All Articles Tagged "divorce"

10 Questions To Ask Before Initiating A Child Custody Case

October 20th, 2016 - By Kweli Wright
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No matter when your relationship comes to an end, be it during the first several days of your child’s life, or years on down the line, choosing to battle your ex out over custodial and child support issues in front of a judge, lawyers and a courtroom filled with others who are in your shoes is a tough decision.

Child custody cases are stressful and serious business.

But there are ways to filter through all of the pros and cons floating through your head throughout your decision-making process. There are points of consideration to deliberate over before taking the leap of hiring a lawyer. But before we go through those points, it’s always important to remember one thing: always do what’s best for your child. Whatever decisions you make will directly and greatly affect them, so in all things and in all decision, keep them first. That said, here is a list of 10 questions to ask before initiating a custody case:

1. Did you the relationship between you and your ex end on good terms?
2. Are you and your ex of the same religious background?
3. Do you and your ex agree upon how much he or she should contribute financially to your child?
4. Is your family from the city or state you currently reside in?
5. Do you and your ex agree upon the amount of time he/she gets to spend with your child?
6. Are you and/or your ex in another relationship?
7. Are you ok with your ex taking your child out of town without you?
8. Can you and your ex agree on holiday visitation for both parents?
9. Do you plan on permanently residing in the city and state you currently reside in?
10. Do you and your ex agree on how much time your child spends with his or her grandparents?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, then it’s possible you and your ex can find a resolution without the angst, time suck and cost of the legal process. Figuring out the best method of communication for you and your ex is a great starting point in deciding the needs of your child and making decisions regarding his or her future. Oftentimes, a open communication and a good parenting plan can go a long way for parents who are able to effectually communicate.

If you answered no to the majority of these questions, then hiring a lawyer to handle your legal matters might be a good idea. Raising a child is hard, doing it while battling his or her mother of father is even harder. Every parent has a vision of how is or her child should be raised. And while every parental unit will have conflict over what’s best for their child, because of flared emotions, feelings of betrayal, and a lack of trust that often results from a breakup, it is particularly hard for estranged couples to agree on anything, particularly topics pertaining to their child. Hiring lawyers to advise and guide you through important decisions regarding your child might be the best option as they, along with the help of a judge, are used to dealing with various emotional levels and situations and can often be a great sounding board to help filter through these emotions and get to the facts and heart of the matter.

The Stress Of Divorce Is Literally Making Me Lose My Hair

October 17th, 2016 - By MommyNoire Editor
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By Monica Bielanko/Your Tango
Notice the bald patches where eyelashes used to be.

I had another panic attack in the shower today. I stood there sobbing as the warm water pounded my skull, staring in horror at the nightmarishly thick wad of hair clutched in my shaking hand.

I’m losing my hair. It’s been happening for a while now. I’d estimate that in the past 2 months I’ve lost 65 percent of my hair, including eyelashes.

It started in early July. I’d brush my hair and within minutes, an amount of hair that usually would’ve taken several weeks to accumulate would be clinging to the brush. Instead of the smattering of hairs that would normally line the drain I would spend most my time in the shower dealing with small clumps of hair coming off in my hands.

Initially, I ignored it. I’ve had long, thick hair for most of my life, so not only do I have hair to spare, but dealing with long hairs strewn about the house or clogging the drain was a regular occurrence.

But this time, it didn’t stop.

I’d randomly run my hands through my hair while at work and small clumps would come away tangled ominously in my fingers. Not a couple strands here and there that you can release into the air by quickly flicking your hand, I’m talking enough hair that I’d have to stand up and find a garbage can. My hair stylist noticed the difference but couldn’t explain the loss so I made a doctor appointment, even though I figured she’d just tell me what I already assumed was the cause after a cursory Internet search: stress.

The stress of divorce.

