UT: California Court Has Jurisdiction over Child Support Where Mother and Child Live in Utah, Because Father is Away from Utah on Active Duty Stationed in California

Husband and Wife are from Utah.

Husband has been in the military, stationed in California, for some time now.

The parties divorced while Husband was stationed in California and the divorce was entered in California.

Wife returned with their child to live in Utah.

Husband seeks to have the amount of child support he must pay revisited in a Utah court, where the amount of child support would likely be lower.

But the Utah courts refuse to hear the case, holding that California has jurisdiction because Husband is still stationed there.

Husband is seeking a new hearing on the jurisdiction issue, and two branches of the service will be putting their two cents in.

It isn’t clear whether Utah would have taken jurisdiction of their divorce had it been filed there in the first place and, if so, why the divorce wasn’t filed there.

Utah’s rulling seems to run contrary to the spirit of federal law and contrary to the law in at least some US states.

And, under all the facts of this particular case, simply unfair.

Florida, for example, recognizes Floridians who are stationed elsewhere in the military as Florida residents, and will exercise jurisdiction over their divorces.

But that does not preclude the place where they are stationed from exercising jurisdiction.

Read more in this Salt Lake Tribune article: Marine from Utah can’t take divorce case home.

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Wife and Navy Colleagues Are Charged with Murdering Her Husband In Child Custody Dispute

California Husband and Wife have a 4 year old Daughter together.

Husband and Wife divorce.

Wife is a US Navy Seabee.

Visitation exchanges are nasty.

An audio recording reveals Wife insisting that Husband’s car seat is not installed properly.

… And denying that she tried to have Husband murdered.

Wife calls the police about the car seat.

Poor Daughter can be heard asking “I am not seeing my dad?”

Wife drives away with Daughter.

Husband is murdered outside his home.

Wife tells authorities that Husband drinks and plays pool and doesn’t allow her any friends.

Wife also tells police that Husband is involved with motorcycle clubs and a criminal street gang.

Police find no evidence to support Wife’s accusations.

Wife and a fellow Seabee are charged with Husband’s murder, and are being tried together.

Another Seabee is charged in the murder as well, but will have a separate trial.

Yet another Seabee is charged with attempted murder for an earlier attempt on Husband’s life.

Read more in this Ventura County [CA] Star article: Jury in Seabee slaying case hears taped argument.

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Boy Ordered Returned to Father in US Under Hague Convention Found and Expected to Return to US Three Years Later

Chinese Father. Israeli Mother. Son appears to be American. And home was United States.

Until Mother takes Son to Israel. And stays there. For three years.

Mother’s version of events:
Father raped her, and Son is the product of that rape. Father authorized passport and was aware of her plan to travel to Israel with Son.

2006 Court order under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction:
Son is to be returned to Father in the US.

Court order is found on Mother. Yet Mother claims not to have known about hearing.

Ironically, Mother is “caught” during a routine check having nothing to do with Son’s “missing” status.

Mother is arrested. Son is taken into protective custody.

Read more in this Israel Haaretz article: Woman stopped in routine check, held for ‘kidnapping’ child from U.S. dad.

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Division of Marital Assets and Debts Can Sometimes Get Very Complicated

A couple’s finances can sometimes get pretty complicated during divorce.

Take an Indianapolis couple as an example.

Husband and Wife operate an investment company together.

Presumably anticipating Wife filing for divorce the next day, Husband and his reported girlfriend, board his private plane, bound for Florida. This is captured on airport video surveillance.

Then law enforcement enters Husband’s and Wife’s home, seizing computers and money, and freezing the married couple’s assets. Husband allegedly has defrauded customers out of millions of their dollars.

Husband returns to Indiana. Then Husband boards his private plane again, once more bound for Florida and, reportedly, his girlfriend.

But Husband signals distress and bails out of the plane before landing. It seems Husband wants authorities – and Wife – to give him up for dead.

But instead Husband is found – and is now in jail, on Federal charges – with state charges to follow.

It is unclear whether Wife ever participated in Husband’s alleged fraud.

What is the marital property? Marital debts? How shall they be divided between the Husband and Wife?

Gets pretty complicated indeed ….

Read more in this MSNBC / WTHR TV article: Video shows Schrenker preparing for flight.

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One Big, Not So Happy Family Gets Into the Domestic Violence Act in a Big Way

Husband and Wife split up. Battle over custody of their 2 year old Daughter ensues.

Husband is awarded temporary primary residential custody of Daughter.

Husband’s 91 year old Grandmother owns a house.

Wife and Wife’s mother are in Grandmother’s house when Husband arrives to check on Grandmother.

Wife’s mother clubs Husband on the head with a baton, and Wife brandishes a gun at him.

Wife informs Husband that she is taking custody of their daughter. Wife shoots Husband with a stun gun.

Police find Grandmother’s body in a trash bin in the garage at the house.

Possibly the only one not physically injured at the house is Daughter. She is taken into child protective custody.

Wife, Wife’s mother and Wife’s mother’s husband (found in a nearby car) are all arrested on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and conspiracy.

Read more in this San Francisco Chronicle article: 3 suspects arrested in slaying of woman, 91.

