Economic Abuse Controls the Other Spouse as Surely as Domestic Violence

Husband * controls the pursestrings. Tightly.

* The gender of abusers varies, but “Husband” is used here for illustrative purposes.

Wife must account for every penny given to her.

Wife has no access to funds, except what Husband doles out to her. Not even her own paycheck.

Husband uses Wife’s credit card as his own, running up debt without Wife’s knowledge.

Husband puts obligations in Wife’s name. And doesn’t take care of them.

Husband tries to sabotage Wife’s employment.

Rutgers University is conducting a study of the relationship between domestic violence and economic abuse.

Domestic abuse is all about control and finances are just another means with which to exert control.

The study offers participants instruction to overcome economic abuse.

Read more in this [Central New Jersey] Home News Tribune article: Rutgers professor studies ‘economic abuse’ as tactic to control women in relationship.

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Ho Hum … Another Billionaire Russian Ex-Pat Divorce with a Property Division of Enormous Marital Assets

Recently I posted regarding Swiss Court to Rule on What May Be Record-Breaking Property Division of at Least 6 Billion UK Pounds Between Ultra-Rich Russian Couple Living in Switzerland.

Perhaps it’s something in the air. Now, just a short time later, yet another ex-patriate Russian oligarch billionaire Husband is divorcing this summer too. With another stratospheric marital estate expected to culminate in a record-setting property division award to his Wife.

This time, the Soviet couple’s divorce filing is in London, after nearly twenty years of marriage – in which they mostly lived apart from one another. Husband has reportedly co-habited with a different “significant other” for the last fifteen of those years.

Speculation is that the property division settlement is the largest ever in the UK, and twice the largest ever in Australia.

Husband’s career has run the gamut from running an automobile dealership to teaching math at the college level. Although he reportedly made the big bucks selling state-run assets in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union government.

Regardless of the magnitude of any settlement or judgment on paper though, a foreign attorney, who handles similar high end divorces involving globally-dispersed wealth, notes that, depending how the marital assets are titled and held and where in the world they are located, Wife may face obstacles to enforcement.

But, even in humbler marital estates, exes seeking enforcement of property (and, for that matter, support) awards can expend more time, ingenuity, energy and financial resources collecting on their divorce final judgment than in obtaining their divorce final judgment.

Read more in this Sydney Morning Herald article: Russian oligarch Berezovsky gets divorce.

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Is Privatization of Florida Divorce Courts and Family Courts on the Way in Florida?

Many people think filing for divorce in Florida is expensive.

They might want to re-think that.

The York County area in Virginia has come up with a creative solution to rising public costs and shrinking public budgets for contentious family court litigation of contested divorce cases and contested child custody cases.

Namely, shift the costs to the litigating spouses and parents.

The York County area courts have no full-time professional judges on salary to hear divorce court cases involving disputes over property division! None. At all.

Instead, this part of Virginia taps practicing local attorneys to hear family court cases on an independent contractor basis, over the course of their day juggling cases in their law practices.

With the spouses and parents picking up the tab to have a hearing officer for their contested divorce cases and contested child custody cases, at a cost of about $250 per hour in court.

Payable in advance, in the form of a $2,000 “retainer” from each party, held in an escrow account for the hearing officer.

Just another expense of divorce and child custody battles? An omen of the future here in Florida and other jurisdictions?

There is some backlash among local attorneys practicing in the area, who view this requirement as shutting some litigants out of divorce court (or family court) … in violation of constitutional equal protection principles … and in just one county of the state. Among other concerns.

On another level, funding and operation of the legal justice system is generally perceived as a uniquely governmental function.

Raising the question: where should privatization end?

Read more in this Newport News Virginia Daily Press article: Pay-for-judge requirement for disputed divorces

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Mother Who Allegedly Abducted Child Out of Country for Safety Reasons is Sentenced to Approximately Ninety Days’ Incarceration for Custodial Interference Upon Their Return to US Upon Child Reaching Adulthood

Washington State Husband and Wife have Son together.

Wife is allegedly threatened and abused by Husband. Husband denies such allegations.

Wife flees with Son to live in Senegal and Thailand.

After Son reaches the age of eighteen, Wife and Son return to Washington.

And Wife is arrested on charges of custodial interference.

Wife enters plea bargain under which prosecutors recommend a sentence of thirty days’ incarceration.

The trial court, however, repudiates the prosecution’s sentence recommendation and instead sentences Wife to one hundred eighty days’ confinement, with credit for time served. Leaving almost three months to go on Wife’s sentence.

Neither Senegal nor Thailand are parties to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Read more in this Seattle Times news article: Chehalis woman sentenced in child custody case.

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May a Born Male Who Undergoes a Sex Change Operation Legally Marry a Male in a State That Doesn’t Recognize Same-Sex Marriage? The Answer Determines Whether “Widow” or Children Collect Deceased Firefighter’s Death Benefits

Texas Husband, a firefighter, has Children from his first marriage, to Mother.

Husband remarries Wife.

Husband dies fighting a fire.

Husband’s legal beneficiaries can expect to receive death benefits and insurance proceeds in an amount close to $600,000. Wife has already collected $60,000.

