A bitter New Hampshire divorce has an unusual sequel.
For reasons known only to her, the wife allegedly testified under oath at a divorce hearing that she was seven months pregnant with triplets.
Only she wasn’t. Didn’t even appear to be.
Her lie was reportedly compounded by a supporting sonogram she introduced.
During the divorce case, she also allegedly falsely asserted that she had had breast cancer, that her husband was a terrorist, that her husband was going to derail one of his employer’s trains, and that her husband had abused and neglected their children.
All of these allegations were reportedly false too.
More than anything else, the allegations set off alarm bells regarding the mother’s psychological state.
But, in the end, after the family case ended, the mother was tried and convicted of perjury.
Now she faces up to seven years in jail.
And, if she was designated primary residential parent in the divorce case, that will likely change soon …
Underscoring the extreme danger of lying in family court and why one should never, ever do it.
Read more in this New Hampshire Union Leader article: Final chapter in divorce case: perjury conviction.
The South Dakotan American Indian community used to find much fault with the way that state has dealt with them in regard to matters of child welfare.
For example, American Indian children have been placed long-term in foster care with non-Indian families, merely on their say-so that they were members of an American Indian tribe – when they weren’t.
The liaisons in the tribe blamed violations of the Indian Child Welfare Act on poor communications between the state and the tribe.
Over the last few years, however, things have gotten much better in South Dakota.
Communications have improved, thanks to a governor’s task force and the Collaborative Circle.
The Circle has representatives from the state, various social services experts and all the regional tribes. The Circle meets quarterly and its executive council meets monthly.
Today, American Indians have been certified to serve as foster parents and families. This has helped to keep American Indian foster children within their tribes.
Today, American Indian children’s cases are more smoothly moved to tribal courts when there are custody disputes and related issues.
Now, the tribes have set their sights on educating judges and expert witnesses, as they have educated social services workers.
South Dakota has become a model for other states that have not made comparable progress in state-tribal relations – despite similar measures.
Read more in this Indian Country Today article: Collaborative Circle aids in Indian Child Welfare Act compliance.
Divorce in childhood can have a longstanding impact on a child, including how attentive the child will be toward its aging parents in the future.
That’s the conclusion reached by a Temple University researcher, who publishes his findings in the Advances in Life Course Research journal.
In particular, it is the transitions experienced by the child in the aftermath of divorce and the child’s age at the time of those transitions that determine how the child and its long term relationships with its parents will be influenced.
The study also found that stepchildren are far less likely than biological children to closely attend to aging (step)parents.
Read more in this EurekAlert! science news article: Divorce foretells child’s future care for elderly parent.
The divorce rate is climbing … Half of all marriages will fail …
That’s what we hear in the media all the time … Until today.
A couple of professors at the respected Wharton School say it isn’t so.
According to them, the studies typically cited for the above proposition are statistically flawed. And, they report, the Census Bureau in essence admitted it.
In reality, they claim, the divorce rate is falling … Is now at its lowest point since 1970.
They grant that the marriage rate has also fallen … But those who marry today tend to stay married longer, they conclude.
Read more in this New York Times editorial: Divorced From Reality.
Why do couples divorce? Here’s a theory you may not have heard before.
An American psychiatrist posits that hormonal changes associated with menopause, among other things, reduce women’s tendencies to foster harmony in the home and increase moodiness and sensitivity.
Statistics reveal that divorces of couples over forty are more likely to be started by the wife. These statistics are compatible with this psychiatrist’s theory.
This theory seems to fly in the face of the proverbial male “midlife crisis” as the cause of post-40 marital breakups.
But it may be tempting to imagine that skyrocketing divorce rates may be “cured” by hormone therapy.
Read more in this Sydney Morning Herald article: Menopause may prompt divorce.
Who does custody evaluations? Well, it depends on who is being evaluated.
In some states, veterinary animal behavior specialists serve as the experts who advise which separating “pet parent” should have “custody” of the family pet.
One such pet custody evaluator explains her methodology in a process which takes about an hour and a half. Part of the evaluation is based on responses of the pet parents to questions at an interview. The remainder of the evaluation is based on observation of the pet’s interactions with the pet parents.
“Calling contests” are not considered reliable indicators.
Ultimately, the pet custody evaluator seeks to determine which pet parent the pet has a stronger bond to and preference for, and who the evaluator thinks would better care for the pet.
Equal timesharing is not usually recommended because many pets find such an arrangement emotionally challenging.
Read more in this Boston Globe article: Lawyer for the dog.
A Kentucky appellate court has reversed the termination of a teen parent’s parental rights because the ruling was based on the parent’s age and immaturity, rather than her parenting skills and capabilities.
In this case, the teen mother voluntarily placed herself and her child into foster care in 2003. She never abused or neglected her child.
At the time of the termination hearing, the mother had finished 11th grade, had a job, and had completed various parenting classes.
There was every indication that she was becoming ready to parent her child.
Termination of parental rights was premature at best.
The mother’s visitation should be reinstated with a view toward reunification.
Read more in this Lexington [KY] Herald Leader article: Court: Teen parenthood terminated too quickly.
A South Carolina man embroiled in a drawn out divorce was not very happy with how his case was going.
The court had ordered him to pay temporary alimony and attorneys’ fees to his wife.
And he didn’t want to.
So he devised a way around it – or so he thought.
He allegedly torched his wife’s lawyer’s office.
But that turned out not to be the best way to handle the situation.
In addition to his other troubles, he was charged with stalking, burglary and arson – and held in jail without bond.
This is not a recommended strategy for success in family court.
Read more in this [Columbia, SC] WIS TV News 10 article: Bond denied for man accused of setting Columbia law firm on fire.
A Pakistani court has ordered Pakistani police to locate a 7 year old French-Pakistani boy and produce him in court.
The little boy’s mother, a French national, brought a habeas corpus action in Pakistan to regain physical custody of the child.
The boy’s parents divorced in France and entered a written custody agreement there which was adopted in a French divorce decree.
The mother alleged that the father, without her permission, removed the boy from France to his native country, Pakistan, in violation of their agreement.
Pakistan is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and, therefore, was not required to produce and return the boy to his mother in France under international law.
However, the Pakistani court’s order indicates that it was at least considering enforcing the agreement adopted in the French divorce decree.
Read more in this [Pakistan] Daily Times article: Police told to find French-Pakistani boy in 7 days.
It took until July of this year. But since that time, the Cherokee Nation has had its own child support enforcement program.
And the program has gotten off to an impressive start.
A case opened on July 31st culminated in the program’s very first child support payment, which was made within just two weeks of the opening of the case.
There aren’t many state support enforcement agencies (and custodial parents) that wouldn’t envy that quick a turnaround time.
And the Cherokee child who benefited had not previously received any support from her father.
Read more in this Tanasi [Southeast American Indian] Journal article out of Oklahoma: New Cherokee Nation Office Enforces Child Support.