NJ Deadbeat Dad Faces 18 Months or More in Jail

A divorced New Jersey father faces eighteen months in prison and a hefty fine after pleading guilty to not paying child support or alimony since 1996 – to the tune of $650,000.

He also faces additional time in confinement for related civil issues.

The man reportedly admitted that he slipped away to Australia, where he purposefully avoided and evaded orders to pay, even though he had the money to do so.

When he returned to the US, for reasons unknown, he was promptly picked up by authorities.

His bail is a little less than the amount of support he owes.

The now-64 year old man’s children are adults in graduate school.

Read more in this North Jersey.com article: Deadbeat dad pleads guilty in Hackensack court.

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Accountants Offer Advice About Joint Accounts in Divorce

Accountants offer some useful advice on how to protect yourself from financial ruin in a divorce.

Regardless of how financial accounts are titled, they may be marital assets or liabilities, subject to equitable distribution in the divorce.

But in the short term during the divorce case and before final judgment, accounts that are titled jointly pose special issues and challenges in relation to recourse options open to creditors and the other spouse.

Joint accounts also pose special issues and challenges in regard to which spouse has access to how much of the funds in the accounts and when.

How to best handle joint accounts during a divorce case really depends on the facts of the particular case.

But spouses should try to educate themselves on, among other things, how marital assets and liabilities are actually titled.

Beneficiary designations should be re-considered.

Provisions for children, especially minor children, should also be re-considered.

Read more in this St. Louis Post-Dispatch article: Protect yourself if you’re facing a divorce.

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Murder By Prenup

Husband dies of a gunshot wound inflicted on the side of the road. Wife is charged.

Murder trial.

First witness for prosecution: Divorce lawyer.

His testimony: Their prenup limits Wife’s take in event of a divorce to $250,000 plus half of jointly held assets, for an estimated total of approximately $1.5 million.

In event of Husband’s death, his estate would be about $6 million. Her inheritance, about $3 million.

Next key witness: Wife’s boyfriend.

His testimony: He shot the Husband, for which he pleaded guilty to stalking and a gun charge. Why did he do it? For half of her inheritance.

Read more in this [Cleveland] Plain Dealer Reporter article: Defense begins its case with divorce lawyer and this KDKA [Akron] CBS article: Tearful Donna Moonda Learns Jury’s Guilty Verdict.

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Father Charged With Custodial Interference Amidst Allegations of Paranoid Delusion

A Wisconsin father reportedly failed to return his four children (by two different mothers) from an out-of-state trip at the end of his scheduled visitation time.

Some of the children contacted friends by phone or text message to cancel plans for the following week upon learning of the surprise trip with their father.

Both mothers filed missing persons reports immediately following the weekend. An Amber Alert was issued.

Intensifying concerns in this case were allegations that the father had just bought a gun and that he was suffering from paranoid delusions. He had allegedly been prescribed at least three medications for depression and other conditions.

He reportedly told his employers in the Fire Department that he was on a task force on identity theft, which he believed his ex-wife had committed against him. The Fire Department advised that it has no such task force.

He reportedly told the mothers that the gun he had purchased was for his task force work.

The man has been charged with three felony counts of custodial interference and faces yet a fourth charge of another count of the same crime. He will be extradited back to Wisconsin.

Read more in this [Madison, WI] Capital Times article: Warrant: Dad who took kids is prone to delusions.

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Mother Jailed for Refusing to Surrender Baby to Father’s Custody

An unusual child custody case. Missing: the child whose custody is in dispute.

The child is a ten month old baby. A court awarded custody to the father last month.

The mother has been in jail for contempt of court since May, for refusing to disclose the baby’s whereabouts.

Authorities have threatened to prosecute anyone involved in concealing the baby’s location.

The father is an immigrant from Africa. The mother allegedly fears he will abduct the child to Africa if the child is placed in his care.

Read more in this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online article: Baby boy in custody case still missing.

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Unmarried Irish Biological Father Asserts Claim Under Hague Convention in What May Be Landmark Case under Irish Law

An umarried Irish father has filed an application for return of his children from England under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

According to the father, the mother took the children to England without his consent.

Because the legal rights of unmarried biological fathers appear to be narrower under Irish law than than under our law, the father is reportedly arguing that the mother’s removal of the children denied him the opportunity to seek legal guardianship of their twin boys.

