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Woman Sued Over T-Shirt That Says 'My Ex-Husband Is An A-Hole

A Spanish divorcée's purse is somewhat lighter after she posted photos on Facebook of herself wearing a t-shirt declaring "My ex-husband's an arsehole" - and was ordered to pay €1,000 damages for her trouble.

According to local news reports, the 40-year-old slapped up the snaps in 2010. In December of that year, her former other half – they divorced in 2005 – spotted the offending images and filed suit for "dignitary tort".Read article


A Star Trek Divorce

Hinckley Star Trek flat faces uncertain future

From the BBC

Tony Alleyne took BBC Newsnight on a tour of the flat in 2009. A Leicestershire Star Trek fan who turned his home into the Starship Enterprise has said his work could be destroyed by the sale of the flat. Tony Alleyne, 58, has spent 10 years and more than £30,000 transforming the Hinckley flat, but now his ex-wife, who owns the property, needs to sell up. The apartment features a replica flightdeck with full voice recognition technology. Mr Alleyne said the thought of living in a conventional house was "scary". "The more I say it, the more horrible it sounds," Mr Alleyne said. "I try not to think about it as the dismantling of the apartment is scheduled for August time if we don't find a buyer." 'Nightmares' over move In 2006 Mr Alleyne filed for bankruptcy after spending about £100,000 to start up a company which offered Star Trek makeovers. But the scheme was funded by loans and credit cards and he was left with debts of £166,000. "I don't really want to entertain the idea of not living here," he said. "The idea of living in a conventional environment, well I sometimes have nightmares about it and it's really quite scary." In 2004, the flat failed to sell for the £700,000 asking price.

How much sleep to childen need

A Good Night

Most parents underestimate the amount of sleep children should get a day. They need:

  • Infants: 14 to 15 hours
  • Toddlers: 12 to 14 hours
  • Preschoolers: 11 to 13 hours
  • School-age kids: 10 to 11 hours
  • Teenagers: 9 to 10 hours

 Source: The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. This is particulary useful ot know when you are arguing about transitions in a custody case.

Also there is a great article in the WSJ

There are behavioral strategies you can use to get kids on track, say sleep experts, Nancy Collop, president-elect of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

"Get the technology out of the bedroom. No TV, no cellphone, no computer. You really want it to be the place where they just sleep," Collop says.

Light exposure from screens suppresses the release of melatonin, a hormone linked to circadian rhythms that's released when your brain registers darkness.

Anything lit up is stimulating and delays your ability to fall asleep, Collop says.

Develop a pre-sleep routine with kids — the younger, the better, says Alon Avidan, associate director of the Sleep Disorders Center at UCLA. It could include a bath, a book, a light snack (avoid chocolate and caffeinated drinks at least eight hours before bed). "They begin to associate those behaviors with sleep," Avidan says.

After her 11-year-old daughter eats dinner, wraps up homework and takes a shower, Charolottesville, Va., mom Lisa Climer says Addie likes to sit in the living room, eat some crackers and read a book.

"It's been that way since she learned to read on her own," says Climer, who allows the occasional e-mail check, but not if it's nearing Addie's 9 to 9:30 into-bed time frame. Bedtime has slipped this summer, as late as 10:30 or 11, and Climer plans to get stricter as the start of school nears.

Try a subtle transition

Transitioning back to school sleep timetables doesn't have to be painful, though, Avidan says. Don't just start setting bedtime earlier and earlier, get everybody up a little earlier every day, too, he advises.

"Wake kids up half an hour earlier each morning until they're on school time schedule," Avidan says. "In the morning, expose your kids to sunlight — don't let them crawl out of bed and into a dark den for another hour. Get up, have breakfast."




French Parenting

We've had helicopter parenting, tiger moms and now french parenting. Link to article  Here is a clue it is all about delayed gratification. Haven't we heard this before. 

This from NPR: "Druckerman decided to write a book about her experience, called Bringing up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. She tells Weekend Edition's Rachel Martin that the idea for the book came to her in a sort of "epiphany" when she was eating out with her husband and her daughter, who was 18 months old at the time."[My daughter] was refusing to eat anything but sort of pasta and white bread. And I suddenly looked up and I realized that the French families all around us were having a very different experience — that their kids were sitting in their high-chairs, enjoying their meals, eating their vegetables and fish and all kinds of other things and talking to their parents. ... They weren't being seen but not heard. They were enjoying themselves," Druckerman says." 

I saw some interesting comments on various sites. Here is one: "Perhaps the French children repress their anxieties and hostilities until they participate in their mass labor strikes and demonstrations?" The main theme from American media  seems to be that french parent's emphasis on developing a child's independence may explain why they yearn to become dependants of the state when they grow up. 

