November 3rd, 2008

Custody, Abandonment and Teen Pregnancy/Marriage

I have several questions. No, they're not for NaNo, but they're distracting me from writing my NaNo, so I'm asking them anyways.

Situation: 17 year-old gets pregnant ca. 1989/90. She's in a relationship with the father of the child, who is older than she is (let's say early 20s to keep it simple). She's from Ohio, left for England to supposedly go to boarding school, but dropped out. No/very little contact with her older sister (sister is guardian) in Ohio.


There are two ways this could go that I have questions about:

Situation 1: Because people are after her and the father of the baby, she runs away without telling the father. She goes to Toronto to live with a friend. After giving birth, she has the friend raise the child. She has no contact with the child until he is fifteen. However, the friend sends her information about the child and she set up a trust fund for him. Basically, she's been keeping watch behind the scenes.

The foster mother dies, and purely by chance the father learns about the boy. He wants custody of his son (he has no knowledge of the mother's whereabouts or if she's even alive). The son is twelve and wants to live with his father. The mother doesn't know about the foster mother's death until after it happens, while the father was a witness (which is how he learns about the boy). Parents and child are American citizens, child has dual citizenship. Foster mother dies in Toronto. The father wants to take the kid back to the states.

Would he be able to get custody without alerting the mother/searching for her? Also, because he never knew about the child, would that be considered abandonment? Would what the mother did be considered abandonment? How long would it take for the father to gain custody if the mother is kept in the dark? Were the mother's or father's rights ever terminated? How would being in Toronto affect the situation? Would the father have to go through the American and Canadian courts, or just the Canadian/American courts? Would the father be able to cross into the US with the boy without showing proof of parentage/guardianship? Also, how would it be proved that he is the father, and how long would that take?

If the mother a few years later learns about the whereabouts of her son (she thought he died with the foster mother), could she petition for custody? Would the kid's opinion mean anything (he's 15, nearly 16)? Would the father have any say? What would the mother have to do?



Situation 2: She tells the father. The father wants to marry her. As the father has a College degree and is independently wealthy, he's capable of supporting them, and the mother wants to marry him. Her sister and brother-in-law are not pleased, but trying to be supportive.

If they marry in the state of Ohio, would they have to go to premarriage counselling? How long would this take? Would the sister have to give permission for them to get married? How would being emancipated actually affect the mother? Could the brother-in-law cause problems/have any authority in them getting married? If the judge allows them the license, will he marry them right there, or do they have a separate ceremony? Also, because she's seventeen, the father can't be charged with statuatory rape, right?

What would happen if they married abroad? Could they marry in England or Canada and still have a valid marriage in the states? Would her age be a problem in England or Canada?


search terms: Ohio + teen pregnancy, Ohio + emancipation, Ohio + teen marriage, Ohio marriage 1990, child abandonment, England + teen pregnancy + marriage, forfeiture of parental rights, and variations thereof

Edit: spelling

Science question: atmospheric gases on alien planet

Setting: alien planet with very dense, hothouse atmosphere. How dense? Probably 3 to 5 times earth normal. Avg temp around 140 deg F.  (~60 C.)  Diameter, 9500 km. Gravity: assume earth normal, unless higher g is absolutely essential to achieve that degree of density. Planet is riddled with volcanic rifts that pump out a lot of sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide gases and other common volcanic gases as well. Dense jungle vegetation abounds (adapted to this gas mix, obviously).

Two additional considerations: 1) these basic parameters have already been infered (but not closely detailed) in previous writing in this setting. 2) Core requirement is that I have an atmosphere with sufficient oxygen in it (preferably oxy/nitro mix) that an unprotected human can survive in it, even if in great discomfort, for some period of time (at least in more temperate locations on the globe).

Question: I need pockets of toxic gases that are trapped in lowland areas, ground-hugging like fog. I presume held down by combo of atmospheric pressure and their own molecular weight. The q is, what kinds of gases should these be? Obviously this ought to be some kind/s of volcanic gases, but which ones in particular? I don't know what a volcano emits that lends itself to this behavior in these conditions, as opposed to blending harmlessly with the dominant atmosphere.

Research done: I've read up on basic atmospheric science (with textbooks) but it is earth-normative of course, and I don't know enough atmospheric science and/or gas physics to extrapolate soundly into this kind of setting. Hence my question to the group mind.

Bonus questions:  given parameters above and whatever variables you advise be added, what color will the sky be?  Musings about color/temp of primary star and necessary orbital distance from same also welcome.

Illinois Criminal Law - Sentencing

I’ve Googled and Wiki’d but not well, I’m afraid. I’m actually not really sure how to search this – Westlaw would be better but that costs money. I’ve tried such search terms as “Illinois law – harboring felon – sentencing,” “Illinois law,” “Illinois criminal law,” and variations thereof. In any case, I have a character who is a Royal Canadian Royal Policeman and was assigned to the Canadian Consulate in Chicago. (It’s a DueSouth fic, definitely AU.)

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That is a lot of questions . . . they’re all related though. Any help would be appreciated!