CO: Gambling Windfalls To Be Intercepted for Child Support Arrearages

How many noncustodial parents in Colorado who are behind in their child support payments are blowing money at the track or in casinos?

More than a few, judging by the actions of the Colorado legislature.

From now on, winnings that are subject to income tax withholding will also be subject to interception for child support arrearages.

To implement interception, gaming establishments will be entrusted with a database of the names and social security numbers of deadbeat noncustodial parents to check for winners.

Intercepted monies are required to be transmitted to the state within twenty-four hours of winning.

Gaming companies are apparently not enthusiastic about their new duties in child support enforcement and probably fear, possibly with good reason, the chilling effect interception will have on their customers.

Read more in this [CO] KRDO News Radio article: New Law Ensures Gamblers Pay Their Child Support and this Colorado Springs Gazette article: Gambling winnings will be taken for unpaid support.

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SD Shelters Turning Victims Away in Contracting Economy?

Woman physically abused by partner.

Woman goes to battered domestic victims’ shelter.

Woman turned away because shelter exhausted its funding …

Sound far-fetched?

Some victims of domestic abuse, such as the representative composite Woman above, are reportedly already being turned away by some shelters in South Dakota due to lack of accommodations, resources or support services, resulting from cuts in federal funding and, likely, reductions in private donations in a contracting economy.

Unfortunately, acts of domestic violence often increase in a tightening economy.

Some shelters insist that they don’t just turn victims away, that is, not without first making a referral to another shelter that can take them in or help them.

But what happens if there comes a day when there is no other shelter in an economic position to help? …

Read more in this Rapid City [SD] Journal article: Support violence shelters.

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NE Court Denies Post-Divorce Request for Life Insurance to Secure Alimony

Well-off Nebraska couple divorce. Husband ordered to pay substantial alimony ($12,500 per month for 106 months) plus substantial child support ($5,000 per month).

Husband purchased a $1 million life insurance policy for the benefit of his children, although it is not clear whether that was court-ordered. It appears that no other life insurance was ordered by the Court in the divorce.

It is common for courts to order life insurance, where it is obtainable, to secure both child support and alimony obligations.

After the divorce was final, Wife reportedly sought to purchase an additional $1 million life insurance policy on her ex-husband’s life, but Husband refused to submit to a required physical examination. So Wife sought a court order for the additional insurance.

But the Court rejected her claim.

Under Nebraska law, it is illegal to take out a policy on another person’s life without their consent unless the person whose life is insured will own the policy. It is against public policy, because the purchasing beneficiary would have an interest in the insured’s death.

Once the divorce is final, the law applies to ex-spouses the same as to anyone else.

The Court failed to order insurance to secure the alimony obligation at the time of the divorce because it presumably felt that Wife had adequate resources to carry on in the event of Husband’s death. After all, her net worth is reportedly over $4 million.

Read more in this Omaha World-Herald article: Nebraska court says no life insurance policy for ex-wife.

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Egypt Ignores Maryland Custody Orders for Years on End

Maryland courts awarded Father custody of the older of two children and Mother custody of the younger child. Later, that Maryland court awarded Father custody of the younger child too.

About seven years ago, Mother allegedly abducted the two children to Egypt.

Father hasn’t seen them since.

He has occasionally spoken to them, only to find that they have been alienated from him.

Father sought to enforce his Maryland custody awards and have the children returned to him in the USA.

He even won a judgment in Maryland against his ex-wife and her mother for $3 million in damages for their interference with his custody of the boys. His ex-mother-in-law even served three years of a ten year sentence for her part in abducting the children.

And a warrant was issued for his ex-wife’s arrest.

But none of these measures have gotten Father any closer to even seeing his boys.

Egypt is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and has not honored any of the court orders entered in Father’s favor.

Read more in this Arab Times article: Lonely dad lives death.

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Canadian Children Taken Into Protective Custody To Save Them From … Parents’ Offensive Political Views

Canadian child protective services removed a seven year old girl and a two year old boy from their parents’ home – because the girl was sent to school with a swastika painted on her arm and other Nazi-like graffiti on her body.

Authorities were also somewhat concerned about possible drug and alcohol abuse and truancy.

But mostly it was the swastika that got them going.

The removal touched off a political firestorm in our neighbor to the North.

The parents have since separated.

Rumor has it that the children will be released to their mother before long.

The case raises the question: is this the type of conduct, as offensive as it is, properly targeted by child welfare laws?

Now every parent has to wonder and worry: where is – and should – the line be drawn before the state may remove children from their parents?

Read more in:

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Domestic Violence Strikes All Kinds, Everywhere

Domestic violence can impact anyone, anywhere. In one Oklahoma town, victims have been married to doctors, lawyers, bankers, businessmen, ministers, and police officers.

Sometimes children of the victims witness the violence.

A tanking economy can produce stresses that trigger domestic violence, especially among economic victims of a contracting economy.

