Monday, March 29, 2004

NC Social Services Screen Abuse Claims

Apparently, 1/3 of all abuse allegations filed with North Carolina Social Services are dismissed with no investigation. Charlotte Observer

Labels: ,

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Flangan Explains Judicial Child Snatchers...

Having talked about Gregory Flanagan before I will refrain from lengthy discourse as to his person, but a question comes up... I know a girl named Evan and a boy named Kelly. Could Gregory be female? Just a thought...

The title of this article: Judicial Child Snatchers Threaten the Integrity of the Mother-Child Bond

The real beauty of this article is that there are virtually NO sources. Truth in opinion reigns online... hopefully (or I would assume) the readers of the Liberation Journal are not that educated (or smart). Otherwise how could they read such unsubstantiated garbage?

BTW, who is this guy liberating anyway? Women from the idea that they should not have an unparalleled advantage in family court, the judiciary from following rules of law, people from their senses, Congress from legislative fairness...

This article is much better than the first, almost pure opinion...

Some people now want to take away the right of men and women to set the terms of their marriage, divorce and custody arraignments. They deny the natural right of women to first custody and control of the relationship-marriage terms. They want to equalize custody between the father and mother despite the fact that most marriages break up because of the conduct of men, and that most divorcing couples agree that the children belong with their mother, therefore any equalization of custody would be an unequal denial of the rights, needs and desires of most men, women and children. (Oh lord, where do I start. Take away the right of men and women to set the terms of their marriage, divorce and custody arrangements... he really means take away the right of women to dictate all of these things. Why on earth do women have a natural right to marriage and custody terms? Both marriage and the creation of children are joint ventures, barring severe mental illness or incapacity of one of the parties, the dissolution of such should also be joint. There is no god given right to women to dictate matters of family or marriage. Once men were primarily in charge of both but after women declared equal rights wouldn't the prudent presumption be that of equality? As for most marriages breaking up because of conduct of the men - this is just false (notice no sources for any of these statements). Here is a related study: Child Custody Policies and Divorce Rates in the United States, but if you don't want to read it all, here is a relevant paragraph: If one investigates the simple question, "who initiates divorce," we find from the Monthly Vital Statistics Report May 21, 1991 (NCHS, 1991), that from 1975 to 1988, in families with children present, wives file for divorce in approximately 2/3 of the cases each year. In 1975, 71.4% of the cases were filed by women, and in 1988, 65% were filed by women. While these statistics alone do not compel a conclusion that women anticipate advantages to being single, rather than remaining in the marriage, they do raise that reasonable hypothesis. If women can anticipate a clear gender bias in the courts regarding custody, they can expect to be the primary residential parent for the children. If they can anticipate enforcement of financial child support by the courts, they can expect a high probability of support monies without the need to account for their expenditures. Clearly they can also anticipate maintaining the marital residence, receiving half of all marital property, and gaining total freedom to establish new social relationships. Weighing these gains against the alternative of remaining in an unhappy marriage may result in a seductive enticement to obtain a divorce, rather than to resolve problems and remain married. Granted, the author could still claim they are unhappy because of the men's conduct... but give me something to work with. Show some numbers... that is purely speculation and refutable speculation, but I won't waste any more time on this specific assertion. Finally, if most couples agreed to a custody arrangement, they wouldn't have to go to court!! The courts have no problem rubber stamping custody arrangements in which the mother is the sole custodian. This preference is what men's groups are so up in arms about!)

From what I have read by Mr. Flanagan up to this point, I would peg him as a worshiper at the altar of NOW. Imagine my surprise at the following:

Largely because of the work of feminazi groups, no fault divorce has now imposed on people in all 50 states while denying the right of men and women to set the terms of their own marriage and its termination, this has had the effect of harming women and children. (Did he say feminazi!? I understand some of his argument- that the women's movement created no-fault divorce laws. However, how no-fault eliminates the ability for the family to make decisions is hazy. Women can now leave whenever they want and almost always reap the benefits - the home, the children, the support... Do they want to not be able to leave the marriage - would they like to be able to kill their spouse in some type of ornate divorce ritual - are they stigmatized by the label divorcee?)

