Two Year Old’s Mother Challenges Family Court Award of Visitation to Criminal Defendant Under Prosecution for Child Sexual Abuse

Pennsylvania Father allegedly sexually abuses a seven year old girl in the presence of his two year old Son, for which Father is being prosecuted.

Despite this, the Pennsylvania Family Court allows Father visitation with Son, which is supervised by a friend of Father’s.

Then Son’s Mother requests that the court suspend Father’s timesharing with Son.

And the family court does suspend Father’s visitation, temporarily, indicating that timesharing will be reinstated when proper supervision by a social worker is arranged.

Under a new Pennsylvania family law, however, a parent charged with a sex crime is reportedly required to be psychologically evaluated before any award of visitation may be made.

Mother is apparently seeking to have the family court comply with the new law.

Read more in this [Moosic, PA] WNEP-TV news article: Accused Child Molester Loses Visitation Rights.

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Florida Grandmother Appeals Transfer of Custody of Her Late Daughter’s Young Daughter, Whom She Has Raised Practically Since Her Birth, to Her Daughter’s Allegedly Violent, Sex Offender Husband … Who is Not Even the Child’s Biological Father

Florida teen (Mother) becomes pregnant.

Then marries a man (Husband) twenty-four years older than her.

Along the way, Husband reportedly pleads guilty to sexual misconduct with a minor under sixteen years of age and is required to register as a sex offender.

Husband also reportedly has a history of domestic violence and violent assaults.

Mother leaves Husband.

Husband files for divorce while Mother is pregnant. His divorce court papers explicitly deny paternity of Daughter.

Because Husband is not Daughter’s biological father.

But the divorce is never finalized.

Because one month after Daughter’s birth, Mother dies in a car accident.

Under the law, Mother’s and Husband’s divorce stops upon her death.

And, since Daughter’s biological father (Bio Father) does not come forward in any way, Husband is considered to be Daughter’s father under the law.

But Husband has no interest in Daughter at that time.

And Mother’s mother, Grandmother, takes Daughter in and raises her.

Until Daughter is almost four years old.

And Grandmother tries to adopt her.

At which point, Husband decides that he wants Daughter … and seeks primary custody of her.

And the Florida family court does indeed award Husband primary timesharing with Daughter – in Georgia, where Husband now lives.

Grandmother is appealing the ruling.

And Bio Father is now seeking to establish his paternity and parental rights over Daughter, to retrieve Daughter from Husband’s custody. And Husband is seeking to terminate Bio Father’s parental rights.

And Grandmother, of all people, is in hot water. For speaking out about Daughter’s case.

For which Grandmother may be held in contempt of court. And face incarceration.

Grandmother maintains that she spoke to the media about the case prior to the court’s gag order.

But she would be willing to do it again, now, to save Daughter from Husband.

Husband reportedly also communicates with the media – after the gag order is entered.


  1. this First Coast NBC TV news 12 article: Baker County Family Court Meets Again in Miranda Wilkerson Case

  2. this First Coast NBC TV news 12 article: Grandmother Loses Custody of Girl to Father, Sex Offender

  3. this First Coast NBC TV news 12 article: Miranda Wilkerson’s Grandmother before Baker County Judge Today on Contempt Charges

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Dating in an HIV World

Canadian Man reportedly knows he is HIV-posiitive.

Man allegedly has sexual intercourse with eleven different women – without protection and without warning them of his condition.

Seven of his partners become infected with the disease. Two die.

Man is prosecuted for two counts of homicide and ten counts of aggravated sexual assault.

And convicted.

A Canadian court concludes that Man is a “dangerous offender” and may legally be confined indefinitely.

Man promises to appeal.

Read more in this New York Daily News article: Canadian court to keep HIV-positive man behind bars indefinitely; found guilty of infecting partners.

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August is Child Support Enforcement Awareness Month

It’s probably not what first comes to mind when you think of Gettysburg, PA.

But modern Gettysburg is noted for its effectiveness at child support enforcement.

In fact, the entire state of Pennsylvania is.

August is Child Support Enforcement Awareness Month.

Which is especially important in states and communities that aren’t as successful at collecting child support.

The Gettysburg child support enforcement agency attributes its success in part to the impact of automation on what they do … and a bad eonomy discouraging breakups and the need for court-ordered child support.

Technology has also reduced expenses of operations.

