moments when couples need to work together and fix their issues instead of turning to someone else to satisfy their emotional and physical needs.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Top Three Benefits Of Divorce...

Although divorce is an emotional and life changing experience, there is a bright side too. There really are benefits to being single once again. You may have been married for so long that you forgot them. Here are the top three benefits to getting a divorce:

1. No more in-laws. For many, no longer having to deal with a nosy,
intruding mother in law is cause for celebration.

2. Freedom. You can do whatever you want to, without having to consult another person. Did your ex get upset when you bought too many clothes or spent too much time on the computer or phone? You now get to call your own shots, set your own schedule and do as you please.

3. Peace. Did your ex snore? Leave the toilet seat up? Leave his dirty clothes all over the floor? You don't have to deal with your ex's annoying habits anymore. You will no longer have to put up with the things your ex did that drove your crazy.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

How Divorce Affects Friendships

It can be difficult making the adjustment from being part of a married couple to being a single person once again. You may no longer share the same interests as your married friends and relationships can become awkward and strained.

It hurts when you feel as though you no longer fit in with the same people you once called your friends. If you and your spouse were close with other couples and socialized together, you may feel out of place at gatherings with other couples. After dealing with the loss of your marriage, it is especially hard to lose friends as well.

But divorce is a new beginning and sometimes divorcing your spouse means also shedding old relationships that no longer suite you. The truth is you may not have that much in common with your married friends anymore. Finding new friendships with other single or divorced people in the same situation as you can be therapeutic.

A great place to make new friends is Meetup is an online website
that you can join for free. You can find groups of people in your area that you share specific interests with and meet each other locally. You can find divorce support groups and other single groups. It is wonderful to meet with other people who understand what you have gone through and are there to support you. Finding new friends that share a hobby or passion of yours is also benefical.

Divorce means starting over and although you may see some friendships come to an end, new ones are waiting for you.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Deadbeat Parents Might Soon Have "Wall Of Shame"....

Parents who owe more than $500 in child support payments might soon be featured on a new website. Their name, addresses and how much they owe will be listed, similar to the department of Revenue's website that posts individuals with unpaid back taxes.

The legislation is being introduced from Wisconsin State Representative
Steve Wieckert (R-Appleton).
Wisconsin currently has over 3 billion dollars owed in unpaid child support.

A website featuring deadbeat parents could help deter would be offenders from refusing to pay child support. However, "shaming" parents who maybe a few hundred dollars behind in support might not be a good idea. Illness or job loss could cause a temporary setback in payments from a parent who normally supports his or her children. It is an excellent idea for parents who owe large amounts of child support and are purposely avoiding their responsibilities.

The deadbeat parent that hides his assets, works off the books and engages in other sneaky behavior aimed at avoiding paying support, needs to be exposed. Non payment of child support does not just affect the children who go without support, it affects everyone. Many custodial parents who do not receive child support are forced to go on welfare and tax dollars are spent supporting the children of deadbeat parents. Businesses that employee custodial parents whose children are owed child support are also affected. Parents dealing with a deadbeat must take time off of work for court dates, make phone calls to case workers during business hours and are under both emotional and financial stress.

It is time more action is taken against deadbeats who purposely circumvent the system. A clear message must be sent to parents who refuse to financially support their own children. They must understand that there are consequences and they will not be allowed to "beat the system" and get away with neglecting their kids.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Finding New Love After Divorce...

How do you know if you are ready for a serious, committed relationship after going through a divorce? It can be a tricky question and the answer may surprise you.

Many people feel ready to date again after a divorce, but most are not ready to jump back into serious relationship. It is natural to feel lonely after a divorce and want to become intimate once again with someone special, but it takes time to heal emotionally from the breakup of your marriage.

So how do you know if you are really ready to make a commitment to someone new? The answer lies within you. Are you happy on your own? Do you like spending time by yourself and feel generally happy about your life now? If you feel that a new mate would compliment you at this stage in your life, but is not absolutely necessary for your happiness, then you are probably ready for a new relationship.

It may sound paradoxical, but if you are desperate for love and feel incomplete without a partner, it is a clear sign that you need to do some inner work on yourself. Jumping into new relationship at this point will most likely result in a rebound relationship that will not last.
It is difficult to suppress the overwhelming need for companionship and love. But it is a strong indication that you are searching for someone else to complete you when you feel desperate to find a new love.

When you feel content and satisfied with your life and can enjoy your own company, you are a whole person looking for someone to share your life with. Not only do you become very attractive to others, you will find potential new mates gravitating toward you and you will not have to go out searching for them. When we feel needy, unhappy and desperate for love, we only attract the same qualities in others. This increases the likelihood of a disastrous relationship between two people bringing many unresolved past issues to the table. Remember, like attracts like. If you are truly ready to attract an emotionally stable, happy, well rounded person, you must become that person first.