Long Divorced Spouse Can Claim Retirement Benefits Through Former Spouse

Husband and Wife divorce.

Twenty-five years later, Wife approaches retirement.

Far-off-in-the-future social security benefits are not typically addressed in divorces, and many people are confused about or ignorant of their eventual entitlement.

Wife lets it be known that she is contemplating seeking to collect social security benefits by claiming through Husband.

Husband opposes.

But Wife can do this, even all these years later, even though this was not spelled out in Wife’s and Husband’s divorce.

Under federal law, a spouse who was married for at least ten years to someone who earned social security benefits, may claim social security benefits based on their former spouse’s rights – provided the claiming spouse did not remarry.

The claiming spouse’s benefits do not diminish the benefits that will be paid to the earning spouse.

Read more in this Philadelphia Daily News finance column: Harry Gross: His ex-wife can benefit from his SS.

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In Many States, Adoption Isn’t Just for Kids …

Father has custody of Daughter.

Father marries Stepmother.

Stepmother is only mother Daughter has known since she was three or younger.

Daughter is now 32.

Stepmother recently became ill.

Daughter decides to formalize what she feels.

Stepmother adopts Daughter.

Stepmother becomes Mother.

More than half of the states in the US permit an adult to be adopted.

Stepparent adoptions, in particular, are fairly common.

When the prospective stepchild adoptee is a minor, however, the consent of the other biological parent is typically required.

So, many such adoptions are deferred until the child becomes a legal adult, at which time consent of the other biological parent is no longer required.

Read more in this Beaumont [TX] Enterprise article: Adoption makes 31-year mother-daughter relationship official.

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Adoptive Mother Arrested for Allegedly Gradually Beating Child to Death

A 2 year old central Florida Child was slowly beaten to death … allegedly by her adoptive Mother.

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) believes that Mother must have been mentally ill, although never diagnosed.

Mother was arrested on first degree murder and child abuse and neglect.

DCF’s investigation into the Child’s death revealed that her maternal grandmother was aware of Mother’s sometimes abusive behavior toward Child but did nothing.

DCF concluded that Mother and her husband were a threat to any child in their custody.

Mother and her husband have five other adopted children under the age of eight.

The other children were placed in foster care.

So much for the preadoption home study …

Read more in this Ocala Star-Banner article: DCF report documents tot’s severe beating, troubled mom.

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Child Welfare Agency Treads Where Juvenile Justice System Can’t, Holding Seven Year Old Hundreds of Miles from Home for Years

A disturbing case …

Pennsylvania man’s home is burned down … with him in it.

Neighbor-witness accuses seven year old Boy.

Police interrogate Boy – and eventually secure confession.

But Boy is too young to prosecute under Pennsylvania law.

So child welfare agency (Agency) wins custody of the Boy on an emergency basis … reportedly without any allegations of abuse or neglect.

The Agency commits Boy to a residential juvenile treatment center.

Boy is moved from facility to facility over time.

Five years later, Boy is in a facility in Texas.

Prior to Agency’s involvement, Boy was diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar disorder. Nothing else.

Agency has not acted to terminate Mother’s parental rights in all this time, but neither has Mother enjoyed normal parental rights and access to Boy.

The Agency’s on-paper goal remains reunification, although Mother has been able to see Boy only once since his confinement due to the distance involved.

Agency has the power to confine Boy until he is 21 years old.

Mother and Grandmother are attempting to have Boy evaluated by an independent psychologist, in the hopes that it will cast doubt on the Agency’s assessment of Boy and lead to his freedom and return home.

Read more in this [Wilkes-Barre, PA] Times Leader article: Juvenile arsonist or victim?

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Child Support Collection Agent Allegedly Steals and Sells Personal Information of People in the Child Support System

Very commonly, child support is paid to a state agency acting as intermediary between the noncustodial parent and the custodial parent.

This system serves as a buffer between parents and generally works well.

But it is not without its flaws.

An employee of a private company under contract to collect child support for the state has been indicted for identity theft.

The job furnished access to sensitive personal information of many people.

The employee allegedly sold the personal information of about 1,000 of those people, such as social security numbers and bank account numbers, to an undercover law enforcement officer.

The transactions reportedly date back to October 2008.

Read more in this Denver CBS TV 4 article: Child support employee accused of ID theft.