What next why English parenting is better -- e.g. English children force fed an inedible diet of foodtsuff's e.g marmite, weetabix, lucozade found nowhere else in the developed world and then shipped off to loveless boarding schools, have learnt the lesson not of delated gratfication but no gratifcation. 



Nagging, Divorce, Witchraft & the Lottery


            Last weekend, I finally embarked on the monumental task of cleaning out the garage, one of the many pending "requests" from my beloved a.k.a my weekend shift manager. To be fair, it was a reasonable request and it was long overdue.  After a couple of hours, while I was on a break, I came across the following article from the Wall Street Journal with the title, "Meet the Marriage Killer" by Elizabeth Bernstein." The piece was about how nagging by wives was as potent a cause of divorce as adultery. It defined nagging as the interaction in which one person repeatedly makes a request and the other person repeatedly ignores it and both become increasingly annoyed. Some people I know, might characterize this as the definition of marriage?  At first blush, it sounded like something you might read in the Onion. The article went on to say, "Nagging can become a prime contributor to divorce when couples start fighting about the nagging rather than talking about the issue at the root of the nagging, says Howard Markman, professor of psychology at the University of Denver and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies."  The same expert also published research in the Journal of Family Psychology indicating "that couples who became unhappy five years into their marriage had a roughly 20% increase in negative communication patterns consistent with nagging." Oh really, Dr. Markmam. Finally, the article suggested various ways to curb the nagging problem and gave the example of one wife whose solution was to write her requests on post it notes with a smiley face. Based on my experience with my college room mate I can attest to the fact that this is not a solution.

            As an experienced divorce attorney in Beverly Hills, I decided I needed to know more about the nagging and its relationship to divorce. That's a lie. I was procrastinating. I was not ready to go back to cleaning the garage. I decided to do some google "pseudo" research.

            I first turned to the Onion to find out whether "nagging" was, in fact, listed as a prime contributor to divorce. Apparently not.  The Onion cited a study which found that 31% of those divorcing said they wanted to resume having sex.  

            More google "pseudo" research" led me to an editorial in a 1899 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association with the title            "Nagging Wives and Nervous Husband's" which briefly considered the effects of nagging on the nervous disposition of husbands. In Shakespeare's time, it apparently led to nervous prostration and even insanity. The editor defined modern nagging as "an expression of an ill regulated and ill balanced nervous system which led to motor restlessness and egotistical inability to see the rights of others."  I wondered whether this editor's marriage had made it to the end of the century.

            Next, I searched "history of nagging" and came across some more highly polemic material. A web site called a "Brief History of Struggle" had a rather original page called a "Brief History of Nagging," which attributed nagging to the utter powerless of married women in patriarchical societies starting with Socrates whose wife was such a nag that he was forced to take up philosophy in the city squares and gymnasia of ancient Greece.  

            Another web site had a rather more sinister take on nagging. It reviewed the "Scold's Bridle," a book by Jenny Paul, which set out to dispel the myth that nagging wives or "scolds," as they were called in the middle ages, were forced to wear a bridle to shut them up. The author found that the historical record did not support such a punishment. The bridle, often with spikes, was usually reserved for witches. Punishment for scolds was only a "ducking stool." Well there's a relief.

            Anyway, it was time to get back to work, so I searched to see what the Bard, always good for a quote, had to say about nagging. There was nothing even from Taming of the Shrew, the greatest work ever written about a nagging wife. Instead, I found this gem with the title," Nagging wife, sausage help man win $4.2M lottery"  It claimed that a wife in New Zealand nagged her husband to buy a lottery ticket which he finally did with minutes to spare before the ticket sales closed on Saturday night. "My wife had been nagging me all week to get a ticket, so I when saw the Lotto sign ... I sprinted in to get the ticket before they closed," said the man. The couple who live in Auckland had fallen on hard times. The husband discovered that he had won $4.2 million when he went out to buy a barbecued sausage at his wife's "request." The man said he didn't have enough money to buy his wife the sausage. So he decided to check his Saturday lottery ticket in case he'd won a small prize. "I could not believe it when they said I was actually the big winner," he said. Note how the wife now requests the sausage after he's won the lottery.

            It was time to go back to the garage. What had I learned? Was nagging a medical condition or the inevitable consequence of the gender struggle in a patriarchical society?  Was it inherently a subjective term that said as much about the lack of responsiveness of the "naggee" as it did about the persistence of the "naggor." Did it invariably lead to a nervous disposition, divorce or other cruel and inhuman punishments.  And what was the solution? Would we have to change the power structure of society or could it be banished with post it notes plastered around the kitchen?

