Sunday, July 30, 2006

Colleges try to hunt down deadbeat dads

State family courts decide parental obligations up to age 18, and there is no obligation to pay for college in most states. Nevertheless, many colleges conduct their own bogus family court analyses in order to facilitate price discrimination! A NY Times article says:
Financial aid directors say they have been seeing more blended families, and unraveling these complex relationships has become increasingly difficult. In deciding which parents should contribute and how much, directors try to get an overall picture of family relationships. Does the student have a room in both homes? Does a remarried parent have the expense of stepchildren? Has the custodial stepparent had a long connection with the student, or has he or she just married into the family?

Sarah Lawrence College collects information from all four parents and takes a particularly close look at the stepparent the student lives with, because he or she may have a strong financial effect on the household. "We look at them to be more supportive of household expenses where the student resides, thus freeing up the biological parents’ resources for paying for college," says Heather C. McDonnell, the college’s director of financial aid.
I can understand colleges trying to charge a market rate for their services, but they've got no business prying into private lives in order to extort extra fees.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

NY state seizing ghetto kids

Here is a long NY Times article about inexperienced social workers who arbitrarily take kids away from their parents.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Mass. move-aways

This Boston Globe story tells how the Mass. supreme court has upheld a joint custody award, and said that one parent cannot just move away.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Another 150 pages for the appeal

I just got a stack of papers from the local court clerk. It seems that my ex-wife successfully persuaded the appellate clerk to add about 150 pages to the record. It includes a lot of her gripes that don't seem to have much to do with the appeal. But I guess she can include any of the case documents that she wants.

The clerk wants acknowledgement that I received the papers. Am I supposed to write a friendly letter, or what?

It seems to me that the clerk could automate a lot of this stuff. It already maintains a web site listing the case docket. Why doesn't it send me an email asking me to check a box on a web site? Then no one would have to keep track of it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

NY house blown up

This NY story describes a divorcing couple whose fighting got to the point of bombing their house.
In February, New York State’s chief judge, Judith S. Kaye, called on the Legislature to follow the recommendation of a matrimonial commission she had appointed that said that New York should join all the other states in adopting no-fault divorce.

The commission said that New York had put up some of the strictest barriers in the nation to divorce, by requiring one party to prove cruel and inhuman treatment, adultery, or abandonment for a year.

"Divorce takes much too long and costs much too much," Judge Kaye said in her annual address on the state of the judiciary last February. Often, lawyers admitted, some lawyers ratchet up the rhetoric in an effort to resolve cases.
Other states have so-called no-fault divorce, but they use petty and vindictive allegations to decide child custody.

This NY Post story claims that blowing up the house made it more valuable.

Appealing attorney fees

I just filed a notice of appeal in my case with the local family court. I was supposed to pay my ex-wife $5k on July 1 for legal fees, and more money later. I am appealing that order.

It would have paid if the money were actually going to my ex-wife. But the money is for some sleazy law firm that is not even on the case anymore. I figure that if Bosso Williams wants the money, then it should have to at least give its justification to the court. So I am not going to pay until the court says that I have to.

I've looked at the statutes and the case law, and I don't see any legal justification for paying the money. The money is just another example of how the family court system is corrupt.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Illinois court rules

Illinois news:
EDWARDSVILLE - The judges of Madison and St. Clair counties are working together to implement new statewide changes in child-custody cases, including a requirement that parents go through a mediator if their cases aren't resolved within 90 days.

The new rules are the result of a statewide committee made up of judges and lawyers that was asked by the state Supreme Court to look at how to improve the way custody disputes are handled and reduce their impact on children.
I suppose that I should give them credit for trying to fix the problems. But I am not sure that this is any improvement. I got sent to a court mediator here in California, and she didn't see to know what she was doing. It did not help at all.

The new rules are supposed to make cases go faster, but it is still possible for a family court to make a custody decision, and still deny appeals on that decision for years while all the financial issues are decided.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Jailed for contempt

A century ago, a Denver newspaper editor was convicted of criminal contempt for criticizing the courts. The Supreme Court upheld the conviction, saying that truth was not a defense.

I am glad that we have more free speech today.