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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This Is Terrible News, Sandra!

Two family lawyers tell HollywoodLife.com that if Jesse James is really vindictive, he DOES have the right to keep Sandra Bullock away from his children!

We have some horrible news for Sandra Bullock. In addition to dealing with an imminent divorce from cheating husband Jesse James, experts tell us that Jesse CAN ban Sandra from seeing his children!

“She doesn’t have a right to see those kids. They are not her kids, and there is no such thing as custodial right for a stepparent,” LA-based family lawyer Kelly Chang-Rickert tells HollywoodLife.com. “The law is California prefers biological parents. Jesse has the whole say.”
So unfair! Jesse, 41, is the loser here, after cheating on his Oscar-winning wife with a reported 15 mistresses. But it will be Sandra, 45, who will lose out on seeing his kids, Sunny, 6, Chandler, 15, and Jesse Jr., 12.

A second family lawyer, Michael G. Dave of Marcus, Watanabe, Snyder & Dave, LLP, agrees with Chang. “Sandra doesn’t have much access to rights. She didn’t adopt the children. She’s Jesse’s wife who wants to divorce him. She’s got a long uphill battle to assert any rights to see the children.”

Dave adds, “I don’t think Sandra has much rights to assert if Jesse doesn’t want her with the children. He is the custodial parent. He has full rights. I think she has a zero percent chance of [getting custody] in a family law setting. Once Jesse slams the hammer down in turns of allowing the children from seeing Sandra, she doesn’t have much of a case.”
But Sandra, who was married to Jesse for five years, was practically like a second mother to his kids. Shouldn’t she have SOME rights?

“Legally she might not be allowed, but Sandy SHOULD be allowed to see the kids,” Dave tells us, adding, “If he really wants to be a good parent and if he truly has the best interest of his children, then he’d want to encourage it.”

But then, we all know what a dirtbag Jesse James is (one who was caught not wearing his wedding ring April 26, by the way). Who can predict what he’ll find the best interest of his children to be?
– Laura Schreffler

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Facebook a "Treasure Trove" for Divorce Lawyers

By Larry Hartstein

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

As if divorce lawyers needed more ammunition.

In a new survey, 81 percent say they've seen an increase in the use of Facebook and other social networking sites for evidence in divorce cases. Notes to lovers, compromising photos -- Facebook provides a wealth of incriminating information.

"Every client I've seen in the last six months had a Facebook page," said Ken Altshuler, a longtime divorce lawyer from Portland, Maine, who is first vice president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. "And the first piece of advice I give them is to terminate their page immediately."

Sixty-six percent of the attorneys surveyed by the AAML called Facebook the unrivaled leader for online divorce evidence, followed by MySpace (15 percent) and Twitter (5 percent).

"Going through a divorce always results in heightened levels of personal scrutiny," said Marlene Eskind Moses of Nashville, the group's president. "If you publicly post any contradictions to previously made statements and promises, an estranged spouse will certainly be one of the first people to notice and make use of that evidence."

Altshuler cited a couple cases in which Facebook proved key:

A woman was getting divorced from her alcoholic husband and seeking custody of their kids. The husband told the judge he had found God and hadn't had a drink in months, but Altshuler found a recent Facebook photo showing him "holding a beer in each hand with a joint in his mouth," the lawyer said.

Then there was the custody case in which his client's ex-wife claimed to be engaged. She was trying to show she'd provide a stable household for the kids.

But the same woman had posted on Facebook that she'd broken up with her abusive boyfriend and "if anybody had a rich friend to let her know," Altshuler said.

The ex-husband's friend gave him the posting; he was still Facebook friends with the ex-wife.

"People don't think about who has access to their Facebook page," Altshuler said. "A good attorney can have a field day with this information."

"Facebook is a wealth of information," said Kenneth Altshuler, the first vice president of the AAML who has been a divorce lawyer for 25 years. "My first advice to clients is: ‘Shut down your Facebook page."

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Money Fights Predict Divorce Rates

You know it in your gut, and you’ve seen it in the splintered marriages around you. Finance-related tensions — however you define them — raise the risk of divorce.

A new study, by Jeffrey Dew at Utah State University, attempts to quantify that risk. His finding: Couples who reported disagreeing about finance once a week were over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples who reported disagreeing about finances a few times a month.
Jeffrey Dew. Data analysis based on the National Survey of Families and Households.
Professor Dew looked at responses from about 2,800 couples surveyed in 1987 by the National Survey of Families and Households. In this survey, both husbands and wives were asked, separately, about how often they disagreed with their spouse over chores, in-laws, spending time together, sex and money. These same respondents were then contacted again several years later, in 1992, and asked if they were still married.

Of all these common things couples fight about, money disputes were the best harbingers of divorce. For wives, disagreements over finances and sex were good predictors of divorce, but finance disputes were much stronger predictors. For husbands, financial disagreements were the only type of common disagreement that predicted whether they would get a divorce.
These findings were presented last month at the annual conference of the National Council on Family Relations, and appear in “The State of Our Unions,” a report on marriage and money released today by the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project and the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values.

For some suggested money-related discussions couples should have before getting hitched, go here.