In a recent child custody dispute that examines the role of legal citizenship, one state's highest court has ruled that parental rights trump citizenship status. This determination has set a precedent for custody battles that involve illegal immigrants in Illinois and throughout the United States.
Less than two months after their wedding, the wife of a brokerage firm's CEO has asked the court to annul the marriage. The woman claims her husband married her under false pretenses, concealing devastating information from her about his past and his future.
It is only August, and this has already been a strange year for celebrity divorces. The press was almost disappointed that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes managed to settle their custody arrangements within days of their separation. Courteney Cox and David Arquette filed for divorce quietly and apparently without legal representation. Frank and Jamie McCourt battled all last year over the post-nuptial agreement; when 2012 rolled around, their divorce quietly became final. It's a rare thing to realize that your own divorce is more dramatic than divorces played out in the media.
Quick question: What do marriage, birthdays, christenings, coming-of-age, death and graduations have in common? They are all rites of passage. These are just a few of the momentous events in our lives that we have built traditions around. Those traditions may vary from person to person or faith to faith, of course, just as the list of rites of passage may shrink and expand over time. Who knows? One day the iPod Fairy may leave new earbuds under the pillows of children who have downloaded their first MP3.
We are talking about how temporary restraining orders -- also called dissolution action stays -- work in Illinois. These orders are often used in child custody and domestic violence situations, but we are focusing on their role in property division in a divorce. Basically, TROs protect both parties by maintaining the status quo for marital assets.
If Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes had not had an antenuptial agreement, how would they have approached property division? Every news article made a point of saying that Cruise was worth much, much more than Holmes. When she served him with the divorce papers, how could she have kept him or his accountants, business managers, agents, lawyers and other representatives from moving assets around to make it look as if he had less? How could she -- or anyone, for that matter -- have kept him from giving everything he owned to his son so he could honestly say he had nothing?
When you are preparing to say "I do" to the one you love, there are a number of things to consider, especially if this is not the first time you have been married. A financial advice columnist considered the matter recently, and she provided some interesting statistics.
Randy Jackson, the youngest of Michael Jackson's eight siblings, has been center stage in a fight over control of Michael's estate. He is rumored to have authored a letter to the probate court calling for the ouster of the lawyers in charge of Michael's estate. Four other members of his generation of Jacksons signed along with him. Randy also played a part in his mother's recent "disappearance."
We occasionally revisit the topic of how a couple can communicate with their children when they have decided to divorce. Experts say that both the message and the delivery should be tailored to the child's developmental stage. Babies, for example, need to feel secure; they need structure and continuity, even if they don't understand what's going on. Toddlers can understand more but may not be able to verbalize their own emotions.