The issue: who should Husband’s legal beneficiaries be deemed to be under Texas law?

It turns out that Wife was born a man, and subsequently had a sex change operation.

Texas law does not recognize same sex marriages.

Husband’s mother has filed suit to have Husband’s marriage to Wife annulled as void, as though Husband and Wife had never been legally married. That would leave Children as Husband’s sole heirs.

Husband’s family asserts that Husband only found out about Wife’s sex change operation a few months before his death and, because of it, wanted a divorce from Wife.

Prior to Husband’s death, Mother tried to modify custody of Children to strip Husband of joint custody, to keep Children away from Wife. In those proceedings, both Husband and Wife testified that Husband did not know that Wife was transgender.

E-mails support Wife’s assertion that Husband knew her genetic history from the get-go, and that they were still together at the time of Husband’s death.

Regardless of when Husband learned that Wife was transgender, Husband hadn’t filed for divorce … or taken steps to disinherit Wife before his death.

But, legally, under Texas law, what is the gender of a born male who undergoes a sex change operation? And can such a person legally marry a male under Texas law?

A Texas trial court has temporarily frozen Husband’s estate’s assets (except for needed support for Children) pending ruling on Husband’s mother’s action for annulment.


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Appeals Court Rejects Husband’s Appeal Because of Husband’s Reportedly Consistent Efforts to Conceal Marital Assets

UK Husband makes a fortune with the internet, about 14 million pounds UK. Husband and Wife of twenty-three years maintain a lavish lifestyle, running through more than six million pounds UK over the last ten years.

In their divorce, the trial court finds that Husband tenaciously hid, or tried to hide, assets from Wife … and the court.

The court awards Wife one-half of what it determines the marital estate to be worth, payable on September 1, 2010.

The recession and the divorce may have combined to reverse Husband’s fortunes. But Husband’s conduct in the case garners him no support from an intermediate appellate court.

The trial court’s award of 200,000 UK pounds in alimony per year until Husband makes good on the property division award stands. And Wife is allowed to market one piece of real estate and retain the net proceeds as a deposit toward her share of the marital estate.

Husband maintains that the award is in error because it is based on a lifestyle that has slipped out of reach of the couple due to the recession and years of living way beyond their means.

But the intermediate appellate court denies Husband the right to appeal further.

Read more in this UK Telegraph article: Polo playing dotcom tycoon forced to pay wife £7 million in divorce settlement and this UK Mail article: Polo-playing tycoon must hand his wife £7m in divorce deal
after couple spent £6.5m in ten years of high living

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Summer Should Be Prime, Quality Time for Visitation and Timesharing Between Noncustodial Parents and Their Children

As children of divorce blossom into their teens, visitation and timesharing becomes more of a challenge for parent and child, especially if the parent lives a significant distance from the child.

Unlike younger children, teens have active, semi-independent lives filled with friends, school, extracurricular activities, other interests, etc.

It can be more difficult for parents to impose their will on their children – and the price of doing so may be too high.

In some cases, extended summertime visitation bears the brunt of sustaining and nurturing the parent-child relationship.

During extended summer timesharing, children should not engage excessively with the parent left behind. This is supposed to be the child’s time with their other parent.

Read more in this Atlanta Journal Constitution article: Summer fun helps kids, divorced parents strengthen bond.

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Long-Term Verbal Abuse Suddenly Culminates in Physical Domestic Violence When Husband Kills Wife and Stepson and Finally Himself, with Their Three Youngsters in the Home

Wife reportedly calls police on four different occasions this year due to Husband.

According to Wife, Husband variously prohibits Wife from taking the kids out of the home, changes the locks on the doors, harasses Wife and so on.

Wife files for divorce. Her papers allege verbal abuse, including a death threat, and disparagement in front of their children. Never actual physical violence.

But, close to a divorce settlement, Husband shoots and kills Wife and Stepson, before taking his own life.

The couple’s three young children are in the home at the time.

Read more in this Johnston County [NC] Herald article: Clayton couple were on verge of separating

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Baseball Player’s Wife Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping, Custodial Interference and Impersonating Government Official

Immigrant Man and Woman have two month old Baby.

Florida Wife allegedly tells undocumented Man and Woman that she is an agent with the office of Immigration Services and that they will be deported.

Wife says she must take Baby into custody, and Man and Woman give her Baby.

Man and Woman realize that something is not right and report incident to authorities.

Wife pleads guilty to charges of kidnapping and impersonating a public officer, and could get sentenced to life in prison.

Wife is married to a professional baseball player.

Wife previously served time for arson, grand theft and forgery.


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Behind in Support? Keep a Close Eye on Your Car

There are various available measures for enforcement of support obligations, some more effective than others.

One of the harshest, suspension of a deadbeat’s driver’s license, is a double-edged sword.

Driving with a suspended license is illegal, so suspension may impede efforts to work. And reinstating a driver’s license is somewhat involved.

A recent Michigan law opens the door to a new enforcement mechanism that should be just as effective, but less of a double-edged sword.

An automobile “boot”: a device that prevents a car from being driven anywhere until authorities disengage it.

Read more in this Holland [MI] Sentinel news article: Giving deadbeats the boot.

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