Mother Loses Custody and Wins Attempted Murder Charge regarding One Year Old Baby Who Weighs 10 Pounds

Father and Mother have Baby together. Baby was born premature.

When Baby is one year old, Mother takes Baby to hospital.

At that time, Baby weighs 10 pounds … the amount a six week old baby should weigh, about half of what a one year old baby should weigh.

Baby was determined to be “severely malnourished” and, in essence, dying.

Mother allegedly neglected Baby’s medication, oxygen and failed to keep his doctor appointments.

Baby is removed from Mother’s care and placed into custody of child welfare agency. Agency places Baby with Father’s sister.

Baby has gained thirteen pounds in one month.

Mother has been charged with attempted murder of Baby. Mother has two other babies in her care. Mother’s family is barred from contact with Baby.

Mother’s family vows to pursue winning back custody of Baby.


  1. this Fox 10 Phoenix article: Mother Charged With Attempted Murder Of One-Year-Old Malnourished Baby
  2. this Fox 31 Denver article: Dad of 1-year-old who weighed 10 pounds speaks out; child is recovering and
  3. this Yahoo News article: Mother Charged After 1-Year-Old Weighing Only 10 Pounds Admitted To Hospital


Social Security Benefits 101 for the Divorcee

People who are divorced may be able to claim social security benefits based on their own work record and/or their ex-spouse’s work record.

The impact of this is that they may be able to begin collecting one of their benefits, the lesser one, at a younger age, while still building up their other benefit until a later age, before switching to that benefit.

Your remarriage can squelch your right to a benefit based on your ex’s work record.

Also, if your ex-spouse is still alive, your ex must already have applied for their own benefit.

For some people, these so-called dualie options can make a significant impact on their total benefits received.


  1. this USA Today article: Getting remarried may affect Social Security and
  2. this Motley Fool article: Regarding Social Security Benefits, What Widows and Ex-Spouses Must Know .


Two Questions Foretell Whether a Marriage Will Stand the Test of Time

And here they are:

First, on a scale of 1 – 5, with 5 being the best, how happy would you be if you and your spouse split up?

It seems self-evident that the answer to this one will correlate highly with the divorce rate.

The second question is a bit more provocative.

On a scale of 1 – 5, with 5 being the best, how happy would your spouse be if you and your spouse split up?

In a six year study of roughly 3,600 couples, the highest rates of divorce were among couples where the spouses answered this question wrong. In other words, they misjudged just how happy their spouse was in their marriage … especially where they overestimated their spouse’s happiness in their marriage.

This group had twice the average divorce rate across the entire study group.

While there’s more than one possible explanation behind this result, the simplest is that the couples in this group do not have good rapport with each other.

And this points to the obvious: check in with your spouse and find out how they really feel about your marriage. If you are both happy, that’s great and you’re done. If your spouse is not as happy as you thought, maybe you can improve things. If your spouse learns that you are not as happy as they thought, maybe they will be motivated to improve things.

Read more in this Yahoo Finance article via Business Insider: How you and your partner answer 2 questions can help predict if your relationship will last

Juvenile Justice in Texas Has Advanced by Leaps and Bounds

As recently as 2007, Texas’ juvenile justice system was a horror. Abuse and sexual abuse and neglect were rampant.

Once brought to light, Texas revamped its entire juvenile justice system, and has made tremendous progress at serving the needs of Texas’ delinquent youth.

Today, the needs of misdemeanor offenders are addressed closer to home rather than in far-flung state facilities.

The budgets of local juvenile probation departments were augmented so that they could provide more services and residential facilities at the local level.

And juvenile crime has decreased by one-third as a result. Recidivism is lower and for less serious offenses.

There is still room for improvement, yet much that other states could learn from Texas’ example.

Read more in this New York Times article: The Texas Way on Juvenile Justice .

Custody Award of 4 Year Old to Mother Over Father Who Uses Medical Marijuana is Upheld on Appeal

Maine Father and Mother have four year old Daughter. Mother wants to relocate to Florida.

Father uses medical marijuana. At trial, the Maine family court awarded custody of Daughter to Mother and apparently granted permission to Mother to relocate.

Father appeals, contending that the family court’s ruling at trial was an improper penalty against Father for availing himself of a medical remedy that is legal in Maine.

On appeal, Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court upheld the family court’s ruling at trial.

The appellate court delved into the findings of fact made at trial by the family court.

[Father] uses large amounts of medical marijuana … and has a great deal of marijuana, in many forms, all over the home. Friends and relatives … often drop by the house to obtain or ingest marijuana, and the child has been exposed to marijuana.”

Father has “ voluminous amounts of marijuana-infused baked goods in the freezer and a jar full of marijuana in the kitchen cabinet”.

The evidence at trial in the family court also indicated that Daughter suffered with an ear infection for eighteen days before Father sought treatment for her, and locked Daughter in her room, without access to a bathroom, for an extended period so that he could have privacy while using his medical marijuana.

Based on the evidence presented to the family court at trial, the family court concluded that Father had neglected, if not endangered Daughter, and exercised poor parenting judgment. It did not base its custody award on Father’s use of medical marijuana per se, but rather on Father’s parenting.

