US Asserts Jurisdiction over Mexican Girl Allegedly Abducted to US Years Ago, Where Mexican Father Waited Over Four Years to File for Child’s Return and Child is Now Well Settled in US

Mexican Mother and Father live in the US for a number of years before Father is deported.

Their daughter (Daughter) is born in Mexico in 1996.

When Mother and Father separate in 2001, Mother returns to the US. Mother alleges that Father committed domestic violence.

Father contends that Mother wrongfully kept Daughter in the US beyond her agreed few months’ stay in 2002.

Although they have both been here for years now, technically, neither Mother nor Daughter are in this country legally.

Over four years after Mother allegedly wrongfully retained Daughter in the US, Father applies for return of Daughter to Mexico under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. It is not clear why Father waited so long to act.

A federal trial court holds that Daughter should be returned to Father in Mexico for a custody determination there.

On appeal, the intermediate level appellate court reverses, based on an exception in the Hague Convention where, due to the lengthy passage of time, the child in question has become well settled in his or her new location, so that return would only cause the child further distress.

By all accounts, Daughter is well-adjusted and doing well in the US.

Some disagree with the appellate court’s ruling because none of the family is a US citizen or legal resident.

As with all decisions under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, this ruling is a not a determination of custody, or in which country Daughter will ultimately live. It just decides which country has jurisdiction to determine custody, and where the child will remain until custody is determined.

It is likely that the appellate Court was heavily influenced by Daughter’s protracted stay in this country before Father ever chose to file an application for her return. There is nothing to suggest that Father’s delay resulted from ignorance of where Daughter was abducted to.

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Wealthy Canadian Blames His Ex For Getting Him Slapped with Large Temporary Child Support Award

A divorced Canadian man (“Father”) could apparently write the book on irritating the judge presiding over his case.

Father and his former wife (“Mother”) have a 5 year old child together (“Daughter”).

Mother took Father to court to increase Father’s child support payments.

Father, apparently, bitterly attacked Mother in court for trying to transfer his wealth to her, completely ignoring, reportedly even denying the fact that child support is for Daughter.

In 2005, when the original child support award was apparently calculated, Father earned less than Canadian $83,000 per year.

In 2006, Father’s income catapulted to Canadian $3.5 million.

In 2008, Father’s income soared to Canadian $6.5 million.

The Canadian Court evidently viewed the exponential change in Father’s income as justifying a change in child support for Daughter, despite Father’s objections.

In fact, the Court ordered temporary monthly child support of $31,000.

That is said to have broken the record for the greatest temporary child support award in Canada.

Read more in this Edmonton [Canada] Sun article: Millionaire must pay hefty child support.

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Husband Convicted of Raping Wife Granted New Trial Because, in Large Part, of Exclusion of Defense Evidence of Child Custody Dispute Between Husband and Wife

Maine Husband and Wife are engaged in child custody battle.

Wife accuses Husband of raping and sodomizing her, charged as multiple counts of gross sexual assault.

Defense counsel wants to introduce the custody dispute into evidence as a motive for Wife to falsely accuse Husband of sexually assaulting her. The defense also wants to introduce evidence that Husband sought an order of protection against Wife.

The trial court excludes any such evidence by the defense.

At the same time, the prosecution reportedly repeatedly denies the existence of a custody dispute to the jury.

Husband is convicted of some but not all of the charged counts of gross sexual assault, a felony punishable by up to thirty years’ confinement.

Husband moves for a new trial, contending that his trial was unfair and that he was denied due process for the above and additional reasons.

The Husband is granted a new trial.

The prosecution is contemplating appealing that ruling.

Read more in this Ellsworth [ME] American article: New Trial for Man Convicted Of Wife Rape.

Interestingly, comments posted by members of this small town, local community uniformly suggest that the article contains inaccuracies and bias in favor of Husband.

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After the Breakup, Who Gets … the Embryos?

An 18 year New Zealand relationship has come to an end.

Leaving in its wake four frozen embryos produced as a result of fertility treatments.

The Woman wants the embryos to be born, either to her or to another woman.

The Man is apparently opposed.

Although no further legal action regarding the embryos is planned, the Woman is attempting to try the dispute over the embryos in the media.

Read more in this New Zealand TVNZ article: Child custody battle involving embryos and this New Zealand Herald article: Separated couple row over frozen embryos.

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With More Than Sixty Percent of People Ordered to Pay Child Support Not Complying, NYC Finally Turns Its Attention to Child Support Enforcement

In more than sixty percent of the child custody cases in Staten Island, a borough of New York City, the noncustodial parent does not pay their court-ordered child support. Sixty percent.

In many of these cases, the custodial parent and children are pushed into poverty and draw on public assistance and services.

But the City is now beginning to crack down on deadbeat parents by

  1. garnishing wages
  2. suspending driver’s licenses and business and professional licenses
  3. blocking passports and
  4. seizing lottery winnings, unrelated court settlements, and other accounts and assets, as well as tax refunds

Some of these enforcement measures can be implemented administratively by the Office of Child Support Enforcement without further court orders, after the initial support order.

