Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Road To Hell-How Divorce Turns Ugly...

The scenario goes something like this. A man is unhappy in his marriage and may even have a mistress on the side. He is looking for a way out of the marriage and doesn't feel his wife deserves half his assets since she doesn't work and stays home with the kids all day. After all, he is the only making the money, he reasons. So he gets on his computer and googles "divorce advice for men". He is then presented with an array of choices to click on , all e-books showing him how he can get over on his wife.

You would surprised at how many websites there are on the web for men promising to teach them how to not pay alimony, child support and how to "protect" their assets during divorce by hiding them, selling them and moving them in to overseas accounts. His buddies think this is a great idea and encourage him. Little does he know that not only are many of these tactics illegal, he is now waging a divorce battle where no one wins. Expect for the divorce lawyers, of course.

The other typical scenario begins with the woman. She is married to a "nice guy"that she no longer finds attractive. She begins an affair and now wants a divorce so she can be with her new love. Thinking her husband is a pushover and will not fight back, she hires a snake of an attorney and makes unreasonable demands concerning spousal support and the division of assets. She wants everything and is encouraged by her high priced lawyer who knows that the longer this divorce is drawn out ,the more money he will make. Her husband is forced to fight back and the couple journeys down the road to divorce hell.

When a man or woman starts using dirty divorce tactics it backs the other spouse into a corner. They have no choice but to strike back. Now you have two people ,who once loved each other and vowed to spend the rest of their lives together, at each other's throats.

If you use resort to using dirty divorce tactics, I can guarantee that not only will you eventually lose your divorce, you will be turning your divorce into a battlefield and the casualties will be your spouse, your children and yourself. The damage that will be inflicted will be impossible to repair. Stop and think with your heart and not your emotions.

Do you really want to destroy your soon to be ex? Or can you calm down and do what is best for your family? Hiring a good mediator or collaborate divorce lawyer will save you money and heartache. Remember, when their is bitterness and fighting during a divorce, the only one who wins is the lawyers. You and your spouse are left poorer, emotionally battered and enemies for life. You owe it to your children and each other to try and work things out as peacefully as possible.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Success Is The Best Revenge-A Scorned Woman's Last Laugh...

Angie Schmidt was a happily married woman with a new home, thriving business and a new friend, her next door neighbor. Life was good. That was until her husband began an affair with Katie, the woman next door. She was horrified to discover that her new friend and her husband were lovers. In her state of shock, she even briefly considered suicide.

But instead of taking her life, Angie made a decision. She decided that success is the best revenge and started a new online boutique instead. She named it "Smashing Katie". At her new online breakup boutique, you can get the tools you need to help you cope with your divorce. At you can find an array of interesting items designed to make you feel better after a breakup and even laugh too.

If you are feeling angry, try the "Ex Knife Block Set" or let off some steam and vent with the "Things You Do That Piss Me Off" pad. There is also the "Get Back Out There Breakup Care Package" and the" Eat, Bitch & Wine Cookbook".

The site is filled with funny, clever items that are the perfect pick me up when you are feeling down. Angie has turned lemons into lemonade and now has an exciting new business that helps other people get over their own breakups. Can you turn your pain into profit? Remember, being successful and happy is the best revenge. Let Angie's story inspire you to pick yourself up and get moving. You have a gift to share and a success story waiting to be told. Follow your passion and find something to do that you love. By focusing on something new and positive in your life, the pain from your divorce will soon become a distant memory.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Deadbeat Moms On The Rise...
I often write about deadbeat dads and the child support crisis we have in this country, with billions of dollars in back child support being owed to many children. Statistically there have been more fathers who refuse to support their kids than mothers, but now more mothers are becoming "deadbeats" too.
One mother has left her kids and fled to Hawaii. She lives in a lavish town house with her boyfriend and drives his luxury cars, including a Porsche and a Lexus. she currently owes $12,000 in back support. Another mother is on the top of Mississippi's Ten Most Wanted list for failing to pay more than $45,000 in child support.
I could never understand how a father could turn his back on his kids, but for some reason it is even more horrifying when a mom does it. Mothers are supposed to have maternal instincts, they sacrifice for their children, not abandon them. The rise in deadbeat moms is frightening. I guess this was inevitable with more men gaining custody of the children during divorce.
Both mothers and fathers must understand that when you become a parent you are financially responsible for them. You can't refuse pay child support because you are angry at your ex, think you deserve joint custody or feel your do not make enough money. The kids must come first, before your own needs. You brought your kids into this world and as a parent you are responsible. My advice to deadbeat parents is this: Grow up, stop whining and stop being so selfish. Start paying your child support and become someone your kids can be proud of.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Want To Save Your Marriage? Try The 30 Day Sex Challenge..

