March 2012 Archives

Child Custody

Children of divorce sometimes have it hard: One minute, they may be living in a happy family with two supportive parents. The next minute, their parents are screaming at one another and filing for divorce. Children find this situation very frightening. They may feel that they must choose one parent over the other. Some children try to be neutral and support both parents. Some children wish they could leave both parents behind and live with a relative or close friend instead. Some children feel they are to blame for their parents' problems while others see themselves as their parents' caretakers, and they try to "fix" things for their parents. As might be imagined, this is a very, very difficult situation for children to be in, and we should not expect them to make these decisions.

California's Proposition 8 Held Unconstitutional

In a landmark decision the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held on February 7, 2012, that Proposition 8, which amended California's constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry, served no legitimate purpose and violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In its opinion, the court in Perry v. Brown recognized that communities certainly have the right to enact rules and regulations they believe necessary and desirable, subject, however, to the requirement that there must be a legitimate reason "for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently." Simply put, this reviewing court found no such legitimate purpose here.

The Realities of a Complex Divorce

On the surface, divorce can seem to be a very simple concept. Two spouses decide for various reasons to end their marriage. The spouses then hire lawyers to work out the legal arrangements and go to court if necessary. Shortly after, the divorce becomes official and each spouse is free to lead a separate life. In theory, this is how a divorce should work. The process should be simple and straightforward, and allow both spouses to move on in a short period of time.

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