4 Ways To Throw An Epically Rockstar DIVORCE Party

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Why mourn when you can celebrate?

Many of Hollywood’s beloved couples — Blake and Miranda, Gavin and Gwen, Kermit and Miss Piggy —are calling it quits and making divorce a trending topic of internet conversation. Outsiders naturally mourn the end of marriages.

However, there’s a celebratory divorce movement happening among those finding their own happily ever after marriage. These newly un-weds are throwing themselves divorce parties to kick start their new leases on life.

Party planner extraordinaire, Cornelia Guest of Cornelia Guest Events, offers four inspiring divorce party themes below. Cornelia has had her pulse on the hottest party trends for decades, having planned affairs for some of the top style-makers in the industry, including Donna Karan, Estee Lauder, MAC Cosmetics, and Badgley Mischka.
Read her tips on my YourTango.com article, “4 Ways To Throw An Epically Rockstar DIVORCE Party.”

Taking Yourself Back: How to Change Your Name After Divorce in your 20s

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Trash the Dress private online divorce support group member Rachel is officially divorced and in the process of legally changing her last name.  Here are her story and tips for you when it’s your turn to go through the process!

I began the process of changing my name back last week.  I forgot how many phone calls and errands are involved with this!  But something I didn’t count on is how liberated I would feel, seeing my full name written out again.

With his last name, I was a different person.  I had a list in my head of the things I thought being a “wife” meant, and I subconsciously began to mold myself to reflect those traits.  On the surface, I was doing everything “right.”  I cooked dinner and washed dishes and made grocery lists.  I made an effort to like the TV shows and movies and video games that he liked.  (In fact, I have him to thank for my love of geeky things, which I will always be grateful for.)  We did all the “couple” things together — church, parties, weddings, funerals.  We even worked together!

But from day one of our marriage, I began to change.  In my head, husbands and wives were not separate entities, they were a unit.  That meant that no independent decisions were made, no event was attended solo, and everything was shared.  Understand that I was not thinking these things overtly, they were core beliefs about the way things “should be” that I had acquired throughout my life.  These ideas came from watching romantic comedies and reading books and observing the “outside face” of the marriages of people I knew.  If I’m being honest, I didn’t really think about it at all…it was just the way things were in my head.

Seeing my name for the first time again, I began to realize how many of these things I associated with the name that has been my identity for the last 5+ years.  And I realized that now, I am able to give all that stuff up.  I can go back to being the “me” I am meant to be.  I never intentionally became someone else, but now I can intentionally come back to who I am.

Are you taking your maiden name back after your divorce?  If you are, I’ve included a starter list of places you’ll need to visit to get your name change process under way!

1.  Social Security Office.  The only thing you need to get your name changed here is a certified copy of your divorce decree, provided that it includes both your old and new names.  If you ask to be restored to your maiden name, it will be on there for sure!  The whole process takes about five minutes (not including wait time…get there right when they open and you probably won’t be stuck there all day!).  You can do this by mail, but I think it’s easier and faster to do in person, personally.  Print the application here.  This process doesn’t cost you anything at all…bonus!

2.  DMV.  Once you get your new SS card in the mail (7-14 days after you apply), you can go get your new driver’s license.  Take your new SS card, your current license, and your divorce decree.  It’ll cost you a fee to change this (in Ohio, it’s $24.50).

3.  Bank.  With your shiny new license in hand, you can begin to change your name with all the major institutions you’re a part of.  Start with your bank!  You’ll probably have to wait for a new debit card in the mail, which will take a few days, but you can still use your old one while you wait.  Make sure to activate the new one when you get it, and cut up that old one!

4.  Job.  Make sure you let your job know about your name change, duh.  You will probably have to fill out some forms (your tax information has changed too, since you aren’t married anymore).

5.  Insurance.  This includes any insurance you might have: homeowner’s/renter’s, auto, health, life, etc.  I get my auto and renter’s from the same company, so that’s one less phone call to make!  I get health insurance through work, but it is up to me to call them to change it.  Make sure to ask your HR department if they take care of it or if you need to do it.

6.  Titles and deeds.  Speaking of insurance, you should also make sure your name change is reflected on your car title, house deed, or anything else you might own!

