Foster Care: It’s Really About Supporting and Reuniting Families…

Sometimes people become foster parents when they are in search of children to adopt.

But, sometimes, they just want to help other families get through a difficult time and then reunite.

One Utah couple is in the latter category.

They actually mentor the parents whose children are in their foster care.

Some of their former foster kids, and their parents, visit them years later.

This couple has fostered thirty-two children over ten years.

In the part of Utah they live in, there are 356 foster families … for 630 children in foster care.

More than half of foster children are eventually reunited with their parents or placed with extended family members.

May is National Foster Care Month.

Read more in this Utah Standard-Examiner article: Layton couple’s goal as foster parents: Get parents and children back together.

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Justice Isn’t Cheap, Especially in British Columbia, Canada …

In British Columbia, Canada, divorce and custody litigation – or, for that matter, any litigation – can be really expensive.

It’s not the legal fees, as some might leap to conclude.

It’s the court clerk fees, which are substantially higher than elsewhere in Canada.

A litigant must rent the courtroom.

That might run $15,000, payable in advance.

And then there is the cost of the jury.

That might run $25,000, also payable in advance.

And then there might be the cost of witnesses.

That might run another $15,000, also payable in advance.

Giving new meaning to the cliche, “justice isn’t cheap”…

Husband and Wife are from England, but have been living with Child in British Columbia, Canada.

When the marriage breaks down, Wife wants to take Child to live in Europe.

The Court rules that the Child should remain in British Columbia.

Wife is awarded transitional alimony.

At the ten day trial, both parties represent themselves.

At the end of it, Wife asks the Court to waive a court fee … of $3,600.

Chaos in the courtroom.

Wife was supposed to pay in advance.

Court will now consider whether British Columbian court fees are unconstitutional as impeding access to the courts.

There is some Canadian authority to support that conclusion.

Wife is unemployed, but not indigent.

Court wishes to hear from the Attorney General and stays payment of the fee until it does so.

Read more in this Vancouver Sun article: Do B.C.’s court costs impede justice?.

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Nebraska Allegedly Passes Statute So It Can Ignore Canadian Custody Orders … Nebraska Residents Don’t Like

One might not think of a legal dispute over jurisdiction with our neighbor to the north as being an international jurisdiction battle.

But …

Canadian Husband and American Wife live in British Columbia.

Couple divorce.

Husband is awarded sole custody of Daughter by Canadian court.

Wife moves to Nebraska.

Husband and Wife work out timesharing and Wife has Daughter over much of the summer.

Then Wife accuses Husband of abusing Daughter.

Husband denies it, backed by a lie detector test and lack of criminal charges.

Wife retains Daughter and Husband doesn’t see her for two years.

Wife hasn’t been able to transfer jurisdiction from Canada to Nebraska, but neither has Nebraska honored the Canadian custody order and ordered that Daughter be returned to Husband.

Wife does succeed in getting Nebraska to pass legislation to the effect that Nebraska need not honor custody orders from outside the US.

One must speculate that the constitutionality of that statute will be tested soon.

Nebraska may have rejected the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Husband is pursuing political intervention by the Canadian government.

Some Canadians are concerned that it isn’t safe to allow visitation in the US anymore.

Read more in this [British Columbia, Canada] Richmond Review article: Richmond educator fights for daughter.

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Grandparents Still Fighting for Visitation with Grandchildren Nine Years After Daughter’s Death

Husband and Wife marry.

Husband and Wife have Children.

West Virginia Grandparents see Children.

Wife dies.

Husband inherits Wife’s custody of Children.

Grandparents don’t see Children.

Ever.

For nine years and counting.

Grandparents appeal to the courts for visitation with Children.

Over and over.

With no luck.

Because under current law, Grandparents generally have no rights where a fit parent denies them visitation.

Grandparents are campaigning for support of a petition for grandparents’ rights to take to their legislature.

Read more in this Steubenville, OH WOTV 9 news article: Grandparents Fight For Visitation Rights.

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Global Positioning Devices Find Unexpected Use Protecting People Who Have Domestic Violence Restraining Orders against Their Abusers

Injunctions for Protection against Domestic Violence. Orders of Protection. A rose by any other name.

Court orders all. Literally, pieces of paper.

According to a Justice Department study, more than 3 million people are stalked in a single year.

In Massachusetts, one-quarter of all restraining orders in effect each year are violated. Twenty-five percent.

It is reported that one-quarter of domestic homicide victims in Massachusetts had orders of protection in place against their murderers. Twenty-five percent.

One domestic violence victim insists her abuser violated the restraining order she had against him thirty times over four years. Thirty times.

