Innocent Reminders to Pay Child Support? Not Everyone Buys That Characterization

Kansas Father was court-ordered to pay child support for his now seventeen year old Daughter.

Father recently began receiving periodically in his mail postcards from the Kansas Department of Families.

Emblazoned on the postcard in large bold white letters against a bright red background is the message:

“Have you paid your child support this month?”

It doesn’t state that the recipient of the postcard is behind on their payments. (Although they reportedly are if they receive the postcard.)  And it doesn’t display personal financial details.

Still, one resident of a small town in Kansas was both “shocked” and embarrassed by the postcards. He thinks the reminders, if necessary, should be sealed away in an envelope to protect his privacy.

But the state is standing firm on its cost-effective reminder system, defending that child support is a matter of public record in Kansas.

Just as it is in Florida …

Read more in this [Wichita] KWCH TV 12 news article: Dad says child support postcard is “invasion of privacy” .

Last Minute PA Prenup Upheld, But Attorney’s Fees Provision Tweaked

Pennsylvania Husband and Wife enter a prenuptial agreement … the day before their wedding (please don’t try that here in Florida).

The prenup precludes either spouse from receiving temporary or permanent alimony.

The antenuptial agreement also allows a spouse to recover their attorney’s fees for enforcing the agreement against the other spouse’s breach.

Approximately ten years after the wedding, the couple splits and Wife seeks alimony.

At trial, the Pennsylvania family court denied Wife’s alimony request based on the prenuptial agreement.

Husband seeks attorney’s fees of about $25,000.

The family court denies Husband’s claim for attorney’s fees.

On appeal, the intermediate level appellate court reverses, holding that Husband is entitled to his “reasonable attorney’s fees”, whether the agreement specified “reasonableness” as a criterion or not.

The appellate court remands for the family court to determine whether the $25,000 requested was indeed “reasonable”.

Read more in this JD Supra article: Husband Permitted to Seek Attorney’s Fees Against Wife for Her Failure to Comply with Prenuptial Agreement .

Cheater’s Online Meeting Place Hacked, Divorce Explosion Predicted

First it was Facebook wrecking marriages and fueling divorces.

Now it’s AshleyMadison.com … or so some are predicting.

The latter site is an online platform geared toward married people looking to connect with other married people, to have affairs with.

The site boasts 39 million registered members.

And the site was hacked.

And member data leaked … out there.

Waiting to be found.

By the cheated spouse.

And by anyone else as well.

Employers. Employees. Business partners. Customers. Anyone. Everyone.

Even people who paid to have their account data deleted.

Definitely a big mess.

Will it stir up marital discord, and worse? Flood family courts everywhere?

At this point, it’s not entirely clear what merely registering as a member on the website entails or proves, if anything. Nor is it entirely clear just how readily available the hacked data actually is.

Only time will tell.

In the meantime, the data hack may serve as a warning shot to people who are – or are thinking about – playing with fire. Instead of taking responsible action.

Read more in

this Forbes piece: Ashley Madison Hack Would Mean ‘Boon for Divorce Lawyers and Marriage Therapists’ and

this Wired magazine article: Ashley Madison Hack Exposes (Wait for It) A Lousy Business .

Leaving Young Kids Locked in Hot Parked Car While You Gamble is Pretty Sure-Fire Way to Get Arrested and Have Your Kids Put into Foster Care

Queens Boyfriend and Girlfriend have two Daughters, aged six and eight.

Boyfriend and Girlfriend drive to a local casino with their Daughters, park their car, lock Daughters in their car, and … go into the casino to gamble.

An employee of the casino notices Daughters in the car and calls police.

Boyfriend and Girlfriend are arrested on charges of child endangerment.

Daughters are taken into protective custody by child welfare agency.

Mississippi Husband and Wife have Daughter and Son, aged nine and eleven.

A few days after the incident in Queens, Mississippi Husband and Wife drive to a casino in Gulfport with Daughter and Son, park their car, lock Daughter and Son in their car and … go into the casino to gamble.

An employee of the casino notices Son and Daughter in the car (despite coverings inside the windows). The heat index there that day is 109.

Husband and Wife are arrested for felony child abuse.

Son and Daughter are taken into protective custody by child welfare agency.

Read more in:

Texas Family Court Not Only Enters Divorces, It Also Sort Of Orders Getting Married

Texas Boyfriend reportedly gets into physical altercation with Girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend.

Boyfriend is charged with criminal assault.

Boyfriend pleads guilty.

Criminal court judge advises Boyfriend and Girlfriend that Boyfriend will be sentenced to fifteen days in jail. Or just probation … if Boyfriend and Girlfriend tie the knot within thirty days; Boyfriend transcribes Bible verses; and Boyfriend undergoes counseling.

Boyfriend and Girlfriend agree to the probation conditions – but Girlfriend’s father resents the perceived coercion and intrusion into his family’s business.

The court’s order was indeed … unusual … and the Freedom from Religion Foundation filed a complaint with the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct over the order, particularly the provision that required Boyfriend to copy bible verses. The Foundation contends the provision violated the principle of separation of church and state.

Read more in:

  1. this Reuters article: Texas judge gives man a choice: get married or go to jail
  2. this [Salt Lake City] Fox 13 TV news article: Texas Judge gives man a choice: Marry girlfriend or go to jail
  3. this New York Daily News article: Complaint filed against Texas judge who ordered man to marry his girlfriend or be jailed and
  4. this Salem Radio Network News article: Complaint filed against Texas judge over ‘get married or go to jail’ order .