Read more in this Bangor [ME] Daily News article: Maine Supreme Court rules against medical marijuana patient in child custody appeal .

Married and Divorcing, In a Blink

British Husband and Wife have a Child together prior to their marriage.

Wife reports that Husband became more volatile and controlling after she became pregnant.

Their wedding day arrives. They have a lovely, happy wedding.

When Wife is ready to get ready for bed, she requests help getting out of her wedding dress.

And then, according to Wife, Husband instead attacked her … and Wife was in fear for her life.

As a result of the wedding night incident:

  1. A restraining order of injunction is entered against Husband
  2. Husband pleads guilty to a criminal assault charge
  3. Husband is ordered to do community service for two years
  4. Husband is ordered to pay Wife compensation for her injuries and
  5. Wife files for divorce.

Read more in this New York Post news article: Man beats wife on wedding night after failing to get her dress off

Divorce Over Birth of Baby with Down’s Syndrome … Perhaps

New Zealand Husband and Armenian Wife have their Baby while both are living in Armenia. Immediately after Baby’s birth, Baby is diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome.

Armenia reportedly treats those diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome little better than outcasts and provides minimal support for their optimal development and integration into mainstream society.

Husband is prepared to return to New Zealand with Baby to give Baby the opportunity to develop optimally and thrive in mainstream society there.

Wife reportedly is torn and uncertain about Baby – and, possibly, Husband.

Husband and Wife divorce almost immediately after Baby’s birth. (It’s not entirely clear precisely which of them really wanted the divorce or why.)

Husband tells his story on a website, hoping to raise money via donations from others who want to help him and Baby return to New Zealand and start a good life for Baby.

Hoping to generate $60,000, Husband has in fact raised $350,000 – so far.

Husband promises that he will donate some of the extra monies raised to charities in Armenia (and New Zealand) that better the options and lives of people with Down’s Syndrome.

Wife responds publicly that Husband was not there for her at the most difficult time of her life and, in effect, abandoned her, prematurely.

The details are just sparse enough that it is uncertain whether Baby’s removal from Armenia may run afoul of any Armenian child custody laws or any international child custody jurisdiction laws, such as the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.


Father Arrested for Past Due Child Support … in Twenty-Four Different Child Support Cases

Thirteen separate warrants for contempt of Ohio family courts have been issued against Father.

Father allegedly owes past due child support for children living in Ohio, and has been ignoring pending child support cases in Ohio for four years.

Twenty-four different child support cases, to be precise. Eighteen in a single Ohio county.

The total number of children involved in these child support cases has not been disclosed

Father allegedly owes $368,000 to multiple mothers of his alleged children in Ohio.

Father was captured as a result of the persistence of a law enforcement officer in the county with the eighteen different child support cases pending against Father. An old-fashioned stakeout of some of Father’s friends hit pay dirt.

Father is now confined and will be incarcerated for well over a year, serving a month for each contempt warrant against him.

Read more in this Chicopee [MA] News 22 WWLP TV article via CNN: Fugitive arrested for owing $300K in child support

Only Seventeen (17%) Percent of Children of Divorced and Separated Parents are Awarded Equal Parenting and Equal Timesharing

The National Parents Organization (NPO) has issued a “report card” on the fifty states in the USA in regard to their implementation of what they term “shared parenting”, which appears to be intended to refer to equal parenting and equal timesharing.

The grades weren’t very good. Not a single state “aced” it. All have significant, if not downright enormous room for improvement.

Alaska and Arizona were at the head of the class … with Bs.

New York and Rhode Island were at the bottom of the class … with Fs.

New Jersey didn’t fare much better, earning a D.

Florida made it into the average zone with a C.

The average grade nationwide is 1.63 out of a possible 4.0.

These poor grades explain why NPO reports that only seventeen (17%) percent of children of divorced or separated parents are awarded equal parenting and equal timesharing.

Yet studies suggest that children raised with shared parenting suffer less depression, anxiety, substance abuse, truancy, etc. than children who live primarily with one parent.

Read more in this

When Husband and Wife Divorce Before Surrogacy Contract Ink Dries, Who Is the Legal Mother?

TV talk show host Wife and Husband decide to have a Baby using the services of a Surrogate with Husband’s sperm and a donor’s egg.

Husband, Wife and Surrogate enter 23 page contract under which Husband and Wife agree to pay Surrogate $25,000.

During Surrogate’s pregnancy, Husband and Wife become estranged, separate and ultimately divorce.

Surrogate is listed as mother on Baby’s birth certificate and as noncustodial parent in state records. Wife has had nothing to do with Surrogate or Baby since her estrangement from Husband.

Husband has custody of Baby and applied for low cost state subsidized health care coverage for Baby, who has a blood disorder.

After which California instituted a child support case against Surrogate.

Husband is suing Wife, apparently outside of the divorce proceedings, in an effort to have Wife bear responsibility for Baby’s support.


  1. this New York Daily News article: Sherri Shepherd’s surrogate speaks out for the first time: ‘How can she act like this baby is nonexistent’
  2. this Fox New York TV news article: Surrogate says Sherri Shepherd refuses child
  3. this interview: Sherri Shepherd’s Surrogate Says She’s Being Forced to Pay Child Support