Arkansas Man Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining Order Violates It By Allegedly Shooting Neighbor’s Dog

Arkansas Man has a domestic violence restraining order (or order of protection) against him.

As is customary, the injunction for protection against domestic violence bars Man from keeping guns.

Man discovers neighbor’s dog on his property.

Neither Man nor his own dogs are afraid of the neighbor’s dog.

But Man allegedly shoots the neighbor’s dog anyway.

Man is arrested on two misdemeanor charges, one for cruelty to animals and one for violating an order of protection.

The odds are against the restraining order against Man being for the benefit of an animal.

Cruelty to animals is closely associated with domestic violence.

Read more in this [Mountain Home, AR] Baxter Bulletin article: Briarcliff man arrested for cruelty to animal after shooting dog.

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Another Father Denied Access to His Child Abducted to Brazil, Despite Hague Convention

A British college instructor (Father) hasn’t seen his Daughter in fourteen years.

Her Mother allegedly abducted her from the UK to Brazil at that time.

Brazil is a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

But Brazil sometimes seems to follow the Convention only at its pleasure.

Brazilian authorities have reportedly told Father he is not welcome in Brazil.

Father is now appealing to the UK government to intervene with Brazil, but probably too late to do any good even under the Hague Convention. Daughter is now 17 years old.

Mother reportedly changed Daughter’s name as part of an improper adoption.

Read more in this Kent Online article: Lecturer vows to battle on over estranged Brazilian daughter.

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August is National Child Support Enforcement Month

Before it draws to a close, it should be noted that August is our national Child Support Enforcement Month.

Local and statewide child support enforcement agencies are celebrating their mission, their increasingly innovative and resourceful efforts to maximize collections of child support, their accomplishments and the contributions of parents.

Some getting tough collections tactics: withholding wages, publishing “most wanted” lists, roundups, liens, freezing assets, collecting lottery winnings, revoking drivers’ licenses and denial of applications for passports.

Read more in this Holyoke [CO] Enterprise article: Celebrating August as Child Support Enforcement Month and this Virginia Department of Social Services 2001 press release: Governor Gilmore proclaims Aug. as Child Support Enforcement Month in Virginia

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Collaborative Divorce is One Path to an Uncontested Divorce … But Not the Only One

A group of Michigan professionals are rallying around one particular path to an uncontested divorce. It’s called collaborative divorce.

In collaborative divorce, both spouses commit to pursuing an amicable resolution without the necessity of litigating.

Their methodology includes a team approach, with a lawyer for each spouse, mental health professionals, financial advisors, child experts, divorce coaches, etc.

A lot of folks. As many – or more – as in some litigated cases. But all unified in the goal of avoiding litigation.

Proponents of collaborative divorce maintain that it is less costly than other approaches to divorce.

One may reasonably question that premise, at least in certain cases, after considering the team roster.

But it definitely may be less emotionally costly and lead to better co-parenting relationships after the divorce.

The Michigan collaborative divorce group concedes that collaborative divorce may not be the best methodology in cases where there is a history of domestic violence, illness or mental health issues.

In reality, there are also other circumstances where collaborative divorce is likely not the most appropriate approach.

Collaborative divorce is certainly an approach worth considering under the right circumstances.

But collaborative divorce is just one approach to uncontested divorce in Florida and elsewhere. It is not the only approach to uncontested divorce.

If both spouses want to divorce amicably, without litigation, whether it is collaborative divorce or not, there is at least one approach to uncontested divorce that is right for them.

Read more in this Traverse City [MI] Record-Eagle article: Amicable Split: ‘Collaborative divorce’ offers fewer fights, costs.

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Illinois Husband Allegedly Murders Wife, Then Commits Suicide, After Unchecked History of Domestic Violence

Illinois Husband and Wife had been together for thirty years.

Wife’s Sister is a domestic violence victims’ advocate, who helps others to escape abusive relationships.

Wife and Husband were estranged, with a significant history of domestic violence reportedly behind them.

Sister advised Wife to seek an order of protection or restraining order against Husband.

Wife didn’t heed Sister’s warnings, and let Husband back into her home to visit other family members.

During one such visit, Husband allegedly murdered Wife. Then fled to his workplace, where he committed suicide.

Wife had sought an injunction for protection against domestic violence in 2006, and pressed criminal charges against Husband at that time as well.

But Wife did not follow through with either, presumably out of fear of possible consequences from Husband.

And so Sister’s fears came true.

Read more in this Chicago Tribune article: Couple in murder-suicide had history of violence, family says.

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NY: Non-Custodial Parent Who is Medical Doctor May Adjust Daughter’s Medication Dosage on Reasonable Good Faith Basis Without Being in Contempt

New York state Mother and Father, a medical doctor / psychiatrist, have a Daughter together.