This legislated political kidnapping threatens to advance toward an affirmative action scheme where preferences would be given to the father to counter past discrimination in custody cases, leading to quotas to see that fathers get custody fifty percent of the time, even though 90% of couples agree that the mother should get custody, and in fact, courts already favor fathers in disputed cases, that needs to be looked into to determine if that is in the best interest of the child. (Um, could this guy be less informed? First, he still hasn't been able to explain the "political kidnapping" so I guess he is referring to no fault divorce? Fault divorce would require a finding of fault by one of the parties...maybe he thinks more name calling would be helpful in family courts. Multiple other problems: 1) Cases that are in court are there because they are contested... the parents don't agree that the mom should have custody and then get a call from a judge ordering them into court to battle it out. Judges love it when parents make arrangements out of court; it demonstrates the parents ability to work together. 2) No legal quota system has ever been proposed. Ever. 3) Again, I reiterate, if 90% of couples agree to the mother having custody -- then only 10% wind up in court. I don't think the 90% is a remotely valid number but I'll go with it for agreements sake. 4) Where is the evidence courts favor fathers in contested cases. Oh I forgot, there isn't any valid support...

This movement further undermines the integrity of marriage and poses such a threat to mother's rights that it may lead to fewer women getting married out of fear that the license may be used in court to take her child away from her, because it takes away from a woman the ability to protect her and her children by entering into the marriage covenant with a man who promises to stay with her and their children, so that she is able to be secure in the trust that her children will remain with her. The only way a child should be taken away from one's mother is if the mother is unfit, or, of course, if she has made a prior agreement that surrenders partial or full custody, or the child prefers to be with the father. The mother must give her explicit consent to any arraignment for joint custody or equal consideration between the father and mother upon divorce. In the absence of such permission, a child belongs with his or her mother. (God help this man if he ever gets divorced and has children. I cannot imagine how fun it would be for his wife to read from some of his "articles" in court. Okay, as we have discussed, women initiate divorces far more than men so the covenant argument is nullified. As for the rest of this I can only assume Mr. Flanagan really needs to get laid and is therefore is trying to seem super sympathetic to women. He cites no sources for his absurd contention that mothers have a "natural" right to custody. Parents have a natural right to PARENT their children. No parent should be denied this right unless they can be found unfit. Having a child is joint venture. This is a natural right supported by the Constitution, Bill of Rights and legal precedents (even if it is not always adhered to as it should be). To propose mothers should give "permission" is dangerous, biased and inherently discriminatory. Not to mention completely ridiculous. One parent doesn't hold ownership rights to the children over the other parent.

Oh god, I can't do this anymore.... just read the article. He goes on to say men should come to an agreement with the mother privately concerning custody (as if it's that easy); he reiterates that mothers have a natural right to custody...

But I will include something from the last paragraph: If the state can steal people's children away from them after divorce, it opens the once unthinkable idea of licensing homopervert relationships and using them as an excuse to give equal consideration for custody to queer partnerships formed by former married spouses. (Isn't the state effectively stealing children from their fathers? )

This guy makes me so frustrated (that was probably his intention and now he is smirking in some dark room of his rent controlled apartment and stroking himself while he gazes at the gay porn pictures carefully taped to his walls-- isn't it generally that the most outspoken are the biggest examples of the described behavior. Think of William Bennett and the Book of Virtue). Huh, I wonder how he will feel about that inference.

Please feel free to email me relevant thought or statistics. I feel as though the two posts on Gregory Flanagan were hurried and not as well documented as they should have been. I just felt so rushed to say something about his deplorable position on the importance of family-- the ENTIRE family.

Read the article here: Liberation Journal


Michigan NOW Against Proposed Joint Custody Legislation...(Big Surprise)

Okay, this is an article from the Liberation Journal and penned by Gregory Flanagan (who apparently is the only writer for the Liberation Journal, as of yet I can find no other authors on the site...links to other sites, but no other articles written for this particular site by another author...please update me if I am incorrect)

To start, I found this article suspect since it was written by a man. Granted, there has often been cross-over in many civil rights issues in our history- men supported the women's movement, whites supported civil rights, (and the most obvious) women support men's right to equal custody. However, a man outwardly supporting NOW in a blanket fashion did seem suspect to me. So I decided to do a little research on the Liberation Journal and Mr. Flanagan.

