Yes, parents can kidnap their own children

Most people think of kidnapping as a third party taking a child from the child’s parents. There are cases, though, where one of the actual parents can still face kidnapping charges.

For instance, this can happen when someone tries to leave the country even though they share custody of their child with an ex. This is known as international parental kidnapping, and it is sometimes referred to as abduction. It violates the rights of both the child and the other parent.

This may happen after a contested divorce case. Perhaps both parents want sole custody. The court decides that the child should live with Parent A all of the time, but they do give Parent B visitation rights. The reasoning is that Parent A does not have a safe living space for the child, but the court wants to keep them both involved in the child’s life.

Unhappy with that decision, Parent B abducts the child during one of these visitation meetings. It can also happen if they have joint custody. Either way, Parent B drives across the border and into Mexico — or boards a plane for Europe — where they have extended family. They hope to get around the court’s ruling by moving the child far enough away from the other biological parent so that they no longer have to share custody rights.

A case like this can get incredibly complicated and may be dangerous for the child. Parents often do not feel like what they’re doing is illegal since it is their child, but it is. Everyone involved in a contentious case of this type needs to know what legal options they have.

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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law

Money Is Flowing For Big Banks. For Unemployed Americans, It’s About To Be Cut Off

The United States had 71,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. Back in June, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he wouldn’t be surprised to see 100,00 cases per day. That grim prediction is getting closer to reality.

While the economy is in a recession and tens of millions of people have lost jobs, some big banks are enjoying huge profits.

Three unemployed workers from different parts of the country share what options they have once the federal CARES Act benefits expire at the end of July.

Indivar Dutta-Gupta, co-executive director of Georgetown University’s Center on Poverty and Inequality, told NPR that the expiration of CARES Act benefits will not only hurt those workers relying on them — but the economy as a whole.

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When should you tell your kids about divorce?

You and your spouse may have known for a while that you were headed for divorce. However, that does not mean that your kids are expecting news about your decision, so when is the right time to tell them?

If you and your spouse have recently decided to divorce, it may be best to avoid rushing into a conversation about it with your kids. On the other hand, kids are very perceptive, and they may know something has changed, even if they are not expecting divorce.

It can be best to tell children sooner rather than later. You probably wouldn’t want them to hear it from someone else. However, this conversation may be one your children remember for a long time, so there are several important factors to consider when choosing the right time.

Make sure it is actually happening

Avoid telling your kids about your divorce if there is a chance it might not happen. This type of news can be very distressing for kids and it may spare their emotions if you and your spouse are able to work things out.

Have an expectation for the future

If the divorce is definitely going to happen, try to get an idea of some of the changes that may take place. For example, which parent will move out, when they will move out, where the children will live and when the children will see each parent.

There can be a lot of uncertainty for everyone during a divorce, but kids thrive on routines. It can help them prepare for the changes ahead if they have some idea about what they should expect.

Pick a normal day

Once you have a general idea of what changes may be coming, it is time to pick the right day and time. It is best to tell kids before any divorce-related changes occur. Don’t wait until after a parent moves out.

It may also be good to avoid certian days and times of day when emotions may run high. This includes birthdays and holidays. It also includes times right before a child usually takes a nap or goes to bed.

Gather everyone together

Choose a day when you and your spouse can both participate, when all your kids can be told at once and when no one is rushed. Then, go ahead and call a family meeting.

When you and your spouse break the news, agree on one, simple, honest message that avoids blaming anyone. Share with your kids what changes may come with divorce, and reassure them that both parents love them and that the divorce is not their fault.

Your kids may have a variety of questions at once or may need to have several brief conversations about it over the next several days. It is normal for siblings to have very different reactions from each other.

There may never be the perfect time to tell someone bad news. However, some times are worse than others. By trying to avoid some of the less ideal times, you can give your kids the best opportunity possible to cope with the news.

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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law

When a divorce-linked team approach might be warranted

Do you need more than one tried-and-tested professional working on your Texas divorce case?

Here’s the answer we suspect many readers of our blog posts at the family law firm of Katie L. Lewis might have guessed is forthcoming: maybe.

Many divorce matters understandably feature a close link between high-net-worth property division and resulting complexity. And the more complicated a dissolution is, the greater the likelihood that a team approach to securing optimal results might prevail.

We stress that bottom line on our website. We note therein that, “Often in complex divorce cases, it is necessary to consult with experts such as business valuators, financial advisers, accountants or appraisers.”

