Family Law Blog

Child Custody Dispute Has Horrific Ending

Saturday, December 28, 2013

No one could have guessed when they saw 35-year-old Dmitri Kanarikov walking with his three-year-old son up to the roof of a 52 story apartment building in New York that his intentions were so horrific. A few minutes after they reached the roof of the high rise, Kanarikov proceeded to throw his three-year-old child off the building. The child fell on the lower rooftop of another building close by, and died. Dmitri followed this by jumping off the building himself.

This murder-suicide has shocked the nation, and already, a possible motive for Kanarikov’s actions has emerged. According to his ex-wife and the mother of his child, the two were involved in a nasty child custody dispute.

The couple’s divorce had been finalized in August after four years of marriage, which was followed by a hostile and often contentious child custody battle over the custody of the child and the home.The divorce is believed to have been linked to her husband’s split personality change as he became more violent and controlling. Initially, there were attempts at reconciliation, but those failed, and after some incidents of verbal assaults, the wife was ultimately forced to get a restraining order against her husband.

According to the mother, she had pleaded with the judge not to allow Kanarikov unsupervised visitation rights to the child, because he had a history of temper tantrums, and she had been the victim of domestic incidents earlier. However, the judge granted visitation rights, and those visitation rights kicked off in December. By the time of the horrific incident, Kanarikov had already had two separate unsupervised visits with his child, and according to the mother, those two visits went off perfectly well without any untoward incidents.

The Rise and Rise of Postnuptial Agreements

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Many San Jose family lawyers find that there is little need to convince people about the need to sign a prenuptial agreement. However, an increasing trend that is especially suited for people who fail to sign a prenuptial agreement is the postnuptial contract. Statistics seem to indicate there has been an increase in the number of people asking for postnuptial agreements after the marriage.

Postnuptial agreements are very similar to prenuptial agreements, with the only difference that these are signed after the marriage has taken place. Postnuptial agreements are agreements between married couples, and currently all 50 states allow postnuptial agreements to be signed.

So, what can be covered in the postnuptial agreement? You can cover everything that is included in a prenuptial agreement, including how to divide assets in the event of a divorce, alimony, spousal payments, and other matters. In fact, an increasing number of people are now using postnuptial agreements to dictate terms about lifestyle choices that their spouses can make during the marriage. For instance, it's not uncommon to find prenups that clearly state that the spouse must not put on more than a specified number of pounds during the marriage. Not surprisingly, many postnuptial agreements also now have similar lifestyle clauses.

The need for postnuptial agreements is likely to be especially high in the case of same-sex married couples, who married before the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. For these people who bought property and invested in assets before the striking down of the law, a postnuptial agreement now presents a strong way to protect those assets in the case of the dissolution of the marriage. Postnuptial agreements are also ideal in those cases where one partner has received a major inheritance, or an expensive gift like a piece of property after the marriage, and want to protect this property.

Excessive Holiday Spending Could Mean Marriage Trouble

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The holidays are undoubtedly a joyous time for families, but for many couples, these can also be a highly stressful time. One of the biggest issues for couples during this time is the amount of spending that one spouse does during the holidays. In fact, according to a new survey, approximately 50% of all married couples in the United States admit that they spend the holidays fighting over how much to spend during the season. The research also indicates that some of that fighting could possibly lead to trouble for the marriage after the holiday season is over.

The research was conducted by McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union, and was based on questionnaires that were given to 1,000 individuals. The participants included individuals in both heterosexual and same-sex marriages, as well as divorced couples who were remarried or in relationships.

Approximately 40% of heterosexual married couples admitted then they fought frequently over holiday spending. The rates of such fighting seemed to be lower than in the case of divorced couples, with a rate of 43%, and 37% in the case of same-sex couples.

The survey also finds that holiday shopping and spending is a major issue for many married couples. Many couples admitted that they often resorted to stealthy and devious behavior to hide their spending from the partner. Many couples admitted that they often resorted to using secret credit cards that were unknown to their partner, in order to buy things on the sly without their partner's knowledge. They also admitted to frequently lying about the amount that they spent on shopping.

One of the most underestimated factors in any divorce is the breakdown of communication and marriage. Lying about money matters, especially something like shopping during the holiday season, can actually indicate a breakdown in marriage communication.

Gut Instinct Can Be Indicator of Divorce Risks

Monday, December 02, 2013

There have been earlier studies that have found that premarital jitters can be an indicator of trouble down the road. Yet another study now corroborates those findings. According to this new study, persons who get a strong gut feeling about the unsuitability of the marriage just before the nuptials, maybe much more likely to divorce.

The results of the research were published recently in the journal Science. The researchers followed a total of 135 newlywed couples over a period of four years. These couples were evaluated every six months through questionnaires, in which they were asked to evaluate the relationship by using adjectives like “bad,”“good,”“satisfying” or “dissatisfied.” They were also subjected to another assessment in which they were made to sit in front of a computer screen, while different positive or negative words flashed on the screen. The person was asked to hit one key to denote a positive word, and another key to denote a negative. Just before the word was flashed on the screen, the person would see a picture of his or her partner.

The researchers later found that the semi-conscious attitudes that the persons displayed while reacting to the words - and images of their partners - as positive or negative, did indicate the measure of long-term happiness. Those who took much longer to respond to positive words after seeing their partner’s photograph on the screen, seemed to be much less happy in their marriage after a period of four years, compared to those who very quickly responded to positive words.

It's not clear how the results of this test can be used to seriously evaluate a person’s chances of success in a marriage. It may not be as simple as taking a test before making the leap. However, the study does seem to confirm that gut feelings do matter, and that couples who have a sick feeling in the pit of their stomach just before the nuptials, should probably re-evaluate their choice.