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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.
Dec 29, 2005
On Dec. 15, Santa Fe District Court Judge Daniel Sanchez signed a temporary restraining order against CBS late-night host David Letterman, requiring him to keep his distance from Colleen Nestler. According to Nestler, for more than 10 years Letterman has been sending coded messages over the airwaves that communicated his desire to marry her. (Nestler has also accused TV personalities Regis Philbin and Kelsey Grammer of communicating with her through televised code.) Letterman says he doesn't know the woman. Nestler's TRO may be ludicrous, but it highlights a no-nonsense debate on the possible misuse of restraining orders. A restraining order is a court order "directing one person not to do something, such as make contact with another person, enter the family home or remove a child from the state." They are usually issued to women in regard to domestic violence, stalking and divorces in which violence is alleged. TROs are "often granted without notice ... until a hearing can be held to determine the propriety of any injunctive relief." Nestler's TRO was granted ex parte, meaning only one party was heard by the judge. The purpose of a restraining order is to protect someone from a credible threat. But the Nestler case raises questions about whether restraining orders have drifted from their original intent. That permanent restraining orders require a hearing does not reassure skeptics. The judges and courts that issue TROs are the same ones deciding on whether to validate their prior decisions. Judge Sanchez's reaction to unflattering press coverage is not reassuring, either. According to the newspaper Santa Fe New Mexican, "When asked if he might have made a mistake, Sanchez said 'no.' He also said he had read Nestler's application." The application accused Letterman of causing mental cruelty, sleep deprivation and bankruptcy. Nestler requested that Letterman not "think of me, and release me from his mental harassment." Sanchez emphasized reading the application because lawyers in his district have alleged he "often doesn't read legal documents submitted." Since issuing a TRO is within a judge's discretion, it is difficult to say which scenario is more disturbing: an informed judge validating Nestler's delusions or a negligent judge not bothering to read what he signs. Even more disturbing is whether frivolous or unfounded TROs are commonplace. Women's groups maintain that abuse of TROs is rare; they believe the issuance and enforcement of restraining orders must be strengthened to save women's lives. There have been heartbreaking cases. Jessica Gonzales obtained a restraining order limiting her estranged husband's access to their three children. Nevertheless, he murdered the children before being killed by police. In early 2005 Gonzales became a cause c

Dec 16, 2005
Forget about the last minute gift shopping. The real issue for separated parents this season is who gets what time with the kids. With divorce seemingly as popular as marriage, more and more kids will be subject to the annual access dispute carving them in half with less care than the turkey. Then to assuage parental guilt for their interminable situation, these kids will be dressed finer than the turkey with all the niceties from designer clothes to the latest in newfangled electronics. Thanks mom and dad

Dec 07, 2005


I am at wits end on what to with this situation. My ex has moved to a different state, Texas, and I live in Wisconsin. Our divorce is in Indiana and I pay support to that state. Also, she has lived in Texas for 4 years now and I have not seen my child since she was nine months old. She refuses to follow the court order visitation. I do not have an address on her or phone number. I took her to court once in Indiana for contempt but they refused to do anything because she lives in Texas. I do not have the financial means to take her to court in Texas in order to change venue. What other options can I do I have that are less costly but still effective?


Allow me to preface my answer with the fact that I am not licensed to practice or give legal advice regarding the laws of Indiana or Wisconsin. Once she was in Texas for in excess of 6 months, Texas took jurisdiction of your child. Your only choice is to register your judgment in Texas and take her to task on her violations in Texas. No other court has juridsiction to do so at this point.

Dec 06, 2005


I recently divorced my wife. We have made some attempt to try to make our marriage work, but I am still not convinced that she is willing to change the things that ruined our marriage, or she just want to get back into the house. My question is, if we sleep together after being divorced, will this set our divorce aside?


I cannot answer your question specifically to the laws of Oklahoma as I am not licensed to practice law in that State. Generally, no. Once you are divorced, you are divorced. The only thing you can do to change it is if you remarry her.

