All Articles Tagged "divorce"

You Can Keep It: Stars Who Gave Up Millions And Got Nothing In The Divorce

June 24th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

We always hear about celebrity wives who left a marriage with half, but what about those who took nothing in the divorce? These celebrities walked away with their freedom — and nothing else.

Divorced And Dating Your Ex

May 4th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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It’s purely gravitational, this natural pull to be with my ex-wife.

In the morning, I’ll fumble out of the bedroom and try to catch a glimpse of her putting on her makeup in the bathroom, the crackle and hiss of the baby monitor the only real sound in her whole damn house. I try to be sly about it but I know my slyness has worn away over time. Plus, f*ck it. What do I have to lose now?

I met Monica one sweaty August night more than a decade ago and married her like a freight train six weeks later. She was a western girl, born into the madness of a land called Utah.

We were like a magnificent cowboy movie from the start.

There wasn’t all that much thought involved the wedding. We didn’t sit around her mama’s kitchen table looking at catalogs of wedding gowns or catering menus or any of that sh*t. We spotted each other as the sun went down on a crazy desert town and we started firing at each other right away.

Close to the bone, that’s how I like my love affairs.

I know that now, because I was lucky enough to live through, to survive, our marriage — and divorce 10 years later — to come riding back up over the mesa of our years together with one badass sunset sinking down behind me. Most people spend their lifetimes in the back lots of their imagination wishing away what they have for something bigger to come along and sweep them away.

Most people simply dream of falling in love hard and fast and for real. But most people never even get a taste of it.

I’m not saying they don’t fall in love for real, that would be a stupid thing to say. I’d say I’m way more of a dreamer than a thinker, but even so: I never ever dreamed I could fall in love quite the way that Monica and I did. We found each other in a hail of bullets and arrows and we never once thought twice about jumping off that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid cliff together.

Fact is, we were probably always the kind of people just looking for the damn cliff; we just needed a partner to take the leap alongside us.

Now, three kids and a divorce later — and with so much anger/laughter/sadness/joy/trash talk/dirty talk/Friday night couch pizza/HBO binge-watching/dog love/dog loss/money trouble/personality-crushing/soul-sucking/daily heart reincarnating/Sunday sunshine/bring me a beer-ness — behind us, I find myself watching her getting ready for work in the morning and I whisper to myself, “Dude. That’s your girlfriend. She’s a f*ckin’ hoot, too. Lucky bastard you are, bro.”

And it means more to me than anything I can tell you.

For me it’s purely gravitational, this natural pull to be with my ex-wife. I believe it took us killing something ‘legal and official’ in order to be able to stumble upon this reincarnated version of ourselves, of our thing together.

Love — or even the possibility of love — is fickle. And even when we were divorcing, I never wanted to be apart from her. She means too much to me. We click. And we’ve learned a lot about the art of staying clicked when the sh*t hits the fans.

These days, we keep two separate homes, two different economies, and we specialize in our three kids.

We’ve carved out a more satisfying scenario for ourselves this time around; in so many ways, we’re dating the person we lost long ago in the muddled confusion of a failed marriage. That’s pretty cool … and pretty damn rare.

Listen, all of this is like a supernova blowing up in my face and I dig it. I dig it because I don’t even have a sliver of the intelligence or the sage-like qualities that it would take for me to comprehend why my heart wants what it wants when the only thing it ever seems to want is the same thing that the signed divorce documents show that I didn’t really want anymore.

But divorce be damned, to hell with the formalities.

We are two cliff-jumping sons-of-bitches. And listen to me: there is real magic buried deep down inside the electrifying awkwardness that slams into us whenever we roll down the road in my Honda, some Radiohead CD going off, our kids rubbing snot into the seats like Roman blood into the ruins of something wonderful and real that will take time to appreciate.

Monica rolls her fingers up on mine and I look over at her and she holds back the teenager smile that she always holds back and I’m good, dude.

I could date a bunch of women, for the rest of my days, but I don’t suppose I’d ever wander back onto the set of a Western quite like this one.

Even when we tried to quit it, we couldn’t quit it. Even when we tried to roll the credits, the credits refused to roll. Look, no one in their right minds would ever give us a fighting chance at this point. But that’s why they ain’t us. Me and Monica, we’ll be fine. We were fine, we got un-fine, we found the fine again. True love, she rolls that way. I have to believe that; I do believe that.

