How To Be A Good Parent Even After The Divorce

Being a good parent is hard enough on a good day. However, when you’ve just gone through a divorce, making sure that your kids are doing fine is always much harder. You can be a good parent after a divorce though so doesn’t think that this is an unattainable goal.

When you use your parenting skills in a divorce, you help teach your kids to deal with various challenges, helping them to grow into well-adjusted individuals. If you’re going or have gone through a divorce and are trying to figure out how to be a good parent through it all, use these tips.

Put The Child First:

Many times a divorce is going to be messy and complicated. You and your former spouse may hate each other and have trouble even being in the same room. However, this attitude isn’t going to do any favors for your child. You need to make sure that you’re not focusing on yourself throughout the divorce.

Since it can be a fairly lengthy process, talk to your children openly throughout the entire ordeal and ask how they’re doing. They may not be coping so well. Also, when you begin to figure out custody agreements and other important details that are about the kids, get their input. They may not be very happy about the entire situation, but involving them in the process and showing them that you care, is going to help with the transition.

Remember It’s Not About You:

Well, at least not entirely. Obviously, your divorce is going to be a huge part of your life, but you are an adult. You have increased coping mechanisms as well as a mature perspective that your children lack. If you’re starting to fall into the victim mentality, then make the decision to turn this attitude around.

Accept the fact that even in the worst of marriages, you probably made some mistakes as well. When you get to this point, you’re not only helping yourself, you’re also showing your kids that it’s OK to be wrong sometimes and you should always acknowledge your mistakes.

Look At The Positives:

It’s always hard to see anything positive coming from a divorce, but there are many life lessons that you can gain from going through this process. Similarly, your kids can also gain more experience from you. However, you can’t do this if you simply refuse to deal with the problem at hand. As you go throughout the divorce, take each experience as a life lesson.

Many of them are not going to be easy, but if you pay attention, you will come through this experience and be a wiser and stronger person throughout the rest of your life. Make sure that you talk to your kids throughout the process and mention some of the lessons you’ve learned. They can similarly take your lessons and apply them to their lives and future relationships.

Always Be Respectful:

When a divorce with children happens, it’s likely that both parents will have custody or visitation rights. This is going to be hard to deal with, but you can’t let your own feelings get in the way of your children’s happiness. Working through the challenges of successfully communicating with an ex is a goal, which you’re probably not going to get right the first time.

Try to maintain a respectful relationship with your former spouse. This not only sets a good example for your kids, it also helps to make the entire ordeal so much easier

These are a few of the basic ways to make sure that you continue to be a good parent both through and after a divorce. Divorce is difficult for both parents and their children, so make sure that you pay attention to your kids and continue to make them a priority throughout the entire process. Divorce can be a positive or negative factor in a child’s life depending on how you react to it. If you treat it as a learning experience, it can help to grow the relationship that you have with your children.

However, it does take time and effort, so make sure that you’re being a mindful parent throughout the entire process to make the transition easy for your children.

Legal Issues with Family Finances

Imagine the following scenario, you are the parents of three children, a boy age 17 and two girls, ages 9 and 12. You have been meaning to attend to certain legal and financial issues regarding your family such as establishing a last will and testament. You may feel secure if you and your spouse have life insurance through your employer that amounts to around $500,000 in death benefit when either of you die, and you named as beneficiary each of your children in equal amounts (per stirpes).

Here is a summary of the worst case scenario in the event that both you and your spouse predecease your children before they reach the age of majority (which is 18 in in the United States). Your assets will not automatically pass to your three children if they are under the age of majority at the time of both of your deaths. What is worse is because no individual was appointed guardian of the children, a court would appoint what is known as a guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of the children.

Issues Arising From the Death of a Parent with Minor Children
As you can see, failure to address the issue of a will while alive forces the hand of the state to take action and appoint an individual to look after your children. Questions will arise from this scenario about the financial status of the estate left behind by the demise of you and your spouse.