7.  Credit cards and loans.  I don’t have a credit card, and my only loan is through my bank.  But if you have cards or loans from multiple places, make sure you call them all!  Most of these can be done over the phone.

8.  Landlord or mortgage company, utility companies.  It’s probably helpful for them to know.

9.  Doctor’s offices.  One simple phone call to each!  Plus if you need to schedule an appointment, you get to knock out two birds with one stone.  Bonus points if all your doctors are based in the same office/network and you only have to call one of them!

After you hit these major ones, start working your way down the list of any and every other company or organization that has your name.

Here are some other examples:

401K

Passport office

Professional licensing boards, unions, etc.

Voting registration (sometimes you can do this at the DMV when you do your driver’s license)

Charity organizations

Tax office

Social media

Personally, I changed my social media accounts first.  Love seeing my new/old name on there again!!

What other places did I forget to mention?

Are you changing your name back once your divorce is final?  Why or why not?

Expert Guidance: Divorcing, but who gets the dog?

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The following guest post from family law attorney Charla Bradshaw not only provides insight on divorce law involving pets, but also notes how the end of your marriage takes a toll of your fur-child.

  “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals”
                                                                -Immanuel Kant

 

Pets can provide unbelievable companionship and unconditional love for adults and children.  Animals such as dogs, cats and horses are considered personal property for divorce purposes and unfortunately can also be the subject of domestic violence.

In a divorce, pets must be awarded as part of the property division and therefore will usually go to one spouse or the other.  However, spouses can choose to co-own the pet going forward and create a visitation schedule for the pet.  We have done these orders and they actually work very well.  We also see pet schedules associated with a child’s visitation schedule where the pet goes with the child.  When spouses co-own a pet, going forward, we must provide provisions for the expenses related to the animal. This can be important when dealing with livestock, such as horses, or an animal that has health issues.

Since pets are considered personal property, there can be disputes over whether the pet is the separate property of one of the spouses or community property.  Separate property can be acquired by a gift, inheritance, or if the property was owned on the date of marriage.  Separate property cannot be divided by a court.  Spouses may argue over whether the pet was a “gift”, or whether the spouses bought the pet together, making the pet community property subject to being awarded to one spouse or the other.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers conducted a poll of 1,500 members and nearly a quarter said they had noticed an increase in custody issues over pets. Courts have had to determine not only who gets the pet but whether one party has the right to see the pet after the marriage breaks up.  Identifying the best interests of the pet in a divorce case can safeguard that the pet is properly cared for after divorce.

Unfortunately, pets are often targets in family violence but Texas has come to the rescue.  Texas courts can now include pets in protective orders in domestic violence cases. Because pets have suffered abuse when family violence has occurred, in 2011 the Texas legislature amended the law to prohibit the removal of animals from the possession of a person named in the protective order.  In a protective order, the court may prohibit a party from removing a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal, as defined by Section 121.002 of the Human Resources Code, from the possession or actual or constructive care of a person named in the protective order.  The “actual or constructive care” verbiage was added in 2013.  In turn, in 2013, the Texas Penal Code was amended to specify what the possession of a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal by a person actually means.

So what do these protective order laws actually mean for pets?  They mean that a person subject to a protective order that violates a pet provision in the protective order can go to jail, plain and simple.  An abuser will often turn on a pet to cause pain and suffering not only to the pet, but to the perpetrator’s victim(s).  An abuser may also threaten a pet’s life in order to keep their victim(s) close.  As a result, a victim may stay in an abusive situation to keep the companionship of the pet, not realizing the court can make orders with regard to the pet.

One of the problems is that most facilities and shelters for those running from family violence are not equipped to take animals and therefore the animals are left behind. There is a growing need in this regard not only for the safety of the pet but because the unconditional love a pet can give may be lost at the time it is needed the most.