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South Dakota Supreme Court Awards Child Custody Based On … Child Support, Mostly, In One Case Anyway

South Dakota Mother and Father split up before 5 year old Son is born.

Couple fight over custody and child support.

Mother is awarded temporary primary custody of Son, and Father is ordered to pay monthly temporary child support of $150. Later the amount is upped to $363.

Father continues to pay $150 for the next two years though. Father blames it on cash-flow problems in his farming business.

At trial, the court dismisses the child support issues as irrelevant to custody, and awards primary custody of Son to Father. Further, the Father manages to clear his arrearages by the second day of the trial.

But the main reason the trial court awards primary custody to Father is that Mother is allegedly alienating Son from Father.

On appeal, however, South Dakota’s highest court appears to second-guess the trial court’s factual findings, specifically rejecting the trial court’s finding that Mother has alienated Son from Father.

The South Dakota Supreme Court goes on to conclude that it would not be in Son’s best interests for Father to have primary custody, because Father hasn’t adequately provided for Son financially when Son was living with Mother.

Two judges dissent. The dissent seems more consistent with legal trends beyond South Dakota’s borders.

Read more in this Sioux City [IA] Journal article: Supreme Court overturns child custody ruling.

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Ditched Husband Countersues for Return of Kidney He Previously Donated to His Wife

In divorces, people sometimes fight over the most unexpected things.

And so it is in a New York divorce dragging on since 2005.

Husband and Wife have three children together, ranging in age from 8 to 14 years.

Husband contends that Wife is interfering with his visitation with the children.

Several years ago, before Wife filed for divorce, Husband donated one of his kidneys to Wife.

Now Husband seeks return of his kidney – or $1.5 million.

Husband’s attorney admits that he doesn’t expect to get the kidney back. A gift, after all, is a gift.

But Husband is trying to draw attention to his Wife’s denial of visitation with his children and the slow pace of the case.

He’s certainly drawn attention to the kidney …

Read more in this UPI article: Man demands $1.5M, or kidney, in divorce.

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OH Criminal Judge Seeks to Apply Forfeited Assets to Back Child Support

Father owes $7,500 in back child support. Bad enough.

Then he is arrested on a drug charge – again. With more than $15,000 in cash and jewelry on his person. And half that amount in illegal drugs.

Criminal court Judge is not happy with Father.

State seizes Father’s cash and jewelry.

Judge proposes that cash and proceeds of jewelry go to child support arrearages.

Except the state statute specifies what seized assets may be used for… Child support isn’t included.

But the prosecutors are researching whether the judge’s proposal can be implemented legally anyway.

Meanwhile, Judge sentences Father to two years under a plea deal, suspends his driver’s license for a year and orders him to pay a fine and court costs.

Sounds like the Judge is on to something, and the forfeiture statute should be amended to allow seized assets to be applied to support obligations.

Read more in this Cincinnati [OH] Enquirer article: A novel use for drug money.

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Nebraska Court Rejects Relocation / Custody Tactic: Bugging Child’s Teddy Bear

Nebraska couple divorce. Their Daughter is now 4 years old.

Mother files motion to relocate with Daughter to another state.

Daughter’s therapist learns from Mother that there is a recording device in Daughter’s teddy bear.

The recorder was reportedly placed in the teddy bear by the Mother, or someone on her behalf.

It turns out that the device has been recording Father’s visitation for many months.

The Court bars use of the recordings in the courtroom, on the grounds that making the recordings was illegal.

Now, Father and several others who were recorded, including some court-appointees in the case, have filed a damages lawsuit against Mother, her father and Mother’s former attorneys for invasion of their privacy.

Mother’s attorneys terminated their representation upon learning of the recordings allegedly made for their client (although they argued that the recordings should be used by the Court).

Father has recently been awarded greater timesharing with Daughter, nearly equal to Mother’s.

Mother has not been charged in criminal court with making or causing the recordings to be made.

Meanwhile, Father briefly microwaves Daughter’s coats, toys and teddy bears whenever he picks her up, to disable any other recording devices.

Read more in this Omaha [NE] World-Herald article: Custody case tip: Don’t bug kid’s teddy bear.

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In Pennsylvania, Non-Custodial Parents Are Proactive About Child Support Obligations Because of Their Unemployment

In Pennsylvania, unemployment has been slowly rising for some time.

In fact, unemployment compensation is expected to start running out for significant numbers of non-custodial parents this spring.

The unemployed increasingly worry about their child support obligations.

Rather than waiting until they accrue arrearages, many are wisely looking to modify their obligations before they become delinquent.

In Pennsylvania, deadbeat parents fear that they face incarceration, despite the tough times.

The flip side of the unemployment problem is that custodial parents who might not otherwise have pressed for child support might have little choice now but to do so.

When asked for advice, child support enforcement authorities in Pennsylvania encourage non-custodial parents to pay what they can manage, even if they can’t pay all that is ordered.

This scenario will be playing out in many areas of the country where the local economies are especially hard hit by unemployment.

Read more in this Allentown [PA] Morning Call article: Job losses test child support.

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