If You Flunk, Can You Re-Take this Test?

Researchers claim that they have discovered a test that is 94% accurate in predicting the likelihood of divorce:

The results come from a series of intensive studies of 15-minute interviews with couples discussing contentious issues, such as sex or money. Trained observers tracked statements and facial expressions made by each partner and plotted graphs of ‘positivity’ against time for each conversation.

The equations seem to fall into five types, only three of which appear to be stable over long periods of time. To test this assertion, researchers interviewed 700 US couples who had recently wed, and made predictions about whether they would get divorced in the near future. Revisiting those same couples four years later, they found their predictions had a 94% success rate – better than therapists who carried out a similar exercise..

The crucial predictors, say the researchers, are the presence of facial expressions that accompany emotions such as contempt. For example, just watching a couple and looking for this expression, described as a sideways pull of a corner of the mouth accompanied by rolling eyes, is enough to make a good guess about a couple’s suitability. “This is our best predictor. Contempt is the sulphuric acid of love.”

Too bad you can’t take it before you’re married.

Man Fakes Death to Avoid Child Support

It seems that in some cases, people would do just about anything to avoid child support. For instance one man made extremely hard efforts to make it look like he had died. He faked his death in a bar fight and had the court informed that he had passed away.

After a while, the truth came out and the court sentenced him to pay all the alimony he owed or to go to jail. Since the man refused to pay, he had to serve time. The offender’s repeated efforts to escape from jail caused him to receive a sentence for that too. In addition to this sentence, he would also have to pay the alimony he owed to his children.

Via Google News comes the following from South Carolina:

January 18, 2006 – A 58-year-old man who bragged about being a deadbeat dad admits he went to extreme lengths to avoid paying child support. The shock came when the deadbeat dad was found alive.

On March 5, 1979, a family court judge found Johnny Martin to be in contempt of court for failing to pay $4,120 in court-ordered child support payments for two of his children, according to Sheriff James Metts. The judge ordered Martin to pay the money or serve one year in jail at the Lexington County Detention Center. Martin didn’t pay. At the detention center, Martin was assigned to be an inmate worker in 1979 and escaped after he was let out to conduct his assigned duties.

A couple of months later, someone, no one knows who, told the family court judge he died. But Tuesday night Martin was found alive and well, just 26 years older, with a mustache. He was in Myrtle Beach with his girlfriend. Lexington County Sheriff James Metts says, “He has admitted to us he faked his death in a bar fight in Alabama.” He did that to avoid paying child support, which was $4,000 at the time. Martin was a father to a six and nine year old.

After being informed about new facts in the case, a Lexington County family court judge on Tuesday re-opened the case against Martin for unpaid child support and issued a bench warrant for Martin’s arrest for lying about his death to avoid paying child support. 11th Circuit Family Court Judge Richard W. Chewning, III, ruled in the bench warrant issued for Martin that the case against Martin for unpaid child support was “previously dismissed under false pretenses.”

His current wife, Phyllis Martin, told WIS in a phone interview he boasted about being a deadbeat dad, “He just bragged that he never paid child support. There was no … man in a dress [referring to the judge’s robes] that was going to tell him what to do.”

So just how did he get caught? Last week, Martin’s first wife, the mother of his kids, saw another escapee on television return to jail in Lexington County. She’d heard rumors about her ex-husband and called the sheriff’s department.

The sheriff says for 20 years, Martin lived in Myrtle Beach, ran an auto repair shop and remarried three times. Martin was arrested at his home on Avenue South where he lived with a girlfriend.

He uses his real name and, even now, deputies say he insists he’s not going to pay. Sheriff Metts describes Martin, “Very arrogant, very arrogant. He was not taken down very easily. A scuffle ensued to arrest him.” The sheriff says Martin also told them there is no jail big enough or tough enough to hold him.

Right now, he’s being held at the Lexington County Detention Center. He faces charges for the escape and could be have to pay back more than $30,000 in child support. Martin will remain in jail while awaiting a hearing in Lexington County Family Court on Friday, January 20. During the hearing, a family court judge will determine what sanctions Martin will face.