The case is being closely followed in Ireland in that the facts appear to support what could become a landmark ruling under Irish law.

Read more in this United Press International article: Father’s case may be landmark legal matter.

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How to Protect Kids from Previous Marriages After You’ve Moved on to Another Marriage

One subject that probably doesn’t get enough attention is what one article dubs “Brady Bunch families”, second marriages with kids of his, hers and, possibly, ours. Such families present unique considerations in the event of divorce or death of a spouse.

If a spouse wants to be sure that a child of a previous relationship is protected, they have to be proactive.

One vehicle is, of course, a prenup.

Another vehicle is a trust created before marriage and funded with separate, premarital property. These are sometimes called divorce protection trusts, although they can protect against more than divorce.

It is also important for a divorced spouse not to overlook the obvious. Wills and nonprobate assets, such as life insurance, pensions, and bank accounts, must be updated after divorce – or their ex may inherit from them. That is not the prudent, preferred way to provide for children with them.

Read more in this InsideBayArea.com article: ‘Brady Bunch’ families can head off money headaches.

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The Deciding Factor in Child Custody is … the Children’s Vegan Diet?

Although the statutes set out criteria for determining residential custody of children, they are written in such a way as to allow the family court judge enormous discretion.

In close child custody cases, it may be difficult to predict what will “tip the scales” toward one parent or the other.

In one high profile Tampa divorce with custody of five children, quintuplets, in issue, one factor receiving substantial media attention is the mother’s reported commitment to raising the children on a Vegan diet prohibiting not only meat but also any foods not derived from plants.

This is an uncommon diet for children and the father is allegedly challenging it. And he’s not the first to do so.

The father also alleges that the mother has limited contact between the children and his parents because his parents have leather furniture and might feed the children non-Vegan foods.

Is the father just grasping at straws?

In a recent Atlanta criminal case, a baby on a Vegan diet died of malnutrition. The parents were found guilty.

It may be more difficult to achieve proper nutritional balance on the Vegan diet.

Is the father just grasping at straws?

Read more in this ABC News article: Custody Battle Boils Over Vegan Diet – ABC Looks at the Legality of the Vegan Lifestyle in a Florida Custody Battle.

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UK Father Jailed for Waving at His Daughters from a Distance

According to published accounts, A UK dad was a victim of parental alienation, not only by his former spouse but also by the UK courts!

The father was reportedly denied any contact whatsoever with his three children for about six years.

Not because of allegations of violence, sexual abuse or even verbal abuse.

But because the mother allegedly contended that his visits unsettled and confused the children following the parents’ separation.

After allowing liberal access right after the separation, she reportedly methodically pursued a campaign to steadily reduce his timesharing.

It finally got to a point where the court entered an injunction prohibiting him from waving to his children when they drove by on their way to school. That was apparently deemed to be stalking his wife.

For violation of that injunction, he was thrown in jail for four months.

He was later sentenced to ten months in jail for merely driving past their house.

The worst part is probably that when he finally succeeded in getting permission for limited contact reinstated, the children didn’t seem to want to see him. After all, they knew only what their mother allegedly told them about why they hadn’t seen their father for so long.

Sadly, it took the happenstance of a bad argument between the oldest child and her mother to trigger a chain of events that led to resumption of contact.

Ironically, today, the oldest child (now a legal adult) and the youngest child live with their father by choice.

As a result of the years of no contact without explanation, the oldest recounts past feelings of confusion and abandonment and fear that her father no longer loved her. She also recounts how her mother allegedly repeatedly told the girls that their father was “bad”.

The girls were allegedly made to feel guilty if they were to tell social workers that they wanted to see their father.

In the UK, family court proceedings are closed …

Read more in this [UK] Daily Mail article: Jailed for waving at my daughter.

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Summertime Healing after Separation / Divorce

According to estimates, forty percent of children born to married parents will experience divorce in their families.

Extended summertime visitation can be an advantageous time to heal wounds and strengthen eroding bonds between children and the non-custodial parent.

It is important for the noncustodial parent to make their home seem like a real home to the children and to spend meaningful quality time with their children when they have the opportunity to do so.

Read more in this Yuma Sun article: Talking to kids about divorce.

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