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January 2011 Archives

One MLB divorce is over and finalized in secret

One high profile divorce that involved the property division of a Major League Baseball team has finally ended privately and therefore fairly quietly at least in comparison to another divorce involving the sale of another Major League Baseball team. Documents from a Superior Court in San Diego show that the Moores, former owners of the San Diego Padres, have reached a final settlement in the dissolution of their marriage.

State Supreme Court rules in favor of immigrant mother

The Missouri Supreme Court recently ruled state child custody and adoption laws were not followed when lower courts severed the parental rights of a Guatemalan mother. The Guatemalan mother was arrested during an immigration raid that occurred in 2007 and the mother lost her custody rights when an American couple adopted her son. The story of the Guatemalan mother's journey to get her child back does not end yet because the court's decision did not rule on an automatic return of the child.

Crossing State Lines and Child Custody Modifications

After tough negotiation, parties usually come to some sort of child custody arrangement. The plan is implemented and the parties involved adjust to the change - that is until one parent decides to move out of state.

Property Division and Social Security Benefits

Imagine you are 62 years old and have recently gone through a divorce and spent much of your career time raising your and your former's spouses children. At some point in the marriage it was agreed that you would raise the children and forego your career while your spouse continued theirs. During divorce, property division can be a stressful issue and often the ability to receive Social Security benefits by the spouse who left the workforce is overlooked.

Court Says Grandparent Child Custody Constitutional

The state Supreme Court of South Dakota recently ruled that a state law that allows grandparents and others who are not the natural parents of child to gain child custody is constitutional. The child custody law was challenged constitutionally because the law does not require a court to find the parents of the child unfit before awarding custody to another guardian. The ruling of the South Dakota Supreme Court does not affect state law in Texas but is interesting nonetheless.

Celebrity Chef Arrested for Back Child Support

The London based celebrity chef, Bjorn van der Horst, was recently arrested at Kennedy Airport in New York for being thousands of dollars behind on child support payments to his 16-year-old son who lives in Brooklyn. The 39-year-old celebrity chef owes $93,000 in child support and according to the lawyer for his ex-wife and son, "He just never paid anything that he was supposed to pay." The arrest occurred on Wednesday night as Bjorn van der Horst was about to board a plane headed to London.

International Child Custody Depends on Best Interest of the Child

A mother, who sought asylum in the United States, recently won an international child custody suit against her 8-year-old daughter's father. The mother and daughter came to the United States from Lebanon in violation of a Lebanese child custody agreement, and a Massachusetts Appeals Court ruling will allow the mother to keep custody of her daughter and will allow the pair to remain in the United States. The court found that a Lebanese court order was not in the best interest of the child.

Beyond Prison Bernie Madoff Plays Role in a Divorce's Division of Assets

Most of us thought that the story of Bernie Madoff would end as he began to serve his 150 year sentence for fraud. What most of us probably would not have predicted is Bernie Madoff's ability to affect people's lives beyond his prison cell. A New York appeals court has ruled that a prominent real estate lawyer can file a lawsuit to revise the division of property from his divorce agreement because of a Bernie Madoff account.

Ability to Pay Child Support Affected by Great Recession

For the first time in 30 years, child support payments across the United States decreased and decrease for the first time in 2009. It is also predicted that child support payments in 2010 will also follow the negative trend. High unemployment and the capability of noncustodial parents to acquire court ordered reductions in payments have more than offset the ability of individual states' to garnish the income of parents who are behind on their child support payments.