From the little I have found, this site appears to be hosted by a Canadian ISP. I'm not sure if that is relevant. I did find a site in which Mr. Flanagan was commenting on content of his site about homosexuals being pedophiles and concerning some type of action by the Canadian government... but not enough to have a cohesive summation.

I can't find much else, except other articles written by Mr. Flanagan, all of which seem to be written on hot button topics. Maybe he is simply fishing for notoriety.

Anyway, I wonder, if he is a Canadian citizen, why the apparent interest in Michigan custody legislation? Or the myriad of other US issues he takes up...

I have to say that I am surprised at the lack of biographical or contrary literature available on Mr. Flanagan. He certainly takes positions on very strongly felt issues; maybe I am the only one stupid enough to give this guy the time of day. (Also, I have on no way reviewed his positions in their entirety, he may very well agree with me on other points)

On to the article... for your reading pleasure I will provide some direct quotes, but first I should give some type of summary. He does cite some sources, primarily NOW. However, at least his first paragraph is startling lacking in support. It seems obvious to me that Mr. Flanagan believes: 1) That mothers are rightly given physical custody in the majority of cases, 2) That fathers are generally happy with their visitation schedule, 3) That mothers and children have a bond not matched by fathers and children and 4) A presumption of joint custody is not inherently in the best interests of the child and any judge who rules as such is ignoring the welfare of the child.

My favorite quotes:

"To make any other decision, a judge must find reasons why joint custody is not in the children's "best interest." This is an ambiguously high legal standard that makes it very difficult for judges to award sole-custody. It is a departure from the traditionally accepted standards determining what's in the best interest of the child based on the biological bond of mother and child and the fact that in the vast majority of cases, the mother is the primary child care provider." (More ambiguous than finding what is in the child's best interest, which this author argues is the "biological" bond between mother and child. Excuse me, but I took biology at some point, and I'm pretty sure there is a "biological" bond between father and child too! Unless we are talking about immaculate conception, maybe Canada has more going on up there than we thought.)

"Most child custody cases are settled through mutual agreement, sometimes aided by mediation, and the overwhelming majority of the time the mother gets custody with the father getting visitation in a way that satisfies both of them." (This is just ridiculous. If the majority of cases were settled through mutual agreement and there were smiles all around, what in the hell would all joint custody legislation be about? Obviously, there is a problem felt by enough to warrant a myriad of father's rights groups, new legislation, etc... We all know these statistics are often used by NOW and are categorically incorrect. Through my first search I found this: This study, conducted in Arizona, showed what the wishes of each parent was, and what the resulting custody decision was:

Fathers Wishes.

Joint Custody: 74%
Paternal Sole Custody: 15%
Maternal Sole Custody: 11%

Mother's wishes.

Maternal Sole Custody: 70%
Joint Custody: 30%

For the conflicting families (Father wanted joint custody, mother wanted sole custody).
Maternal Sole Custody awarded: 77%
Joint Custody awarded: 23%

(Source: Determining the Impact of Joint Custody on Divorcing Families, Sanford Braver, associate professor at the Arizona State University)

"The decrees overwhelmingly favored the mother's custody wishes: 67% of mothers obtained both the legal and residential custody arrangements they desired compared with only 15% of fathers; meanwhile, only 8% of mothers (vs 37% of fathers) found neither stipulation to correspond to their preference."

(Source: Gender Differences in Satisfaction with Divorce Decrees, Sheets & Braver, 1993)

There are also other statistics available ON THIS SITE countering this faulty claim repeatedly made by NOW.)

"Imposed joint custody is "unworkable for uncooperative parents; it is dangerous for women and their children who are trying to leave or have left violent husbands/fathers; it ignores the diverse, complicated needs of divorced families; and it is likely to have serious, unintended consequences on child support." Says NOW." (What precisely would be the unintended consequences in child support? Mothers would no longer get de-facto alimony titled as "support" in the name of the children? Mothers might be expected to support themselves and 50% of their children's needs on their own? My heavens! Whatever will we do with this unintended accountability!)

