Man jailed after custody dispute leads to international abduction

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A Florida girl who has been missing for nearly four years has been reunited with her family. Her kidnapper is allegedly her own father, who took the girl across the border to Mexico after a child custody dispute. The 55-year-old man is now facing criminal charges for the international abduction.

The girl had spent a weekend with her father in August 2009 and was supposed to be dropped off to her mother at a local daycare center. Instead, her father took her to Mexico. In September 2009, police issued a warrant for the man’s arrest.

Law enforcement officials in Volusia County searched high and low for the girl, now 12 years old. Their big break finally came on May 12, when someone reported that the girl and her father were seen in a rural area in Mexico. U.S. and Mexican authorities worked together to apprehend the man and bring the two back to the United States.

The man is now in Volusia County Branch Jail on a $50,000 bond. He faces a felony charge for removing the child from the state illegally. Additional charges could be pending. The girl has been reunited with her family in Miami.

When courts make decisions regarding child custody, they keep the best interests of the child in mind. However, parents do not always agree with the custody order, and in extreme cases, they may plot to kidnap the child. The best thing to do is seek a child custody modification. This would allow both parents to work together and compromise on a custody plan that works for all parties involved.

Source: The Daytona Beach News-Journal, “Dad found with daughter in Mexico now in Volusia County jail” Anthony DeFeo, May. 21, 2014

Elin Nordegren happy in Florida after divorcing Tiger Woods

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Going through a divorce when you have children isn’t easy. When Elin Nordegren and Tiger Woods were going through their high-profile divorce, they had two children to think about. In a recent interview, Nordegren says that she tamped down the animosity with Woods just for the children’s sake. Now, she says they have come to a place where they respect each other.

Florida residents might remember some of the details of the divorce. Woods was found to be a serial cheater, which led to the divorce that was finalized in August of 2010. Nordegren walked away with a $100 million settlement.

She says that she and Woods now have a relationship that is centered around their two children. She calls him a “great father.” She is living in Florida, dating a billionaire and raising the children. Woods is dating Lindsey Vonn.

Nordegren admits that there was some hurt when she would attend events for the children when Vonn and Woods were also there. She said she never suspected anything was going on with Woods during those 3.5 years he was being unfaithful.

The Woods-Nordegren relationship shows that putting the best interests of the child at the forefront of a divorce is vital to ensure that the children have two parents who love them. Anyone who is going through a child custody battle might need to take that lesson to heart. Because child custody battles are emotional, it is easy to lose sight of what is important — the children’s happiness.

Knowing your rights as you go through the divorce and child custody hearing can help you to ensure that you get a settlement that helps you as start over. It also helps to ensure that your children have what they need to learn to live their new life with divorced parents.

Source: The Washington Post, “Elin Nordegren on Tiger Woods: ‘We are doing really good’” Cindy Boren, May. 22, 2014

Parenting agreement about circumcision under dispute by mother

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Parenting a child when you aren’t in a relationship with the other parent can be a challenge. Each parent has a specific way he or she thinks the child should be raised. These ways sometimes conflict with each other. When that happens, trouble might follow. A recent Florida case highlights how tense things can get when the unmarried parents of a child can’t agree on certain aspects of the child’s care.

The 3-year-boy at the center of this child custody battle isn’t circumcised. His mother agreed to let his father have him circumcised at the father’s expense. That agreement was made in a child custody agreement the mother signed in December of 2011. The father then signed the agreement, which was entered into the court record in January of 2012.

Now, the woman is trying to go back on that agreement. She says that since the child is three, she feels the risk of the anesthesia is too great for him to get the circumcision. The boy’s father feels like the circumcision is still in the best interests of the child.

A pediatric urologist has asserted that having the boy circumcised can lower his risk of contracting HIV, as well as penile cancer. He also says that the procedure is considered safe up until the age of 10, at which time the risk of torn sutures is increased due to puberty.

The mother petitioned the court to stop the father from having the child circumcised. A Palm Beach County Circuit Judge declined the mother’s request; however, the 4th District Court of Appeal has issued a stay in the case. Now, the fate of the boy’s circumcision is on hold pending the court’s decision.

Parenting agreements are usually a good idea for unmarried parents; however, this case shows that even with an agreement, things aren’t always clear cut. Any father who is having child custody issues should make sure he understands how he can exert his rights to make sure that his child is cared for in a manner that puts the child’s interests first.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, “Boynton mom sues to stop circumcision” Scott T. Smith, May. 14, 2014

Florida mother’s arrest could lead to child custody battle

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Relatives of five children living in Florida were shocked to find the kids living in a filthy home filled with trash. According to her own posts on a social media site, the children’s mother was dreading the kids getting out of school. The post also indicated that she wanted to make plans to get away from them, and she asked her friends to “rescue” her. The woman was charged with neglect after authorities learned just how bad the living conditions actually were.

