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The We Chat Divorce Podcast

Episode 16: Choosing Courage in Midlife with Sheree Clark

In this episode of We Chat Divorce, we’re joined by Midlife Courage Coach Sheree Clark. She shares about moments where she had to choose courage and how you can do it, too.

You’ll have another opportunity to learn from Sheree Clark and many other experts (including us!) through an online event called “It’s YOUR Time: Turning the Midlife Crisis into Your Midlife awakening.” Sheree is interviewing all sorts of healthy living experts throughout the month of May. To access this free resource, click here. Our episode airs May 21st. To learn more, visit www.midlife-newlife.com.

Have questions or a topic you’d like us to cover in future episodes? Contact us at hello@mydivorcesolution.com

Episode 15: Divorce and Owning Your Own Destiny with Attorney Jessica VanderKam

In this episode of We Chat Divorce, we’re joined by attorney Jessica VanderKam to discuss the importance of being proactive in the divorce process and owning your own destiny. Jessica VanderKam is a partner with the firm Stuckert & Yates, which is based in Newtown, Pennsylvania. She is also a judicial candidate in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Our court system is overburdened. But you can make the most of your time in the courtroom by being as prepared as possible and by managing expectations. Knowledge and a plan will go a long way in helping you own your divorce destiny. That’s also where we come in. Have questions or a topic you’d like us to cover? Contact us at hello@mydivorcesolution.com

Episode 14: The My Divorce Solution Client Experience: Eileen

What is it like to work with us? In this episode of the We Chat Divorce podcast, one of our clients, Eileen, joins us to describe her experience. She has gone through all three phases of our proprietary program and is now enjoying a life of clarity and confidence.

If you have questions for us or a topic you’d like us to cover, contact us at hello@mydivorcesolution.com

Episode 13: Alimony, Spousal Support and Child Support: A Conversation with Attorney Charissa Liller

In this episode of the We Chat Divorce podcast, we’re joined by Charissa Liller, an attorney based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania practicing Family Law with the firm Curtin & Heefner. She began her career as a prosecutor and has been practicing law in Bucks County for over 20 years, with over 15 of those years focused on Family Law. Charissa is also running for Judge in Bucks County. She is seeking to bring experience, empathy, and consistency — qualities she brings to her family law practice – to the bench in support of families experiencing divorce.

Today she joins us for a conversation about guidelines and best practices related to Spousal Support, APL (Alimony Pendente Lite), and Child Support. Highlights include:

Support: an Overview

  • You do not have to be married to file for child support, as long as parents are living in separate households. If the parents are living within the same household, the court requires proof of a need to distinguish financial separation (bills aren’t being paid, utilities being turned off, groceries, certain expenses for the child)
  • If you are married, you can file for spousal support as long as you’re residing in physically separate residences.
  • Once you have filed for divorce, spousal support is then called APL.

Spousal Support vs. APL

  • APL is only when a divorce complaint is filed
  • With spousal support there’s an entitlement defense; the payor can claim claimant spouse is cheating, but the court requires proof. The remedy is to file a divorce claim, then you can file for APL.

Child Support Orders – What to Know

  • Extracurricular activities are not addressed in support orders. You can add provisions to the child support order providing both parental parties are agreeable to doing so and to the terms.
  • Medical expenses are always addressed. However, psychological and psychiatric expenses are not included with medical, so that language must be included as a provision in the order to ensure that expense is covered as a medical expense.
  • Support orders are always modifiable.

Final Tips:

  • Work with a CDFA to be clear on what your financial picture is and what it will be.
  • Don’t file support modifications on your own. Always consult with an attorney. You don’t know what you don’t know is key in divorce.

If you have questions for us or a topic you’d like us to cover, contact us at hello@mydivorcesolution.com.

Episode 12: My Divorce Resolution

It makes us sad to think of the people who are unhappily married, especially during the holidays. When you are unhappy, you behave in a way that doesn’t allow you to live your best life. You live just waiting for each day to end so a new one can begin. You tend to overlook all the beauty in the world and all the possibilities for a joyous life. You live with envy of others and the life you thought you were supposed to have instead of living with purpose and aspirations of attaining your dreams. We know this firsthand because we felt all of those emotions and more while we were going through our divorces. We also know it doesn’t have to be this way.

We also want to caution you to not simply jump into divorce because it’s at the top of your New Year’s Resolutions (right next to the Polar Bear Plunge). Consider these ten insights before taking the plunge toward divorce:

It matters where you start. Know your options.

  1. Divorce does not define you.
  2. Believe in yourself because you are enough, and you deserve to be happy.
  3. Bullying is never acceptable, not even in divorce.
  4. Divorce does not mess up your kids, it’s how both parents behave before, during, and after divorce that can mess up your kids!
  5. When negotiating your divorce, know that there is a difference between what is fair and what is equitable.
  6. You are stronger than you think.
  7. Don’t feel guilty for wanting to be happy.
  8. Knowledge in divorce is everything.
  9. You will be OK!

