Missouri, like all other states, has a growing number of residents who do not enjoy legal citizenship status. However, a ruling by a Minnesota court may have an impact on child custody questions not only in Minnesota but in other states as well. The custody battle at issue concerned a 4-year-old girl whose mother is undocumented but whose grandparents are legal residents of the state. The child was born to unmarried teen parents in 2009. The mother was not a United States citizen, but the father and the baby's grandmother were citizens, and the grandfather was a legal resident. In September of 2011, the child's parents separated and the grandparents filed for and were granted sole custody, in part because the mother was "not legally in the United States." The case drew attention from various groups and eventually reached the appeal stage when a court reversed the lower court's custody decision, returning the child to her mother.
After learning of a Missouri child custody lawsuit against a woman by the man who allegedly raped her, the Utah Senate voted March 13 to pass a bill that would disallow such claims in that state. While such lawsuits are still allowed in Missouri, Utah will no longer allow rapists to sue for child custody if the child was the product of the attack, nor will they be allowed to obtain visitation with such children.The bill was written after legislators heard of the Missouri case, in which the woman became pregnant after she was allegedly raped. The rapist later served her with a lawsuit demanding custody of the child that was born as a result of the sexual assault. This case sparked outrage among Utah's legislators when they realized that their own laws could also permit such a situation.
House Bill 566 would give fathers who have established paternity expedited hearings for violations of custody or visitation. A representative of Springfield, Missouri, who sponsors the new child custody bill, said that parental and marriage ideals of today have changed and that many couples share children without the benefit of traditional vows. For married couples, Missouri law provides expedited hearings in the case of disagreements or violations of custody and support agreements. However, that same protection does not currently extend to partners who are not married, meaning that a father may not be able to bring violations of agreements to the court's attention in a timely fashion.
One Missouri couple found themselves dealing with not one but five child custody issues when they made the decision to adopt siblings from Peru. The three brothers and two sisters are between 9 and 17 years old and lost their parents to tuberculosis. Prior to the adoption, the children convinced a friend of the Missouri family to send out a mass email with their pictures attached asking for new parents.The adopting couple has two children, a 17-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old daughter. However, they felt after a visit to a Guatemalan orphanage that they should open their home to these five children who did not want to be separated. The father, an associate pastor at a local church, stated that he was willing to take the kids as his own.
A recent unscientific survey found that everyone seems to have different opinions on why nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. While many couples last a lifetime, some find they aren't built for the long run. In order to discover if any factors were consistent across failed marriages, individuals were asked their opinions on why couples opted for divorce.The results were surprising in that there was little consensus among the responses. Several major themes emerged, and some of the respondents gave completely unique answers to the question. For example, one respondent devised a formula that for every negative interaction, there should be five positive conversations. However, not everyone agrees with that formula. Several respondents stated that partners simply "grew apart" as they changed with age.
The mother of Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher, who killed both himself and the mother of his child last month, is seeking child custody in a petition filed with the probate court in Kansas City. Belcher's mother, who resides in New York, has filed for custody of the 4-month-old daughter of the deceased couple as well as a petition to be administrator of Belcher's estate. However, Belcher's mother is not automatically the first choice for custody. Relatives of the mother have now entered their own petition to be considered for custody of the child as well. The next hearing is expected to change the status of the custody case from uncontested to contested based on the entry of the new custody petition.
In a rare move by the United States Supreme Court, a child custody case was granted a hearing based on the plea of an Army Sergeant First Class whose former spouse took their child overseas. The case began when the little girl was born in Germany with dual United States and United Kingdom citizenship. When the sergeant was transferred to Afghanistan, the mother took the child to Scotland and established residency. Upon his return to the states, the family briefly reunited in Alabama before the mother left and returned to Scotland, taking the child with her.Prior to leaving, the mother sought and secured an order from a federal district court to take the child out of the country, arguing that the child had spent most of her life in Scotland and that it was her habitual place of residence. The court granted her motion, and she immediately filed for custody of the child upon reaching Scotland. For the past 14 months, the child and mother have resided in that country while child custody measures are pending
With today's reproductive technology, it is not always easy to definitively which parent is a baby's biological or legal mother. Same-sex partnerships have made this question even more complicated, as there might not legally be a "mother" in the traditional sense. The emergence of gay marriage has highlighted some of the ongoing legal battles faced by parents from alternative families-those with only one parent, two parents of the same sex or those who are related to a child in ways other than being the birth parent. In these cases, child custody may not be a simple issue.Petitions to the U.S. Supreme Court have asked that California's Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage, be ruled unconstitutional. While this ruling would have a positive outcome for thousands of same-sex couples who want to marry, it might also have an effect on the legal rights of other parents.
