Articles Tagged with divorce

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Carolyn Woodruff
Dear Carolyn,

Hello. Can you help me? I am a 51-year-old woman who got into a wedded relationship (though celibate and platonic) with this 73-year-old man who needed my financial help with his social security. It turns out he never divorced his previous wife nor did she divorce him. Mine with him, I’ve been told, is invalid and does not count, especially since we did not consummate it on the wedding night for I had my period and he was sick and we still haven’t since. It’s not like that anyway. Trouble is I am currently unemployed and need work which means I need proper and correct ID (picture, as well as the correct social security card) in order to apply for work.

I don’t have income to pay a lawyer to stamp our certificate and license invalid or whatever they do to help free the invalid spouse from the one still married to the previous one. How can I get our documents stamped invalid by the courts (the law, lawyers, Judges – whoever) so I will have proof to switch back to my original birth name to get my ID and social security correct in order to fill out applications without income to pay a lawyer?

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Carolyn Woodruff

Today’s Ask Carolyn addresses two questions about money and real estate. Our first reader asks if his daughter’s rent can be awarded to her as part of her alimony, as she is financially unable to move back out after divorce. Our second reader wants to know if he’s required to hire a real estate appraiser even though he already knows the value of his home.

Dear Carolyn,

My daughter is living with me after separating. I’m not charging her rent, but she wants her own apartment. Her ex is saying he does not have to pay for her apartment because she is living with me rent free. This is sort of a “chicken and an egg” situation. She cannot get the apartment without help from him, so she does not currently have the expense. She has been asked to fill out a statement of income and expenses. Her only income is disability from Social Security. So what gives? Does she have to live permanently with me, or can the court award her alimony to get her own place to live? I love my daughter, but she is 40, and it seems unfair that she would have to live with me forever for free just because her ex is ridiculous.

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Carolyn Woodruff
Dear Carolyn,

I am sixty-nine.  I have been in a fifty-year marriage.  I sure would like to be out of the marriage, but I fear I am too old.  I would like my retirement to be stress-free and with someone else. Do people my age really divorce?

– Old, but Fiesty

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Carolyn Woodruff

Today’s Ask Carolyn addresses Borderline Personality Disorder and how it can affect the divorce process. Borderline Personality is a Cluster B personality disorder characterized by unstable behavior, moods, and relationships. BPD is challenging to deal with in relationships, and can become even more difficult during divorce.

Dear Carolyn,

My custody file is at least a foot thick at the courthouse.  I thought this would be the year that we were done with custody, but custody is an ongoing saga.  My children are 8 and 10 year old boys. Every time I think we are finished, my ex (the mother) files a new motion. She has fired every counselor and psychologist that she has had. She is always right about everything, in her opinion.  She is intensely angry. She has even been married again and divorced again in the five years that this custody battle has been going on.  The court gave me fifty percent of the time with my sons at the initial hearing and this has been confirmed by the court at every subsequent hearing.  She just filed another motion for primary custody this week. What do I do?

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Venn Crawford

One of my most popular posts last month was about crazy divorce stories, including the incredible saga that was the Wee Man’s Chronic Tacos custody hearing. Since so many people have been enjoying them, I’ve dug around the internet and found five more crazy divorce stories to delight and appall you.

Fighting Dirty

An ex-wife was too lazy to work – and not just on a career. To prove her laziness, the husband had his construction crew remove 5 to 6 truckloads of dirty laundry from the house and photographed them. He brought the photographs to the court as evidence to support his case in reducing his temporary alimony. It turns out that rather than washing any clothes, the wife had just been buying new clothes every week.

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Venn Crawford

Being divorced is difficult, and being divorced with kids during the holidays is even more so. But though it may be difficult for you, it doesn’t have to be for your children. Below are tips for making the post-divorce holiday season fun and love-filled for you and your kids.

Make the holiday about the children. The winter holiday season is magical for children, and they’ll cherish the memories you make for years to come. Embrace the giving spirit of the holidays and set an example of generosity and kindness for your children.

Establish a new tradition to fit this new situation. You don’t want to keep everything exactly the same, or your kids might feel like they’re celebrating “Christmas minus mom/dad.” Instead, break from your habits a bit and bring in something new. You could have a special dinner you make as a family or open advent calendars together each night – no matter what you do, make it special for you and your kids.

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Venn Crawford

There’s nothing quite like divorce to bring out people’s true colors (except maybe Monopoly), so unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of crazy divorce stories floating around. Below, attorneys, ex-spouses, and family members from Reddit share some of the ridiculous antics and plot twists they’ve witnessed, with stories ranging from hilarious to horrifying. If you think your divorce is crazy, check some of these out.

The Sticking Point

One couple took two hours to decide who would get the groceries left in their fridge. The groceries were worth about $40. The two hours spent with attorneys and mediators to distribute them? $1,000.

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Venn Crawford

Last week, we discussed embracing change as a part of recovering from a breakup or divorce. Today I’d like to suggest a change which helped me tremendously – learning how to love yourself.

Yes, it sounds vague and empty. People always tell you that “you need to love yourself,” but they never tell you how to do that. Personally, I’m not sure half the people who say it know how to do it anyways.

It’s Easy to Love Others
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Venn Crawford

In college, I had a roommate whose world shattered every time she went through a breakup. She always blamed herself, couldn’t cope with being single again, and ended up convinced she was at fault. Most of those breakups were with the same on-again-off-again boyfriend.

It wasn’t just the one roommate either. My second roommate was self-obsessed. She partied at least four nights a week, modeled for fashion photography, and regularly posted pictures of herself holding champagne and dressed to kill. Despite appearances, she was suffering from bulimia and feelings of low self-worth. She flirted with men for validation and then couldn’t figure out why they never stuck around.

The first roommate would get back with her boyfriend shortly after each breakup. It never worked out. The second lived in a cycle of obsession and disappointment with her boy toys.

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Carolyn Woodruff

Shows like Law and Order depict lawyers winning cases with confident arguments and saucy comments. However, charisma doesn’t make a trial lawyer successful – trial preparation does. Each case hinges on having the proper information prepared and having the right evidence to build on. Because lawyers prepare for trial behind the scenes, we don’t often see how much work goes into trial preparation.

First, the lawyer files their pleadings with the court. A pleading is a document that states the party’s position. In divorce, the lawyer files a “complaint for divorce.” If one spouse files the complaint (rather than both filing jointly), then the other will respond to it by filing answering pleadings. The lawyer must be meticulous and make absolutely sure they file the pleadings correctly.  If they don’t, it will undermine the rest of their trial preparation.

After filing the pleadings, the lawyer begins discovery.

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