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July 2012

‘Preglimony’ Would Make Men Financially Responsible for Pregnancies or Abortions, Law Prof Says

By Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal

07-10-12 -- Developments in technology that make it possible to identify prospective fathers during pregnancy call for a change in thinking about their responsibility to help pay—for pregnancy or for an abortion, a law professor says. . . . A prenatal blood test makes it possible to link a woman’s partner to her pregnancy, according to University of Richmond law professor Shari Motro. A potential ramification, she writes for the New York Times, is that men might be asked to support their partners before a child’s birth. “They might be asked to chip in for medical bills, birthing classes and maternity clothes, to help to cover the loss of income that often comes with pregnancy, or to contribute to the cost of an abortion,” Motro writes. . . . Most states frame men’s pregnancy obligations as an element of child support or as part of a parentage order that takes effect after the birth of a child, she says. Motro suggests men should have financial responsibility even if there is no birth. “Former spouses are often required to pay alimony; former cohabiting partners may have to pay palimony; why not ask men who conceive with a woman to whom they are not married to pay ‘preglimony’?” she writes.


June 2012

TEXAS  

No charges on dad who killed girl's attacker

Caught in rape, man was beaten to death in Lavaca.

By John MacCormack, My San-Antonio  

06-20-12 -- A young father who beat to death an assailant who was molesting his 5-year-old daughter will not be charged, a Lavaca County grand jury decided Tuesday. . . . “Under the law, deadly force is justified to stop a sexual assault. ... All the evidence indicated that is what was occurring,” said District Attorney Heather McMinn, who announced the decision at a news conference. . . . Officials played a tape of the 911 call made June 9 by the father. In it, the 23-year-old man hysterically pleads with a sheriff's dispatcher to send help, but he cannot provide adequate directions to his father's ranch on County Road 302. . . . “I need an ambulance. This guy was raping my daughter and I beat him up and I don't know what to do,” he says, apparently near tears.

IOWA  

Supreme Court rules man who was not the father can sue to get back child support

By Dar Danielson, Radio Iowa  

06-01-12 -- The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled in a Grundy County case that man who paid child support and then found out the baby wasn’t his can sue the mother to get his money back. Joseph Dier of Grundy Center voluntarily agreed to provide financial support to Cassandra Jo Peters after she told him he was the biological father of her baby girl who was born in February of 2009. . . . Dier later filed to get custody of the girl, and Peters knowing that Dier was not the father, asked for a paternity test. The test proved Dier was not the father, and he then sued Peters to recover the money he gave her for the child. . . . The district court threw out Dier’s claim based on standing law that does not allow a man to sue to recover court ordered child support if the man later finds out he is not the biological father of the child. In the first such ruling of its kind, the Iowa Supreme Court says this case does not fall under child custody law because Dier’s child support was not court-ordered. . . . See the complete ruling here: Child Support ruling PDF


April 2012

TEXAS  

Man Files Federal Wiretap Suit Against Ex, Says He Found Recording Device Sewn Into Son’s Clothing

By Martha Neil, ABA Journal

04-30-12 -- In an era in which a Texas matrimonial lawyer routinely suggests to clients that they remove the battery from their cellphones to prevent illicit surveillance during legal consultations, savvy spouses should be aware that their significant others may literally be monitoring almost their every move. . . . But Brian R. Martin was nonetheless outraged when, he says, he found a tiny recording device sewn into his son's clothing. So he sued his ex, saying she violated federal wiretap laws and invading others' privacy as well as his own as he conversed with lawyers, therapists and family members, according to the Houston Chronicle. . . . A previous Chronicle article provides additional details about the suit, which was filed in federal court in Houston earlier this month.