But the stresses of professional positions can also spur domestic violence.

And, of course, economic dependency can tie a victim to his or her abuser. As well as fear.

According to statistics, a victim may try to leave seven to ten times before they tear themselves away from their abuser once and for all.

Abuse victims often suffer from low self-esteem after years of abuse.

Being an abuser and being a victim can start young, in high school, dating.

Nine percent of kids in the US have been victims of violence by a boyfriend or girlfriend. That figure is twice as high in Oklahoma.

Also in Oklahoma, children witness one third of domestic violence homicides.

In the US in 2005, three women per day were killed by their husbands or boyfriends. Police had previously been called in twenty-eight percent of the cases.

Read more in this Muskogree [OK] Phoenix article: Domestic violence has devastating effects.

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Children Wander Onto Interstate Entrance Ramp While Parents Drink in Separate Bars

Couple have four children, ages 4, 3 (twins) and 1 years old.

At about 8pm, Husband allegedly left children, alone, to pick Wife up at a bar. Wife refused to leave with him, however.

So what did Husband do? He reportedly headed for a different bar with a friend.

The children had no food. Their apartment was littered with broken beer bottles and trash.

Husband allegedly didn’t return home until many hours later, about 8am the following morning.

In his absence, two of the children, the twins, wandered outdoors, to the entrance to an interstate highway. They were nearly run over.

The perpetrator became their savior by calling the authorities.

Husband allegedly admitted to authorities that this incident wasn’t the first where he had left his children unsupervised such that they wandered out into the street.

Police arrested and detained Husband for child abuse. Interestingly, Wife was not charged – because she said she didn’t know Husband had left the kids alone. After all, she was reportedly off in a different bar when all this happened.

The children are now in protective custody, however, pending a determination of whether the children should be released to their mother …

At the bar?

Read more in this Arizona Republic article: Dad accused of child abuse after tots strayed to I-17.

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Economic Stimulus Payments Intended to Spur Economy Intercepted for Child Support Arrearages

About $170 billion in economic stimulus payments were earmarked for taxpayers to promote consumer spending and stimulate the weak economy. That was the plan.

But tax refunds and the like may be intercepted before they reach the taxpayer to pay off support obligations of the taxpayer.

So far, nationwide, nearly $1 billion in economic stimulus payments have been intercepted for back child support, back taxes and repayment of student loans in default.

In West Virginia, nearly $3 million in back child support was collected through interception – but $761 million is owed.

Of course, intercepted monies may still promote consumer spending and stimulate the economy. Only the spending won’t be by the originally intended taxpayer.

Read more in this Charleston [WV] Daily Mail article: State targeting economic stimulus payments for those who owe child support.

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Already Married and Divorced … At 10 Years Old

In Yemen, the minimum lawful age to marry at is 15 years old – and more than half of all girls are married before they turn 18 years old. Tribal customs often permit marriage earlier than the minimum legal age.

A Yemeni couple with sixteen children opted to marry their daughter off at just 10 years old. To a thirty-something year old man.

They stated that they thought it was best for her to allow her husband to raise her.

The man allegedly beat her and forced himself on her. When her parents would do nothing for her, her aunt reportedly sent her bus money so she could travel to court to pursue a divorce.

Although a judge arranged for the little girl’s father and husband to be arrested, both ultimately were set free. Yemeni law has no concept of sexual abuse in the context of a marriage.

The little girl’s husband demanded payment to agree to the divorce. An attorney at the courthouse donated the money.

The little girl was granted her divorce – and the judge placed the child in the care of her uncle.

A human rights lawyer at the courthouse championed the girl’s cause, and the little girl now aspires to pursue her education and eventually become a lawyer.

The case has sparked debate in Yemen but, as of yet, no change in the laws or customs.

It is unknown whether Yemen has a child welfare agency or child welfare laws.

Read more in this Sydney Morning Herald article: Ten-year-old granted divorce from abusive marriage.

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Does State Court or Indian Tribal Court Have Jurisdiction over Divorce of Couple Living on Reservation?

American Indian father and non-Indian mother living on an Indian reservation seek a divorce.

Wife files first in the non-Indian state court of South Dakota. The next day, the Husband files in the American Indian tribal court.

Which court has jurisdiction, the Indian tribal court or the South Dakota state court?

To make things interesting, the American Indian tribal court may well have jurisdiction over some or all aspects of custody of the children, who are part American Indian.

Well, the South Dakota Supreme Court just ruled that the non-Indian state court can hear the divorce case.

Interestingly, the Court also ruled that the trial court must make written findings of fact and law before transferring certain child custody matters to the Indian tribal court.

And, by the way, the Court’s ruling may have gone differently if the Husband had filed first in the Indian tribal court.

Read more in this [Bismarck, SD] KX TV news article: Ruling says state court can handle divorce of Indian man….

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