Women behaving badly: cuckolded and downtrodden husbands filling divorce courts

The image of “men behaving badly” has become so familiar that it has even lent its name to a sitcom.

But a new analysis of official divorce figures, dating back 40 years, shows a dramatic rise in the number of separations in which “unreasonable behaviour” by women has been recognised by the courts as the main cause.

The number of dissolutions granted to husbands in courts in England and Wales because of women behaving badly has increased sixfold in little more than a generation between 1971 and 2011.

Lawyers said the trend was likely to be a reflection of women becoming more financially independent in recent decades, and more willing to assert themselves.

But they suggested more generous divorce settlements for spouses with lower incomes – usually the wife – in recent years, have made it easier for women to leave their husband without fear of living in penury.

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Attorney Fees: Motion For Reasonable Attorney Fees

In my last Family Law Blog Article posted on October 12, 2013, I discussed how to obtain interim attorney fees at the outset of a domestic relations case.  With this article, I shall address how to obtain reasonable attorney fees at the end of a domestic relations matter.  In Montgomery County, Ohio, this topic is addressed by Local Rule 4.27 entitled “Award of Attorney Fees”.

Pursuant to the Local Rule cited above and according to the laws of Ohio, a Domestic Relations Court may award reasonable attorney fees at any stage of the proceedings, including appeal, modification, and enforcement cases.  In order to award reasonable attorney fees, the Court must find that one party (the “financially disadvantaged party”) will be prevented from fully litigating his/her rights and adequately protecting his/her interests, and that the award is equitable (“fair”).

The very first step to take in determining whether to file a Motion for Reasonable Attorney Fees is to determine if you are representing the “financially disadvantaged” spouse.  As in my previous Family Law Blog Article, it would not be “reasonable” to request attorney fees in cases wherein neither party is financially advantaged.  For example, if you have a Husband and Wife who have individual incomes or earnings of $20,000 to $40,000, neither party is going to be deemed to be “financially advantaged”.  In those cases, you hope to achieve an equitable settlement in a short period of time as there is no money available with which to litigate the case.

Written by Anne Shale. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit http://www.xmgarcialaw.com

Woman asks Mississippi to recognize her gay marriage so that she can get a divorce

A woman is asking the conservative state of Mississippi to recognize her out-of-state gay marriage so that she can get a divorce.

Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham married her wife, Dana Ann Melancon, in California, but the couple lived together in Southaven, Miss., until they separated in 2010.

Czekala-Chatham could potentially pursue a divorce in California, which exempts same-sex couple from divorce laws that generally require at least one spouse to be a resident of the state for six months. But according to the California courts website, the state might not be able to issue rulings on matters such as property ownership, debt, alimony or children.

Czekala-Chatham filed her divorce petition in DeSoto County Chancery Court on Sept. 11. Her lawyer, J. Wesley Hisaw (HIGH’-saw), said a favorable ruling on the petition would not mean that same-sex couples could get married in Mississippi because that’s banned under Mississippi statute.

“My client is not looking to start gay marriage in Mississippi. She wants the marriage from another state to be recognized so she can get a divorce and protect herself,” Hisaw said.

Written by Associated Press. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit http://www.xmgarcialaw.com

More And More Gay People Can Get Married … But Can They Divorce?

When Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham and her girlfriend traveled from their home state of Mississippi to San Francisco in the summer of 2008 to tie the knot, Czekala-Chatham was thrilled to be a part of such a politically powerful moment.

At the time, only Massachusetts and California allowed same-sex couples to wed and California voters appeared poised to ban these unions in the upcoming election by passing Proposition 8. Thousands of same-sex couples were getting hitched in the meantime, and the moment felt right.

“Everywhere you went, there were Prop 8 signs,” Czekala-Chatham, a credit analyst in her 50s, recalled. Together, the women found someone who would marry them. With the Golden Gate Bridge as the backdrop, the couple married while people along the road watched, cheering them on. “It was romantic, it was political, I was thinking, yeah, this is the girl I want to be with forever, and this is awesome,” she said.

But two years later, back in Mississippi, the relationship had soured and Czekala-Chatham found herself on a new, grimmer edge of the gay rights movement: same-sex couples who wish to be separated, but live in states that do not recognize their marriages — or their divorces.

Written by . To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit http://www.xmgarcialaw.com

We need to think again about how to protect children

In the summer and autumn of 2013, the names of three children, Daniel Pelka, Hamza Khan and Keanu Williams entered the history books. It is chastening to pause and remember all of the human beings affected by their awful deaths: the children, their siblings, their parents, wider families, neighbours and all the professionals involved. We are therefore mindful of the need for care in making our remarks.

The recent comments from Peter Hay, head of Birmingham’s children’s services department, suggest there is a need to think about why, in some areas, there seems to be such difficulty in recruiting and retaining good quality social workers. We know social workers do not enter the profession to rush from visit to visit, completing forms and instructing parents (usually mothers) to change their behaviour so that their children do not suffer abuse. Yet, our research into families’ experiences and social work systems suggests this is the reality for many.

Parents say they are told to change behaviour immediately, get rid of abusive partners, bond with children – by next week. Families who need help describe a sense of abandonment. Workers briefly enter their lives to assess levels of risk and “signpost” them (if they are lucky) to other, equally constrained, services. Family accounts reveal mistrust and frustration; these are arguably defeated families – defeated by their lives and by the services created to help them.

Written by Kate Morris, Brid Featherstone and Sue White. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit http://www.xmgarcialaw.com

Illinois becomes 16th state to legalize same-sex marriage

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Wednesday allowing same-sex weddings starting this summer, making President Barack Obama’s home state the 16th overall — and largest in the nation’s heartland — to legalize gay marriage.

Speaking in front of thousands at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Quinn said the new law ensured that “Illinois does not have a situation where individuals are discriminated against in any way when it comes to love and marriage.”

Illinois state senators voted to legalize gay marriage last February, and the state House followed suit by a slim margin earlier this month. After being signed by the Democratic governor, the law is due to take effect on June 1, 2014.

Gay marriage is now legal in Washington D.C., and 15 other states including Hawaii, whose governor signed a similar measure last week.

Even with support from top business leaders, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the state attorney general and a few top Republicans, several lawmakers were resistant to the idea. That included Democrats in more conservative southern Illinois and some Chicago-area lawmakers.

Written by Aljazeera America. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit http://www.xmgarcialaw.com

ADAPTING CHILD HEALTH INNOVATIONS FOR THE FIELD OF CHILD PROTECTION

Generally, the fields of child health and child protection are viewed and operate as two separate technical sectors. Like many technical areas in international development, these two sectors operate as silos and working cross-sectorally tends to be more of the exception rather than the norm. Yet, evidence shows that there is an inter-relationship and synergy between child health and child protection, and it would make sense if we did more to leverage that synergy.

We know, for example, that children who are registered at birth and receive birth certificates are more likely to access health services and receive all the health benefits that come with those services. We also know that children who are physically (and mentally) healthy are better suited to recover from the trauma associated with emergencies and armed conflict situations. This may be over-simplifying the correlation, but it is hard to deny the inter-relationships between child health and child protection.

There are some organic areas where child protection efforts can be coordinated and work in tandem with the health sector. For example, the opportunity that antenatal and obstetric health services afford to register births and deliver birth certificates is obvious. In fact, the coordination between birth registration and health is the foundation for an increasing number of birth registration programs, particularly those which use mobile technology, such as UNICEF’s Mobile VRS (Vital Registration System)[1], reported in my last blog post.

Written by  . To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit http://www.xmgarcialaw.com