Alex Jones a right wing talk show host in Austin Texas is currently embroiled in a child custody battle.  Apparently he is quite outspoken and his on show persona is now in question.  The child custody battle with his wife Kelly Jones is using his outlandish character on air he demonstrates and bringing it to Court.   She is using his work persona and claiming that it reflects his parenting skills.  This accusation is quite effective in modern Child Custody battles where public figures or public comments or social media statements are used against a parent in a Child Custody battle.

Interestingly Kelly Jones the mother is not the primary custodian of the her three children. Alex Jones has been the primary custodian of the three minor children.  Recently the mother Kelly Jones has launched a change in custody bid against Alex Jones the sensational talk show host.  The Rollingstone Magazine has labeled him “the most paranoid man in America.”  In addition, he has questioned the landing on the Moon.   He has falsely accused high ranking members of the Democratic party of being involved in a Satanic Child Porn ring.  He did later apologize for the false accusations.  His outlandish behavior will and should be brought to the attention of the Child custody Judge.

Apparently the Judge has taken notice of his erratic and absurd behavior and has let Kelly Jones offer and bring evidence of Alex Jones use of marijuana with Joe Rogan on a podcast. Often Child Custody judges will defer to the children and have a child custody investigation begun to further investigate if the behavior of Alex Jones has influenced his parenting skills.

Often parties to a marriage buy a home and eventually when the divorce comes are trying to split the marital equities and debts.  One of the hardest assets to divide is the marital residence.  Why is it hard to divide? Often there is a dispute as to how to get the highest value for the marital residence after the parties have separated.  herein lies the case of Easley v Easley a Case out of Alaska Supreme Court.  It involves the divorce of the husband and wife who owned a marital home in Alaska.  The parties were divorce in 2008 and had divided all marital assets including the sale of the marital home.  Or so it seemed. As the husband Easley claimed although the sale of the marital home was ordered by the Trial Court the Husband did not sell the home and divide the proceeds.

Why you might ask did he not sell the home back in 2008 when the judge ordered him to do so? The husband sat on his hands for 7 years claiming he was denied his due process rights in the order to sell the family home.  The husband Kevin claimed the legal defense of mutual mistake as to why he did not sell the marital home.  The home had declined in value and of course he did not want to sell the valuable asset at the time it was ordered.  He also claimed that he was denied his due process rights.

Now the argument for Due process violations has as far as I have ever seen in Family Law Cases showed up on appeal claiming that Mr. Easley was denied his notice and opportunity to sell the family home. Mr. Easley claimed there was actual prejudice, However, the Alaska supreme denied the actual prejudice.

The Alaska Supreme Court held that Mr. Easley had numerous opportunities to be heard in Court on the sale of the marital home.  Since the Court ordered sale in 2008 Mr. Easley was in Court in 2009 arguing that the sale could not go through due to mistake of fact. In 2014 he was back in Court arguing that there was no date to sell the home.  In addition, in 2015 he was in Court twice regarding if there was unnecessary delay in the sale of the marital home.  The court at that time found there was a delay and ordered the sale of the home. The further came to the conclusion that there was not due process violation because each time Kevin went to Court he knew that his ex wife wanted her share of the proceeds of the marital home. Therefore the due process argument failed.

The last argument Mr. Easley threw before the Alaska Supreme Court was the allegation of inequitable distribution of marital proceeds of the sale of the house.  Again the Court held that there was no inequity as far as his spousal support payments to his ex wife.  He attempted to claim that the spousal support payments should be credited against the sale of the house.  However, the Court found that the spousal support payments were a separate order for the division of the sale of the house proceeds.

It finally has happened.   I guess some would say the inevitable.  But Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner have finally called it quits after what appeared to be an on again off again relationship.  Jennifer Garner filed a Petition for Divorce.  She did not put an attorney on the Petition for Divorce which is unusual for a high profile couple.  Jennifer Garner and Ben affleck filed a Joint Petition for Divorce and both are seeking joint physical and legal custody of the three minor children. The couple separated June 30, 2015 almost two years ago.  It appeared from the public’s eye that the couple was trying to work things out for the children’s sake.