But mother has sole custody of Daughter.

Under New York law, that means that Mother, in general, has sole medical decision-making authority for Daughter.

During timesharing with Daughter, Father adjusts Daughter’s dosage of medication downward.

Father “concluded that the treatment regimen prescribed by his daughter’s doctor was too aggressive and the prescription strengths were too powerful.”

Mother initiates a contempt proceeding against Father for unilaterally adjusting Daughter’s medication.

The Court dismisses the Mother’s motion, finding that the Father has a “good faith basis” for adjusting Daughter’s medication dosage and, therefore, is not guilty of criminal or civil contempt, or willful defiance of Mother’s or her doctor’s court-ordered authority.

The Court also finds that Father’s status as non-custodial parent is not tantamount to being a “potted plant”.

Rather, a timesharing parent “has a residual authority to make decisions in the child’s best interest that are called for by the immediate circumstances–even if those decisions might overlap with or intrude upon the other parent’s ‘sole custody’ authority.”

Read more in this West Palm Beach Examiner article: Albany family court judge finds non-custodial dad not guilty of contempt for changing child’s meds.

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Illinois Man’s Alleged Abuse of Substances Triggers Domestic Violence Resulting in Order of Protection and Jail – And Treatment for Anger Issues and Substance Abuse

Illinois Man allegedly abuses both alcohol and drugs.

While under the influence in two past incidents, Man allegedly pressed a knife to his girlfriend’s (Woman) neck, and shoved and choked her.

Couple separate when Man relapses again.

In another episode of violence, Woman calls police.

Man is arrested, convicted, and sentenced to incarceration as well as anger management and substance abuse classes.

A restraining order or order of protection is also entered against Man for Woman’s protection.

This is just one of more than 1,000 domestic violence complaints made to police per year in Bloomington, Illinois.

Police can spend hours responding to a single complaint.

Police typically make follow up visits as well.

Woman believes Man can get better and they can get back together.

Read more in this Bloomington [IL] Pantagraph article: Cycle of domestic violence traps victims, police.

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Where Should Your Child Go to School? If You Want a Judge to Decide, You’d Better Ask Early

Separated parents sometimes can’t agree on parenting issues.

Most issues can be resolved by mediation or litigation … whenever.

But some have deadlines.

Take school. Selection.

School starts when it starts.

Even if the parents are going through a custody case.

If the parents can’t agree, a judge must decide.

Depending on the nature of the dispute, the judge may want to hear from witnesses and see evidence.

Regarding differences in tuition, differences in religious orientation, differences in location, student track records, etc.

Hearings like that take time and plenty of advance scheduling.

But parents tend not to take such factors into account.

Alerting their attorneys to these issues much too late for a timely decision going the evidentiary hearing route.

Or perhaps they thought the matter was resolved only to learn at the last minute that it really was not.

Failing to definitively resolve the dispute in a timely manner can force decisions into hurried hearings with inadequate information.

Read more in this Witchita [KS] article: Parents’ procrastination in custody cases crowds family court dockets.

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Seriously Mentally Ill Child? Go Directly to Jail … Do Not Pass Go

Two-thirds of juvenile correctional facilities inmates suffer from at least one mental health diagnosis.

Many such children are confined in such facilities because their families are unable to find affordable mental health treatment for them in their communities.

So, the government reports, 9,000 children a year are simply given up by their families in hopes they will have mental health treatment in corrections facilities.

So the children receive what treatment they receive at public expense … from juvenile detention facilities…

The primary residential psychiatric treatment facilities for minor children.

A juvenile criminal record, punishment, neglect, violence and abuse are just part of the nonmonetary price tag.

The current recession’s impact on state and county budgets only aggravates the problem.

Therapists trained in treating children are in short supply and multiple powerful narcotics often become the only treatment these children have.

Read more in this New York Times article: Mentally Ill Offenders Strain Juvenile System.

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England: One Stop Domestic Violence Courts with Judges Who Award Custody and Divorce, Sentence to Jail and Enter Orders of Protection, Potentially All at the Same Time

England is one-upping the increasingly common unified family court system.

In unified family courts, such as in Florida, the goal is for all cases involving a single family to ultimately be assigned to the same judge, be the case criminal, juvenile dependency, divorce or paternity, or criminal. That is the goal.

In England, victims of domestic violence can now come forward in a new dedicated domestic violence court and start the ball rolling in that one courtroom to obtain a divorce, child custody, an order of protection or injunction for protection against domestic violence, and a criminal charge against their abuser.

The judge will specialize in all these related issues and have power to implement all the above measures.

The courtroom will also have domestic violence victim advocates on hand.

In England, two women are killed each week by a current or former partner. Police there are summoned to an alleged incident of abuse every single minute.

Read more in this London Sun article: Special courts for women who are victims of domestic abuse.

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