A seventeen year old boy is fighting for custody of the three year old baby he reportedly fathered when he was thirteen.
Right now the baby is with her mother, a 30ish former teacher’s aide, who met the boy through her former job at a religious school.
The mother is reportedly a convicted registered sex offender who may have only supervised contact with children, including her own. In effect, the mother’s rearing of the child is supervised.
The mother’s conviction arose out of the unusual circumstances of the conception of her child.
The boy has another child with his current girlfriend. He plans to work nights to support his children while attending college in the fall.
Read more in this KPRC Local 2 news article.
With Father’s Day right around the corner, recognition is properly given in this Miami Herald piece, that Divorced dads juggle kids and job.
The article reviews recent changes in custody and visitation awards that are more likely to allow more fathers more substantial timesharing with their children. According to the article, more than 1 million fathers fall into that category.
Fathers with substantial timesharing face the same challenges of single parenthood that divorced mothers have faced all along.
Only divorced fathers may suffer the ill effects of different, gender-biased expectations, affording less tolerance in the workplace of the demands of parenting on single fathers.
Today’s divorced fathers pursuing substantial timesharing are pioneers.
The family of a wealthy elderly man who married a much younger woman, a previously convicted prostitute, wants to see through to its end the annulment begun while the husband was alive, despite his death.
Whether the law would permit a posthumous annulment is a question that has never been ruled on in Massachusetts.
Meanwhile, the deceased man’s surviving wife is fighting to dismiss the annulment case.
The man owned a million dollar home, the fate of which rides on the outcome of the annulment case.
Following an interesting procedure, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has indicated that it will take the case up on appeal after the trial court rules on the wife’s motion to dismiss, regardless of how the lower court rules.
The dead man’s family believes that the wife married him for his money – and planned to kill him to get it.
Read more in the Cape Cod Times article Ex-madam case before the state’s high court.
The Baton Rouge Advocate recently published an article titled Restraining orders useful but limited, which has important implications for victims of domestic violence.
Some highlights of the article include:
- half of the people who seek restraining orders don’t follow through to extend them beyond a very short term, or ask to have them dissolved
- eighty-five percent of the time the injunctions are effective in protecting victims of abuse
- protective orders have little deterrent value against abusers who have no fear of punishment and/or no respect for the law
- a not insignificant percentage of victims themselves violate injunctions by allowing their abusers to have access to them
- seventy-five percent of victims of domestic homicides occur when the victim leaves (or tries to end) their relationship
- protective orders aren’t just for the primary victim; they’re also for loved ones who live with them
- most states legally compel victims to testify in criminal domestic violence cases, even against a spouse
Over 200,000 children in the US alone are abducted by a parent or other relative every year, according to Melissa Hart, herself a former child kidnapping victim.
Thirty years after the fact, she still struggles with self-identity issues as a result of being compelled to assume various personas – after discarding her true identity. Because, in Ms. Hart’s opinion, her mother couldn’t come up with a better solution to the situation with her difficult father.
Once grown, Ms. Hart could find no assistance to help her deal with the aftermath of her ordeal. Ironically, all the assistance available was directed to the parents who had created the situation – not the kids twisted in the middle.
That’s why she and others who were abducted as children banded together and founded, Take Root, a non-profit association that helps abducted children heal.
Read more of Ms. Hart’s affecting story in the Oregonian’s article: Abducted by parents, children become the forgotten victims .
Residents of North Dakota are reconsidering the way child custody awards are made there.
On the one hand, there is the Shared Parenting Initiative and the Family Law Reform Initiative.
Both of these groups favor greater custodial rights for fathers, unless the fathers meet the severe test for termination of their parental rights. The latter group also favors reducing the non-custodial parent’s child support obligations and penalties for not meeting them.
On the opposing hand, there is the Concerned Citizens for Children’s Rights Committee.
This group contends that the other two groups emphasize parents’ interests before those of kids by, among other things, reducing non-custodial parents’ legal responsibilities and reducing custodial parents’ buffers against domestic violence.
Read more in this Grand Forks [ND] Herald article called CHILD CUSTODY: Whose best interest?
Divorce has some special twists where one of the couple is a US immigrant.
If one spouse sponsors the other one into the US, the sponsoring spouse typically must swear out an Affidavit of Support, Form I-864. The purpose of this form is, essentially, to assure that an immigrant will not become a public charge, but remain a responsibility of the citizen spouse.
Sponsoring spouses rarely give a thought to swearing out this affidavit when they are trying to bring their loved one into the US. Not so after the relationship takes a turn south.
That affidavit doesn’t mean anything if the couple divorces, does it? Wrong.
The government can hold the sponsoring spouse to the Affidavit of Support.
But that’s not all.
The immigrant spouse can also have the courts order the sponsoring spouse to make good on the Affidavit of Support.
This was confirmed in a recent federal court case litigated here in Florida.
Read more in this Immigration Daily article about the enforceability of affidavits of support in divorces from immigrants.
An Ohio father has reportedly been arrested for interference with child custody for failing to return his son from weekend visitation at the agreed time.
The father plausibly justified his actions, however, with the motive of protecting the child from his mother’s boyfriend, who allegedly served time for a felony conviction for abusing a 5 month old baby girl – and who was to have no contact with the boy according to the divorce papers.
If true, one may wonder: should the father be placed in jail for his actions – or given primary residential custody of his son?
Read more in this Salem [OH] News article.
The parents of a seven year old boy have reportedly been charged with his murder – several years after Michigan social services investigators found that the boy had allegedly been tied up by his parents with rope that left burns on the boy’s wrists.
The state did no follow-up investigation, reportedly because the boy was not seriously injured and did not corroborate the abuse.
Now the state is scrambling to get the dead boy’s siblings placed into new homes.
Read more on this sad story in this M Live article and this Grand Rapids [MI] WOOD TV article.
About ten percent of all households include unmarried couples living together, sometimes temporarily and sometimes for the long haul.
They may pool their resources to cover living expenses, buy things, businesses and/or real estate together.
If they aren’t legally married and either one of them dies or walks out on either the business and/or personal relationship, one or both of them may be unpleasantly surprised by what rights they do – or don’t – have to the property acquired.
There are three main measures people can take to ensure the outcome they want:
- a written agreement setting out their rights and obligations and
- titling the assets after careful thoughtand
- a will
All three measures are necessary.
Depending on how each particular asset is titled, only one of the above measures may come into play.
But it may be a different one of the measures for each asset.
If the assets are significant (to you), you can’t be too thorough and comprehensive in your protection strategy.
Read more about Protecting the assets of unmarried couples in this BankRate article.