“Johnny Martin is the ultimate dead-beat dad, faking his own death to avoid paying money to support his young children who were living in Lexington County,” Metts said. “We have worked closely with the family court to ensure that Martin was brought to justice in Lexington County for his unprecedented efforts to avoid making court-ordered child support payments.”

A magistrate on Wednesday morning set bond for Martin at $1 million on the escape

Property Division, German Style?

German man chain saws house in two in divorce split, takes his half

According to numerous news sources, a 43-year-old German decided to settle his divorce by chain sawing a family home in two and making off with his half in a forklift truck.

Police in the eastern town of Sonneberg said the trained mason measured the single-story summer house — which was some 8 meters (26 feet) long and 6 meters wide — before chain sawing through the wooden roof and walls.

“The man said he was just taking his due,” said a police spokesman. “But I don’t think his wife was too pleased.”

After finishing the job, the man picked up his half with the forklift truck and drove to his brother’s house, where he has since been staying.

For a picture of “her half”

Jury Keeps NY Couple from Inflicting Their Misery on the Rest of Us

Jury Says Feuding N.Y. Couple Cannot Divorce

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS; Published: March 29, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) — Feuding spouses who built a wall through their three-story row house because neither would give it up cannot divorce, a jury ruled. Jurors on Wednesday shot down the ”cruel and inhuman treatment” Chana Taub cites as grounds for divorcing Simon Taub after more than 20 years of marriage and four children.

”I’m dismissing the whole case. That’s it,” Justice Carolyn Demarest said. To revive the case, Chana Taub would have to file it again, on new grounds. ”I was in total shock,” Chana Taub told the Daily News. ”It’s unbelievable.”

The husband’s lawyer, Abe Konstam, called the case an extraordinary waste and said the trial wouldn’t have been necessary if New York changed its divorce laws. The state doesn’t allow the speedy dissolution of a marriage without proof that one spouse is somehow at fault.

The case is one of the strangest divorces New York has seen, mainly because of the wall.

A judge ordered the couple to put it up because neither wanted to move out. She got the top floor and the kitchen on the second floor; he got the living room on the first floor and the dining room on the second floor. The door between the dining room and the kitchen was barricaded on both sides. The case has been dubbed Brooklyn’s ”War of the Roses,” after the 1989 movie starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner as a fueding couple.

Chana says that for two decades she served Simon like a virtual slave, putting up with physical and mental abuse. Simon denies ever laying a hand on his wife and says he gave her a luxurious lifestyle. He says she wants the divorce to squeeze what money he has left. His sweater manufacturing company went bankrupt in the late 1990s, and he suffered a second heart attack in 2005 that worsened their financial problems, he says.

NOTE: Juries do not hear Iowa divorce cases at any stage in the proceedings. Unlike New York, Iowa is a “no fault” state.

Celebrity Bad Parenting Lesson – Part 2

On the heels of Alec Baldwin’s example of how lose a custody dispute, comes David Hasselhoff of Baywatch fame (infamy?) with “Celebrity Bad Parenting Lesson “. As widely reported, Mr. Hasselhoff lost visitation rights with his two teenage daughters after a video tape was released allegedly depicting his drunken ramblings.

Court-Appointed Counsel for Canine

Ron Callan Jr. left an estate worth about $2 million, but the most hotly contested item in the late businessman’s Tennessee probate court case is his 13-year-old golden retriever, Alex. The four-way fight over custody of Alex was so intense that a judge appointed an attorney to represent the dog’s interests. A judge on Monday approved a consent order to split custody of the dog based on the recommendations of the guardian ad litem, The Commercial Appeal reported. “Obviously, this is a very unusual set of circumstances,” attorney Paul Royal wrote of his four-legged client. “At first glance, the petition seems almost frivolous, but after speaking with all parties, it is evident that this is a highly emotional issue for all involved.”