Stress has been the one constant emotion in my life since January, when my husband and I separated about two months before our son was born. After his birth, the divorce talk got serious and we ended up in a horrible impasse over where we’d raise our kids. I wanted to move back to my home state of Utah where I could find solid employment and be near friends and family, he wanted to stay near his family in Pennsylvania and ride the freelance writing rollercoaster. Attorneys were consulted, battle positions taken, guns locked and loaded.

I spent a good chunk of my time almost completely incapacitated, screaming myself into near unconsciousness when he had the kids, yet barely stumbling through the days when they were with me. In one especially awful episode, I became so horrified by the way my life was coming undone that I couldn’t hide it from my kids and had to call my ex to come get them. I simply could not function as a human being. Ultimately, we managed to talk out our issues, call off the attorneys and behave like calm, rational adults. But there were some black and bleak months during which I wasn’t sleeping or eating, the most nightmarish and dark times in my life, without question.

That was May. In early July I noticed the unusual hair loss. I chalked it up to just having a baby, stress, whatever. I managed to avoid really thinking about it for another month, convincing myself that I would stop shedding soon, no big deal. But the hair loss has continued, unabated. What used to be thick hair that regularly broke elastics with its girth can now be pinched limply between my thumb and index finger. I constantly wear it in a messy top knot because I’m afraid of brushing it or washing it and enduring the horror that is watching your own hair come out in clumps in your hands. And my eyelashes suffer the same fate, too. Angry pink patches of bald eyelid scream at me every time I look in the mirror.

After scheduling an appointment with my regular doctor, I turned to Dr. Google and found an article about a thing called Stress Alopecia and its causes:

  • A sudden hormone change (usually a drop in hormone levels)
  • After the birth of a baby (delivery of the placenta causes the levels of pregnancy hormones to plummet)
  • Discontinuing birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
  • Acute trauma (surgery, physical injury or psychological trauma)
  • Severe dieting (inadequate protein and iron intake)
  • Underactive or overactive thyroid
  • Diseases such as diabetes and lupus
  • Chemotherapy
  • Medications: These include retinoids, blood pressure medication, anti-depressants, certain birth control pills and even NSAID’s (including Ibuprofen)
  • Burns or radiation therapy

I was floored. Birth of baby, hormone change, psychological trauma, inadequate protein. Check, check, check. If I had to self-diagnose myself, I’d guess what I’m dealing with here is, in fact, a nasty case of stress alopecia, but I’m still headed to the doctor next week to confirm. I expect she’ll check my blood for iron levels, maybe check my thyroid and then tell me to manage my stress, exercise, and take some vitamins. Great. Thanks. I’ll stop being stressed right this instant, I’ll get right on that.

Mostly I try not to think about it, because what can I do? Not much. My hair is already gone, so freaking out about it isn’t going to help. Still. I have these moments of sheer terror. Like this morning in the shower, when it just kept coming out in my hands and I wondered (like any self-respecting dude going bald) if I should just shave it off like a bad ass punk rocker and start over. Because when will it stop? Who wants a couple of stringy hairs drizzling down their back like some female version of Donald Trump? Not this chick. No way. I’d rather be bald.

I’m trying to view this whole hair loss thing as a life lesson, a scary reminder of what’s important in the grand scheme of things. Although it’s terrifying to lose a chunk of my femininity, hair loss certainly isn’t on the top 20 or even 50 most important things in my life. I’m navigating a divorce, solo parenting, working a new full-time job, freelance writing, oh, and moving into a new house. All at the same time. Hair loss? Please. I’ve got this.

(Except that’s all bravado. I’m totally freaking out.)

Tina Knowles-Lawson Talks “Falling In Love With Myself” After Divorce Before Falling For Richard Lawson

October 13th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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One of the main reasons many women struggle to leave unhealthy relationships is due to the fear of having to start all over again. The work it will take to try dating again and the worry about whether or not you will find love can be taxing. But if you thought leaving your five-year relationship was too hard, imagine trying to start over after nearly 30 years and two children. That was what Tina Knowles-Lawson was facing when she decided to split from Mathew Knowles in 2009.

