Articles Posted in Custody & Visitation

facebook-and-instagram-imageSocial media influences everything these days, from pop-culture to even divorce. To elucidate this point, simply try to find one person in your family, or among your friends, or peers at work that does not have a Facebook account. It is everywhere, unavoidable, and ineluctable. The courtroom is not immune to its presence either. When divorce is involved, the question of electronic evidence, and social media evidence, in particular, comes into play in various ways. Modern relationships fall hazard to the sometimes illicit goings-on of spouses that end up publicized for all the world to see.

Attorneys have to account for these modern times and the Facebook or Instagram posts.  Instagram has become the new forerunner of posts into the personal lives of parties.  People must become aware that once a divorce opens up on Court the social media accounts become public record.  That is to say that they provide an instant insight into happenings of the parties real personal lives and their true feelings about one another and what they are hiding from the divorce proceedings and the court.

The numbers don’t lie here. Social media is affecting relationships and being brought to bear on divorce litigation in serious and important ways. For a lawyer to effectively use (or defend against) social media evidence in a divorce case, he or she needs to understand both the ramifications of admitting such evidence and the legal precedent therein.

beckThe Singer Beck and his wife of 14 years have decided to call it quits and get divorced after a 14 year marriage.  The pop star decided it was over after Valentines day this year and gave her the news. Beck is a practicing Scientologist so it adds a twist as to how the two children will be raised post split up.  In child custody cases religion can be a major source of conflict on raising the children. This might create a high conflict child custody dispute. The two children are eleven years old and 14 years old.  Becks wife is Marissi Ribissi who is the brother of Giovanni Ribissi.

In addition, Beck is actively involved in movie projects which could effect the division of divorce property for the two exes. Movie project residuals will cause a dispute among Hollywood A listers when they get divorced. Earlier this week, Beck released a song called “Super Cool” for the soundtrack of “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.”

Beck has won seven Grammy’s in his career, including Album of the Year in 2015 for “Morning Phase.” He won two at this year’s awards: Best Alternative Music Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.

Many people feel that if they are going to get divorced they need to find a least adversarial way in order to resolve all the issues of the divorces such as Spousal support, Child support, and property division.  And thus recently there has been a push by many divorcees to go the that way.  However, issues have arisen that might be an impediment to an easy mediation, divorce free conflict amongst litigants going through a divorce.  Everyone believes and rightfully so that everything during the mediation process remains confidential and thus all agreements are set in stone. However, such is not the case.

A recent article from The National Law Review cited a recent case where the confidentiality provision of the medation agreement did not get signed.  Therefore the alleged agreement between the parties was not proven to be an agreement in the Court of Law.  As a result all the hard work and time and and effort put into paying a mediator and getting a divorce agreement done out of court was for nought.  This kind of situation can occur more likely than not if your mediator or the parties are not experienced at doing the mediation process.  In the case cited above the alleged agreement between the parties could not be show in the court of law because the parties never signed a waiver of confidentiality clause. Therefore the agreement could not hold weight nor was admissible in the Court of law.

In order for the mediation agreement to be a part of the Divorce proceedings the parties would have needed to sign a waiver of confidentiality which would then let the mediation document become admissible in a court of law.  Normally all mediations are confidential and therefore cannot be brought into the legal setting without a waiver of confidentiality signed by both parties.

In June, Kentucky will become the first state to require a presumption of equally shared parenting in child-custody cases even when one or more parents is opposed. While it’s common for states to prefer joint custody when both parents are amenable, Kentucky’s presumption will apply even without divorcing parents on board. This is a major breakthrough in developing a parenting plan that is often difficult and expensive to come by in family law Courts in California and across the United  States.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed the measure in April, declaring that judges must presume “that joint custody and equally shared parenting time is in the best interest of the child” in almost all divorce cases. Last year, Kentucky required the same presumption for temporary child-custody cases while divorce is pending. Again, for a state to implement such a broad and powerful message to family law courts across America and Kentucky is quite outstanding.  Custody is often so tumultuous to fight in court that to add a presumption of 50/50 without any fighting in court is really setting a different type of  family law custody standard now.

Exceptions exist for situations “involving an incident of domestic violence within the preceding three years” or where “there has been a domestic violence order entered” or being entered. Obviously when there is violence the joint  custody presumption must be sidelined in order to keep the child safe from any potential violence or abuse.