Nov 28, 2005
The Public Broadcasting Service documentary "Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories" portrayed Sadiya (Sadia) Alilire as a heroic mom who was abused by her husband. Two controversial questions persist. Did producers ignore the extensive court records with which they were provided on Alilire's multiple abuse of her two daughters -- then aged 8 and 3? Is PBS demonstrating bias against fathers? The tension surrounding these questions is heightening. On Nov. 7, Dr. Scott Loeliger (the accused father) wrote to Pat Mitchell, President and CEO of PBS, to "demand that you immediately cease and desist from rebroadcasting all programs and advertisements relating to "Breaking the Silence." Loeliger's reason: "the numerous false and defamatory statements about me." On Nov. 11, PBS' Vice President of Communications Lea Sloan replied that the matter "is currently being reviewed by our legal department." PBS Director of Corporate Communications Jan McNamara had confirmed earlier that the accuracy of "Breaking the Silence" was under an "official review"; PBS stated it anticipated its review would be concluded within 30 days as of Nov. 8. Meanwhile newspaper columnist Glenn Sacks announced "Round Three" of a campaign to convince publicly funded PBS to air both sides of issues raised by "Breaking the Silence." According to Sacks, Round Two resulted in over 10,000 protest calls and emails from the "Sackson Hordes" to PBS. Round Three is aimed at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which oversees the funding of public television. "We want PBS to provide fatherhood and shared parenting advocates a meaningful opportunity to present our side," said Sacks, explaining the campaign's goal. So far, PBS Houston has responded with an even-handed round-table discussion on its news analysis show, The Connection. The blogosphere is also buzzing. Liberal feminist Trish Wilson has posted the accounts of both Alilire and her daughter Fatima, the child whom "Breaking the Silence" features. Both sides should be heard -- and giving children a voice is particularly commendable -- but Wilson contends that attacks on Alilire are based on "outdated court documents." This charge is an odd one. If Alilire was, in fact, found liable for multiple counts of child abuse on Aug. 19, 1998, then -- unless the court finding has been overturned -- it is neither outdated nor up-to-date. The finding simply is, although additional information may provide some insight. Perhaps in response to accusations, Sacks recently posted the formerly withheld smoking gun: the judgment on Case No. 97-048856 of the Superior Court of California, County of Tulare, Juvenile Court. In that judgment, Fatima and her younger sister became dependents of the juvenile court under Section 300, subdivisions a, b, c & j, of the Welfare and Institutions Code. The codes require a finding either of actual abuse (physical and emotional) and neglect, or of the risk of abuse and neglect. Alilire claims the court actually found that she "threw a shoe at Fatima" and "spanked her with a plastic coat hanger." She denies both charges. There is an undeniable "he said/she said" aspect to the potential scandal that threatens the credibility of PBS. But the "he said/she said" scenario breaks down in the presence of documents that include far more than the Juvenile Court papers. It includes the rulings of two judges on separate occasions, 1991 and 2003; the report of a child abuse investigator for Tehama County; the arrest of Alilire in 1989 for felony domestic violence against Loeliger; and, the custody evaluation conducted by a clinical psychologist for the Superior Court of Monterey County. If Fatima's voice is to be heeded -- and I sincerely hope it is -- then her earlier accounts must also be taken seriously, especially since they were independently investigated and verified. In the furor of accusations and counterclaims that may well occur, and soon, it is wise to state what I believe the controversy is not about. It is not about whether Loeliger is a good father. I don't have information to make that judgment but I suspect both parties behaved badly toward Fatima at different points. It is not about Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), upon which much attention has been focused. The syndrome, by which custodial parents are said to systematically alienate children from non-custodial ones (overwhelmingly fathers), is heralded by shared custody advocates; it was targeted for debunking by "Breaking the Silence." I don't subscribe to PAS as a psychiatric category. So what is the controversy about? Boston Globe columnist Cathy Young, who also covered the film on her blog, got it right. "It looks to me like the PBS documentary has taken a very complicated and messy situation in which both parents are at fault (though the mother is the only one with a fairly clear record of physical violence), and transformed it into a melodrama about a villainous father and a wronged mother," she said. "And this melodrama is put into the service of a narrative that vilifies fathers, most explosively suggesting that the majority of fathers who seek custody of their children are abusers. And that's just wrong." I believe the producers of "Breaking the Silence" made an egregious error in casting a physically abusive mother as a wronged heroine. "Breaking the Silence" may well contribute to misinformation on domestic violence and its impact upon children. And that is shameful.

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