UK Family Court Orders US Expats to Evenly Divide Marital Fortune Despite Postnuptial Agreement No Challenge Penalty Clause

Husband and Wife are both American born. Husband and Wife began cohabiting in 1992 and married in 1995.

But they moved abroad in 1998 and have lived overseas since, and in the UK since 2008. The couple relinquished their US citizenship years ago to save taxes.

Wife was a mother and homemaker and Husband the breadwinner during the marriage. Wife moved from state to state and from the US to Japan to the UK for Husband’s work.

Husband and Wife executed a postnuptial property settlement agreement in 2000. (A postnup is, in substance, a prenuptial agreement that is made during the marriage rather than before.)

In the postnup, Wife’s share of the couple’s assets was capped at less than half of the marital estate. But if Wife sought more, her entitlement shrank to just 5 million pounds … out of 150 million pounds.

Husband made no secret of the fact that he didn’t think Wife deserved “a penny”. That clearly didn’t help his cause.

The UK has not embraced premarital or postmarital property settlement agreements as readily as the US.

The British family court apparently viewed the agreement as unconscionable based upon the length of the couple’s marriage, the excessive penalty for challenge and its inherent disproportionality.

Interestingly, the British family court reportedly sent signals to the couple (really the Husband) encouraging reaching a fair agreement themselves and ending their very expensive and contentious court battle.

It is also worth noting that the couple’s postnup was made in Texas … at a time when they were living abroad.


  1. this UK Daily Mail news article: Tycoon ‘not willing to pay a penny’ in bitter divorce battle is ordered by judge to give his wife half of his £150million fortune and
  2. this Bloomberg Business news article: Ex-Lone Star Executive to Split Assets After Divorce Ruling .

Family Court Case Dramatically Impacted By Expert Who … Isn’t

Disturbing case out of Texas.

Father and Mother have Daughter. Father seeks shared custody of Daughter.

Family Court appoints Forensic Drug Testers (not the actual name) to perform a random drug test on Father.

Based on the test results, Father is characterized as and treated as though an alcohol and drug user.

The Family Court orders random weekly drug and alcohol testing on Father, and also orders Father to install a breathalyzer in Father’s car for a year.

The substance abuse issues and conditions deprive Father of shared custody of his Daughter.

Yet further drug testing by a different forensic testing service are uniformly negative.

Upon further investigation, it turns out that the court-appointed drug testing outfit is operated by someone who is not a toxicologist, did not graduate from college and is not actually a forensics expert.

Father sues the Forensic Drug Testers and the lab they work with.

Upon pretrial motion, the trial court dismisses the case against the testing companies on the grounds that they are protected from lawsuits by judicial immunity due to the court’s appointment … and that they merely administered the tests rather than interpreted the results.

The court-appointed alleged expert reportedly gave expert testimony in hundreds of cases, if not more.

It is difficult to imagine how his alleged lack of credentials never came to light.


  1. this Courthouse News Service article: Drug Expert Vaults Challenge to His Creds and
  2. this Cato Institute National Police Misconduct Reporting Project website article: Court’s Expert Now Called an ‘Imposter’ .

Federal Judge To Decide Whether State Judge Must Produce Records of Communications with Other State Judges Who Hear Child Abuse and Neglect Cases

Federal law provides special protections to Native American children who are involved in any type of family law cases, to preserve the American Indian heritage.

In South Dakota, certain Sioux Indian tribal nations are contending that, in cases where the State removes Native American children from American Indian homes on grounds of alleged abuse or neglect, State judges are denying American Indian parents the opportunity to present a meaningful defense, such as by cross-examining South Dakota’s child welfare agency workers, or offering proof of their own fitness to care for their children or evidence that they did provide appropriate care to their children.

Accordingly, those American Indian tribes are suing the state of South Dakota over such alleged violations of the US Indian Child Welfare Act.

The tribes’ and families’ ACLU attorney contends that all of the local judges follow the same procedures in child custody cases where abuse or neglect is alleged. The plaintiffs are seeking evidence as to the source of those procedures.

Accordingly, the tribes and certain family members are seeking records of a chief administrative judge’s communications with other judges regarding procedures in child custody cases alleging abuse or neglect.

But that chief administrative judge has refused to release any of the records requested, maintaining that they are confidential based on judicial privilege. The chief judge has also objected to inquiries as to whether he has even had any such conversations.

The chief administrative judge has an attorney too, and his attorney argues that, in order to carry out their responsibilities, judges must be free to communicate confidentially with each other and their staffs about the difficult issues that are involved in child abuse and neglect cases.

A federal judge is expected to rule by the end of the month on whether the chief administrative judge must release the records.

Read more in this [Sioux Falls, SD] Argus Leader news article: Judge delays ruling in Indian child welfare lawsuit


NJ Father Pursues Return of Son After Mother Allegedly Absconds With Him to Paraguay in Violation of NJ Court Order

NJ-Immigrant Husband and NJ-Immigrant Wife have Son in US. Husband and Wife separate the year after Son is born in 2005.

Husband and Wife are divorced in the family court of Paraguay in 2008. And the Paraguay family court reportedly awards Wife custody of Son.

Wife thereafter returns to the US in 2010, reportedly sometimes leaving Son with Husband. Wife moves around in the US.

Husband then files for custody of Son in the US, but the US courts will not hear his case because Paraguay already exercised jurisdiction over Son incident to Husband’s and Wife’s Paraguay divorce.

Wife reportedly abducts Son to her native Paraguay in 2013 … two days after a NJ family court orders Wife to surrender Son’s and Wife’s passports and Wife to appear in court 2 weeks later.

