Domestic violence may take many forms, some quite unexpected.
A central Florida Mother and her adult Son go to a shooting range to practice their marksmanship together.
One minute, everything is fine. They are socializing with each other and others.
The next, the Son is shooting at a target and … the Mother is shooting at the Son … the back of his head.
Then the Mother shoots herself … also in the head.
Both Mother and Son die.
No warning. No note. No explanation.
Except, perhaps, that Mother had some history of mental illness.
But she was able to rent a gun at the range.
Read more in this Orlando Sentinel article: Police: Woman used rented gun in murder-suicide; actions appeared ‘deliberate’.
I have posted more than once recently about the impact of the recession on noncustodial parents struggling with child support obligations.
Their situations are tough, but parents will not lose custody of or access to their children due to unemployment.
Millions of American grandparents raise their grandchildren, because their children are unable to do so.
If they can’t support their grandchildren, though, they may well lose custody and/or guardianship of them.
In this recession-weakened economy, older workers who lose their jobs are having an especially difficult time replacing them … sometimes eventually giving up.
In addition to the stresses of prolonged unemployment that one might expect, those raising grandchildren bear the additional fear that they will be taken away from them and placed in foster care with strangers.
What assistance there is for grandparent-custodians is rapidly being depleted by those in need because of the weak economy.
Many grandparent caregivers could simply become foster parents to their grandchildren. That would provide them with greater financial assistance from the government for raising their grandchildren.
But it would also put the grandchildren “into the system” and subject them all to monitoring and intrusions.
Read more in this Wall Street Journal article: ‘Grandfamilies’ Come Under Pressure.
Many states require separating parents to take a class on co-parenting after separation.
But some locales, recognizing an unmet need, are offering, even requiring, that children attend a class to help them deal with their parents’ separation.
Many children have difficulty talking to anyone, even their parents, about how they feel about the separation and the changes taking place in their lives.
Marion County, Ohio is tackling this problem with programs for kids in grades two to six and seven to twelve. The program utilizes books, workbooks and coloring books, depending on the ages of the children involved.
Feedback from the children is very good, suggesting that the children feel less isolated after the class.
The books also provide roadmaps to aid parents in try to get their kids to open up with them.
Interestingly, Marion County has what is known in Florida as unified family court. Meaning that one judge will guide each family through any probate, family and juvenile court issues.
Which may be the source of the county’s heightened sensitivity to kids’ difficulties with separation.
The various books use in the programs appear to be for sale to interested parties, wherever they may live.
Read more in this Marion [OH] Star article:Grant allows county court to help children.
Battering Spouse in Oklahoma reportedly abuses Battered Spouse and their children for years.
Both Battered Spouse and Battering Spouse are alcoholics, which escalates the battering.
Battered Spouse obtains several orders of protection from Battering Spouse over time.
Battering Spouse and Battered Spouse divorce.
Battering Spouse allegedly beats and then shoots Battered Spouse.
Battered Spouse dies.
Battering Spouse is convicted of domestic violence.
Battering Spouse is incarcerated.
Battered Spouse’s mother didn’t think Battering Spouse could kill someone.
Battered Spouse’s sister has custody of Battered Spouse’s kids now.
Battered Spouse is the late Husband of Battering Spouse.
Even Battered Spouse’s mother didn’t know know he was a victim of repeated acts of domestic violence.
Most “battered women’s shelters” offer services to battered men as well.
Read more in this Tulsa KOTV News On 6 article: Murdered Man Victim Of Domestic Abuse.
A therapist offers mothers her tips for reducing the stress related to exchanges and their child’s visitation with his or her father.
- Always focus on your child.
- Make sure the other parent is kept posted on recommendations from school as to services appropriate for your child.
- Attend a different performance of school events if possible, trade off events or sit far away from the other parent.
- Ditto for sports events.
- Be civil at extended family occasions and gatherings – or don’t go.
- Be accommodating with schedule changes.
- Treat your ex with respect.
- Allow communication – but use e-mail for neutrality … and a record.
- Let your child participate in planning, but don’t put your child in the middle … or on the spot.
- Attend a Children First class.
Read more in this Single Minded Women website article: Stress-Free Visitation Guidelines and the website Your Child’s Divorce.
Among the hardest hit by the recession are … children of separated parents.
