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Divorce Lawyers

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 the ‘Divorce’ Category

How to Lose Your Child Custody Battle

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Anthony Zappin, a 30 year old patent lawyer, who graduated from law school in 2010, married Claire Comfort, who is also a patent lawyer. They had one child together. They filed for divorce in New York in 2013. The custody trial is scheduled for November. Zappin, representing himself, is showing us things NOT to do in a child custody battle:

  • Insult the judges. Zappin told one judge that she was lying. He wrote a note to another that said “You’re pathetic!”
  • Alienate the child’s attorney. Refuse to pay half her fees as ordered. Create a web site in her name. Call her “a very sick and greedy woman.”
  • Alienate the child evaluation expert. Zappin filed a complaint with the state against the psychiatrist the child’s attorney hired to evaluate the child.
  • Sue in other courts during the divorce. Zappin sued his wife in New York County Family Court; sued his wife, her family and her lawyers in federal district courts in the Southern District of New York and the District of Columbia; and brought proceedings against judges in his case.

Justice Cooper has ordered Zappin to pay $10,000 for his actions in the case. Zappin said he intends to appeal.

Medical Pot And Custody

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Jeanette Daggett and Dustin Sternick became involved in a custody struggle over their daughter after Jeanette decided she wanted to move from Maine to Florida.

There was evidence at trial that the father used medical marijuana which is legal in Maine.  Of the 20 states that have legalized medical marijuana, Maine is one of the few that say a parent’s custody and visitation rights cannot be denied based on his or her use of medical marijuana unless their conduct is contrary to the best interests of the child.  The trial judge ruled in favor of the mother and the father appealed.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court that the use of medical marijuana, and whether it impairs the ability to parent, could be considered in determining the best interests of the child.  The father’s appeal was denied.

States Consider Shared Parenting Laws

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Arkansas passed a law last year providing for “approximate and reasonable equal division of time” of children between parents in divorce proceedings.

The Connecticut General Assembly has created a task force to study family law issues, including whether the state should have a presumption in law that shared custody is in the best interest of children.

The Maryland General Assembly created a Commission on Child Custody Decision Making last year.

Florida pass a shared parenting bill last year, but it was vetoed by Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Minnesota passed a bill in 2012 that would have increased the minimum amount of custody from 25% to 35%, but it was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.

New Divorce Documentary

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

A documentary, “Divorce Corp.”, narrated by Dr. Drew Pinksky, opens in 16 cities this month.

The movie exposes some unethical and corrupt practices in the $50 billion divorce industry.

Some women’s rights organizations have called for a boycott of the film because they say it dwells too heavily on father’s rights.

Watch the trailers.

Negative Effect of Divorce on Children

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

A new survey by Netmums.com, that included 1,000 parents and 100 children in the U.K., found the following results about the impact of divorce:

Children

  • 39% hid their feelings from their parents
  • 20% said it was no use talking to their parents who were too wrapped up in themselves
  • 14% said they couldn’t be honest about their feelings with their parents
  • 33% said they were devastated by divorce
  • 13% blamed themselves

Parents

  • 77% said their kids were coping fine
  • 10% said their kids were relieved
  • 5% were aware that kids blamed themselves

The conclusions are that most  parents are not aware of the negative impact divorce has on their children and should take extra care to assure the children it is not their fault.

Deion Sanders Wins Custody

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

In the child custody fight between football start Deion Sanders and his wife Pilar, a Texas jury has awarded full custody of their two sons, ages 11 and 13, to Deion and shared custody of their daughter, age 9.

How to Lose a Child Custody Battle

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Sometimes celebrities can teach us what not to do.  TMZ reports that an Atlanta family court judge has awarded Tawanna Iverson custody of her five children with NBA basketball star Allen Iverson.

The judge found that Allen “does not know how to manage the children; has little interest in learning to manage the children and has actually, at times, been a hindrance to their spiritual and emotional growth and development.  For example, he has refused to attend to an obvious and serious alcohol problem, which has caused him to do inappropriate things in the presence of the children while impaired.  He has left the children alone without supervision. He has left his young daughters in a hotel room with men who are unknown to the mother.”

The judge gave Allen visitation on the conditions that he:

  • not drink alcohol for 18 months
  • after that, not drink alcohol within 24 hours of visitation
  • engage in mental health therapy
  • attend AA meetings for a year

Divorce Can Make You a Better Dad

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Thomas Matlack writes in the New York Times today  about how his painful divorce taught him to be a better dad to his children.

“My time with Kerry and Seamus was limited to trips to McDonald’s and a walk across the highway to Federal Hill for pizza a couple of times a week. But even that was progress. I had been an absent dad up until that point, working nonstop. And when I wasn’t working, I was drinking and getting into trouble. I was 31 going on about 14.” said Matlack.

Later he became an active parent for his children, which he says may never have happened without the divorce.

“For six years I was on my own with two little children for long stretches of time: wrestling, crying, laughing, cooking, cleaning, traveling to visit family, throwing up (a lot), and cuddling them into bed only to come back later and look in wonder at the angels who had transformed me.” Matlack says.

Sesame Street Tackles Divorce

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

More than a million children have parents who divorce or separate each year.  Many of these children are pre-schoolers.  Yet resources for pre-schoolers with divorced or separated parents are hard to find.

“Big Feelings” is a 13 minute video produced by Sesame Street that will be available on the Internet.  When Abby, a fairy-in-training, draws pictures of homes with her friends, Elmo and Rosita are surprised to see that Abby has drawn two homes.  “This one is where I live with my mommy,” says Abby, “and this one is where I live with my daddy.”

This is part of a multimedia kit called Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce.  The kit includes a storybook called Two Day Hug, a guide for parents and an app.

Free Online Tools for Divorced Dads

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Steven Small and Shelly D. Mahon are conducting a survey of divorced fathers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  They are looking for fathers of children, ages 8 and 16, who have been divorced or separated within the last two years.  You can register at their website, “Apart, Not Broken”.

This is a free, 12 week, multi-media program over the Internet which includes:

  • Videos reflecting the real life experiences of other divorced fathers;
  • A discussion forum for you to connect and share with other fathers;
  • Online tools for sharing photos, comparing calendars, journaling, using a whiteboard, and communicating via chat, video chat, and email;
  • Current and concise information about divorce and parenting after divorce;
  • Recommended activities for you and your child; and
  • Additional resources such as book lists and helpful web sites.
 
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