On the Today show this morning, there was a story about a man who posted a blog called ThePsychoExWife.com. He and his wife had an especially hostile divorce process, and there were two children ages 10 and 12. It was interesting because the Judge ordered him to remove the blog and he is now appealing. He raised the First Amendment, and believes he has the right to say whatever he wants on his blog about his ex wife. I am curious about what my clients would think of this. I believe in the First Amendment (I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it). However, I also feel strongly that parents should not say demeaning or negative things about the other parent in the presence of the children. The children could have read this blog, so even if the father didn't say it in their presence they had access to his statements. It is very damaging to a child's self esteem to hear one parent talk badly about the other. I think that the father has the right to express his feelings (as long as not actionable for libel, slander or defamation); but, I think when children are involved their feelings are paramount in this equation.
A great television program to watch is CNBC's new "Divorce Wars" show. If you have any misgivings about whether you should get a prenuptial agreement, this show will help you decide. These stories could happen to anyone. You can see details on their website at: www.divorcewars.cnbc.com.
The mother of a child born to unmarried parents has custody of that child until the Court determines otherwise in a parentage proceeding. This change removes the language which stated that parents of a child whose paternity is established are presumed to each have custody until a court determines otherwise. Also removed was language which stated that written agreements, preferably from mediation, are encouraged to document the scope of custody.
In my law practice, I see separated or divorced parents who wait for the other parent to give them information about the child. This is not a good idea, especially if that parent is trying to alienate the child from you. Go to the school and meet the teachers. Find out about all the activities from the source, not the other parent. It is the law in Oklahoma that you are entitled to the school records and medical records of your child. If you have a problem getting access directly from the provider contact the office for more information.
In 2007, a prominent business owner going through a highly contested divorce went on a trip. While he was gone, his soon to be ex-wife allegedly found child pornography on his computer. She still had access to his house and computer during the divorce process. Police were notified, and ultimately the man was arrested and charged with multiple felony counts. He spent a tremendous amount of money on computer experts (and attorneys) in his effort to prove his innocence. At the trial, he was able to show she planted the images, and got custody of his children. This took a toll on him personally and professionally. It's difficult to imagine the stress he went through after being charged with a crime of this nature. Let this be a lesson to always be on your guard. Change your passwords and be careful about your ex or estranged spouse having access to your home and computer. This actually happened in Connecticut.