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Divorce Advice for Men | Fathers' Rights Divorce | Child Custody

Providing men with essential divorce advice, fathers' rights divorce information and child custody articles. Dads Divorce is a community for men facing divorce or fathers' rights issues and run by Cordell and Cordell. Cordell & Cordell is a family law firm with a focus on men's divorce, child custody and fathers' rights divorce.
Oct 03, 2005
There is no magic solution to getting issues surrounding child support resolved. Most parents know that when dealing with the bureaucracy tied to the child support system persistence, persistence, persistence is the key that opens the door. You cannot count on case workers or case managers to do what is your responsibility. They are overworked, underpaid, wrapped in a sea of paperwork, antiquated computer programs, and red tape that barely allows them to move from point "A" to point "B". So what's a parent to do? Keep your own records. When it comes to dealing with courts and child support, it's all a matter of record. Document, document, document everything. If you speak to a worker, your attorneys, the non-custodial parent, document it. A blunt piece of advice for those who are contemplating a separation or divorce; even if you think your relationship appears to be on rocky ground and children are involved; start collecting information. This is advice for both men and women. Don't fool yourself gentlemen; you too can become a custodial parent seeking child support from your partner. It may not be the norm, but it is a reality. Don't sneak around, and don't feel as though you are going behind someone's back. You have to do what is in the best interest of your children and yourself. Begin collecting bank account numbers, list of licenses, locations of stock/bond papers, money markets and past work/address history. Gather as much as you can. Keep impeccable records. Write the names, addresses, phone and fax numbers to everyone you talk to concerning your child support case. Keep a photo of the parent in question. Remember, it is all a matter of record. You must hold people accountable and this is one way to do it. Don't ever be afraid to ask a judge or referee, attorney or the child support worker of your case who they report to at the end of the day. This will send a clear message that they will be held accountable for every word that comes out of their mouth so it better be in your best interest. Parents who were married at the time of conception may not have an issue filing for a child support order and often times your divorce attorney will cover this matter in your initial interview. However if the parents are not married, establishing paternity is essential if you expect to receive child support. Paternity means fatherhood. Establishing paternity provides the child with a legal father. Child support equals survival. Break-ups are never easy for the parents or the children. It often means that the emotional and financial standard of living for all parties will suffer. Parents must understand that child support is paid for the well being of the child and the parent caring for that child. Money is a powerful tool in this society and can be used as a weapon when it comes to child support. The duty to pay child support and the right to visit are two different issues. They are not connected in the law. In the eyes of the court the child is entitled to contact with both parents. If non-support is an issue, begin documenting the visitation and during your next visit with the judge or referee mention the fact that support has stopped. If you don't have an upcoming court visit, write the judge or referee assigned to your case. You can also inform your child support worker if you have one assigned, but write the judge and request a hearing to address the matter immediately. There is power in the pen, or in the keyboard, depending on how you choose to communicate with the people associated with your child support case. Always, always leave a paper trail. If you send a letter, ask the postal worker to give you a confirmation, it will at least let you know when the letter has arrived. Calling child support workers or trying to get in touch with "Friend of the Court" staff is as impossible as wining the "mega millions lottery." Parents must continue to write or, drop off letters to their workers/judges, and get the name of the person you leave the letter with, along with a phone number, This is great advice for any situation, if you think someone is giving you a bogus phone number, use your cell phone or a pay phone and call the number before you leave the location. If the number is not valid go back, ask to speak to a supervisor and let them know; and take the information to court with you so it can become part of the court record. If you truly have a problem getting child support issues addressed, write your legislators and your governor, weekly if needed. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, and nothing ventured, nothing gained. DETRA D. DAVIS is a writer with more than 20 years experience in business-to-business, business-to-consumer copywriting. She creates instructional, operational and how to manuals for business and industry, currently working with J. Davis & Associates, Visit her website at

Sep 19, 2005
by Phyllis Schlafly
Gallant Americans are risking life and limb in Iraq to defend Home and Country. But they never dreamed they might lose their children, too. When Army National Guard Spc. Joe McNeilly of Grand Ledge, Michigan came home after 15 months in Iraq, he found that a family court "referee" had taken away his joint custody of his 10-year-old son and given full custody and control to the boy's mother. For five years, McNeilly had had a 50-50 no-problem custody arrangement with his ex-girlfriend Holly Erb. When called up to go to Iraq, he gave her temporary full custody while he was overseas. While he was gone, Erb persuaded a family court to make her full custody permanent.