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March 2012

GEORGIA  

New court pushes fathers to make turnaround

By Tammy Joyner, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution    

04-13-12 -- Ricky Smith’s children spent Spring Break with him last week. In years past, that would have been unthinkable for the 42-year-old divorced dad who has spent time in the Hall County jail for delinquent child support payments. . . . “I’ve been divorced for 10 years. He’s had no regular contact with my children,” said Smith’s ex-wife, Michelle. “He’s done a tremendous turnaround. Not only is he making child support payments. He’s seeing the children regularly.” . . . An innovative program has yielded for the Smiths what jail time couldn’t. Smith now works steadily, pays child support and is chipping away at the $8,000 in back child support he owes, thanks to Hall County’s Parental Accountability Court. . . . Parental accountability courts are cropping up throughout the state. They are a joint effort of the state’s Child Support Services division and local court systems to offer a low-cost alternative to jail and set delinquent parents on the road to making regular payments. Using resources already in place within each community, the courts address problems parents have, such as unemployment, drug use and lack of transportation, that keep them from making regular support payments.


MASSACHUSETTS   

New law stops injustice of paying alimony forever

By Stephen Hitner, Special to CNN 

Editor's note: Steve Hitner is president and founder of Mass Alimony Reform and the president of Metrowest Printing Co. He is a divorce consultant and mediator.

03-09-12 -- My marriage ended in 1995 after 23 years. My two daughters were adults. I knew I would be required to pay alimony, split the assets and provide health insurance for a reasonable period of time. But a marriage that had been difficult for many years was finally over, or so I thought. I didn't know I was about to enter the twilight zone of alimony-without-end in Massachusetts. . . . The trial took three days, and a judgment took 10 months. My legal bills were nearly $150,000. I was ordered to pay $865 a week -- forever. After 9/11, my business suffered, as many did, and I could not afford the payments. I racked up credit card debt that terrified me. I had to file for bankruptcy. . . . When I went to court to modify the alimony payment, the judge recused herself from the case, saying her husband had once played cards with the bankruptcy trustee, and I would have to start over. Something was very wrong, and I had to fix it. . . . I launched a website, MassAlimonyReform.org, and with my current wife, Jeanie, and several couples in similar situations, began what became the alimony reform movement.


February 2012

FLORIDA  

Attorney: Man adopts girlfriend to preserve trust assets

By Douglas Stanglin, USA TODAY  

02-03-12 -- An attorney for the wealthy Floridian who legally adopted his adult girlfriend says the move is not illegal and was made "with the intention to preserve and grow the assets of the Trust for his two minor children, even should he personally be unable to continue his historical role in achieving these goals." . . . As On Deadline noted in a posting on Thursday, John Goodman, 48, is being sued by the parents of Scott Wilson, 23, who was killed in a traffic accident last February, according to The Palm Beach Post. . . . The newspaper, quoting a sheriff's report, says Goodman ran a stop sign and hit Wilson's car in Wellington, Fla. . . . Wilson's parents have sued Goodman. The trial is set for March 27. . . . The newspaper says Goodman also faces a criminal trial on March 6 on charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a crash. He could face up to 30 years in prison.


CONNECTICUT  

Connecticut man can seek payment from 19-year-old child's real father, judge rules

Associated Press | Fox News   

02-02-12 -- Over the years, Eric Fischer had grown suspicious of whether he was really the father of his youngest daughter. So he secretly got a sample of the girl's hair, grabbed one from his own head and sent them to a lab for DNA testing. . . . Sure enough, he was right. The girl was the product of an affair between Fischer's wife, Pamela Tournier, and her business partner, Richard Zollino. . . . Now, five years later, the State Supreme Court has ruled that Fischer can proceed with a lawsuit demanding that the girl's biological father pay him $190,000 -- half the cost of raising her. . . . She's now a young woman of 19. . . . High-level court rulings allowing cuckolded men to seek such reimbursement are rare, though DNA tests are increasingly accessible to suspicious fathers. And when those suspicions are correct, the idea of repayment raises complicated questions about what's best for the child caught in the middle.


