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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, 2008

Creating Two Homes for Children

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

FirstWivesWorld.Com is celebrating Mother’s Day the whole month with a series of articles on children and divorce. I think that several of these articles apply to fathers as well. For example there is an excellent article by Dr. Scott Haltzman on creating two homes for the children after a divorce.

Individual Space

Dr. Haltzman recommends that each parent create an individual space exclusively for the children, which includes:

  • A sleep area specifically dedicated to the children
  • Age appropriate space in the bathroom for toiletries or make up
  • Uncluttered room to study or do homework
  • A storage area or closet for your children’s belongings
  • Designated space to play or exercise.

“Even if you have a fold out bed, and a desk that pulls out from under a table, with a bath basket of special supplies, your children will get the message that they have a home with you, says Dr. Haltzman.

Basic Necessities

He also provides this list of basic necessities to give children a sense of identity and belonging:

  • Personal clothes (especially undergarments)
  • Study materials (paper, computer, no. 2 pencils-you get the idea)
  • Books and toys that reflect your child’s personal tastes
  • A means of communication (cell phone, land line, etc) between your ex- and your children
  • A daily planner or calendar to help you child keep track of his or her schedule.
  • Finally, it must be a home to your child. And the only ingredient you need for that is your love.


Monday, May 26th, 2008

It is still relatively difficult for an able bodied man in a full-employment economy to get alimony in a divorce. But it is no longer impossible.

While the number of men receiving alimony is only four percent nationally, that percentage is up from zero thanks to equal rights, high income women in the work force and more dads staying home and taking care of the children.

Although many men are embarrassed to even ask for alimony in their divorces, according to CNN, more financially independent women are willing to pay it to avoid conflict.

How NOT to Modify Child Support

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Martin and Margaret Nolan got married in 1962 and adopted three children.

When they divorced in 1974 in the District of Columbia, Martin agreed to pay $750 a month for child support.

Things got confusing when Martin made some payments to the schools and sent some money directly to the children. Margaret filed suit for $28,085 in back child support.

Martin claimed the parties had modified their agreement orally and by conduct (even though the agreement said it could only be modified in writing) and that he didn’t owe any back child support. Margaret denied she had agreed to waive child support.

The trial court decided that, while the agreement could have been modified orally or by conduct, the burden was on Martin to prove it, and he had failed to convince the judge of this. The Court of Appeals agreed. Nolan v. Nolan, 568 A.2d 479 (1990).

The lesson to learn from the Nolan case is this. If your ex-spouse agrees that you may pay child support directly to the school or the children instead of her, get it in writing. And if there is a court order for child support, ask the court to amend the order as well.

Country Songs We Wished We’d Written

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Every Other Weekend
by Reba McEntire and Kenny Chesney

Every Other Friday
It’s toys and clothes and backpacks
Is everybody in?
Ok lets go see dad
Same time in the same spot
Corner of the same old parking lot
Half the hugs and kisses
There are always sad
We trade a couple words and looks and kids again
Every Other Weekend

Men Take Divorce Harder than Women

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Divorced or separated men were six times more likely to have depression as married men according to a 10-year study by Statistics Canada.

Women, on the other hand were only 3.5 times more likely to be depressed after a marital break-up than were their counterparts who were still in a relationship, according to the study.

“Men appear to take the separation harder, “the report concluded.

The study found that both men and women had higher odds for depression in the two years following the end of a marriage or common-law relationship, when compared with people who stayed with their spouses.

How long does the sadness last? Most people who experienced depression in the post-relationship period were no longer depressed four years after the break-up.

Chicago Divorce Attorney Reviews Fathers’ Rights Book

Monday, May 5th, 2008

“Thus, it was with a smirk that I picked up the book titled Father’s Rights by James J. Gross. I intended to flip through it, roll my eyes and pity the poor father who would take such a BS book seriously.”

That’s from Chicago divorce lawyer, Marie Fahnert, at JustDivorceBlog.Com.

But, after reading the book, she says in her three part review, “To my surprise the book is very good!”

Moms in Charge of Disclipline and Dads in Charge of Playtime?

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Nearly half of the mothers questioned in a poll in England said that dads were no longer in charge of discipline at home and focus on playtime instead, as reported by Sophie Mansell in the Sun today.

“As women have become stronger and more independent they’ve ended up doing everything – bringing up the kids and working – while fathers have lost their way a bit,” according to psychologist Donna Dawson. “Dads often get home late and are more likely the ones to play with the children. But dads have a positive role to play in parenting and teaching children — manners should be about teamwork.”

I don’t know about your house, but this doesn’t ring true for me. I think if they polled the dads they would find that a lot of dads are still participating in disciplining the children and teaching them manners and not only in charge of playtime. The article does have some tips for disciplining children, and teaching them manners, which are as helpful to us dads as those English mums they polled.

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