Category : Divorce Rights

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Divorced Women Lose Health Insurance

Each year, thousands of couples file and go through the divorce process. While divorce has become notorious for bringing about long heated battles between husband and wife, there are other repercussions that can be more damaging than losing marital property. Health insurance is already a frequently debated topic in our nation with President Obama’s health care plan to bring about a new era in health care coverage. However, a recent study has shown that divorce of all things can affect a woman’s ability to retain their health care coverage. Let’s take a look.

Study Released

A study released by the University of Michigan and supported by the University of Michigan’s national Poverty Center shows a reoccurring problem for women after divorce. The study was analyzed and focused on nationally representative data ranging from 1996 to 2007. It had a range of ages in women from 26 to 64. The results of the study showed that 65,000 divorced women will lose all of their health insurance coverage in the months following a divorce. The reasons stated was that they no longer would qualify as dependents under their husband’s policies, and many reported being unable to afford the premiums that go with having private insurance. In spite of the financial hardships that can be a result of a divorce, many of these women do not qualify for Medicaid and other various public insurance options.

Reasons for the Repercussions

Women with employer-based jobs were said to have less trouble in losing their coverage. It was reported that women in moderate-income families face the greatest loss of insurance coverage. They are seemingly caught in the middle, while higher income women can afford private premiums and lower-income families qualify for public aid of certain kinds. Women and families in the middle can do neither.

It remains to be seen what the Affordable Care Act can do to potentially change this situation, or if it is something that will need to be readdressed separately as part of an overarching plan to get people insurance who were covered under their ex-husbands or even ex-wife’s plans. However, there are provisions that will potentially address this situation that may be of substantial help to those in need.

While divorce can be a socially and financially taxing time it doesn’t always have to be. At, we have all the information needed to learn about divorce laws and the divorce process. Pursuing an uncontested online divorce can be a way to save both time and money when entering into the divorce process. Visit to learn how you can pursue a cheap, online divorce today.

Bizarre Divorce Story from Across the Globe


Throughout the years politicians have been caught doing some downright despicable things. Some closeted skeletons eventually find their way out and justice prevails. However, in a less democratic country in which the two words “Sharia law” are still bantered about comes the unnerving evidence of just how unfair some situations can be.

Divorce Woes in Indonesia

From Jarkarta, Indonesia comes a story of an imbalance of social power and divorce. Aceng Fikri is a local head of the district Garut in West Java, Indonesia. Fikri, already married with children, decided to take a second wife. While few Muslims practice polygamy, it is not against Indonesian law. However, civil servants are prohibited from taking second wives because of the strict regulation upon their private lives.

Questionable Ethics in Any Land

Fikri already caused a stir by taking a second bride, who also happened to be 16 years old, named is Fani Oktara. Although 16 is the legal age for marriage in Indonesia, as stated, Fikri was already married with children. After the marriage, Fikri claimed that Oktara was not a virgin as she claimed and wanted to dissolve the marriage. Fikri divorced Oktara through a text message, which he later claimed he was allowed to do due to Sharia Law. The subsequent fallout and public outrage culminated after Oktara and her family filed a police complaint stating Fikri falsified his marital status, along with defamation of character and unpleasant conduct. Many citizens have protested in Garut, calling for his resignation. Many hope to use this case as an eye-opener to change of the common cases of human trafficking, the illegal sex-trade, and the exploitation of women which have been a widely known problem in the province of West Java. Also, how many times are the ideas of Sharia Law and text messages connected in the same sentence?

It is a far cry from the problems couples commonly face in Western Civilizations, and seems to make the divorces of celebrities and millionaires very self serving, self-centered, and disenchanting. Divorce is no laughing matter, no matter which country and set of laws one may live under. Knowing the divorce procedures can better arm you, whether you are husband or wife, to make your divorce a smooth as possible. To learn more about the U.S. state divorce laws, or how you can qualify for an uncontested online divorce, visit today.

