March 12, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Another day, another international child abduction case and yes, another journalist who doesn’t grasp the basic concept behind the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
We’re used to that from the news media in Australia. The press there has covered itself with shame more than once in international abduction cases and seems poised to do so again. The case of Dorothy Lee Bennett has made the news there, and, true to form, Australian journalists find nothing amiss with her claims that her ex-husband abused their daughters. That’s true despite the facts that the American judge found the girl’s father to be entirely fit to care for her and found Bennett to have serious enough psychological issues to require therapy. You might think that, with the Tomasso Vincenti debacle fresh in their memories, the news media would be a bit more careful about swallowing the claims of abducting parents. But no. It seems that, if a mother says it, it must be true, irrespective of facts casting doubt on her claims.
The latest comes to us from Orange County, California. Here’s an article about the case (OC Register, 3/9/14). The writer, Roxana Kopetman tells most of the story, but carefully lets her readers know the allegations of the abducting mother — all of which turn out to be false — before letting us in on the findings of the Family Court judge.
March 10, 2014 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Among a large and growing number of states, Illinois has a bill before its legislature that would amend current child custody laws to encourage post-divorce parenting time of not less than 35% for each parent. Here’s an important article on the bill.
And here’s the bill itself, i.e. the underlined portions amending existing law.
The bill would add to the purposes to be achieved by divorce that it is presumptively in the best interests of children that each parent have at least 35% parenting time post-divorce.
Beyond that, it would require parents to file a parenting plan with the family court within 90 days of the divorce filing. If the parents don’t do so, the judge would be required to issue a parenting order. That order would require equal parenting time unless the judge finds the parents aren’t fit or that it would otherwise be in the child’s best interests for less time to be allocated to one parent. In that event a minimum of 35% must be ordered to each parent. Either parent may waive his/her right to that 35% minimum. The parents are entitled to agree to any parenting time they wish.