January 2012

PENNSYLVANIA  

New Divorce Book For Men Written by Brodheadsville Custody Lawyer Connie J. Merwine To Help Men Who Feel Helpless Against The Pennsylvania Divorce Process - MHK Attorneys

Noticing an absence of viable information available for men facing divorce or custody issues, Stroudsburg divorce lawyer, Connie J. Merwine of MHK Attorneys, writes new family law book exclusively for men explaining the ins and outs of any Tannersville divorce or custody case.

PRWEB 

01-30-12 -- Stroudsburg divorce lawyer, Connie J. Merwine, has written "The Men's Book: Divorce in Pennsylvania," a compact and clearly organized book, designed to help Pennsylvania men understand their rights and options. It helps to guide readers through what steps to take (and what steps not to take) when a marriage is broken. . . . Written in clear language, this book includes the following: / 25 important truths for Men confronting divorce. / Steps to take to prepare for divorce. / 42 financial records with which every man should be familiar. / 15 questions to consider before hiring a divorce lawyer. / Stages of divorce. / Overview of the divorce process. / Factors used to determine equitable distribution / 17 factors used to determine alimony. / A list of helpful books. / A resource guide to help clients through this troubling time. / Much, Much, More! . . . Drawing on years of experience helping men through divorce, along with financial and custody issues, the Tannersville custody attorneys of MHK Attorneys provide an invaluable resource for any man trying to move on after a broken or abusive relationship. If a client's family structure is changing, they need the assistance of an experienced and compassionate attorney to ensure that their best interests and financial security are protected.


PENNSYLVANIA  

New fire-expert analysis allowed in father's 1990 arson conviction

By Emilie Lounsberry, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

01-28-12 -- A federal appeals court ruled Friday that a man who contends that he was wrongfully convicted of setting a 1989 fire that killed his daughter may have a prominent fire expert examine any remaining physical evidence to determine whether the fire was accidental. . . . The ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit came in the case of Han Tak Lee, 76, who is serving a life sentence. His lawyers argued that he was convicted by junk science and that research since his 1990 trial has debunked many of what were once considered ironclad indicators of arson.


OHIO

Attorney: Dad Binding Girl, Putting Her In Cage Was 'Joke'

Authorities Say James Tapke Placed Daughter In Dog Cage

WLWT Cincinnati   1-20

01-20-12 -- Authorities have released the details of a case involving a man who they said punished his daughter using duct tape. . . . The Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Office said James Tapke restrained his 12-year-old daughter's hands and feet using a duct tape before placing her in a dog cage on Jan. 10. Then, while his daughter was in the cage, investigators said, Tapke dropped small amounts of water on her face. . . . According to court papers, the victim was in the cage for about 20 minutes before her 13-year-old brother let her out. When she got out, authorities said the victim poured water on her father's head and in his ear.


TENNESSEE  

Soldier denied reimbursement in paternity case

By Kristin M. Hall, Associated Press | Desere Newst  

01-06-12 -- An appeals court has ruled the state does not have to repay a soldier whose wages were garnished for child support when he was deployed to Iraq, even though the child turned out not to be his. . . . Christopher Childers was sued for child support while he was in Iraq between November 2007 and January 2009. The state filed a motion for default judgment that he was the father, and the Tennessee Department of Human Services took child support from his military paycheck. . . . Childers said he never got a letter ordering him to report for a DNA test. After returning from Iraq, a DNA test determined he was not the father. A juvenile court judge ordered the state to reimburse Childers $2,735 that was taken from his wages, but the Court of Appeals of Tennessee overturned that ruling Thursday. . . . The appeals court said the state was wrong to issue a default judgment, but there was no state law giving juvenile courts the authority to order the state to reimburse a person who has mistakenly paid child support. . . . A legislative bill sponsored in 2009 by then-state Rep. Stacey Campfield would have allowed people to recoup child support payments if they were determined not to be the biological father, but the measure failed.


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 " I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection."
-- Sigmond Freud--

 "A father is a guy who has snapshots in his wallet where his money used to be."
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