Americans with disabilities are protected by federal law from discrimination in housing, employment and many other important areas. However, the law has been slow to catch up to a growing problem experienced by those with disabilities: child custody. Parents who are blind, paralyzed or suffering from cerebral palsy have had to fight for custody of their children simply because they are disabled. According to a report by the National Council on Disability, parents with disabilities are likely to be subjected to biased judgments in child custody cases, and the legal system is not doing enough to protect the rights of these parents.
In most divorce actions, child custody disputes are likely to be the most bitter and divisive aspects of the entire proceeding. Divorce attorneys must ensure that clients are aware of the pitfalls of engaging in bitter custody battles and to educate them in the real meaning of the terms used in these proceedings to avoid unpleasant misunderstandings. Child custody itself is a misunderstood term, for there are two aspects to custody: physical and decision-based. A parent who does not have physical custody may still have the right to be involved in decision-making, and can specify that certain decisions -- such as medical care -- be shared by both parents. Physical custody, which is the aspect that most parents think of when considering custody, simply indicates that a parent has physical control of the child at any given time.
A Columbia, Missouri, man who ran from police after illegally taking his son from school in February 2011 was sentenced recently to six months in the Boone County Jail for interference of child custody. The charges stemmed from an incident that began when the man picked up his child from elementary school despite a court order forbidding him from having unsupervised contact with his son. The father had not sought permission from the mother before taking the child.The father and son were eventually found at a residence in Saline County, Missouri, where police discovered the boy in good health. However, the father fled, leaving the boy behind, and was arrested by police at a later time.
A three-year-old child custody issue was partially resolved this week when a mother who kidnapped her two sons agreed to waive extradition to Dent County, Missouri.The 32-year-old mother took her sons, ages 7 and 10, in May 2009 and has been on the run since. The father of the boys, who resides in Salem, Missouri, was originally granted custody. He was to pick up the boys at the courthouse in when the mother was ordered to turn them over. However, she never arrived, and the boys' father has been searching for more than three years for his sons.
After being accused of drug possession and child abuse charges, the estranged wife of California's state treasurer has won back visitation rights to her 9-year-old son. The treasurer's estranged spouse had allegedly been found in possession of methamphetamine in her home, where she was staying with her son.An Orange County judge has directed that the woman be allowed to meet with her childin the presence of the child's father. The suspect has temporary rights to speak to the boy on the phone too. The modification will take effect until the court is satisfied with the suspect's rehabilitation progress although it is not clear whether prosecutors are willing to push for child custody proceedings. For now, the boy will stay under his father's legal custody, but it is not clear whether the father will be filing for divorce.
Emotions run high in a child custody case, particularly when there are allegations of abuse or other maltreatment. Occasionally, this can lead to one parent taking matters into his or her own hands. Just such a case occurred recently in California when a man allegedly took his two children and absconded with them on a yacht.
According to a recent study conducted at the University of Missouri, ex-spouses who focus on the needs of their children, rather than on their own differences, put less stress on their children and themselves. The study highlighted the fact that parents should pay attention to the feelings of the children involved, which made child custody arrangements flow much more smoothly.About half of the ex-spouses surveyed in the study reported working amicably together while half reported continuous problems with the ex-spouse over visitation. Of the ex-spouses who worked well together, most reported that they had begun the divorce process with animosity between the parties. However, according to the study, half of these spouses saw how harmful this was to the children and modified their behavior toward each other.
Missouri residents may have seen media coverage of the case of the pastor who is accused of helping a woman flee the country with her child in violation of a family court order granting visitation to the woman's ex-partner, also female. The defense has raised some interesting questions regarding child custody determinations in same-sex partnership dissolution, and the result could possibly strengthen or weaken the position of same-sex, non-custodial parents in regard to enforcement of visitation rights in the future.
The recent divorce between Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise has taken the nation's attention, as we have written about on this blog. Celebrity watchers are fascinated with the child custody agreements that the two parties have come up with for their daughter Suri. Some of the stories have been particularly harsh, questioning Cruise's ability as a parent.
A bill that passed the Missouri Legislature this past session was intended to extend parental rights to non-biological parents. The legislation would have given visitation rights and child custody rights to parents who have established a substantial relationship with a child. The purpose of this legislation was to provide non-biological parents with the same rights that a blood relative would have. It recognized that there are many life changes that could occur in a family that could require a non-biological parent to step in and play an influential role in raising a child.
Imagine you find out you are a father seven years after your girlfriend gives birth, but you later find you have no parental rights under another state's laws because you 'waited too long' to establish a parental relationship. In a rather strange fathers' rights story, a St. Louis, Missouri, man has been denied custody of his 12-year-old daughter by the Supreme Court of another state in a ruling that overturned a lower district court ruling giving the Missouri father custody of his daughter.
The rights of unmarried fathers vary from state to state, including Missouri, as some of our earlier posts have pointed out. We thought Missouri readers of our blog would be interested in a story involving a group of women who posed as birth mothers to infiltrate adoption agencies in another state. The women claim they just wanted to hear what these agencies would tell them in regards to paternity rights and giving up their babies in an adoption in that state.