How to Repair (or Establish) Your Individual Credit as a Single Following Divorce

Former Wife hasn’t had a credit card in years, since her ex refused to pay off a debt as court-ordered.

An accountant recommends the following steps to repair (or establish) your own credit after divorce:

  1. Address any black marks on your credit history with the credit reporting agencies and clear things up as best you can.

  2. Be prepared to start over, most likely with a secured credit card with a low credit limit. Apply for unsecured credit every year or so.

  3. Earn more money.

Read more in this article: Tips for rebuilding your credit after divorce.

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First Physicians are Certified in New Specialty of Child Abuse Pediatrics

I previously posted about the recently emerging medical specialty of child abuse pediatrics in Progressive? Advanced Study and Training in Child Abuse Emerges.

Since then, physicians have taken the board certification examination and 183 have become the first diplomates in child abuse pediatrics.

The Oklahoma physician who spearheaded recognition of this area of specialization believes this training will cause false allegations to break down and will facilitate building legal cases to address legitimate claims.

Discrediting false allegations keeps sound families intact.

Just in Tulsa County, twelve hundred kids are treated each year for child abuse, with two hundred of them being admitted to hospitals.

In the state of Oklahoma, the annual cost of child abuse and neglect is over $270 million for foster care and medical and psychological treatment.

Nationwide, approximately six million children each year are reported to be abused.

Read more in this Tulsa World article: OU-Tulsa pediatrics educator behind new child-abuse subspecialty.

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Can Family Court Preclude Either Parent From Merely Exposing Their Child to that Parent’s Religion, Even if the Other Parent Has Ultimate Decisionmaking Authority Over the Child’s Religion?

Catholic Husband and Jewish Wife have three year old Daughter.

Husband and Wife are in the midst of a divorce.

Husband is currently a law student.

Court has awarded Wife temporary custody of Daughter.

Husband and Wife reportedly agree that Daughter will be raised in the Jewish faith.

Nonetheless, Husband has Daughter baptized … and doesn’t tell Wife about it until afterwards.

Upon Wife’s motion, Court then enters a temporary order enjoining or prohibiting Husband from schooling Daughter in any religion besides Judaism.

Then Husband takes Daughter to a Catholic mass … with TV reporters in tow.

Wife seeks to have Husband held in criminal contempt by the Court.

A new judge is assigned to the matter at the instance of Husband’s attorney.

The contempt hearing has yet to be set.

Read more in this UPI news article: Couple fight over 3-year-old’s religion.

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Orders of Protection: How Much Domestic Violence Do They Deter?

Good question. Incapable of being answered accurately.

Certainly, domestic violence restraining orders tend to help the people who get them.

Tend to help.

The people who get them.

But lots of domestic abuse victims are too terrified to ever consider seeking one.

For instance, eighty-seven percent of New York City’s victims of “family-related” deaths last year did not have an injunction for protection against domestic violence against their abuser.

Even those victims of abuse who are brave enough to seek protection on a temporary basis often lose their nerve for making it last, after their abuser finds out about it. Such temporary orders of protection expire quickly.

Even where the abuse victim is brave enough to ask for protection at a full hearing, the Court will not always issue one for one reason or another.

Even where all of the above hurdles are overcome, sometimes it is very, very difficult to personally serve the abuser with a domestic violence restraining order.

That happens more frequently than you might imagine. At best, this can drag the entire process out and wear the victim (and his or her finances) down. At worst, the abuser cannot be served timely enough and the order of protection expires.

Last year a woman obtained a temporary injunction for protection against domestic violence against a top aide to New York State’s governor. The aide could not be served in compliance with applicable legal requirements (or he was but that was never communicated to the victim).

And then there are the cases where the abuser disregards the order of protection.

Clearly, injunctions for protection against domestic violence leave room for improvement.

Read more in this New York Times article: Case Revives Debate Over Protection Orders.

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Man Divorces Wife Because of Her Looks … Which He Never Saw in Advance

According to a website which appears to be published by Arabs living in the Arab world:

Groom, an Arab ambassador in the United Arab Emirates, enters a contract for marriage with Bride, a physician, without ever gazing directly upon her countenance (apparently because it is always partially concealed behind her veil).

Bride’s Mother reportedly shows Groom photographs that are supposed to be of Bride, but which are really of Bride’s sister.

When Groom finally sees Bride without her veil, after signing the marriage contract, Bride allegedly is cross-eyed and has a beard.

Groom is not happy.

Groom cancels wedding and files for divorce.

