A divorce is one of the most emotional, tumultuous events a person can go through in life.  It is even more emotional and tumultuous for the partner who does not want the marriage to end.  When one partner is still in love and wants the relationship to continue, he or she can be heartbroken and bitter over the break-up.  Nevertheless, whatever the circumstances of the divorce, both partners need to be in control of their emotions and control their actions, as well.  Unfortunately, one Florida woman did not deal with her bitter divorce well and is now behind bars for her actions.

According to an article in the NY Daily News,  one heartbroken Florida woman going through a divorce is accused of spraying graffiti on the new Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, Florida.  Audrey Dostie, a 35-year-old woman who is going through a bitter divorce and custody battle, is accused of spray painting several messages in purple paint outside the new $350 million courthouse on Thursday night. Dotsie sprayed large, broken hearts on the pillars of the courthouse, a derogatory  message concerning the judge in her divorce case, as well as several other messages on the outside of the building.  Dotsie is  accused of spraying messages at her husband’s place of business, as well.

The Dotsie’s have been going through a long, drawn-out bitter divorce.  According to court documents, Dotsie’s husband has claimed she is physically abusive and recently filed a restraining order against her.

Dotsie, unfortunately, allowed her emotions to run amok and now faces charges of interruption of business or utilities and criminal mischief of more than $1,000.


The majority of celebrities in the news who divorce, have long, drawn-out, drama-filled divorces, fighting over money, homes and child custody and support.  Recently, however, one celebrity couple who divorced, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, reached a divorce settlement in record time.  They set an example on how to end a relationship with a minimum amount of dissension and stress, an example that all divorcing couples should follow.

When a couple decides to divorce, their goal should be to end the relationship quickly and amicably.  Listed below are five benefits to settling your divorce in this manner.

  • Less Money Spent:  Reaching a divorce settlement quickly will minimize attorney fees, thus leaving more money for you, your ex and your children.  It’s best to head into your new life with as many resources as possible.
  • Better for Children:  It’s always easier on the children when the divorce is settled quickly and amicably.  Your children do not need the stress or feel the hurt of watching their parents fight through a long divorce settlement.
  • Less Stressful:  The more quickly a divorce is over, the less stress and drama you will suffer.
  • Lessens the Hurt:  By agreeing to a quick settlement, you can cut your ties, and thus your feelings of anger and hurt, to your former spouse. 
  • Beginning a New Life Sooner:  Ending an unhappy marriage will give you the opportunity to start a new life and forge new relationships.  The more quickly your divorce settlement is reached, the sooner your new life will begin.

After you have made the decision to file for divorce, contact an experienced divorce attorney who will explain your options and assist you in reaching a divorce settlement quickly and amicably, thus avoiding the stress, frustration and financial burdens that come with a long, drawn-out divorce settlement.


After the emotional and stressful process of a divorce, you would think the majority of women would want to start a new chapter in their lives by changing their married last name back to their maiden name.  However, this is not always the case. 

Many divorced women with children will retain their ex-husband’s last name so they and their children will continue to have the same last name.  For women who are known professionally by their former spouse’s last name, they may also choose to retain their former husband’s last name so as to not create complications in their careers.  There are those women, however, especially those without children, who desire to make a clean break from their former marriage and one way of doing so is by resuming their maiden name once again. 

When a divorcing or divorced woman does decide to change her last name, there are legal steps that need to be taken.

In Florida, you will need to begin by gathering the following documents:

  • Proof of identification, which could be either a driver’s license, state ID, or passport
  • Proof of age, which could be an adoption decree, hospital record, or birth certificate
  • A Certified copy of your Florida divorce decree

If your divorce decree includes a provision that grants your name change, this will serve as your legal proof of name change.  If this provision was omitted from your final decree, you will need to contact the court that handled your divorce case and ask if they will allow you to amend the document.  Not all courts in Florida will allow amendments to divorce decrees.  If the court refuses to amend the decree, you then will need to create a Florida Petition for Name Change.

Once your last name has been legally changed, you will need to notify all applicable government agencies of your new name.  The two most common offices are the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Social Security Office.  You can either fill out the Social Security form SS-5 in person at your local Social Security Office, or mail your completed form along with certified copies of your divorce decree, proof of identification and proof of age and your documents as well as a new social security card, will be returned to you in about six weeks.

You will need to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles to change the name on your driver’s license once you have proof of changing your Social Security number.  Your new license will be mailed to you within six weeks.

When going through a divorce, a reputable, experienced divorce attorney will ensure that your divorce decree includes a provision that grants your name change, thus saving you the time, effort and cost of handling this process after your divorce.


A lease on a residence, whether it be an apartment, townhouse or a single family home, is a binding contract between two parties, with both parties being  obligated to honor the terms of the agreement.  Even though it is a binding contract, there are certain state and federal laws that do allow tenants to break leases in some situations.  One situation or circumstance in which a tenant can terminate a lease is when they are the victim of domestic violence.

Some states, but not all, have laws that allow victims of domestic violence to terminate their residential lease.

One state which allows a tenant who is the victim of domestic violence to terminate the lease is the state of Washington.  To legally terminate the lease, the victim must meet two requirements.  The tenant must first notify the landlord in writing that she was a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, unlawful harassment, or stalking.  Then the tenant must also have a valid order for protection or has reported the domestic violence to a qualified third party, who must provide the tenant a signed record of the incident.  The tenant then needs to provide the landlord with either a copy of the order of protection or the report signed by the qualified third party.  The tenant may then terminate the lease and leave the premises without further obligation under the lease agreement.  Although the lease termination law does vary from state to state, the process is similar in most states, though there are those states which require the tenant to be current on their rent and to pay the following month’s rent to be legally released from the lease.

Currently under Florida law, there is no legal basis for a victim of domestic violence to break a lease.  However, due to the volatile nature of the situation, it may be wise for a landlord to release the tenant from the lease.  Even though the tenant may have an order of protection against the perpetrator, this doesn’t ensure the perpetrator will honor the injunction and will stay away from the premises.  He may return to the premise, commit an act of violence upon the victim, who may then hold the landlord accountable for injuries received during the assault.  In Florida, termination of leases on the basis of domestic violence are taken case by case.  It is up to the judge’s discretion, not the law, whether or not the victim will be able to break the lease agreement.