Sep 12, 2005
Hurricane Katrina and the ensuing devastation have dominated the news and will continue to do so on the national level for weeks to come. The media is scrutinizing every angle of this story and hard questions certainly need to be answered: How could this happen in America? Who is to blame for the slow reaction by all levels of government? What will be done to rebuild the Gulf Coast and the lives of its residents? One topic that is starting to surface in some circles, however, is the effect of Hurricane Katrina on matters of family law. The evacuation of New Orleans and subsequent relocation of hundreds of thousands of people from the Gulf Coast could result in a wave of litigation relating to custody, visitation and child support. Tens of thousands now find themselves unemployed and homeless. Virtually every state in the country, as well as many Canadian provinces, are taking in evacuees and enrolling the children into their own school systems. While this action is certainly justified in the face of a national emergency, there is no doubt Katrina’s name will eventually make it to family courts across North America. The September 9 issue of The Ottawa Citizen illustrated how some divorced parents are handling their situations. The front-page article featured a ten-year old boy from Mobile, Alabama who is now enrolled at Maple Ridge Elementary School in Canada’s capital. His parents are divorced and the father remarried a woman from Ottawa. The boy was spending the summer 1,500 miles away from his home when Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. While the article, accompanied by a picture of the smiling boy with his stepmother, praised the local school system and the federal government’s waiving of fees for American children attending Canadian public schools, the only mention of the mother was a short paragraph detailing how she contacted them days after the hurricane and was still in the process of locating other relatives. One would assume the mother agreed to have the boy spend the school year in Canada even though schools in Mobile are themselves taking in children from Louisiana and Mississippi into their own classrooms. One has to wonder though. What kind of situation is the mother facing to permit such a change in custody? Will the boy return to Alabama to be with the legal custodian after the school year? After all, he may be a Canadian citizen and resident by the time he completes fifth grade. This story brings to light the dilemma that both custodial and non-custodial parents face as a result of Hurricane Katrina: What happens as a result of all these relocations in regards to custody, visitation and child support? For example, a custodial parent in New Orleans must relocate as a result of the hurricane but the non-custodial parent maintains a residence in Baton Rouge. Obviously, the best solution would be for the custodial parent to relocate to the capital of Louisiana. But what if that’s not possible? What if the parents can’t stand each other? What if the custodial parent can’t get a job there? Or the custodial parent’s family in Illinois is willing to take them in? Of course, this situation qualifies as an emergency so it can be argued that there was no willful action taken to relocate the children without notice to the non-custodial parent. There was no choice but to evacuate a disaster zone. If the custodial parent, however, willfully remains in another state after the opportunity to return home becomes feasible, you can bet that a court date is coming. There is no doubt that some visitation schedules have been significantly impacted in the aftermath of the storm and divorced parents with already tense relations are (hopefully) figuring out a way to make things work out for everybody. Chances are, however, there are battles being prepared across family courts in affected states. Another issue that was brought up last week by Dr. Ned Holstein of Fathers and Families in Massachusetts was child support. While every state in the nation has responded to Hurricane Katrina with hotlines for help on receiving child support payments, the thousands of newly unemployed non-custodial parents in affected states find themselves in dire financial situations. Many will fall back on their support payments and may be added by automated computer systems to infamous “Deadbeat Parent” lists within months. The State of Arkansas, to its credit, quickly realized that non-custodial parents living in the disaster zone may not be able to pay their child support and is now offering to facilitate a review and modification for orders that were issued in that state. Every state across the nation needs to follow suit and be proactive on this issue. They must ensure the situation these non-custodial parents face is taken into account when the child support check is due. While some fear that these non-custodial parents may face jail time, most contempt statutes require that the individual have the ability to pay the child support and the failure to pay was willful. In these cases, it is doubtful that any judge would send a victim of Hurricane Katrina to jail for contempt of court unless a willful avoidance of obligations was already present. The missing child support payments, however, will still be due as long as no modification order is in place. That is why states must move quickly on this issue to prevent non-custodial parents from having the burden of additional child support debt. Hearings for modification of orders must be put on the “fast track” immediately. Of course, this is impossible in southern Louisiana since the court system has been shut down. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, however, issued on Executive Order on September 6 suspending “all deadlines in legal proceedings, including liberative prescriptive and peremptive periods in all courts, administrative agencies, and boards” until at least September 25, 2005, including those found in the Louisiana Civil Code. This order applies retroactively from August 29 to September 25 “unless amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law prior to such time.” How this order will be applied to family law statutes in the face of the disaster remains to be seen. Because of the magnitude of the legal chaos created, the effects on visitation schedules and child support may lead to a flood of proceedings being initiated whether legitimate or not. While many parents will find short-term solutions, such as in the case of the ten-year old now living in Ottawa, some vindictive parents will inevitably argue the “letter of the law” to gain an upper hand in their legal battles. How courts across the nation will apply that law in the face of Katrina remains to be seen. While the tangible effects of the hurricane did not affect most states, courts orders issued in family courts may affect a parent who relocated to the Gulf Coast following their divorce. Most courts will be minimally impacted but others may see their dockets increase significantly. The relocation of custodial parents brings up the question of jurisdiction over these cases. With tens of thousands moving to other states for an indefinite period of time, legal matters surrounding custody and child support could create problems in courts where evacuees will be residing for more than six months. When should a custodial parent relocated to Houston contact the Texas government agencies to collect overdue child support? Logically, those parents will probably continue to contact the State of Louisiana until residency has been established six months from now. But, as mentioned before, some custodial parents may permanently settle in other parts of the country even though notices of relocation to non-custodial parents were never given. Will these custodial parents have to return to face legal battles in Louisiana after having been welcomed into new schools and communities? The question of how many people will actually return to New Orleans when the waters have been pumped out and the city rebuilt remains to be seen. For those who decide to relocate permanently to other states and those who stayed behind, the issues surrounding custody and child support may have to go through months - maybe even years - of litigation. With many state child support enforcement agencies already overworked as a result of child support payments not being disbursed, the added influx of cases as a result of Hurricane Katrina could not only affect those who lived through the storm, but also parents who witnessed the horror on television. Many are thankful they survived the wrath of Hurricane Katrina and the wave of destruction that afflicted their homes. But custodial and non-custodial parents alike may find themselves facing a second devastating wave from Hurricane Katrina. This one, however, will take place in courtrooms across North America.

Sep 07, 2005


I had a DWI last year. Next month it will be reduced to a DWAI. It is my only offense and I have complied with all of my lawful obligations. i.e., therapy, community service, DDP. No children were in the car. I am thinking about divorce. I have never had any other trouble with the law; I have a good job etc., etc. Will this mistake have an effect on my custodial rights?


Allow me to preface my answer with the fact that I am not licensed to practice or give legal advice regarding the laws of New York. Generally, any type of conduct like that is relevant to a custody fight. The court is generally going to look at the fitness of the parents, but it seems that you have made good efforts to fix this which will help as well. It may be a factor, but the longer in the past it is the less impact.

Sep 07, 2005


I recently got divorced in June of 2006. I am an E-4 Spec in the US Army and gross $2,000 a month. I have two children with my ex wife and I pay $770 a month for child support. I am stationed at Ft. Rucker Alabama and they live in Kansas. She is a Registered Nurse there. I am not sure of what she brings home, but I am sure it is more than me. My son is 6 yrs old and will be turning 7 in October and my daughter just turned 5 in May. Am I being taking advantage of? I was re-entering the Army around the time the divorce was going on. I would like to know if this is a steep amount of money from me with only being a Specialist in the Army. I call to talk to the kids and she doesn

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