Back-To-School Issues And Mediation

Even though August is technically still summer, it’s usually a busy time for parents and children alike getting ready for a new school year, meeting new teachers and readjusting to life on a schedule. For divorced parents, these issues may come along with other unique challenges. Parents often have to communicate more to keep each other updated on school functions and the children’s progress, and this can increase the chances of tension.

While it is generally considered best for parents to resolve issues as best as they can between themselves, keeping the best interests of the children at the center of the discussion, this doesn’t always work. If you and your ex-spouse have difficulty communicating in a civil, neutral manner, you may feel like it’s impossible to get on the same page.

In these situations, talking with a lawyer who deals with family issues about the possibility of using mediation to resolve the dispute is one solution. During the mediation process, both of you will have the chance to share your concerns and offer suggestions while your lawyers help you negotiate a mutually beneficial solution.

In extreme situations, it may be possible to conduct the mediation through the lawyers and not actually have to deal with your ex face-to-face, but this isn’t always necessary. Meditations always involve a neutral third party as well to ensure someone involved is not emotionally or financially invested in the case. If you have questions about how mediation may be able to help you resolve any back-to-school issues you and your ex are dealing with, we can help.

Actress Plans To Appeal Decision In International Custody Battle

Now that Kelly Rutherford has been forced to return her children to her ex-husband Daniel Giersch, the actress’ lawyer is telling the media that there are numerous appeals pending in the case. What started with the couple’s separation in 2008 has led to a drawn-out custody battle that is still ongoing.

The events over the past few months have led to renewed interested in the international custody battle, with Rutherford being granted temporary sole custody of the children after alleging that Giersch refused to let her see the kids on a visitation attempt. Giersch has been living in Monaco with the children since his visa expired, and Rutherford was traveling to the country to see the children.

The case continued over the summer, with two states denying jurisdiction of the case, meaning Monaco will now be deciding the custody arrangement. After she was forced to return the children to their father, Rutherford did attempt to take the case to the federal level but was rejected. Now her lawyer says that the actress is appealing, stating that the temporary agreement that led to the children residing in Monaco in the first place also included that the custody case would not be heard in “any foreign court.”

Jurisdiction is a very important matter in international custody cases, and a lawyer can help you navigate this complicated issue. It’s important to thoroughly understand which courts will be handling your case now, which may handle the case in the future and what actions on either parties’ part may result in a change in jurisdiction later on.

Source: Cambridge Times, “Kelly Rutherford has several appeals pending,” Aug. 21, 2015

Seeking Collaborative Efforts Toward a More Peaceful Divorce

Many decisions are involved in the divorce process, and both parties are usually seeking to protect their own futures as well as the futures of any minor children involved in the marriage. We previously discussed issues such as calculating child support and increasing the chance that both parents can be involved with the lives of children. Whether or not you have children, a collaborative divorce process might help you have greater peace and success with the entire process.

A collaborative divorce does not mean both individuals agree on everything and that there are no arguments regarding the division of property or support. What it does mean is that both individuals, along with their attorneys, enter into a mediation process that doesn’t always involve time spent arguing in court. The process is more about negotiation and finding a solution that works best for both parties.

Collaborative divorce helps two people who had a life together work together to separate those lives while recognizing that they share a history, a family and property. Collaboration helps divide property where possible in a way that makes sense for the people involved — which might not always be the court’s way of separating things.

Attorneys who are experienced with collaboration are able to work together and with clients to form solutions. When we spend most of our time and efforts on solutions instead of fighting legal battles, individuals often come away with a greater peace and closure about the divorce process — not to mention a greater chance at succeeding with personal goals during the process.

While we hold the collaborative process in high esteem, we do know that it doesn’t work for everyone. We work hard for our clients — whether in court or through collaboration — to help individuals create the strongest platform for success with their new lives.

What is Child Protection Services?

While many divorces are completed without outside intervention, in some cases, Child Protection Services may end up being involved. This can happen if someone makes a report during the course of the divorce or if one of the parents makes accusations of abuse against the other. It’s normal to be stressed and even scared if this happens, but understanding what Child Protection Services does can help alleviate some of this concern.

As the name would suggest, Child Protection Services is tasked with ensuring that minor children are protected from any threats against their physical safety. In the event that there are abuse allegations against one of the parents, another relative or care provider, Child Protection Services has social workers who work to investigate the veracity of these claims and decide if action needs to be taken.

If the social worker does determine that the child is in danger, possible courses of action include removing the child from the home, supervising the child’s care and/or offering the family support services. In cases where the child is removed from the home, the child may be able to live with a relative if the court determines the person is a responsible and safe caregiver.

While working through a divorce via a collaborative process is usually ideal, this isn’t possible for some couples. It’s common for parents to attempt to hurt the other by making false accusations of child abuse or other mistreatment. If this is happening or you believe your ex may attempt this, it’s important to talk with your lawyer about this possibility and what is likely to happen as soon as possible.

Source: Ministry of Children and Family Development, “Protecting Children,” accessed Aug. 20, 2015