Divorce or abuse can actually take a toll on a pet.  The Humane Society of the United States sets forth the following signs of pet stress:

•       They become depressed
•       They sleep a lot
•       Their appetite lessens
•       They’re not interested in their walks or other daily activities
•       They start to cry or whimper
•       They groom, lick and/or bite themselves excessively
•       They have accidents in the home

The bottom line is that pets are often the subject of divorce and family violence and the laws are improving to protect them.  It is important for everyone to be aware of these laws especially so that abuse victims may realize the court can include a pet in a protective order.  Abuse is bad enough for the lives of those who suffer it, but losing or leaving behind a pet can only make the suffering worse.  Victims asking a court for a protective order should ask the court to make orders regarding their pet(s).  Additionally, spouses in a divorce should be aware that pet(s) are property.  Sadly, a pet may become the subject of a very expensive fight when the real issue is to cause pain to the other spouse.

Charla Bradshaw is an accomplished family law attorney and Denton Managing Shareholder known for successfully summarizing some of the most difficult cases. She was listed among the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas (2014) and rated one of the Best Women Lawyers in North Texas by D Magazine. While she employs an aggressive approach to litigating family law cases, Charla Bradshaw is also a certified mediator and handles collaborative law cases. Charla Bradshaw spent most of her young life in Denton and now owns a ranch in Denton. She earned her bachelor of science degree, Summa Cum Laude, from Texas Woman’s University and her Juris Doctor from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University in 1993. Ms. Bradshaw was also a candidate for a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy at TWU. She finished all the requirements but the thesis before leaving the program to attend law school.

Expert Guidance: Dealing with Adultery and No-fault Grounds for Divorce

Got questions about adultery and no-fault grounds for divorce? Attorney Howard Iken has answers! He was gracious enough to contribute a guest blog for Trash the Dress’ Expert Guidance series. 

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The last state to make the change to the no-fault system was New York in 2010. The old fault-based grounds for divorce made the whole process more difficult and painful. The party seeking a divorce has the burden of proof that the defendant is guilty of the at least of one of the following outdated indiscretions:

  • Adultery
  • Heartless or inhumane treatment
  • Desertion or abandonment of the plaintiff by the defendant for a year or more
  • Imprisonment of the defendant in prison for a period of three or more consecutive years after the marriage of plaintiff and defendant

These grounds of divorce seem straightforward reasons for wanting to leave somebody, if not a bit extreme.

Shouldn’t one be able to divorce somebody before it gets to the point where they are imprisoned for three years?

By these strict standards, most people who really wanted to get divorced couldn’t. Even if the plaintiff is able to prove their partner committed on of the above, it takes up more of the court’s time as well as the plaintiff’s money and emotional energy.

The modern way of thinking about grounds for divorce is of course the no-fault system which requires one party to simply feel that the marriage is irretrievably broken. One of the most common concerns with the no-fault system is the indiscretion of adultery.

The no-fault system has been in place in Florida since 1971. When it comes to discussions I have with my clients about the no-fault system a good number of them are worried about the property division aspect – especially if adultery is involved. The no-fault system along with our equitable distribution policy in Florida means that adultery needn’t come up when determining the division of marital property and assets. I can prove the spouse to have been unfaithful but this doesn’t mean that spouse will be punished with a smaller portion.

The impact of adultery on alimony determination is much different and depends on the judge.

Alimony is defined as the payment of one former partner to another if that partner requires financial assistance based on many factors of each party such as:

  • Standard of living proven during the marriage
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Age, physical and emotional condition
  • Financial resources including any and all income
  • Earning capacities which include the levels of education, vocational skills, and employability.
  • Contributions made to the marriage unit such as homemaking and child care
  • Responsibilities for minors in common to the marriage

If either spouse commits adultery this can either reduce the amount of alimony paid or deem the payment of alimony completely unnecessary.

Depending on the judge, the adultery can be taken very seriously or nearly ignored. Florida is moving away from considering adultery in cases of alimony at all except in those situations where the adulterer used the marital assets to fund the affair. When this is the case the judge add in these funds into the equitable distribution calculation.

The no-fault and alimony policies are aimed to fairly dissolve the marriage, and are put into place to make the process better for everyone involved.

Howard Iken is an experienced divorce lawyer who also knows his way around bankruptcy and criminal law. Howard is currently helping those looking for divorce attorneys in Clearwater, Florida with free consultations at ForMyDivorce.com.

 

Free Legal Advice for National Divorce Month: Talking to Children About Divorce

Did you marry young, have kids young and now find yourself a twenty-something trying to explain divorce to your five-year-old? This expert guidance blog for Trash the Dress members by Weinberger Law Group is for you! Free legal advice!

