Mirror, Mirror On the Wall, Who’s Most Likely to Divorce of All?

Some people spend weeks, months, years debating when and/or whether to go ahead on a divorce.

Perhaps the wisdom of the universe – or at least their answers to their question – lies in the data and statistics that have been collected and compiled by the people who do that sort of thing.

Now, the data repository within the 2014 American Community Survey is at our fingertips.

Even more amazing, with the click of your mouse, you can view divorce statistics graphically, instantly adjusted based upon your selections for each of the variables of employment status, education and race / national origin.

Probably a better predictor / guide for decision-making than the proverbial dart and dart board. Especially where any decision beats paralysis by analysis or permanent limbo.

Read more in

  1. this Flowing Data article: Divorce Rates for Different Groups and
  2. this Gizmodo article: Fun Tool Tells You When You’ll Get Divorced .

Florida Divorce Has Unusual New York Enforcement Type Proceeding Attempted

Husband, a CEO of an oil company, and Wife, a socialite, divorced, apparently here in Florida.

Husband has since remarried the proverbial younger woman, Second Wife.

Although Husband is in his late forties, Second Wife is trying to get pregnant, in New York.

Husband reportedly paid Wife $130 million in the division of their marital property.

But Husband allegedly dragged his heels in transferring some stock to Wife, as a result of which Wife suffered a loss of $34 million. Accordingly, the Florida family court ordered Husband to pay Wife $34 million more as compensation for that loss.

Only Husband hasn’t paid. And is appealing the order requiring him to do so. And contending that he doesn’t have the money to do so.

Only Husband does reportedly have tens of thousands of dollars to pay for fertility treatments for Second Wife, a Bentley auto for Second Wife and a romantic $9,000 stop at a Paris hotel. Oops.

Wife, clearly a determined litigant, took the bull by the horns and formally advised Second Wife’s fertility doctor not to accept any further payments from Husband.

The Manhattan judge presiding over this divorce subplot apparently was not impressed by Husband’s resistance to paying, and “ordered” the former couple to “work out” the conflict.

That may not happen, at least not in New York.

Florida is really the proper venue for post-divorce enforcement proceedings of the usual variety. It was only because of Wife’s attempt at drawing the New York fertility doctor into the Florida divorce enforcement fray that this matter landed,, if only temporarily, in a New York courtroom.

Read more in this New York Post article: “My ex is using my money to get his new wife pregnant’ .

Prenups: They’re Just for Rich People, Aren’t They? No Way

Antenuptial agreements, or prenuptial agreements have gone mainstream. And with good reason.

So many more people these days are marrying later, often much later, sometimes after already raising a family, or successfully pursuing a career or business. They aren’t a couple of penniless kids … but they may each have some of those to consider.

It should also be kept in mind that prenups may come into play not only in the event of a divorce but also in the event of a spouse’s death.

And, believe it or not, a will may not be completely effective at disinheriting a spouse. But a prenup can be.

So, even ordinary people who aren’t wealthy may want to consider a prenup under any of the following circumstances (among others; this really isn’t an exhaustive list):

1. Either intended has built up – or even just started – a business. Even if a divorce or death doesn’t come into play, lack of documentation to protect the business could adversely impact financing and growth of the business.

2. Either intended is going to put their career on hold. Whether to care for common children, either intended’s children with previous partners, parents or in-laws. It’s a sacrifice that could have lasting consequences to the spouse who makes it.

3. Either intended has children with a former partner. It is naive to trust that the other intended (or their children) will take care of all the children of either intended. Without proper documentation, this can prove to be too much temptation – and stress – for the person(s) who may end up in the hotseat faced with the prospect of saying no to (other) needy kids and stepkids.

4. Either intended is in line for a significant inheritance. If there isn’t a prenup, inheritances have to be handled just so in order to protect them. Ironically, a prenup can be liberating, and promote sharing and contribution – with security to the heir.

5. The intendeds are compatible in most ways, but not in how they deal with money. A prenup can save a more conservative intended a world of anxiety.

Read more in this Cheat Sheet article: Marriage: 5 Signs You Need a Prenuptial Agreement .

Indian Child Welfare Act Tears Six Year Old From Only Home She Has Known Since She Was Seventeen Months Old

Child is removed from her parents and taken into child protective custody when Child is seventeen months old.

Child is placed with California Husband and Wife as her foster parents. Child lives with them, and their other children, for more than four years.

Genealogically, Child is one-sixty-fourth part Choctaw Indian; sixty-three sixty-fourths part not.

The federal Indian Child Welfare Act subjects Child, now six years old, to the the jurisdiction of the Choctaw Nation.

Because Child’s biological parents are unfit to care for her, the tribe wishes to place Child with relatives of her biological father, in Utah, who are not Indian. But Child’s nominal half-sister resides with them.

Husband and Wife, who wish to adopt Child, have been vigorously opposing tribal jurisdiction.

Because Child has been with Husband and Wife for so long during the extensive litigation, Child underwent a psychological evaluation and a child custody evaluation was performed by a therapist.

Their conclusion was that it would not be harmful to Child to remove her from the only home she has known for more than four years starting when she was seventeen months old.

Child’s foster parents plan to continue their fight through the courts until all of their legal options are exhausted.

Read more in

  1. this Los Angeles Times article: State Supreme Court will not hear Santa Clarita family’s appeal in tribal custody case and
  2. this Denver Post article: Custody case of Native American girl appealed to high court .

Toddler Dies Shortly After Child Welfare Agency Places Her in Halfway House with her Father

California Mother and Father have two year old Toddler who is unable to speak, developmentally delayed and otherwise disabled.