New York’s New Strange Divorce Law

New York has never played by common divorce laws adopted by basically every other U.S. state, so it’s no surprise the little stubborn state is making waves again. This time the Empire State is getting flack for their alimony laws. More specifically, the way New York divorce courts recognize degrees obtained during a marriage is under scrutiny.

Case in Point

In a Wall Street Journal article on the subject, an example of the unfair New York alimony laws was found in the divorce case between Tanya Finch and Kenneth Quarty. The couple married in 2000, around the time Finch started working on her nursing degree. The couple divorced in 2009, by which time Finch had received her nursing degree. During the divorce, Quarty requested and was eligible to receive a percentage of the money Finch would potentially earn as a direct result of the degree she earned during their marriage.

Quarty was able to obtain this “potentially” earned money upfront because of the New York divorce law that recognizes a degree or professional license as marital property. New York courts calculate the lifetime worth of the degree, and divide that value into two as a part of the marital estate. This practice and New York’s other strange divorce laws have been petitioned and submitted for review.

Who Really Owns Your Degree?

When people enroll in any college, university, trade or skilled craft course, they anticipate the moment when they will receive a certificate of completion with their name on it. However, based on the New York law, that certificate or diploma might as well be reprinted to state the alumnus’s spouses’ name as well as the alumnus’s. In fact, any employee may as well include their spouses name on their payroll account because the state of New York also views any profits from any career as marital property.

New York’s law is not unfounded completely because any spouses income is in theory supplemented and supported by the other spouse’s support, which can be as menial as washing dishes while the student spouse is studying.

Why, Oh, Why?

However, New York lawyers and divorcees are not fighting the order to pay spousal support or maintenance. New Yorkers are astonished by and fighting the courts’ ability to grant “potential income,” which is money a person has not earned yet. New York citizens are frozen stiff at the sheer amount of money they “owe” their divorced spouse, most of which they are not even expected to have at the time of ruling.

The New York alimony regulations were originally fashioned to level the playing field for low-income, dependent spouses of a divorce. Yet in these changing times, the inequality of the laws and regulations have been exposed. Currently, New York law makers are waiting for the Law Revision Commission report before taking measures to change this piece of legislature.

Divorce Your Technology Too

The New Year is almost here, and we all know what that means for many unhappily married couples: Splitsville. Some couples may be just holding on long enough to make it through the holidays, or some spouses may be waiting for the holidays to end to drop the hammer. Either way, divorce is a serious undertaking which requires completely separating one spouses’ belongings from the other spouses’. But beyond packing up your knickknacks and clothes in boxes there is another world that needs to be cleaned out and separated as well, and that is the cyber world.

Technology is a wonderful tool to connect with those you love, but when you’re trying to break from certain people it can be easy to forget about your cyber world. Here are a few helpful tips to making your new single, private life truly private.

iCloud Hazards: iCloud is a great way to ensure you will never lose precious pictures and more because it backs up your phone, laptop, and more on the easily accessible web. If you had iCloud, chances are your spouse has access to it too. Disconnecting your device from the marital iCloud may seem like a hassle, but it’s well worth it. Breaking the connection between iCloud and your phone or laptop will prevent your ex from the occasional late night stalking. It’s not cruel or selfish to do this, it’s smart. Would you want your ex reading your texts?

Wipe the Memory Clean: You may think we are just paranoid now, but if the temptation is there, so will your ex. If you used the family computer just think of all the passwords, usernames, credit card information, and more you saved and stored. Better be safe than sorry, so do yourself a favor and wipe the computer’s history clean. Don’t forget to check and make sure your auto-populated usernames and passwords are cleaned out too.

Location, Location, Location: You may forget all of the nifty things your smartphone can do, but you’re ex might not forget. When you got your smartphone no doubt you went through the phase of buying any and every app you could get, some of which probably included a locator or tracking device. Some apps make the great stalking game open to friends, so check your friends list to make sure you don’t mind any of them knowing where you are. Some smartphones even have a built in tracking device in case they were lost, which can easily be used to track your whereabouts at any time.