Cue scene.

While the rest of the world dreams up another love story, we’ll be sitting there up on a rocky crop watching another payroll train all splayed out across another sunset valley.

There will be awkward silence for a sec and then we’ll find our way.

“Let’s rob it, yo,” my girlfriend will say as the rough warm wind kicks up hard across her pretty little knees. And I’ll just toss my cigarette like a badass and it’ll land on the back of a six-foot curled-up rattlesnake sleeping by a cactus. Then I’ll kind of say what needs to be said, what we’ve been saying all along, really.

“Oh yeah, baby,” I’ll tell her. “Let’s go rob us a train.”

Have you experienced being divorced and dating your ex? Would you consider dating your ex?

Thinking About Divorce?: Do These 10 Things First

April 29th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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Before you head to divorce court, make sure you’ve done all these things to save your relationship.

Thinking about throwing in the marriage towel? I get it — that thing is often sweaty, dirty and tired. But before you give up on your relationship, be sure to exhaust all of your resources for saving your coupledom. Dr. Stephanie Knarr of The Relationship Repair Shop shares on a few tips to keep your marriage from hitting the rocks.

1. Log a complaint.

“Most marriages are on the rocks because one (or both) spouses have not resolved each other’s relationship complaints,” says Dr. Stephanie. She advises couples to visit the “Customer Service Counter” for their marriages and literally log complaints with each another like a car in a repair shop.

2. Ring the alarm.

Dr. Stephanie encourages couples to ring the alarm bell which is necessary to give each other an opportunity to resolve their relationship complaints.

3. Be specific.

“Tell your partner what resolutions you need to see in order stay in the relationship,” says Dr. Stephanie. Consider it your wish list or your needs list, but either way, be clear about what you need from your relationship and be prepared to listen to your partner’s needs as well.

4. Make your actions speak louder than words.

Get their attention with your behavior because some people do not react to words, explains Dr. Stephanie. “For example, tell them you are going to take some space for the weekend or for a few days to give them time to think about your complaints and your resolutions,” she suggests.

5. Give an ultimatum.

“Sometimes an ultimatum can be a positive step,” says Dr. Stephanie. “Explain that you need changes and resolutions to happen or you may leave permanently,” she explains. “Taking these steps is ringing the alarm bell because you have told your partner you are thinking about ending the relationship — and you have told them exactly why.”

6. Visit a marriage counselor.

Make like Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick (yes, the reality couple) and get yourselves to a marriage counselor, pronto. “Even if your spouse won’t go, it’s a great idea for you to go alone to discuss possible changes that you can make to change the dynamics in your marriage,” explains Dr. Stephanie.

“I have coached people to make behavioral changes in their marriage that have ultimately led to better outcomes, even while meeting with me individually.”

7. Be the change you want to see.

“Remember, for marriage and family relationships to change, it’s normal for one person to push for the change to occur while the other person resists,” she says. “In some cases, you have to be willing to withstand conflict and resistance in order to see the changes you desire.”

8. Be persistent.

“Some people have only filed a complaint one time even though they are ready to end the marriage over it,” says Dr. Stephanie. “But you are worthy of receiving good service at the Marriage Customer Service Counter! So keep filing your complaint until it gets resolved.”

9. Focus on the outcome.

With all this talk about complaints, it’s easy for couples to get trapped into thinking that complaining just to complain is productive. Instead, Dr. Stephanie advises couples to log the complaint but focus on the outcome of the behavior they hope to see changed. “I encourage people to keep the complaint brief — and to focus instead on asking for the desired resolution,” she explains.

10. Re-frame whining.

Dr. Stephanie is adamant that complaining, fighting and whining can have a positive purpose in a marriage. “Whining actually has a positive side,” write Dr. Stephanie on her blog. “This may seem silly, but some of this stuff is a part of intimacy.” She encourages her clients to use the 5:1 ratio suggested by Dr. John Gottman and to be sure to have 5 positive interactions with one’s spouse (like a hug or a compliment) for every 1 negative one.


Originally posted at

Dating After Divorce: Are you Ready? 11 Questions to Ask Yourself

April 7th, 2015 - By Rich
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Before my divorce was even final, before the ink and the tears had dried, there was another “d-word” that I was preparing myself for– dating. Just like the divorce itself, I knew it was something that I wanted to do; something that I probably needed to do, but I didn’t know where to begin, or more importantly, if I was really ready.

