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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 ‘Parenting’

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?

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

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.

Can a Child Have More Than Two Parents?

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

In 2011, a young girl in California had two mothers.  One went to prison.  The other was hospitalized.  The girl’s father tried to gain custody of the child.  The state appellate court ruled that he could not be the legal guardian of the girl because California law allows a child to have only two parents.  Custody was given to the state.

Sen. Mark Leno, (D) San Francisco, has introduced a bill to amend the law in California so that a child can have more than two parents if it is in the best interests of the child.  Leno said, “There are more than Ozzie and Harriet families today.”

Delaware, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia all permit a child to have more than two parents.

Under the proposal, families with three or more parents would share custody, financial responsibility and visitation for the child, based on a judge’s determination of each parent’s resources and time with the child.

Benjamin Lopez, legislative analyst for the Traditional Values Coalition, said Leno’s bill is just  a new attempt to “revamp, redefine and muddy the waters” of family structure in the drive to legalize gay marriage.

Older Dads

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

There is an emerging brotherhood of men in their 40s, 50s or 60s, according to the Tucson Citizen, who are raising young children.  Some of them have adult children and grandchildren as well.  They can get the senior discount and the child’s discount at the same place.

Many men in the Baby Boomers generation married young, worked hard and built their careers.  Then they got divorced and may have remarried a younger spouse who wanted children.

“These men are doing it the second time around, often with women half their age,” says Michael Kimmel, a sociologist at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y. He calls the phenomenon “serial paternity.”  For some this is an opportunity to repeat their child-rearing experiences, and in some cases, to get it right the second time.

The men interviewed said it was worth it, even with sleepless nights and cranky kids.  Most have more time, more patience and more financial resources than when they were younger.

Health was a concern.  Most of the fathers said they exercise regularly to keep up with their kids.

Kids News

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Laura Doerflinger, MS, a licensed mental health counselor, has a good idea for co-parenting by email.  She suggests each parent pick a day to publish a Kids Mail email.  For example if you drop the children off Sunday night, publish Kid News Monday morning.  What to include?

  1. School:  Grades, homework, school incidents, forms that need to be filled out, conferences,  etc.
  2. Health:  Colds, doctor appointments, dentist, counseling, moods, etc.
  3. Financial:  Payments due or parenting plan division of costs for activities, medical expenses, etc.
  4. Schedule:  Changes to the current schedule, changes in your child’s plans, holiday times, etc.
  5. Vacations:  Clarification of times and plans – phone numbers, etc.
  6. Upcoming Events:  Social, school, extracurricular or sport activities.

Doerflinger suggests avoiding control issues by not giving instructions and relating only the facts.  Limit the news to co-parenting issues.  This is not a place to discuss your relationship.  Respond to the items that need responses and be sure to thank the other parent for the effort.

Peace on Earth

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Custody battles can get pretty ugly. People do and say things they normally wouldn’t because the stakes are the highest they can be, namely, the children.

But the highest correlation to a child’s stability and well-being after a divorce is the health of the parent’s relationship.

So let’s call a truce to hostilities until the New Year. Put aside your disputes and differences for the sake of the children and let them have a conflict free holiday season.

The best holiday gift you can give them is to let them know they are loved by their mothers and fathers.

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.”

When Parents Clash

Monday, October 19th, 2009

People have different approaches to parenting.

Mom may feel that Dad is too strict with the children.  Dad feels that Mom is too lenient with the children and that the children need to learn independence.

Dad may feel that Mom is lax about the children’s weight or medical problems.  Mom sees Dad as overprotective and perhaps even a hypochondriac.

Dad may let the children stay up later or watch television shows they can’t watch at Mom’s house.  Mom doesn’t think Dad is a serious enough about making the children do their homework.

Parenting is hard work, but it can be even tougher if one parent is sabotaging or undermining the other’s authority.  Good parents are like good business partners.  They may not love each other or hate each other, but they present a united front in handling the business of parenting together.

But real life is seldom so ideal, so Robert L. Mues, gives us some help for handling parenting style conflicts on his Ohio Family Law Blog.

Do You Know Who Your Child’s Teacher Is?

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

“Who is your son’s teacher?” one of the moms at the bus stop asked me this morning.

While my wife has been busy being the PTA president, buying school supplies and clothes, and meeting the teachers, I have been working to pay for my kid’s food, clothing, shelter and future college tuition.

So I tell her, “I don’t know.  You’ll have to ask my wife.”

But I feel guilty about this.  It reminds me of the infamous Woody Allen deposition.  Woody couldn’t name his children’s teachers, favorite pajamas, shoe sizes or best friends.  In giving custody to Mia Farrow, the judge found that Woody was an uninterested parent.

Next time someone asks me, I’m going to know the answer to questions like these.

 
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