Re-Surfaced Marital Settlement Agreement Reportedly Paid for Early American Patriot and Revolutionary’s Transportation to America

As we look forward to the dawn of a New Year, a glimpse of divorce and separation in Olde England of yesteryear is revealed.

The 1774 marital settlement agreement between Elizabeth Paine and early American patriot and revolutionary Thomas Paine was rediscovered some years ago – in a novel from the period stored in a shop cellar in the UK.

The marital settlement agreement is set to go on exhibit in the new year.

As part of the divorce settlement, the unemployed Paine received UK 45 pounds, which reportedly paid for his transportation to America.

Before it’s resurfacing, the document had last been seen in 1892.

There is speculation that the book belonged to Paine’s wife.

This may be an example of how divorce shaped a man’s and a nation’s destiny.

Read more in this [UK] Guardian news article: Historic Paine deed falls out of 18th century novel and this [UK] BBC news article: Historic separation deal on show.

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The “Divorce Fair” Makes its North American Debut in Canada

It’s been a couple of years since the World’s First “Divorce Fair” was held in Vienna.

And now they’re working their way closer to home.

Next month, Nova Scotia, Canada will be hosting Canada’s First “Divorce Fair”, an event where those contemplating divorce can hear from legal, financial and psychological professionals serving people going through divorce.

The organizer of the Fair is a (currently nonpracticing) family law attorney from the UK, who now manages the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia.

She reports that one-third of inquiries directed to the Society pertain just to divorce matters.

And that forty percent of Canadian marriages end with divorce.

The Society’s director believes that too many divorcing spouses are inadequately informed about divorce law though. She hopes that the Divorce Fair will help to make up for that. (Although she recommends that every divorcing spouse consult an attorney about his or her particular situation.)

The two day Fair is divided up based on gender, with the first day being oriented toward men’s concerns and the second day being oriented toward women’s concerns.

Needless to say, it wouldn’t do to have a husband and wife who have not discussed divorce with each other run into one another at a Divorce Fair.

Read more in this [Halifax, Novia Scotia, Canada] Chronicle Herald article: Breaking up is hard to do.

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Utah Supreme Court Recognizes Unmarried Fathers’ Rights

Unmarried Utah Mother gets pregnant by Father.

When Son is born, Father’s name is listed on birth certificate as Father.

But Father is in jail when Son is born, so Father doesn’t sign birth certificate.

So Father’s name is removed from Son’s birth certificate.

After about six months in Mother’s care, Son is taken into protective custody by child welfare agency.

Son eventually is placed with a foster family, with whom Son has remained for a couple of years.

Child welfare agency takes steps to terminate Mother’s parental rights.

Father files motion to intervene in that case.

Father fails to undergo a DNA test to prove that he is Son’s biological father before the scheduled trial over termination of Mother’s parental rights.

Then Mother agrees to give up her parental rights to Son.

Son is freed up for adoption under Utah law.

And Utah court concludes that Father lacks legal standing to assert parental rights to Son any longer.

Father maintains that no one ever advised him of the importance of signing Son’s birth certificate or proving his biological relationship to Son via DNA testing shortly after Son’s birth.

Father appeals trial court’s dismissal of his motion to intervene in the case against Mother over custody of Son.

Breaking new legal ground in Utah, the appellate court reverses, and grants Father a hearing to prove that he is Son’s biological father.

All Father wants is the right to obtain pictures of Son and e-mails about his development, which Son’s foster parents were apparently unwilling to agree to.

Read more in this [Salt Lake City] Deseret News article: Ruling offers new hope to unwed dads in Utah.

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Father Murders Two of His Children and Their Respective Mothers … While Court-Ordered Not to Possess Firearms

Father has toddler Daughter with Girlfriend.

Father has Other Daughter, also a toddler, with Other Girlfriend.

Daughter and Girlfriend can’t be accounted for.

Then Other Daughter and Other Girlfriend’s bodies are discovered. Shot.

Then, hours later, Daughter and Girlfriend’s bodies are discovered – in Father’s trunk.

A few days later, Father’s body is found, an apparent suicide.

Father has been involved in child support litigation with Girlfriend and Other Girlfriend.

Father has also been unemployed for several months.

Yet another woman had a domestic violence restraining order against Father at the time of his death. That order prohibited Father from having firearms in his possession.

But Father managed to overcome that restriction.

Read more in this Associated Press article: Wis. man linked to 4 slayings charged in 2 deaths and this Wisconsin State Journal article: Murder suspect Tyrone Adair found dead in Cottage Grove.

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Marriage Truisms … or Myths?

A couple of Vermont sociology professors have challenged the institution of marriage, questioning why gays are so anxious to attain it. Following are some of what they view as myths about marriage – and how they shoot them down.

  • Marriage Builds Wealth. Then why are the poor least likely to marry? Marriage appeals to wealthier people in the first place.

  • Marriage is Traditional. The nature of marriage has changed over the years. Marriages for love and romance are relatively new phenomena … succeeding marriage for material and social gain.

  • Marriage Bolsters Health. Never-married singles are just as healthy as married couples. Divorced people are less healthy though.

  • Married Couples are More Socially Fulfilled. Married couples are more likely to be isolated from friends and networks, pinning all their social demands on their partner.

