Family Court Judge Can Even Sort Of Rule Over Second Marriage

Husband and Wife marry. The second time for each.

Husband has two minor Children from his previous marriage.

Husband’s divorce decree orders him to maintain a life insurance policy until Children turn 23 years old which designates Children as the beneficiaries.

Husband has not done so and makes no provision for Children in a will.

Wife wants to know whether she is bound by Husband’s decree of divorce from his ex.

Variations on this theme do come up in a divorce lawyer’s practice. Sometimes in connection with a prenuptial agreement leading into the second marriage. Sometimes when the second marriage hits a rough patch. Sometimes when a happy marriage is dealt a tragic blow by an illness or traumatic injuries.

The short answer is: no, the second spouse is not directly bound by the other spouse’s prior divorce decree.

The more complete answer though is that in the event of Husband’s death before Children turn 23 years old, Children would have a claim against Husband’s estate for the amount of insurance Husband was ordered to maintain.

And in Florida, Husband’s surviving Children may also have a homestead claim on Husband’s marital residence, which could pose problems for Wife.

In divorce, law in general, and in life, it often pays to pick one’s battles wisely.

Read more in this MarketWatch article: Can I leave my stepchildren nothing if my husband dies?


“Passed Out” Mother Arrested for Child Endangerment When Dirty, Bug-Bitten Daughter Tells Police She Is Hungry and Needs a Beer

Three year old Daughter is sighted wandering about the apartment complex she lives in.

Upon law enforcement officers’ engagement with Daughter, Daughter complained repeatedly that she was hungry and that “I need a beer”. Daughter’s skin was covered in red bumps, which appeared to be some sort of bug bites.

The law enforcement officers went to Daughter’s apartment, where Mother was sleeping and oblivious to the fact that Daughter had been outside on her own.

Their apartment was filthy and roach-infested.

The police arrested Mother on charges of child endangerment

Daughter was taken into child protective custody.


Er, You May Want to Think Twice Before Posting That Adorable Baby Picture on Social Media

Mother snaps photos of Baby doing typical Baby-things and being cute. Then Mother uploads the pictures to Social Media website. To share Baby’s cuteness with friends and family wherever they may be

As practically every mother – and father – everywhere does these days. All the time.

What’s the harm?

Well, the answer to this question may depend upon what country Mother and Baby live in – and how their laws are applied.

For example, France has new legislation criminalizing posting photos online without the subject’s permission. Maximum penalty: a year in prison and a fine of $48,000.

Does the law apply to a parent who uploads their minor child’s photo online?

That likely was not the intended target of the legislation.

But was it a foreseeable application?


Will French prosecutors mount a campaign to stamp out parental posting on social media.

Probably not.

But, arguably, they could.

And some commentators not generally prone to levity seem to be suggesting that French parents take that threat to heart.

The legislation in question is a privacy statute. In France.

The US, among other countries, has both statutory and case law to protect people’s privacy as well. Ditto various states.

Should Americans take this implied threat of prosecution to heart?

Time will tell.

A secondary question may represent a more realistic threat: can a family court judge consider parental posting behaviors regarding a child into account in timesharing and parental decisionmaking rulings?

Absolutely. And if a parent’s photo-posting behaviors strike a judge as excessive or inappropriate, the consequences could be nearly – or just – as painful to a parent as a jail sentence or hefty criminal fine …

Read more in this Good HouseKeeping article: Moms Could Be Sent to Jail for Posting Pics of Their Kids on Facebook .

Real Estate Commission Agreement / Cohabitation Agreement May Serve Spurned Realtor-Girlfriend

Boyfriend and Girlfriend met in New York in 2010.

Boyfriend was a player in the real estate markets in New York and Florida.

Girlfriend was a realtor.

A match made in heaven. But for Boyfriend’s wife and kids.

But, according to Girlfriend, Boyfriend promised to leave his wife and marry her.

More importantly, they partnered on various higher end real estate deals and he allegedly promised to pay her significant real estate commissions.

Boyfriend also moved Girlfriend into his Palm Beach apartment.

Things were pretty copacetic until Boyfriend decided in 2014 that he wanted some space … and moved her out of their apartment and moved another woman in … while Girlfriend was traveling.

Girlfriend claims Boyfriend even completely reneged on their business arrangement.

The last straw. Girlfriend filed a lawsuit in New York seeking a half million bucks in commissions.

Read more in:


Child Support: Substantial Additional Awards for Generous Extras Must Be Justified By Findings

New York Mother and Father have a brief fling, and a Child is born.

Mother is half Father’s age.

Father is an attorney who earns $130,000. In New York City. And has substantial debt.

At trial, the family court orders Father to pay basic child support of about $22,000 – plus all of Child’s summer, weekend and extracurricular activities expenses.

Plus private school tuition at a very exclusive school. Costing $45,000.

The trial court makes minimal findings to justify these additional awards, however.

On appeal, the intermediate appellate court strikes the additional child support award for lack of findings to justify the upward deviation from basic child support.

The appellate court also notes that Mother’s and Father’s relationship was so brief that no intact family standard of living could really be established – and implicitly recognizes that the magnitude of the additional expenses simply isn’t consistent with Father’s net disposable income.

Read more in this New York Law Journal article: Panel Trims Child Support That Covered Private School .

Foster Parents are Great, But Let’s Face It, Grandparents are Even Better

Grandparents raising their grandchildren continues to expand. Almost three million grandparents are now caring for their grandkids. Seven percent more than in 2009.

And they usually don’t get much help, of any kind. Twenty percent of them live on incomes below the poverty line.

Why their grandchildren depend on them varies, but the most common causes are drug addiction, mental health issues, military service and incarceration.

Studies show that children do better with grandparents than strangers, and it saves the taxpayers money.

But many of the grandparents are really struggling and on their own. Most have no support services. Fixed incomes. A quarter are disabled.

Some states provide some financial support and other support services, but many do not. Some federal legislators are working toward creating a program for federal reimbursement of services delivered locally, such as prevention of drug addiction.

Read more in this AP news article: More grandparents taking on parental role for grandchildren .

Stamping Out Child Marriage in the Third World … and the USA

In some corners of the world, young girls are commonly pressured into leaving school, marrying much older men and having children when they are still children of ten, twelve and fourteen years old.

They often become victims of domestic violence. And repeated pregnancies, labor and childbirth at such young ages works its own kind violence and abuse on their bodies. And the mortality rate is high.

In places like Sudan, half the females marry younger than eighteen. The economics of survival are very harsh and their families cannot pass up the chance to ease the burden of feeding another mouth and to receive a dowry.

International aid organizations are working hard to educate the populations about alternatives but change does not happen overnight.

The tragedies are not confined to the Third World though.

There are more teens than most of us would imagine, even fifteen years old and younger, getting married right here in the USA, often to much older men as well.

Even in arguably enlightened states like New York and New Jersey. By the dozens and hundreds in numbers, if not all, of the states in the union.

Perhaps for different reasons than in the Third World. But happening nonetheless.

While there are restrictions on teen marriages in the US, there are also exceptions allowing them. For the moment.

Legislation is pending in several states, including New York, to finally ban child marriages absolutely, without exception.


  1. this Aljazeera news article: South Sudan: The deadly consequences of child marriage and
  2. this New York Times article: States Make New Push to Curb Child Marriage .


Mother Arrested for Filing Multiple False Accusations of Child Abuse Against Father

Mother and Father have Daughter together.

Mother and Father part company.

Now, Daughter plays at park while Mother watches at a little distance.

Process server serves Mother with court papers.

Father takes Daughter.

Mother screams. Loudly.

While videotaping entire incident.

As proof of Father’s wrongdoing.

Only it’s Mother who ends up in jail in short order.

Mother is accused of having filed ten false child neglect, abuse and sexual abuse reports against Father with child protective services over a five year period of time.

And child protective services can find no evidence to back up a single one of Mother’s claims.

But Mother and Father are embroiled in child custody battle.

And Mother apparently thought filing the reports would help her in her child custody case.

Mother appears to have another think coming though.

Read more in this ABC 13 Eyewitness News article: Child custody battle ends with charges against mother .

Government Implements A Digital Scarlet Letter for Child Support Delinquency

Child support delinquency is rampant. That’s hardly a news flash.

Custodial parents are struggling. And some are having to resort to public assistance.

Which means states are struggling to take up the slack caused by the delinquent parents.

Well, the state of Arizona isn’t going to take it quietly.

As far back as 1999, Arizona was actually putting up on their child support enforcement agency’s website the names and pictures of delinquent parents.

Now, they’re ratcheting up their own tactics.

Arizona’s child support enforcement agency has taken to social media website Twitter in an even more aggressive effort to shame delinquent parents into relieving the state of supporting their children.

Not everyone is a fan of this measure. And it remains to be seen whether the state is ultimately compensated for its trouble.

If it is, other states just may follow suit.

It should be noted that not all delinquent parents are being branded in this way. Just the ones who:

  1. owe at least $5,000
  2. haven’t made a single payment for six months
  3. are subjects of arrest warrants and
  4. have failed to to keep the child support enforcement agency informed of their current address as required by law.


Father’s Lawsuit Against Mother Over Child’s Birth is Dismissed

Canadian Mother and Father meet and begin dating casually. Father is a medical doctor and Mother is also a health care professional.

Mother tells Father that she is on oral contraceptives. They have sexual relations multiple times on multiple dates without additional protection.

Eventually, Mother gets pregnant and so advises Father.

Mother later delivers a baby, and Father begins paying child support.

But Father feels … violated. He sues Mother for $4 million in damages.

The theory behind Father’s lawsuit is that he has suffered emotional harm, in a nutshell, from being deprived of carefully choosing, courting, dating, marrying and planning the birth of his child with his chosen partner.

The family court in Toronto dismisses Father’s case, for failing to state a claim recognized by the law.

The family court also maintains the confidentiality of Mother’s and Father’s identities and seals the court file to protect the child’s identity and privacy.

Read more in this [Toronto, Canada] Metro News article: Toronto doctor sues mother of his child for emotional damages .