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Posts Tagged ‘Shared Parenting’

House bill would give both parents equal custody of children

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, due process rights, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Fit Parent, kidnapped children, Liberty, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders on March 2, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

House bill would give both parents equal custody of children

“Wilky Fain is fighting for equal custody of his 7-year-old daughter and
supports the new bill.”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When parents seek custody of their children, mothers usually receive more rights than fathers, so some Tennessee parents are trying to level the playing field.

Wilky Fain’s daughter Addison is 7-years-old now. He said it wasn’t until 8 months after she was born that a judge let him see her.

Fain is also president of the group Families Unite, and he made a documentary about his struggle in family court.

“Because of the discretion of a judge,” Fain said, “I’ve never been able to drop my little girl off at school. Because of the discretion of a judge, I’ve never picked my little girl up at school.”

Now, he and other parents are supporting a bill in the state House that would make courts order equal parenting time unless one of those parents is unfit.

This isn’t the first time a bill proposing equal custody rights for mothers and fathers will come before the state legislature, but supporters are hoping this is the time that it passes.

David W. Garrett is an attorney who focuses on family law.

Garrett said, “The problem with it is there are many circumstances where it’s not in the child’s best interest to be with both parents half the time…I think instead of looking at what is best in each case for the children it’s going to arbitrarily say 50/50 unless you prove otherwise.”

Garrett said according to the experts, children need a stable home, instead of constantly going back and forth.

Fain, who said he still doesn’t see his daughter as often as he would like, disagrees.
He said, “It’s better to have both parents. Children adapt to their environment…You can burn my house, you can take my car, but why would you take my kids from me?”
A House committee will hear from opponents and supporters of the bill Tuesday.

Article: http://www.wkrn.com/global/story.asp?s=12066750

House bill would give both parents equal custody of children.

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Fathers’ Rights: Top Ten Things Divorced Dads Need to Realize

In Child Custody for fathers, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parents rights on September 22, 2009 at 11:00 pm

I have to agree with this 100 percent.  Children do not have “visitors” in their lives, but moms and dads.  Dads never divorce their children and it is time the court recognize dads are forced into divorce 80 percent of the time by moms, and then children are forced into a relationship with only one parent.  It is a cruelty that is forced upon children, and dads served with divorce papers and restraining orders must realize they are just as important in the lives of their children after the divorce. – Parental Rights

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Top Ten Things Divorced Dads Need to Realize

by: Joel Schwartzberg

Top Ten Things Divorced Dads Need to Realize

It seems like a new celebrity father gets divorced every week. Recent divorced dads include Jon Gosselin, Robin Williams, Usher, Mel Gibson, Bradley Whitford, Edward Furlong, and Thomas Jane — and those are just the famous ones. Roughly half of all American marriages end in divorce and some studies suggest 60% of those splits involve children.

But while there’s abundant advice directing divorced fathers to avoid “screwing up” the kids, 2009-07-23-dads.jpgthere’s little out there to help dads appreciate the big parenting opportunity — yes, opportunity — before them.

Below are, IMHO, the ten most important things divorced fathers should realize as they transition parentally from “Husband and Father” to “One-and-Only Dad”:

1) You divorced your ex, not your kids

Many divorced dads disconnect from their kids when they separate from their ex-wives, but the divorce can actually be an opportunity to re-connect with your children — this time on your own terms.

2) The only parenting expectations worth a damn are your own

Divorce freed you from not only your ex-wife’s expectations, but those of your parents, her parents, Dr. Phil, and all those dads you see talking joyously about fatherhood on television. You’re the expert when it comes to your kids. Create your own expectations and standards.

3) There’s no such thing as a part-time dad

You’re either a dad or you’re not. Many divorced dads spend more time with their kids than fathers in intact families. But no matter how much time you spend with your children, if you commit to it regularly and responsibly, you’re a dad. Period. Exclamation point.

4) You are not a babysitter

There’s no need to constantly take your children on expensive adventures, shower them with gifts, or keep them perpetually entertained, as if filling a perceived hole in their happiness. They are just as happy to simply be with you as you are to be with them.

5) Your children have two homes…and two sets of rules

Your kids don’t “visit” you; they live with you. They have one home with Mom and another with Dad. And if they can adapt themselves to different rules between home and school, they can do the same between home and home. The phrase “But Mom lets us” carries no weight in your home.

6) You have an “inner dad”

There’s an “inner dad” inside you. He’s the one who tells you when it’s OK to let your son stay up late, when it’s appropriate to be interrupted on the phone by a whining daughter, and whether a tense situation calls for stern rules or just an all-out, no-shoes family wrestling match. You’ll get to know that inner dad gradually, moment by moment, and in the process become a more genuine dad — the best kind of dad you can be.

7) Most kids can cope

Divorce doesn’t necessarily mean therapy time for your kids. Studies show that many children cope well with divorce, especially if there’s joint custody and the kids are encouraged to openly express their feelings and fears. When I got divorced, a quick internet search told me I was ruining both my and my children’s lives. But it didn’t go down like that — in fact, I now feel like a better dad than I’ve ever been and I’ve stopped treating Google like my conscience.

8) You can do what you like

Too many moms and dads feel martyrdom is a necessary part of the parenting process. Find those things that you and your children honestly enjoy together — going to the movies, having cart-races at Kmart, bowling, or impulsively getting pizza in the mid-afternoon. Your children love nothing more than watching you enjoy yourself with them. And it’s way more fun than standing on the playground sidelines checking your Blackberry, isn’t it?