More child support than you might imagine is collected through seizure of unclaimed assets such as forgotten bank accounts.

Read more in this [Gettysburg, PA] Times article: County Domestic Relations program proud of work.

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Arizona Girl Suffocates for Taking a Popsicle Without Permission

Ten year old Arizona Child lives with her Aunt, her legal guardian, her two adult Cousins and her Grandmother.

Child weighs just fifty-nine pounds.

Child takes a popsicle without permission.

When her family finds out, Child is punished …

Her cousins allegedly lock her in a storage container roughly 3 feet by 1 foot by 1 foot in size.

Where Child suffocates.

It turns out Child was frequently punished by putting her in that storage container, among other punishments.

Child was also forced to eat animal waste, sleep on the floor of a shower and walk barefoot on extremely hot Arizona concrete.

Cousins are charged with murder.

Aunt and Grandmother are charged with child abuse and kidnapping.

Read more in this New York Daily News article: Ame Deal, Arizona girl suffocates to death after being put in box over Popsicle, family charged

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A Fast Track for Child Custody Cases is Launched Following a Twelve Year Old’s Suicide … Six Years into His Parents’ Child Custody Battle

The South Carolina family courts in Charleston may be on to something.

It didn’t come about easily though.

Husband and Wife were going through a divorce.

When they originally filed for divorce, Son was about six years old.

By the time Son had turned twelve, the custody battle over him was still raging on.

Apparently though, Son had had enough. He took his own life.

Out of that tragedy, a local family court judge drew inspiration to try to “fast track” many child custody cases, and spare many children from being the subject of long, bitter legal fights between their parents.

And last month the so-called Fast Track Custody Initiative made its debut.

Participation in the streamlined program is strictly voluntary at this point. And cases involving mental illness, substance abuse or domestic violence are excluded.

The “system within a system” aims to settle temporary residential placement of children within four months of filing of the case … based on a fifteen minute temporary hearing.

Where the judge believes it is appropriate, he or she may appoint a guardian ad litem to fact-find and advocate for the child or children – within a sixty day period.

Once the guardian ad litem has made their recommendation, the parties are ready for mediation and the custody case should be resolved within ninety days of the temporary hearing.

It’s unclear, however, what happens if parents are unable to reach an agreement at mediation in a fast-tracked case.

The fast track reportedly cuts about nine months off the average child custody case timeline.

By implication, the child custody portion of the divorce case is bifurcated (split off) from other aspects of the case, and the remainder (property division, alimony, etc.) would presumably follow a traditional timeline.

An initiative well worth a closer look.

Read more in this [Charleston SC] Post and Courier article: Putting child custody on fast track.

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Wealthy Husband Held To Have Violated Probation By, Among Other Things, Structuring His Divorce Settlement to Defraud Civil Litigants and Creditors and to Protect His Assets From Them

Husband, who owns a Nevada strip club, is convicted of federal tax charges.

Husband and Wife split up.

Husband serves one year on the federal charges and is released on probation in 2008.

A patron of Husband’s strip club sues Husband over severe personal injuries he sustains at the club.

In his divorce settlement with Wife, Husband keeps his club. And gives Wife pretty much everything else.

Three marital residences in different cities.

A $7 million investment account.

$5 million in alimony payable over five years.

Husband reportedly sells another strip club in Pennsylvania for about $1 million.

Husband allegedly puts the proceeds of sale into an offshore bank account … and distributes them to relatives.

The Court finds that Husband is misleading or evasive in his responses to the injured plaintiff’s inquiries into Husband’s finances.

And now the federal judge orders Husband back to federal prison for nine more months.

For violating the terms of his probation and allegedly lying to his probation officers. For living high off the hog thanks to undisclosed, protected assets and using his divorce to protect assets from the injured plaintiff and other creditors.

Husband appeals the new sentence.

Read more in this Las Vegas Review Journal article: Ex-strip club owner Rizzolo appeals return to prison.

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Wanted: New York Divorce Lawyer and New York Family Law Attorney. In South Florida?

New York Mother and Father have a child together.

Mother and Father, if married, divorce, or, if unmarried, just go their own separate ways.

Then Father relocates to South Florida.

Afterwards, Mother serves Father in a New York action for child support, or enforcement of child support. (Or alimony, or enforcement of alimony, or enforcement of property division agreement or judgment, or enforcement of parenting plan or judgment, etc., etc.)