Husband appears to be looking to governmental authorities in the US to secure Son’s return.

It appears that the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction leaves Paraguay’s previously exercised jurisdiction over Son in effect.

This case is unusually complex factually, making it that much more challenging for Husband.

Husband and Wife are reportedly negotiating over an amount of child support that may induce Wife to return with Son to the US.

Read more in this news article: N.J. dad fights to return son from Paraguay: ‘Imagine your son getting kidnapped’


Divorce Grounds of Epic Proportion

With no fault divorce, grounds, in the traditional sense, are all but passe.

But not every religious or legal framework for divorce everywhere works this way.

For example, Sharia law of divorce in Nigeria.

Wife sought a divorce just one week into her marriage.

At the time of consummation, Wife discovered that her physique could not accommodate Husband’s generous endowment without great pain.

And so her divorce petition set that forth as the grounds for her divorce request.

Apparently unimpressed, the Nigerian court, over the laughter of spectators in the courtroom, ordered the parties to attempt a reconciliation …




Mother Held in Contempt of Court for Delaying Son’s Circumcision For … Three Years

Father and Mother have Son together. Then separate when Son is a year old.

Father and Mother agree in a parenting plan filed with the court that Son will be circumcised.

Then Mother changes her mind. Mother reportedly drags their court case out.

The Family Court orders that Mother comply with their parenting agreement and sign the paperwork necessary for the circumcision to be performed.

Now Son is 4 years old and still has not undergone the circumcision as agreed by his parents and ordered by the Family Court.

Mother instead goes into hiding with Son to avoid the circumcision… after publicizing this sensitive, private matter in all the media.

And attracting political / social activists who are not unwilling to exploit Son and the situation to advance their cause.

And the Family Court finds Mother to be in contempt of court, and threatens to jail her.

Read more in this Yahoo News article via Associated Press: Jail looms for mom who fled with son to fight circumcision .


Another Reason to Avoid Illness: It Ups the Odds of Divorce

Couple are married.

Husband becomes seriously ill.

Wife continues to love, honor and cherish, in sickness as in health.

Wife commits to caregiving.

Another couple are married.

Wife becomes seriously ill.

Couple is headed for divorce.

These two very different, gender-driven scenarios emerge from a recent study out of Iowa State University.

The study reports that the divorce rate rises 6% when a wife acquires a serious illness compared to when she is healthy.

It is worth noting though that it is not necessarily the husband who files for divorce in this situation.

Illness may trigger wives’ dissatisfaction with their care or alter their perspective on their marriages.

Interestingly, couples’ divorce rates are not impacted when a husband develops a major illness.

Read more in this news article: Marriage more likely to end in divorce when wives get sick, study finds


Mother of American Convicted of Abducting American Child from California to Korea

American Husband and Korean Wife meet as students in California, marry and have Daughter together in 2008.

Husband is a veteran of the Iraq War who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries, and resulting depression and “erratic behavior”.

Wife is twice-divorced, the second time from an American man who was convicted of domestic violence against her. Wife, who is out of legal status in the US, has been seeking a US visa as a victim of domestic violence.

In 2009, Wife allegedly abducted Daughter to Korea, and Husband reported the abduction to federal authorities. Because of that, Wife was arrested last fall when she made a trip to Hawaii.

Since her arrest, Wife has been in a California jail awaiting trial on the federal felony child abduction charge and possibly on deportation, and Daughter has been in Husband’s sole custody without any visitation for Wife.

Husband now works steadily as a substitute teacher in a high school.

Wife alleges that she took off with Daughter because Husband was aggressive, and she was worried about Daughter’s and her own safety.

Husband admitted in court to once grabbing Wife by the throat and throwing her against a wall after she injured him and Daughter. Although police were called over that incident, no arrest was made.

Wife has now been convicted of child abduction and awaits sentencing.



Convicted Murderer Awarded Legal Aid to Seek Custody of Victim’s Children

UK Wife has four Children, ages 3 to 9.

Husband is convicted of murdering Wife … brutally.

Husband is serving a life sentence for that murder.

The Children are presently in the care of Wife’s family.

Now Husband seeks custody of Wife’s Children.

Strangely, Husband is not actually listed on any of the Children’s birth certificates.

Husband refuses to submit to a DNA test to prove his paternity.

Despite this, Husband is awarded legal aid for his custody case.

Litigation ensues over the prospect of utilizing Husband’s DNA from the murder crime scene to prove – or disprove – Husband’s paternity of Children.

A trial court rules that the crime scene DNA can be used for this purpose. But an appellate court has reversed that ruling.

In most US states, Husband would likely be legally presumed to be Children’s father if they were born during Husband’s marriage to their mother, Wife.

Read more in this UK Daily Mail news article: Killer who murdered his wife is granted legal aid worth thousands of pounds for custody battle over her four children


PA Legislation Takes Aim at Rapists’ Current Parental Rights

Man rapes Woman.

Woman becomes pregnant. Woman gives birth to Child.

Man is convicted of rape. Man serves sentence.

Man is released from prison.

Man petitions family court for visitation with Child.

Pennsylvania family court awards Man visitation.

Today, that could very well happen in the state of Pennsylvania. Among others.

But possibly not for much longer.

Two state legislators have introduced bills to allow the family court to terminate the parental rights of a convicted rapist to a child born of the rape. While leaving the rapist on the hook for child support.

The bills could pass both houses of the legislature and reach the governor next month.

Read more in this 90.5 WESA radio station news article: New Bill Would End Child Custody Rights for Rapists