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Thyden Gross and Callahan LLPCounselors and Attorneys at Law




This is about fathers' rights law, and protecting the best interests of your children. It provides information, news and comments on laws, cases and strategies for life as a single father and winning your custody, access or child support case.

Things I Want to Teach My Children

January 22nd, 2015

Growing up, my brother and I could never figure out why our dad was so obsessed with us putting our shoes away in the closet instead of leaving them by the door.  He also seemed similarly obsessed with us turning off the lights when we left one room and moved to another.

This morning, I picked up my children’s clothes on the floor and put them in the hamper.   I turned off the lights they left on and thought about the Pepco bill I have to pay this month.  I hung up the wet towel one of them left on the carpet.  I washed their cereal dishes and put the cereal box away.  I tripped over their sneakers as I left for work.

Now I finally understand where my father was coming from.

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  3. Fathers and Stepfathers
  4. Marbles
  5. Mother’s Feelings Not Enough to Deny Father’s Visitation

Child Support Scam

December 19th, 2014

T.K., who lives in a Minneapolis suburb, met Jhona Vandemore on a dating website in 2007.  Shortly afterwards they arranged to meet in person

Two or three months after Vandemore told T.K. she was pregnant with his child. He asked for a paternity test and she said that would cause her to file for child support in court.  T.K. acquiesced and agreed to pay her $1,000 a month.  She sent him a birth certificate and pictures of the child.

Over several years, T.K. paid more than $100,000.  T.K. married and his new wife became suspicious.  She hired a private investigator who took his findings to the police.

It turns out there was no child, the birth certificate was faked, and the pictures were of her cousin’s daughter.

Vandemore pled guilty this week to federal mail fraud and awaits sentencing.

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  1. Child Support Collection Scam
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December 11th, 2014

My youngest son is in the sixth grade.  He asked me to help him with his math homework last night.

I took a look at the problem.  Er…how do you divide exponents?

I’m not exactly a slouch at math. I have a degree in chemical engineering, a law school degree, and a master of law degree in taxation.  I’ve taken every math course available including differential equations and laplace transformations.  I’m in Mensa.

But I couldn’t divide exponents.  I must have missed that day in school.

Fortunately for me, I’ve never encountered a real-life work situation where I had to divide exponents.

I do know how to ask Google though.  So last night I learned for the first time that one divided by x to the negative third power is x to the third power, that anything to the power of zero equals one, and how to divide exponents.

Most successful people can point to someone in their childhood who helped them with their homework.  Help your kids with their homework.  They will benefit and you might learn something new.

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Hey, I’m Not Headed to Vegas with Your Child Support, Buddy

December 10th, 2014

Marye has written an interesting view of child support from her perspective as a mother of three at First Wives World.

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DC Collects Child Support for Less than Half the Children

November 3rd, 2014

On Tuesday, the District of Columbia will elect an Attorney General.  Judy Berman and Marc Efron report in the Washington Post that the largest division of the office of Attorney General is the Division of Child Support.

It serves more than 50,000 children (more than children enrolled in D.C. Public Schools).

It has a staff of more than 200  people charged with locating and serving non-custodial parents; processing and filing paternity cases, child support and medical support orders with the court; reviewing and revising orders, initiating and monitoring collections; and initiating enforcement actions for non-payment.

Even so, child support is not being collected for over half the children in the system.

The non-custodial parents, who are nearly always fathers, are overwhelmingly poor, with limited education and many have criminal histories, which prevent them from obtaining jobs.

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Better Relationships with Children Ups Child Support Collections

October 30th, 2014

Emily DeVoe at WECT.Com describes the success of a program in New Hanover County, North Carolina, called Partnership for Fatherhood.

“We found out that a lot of fathers weren’t paying their child support–they didn’t have a relationship with their children–and so we said, ‘If they have a relationship with their children, maybe then they will pay their child support because they will have a relationship and be committed to their child,’” Angelina Bernard of the Department of Social Services said.

One of the program’s goals is to build better relationships between fathers and their children.  It also provides employment and educational services to non-custodial parents.  Child support payments have increased by 34 percent since the program started in June of 2013.

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Jobs Not Jail

October 24th, 2014

A report by attorney Lisa Lane McDevitt on the Law Firm Newswire describes a Virginia program that puts noncustodial parents to work instead of in jail for nonpayment of child support.

The Intensive Case Monitoring Program (ICMP) attempts to find careers for parents who are behind in their child support.  Since the pilot program in 2008, the ICMP is now in 31 courthouses in Virginia.

Instead of sending parents to prison, the court orders them into the program where a case manager works with community partners to help them find a job, housing, education and other services.

McDevitt says that by July 2014, Virginia courts had ordered 2,736 parents into the program. More than 1,000 have already graduated, resulting in almost $11 million in child support collected through the ICMP.

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“Deadbeat” TV Show

October 17th, 2014

“Deadbeat” is a new reality tv show filmed in Jefferson County District Court in Louisville, Kentucky.  It will feature child support hearings with parents who are more than $1,000 behind in child support.

The show’s producer says he is performing a public service by exposing a problem and ultimately helping the children recover unpaid child support.

Opponents of the show say that nothing good can come from it and worry that the show may cause the judges to hand down harsher penalties to show off for the cameras.

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Child Support Collection Scam

September 10th, 2014

Stuart Cole and Mark Simpson set up several businesses including “Child Support Services” to collect child support payments, according to Howard Ain of WRKC in Cincinnati.

Their business would come up first in an Internet search.  Many people thought they were a government agency.

First they would obtain information about the payor.  Then they would send a letter saying “‘If you would like this to go away you can contact us at the number provided.”  The next letter would say that your driver’s license was suspended.  The next would say an arrest warrant has been issued.

They also sent letters to employers requiring them to deduct money from paychecks.  They charged heavy fees to both the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent.

More than 200 victims lost between $2.5 and $3 million in the scheme. Stuart Cole and Mark Simpson were sentenced to more than a year in prison for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud charges.

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  3. Bad Economy Means More Motions to Decrease Child Support
  4. Man Jailed for Child Support but Child Is Not His
  5. Better Relationships with Children Ups Child Support Collections

Enforcing Visitation Schedules

September 4th, 2014

If a parent is withholding visitation in Maryland, DC or VA, and there is a custody order in place, we have to file a motion to show cause why that parent should not be held in contempt of court.

Many clients have noticed the disparity in the enforcement of child support orders and visitation orders by the courts.

Oklahoma has passed a new law that says a parent who denies visitation to a parent who is current on child support can face fines and be held responsible for attorney fees, mediation costs and court costs.

There is a court form available at the clerk’s office and a hearing must be held within 21 days.  The non-custodian can be awarded make-up time.  One or both parents may be ordered to counseling or parent education classes.  The judge can even order a change in custody if appropriate.

Related posts:

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