As a result, last year, the state collected $1.7 billion in child support, a 6.4% increase over the previous year.

Read more in this Staten Island Advance article: Epidemic of child support deadbeats.

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NC Judge Orders Successfully Performing Homeschooled Children Back to Public School for Broader Exposure and Challenge to Their Mother’s Religious Training

North Carolina Husband and Wife have three preteen Children.

In 2005, Wife begins homeschooling Children.

Children reportedly enjoy homeschooling and perform two years above their respective grades in standardized tests.

If it ain’t broke … ?

Well, Husband and Wife are in the midst of a divorce.

Husband does not not dispute that Children are “thriving” with homeschooling.

And there is no suggestion that Husband is motivated by alimony avoidance.

Instead, Husband contends that Wife belongs to a “cult” that encourages homeschooling, with a religious slant to the curriculum, including science.

Wife does not dispute the religious component of her curriculum, but insists that the Children are doing very well, better than they did in public school.

She also suggests that she is being persecuted for her religious beliefs.

The North Carolina Court has ordered the Children back to public school on a temporary basis.

The Court justifies its ruling by indicating that the Husband is entitled to influence the Children’s education and religious training as well as the Wife.

There is also an indication that the Court cites as a benefit of public school that the Children will be exposed to other beliefs and have the beliefs Wife taught them “challenged” by others in public school.

Four percent of North Carolina’s school children through 16 years of age are homeschooled.

The case illustrates the complex issues presented when parents’ religious beliefs and educational values differ dramatically.

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Proposed Texas Divorce Class: Tax on Divorce or Economic Stimulus?

A bill pending in the Texas legislature would, if passed, mandate that divorcing couples with children, who are pursuing a “no fault divorce”, take a 10 hour class in the nature of marriage counseling.

The class might cost as much as $200 per hour.

That’s $2,000 just to take the divorce class.

The legislative intent behind the bill is to “save a few marriages”.

The pending Texas legislation exempts victims of abuse documented by an order of protection or a police report.

But everyone else would have to take the class in order to obtain a divorce if the bill passes.

Sort of like giving no fault divorce with one hand, and taking it away from those who can’t afford the divorce class with the other hand …

But pretty profitable for government-approved providers.

Read more in this [Dallas/Ft. Worth] WFAA TV 8 news article: Bill proposes ‘divorce classes’.

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Domestic Violence Isn’t Always Between Romantic Couples

Husband and Wife are in second marriage (two years) for each.

Husband has children with his Ex.

Wife and Ex don’t get along.

To put it mildly.

Ex, and Husband’s two children with her, all have separate orders of protection against Wife.

Based on approximately 20 allegedly abusive phone calls.

According to Ex, police have warned Wife to “stop” making such calls.

Ex is reportedly set to testify against Wife in a custody modification hearing regarding her children with her ex-husband.

Wife allegedly has some fifteen orders of protection entered against her since 2002, not all from Ex. Another is in process.

Investigating neighbors recently found Husband and Wife dead in their home.

Read more in this St. Louis [MO] Post-Dispatch article: Two found dead in home near St. Peters.

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Kentucky Father Caught in Mexico After Allegedly Abducting Baby Daughter There

Mother and Father have two year old baby Daughter.

Father allegedly takes Daughter out for a walk.

And disappears.

Again.

Father is reportedly caught … in Mexico, thanks to a phone call.

Daughter is back with Mother and her fiance in Kentucky.

Father will be extradited there on charges of interference with child custody.

Mother plans to seek sole custody of Daughter, with supervision of Father’s visitation.

Mother acknowledges Father’s importance to Daughter, but hopes he seeks psychological help.

Read more in this [Laredo, TX] KGNS Pro 8 TV News article: Pro 8 News Exclusive: Mother of kidnapped girl speaks out to our Joey Horta.

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Happiness and Divorce: Is There a Correlation?

Portland, Oregon is the “unhappiest city in America”. In case you are wondering.

So opines BusinessWeek magazine. Based on numerous statistics.

For example, of the fifty largest metropolitan areas in the nation, Portland ranks fourth in divorces.

Portland also ranks first in depression and twelfth in suicides.

Portand’s crisis prevention hotline reports that calls are up 71% from about a year ago.

The weak economy is likely a factor. But 222 cloudy days in a year probably doesn’t help.

Louisville ranks first in divorces, but it doesn’t score in the top ten most unhappy cities anyway.

So how much of a factor in “city happiness” is number of divorces?

Hard to say.

The second unhappiest city, St. Louis, MO ranks 18th in divorces.

And the third unhappiest city, New Orleans, ranks 26th in divorces.

Not much of a correlation at all …

Now, what about the “happiness statistics” on victims of domestic violence and couples who stay together, miserably?

Read more in this [Seattle] KIRO TV 7 article: Portland Named Unhappiest City In America.

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