Florida Biological Siblings Separated in Foster Care Although One Family Will Take Them All

Little Girl in foster care in Florida is adopted.

Baby Boy is placed into foster care with different foster parents and they want to adopt him.

Boy and Girl are biological brother and sister.

State policy is to try to keep biological siblings in foster care together.

Biological mother is pregnant again.

Girl’s adoptive family wants to take Boy (and the unborn child) too to keep family together.

Department of Children and Families, belatedly trying to fix things, sets up visitation between Boy and Girl.

Boy’s guardian ad litem (lay advocate) blocks the visitation, for reasons that are not entirely clear.

A judge will decide who gets to adopt Boy.

Read more in this WFTV 27 article: Family Says DCF Mistake Keeping Siblings Apart.

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Australian Mother Seeks Return of Son from India to Australia

Australian Wife and Indian Husband have a Son together. They divorce.

Ex-Husband plans to take couple’s Son to India for a visit. Ex-Wife’s mother plans to accompany Son and Ex-Husband on trip.

Shortly after arriving in Mumbai, Ex-Husband takes Son out and Ex-Wife’s mother is served in an Indian child custody action.

Ex-Wife has only been able to speak to Son once since that incident.

To make matters worse, this all happens when Mumbai is under terrorist attack and foreigners are asked to leave by the government. Son is an Australian citizen.

The Australian government is trying to assist Ex-Wife in returning Son to Australia.

But India is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Read more in this Sydney Morning Herald article: A mother’s worst nightmare.

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NJ Appeals Court Throws Out Alimony Reduction Ordered Because of Alimony Recipient’s Attorney’s Failure to Timely Respond to the Motion to Reduce Alimony Because of Attorney’s Medical Condition

Ex-husband physician pays unemployed sixty-five year old woman almost three thousand dollars per month in alimony under court order.

Ex-husband repeatedly files motions to reduce his alimony obligation.

NJ rules require that alimony recipient file a response to other party’s motion to reduce alimony.

Upon receipt of latest such motion, ex-wife’s attorney requests additional time due to a “serious medical condition” afflicting him.

Ex-wife fails to file response to ex-husband’s motion to reduce alimony.

Court apparently denies ex-wife’s request for more time, but ex-wife’s law firm doesn’t realize that.

Court does not permit ex-wife’s law firm to defend against ex-husband’s motion because no response was filed … to this seventh incarnation of ex-husband’s motion.

Accordingly, court grants ex-husband’s motion to reduce alimony.

Court slashes alimony payment to $400 per month.

Court denies ex-wife’s motion to reconsider its ruling.

Appellate court reverses and rules that ex-wife must be given opportunity to defend the motion, because the ex-wife should not be punished for her attorney’s error.

Read more in this South Jersey News article: Bridgeton alimony reduction overturned by state appeals court.

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Mandatory Child Abuse Reporter Suffers Consequences of Delaying Reporting Allegations of Abuse to Pursue His Own Investigation First

Under Missouri (and many other states’) law, a school principal must report suspected abuse of a child.

Student complains to Missouri principal of sexual abuse allegedly perpetrated on her by a teacher.

Principal undertakes investigation of facts prior to reporting abuse, allegedly based on past incidents calling student’s credibility into question.

Aging principal loses his job and is criminally convicted because he delayed making his mandatory abuse report during his investigation.

Bottom line: mandatory reporting laws are to protect children, not possible abusers.

It is not for those mandatory reporters who have reason to suspect possible abuse to determine whether a possible abuser is actually guilty.

The mandatory reporters’ obligation is to report – and leave it to the investigating and legal experts (child welfare agencies and prosecutors) to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue legal cases.

Read more in this St. Louis Post-Dispatch article: Principal is not judge or jury, just the reporter and this St. Louis Post-Dispatch article: Failure to report sex abuse charge ends St. Louis principal’s career.

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South Carolina Father Arrested for Violating Custody Order By Removing Children From State (and Keeping Them Beyond His Allowed Timesharing)

South Carolina Father has visitation with his Children. The parenting order clearly states that Father is required to exercise his visitation within the state of South Carolina (in fact, within the county).

So what does Father do?

Father takes Children to Alabama to visit with relatives – and fails to return Children when ordered to do so.

The consequence?

Alabama law enforcement officers arrest Father on two counts of traveling out of state with a child in violation of a child custody order. And the Children are taken into child protective custody in Alabama.