Change is Good: If you follow any of these tips, please let this be one of them: Change your passwords. Most, if not all, couples share or just tell each other passwords without a second thought; but your relationship has changed and it’s not a bad idea to change your passwords along with the relationship status.

Marriage Isn’t a Moral Measuring Stick

85784552Gray divorce was a big deal about three months ago, but now it’s nothing more than a little section on Huffintington Post: Divorce. It appears the world has already tired of the topic, except when celebrities and public figures are involved.

It’s true, Buzz Aldrin and his soon-to-be ex-wife, Lois Driggs Cannon, filed for divorce on December 28th, 2012. We won’t get into the details of the divorce because the amount of money the almost-former Ms. Aldrin is getting makes our pupils turn into dollar signs. What we will get into is how this piece of Aldrin news isn’t quite so depressing or indicative of moral looseness as one might assume.

Dear Old Buzz

Since making the second set of footprints on the moon, Buzz Aldrin has had quite a time of it in life. He’s been through a battle with alcoholism, two divorces and marriages, and a lifetime struggle of being labeled #2. The man is currently 82 years old, and has had a turbulent, probably exhausting life. Yet even at such a jaw dropping age he is making decisions a person half his age is making; he’s getting divorced and continuing his pursuit of happiness.

Buzz Aldrin just might reignite the world’s fascination with gray divorce. Well, at this point it’s more like white divorce, but here’s why divorce at any age isn’t telling of an amoral society.

Marriage Isn’t a Moral Measuring Stick

For generations marriage has been closely associated with morality, wholesomeness, and everything good and pure. But this is a romantic, unrealistic view of what marriage means for society. Just because a couple has decided to legally enter a union does not mean that life is in any way better than a single person’s life. Marriage shouldn’t be viewed just as something people in our world do. Ask yourself, do you want to get married because it’s something “people do”?

This question is what is really so shocking about gray divorce. News about gray divorce snaps people out of their day-to-day lives and makes them reevaluate their own situations. If older people, who are supposed to just wait around for the end, are refusing to settle in their lives, then why should the younger generations? The answer is: They shouldn’t.

Marriage is ________

So if marriage isn’t a moral measuring stick, what is it? Marriage is supposed to the be ultimate display and symbol of love. But love is a fickle emotion, as any stereotypical adolescent knows. For a marriage to stay a real marriage (meaning: still full of love), the spouses must constantly check in on their relationship, which is the basis of the marriage.(Could that simplistic idea be our answer? “Marriage is a relationship.”)

No one wants to be wrong, but if a marriage is discovered to run out of love without a hope of a refill, then why shouldn’t divorce be the solution? If this realization should creep into my life, I hope I have the strength to take a page from Buzz Aldrin and continue to live life like it has meaning up until the end.

As it stands, marriage is viewed as a test with only two options: pass or fail. But since the fail rate is about 50%, maybe it’s time to view marriage in a new light.

Love, Divorce, and ‘Family’ Matters

200209831-001In the 21st century we like our families mixed. With the rise in divorce, it’s almost impossible for anyone to say they don’t have at least one step relation or acquaintance. This used to be a shameful topic because divorce used to be seen as a shameful act. But now marriage is seen as a romantic, heartfelt decision rather than a rational necessity, and there is (relatively) no shame in ending an unhappy marriage.

Yet after ending an unhappy marriage, you may be faced with the task of deciding who your family is. Does this signal the breakdown of the family as we know it, or the beginning of an evolved family structure?

21st Century Family

In 2010, the Pew Research Center uncovered that 42% of 2,691 surveyed adults had at least one step-relative in their family; of those 2,691, 30% had a step or half sibling, and 18% had a living stepparent. Welcome to the make up of almost every 21st century family, thanks to gender equality, changing morals, modernized divorce laws, and whatever else we can blame the high divorce rate on.