That type of integrated approach is common and quick to provide added value to a divorce client who is involved in high-asset negotiations focused upon property distribution. It is underscored in a recent Forbes article using a sports analogy that likens a proven property division attorney to a “quarterback” guiding a team of professional assistants.

Those extra players can help across a broad spectrum.

Marital assets must be accurately valued, for instance, and specialized appraisers routinely do that involving property ranging from art and collectibles to antiques and jewelry. Family businesses that must be accounted for in a marital split give rise to many complicated issues that are best addressed via professional input. Financial experts can follow money trails, trace assets and provide key data on income streams and a party’s reasonable post-divorce expectations.

Questions or concerning regarding a high-asset marital dissolution can be directed to an attorney with a deep well of experience in complex and contested divorces.

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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law

Trump Administration Push To ‘Consolidate’ CDC Data Worries Public Health Experts

Until now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has collected important information about COVID-19 hospitalizations and equipment from around the country. The Trump Administration now says hospitals must stop reporting that data to the CDC and instead send information to a different federal database.

Meanwhile, four states have agreed to share driver’s license records to help the Trump administration produce citizenship data. NPR’s Hansi Lo Wang reports this data could be used for redrawing voting districts.

And some imported surgical masks are turning out to be defective. Sellers of the masks are touting FDA certificates but those certificates are useless.

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There’s No Untangling The Pandemic From The Economy

A lot of Americans are having trouble getting a coronavirus test. If they do get one, they may have to wait more than a week for results.

On Tuesday, some of the country’s biggest banks announced their second quarter results. The bottom line? The pandemic and the economy can’t be separated.

Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, announced they will require customers to wear masks beginning next week. Small businesses around the country are already dealing with fallout when customers refuse.

And in a surprise move, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced they will rescind regulations barring international students from staying in the U.S. if their colleges don’t offer in-person classes this fall.

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Can Schools Open Safely? What Other Countries Have Decided

Admiral Brett Giroir of the White House coronavirus task force tells NPR that the United States is still growing testing capacity. Positivity rates in parts of the South suggest there is a long way to go.

Teachers, parents and public health officials around the country are trying to figure out what do to in the fall. The Trump administration says schools should re-open, but individual school districts will ultimately decide. Some already have: Los Angeles and San Diego announced this week school will resume remote-only.

And while Disneyland in Hong Kong shut down after dozens of new cases there, Walt Disney World in Florida reopened after 15,000 were reported on a single day over the weekend.

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The specific laws that apply to Texas divorces

If you are considering filing for divorce, you should place special attention on the state in which you intend to file. In most cases, you will file for divorce in the state that you are living in, but you may have other options if you recently relocated to a new state.

If you intend to file for divorce in Texas, you should, therefore, make sure that you fully understand the laws that will apply to you. The following are some of the most relevant.

Grounds for divorce in Texas

In Texas, you do not need to allege that your spouse was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. Instead, you can file for a “no-fault” divorce by stating that the marriage has become insupportable because of a conflict of personalities. You should also be able to show that there is no reasonable expectation that this conflict will be resolved.

To file for divorce in this state, you will need to have been residing here for at least 6 months prior to your request.

Property division in Texas divorces

Marital property is subject to division at divorce and Texas is a community property state — but that doesn’t necessarily mean an even split when spouse’s divorce. If you and your divorcing spouse cannot agree on how to divide your marital property, the court will arrange it in a way that they consider just and fair.

If you are unhappy in your marriage but you are not sure how divorce will affect you financially, you should take the time to understand how the law will apply to your situation.

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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law

Florida ICU Could Hit Capacity ‘In Days’ As Health Care Workers Face Burnout

Governors in Southern states like Louisiana are starting to come around to mask mandates, but not all residents are following suit.

On Sunday, Florida reported more than 15,000 positive coronavirus cases. At Jackson Memorial Hospital in South Florida, director of medical ICU Dr. David J. De La Zerda says beds are running and low — and so are nurses to staff them.

And the NFL’s Washington, D.C.-based team is officially changing its name and logo. Activist Crystal Echo Hawk says she cried when she heard the news.

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Consider This: Make Sense Of The Day

Every weekday afternoon, Kelly McEvers and the hosts of NPR’s All Things Considered — Ailsa Chang, Audie Cornish, Mary Louise Kelly and Ari Shapiro — help you consider the major stories of the day in less than 15 minutes, featuring the reporting and storytelling resources of NPR.