A Florida pastor has presented this unusual challenge to his congregation. He wants to lower the 50% divorce rate in the U.S. by having couples participate in a 30 day sex challenge. Relevant Church head pastor Paul Wirth thinks this will reduce couples chances for divorce. Men who are reading this are most likely thrilled with the pastor's advice, where I am sure many women are thinking "you got to be kidding me".

It does sounds quite shocking that a pastor would advise his church to have sex, but I think the pastor may have a point. Couples that are intimate are naturally closer and probably get along better.

I think this 30 day challenge can work for couples who may be dissatisfied with their marriage and haven't been communicating well. By becoming intimate again, they will strengthen their martial bond and may rediscover why they were attracted to each other in the first place.

However, if a couple is having serious martial issues, I don't think 30 days of sex is advisable. Therapy would be a better option. There is going to be resentment and deep rooted anger that needs to be addressed in couples heading for a divorce. When you are feeling angry with your spouse, the last thing you want to do is have sex with him. Before a couple can get their love life back on track, they should try professional counseling.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Would You Get Divorced On A Reality Show?...
Thanks to a new T.V. show called "Splitsville" you will soon have that option. "Splitsville" is being described as "The War of the Roses" meets "Let's Make a Deal,"It is a game show where divorcing couples will go through a series of competitive challenges for their own assets.
I think this is crazy. I have not seen this show yet, but from what I have heard so far, I think is is exploiting divorcing couples. Having a couple battle for their own assets on a national TV show, in front of millions of people is repulsive. Can you imagine what the children of these couples will think? Children are often ashamed when their parents get a divorce, now everyone in their school and neighborhood can watch their parents on TV fighting.
I will reserve my final judgment of this show when I see it but I cannot possibly see how this can be a positive solution for divorcing couples. Our divorce courts are filled with divorcing couples going through long, expensive, heartbreaking divorces. Encouraging couples to "fight" on TV can only have negative consequences.

Cheating Husband Syndrome...

You would think that when a husband cheats on his wife, he would feel guilt and remorse. When confronting a cheating husband you would expect tears, apologies and begs for forgiveness from him. But often the opposite happens. A cheater who is caught red handed turns on his wife and becomes mean, nasty and confrontational. He blames her for forcing him to look elsewhere for affection. By attacking her, he eases his guilt and justifies his actions.

Many women, who confront their husbands about an affair, are shocked when their husbands display anger and indifference instead of remorse. Since women tend to blame themselves when things go wrong, many women will spend time wondering what they did to cause the affair. They agonize over what they might of done to drive their husbands into the arms of another woman. They beat themselves up, analyzing what they could of done differently to prevent the affair.

But what these women need to understand is that there was nothing they could of done. Their husband made a choice. That choice was made freely. If the husband was feeling unhappy in his marriage, he should of confronted his wife and dealt with the issues instead of choosing to become involved with another woman.

If your husband has cheated, do not blame yourself. His infidelity is not your fault. You are not responsible for another person's actions, only your own. Sometimes, as crazy as it may sound, an affair can be a gift. You now know what kind of person you are married to. A man who blames his wife for his infidelity is a coward.This is a person who cannot be trusted, a man who is immature and selfish. You have a choice to make. You can either stay married to a man that you cannot trust or you can start over and rebuild your life by surrounding yourself with positive, trustworthy people. Remember you cannot fix or change your husband, you can only change yourself.

Discover the secrets to a successful divorce.....

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Can you trust the Government to collect your child support?...

In Oregon, a department of justice employee and her fiance are being accused of stealing from single parents by devising a scheme that enables them to collect unclaimed child support payments. These two stole thousands from the very families who need it the most. How tragic.

This is a rare incident and I don't think people should panic and not
utilize the services of local state child support enforcement agencies.
But it should serve as a wake up call to parents to stay diligent and
frequently check with support officials about child support payments.

Here are three tips for working with your local child support enforcement agency:

1. Be persistent. These agencies are overloaded with cases and do not have enough case workers to handle them all. You need to make frequent calls and keep after them to collect any unpaid child support due you. . Do not give up! The biggest complaint I hear about from frustrated parents who cannot collect child support is that they can't get someone on the phone at the agency. Keep calling. Call every day if you have to. Ask to speak to supervisors.

