Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Senate bill filed to ensure visitation rights of noncustodial parents

A measure filed Wednesday in the Senate will help ensure that the visitation rights of law-abiding noncustodial parents are protected. Sen. Ron Sharp filed Senate Bill 1612 after visiting with attorneys and community leaders from around the state and learning about the growing problem of noncustodial parents being denied their visitation rights by bitter custodial parents.

“We have noncustodial parents who are paying their child support and doing everything else the court ordered them to do but the custodial parents are still not allowing them to see their children because of past animosities. Just as noncustodial parents can be punished for not paying their child support, we need to hold custodial parents responsible for honoring court ordered visitation,” said Sharp, R-Shawnee. “While these custodial parents may think they’re hurting the other parent, they’re really only hurting their children. This is wrong and has to be stopped.”

Sharp pointed out that nearly every District Attorney’s office in the state now has a division completely dedicated to securing child support payments from noncustodial parents. Those who do not pay their child support face imprisonment and fines. However, there has hardly been any effort to protect the visitation rights of noncustodial parents.

SB 1612 would require the custodial parent to provide the noncustodial parent, who is current on child support, the court ordered visitation schedule. Offenders would face a fine. The legislation would also create a form that noncustodial parents could fill out at their local courthouse informing the district court that their visitation rights have been denied by the custodial parent.
The bill is coauthored by House Assistant Majority Whip and family law attorney Rep. Jon Echols who has seen firsthand how many noncustodial parents are not able to see their children because they simply cannot afford the legal expenses to fight for their visitation rights.

“One of the major problems facing many noncustodial parents is that after paying all of their support obligations they cannot afford an attorney to secure their visitation rights when the custodial parent has violated the schedule,” said Echols, R-Oklahoma City. “This bill would allow the noncustodial parent to directly file a claim to the District Court, similar to completing a small claims form. The court would then decide whether or not an attorney is necessary to restore the visitation rights. We must protect children, and that includes being able to see both of their parents.”

SB 1612 would also require that future divorce decrees define the penalty should the custodial parent deny the visitation rights of the noncustodial parent. The decree would also explain that the custodial parent must show cause as to why the visitation schedule was violated.

“This bill is an effort to ensure that both parents are involved in the child’s life regardless of the circumstances of the divorce. While a marriage may not last forever, these individuals will be parents for the rest of their lives, and their children need them,” said Sharp.

The bill reportedly has the support of numerous district attorneys, family law attorneys and community leaders from around the state.

Puppies Breastfed by Mom (Human)


A Colorado woman says she did the only thing that she felt would save his life: breastfeeding the sickly pup from her own breast when the puppy refused to eat anything.

“I just felt like he just had an hour left. That’s how weak he was, he wasn’t moving and I just did it,” the woman, whose identity has not been revealed, told local news outlet KRDO-TV of her decision to breastfeed the dog. "I

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didn’t know what else to do, I was desperate and I just couldn’t bear sitting there watching it die."

According to KRDO, is the runt of a litter of orphaned pups that the woman fostered. She has a 15-month-old child and admits that she felt "weird" about breastfeeding the dog, but she insists that the puppy would've died had she not taken action. The puppy is reportedly now doing much better and is no longer being breastfed.

A photograph of the puppy suckling on the woman's breast has been making the rounds on the Internet after the woman posted the picture on her personal Facebook page with an explanation of why she chose to breastfeed the dog.

While many netizens wondered why the woman didn't rush the pup to a vet before choosing to breastfeed it, some leapt to her defense. "I think it's great she did that to save the puppy, why not?" wrote a commenter on KRDO's website.

This isn't the first time that a breastfed dog has made headlines. In 2012, mother of two Terri Graham told U.K.'s Closer magazine that she had been regularly breastfeeding her daughter's dog, Spider, for the past two years.

"Having Spider suckle on my boob means I finally feel complete and a better mother," she told the magazine.

Employers Can Discriminate Against Younger Workers


We are coming to the time of year employers may be receiving an increased number of resumes or job applications from recent graduates who are still looking for their first job out of college or even high school. While they bring many positive attributes to the workforce such as technologically savvy, confidence, and have high expectations, there are negative stereotypes associated with the group as well.

While The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) clearly states that you may discriminate against younger age. While it unlawful for you to “discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s age.”, it is important to note that only workers who are at least 40 years old are allowed to file a claim under the ADEA.

The Supreme Court’s February 2004 decision in General General Dynamics Land Sys., Inc. v. Cline was a stunning legal development in that it allowed the discrimination of younger employees. The Court observed that “if Congress had been worrying about protecting the younger against the older, it would not likely have ignored everyone under forty.”

Writing for the majority, Justice Souter explained that while the ADEA makes it unlawful for an employer to “discriminate against any individual with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges
of employment, because of such individual’s age,” the word “age” can have two meanings. “Age” can either refer to any number of years lived, or it can be regarded as common shorthand for old age. The majority concluded that “age” had the latter meaning in the context of the ADEA’s prohibition against age discrimination. Therefore, it did not prohibit discrimination against the young.

Justice Scalia dissented on the grounds that the word “age” was ambiguous, and the Court should defer to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s understanding, which was that the ADEA barred
employers from making any age-based employment decisions.

Justice Thomas, joined by Justice Kennedy, dissented separately, stating that “age” was not ambiguous and clearly was not intended to mean “old age.”