With their divorce finalized in 2011, Tina admitted that she had her doubts about whether or not she’d find love again. But as she told T.D. Jakes, she did indeed find it (with hunky actor Richard Lawson) after focusing on loving herself first.

“I have always believed in life after divorce, although there was a period of time where I wondered,” she told Jakes on his OWN talk show. “I had doubts. I was 59 years old and was so engrossed in my work. I was running a company, I was doing all these other things and working. I just didn’t think there was any way I could meet someone. So I started by falling in love with myself again. That was really important.”

And that worked out perfectly. She eventually started dating Lawson in 2013 and by 2015, they were married.

The interesting thing about their story, as she stated in an International Women & Money Leadership Luncheon speech in 2014, was that she almost didn’t give him the time of day. It started when her friend Monica tried to do a pow-wow to help Tina find a man.

“So Monica called him up and we went by his acting school and he took us out to eat afterwards and my friend says, ‘Okay Richard! Do you know any men?’ And he’s like, ‘Well, what’s she looking for?’ So I say, ‘You know, I want somebody with integrity, that believes in God, that likes to dance, likes to have fun and appreciates art.’ And he’s like, ‘Oh! Well, what about me?’ And we both say, ‘Hell no!’ So he says, ‘Okay, well, I’ll see who I can think of.’

So the next night he took us out dancing and we just had a good time. He said, ‘Well, can we get away from Monica?’ because Monica just takes over the conversation. So we went to lunch and he said, ‘I want to support you during this time because Mathew — he’s friends with Mathew, too — just got married yesterday.’ But look at the timing here. Before that time I was not ready. I did not have closure. But talk about God being right on time. We had this great lunch and he said, ‘I want to support you during this time. I’m going to come to Houston.’ So he came to Houston, I went to LA afterwards, and it’s been now a year and five months. I’m in a committed relationship with that handsome man! And I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long, long time.”

What a wonderful reminder that it’s never too late to find love.

“I Take Responsibility”: Kevin Hart On How He “Messed Up My First Marriage” To Torrei

October 12th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Kevin Hart and Eniko Parrish officially tied the knot in August, but the world’s highest-paid comedian is just now opening up about how he’s feeling after saying “I do” — for the second time.

While appearing as a guest on Chelsea Handler’s Netflix talk show, Chelsea, he joked about being off the market and Handler missing her chance to lock him down when she opted for 50 Cent instead. But Hart also got serious when speaking on doing things differently the second time around after admittedly messing up his first marriage to Torrei Hart. He previously told Oprah in 2014 that “I did wrong” by cheating on her.

“Yes, I’ve been married. I’m divorced,” Kevin said. “I was young in my first marriage. Chelsea, I’m not ashamed to say it. I got married at the age of 22. I was still all over the place. I didn’t really understand the definition of marriage so I wasn’t ready for it. I take responsibility. I can say I messed my first marriage up. I’m man enough to say that. And at the same time, that was when I was in the prime of my sexy, so don’t blame me. Don’t blame me! That’s when I was figuring it out.”

Kevin said that despite wrecking his past marriage, he’s currently in a great place with Torrei and happier than ever.

“I will say that me and my ex-wife, regardless of the problems we went through, we’re in an amazing place now, he said. “We’re friends, we’re great parents, we’re co-parents, but we have a relationship. Now that I’ve moved on and I met somebody else, to make this step was a big step. It took me some time. It took seven years. And then I was like, ‘You know what? She deserves it because I can’t just keep letting this wrong around free. That’s not fair to her. I got to lock this up.’ I’m talking about my body, that’s what I’m talking about [laughs]. So I proposed and I can honestly say I’m happy. I’m in love. I found a good woman, and this time I’m going to do it properly. I’m going to do it right. But I’m ready. I’m 37 now.”

It’s good to see Kevin happy, and it’s also really great to see he and Torrei, as well as Eniko, all getting along well these days. Torrei was actually there to support the comedian, standing alongside Eniko, as he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday.

Kevin Hart Torrei Eniko

AP Images

They’ve all definitely come a long way.

