Round up of family court cases, new policies

(The following articles come from several sources, including the folks behind sites like Parenting News Network, Dastardly Dads, Justice Posterous…)

Does access trump safety?

Boise man, child who died in
murder-suicide Thursday identified

http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/05/20/1656600/boise-man-child-who-died-in-murder.html

Court records indicate Davis and Natasha’s mother were not
married. There was a legal battle over the girl’s custody which was resolved in
2009, according to Ada County court records.

Initially,
Davis said the girl’s mother refused to let him have access to Natasha
following her birth but a visitation schedule was worked out once lawyers were
hired, the documents say.

Davis sued for joint custody and was granted in April 2009,
according to the records, but a 50/50 split was not to occur until 2013. Until
then, Davis had custody certain days of the week.

Read more: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/05/20/1656600/boise-man-child-who-died-in-murder.html#ixzz1N8EqLkd7

Custody battle erupts in gunfire

http://citizensvoice.com/news/custody-battle-erupts-in-gunfire-1.1150096#axzz1N2q4PoFu

In a flurry of gunfire, police said Cooper fatally shot a mother of three and wounded two men before
turning the gun on himself
. His ex-girlfriend and target, Shaundra Langille, 28, survived the shooting rampage by hiding in a closet with the couple’s 9-month-old  daughter and another child, authorities said.

Police  arrived at the chaotic murder-suicide scene around 3:20 p.m. to find Shana Bagley’s body outside the
front door of Apartment 413 in the Hanover Village Apartments, dead on her 25th  birthday.

Read
more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/custody-battle-erupts-in-gunfire-1.1150096#ixzz1N89HDFo4

Family denies custody battle caused deaths

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8251950/grieving-family-denies-custody-dispute

“Both  parents had access to the children and there was no custody battle,” the family said in a statement.

I have an article posted on the  blog that also states access is not a factor when fathers kill (meaning they
don’t kill because they don’t have access, which is what many fathers rights  groups claim) – rather, vengeance often plays a role (and ironically, women are  stereotyped – esp. in family court –as being vengeful).

Records: Barbone admitted to hitting baby; autopsy results in

Neighbors  devastated by murder charge

http://www.localnews8.com/news/27931821/detail.html

The records said that Barbone tried  to quiet his son down when he started crying at 1:30 a.m. Monday. Barbone
changed his diaper and tried to get the baby to fall asleep with him on a  couch. Barbone allegedly admitted to the reporting officer that when the boy would  not quiet down, he struck the baby on  the back of the head with his fist and then elbowed him in the head, according to the records.

When Barbone realized the child was  unresponsive he took him to Portneuf Medical Center from the home he was
staying at on La Montagna Strada, which is less than a mile away from the  hospital. This happened around 7 a.m., according to the records.

Doctors worked to save the infant  for 30 minutes before declaring him dead. They said the infant was most likely
dead before he arrived at the hospital, according to the records.

Barbone had been living with his girlfriend and her two  other children in Sunny Creek Courts on the south part of town, the manager of  the trailer court said. Barbone had moved out after being charged with domestic
battery, but that the family was back together again late last week, and  neighbors saw Barbone and his girlfriend smiling together, the manager said.  Barbone had visitation custody with  the infant, according to court records.

Father charged in slaying of teen

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/father-charged-in-slaying-of-teen/2011/05/21/AFzRYj8G_story.html?wprss=rss_local

I’ve only read the Washington Post article regarding this case – which has “father” in the headlines, but I’ve  seen other that said “man.”  It also says he killed “teen” not daughter. Lastly, the WaPo quotes  that the father had a “sexual relationship” with the the teen – huh?!  Isn’t this molestation?!

It says the girl lived with Mom but visited Dad.

Valrico father arrested after child’s thigh bone is
fractured

http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/valrico-father-arrested-after-childs-thigh-bone-is-fractured/1170540

VALRICO — A 24-year-old man was accused of aggravated child abuse Thursday  after deputies say he pulled his 3-year-old boy to the ground and fractured the child’s thigh bone.

This is what the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says happened:

Matthew Clark was changing his 1-year-old’s diaper at his apartment on N Valrico Road when his 3-year-old came up to him, which aggravated Clark. He grabbed the  3-year-old by the shoulder and pulled the child to the ground.

The child hit the ground with his left knee and fell on his side. Clark heard a  pop. The child cried.

But deputies say the father didn’t seek medical treatment or call 911. About  half an hour later, he dropped both
children off with their mother
. She took them to the hospital. Clark, who lists his occupation as a shift leader at Tijuana Flats, was being held in jail without bail.

