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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 October, 2010

Relocation Clauses for Parenting Plan

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Relocation can reek havoc with parenting plans.  While the court can’t interfere with a person’s constitutional rights to live anywhere they please, it can change the custodial parent of the child.  There are different options for addressing this issue ahead of time.

First, you can require notice prior to any move so that the objecting party has time to ask the court to review custody.   residence.  Here’s an example from a Parenting Agreement for my state:

Under Maryland law, a move out of state with the minor children by the parent with legal custody constitutes a change in circumstances that warrants a review of the residential arrangements.  Therefore, the parent with legal custody shall notify the other parent at least 45 days in advance of any contemplated move (and sooner if possible), and the parents shall cooperate to work out a new visitation schedule.  In the event that a new visitation schedule cannot be agreed upon by the parents, the parents shall promptly submit the issues raised by relocation to mediation.

Second you can set up an alternative timesharing schedule in your Parenting Plan, to become effective in the event one parent moves over a certain distance from their current residence.  Here’s the introduction to such an alternative schedule:

If the parents live more than one (1) hour apart driving door to door, the following schedule will be presumed to be in the best interests of the children.  It provides the minimum visitation and parents are encouraged to agree on additional visitation.

Finally, you could try to have a non-relocation provision in your Parenting Plan, such as the following example:

The parents agree that neither one will relocate more than 50 miles from their current residence without the consent of the other or an order of the court.

Note that the court has the power to override this non-relocation provision if it finds that relocation is in the best interests of the children.  You may want to add language stating that the parties agree that the best interest of the children lies in being raised in the present location.  Give us your thoughts and experience with relocation in the comment section.

How to Handle Halloween Visitation

Thursday, October 14th, 2010


Halloween is coming up at the end of this month.  It is a holiday that might be easily overlooked in a visitation schedule because it may not be as important as other holidays like say Thanksgiving or Fourth of July.

But Halloween is terribly important to children.  There are several ways to handle Halloween.

If you are still on good terms with your ex, you can agree to split Halloween parenting duties.  One will stay in the house and the other will go trick or treating with the kids.  You can trade off after a couple of hours.

Or, if you live close enough, the kids can go trick or treating in mom’s neighborhood with mom and dad’s neighborhood with dad.

If that doesn’t work, then you can alternate the holiday, having Halloween with dad one year and mom the next.

The Hague Convention

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Sometimes child custody battles spill across international boundaries.  The Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a treaty.  The US and several other countries have ratified it.

The purpose of the Hague Convention is to protect children from being abducted and kept across international boundaries.

The Convention sets out a procedure to bring about a prompt return of such children. The “Child Abduction Section” provides information about the operation of the Convention and the work of the Hague Conference in monitoring its implementation and promoting international co-operation in the area of child abduction.

It is important to note that the Convention ceases to apply when a child attains the age of 16 years.

Today’s Quote

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

“Three things that make a man; he must build a house, have a child, write a book.” — Martin Tupper

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