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In New Jersey and elsewhere around the country, January is called “divorce month” because it’s typically the month that sees the most divorce filings in the calendar year. There’s even a “D-day” for the sharpest spike in NJ divorces, which is usually January 2 or 3, the day that most kids return to school after the December holiday break. Is this a coincidence? It doesn’t seem to be. From what our divorce attorneys in New Jersey hear from clients, taking great care to get through one last holiday season for their sake of their children is a major motivation for couples who wait until January to make their move to separate.

If you plan to separate or file for divorce in early 2014, you may be wondering how to talk to your kids about your decision in a way that shows as much care and compassion for them as you just demonstrated in making sure their holiday traditions went uninterrupted this year.

How do you break the news about divorce to children in a way that helps them still feel loved and safe? Here are some general, parent-tested tips on how to make this tough conversation a little easier for all of you.

Have a Plan

Have you spoken to an attorney yet about child and parenting issues that will need to resolved during your divorce, such as child custody options and child support? Children tend to do best when they are presented with a concrete idea of what their future will hold. For this reason, it may be best if you and your spouse are able to come to a temporary agreement on child custody so that you can honestly answer your child if they ask the very reasonable question, “What’s going to happen now?”

You Both Need to Be There

In most cases, no matter how much your own relationship has deteriorated, you and your spouse should make every effort to momentarily set aside your differences when you sit down with your child. Remember, your marriage may be over, but your relationship as co-parents will continue. Seeing you both there is a way to visually reinforce for your child that you will both remain in his or life. Let your child know he can talk to each of you separately, afterwards, if he needs to.

What about situations where it is not possible for the other parent to be there, whether it’s due to abandonment, domestic violence, substance abuse, or some other issue? It may be necessary (and safer) to handle it solo or have another adult the child trusts on hand for support.

Keep Your Emotions in Check

Anger, bitterness and sadness are normal emotions to experience when you are getting a divorce. However, keeping your composure can go a long way in helping your child feel secure. If you need to, go for a walk or talk to a friend to help you cool off before sitting down with your spouse and child. Above all, don’t argue in front of your child.

Keep It Private

Your child needs to be able to focus in on what you’re telling him, so let your choice of venue reflect this. Sitting on a bench at the zoo, or at the mall, or in a restaurant, are not the best places for this talk. Pick a location, likely in your own home, or in some cases, a therapist’s office, that is free from distraction. It should also be a safe place for your child to react emotionally to the news.

Keep It Age Appropriate

Young children generally don’t understand the difference between romantic love adult partners feel towards one another and parent-child love. If you explain your divorce to your preschooler by saying something along the lines of, “Your daddy and I don’t love each other anymore, but we love you very much” you may be mean well, but this kind of statement could also lead a young child to interpret love as something that can end without warning.

To better word this same sentiment, think about saying something along the lines of, “We both love you very much and I respect your Daddy, but we are not living together or going to be together anymore.” Depending on the age of your child, other appropriate phrases to foster a greater sense of security include, “mommy and daddy will be happier living apart”,  “there will be less fighting now” and “we will both see you and both still love you to pieces.”

Get Help When Needed

Because there are so many emotional issues in play, parents may feel better prepared to talk to their kids about divorce if they first sit down with a couples or family counselor who specializes in divorce therapy. In certain circumstances, the counselor may even be on hand to facilitate this first conversation. If you’re nervous or anxious, remember, just take it one step at a time.

Have questions about child and parenting legal issues related to divorce? If you’re in New Jersey, contact Weinberger Law Group to schedule your free initial consultation.

 

 

 

Expert Guidance: 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Emotional Health and Happiness

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Dr. Andrea Brandt, renowned psychotherapist, speaker and author, shares her Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Trash the Dress divorcees to improve one’s emotional health and overall happiness:

1.      I resolve to be honest with myself & with others.
2.      I resolve to take time to be mindful on a daily basis… even if for only 10 minutes a day.
3.      I resolve to do at least one good thing for myself each day.
4.      I resolve to pay attention to my emotions and the emotions of others, so that I become more aware of when my boundaries are being violated.
5.      I resolve to remember that energy follows thought.
6.      I resolve to remember that my fear is NOT keeping me safe, but in fact it’s keeping me isolated.
7.      I resolve to identify the thoughts that are sabotaging my happiness, my success and my well-being.
8.      I resolve to make sure my apologies are sincere and to take responsibility for making amends.
9.      I resolve to brainstorm win-win solutions to conflicts so my family relationships can deepen and be more connected.
10.     I resolve to reach out to my friends when I’m feeling lonely.