"NOW warns that, "Forced joint custody is also a top legislative priority of fringe fathers' rights groups nationwide. These groups argue that courts are biased and sole custody awards to mothers deny fathers their right to parent. They allege that, in most cases, mothers are awarded sole custody, with fathers granted visitation rights. The men cite this as proof of bias against fathers."

"The truth is that in 90 percent of custody decisions it is mutually agreed that the mother would be sole custodian. According to several studies, when there is a custody dispute, fathers win custody in the majority of disputed cases." According to NOW."
(Here it is again, mutual agreement, fathers win a majority of custody disputes... Notice NOW only cites several studies, no study titles authors, or dates. Must have slipped their mind. I mean, come on, the findings are so prominent how could you not know this stuff! Women always get screwed, men are oppressors, we (women) are so weak and delicate and intelligence challenged that the courts must be biased in our favor in order for there to be a level playing field. Oh, but BTW, we still want you to "help our children" in the form of cold hard cash. Don't forget to sign the check!! This is a an article on the effects of joint custody and the need for fathers: SPARC)

"NOW says, "The legislature's determination to impose joint custody on parents in conflict is a frightening proposition for many women and places them and their children in harm's way. There is documented proof that forced joint custody hurts children." "In the majority of cases in which there's no desire to cooperate, joint custody creates a battleground on which to carry on the fight," one researcher reported in the legal magazine, The Los Angeles Daily Journal (December 1988)." (I'm not even sure what to say here, NOW speaks more crap... What documented proof? Provide some sources... There is documented proof joint custody is beneficial (see SPARC above), that is the beauty of statistics, you can almost always find some to support your point. The difference is here I'll provide mine, NOW just uses "one researcher" who reported in The Los Angeles Daily Journal. I don't know, but I gotta think that if you go to the card catalog of your library and look up one researcher and the magazine title, you are going to come up with... squat. But then who knows...)

"In "Ongoing Postdivorce Conflict: Effects on Children of Joint Custody and Frequent Access," Janet Johnson and her colleagues compared children in court-ordered joint custody with children in sole-custody homes. In both situations, the parents were in "entrenched conflict." This study showed that under these circumstances frequent shuttling between both parents in joint custody "is linked to more troubled emotional problems" in children than the sole-custody arrangement." They reported." (I just love the "They reported." Anyway, the problem here is that the article says there were conflicts in both scenarios and while they may have been aggravated by joint custody, isn't the real problem the parents? Should we punish, or keep the children from having meaningful and regular contact with one parent because the parents (note the plural) are too stupid to act like adults around each other? That doesn't necessarily negate their ability to properly parent their children and if it did it would require the law to remove the child from the care of both parents, not just one.)

"Imposed joint custody is particularly dangerous to battered women and their children. As the director of the Michigan Domestic Violence and Treatment Board said in her testimony opposing this bill, "...the exchange of children during visitation can be the most dangerous time for the [domestic violence survivor] and her children." (This is a legitimate concern but a ridiculous point. As even the article itself notes, the judge can demonstrate why joint custody is not in the best interests of the child and order sole custody. I'm reaching here, but I think documented abuse would warrant such a decision...)

"My experience with presumptive joint custody as a domestic relations lawyer in Louisiana was almost uniformly negative," said NOW Executive Vice President Kim Gandy. "It creates an unparalleled opportunity for belligerent former spouses to carry on their personal agendas or vendettas through the children -- and with the blessing of the courts."
"Attorneys often referred to it jokingly as the `lawyer protection act' because repeated trips to court over minor issues kept the fees rolling in, and the mothers were more likely to suffer," Gandy said."
(Well everybody clap for NOW since they seem to be the only ones worth quoting. As if a lawyer who also happens to be the NOW Executive Vice President wouldn't have an agenda or possibly a differing opinion from your run of the mill divorce attorney. But everyone listen to Kim --mothers are more likely to suffer. Now let's bow down and kiss the feet of this impartial, benevolent pedagogue. What on earth would we do without her to suffer for all the meek, half-witted victims (oops, I meant women). God bless the predominately male judiciary who will save them all from having to share their children with the person who shared the responsibility in their creation and pay their own way.)