When the joint deaths occurred (and we will set aside for a moment the issue of who died first) and no will was left behind, you are said to have died intestate, or without a will or a set of written instructions that determine the disposition of your estate, guardianship of the children, and settlement of your affairs. This invokes the involvement of the probate court to fix these matters, a process which could take some time. Consider the size of your estate and how likely it may be to cause disputes among members of your surviving family (i.e. parents, siblings, grandparents, etc.).

Simultaneous Death or Death Caused by a Common Disaster
Now back to the issue of who dies first. Under what is known as the Uniform Simultaneous Death Act, insurance contracts have what is known as the common disaster clause. If you and your wife were involved in an accident that resulted in your deaths, the determination (in the absence of clear evidence to the contrary) would be that you predeceased your spouse, meaning the proceeds of the insurance would go to your estate, not hers. Regardless of the relationship you have with the children you are raising from another marriage or her children from another marriage, if she were the primary beneficiary the proceeds would pass to her at the time of death.

What Can Be Done?
There is a common myth that estate planning is something only for wealthy people and a will is not necessary if there are not a lot of assets to distribute. If you own a home, participate in a retirement savings account like a 401(k) plan, and have money in the bank, you need to protect those assets for your surviving children in the event that simultaneous deaths were to occur. The effort to plan for the protection of your children and their financial interests cannot take place if you and your spouse are no longer around to protect them.

This article was written by Robert Tritter, an aspiring lawyer who looks forward to helping you understand legal issues better. He recommends taking a look at the finance jobs with moneyjobs.com if you’re interested in a career in finance. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!

Family Member a Victim of Fraud Against the Government? How to Fight Back

Fraud

(US law) Criminal acts commonly result in collateral damage. When the criminal act results in the taking of a human life, the victim’s family may be left with a lost source of income and an emotional toll that can never be overcome. In such cases, members of the immediate family may file a civil action to recover damages. Fraud against the government is no exception, although in such cases, family members have an additional option.

Suing for Wrongful Death

Wrongful death lawsuits entitle certain people, usually immediate family members, executors of an estate, or other appointed parties, to sue on behalf of a person who was killed as the result of another person’s wrongful act. A wrongful act is an illegal or tortious act. In the context of an unnecessary medical procedure, the wrongful act may be fraud; in the context of a procedure that the patient never consented to, the wrongful act may be battery.

The only difference between a person being killed by a drunk driver and by an ongoing Medicare fraud is the chain of events that led to the death and the complexity of the fact pattern. The underlying concept is the same: a wrongful act caused a death and the persons responsible are liable for damages. The law does not require that the wrongful act be directed at the decedent. It is sufficient that a wrongful act occurred and that the decedent died as a result thereof.

Suing Under the False Claims Act

If the death resulted from fraud against the government, victims have another avenue of recourse. 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733, more commonly known as the False Claims Act of 1863, prohibits a long list of conduct committed in furtherance of defrauding the federal government. It is unlawful, among other things, to present fraudulent claims for payment or make false statements in connection with any claims made to the federal government. Billing for unnecessary procedures or defrauding the government in sales of equipment that is claimed to meet certain specifications but does not meet those specifications is a federal crime.

The False Claims Act of 1963 creates a private right of action; any citizen can sue the offending parties for the unlawful conduct. Parties may initiate a claim under the False Claims Act by filing a qui tam action and serving it upon the U.S. Attorney General as well as the local U.S. Attorney. The government has 60 days to investigate the claim. If the government decides to pursue the claim, the plaintiff’s involvement ends and the government prosecutes the case. If the government declines to pursue the case, the plaintiff may still pursue the case privately on behalf of the government.

This opens up another avenue of recovery for victims and their families. Wrongful death lawsuits normally limit damages to expected future income; proving such damages can be difficult and a large damage award may be reduced upon appeal due to the speculative nature of such awards. In contrast, a successful qui tam action will result in a percentage of the recovery being awarded to the original plaintiff. The False Claims Act allows for recovery of treble damages and disgorgement of profits; as a result, the awards from such claims can be high. If the government takes over the case, the plaintiff may receive 15 percent of the settlement or award; if the plaintiff litigates the matter and obtains a settlement or judgment, the plaintiff may be entitled to as much as 30 percent of the damages.