While 21st century families don’t quite look like The Jetsons, 21st century families do slightly resemble the Jetsons’ robot maid, Rosie. Like Rosie, 21st century families are made of different pieces fused together. In 21st century families, there are step-siblings, ex-stepparents, various “uncles” and “aunts” who aren’t related by blood or marriage, and ex-relations’ relations who need sentence-long introductions.

Yet somehow all these people can be easily defined as “family.” Family is usually defined as “a group of persons of common ancestry,” but there are many other definitions.

Are You My Family? includes groups who share the same home, share the same convictons and values, as well as various related organisms as part of the definition of “family.” This is because relationships and the semantics of those relationships are complicated. Once two people have become acquainted they cannot un-know each other. The result is one big, happy Frankenfamily.

Remember the old saying, “You can’t choose your family”? Well, consider that saying to be outdated. With in-laws and other “family” coming and going in and out of marriage, there is a choice. If you never really bonded, you can let an ex-in-law fall by the wayside; on the flip side, if you have a strong bond with a now-ex-in-law, you don’t necessarily have to let them go. Of course every family is different, and the decision to keep a certain “relative” around is up to the individual.

Is the Family Stronger?

The term “Frankenfamily” might not be very inspiring or reassuring, but it’s very possible the Frankenfamily is a much stronger unit than the family of old. The traditional perception of family chains a person to relationships with people they may not care for in the least. But the Frankenfamily is created upon much more stable ground since the person chooses and admits people into their family.

The Frankenfamily does not completely disband or destroy the traditional family, it just allows the family tree to be pruned. Who wants rotting branches on their family tree, anyway? Not I, that’s for sure.

The Number 1 Rule of Co-Parenting

shocked babyWe’re back, and we’re ready to get right into the number one rule of co-parenting after divorce or during the divorce process. Like we said in the last blog, this rule seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many times this rule is broken. Here it is: Never ever speak ill of the other spouse in front of the children.

Think of the Children

You may be thinking to yourself “Really? That’s the big rule?” But before you brush us off, hear us out. Bad-mouthing your ex in front of your children greatly harms them, and the effects can last a lifetime. You see, your child gets half of their genes, features, and mannerisms from your ex. So when you verbally mutilate your ex, in your child’s eyes, you’re mutilating them as well.

Not only can this create resentment (directed at you, no less) within your child, this creates anxiety and fear within your child as well. In a Huffington Post article, a researching author shared the fruits of her research about the effects of divorce on children. One of her subjects, “Mike,” is a 43 year-old, well put together man who has lived in fear of his mother viewing him as a “loser,” like his dad.

Another subject brings up a separate issue: the damage the resentment you hold has on you. “Heidi” is a 38 year-old stylist who dreads bringing people to her mother’s house because her mother can’t resist the temptation to tell visitors about her greedy ex-husband. Heidi’s parent’s divorced 30 years ago, and the only growth in her mother’s life is her healthy 30 year-old resentment.

But here’s the real kicker, bad-mouthing is not just a horrible habit, it’s a component of parental alienation, which is being recognized more and more.

Extra-Parental Alienation

Parental alienation is a term for the subconscious (or conscious) practice of undermining the relationship between the child and the other parent. Parental alienation can take place due to bad-mouthing the other parent in front of the child, which changes the child’s perception of the other parent; by asking your child to spy on the other parent; by disrupting the other parent’s visitation; making your child feel guilty for spending time with the other parent, and so much more.

You may be doing these things without meaning to, so be careful to stay unbiased with your child when it comes to your ex. Without intending to, you may be causing harm to your child; for example, if you let the child choose between spending time with one or the other parent, this could translate to the child as a loyalty test. So how do you navigate co-parenting after divorce, without meandering into the dark side?

