Two little Idaho Girls who went missing were found in Nevada a few days after an Amber Alert was issued about them.
The Girls’ Father reportedly pulled them out of their Idaho school and headed to Nevada before a conference in the Father’s child custody and child support case with his wife, the Girls’ Mother.
Father had had temporary joint custody of the Girls, despite some alleged history of substance abuse, thoughts and threats of suicide and several convictions on misdemeanor crimes. He also reportedly had weapons.
The Girls were unharmed, although suffering from exposure to wet, freezing conditions in inadequate clothing.
If the allegations against him are true, Father abducted the Girls. And placed them in danger.
The legal terms are custodial interference and child endangerment.
Whether Father suddenly snapped under the stress of the divorce or whether there were obvious red flags that should have been put before the court are not known at this time. Mention of the Girls’ Mother was conspicuously absent from the media coverage.
Read more in
- this Miami Herald article: Missing girls found huddled in mountains after residents notice dad’s odd behavior
- this [Idaho] KTVB TV 7 article: Missing Boise girls found safe after AMBER Alert, dad in custody and
- this Fox News article: Idaho Amber Alert issued for 2 girls possibly abducted by their father
A Canadian colleague draws attention to the Canadian legal rule regarding child support: “first families first”.
Which simply means that preexisting children that are the subject of a child support order take precedence in the eyes of the law over later children with a different other parent.
Doesn’t the law care about newer children too?
Actually, like Canada, generally speaking, the family courts in the US have, in effect, not cared. This includes Florida family court, New York family court and New Jersey family court.
More particularly, the courts have adopted the view that the parent obligated to pay child support has made a deliberate choice to have additional children and incur new child support obligations despite their existing child support obligations.
Therefore, they should not be able to cite those subsequent children as a defense or excuse to reduce their preexisting child support obligations.
But family courts in the US are very slowly beginning to relax the rigidity of this child support legal rule in some states, to some degree, under certain circumstances. Including Florida, New York and New Jersey.
It is still an uphill battle. But there may be a chance, with the right set of facts.
Read more in this [Canadian] Financial Post article: When it comes to support payments, ‘first families first’ is the general rule
Husband and Wife have been married for approximately 3 years.
But separated for several months.
They have a two year old Toddler together.
Husband is a young professional athlete.
With the sort of contract income that goes along with that.
Husband files for divorce.
In her response, Wife asks for temporary alimony and spousal support, and child support.
In the amount of $36,000. Per month.
She and Toddler have expenses. Including a $5,000 per month credit card payment.
Speaking of which, Husband has allegedly removed Wife from her high limit credit card. Jeopardizing Wife and Toddler’s electric, water, gas, cable tv, landscaping, internet and pool service.
Therefore, Wife also asks the court to reinstate Wife as a user of the above-described credit card.
Read more in this ComPlex article: Robert Griffin III Allegedly Halted His Estranged Wife’s Credit Card Usage .
Some things are universal. Not only good things either.
A British family law attorney talks of the impact on British children of parental alienation and what they call “implacably hostile” parents.
Even if you don’t recognize the terms, you’ve seen some parents they describe.
The parent who habitually finds excuses to cancel / delay / ruin the other parents’ timesharing
The parent who always bad mouthes the other parent
The parent who “guilts” their child for expressing anything positive about their other parent or the timesharing they enjoyed
The parent who manipulates their child to discourage or diminish their enjoyment of timesharing with their other parent.
Unfortunately, these are serious, complex problems that are difficult to prove and even more difficult to enforce intended remedies for.
But recognizing the problem is the first and most difficult step.
Read more in this Lexology article: Children caught in the middle: parental alienation and implacably hostile parents