Deterring future conduct is as important as obtaining compensation for a lost friend or family member. If your family member underwent unnecessary procedures or was victimized by defective products as a result of ongoing fraud against the federal government, it is likely that your family member was not the only victim. If nothing is done, your family member may not be the last. Seek legal counsel as soon as possible; consult a tort lawyer for a wrongful death claim and a whistleblower attorney to discuss the feasibility of pursuing a claim under the False Claims Act.

Valerie Stout Cyrus is a freelance writer who frequently researches claims of fraud against the government. She has found that the attorneys at the whistleblower law firm of Goldberg Kohn Ltd, at www.whistleblowersattorneys.com, are experienced in securing judgments against entities that commit fraud against the government.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/20692718@N00/4038317140/

The Adoption Process: Will Your DUI Conviction Affect The Outcome?

Lourdie Adoption Ceremony August 11, 20104

A DUI conviction can have repercussions that go beyond the stigma of having a criminal record. For instance, a drunk driving charge can affect whether a person can continue on with school, get employment, make purchases that require loans like real estate and vehicles, and even rent an apartment. Another thing that a DUI can affect is the ability to adopt a child since quite a few investigating agencies use DUI convictions against parties desiring to adopt. Below are some steps that individuals may take in order to help their cause with adoption authorities.

First – Hire a DUI lawyer

If you are considering adopting a child and you have a DUI conviction, a DUI attorney can assist you with several key steps that may make you a more desirable candidate for adopting. Katz & Phillips, a law firm in Tampa, offers this about defense against DUIs, “…you really might have been perfectly fine to drive, but something went wrong during the arrest process to convince the authorities otherwise.” A critical defense such as this could be the key to getting a DUI conviction expunged from your criminal record. Your lawyer can assist with the following steps:

1. Gather court and Department of Motor Vehicles records to review exactly what anyone who is performing a basic background check will see.

2. Ask a DUI attorney if an appeal is possible on a conviction. While this may not entirely clear a record, it could still be beneficial.

3. Consider having a DUI conviction expunged from the criminal record. While it is no guarantee, this process can help other things besides adoptions, so it is worth the time and effort. Contrary to popular belief, DUI convictions do not automatically clear from a criminal record once seven years have passed. Unless it is expunged, the conviction will appear on most any criminal background check. However, keep in mind that felony DUI convictions are rarely expunged. Also, some states disallow expunging misdemeanors as well.

Ensure that the court record as well as the DMV record is cleared. Otherwise, there is a risk that it will still show up in a background check. Also, while the conviction may not appear on a background check, it may surface during the course of a more thorough investigation. Because adoption agencies operate under more stringent guidelines, they may have access to this information in the same way that a police department or the FBI would. This is because once a DUI is on a record, law enforcement can become aware of it even after expungement when they are checking for prior arrests and convictions.

4. Have the court record examined thoroughly as well as the DMV record to ensure that the conviction was actually expunged.

5. Arrange to complete a homestudy program with regard to the DUI. This will help convince an adoption agency that responsibility was taken for the situation to increase the possibility for a successful adoption.

6. Consult with an adoption lawyer and explain the entire situation so that he or she may recommend how best to proceed.

7. Try speaking with several adoption agencies about the situation. While some agencies require several years after a DUI before they will consider an application, others may have different guidelines to deal with the situation.

8. Consider Disclosing DUI Information because, in the end, if a DUI arrest is not disclosed and is later discovered, an adoption agency may have the right to deny the application automatically. However, if it is explained that the matter was expunged from the record, there could be a possibility that the agency will consider the adoption application.

Both DUI convictions and adoption are complex processes. Therefore, regardless of which avenue is pursued, it is best to first clear the DMV and court records as well as possible with the help of a DUI lawyer. Then concentrate on the adoption process with an expert family lawyer guiding you through the process.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/4886622275/

Mediation takes a front seat with a boost of government funding

After the recent cuts to legal aid the government has taken steps to redress the balance in favour of separated parents by announcing £6.5 million of support. The money will help over a quarter of a million separated parents throughout Britain, funding pioneering and innovative support to help them work together for the sake of their children.