These are the reasons why a growing number of states are putting teeth behind those pieces of paper called injunctions for protection against domestic violence …

Global positioning devices, worn by violators of restraining orders against them.

The devices serve to prove where the abuser was and, even more importantly, notify police when the abuser is somewhere he or she is not supposed to be under the terms of the restraining order against them.

So far, twelve states are using global positioning technology to enforce orders of protection, with some 5,000 abusers wearing the devices.

Both numbers will likely rise in time.

Read more in this New York Times article: More States Use GPS to Track Abusers .

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Intermediate Appeals Court in Florida Recognizes Washington State Adoption by Gay Couple and Parental Rights Flowing from It

Florida does not allow adoptions by a homosexual couple.

Washington state does.

A lesbian couple living in Washington state each give birth to a child.

And each partner adopts the other’s biological child as permitted under Washington law.

Lesbian couple relocates to Florida.

And eventually breaks up.

At first, they agree to share legal and physical custody of both children, so that the children can spend most of their time together.

The next year, however, one of the couple “goes straight” and becomes engaged to marry a man.

Who wants to adopt his fiance’s biological child.

At that point, when the child is about 9 years old, her mother denies any timesharing to her former partner.

The frustrated partner brings suit to determine parental responsibility and timesharing.

At trial, the court denies the frustrated partner any parental responsibility or timesharing with the denying partner’s biological child.

On appeal to an intermediate level appellate court, that ruling is reversed.

The Florida appellate court holds that Florida has to give full faith and credit to the Washington state adoption and the rights and obligations flowing from it.

Without regard to Florida’s law and policy against gay adoption.

The birth mother intends to appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.

Read more in this Courthouse News Service article: Fla. Must Recognize Gay Adoptions, Court Rules and this Sarasota Herald Tribune article: Adoption by Sarasota lesbian is upheld on appeal.

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Despite History and Threats of Further Domestic Violence, British Wife Who Fled to Australia Seeking Safety is Ordered to Return Children to England for Custody Determination

Husband is convicted of sexually assaulting Wife.

Wife is terrified that Husband will kill her.

Husband allegedly threatens to dismember her.

Wife flees to Australia with their two Children.

But the Australian courts rule that England has child custody jurisdiction under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Wife returns to England with Children.

Police are summoned to intervene in domestic clashes several times.

Police give Wife a “panic alarm”.

About a year after Wife’s return, Husband allegedly drags her from a car and stabs her to death … in front of her own mother and their Children.

Just a few hours after she begged British police for protection.

While she was in the midst of trying to flee from Husband again.

Husband is convicted of murder.

He will serve at least eighteen years in confinement.

Read more in this Brisbane [Australia] Times article: Young mother fled to Sydney to save her life.

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Going Through a Stressful Divorce? Go Break Stuff …. Somewhere Appropriate, Of Course

It is almost cliche that divorce is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life.

It certainly was for a California veterinarian.

She channeled her stress productively though.

She fantasized about a haven where she could break things.

And, born of her fantasy came … Sarah’s Smash Shack.

A place where angry or stressed folks – or anyone else – can go to smash plates, vases and other stuff, against walls.

Safely.

To the accompaniment of their favorite music.

And they actually pay for the pleasure of doing this damage to someone else’s stuff.

Read more in this San Diego News Network article: Downtown business wants you to break its stuff.

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Alabama Petitions for Orders of Protection Go High Tech

Alabama takes domestic violence seriously, with a progessive new infrastructure.

Now, victims of domestic violence can prepare their petitions for an injunction for protection against domestic violence on any internet-connected computer.

From there, the data in the petition is electronically transmitted via the internet to law enforcement.

When domestic violence victims arrive at the courthouse, they can simply print out their waiting petitions for orders of protection and sign them.

Then the information will be electronically transmitted to the domestic violence judge on duty.

One of the communities where the new system will launch typically enters 25 injunctions for protection against domestic violence per week.

Read more in this Huntsville [AL] WHNT News 19 article: Protection From Abuse Orders Going Online.

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Mother Wanted for Kidnapping Her Child from Grandparents, His Legal Custodians

Mother, Grandparents and 3 year old Child go to mall.

Mother and Child become separated from Grandparents.

Mother and Child leave mall.

Amber Alert goes out.

Grandparents have legal custody of Child.

Mother is only allowed supervised visitation with Child.

Warrants for Mother’s arrest for kidnapping are issued.

Mother is suspected to have abducted Child to Georgia.

Child is not believed to be in danger of violence from Mother.

But Child is still missing.

Read more in this Mooresville [NC] Tribune article: Warrants issued for mother of missing 3-year-old.

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