When my ex switched jobs, the child support agency stopped garnishing his wages. I called and found out that it was his employer who was not complying with the order and taking the money out of his pay. The agency explained that they sent several letters to his employer, trying to get them to cooperate. I took it one step further and called the human resource department at his job. I told them that by not withholding my ex-husband's wages, as directed by the court, they were breaking the law and I would hold them accountable. Soon after they began withholding his wages.

2. Provide information. Make sure to update your case worker frequently with any
information you may have about your ex. If you find out your ex had changed jobs, moved or any other information that could affect your case, be sure to inform the agency.

3. Check deposit amounts for accuracy. If you receive support payments by direct deposit, check or if the support is issued via a bank card, make sure to check that the amount is correct and being deposited on a regular schedule. If you see a missed payment, do not automatically assume your ex has not paid, it could be an error from the child support agency. Call them and find out.

Find out how to protect yourself financially during your divorce....

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dating After Divorce? Get A Background Check First...

A new service is now available to online daters. Now you have the option to find out about a potential date's history, including marriage and divorce records, criminal records, civil litigation, bankruptcies, and major asset ownership. DateMate puts criminal background, public records, and assets - into one comprehensive report. DateMate is available on US for $24.95.

It may be reassuring to find out that the new person you met online is not
a criminal, but I find it a little creepy to pry into someone’s private information. Then again, you probably wouldn’t hire a nanny to watch your kids without doing a background check first so why should you date someone without one?

Nowadays, background checks are used routinely for employment, renters and
in some schools you can’t go on your kid’s field trip without a background trip first.
I guess I am torn on this issue. It does seem like a good idea but at the same time
an invasion of privacy. Imagine meeting someone online, falling in love and then telling that person that you went behind their back and investigated them. Maybe the solution is to tell your potential date that you will be checking them out first before meeting them in person? What do you think?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Prenups-Why You Must Have One The Second Time Around...
You may be thinking that after getting a divorce the last thing you are thinking about is getting married again. Surprisingly, many divorced people do remarry within two years of getting a divorce. You would think that if you went though a difficult divorce you would be wise enough to insist on a prenup this time around, but love has a way of clouding one's better judgment and many divorcees enter into a second marriage without the financial protection of a prenuptial agreement.

This is especially unwise considering that second marriages have a higher failure rate. If I ever remarried, I would insist on a prenup, even if my new husband made more money and had more assets than me. Why? Because I will never go through a bitter divorce battle again. It was much too painful. A prenup protects your assets and more importantly leaves you will nothing to fight over in the event of a divorce. It is all agreed upon ahead of time.

If you feel that prenups are unromantic and that this time is "forever" because you have met your "soul mate", you need to wake up. Yes, a prenup is not something couples who are in love and planning a wedding feel comfortable discussing, but if you did not learn from your own divorce, learn from other people's divorce disasters.

Paul McCartney was so in love with Heather Mills that he didn't ask her to sign a prenup. He also supposedly turned down her offer to sign one. I bet he deeply regrets that decision now that they are involved in a vicious divorce battle for his billion dollar empire. The sad reality is that had these two signed a prenup, there would be no fight, Heather Mills would not have been vilified by the British press and they might have been able to divorce on friendly terms.

If a second marriage is in your future, make a call to your lawyer and discuss your options. Hopefully you will never need it, but having a prenup gives you the peace of mind knowing that you have protected your assets and your future in the event of a second divorce.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Protect Yourself And Prepare For A Divorce...

Last night we were under a tornado watch here in South Florida. Having moved to Florida from NJ last summer, I have never had to prepare for a possible tornado before. The watch turned into a warning several times during the night, forcing my kids, two dogs, and four cats and I to cram under the stairs in the laundry room. A small tornado did touch down about 20 minutes from us, but luckily no one was hurt and there was minimal damage.

I was shocked to hear today that most of my neighbors had slept through
the whole thing. The people I spoke with did not prepare or take any precautions, even
though they knew a tornado was a possibility. Had that tornado been larger and hit our neighborhood, they would have been caught off guard.

I see this kind of lack of preparation from the divorcing women I coach often.
Although the warning signs are there, they do not adequately prepare for a divorce.
It is only after they discover that their husband is hiding assets or lying about how much income he earns, do they realize they made a mistake by not making copies of all of the financial records while they had the chance.