Tenn.
Custody bill that seeks to maximize parents’ involvement headed to governor

http://www.greenfieldreporter.com/view/story/f2918ebe4e0b4c318432988b26a87bd0/TN-XGR–Child-Custody/

NASHVILLE,  Tenn. — A proposal that would require  judges to consider how to maximize a parent’s involvement in a child’s life  when making custody decisions is headed to the governor for his
consideration.

The measure sponsored by Democratic Sen. Andy Berke of Chattanooga was approved  19-9 by the Senate on Saturday. The House version passed 92-0 last month. Although  not the only factor to be considered, legal experts say the call for “maximum participation possible” could lead some judges to increase visitation time or divide custody 50-50 more often.

Democratic  Sen. Beverly Marrero of Memphis says judges should be given “tools to do what they think is in the best interest of the children of Tennessee.” Gov. Bill Haslam is expected to review the proposal once it reaches his desk.

Australia  is having their problems with Fathers rights, too:

Children, the biggest losers in shared care?

http://www-public.jcu.edu.au/jcnn/makingnews/JCU_079915

“In the Family Court, the Howard Government brought in a law colloquially known as the ‘shared care’ law,”
Overington said. “It essentially requires judges of the Family Court to  consider giving parents a 50-50 or a shared care split of the children after divorce.”

The law represented a radical  change in policy. Judges are now being asked to consider the child’s best interests will be served by an equal relationship with both parents, almost  regardless of the circumstances Overington said.

“They are now legally bound to do  so and, ironically, they are splitting custody between the parents who are least able to share.

“Something like nine in 10 couples reach an agreement themselves before they even reach the Family Court. The cases that do end up in court are the ones where the  couples are essentially at war over even the smallest details of their  children’s lives. Yet they are the ones who are forced to cooperate. That’s why we’ve ended up with the kind of problems we’ve seen.”

Overington outlines an example  where a man and woman have a one-night stand and the woman falls pregnant, reminiscent of a case in New South Wales earlier this year. “The father was not, according to the mother’s testimony, that interested in having a relationship with the child, but very desperately did not want to pay any maintenance,” Overington  said.

“According to the law, the more time you have custody of the child the less you have to pay in maintenance, so the father wanted to have the child 50 per cent of the time.

“So you have a child under the age of one – still on the breast – being shuffled back  and forwards between houses at two-hour intervals so both parents can have  their equal time.

“To my mind, that is not in the best interests of the child. It may be in the best interests of the father, but it’s certainly not in the best interests of the infant.”

New bill on child abuse aims to halt false claims

http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110519/NEWS/105190332

The bill is designed to discourage adults from using malicious allegations of abuse in bitter divorce or child custody cases, supporters say.

And-

Mish said holding people accountable for false reports is “a good thing.” But the bill could  have the unintended consequence of  keeping children trapped in abusive situations because adults are fearful of making a report that, while true, might not be able to be proven, she said.

If they were familiar with current research, they’d know that the vast majority of abuse claims are made in good faith. This punishment can hurt protective parents and children more than it can help innocent men. (And it disregards
the false accusations of being an unfit or unstable mother).

Stepmother of boy accused of killing his neo-Nazi father charged with child endangerment

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/05/neo-nazi-father-killed.html

Two of Hall’s children were from a previous marriage, including his  10-year-old son. According to court records, the boy had a history of  aggression and violence after his parents went through a bitter divorce, with both Hall and his ex-wife, Leticia Neal of Spokane, Wash., accusing each other of abusing and neglecting the
children.

Hall was granted full custody of the children. Last year, Neal filed for custody of the 10-year-old
boy and his 9-year-old sister, saying she was concerned about the children’s well-being because of the father’s affiliation with the neo-Nazi group. Hall opposed the motion, saying Neal had had no contact with the children for six years.

Disabled mom fights for custody of son

http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/relationships-and-special-occasions/parenting/aisha-sultan/article_1873270b-be68-5672-b379-8887a18e02b3.html

And now, with their child in kindergarten, she’s trapped in a yearlong custody battle with her ex-boyfriend, the baby’s father. Currently, the parents share custody, but her ex is seeking full custody. Flynn says her disability is at the heart of the issue.

“Her ability to parent because of her disability will be on trial,” her attorney Jack Cavanagh said. A resulting side effect of the  stroke has been aphasia, a language disorder that makes her struggle to find the words she wants to communicate. Her speech comes in short, halting bursts, and she lost her ability to read.

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