The new funding has been awarded to seven voluntary and third sector organisations and will give around 280,000 separated families targeted help to work together in their children’s interests. The funding is part of £20 million the government has dedicated to helping separated families, as it attempts to provide as much support to out of court settlements as possible following the large cuts to legal aid. The coalition will hope that this extra funding will prevent warring couples from representing themselves in court, which slows down the legal process and often results in vitriolic testimonies against former partners. Taking couples away out of this confrontational environment should create a more constructive atmosphere that is much less harmful to any children involved.

The government funding has been awarded to projects in Powys, Oxfordshire, Cheshire, Newcastle, Warwickshire, Scotland, Kent, Stirlingshire, Angus, Birmingham and the West Midlands. The projects include an online tool that provides coaching to separated couples and face to face guidance and mediation projects to help low income couples. Alongside the schemes are plans for parenting classes for teenage mums and dads, counselling and therapy projects and specialist support for those who live in fear of their ex-partners.

The focus on providing mediation services highlights the government’s desire to protect the interests of children in these situations. Because mediation is focused on helping couples resolve their differences amicably there is less risk of the separation being hostile as it can often be when taken through the court system. Children will be better off in a family where parents are on good terms and focussed on being the best possible parents to their children, rather than looking after their own personal interests.

It will be some time before we can assess the impact of the government’s latest efforts to give families an alternative to going through the court system. Whilst the cuts to legal aid may help to cut the deficit in the long term, critics of the move will maintain that in many cases mediation is simply not viable as an option for those separating. In many relationships communication deteriorates to such an extent that mediation will not help and court proceedings are ultimately required. However this latest round of funding is focussed on helping parents re-engage with each other no matter how bad their relationship has become. Legal aid is no longer a reality for many separated families, and they will have to decide if they want what is best for their children before completely rejecting family mediation.

About the author: Ramsdens Solicitors offers help settling child custody disputes inside and outside of court.

A Tampa Collaborative Divorce Can Save You Money

When most people think of divorce, they envision scenes from War of the Roses or Kramer vs. Kramer. Yet more people in Tampa Bay are learning that there is another way, collaborative divorce, which is just a sensible method to resolve private family disputes. However, just as mediation was characterized in the 1980’s and 1990’s as a rich person’s option, many people think that the collaborative process is only for the very wealthy. Not only attorneys, but also a collaborative facilitator and financial professional are retained, so only the very rich can afford the collaborative model, right?

Wrong.

A four year study conducted by the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals found that 87% of female participants and 47% of male participants of collaborative family law cases had an annual income of less than $100,000.

Though the collaborative process may not be the cheapest in all cases, it has a substantial opportunity to save you money as compared to the courtroom battles we have all come to associate with divorce.

First, child issues, such as custody schedules and decision-making authority, are some of the most emotional and costliest issues in family law matters. Lawyers in courtroom cases tend to prepare interrogatories (questions) to be answered under penalty of perjury, set depositions, conduct opposition research to put the other spouse in the worst possible light, and prepare for trial. Attorneys’ invoices pile up along each stage of this process. Alternatively, these fees and costs can be greatly reduced in the collaborative process where facilitators, who usually are licensed mental health professionals, can cut through the clutter of emotionally-charged issues and bring the clients (and lawyers) to focus on the future and best interests of the children.

Similarly, a financial professional (who is usually either an accountant or financial planner) adds cost-saving value to the process. In litigated cases, lawyers prepare “requests for production of documents and things” that demand reams of financial documents which could conceivably be relevant. Searching for those documents cost clients tremendous time and money while, when received, the requesting attorney will spend countless billable hours meticulously combing through the documents. In the collaborative process, on the other hand, the financial professional will only request documents that are necessary to make an informed settlement option. His or her expertise in finances enables the financial professional to review and assess the documents and develop settlement options more quickly (and often times at a lower rate) than attorneys.