Do not be caught in the storm of divorce. You must prepare. Many people say
they did not see the divorce coming, but usually there are tell tale signs. Trust your intuition.
You need to be able to protect yourself and your children financially in the event of a divorce.

Make copies now, before it is too late. Here is what you need to gather:

Make copies of your spouse’s pay stubs for the past eight weeks.

Make copies of your joint tax returns for the past five years.

Copy all bank statements and documentation of stock accounts, IRAs, and pension plans.

Make copies of all of your monthly bills over the past three months. These should include mortgage statements, rent payments, utility bills, car payments, insurance premiums, children’s expenses, medical expenses, and credit card statements.

Copy deeds to any properties owned jointly or in your spouse’s name.

Copy documents relating to any investments. These should include stocks, bonds, real estate, and any corporations or businesses owned in any part by you and your spouse.

Make a list of all collectibles, jewelry and other valuables. Photograph or videotape these items. Also list all furnishings and take pictures of these as well.

Discover how to secure your financial outcome during a divorce...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

How To Be Your Own Valentine This Year...

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, you may be feeling a little
down. After all this holiday of "love" is a painful reminder of love gone
wrong, especially if you are recently single. There has been much written
about how to survive this dreaded holiday, but here is a relatively new concept: Why not be your own Valentine this year?

Okay, I know it sounds corny. But think about it, if you don't love and accept
yourself for who you are, can you really accept others to do the same?

The experience of divorce has most definitely changed you and forced you to grow and mature in ways you never thought possible. Can you learn from the pain of divorce and use the lessons it has taught to look inward and starting respecting and loving yourself?

Instead of beating yourself up, thinking negative thoughts and indulging in self-blame,
start thinking about all of your good qualities. I know it is not easy, we are conditioned
to play down our strengths and highlight our weaknesses. But try this. Take a rubber band
and for the next several days wear it on your wrist. Every time you have a negative
thought, pull the rubber band and give yourself a zap. It will literally "snap" you out of your self-defeating thoughts.

Next, make a list of all of your positive attributes. Read them every night before you go to bed. Then finally, on Valentine's Day, buy yourself a present. A big box of chocolate and some champagne, a dozen roses, or a stuffed teddy bear.

Become your own best friend and start enjoying being by yourself. A funny thing
may happen. Because like attracts like, once you start loving yourself and treating yourself well, you may attract someone who does the same. Who knows, you might just have that special someone to spend next Valentine’s Day with.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Parents Who Use Their Children As Weapons during Divorce...

We are all aware of how children get caught in the middle during
divorce. Well meaning parents with good intentions sometimes make
errors. When a parent is in the throes of a divorce, it is struggle
to control one's own emotions. Knowing the right things to say to
your kids can be a challenge.

But some parents, who are filled with hatred and rage, purposely
use their kids as weapons against the other parent. The official term for
this is Parental Alienation.

Parental Alienation is is when parents repeatedly speak negatively about the other parent to a child or interfere with communication between a parent and child. Also, sharing inappropriate information, such as details of the marriage and divorce with a child, can leave children confused, angry, and frightened. The relationship between the child and the alienated parent often becomes strained.

Why would a parent act this way? These parents are so hurt and angry that the only way they feel they can gain control of the ex who hurt them is through the kids. Blinded by anger and in deep emotional pain, the needs of their children are put aside and they will do anything to ease the pain they feel inside. Hurting the other parent by destroying his or her relationship with the children satisfies their need for revenge.

If you are about to get a divorce or in the middle of one now you may be reading this and thinking that you would never do anything to hurt your childrens’s relationship with their other parent. But emotions sometimes get the best of us and you may slip up and find yourself saying
something negative about your ex. Or you might try to explain the divorce to your child and accidentally give away too much information.

No one is perfect. The key is to remember that no matter how much you resent your ex, the issue is between the two of you, not the kids. Fostering a healthy relationship between your ex and your kids will help your kids grow up to be healthy, well adjusted adults.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Should You Take Time Off Of Work For A Broken Heart?...

A Japanese marketing company has found an innovative solution to the broken heart. They give their employees paid time off after a break up. Tokyo-based Hime & Company, which also gives staff paid time off to hit the shops during sales season, says "heartache leave" allows staff to cry themselves out and return to work refreshed.

The rules for "heartache leave" at the Japanese company are as follows: Employees 24 years or younger can take one day off per year, while those between 25 and 29 can take two days off and those older can take three days off. They feel it is takes longer to mend from a broken heart as you age.

