Mother entitlement is the phenomenen where a mother feels that she is the most important person in their child's life even when she is not or should not be. Despite the fact that mother entitlement is rampant in divorce cases it does not get much press. It never gets negative press. Rather, it is ussually applauded in the press.
A case in point is the recent the North Carolina case where a mother with stage 4 cancer "lost" her kids to their father. The court sited concerns about the uncertainty of mother's health in making its decision. This has been responded to with furious outcry. See New York Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/05/12/2011-05-12_alaina_giordano_breast_cancer_patient_loses_custody_of_children_because_of_illne.html, NBC (http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/42986817#42986817), Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/emily-cousins/alaina-giordano_b_860844.html), Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1385143/Alaina-Giordano-loses-custody-children-breast-cancer.html?ito=feeds-newsxml).
Misplaced criticism of proposed law
A recent article in the Free Press, Brian Dickerson: A new Michigan divorce statute, tailored for one?, criticizes a bill introduced in the House of Representatives recently for having to narrow a focus, cutting out divorce lawyer's from comment, and being unfair. See it at http://www.freep.com/article/20110623/COL04/106230514/Brian-Dickerson-new-Michigan-divorce-statute-tailored-one-?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE. The criticism that the legislation was "tailored" for one person is apparently pure speculation because no evidence of that accusation is provided in the piece. In fact the proposed legislation is quite comprehensive. See it at http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2011-2012/billintroduced/House/pdf/2011-HIB-4672.pdf. It finally gives actual definitions for marital and nonmarital property and establishes rules for division of that property. Currently, lawyers and litigants must look to a variety of cases to glean that information. Further, that law was largely created by the judiciary and not by the legislature.
Marriage Warning Labels
There is an article in the Huffington Post that proposes a marriage warning label. Here is the post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-quigley/a-modest-proposal-why-can_b_982566.html. While this article does not help most of our clients, it is a worthwhile idea.
We are regularly called with fears about the wife taking the contents of the bank account. Once a divorce is filed the court is able to issue orders prohibiting such action. However, not everyone is ready to file divorce. If you aren't and aren't able to take exclusive control of the bank account, then keeping a close eye on banking activity is important. Banking alerts, available with most major banks, allow you to set up email or text alerts that notify you of transactions. They are also available with many major credit cards. Once the alerts are set up, keep an eye out for unusual transactions. If she does drain the account, make sure you get help right away. If you let time pass she may be able to spend it before we can help.