After diving into the dating pool headfirst and somehow landing on my behind, I had to get up on my feet, dry myself off and ask myself some important questions. Questions that anyone getting out of a marriage — or any long-term relationship for that matter — should consider before moving on.

Dating After Divorce: Are you Ready? 11 Questions to Ask Yourself

Mine, His, Ours: Is Parental Gatekeeping Child Abuse?

April 6th, 2015 - By Rich
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Parental gatekeeping isn’t a term that you hear too often, but we see examples of it every day.

Let’s say a couple gets divorced. They have three children together. The mother has primary physical custody or placement, but the two have worked out a visitation schedule that gives the father ample time with the kids. Everything is going well for a while, but one day, the parents have a disagreement. To get back at her ex, the mother decides to keep him from seeing the kids; either by telling him flat out, issuing an ultimatum, or  creating an excuse for her to have them for a longer period of time.

When they finally work things out, or when the mother decides to let go of the issue — whichever comes first — she finally lets the father see his kids. But weeks later, there’s another disagreement, and in retaliation, the mom takes even more time away from dad.

See where we’re going here?
Sound familiar?

That, my friends, is parental gatekeeping.

Restrictive gatekeeping is supposed to be used for a child’s protection. For example, if dad is drinking heavily or there are concerns about some kind of neglect or abuse, mom (or whomever the custodial parent is) has the right to restrict contact and/or communication with the kids to keep them from harm. When there’s no suspected endangerment to the children, though, the power is being misused. And according to some, this misuse of parental gatekeeping is considered child abuse.

Consider this…

The first time the kids are kept away from their father, it’s not a huge deal. When they see each other again, they pick up right where they left off and all is right with the world again. But as the number of times they’re kept apart increases, the more the children get used to him not being around, and in some cases, think that it’s because he doesn’t want to see them. They’re hurt. Resentful. And sooner or later, the relationship between the father and the children becomes strained…possibly to a point where it’s irreparable.

It’s not physical abuse, but it’s definitely psychologically damaging; and in many states that’s equivalent to serious physical harm, and the parent could end up losing custody altogether.

In some states, like the state of California, that kind of unreasonable gatekeeping is punishable; especially if it includes a false accusation of substance abuse, neglect or abuse against the non-custodial parent, but it’s not looked at as a form of child abuse. It could, however, result in a change in the custody agreement. California Family Code 3028 allows for compensation when a parent has been “thwarted by the other parent when attempting to exercise custody or visitation rights contemplated by a custody or visitation order, including, but not limited to, an order for joint physical custody, or by a written or oral agreement between the parents.”

Meaning: The mother could end up having to pay the father a minimum of $100 plus his legal fees; share physical custody; or worse, custody could be awarded to the the father if the judge decides that he’s the parent who’s more likely to allow the child “frequent and continuing contact with the noncustodial parent.”

Is this the better option?

Where do you stand on the issue? Should unreasonable parental gatekeeping be considered a form of serious child abuse in every state? Tell us what you think!

Judge Allows Woman To Serve Husband With Divorce Papers On Facebook

April 6th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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There are many creative ways to serve a person with court papers. Just last week, the Internet was buzzing after footage began circulating of Tyga being served at his sneaker launch event by a man who purchased two pairs of sneakers and posed for a photograph with the rapper. Dude even got his sneaker box signed. However, as funny as that was, it doesn’t top how Ellanora Baidoo of Brooklyn has been granted permission to serve her estranged husband with divorce papers.

According to The New York Daily News, Baidoo, 26, who works as a nurse, “is granted permission serve defendant with the divorce summons using a private message through Facebook” by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper.

Baidoo married Sena Blood-Dzraku in 2009 in a civil ceremony; however, things quickly fell apart when Baidoo realized that her new husband wouldn’t be following through with his promise to give her a traditional Ghanaian wedding ceremony. Both Baidoo and Blood-Dzraku are from Ghana.

“She wanted their families there,” said Baidoo’s attorney Andrew Spinnell.

Due to Blood-Dzraku’s failure to keep his promise, the union was never consummated and the pair never lived together as husband and wife. The two kept in touch by phone and Facebook, but that was the extent of their interaction with one another.

The “last address plaintiff has for defendant is an apartment that he vacated in 2011,” Cooper said. Baidoo “has spoken with defendant by telephone on occasion and he has told her that he has no fixed address and no place of employment. He has also refused to make himself available to be served with divorce papers.”