There is a big issue yet to be determined and that is spousal support.  Apparently Ben Affleck made much more money during the marriage than Jennifer Garner.  Therefore he will be obligated to pay Jennifer Garner either a lumps sum spousal support payment or monthly payments for a period of time yet to be determined.  In California a marriage over 10 years will garner life time spousal support payable by one spouse to the other.  In the case of Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck there marriage was over 10 years so Jennifer Garner might be in for a substantial financial reward depending how she negotiates the divorce.

It also has been stated that she and Ben filed as their own lawyers which often takes away alot of animosity and litigation that having lawyers might cause. However, in the case of Ben and Jennifer they have approached the Divorce amicably and by filing as their own lawyers they are keeping up this amicable and calm approach to their divorce.  In addition, what is important to them has always been their children.  By both requesting joint legal and joint physical custody they both are invested in the best interest of their children.

The appellate court vacated a family law courts decision awarding an adoption to the Tammy and Edward Dalsing who had cared for Braelynn Pucket who is three years old since she was weeks old.  They were granted an adoption and became adoptive parents until the biological father Andrew Jack Meyers went to court and filed and appeal. The appellate court stated,  “We vacate the family court’s finding that father’s consent was not required for the adoption and the family court’s order granting foster parents adoption of child,” reads the appellate court opinion. “We find the record does not contain clear and convincing evidence showing father willfully failed to visit child.”

“[Myers] was never in court – he was never allowed to come,” his lawyer, Melinda Butler, told Fox News in February. “He was incarcerated in another state and was never transported.”

At the time Braelynn was placed in the care of the Dalsings, Myers was incarcerated in Virginia on two contempt of court charges, two fraud, bank notes or coins charges and one probation violation.

In the modern day and age of the internet and facebook, instagram, twitter and all other sorts of social media outlets people have fallen into the trap of airing their dirty laundry during their divorce to the public to view and offer ill fated advice.  Do not trust the 3rd party input from social media.  Do not rely on a layman opinion regarding your divorce or family law matter that may negatively impact you during the divorce proceedings.  If you have spent the time and resources to hire a family law attorney and then head to facebook or other social media to share your intimate experiences about your divorce or all other issues regarding your dissolution of marriage then you are asking for a lot of trouble.

Studies have shown that leaking personal information to the public seeking affirmation of your personal business during a divorce can lead you down a very troubling and damaging road that cannot be undone.  Airing dirty laundry should be done to a friend on the phone but not to the public where the divorcing parties have access to your personal business that might not be so flattering to you during the divorce proceedings.  Do not undermine your lawyers efforts to effectively fight for your rights to spousal support, child support, child custody and property division as well as any custody issues you are vigorously fighting for by posting pictures of you out partying or drinking alcohol.  And do not post provoking pictures of your new boyfriend or girlfriend when you are trying to fight for your credibility in Family Law Court.

Julia Rodgers, founder of Holistic Divorce,  states “Couples should keep divorce-related issues away from the public. Doing this gives them the power to control the narrative and solidifies their case. In this age where comparison and blame-shifting is rife, couples are tempted to tell the world who’s at fault. However, doing this helps nobody.” This statement is very true.  Using social media to play the blame game and cast blame at the other spouse during the divorce only will in the end hurt you from achieving what you want to succeed from doing. That is to walk away from the divorce without losing all your assets and keep your personal life in tact.

