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Divorce Lawyers

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 May, 2007

The Custody Battle Over Frozen Embryos

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

The divorce dispute over frozen embryos in Texas is going to the Texas Court of Appeals. The embryos were created at a fertility clinic using sperm from Randy Roman and eggs from Augusta Roman. Before they were implanted, the couple divorced.

She wants to have a child and has agreed that he will have no financial responsibility and that she will not include his name on the birth certificate. He wants the embryos destroyed.

Some litigants argue that the embryos are children or as one commentator called them, “Microscopic Americans”, and the case should be decided as a custody case. The Texas divorce judge, however, treated the embryos as property and awarded them to the wife. The husband appealed.

My Advice for Alec Baldwin and Other Fathers

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

These suggestions are intended to help Alec Baldwin and all dads out there, who like me, have lost it once or twice when their kids or (ex) spouse drive them to frustration. Here are my recommendations as a father and a father’s rights lawyer.

1. Remember what Dad’s were like when you were a kid. Dad’s are big, loud and scary. Take it down a little. Use your indoor voice.

2. Ready, fire, aim is what most people do when they get angry. But if I let the other person get my goat, then I figure I have lost. I’m in arguments all day long at work. So I have learned to control my anger, control my blood pressure and try to get the other person to hang up on me first. Sometimes I use humor to diffuse the argument. When somebody is yelling at me, I might say something like, “You’re having a bad day aren’t you?”

3. Don’t be a control cowboy. Controlling your environment is great for your career and work but it doesn’t work too well in family relations. Be prepared to give everybody in your family a little slack and give up some control.

4. Attract don’t attack. Yes it is ok to bribe your child. Make the rules easier at your house than mom’s house. Create an environment that children will enjoy. If you can afford a pony, buy one. Like your mother told you, you can attract more bees with honey than vinegar. Because the legal system is based on the adversarial model, it is easy to get caught up in the fight. But you will do better in the long run if you learn how to settle and compromise.

5. Everything you say can and will be held against you. Your wife’s lawyer is always doing pushups on you. So be choose your words carefully in emails, letters and phone calls. I always write with the idea that what I say may end up in front of the judge.

6. It is about the child, not you. When I am mediating child custody, I make the parties bring pictures of the children and I put them in the center of the table. Whenever the discussion gets heated, I direct their attention back to the pictures. “This is about them,” I say. “Do you want to spend their college tuition on lawyers?” Children have needs in a divorce. They are stressed. They are worried about the future. You need to take care of them and support and nuture them during this time.

7. Do your homework. Is it true that mothers prepare more than fathers for their custody battles? Sometimes it seems that way to me. I find that the most important aspect of custody negotiation or litigation is preparation. Get the facts, research the law, investigate and organize.

8. Hire a custody consultant. I heard that Alec Baldwin went to see Dr. Phil. I think that is a good idea. If you can afford it, I would hire a custody consultant, a therapist or mental health professional to give you advice on the best ways to approach your custody case.

9. Know your child. Don’t get caught off-guard at the deposition or trial. Know your child’s clothing and shoe sizes, favorite pajamas, names of friends, school teachers and doctors. Go to those PTA meetings and soccer games. Volunteer to coach if you can.

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