Living in South Florida now, Father visits a local South Florida divorce lawyer and South Florida family law attorney for help with his defense in this case.

Only, Father is surprised to learn, his local South Florida divorce lawyer and South Florida family law attorney won’t – can’t – help him.

Why not?

Mother’s case is a New York family law case, not a Florida family court case.

And only an attorney licensed to practice law in New York and admitted to practice law in New York may appear and represent a party in a New York family law court case.

That means Father needs a New York divorce lawyer and New York family law attorney (or New York child support lawyer or New York alimony attorney or New York child custody attorney) and so on.

At first blush, it probably sounds like this could get pretty inconvenient and expensive for Father to identify and consult with a New York attorney. And it could.

But it doesn’t have to … Because a New York attorney doesn’t have to be based in New York.

She might have an office right down the street here in South Florida. As I do.

If Father is lucky, his local South Florida divorce lawyer and South Florida family law attorney may refer him to a New York divorce lawyer and New York family law attorney who is located here in South Florida.

But, if not, Father should be able to locate one on his own, now that he knows what he’s looking for.

Needless to say, the above would also apply if Mother was the ex-spouse or parent who had relocated to Florida, instead of Father.

And the same rationale applies for any other state an ex-spouse or parent may have relocated from. New York is just an excellent illustration of the principle, because there are so many transplanted New Yorkers here in South Florida.

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Mother Allegedly Gives Her Four Year Old Beer and Her Ten Month Old Beer and Cocaine

Connecticut Mother and Friend are out in the park with Mother’s four year old Son and ten month old Daughter.

There is a partially drained forty ounce bottle of beer. By Son.

And Mother allegedly orders Son to “chug” what is left of it.

Then reportedly calls Son an alcoholic.

Another parent out in the park signals police officers on foot patrol.

When the officers approach the Daughter, they note that her baby bottle smells of alcohol.

Son and Daughter are taken to the hospital.

Both children test positive for alcohol consumption. Daughter also tests positive for cocaine.

Mother confesses to authorities that Friend gives Son a bottle of beer every day. Mother admits cocaine use but denies knowledge of how Daughter tests positive for the drug.

Mother and Friend are both arrested on charges of risk of injury to a child and second degree assault.

Mother and Friend are confined.

Son and Daughter are presumably taken into child protective custody.

Read more in this New York Daily News article: Juliette Dunn arrested for giving 4-year-old and 10-month-old beer and cocaine and this Connecticut Post article: Cops: Mom gave her children beer and cocaine.

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Prenuptial Agreements Never Hurt, But Are Strongly Recommended For Any Fiance With Children from a Previous Relationship and/or Premarital Savings or Personal Property or Real Estate

A Scottish-resident Mother of a young Daughter, who has accumulated substantial savings to date and already owns her own home, wonders whether she should have prenuptial agreement prior to her approaching wedding.

Without hesitation, absolutely yes. This Mother is the perfect example of whom a prenuptial or antenuptial agreement is for.

First, Mother has a young child to provide for who is not her future spouse’s child.

What would happen if Mother were to die?

Who would inherit Mother’s savings and other personal property? Her home? Would Daughter have to be uprooted? Rely on other relatives’ financial resources?

Depending upon precisely how it is drafted, a prenup may apply not only to divorce, but also in the event of one spouse’s death.

(Incidentally, that aspect of a prenup may make it more palatable to bring up with your fiance and may render your intended more receptive to it as well.)

And what if the couple does eventually divorce? As a very substantial percentage of married couples do.

Granted, from a pure, rigid, abstract, theoretical view, inheritances and premarital property are considered separate property and will not be divided between spouses in case of divorce.

But then there’s the often muddy, shifting, complex real world that we actually live in.

Where separate property may appreciate during the marriage, be renovated or improved during the marriage, get mixed up or commingled with marital property during the marriage, be spent on the family unit during the marriage, be maintained in part with the other partner’s income and/or assets and/or efforts, etc., etc.

And, when any of these things – or many others – happens, all legal bets are off … without a prenup, and related supporting legal documents.

Of course, Scottish law does not apply to Florida divorces, property, or death, estates and inheritance.

And prenuptial agreements or antenuptial agreements are well-recognized and accepted in Florida and throughout the US.

Read more in this Money help desk: Can I protect assets before wedding?

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