Stopping the He Said, She Said

Here are a few ways to put your foot down on parental alienation, without putting your foot in your mouth:

- Don’t fight fire with fire. If it turns out your ex is bad-mouthing you, resist the urge to address this with your child. In trying to set the record straight, you may end up caught in the bad-mouthing cycle yourself.

-  Take the high road. If your child comes to you with disturbing slander your ex dished out, don’t be too reactive. Just say something like you don’t know why they would say that, and they probably didn’t mean it. If the cause of the divorce comes up, just leave it at you two divorced because you couldn’t get along, and that has nothing to do with the child.

- Find a vent. Divorce creates emotionally draining and straining situations, just recognize and accept this. To prevent the urge to bad-mouth and vent your divorce frustrations with your child, find a friend, relative, professional, or group to do this with instead. For your sanity and your child’s, find another venting source.

North Dakota’s Divorce Bill Revisited

North Dakota divorceDivorce is a hot topic in any society because it involves family values, religion, and personal beliefs. Some people find divorce a non-option, while others view is as a sign of an evolved society. Divorce is, however, as personal a choice as religion; therefore, it should be left for the individual to decide on. But apparently, some North Dakota senators haven’t received that memo about free will.

The Original Senate Bill 2367

The good people of North Dakota dodged a legislative bullet in 2011 when Senate Bill 2367 was rejected. Bill 2367 was brought to the Senate by Senators Larsen, Sitte, and Wanzek, and supported by Representatives Grande, Koppelman, and Ruby. The bill originally recommended a two-fold change in North Dakota divorces with children involved:

  1. Extend the waiting period to 1 year, which would mean spouses would have to wait 1 year after filing for divorce before continuing the divorce process. If there is “substantiated allegations of domestic abuse,” the waiting period may be waived.
  2. Instate mandatory marital counseling of 10 hours, which must be provided by the spouses themselves. The spouses may undergo marital counseling together or separately as long as the sessions are with a “paid or volunteer counselor, clergy member, or any state-certified or licensed marriage mediator.” Four sessions must focus on post-marital finances.

The bill was rejected by the Senate, but was allowed to be revised into “[a] bill to provide for legislative management study relating to divorce reform and education.” In other words, instead of letting the unwanted bill die in the Senate, the Senators decided to turn it into an opportunity to study divorce on children in North Dakota.

Recently, a revised Senate Bill 2367 has found its way back into the Senate and currently awaits deliberation.

Is the New Senate Bill 2367 Good Enough?

The new Senate Bill 2367 has one major revision, but will it be enough to pass the Senate? The revised bill cut the proposed waiting period in half, so now spouses with children seeking a divorce only have to wait 6 months to finalize the divorce after filing the divorce petition. The spouses must still go through 10 hours of marital counseling, and pay for it out of pocket. However, if there is “substantiated” domestic violence in the marriage, the waiting period is waived.

The downsized waiting period is a step in the right direction, but there are still a number of vaguely written sand traps waiting for unsuspecting divorcees to fall right into.

  1. What constitutes a “substantiated allegation”? Sure, if one was a victim of domestic violence and they went to the hospital for treatment, they could use hospital records as evidence or proof; if the victim called the police, they could use the police report or 911 call transcript. But not many victims seek medical attention or help. In fact, it’s estimated only about 25% of domestic violence incidents are reported or documented. Before this bill is passed, it should be clear what constitutes a “substantiated allegation.” If this vagueness is overlooked, the state of North Dakota could be sentencing a victim of domestic violence to 6 months of torment and fear.
  2. Marital counseling is expensive, and not available to everyone. The average cost of marital counseling is $100, and that’s per hour. $100 is a conservative price for counseling, which would bring the (conservative) cost of North Dakota divorce to an additional $600. It’s commendable the authors of Bill 2367 recognized the cost of this additional legislation and noted the counselor could be a “paid or volunteer counselor” or “clergyman.” However, the additional cost makes divorce out of low-income spouses’ reach; does that sound like a violation of civil rights to anyone else?
  3. A bill for the children should think of the children. Senate Bill 2367 was drafted out of regard and in consideration of the children of divorce. But I ask the authors if forcing parents, who clearly want a divorce, to continue to be married is beneficial for the children. Court-administered co-parenting classes would be a better option of looking out for the children of divorce than making the children live in a toxic, stressful home.

