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Thyden Gross and Callahan LLPCounselors and Attorneys at Law

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FATHERS’ RIGHTS
NOT JUST EVERY OTHER WEEKEND

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 November, 2008

Helping Children Through the Holidays

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Everybody is so stressed out running around for the holidays, we sometimes don’t think of the impact that holidays can have on our children.  They pick up on the stress from both mom and dad.

Interruptions in routines are stressful to children.  Children need routines, rituals and traditions. You can help them by following familiar routines as much as possible.

Think about how you would feel if you sat down to Thanksgiving dinner with one family, then had to be whisked away for Thanksgiving dinner with another family.

Children also frequently feel like the separation of their parents is their fault.  It is important during the holidays to take time to talk to them about their feelings and reassure them.

For more ideas on how to help children during the holidays, read this thoughtful article by Linda Ranson Jacobs.

Monitoring How Child Support Is Spent

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Fathers will ask me from time to time how they can monitor their child support payments to make sure the money will be used for the children’s expenses and not the mother’s expenses.  Some of the money would have to be allocated to common expenses like rent, utilities, food and transportation.  Others would be direct expenses like clothing.  It seems to me that this would be an accounting nightmare so I recommend against it.

Some fathers want me to raise the issue with the court.  I tell them about the equitable doctrine of “De minimis non curat lex” (“The law does not bother with trifles”).  Judges are barely keeping up with the cases they have, and simply don’t have the time or inclination to monitor monthly expenditures in a child support case.

The court will take action if a child is being neglected, typically by changing custody.  But short of that, mothers do not have to report how child support is spent.  For a mother’s perspective on this, see this article by Christina Rowe.

Child Custody Battles — Save Money by Being Smart

Friday, November 7th, 2008

This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of a police detective. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com.

If you’ve seen someone go through a bitter divorce and the even uglier child custody battle, you’ll know that the courts are not generally favorable towards the father, especially when it comes to securing custody of the child. Some fathers are happy to wash their hands of the responsibility of child rearing, but others are left devastated when their spouse gets sole custody and they’re asked to pay child support and alimony too in some cases.

Most judges are predisposed to awarding custody to the mother, simply because she is the one who’s had more time with the child, especially if he or she is pretty young. When you’re on the verge of a divorce, it’s hard to be rational and think before you act. But when it comes to your children and the fact that a court is going to tell you how you’re going to be allowed to relate to them for the rest of your life, you must put your emotions aside and use your head alone to save yourself a whole lot of trouble.

The first thing to do is to make your divorce amicable; I know it’s the hardest thing to do, part on good terms with someone you don’t want to live the rest of your life with. But if you share children, it’s the mature thing to do. This has a host of advantages, especially to you as the father. You don’t say things you may regret later, things that if overheard by your youngster, could end up harming your reputation in his or her eyes. Remember, your child is likely to be influenced by your spouse, so it’s best to remain on cordial terms with her.

A friendly divorce also allows you both to save a ton of money – you can bypass the lawyers altogether, seek joint custody of your children and reach a mutually satisfactory amount for child support and alimony. Better still, you remain on good terms so that your children feel secure even though you’re divorced.

I know I’m painting a pretty rosy picture where your spouse agrees to an amicable divorce and joint custody, but it’s worth a try, for yourself and your children. Rather than assume that your spouse would never go along with your suggestions, and that she is out to hurt you, be gracious enough to give in once in a while. After all, you were in love with the woman once, and by being the bigger person, you save yourself an acrimonious divorce proceeding and a lot of money in the process. Your spouse may also feel the need to relent once she sees how reasonable you’re being, so go ahead, give it a try. You’ve nothing to lose (other than what you will even if you don’t try) if it doesn’t work out, and everything to gain if it does.

 
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