Mother is reportedly intellectually disabled as well, and was determined to be unable to care for Toddler.

Father is reportedly an ex-convict with a history of substance abuse.

Accordingly, Toddler was taken into protective custody by California’s child welfare agency.

Since his release from confinement, Father resides in a group home under the auspices of the juvenile dependency court.

The child welfare agency inexplicably removed Toddler from another placement with an experienced foster family and placed Toddler instead with Father in the group home. But all placements are required to be approved by a judicial officer.

Less than sixty days later, she was found lifeless.

Toddler’s cause of death has not yet been determined, but the placement with Father in the group home is unusual – and questionable.

In fact, Toddler’s doctor allegedly did question it via letter to Toddler’s social worker. And Toddler’s previous foster mother contends the proper procedure for Toddler’s change of placement was not followed.

Still, a former foster parent indicated that Toddler was prone to choking and vomiting.

Read more in:

Domestic Violence Can Strike the Least Likely Victim At the Most Unexpected Time and Place

Elderly Utah Husband and Wife have been married for twenty-seven years.

Wife is a retired attorney and domestic violence advocate now suffering from Parkinson’s Disease; Husband a retired engineer.

There is no known history of domestic violence in their marriage.

Yet seemingly out of the blue, Husband shoots and kills Wife and then commits suicide.

According to a professor, in older couples, violence can erupt suddenly without any prior incidents, just as appears to be the case here.

Read more in this [North Andover, MA] Eagle Tribune article: Domestic violence advocate killed by husband .

Pakistani Compensation Marriage of Children Called Off By Police Intervention

Young Pakistani Wife falls ill out of the blue and dies under suspicious circumstances.

Village elders dictate that Wife’s Sister-in-Law be married off to a Cousin of Wife’s, a practice known as “compensation marriage”, and Husband pay some money to Wife’s family.

Wife’s sister-in-law is nine years old and Cousin fourteen years old.

Police intervene and compensation marriage is called off.

Pakistan outlaws child marriage, but the penalty for it is one month in prison and a $10 fine.

Read more in this Fox News article: Pakistani police save 9-year-old girl from marriage to 14-year-old boy .

Family Court Judge Can Even Sort Of Rule Over Second Marriage

Husband and Wife marry. The second time for each.

Husband has two minor Children from his previous marriage.

Husband’s divorce decree orders him to maintain a life insurance policy until Children turn 23 years old which designates Children as the beneficiaries.

Husband has not done so and makes no provision for Children in a will.

Wife wants to know whether she is bound by Husband’s decree of divorce from his ex.

Variations on this theme do come up in a divorce lawyer’s practice. Sometimes in connection with a prenuptial agreement leading into the second marriage. Sometimes when the second marriage hits a rough patch. Sometimes when a happy marriage is dealt a tragic blow by an illness or traumatic injuries.

The short answer is: no, the second spouse is not directly bound by the other spouse’s prior divorce decree.

The more complete answer though is that in the event of Husband’s death before Children turn 23 years old, Children would have a claim against Husband’s estate for the amount of insurance Husband was ordered to maintain.

And in Florida, Husband’s surviving Children may also have a homestead claim on Husband’s marital residence, which could pose problems for Wife.

In divorce, law in general, and in life, it often pays to pick one’s battles wisely.

Read more in this MarketWatch article: Can I leave my stepchildren nothing if my husband dies?

“Passed Out” Mother Arrested for Child Endangerment When Dirty, Bug-Bitten Daughter Tells Police She Is Hungry and Needs a Beer

Three year old Daughter is sighted wandering about the apartment complex she lives in.

Upon law enforcement officers’ engagement with Daughter, Daughter complained repeatedly that she was hungry and that “I need a beer”. Daughter’s skin was covered in red bumps, which appeared to be some sort of bug bites.

The law enforcement officers went to Daughter’s apartment, where Mother was sleeping and oblivious to the fact that Daughter had been outside on her own.

Their apartment was filthy and roach-infested.

The police arrested Mother on charges of child endangerment

Daughter was taken into child protective custody.

Read more in

Er, You May Want to Think Twice Before Posting That Adorable Baby Picture on Social Media

Mother snaps photos of Baby doing typical Baby-things and being cute. Then Mother uploads the pictures to Social Media website. To share Baby’s cuteness with friends and family wherever they may be

As practically every mother – and father – everywhere does these days. All the time.

What’s the harm?

Well, the answer to this question may depend upon what country Mother and Baby live in – and how their laws are applied.

For example, France has new legislation criminalizing posting photos online without the subject’s permission. Maximum penalty: a year in prison and a fine of $48,000.

Does the law apply to a parent who uploads their minor child’s photo online?

That likely was not the intended target of the legislation.

But was it a foreseeable application?

Probably.

Will French prosecutors mount a campaign to stamp out parental posting on social media.

Probably not.

But, arguably, they could.

And some commentators not generally prone to levity seem to be suggesting that French parents take that threat to heart.

The legislation in question is a privacy statute. In France.

The US, among other countries, has both statutory and case law to protect people’s privacy as well. Ditto various states.

Should Americans take this implied threat of prosecution to heart?

Time will tell.

A secondary question may represent a more realistic threat: can a family court judge consider parental posting behaviors regarding a child into account in timesharing and parental decisionmaking rulings?

Absolutely. And if a parent’s photo-posting behaviors strike a judge as excessive or inappropriate, the consequences could be nearly – or just – as painful to a parent as a jail sentence or hefty criminal fine …

Read more in this Good HouseKeeping article: Moms Could Be Sent to Jail for Posting Pics of Their Kids on Facebook .