Often the grounds for divorce in the United States and in California is irreconcilable differences.  Family law courts do not require that there is a fault to get divorced. However, under a new law in Mississippi would permit a spouse to allege domestic violence as a ground for divorce in that state.  The bill has been opposed by other house members who do not want to permit a  new domestic violence ground for a divorce in that state.  The bill which was sponsored by senator Sally Doty of the Mississippi Senate would like the statute to permit spouses to only have to prove that emotional and financial abuse occurred.  In addition the Statute would include that “habitual cruel and inhumane treatment” be grounds for divorce as well.  This would be a monumental law permitting spouses to only show some sort of abuse other than physical abuse.  Normally to prove Domestic Violence the party would have to show some sort of reasonable threat if imminent violence or some sort of stalking.  To permit the element of emotional abuse would definitely make proving domestic violence much simpler. That is the concern of  representative Andy Gipson of Mississippi State Legislature who feels another law adding emotional and financial abuse would be duplicative and add nothing to the current law in place. He adds that we do not need to add to an existing divorce law that already includes domestic violence elements in the statute.  His argument states that their is a history in the Mississippi Court system that have held for a victim of domestic violence who can prove there was habitual and cruel inhumane treatment over a period of time. This opposition by Gipson seems to be the issue between he and Senator Doty.  She further states that the new Domestic violence codification under the Mississippi divorce law would allow one witness and one incident to be permitted to prove the grounds for domestic violence under the divorce law. This new element permitting only one instance of abuse to occur as all that is needed to establish domestic violence in a divorce in Mississippi can be crucial in assisting a victim in getting a divorce.  The purpose stated Wendy Mahoney the executive director of the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence was to make the ability of getting a divorce a little easier for those parties who are victims of domestic violence.  And to show only that one occurrence is all that is be needed to prove domestic violence to get a divorce would be a significant change for the better Wendy Mahoney believes.  Representative Gipson strongly believes that the new addition to the current divorce laws would destroy the stability of marriage and make it easier for people to get divorced.  However, Senator Doty’s fight was fulfilled as the Mississippi State Legislature had passed the bill allowing domestic violence as a ground for divorce.  In addition, one key element that was added included the provision for one key witness as all that is needed to prove domestic violence.  This means that the victim themselves was all that was needed as evidence in Court to establish their case.

In the recent case of Dennis O v Stephanie O. the Alaskan Superior Court heard the case of Dennis O who claimed that because his ex wife had an attorney during their child custody hearing his due process rights and self incrimination rights were violated.  Dennis alleged that his wife was able to afford an attorney.  He argued that because of his indigence that he should be appointed an attorney.  He alleged that prior Alaskan decisions had awarded counsel to parties who were indigent.  He further argued that because the ex wife alleged potentially criminal allegations against him he should be appointed free counsel.

On appeal the Alaskan appellate Court noted that in prior Alaskan cases involving child custody the courts had appointed indigent counsel for the parties because the parents were facing termination of parental rights not just a custody dispute. The appellate court further added that Due Process is a result of notice and a failure to be heard.  They compared the termination of parental rights to a custody dispute and stated that when a parent has the chance to lose their parental rights they face a much more egregious outcome if they are not appointed counsel.  In a normal custody proceeding although contentious and involves high emotions there is at no time the potential to lose your rights to your child.

The Alaskan Court further added that although fairness is a key issue that the Due Process rights of the Constitution adhere to when appointing a lawyer to a family setting not all cases fall into that parameter where appointment is necessary.  The Family law courts have many avenues for a litigant who represents themselves to avail themselves of.  There are self help centers and alternative dispute centers for the parties.  In addition, the Court can appoint a Guardian Ad litum, an attorney for the minor child and can order a child custody investigation.

If you keep up with the Kardashian family (i.e. watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians and any other spin-off show they have) and follow along with good ol’ so-called “reality” television, then you might have heard about Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna calling off their wedding plans.  You may also remember that the former couple welcomed a daughter, Dream Renee, last November, and both are likely gearing up for a potential child custody dispute because of the recent break-up.  According to several media outlets, Rob wants “dual custody” or in legal terms, joint physical custody of their daughter.  In contrast, Blac Chyna wants “full custody” of their daughter and to only allow Rob with visitation.  This means that Chyna wants to have primary physical custody and only to allot Rob with visits with the child.  A standard visitation schedule would be alternating weekends and one mid-week visit.  However, because Dream is only about 4 months old, this type of visitation schedule is not standard for an infant.  Indeed, depending whether or not Dream is exclusively breastfeeding, Rob will have a hard time getting a large amount of visitation, let alone joint physical custody.

