Who Cares About the Kids During a Divorce?

Who Cares About the Kids During Divorce?

At the time this is being written, I have just been ordered by a judge to represent a couple in the sale of their divorce home, as their realtor.  I am angry.  Actually I’m very angry, but I certainly cannot express myself in this way because I must remain impartial and act in the best interests of both parties.

Here is what has me this way:  Money is being spent at an alarming rate.  Needlessly.  The divorce has been going on for at least two years.  The divorce has been final for nine months.  One party (I’m not going to say whether it’s the husband or wife because I’ve seen it from both sides) has been using every delay tactic you of which you can imagine.  Wants to refinance the home and buy out the other’s interest is the current reason.  Long delays in answering any and all questions/queries.  The list goes on.  Does not want to sign my representation paperwork until his attorney has reviewed.

My first order of business whenever I am going to be representing divorce clients is to order a title search (at my expense).  This can uncover some interesting items unknown by the one of the involved people.  In this case, I discovered a line of credit for close to $200,000.  Unbeknownst by the husband/wife not living in the home.

You may be sure that a great amount of this has gone toward attorney fees.  More probably went to make up the difference when two homes in another state were sold ‘under water’, meaning the homes had to be sold for less than was owed.  The person’s name not living in the house did not have their names on the title.

Are you with me so far?  I hope so because I’m leaving out a LOT of other details!

Let’s start doing a bit of math.  The line of credit (by one person) is $200,000+/-.  Let’s be generous and say half was spent on selling the two out-of-state homes at losses.  That leaves $100,000.  Every single time the attorney takes a phone call, an email, goes back to court, and works on the case, it is part or all of $300-$500 per hour.

We are forgetting something here, what is it?  Oh!  Every single time their attorney is active, the Ex’s attorney has to get involved.  Assuming the same rates, expenses, we’ve crossed the $200,000 mark.  And the house still isn’t sold and the equity split.

Equity.  I calculated, as a matter of course, an estimated cost of selling the home.  IF the home sells for $800,000, there will be a little over $140,000 to split between the two.  No, that can’t be right.  Don’t forget the $189,000 line of credit which MUST be satisfied when the home is finally sold; or one party buys out the other.  The $140,000, I should note, is AFTER the line of credit is deducted.

Wait, it get’s better.  If everything were settled today,  the amount of money to split between the pair should be $329,000.  But, because one of them has spent $189,000 without the other’s permission or knowing, by my calculations (which may be a bit off, but that doesn’t matter, which you will understand at the end of this story), the person still living in the home will OWE $119,000+/- to the ex.

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Experience May …

Experience May Not Prevent It From Happening Again.

The following is an answer to a blog I wrote on another site. One woman took EXCEPTIONAL offense to me, saying that I had no right to offer her advice when I obviously could not handle a similar experience in my own life. Here was my answer to her and everyone else who reads that site:

All of you have heard me offer suggestions based on my own experiences, trials, and tribulations. Never theory.

Someone recently let me know that maybe I’m a fake because I tell everyone else what to do and I’m now having troubles of my own, and it is a shame they would think that way. I don’t think Ive ever TOLD someone what to do, but suggested they try something based on my own experience.

As you all know, without my telling you, there is no sure cure for everything. You know, take this pill and all your troubles will go away forever. Every situation and scenario is different.

Sometimes an experience and the lessons we learned will prevent a reoccurrence; sometimes lessen the impact if it happens again; and sometimes prevent it from ever happening again.

The one true intangible in all of this is the other person. We can do a lot to change/control/alter ourselves. We have very limited control over what is going on with our partner. Their thoughts processes are different. Their interpretations of the very same events may be different.

When it comes down to it, you draw on your own reserves and do the very best you can. Then hope to goodness things work out.

(What I THINK happened is that she needed someone to vent on and I just happened to get in her crosshairs!)

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The Hidden Emotional Costs of Divorce

The Hidden Emotional Costs of Divorce

DIVORCE.  One of the most dreaded words in the English language as far as I’m concerned.  You are losing someone with whom you have shared your life; someone whom you had planned to spend much more time with.  You are losing affections, memories, perhaps children, furniture, etc.  Don’t roll your eyes, furniture has an emotional part in this—it’s a loss.

But divorce from your spouse is just the surface part of the divorce.  You lose friends; brothers-in-law; sisters-in-law; nieces; nephews, mothers/fathers-in-law (okay, you get to chose whether this is good or bad!); and friends.  And, let’s not forget pets.

Yes, divorcing your spouse is simply the tip of the iceberg.

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Developing the Idea of a Niche Market

Readers, this is an excellent article if you are trying to decide what kind of business you can develop.  I used the same tactics when coming up with the idea to specialize in divorce real estate.

Good luck.  Randy

Strategies and Tactics for Women

by Dr. Shannon Reece

Ask Shannon: Niche Narrowing Strategies?

Question: ”In order to narrow my niche, what do you think about making inquiries via Reporter Connection about overwhelm for various niches, writing articles, and seeing what reaction they generate?”

– Dr. Monique Y. Wells, Understanding Time Management, Paris, France

Shannon’s Answer: Monique, thank you so much for your question! First of all, thinking about ways to narrow your niche and get really targeted with your marketing is a great plan. Too often entrepreneurs try to be everything to everyone, which leaves their marketing messages rather unfocused.  Contrary to what new entrepreneurs might think, directing your marketing strategies on a narrow niche actually makes attracting clients much easier.