Often divorces are quite messy and full of conflict.  Parties fight over the smallest of issues and create enormous adversity amongst each other during the divorce proceedings.  All of this can be avoided according to the new law passed in Illinois which uses a different approach to getting divorced.  It is simple, not complicated and not messy are the words Danielle Dvorak used when describing her 2009 divorce.

“It was quicker, cheaper and easier on so many levels – emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically – than a lot of other horror stories I’ve heard,” she said.

 If you’re wondering how on earth someone can talk about their divorce in such a positive way, Dvorak said she credits the divorce process she and her ex chose to use: collaborative divorce, which is an alternative to traditional litigation.

A Michigan judge has reduced the child custody rights of a woman who was jailed for five days for not following through on an agreement to vaccinate her 9-year-old son. The family law issues are  twofold here.  violation of a court order and whether vaccination of the children is lawful and a parental decision without the  court involvement. Often the right to vaccinate your child can be a decision left to the parents individually.  However, if the court deems the safety of the children are at risk the Judge can step in  and order a vaccination.  The Family court judges top priority is the health safety and welfare of the children. Ultimately, the determination is the best interest standard of review for the family law court judge. So when the Michigan court judge ordered vaccination to be given the child against the mother’s wishes the Judge must have considered the pros and cons about the vaccination and determined that the health of the child outweighed any religious views the mother might have held
Oakland County Judge Karen McDonald ruled Wednesday that Rebecca Bredow will no longer have primary custody of the boy, but will have joint custody with her ex-husband, James Horne. Since the mother violated the Judges court order the judge probably held her in contempt of Court.  As a result the judge can penalize the mother in many different ways.  One of the ways is by taking her custodial  time away.  In this case the famiy law court judge decided  that  it was in the best interest to limit the amount of custodial time the mother  would recieve.
Horne wanted the boy vaccinated and Bredow agreed to do so last November but didn’t. She says vaccinations go against her religious beliefs. Religious beliefs cannot overtake the health safety and welfare of the child’s interest.  The best interest are always at the top of the Judges agenda when making any ruling regarding custody. When determining the best interest of the child the court must assess the health safety and welfare of the child first before looking at other issues that might lead to where the child should reside primarily.

Just days after Harvey Weinstein said his wife, Marchesa fashion designer Georgina Chapman, was standing by him, Chapman now says she has chosen to divorce her husband.

Chapman said in a statement to tabloids, “My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time.” Therefore child custody and visitation will be an issue in Harvey’s case.  However, it will be interesting how the allegations turn out.  Because if the mere lechery of Harvey is all that sticks his visitation rights may not be impaired.  But if rape allegations an forceful sex are proven in court his custodial rights will definitely be limited and a fight will ensue that will be rather difficult for Harvey.  The couple have two young children 7 and 4 which will need a stable environment to thrive.  It is unclear if that can be achieved under these conditions Harvey finds himself in.  A bond has definitely been established and it is still very important for young children’s growth to have frequent contact with both parents.

Weinstein said he supported Chapman’s decision to leave him, in a statement quoted in Page Six. “​I support her decision, I am in counseling and perhaps, when I am better, we can rebuild. Over the last week, there has been a lot of pain for my family that I take responsibility for,” Weinstein said. All these things said are great for public sentiment.

Earlier this week, we reported that Daniel “Booby” Gibson, was requesting full custody and spousal support from his estranged wife Keshia Cole. As you can imagine the internet did not approve of the request. Not only because the two seemed to have a healthy co-parenting relationship but also because as a former NBA player, Gibson doesn’t need any of Keshia’s money…or he shouldn’t, anyway. This idea that a spouse that earns more money should not in any way ask the other spouse to pay their share of spousal support is very interesting.  As an ex NBA player he should not be banned from requesting from Keshi Cole that she pay Spousal support.  The law is gender neutral and in order to respect the law The Court must take into all accounts the income and need of both parties as part of the divorce proceedings.

When the news hit the internet, folks felt a way.

 Later, Gibson’s lawyer released a statement saying that making requests for the worst case scenario was common practice in family law.