The “post office has no forwarding address for him, there is no billing address linked to his prepaid cell phone, and the Department of Motor Vehicles has no record of him,” Cooper’s ruling explains.

The divorce summons will be sent by Spinnell through Baidoo’s Facebook account.

“This transmittal shall be repeated by plaintiff’s attorney to defendant once a week for three consecutive weeks or until acknowledged” by Blood-Dzraku.

“I think it’s new law, and it’s necessary,” said Spinnell. “We tried everything, including hiring a private detective — and nothing.”

The first Facebook message was sent to Blood-Dzraku last week. So far, he hasn’t responded.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Oh, Word? Stars We Didn’t Realize Were Married To One Another In The Past And Present

April 3rd, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Excuse us, but we’ve been living under a rock. We didn’t realize that the same people we watch on our favorite shows and in our favorite movies were married to one another at some point in time. While some of these star couples are still going strong, a majority signed them papers and hit the road.

Must be awkward to run into one another at awards shows.

But life and the show must go on. Check out the stars we didn’t know were married to one another in the past and present.

celebrities we didn't know were married


Geena Davis And Jeff Goldblum

And here we thought that they just starred alongside one another in that hella creepy movie The Fly. Davis and Goldblum were actually married from 1987 to 1990.

Taleema Talks: Should I Change My Last Name Post Divorce?

April 2nd, 2015 - By Taleema Chesney
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Dear Taleema,

I am currently going through a divorce.  My soon to be ex-husband and I were married for 10 long years, and during that union we had two handsome boys (ages 9 and 7).  They seem to be taking the divorce well.  My marriage was really rocky. I dealt with affair after affair and severe emotional neglect.  I am writing because I am considering changing my last name, however quite a few family members are aggressively encouraging me not too (mom, aunt & older sister).  I didn’t think it would be such a BIG DEAL!!! What would you do in my situation?

The Name Changer

Taleema Talks: Should I Change My Last Name Post Divorce?

Dear Name Changer,

To change or not to change? That is the question.

Deciding whether or not to keep your married name is your choice and right.  I was married (yearssssss ago) and when I knew divorce was inevitable, I started weighing my options.  I have three AMAZING daughters and wondered if changing my last name would upset or affect them in any form or fashion.  I decided to have a conversation with my two oldest, my youngest was just a baby and would not understand.

My oldest said, “Mommy you will still be my mommy no matter what.” After hearing that, I felt good and took it as a green light to move forward with what I wanted do.  My last name was legally changed on my social security card and driver’s license the week after the divorce was final.  I did have to ask the judge for permission to return to my maiden name, but the process was smooth.

For me, going back to my maiden name was a DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE!

There are some specific questions to ask yourself prior to making that decision:

  • How do your children feel about the name change?
  • Has the last name become your identity?
  • Are you changing/keeping your name for positive reasons?
  • Is your professional reputation tied to your name?

Remember, at the end of the day there is no “right” or “wrong” answer. You have to decide what is best for YOU.

If you decide you want to proceed with the name change or even if you “may” be considering, ask the judge during the divorce proceedings for your name back and make sure you tell him/her the new name you wish to use.  You will get a copy once the divorce judgment is entered and filed.  Be sure your name change is included in the order, if so your name is now legally changed.

Even though your name is now legally changed in the eyes of the court, you still need to go and change your name on identification-Social Security and Motor Vehicle License are two important ones to change (take a copy of your divorce decree!).  Legal documents, utility bills, passports, insurance companies, banks and the post office should all be notified as well.  If you don’t ask for a name change during the divorce and decide later that you want to change back – be prepared to come out of pocket.


There are so many reasons women decide to change or not to change.  Here are a few that I know personally and a few that I’ve heard:

  1. The woman scorned is the woman who does not want to change her name with hopes of annoying her ex or possibly his new love interest/spouse.  Spite is an energy that will SUCK the life out of you….are they worth it?
  2. The woman who just wants to make sure she has the same last name as her children.  I totally get and understand that reason. I know sometimes having different last names may cause a problem/confusion with schools and or medical situations.
  3. The Professional woman who has earned degrees/certificates and/or has experienced success in her profession usually opt to keep their name. Who wants to start over if they don’t have to?
  4. The woman whose identity has been defined by her last name: marriage, motherhood, white picket fence and dog…the “AMERICAN DREAM.” She doesn’t want to explain to everyone what happened to her “happily ever after.”


