Friday, October 31, 2008

Bankruptcy and Child Support: Does it get your ex off the hook?
With more and more people in debt and the current economic conditions, we may see a rise in bankruptcy filings. You may be wondering if filing for bankruptcy relieves a parent of his or her obligation to pay child support. Thankfully, the answer is no. Even if your ex files for bankruptcy he or she still must pay child support.
It may even benefit you if you ex is behind on payments. I found this information on
"Under the post-October 17, 2005 rules, domestic support obligations are top priority in a Chapter 7 "asset case", where there are funds to pay creditors. The debtor should file a proof of claim to have most of his or her liquidated estate used to pay off the child support obligation. In a Chapter 13 case, your back child support payments will be paid through your Chapter 13 plan, in addition to the regular payments due after the petition date. These support obligations must be current in order to have your Chapter 13 plan confirmed. Moreover, to obtain a discharge in a Chapter 13 case, the debtor will have to certify that all post-petition child support obligations have been met"
If your ex is currently struggling to pay off credit card and other debts, he or she will have more money to pay child support after filing for bankruptcy. So there is no reason to panic if your ex files for bankruptcy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

When You Can't Afford to Get Divorced...

Due to the current economic conditions, many couples are finding themselves unable to get a divorce. With stagnate home sales, the stock market down and the rise in unemployment, getting a divorce now may
not be financially feasible.

But what if living with your spouse is making you miserable and living in the same house seems like torture? What do you do then? Here are some ways to co-habitat in the same home with a spouse you rather divorce.

First, sit down and make a plan. If their is no hope left for your marriage and no chance for a reconciliation, yet you must live under the same roof, it is crucial that you put your differences aside for a moment and come up with a way to live together civilly. This is especially important if there are children in the house. You cannot continue to fight. You will be scarring you children for life.

Staying in an unhappy marriage can feel like being in prison. But if you cannot afford to separate, you must change you mind set and try to get along with your spouse for the time being. Thinking of your spouse as a friend or a roommate can help. The two you must control your emotions and plan your schedules so that the two of you are basically leading separate lives in the same house. Plan who is responsible for the kids on set days and times. If you are still sharing a bedroom, one of you should move into a spare room or sleep on the couch.

If you view your arrangement as a temporary solution and both of you can control yourself and co-exist without lashing out at each other, you can buy yourself some time until one of you can afford to move out. If however, there is any physical or mental abuse in the marriage, you need to think about moving in with friends or relatives for the time being. If that is not an option and you have no place to go, yet feel like you may be in danger, contact your local woman's shelter for help. You can find agencies online in your town that offer assistance. Remember, no matter how bad your finances are, you should never stay in home with a potentially dangerous spouse.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why You Must Protect Yourself During Your Divorce...
The tragic story in the news right now is about Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson and how her mother, father and nephew were all brutally killed.
The suspect in custody is her sister's estranged husband. Supposedly, this man had threatened to kill his wife's family recently, but no one thought he was serious.
Sadly, murder and violence occurs in divorce cases routinely. I have written many times about how you must protect yourself if you have any reason to believe your ex could be dangerous. If your ex threatens you or a member of your family, BELIEVE him. Do not shrug it off as the rantings of someone upset by an impending divorce. Your ex may not act out, but if there is even the slightly possibility of him making good on his threat, you need to take action.
Call the police and get a restraining order. Do not go anywhere alone and make sure someone is with you at all times. You can never be "too safe". If you feel your family could be in harm's way, make sure the restraining order includes your family members and they exercise the same caution.
With great sorrow and tragedy often comes life lessons that can help or save others. I hope what happened to Jennifer Hudson's family will startle and wake up anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse and feels threatened by their spouse. Just because this case is in the media spotlight, does not mean that it is a rare incident. Please protect yourself and your family from an abusive partner and consider any verbal threats as a real possibility.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"Must Love Dogs"...
If you are a pet owner and also looking to meet someone new after your divorce you know how important it is to date someone who will accept and love your pet. There is no sense in dating someone who is allergic to cats or dogs or who is not interested in pets, if pets are an important part of your life.
Since I have both cats and dogs and consider them all important members of my family, anyone I date must love both dogs and cats and be able to put with the way I spoil and baby them. My Maltese dog, Luigi, sleeps next to me every night, will only eat if I mix beech nut turkey baby food into his dog food and will bite a stranger's ankles if not properly introduced. He does has some "issues" and any boyfriend of mine would not only have to understand this, but be willing to love him as much as I do.
So how do you find the perfect dog or cat loving mate? There is a new website I discovered that matches you will potential partners based on the type of animal you love and the type of breed. At you can find other compatible singles interested in dating someone with pets. Some other ways to meet animal lovers, would be to visit dog parks or join a dog or cat group(many have groups based on breeds).
If "must love dogs...or cats" is on your list of musts for a future partner, avoid the heartache of having to choice between your "best friend" and a new partner and make sure to ask a potential date about how he or she feels about pets before going out on that first date. This way you do not waste your time getting to know someone and possibly falling in love with someone who does not share your love of animals.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Woman arrested for killing virtual husband...
A woman in Tokyo was so upset about her "divorce" from her online husband, she broke into his account and killed his digital character. If that wasn't strange enough, she was arrested for illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data.
A similar incident took place in August when a Delaware woman plotted a real life abduction of a boyfriend she met on the virtual reality site "Second Life".
Because we spend so much time on the computer and meet people on sites like my space, facebook and virtual gaming websites, we run the risk of confusing the real world with the online world. You can safely meet new friends and potential mates online, but you have to be extremely careful. You never know if you are communicating with a mentally unstable person.
I am sure both of the victims in the above examples had no idea they were playing a virtual reality game with someone who was not in their right mind. Thankfully no one was harmed in these incidents but it is important to protect yourself online and use caution.
Personally, I have met many wonderful people on the Internet and have developed new friendships and business acquaintances, so I don't think you need to be afraid of online relationships, but you should be careful.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Perils of Dating After Divorce....