Finally, the dirty little secret in family law is that the vast majority of litigation cases eventually settle. However, because having a judge decide on the parties’ personal matters always remains a threat, in traditional courtroom divorce the attorneys will always work on two tracks: (i) attempt to settle the case while (ii) conducting opposition research and preparing for the courtroom battle in case the parties cannot come to an agreement. In the collaborative process, attorneys are retained solely for the purpose of settlement and are contractually barred from taking disputes to be decided in court, and so they are not racking up those billable hours planning to fight it out in court.

Now, back to the question, is collaborative divorce only for the wealthy? Absolutely not, and I would be happy to speak with you and talk more about how the process can help your family.

If you have questions regarding how a Tampa Bay collaborative divorce process can help you, schedule a consultation with attorney Adam B. Cordover at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.

Adam B. Cordover is Vice President of the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay and is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Adam spearheaded the taskforce that drafted the Hillsborough County collaborative family practice administrative order signed by Chief Judge Manuel Menendez.

A Closer Look at a Strange Anti-Condom Rule

Condoms!

A Closer Look at a Strange Anti-Condom Rule

Normally, college campuses work hard to give students tools to have sex safely, whether that means education outreach efforts, free STD screenings or confidential hotlines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that there are about 19 million new sexually-transmitted diseases in the United States each year, and about half of those affect people who are aged 15 to 24, so building awareness seems appropriate. However, Boston College, a Catholic Jesuit University in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts has taken a different tact altogether by seemingly wanting students to practice abstinence or be unsafe in the bedroom. What’s the method? Banning condoms.

Why Free Condoms Are a No-Go

Recently, a campus organization called Boston College Students for Sexual Health came under fire for attempting to freely distribute condoms across campus. Beyond giving students information about being smart in the bedroom, the USA Today newspaper mentioned that the organization operates a series of 18 “Safe Sites,” spread throughout dorm rooms where students can get items such as condoms and lubricants.

Coverage on the CityTownInfo.com website notes that the student organization is not one that’s recognized by Boston College, yet the organization has received a joint letter from the college’s dean of students and the director of residence life, cautioning that if the distribution of condoms continued, anyone responsible would be subject to disciplinary action. The school asserts that such practices are against policy, because of the religious background of the institution. Although the letter did venture towards giving benefit of the doubt by mentioning that perhaps the students were unaware of such a policy, it leaves no doubt about the prohibition of further action.

The Backlash

It didn’t take long for the story to gain national attention, with many people coming out in support of the students instead of the college. New York Magazine reports that other Catholic universities including Georgetown, Holy Cross and Notre Dame stand behind the Boston College students, and an attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union mentions that if the issue isn’t dropped, the college will be subject to a lawsuit.

Box of Condoms

An Odd Decision

Over the years, condoms have been banned in parts of Africa, and there has been debate about doing the same in the Philippines but nothing of that extent in America. During the 2012 presidential race, the Huffington Post reported that Republican candidate Rick Santorum did not want to ban condoms or birth control pills at the federal level, but felt that states should have the power to do so if desired. Even that possibility stirred up a flurry of negative comments across the country. Also, in 2010, Pope Benedict XVI admitted that although abstinence is preferred, condoms are a “real and moral solution,” especially in preventing the spread of AIDS. There’s even an organization called Condoms 4 Life that’s specifically geared towards people who follow the Catholic faith and want to practice sex responsibly.

The fact that these resources and opinions exist in the religious world seems to weaken the Boston College argument of the condom ban being based in religion, and suggest that perhaps there is a need to revisit college policy. Last year, the Lifestyles Condoms brand conducted a survey which found that one third of college students reported having sex multiple times per week, and 12% said they did it several times per day. As this data shows, college students are having sex, and making it harder for them to do it safely isn’t likely to change the trends.

Karen Alton writes for health blogs. If you’re sexually active in Denver, get lab work for std risk in Denver.

Could family law cases increase as parental child abduction levels almost double in a decade?

I was shocked to find new figures revealing the number of parental child abduction cases have risen by 88% in under a decade. Just in the last year the Foreign Office’s (FCO)Child Abduction section fielded an averageof four calls per day to its specialist advice line.

It’s evidently clear that parental child abduction has become a serious worldwide issue. Almost 270 new cases were reported in 2003-04, while this year there has been more than 500 new cases so far according to the FCO.