Dr. Brandt is a recognized media expert who treats a range of emotional issues, including anger, aggression, anxiety, aging, relationships, work-life balance, workplace, and women’s issues. Using a mindful approach, she helps empower people eradicate negative emotions from their lives and relationships. Advice to her patients and seminar attendees include spouses or romantic partners, friends, co-workers, bosses, employees, parents, adult children, or siblings.

A pioneer in the field of anger management, Dr. Brandt currently has two new books available:  8 KEYS TO ELIMINATING PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVENESS (October 2013), and MINDFUL ANGER: A PATHWAY TO EMOTIONAL FREEDON (Spring 2014).  Both books are published by W.W. Norton.

Trash The Dress: Stories of Celebrating Divorce in your 20s featured in Parsons Thesis

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In awesome news of the day, I was interviewed about my upcoming book, Trash The Dress: Stories of Celebrating Divorce in your 20s for a thesis by a student at Parsons The New School for Design. It’s currently featured on the website. Read more about “THAT WAS MY VEIL: SARTORIAL AND COSMETIC CONSTRUCTIONS OF RESILIENCE IN DIVORCED WOMEN” by Kim Jenkins.

Expert Guidance: 5 Essential Self-Defense Tips for Single Ladies

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Guest Blog from Jarrett Arthur, because as a recent divorcée, you can never be too safe! 

Jarrett’s passion is helping others transform through self-defense training. One of the highest ranking female Krav Maga black belt instructors in the U.S., Jarrett comes armed with years of teaching experience. As a Lead Instructor, and Program Director of the cutting-edge km-X program (Krav Maga for kids) at the Krav Maga Worldwide National Training Center, she taught hundreds of men, women, and children, before embarking on her own to create unique self-defense training and education programs designed specifically for women, kids, and moms. In this guest blog, Jarrett provides Trash the Dress divorcées with essential self-defense tips. Share with all your friends!

Learning self-defense isn’t about being paranoid; it’s about being a badass woman willing to take control of her life and her future. Making smart safety choices makes you no more fearful of getting attacked than putting your seatbelt on makes you fearful of car accidents, but it does make you more self-assured, confident, and empowered. Take these small but important measures to increase your safety and reduce your chances of being targeted.

Get Off Your Phone! Be Aware of Your Surroundings.

This tip seems completely obvious but it tops my list thanks to literally dozens of women I see in public everyday who are so focused on their phone conversation, playlist, text, email, or Candy Crush game that they have zero idea what’s going on around them. True story: a few days ago a woman on her phone walked into my car while I was stopped in a parking lot. Funny, but scary. Two things are at play when you wander through the world engrossed in your device: 1. You mute your senses, making it virtually impossible to recognize a threat until you are right in the middle of an attack; 2. You signal to an attacker that you’ll be easy to sneak up on and catch off guard, ultimately giving your predator an even greater advantage. You already know you should put your phone away before leaving the building, your home, or your car, but do you actually do it?

Additionally, make sure you leave the earbuds at home before embarking on your walk, run, or hike. If you absolutely MUST have music consider getting a small, pocket-sized speaker for your mp3, or only putting in one earbud.

Lock Your Doors!  Make Closing and Locking a Door One and the Same.

Transitions, such as entering or exiting your home or car, are a favorite of predators because they represent opportunities when you are more likely to be distracted, have your hands full with bags, and when they have easy access to more secluded locations (inside your home or vehicle). Make closing and locking your doors synonymous. As soon as you get into your car and close the door, make sure you lock it immediately. Locking your car door should come before putting the key in the ignition or strapping on your seatbelt. As soon as you get inside your home and close the door behind you, make sure you lock it immediately. Locking your door should come before putting your stuff down or glancing at the mail.

