Female Private Eye’s Businesses Booming with Divorce and Custody Surveillance Work

In some divorce and custody cases, one powerful tool in a party’s arsenal is the surveillance video.

Historically, the world of private investigators has been a male-dominated bastion.

But perhaps no longer.

One woman PI in Austin is seeing her business boom – much of it with divorce and child custody- generated video surveillance work – for men.

While not inexpensive, there is just no denying that “a picture is worth a thousand words“.

And the right picture can be worth primary residential custody or big bucks, depending on the jurisdiction.

Read more in this KEYE TV Austin 42 news article: Woman’s Investigation Business Booms.

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Jewish in Israel or Christian in Belgium: Is That What the Hague Convention is Supposed to Decide?

Jewish mother divorces Christian father.

In 2005, a Belgian court awarded custody of their now eight year old son to the father.

For the past eighteen months, however it came about, the mother has been raising the boy in Israel, in the Jewish faith, in particular, in the strict Orthodox tradition.

Now, the boy’s father is seeking his return to Belgium under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

If the child is returned to the father, the father will raise him as a Christian.

The mother contends that she was denied a fair trial, for lack of a translator and exclusion of her son’s testimony.

The mother further argues that sending the boy back to his father, a strange country, a new religion and, in essence, a new culture, would be damaging to the child – and that the Hague Convention allows room to protect a child from such psychological harm and for a child to object to return.

Those defenses do exist under the Convention, if made out.

The father, on the other hand, contends that the mother abducted the child and did the same things – as well as blocking contact with him.

A lower Israeli court has already ruled that the child must be returned to Belgium under the Hague Convention.

The mother awaits the outcome of her appeal.

The underlying custody battle makes for a particularly difficult case. Because of the stark contrast in life circumstances, it is, arguably, not just a choice between parents, but a choice between the two parents’ respective life choices.

And the parents’ respective rights.

Possibly without adequate regard for the rights of the child – who arguably faces a schizophrenic-seeming future if ordered returned now, at the age of eight.

Read more in this Jerusalem Post article: Raised Jewish in Israel, or Christian in Belgium?

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Appeals Court Refuses to Block Inlaws from Pursuing Termination of Son’s Wife’s Parental Rights and Adoption by Parents of Son Mother Did Time for Killing

Widowed Mother sentenced to jail.

Mother gives temporary custody of her children to late minister-husband’s parents.

Mother’s sentence is almost discharged.

Husband’s parents move to terminate Mother’s parental rights and to adopt the children.

The reason Mother was incarcerated was her conviction for killing her minister-husband.

Now Mother appeals to stop her in-laws’ applications.

Appeals court refuses to hear the Mother’s appeal – at least at this early stage of the proceedings.

Accordingly, termination of parental rights of Mother may proceed, clearing the way for the husband’s parents to adopt the children.

Of course, the Mother may have a basis to bring an appeal later.

Read more in this WMC-TV Memphis Action News 5 article: Appeals court declines to intervene in Winkler custody case.

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Juvenile Baby Sitter Charged in Death of Baby – But Not Foster Mother

Fourteen year old baby sitter allegedly throws three year old charge on bed for misbehavior. Baby later dies of head injury.

This tragic situation is very disturbing, without knowing anything more.

But there is more.

This local Palm Beach County child and her two siblings (5 years old and nearly 2 years old) were actually in foster care, placed with a fellow congregant from their mother’s church.

The children were removed from their mother’s custody two different times.

The foster mother took the children out of daycare to leave them with her little brother, who was visiting from out of state.

The foster mother reportedly initially lied about being home when the incident occurred.

The sitter is currently detained on charges of aggravated child abuse, which are expected to be upgraded.

At this time, the foster mother has not been charged herself with inadequate supervision.

Ironically, the Department of Children and Families has recently been working on establishing rules as to who (age and relationship) may watch children in protective custody.

Too late, unfortunately, for this little girl.

Under Florida law, there is no established rule on baby sitters for children not in protective custody.

Read more in these Palm Beach Post articles: Tot hurt in sitter’s care dies and Foster mom didn’t have OK for sitter.

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Planning for Your Special Needs Child

When children have special needs, the first battle is grasping what those special needs are and how to meet them.

The second battle is meeting the costs associated with them. This challenge is generally even greater in families “broken up” by divorce or separation.

Ignorance can be very costly to parents and children.

And there are many financial, educational and social benefits for special needs kids, but parents may have to ferret them out.

One important tool that is likely indispensable to a child with special needs is a special needs trust.

A parent with a special needs child needs a support network consisting of many professionals who provide services to their child – including a good financial planner and attorney familiar with special needs planning.

Read more in this Kiplinger article: Planning for Your Disabled Child.

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NJ: Mother May Relocate to Japan Against Father’s Wishes

The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that a mother may return to Japan with their seven year old daughter against the father’s wishes. The US Supreme Court has declined to stay the ruling.

The father still plans to take an appeal to the US Supreme Court.

Japanese law is reputed not to be protective of visitation rights by the non-custodial parent. And the father fears he will be unable to enforce his US court orders against the mother once she is there.

New Jersey law is more accommodating of requests by custodial parents to relocate with minor children than some other states, including Florida. All the mother had to show in New Jersey was that she had a “good faith reason for the move” and “that the child will not suffer from it”.

The current law in Florida governing relocation is more stringent.

Read more in this Newsday article: U.S. Supreme Court declines to intervene in custody case.

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Now There’s a Guide Book on How to Be a Great Full-Time Father

A British divorced dad has published a book that aims to prepare fathers to be full-time dads, or better non-custodial dads, as the case may be.

The book is meant to cure “Sunday Father-ism”.

Whether it’s cooking, potty training, play dates, structure or discipline, this book purports to be a complete guide to fathers who are new to fathering on their own.

According to the author, it’s the first book to tackle full-time parenting for fathers.

It may help to compensate for lack of a mentor to full-time dads.

There is no indication whether it might be a good read for new moms too.

Read more in this MarketWire press release: How To Be A Great Divorced Dad.

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Innovative Housing Community of Aging-Out Foster Kids and Kinship Families Pursues Dual Economic and Social Agenda

Illinois is sponsoring an innovative housing program with a unique social mission.

The complex puts so-called kinship families (for example, grandparents raising grandchildren) as neighbors to young people aging out of foster care.

In addition to helping these two very different but often similarly economically disadvantaged groups with affordable housing, it also provides foster kids with positive role models.

It may also provide kinship families with assistance from young adults that they would not otherwise have.

Read more in this Chicago Tribune article: Different generations get place to call home.

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Man Tries to Avoid Messy Divorce with Hit Man

In yet another variation of an increasingly recurring theme …

A man with six children reportedly left his Utah wife of 28 years to pursue a live-in gay relationship in Reno, NV.

Apparently he wanted to move on without any delay – or unnecessary expense.

So he allegedly put the word out to let anyone who might be interested know that he was looking to hire a hit man to kill his wife and be done with her.

He reportedly instructed the intended killer to do the deed away from the home and to break her neck so as to avoid bloodshed.

After all, they were married for 28 years and had six children together …

Read more in this Salt Lake Tribune article: Police: Reno man sought hit man to kill Utah wife.

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Mandatory Arrests in Domestic Violence Police Calls Reportedly Lead to More Murders of Intimate Partners

Domestic violence remains a stubborn problem that refuses to go away despite society’s efforts.

Unfortunately, some perceived solutions haven’t panned out.

For example, about twenty years ago, many states devised a procedure they thought couldn’t miss.

Mandatory arrest on all domestic violence calls which summoned the police.

But apparently this strategy backfired.

Today, states with mandatory arrest laws reportedly have half again as many murders by intimate partners as back then. At the same time as other states have had sharp declines in intimate partner deaths.

How come?

Fewer victims contact the police in states with mandatory arrest laws.

Because, for one reason or another, victims don’t always want their abusers arrested.

And no amount of anti-violence education is likely to change that.

Read more in this New York Times guest editorial: The Protection Battered Spouses Don’t Need.

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