Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

President's Plan to Help Social Security

What do you think of the President's proposal to help Social Security and extend the life of the program? The president recently suggested an adjustment on taxed earnings. Any thoughts or comments?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Social Security - Is the System Broken?

Many Americans are concerned about the future of Social Security and how long the money will last. Are you concerned about a deficit?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My World Of Divorce....Covering For The X....by Cathy Chestler M.Ed

I have been divorced for 7 years, separated for 9. In those years my x-husband has deteriorated in every sense of the word. He would forget to pick up the kids for visitation or he would lock the door to his house when he knew the kids would be walking over after school and he would not be there. I remember the frantic calls from my 10 and 11-year-old children, standing at a neighbor’s house, not knowing where their dad was. Oh, and the excuses for not paying child support, which to this day still occurs. And me, I was always making things okay for everyone. I would make excuses for their dad so that the children didn’t have to feel bad that he would always forget about them. I was so far in debt trying to take care of the children as a single mother, working full time, while my x-husband would not even be working!

When did I wake up? I woke up when I began a new relationship and my partner asked why I was still taking care of my x-husband. At first I explained that if I wasn’t there to make things okay for everyone, my x-husband would not treat the kids right and the kids would see their father for who he really was, and that would hurt them. The extent of what I had gone through to take care of not only my children but also my x-husband was remarkable. Here I was, covering for him on a consistent basis.

I look back now and can’t believe all that I went through just to cover for my x-husband, always making excuses for him to the children. It has been some years since I have covered for my x. What happened when I stopped covering for him to the children? Stay tuned as it gets very ugly and I also try to utilize the courts for help.

Has anyone else ever covered for their x? If so, for how long? Why? Did it ever stop? If so, what made it stop?


Monday, February 15, 2010

My World Of Divorce....Being the oldest child....by Cathy Chestler M.Ed

As the oldest of the siblings, I remember wanting to make sure everything was okay for the younger ones after the divorce. I felt a responsibility to make sure my younger brother and sister didn’t see what was really going on between my parents. I remember at 10 years old, taking my younger siblings into another room when my parents would argue about things, which happened frequently. If my father was late for visitation, my mother would walk us outside and confront him in front of us. I remember trying to keep my siblings inside so they didn’t see the fighting. When they did fight in front of all of us, I would usually tell my siblings not to worry about the fighting, it was between mom and dad, and it would be okay.

As the oldest child I assumed the responsibility as the leader of the siblings and although I can’t remember the specific details of each incident, I remember feeling a sense of power as the oldest child. I had this notion that if I took all of the pain of my parents divorce, then my siblings didn’t have to take any. I do remember feeling alone because 35 years ago none of my friends parents were divorced, only mine. I had nobody to talk to, nobody going through what I was going through, and nobody that understood.

I don’t think any two divorces are the same. Unfortunately children react to the way their parents handle themselves and the divorce. The biggest mistake I felt my parents made was that they talked poorly about the other parent in front of us kids. As a child, when you hear your mom say bad things about your father and your father say bad things about your mother, you lose a sense of security.

If you could change 1 thing about your parents divorce, what would it be?


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Delaying Divorce in Arizona

A front page story in today’s Arizona Daily Star indicates that "state lawmakers are moving to make couples who have decided their marriage isn’t working wait four months longer to divorce." See entire article at http://azstarnet.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_3dae7780-0037-59c2-a0dd-63f3ce8715a7.html?mode=story . I believe there should be some waiting period and the 61 days we currently have in Arizona works well. Anything more seems long. I was interested in the comment that 4 out of 5 getting a divorce don’t want the divorce. Anyone who is a divorce professional knows this is very typical but not for the reasons the lawmakers think. Also studies have shown that prolonged divorces are very bad for children. There are many other things we can do encourage better marriages and divorces. This is not one of them. I know from my professional experience that mediating more divorces would not only save some marriages but is much better for children.
As always, you can post any comment about this blog, Divorce Mediation, or Tucson Arizona by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at http://www.center-divorce-mediation.com/ WM(167) 2/12/10

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My World Of Divorce....What do I call mom's new husband....by Cathy Chestler M.Ed

At 6 years old my parents divorced and at 7 years old I had a new step-dad. I remember my mother telling me to call my step-dad "dad", which infuriated my biological father. It was weird because here is this man who moved in with us and now my mother insisted I call him “dad”. He wasn’t my dad, I barely knew him, and besides, I already had a dad. It was difficult because when I went with my father for visitation I had to be very careful not to refer to mom’s new husband, my new step-dad, as my “dad”. I remember being with my father for visitation and focusing extremely hard on not referring to my step-dad as “dad”. Somewhere along the way I began to differentiate between a “father” and a “dad”.

We as adults have to be careful when it comes to starting a new relationship. As adults, we have the capacity to understand this new relationship as well as the titles that come with it. As a child, I remember being angry at my mother for making us call her new husband, “dad”. I felt a sense of betrayal to my father and at 7 years old I was unable to tell my mother “no”. This had such an impact on me and still to this day, I do not refer to my step-dad as “dad” when I am with my father.

Just for the record, my step-dad became one of the most influential men in my life and even when he and my mother divorced when I was 18, I still called him dad until he passed away last year.


Monday, February 08, 2010

Are you worried that Social Security will run out?

Some predict that Social Security is dangerously close to running out. See this post and let us know your opinion or comment.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Is Alimony Still Relevant in South Carolina Court?

What do you think? Are South Carolina Court less likely to award alimony in this day and age that in the past?

