Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Father Spared from Paying Outrageous Massachusetts Child Support

A reader writes:
A recent Massachusetts family court ruling said they do not have personal or subject matter jurisdiction over a Father that lives in Ohio for child support. My former spouse tried to extort a massive increase in child support simply because the Father moved from WV to Ohio while their child and Mother live in Massachusetts. The Father appeared in Massachusetts family court by "Special Appearance" without an attorney and challenged the courts jurisdiction in the matter. A valid order was in effect from WV and Father claimed Massachusetts did not have jurisdiction. Because the Father was not served in Massachusetts and has never lived in Massachusetts, the judge ruled that Massachusetts does not have personal or subject matter jurisdiction over the Father and that Mother must go to Ohio to modify child support. Massachusetts family court ruled they have jurisdiction over child and Mother and will only hear modification of visitation. Ohio child support is roughly 1/2 the cost of Massachusetts which is thought to be the highest in the country.

Monday, September 24, 2007

New subpoena for records

I just got a subpoena for banking records from 1996 to 2003. I guess my ex-wife is still fishing for money.

The subpoena was issued thru a legal service company across the bay, but was unsigned. I've always told her that she can inspect my records whenever she wishes. I don't know why she'd bother to issue an official subpoena and then not even sign it. I wonder whether an unsigned subpoena is even binding.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Des Moines police investigate attack by onion

Iowa news:
A Des Moines man went to jail Wednesday afternoon for allegedly throwing an onion at his wife.

The police report begins: "(The victim) states her husband had been drinking and they got into an argument."

James Izzolena, 54, of 3515 Sheridan Ave., was charged with domestic assault causing injury. Police said he became upset with his wife, Nicole Izzolena, 27, and tossed an onion at her, striking her in the back of the head.

She told police it made her head hurt. James Izzolena admitted throwing the onion, police said, but he claimed he did not intend to hit her with it. He was being held without bond pending a court appearance today.
The next time that you hear that some man is in jail for domestic violence, remember that it might be something really trivial.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The best interest of the dog

A reader sent this story, and said "Now judges determine the best interest of the dog".
IN RECENT YEARS, Dr. Amy Marder, a veterinarian practicing in Lexington, has found herself called upon to decide which human "parent" a pet prefers.

Pet custody disputes have become an increasingly common fixture in divorce cases and Marder, an animal behavior specialist, has consulted in several. To do a proper evaluation, she likes to spend at least an hour and a half with the couple and the pet. She asks the owners a barrage of questions: which of the two spends more time with the animal, who plays with it more, who feeds it. She asks about the pet's upbringing, its temperament, how much it exercises.

Marder frowns on so-called "calling contests," a method used by lawyers in some custody cases, in which the owners stand at opposite ends of a room and call the pet to see which way it will go. She prefers to observe the animal's body language as it interacts with its owners. She looks at whether it sits closer to one or the other, and how it reacts when each pets it.

At the end of the session, Marder makes her recommendation, based not only on who she thinks would take better care of the pet, but whom she has decided the pet has a stronger bond with -- the same sort of considerations that would go into deciding a child-custody case. Sometimes she recommends joint custody, but only if she thinks the animal can handle it.

"Some animals think it's terrific to go live in two homes," she says. "Others have separation anxiety and splitting time would only make it worse."
At first, I thought that this was some sort of parody or joke. But this appears in the Boston Globe, a reputable newspaper.

I don't even agree with those idiotic custody evaluations when they are applied to (human) children. I just heard from a woman who lost a custody evaluation because of her appearance. Or maybe it was some other prejudice, as you can never be sure. All she knows is that the report cited her clothing and other trivial factors negatively.

Monday, September 03, 2007

1957 divorce movie on TCM channel

I just watched Man on Fire, a 1957 Bing Crosby movie about a nasty child custody dispute. (It is unrelated to the 2004 Denzel Washington thriller.)

The dispute was actually rather tame by today's standards. There were no accusations of domestic violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, or child neglect.

Crosby's wife ran off with a higher status man, and relinquished custody of their 8-year-old boy because she wanted to start a new family. But she has a miscarriage with the new husband and cannot have more kids, and sues for full custody. The boy, now 10, is strongly attached to the father and doesn't want to live with the mother.

Nevertheless, the female judge awards custody to the mother, and lets her move away to another city! The judge was portrayed as conscientious, but also arbitrary, capricious, biased, and cruel.

On one week's notice, the judge had briefs from both sides, and an investigator's report. It appeared that the parents were not allowed to see the report. The judge interviewed the boy with no one else present. The mother lies to the judge about why she waited two years to file for custody.

In the end, both parents are overcomed with noble thoughts, and offer each other full custody. Everyone agrees that the lesson from King Solomon was that a parent can prove greater love for the child by being more willing to give up the child. The father has the greater love, lets the boy go with the mother, and the father gets a new girlfriend. I guess that this is what the 1950s movie audience expected.