Courts regularly look to the best interest of the child when deciding who to award custody to.   If one parent wants primary physical custody of the child, its important that the custodial parent give the non-custodial parent frequent and continuing contact with the child.  It is important for the child to see both parents as often as possible. This is very favorable to the courts.  You do not want to be in the position where you block custodial visits or interfere with visits with the other parent.  The courts frown upon these types of bad faith tactics.

Another contentious issue that may arise in the Rob and Chyna split is California child support.  Since Rob and Chyna never married, their case would be considered a paternity matter.  In order to determine a child support amount that the recipient would pay the payee, a few factors need to be considered.  For instance, timeshare the non-custodial parent has withe child is a factor. Timeshare is the percentage each parent has custody of the child.  Other factors include income, tax exemptions, itemized deductions such as mortgage interest and property tax, health insurance deductions, hardship deductions, among other issues.  A hardship deduction would come into play in this scenario because Chyna has another child from her previous relationship with Tyga.  Unless both of the parents waive receipt of child support, both Rob and Chyna would have to complete an Income and Expense Declaration (Form Fl-150) and file it with the court.  A State approved computer program called the Dissomaster or X-Spous (as its used in Orange County, California) is utilized to calculate child support.

MIA the rapper from London, England is involved in an international child custody battler with billionaire Benjamin Bronfman. Their child is 4 years old and named ikhyd.  M.I.A threatened to take the child out of Brooklyn and head to Brooklyn.  The Couple was not married therefore there is no pending divorce in court.

Bronfman in turn had to file Paternity action in New York to restrain M.I.A from taking the child out of the State of New York. After she received a restraining order from the New York family court she immediately expressed her feelings on twitter.  “BEN you cant take my son away from me ‘The mother.”  Just because you have money doesn’t mean you have the[sic] right.”  This explosive tweet was later taken off her twitter accounty.  However, these type of comments on social media can only hurt her case for custody of her four year old child, Ikhyd Edgar Arular Bronfman.  Social media can be a very serious problem for people to use during a custody battle.  It can be seen as an immediate insight into the volatility of one parent and their overreaction to a Court Order and once the Judge gets hold of the public comment it often can be used against that parent.  M.I.A further went on to say on twitter  “WOW. THE BRONFMANS WANT TO TAKE MY CHILD AWAY FROM ME . WHAT KIND OF S**T IS THAT ? THEY NEVER SEE HIM.”

Obviously M.I.A is upset and feels a bit helpless about the court system working against her.  She probably thinks that she is the mother and therefore can dictate where child can live. He twitter has kept tweets up that state ““The mother is way more important for a child than the father imo. He should think about that. I wish u the best. x” said one supporter, “NO MOTHER SHOULD HAVE TO FACE THIS. A CHILD MUST NEVER BE SEPARATED FROM THE MOTHER,” says another.

Vaccinating your child has become a hot button issue lately with all the potential negative side effects some vaccines have upon the nuerological development of the childs brain.  And therefore there have been a group of parents concerned about these effects and decided that it is a greater risk to vaccinate than to not vaccinate the child.

According to the Centers for Disease Control: Vaccines can prevent infectious diseases that once killed or harmed many infants, children, and adults. Without vaccines, your child is at risk for getting seriously ill and suffering pain, disability, and even death from diseases like measles and whooping cough. The main risks associated with getting vaccines are side effects, which are almost always mild (redness and swelling at the injection site) and go away within a few days. Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare and doctors and clinic staff are trained to deal with them. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children.

The California statutes give joint or sole legal custody rights to the parents who chose not to immunize their child as stated in Health and Safety Code section 120370.