It can be scary to be single again after a divorce. It is tough putting yourself out there again and meeting new people. One benefit of marriage, unless your ex was cheating or violent, is knowing you are relatively safe from harm. We hear stories in the news about dates gone wrong, women losing their life savings to con artists and the increased risks of STDs.

One website is even offering a service now that will deliver an "e-card" to a partner informing them that you have an STD! How crazy is that? Can you imagine opening your email and reading "Just wanted to say Hi and by the way, I have an STD, get yourself checked out". Other websites offer background checks so that you can investigate your future dates and make sure they are not criminals.

So should you plan to do background checks and require a clean bill of health for all of your potential dates, post divorce? I think that may be taking it to the extreme. One thing we all have, and it is free, is our intuition. I believe our gut feelings always lead us in the right direction, even though we don't always listen.

Dating after divorce does not have to be frightening. Trust yourself to make the right judgment calls about new people you meet. Always listen to that little voice inside you, the one that warns you when something is not right. Focus on meeting safe, healthy people and you will. Remember, the very thing you fear the most is often what you attract. By being afraid to date and dwelling on what could go wrong, you can almost guarantee that will be your experience. Relax, have fun and enjoy this new chapter in your life.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Prayers Needed for "Pre-Divorce" Friends.....
After a divorce, friends are often divided into three categories. Friends that remain loyal to you and no longer associate with your ex, friends who remain loyal to your ex and no longer associate with you and the rare friends who do not take sides and remain friendly with you both.
I received some terrible news about a couple who I was once close to before my divorce. The husband was our best man at our wedding and also my ex-husband's childhood friend, so when we divorced I lost all contact with him and his wife. Their four year old son has been diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer and only a 25% chance of survival.
This couple is now facing every parent's worst nightmare and my heart goes out to them. I believe in the power of prayer and studies have shown that the more people who pray for someone, the quicker they recover.
So I am asking if you could say a prayer or think a postive thought for little Sergio. His story
was featured in a local newspaper today and you can read about him at:
Stories like this put everything into perspective. No matter how difficult your divorce is or how bad life seems at times, it can always be worse. Taking time out to be grateful for what we do have is so important. As long as you have your health and your loved ones are safe and healthy, you can get through any difficult times.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I did something a little crazy...
Before my divorce, I was more conservative and reserved. For some reason, after the divorce, I began trying new things and became more adventurous. I walked across a bed of hot coals at a Tony Robbin Seminar, sang in front of 100 people( even though I cannot sing very well) and moved to a new town in a new state where I did not know anyone and had only visited twice on vacation.
I feel empowered when doing the very things that scare me the most. So when I saw the ad for "reality dating show host" on craigslist, it got my attention. But as I thought about making my audition video, I try to talk myself out of it. The thought of putting myself "out there" was frightening.
I decided to let go of my fears and do it anyway. Of course my kids thought it was "crazy" and had a good laugh at my video. But one I uploaded the video and it was a done deal, I felt good. It is another "crazy" accomplishment to put on my list, post divorce.
They are picking the host by the most votes and I am lagging behind two younger girls right now, so if you want to vote for me, go to: Whether I actually get to be a reality dating host or not, I feel like I have already won by pushing myself to try something new and following through, despite my fears.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I interviewed Rosalind Sedacca, author of How do I tell the Kids About the Divorce? and asked her what is the most effective way to break the divorce news to kids. Watch the video for her answer.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What Your Child Really Fears After the Divorce...
My soon to be 11 year old daughter mentioned to me the other day that she spoke with her dad's girlfriend's daughter, who is 12, on the phone. I thought that was nice. They have not yet met and I am glad to see my ex finally dating someone with kids. When I asked my daughter if the little girl had called her, she told me that her dad put her on the phone.
I could sense something was not right in the way my daughter was acting. At first, she kept insisting everything was fine, but upon further pressing, she confessed that she missed her dad and felt a little funny about her dad spending time with another family.
She also told me about the twin girls at her school. During an in school counseling session for children with divorced parents, they said that their dad likes his "new kids" better then them. They felt that their dad spent more time with his new family and gave more attention to his step kids.
I think this is what sparked my own daughter's fears- that her dad would remarry and forget about her. I reassured her that her dad loves her very much and no one could replace her.
She also said something I found very surprising when asked about how she would feel if her dad married his girlfriend. She said she would be upset because then it would be "over". Meaning there really would be no chance of mom and dad getting back together.
I honestly had never thought about that. Since my divorce was so bitter and there was never a chance for reconciliation, I assumed my children would understand that. But because my daughter was so young when we separated, I think she held on to the hope many kids with divorced parents have of seeing their parents get back together.
I share this with you because had I not initiated a conversation with my daughter I would have had no idea she was feeling this way. Children often bury their fears and it can be difficult to know when something is bothering them. If you or your ex is in a new relationship, it is a good idea to reassure your kids that even if one of you does remarry and have step children, they can never be replaced and nothing can change the way you love them.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Why Both Men and Women Cheat....

