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Child support battle won 50 years after the divorce

Ask any divorce attorney and they can tell you that some issues involving a divorce can drag on for years when one or both parties refuse to be cooperative.

However, a 74-year-old California woman may have set the record for post-divorce tenacity when she finally won a $153,000 award for past-due child support (plus interest) 50 years after her divorce was over.

Domestic violence and your right to firearms in California

If you've been accused of domestic violence, you may be in danger of losing your right to possess a firearm -- for the rest of your life.

Effective Jan. 1, 2019, California now imposes a lifetime ban on firearm possession on anyone who is convicted of willfully inflicting bodily harm on a spouse, former spouse, romantic partner or the parent of one's child. In addition, a misdemeanor conviction for a violent crime like stalking, assault or battery can net you a 10-year ban -- whether you have any prior relationship with the victim.

Same-sex discrimination at the border despite citizenship

How can the daughter of two American citizens be denied citizenship in the United States?

Easily. All it takes is for the parents to be a married same-sex couple, one born in America and one born in Britain to an American mother. Because their child was conceived using the British-born father's sperm through a surrogate abroad, their child is technically an illegal alien. And the current federal administration is determined to see that their daughter remains that way.

Parental alienation: Know the signs of this form of abuse

Parental alienation is a form of child abuse -- although many people don't think of it as such. Certainly, the parents who participate in the type of mental and emotional manipulation that drives a wedge between their children and their children's other parents likely don't see themselves as abusive -- but that's exactly what they are.

Anyone who lets their anger at a failed marriage and failed spouse control them -- and then weaponizes the affections of their children against that failed spouse is an abusive parent. The children often grow up with long-term effects that include depression, substance abuse, problems bonding, intense feelings of distrust and suicidal ideations. Once they realize that they've been "played" by one parent against the other, those children may feel deeply guilty about rejecting the other parent.

Seek legal help if you're the victim of domestic violence

If you're a woman in America today, the person most likely to murder you is your spouse, ex-spouse or another intimate partner.

That's the data given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after a study that looked into the murders of adult females in 18 states. There was a total of 10,018 women murdered in those states between 2003 to 2014 -- and 55% of those women were killed by intimate partners or former intimate partners. In fact, if you're a woman, your odds of being murdered by someone you don't know is a mere 16%. By comparison, men are only about 7% at risk of being killed by an intimate partner.

Separated or divorced parents and special occasions

Whether your child is just getting ready to graduate from kindergarten, go to prom, graduate college or have a wedding, every separated or divorced parent has the same question: "How do I handle my ex on this special occasion?"


How can 'imputed income' affect child support payments?

The way that child support is structured is designed to be as fair as possible. Sometimes, that means that a court has to get a little tough on a parent who seems to be deliberately "underachieving."

In other words, the judge in a child support case does have the ability to decide that a parent is purposefully unemployed or underemployed.

What's a destination divorce?

You've probably heard of destination weddings, but have you heard of destination divorces yet?

Well, get ready. If you haven't been invited to one yet, you probably will soon. (Or, if your own marriage is on its last legs, you may want to consider throwing a destination divorce yourself!)

Custody and summer break: Don't forget these issues

Summer break can be fraught with difficulty for a lot of parents -- even under the best of circumstances. When you're divorced, custody issues also come into play. That can make every summer break a hassle unless you take steps to prevent problems before they start.

Put summer break in your parenting plan

How do you prove you're a pet's primary caretaker?

In the latter part of 2018, California lawmakers approved some changes to the way that judges view the family pet in a divorce. Essentially, the court can decide joint or sole ownership and establish a visitation schedule -- much like what is done with child custody. The court will also take into consideration who has been the pet's primary caretaker and what's in the best interest of the animal.

So, how do you prove that you're the family pet's primary caretaker in court? If you suspect it will be an issue, you need to start gathering evidence. Some of the most important things you can use include:

  • Your invoice for the purchase of the pet, if you bought it from a breeder or store, showing that you as the owner
  • Your registration papers, if the animal is a pure breed dog or cat, showing your ownership
  • All your pet's medical records, including receipts, showing that you paid for the animal's treatment
  • Records of any training classes you attended with your pet, like obedience school for dogs
  • Receipts from any pet sitting service or boarder where your animal was cared for when you were out of town
  • Photographs of you and your pet together -- especially of you caring for your pet's needs (such as photos of you walking the dog or teaching the dog to play "fetch")

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