9) Your issues with the ex don’t belong in your kids’ lives

Like the corn and mashed potatoes on your first-grader’s plate, your parenting should be separated from any conflicts you have with your ex. Children need to know their parents’ love is unconditional and impenetrable, even and especially in the face of something as potentially devastating as divorce.

10) You’ll screw up…and that’s okay.

Making mistakes is as fundamental in parenting as making dinner. Own up to them — your kids will learn that they can too.


Joel Schwartzberg is a father of three, an award-winning essayist, and author of the first-of-its kind collection of personal essays from the perspective of a divorced father, “The 40-Year-Old Version: Humoirs of a Divorced Dad”

Fathers’ Rights: Top Ten Things Divorced Dads Need to Realize.

Equal physical custody? You try it. | thegrownupchild.ca

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Feminism, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Sociopath, state crimes on July 21, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Equal physical custody? You try it.

by Carolyn on July 21, 2009

Everyone wants to hold on tight

Everyone wants to hold on tight

I started a bit of a kerfuffle on another site the other day and I decided to write an opinion piece to reflect it.  I didn’t think I would be writing these, but the topic is interesting and I’d love to hear other people’s perspectives:

Child custody.  There aren’t many topics as polarizing as this one.  Really.  It ranks right up with politics and religion.  And debating it is not for the meek or faint hearted.  I knew that, but it’s not what I was thinking about as I wrote my comment.  I had just finished reading an interesting blog post over here and it really caught my interest.  The piece highlighted the author’s belief in equal physical custody of children after divorce.  She relayed a bit of her own personal experience as a divorced mom.  She stated that her ex husband chose not to have a role in her children’s life and that it of course was damaging to them.  She then listed a smattering of studies, detailing the detriments to children from absent fathers.

Now I don’t think anyone can dispute the importance of fathers for all children.  Children of divorce are no different.  But equal physical custody?  You know what that means, right?  It means three nights at mom’s house this week and four nights the next.  Or maybe it means this week at mom’s, next week at dad’s.  Having all your time split evenly down the middle.  Living precisely one half of your life in one residence and one half in another.  Sound like fun?  Would you want to do it?

So I wrote my comment.  I simply questioned the need for a 50/50 split and stated that although I had extenuating circumstances that made my paternal visitation less than most, I was glad not to have had to endure that.  And boy, the father’s came out swinging!  It shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did.  I hadn’t paid close enough attention to my wording.  And in a polarizing argument, wording of course is everything.

I thought I was being misunderstood.  It seemed the father’s were mostly angry that the courts tend to automatically choose the mother as the primary custodian, when they were just as capable.  And to that I can only agree.  If they want to be primary caretakers, they should have an equal opportunity for that.  If it’s legal reform that’s needed; go lobby.  Chances are, they’d find me supporting them all the way.  I don’t really care which parent the child resides with.  Only that in end they reside with one of them.

Because we all need a home.  A place that is ours.  And I feel that no matter how well you try duplicate it, a 50% arrangement robs a child of that sense.  Not to mention the continual upheaval; the back and forth.  I also brought up how difficult it would be for kids to answer one of the basic questions of kid-dom.  “Where do you live?”  The question that answers whether they reside in close enough proximity to be playmates.  I know things have changed.  That children of divorce are more mainstream now.  But this is a gateway question for kids!  Who wants to explain their family drama after initial introductions?

Well, at least the moderator was nice enough to pull down the few comments that had name calling in them.  Because the response to that second comment was certainly passionate.  Amidst the profanity, there were examples of how well equal custody works and mentions of child support.  And I’m going to ignore the support thing.  Because a father wanting to spend time with his children should never be motivated by a desire to reduce their price tag.  And I’m going give everyone the benefit of the doubt and assume it never is.  I’m making my point from there.

Because in the end I don’t really care about the fathers who feel slighted and disadvantaged at being called ‘secondary’ or feeling like a visitor.  And I don’t care about the mother’s who feel that being primary during marriage entitles them to remain primary through divorce.  I know both ache to be with their children.  I know it kills them to give up any time.  But I care about the child.  Whatever age they might be.  And the biggest problem here is that you can’t ask them.  Because the child of divorce aches to be with both of their parents too.  And they will always put their own needs aside in the name of time with a parent.  So if continually jumping from house to house is the price of spending time with them equally; it will be paid.  Without nearly a thought and even dressed up with assurances that they’re okay.  They’ll pay the price and make it look like it cost them nothing at all.

And there is my point.  Why must they pay?  Can’t the child of divorce have both?  Mom and dad present in their life and a stable ‘home base’?  Don’t they deserve it?  Oh I know it won’t be easy, parents.  You want to talk co-parenting?  There it is.  It would require whoever is ‘secondary’ to make more phone calls, attend things their child is attending, have them over for evenings and (oh no, not the dreaded!) visit their child at their ex spouses home along with enjoying their scheduled visitation.  It would also require the ‘primary’ to aid,  accommodate and welcome those things.  Equal parenting doesn’t have to depend on equal physical custody.  All it really depends on is co-parenting.

Is it a pipe dream?  Do I ask too much of divorced parents?  I hope not.

Because mom and dad were mature enough to get married.  Then they were mature enough to have children.   After which they were mature enough to get divorced.  Can’t they be mature enough to put their own issues and wants aside and give their children everything?  Shouldn’t the price be theirs to pay?  I think so, but that’s just my opinion.  From a grown up child of divorce.

Polarizing.  I can almost feel the heat coming though my monitor as you twitch towards the comment button.  You may agree with me completely or want to wring my neck.  And that’s okay.  I’d love to hear from you.  Because I’m not meek.  And I’m not faint hearted. If anything, I’d call myself an…advocate.

Equal physical custody? You try it. | thegrownupchild.ca.