This Friday night, Christine Brinkley's cheating ex- husband, Peter Cook is being interviewed by Barbara Walters on ABC. In sneak previews, Cook blames Brinkley for his affair, saying he did not get attention or "thank yous" for all of his efforts and felt like he was living with his sister.

This is the typical excuse for both men and women who cheat. It is just so much easier to blame your spouse than to take responsibility for your actions. However, there may be some truth here as to why a person would be tempted to cheat. Many have cited the same reason Cook has. Lack of attention, affection and feeling unappreciated. Of course this is not a valid reason to cheat. These are reasons to ask your spouse to attend martial counseling and if all else fails, ask for a divorce. Most people really do not want to get a divorce., but instead of letting their spouses know how they are feeling, they look outside of the marriage for excitement, fulfillment and love.

If your ex cheated on you it is important not to blame yourself. But the affair is almost always a symptom of a failing marriage. If you find that your spouse is acting depressed, withdrawn or complaining of lack of affection, those are red flags. Martial counseling and opening up the lines if communication may prevent an affair and save your marriage.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Turn Your Wedding Ring Into Cash...
With the stock market plummeting and gold pricing soaring, now may be the time to think about selling your wedding ring. You can get top dollar for old pieces of gold jewelry you may have.
Some people are even attending "gold parties" which are similar to Tupperware parties. How it works is you bring your gold and are paid cash on the spot. You can host your own gold party and invite all of your divorced friends. The website sells a book that even teaches you how to make money hosting your own gold parties. Of course you will want to be careful and make sure that you are getting the fair market value for any jewelry you might sell.
Selling the jewelry you acquired from your marriage is not for everyone though. Some people may feel sentimental about their wedding rings and want to pass them on to their children or simply not be ready to part with it. You may have strong feelings about certain jewelry your ex gave you and want to hold on to it. Whatever you decide, knowing that your gold pieces are increasing in value, unlike so many other investments nowadays, is comforting.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

English Man Ordered to Pay Support for Pets...
A British Court has ordered a banker to pay his ex-wife a yearly "maintenance" for her three horses. She was also awarded a lump sum to buy an new home with enough land for the horses to graze.
Before you start thinking this is crazy, you need to hear more about this couple's background. The couple, married for 11 years, was childless and after the wife tragically lost a baby in 2001, her husband bought her a horse. She also purchased two more horses with her own inheritance. She feels that these horses are like children. A talented rider, the horses were a major part of the couple's lives while they were married.
I think the wife has every right to be able to care for her horses after the divorce. Why should she have to give them up when the horses were part of both her and her husband's lives? The husband argued that there horses were now an "unjustified extravagance". Yet he cared for and supported these animals during the marriage.
As an animal lover, I can relate to this woman's deep love for her horses. Many people consider their pets to be members of the family. To have to give up a pet because of a divorce would be tragic. I am not sure what the ruling would have been here in the United States with a similar case. Unfortunately, pets are considered "property" in most states. The bottom line is that if you adopt a pet you are responsible for that pet's care. Divorce should not relieve you of those responsibilities.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

More Ways to Save Money During Your Divorce..
Everyone nowadays, whether going through a divorce or not, is looking for ways to stretch their money and save. Single parents and people going through a divorce are being especially hard hit by this declining economy.
With costs rising and many salaries remaining stagnate, we all need to find ways to save and make more money.
I will be bringing you some great resources to save money and make money as I find them. Here are three ways to save that I found online: is an easy way to find online coupon codes. You enter these codes at the checkout page of participating merchants for instant discounts. Also, the RetailMeNot shoppers network lets you connect with other shoppers so you get the best coupons, offers and deals. –is an online shopping website that works with over 2,000 merchants and provides thousands of free coupons and promotional codes from top brand-names. The primary goal of is to help you save money, simply and easily, everyday. When it comes to saving money, everyone wins with

Show me the dough is a terrific blog written by a mother of three who shows you how to save money on your food bill and also eat healthy (she manages to keep her food bill under $300 each month). You will also receive savings tips and recipes. –You can get on this blog by going to -