Wife Awarded Alimony (or Spousal Support) for Medical Expenses Caused by Sexually Transmitted Disease Husband Gave Her

Arkansas Husband of twenty-four years is unfaithful and infects Wife with a sexually transmitted disease (STD)

Husband and Wife divorce.

Wife will incur recurring monthly expenses for medication to treat the STD.

Family court awards Wife alimony (or spousal support) to cover those expenses. The trial court’s ruling may smack of the influence of fault.

Husband appeals based on the trial court’s apparent consideration of fault in its award.

The Arkansas appellate court affirms the family court’s ruling, downplaying the role of fault in the ruling and justifying it based on the Wife’s very real expenses.

These rulings could also be supported under Florida divorce law and alimony law.

Read more in this Courthouse News Service article: Arkansas Man to Pay for Giving Ex-Wife an STD.

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Postnuptial Agreements Can Spell Out Property Settlement Rights in the Event of Divorce or Separation or Death of a Spouse

Everyone has heard of prenups, or prenuptial agreements. If properly done, generally enforceable and increasingly popular.

What if the couple is slow and doesn’t get their prenup done before the wedding? Assuming they both still wish they had signed a prenup in time, is all lost?

That depends on what state they live in.

Massachusetts’ highest court just formally recognized postnups, or postnuptial agreements which are made during the marriage – provided they are carefully reviewed and approved by a family court judge.

Florida, along with many other states, also allows postnuptial agreements. The duty to disclose financial information is greater between already married couples than merely engaged couples though.

Like prenups, postnuptial property settlement agreements can spell out property rights in the event of a divorce or separation, or the death of a spouse.

Read more in this Boston Globe article: In a first for Mass., SJC approves post-nuptial contracts.

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Medical Missionary, Reknowned Children’s Heart Surgeon … And Alleged Domestic Abuser

Domestic violence doesn’t just occur in the lower socioeconomic strata. Domestic violence can find its way into the most affluent and prominent homes.

Take a well-respected children’s heart surgeon (Doctor).

After he strikes his daughter inappropriately, the Doctor is arrested on charges of domestic battery, and a domestic violence restraining order is entered against him.

Doctor has to leave his home in a fine neighborhood.

Wife files for divorce.

Doctor is distraught.

And returns to his home.

And shoots his Wife in the face.

And then shoots himself, fatally.

Two of their children are in their home at the time of the incident.

Wife is expected to recover fully.

Read more in this Chicago Tribune news article: Cops: Doctor shot estranged wife, then killed himself and this Elmhurst [Chicago] Press article: Many mourn surgeon at funeral.

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Man Faces Jail for Not Paying Child Support for Child DNA Test Proves is Not His

A Detroit area Man is facing incarceration for not paying his court-ordered child support.

For a child who isn’t his, according to a paternity test.

Because the Mother identified the Man as the child’s father on her application for public assistance.

The problem is that the DNA test was performed long after the Michigan family court entered its child support order – and beyond the time limit allowed by law.

But this wasn’t the all too commonplace case of an alleged father ignoring child support papers served on him.

No, this Man was actually incarcerated in Michigan at the time of the child support case brought by the Michigan child support agency.

And it appears that the Man was not properly served in the case. Even though the court was aware that the Man was incarcerated.

And the state did not provide the Man with a paternity test to potentially disprove that he was the father.

As required by Michigan law.

The Man is awaiting his day in court and hoping he will be released from his child support obligation.

Once a man is legally determined to be a child’s father, that father will generally be legally responsible for child support – even if a DNA test later conclusively establishes that he is not the father.

Read more in this Detroit WXYZ ABC TV news article: He has a DNA test to prove it’s not his son, but still has to pay child support.

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Beware of Your Spouse’s Ploys to Have You Sign Legal or Financial Documents (Especially Blank Ones) on the Spot, Without Opportunity to Properly Review Them Yourself or to Consult with a Lawyer Regarding Property Division, Alimony and Child Support

A financial planner provides some sound divorce advice.

The standout takeaway point is:

“Avoid signing a blank financial statement or any other document without reviewing it with a lawyer.”

That valuable tip can only be improved by expanding upon it.

Also avoid signing a blank tax return, loan application, credit card application, promissory note, mortgage, beneficiary designation or the like, will, trust, bill of sale, assignment or transfer document, guaranty, or pretty much any other legal or financial document at your spouse’s request. Period.

If you do sign any blank legal or financial documents at your spouse’s insistence, make sure you read them first and obtain copies of them.

Both are good ideas even if the documents aren’t blank.

And have them reviewed by your lawyer, whether they are blank or fully filled out.

In the time leading up to filing for divorce, it is not at all uncommon for the more financially savvy spouse to trick or pressure the other spouse into signing all kinds of documents, ranging from transfers of assets to the other spouse, waivers of interests in assets of the other spouse, debt assumptions, consents to loan refinancing documents, waivers of support, and other documents related to property division, alimony and child support.

The signing spouse usually isn’t given an opportunity to read the documents or given copies of them.

In the end, they just know that they signed something recently – and they have that vague, chilling feeling that it probably wasn’t in their best interests.

A good deal of money and grief can probably be saved by not giving in to the more financially savvy spouse’s demands for signature (assuming, of course, that refusal does not place the less financially savvy spouse at risk of physical harm).

Read more in this Des Moines Register article: Lawyer is good idea when going through divorce.

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Parents Who Stick Out a Bad Marriage May Cause Their Kids’ Lasting Relationships Damage

“We stayed together for the kids”. Everyone knows someone who can say that.

So how’d that work out?

