Parents ‘should be prosecuted for not loving or ignoring their children’

A proposed change to the child neglect laws would make “emotional abuse” of a child a crime for the first time, alongside physical or sexual harm.
Mark Williams, the Liberal Democrat MP, is leading the calls for Britain’s “Dickensian” child neglect laws to be updated, ending an anomaly which means that it is crime to inflict psychological abuse on adults but not children.
Although social workers, who operate under a different legal framework, can already step in to begin care proceedings if a child is being emotionally mistreated, the police cannot.
This is because in criminal law only physical deprivation, such as denying children food or clothes, counts as neglect.
Mr William is bringing forward a bill in the Commons, with the backing of the charity Action for Children, to amend the Children and Young Persons Act to bring the two definitions into line.

Written by John Bingham. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

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Sugarloaf parents arrested for abusing 22-month-old daughter

SUGARLOAF, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY (KABC) — Two Sugarloaf parents were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of abusing their 22-month-old daughter, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Bear Valley Hospital on Tuesday on reports of a 22-month-old girl with injuries to her head and body, authorities said. She was taken to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital for further treatment.

Forensic pediatricians at the children’s hospital performed examinations revealing she had extensive injuries, which they suspected were caused by abuse.

Detectives from the Crimes Against Children Detail assumed the investigation and subsequently arrested the girl’s parents at their Sugarloaf home on the 800 block of Sunset Lane.

Written by ABC News. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Study: Religious Parents’ Divorce May Cause Children to Leave the Church

A new study has found that the children of religious couples are much more likely to leave the religion if their parents get divorced.

The study, published Tuesday in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, found that children who had two religious parents who get divorced are twice as likely to become estranged from their church as adultscompared to people whose parents didn’t get divorced.

“When both parents are religious, the effect of divorce has a negative effect on religiosity,” says Jeremy Uecker, a professor at Baylor University and lead author of the study. “They might think their parents’ marriage was ordained by God or something and that breakup can have more of an effect on their religiousness in adulthood.”

Previous studies have found a link between divorce and a child’s future beliefs, but Uecker says that the “effect has been overstated” because those previous studies did not take into account the parents’ religious beliefs.

Written by Jason Koebler. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Divorce: Kids’ Health Is Compromised By Parental Divorce

Divorce is hard, especially on kids.

And according to Dr. James Sears of “The Doctors” TV show, parental separation can also compromise kids’ mental and physical health.

“Some of the things I’ve seen are depression, anxiety, oftentimes changes in sleep habits, nightmares, insomnia, bed wetting, distress,” he said on Thursday. “The lack of sleep and poor nutrition is a perfect recipe for an immune system that isn’t going to work as well and kids get sick more frequently — about 20 to 30 percent more frequently kids will get sick if there’s divorce.”

So how can you make the transition easier for everyone in the family?

Written by Huffington Post. To read the full article, click here.

Child Support and Taxes

Will the fiscal cliff changes affect your child support payments? As divorce mediators, we can tell you – the short answer is probably, but not quite yet. And having a clear support agreement in place will minimize any potential problems.

You may have already seen changes to your take home pay. Currently, Social Security is financed by a 12.4 percent tax on wages up to $113,700, with employers paying half and workers paying the other half. So your maximum share in 2013 is $7,049. Our government reduced the share paid by workers from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent for 2011 and 2012. However, this benefit expired on December 31. So, if you are first determining child support using the current child support guideline program, until the new guidelines are released for 2013 (sometime in the spring), the program will underestimate the employee portion of taxes (the old 4.2% instead of the updated 6.2%). Parents can consult with a divorce mediator to help calculate child support for this and any future years. A divorce mediator can help save you time, money and decrease stress when addressing child support, as well as other areas such as issues of parenting (child custody), division of assets and liabilities, and spousal support (alimony).

Written by Randi M. Albert, JD and Michelle Weinberg. To read the full article, click here.

Equal Child Custody Revisited

Several months ago I submitted a blog entitled “Why Equal Child Custody Should Not Be Presumed.” It is accessible on the Huffington Post Divorce Website in permanent archives. In that blog I stated that one size does not fit all and that I believed the statutory policy requiring 50/50 equal custody should not be the law.

I have received some comments where people have been very upset over my position.
In the state of Michigan where I practice there have been proposals in the legislature to have the statutory presumption for joint, equal, physical custody. The law has not been passed as of this date.

The general view of the attorneys who specialize in family law is that one size does not fit all. The view is that custody and parenting time should be decided on a case by case basis without a mandate or rebuttable presumption.

There clearly is a trend in Michigan and elsewhere towards a sharing of custodial arrangements.

There is also a trend to get away from some of the arguments over semantics. In Michigan there is a presumption favoring joint legal custody, which means that in almost every case the parents are to share in any major decision making consistent with the best interests of their children. This covers medical issues, school related issues, religious issues, and extracurricular activities by way of example.

Written by Henry Gornbein. To read the full article, click here.