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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.

Archive for March, 2006

Parental Alienation Syndrome

Friday, March 31st, 2006

Parental alienation, whether or not you believe it is a syndrome, occurs in high conflict divorces when one parent influences a child against the other parent. A child suddenly does not want to see one parent with no apparent reason or justification. It can happen even when the alienating parent does nothing overtly or intentionally. The kids pick up the vibes. One parent’s hatred or anger against the other parent can be harmful to the children depriving them of the love and time of two parents. Here are a few websites where you can learn more about parental alienation:

Parental Alienation Awareness Day (April 25th)

Help Stop PAS

Hugs to Heartbreak

Gay Father Wins Custody Case

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

Karl Hedberg got custody of his son in 2002 in a divorce in Alexandria, Virginia. But the judge conditioned it on his same sex partner moving out.

The couple sold their house in Virginia and moved to separate apartments in Maryland, a state that is considered to be more gay friendly than the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In 2004 Virginia was no longer the state with continuing exclusive jurisdiction because both parents and the child no longer lived there. Hedberg petitioned the Maryland Court to modify his Virginia custody order because of changed circumstances. The judge denied his request. But the Maryland Court of Special Appeals overturned that decision.

Hedberg was able to present evidence that a one parent home was not in the best interests of his son, now 12 years old, and Judge William J. Rowan III of the Montgomery County Circuit Court agreed. On Monday, he removed the ban from the custody order.

Shared Parenting Presumption

Monday, March 27th, 2006

Tomorrow, the Children and Families Committee of the New York State Assembly will hold a hearing on Bill A330 that would establish a presumption of shared parenting. The presumption can be overcome by a parent showing that shared parenting is not in the best interest of the child.

Shared parenting is the modern way of saying joint custody. If the bill passes, joint custody will be the preferred result and the burdon of convincing the court otherwise will shift to the party seeking sole custody. That party is frequently the mother.

As a result, the usual battle lines are being drawn, with the National Organization of Women for New York against the bill and father’s rights groups in favor.

The Right Timesharing Schedule

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

Fathers, and mothers too, ask me what is the right timesharing schedule. Sometimes they propose a schedule and ask me if it sounds right. Is it reasonable they ask.

There is no standard schedule. Any schedule you can agree upon is right and reasonable. Timesharing depends on a lot of variables like the children’s ages and the parent’s work schedules.

If you are a modern stay-at-home dad, then a week-on, week-off schedule might suit you just fine. If you are the primary breadwinner for the family then you may want the children to spend more time with their mother.

Whatever timesharing you come up with, just be sure to spend some quality time with the children.

Decorating Tips for Dads

Friday, March 24th, 2006

Here are some ideas for decorating your own space to make it kid friendly if you are a separated or divorced dad:

1. Make sure each child has private space in your new home.

2. Let the children help decorate by picking their colors and posters. Duplicate their favorite clothes and toys at mom’s house.

3. Leather looks great and is a child friendly fabric.

4. Safety proof your home. Look out for things like sharp angles, unguarded stairs, cleaning supplies not put away.

5. Display lots of pictures of the kids.

6. Make sure there is a place for schoolwork and get involved with your child’s school.

These tips are from designer Akilah Kamaria as reported by Beth Neuman in this article.

How to Be a Great Dad

Saturday, March 18th, 2006

Want to be a great dad? Here are the top ten ways from Len Brass.

Fatherhood Magazine

Friday, March 17th, 2006

“We want to put positive images out here for our fathers,” says Anwan Wesley of Pennsylvania, who is launching a new magazine next month called Fatherhood for young urban dads.

Long Distance Dad

Thursday, March 16th, 2006

Here’s a list of nine ways to stay close to your child regardless of distance from

Roe v. Wade for Men

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

The National Center for Men has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Matt Dubay in Michigan. Last year, Matt’s ex-girlfriend gave birth to a baby girl, after assuring him that she was infertile. Matt wants to give up his parental rights so that he does not have to pay $500 a month in child support. This is being called Roe v. Wade for Men because Matt is arguing that he should have the same right to choose whether he wants a child or not that women have.

This lawsuit does not stand a chance, but father’s rights groups see it as an opportunity to draw attention to their cause, and you will see a lot about it in the news.

I have said that there are many good women in the father’s rights movement. I think one of them is Wendy McElroy who gets it right in her article called Right Cause, Wrong Approach. She says responsible men should have the right to be active fathers and children should know both parents. But this lawsuit is an insult to every alienated father who desperately seeks to be a parent to his child. Why is NCM championing the anti-father when so many men ache for nothing more than the sight of their children’s faces?

Custody vs Shared Parenting

Friday, March 10th, 2006

New Hampshire has taken a good step forward in removing the old terms “custodial parent” and “non-custodial parent” from its statutes. You will now see “shared parenting plan”. “Visitation” is also gone. Now the statute describes how much time the children will spend with each parent. Lawyers have been doing this anyway in private agreements using “primary residence” instead of “physical custody” and “access” or “timesharing” instead of “visitation.”

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