If you live in a gated apartment complex make sure you close the main entrance door behind you. Never prop a door or hold it open for someone you don’t know. You can always blame it on “policy” if you’re worried about being rude. Watch garage doors and gates close completely before exiting the driveway or entering your parking spot.

They’re There for You!  Utilize Security Guards and Doormen.

You may worry about coming across as “that” woman (fearful, anxious, dependent), but it’s time to get over it. The reality is this: women make for favorable targets especially when alone. If you have access to a security guard or doorman, at home, at work, or at the mall, utilize them, especially if it’s dark outside. Asking a professional guard to walk you to your car doesn’t make you “that” woman it makes you a smart, resourceful woman.

Make it count!  Know Where to Strike.

Knowing where to strike first in order to have the greatest chance of creating opportunities for escape is crucial. I find that there is a lot of misinformation on this topic. I break down target areas into two lists, the primary list and the secondary list. For the places you want to strike first and foremost, think about areas that are biologically programmed to be sensitive and vulnerable because they affect major functions of the body such as seeing, breathing, and breeding. The four primary places you want to strike first to increase your chances of getting away are: the eyes, nose, throat, and groin.

On the secondary list are areas such as: top of the foot, jaw, temple, collarbone, knee, solar-plexus, back of the hands, and ears. These are areas where you might get a reaction, but I’d only strike here if my primary areas weren’t available.

Train!  Take a Class, Course, or Workshop.

Self-defense is not like yoga, or Pilates, or even cardio kickboxing. The adrenaline effect makes it very difficult to think or react logically. We’re left with instinctive responses and muscle memory movements (what movements our body has been pre-programmed to perform under stress). Because of this, it’s very important that you physically experience executing self-defense strikes and techniques, not just watch some YouTube videos. Traditional martial arts (Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Kung Fu) are typically not the best option for self-defense training. Look for a reality-based tactical system, such as Krav Maga, for training that will best prepare you to fight back. If you’re nervous about training for the first time look for a women’s only class, and definitely take along some girlfriends. The only thing as empowering as learning how to defend yourself is sharing that gift with your closest friends.

 

Expert Guidance > Social Media: Modern Dating in your Post-Divorce World

Tara Richter, certified dating coach, author & radio show host provides online dating advice in this edition of our Expert Guidance series:

A boy sends a friend request to a pretty girl on Facebook. The girl adds him and they start chatting over instant message. After a week of flirtatious winky faces and LOL chatting, he asks her for her phone number. She obliges and they exchange smart phone pictures. After a few late night phone conversations, he gets the courage to ask her out. They finally meet for coffee and both recognize each other from across the espresso bar.  They gaze into each other’s eyes for the very first time, yet it feels like they’ve known the other person a lifetime.

The dating game has definitely changed. The days of a man approaching a women in a bar and her giving him her phone number, the only number he could get ahold of her at not a long list of; emails, work phone, iPhone, Skype, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, is long gone. The technology dating scene is now here. You can meet people online, playing video games or through friends of friends on Facebook. So how has this digital age changed things? What are the new rules?

I go over all the Internet dating rules more thoroughly in my book, “10 Rules to Survive the Internet Dating Jungle” yet I will briefly touch base on the more important rules here. First of all when you are meeting people from the Internet you definitely want to utilize my Rule # 6 Be Safe Research Your Date.

Unfortunately, people lie and hide behind the computer screen. Practice defensive dating. Do your research it’s free and easy. Once you have some information on a person just Google them. Typing someone’s name in Google can bring up a plethora of stuff. Just make sure it’s the right person.

Check their other accounts like LinkedIn. Do they really work where they say they work?   Go to your local county sheriff’s website. Most counties will have their inmate database online. You can search sometimes up to 20 years ago if someone has been arrested.

Go to your clerk of courts. That’s where marriage certificates and divorce decrees are recorded.

Go to the property appraiser’s website. All that information is public.

Do they really own they house they say they do? Be your own private detective.

When you’re choosing a dating site for the first time, after all my research in writing my second book, I discovered that the same people are on all the websites.  If they have a profile on one dating site, they probably have them on multiple other sites, Rule #2.