Oh crap, there is a link to another article by this Flanagan fellow... Guess what!! It is just as moronic and misrepresented. Thankfully I have very little to do at work today...

Link to the first article here: Mother's Rights and Children's Welfare Threatened by Forced Joint Custody (from the Liberation Journal)

Labels: , , , ,

Joint Custody Legislation in the US

This page (courtesy of the CRC) provides each states statutes concerning joint custody.

Labels: , , ,

Impeachment Resolution in Colorado

A Colorado Representative has filed a resolution calling for the impeachment of Judge Richard Coughlin. Judge Coughlin issued a joint custody ruling declaring that there could be nothing in the child's upbringing that could be considered homophobic. Rep. Greg Brophy "says Coughlin’s ruling amounts to “judicial activism” that must be punished."


Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Lowell Jaks Arrested

An update in the Lowell Jaks case. Mr. Jaks was found in the Dominican Republic and has pleaded not guilty to child stealing. Scroll down to the bottom of the article for the update.

Joint Custody in Australia

An Australian study has found that 50-50 custody works, as long as the children needs and wishes are adequately addressed. The Age


Problems for Military Fathers

This article addresses complications in custody cases for deployed military fathers. (Though the same problems could be had by deployed moms) The article addresses moving, paternity and child support.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Glenn Sacks on Move Away Parents

This is a reprint of an editorial written by Glenn Sacks. Mr Sacks can arguably be called the primary care-giver of his children and he proposes a scenario in which he would move away from his wife. California NOW Spits on My Wife

Labels: ,

Disposable Dads

This article, written by a woman, discusses the ramifications of "absentee" fathers (for all of the reasons they may be absent) as well as the incentives for men to have children in society today.

Divorce in America

This article addresses current divorce law in the United States and highlights a particular contested case out of Ohio. The wife, after her husband filed for divorce, retained an attorney to stop the divorce. The Plain Dealer


Friday, March 12, 2004

More Kidnapping

This article is also about kidnapping by a person known to the child. After an order of joint custody was entered the mother took the child and disappeared. Maybe presumptive joint custody won't stem parental abductions...

Wisconsin Joint Custody

They are amending the Wisconsin presumption of joint custody law to allow judges to consider domestic abuse charges.

Labels: ,

Joint Custody Initiative in Michigan

Dads of Michigan is beginning a petition drive to get presumption of joint custody to appear on the November ballot. This would amend the Michigan custody laws and compel judges to award joint custody unless one parent can be proven unfit. They need 254,206 signatures by May 26 and have 1,000+ volunteers out soliciting support.

To read the article link here:

Visit the Dads of Michigan web site.

If you are interested in signing the petition (and a Michigan resident) contact Dads of Michigan at or call 248-559-DADS.

Labels: , ,

Child Abduction

This article highlights the propensity of a child to be kidnapped by someone they know, which cites sources saying 78% of abductions are done by someone known to the child. The article goes on further to cite custody battles as a potential catalyst for such kidnappings. The further I got into this article, the more upset it made me, so I wrote a letter to the editor. I am including it here:

On 3/11/04 the San Francisco Chronicle published an article titled "The Secret Truth About Child Abduction" by Jenni Thompson. The article highlighted the propensity of abductions by someone known to the child. It briefly discussed parental abductions: "What drives parents to kidnap their own children? The most common motives are revenge against the other parent and anger at losing a child during a volatile custody battle. While some parents abduct to rescue kids from suspected abuse, these cases are rare."
While it is truly relevant for the public to realize the statistics behind child abductions, to gloss over potential reasons so blithely is a disservice to your readers. Particularly problematic is that Ms Thompson alludes to cases related to abuse but dismisses those just as quickly and provides no sources to demonstrate the extent of those abductions.
While there is no excuse to kidnap your child, as the author admits often protracted and contentious custody battles result in such actions. The readers of the Chronicle deserve to have the catalyst examined as well as the results. I realize that was likely not the intent of this article. Nonetheless, we have a judicial system that more often than not awards custody to mothers simply because they are mothers. Fathers are severely disadvantaged in family courts when pertaining to child custody. If Ms. Thompson is so comfortable citing custody battles as the impetus for an abduction she should feel compelled to research such battles. She might be surprised to find that if courts considered parents equal and truly respected the right of the children to maintain continued and meaningful contact with both parents, the abduction rate by family members would drop considerably.
As a start I would recommend Ms Thompson review the study titled "Child Custody Policies and Divorce Rates in the US" which was presented at 11th Annual Conference of the Children's Rights Council.
It is truly ironic that while our country continues to debate gay marriage and the ensuing problems presented by gay divorce (child custody, spousal maintenance, etc...) we interminably ignore the inherent problems with traditional divorce.

To read the article link here:

To contact the editor link here: Feedback. If you contact the editor make sure to reference the specific article. Be polite but firm and present your thoughts in a clear and supported manner. Good Luck!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Judicial Thoughts on Joint Custody

This article describes a 4500 word statement issued by California Judge Richard A. Curtis in which he advocates the presumption of joint custody. 'Lectric Law

Labels: ,

Joint Custody

This article is on the APA's (American Psychological Association) website and is from the Journal of Family Psychology. It is also short, I hope to find something both non-biased and in-depth about joint custody, but this is still useful. One of the most interesting parts of this study is that it directly negates the claim made in the NOW article that said joint custody was harmful as it continued to expose the children to conflict between the parents. Monitor on Psychology

Labels: ,


This is from the ANCPR page and although it is under the heading Statistics supporting Equal Parenting, it is more statistics on why fathers are important. Obviously they are not one in the same but definitely related.

Labels: , , , ,


I just read an article by Gloria Woods, President of Michigan NOW, a woman's advocacy group. You can read the article here. I have a lot of problems with this article as well as with NOW in general, however, I do see some merit in the argument that joint custody can be detrimental if the parents are absolutely unable to work together. That goes back to my repeated pleas that you remain civil and productive with your ex, it is important for so many reasons, but mostly for your children's well being. Divorce is extremely difficult and devastating but does not give you an excuse to stop acting like an adult.

Labels: , ,

Joint Custody and Shared Parenting

This is a useful, if short, page dedicated to joint custody from the Children's Rights Council. It may be useful as something preliminary to give your ex, just to plant the seed that a joint arrangement is in the best interests of everyone involved.

Labels: ,

Retaining Custody - Step Two

Okay, so what it step two? Well that is a little bit more difficult. It is largely dependent on where you are in your case. Are you simply talking about divorce, have you moved out, have you filed any papers...

Visit this website and complete the exercises. Take this seriously and ask your ex to do the same. If you both go through the exercises before a court battle begins it will help you both focus on who really suffers when a family breaks-up. Hopefully it will also help prevent full out war.

My gut instinct is to say not to leave the home unless court ordered. However, with the myriad of circumstances and emotions surrounding each individual case, this may be impossible. If you do leave the home, make sure to have a schedule set up to see your children beforehand. For court purposes you want to demonstrate that you have continued to be paramount in their lives and have remained intrinsically involved with them after the separation. See your children as often as possible, attend all functions, let their teachers know how you can be reached, etc...

It is also very important to stay upbeat for the children who will undoubtedly be confused and extremely upset about your separation as well. Never speak negatively about your ex in front of the children and refrain from discussing anything about the divorce or custody arrangement in front of the children.

If you have or will be leaving your home, particularly if you are afraid things will get nasty between you and your ex, make sure you have copies of all relevant marital paperwork. This may include bills, loans, titles...whatever. It is also a good idea to work out an immediate plan with your spouse to separate financials. Get separate credit cards, work out a repayment arrangement on jointly held debts, decide who will pay the house, utilities, insurance, etc... Do not assume, work something out and try to put it in writing. Your credit rating does not have to go simply because your marriage is.

