Camp Doesn’t Have to Wait for Summer – If You’re a Divorcing Dad

Camp used to be a place for kids to have fun.

Then it became a place for kids to acquire new skills.

Then it became a place for adults to have fun.

Then it became a place for adults to acquire new skills.

Now it’s a place to help dads / husbands (and soon, it is promised, moms / wives) work through divorce issues – and have some fun – in a weekend retreat setting.

The retreat will focus on financial issues, legal issues and parenting and relationship issues.

The company behind this concept is based here in Southeast Florida, and its very first retreat will be held in more or less central Florida next month.

Maybe Kids Divorce Camp will follow next …

Read more in this eMediaWire press release: Daddy Divorce Camp Offers a Weekend Retreat in Central Florida for Men Who are Divorced or Going Through a Divorce and the Daddy Divorce Camp website.

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Millionaire Kills Wife and Attempts to Kill Family Court Judge to Avoid Alimony Obligation

Judge orders Nevada millionaire Husband to pay $10,000 per month in alimony.

Husband not happy.

So Husband stabs Wife to death.

Not satisfied, Husband shoots family court judge.

Judge survives.

Husband charged with murder and attempted murder.

Husband pleads guilty.

Husband sentenced to life in prison.

Under the plea agreement, Husband may become eligible for parole after twenty years.

That millionaire showed everyone. He avoided that alimony obligation.

Wonder what he’ll spend his savings on in prison?

Read more in this London Daily Mirror article: Man killed wife – then shot divorce judge.

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Little Girl in Foster Care After Custody Battle Followed By Custodial Parent’s Murder

Mom and Dad in child custody battle.

Mom’s sisters get access to a senator at a political fundraiser and question her about Mom’s options.

“Who would get custody if something were to happen to Dad and he couldn’t care for the little girl?

“What would happen if Mom were to ‘disappear’ with the child?”

A few days later, Dad is awarded full custody of the little girl.

A week later, Dad is shot and killed in front of the little girl, at a playground before a scheduled exchange of the child.

Senator comes forward and tells what she knows to authorities.

All eyes are on Mom, although she has not officially been named as a suspect.

Mom volunteers that Dad had physically abused her.

Oh, the child?

She was placed with her father’s parents.

Then Mom alleged that they were sexually abusing her.

So now the little girl is in foster care.

Mom is allowed supervised visitation with her twice a week.

The child also meets with a counselor once a week.

Because Mom and Dad each loved her so much and each wanted custody of her …

Read more in this New York Post article: DENTIST IN-LAW PUZZLE SUSPICIOUS QUERIES and this Newsday article: Judge decides girl will remain in foster care.

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Dangerous Jobs: Cop, Fireman … Child Support Collector

Like police officers and firefighters, child support workers are selflessly dedicated to helping others, in this case, children.

In Savannah, among other places, noncustodial parents sometimes get hot under the collar when child support enforcement personnel attempt to collect overdue child support.

Sometimes these parents even get violent.

Which, sadly, makes child support enforcement a hazardous career, just like law enforcement and first response.

Savannah is addressing the dangers of the job proactively, training staffers in self defense.

Read more in this Savannah [GA] WSAV 3 TV article: Child Support Workers Learn to Deal with Danger.

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Parental Alienation by International Child Abduction? Or Flight from Domestic Violence?

A mother and grandmother allegedly abducted two little girls from Texas to Ireland in violation of the final judgment of divorce of the mother from the father.

The father had to hire a private investigator who, after several months, tracked them down. To secure return of the girls, the father commenced a return proceeding under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

For purposes of the proceeding, the little girls, who had not seen their father in over a year, were briefly interviewed together by a psychologist. The psychologist opined that the children disliked everything about living in the United States.

Their father finally had a short visit with the girls during the proceedings in Ireland, during which he alleged that they were extremely hostile toward him.

Under the Hague Convention, children are normally ordered to be returned to their place of habitual residence. But, as with any rule, there are exceptions.

When more than a year has elapsed, the Court may decline to order the return of children if it finds that the children are “well settled” in their new location.

And that is precisely what the Court did in this case.

The father contends that the mother alienated the children from him, that is, willfully and methodically campaigned to turn his children against him. But, he insists, the Irish courts don’t “believe” in parental alienation. And, hence, the outcome in Ireland.

The article has an interesting discussion about parental alienation, aptly characterizing it as a form of child abuse, and suggesting that children are extremely and quickly susceptible to it.

The article is one-sided, written from the standpoint that this was a particularly severe case of alienation by the mother. And much of what is reported in the article appears to support that conclusion.

It really should be noted, however, that early in the article it is glossed over that the Court ordered that exchanges of the children for purposes of visitation were supposed to take place at a police station.

That is not where exchanges take place in the typical divorce / separation. Normally, police station exchanges are reserved for cases where there is a history of domestic violence.

So the case in question may not be as cut and dried as it may appear at first glance.

Either way, the father has not given up. Since the removal in this case was in violation of court order, Texas law enforcement can charge the mother, among other things, with custodial interference, a felony for which the mother may be extradited back to Texas.

Read more in this Plano Courier Star article: Kidnapped girls found but not returned home.

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The Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance

Regular readers of my blog are probably familiar with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Another Hague conference is convened to consider entering another treaty even as I post, a treaty to permit child support obligations entered in one country to be enforced in other countries that are parties to the treaty. One hundred countries are in attendance.

Such a convention would close a “loophole” that some noncustodial parents are only too happy to avail themselves of – leaving the country to avoid paying support (with impunity).

Currently, enforcement of US child support obligations overseas is hit or miss, depending on the country in which enforcement is sought.

In our increasingly mobile society, The Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance is an idea whose time has come.

Read more in this Digital Journal article: Legal experts to finalize global child support convention.

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Adoptive Mother and Author Advocates Adoption of Special Needs Children out of Foster Care

November is National Adoption Month.

In her new book, an author reminds potential adoptive parents that many children, particularly special needs children, are waiting for them … and adoption out of the foster care system into loving homes.

She would know. She is the adoptive parent of a special needs child herself.

Learn more from this PRWeb press release: Best Selling Author Speaks Up For Special Needs Adoption and the author’s own website.

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West Virginia Mother Wins Back Legal Custody From … Babysitters

It’s a very strange case. The kind that is hard to believe had to go up to the highest court in the state of West Virginia to get straightened out … any court at all really.

It was not disputed that the mother here was fit (or at least not seriously disputed).

But two West Virginia judges actually ruled that a biological mother had to share custody with distant relatives of her child, who had acted as babysitters for the child. And an intermediate level appellate court upheld those rulings.

(In fact, at one point in the case, the sitters briefly had primary physical custody and the mother had visitation!)

The judges found the relatives to be coparents – and therefore ordered shared parenting and rotating custody (where the child “bounces” from home to home) – before the mother could relocate to another state.

On the second appeal, the Supreme Court of West Virginia reversed the courts below, ruling that the relatives had no standing to intervene in the relocation case and ordering full custody restored to the natural mother.

The high court affirmed that a natural parent has the right of custody unless that parent is unfit or willfully gave up custody.

Read more in this West Virginia Record article: Supreme Court restores full custody to mother from babysitters.

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WA’s HOPE Court Helps Parents Parent and Keep Their Kids

HOPE Court.

A place where Washington parents who have abandoned, abused or neglected their kids get a second chance to overcome their substance abuse, learn better parenting and coping skills, and win back custody of their kids.

The program provides a support network (judges, lawyers, social workers, substance abuse treatment providers, child protective services and other government workers) to recovering parents – and accountability.

A lot of parents don’t make it all the way through the program. But some do succeed, and their families are reunited.

Read more in this [Longview, WA] Daily News article: Reunited, drug free.

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Postnatal Depression Is Not Restricted to Mothers

Postpartum depression has received a fair amount of attention in recent years.

Less recognized is that many new fathers also suffer from depression after the birth of their children. Called postnatal depression, it affects up to ten percent of first time dads.

An Australian researcher plans to conduct a study of this condition, which is far more likely to go undiagnosed and untreated than postpartum depression.

Read more in this Fairfax Australia’s The Age article: Paternity blues.

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