Blog
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in law

According to this article from the Chicago Tribune, kids with divorced parents—even when the divorce is amicable—are less likely to be religious later in life.

This study shows that churches will have to take some new and drastic steps in addressing this lapse when trying to find potential leaders in the next generation. Some theories have been formed in regards to this problem; Elizabeth Marquardt, an American studies professor at Lake Forest College, says many current adults that went through this didn’t feel understood by their church at the time. Marquardt herself is the daughter of divorced parents. She states in the article that she hopes Protestant churches can use this data to help with their future.

Many religious institutions do not have set guidelines when it comes to dealing with divorce, especially if the divorce involves children. A pastor of Chicago’s Fourth Presbyterian, Rev. Joyce Shin, says that she will try to reach out to the parents as well as understand what the child needs during this time—but it’s difficult. “We know there are trusts that are being broken and that were broken, and it's going to take a lot to build up from that,” Shin says, acknowledging that it’s a hard time in anyone’s life.

Of all the cases presented to be heard by the United States Supreme Court, only 1 percent of them are actually chosen. It is extremely rare to find a child custody case in the chosen few. But just recently, the Court heard oral arguments in the case, Chafin v. Chafin, 11-1347.

The case is an international custody dispute involving the five year old daughter of Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Lee Chafin, an American citizen, and the child’s mother, who is Scottish. The little girl was born in Germany with dual United States and United Kingdom citizenship. When Sgt. Chafin was deployed to Afghanistan, his wife took their daughter and moved to Scotland, establishing a residence there. When Chafin was transferred to Alabama, the family reunited and resided in Alabama.

Shortly after the reunion, marital problems arose and Chafin’s wife filed with the federal district court to return with their child to Scotland. She successfully argued that the child’s habitual residence was Scotland, and pursuant to The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, she was able to secure an order by the court. Chafin filed a motion to stay, which was denied, and his wife took their child and moved to Scotland, where she quickly filed for Scottish custody proceedings, which, fourteen months later, are still pending.

A divorce can be a difficult process in the United States alone, but divorcing in two countries can turn into a real ordeal, says a recent article in the Chicago Tribune. There are many problems, for example, cultural differences, financial issues and bureaucracy, faced by an American who wants a divorce and is either a dual citizen, lives abroad or is married to a citizen of a foreign country.

Custody issues have become more common in the recent years. There are more conflicts, litigation and parental kidnappings these days because in the past it was almost hopeless for a man to win the custody of his child. Robert Makielski, 52, hopes that times have changed and he will get the custody of his two under aged children living in the Dominican Republic. "I'm basically dealing with a corrupt system in a foreign court," he says. Makielski has spent $50,000 on the case and expects to spend a whole lot more.

If you live abroad, you may not be able to file for a U.S. divorce. It is your place of residence that determines which court has the jurisdiction, not your birth place. The laws can differ greatly between countries. Usually, divorce and dual citizen matters are easier to deal with in the United States and Europe. The divorce will proceed in the country where it is filed, so time is of the essence too.

Talk to an attorney now. Call 630-232-9700.
For faster response to after-hours inquiries, please   email us.