Father is transferred to jail in South Carolina.

The violated custody and visitation order isn’t even three months old.

Father is off to a good start.

Read more in this SC Now article: Florence man arrested in child custody case.

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Japan Cautiously Willing to Entertain Citizenship for Babies Born in Japan of Unmarried Japanese Men

Unmarried Japanese citizen and foreign national conceive and have Baby in Japan.

Is the Baby a Japanese citizen?

Until recently, the answer would be no – unless the Japanese father acknowledges the Baby before its birth – or the father marries the mother before the Baby’s twentieth birthday.

But under a new Japanese law, if the Japanese father recognizes the Baby even after its birth, the Baby may apply for Japanese citizenship until just before its twentieth birthday.

Those most impacted?

The children of Filipino women who have relocated to Japan to get work.

The Japanese remain concerned about the possibility of paternity fraud.

The children of Japanese women with foreign men have fared better, even without a special statute. They have been allowed citizenship since 1985.

Read more in this Reuters UK article: Japan opens nationality to kids born out of wedlock.

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Romanian Father Abducts Child to Romania, Mother Abducts Child Back to Norway

Romanian Father and Norwegian Mother marry and have Child together in Norway.

Couple divorce and Mother is awarded primary residential custody of Child. Father doesn’t think she is up to the job though.

So Father allegedly abducts Child to Romania.

Then Mother goes to Romania, gets Child and allegedly brings Child back to Norway. All unbeknownst to Father.

Now Father is in jail in Norway and awaiting trial for the abduction he allegedly perpetrated.

And Mother has just been arrested in Norway for the abduction she allegedly perpetrated.

And since both of the Child’s parents are in trouble with the law, the Child is in child protective custody.

Read more in this [Norway] Aftenbladet article: Child’s father accused of abduction.

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Police Allow Man Subject to Order of Protection to Enter His Past Victim’s Home – with Rifle

Elderly man (Husband) shoots rifle off in yard of a Home.

Police officers arrive.

Officers tell Husband to cease firing his gun.

Officers leave Husband to enter the Home with the rifle.

Later, Wife returns to the Home.

Husband fires the rifle at Wife, twice, but misses her both times.

Husband is arrested on charges of attempted murder.

It turns out that Wife has an Order of Protection against Husband.

In fact, there is a lengthy history of domestic violence between the couple.

Under the Order of Protection, Husband is likely prohibited from being anywhere near the Home – and from possessing a gun.

Yet the police permitted Husband to enter the Home, with the weapon.

Law enforcement spokespersons, however, refused to characterize the officers as negligent.

One has to wonder: what would that have taken?

Read more in this [Hudson Valley, New York] Times Herald-Record article: 2 Mount Hope police officers under investigation.

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Reading, Writing and … Calculating Child Support Payments

Texas had a higher rate of teen pregnancy than the national average. And unmarried fathers often weren’t involved with their kids.

In an effort to remedy both problems, Texas added Parenting and Paternity Awareness to its high school curriculum this year.

In the class, kids learn how to calculate Texas child support and to anticipate the cost of raising children.

They also cover some basic family law legal terminology. And the father’s role in parenting.

Will it reduce teen pregnancy? And increase teen responsibility for out of wedlock babies?

Only time will tell …

Read more in this San Antonio News article: Teens learn what it means to have a child.

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What Country Takes the Longest to Establish Paternity?

Sweden just may win the prize. In at least one Swedish case, establishing paternity takes 14 years … and counting.

In Sweden, an unmarried mother is supposed to report her out-of-wedlock child’s birth to a social welfare administrative board (Board), so that it can determine the child’s father and implement child support.

The process of establishing paternity in Sweden is supposed to be completed within one year after the mother’s report.

But in this particular case, the father still has not been determined 14 years after the mother’s report.

As a result, the Board is now under review (and attack).

The Board’s defenses are that the father has been hard to get a hold off – and the mother has moved around a bit.

The more likely culprit may be that it appears that the case was mistakenly “archived” during a restructuring of storage of government records.

In the same area of Sweden, however, there are fourteen other open cases that have not been resolved within a year.

By comparison, Florida courts look positively speedy. Our typical paternity case is concluded in well under 14 years.

Read more in this Sweden’s Local article: Paternity test takes 14 years.

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