“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet.” –William Shakespeare

Taleema is a proud mother of three beautiful girls, an Early Childhood Expert with over 18 yrs experience, and a woman who is passionate about promoting positive change and Cultivating Character in a world that is quickly forgetting those principles exist. 

Should Married Women Have A Separate “In Case Of Divorce” Emergency Fund?

March 31st, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Call me an optimist or a believer in happy endings, but I truly pray my marriage can stand the test of time. As much as I love my husband and our union, I’m well aware of the divorce rate in this country and how quick folks are to call it quits. Marriage isn’t for everyone and takes hard work. You need to hold each other down during the happy and the difficult times.

Does this mean I need an emergency fund in case things don’t work out?

I never really thought about one until a (single) friend of mine asked if I had one. Now I consider myself a pretty savvy person when it comes to personal finances, but had no idea about this concept. Sure most of us heard about prenups and having your own retirement accounts, but a fund in case your marriage ends in a divorce?

As horrible as it might sound, it kinda makes sense.

While I’m only three years into my marriage (I’ve been with my guy for a total of seven years), I have heard horror stories about some marriages. How many of us have heard about a wife being shut out of money from the very man who talked her into staying at home? Or what about women who were clueless their husbands had double lives? This stuff isn’t just for television.

Even though I enjoy “traditional roles” in my marriage, I also have independence when it comes to my husband and our finances. Yes I do stay at home but I also collect checks through freelancing and my own personal business ventures. There’s something about relying on a single person for everything that just doesn’t work in my book. Plus, we’re able to save for our children’s college, a house and other endeavors with two incomes. Having my own pot of coins helps to make certain wants a reality, even if my husband is still the main breadwinner.

In fact, I’m the main one between my husband and I who always has their head inside a financial magazine or looking for ways to invest our money. While I am thankful we have a pretty good portfolio that’s growing, I’ve always considered creating an additional account for myself. My husband and I have a joint checking account and savings for emergencies. I also have a separate checking account since I’m a gal on the go, but perhaps I need a separate savings too? It has been on my mind considering I tend to have the flexibility in my finances to try different investments.

I just hate the idea of having it in case I get divorced.

Maybe I’ll call it the “Tanvier fund” or something. As much as I hate the “D” word, I also can’t be oblivious to the idea. After all, who enters a marriage thinking, “Hey, I’d like to get divorced in a few years?” As a wife and mother, it’s very easy to fall into the role of caregiver as you’re always working to take care of your household. Having a separate account or emergency fund is a great idea that empowers you to invest in yourself.

There are dreams I have that are separate from my family and will require an investment. Building up a fund for myself–that’s not associated with retirement–sounds like a smart money plan. And God forbid something happens to my relationship, I have coins in the bank to take care of myself.

Paula Patton Shares Why Leaving Robin Thicke Was Such A Big Deal For Her

March 31st, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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While some hollered that they saw it coming from a mile away, personally, I was a little shocked when Paula Patton announced her separation from Robin Thicke last year. Sure, it was obvious that they were having problems, but for some reason, I just assumed they would work it out. Now that they’re mere weeks away from finalizing their divorce, Paula is opening up more and more about her decision to leave and what life has been like since the two have separated.

For one, the Baggage Claim actress says that the experience has been life changing because she’s never really been on her own before. She met Robin when she was just 14 years old and when she decided to move out of her parents’ home years later, she moved in with her childhood sweetheart.

“I moved from my parent’s house to moving in with Robin and now I’m becoming an adult,” she explained in an interview with Meredith Vieira. “I feel like a real woman now.”

As liberating as stepping out on her own may be, Paula says that it also comes with its challenges–like being a single mother.

“I took a lot of time off to be with him and then I had to pack for a trip because I had to go to work and he said, ‘Mommy I don’t want you to go to work,'” she shared. “It’s the challenge of being a working mother and it’s the first time he ever said that to me, because I did work when he was a baby, but now he is more aware of everything, so what are you going to do? It’s sort of the trials and tribulations of being a woman. Right?”

Overall, Paula says she’s doing well.

“You know I’m doing really well. It’s been a long year and a lot of challenges but I’ve grown quite a bit and just getting used to change,” she said.

As previously reported, Paula and Robin have already reached a divorce settlement. Their split will be finalized next month.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise