Girls Allegedly Abducted By Father Before Family Court Hearing Found Safe

Two little Idaho Girls who went missing were found in Nevada a few days after an Amber Alert was issued about them.

The Girls’ Father reportedly pulled them out of their Idaho school and headed to Nevada before a conference in the Father’s child custody and child support case with his wife, the Girls’ Mother.

Father had had temporary joint custody of the Girls, despite some alleged history of substance abuse, thoughts and threats of suicide and several convictions on misdemeanor crimes. He also reportedly had weapons.

The Girls were unharmed, although suffering from exposure to wet, freezing conditions in inadequate clothing.

If the allegations against him are true, Father abducted the Girls. And placed them in danger.

The legal terms are custodial interference and child endangerment.

Whether Father suddenly snapped under the stress of the divorce or whether there were obvious red flags that should have been put before the court are not known at this time. Mention of the Girls’ Mother was conspicuously absent from the media coverage.


  1. this Miami Herald article: Missing girls found huddled in mountains after residents notice dad’s odd behavior
  2. this [Idaho] KTVB TV 7 article: Missing Boise girls found safe after AMBER Alert, dad in custody and
  3. this Fox News article: Idaho Amber Alert issued for 2 girls possibly abducted by their father

Child Support: What About My Newer Children?

A Canadian colleague draws attention to the Canadian legal rule regarding child support: “first families first”.

Which simply means that preexisting children that are the subject of a child support order take precedence in the eyes of the law over later children with a different other parent.

Doesn’t the law care about newer children too?

Actually, like Canada, generally speaking, the family courts in the US have, in effect, not cared. This includes Florida family court, New York family court and New Jersey family court.

More particularly, the courts have adopted the view that the parent obligated to pay child support has made a deliberate choice to have additional children and incur new child support obligations despite their existing child support obligations.

Therefore, they should not be able to cite those subsequent children as a defense or excuse to reduce their preexisting child support obligations.

But family courts in the US are very slowly beginning to relax the rigidity of this child support legal rule in some states, to some degree, under certain circumstances. Including Florida, New York and New Jersey.

It is still an uphill battle. But there may be a chance, with the right set of facts.

Read more in this [Canadian] Financial Post article: When it comes to support payments, ‘first families first’ is the general rule


Wife of Pro Athlete Asks for $36,000 in Monthly Child Support, and Alimony and Spousal Support

Husband and Wife have been married for approximately 3 years.

But separated for several months.

They have a two year old Toddler together.

Husband is a young professional athlete.

With the sort of contract income that goes along with that.

Husband files for divorce.

In her response, Wife asks for temporary alimony and spousal support, and child support.

In the amount of $36,000. Per month.

She and Toddler have expenses. Including a $5,000 per month credit card payment.

Speaking of which, Husband has allegedly removed Wife from her high limit credit card. Jeopardizing Wife and Toddler’s electric, water, gas, cable tv, landscaping, internet and pool service.

Therefore, Wife also asks the court to reinstate Wife as a user of the above-described credit card.

Read more in this ComPlex article: Robert Griffin III Allegedly Halted His Estranged Wife’s Credit Card Usage .


Parental Alienation: Alive and Well … All Over

Some things are universal. Not only good things either.

A British family law attorney talks of the impact on British children of parental alienation and what they call “implacably hostile” parents.

Even if you don’t recognize the terms, you’ve seen some parents they describe.

The parent who habitually finds excuses to cancel / delay / ruin the other parents’ timesharing

The parent who always bad mouthes the other parent

The parent who “guilts” their child for expressing anything positive about their other parent or the timesharing they enjoyed

The parent who manipulates their child to discourage or diminish their enjoyment of timesharing with their other parent.

Unfortunately, these are serious, complex problems that are difficult to prove and even more difficult to enforce intended remedies for.

But recognizing the problem is the first and most difficult step.

Read more in this Lexology article: Children caught in the middle: parental alienation and implacably hostile parents


Technology Enhancements Coming to Restraining Orders of Protection Against Domestic Violence

One of the dilemmas faced by many victims of domestic violence is that they depend upon child support and / or alimony and spousal support from their abusers to get by.

That financial dependence, as well as fear, inhibits them from reporting the domestic violence perpetrated against them to law enforcement authorities … and sometimes even inhibits them from seeking domestic violence injunctions and restraining orders of protection.

On the other side of the spectrum, confinement may be imposed to soothe a victim even when bail or release might be entertained without appreciable risk to the community.

Grasping the opposing tensions at work in the context of domestic violence, Maine is testing a potential solution: electronic monitoring anklets / bracelets on those accused of domestic violence, whether in lieu of bail or, next, on parole.

This puts teeth into a no contact order of injunction for protection against domestic violence. Inexpensively. Efficiently. Effectively.

Currently implemented only in cases where there is deemed to be “just” a moderately high risk of recurrence of domestic violence. (If too high, confinement is preferable. If too low, it seems like overkill.)

This would seem to be a win, win, win for all concerned. Hopefully, other states are watching…

Read more in this [Portland, ME] WGME CBS TV 13 news article:I-Team Investigates: Electronic monitoring of domestic abusers used sparingly, but growing .


Child Support Worker Confesses to Embezzling Substantial Child Support Funds Away from Agency and Waiting Parents

Nonpaying exes aren’t the only child support concern a custodial parent may have to face these days.

In the UK, a child support agency staffer, a single parent of a child of her own, allegedly took, advantage of her position to divert UK 150,000 pounds from the agency to a private account of her own via electronic transfer.

Presumably, the so-called agency funds were really, in effect, misappropriated from the other single parents counting on them, on whose behalf they were collected.

The accused embezzler reportedly did not face any special or unusual financial crisis motivating her actions. On the contrary, it appears that most of the funds usurped were applied to trivial, incidental expenses.

For which she will now be separated from her son for nearly two years while she is imprisoned for her confessed crime.

The electronic audit trail was apparently clearly “visible” for those with access to the child support agency’s processing system. One can only wonder what this mother was thinking.

It is not reported who will look after her son while she is confined…

The embezzlement is not without precedent.

Such occurrences, however rare, don’t encourage parents with child support obligations to live up to them.



Child Support: Thirty Percent of Parents Required to Pay are Behind or Not Paying at All … and That’s in Nebraska

Nebraska processes over 100,000 child support cases each year.

With a staff of 100 people.

So far this year, they’ve collected $217 million for recipient parents.

But about 30% of parents obligated to make child support payments through Nebraska are behind … or not paying at all.

That’s in Nebraska. Where they agree the problem is not as severe as in other states.

As mentioned in the article, some obligated parents just go off the grid completely. Making it all but impossible to even find them, let alone collect from them.

For those who aren’t off the grid, their income, their accounts at financial institutions and their tax refunds are all available to pay off their child support arrears.

And their driver’s licenses as well as professional licenses are at risk of suspension.

Read more in this [Lincoln, NE] 1011 News article: DHHS: Nearly 30% of parents aren’t up to date with child support payments.


Alleged Murderer of Child Allowed to Present Claim for Alimony and Property against Father in Their Divorce

Canadian Husband and Wife have been married for several years.

They have an eighteen month old Child together.

Wife reportedly has a history of mental health issues.

Husband and Wife separate, with Wife and Child leaving the marital residence.

Several months later, Wife has some sort of “medical episode”.

Paramedics are summoned to her home by unknown means.

Child is nonresponsive and does not survive.

Wife is revived.

Wife is ultimately arrested and charged with the murder of Child.

Later, in family court, Wife requests alimony, or spousal support, and a share of the marital home she abandoned.

Husband asks the divorce court to dismiss Wife’s claim for alimony and the property claim because of Wife’s alleged murder of Child.

The family court denies Husband’s motion to dismiss Wife’s claims, citing insufficient evidence before it to show that Wife murdered Child.

The divorce court’s ruling does not mean that the Court will ultimately grant Wife’s requests for alimony and property. It just means that the Court will not reject Wife’s claims out of hand at this time.

Read more in this Vancouver (Canada) Times Colonist article: Victoria mom charged with murder of toddler is granted spousal-support hearing


Can a Postnuptial Agreement Help You with Your Marital Discord?

Quite possibly. Almost without regard to the source and nature of your marital discord.

So what exactly is a postnuptial agreement? One way to wrap your head around a postnuptial agreement is to think of it like a prenuptial agreement – entered after the wedding.

Days, months or years after the fact. It really doesn’t matter.

Why would a couple make a postnup?

Actually, for lots of potential reasons.

Sometimes, they simply allowed their window of opportunity to enter a prenuptial agreement to close.

Sometimes there is marital discord. Sometimes, not so much.

Sometimes, they never thought about making a prenuptial agreement, but, events looming on the horizon, or changed / changing or newly discovered circumstances raise questions or concerns about:

What If One of Us …. Dies? Or Cheats? Or Moves Out? Or Wants a Divorce ? Etc. Etc.

The marriage isn’t necessarily over, or even doomed. But – there is a change.

A postnuptial agreement can be a means to work things through / out, address a concern, settle a potential dispute – maybe before it even erupts. That is the ideal a postnup has to offer.

If circumstances are a little rougher, a postnuptial agreement can be a stopgap / temporary legal arrangement either during a trial separation or even after a divorce is filed but while it is ongoing.

(In the latter situations, the postnup may be called a separation agreement or a property settlement agreement. In essence, a rose by another name.)

If the marriage proves to be beyond repair, that same postnuptial agreement may serve as a marital settlement agreement, the document that produces an amicable resolution and avoids trial in Florida divorces.

(That’s assuming that the postnuptial agreement is comprehensive or broad enough. Even if it’s not, it may still avoid trial on some of the issues in the divorce.)

So a postnuptial agreement is potentially pretty powerful … and can save a lot of money, aggravation and stress if done before the relationship deteriorates too much.



Which Spouse Gets the Girlfriend in the Divorce?

Husband and Wife have three Children.

They have been married for twelve years.

Now they have decided together to get a divorce.

So that one of them can marry … their shared Girlfriend.

They haven’t yet decided which one of them will marry their Girlfriend.

In the end, it may not really matter.

They are a “threesome”.

They apparently share everything, including Husband’s and Wife’s Children.

Children apparently understand that they have acquired a bonus parent.

Husband and Wife actually want to extend parental rights to the Children to Girlfriend.

And New York is a state which appears ready to go along with that.

Read more in this New York Post article: Couple wants to divorce each other to marry live-in girlfriend .