It’s Never Too Late to Divorce – Well, Almost

The Browns had been married for twenty-five years.

They enjoyed a very prosperous lifestyle, which went with their millions.

When in their seventies, they began their divorce.

It was a bitter divorce.

The tab for the legal maneuvers alone ran about $3 million.

Yet for all that trouble and expense, the Browns didn’t get their divorce.

Because Mr. Brown passed away … Then Mrs. Brown followed …

Before the divorce was finalized … So the case died with them.

Ironically, if their divorce had been more amicable, it would have been finalized before their deaths.

But it wasn’t.

So now their heirs and estates have taken up still more litigation.

An illustration of how not to conduct your divorce.

Read more in this Sify article: ‘Til death did they spar.

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FL Legislature Paves Way for Earlier Adoptions out of Foster Care

An editorial in Florida today highlights the sad story of how many children have languished far too long in foster care with no realistic prospect of either adoption or reunification with their biological family.

And how a recently adopted statute is shortening their stay there and freeing them up for adoption sooner.

In Brevard County, a local organization has displaced the Department of Children and Families in coordinating care of children in the system.

The group has also launched an ambitious new website to help match up kids in foster care with prospective adoptive parents, taking advantage of compelling, professionally taken photograph of the kids.

Read more in this Florida Today editorial, Our view: More homes needed.

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16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence

Besides the obvious, the Thanksgiving holiday also kicked off this year’s annual Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence.

Organized by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University, the Sixteen Days are an international series of social and political events begun fifteen years ago.

The campaign’s mission is to target violence against women as a violation of fundamental international human rights.

One thousand seven hundred organizations across one hundred thirty nations participate.

Read more in the Family Violence Prevention Fund NewsFlash article: 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence at the Rutgers University Center for Women’s Global Leadership website.

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Parenting Classes Required of Couple Who Left Their Baby Alone in a Hot Car in the Summer in South Florida

Last July in Southwest Florida, a young couple allegedly left their 2 month old baby alone in their un-air-conditioned car while they shopped for over half an hour.

Had the baby died, the parents would have faced manslaughter charges or worse.

But, miraculously, the baby was alright.

As a result, the state elected to drop felony child neglect charges.

For the criminal case to have moved forward, the parents, at a minimum, would have to have understood that they were placing their baby at grave risk of harm, according to prosecutors.

According to authorities, that didn’t appear to be the case here. The mother reportedly forgot that the baby was in the car and the father thought that she was with friends. The couple were both found to be sober and to have a clean record.

And so the matter, as well as the baby, are relegated to the civil realm of the Department of Children and Family Services.

For DCF’s case, there need only be ignorance. For which their remedy is education.

Now, the parents are attending parenting classes at DCF’s direction.

Read more in this Sarasota Herald Tribune article: Proving child neglect isn’t easy.

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Kids in New Zealand Get to Have It Their Own Way

New Zealand reportedly has a new law that affords children a large say in who should care for them – without regard to the age or maturity of the children.

The statute is not limited to situations where the children’s parents are embroiled in child custody disputes.

And so a 16 year old girl successfully petitioned a New Zealand court to live with her older sister – even though her mother was a perfectly fit parent.

‘The judge said the mother had been using her rights as a guardian to ensure, “no doubt for the very best of motives”, that the daughter complied with her wishes as the mother.

And a New Zealand appellate court held that a four year old’s wishes should have been given greater weight in a family dispute.

This is an enormous, questionable leap beyond conventional child emancipation and termination of parental rights laws in the US.

Only time will tell the social impact of the statute in New Zealand.

Read more in this New Zealand Sunday Star Times article: New Law Could Set Precedent.

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Foster Mother To Be Tried for Murder in Death of Baby

A seven month old Las Vegas baby recently died as a result of an intentional blunt force trauma to his head, according to authorities.

His foster mother awaits trial for murder, but remains on house arrest.

Surprisingly, under the circumstances, the woman reportedly pleaded no contest to civil charges of abuse and neglect in connection with his death.

According to her attorney, that’s only because, as a result of the incident, she has been barred from any in-person contact with her own two young children, and has been required to move out of her own home while her mother and husband care for them.

The mother reportedly looks forward to the prospect of having face-to-face visits with her kids, albeit supervised visits.

The mother of two worked as a teacher for more than fifteen years and is said to have no criminal or similar history, despite having cared for thirteen other foster children.

Read more in this Las Vegas Review-Journal article: Suspect focused on getting her kids back.

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Fraud Must Be Proved When It Comes to Claims of Hiding Assets

A divorced woman brought a fraud claim against her former TV-writer ex-husband for allegedly hiding millions in assets at the time that they entered their divorce settlement.

She argued that she was pushed into accepting millions less than she should have received, because he “cried poverty”.

Yet then he reportedly turned around and bought a mansion on Central Park West.

The court found for her ex, because it ruled that she hadn’t proved her case.

Illustrating yet again that, in court, the difference between knowing and being able to prove is all the difference in the world.

Read more in this United Press International article: Claim ex-writer hid assets doesn’t fly.

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FL: Bomb Scare on Streets Turns into Tracking Device on Divorcing Wife's Car

A few days ago, ainesville, Florida had a bomb scare that emptied a three square block area.

What sent everyone scrambling was a black gadget found on the bottom of a woman’s car.

Only it turned out it wasn’t a bomb at all.

It was a global positioning system device

Intended to track the car’s owner …

A wife in the middle of a divorce from the alleged installer of the gizmo.

Read more in this WABC TV New York article: Nasty divorce battle and nosy husband lead to bomb scare.

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Canadian Kids Abducted to Lebanon By Way of Australia

A Canadian woman awaits news of her two daughters, of whom she has sole custody.

Back in July, their father took them on vacation to visit his relatives in Australia – but they reportedly didn’t return on schedule.

Instead, their father, who has dual Lebanese-Australian citizenship, allegedly took them to Lebanon, in the midst of the war between Hezbollah and Israel.

Their mother is waiting for a hearing in Australia, to question the father’s relatives about their whereabouts.

The father reportedly wants sole custody of the girls and for them to live with him permanently in Australia.

Canada has issued international warrants and an extradition order.

But neither Australia or Lebanon will honor the extradition order. Under Lebanese law, there can be no such thing as parental kidnapping.

Although Australia is a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, Lebanon is not.

Read more in this Calgary Herald article: Mother fights to get abducted girls back and this Star Phoenix article: Children taken away to Lebanon by father.

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Florida Attorney Gets Domestic Violence Injunction against Her Husband, a Judge

An Orlando area attorney has obtained a domestic violence injunction against her husband – a judge.

For his part, the judge claims she is just looking for revenge because he filed for divorce.

Due to the potential conflicts of interest, judges outside the area have been dragged into the case. And a judicial ethics review board may draw more in before all is said and done.

The domestic violence injunction is not anticipated to affect the judge’s job in any way.

Ironically, this particular judge is well known for dishing out anti-divorce lectures to parties who come before him in his courtroom. In fact, he was involved in trying to pass legislation to make it more difficult for Floridians to get a divorce.

Read more in this WESH TV 2 article: Judge Who Discourages Divorce Embroiled In Bitter Divorce.

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