            I preferred to look at the positive. Sometimes it just gets things done. We got western philosophy, a couple in New Zealand won the lottery and we finally cleaned out all the crap from the garage.  



From the Onion: Future U.S. History Students: 'It's Pretty Embarrassing How Long You Guys Took To Legalize Gay Marriage'

DECATUR, IL, THE YEAR 2083—According to students in Mr. Bernard's fourth-period U.S. history class, it's "really pathetic" how long it took for early-21st-century Americans to finally legalize gay marriage.


The class of 2086 said it was "laughable" that people against gay marriage were given a legitimate political voice in the early 21st century. The classroom of 15-year-olds at MacArthur High School—all of whom were born in the late 2060s and grew up never questioning the obvious fact that homosexual couples deserve the right to get married—were reportedly "amazed" to learn in their Modern U.S. History: 2081 Edition textbooks that as late as the 2020s, gays and lesbians actually had to fight for the constitutional right to wed.

Prop. 8: Gay-marriage ban unconstitutional, court rules

Opponents of Prop. 8 demonstrate outside of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday

A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down California's ban on same-sex marriage, clearing the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage as early as next year.

The 2-1 decision by a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that limited marriage to one man and one woman, violated the U.S. Constitution. The architects of Prop. 8 have vowed to appeal.


When is a gift not a gift

Valentine's Day is upon us. Some of us will receive flowers, others jewelry and others may receive more expensive gifts such as a new car. Wouldn't that be nice? You would think that a gift is a gift but in California that is not always the case. As a divorce lawyer in California, I hate to rain on your parade but if you receive a diamond necklace from your husband as a gift, the law may not treat it as a gift if you ever get divorced.


            This is very common where a divorce turns nasty. Suddenly the gift giver and their lawyer decide that all the gifts of jewelry etc. during the marriage were not gifts at all but property of the marriage.


            The reason for this is that in a community property state like California there is a presumption that all property acquired during marriage is community property and must be divided equally in the event of a divorce. Certain types of gift are an exception to this rule but the exception is narrowly defined.


            In California, gifts of jewelry and other items of a personal nature are separate property if they are not substantial in nature taking into consideration the circumstances of the marriage. In other words, a $10,000 diamond ring from a millionaire is probably a gift of separate property. The same diamond ring from a spouse making an average income with no other valuable assets in the marriage is probably not. In one California divorce caseIn re Marriage of Buie & Neighbors, the court found that a gift of a Porsche was not an article of a personal nature as contemplated by the law. 


            Another exception if where there is something in writing indicating that a gift was intended. In California, a gift is separate property if there is a writing which expressly declares that giver intends the nature of the property to be changed from separate to community property. The legal term for such a declaration is a "transmutation." It is difficult to say whether your typical gift card would meet this standard. A hopelessly unromantic divorce lawyer receiving such a gift would therefore ask their spouse to append a declaration of transmutation under the declaration of love at the bottom of the card, "Please honey, just underneath where you say, "I love you, xxxx" do you mind writing “I give to you all and any interest I have in this diamond ring.”"


            Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer


Judge Orders Exchange of Facebook and Dating Website Passwords in Custody Fight

the ABA reports, a Connecticut judge has ordered lawyers representing a divorcing couple to exchange passwords to their clients’ Facebook and dating websites.

Judge Kenneth Schluger ordered the password exchange in the divorce of Stephen and Courtney Gallion, according to the Forbes blog The Not-So Private Parts. The judge cautioned in a Sept. 30 order that the exchange should be carried out by the lawyers, and neither spouse may post messages purporting to be the other.

Stephen Gallion’s lawyer, Gary Traystman, told the blog his client believes the social networking accounts will provide evidence about Courtney Gallion’s ability to take care of their children. Stephen Gallion is arguing for full custody.

According to the story, other judges have issued similar orders. “In ‘normal’ discovery, a litigant is usually asked to turn over ‘responsive material,’ not the keys to access all that material and more,” the story says, “but it seems that judges are applying different standards to social networking accounts.”


In re Marriage of Tong and Samson: Severance pay in a divorce

A review of a case in the CFLR regarding the treatment of severance pay. In a partial reversal, Second District holds that trial court erred by allocating husband’s severance pay to month in which it was received when it calculated his obligation for pendente lite spousal support under stipulated provision for percentage payment of monthly earnings in excess of $25,000. See the case at CFLR.

Los Angeles Divorce