Florida Woman Charged with Stalking Ex and His New Girlfriend By Text Messages

Boyfriend and Girlfriend date, get engaged and then break up.

Boyfriend becomes involved with a new Woman.

Girlfriend reportedly bombards both Boyfriend and Girlfriend with text messages. Hundreds of them. From different numbers. For over a year.

Boyfriend and Woman requested that she stop texting them.

Eventually, Girlfriends allegedly texts them that she is looking for an unregistered gun.

At which point the situation was perceived to be a police matter and Girlfriend was arrested on stalking charges.

Girlfriend was released on bail but a no-contact order was entered.

Read more in this Orlando Sentinel article:Woman accused of stalking ex-fiancé, his new girlfriend with harassing texts .

Baby’s Decomposing Corpse Found in Crib in Home of Father Who Was Awarded Sole Custody of Baby

Ohio Husband and Wife have several children together, including Baby.

Husband and Wife divorce late last year.

Ohio Family Court awards Husband sole custody of Baby.

Over the summer, a cable TV installer goes to Husband’s home and discovers Baby’s decomposing body in a crib … in a room filled with malodorous trash … reportedly intended to mask the odor of the corpse.

It is believed that Baby died about a month earlier, but Husband never reported Baby’s death either to authorities or to family members.

Another baby of Husband’s and Wife’s also died, in 2013, of causes that were never precisely determined.

Husband has been charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. Additional charges may be brought.

Husband has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, and is confined pending posting of a $1 million bond.

Read more in

  1. this Cleveland Plain Dealer news article: Medina father had full custody of toddler whose decomposing body was found in his home
  2. this People magazine news article: Ohio Dad Who Left Dead Toddler in Crib for a Month Pleads Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity and
  3. this Cleveland ABC TV News 5 article: Eric Warfel: Dad who allegedly left decomposing baby in crib pleads not guilty by reason of insanity .

Celebrities’ Entire Divorce File Sealed From Beginning to End

Oklahoma Husband and Wife are reportedly country music celebrities.

Husband and Wife decide to divorce.

Desiring to keep maintain their privacy, they apparently ask the Oklahoman Family Court to keep their divorce confidential.

And so the presiding judge, who happens to be from another county … and retiring imminently, decides to seal their divorce file.

All of it. No exceptions. Whatsoever.

Even the actual sealing order. Which is also supposedly mandated by law to be public.

The judge reportedly believes that the contents of the celebrities’ divorce file are of a private nature.

And the public has no right to the information in it.

Unlike other people’s divorces in Oklahoma. (And Florida.)

Not even the musicians’ full names are listed on the online public docket listing, just their initials.

And a former Oklahoma legislator contends that that is allillegal under Oklahoma law, which he alleges requires judges to seal only so much of the court case record as is really and truly necessary to protect a legitimate and compelling privacy interest which outweighs the public’s right to information. (Quite similar to Florida’s sunshine laws.)

Oh, and the elapsed time between first filing the case and entry of the final judgment is just two weeks! Which wouldn’t comply with Florida’s minimum statutory waiting period after filing. Although it, presumably, does satisfy any minimum applicable in Oklahoma.

Read more in

Judge’s Toddler Dies Alone in Car on Very Hot Day

An eighteen month old Arkansas boy has died after being left alone in a car on a day when the outdoor air temperature reached almost 100 degrees.

Although it is not entirely clear, there are reportedly some indications that the toddler was in the care of his father at the time.

The youngster was the son of a Hot Springs juvenile dependency court judge, who presided over cases of alleged child abandonment, abuse or neglect.

Due to the judge’s prior tenure as a county prosecutor, a special prosecutor from another county has been appointed to oversee law enforcement’s investigation into the child’s death.

An autopsy suggests that the little boy died from heat exposure, but a toxicology report is still pending. It does not appear that any official decisions regarding potential prosecutions will be made in the interim.

Read more in:

  1. this KUAR UALR Public Radio article: Prosecutor Reviewing Information In Death Of Judge’s Son
  2. his Arkansas Times piece: UPDATE: Special prosecutor to handle Hot Springs child’s death and
  3. this ABC TV 7 new article: UPDATE: Toddler died in car due to ‘excessive heat’, preliminary autopsy report states .

Twelve Year Old Girl Allegedly Stabs Stepmother to Death and Father Superficially

Twelve year old Daughter lives with Father and Stepmother, as well as Stepmother’s daughter.

By all accounts, they are a quiet, ordinary family, without any history of domestic strife calling for police intervention.

Until one fateful evening, when Daughter and Stepmother get into an argument.

Angry, Daughter starts a fire in her bedroom. When Stepmother tries to deal with the situation, Daughter allegedly stabs her … to death.

When Father attempts to restrain Daughter, Daughter allegedly stabs him – once, less severely – as well, then flees.

Police find and arrest Daughter the following morning.

Despite the superficial appearance of peacefulness, neighbors report that Daughter admitted to anger management issues and Stepmother worried about Daughter’s disobedience.

Daughter is being held pending formal charging, with appointment of a guardian ad litem and a public defender.

Read more in this South Bend [IN] Tribune article: Fatal stabbing of stepmom by 12-year-old girl stuns Elkhart and this WFBT 22 CBS TV article: ‘A tragic event:’ 12-year-old arrested in stabbing death of her stepmother .