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January 2013 Archives

Divorce case heats up after August brawl

Last month, entertainer Randy Travis pleaded not guilty to assault after an August altercation in a Dallas-area church parking lot with his fiancé's estranged spouse and brother. Now, Travis has filed a lawsuit against the men, claiming the two schemed with others to physically injure him, his fiancé and her 17-year-old daughter in order to gain leverage in a pending divorce case as well as to harass and humiliate Travis. Attorneys for Travis filed the nine-page complaint last week seeking damages for bodily injury and civil conspiracy. The brawl occurred after Travis, his fiancé and her daughter drove to the church to pick up the fiancé's 15-year-old son following his return from summer camp. The lawsuit alleges the fiancé's spouse and brother were there waiting and proceeded to accost the fiancé and her daughter. The suit further alleges that after Travis went to the women's aid, her brother pinned him to the ground while the spouse called a police officer he had pre-arranged to be available. When the officer arrived, Travis was arrested and issued a citation for assault.

Sperm donors face legal risks

In 2012, a Texas man successfully defended a child support claim brought by the mother of two children who were conceived with sperm he donated. In 2008, another sperm donor, who had regular contact with the children and had agreed to provide some support, lost a case brought by the children's mother for increased support. Now a third sperm donor is being pursued for child support even though the child's mother is not seeking his assistance. These cases all illustrate the importance of seeking legal advice before becoming involved in artificial reproduction.In the most recent case, a man agreed to donate sperm to a lesbian couple that used a do-it-yourself artificial insemination kit to conceive. After the child was born and the couple broke up, the child's biological mother sought public aid for the child in Kansas, where she resides. The state then went after the sperm donor for support, arguing he is the father under state law because a doctor was not involved in the artificial insemination procedure. The case is scheduled for hearing in April.

Mistakes to avoid when dealing with interstate child custody

In a scenario that could be any custodial parent's worst nightmare, a mother sends her child off to visit his father in another state. The day the child is due home, the father calls and says he and his new wife have decided they want the child to live with them. The mother then finds herself embroiled in a child custody dispute playing out in a courtroom on the other side of the country. The mother's legal and travel expenses mount. Her employer becomes impatient with her frequent need to take time off work. Ultimately, she loses the case and is ordered to pay child support to her ex-spouse. Worst of all, she now sees her child only a few weeks a year.Can something like this really happen? Unfortunately, the scenario outlined above is drawn from several real-life cases. It can be prevented, however, if one avoids making two crucial errors in dealing with an interstate child custody situation.

Financial tips women can use in divorce

January typically is a big month for divorce filings. In fact, more divorce proceedings are initiated in the early days of the year than any other time. This may not be a surprise as the start of a new year is viewed by many as a good time to make a fresh start. If you are one of the women considering filing for divorce in 2013, these tips will help you be prepared for what lies ahead.Before you file for divorce, the first step is to collect all of your financial documents. As you receive year-end statements from your bank, credit card company and other financial institutions, review them for discrepancies. They may provide clues that your husband is hiding assets that should be part of the marital property or that he's been spending money on another woman. Then make copies of all of your records and secure them in a safe place your husband can't access.

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