What a company! Imagine if all companies offered this kind of program to people going through a divorce. It may sound outrageous and a little bit odd, but if you think about, how productive can a person really be at work if they are emotionally devastated and can barely hold themselves together?

Even if "heartache leave" does not catch on in the U.S., it may be good idea to take a day or two off of work in the initial stages of a divorce. Especially if your divorce comes as a surprise and is unexpected. Going to work while you are in a state of shock and emotionally impaired can even be dangerous depending on the kind of work you do. Would you want your doctor performing an operation or administering medicines when his or her mind is not clear and focused?

I used to own a salon years ago. I remember when one of the hairdressers was dumped by his boyfriend. He spent the entire day teary eyed and then proceeded to give a client a crooked haircut. Maybe he should have taken the day off.

When someone dies you take off time to grieve. A divorce is the death of your marriage and taking a few days off to emotionally recover is a good idea. A broken heart is a good excuse to use a few sick days. Just make sure to spend the time off doing something that helps you heal, like talking to a therapist or a good friend, getting a massage or a pedicure or just staying in bed for a few days and crying your eyes out, releasing all of that pent up emotion you feel inside.

Discover the secrets to a successful divorce for women....

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Deadbeat Dad Runs For Office

I could not believe this story when I read that a Chicago man, who allegedly owes more than $82,000 in back child support, is running as a candidate
for Ward 47 Republican Committeeman in Chicago.

Gary Karlin disappeared 14 years ago, abandoning his young daughter. His ex-wife has been trying to locate him ever since. Imagine her shock when she googled his name and found him running for office as a "conservative".

This man should be arrested and barred from running for public office. How can someone who has broken the law expect to represent the people of his state? How sad for his daughter, now 16 years old, to see the father who has neglected and ignored her, make a mockery of the judicial system.

You have to wonder what someone like this is thinking. Recently, another deadbeat decided to protest his favorite's sports teams losing streak by camping out on the roof of a local bar and vowing not to come down until his team won. He basked in the media attention and was featured on TV. To his suprise, his ex-wife recoginzed him and reported him to the police. He was escorted off of the roof and arrested.

There needs to be tougher laws to catch these deadbeats who slip through the cracks and are allowed to amass tens of thousands of dollars in back support. Unfortunately, it is very difficult for a custodial parent to locate a parent who uses sneaky tactics to avoid paying support. These parents have no assets in their names, no bank accounts to seize and no wages to garnish. They stay one step ahead of the law, that is until their ego gets the best of them and they do something stupid like run for public office or go on television. More resources need to be allotted to investigating and apprehending these deadbeats.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Using Humor To Heal During Divorce...

Sometimes when you are going through a tough time, you can use a good laugh. Divorce is one of those times when you can use all of the humor you can get. Divorce is not a funny issue, yet we can still find humorous moments.

We need to keep our spirits lifted and have faith that although we may be going through one of the most difficult times of our lives, life will get better. Using laughter and humor can be therapeutic. When are at your lowest, go out and rent a funny movie or get together with your girlfriends for a girl's night out and share some laughs. Try to look for the humor in your daily life. Kids say the funniest things and pets have a way of making us smile with their antics. Stay in the moment and enjoy these times when they present themselves. It is often too easy to be focused 24/7 on your divorce without letting your mind take a break.

Here are a few funny jokes I found while searching the web that will cheer you up during a divorce (all of the authors are unknown):

1. Definition of a bachelor; a man who has missed the opportunity to make some woman miserable.

2. A man was driving home one evening and realized that it was his daughter's birthday and he hadn't bought her a present. He drove to the mall and ran to the toy store and he asked the store manager "How much is that new Barbie in the window?" The Manager replied, "Which one? We have 'Barbie goes to the gym' for $19.95 ....'Barbie goes to the Ball' for $19.95 ....'Barbie goes shopping' for $19.95 ....'Barbie goes to the beach' for $19.95 ....'Barbie goes to the Nightclub' for $19.95 ....and 'Divorced Barbie' for $375.00". "Why is the Divorced Barbie $375.00, when all the others are $19.95"? Dad asked surprised. "Divorced Barbie comes with Ken's car, Ken's House, Ken's boat, Ken's dog, Ken's cat and Ken's furniture."

3. Yeah, my husband and I just split up. I finally faced the fact that we’re incompatible. I'm a Virgo and he's an asshole."

4. For Sale: wedding dress, size 12.Worn once by mistake

5. She was a great housekeeper, too. When we divorced, she kept the house.