If you have questions for us or a topic you’d like us to cover, contact us at hello@mydivorcesolution.com

Episode 11: Holidays, Divorce, and Hope

Is this your first holiday after your divorce? Getting through all the “firsts” is a challenge. In episode 11 of the We Chat Divorce podcast, Catherine and Karen share their experiences with their first holidays during and after divorce. The emotions, the awkward situations and, ultimately, how they embraced all the opportunity that came with this change.

Episode 10: Real Solutions with Real Estate

In Episode #10 – Real Solutions with Real Estate, we talk about the realities of making decisions about real estate during divorce. Whether it’s a shared asset you’d prefer to sell or deciding whether to stay in the family home, this episode has solutions. We’re happy to be joined by Hilton Head Island-based realtor, Karen Ryan. You may view the original We Chat Divorce broadcast here.

The Unwanted Asset

Catherine shares about a recent experience where we were able to work together with another professional to provide a creative solution to end a client’s ongoing stress. In this case it was with our guest for this episode, realtor Karen Ryan:

“We had a client who was getting nowhere with her divorce. She was two years into the process, and they were stumped on this rental property that they owned ‘down on a beach somewhere,’ as she explained it to me. She did not want this rental property. She was the bread winner of the family. Her husband wanted this property. But there was really no way out, the attorneys did not know what to do about it. They were going back and forth, but he clearly could not afford it. She had some emotional issues with having it because of things that went wrong in their marriage. So, I said to her, ‘Where is this rental property?’ She said, ‘Hilton Head, South Carolina.’ And I said, ‘As a matter of fact, I’m going there; I know a realtor, I’m going to talk with her, see if she’ll take me there. And then I can evaluate it financially, see if it would be worth while keeping, and maybe we can financially be creative and come up with a solution finally end your divorce.’

That’s when I called today’s guest, Karen Ryan, and told her the situation. She took me through the property, went through everything, and said, ‘We manage properties, so the stress would not have to be on the client.’ We went through the numbers and she gave me a spreadsheet of possible rental income on this property. I went back to Pennsylvania, met with the wife, we went through the numbers, and our client actually started to cry. She said, ‘I can’t believe you have a solution for me. I can’t believe these two years can come to an end, because this could work.’ And I said, ‘Yes, it could. Go back to your attorney and here’s what you should tell them.’ She did. They got divorced. To this day, she’s still renting that property and she’s very happy about it.”

So, know that there are ways to think creatively about a financial situation, to take the emotion out of why you think do not want an asset, when the asset can be positive for you financially.

It’s so hard to make decisions in the divorce process at any moment, because you’re just so driven by your emotions and everything’s so new and unknown. That’s why we say we’re going to start with knowns and we’re going to keep going from there.

The Devil’s in the Deed Details

Another thing to consider is making sure everything is correct on the property deed. Even though it seems like a simple transaction, if it gets messed up it can be a reason for litigation later. So, any time you’re wrapping up things after divorce, and you’re ending up with property, make sure you get that deed reviewed by a real estate attorney.

Episode 9: Complex Divorce

Divorce is complex. That’s the reality. The good news is, with sound counsel from your professional team, you can still navigate the process with clarity and confidence. In Episode #9 – Complex Divorce, we go behind the scenes with a recent client, answer a question from our audience and learn how to proceed in a complex divorce with our guest, attorney Mary Fran Quindlen of Beaufort, South Carolina-based Quindlen Law Firm, P.A.. You may view the original We Chat Divorce broadcast here.

Episode 8: Walking is for Wimps with Cecilia Halseth

This is the audio from our March 2018 episode of We Chat Divorce, which aired in March 2018. You can watch the episode here.

In today’s episode, we’re joined by Cecilia Halseth, author of Walking is for Wimps. We had a great time discussing how to start, and keep, a healthy routine throughout a stressful time.

Episode 7: Talk it Out - Family Therapy with Colleen Kowal

This episode of the We Chat Divorce Podcast also serves as the debut of our new television program airing on WHHI-TV in Hilton Head, South Carolina. What you’ll hear is the audio from the episode, which you can watch here.

In today’s episode, we introduce ourselves to our Hilton Head audience and share our divorce stories. We’re also joined by Colleen Kowal, of Hilton Head Island Counseling. Colleen is a Licensed Professional Counselor with the State of South Carolina and a certified Imago Relationship Therapist.

Episode 6: Managing Divorce and Children with Special Needs

With many people divorcing later in life, establishing arrangements for elder care has become increasingly important. But what about situations where divorcing couples have special needs children?

Our guest, Linda Anderson, a certified elder law attorney, will help us understand how to navigate these issues. Linda is one of approximately 50 certified elder law attorneys in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Her practice, Anderson Elder Law, specializes in the legal issues affecting elders, the disabled, and their families. We are thrilled to have her as a guest for this podcast to help us share the information necessary for families with special needs children who are divorcing to do so with clarity and confidence.

