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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 ‘Fathers’

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.

DC Collects Child Support for Less than Half the Children

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

On Tuesday, the District of Columbia will elect an Attorney General.  Judy Berman and Marc Efron report in the Washington Post that the largest division of the office of Attorney General is the Division of Child Support.

It serves more than 50,000 children (more than children enrolled in D.C. Public Schools).

It has a staff of more than 200  people charged with locating and serving non-custodial parents; processing and filing paternity cases, child support and medical support orders with the court; reviewing and revising orders, initiating and monitoring collections; and initiating enforcement actions for non-payment.

Even so, child support is not being collected for over half the children in the system.

The non-custodial parents, who are nearly always fathers, are overwhelmingly poor, with limited education and many have criminal histories, which prevent them from obtaining jobs.

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.

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.

Iron Man and Hanes Giveaway

Friday, March 26th, 2010

The Father Life, an e-magazine for dads, is giving away Iron Man books and a $100 Hanes gift certificate on April 1, 2010.  Enter here.

One In Three Children Loses Touch With Parent After Divorce

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Mishcon de Reya, a law firm in London, England, has completed a study in which 2000 parents and 2000 children involved in divorce were interviewed.  According to the London Times, the findings were:

  • one in three children permanently loses touch with a parent, usually the father, after the divorce.
  • one in five parents said that their primary objective during separation was to make the experience as unpleasant as possible for their former spouse.
  • one in five of the children said that they felt used by their parents.
  • One in three of the children said they felt isolated and lonely.
  • Half of parents said that they had been to court to fight over residential custody arrangements despite knowing it made matters worse for their children.

“The adversarial, blame-focused system is polarising parents and prevents them thinking forward about the long-term interests of their children,” says Sandra Davis, head of the family division at the law firm.  “As a result the courts are drowning, trying to sort out what are fundamentally behavioural and family issues, with lawyers being drawn into disputes over what time a child is picked up from school.”

Non-Biological Dad Still Has to Pay Child Support

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Pasqualino Cornelio of Toronto, Canada, married Anciolina Cornelio and they had twins.  They separated in 1998 and Pasqualino began making child support payments.

Recently, Anciolina sought to reduce his time with the twins and increase his child support.  Pasqualino retaliated by have a DNA test.  Guess what.  He was not the biological father of the twins.

Pasqualino claimed he was the victim of misrepresentation and fraud.  He demanded termination of child support and reimbursement of the tens of thousands of dollars he has paid over the years.

But there was no other father to step in and take his place.  “Ms. Cornelio denies knowledge of who the twins’ biological father might be,” the Judge said. “In fact, she claims to have no memory of an extramarital affair preceding their birth, which she attributes to the medication she was taking at the time.”

So, the court decided that because Pasqualino “was the only father the twins knew during the course of the marriage,” he could neither stop paying child support nor recover past child support.

“While the failure of Ms. Cornelio to disclose to her husband the fact that she had an extramarital affair and that the twins might not be his biological children may well have been a moral wrong against Mr. Cornelio, it is a wrong that does not afford him a legal remedy to recover child support he has already paid, and that does not permit him to stop paying child support,” wrote Judge Katherine van Rensburg on Dec. 22, 2008.

Source:  National Post

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.

Demoted to Thanksgiving if You’re Lucky Dad

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Clark Rockefeller made headlines when he took his seven year old daughter in Boston on July 27 during his first supervised visitation with a social worker.  Rockefeller lost custody last December when the mother relocated to London for work.

Rockefeller turned himself in in Baltimore and now faces felony charges in Boston.

Some websites portray Rockefeller as a hero of fathers’ rights and are using his case to draw attention to problems with the family court system.

Dahlia Lithwick, writing at Slate.Com, recognizes these problems:

“Many good fathers will be downgraded from full-time dads to alternating-weekend-carpool dads. They will be asked to pay at least one-third of their salaries in child support for that privilege. Simple rules of modern life make it likely that an ex-wife will someday decide that a job or new husband demands a move to a faraway state. At which point the alternating-weekend-carpool dad is again demoted—to a Thanksgivings-if-you’re-lucky dad.”

But, she notes, that “lionizing Clark Rockefeller or other violent, lawless fathers will not promote fathers’ rights or fix the family-court system.”

She’s right.  The system is imperfect.  But until we come up with something better, it’s the best we’ve got.  As Rockefeller found out, taking the law into your own hands will not work.

 
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