Discuss with your attorney how things should be split during the separation and what options you have to protect yourself financially. I realize this may be the last thing on your mind right now, especially if your divorce is amicable, but believe me, they go down hill very fast and if you have separated you MUST have some separation of finances.

You also want to have copies of anything they may be potentially detrimental to your case. I won't go into what they might be but anything that could be brought up against you. You want to aware your attorney of these factors immediately. Your attorney can advise you as to how damaging they might be and what you can do for damage control.

You want to be completely upfront with your attorney. They will not be happy if they are surprised in court with information you have neglected to share, nor will avoiding issues be helpful to your case. If your job required you to travel frequently, resulting in less time with your children than you may have liked, then you be the first to bring up the issue. Explain that while the job required you to be out of town at times you took it because it provided X for your family (whatever X may be... a better home/neighborhood, private schools, your ex to not work...). If you are upfront it becomes less of an issue than when you ex stands up in court and cries about being abandoned for your job. I am not guaranteeing that will be the linchpin to your case but you will always look better to the judge if you are forthright and honest. And your attorney will be better served if they understand all the factors of your marriage and divorce.

If you have to move, try to relocate into the same schools your children currently attend. If they can ride a bus to either home it will alleviate some of the scheduling difficulties. If you cannot, have a proposal in mind as to how you will get them to and from school on your days. MAKE SURE YOU CAN FULFILL THIS PROPOSAL. If your children are not yet in school, research the schools in your area and try to move into the best possible district. Have the documentation to show why your residence is in the better school district.

The most important thing is to try and remain civil with your ex. If there is no chance for reconciliation, grieve on your own. As much as you may blame them or hate them, remember your children. They don't want you to get divorced, but if you have to they don't want it to be contentious. They love you both and attacks on each equate to attacks on them. Their identify comes from their parents, they have grown up hearing how they have someone's eyes or coloring or temperament... if you attack each other they find fault in themselves. Continue to refer to your ex in the positive ways they contribute to your child. Do this even if your ex is unable to do the same for you, your children will be grateful they have somewhere to go that is not a war zone. Obviously, you and your ex will disagree at times, but what is important to remember is to keep the disagreements from becoming personal attacks and to never have any type of contentious discussion in front of your children.

Try to institute a plan for joint custody as quickly as possible. If you go into court, your best case scenario is joint legal and physical custody. If you can make an agreement without going to court you will both save countless dollars and emotional turmoil. The best thing for your children is continued, meaningful contact with both parents. Start reading up on joint custody and prepare some type of arrangement to propose to your ex. If you have managed to stay civil it will probably be better received. If you allow things to become heated and divisive between you and your ex it is much more likely they will want to go to court, in some sort of attempt to "punish you."

I will make step three information on joint custody. In the interim I will try to find relevant and helpful sites concerning joint custody.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

The Gay Marriage Debate

As I have been looking for relevant news posts today (and the past several weeks, while we are on the subject) I find divorce and custody news dominated by the implications of gay marriage.

If only traditional divorces and equal parental rights could get this type of coverage! Since when is it more important which party gets the children in a gay marriage than a straight one?

Monday, March 08, 2004

More Michigan

A more complete article about problems with child support in Michigan. Detroit News


Alternatives to Court

A company that offers divorcing couples a structured alternative to doing battle in court.

UPDATE: This article was written in response to the one above.

Labels: ,

Grandparents in Hawaii

A judge has declared unconstitutional the Hawaiian law of allowing grandparents to petition for visitation. Honolulu Advertiser

Labels: , ,

Child Support in Michigan

This article highlights the proposed changes headed by the current Attorney General, Mike Cox. They are most relevant to parents whose support payments are in arrears. Detroit News

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Divorce in Arkansas

The state of divorce in Arkansas, including the propensity for mediation. The Morning News

Labels: , ,

Mansfield's Rule in Michigan

What happens when a married woman has an affair and becomes pregnant? In Michigan there are two contradictory scenarios.

Labels: ,

3rd Party Custody

This article is about third party family members getting legal custody of children.


Listed on Blogwise Blogarama - The Blog Directory Blog Directory