When Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act, the intent was to protect people with mental and physical disabilities. However, parents with disabilities face a legal quagmire when it comes to retaining child custody. Many states have laws regarding the ability to care for a child if one is disability. The criteria various but, in general, the law allows for removal of the children from their home or outright termination parental rights. To add to the worries, every state allows disability to be factored into deciding custody issues. Sometimes, disease can be considered a disability. One mom from North Carolina believes her advanced breast cancer played a role in her ex-husband gaining custody of her children. She waged a Facebook war to raise awareness for parents in similar situations.
The holiday season often prompts us to look back at the year and try to figure out how it all went. For newly-divorced fathers, and even some who have been out of their marriage for years, wondering how the children are doing with their new lives might be a source of anxiety. Divorce is rarely easy and many fathers worry that the "I'm fine, dad" response to questions about home life and school life aren't telling the whole story. Some reassuring words from life-after-divorce columnist Erin Mantz sheds new light on why sharing custody of the children may not be so bad.
If the divorce process is like climbing a mountain, getting a divorce in another country is like scaling Mount Everest. When one of the partners has dual citizenship and is living outside the United States, the cost and time increase exponentially. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers doesn't have an exact count of two-country divorces but the evidence suggests the number is growing. Overseas courts are often a complete mystery especially when trying to resolve child custody, asset division, and visitation issues.
"Trepidation" probably best describes the feelings of a couple about to go to court for a child custody hearing. Even though your attorney has the case sewn up tight, it is hard not to wonder how the judge is going to approach the questions about where the children will live, what the visitation rules will be, and all the rest. The experts say the two most important considerations will be the status quo and what is in the best interest of the children.