Have anything to contribute to the discussion of North Dakota’s Senate Bill 2367? We’re all ears (or eyes, since this a written medium).

DOMA & The New Marriage Frontier

supreme court divorce decisionLove, marriage, and matters of the heart are a highly personal matter. However, due to the governmental role in monitoring society’s well being and maintaining a census, marriage (and subsequently love and matters of the heart) are of governmental and federal concern. Currently, the Third Section of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is being challenged as unconstitutional. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. will be spearheading the Supreme Court case of the United States v. Windsor, which is scheduled to begin on March 27th.


In 1996 the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was passed, and unleashed a fervor of debate throughout America that has lasted even until today. DOMA defined and solidified “marriage” as a union solely between a man and a woman. DOMA has a two-pronged approach: First, it does not legally recognize same-sex marriages, and secondly, it allows each state to either recognize or not recognize same-sex marriages as well.

The ratification of DOMA means the federal government cannot legally recognize same-sex marriages, and consequently denies legally married same-sex couples federal benefits, like survivorship. Survivorship allows married couples to pass ownership of property and benefits of a deceased spouse to their surviving spouse.


In 2011, the Obama administration made a policy decision to no longer protect DOMA’s constitutionality in court because “. . . this discrimination cannot be justified as substantially furthering any important governmental interest . . .” According to the General Solicitor Verrilli Jr.’s case, DOMA violates the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause that states “all persons similarly situated should be treated alike.”

DOMA is challenged by Edith Windsor, a woman 83 years old. Edith Windsor was married to Thea Spyer, after a 40 year engagement, in 2007. Two years later in 2009, Ms. Spyer died and left her estate to her spouse, Ms. Windsor. Due to DOMA, Ms. Windsor has spent $600,000 to pay state and federal taxes on the estate left to her by Ms. Spyer. So in 2012, Ms. Windsor mounted a mission to strike DOMA from federal and state law, and that journey has brought about the case of the United States v. Windsor.


Earlier this month on February 19th, journalist Jonathan Capehart published an article, “Americans are done with DOMA,” in the Washington Post discussing the recent poll findings about the American public’s position on DOMA. The poll, held by The Respect for Marriage Coalition, found that 75% of voters believe same-sex marriage is a Constitutional right.

This belief is held across political party lines. 91% of Democrats, 75% of Independents, and 56% of Republicans support the idea that same-sex marriage is a Constitutional right. Furthermore, the poll discovered that 83% of the American public, regardless of personal opinion, believes same-sex marriage will be nationally legal in the next 5 to 10 years; 77% of the American public believes same-sex marriage will be nationally legal in the next couple of years.

The purpose of Capehart’s article is to bring to light how Americans of all political affiliation are seemingly aware of the discriminatory nature of DOMA, and have accepted the place same-sex marriage has in society, whether or not they personally agree with homosexuality. Capehart’s article brings up the point that people are aware that because a law or life choice exists, opponents can peacefully coexist as non-participants.

What are your thoughts on the DOMA law and the current actions to strike the DOMA’s 3rd Section from federal law?

The Logic Fallacy Behind Iowa’s Divorce Bill

logical fallacy in Iowa divorce billIn the past month, the U.S. has seen some strange marriage and divorce legislative moves from various states. In early February, North Dakota revisited an old House Bill that would force parents to observe a 6 month waiting period and undergo counseling before finalizing the divorce. The bill had been introduced a year earlier, but it was rejected because it originally had a year waiting period.

Apparently the divorce reform is an infectious virus, and Iowa has got it bad.