Become a Reporter

One of the best ways to find out what your ideal customers really want is to simply ask them, and there are many avenues you could utilize to gather than information.  If you have a large, interactive email list, you can simply entice them to complete a questionnaire.

For those with smaller, growing lists you can certainly draw parties interested in your focus area by submitting queries to sites like Reporter Connection or HARO (helpareporter.com). The other advantage with this strategy is getting your name out to a broader audience of potential customers, and peers who may already be working with your target clients. Quality survey questions and reporter queries will certainly provide you with lots to write about, from which you can measure interest. But none of that will matter if you aren’t certain that you are trekking down the right niche path.

Know Thyself

The clients I have had the pleasure of working with know that polling the public is not step one in my book. Before you start looking outward for your niche, you must first do some serious self-examination. Yes, it’s vital to know that there is a need “out there” that people are willing to spend money to fill. But you have to know the best of what you have to offer before you can begin to wrap it up in a pretty marketing package to a specific niche.

Ask yourself the following questions to establish a baseline from which to work –

  • What do you really love to do, that when engaged in it, time seems to stand still?
  • What are your greatest strengths and gifts?
  • What are you strongest experiences that have helped shape you into the woman you are today?
  • What group of people do you naturally gravitate toward, and have the easiest time relating?
  • Where do your passions lie?
  • Based on all the information above, what do you believe is the one problem for the group of people you are drawn to struggle with, for which you can provide a unique solution that is not currently being offered?

The more you know yourself, the more you will know who you are designed and prepared to assist. Once you know who your target audience is, you can discover where to connect with them, and begin to ask them deep questions to draw out what they really want and are willing to pay for. And that’s where the strategy you asked about above can be handy.

I use HARO nearly every week to poll interest on a variety of subjects pertaining to entrepreneurship, and am always thrilled with the wealth of information and insight that comes pouring in. Not only do I get to share valuable content with my audience, but I get to see what is important to them, and others who share their comments.

As with anything in business, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Just make sure that you have a plan in place wherever you decide to invest your precious time. That way you can measure your results against your goals and determine when it’s time to change course to keep moving ahead.

To your business success,

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Lauren’s New Home

Lauren moved into her own home yesterday!!!!  Post divorce.

She was scared of the responsibility of owning a home on her own, and elated to have a home that is truly her own.

You’ve all seen the commercials about something being priceless?  Absolutely nothing compared to the look on her face.  I just glad I was the one able to help put it there.

Randy Morrow


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Will There Be Laughter in Your Future?

Will There Be Laughter in Your Future?

In the fall of 1988, I had quit my job working out of town.  I drove 300 miles that day and pulled into the driveway to find the front door wide open and the screen door flapping.  I walked in to find the famous furniture lines in the carpet where furniture had once sat.

At least not all the furniture was gone.  She left some of the old stuff that was in bad shape anyway.  The electricity was working, thank goodness.  The water was turned off–bill hadn’t been paid.  I found a couple of buckets and went across the street to the neighbor.  She said it had looked like a fleet of rats running in and out of the house just before I came home trying to get finished!

The next morning, I’m sitting by the living room window just sort of ‘sitting’, when a green trucks pulls up out front.  The man gets out and promptly turns off the electricity–unpaid bill.

I went down to the bank to get any money that might be left and close the account and….overdrawn!

What a fun 24 hours!!!  It got even better, but I think you get the picture, except for just a little bit more.  I had been sending almost all my paychecks home.  And………found the house was foreclosed because of non-payment.

I camped out in my own house until they found out.

Please understand something.  I wasn’t a perfect or bad husband.  I simply did not make enough money for her tastes.

Okay, enough of that, let’s get to the title of this writing–What Will the Future Feel Like?

Yesterday, I attended a ‘thank you’ breakfast for a charity I support.  A place for families to get back on their feet.  The director called later in the day to say thank you for coming.  During our conversation I started laughing pretty hard.

Naturally, I had to tell her this story. I could hardly tell it with a straight voice.  ISN’T THAT WONDERFUL?  Taking a situation like that and realizing what I had overcome, where I’m at in life today, and actually thinking of that particular 24hrs in that light!!

YOU will too.  This is what I want all of you to understand.  One day, assuming you work hard to not become a victim, will have this experience.  You will understand just how strong you are inside.

And YOU are, you know…………STRONG.


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Questions I Will Ask When Listing Your Home for Sale

Questions I Will Ask When Listing Your Home for Sale.

1.  Are there any liens against your home?  (You might as well be honest with me because I’m going to search and find out).

2.  Are there any pending lawsuits?

3.  Are you completely against selling the home?  I ask this of each partner so as to gauge the ‘possibility’ of one side trying to sabotage the sale.

4.  Are the two of you amicable or barely speaking?

5.  Are there children involved?  If so (and if they are old enough), would you be opposed to including them in the process of going through the paperwork to place the home for sale?

Why do I do this?  I believe (from personal experience) the children will be healthier in the long run if they understand what is happening, rather than be left to their own imaginations which will probably be ten times worse than the real thing.

6.  Have each of you sat down and seriously considered how much revenue you will need to live separately?  I provide a checklist for them.

There are many more questions, but these set the tone.  My quest is to make this as easy a process for you as possible, and getting things on the table immediately is the best way I’ve found.

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