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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.

Posts Tagged ‘Children’

Arguing the Case

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

One of my children left the lights on in the basement so I asked them which one. Jake said Nick and Nick said Jake. So I asked who was the last one down there.

Then they started to argue their case. It was Jake’s theory that Nick had turned the lights on so he should be the one to turn them off. Nicholas countered that Jake was the last one in the basement so he should turn them off. Jake then said that his friend was the last one down there. Nicholas asserted that the acts of the friend should be attributable to Jake.

This argument from my little lawyers took 15 minutes. They looked to me for a decision. I turned around, went downstairs and turned off the lights. That took 15 seconds.  Sometimes just doing it beats arguing about it.  Do you think they learned anything from this?

Things I Want to Teach My Children

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Growing up, my brother and I could never figure out why our dad was so obsessed with us putting our shoes away in the closet instead of leaving them by the door.  He also seemed similarly obsessed with us turning off the lights when we left one room and moved to another.

This morning, I picked up my children’s clothes on the floor and put them in the hamper.   I turned off the lights they left on and thought about the Pepco bill I have to pay this month.  I hung up the wet towel one of them left on the carpet.  I washed their cereal dishes and put the cereal box away.  I tripped over their sneakers as I left for work.

Now I finally understand where my father was coming from.

Better Relationships with Children Ups Child Support Collections

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Emily DeVoe at WECT.Com describes the success of a program in New Hanover County, North Carolina, called Partnership for Fatherhood.

“We found out that a lot of fathers weren’t paying their child support–they didn’t have a relationship with their children–and so we said, ‘If they have a relationship with their children, maybe then they will pay their child support because they will have a relationship and be committed to their child,'” Angelina Bernard of the Department of Social Services said.

One of the program’s goals is to build better relationships between fathers and their children.  It also provides employment and educational services to non-custodial parents.  Child support payments have increased by 34 percent since the program started in June of 2013.

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.

Marital Status and Child Support

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Guest post by Lauren Williams, staff writer at King Law Offices, Family Law Attorneys in NC & SC.

In Maryland, a child’s entitlement to support does not depend upon parents’ marital status. Every child is entitled to a level of support in proportion to the parents’ economic position regardless of whether the child is born of wedlock or out-of-wedlock or to parents whose marriage ended in divorce.  As with children of divorce, children born out-of-wedlock are entitled to fairness and equity in regard to child support.

“Born out-of-wedlock” means born to an unmarried female or born to a married female but begotten during the continuance of the marriage status by one other than her husband.

Under Md. Code Ann., Est. & Trusts § 1-206(a) there is a presumption that the child is a legitimate child if the child is born or conceived during a marriage. A child born to parents who are not married is considered to be the child of the mother. Pursuant to Md. Code Ann., Est. & Trusts § 1-208(b), the ‘father and child relationship’ can be established in one of the following four methods: (1) Judicial determination of paternity, (2) Acknowledgment by father in writing that he is the father of the child, (3) Open and notorious recognition by the father that he is the father of the child, or (4) Acknowledgment by father that he is the father of the child after marrying the mother.

The Paternity Statute (Fam. Law §§ 5-1001 through 5-1048) provides a rebuttable presumption that the child is the legitimate child of the man to whom child’s mother was married at the time of conception. Upon request of a party, the court may order the parties (mother, child and the father) to submit to blood or genetic tests to determine the paternity. If the test reveals a statistical probability of the father’s paternity of at least 99.0%, it may be received into evidence and constitutes a rebuttable presumption of the paternity.  The court may pass necessary orders declaring the father based on the test.  The court may also pass necessary orders for 1, support, 2. Custody of the child, 3. Visitation rights with the child, 4. Giving bond, and 5. Any other matter that is related to the general welfare and best interests of the child.

If the child was conceived during a marriage, mere declaration by father claiming to be the father of a child born out-of-wedlock is not sufficient to overcome the presumption of legitimacy of the child based on the time of conception.  In order to overcome the presumption, the father must provide certain proof(s) specified in Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 5-1027(c)(2), (3), and (4).

Maryland follows the income shares model for child support.  Under this model, a child is entitled to a standard of living that corresponds to the economic position and lifestyle of the parents.

Fathers and Stepfathers

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Two of my friends called for some advice this week.  One is a father who is separated from the mother.  That have a little girl.  The mother has remarried and her new husband and my friend are in constant conflict over the child.  So far they have had disputes over visitation, clothing, discipline, medical treatment and sports. As might be suspected, the mother sides with the new husband in these disputes.  I have suggested settlement, mediation and a parenting coordinator but the mother has rebuffed all of these suggestions.

My other friend is a stepfather.  He married a woman who has a little boy from a previous marriage.  The birth father sees the little boy from time to time but he lives far away and my friend really has the day to day parenting role.  He and the boy have become quite fond of each other.  My friend would adopt the boy if the father would agree.  He has all the obligations of fatherhood but none of the rights of a father.

There are two sides to every issue.  It would be great if fathers and stepfathers could work together cooperatively for the benefit of the child.  But in many cases, there is too much emotion involved to make that possible.

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

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.

Marbles

Friday, September 7th, 2012

marbles

This morning on the way to the bus, my 12 year old son was telling me about an app on his iPhone that allowed him to listen to NFL games.

“When I was your age, we didn’t have the Internet,” I told him.   “We had something else.  It was called outdoors.”

“What kind of game was that?” he asked me.

“We went out the door in the morning and played marbles until it was dinner time,” I said.  “I bet you’ve never even heard of marbles.”

I was all set to teach my son the grand game of marbles when I got home from work today.  Then I thought I’d better Google it.  And guess what?  I found out you can play a virtual game of marbles on the Internet.

Co-Parenting Improves After Divorce

Monday, August 20th, 2012

University of Missouri Professor Marilyn Coleman and Dr. Mindy Markham interviewed 20 women who shared physical custody of children with ex-partners.  Half of the women reported amicable relationships with their ex’s.  The other half reported combative relationships in the beginning that improved over time.

“To me, it’s almost as if the parents in the bad-to-better relationships matured,” Coleman said. “Mostly, it’s because the parents began focusing on their children. The parents saw how upset their arguments made their kids, so they decided to put their differences aside and focus on what was best for the children.”

“The goal for divorced parents should be to maintain the best co-parenting relationships possible by moving past prior relationship issues and focusing on children’s well-being,” Coleman said.

Although the sample was small, the result reflects my own experience as a divorce lawyer.  Once the stress and fighting between spouses is resolved by agreement or trial, the parties can then calm down and focus on their children.

Read more.

 
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