October 2011 | Cordell & Cordell

Archives for October 2011

Helping children deal with divorce issues during the holiday season

The holiday season can bring equal amounts of joy and stress to families, but for a couple that has recently divorced, the strain that is put on their children can be overwhelming.

The Kansas City Star reported that children may begin to act in an even more aggressive manner due to the stress of the holidays, especially when they are seeing a parent that they don’t spend as much time with.

According to the newspaper, concerns will often arise about where the child will get to spend the holidays and the extended family of the mother or father will have to be chosen early on to limit the stress in this situation.

Parents will likely have to split time over holiday weekends, making it extremely important for activities and time spent with relatives to be maximized, the Star reported.

Mothers tend to receive custody of children in the majority of cases, 82.6 percent according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This may mean that fathers should try and make the most of this time with their kids.

Iraq War veteran fights custody battle after wife left for Japan

Iraq War veteran Michael Elias served overseas in 2008, and during this time he couldn’t stop thinking about returning home to his wife and two children in New Jersey. When he finally came back from the conflict, he was immediately thrust into a bitter child custody battle, Fox News reported.

His marriage fell apart soon after he returned home, culminating in a December 2008 incident where his wife fled the country, against a court order, with the couple’s two children, according to the news outlet.

“It’s not that they won’t do anything. They can’t do anything,” Elias told Fox News. “They’ve had some dialogue, but it’s like beating a dead horse. Every time, they [Japan] say they are willing to cooperate, but it’s been three years. How much longer are they going to be willing?”

CBS News reported that Elias is powerless to bring the children back home after his wife left with a boyfriend and the children to Japan. Despite pleas from State Department officials and the Iraq veteran, it is likely that they will be unable to secure their passage back to the U.S.

Arizona mans Emilys Law push gains momentum

Legislation that was proposed by a San Tan Valley, Arizona, father to let airport security and other agencies access a national database of children abducted by a parent is gaining momentum, according to the East Valley Tribune.

The legislation, which would be called “Emily’s Law” if passed, is aimed at preventing parents from taking a child out of the U.S. in violation of custody arrangements. This would also allow wider access to information on abducted children through a database that is similar to the one provided by the National Crime Information Center, the news source reported.

Michael Sanchez, the leader of the effort, started the movement following a bitter child custody battle that he was part of following his child’s mother leaving the country with his daughter. He told the news source of his optimism concerning the law.

“I think it’s progressing pretty good,” Sanchez said about the law. “Within the last couple of months, it looks like people think it’s a really good idea. We know that it’s not going to happen overnight, but it’s moving forward.”

According to the website for the law, the legislation could affect more than 150,000 children.

Young boy center of dispute over custody placement

A 10-year-old boy has been stuck in the Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., for more than a month following a dispute among the child’s birth mother and the county, The Washington Post reported.

The boy’s mother and stepfather, who were both absent at a recent hearing for the child, have refused to take him home. His father is unable to intervene in the current situation, due to his lack of custody rights, the newspaper reported.

“The District of Columbia and Prince George’s County are obviously trying to push this kid off onto the other,” D.C. Superior Court Judge Eugene N. Hamilton said during the hearing. “In the meantime, the child is here in D.C. and has been abandoned and neglected.”

In an interview that was held recently, the boy’s father said he hopes to retain custody of the child and take the boy home to live with his one-year-old daughter and her mother, according to the Post.

WUSA 9 News reported that the boy’s mother doesn’t believe he is ready to return home because of several behavioral incidents.

Mother Kills Child In Response to Custody Ruling

Police in Sachse, Texas, were waiting outside of the house of a woman who had just lost her son in a custody battle when they heard several shots. The father of the child was present and was trying to enter the residence when the incident occurred, The Associated Press reported.

Less than an hour before the shooting, a jury had given Rodney McCall custody of Eryk Hayslett-McCall and terminated the parental rights of his mother, Karen Hayslett-McCall. The father asked the police to meet him at the residence for the transfer.

“I think there was some thought that there would be a problem with the transfer,” Dennis Veach, the police chief of Sachse, told the AP.

After the police forcibly entered the residence they found both the mother and the son dead.

According to WFAA Dallas, the nasty divorce and child custody hearings had affected the state of mind that Karen was in and may have been the cause of the incident.

“I guess she just couldn’t handle the fact that she was losing him,” Joan Irek, a neighbor, told the news source.