Callan, whose New Year’s Day shooting death was ruled a suicide, left no will, leaving the court to decide what to do with the dog and the rest of the estate. Callan, 35, was a partner with his father in Callan Salvage & Appraisal Co. His father, Ronald Callan Sr., who was named administrator of his son’s estate, has had an ongoing dispute with former wife Esther Snow Gnall over ownership, care and custody of their son’s dog. Ronald Callan even claims his ex-wife tried to pay one of his employees to kidnap Alex, an allegation she denies. Also interested in who got the dog was Kim Guill, the fiancee of Ron Callan Jr., who was present when he died. Gnall said that if she gets custody or visitation with Alex, she would allow Guill to spend considerable time with the dog. Royal, the dog’s attorney, said in his report to the court that he believes all four people love Alex and would take good care of him. But he said the parties are using the fight for the dog as a means of punishing each other for past transgressions. The elder Callan currently has custody of Alex and brings him to work, where he stays in his office. Callan Sr., who has cats at home, has Alex spend his nights with Chris Griffith, his son’s former girlfriend who has known him since he was a puppy.

In the consent order, the father and mother will trade custody every two weeks. Both parties agreed to take the dog to the veterinarian twice a week for his arthritis treatments and any other needed procedures. “This case is similar to a bitter custody battle involving children where each party loves the children, but the kids are stuck between two people who cannot coexist,” the attorney said in his report.

Source: Associated Press, via Law.com.

Marriage Tames Geniuses and Criminals

According to a study by a psychologist at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand: Creative genius and crime express themselves early in men but both are turned off almost like a tap if a man gets married and has children, a study says. Satoshi Kanazawa, a psychologist at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, compiled a database of the biographies of 280 great scientists, noting their age at the time when they made their greatest work.

The data remarkably concur with the brutal observation made by Albert Einstein, who wrote in 1942: “A person who has not made his great contribution to science before the age of 30 will never do so.” “Scientific productivity indeed fades with age,” Dr Kanazawa says. “Two-thirds (of all scientists) will have made their most significant contributions before their mid-30s.” But, regardless of age, the great minds who married virtually kissed goodbye to making any further glorious additions to their CV. Within five years of making their nuptial vows, nearly a quarter of married scientists had made their last significant contribution to history’s hall of fame. “Scientists rather quickly desist (from their careers) after their marriage, while unmarried scientists continue to make great scientific contributions later in their lives,” says Dr Kanazawa. The energy of youth and the dampening effect of marriage, he adds, are also remarkably similar among geniuses in music, painting and writing, as well as in criminal activity. Previous studies have documented that delinquents are overwhelmingly male, and usually start out on the road to crime in their teens. But those who marry well, subsequently stop committing crime, whereas criminals at the same age who remain unmarried tend to continue their unlawful careers. Dr Kanazawa suggests “a single psychological mechanism” is responsible for this: the competitive edge among young men to fight for glory and gain the attention of women. That craving drives the all-important male hormone, testosterone. Dr Kanazawa theorises after a man settles down, the testosterone level falls, as does his creative output. The study appears in in the August issue of the Journal of Research in Personality, published by the Elsevier group. Text Source: ABC News Online.

Madonna’s 12 Visitation Rules

According to various news reports: Madonna sent 12 Rules of Visitation to Guy Ritchie. It appears that something else may be in that Kabbalah water she’s drinking:According to a text photo at Daily Mail.com, the following rules were set by Madonna for visitation:

Under no circumstances should they be allowed to read newspapers, magazines, or watch TV or DVDs. They must adhere at all times to a macrobiotic, vegetarian, organic diet with no processed or refined food. All water they drink, even when it is to dilute organic juice, should be Kabbalah water. They should wear only the clothes Madonna has sent with them, if they need to be bought anything new, it should not contain any man-made materials. The boys’ hands should be regularly cleaned with disinfectant spray if they are in public places They should not be bought toys that are spiritually or ethically unsound. (Like Mom’s records or book?). The divorce should not be discussed with them. (Hopefully, the only rule suggested by her lawyer). Madonna should have contact by phone with them when and how often she chooses, as often as three or four times a day at times she sets. Guy should not introduce the boys to any of his new friends, especially any new female friends. Madonna wants the boys to spend their time she’s given with Guy, and not large amounts of time with his parents, their grandparents. The boys should not be photographed when they are with Guy and it’s his responsibility to arrange security so it doesn’t happen. At bedtime, Guy should read Madonna’s English Rose books to David.