One Contrarian Commentator Advocates for Reinstatement of Politically Incorrect But Clarifying Legal Terms Like “Child Custody” and “Custodial Parent”

Not so long ago in Florida, separating parents (and, if necessary, the courts) addressed “child custody”.

The term “child custody” has since been banished from the Florida legal vocabulary and courts.

In the words of one Canadian commentator, Florida has joined the ranks of “label-free” settlements of parental responsibility and timesharing regarding children.

That contrarian voice questions whether this is a change for the better.

She looks to Australia, which she reports adopted a presumption of joint custody in 2006.

After which, she reports, conflict and litigation there escalated, rather than decreased.

“Label-free” parenting arrangements can also leave significant third parties in the dark, such as schools, health care providers, etc., and necessitate cumbersome duplicative communications with and permissions from both parents when the third party is in doubt.

“Label-free” kid-sharing can also tie hands of police and other law enforcement authorities who are unclear as to which parent has rights and is in the right.

Label-free parents, according to this commentator, can even stump judges charged with applying family law in the no-label vacuum.

Read more in this Canadian Lawyers Weekly article: Why custody labels matter.

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UK Court Awards Wife and Kids Exclusive Use and Possession of Marital Residence and Bars Old Money, Multi-Millionaire Husband from His Ancestral Mansion … and Harassing Wife

Old money, multi-millionaire Husband, Wife and their five children live in “ancestral” mansion home in the UK for twenty-odd years.

Couple divorce.

Wife characterizes Husband as a controlling, critical bully, responsible for her depression.

Court orders fifty-nine year old Husband to vacate home … and to stay away from Wife.

Quite unseemly …

Husband appeals, objecting to being evicted from his own parents’ home, without adequate provocation or justification.

Husband asserts that the mansion is large enough to accommodate the entire family, without them tripping over one another.

Husband remains in the ancestral mansion home pending his appeal.

Regrettably, the principle of awarding exclusive use and possession of the marital residence to a dependent spouse and/or caregiver for the minor children of the marriage probably does not take into proper account that some marital residences were ancestral mansion homes before they became marital residences.

Read more in this UK Telegraph article: Wife has husband ‘evicted’ from ancestral home as he makes her ill and this Argus article: Sussex millionaire fighting to stay in his family mansion.

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In the Divorce Capital of the World (London), It’s Women’s Turns to Pay ‘Manimony’ … and Thwart and Agitate

In Europe, London has the dubious distinction of being the “divorce capital of the world”.

Apparently, highly generous spousal support awards are very common in the UK, even in short term marriages.

Traditionally, UK men were the ones paying out. But more recently, British women are often the ones writing large “manimony” checks.

And, not surprisingly, when women are the ones writing the alimony checks, they don’t like it any better than men do.

And it isn’t just the threat of spousal support striking fear into the hearts of well-off women.

Traditionally, UK women have also fared better than men in property division, as in receiving more than half of the property.

More financially able women now fear having the tables turned on them in this regard as well.

Result?

Well, for one thing, in Britain, women are the ones insisting on prenuptial agreements (or prenups) before marriage these days.

For another, important women are clamoring for family law reform to correct systemic injustices now increasingly adversely impacting women.

Other changes in the UK divorce world include social ones encouraging men to seek alimony and more than their fair share of property – and child custody too.

Oh, in the UK nowadays, ten percent of marriages fail within five years.

And attorneys are starting to advise wealthy clients against marrying at all …

Please note that Florida law places great weight on length of marriage in spousal support determinations and presumes an equal division of marital property.

Read more in this UK Times article: Rich woman are suffering painful divorce settlements.

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Father Arrested for Murder and Child Abuse Two Years After His Toddler Son Dies

Two year old Son had developmental delays and a deformity of his head.

Allegedly because Father shook him – twice – when he was just two months old.

For that, Father was sentenced to four years of probation … after pleading guilty to felony child abuse.

And given custody of Son in 2007.

Father’s household generated five new allegations of child abuse or neglect in 2007.

And still Father had custody of Son.

Father took Son to doctor to check a shunt placed in Son’s head after he was shaken.

Son didn’t cooperate and his appointment was rescheduled.

Father apparently wasn’t happy. A nurse reported sounds like a spanking.

That night, Father’s wife heard Son screaming.

Son died of blunt force trauma to the head shortly afterward.

Now, Father has been arrested in Son’s death and charged with second degree murder, child abuse and probation violation.

Two babies have been removed from Father’s home since last year.

Read more in this Las Vegas Review-Journal article: Las Vegas man arrested in 2007 death of his toddler son.

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Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is Wielded to Compel Little Girl with Heart Condition to Travel Back to Court on Spanish Island After Allegedly Being Ignored by Her Biological Father There for At Least Eight Months … After He Allegedly Consented to Her Return to the UK

Unmarried British Mother and Spanish Father have Daughter together.

Daughter is born in UK.

The family lives in Tenerife Island, Spain for over a year.

Daughter has serious heart condition.

Mother and Daughter return to the UK.

According to Mother, Father encouraged them to return to the UK for family support.

Both Spain and the UK are parties to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Further, Tenerife law, apparently requires formal government permission to remove a child who has lived there for more than a year and who is the biological child of a Spaniard.

Father concedes that he does not take advantage of easy opportunities to visit Daughter and, according to Mother, Father never calls to find out about Daughter.

Nonetheless, some eight months of silence after Mother’s and Daughter’s return to the UK, police appear at Mother’s home and seize her passport.

Mother learns that she is required to return with ill Daughter to Tenerife, to appear in court there for the purpose of determining custody of Daughter.

Father reportedly now wishes to seek custody of Daughter.

Father comments that he does not want to go to court in England … because “it’s not my country”.

So much better to drag his sick child back to court in Tenerife.

Read more in this UK Daily Mail article: Tug of love mother must fly to court in Tenerife to fight for daughter, 5, after being accused of abducting her.

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