Monthly Archives: October 2015

Clash between state and tribal courts in child custody case

The boys lived in Glendive in Montana with their grandparents for three years, but the grandmother took the boys to the Cheyenne tribe’s land when fearing that the father would be granted custody by a state court judge. The grandmother is not under obligation to follow state court jurisdiction on tribal land, but there is now a $25,000 warrant for her arrest after an emergency order was filed on Oct. 5 by the boy’s father after a Montana judge gave him custody.

The grandmother’s attorney plans to challenge the U.S. court’s jurisdiction as her client has a valid order from tribal court. To gain custody of the children, the attorney said the father would need to go to tribal court and appeal its initial ruling.

No abuse charges were ever officially filed, but the grandmother and others have picketed Montana’s Division of Child and Family Services as people are saying that abuse reports are not investigated and that recommendations from licensed counselors are ignored. Since parents who aren’t considered unfit have rights regarding their children, this means abusive parents could be given custody if reports of abuse are not pursued.

Issues regarding jurisdiction can make child custody matters more difficult, but courts generally decide custody based on the best interests of the child or children involved. If a custodial parent is estranged from a child’s other relatives, these relatives may have rights and could ask a judge for visitation.

Forensic accountants and high asset divorce

These financial professionals are often used in a business setting, such as when one business partner may be considered untrustworthy. Forensic accountants may be used in a divorce for similar reasons. When one spouse is suspected of hiding assets from the other, it can affect the property division process. The more net worth spouses have, the easier it is for one spouse to hide assets from the other. Some spouses have been discovered using the same tricks that business partners may use, such as creating a shell corporation.

Forensic accountants can uncover hidden assets by examining different aspects of a married couple’s financial life such as comparing tax records to bank accounts and other financial information. Some spouses may report less income than they actually earn, so it is important for financial analysts to look at all the numbers to understand what is really going on.

Many divorce attorneys regularly recommend the services of a forensic accountant as part of a client’s divorce “team”, especially when there is a lot of marital property that is subject to equitable distribution. These professionals can be of assistance not only in locating hidden assets but in placing a valuation on all of the couple’s marital assets.