If you so choose, you can use the internet to avoid virtually all person-to-person contact; sign contracts electronically, transfer funds from account to account, transact business, order dinner and a movie, but can you use Facebook to sidestep the awkward — and sometimes difficult — process of serving divorce papers on your estranged spouse? Not always, says one judge. [More]
Falling into love and get married can be so much fun, but often, the reverse isn’t quite a blast. That is, unless you and your formerly beloved decide to untie the knot with a nice, relaxing weekend getaway, so you can celebrate permanently getting away from each other.
If there’s one day that’s even more painful than all the rest when you’re in a bad relationship, it’s Valentine’s Day. Everyone around you is smooching under flowery bowers of love with little birds chirping and singing and you’re arguing under a freeway underpass about who bought toilet paper last and besides, it was the wrong kind of toilet paper and I don’t love you anymore. Here’s where a free divorce might be nice. [More]
Usually, our staff Certified Tax Cat handles questions about taxes, but he got into some really bad ‘nip and is taking the year off. Filling in for him is Laura’s dad, a retired accountant and real live independent tax preparer. Exclusively on Consumerist, Tax Dad answers your questions. [More]
While we’re sure there are plenty of people out there who are just over the moon with joy that Valentine’s Day is almost here (“Hearts! Chocolate! Squee!” etc.), there are those of us who dread that day’s arrival with every fiber of our being. For that second set, a Michigan lawyer has come up with a genius way to give someone a Valentine’s gift they actually need — a free divorce. [More]
If I’ve learned anything from reading readers’ letters, it’s that I should never get divorced. Or married. Or die. All of these seemingly routine life changes confuse companies so badly that you’d think they had never happened before. But Jake, a longtime T-Mobile customer, has been cast into a special consumer hell after his divorce. His ex canceled the credit card he had used to set up automatic payments, and reversed his payments to the phone company. So they charge him the balance on his next bill, he pays it, and all is well, right? I mean, he’s a 7-year customer with no late payments. It’s not like he’s a credit risk or anything. Except….he is now. And he has to pay his T-Mobile bills in cash, in person, for the remainder of his contract.
If you’re going to be goofing off on the Internet anyway, you might as well make some money at it, right? That’s how so many of us find ourselves doing tiny tasks using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk in the wee hours of the morning. Reader Alex recently started using it, too. He’s built up a nice balance, which he would like to withdraw using his Amazon payments account. Only he can’t, because that account is a joint one with his ex-wife. Who he never added to his payments account, but might have had a wedding registry with long ago. Now Amazon has locked him out of his payments account entirely, and he can’t fix the situation. Hey, $75 is $75.
When you live with someone and share financial obligations, the end of the relationship hits your wallet as much as it does your heart. Splitting up forces you to take an inventory of false assumptions and trust issues you and your ex had with money as well as everything else.
If you have to go through the misery of a divorce, now is as good a time as any to proceed. Plunging home prices and the struggling economy have a way of making financial separations less painful, with some caveats.
Reader Douglas’s wife left him, which we’re very sad to hear. He wrote to Consumerist about it because he’s still paying for her ring, which they purchased at Jared when they got married two years ago. He’s struggling financially, and made arrangements with the company to make payments of $50 per month at a lower interest rate. A few months later, they suddenly raised the payments back up to $100, claiming that there is nothing they can do to change the situation. Douglas is stuck.
Natalie separated from her husband and called Geico about separating her car insurance from her soon-to-be ex, but was told the rate would go up quite a bit. She’s feeling discriminated against:
You already know that it’s not healthy to fight about money all the time, but it might be a bigger risk factor for divorce than you think. A 2009 University of Virginia study found that couples who argue about finances every a week are 30% more likely to divorce than those who argue less frequently. In addition, a couple that marries with no assets are 70% more likely to divorce in three years than a couple bringing $10k in assets into the union.
Deb tells Consumerist that she did the proper thing after her divorce: months ago, she brought a copy of the divorce decree to her local Bank of America branch so they could remove her ex-husband from the account. The branch manager declared the situation taken care of, which is why Deb was horrified to learn last week that her ex’s name had never been removed from the account, and he had transferred its contents–all of her money–into his own account. Yep, the branch manager made a mistake, and no one at BoA will admit that it was their mistake.
At first glance, an awful economy would seem to be bad for marriages, since money squabbles would presumably lead to more fights. But divorce filings are down 50 percent nationally according to an Associated Press story.
Sources around the country say that the divorce rate is down nationwide, though it’s usually higher during economic recessions. One theory as to why: the economy is bad, but people are marrying later and cohabiting more frequently than past generations.
Life is full of surprises and challenges. Luckily, there’s a tax form for just about all of them. Via Kiplinger’s, here’s 14 major life events that allow for smart tax-saving moves, and how to make those moves.
We knew Ambien could cause sleep driving and sleep eating, but this man blames it for causing him to hook up with a woman he barely knows. Now he says the woman has called his home and refers to him as her f*** buddy, and yet he can’t even remember the act. Oh also, he’s married.