Tyrese Gibson is now under the microscope of the L.A. County Dept. of Children and Family Services over claims by his ex-wife and baby mama that he spanked his 10-year-old daughter so hard she couldn’t sit. Spanking by itself is not necessarily abuse because some family use spanking as a form of discipline.  However, times have changed and spanking your child repeatedly or too hard can be considered a form of child abuse.  Gone are the old days when a parent could physically punish their child freely and without any consequence to their actions.  Nowadays a spanking can be reported to child protective services.  They will immediately start and investigation into these actions.  The first people that are investigated or interviewed are of course the child.  In Juvenile Court the child has tremendous weight in determining how to proceed with the prosecution of any abuse.  The social workers doing the interview are highly sensitive all the children who are interviewed.  The parents then are interviewed and are secondarily important to the whether charges are filed in juvenile or criminal court.

Tyrese and Norma Gibson are in a court battle … Norma’s trying to get a permanent restraining order prohibiting him from physically disciplining their kid. Norma is trying to seek a domestic violence restraining order which she can get in family law superior court.  This is not the same as a juvenile court order nor is it a criminal restraining order.  It has lessor implications than juvenile court and criminal court.   However, if Norma succeeds in getting a restraining order for her child Tyrese will have to follow it.  Any violation of a restraining order can cause Tyrese to be arrested and charged with a crime, violation of a court order.

She also wants full physical and legal custody. She’s worried Tyrese will take their daughter to Dubai, where he has business ties, and not come back. She also wants Tyrese to take domestic violence courses. Again, filing for fully custody or a modification of the prior custody order will take place out of juvenile court and land the parties in family law court.  Normally the judge will have to decide the case based on the best interest of the child standard. There are many cases where one parent is fearful of the other parent kidnapping the child by leaving the country and not coming back. Often to avoid problems the Court can make a restriction on the travel of the child outside the country. But in more and more case because of the Hague Convention and the international kidnapping laws awareness Court will allow a parent to leave the country.  This happens quite often if a parent wants to visit relatives in foreign countries.

Blac China and Robert Kardashian broke up in July of 2017 after a tumultuous relationship.  Blac Chyna went to Court and got a Domestic violence restraining order against the father of her child. But their battle is far from over. While the mother-of-two was ready to go to war with her ex after he posted nude photos of her online without her permission, little did she and her lawyer Lisa Bloom know that the reclusive star had his counter-attack ready! And his youngest sister Kylie Jenner made sure to have his back as well. At the domestic violence hearing the couple entered into a child support and child custody order and avoid further domestic violence litigation in family law court.

What Robert Kardashian has decided to do is take his case outside of the criminal and or family law setting and used the civil litigation path to attack and financially go after Blac Chyna the the mother of his child Dream. The sneaky thing about the lawsuit Robert Kardashian filed is it will have nothing to do about family law matters such as child custody, child support and domestic violence.  It will only go after financial compensation.  Also a civil lawsuit can  go on much longer than a child custody and child support case.   If it cannot settle then the case will be set for a trial.  It can be set for a jury trial and have 12 people decide the damages.  Therefore, Blac Chyna could be in for a long drawn out process she thought was over after they settled their child custody and child support disputes in family law court. In family law Court there is not such thing as a jury trial only in a civil litigation setting can a jury trial be done.  In family law there is only a judge by trial case.  No Jury.

Rob must have seen their demise coming, because according to their complaint, he documented an incident back in December 2016 when Chyna allegedly abused him while “extremely intoxicated on drugs and alcohol.” She allegedly took one of his guns and was “carelessly playing” with it “unaware if the gun was loaded or if the safety was on,” the complaint states, according to People. It didn’t end there. Rob also claims she tried to choke him later that evening, using not her hands, but an iPhone cord, and he “suffered injuries to his neck.” Chyna wasn’t done; she then chased him and “repeatedly struck him in the head and face.” After Rob ended up outside the home, he attempted to escape in his Bentley, according to the complaint, which caused her to throw “a nearby chair at Rob’s car causing damage to the vehicle and also used a metal rod to injure Rob.” But Chyna did not just take her anger out on Rob. She also destroyed Kylie’s home, which is where the alleged violence took place. Rob claims she owes $100,000 for “damaging a television, breaking down a door, damaging the walls, destroying cells phones and smashing a gingerbread house that was made for the holidays.”