Man jailed after custody dispute leads to international abduction

0 Comments

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

Child custody cases in Florida cannot use foreign law

0 Comments

A new measure was passed in Florida to make it so that foreign laws and all related articles are not going to be legally usable in court cases. Specifically, this change will have an impact on child custody cases, divorce cases or child support cases.

The proposal passed through the House, meaning that it has been sent on to the governor. It passed in the House by a vote of 78-40.

The only time that foreign law could come into play, under this new policy, would be if the law did not take away any of the rights that the parties on both sides have in the United States and under the laws in Florida. A judge would have to examine the case to make sure that those rights were not violated.

Those who opposed the bills said that it was not necessary to put it into law. They wanted the supporters to show when foreign laws had even been used, implying that it was something that did not happen often. Some opponents felt that the law was aimed at Muslims and that it was little more than an insult.

The bill will not be used in many cases, such as those involving businesses or those where state laws are overruled by federal laws.

If someone is involved in a custody dispute, this law could have a realistic impact going forward, so it is good to be aware of the changes to the law. As noted, it will not change many cases, but it is never wise to overlook anything that could come into play when fighting for custody rights and the best interests of a child.

Source: 610 KDAL, “Florida legislature forbids use of foreign law in state court” Bill Cotterell, Apr. 30, 2014

Man kills self, toddler in midst of child custody dispute

0 Comments

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

D Wade’s ex is not crazy according to judge

0 Comments

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

0 Comments

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

Settlement reached in Wade divorce, visitation to be discussed

0 Comments

As many NBA fans in Orlando are aware, Dwyane Wade — the longtime icon of the Miami Heat before LeBron James took his talents to South Beach — has been embroiled in a nasty divorce with his ex-wife since 2007, the year he filed. Since then, Wade and his ex-wife, Siohvaughn, have engaged (pardon the pun) in numerous public battles over their relationship and its tumultuous ending.

Money has been central to these debates; in particular the endorsement money Wade gets from a number of sponsors. However, the child custody arrangement for the now-former couple has also been subject to numerous disputes.

Initially, the debate centered around custody. Child custody can be a complex issue in divorce; but many times the splitting couple realizes that shared custody is the best thing for everyone involved. That was not the case in Wade’s divorce, as Dwyane was granted sole custody of the two sons he had with Siohvaughn.

That’s a significant ruling in any custody dispute. Prior to a court ruling on custody, it can behoove both spouses to enter negotiations on the topic. Court rulings, though impartial, are rigid and often lack the details that either spouse is looking for. Once determined, it can be difficult to successfully appeal the ruling. Negotiations between the spouses and their attorneys can result in a more appropriate and personalized custody agreement.

However, in cases where sole custody is awarded, the spouse left out of the equation can take legal action to earn visitation rights.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Dwyane Wade divorce drama ends after settlement with ex-wife,” Chuck Schilken, July 23, 2013