So the best thing is to test out the free sites first. Websites that are 100% free are pof.com and OKcupid.com. Other sites claim to be free like Zoosk.com but are not. You can create an account, yet can’t contact anyone until you pay.  Test out the free dating sites first and see your experience. Both of these sites also have mobile dating apps that you can utilize from your smart phone. That’s a helpful feature that many of the paid sites do not have.

Once you have started chatting with someone, you’ve done your research and think this guy/girl may have potential, make sure to meet them in the flesh within two weeks, Rule #5.

Technology dating is a great tool to meet people you normally wouldn’t run into on a daily basis, yet the whole point is to meet! Through all the text messages, Skyping and tweeting the one thing the computer cannot mimic is chemistry. That is something that can only be determined in person. Don’t drag out your Internet romance for too long before seeing them. You want to make sure they look like their photos and you two connect.

I don’t even call these dates. When meeting for the first time I call them “meet n’ greets” because that’s what it is. It’s not a date, it’s a short 20-30 minute meet n’ greet to make sure they are not 10 years older and 30 pounds heavier than their photos. If you keep it short and sweet, somewhere for say a cup of coffee, it’s easy to break away. If for someone reason it’s not totally clicking between the two of you, it’s easy to say you have errands to run and make a quick exit.   It only cost a couple of bucks and a few minutes of each other’s time. No one should be too heartbroken over it.

If it didn’t work out, be honest with the other person as to why. It stinks when you go out with someone and you think it was wonderful, yet they never return your phone call. You have no idea what happened and eventually just chalk it up to them being vanished to the island of lost men. Honesty is always the best policy. That’s the only way we learn, grow and develop. If it hasn’t worked out for you yet, just remember there’s a billion some people on the planet, eventually you’ll find your perfect mate in the dating jungle.

 

Tara Richter

Certified Dating Coach, Author & Radio Show Host

www.datingjunglebook.com

Expert Guidance: Bling, Bling… What Do You Do With Your Wedding Ring Once You’re Divorced?

 

It’s a question that’s top of mind for many young divorcees. What should you do with your wedding ring once your marriage is over?  Do you reset the diamond into a necklace?  Sell it?  Where can you get the most bang for your buck if you do sell it?  

TheDiamondLining.com, which helps women (and men) sell their unwanted diamond jewelry for as much money as possible in a safe and secure environment, has contributed the guest blog below for our Expert Guidance series:

It can take some time for the dust to settle after a divorce, and there are so many details to be take care of, forms to be filled out, and changes to be made, that no one can be blamed for dreading one more errand; but the question remains, just what to do with the ring.

First things first, if your ring is a family heirloom make sure that you clean it, have it on listed on your insurance policy, and store in a safe place. Don’t make any rash decisions that you’ll come to regret years or decades later. However if your ring is more contemporary are a lot of good options that will bring you more happiness than keeping it sitting in a box.

The three most common decisions people make with an old ring are: save the ring, trade in the ring for another piece of jewelry or you can sell the ring.  Each of these options have pluses and minuses, but if you are able to take the time to think through which one will make you happy today, and several years from now, you’ll make the right decision.

Save the Ring:  Although some people save their ring for a rainy day, most save it for a sibling, child or friend to use when the time comes for them to get engaged.  The ring might have some unhappy memories, but that doesn’t mean it’s cursed.  There is no better ending for the ring than to bring joy and happiness to another couple.

Trade the Ring: If you don’t want the ring, but don’t need the money, join one of the many people who trade their ring in for a different piece of jewelry.  Perhaps a new pair of earring, or a necklace?  Many jewelry stores will give you store credit for you ring, and you will be able to treat yourself to a new bauble.

Sell the Ring:  Diamond prices are strong, and so are gold and silver prices, and you can certainly think of something fun, or worthwhile to do with the money.  Selling an unneeded diamond is becoming a more popular option, and there are easy and secure options that allow you to sell a diamond online such as The Diamond Lining.   This option allows you to get cash for your ring, and use the money to treat yourself, or to save in your retirement fund, or college savings fund.

Whatever you decide to do with your ring, don’t let it collect dust in your jewelry box.  Make a decision, and use the occasion as an opportunity to financially and emotionally close the door on your divorce.