In many states, parties are granted immunity while they are in a state in which they do not habitually reside so that they cannot lawfully be served with a summons and complaint JUST because they happen to be there and just happen to be available to an opposing party for service of process.
The question is: Does this argument work? Can someone avoid service of process? What about if the service of process occurs during or before or after a court hearing in the State where they reside?
If ever there were a time to discard the concept of "one size fits all," it's when parents or courts are fashioning parenting time schedules for minor children. Clearly, this is one instance where the same plan doesn't work for all children or for all families. That is why a model plan can help parents work out the details.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that an infant can't spend one week with mom and one week with dad without harm. Children who are 18 months to 3 years old have a different set of developmental needs.
A parent expressed concerns yesterday about issuance of a passport to a child. The parent's fear was that the child might be taken out of the country and not returned. Certainly, the Hague Convention, can be of assistance in recovering children. However, this is an expensive, time-consuming, and not always successful process, particularly if a child is taken to a country that is not a Hague Convention signatory.
As a practical matter, Homeland Security is now requiring that any child have his/her own passport -- even for travel to Canada or Mexico. In a high conflict case involving one or more foreign-born parents, where there is a potential flight risk, there are certain protective measures that will help to prevent a parental abduction.
According to a report in the Boston Globe on January 14, 2008, domestic violence shelters throughout Massachusetts are becoming overwhelmed with people seeking refuge from domestic violence. Domestic violence advocates and directors of shelters report that they just cannot handle the huge numbers of applicants. They say that they are forced, increasingly, to turn victims away. The net result is that some of those seeking help are forced to return to abusive partners or to live on the streets. In Massachusetts, it’s reported that the number of persons refused shelter has quadrupled between 2003, when 1,374 were turned away to 5,520 in 2005. These numbers come from Jane Doe, Inc., which is a Massachusetts statewide coalition against sexual assault and domestic violence that also tracks trends.
To read the article "Shelters can’t help all fleeing abuse", click here. A one-time registration may be required.
Learning how to protect yourself against an abuser is essential, particularly since research shows that the most dangerous time for a woman who is in an abusive relationship is when she is trying to leave her abuser.
In other areas of this Blog, I write about the significance of having or of not having joint legal custody. Today, I write to make clear what usually makes a difference in whether parents initially--before any major child custody contest, can be awarded joint legal custody. At the conclusion, I explain some ramifications.
In cases where one parent has not been involved and has to be "dragged kicking and screaming" into a family law case, it's not unusual for the court to award sole legal custody to the other parent. In my practice, I usually see this in either a paternity case or in a family support case.
The man apparently has a Mensa membership, but whoa . . . who could read his blog and think him to be a "smart person?" In the meantime, the judge has ordered him to remove "any and all Internet postings" about his wife. The ex parte order is challenged as unconstitutional--as an infringement upon his First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
Perhaps you remember the strange case of Dr. Bartha. He's the guy who blew up an historic building in New York City after a divorce court ordered him to sell the building and split the net sale proceeds with his former wife. He had claimed the building as his separate property. His point, I suppose, was "If I can't have it, then neither can you." I wrote about it here in "Bizarre end to separate property dispute."
Another bizarre case is pending in Vermont where William Krasnansky publishes a Blog found at http://lookatmypugs.livejournal.com/. Mr. Krasnansky's wife "Runnoft" (according to him), leaving him, the two pugs, and the cat. Unfortunately, she also left behind -- Uh Oh -- about seven years' worth of journals, portions of which he has been selectively publishing online. [NOTE: Ignore the barking dogs.]
Despite an ex parte court order issued Dec. 7, 2007 that orders him to take down "any and all Internet postings" about his wife or their marriage, Mr. Krasnansky has refused to take down his blog. He states that leaving the Blog up is “a deliberate act of civil disobedience.”
A question was recently raised in a discussion group in which I participate whether an incarcerated parent can--upon release--avoid an involuntary termination of his parental rights by claiming that because he was in prison, he had no ability to provide regular and substantial support for the child for the two-year period immediately preceding filing of the petition for a step-parent adoption.
Fortunately, children's lives have the potential for greater stability with a decision made in the Michigan Court of Appeals in 1998. Subsequent unpublished decisions help parents and lawyers understand how the particular facts of their case will support an involuntary termination in a situation like this.
It's true, I know, that many people are as attached to their pets as they are to their children. I know some folks who have no children and their pets ARE their "children." Thus, as Liz Sadowski has often pointed out on the State Bar of Michigan's Listserv, deciding who gets custody of "Fluffy" or "Fido" after divorce, annulment or entry of a judgment for separate maintenance can often be as sticky a wicket as who gets the Tupperware. Gee, I hate those arguments over trivial, replaceable personal property like Tupperware. Not that I am suggesting for a minute that Fluffy or Fido are "replaceable." But did the Michigan State Legislature have to get involved?
A question was posed today whether a man and woman commit perjury by signing an affidavit in which each knowingly and falsely states that the man is the child's "natural father," knowing that he is not the biological father. The answer to the question is not likely to be found in a hair-splitting analysis of what a "natural father" is. Can you say "perjury?" One analysis might take into consideration the fact that in 2004 a woman who filed a false affidavit was successfully prosecuted for perjury for making a false statement in a domestic relations case. The case is State v Lively, 470 Mich 248 (2004). The Court's analysis of the perjury statute bears a reading.
Don't let the "trees" block your view of the "forest." What's the big picture? I would not end my analysis with the perjury issue, even if I concluded that there's little likelihood that either party will be prosecuted for this felony and/or that the statute of limitations might run prior to the time that anyone ends this cohabitation relationship or before the real biological father with an ax to grind raises the perjury issue. That is because there are far larger issues at stake here. What does the client stand to gain by signing the Acknowledgment? What are the specific protections? What are the specific (and real) detriments? Because the legal interests of the biological mother and the man willing to acknowledge as a father are so very diverse, the real problem is to figure out whether the client is well-served by signing a false Acknowledgment of Parentage and whether he or she has any further benefit or detriment arising from this action.[Here's the State's Form DCH-0682w].
I am often asked whether a child custody matter can be "transferred" to another State after a parent moves from the State where the custody determination was entered. The answer to whether a court in another State can exercise jurisdiction is this: "It depends." All child custody matters are fact-driven.