“I Tried To Leave Five Times”: Gina Neely On What Marriage To Pat Was Really Like

October 6th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Gina and Pat Neely of Down Home with the Neelys were the “It” couple of cooking shows. Their Food Network series was the highest-rated program in the history of the network. So when news spread in 2014 that the golden couple were calling it quits, many people were surprised. The cause according to their divorce papers was “irreconcilable differences.” But according to Gina Neely’s upcoming Where Are They Now? interview on OWN, they were having problems for quite some time and the show just exacerbated them.

“TV just fell in my lap. I was just Gina,” Neely said. “The Deen brothers, Paula Deen’s sons, said, ‘We would like to offer you a show. You have a great dynamic, you’re high school sweethearts, you look good on TV.’ I just kind of went with it.”

Despite all of the success of the series, Neely stated that she never really wanted to do it. The show made a volatile relationship even worse as she had to go out of her way to allow Pat to have the spotlight.

“The crazy part about it was, I never wanted to do that show. I never wanted to live my life quite out loud like that,” she said. “I found myself kind of trying to dim my light to make his light shine, and that’s never a good thing.”

After leaving him, which took quite a bit of time for Gina to build up the courage to do, she lost weight (a reported 34 pounds) and found herself happier than ever.

“Pat is not a bad guy, he’s just not for me,” she said. “I didn’t want to divorce my husband, but it became necessary to do it in order for me to be my best self. I felt the marriage started being in trouble when we started working together. He felt like we didn’t spend enough time together. I felt like we did, and we needed a little space.”

She continued: “I was thinking about divorce right before we got the TV show. We went to therapy 12 times. I tried to leave five times and I just didn’t have the strength,” she said. “But the fifth time, I held on to that. It became necessary for me to find my path. And I knew I wasn’t happy. And I said, I’m definitely not going to take 50 and not be happy. So at 46, I started changing my life, I started changing my body and I realized I liked that better.”

Where Are They Now? airs on Saturday at 10 p.m. on OWN. Check out preview clips of her interview below and let us know if you can relate to what she had to say about her marriage and leaving it to find her true self.

Marriage Habits That Prevent Divorce

September 27th, 2016 - By Julia Austin
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Divorce doesn’t come out of nowhere. Even if it seems like it comes out of nowhere, because somebody cheats, is abusive, or “suddenly” decides they’d like to leave, it really never comes out of nowhere. There were always incidents leading up to it. And that means the opposite is true. There are little things along the way that lead to a relationship lasting and, in some ways, even prevent divorce. Here are 15 of them. 

9 Stars Who Were “Blindsided” By Divorce

September 22nd, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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You already know that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are calling it quits. However, one of the saddest parts of their split (aside from what will happen with their six kids), is that Pitt didn’t see it coming. According to Pitt’s statement in response to Jolie’s filing, “I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the well-being of our kids. I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time.”

Pitt isn’t the first celebrity to be all smiles and in love one day, and then left wondering what went wrong the next. Quite a few stars have said that they were “blindsided” by their spouse’s decision to call it quits.

Exclusive: Yaya DaCosta Says She Never Divorced Her Son’s Father Because They Were Never Married

September 15th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Yaya Dacosta

Ivan Nikolov/

Back in 2014, we told you that former America’s Next Top Model star and actress Yaya DaCosta, 33, decided to split from her husband of two years, Joshua Bee Alafia. But after speaking with DaCosta earlier today while promoting Season 2 of her hit NBC series Chicago Med (which returns next Thursday, September 22 at 9/8c), she said that Alafia wasn’t her husband after all.

“You know what’s funny? Because I never talk about my personal life, it’s hard to dispel rumors,” Dacosta said in response to a question of how she’s moving forward after the divorce. “And a lot of people say, ‘Oh, just ignore them, they’ll go away.’ But no, I never got divorced because I was never married, first of all. But I did have a child with someone, which is more of a commitment than marriages these days anyway. I broke up with him right after the birth because like I said, it was an enlightening experience. But I definitely make it a point to ensure that my son has a relationship with his father because everyone should.”