Not only was there trash on the ground that people had to wade through just to walk around the house, but there were also various insect infestations, black mold in the walls and a whole host of other health and sanitation issues. The children have been removed from the home, the mother has been arrested, and the home has been condemned.

The relatives are now arriving from other parts of the country to help the children. One strategy they are taking involves attempting to get custody of the kids so that they can live in a much more healthy situation. A judge will have to determine if this is in the best interests of the child in each case, however. It is not yet known if the mother will be fighting the custody attempts.

The uncle of two of the children talked to the press and was very candid about how appalled he was with the whole situation. He said that he wished he had been able to help the children sooner, but that they had never complained about their living situation or told anyone just how bad it really was.

Many laws are in place to protect children who are neglected. However, getting custody of a another person’s child can be complex and difficult. Even if neglect has been an issue, it would be best for a person trying to gain custody to be as informed as possible in order to navigate the potentially complicated process.

Source: WFTV, “Relatives of Orlando children found living in filth come to Fla. to help” No author given, Mar. 27, 2014

Custody dispute over teen to be settled by judge

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When most parents make decisions regarding their child, they usually consider all the available options. Whether the issue is what school their child should attend or the medical treatment the child should receive, a parent should always keep the best interests of the child in mind. Sometimes though, others might feel that parents are not acting in a child’s best interests and decide to intervene. When this happens, parents can find themselves locked in a custody battle they never thought would happen to them.

Orlando readers might be familiar with a dispute between parents of a teen girl and a hospital. The teen girl was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease by one hospital, but a second hospital disagreed. The second hospital believes that the girl does not have the disease but has a psychological disorder. When the girl’s parents attempted to transfer back to the original hospital, the second hospital intervened and charged the parents with medical child abuse. The teen has been in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families ever since.

The parents have filed a motion to be granted conditional custody of their daughter. Children and families services is fighting the motion. The judge can find in favor of the parents, find in favor for the agency or opt to transfer the teen’s care to the state of Connecticut, which is her home state.

This case is interesting because generally, social services gets involved when a child is being denied care. However in this case, care is being given, but there is a disagreement about a diagnosis. The judge’s decision will be important because it could set a precedent; it could allow a hospital over overrule a parent’s decision about the care and treatment for a child. Those who find themselves in a battle for their child should consider seeking the advice of an experienced legal professional so their rights to parent can be enforced and protected.

Source: Newsmax, “Justina Pelletier: Judge to Settle Custody Battle for 15-Year-Old” Clyde Hughes, Mar. 20, 2014

Man kills self, toddler in midst of child custody dispute

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Parents who are embroiled in Florida custody disputes may feel tempted to take drastic measures. After all, it can be extraordinarily frustrating to manage child custody battles, especially around the holidays. Sadly, one East Coast man was so distraught about a continued child custody dispute that he killed both his child and himself on Dec. 22. The man was supposed to have met with his wife at 1 p.m. that day to return his 3-year-old son after a three-hour custody visit. Instead, however, he is seen on security cameras throwing both himself and his child from the top of a high-rise building in downtown New York City. The man had apparently known someone who lived in that building on the Upper West Side.

Law enforcement officials say that the child’s mother is suffering extreme emotional distress. She told officers that her husband had threatened to kill their son and himself during previous encounters. The child’s parents were estranged at the time of the incident.

Official reports show that the woman accused her husband of being abusive. Further, the couple had split in August over serious conflicts about money. The physical violence became so severe that the mother and her son were both protected under a restraining order, but that restriction was lifted about three months before this tragic incident.

Parents who are concerned about protecting the best interests of the child may worry about the abusive nature of their ex-spouses or estranged partners. In those cases, family attorneys in Florida can help identify potential safety concerns, drafting child custody agreements that require supervised visits, for example. No child should ever be put in danger because of visitation rights afforded to an unstable parent. A professional consultation with a qualified family lawyer may eliminate the possibility of abuse that could result from a joint custody agreement.

Source: New York Post, “Custody fight ends in father-son murder-suicide from 52nd floor” Jamie Schram, Reuven Fenton and Larry Celona, Dec. 22, 2013

Pregnant women may need permission to move

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Florida fathers are often overlooked in the child custody proceedings that decide their kids’ future. This is particularly true when the fathers live some distance away from the mothers of their children. A new child custody case that involves Olympic skier Bode Miller could create a resolution to this type of dispute, however, as fathers may now be able to protest the movements of women who are pregnant with their children. This could improve fathers’ rights to child custody considerations, especially among those who end up living states away from their youngsters.

