September 26, 2005
Women "Keep More After Divorce"?
"Women are more likely than men to keep joint possessions when getting divorced, according to research. Men on average wanted their ex to keep 19 items from a list of 24 including the home, photographs and pets, while women wanted the men to get just eight. While women did not particularly want items including the television, CDs, DVDs, and toaster, they were keen their ex-husband did not get them. YouGov polled 3,515 people in May and June for Yorkshire Building Society. The poll found men were keen for their ex to keep items including the bed, television, wedding album, lawnmower and garden accessories, house plants, coffee machine, Monopoly board and the family pet." By BBC News, UK Edition Link to Article (Last visited 9-25-05 NVS)
September 25, 2005
Case Law Development: Accomodating Religious Practices in Parenting Plans
The Oregon Court of Appeals considered, as a matter of first impression, whether parenting time plans may interfere with a custodial parent’s religious practices with her child. Though it declined to establish a bright-line rule, the court reversed the trial court's award of a traditional weekend parenting time arrangement that interfered with the religious practices of mother and her then 10-year-old daughter.
In re Christison, 2005 Ore. App. LEXIS 1224 (September 21, 2005)
Opinion on the web at http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A123354.htm (last visited September 24, 2005 bgf)
The case is a good example of how difficult it can be for courts to fairly balance non-traditional religious practices that may strain relationships between the other parent and the child.
Child was born out of wedlock and had lived with Mother up until the time of this action by Father requesting custody, child support and that daughter’s last name be changed to his own. Mother then counterclaimed for paternity, custody and child support.
The trial court granted Mother primary custody, gave Father a traditional weekend visitation schedule and changed the daughter's last name to Father's. The custody evaluator had indicated that Mother’s religious practices – which demanded a strict Sabbath observance from Friday evening until Saturday evening – were important to daughter. Nonetheless, trial court found that mother's "religious practices which are unique and very narrow by traditional standards," prevented her from facilitating "a close and continuing relationship between [father] and [child]" and granted a traditional weekend parenting time schedule.
The Court of Appeals found the comparison of Mother’s religious beliefs with Father’s to be inappropriate and, unless there was proof that Mother’s religious practices harmed the child, the best interests of the child would be to allow her to continue to be formed in the religion she had been practicing with Mother since birth. The Court of Appeals also reversed the trial court’s name change decision, citing the custody evaluator’s suggestion that the name not be changed unless daughter asked that it be changed. The trial court had not asked the daughter for her input, as it refused to meet with the daughter unless that meeting would be off the record. The Court of Appeals noted that this refusal was within the trial court’s discretion, but this also meant there was no clear evidence supporting the requested name change.
Utah debates divorce waiting period
Draft legislation introduced by Utah State Senator Greg Bell would do away with Utah’s state policy that grants a waiver of the divorce waiting period for couples with young children who are required to attend a class for divorcing parents. . . . Lori Nelson from the Family Law Section of the Utah State Bar urged lawmakers to get rid of the waiting period entirely. Nelson said most couples have spent at least three months working out their finances and separation of property anyway. Sometimes, partners use the waiting period to harass their soon-to-be-former spouse. And the law is unfair. Because couples with children can waive the cooling-off time, they can be divorced in as little as a few weeks, while couples without children have to wait three months or spend more money and time trying to convince a judge to waive the waiting period. By: Rebecca Walsh, The Salt Lake Tribune, sltrib.com.Click here for complete story. (Last visited September 25, 2005, REO).
Lawyer sues Texas officials over payments to attorneys representing children
A lawsuit filed Thursday claims that officials in Denton County,Texas have violated the Texas Constitution by paying for attorneys appointed in divorce cases. The lawsuit seeks to bar the county from making any more payments to attorneys representing children in cases not involving Child Protective Services or the state. It is alleged that the lawsuit was brought after it was learned that District Court Judge Vicki Isaacks was billing the county for attorneys she appointed to represent children in divorce cases. . . . Texas family law specifies that counties are responsible for paying for attorney appointments in CPS and criminal cases, including nonpayment of child support. However, Professor Jack Sampson, who co-wrote Sampson & Tindall's Texas Family Code, said the county isn't obliged to pay attorney fees in private cases. By: Dave Moore / Denton Record-Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, dallasnews.com.Click here for complete story. (Last visited September 25, 2005, REO).
Pakistani girl loses nose, lips for seeking divorce
MULTAN, Pakistan - A Pakistani man cut off the nose and lips of his 19-year-old sister-in-law after she went to court for a divorce in a tribal area of the central province of Punjab, police said on Thursday. . . . Pakistan‘s attitudes to violence against women have come under an international spotlight since the Washington Post quoted President Pervez Musharraf saying this month that many of his compatriots believed that crying rape was a fast way to make money and get a visa for Canada. By: Asim Tanveer, New Brisbane News, leadingthecharge.com.Click here for complete story. (Last visited September 25, 2005, REO).
Japan concerned about declining birthrate
The Japanese are increasingly concerned about their nation's declining birthrate and want the government to take steps to reverse the trend, according to a government survey released yesterday. . . . As of 2004, Japanese women gave birth to an average of 1.29 children in their lifetimes - the lowest rate since the government began releasing the data in 1947, and one of the lowest in the world. . . . The trend threatens to leave Japan with a labour shortage, erode its tax base and strain the pension system as fewer taxpayers support an expanding elderly population. By: Christopher Clare, Scotlandonsunday.com.Click here for complete story. (Last visited September 25, 2005, REO).
Case Law Development: Relocation and Joint Physical Custody Arrangements
When parents have agreed to joint physical custody, what standard should be applied if one of the parents wishes to relocate with the child? Reversing the trial court's approval of mother's relocation with child, the Supreme Court of Nevada holds that the state’s relocation statute does not apply to parties who share joint physical custody of their minor children. Rather, if one parent in a joint physical custody arrangement wants to move out of state with the children, the parent must first file for a change of custody. The district court must then determine whether the best interests of the children are better served by living outside of Nevada with the relocating parent as the primary physical custodian or living in Nevada with the nonmoving parent having primary physical custody. The court declined a request by amicus the Nevada Bar Family Law Section to more clearly define joint physical custody.
Potter v. Potter, 2005 Nev. LEXIS 72; 121 Nev. Adv. Rep. 60 (September 22, 2005)
Opinion on the web at http://www.leg.state.nv.us/scd/121NevAdvOpNo60.pdf (last visited September 24, 2005 bgf)