What are the legal issues surround parental child abduction?

It is illegal for a parent to take a child overseas without permission from others with parental responsibility. However separate research by the FCO has suggested 24 per cent of Britons are unaware it is a crime.

If a child has been taken out of the country for more than 28 days without consent from those who posses parental responsibility, or a consenting order from the courts is breaking the law. In this circumstance I would advise to contact the police immediately as well as speaking to a family law legal specialist who will be able to advice you on your rights.

The increase in parental child abduction cases is a major cause for concern and is likely to lead to an increase in family law cases taking the matter to court.

Do you even have international support?

International law

The 1980 Hague convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction requires an abducted child to be sent back quickly to where they usually live, which is usually viewed as the best country to decide on matters such as custody and access in the benefit of the child.

A judgement on whether or not to return a child should ideally be reached within six weeks of court proceedings starting. However from experience, the complication of the majority of cases often results in court matters occurring far longer, often years.

Constitutional law

The above is only legal procedure for countries signed up to the Hague Convention. There are around 200 legal jurisdictions in the world. Only 87 of them are signatories to the Hague Convention, with no penalties for those that do not follow the rules.

If your child has been taken to a country that has not signed The Hague Convention then you may need to apply for custody and permission to bring your child back to the UK through the courts of that country and I’m afraid this process often takes far, far longer.

What to do if your child has been abducted by another parent

There are four key things to ensure you do if your child has been abducted.

  1. Seek advice from a family law solicitor and request an order stopping the child from being removed from the country
  2. Contact the police if the abduction is expected to take place
  3. Keep the child’s passport in a safe place
  4. Call the FCO’s Child Abduction Section on 020 7008 0878.

The statistics show that people tend to underestimate just how much getting a child back costs, including legal fees overseas and in the UK which may continue to mount up even after  the child is returned to this country. There also seems to be a lack of awareness about who pays the costs of resolving a parental child abduction case involving a non-Hague country.

The FCO has launched a campaign to highlight the issue to help inform and educate the UK public and encourage parents thinking of abducting their child to think twice before they cause significant distress to themselves and their family.

Hattons Solicitors have a dedicated team of family solicitors specialising in family law including cohabitation agreements, divorce law and separation. 

Product Liability Laws and Your Family

Product liability involves holding a manufacturer or seller liable because a defective product was sold to a consumer. Sellers are responsible for a defective product because they distribute the item, and others who may be involved include the manufacturer, the distributor and the retailer selling the defective product.

What you should know

Generally speaking, the law states that any product should meet the consumer’s reasonable expectations of safety, and when a product has a hidden defect, it falls below that standard. Under the law, any party that is part of the distribution chain could be held liable for a defective product, along with whoever installs or assembles it.

In a product liability lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that a product caused an injury because it was defective to such an extent that it was “’unreasonably dangerous.” These defects fall into three categories:

● design defects that make the product inherently unsafe,

● manufacturing defects that occur during the product’s production or assembly, and

● marketing defects due to inadequate safety warnings, incomplete instructions and incorrect labeling.

For their part, consumers must follow a product’s instructions carefully, heed the safety warnings, and read the fine print as well.

Protecting children

In the United States, many families are adversely affected by injuries that are the result of using a defective product every year, and children are often harmed because a manufacturer failed to take the necessary safety precautions. For example, the most common defective children’s products include playpens, cribs, high chairs, strollers, walkers, car seats, toys and carriers.

Establishing who is liable

With product liability cases, the defense often maintains that the plaintiff has failed in identifying the supplier of the item that is alleged to be the cause of the injury. Consequently, the plaintiff must provide a direct link between the product and those who were involved in producing or supplying it. Note that an exception to the rule may be applied in a case involving a defective medication. If a plaintiff is unable to identify which pharmaceutical company supplied the drug he or she consumed, all manufactures will be held liable, based on the amount of sales for the medication in the plaintiff’s locale.