Miller’s romantic dealings with the mother of his child started when they went on several dates and eventually slept together. Although the pair decided to forego a long-term relationship, the woman ended up pregnant, and she chose to leave the state of California. The woman, a former Marine, departed for New York to attend Columbia University. Miller, who initially seemed ambivalent about the child custody scenario, eventually chose to file for paternity and custody, and Miller was awarded custody of the child.

Now, that ruling out of New York has been overturned by a higher court, which argued that women’s movements and decisions to relocate cannot be limited strictly because they are pregnant. In other words, women who are pregnant would have to seek the permission of the person who impregnated them before they could move to another state, or potentially even within the same region.

Understandably, the pending appeal in the case is meeting with substantial opposition from women’s groups, though fathers argue that they should not be shut out of visitation just because of a pregnant woman’s decision. Fathers’ rights deserve to be considered even when a woman is just pregnant with a child – after all, her subsequent decisions can lead to major changes in the family’s life. Fathers who are seeking assistance with their child custody cases should consider seeking the assistance of a qualified Florida attorney who can help them draft a custody agreement that serves the best interests of the child.

Source: www.care2.com, “Pregnant? You may need the baby’s father’s permission to move” Robin Marty, Nov. 27, 2013

D Wade’s ex is not crazy according to judge

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Some couple get divorced, and they have no issues making decisions regarding alimony, child support or child custody. Other couples however seem to fight about every aspect of the divorce, including a custody dispute, although most couple don’t do battle in the media spotlight. This would be the case for Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade and his ex-wife, who have been embroiled in a custody battle for several years.

An appeals court just ruled that Wade’s ex-wife was not crazy or in need of an evaluation. The evaluation was requested by Wade as a way to have her time with their two boys reduced. The request was made in response to a videotape of Siohvaughn protesting outside a Chicago courthouse where part of the couple’s divorce proceedings had taken place.

Although the couple has been officially divorced since 2008, child custody issues have being ongoing. In this latest attempt, not only was Wade denied his request, but the appeals judge ruled that the original judge who has granted the request by Wade be removed from the case.

From this point on, another judge will be hearing the child custody case. Legal counsel for Siohvaughn Wade is thrilled with this decision, believing that the original judge was star-struck. Counsel hopes that the dispute can finally be settled with the best interests of the children in mind.

Child custody disputes can become acrimonious, but it is important that both parents remember that the children have two parents and should have access to both as much as possible. Anyone who feels they are being denied access to their children should speak to a legal professional experienced in family law issues. These individuals can help a person protect their rights so they can continue to be a vital and ever-present part of their children’s lives.

Source: Gossip Extra, “EXCLUSIVE – Miami Appeals Court: Dwyane Wade’s ex-Wife Not Crazy; It’s Her Right To Talk Trash About Him!” Jose Lambiet, Oct. 23, 2013

Absence in court could affect outcome of custody disputes

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Divorce often has a major effect on the lives of any involved children. As soon as the divorce is made known to them, it begins affecting them. In the meantime, parents in Orlando, Florida, may get caught up in the back-and-forth of divorce proceedings, which often last for a lengthy period of time. Despite the fact that custody disputes are included in this process, parents still may manage to neglect the best interests of the child. If recent reports are anything to go on, this may be exactly what is happening in the case between the singer Usher and his former spouse Tameka Raymond.

The former couple was in court several weeks ago to discuss primary custody of their two sons. Just a handful of weeks later and the two were scheduled to be in court once more. The problem was that Usher failed to show up. This meant that no progress could be made in the case. Meanwhile, Tameka has fired her former legal team and moved on to another set of lawyers. She has also changed her legal strategy. Supposedly, she will be seeking the first right of refusal at bare minimum. It seems that what she wants changed the most is the fact that her sons have been spending a considerable amount of time with aunts and nannies when not in the care of Usher himself.

If she receives the first right of refusal, it means that she will be given the responsibility of caring for the kids whenever Usher is not available to do so. Like many parents, she seems to want to care for her children. Whether or not she will get the ability to do so depends on how the dispute goes. Apparently, Usher’s absence was noted by the judge, who seemed upset by this fact. A 30-minute meeting in the judge’s chambers came after the realization that the hearing would not be able to move forward. It is unclear what this meeting may have meant for the father, but it is likely that another absence will contribute to a shift in the proceedings that may fall in the mother’s favor.

Source: Atlanta Blackstar, “Child Custody War: Usher is No-Show at Court as Tameka Raymond Hires New Attorneys” Taylor Gordon, Aug. 30, 2013