Alabama Judge Says Federal Government Could Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

An Alabama probate judge is asking the state supreme court to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages unless the licenses were issued by the federal government or states with laws legalizing such marriages. The judge, John Enslen,  believes he is wrongfully compelled to issue same-sex marriage licenses and the federal government should take over the job. He says many licenses are already issued by federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Federal Communications Commission. Another probate judge in Washington County, Nick Williams, has also asked the state supreme court to act. He maintains probate judges with religious objections should be allowed to refrain from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

Source: ABA Journal

Divorce Litigant Sentenced for Attacking Wife’s Attorney

A Massachusetts man was sentenced on Wednesday to seven to nine years in prison for attacking his wife’s divorce lawyer with a hatchet and wasp spray. The defendant, 54-year-old Michael Kelly of Quincy, was sentenced after pleading guilty on Wednesday to armed assault with intent to murder. Lawyer Robert Johnson described the February attack before the sentencing. Johnson said Kelly attacked him in a parking garage, repeatedly hitting Johnson on the head with a hatchet and spraying him with the insect killer. “I thought, ‘This is it. I’m going to die,’ ” Johnson said. Johnson told the court that he made up his mind during the attack that he would survive, and was able to lie on top of the hatchet after falling to the ground. After the attack, Johnson sought help from a bystander, who recorded and posted a video of the injured lawyer approaching while holding the hatchet.


Source: ABA Journal

Griffin Divorce Negotiations Not Surprising to Experts

A trial into the validity of the couple’s prenuptial agreement was to start Monday morning. But midafternoon, the court said the two sides were attempting to reach a settlement. The trial has been postponed until Wednesday morning to give them time to work out their differences. Money manager Dias Griffin was initially expected to testify Tuesday. Court proceedings had been scheduled to last seven days over the prenuptial agreement alone. The couple is also fighting over child support and custody of their three children. Monday’s last-minute negotiations didn’t come as a surprise to experts, who say prenuptial agreements and privacy concerns mean few divorces among the wealthy get this far.

Family Law Reform Bill Could Put Mothers & Children at Risk

Florida Senate Bill 250, also known as the Family Law Reform Bill, imposes a new 50/50 child-time sharing statute. This applies to all divorce cases and can be challenged through lengthy and costly litigation. The FBC supports the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations of exclusive breastfeeding for infants up to six months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced for one year or longer. Compliance with a legislated 50/50 time-sharing premise compromises a mother’s ability to meet such vital recommendations.

Relationship Lessons From Your Navigation System

We all know that voice, the one in your navigation system telling you to “turn left.” She tells us when to turn, how far until our next turn and when we have arrived at our destination. But the part that we can learn from, is when we do not follow her wishes. Sometimes we just “know better”. So we ignore her instructions or advice, and we don’t “turn left”.  Unfortunately much of the debate, dispute and negotiation in divorce cases often reverts to complaints about past choices made, requests ignored and poor decisions. But once in the midst of divorce, most of those decisions are well in the past and cannot be undone. If they can, great, but if not, then the best course is usually to look forward and to shape the future out of or from, where everyone currently stands.

Source: Huffington Post

New Law Eliminates Waiting Period for Divorce Filings

A new law in Maryland allows consenting couples with no minor children to file for divorce without having to wait one year. The change will go into effect on Thursday, while it eliminates the waiting period for those couples, couples with children will still have to live apart for a year before they can file. The legislation was proposed by Senator Robert A. Zirkin. The current law starts the one-year clock on the day one spouse moves out of the common home. If the two later stay under the same roof for even a night, the clock resets to Day One.

Alabama Governor Agrees to Divorce Settlement

On Monday the governor’s office announced that Gov. Robert Bentley and first lady Dianne Bentley had reached a settlement agreement that ended their 50 year marriage. The settlement was filed Monday, just four weeks after the first lady filed for divorce, saying their marriage had suffered an “irretrievable breakdown.” The governor said he has asked a judge to unseal the case file so the public and media can see it.

The divorce settlement caps what has been a trying year, both politically and personally, for Bentley. The Republican governor began his second term in January saying he was determined to lead more and demonstrate a more aggressive political style. Bentley spent much of the 2015 trying to convince lawmakers in his own party to raise taxes in the face of a budget shortfall.

Alabama Supreme Court Refuses to Acknowledge Georgia Adoption

The woman who adopted the three children, conceived by her partner through artificial insemination, had sought visitation in Alabama. The Alabama Supreme Court said Alabama courts didn’t have to recognize the adoption because the Georgia court did not properly apply Georgia law and had no subject matter jurisdiction.The Alabama Supreme Court said it wasn’t reviewing the merits of the Georgia judgment, which would be prohibited by the full faith and credit clause of the U.S. Constitution. Instead, the court said, it found that the Georgia court “was not empowered” to grant the adoption.

Court Rules on Teens Opposition to Visit Father

A judged ruled that the court could not compel a 13 year old who was “vehemently opposed” to visiting his father in the State of New York. In that same case, an appellate judge determined that the father’s pro se motion to suspend child support payments be granted after the motion was denied by a lower court.

The court cited the mother’s “inappropriately hostile” attitude toward the father, Robert Coull, who had not seen the boy since early 2010 and was not kept informed about his schooling and medical history.