In sum, the professors suggest that the truths they have exposed are the reaI reasons behind purposefully declining marriage rates.

Read more in this Dallas Morning News article: Essig and Owens: What if marriage is bad for us? and this Psychology Today post: Two Scholars Ask: What if Marriage Is Bad for Us?.

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From Florida to Ireland: Cohabitation-Alimony Ambivalence Alive and Well

The case is in Ireland. But it rings with familiarity here in Florida.

Husband is a successful broker earning a substantial salary.

Wife is a housewife.

Couple break up. Husband moves out of the marital home.

Trial court orders Husband to pay Wife 137,500 Euros per year as alimony until Wife remarries or dies.

In an early hearing, Wife testifies that she is in a permanent relationship with a Boyfriend and that she is pregnant with Boyfriend’s child.

Wife later recants. And insists Husband can afford the ordered alimony payments.

Husband objects to having to pay alimony to Wife when Wife is now living with her Boyfriend and their common child.

There are indications that Boyfriend is relatively well off.

Wife is receiving a 700,000 Euro home as part of their divorce settlement.

Husband’s appeal is being considered by a British appellate court.

Read more in this Irish Independent article: Wealthy broker battles ex-wife over payout of €137,500 a year.

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After Five Year Long Court Battle, Parentally Abducted American Boy Finally Returns Home to the US From Brazil

Few international parental child abductions have received as much media attention as this Boy’s abduction to Brazil by his Mother, but that didn’t help much.

His Father has been fighting to get him back home since 2004.

Even after Mother died in Brazil last year, the Brazilian courts still dragged their heels in returning Boy to his Father in the US – despite Brazil being a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Numerous politicians and celebrities have spoken out in support of Father and reached out to their counterparts and contacts in Brazil in the hopes of freeing the Boy.

But none of that helped either.

The President of this country finally called the President of Brazil … but it isn’t clear that that helped much either.

No, what reportedly finally did the trick was Congress holding up a trade deal worth almost $3 billion to Brazil.

And thanks to their astuteness, Father and Son are finally reunited and their flight touched down here in Florida a short time ago.

Read more in this Associated Press article: Boy, American dad arrive in US from Brazil.

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Whaddya Mean Failing to Pay His Child Support and Getting into Physical Fights with the Mother of His Child Isn’t Neglect?

A New York appellate case illustrates that courts, especially appellate courts, often do not think like ordinary people or, more particularly, share their sensibilities.

In that case, Father doesn’t pay his court-ordered child support (of $50 per month) for Baby, and Father argues and tussles with Mother at her home.

The trial court rules that Father’s behavior constitutes child neglect.

Many ordinary people would agree wholeheartedly.

But, on appeal to the intermediate level appellate court, the higher court reverses.

The appellate court explains that there is no evidence that Baby was harmed by Father’s failure to pay support, and no evidence that the disputes between Father and Mother harmed Baby in any way.

The appellate court does not condone Father’s conduct, of course, but it can’t say Father’s conduct amounted to neglect.

Don’t misunderstand, the Mother and/or Guardian and the child welfare agency do have other legal remedies against Father that they can pursue in court. But an action for neglect is not one of them.

Read more in this West Palm Beach Examiner article: NY state court rules that dad did not neglect child by failing to pay support & by fighting with mom.

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French Father Abducts Boy By Presenting False Mexican Court Orders to Texas Judge

Mexican Mother is awarded custody of Son by a Mexican court.

Wealthy French Father, accompanied by counsel, takes papers that look like official Mexican court papers before a Texas judge, representing that he has legal custody of Son.

The Mexican court papers were reportedly incomplete and misleading.

Apparently, neither Father’s counsel nor the court verified them.

Texas judge enters pick-up order for Son, with a hearing date scheduled for shortly afterwards.

Law enforcement officers pick up Son, who protests vigorously the entire time, to the effect that Father beats him.

Officers ignore Son’s words.

Mother tries to get Son back at airport.

Son refuses to accompany her – out of fear that Father will kill Mother.

Father absconds with Son.

Not for the first time, according to Mother.

Father and Son miss scheduled court date.

Texas court issues warrant for Father’s arrest on perjury and custodial interference.

That was two months ago.

Father allegedly abducted Son to France for two years, reportedly beating him and leaving him unsupervised and denying any contact at all with Mother.

Read more in this Fox News article: Worldwide Manhunt Under Way for Fugitive Father, Missing Son and this San Antonio Express News article: Dad accused of perjury, kidnapping.

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Kansas Man Gets Slap on Wrist for Bigamy and Identity Theft … But Defrauded Wife is Going for Money

Husband and Wife have been married for 22 years.

But that didn’t stop sixty-two year old Husband from marrying another woman who lives in the same rental complex.

Husband is charged with bigamy and identity theft and convicted of the charges.

Husband is sentenced only to eighteen months’ probation.

Husband’s “second wife” may have punished him worse than the law.

She is pursuing an annulment … and compensation for roughly $50,000 worth of jewelry that she alleges Husband took and sold for cash.

Although many unhappy spouses would prefer an annulment to a divorce, the above scenario is one of the few ways that a spouse can qualify for an annulment under Florida law.

Read more in this Associated Press article: Kan. man gets probation for bigamy, ID theft.

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