In reference to the “enlightening experience” statement, prior to the question about life after divorce, I inquired about how motherhood changed the actress (she used her social media to help normalize nursing soon after her son’s birth). She said it changed her entirely.

“I’m a completely different person and it’s difficult sometimes because people who think they knew you before want to hold you to who they think you are and should remain.”

She continued, “It’s definitely difficult letting go of things, ideas of yourself, in order to be able to figure out who you are. But if you don’t do that then yeah, that’s how a lot of people do end up stuck their whole lives. So yeah, having him has definitely shown me, or reminded me I should say, of who I really am.”

But DaCosta’s rep did confirm to Us Weekly in 2014 that they parted ways, and according to the New York Post‘s Page Six, DaCosta filed papers for a contested divorce in Manhattan Supreme Court, but the filing was sealed, so the reason behind the split is not known. Neither party spoke about the breakup publicly — until now.

The pair had an outdoor ceremony in Pennsylvania in June 2012, and have a son, Sankara. He was born in September 2013.

Essence Atkins Reveals She’s Filed For Divorce From Jaime Mendez, Husband She Met Through

September 8th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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light-skinned actresses

Image Source: WENN

While some are skeptical about looking for that special someone through web sites and apps, many people have had success when it comes to finding love online. It was how actress Essence Atkins met her husband, Jaime Mendez.

When speaking on stepping outside of her comfort zone to try online dating, Atkins told Essence that she didn’t want to “waste any more time” on the dating scene. When she finally created a profile and started mixing and mingling with men on, she literally found her match.

“I put myself in the frame of mind where I wasn’t going to waste any more time,” she said. “I met my husband at 36; a lot of people have questioned it like, ‘she’s so desperate.’ I didn’t want to waste any more time. After 35, I felt like I’d been in these relationships, some were great, some weren’t so great, but they weren’t right partnerships. So I did this inventory, I’m not going to just settle for anyone, and at this point I don’t have anymore time to waste if I wanted to have children.”

Sadly, Atkins’ relationship with Mendez, is coming to an end. She shared the news the first time publicly while appearing as a guest on Hollywood Today Live with Garcelle Beauvais, Ross Mathews and Tanner Thomason.

“I am going to be entering the dating world after nearly a decade,” Atkins said. “I’m in the process of getting a divorce, sadly. It’s weird because literally, three weeks after filing, I got this job where I’m playing a newly divorced woman who’s co-parenting with her ex that she still loves, but they’ve somehow realized that they’re not meant to partner together anymore. It was kind of this weird, amazing moment the universe was like, here’s art imitating life and we’re going to talk about this and you’re going to explore it in a really humorous way.”

The show she was talking about is the upcoming comedy, Marlon, starring Marlon Wayans. The series is loosely based on Wayans’s life. He plays a “loving but immature dad” and Atkins plays his ex-wife.

Atkins went on to say that she’s realized that even in divorce, there’s love and humor, as well as the need to have a loving relationship for the sake of the children involved.

“Even in deconstructing a family, you’re still figuring out a way to be a family.”

The actress married Mendez in September 2009 after meeting on Valentine’s Day in 2008 through Match. The pair have a 4-year-old son together named Varro.

With that being said, Atkins also realizes that she’s going to have to reenter the dating scene. That truth is something Atkins is struggling to deal with, as the 44-year-old acknowledges that things are very different than what she remembers.

“I feel like ‘Oh yeah, I’m ready!’ And then I’m like, ‘Oh no, I’m not!'” she said. “I’ve turned 40 since I’ve dated. I don’t know, people don’t talk anymore, they text. They only call if it’s a dire emergency. I have no idea how to go about it.”

But she did note that she does have a type that she’s looking for when she finally does get back out there, and the guy should be a very interesting combination of a fit man, and a funny man.