Groom also asks Bride to reimburse his expenditures on gifts of jewelry and clothes for Bride.

This may be an example of a situation where the permissible grounds for divorce may have great significance.

Read more in this Waleg article: Arab Man Seeks Divorce After Seeing His Wife’s Face.

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Do You Need a Forensic Accountant in Your Divorce?

Has your spouse hidden assets?

Is your spouse’s business doing a lot worse since you started discussing divorce?

Are you completely in the dark about your spouse’s income and assets?

All of these are circumstances in which it may be necessary or advantageous to retain forensic accountants to “follow the money”.

Especially where a stake in a closely held corporation is involved.

Forensic accountants are trained to ferret out diverted assets, hidden money and to uncover mismatches between reported income and lifestyle.

Of course, the specialized training and expertise of forensic accountants comes with a hefty price tag. Therefore, they may not be appropriate in all cases.

One thing to keep in mind is that forensic findings can have tax ramifications for one or both spouses.

The report can also facilitate valuation of the business for purposes of property division.

Read more in this Mondaq article: United States: The Role Of Forensic Accountants In Divorce Engagements.

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Allegedly Wrongfully Retained Boy Must Be Evaluated by Therapist Before Court Rules on Father’s Application for Boy’s Return to France under Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

French Husband and American Wife divorce in France, where Husband, Wife and Son have been living.

Husband and Wife enter agreement that Son will live with Husband in France.

Wife has timesharing with Son in US for last year’s Christmas holiday. Wife is expected to send Son back to France on January 3rd of this year.

But Wife keeps Son with her.

Husband files for Son’s return to France under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

In a Colorado trial court, Wife alleges that Husband perpetrated domestic violence against her in Son’s presence and that Son appears to be the victim of emotional abuse by Husband.

Wife also contends that Husband had her institutionalized in France to coerce her into divorce and into agreeing to give Husband custody of Son.

Husband does not deny these allegations. Husband’s position appears to be that they are irrelevant.

The trial court disagrees … and appoints a therapist to evaluate Son’s maturity and wishes.

Read more in this Pueblo [CO] Chieftain article: Pueblo woman embroiled in international custody case and this Pueblo [CO] Chieftain article: Mother: Coerced to give up son.

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Florida Department of Revenue Collects Child Support … Eventually

A Florida mom describes seeking child support through the Florida Department of Revenue.

It isn’t pretty. It’s a bureaucratic process.

This mother had to refile her case three different times. Lost forms.

And wait two years for an order of support.

Along the way …

Numerous hang-ups.

Unnecessary trips to the support office.

Lack of responsiveness.

Poor automation.

Little monitoring.

Limited enforcement.

That mother calls for reform of the child support system.

Read more in this Orlando Sentinel article: Enough is enough: A call for child support reform.

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Current Boyfriend against Ex-Boyfriend: Yet Another Domestic Violence Variation

South Carolina Mother and Father have child together.

Mother and Father break up.

Mother now lives with her new Boyfriend.

Father is apparently late with his child support payments.

Mother calls Father in the middle of the night, demanding support.

Then Mother puts Boyfriend on the phone and he also demands child support from Father.

Father drives to Mother and Boyfriend’s home in the middle of the night with support money.

Boyfriend then allegedly strikes Father in his back with a baseball bat, before denting Father’s truck as he leaves.

Boyfriend is arrested for assault and battery and malicious damage to personal property.

Read more in this [Greenville, SC] WYFF NBC TV 4 news article: Man Hit With Baseball Bat In Child Support Dispute.

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Alimony Laws: Is it Time for Change?

There is nothing divorced spouses hate more than paying alimony (well, except perhaps paying their ex’s attorney’s fees).

In the current recession, it is said that the high unemployment rates are impacting working men disproportionately. In the overwhelming majority of cases, men are the ones who pay alimony (although women are increasingly getting their turn these days).

The weak economy coupled with what many perceive as unfair alimony laws have spurred significant anti-alimony activism and large numbers of downward modification proceedings.

Many argue that lifetime or permanent alimony is outmoded in an era when most women work except when their children are very young. Others argue that women still generally earn less than men and make more career sacrifices in most marriages.

Another bone of contention is the amount of alimony payments. In many states, judges have very wide discretion, resulting in unpredictability and inconsistency.

Permanent alimony in long term marriages is commonplace in Florida and there are no formulas or concrete guidelines for calculating the amount.

Read more in this Wall Street Journal Juggle column: As Women Earn More, Alimony Laws Lag Behind.

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