A New Jersey university’s researchers’ nationwide study in the US suggests that the answer is “not so good”.

According to the findings in the study, the high conflict imposed on the children’s home life haunts children throughout their lives, leading to greater conflict in their own adult relationships.

The researchers theorize that the prolonged conflict is what impacts children’s experience with relationships.

By contrast, children of divorce experience a tough period surrounding the divorce, but then get over it.

Presumably because the hostilities fade as their parents disengage from each other.

Read more in this Times of India article: Divorce ‘may be better for kids’.

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Divorce Property Division Complicated By Receiver’s Duty to Compensate Victims of One Spouse’s Co-Conspirator’s Ponzi Scheme

Conspirator is convicted of running a Ponzi scheme defrauding customers.

California Husband allegedly moved billions of dollars around in furtherance of the scheme.

Husband pleaded guilty to criminal charges of money laundering and could be sentenced to up to twenty years in prison.

And recently divorced his Wife. And agreed to give Wife almost all of their assets.

Husband and Wife still live together. Claiming poverty.

Court appointed receiver wants to apply divorce settlement assets earmarked for Wife to compensate victims of Ponzi scheme.

Husband maintains that no assets have actually been transferred from Husband to Wife yet.

And Husband and Wife agree that their marital assets should be applied to compensating victims.

Husband is even willing to have the entire divorce undone … but he would need attorney’s fees and costs from the receiver to be able to accomplish that.

Read more in this St. Paul [MN] Pioneer Press article: Divorce of Petters’ associate complicates compensating victims.

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Florida Father is Awarded Temporary Custody of Children and Mother is Allowed Only Minimal Visitation Until Psychosexual Evaluation is Conducted, After Mom Allegedly Posts Inappropriate Images of Her Children and of Herself on the Internet

Another Florida teacher in the news…

Southwest Florida Husband and Wife have two young children together, two and four years old. The four year old has autism.

Husband and Wife are going through a divorce.

Wife is a special education instructor in an elementary school.

Wife undergoes a psychological evaluation. And is ordered to complete an anger management course and parenting classes.

A truck driver finds the older child wandering the streets, dressed in pajamas.

The Department of Children & Families (DCF) removes both children from Wife’s care.

Wife is arrested for child neglect, a felony.

Wife is suspended from teaching children and assigned to an administrative position.

The trial judge temporarily denies Wife any contact with their four year old, but allows a short weekly unsupervised visitation with their two year old.

Inappropriate and provocative images, allegedly of Wife, are posted on the internet on websites apparently owned by Wife.

Images of the couples’ children, unclothed, are also posted on the internet.

Husband contends that Wife posted the images. Wife denies the charge.

There is no solid proof that Wife posted the images. That would require a computer expert.

Husband’s attorney argues that merely posing for the images, even if she hasn’t posted them, calls Wife’s parental fitness into question.

Trial judge orders that all such images be removed from the internet.

Trial judge orders that Wife undergo a psychosexual evaluation regarding Wife’s sexual propensities.

New images are posted on the internet.

DCF approves Husband as a fit parent.

Husband obtains a domestic violence restraining order against Wife.

Father moves to northeastern Florida, with the former couple’s children, now in his care.

Wife follows.

Wife violates the order of protection by showing up at Husband’s workplace. She denies knowledge.

Trial judge considers that Wife may require more social services, pending her psychosexual evaluation.

Read more in this Marco [Island, FL] Eagle article: Judge orders psychosexual evaluation of former teacher charged with posting naked photos of her children on Web.

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Some Fathers with Child Support Arrears Celebrate Father’s Day in Jail Instead of With Their Kids

The city of Worcester, MA marked Father’s Day this year with the arrest of sixteen fathers reportedly owing more than half a million dollars in child support arrears collectively.

Are these parents simply ignoring their responsibilities?

Well, according to federal data, two-thirds of so-called deadbeat dads are at the poverty level of income, with only four percent reaching $40,000 per year in income. Pre-recession.

Massachusetts imposes the highest rate of interest on child support arrearages in the nation: eighteen percent.

And last year Massachusetts increased its reportedly already high child support guidelines even more. During the recession.

Parents suffering reversal of fortunes rarely take the proper legal steps to modify their child support obligations, and even more rarely succeed in obtaining a child support reduction.

In many instances, fathers who fall behind in child support borrow from their parents to avoid being held in contempt of court and jailed.

Of course, there is no reason to think that custodial parents are faring any better in the recession than noncustodial parents.

Read more in this Worcester [MA] Telegram article: ‘Deadbeat dad’ raids unjust.

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Family Court Judge Holds Mother in Criminal Contempt of Court for Allegedly Violating Father’s Rights, Specifically His Visitation Rights under Child Custody Agreement

Mother and Father have a 9 year old Son.

Mother and Son live in New York.

Father lives in Arizona.

Mother agrees to twice a year visitation between Son and Father, and the New York Family Court so orders.

Mother changes her mind. Mother refuses to send Son for his timesharing with Father.

Father is serving a twenty-seven year sentence in an Arizona prison for rape of three women.

The trial judge holds Mother in contempt of court, reportedly for missing several court appearances at which she would have had the opportunity to defend herself …

And the Court sentences Mother to fifty days in jail. Without providing for bail.

In fact, Mother spends eighteen days in solitary confinement, before the trial judge changes his mind and releases Mother into her attorney’s custody.

Read more in this Gothamist article: “Unusual” Case of Mom, Rapist Dad and Visitation Rights and this New York Daily News article: Judge frees mom jailed for keeping son from rapist dad.

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