The statistics are not clear on whether the risk of divorce increases in families with special needs children. One report states the while the average divorce rate is 50%, the divorce rate for couples with special needs children is 85%.

The most common struggle for these couples facing divorce is how to meet the requirements of their special needs children, now and in the future.

Episode 5: The B Word

In this episode, we talk about the “B Word.” BUDGET. Mention the word “budget” and reactions can vary from wide-eyed to confusion to sheer panic, but rarely do you receive a positive reaction. Mention the words, “lifestyle analysis,” and the responding look can be very similar. However, when going through the process of divorce, these two concepts are critical components before, during, and after divorce.

How many of us even think of our lives as “lifestyles?” When dating the person who became your spouse, it might have been the difference in lifestyle that was part of the attraction. Here’s this person that you really like and they’re bringing something new into your world. You get married, and now you’re faced with aligning your lifestyles, creating a new shared lifestyle together. Sometimes, your lifestyles are too incompatible for the long run, and you head for divorce.

Lifestyle is an important aspect to consider, especially when we have to make shifts in our budget.

Episode 4: Being Present with Yourself and Others

As we begin episode four of the We Chat Divorce podcast, please remember that divorce does not define you. Yes, it’s part of our stories and it may be a part of your story, but that’s okay. We’re here to share our insight and inspiration, addressing the good stuff and the bad stuff (aka the BS) and hope this podcast will help you move forward in a positive direction.

Being Present with Each Other

Do you find yourself having a hard time focusing? Does the activity in your life, not to mention in your divorce, have you feeling overwhelmed? It’s a problem we all encounter, especially in our world of instant gratification but disconnecting, especially from social media, is important.

Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, managing the household or you’re working full time, the most important thing you can do for each other – and your marriage – is be present. It’s deeper than putting the cell phones down.

Make it a point to have a transition time from work to home and then carve out some time to sit with each other and acknowledge you want to be in each other’s presence. Being married and being a parent is about relationships and if you can’t figure out the relationships, you’re going to have a lot of dysfunction going on. Being present and listening, making that person feel heard and affirmed is so critical to healthy relationships. We all need to slow down, listen more, and be in the moment.

Being Present in the Divorce Process

Being present throughout the divorce process is a critical skill to develop. You have a lot coming at you all at once – where to live, will the kids be okay, will you have enough money, will you have enough energy to get up and go to work each day, and on and on. Actively being present is a skill that will get you through each step. It may be helpful to start journaling, even if that means you write down each step and focus on them one at a time.

This is also true with mediation. If you’re going through divorce as two individuals, each with your own attorney communicating with each other on your behalf, you’re not even in the conversation in the moment. With mediation or a negotiated settlement, you remain present and in the moment about the decisions being made. Literally. You’re there in the room together and you’re able to hear you’re your soon-to-be-ex wants a certain asset or more time with your kids. This process allows you to communicate with each other and, above all else, be heard. It changes how you get divorced for the better.

Episode 3: Me, My Ex, and Her: The Reality of Co-parenting

In episode three, we continue our real talk about the world of divorce with a conversation about the realities of co-parenting. Is anyone really ready for that? Co-parenting is always a challenge, for sure, but this podcast will give you practical tools to get through it with your sanity and current marriage intact.

Episode 2: The First Year After Divorce

In this episode, we continue the conversation about real people and real situations in the world of divorce. Every person has their own unique story. We’re here to discuss the human element of divorce from a variety of perspectives – from personal anecdotes to divorce in the entertainment world.

Episode 1: What We Wish We Knew

The We Chat Divorce Podcast brings you conversations about real people, real situations and real divorce. We’re Karen Chellew, paralegal and business manager, and Catherine Shanahan, CDFA (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst). We’re co-founders of Divorce U Solutions, where we work with clients to navigate the often complex and confusing process of divorce. We’re here to share our personal and professional experiences to demystify the big business of divorce. This podcast is time for you to gain clarity and even have a laugh or two.

First up, what we wish we had known as we went through our divorces.

For more information about who we are and what we do, please visit our website at www.mydivorceusolution.com, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram. Welcome to our community!

Downloadable Articles


Navigating Divorce: Women Helping Women


5 Things That Will Change Your Divorce For the Better


Bullied in Divorce? 3 Positive Ways to Stand Up for Yourself


Thinking About Divorce? Where Do I Start?


10 Questions for Choosing the Right Divorce Attorney


What This Divorcee Knows About a Lasting Marriage

Helpful Online Links







Recent Videos

Mrs2Me Summit: Catherine Shanahan on Talk of the Town (August 2019)

Catherine Shanahan on Girl Talk (January 2016)

Why You Need A Team Through the Divorce Process: Catherine Shanahan on Talk of the Town (October 2015)

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