As part of their defense, a manufacturer or distributor may claim that the plaintiff significantly altered the item after purchasing it, and that taking this step was the sole cause of the injury. It may also be argued that the article was used in an “unforeseeable way” as opposed to its intended purpose, and that this error is the source of the plaintiff’s injury.

Getting the help you need

Product liability cases can be very complicated, and proving liability may require the advice and testimony of experts in the field. There are several legal precedents under which a plaintiff’s attorney could file a claim, and several legal arguments that could cause them to be unsuccessful as well. In addition, each state has its own set of specific statutes and laws that have a direct bearing on product liability lawsuits. Because of this, it is essential to consult with an experienced product liability attorney if you feel that you or some one close to you has been injured by a defective product.

When you’re on your family vacation, you don’t want to be worrying about all these when renting equipment. So, when you’re off vacationing in Hawaii and are looking for an adventure, make sure to do it with ATV Outfitters Hawaii. They’ll make sure that you and your family will have a memorable, fun, and safe adventure of a lifetime.

Recent Ruling on Circumcision – A Violation of Individual Liberties or Protection for Children?

At the end of June, a judge in Cologne, Germany ruled that male circumcision is illegal. Not only is it illegal, but motivation behind the circumcision is of no value in this area of Germany. The judge made this ruling based on his conviction that the religious practices and beliefs of parents who do circumcise should not trump a baby or a child’s right to have bodily integrity. This ruling was handed down after a four year old Muslim child in Cologne was brought to the emergency room with severe bleeding only two days after being circumcised. The judge felt it was his responsibility to protect young boys and babies who cannot protect themselves from such an act. However, this ruling does not apply to medically indicated circumcisions.

Circumcision: A Deeply Religious Practice

Circumcision is in many religions, such as the Jewish and Muslim religions, a required and sacred act. Understandably so, this court ruling has Jews and Muslims in Germany in an uproar. One Jewish leader even went so far as to compare this ruling to the start of the Holocaust where religious freedom was completely ignored. Jewish leaders say they will continue to practice their religious beliefs, including that of circumcision. Jewish menare traditionally circumcised as babies at eight days old. Eight days is what God instructed of them in the Bible, and it has been found that at eight days of age a newborn has an intrinsic ability to clot their blood. Muslim boys are traditionally circumcised between the ages of four and twelve.

Is the Cologne Jude Right or Wrong?

Is this judge really protecting the bodily integrity of young boys in Germany, or has he crossed the line and encroached on the religious freedoms of many? One could agree with the judge and argue that when these young men reach a certain age they can make a religious decision for themselves as to whether or not to be circumcised. However, as parents we do have the right to make many decisions, religious or not, for our children until they are of a certain age.

Adding to the Heavily Debated Circumcision Topic

Circumcision has always been a widely debated global topic, and the ruling of this judge only adds fuel to the fire. Parents of boys have likely been a part of this debate in one way or another, no matter where they live. There are valid and scientific facts on each side of the debate. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have stated there are medical benefits to circumcision such as lessening the likelihood of bladder infections, penile cancer and sexually transmitted diseases later in life. However, there are arguments on the other side questioning parental and religious rights to do this to children, as well as the risk of infection, emotional trauma, infringement on the child’s freedom of religion, and possible decreased sexual enjoyment later in life. One point that cannot be refuted is that this is a very emotionally charged and debated issue.

Cologne Judge’s Ruling Puts a Halt on most German Circumcisions

It is important to note that this ruling on circumcision only applies to the Cologne area of Germany. However, it has doctors and hospitals all throughout the German countryplacing a temporary ban on the practice of circumcision. Many health professionals are afraid of what this ruling means for the entire country, and therefore are not performing circumcisions until the dust settles and the ruling is either successfully appealed, or at the very least made more clear.

Will a German Circumcision Ban lead to an American Circumcision Ban?

With German doctors wondering what this means for the rest of the country outside of the area of Cologne, perhaps we should be wondering what this means for the United States and the rest of the world. Is it possible that such a ruling could eventually be handed down somewhere, or even all over, the United States? After all, many German or European trends, policies and ideas in law, medicine and government have made their way to the United States over time.

This article was written on behalf of Kramer Law Firm.