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Illegal Immigrants At Risk of Termination of Parental Rights

Numerous illegal immigrants work in a food processing company in Missouri.

Immigration authorities conduct a raid there.

136 illegal immigrants are taken into custody.

One Mother is sentenced to jail, with deportation likely to follow.

American couple seeks to adopt Mother’s Baby.

Missouri Court terminates Mother’s parental rights to Baby based on abandonment of Baby.

The Court finds that Mother hasn’t contributed to the Baby’s support or tried to visit with Baby … while in jail.

Although Mother may have received two letters from the Court and the adoptive parents’ attorney, Mother doesn’t read English and does not have an attorney for her custody claim.

Mother has not known where Baby is.

Every time Mother has gone to Court, Mother has tried to find out about Baby.

Terminations of parental rights of mothers like Mother are occurring with increasing frequency, with babies like Baby being adopted by Americans.

Read more in this New York Times article: After Losing Freedom, Some Immigrants Face Loss of Custody of Their Children.

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Canadian Court Holds Mother in Contempt for Alienating Children from Father and Reinforces Message with $35,000 Fine

Canadian Mother allegedly alienates Children from Father, her ex-husband.

Ontario Superior Court then enters a “series” of orders intended to repair the relationship between Father and Children.

Mother does not comply with Court’s orders.

Court holds Mother in contempt and concludes that Mother’s conduct constitutes “emotional abuse” of Children.

The Court modifies custody of Children so that Father has sole custody of Children … and Mother is prohibited from having any contact with Children.

Court orders intensive therapy for Children to combat parental alienation syndrome.

Court imposes fine on Mother of $35,000.

Father’s attorney commends the punishment as clarifying that court orders must be “taken seriously” or violators will suffer the consequences of their actions.

Read more in this Guelph [Ontario, Canada] Mercury article: Toronto mother, 42, fined more than $35,000 in messy domestic dispute.

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WV Mother’s Daughter in Child Protective Custody While Mother Awaits Disposition of Child Abuse Charges

Mother is late for court.

Mother asks for visitation with her Daughter.

Judge denies her request for visitation.

And lectures Mother about being on time for court.

Hearing is rescheduled.

Mother is accused of burning the word “wimp” into the flesh of Daughter’s neck.

Mother is charged with twenty counts of child abuse and malicious wounding.

Daughter is in child protective custody.

Mother is out on bail.

Read more in this [Wheeling, WV] WTRF TV 7 news article: “Wimp” Burn Suspect Denied Visitation with Daughter, Late for Court.

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Husband and Wife Stay Together For Dogs … Eight Years After Divorce

Husband and Wife divorce.

Husband and Wife have six, count ’em, six dogs.

Husband and Wife cannot bear to split dogs up.

Each is more attached to the dogs than to each other.

Husband and Wife – and, of course, the dogs – continue to share a New York City apartment … and a bed.

For eight years.

Then Wife finally can’t stand it and tells Husband he must leave.

Not without three of the dogs, he says.

And off he, and three of the dogs, go.

Strange as this situation sounds, there are other people who continue to co-exist in the same residence, months and even years after their divorce.

For less reason than shared unwillingness to separate pets.

Until one of them just can’t stand it anymore.

And then it’s back to court to force the other person out of the residence.

Read more in this New York Post editorial: I LIVED WITH EX FOR SAKE OF OUR PETS.

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Michigan Man Jailed for Non-Payment for Six Years of Support of Over Half a Million Dollars … for Fourteen Children

A Michigan man is behind on his child support obligations.


He hasn’t made any payments in six years.

Stopped over a bad taillight on his Mercedes Benz, the man is now in jail.

And there he will remain for 90 days, unless he comes up with almost $28,000.

The man has 14 children by 13 different women.

The man contends that most of the children are not his and that the mothers set him up by claiming to have served him in paternity cases using phony addresses.

The man tried to persuade the arresting officers that he is someone else, with a different social security number.

When arrested in his Mercedes, the man had $5,000 cash in his possession and plane tickets to Florida.

The man is reportedly unemployed.

The man is trying to negotiate his child support debt.

The man is also in violation of his probation.

Read more in this Flint [MI] Journal article: Thomas Frazier, father of 14 children, jailed for owing more than half-million in child support.

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