Articles Tagged with domestic violence

divorce precautions - photo of young girl in pink top holding yellow umbrellaNot all couples facing divorce do so amicably. Those who do usually fare better in the long-run; for those who don’t, however, a little preparation can help you avoid making serious mistakes both during the divorce process and in its aftermath.

Individuals involved in contentious divorces have found themselves left in dire financial straits, or have lost their homes or even their children because they failed to take precautions before proceeding with their divorce. A recent article on workingmother.com offered guidelines for preparing for divorce in order to protect both you and your children legally, financially, and physically. For details, read “How to Prepare Yourself and Your Children for a Divorce.”

custody - photo of baby's hand in parentsIt may sound like a Hollywood movie script, but actor Jason Patric is in a real-life battle for custody of his child.

Mr. Patric may have won the first round when California courts agreed that he was in fact the legal parent of the child who had been conceived through in vitro fertilization and born to Danielle Screiber, Mr. Patric’s ex-girlfriend. This biological connection, however, may not be enough to grant Mr. Patric custodial rights to the child. Ms. Schreiber has accused Mr. Patric of domestic violence in the form of physical and psychological abuse, causing the courts to reverse an earlier decision granting him joint custody of the child. The ultimate decision regarding Mr. Patric’s custodial rights will depend on completion of counseling by Mr. Patric and joint counseling by the couple. To learn more of this case, read “Jason Patric is Legal parent of IVF-Conceived Child, Appeals Court Rules.”

photos of two pet dogs standing next to owner's legs, all wearing bright green rain bootsFor an animal lover, a pet is more than a possession – it’s a member of the family, and a beloved one at that. But what happens to that “family member” when the family unit dissolves through divorce?

Most courts don’t share the sentiment that pets are family but rather view pets as property. However, this “property” is not as easy to distribute as say a house or a car. When it comes to deciding the post-divorce fate of a pet, courts consider the people involved rather than the animal: Who paid for the pet? Who cares for the pet? If children are involved, should the animal stay with them? That’s about to change, however, for one state.

Alaska recently became the first state to amend its divorce statutes so that courts are now required to consider the well-being of the animal in divorce cases (read, “In a first, Alaska divorce courts will now treat pets like children”). The amendments will even allow judges to award joint custody of a pet, if that arrangement is in best interest of the animal, and to include pets when issuing protective orders in cases of domestic violence. Time will tell if more states will follow this lead.