“I don’t know, I guess I kind of want him to be like The Rock and Jim Carrey,” she said, to the hosts’ surprise. “They’re both really interesting. The Rock is of course gorgeous and chivalrous and huge, but Jim Carrey makes me laugh. He’s got such humanity about him. And he’s always saying these wise things and then he does something silly. I feel like that’s me.”

I Tried The StayGo App To See If I Should Get Back With My Ex

September 7th, 2016 - By Patia Braithwaite
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

When I first heard about StayGo, an app that helps you decide whether or not you should stay with your partner, I was single. Like, painfully single. I was too busy using Tinder to think about using StayGo, so I thought of a few friends who might benefit from trying the app. One of them was going through a divorce and the other was happily married. I thought it would be both cruel and entertaining to see what kind of feedback they got from the app. But, as always happens when I’m being a little petty, an ex-boyfriend came back into my life and turned it upside down. Suddenly, I needed to use the app.

At a different time in my life, I thought he was my soul mate. Sometimes, when it was really quiet and we were lying in bed together, I could hear his thoughts before he spoke them (they were often about food cravings). We were on and off from ages 16 to 27, and last week he popped back into my 32-year-old life as if he’d never left. I found myself on a park bench one afternoon, holding his hand and laying my head on his shoulder as if it we were still two high school kids with no place to go.

It’s sort of amazing how the body remembers. It’s shocking that, with all the time that passes, the heart can still quicken when the love of your life teens and 20s touches your hand. Still, things have changed between us. He’s in a committed relationship, and I’ve raised my standards. But as we sat together, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was an opportunity for us in the present.

So, I decided to use the StayGo app on myself.

Now I’d like to point out that, no matter what the app would tell me, I’m not a homewrecker. I’m not in the business of dating men in committed relationships, and I don’t intend to start now. That said, I decided to use myself because the heart distorts memory and makes everything appear softer. In the cloud of nostalgia, I wondered if perhaps we could have a different life together.  In the cloud of nostalgia, my good sense was being silenced. Mostly, in this cloud of nostalgia, I was heartbroken all over again. I felt I’d lost something I know deep down I’m not supposed to have.

Most of us, when faced with these relationship questions, ask our friends. If our friends are honest, they tell us to get a grip. If our friends are as flawed as we are, they might give us less objective advice. StayGo is supposed to circumvent bad advice because it’s an app developed by behavioral psychologists. You fill in your information, (including your relationship status, which can range from married  to “hooking up”), then, the app prompts you to answer a series of questions about almost every aspect of your relationship (from communication to sexual activity). It asks you to imagine what your friends might think of your relationship and forces you to consider your own values (where do you see yourself in five years and what aspects of relationships are most important to you?). The entire questionnaire takes about 15 minutes to work through, and in the end, you’re given an SG Score with a bit of advice.

My score was a 49 out of 100, and, quite accurately said, “There are lots of red flags, but you already know that. If you want to make this relationship work it will take lots of effort on both parties.” Then, a little further down it said, “…you should ask yourself why you expect so little from this relationship.”

And right there, in black and white, I had the answer I already knew existed. If I wanted more from a relationship, as I claimed, I couldn’t go back. This person is not (nor has he ever been) for me.

Overall, I thought the app was cool because it forced me to ponder tough questions. Before the app calculated my score, the questions I was being prompted to answer already let me know that a relationship with this person wasn’t what I wanted again.  I was forced to admit that sometimes the sex was not fulfilling and that I never felt fully supported emotionally. I was forced to quantify my satisfaction, and before I got the score, I knew I was coming up short.

It made the truth stronger than the nostalgia.

For those of you in committed relationships, StayGo has a tracker that allows you to chart your satisfaction over time.  There are even graphs that I guess tell you when you’re happy (I don’t really know). You can also do the questionnaire as many times as you’d like for different folks, so if you’re choosing between two people, it could be helpful. Mostly though, I think we all have the right answers in our own hearts. StayGo, and other technologies, might just make it clearer for us to access what we already know.

Patia Braithwaite is a relationship writer from New York City. You can find out more about her @ She also tweets occasionally @pdotbrathw8.