Daniel Baldwin granted temporary custody amidst divorce

In a California divorce, one issue of overriding concern is the safety of minor children. When warranted, a court will act swiftly to ensure the children are in a nurturing environment free from any threats of harm or arguments between the parents.

When there are allegations of drug use and violence, a court will do what it can to distance any minor children from the source. It is often said that divorce is most difficult on the children and because of that, a court will not hesitate to act if it believes minors are in danger.

On July 13, Daniel Baldwin, the third brother in the trio of famous actors, filed for divorce from his wife of four years. The couple has two children, ages three and one. While Daniel has had problems with drug abuse in the past, he says he is now clean. However, in Court filings Daniel asserted that his wife is struggling with addiction. He also states his wife has threatened to kill him on several occasions, once in front of the children.

Based on recent events in the marital home, Daniel applied for a temporary restraining order against his wife on July 12. The court granted the restraining order and also awarded temporary custody of the children to the actor. Daniel claims his wife has punched him in the head, pulled a knife on him, and hit him with a telephone.

Once, after watching a documentary concerning wives that kill their husbands, his wife said to Baldwin allegedly in front of their children, "she now knows how to do it" and "he'd been warned." After hearing Smith's statement the children asked Baldwin if their mother was going to "kill us."

Divorce is difficult enough when a couple is initially separating. When children are involved, it is undoubtedly heart wrenching. However, when there are allegations of violence and abuse, courts will generally act swiftly to protect any perceived danger to the children.

The law for custody and visitation in California is complex and sometimes confusing. An attorney experienced in all aspects of divorce may be of help.

Source: Zap2it, "Daniel Baldwin files for divorce from Joanne Smith," Tierney Bricker, July 13, 2011

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