South Carolina law (S.C. Code Ann. § 20-3-130(C) (Supp. 2008)) provides that in determining an award of Alimony, Court must "consider and give weight in such proportion as it finds appropriate to all of the following factors:

(1) the duration of the marriage together with the ages of the parties at the time of the marriage and at the time of the divorce or separate maintenance action between the parties;

(2) the physical and emotional condition of each spouse;

(3) the educational background of each spouse, together with need of each spouse for additional training or education in order to achieve that spouse's income potential;

(4) the employment history and earning potential of each spouse;

(5) the standard of living established during the marriage;

(6) the current and reasonably anticipated earnings of both spouses;

(7) the current and reasonably anticipated expenses and needs of both spouses;

(8) the marital and nonmarital properties of the parties, including those apportioned to him or her in the divorce or separate maintenance action;

(9) custody of the children, particularly where conditions or circumstances render it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home, or where the employment must be of a limited nature;

(10) marital misconduct or fault of either or both parties, whether or not used as a basis for a divorce or separate maintenance decree if the misconduct affects or has affected the economic circumstances of the parties, or contributed to the breakup of the marriage, except that no evidence of personal conduct which may otherwise be relevant and material for the purpose of this subsection may be considered with regard to this subsection if the conduct took place subsequent to the happening of the earliest of (a) the formal signing of a written property or marital settlement agreement or (b) entry of a permanent order of separate maintenance and support or of a permanent order approving a property or marital settlement agreement between the parties;

(11) the tax consequences to each party as a result of the particular form of support awarded;

(12) the existence and extent of any support obligation from a prior marriage or for any other reason of either party; and

(13) such other factors the court considers relevant."

Any thoughts out there from those that have gone through a divorce and request for for Alimony?

Who Qualifies for Social Security Disability Benefits?

The general rule is that the Social Security Administrative Social Security pays benefits to individuals who are unable to work due to a medical condition or injury, where the condition is expected to last for at least one year or may result in death.

There are lists of medical conditions called "impairments" which describes are severe enough to prevent an individual from doing any gainful activity, are expected to be permanent or result in death. These impairments meet the SSA qualifications for disability benefits. There are other injuries or illnesses or a combination of the two which may qualify you for Disability benefits.

For more information, visit our site, Metts Law Firm,LLC or call 803-929-0577. You may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits if you are unable to work for any reason.

FREE Disabiltiy Seminars in Columbia

Metts Law Firm, LLC offers free seminars to discuss Social Security Disability questions and concerns. Call us today at 803-929-0577 for details.

Metts Law Firm, LLC
3531 River Drive
Columbia SC 29201

Friday, February 05, 2010

My World of Divorce.... by Cathy Chestler M.Ed

As a child of divorce I was often times placed in the middle of my parents arguments. At 7 years old I remember the day my father moved out. That was only the beginning of years of my parents arguing, as well as court appearances. Since I was the oldest child in the house, I was the one who was told things that I shouldn’t have been told. I was the one who was given the child support check by my father to give to my mother. It goes on and on. Introduce a step father and things get even more complicated. Ten years later my mother was on her second divorce.

I myself have been divorced for 7 years. The experiences I have gone through with my own parents’ divorces as well as my own divorce has led me to create a tool that could take the children out of the middle. As a child I often wondered why parents couldn’t just STOP, think, and then work it out. I now know why, emotions and the belief that they were right. The tool I have created takes the emotions out of the equation and focuses on what matters most, the children. This website, www.allaboutthechildren.us was created out of years of frustration with my parents arguing and the lack of help received by the legal system. As a child, I thought the legal system should have done more to help us children of divorce; somehow pull us out of the middle.

It wasn’t until I was much older and divorced myself that I realized the legal system isn’t there to listen to how the children feel. The legal system consists of family judges who hear thousands and thousands of unique cases of divorce each year and have to make decisions within minutes as opposed to hearing what is really going on in each persons life, especially when it comes to the children. I may sound bitter about the system but as I have stood before these judges as a teenager in the middle of my parents issues and now as a parent protecting my own two children, I have experienced it all. There has been some good that has come out of some of the court experiences, and those days are wonderful. Those are the days you walk out of court smiling and think everything is going to be okay.

I have decided to blog my experiences as a child of divorce, a mother who is divorced with two children, and as someone who “gets it”. All of which has led to the creation of www.allaboutthechildren.us. This website was created for those children who don’t have a voice in court .............yet are screaming for help.

Join me in creating a journal of divorce experiences.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Letting Go by Kimberly A. Kick, LCSW

When relationships start to unravel it is instinctual to protect yourself. One of the first ways people protect themselves is by analyzing the situation and then placing blame. In the first stages of divorce, this can feel like a release; recounting the “little things” that now add up to monumental offenses, mulling over your ex-partner’s bad habits, all the ways in which you now love him or her...NOT. Psychologically this is the first step in self-protection and processing the loss of the relationship.

The problem begins when individuals become stuck in the “blame stage”. While it is human nature to believe we are right while the other party is wrong, we are also aware that somewhere in the middle lies the truth. This awareness can be lost when we feel hurt, betrayed, and fear for the future. Part of regaining your power involves letting go.

Although this may sound odd, the truth is that once you actually decide to move forward from the divorce, you regain your life. Yes, you will still have to deal with your ex-partner if you have children together. The goal is to communicate in a way that meets the needs of the children, while taking the emotions out. It sounds easier than it is, but with practice, being positive will not only benefit you, but provide good role modeling for your children.