The reality of rising unemployment and underemployment on the one hand.
And the fear of impending layoffs or other job loss on the other hand.
Family courts everywhere are busy with noncustodial parents seeking downward modifications of child support, even while custodial parents are seeking enforcement of existing child support obligations.
Some parents who never missed payments before are struggling and missing them now.
In New York state, for example, many family court judges are granting reductions of child support obligations frequently under the circumstances, sometimes dramatic reductions.
Since children still need support regardless of a noncustodial parent’s unemployment, layoffs or the like, however, custodial parents are turning to public assistance of various kinds, often for the first time.
And it’s not just people “on the fringes” who are affected.
Family court judges are seeing among those seeking modifications of child support recently comfortable to wealthy Wall Street executives, who have been wiped out by shrinking portfolios.
Unemployment benefits are income, however.
Read more in this New York Times article: Fighting Over Child Support After the Pink Slip Arrives.
Florida birth Mother gives her twin babies (Twins) up for adoption.
Mother maintains she signed adoption papers under duress resulting from sleep deprivation.
Twins are adopted by North Carolina couple.
Adoption is open, according to contract, with Mother being involved with the Twins after the adoption.
Then Mother allegedly takes off to Canada with the Twins.
Mother is charged with kidnapping the Twins.
Mother’s parental rights to Twins are terminated.
Now Mother is seeking visitation with the Twins from a North Carolina court.
The trial court ruling apparently turned quickly on the fact that Mother’s parental rights had been terminated.
Mother is pressing to have a full hearing despite that.
Mother characterizes the case as a custody dispute.
The adoptive North Carolina couple characterize it as a contract dispute.
The North Carolina appellate court has yet to rule.
Read more in:
- this Raleigh [NC] News TV 14 article: Court continues to mull QuetsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ visitation rights
- this Raleigh [NC] WRAL TV 5 article: Adoption case goes to state Court of Appeals
- this Raleigh [NC] News & Observer article: Quets makes appeal for visitation
Virginia Mother and Father conceive a Child.
Mother and Father split up before Father learns of pregnancy.
Mother introduces Child to Father.
Father is now married to another woman.
Father seeks visitation.
Mother and Father engage in bitter court battle.
And then the Court reportedly awards Father sole custody.
Mother starts Children Without a Voice, an advocacy group for women who have lost custody to their children’s father.
Mother allegedly decides to hire a hit man to murder Father and get him out of the picture.
Except the hit man Mother pays is an undercover law enforcement officer.
Mother is arrested for solicitation to commit murder … and attempted murder.
Mother pleads guilty to attempted murder, and the remaining charges are dropped.
Mother faces two terms of incarceration for life, plus a $200,000 fine.
Of course, Mother still won’t have custody of Child.
And Mother’s visitation, if any, will be less than optimal.
Read more in this Culpeper [VA] Star-Exponent article: Woman guilty of plotting murder.
Illegal immigrants planning to visit children in protective custody may want to think twice first.
A grandmother visiting her baby grandson was picked up by immigration agents on an outstanding deportation warrant.
It seems that social workers advised immigration officials of the time and place of the scheduled visitation.
The immigrant family members could not see what their legal status had to do with their visitation.
Some groups warn that schemes like this discourage immigrants from cooperating with child abuse investigations.
But the Department of Children and Families maintains that it is just complying with its legal obligations.
Law enforcement authorities indicated that when they encounter people with outstanding arrest warrants against them, they routinely arrest them.
Whatever procedures apply, arresting illegal immigrants sometimes leaves children in this country without caregivers in their own families.
Read more in this South Florida Sun Sentinel article: Social workers used children as bait in immigration case, man claims.
It’s very common for divorcing parents to be ordered to attend a parenting class for divorcing parents.
Never-married parents may be required to attend the same class, but they frequently feel that it “doesn’t apply to them”.
Ohio’s Stark County is attempting to address that program flaw by instituting a separate class for never-married parents.
The course emphasizes communications skills and appreciating the importance of both parents to a child.
The new program provides mediators and a psychologist to educate parents on “psychological wellness for kids”.
It is hoped that the new program will benefit the growing numbers of children of unmarried parents as well as the unmarried parents themselves.
In future years, the new course will be funded through court fees.
Read more in this Stark County [OH] Press-News article: New parenting program offered to never married parents who are separating.