Divorce and Custody Newsbytes

Men stuff® has compiled information, books and resources on the issue of divorce and custody newsbytes.


Bruce Linton
Ted Braude
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Kathy Noll
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Independent Means
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Related issues: Divorce & Custody, Talking With Kids About Tough Issues, DNA Testing, Divorce Terms
Divorce, Families, Catalogues (some provide lists of lawyers), Requests for Help (See right sidebar.)

Wife divorced husband because he wanted to keep son born with Down syndrome

Samuel Forrest, originally from New Zealand, saw his child for the first time in late January after his wife gave birth in Armenia. Just prior to meeting the baby, Forrest was told he had Down syndrome. He was shocked, however he also knew he would do his best to raise his little boy, Leo.

Down syndrome is a chromosomal condition that results in mild to severe cognitive issues. There is no cure for it, but with early intervention specialists and therapists, a child can prosper in his or her environment.

However, its not unusual for parents in Armenia to give up children born with Down syndrome. While cradling his son, Forrest walked into his wife's hospital room and right away she told him that if he was keeping the child, she would divorce him.

She reportedly thought Leo would bring 'shame' upon her family. "The mother refused to even look at or touch the newborn for fear of getting attached in a society where defects are not accepted, often bringing shame on the family involved," Forrest wrote on his Go Fund Me page, which instantly got massive attention.

"As a now solo father, Sam's aim is to raise enough money to be able to care for Leo fulltime himself for at least a year, to give him the love, cuddles & devotion he needs to thrive," Forrest wrote.

His former wife reportedly stayed true to her word and filed for divorce about a week after Leo was born.

As of Friday, February 6th, over $300,000 has been raised so far. Stunned by the generous outpourings, Forrest posted this note:

Thanks everyone – we are stunned beyond words at the incredible support & love you've shown for little Leo.

9 days after we started our campaign, Leo and I found out in the wee hours of morning that we had crossed our target! He is a lucky guy to have the support of thousands of friends like you around the world.

Some of the additional funds that we have raised will be used to secure better living conditions in Auckland, and to give Leo higher quality opportunities when it comes to education - a good home and school cost money, but Leo will have all that and more, thanks to you.

We will use some of the money you've given to fund facilities and programs here in Armenia that will support future parents to keep their kids despite all disabilities, and to help better care for the special ones who end up away from their Mom & Dad. We'd also like to share the surplus funds with the only orphanage in Armenia that regularly takes abandoned Down Syndrome babies as well as other organisations that can help these children – thanks to your support we can start to make a difference already

Thanks again for your care and generosity!

Source: www.aol.com/article/2015/02/06/wife-divorced-husband-because-he-wanted-to-keep-son-born-with-do/21140000/?ncid  

Australian Group Urges "Don't be a Dad!"

Sonja Hastings, spokesperson for fathers-4-equality, stated that "if the treatment fathers received in the family court was to occur to women in any sector of society, there would be justified outrage.” But judges, lawyers, politicians and many women’s groups are of the view that discrimination against men is acceptable in modern day society.

Ms Hastings urges all Australian men to think seriously about the consequences of having children in this country. She says that “no matter how decent, hardworking & caring you may be as a father, that in the event of separation, you will more than likely not get custody of your child, you will lose up to 80% of all your assets, you will have to pay up to 5 times the cost of raising a child, & most importantly you could never see your child again, and the law will do nothing to help you.”

However, if you still want to have children, Ms Hastings supplies the following suggestions:

Source: fathers4equality@publicist.com or groups.yahoo.com/group/fathers4equality

It's Not Your Fault: It's Not About You: Helping Teens Cope when Mom and Dad Divorce

Megan was a typical teenager, with typical teen issues that she and her parents fought over: friends, music, her messy room, and homework. When her parents' marriage ended, Megan assumed it was her fault.
Source: www.impactpublishers.com/pressrel.html

What can You do with Divorce Anger?

After divorce it is tempting to act on your strong desire to take your anger out on your former spouse directly. When you throw a few logs on the divorce anger fire, your ex may throw a few logs back in retaliation. Pretty soon the fire is consuming both of you.
Source: www.impactpublishers.com/pressrel.html

Kids have Many Ways to Stay in Touch with Out-of-Town Parents

"Out-of-town" doesn't have to mean "out-of-touch." Author Cynthia MacGregor, in her book, The Divorce Helpbook for Kids, speaks directly to kids and offers helpful and fun advice to keep them in contact with a distant parent.
Source: www.impactpublishers.com/pressrel.html

Rebuild Your Social Network after Divorce

As your inner world begins to settle down and balance after divorce, you must nourish your growing self from every available source. Part of doing well for yourself is to reach out, to build new bridges with people.
Source: www.impactpublishers.com/pressrel.html

Should You go Negative in Your "Campaign" for Child Custody?

Sometimes parents going through divorce focus on the negative when trying to win child custody. Is this a good idea? If you believe that the other parent has some glaring deficiencies in parenting ability, it is perfectly proper to point these out to your custody evaluator, because, chances are, she will.
Source: www.impactpublishers.com/pressrel.html

Parents' Anger and Jealousy are Damaging to Children after Divorce

When it comes to parenting after divorce, anger and jealousy are the most destructive emotions, perhaps causing you to hate your ex-spouse. You may be unable to let go of these feelings because you can't forgive your ex-spouse.
Source: www.impactpublishers.com/pressrel/Parents'%20Anger%20and%20Jealousy.htm

Divorcing? Take the Time You Need

Divorce is not an event; it's a process. Whether it takes three weeks, three months, or three years, nothing will be solved immediately. Take a deep breath and relax as much as you can.
Source: www.impactpublishers.com/pressrel/Divorcing.htm

Discipline and House Rules after Divorce

One of the questions that often comes up after divorce is how discipline of the children will be handled in two households. Parents often do not have the same values, child-rearing philosophies, or approaches to discipline.
Source: www.impactpublishers.com/pressrel/Discipline%20and%20House%20Rules.htm

Broken Homes Harm Kids More

Children growing up in single-parent families are twice as likely as their counterparts to develop serious psychiatric illnesses and addictions later in life, according to an important new study.
Source: www.intelihealth.com/enews?360401

Child Custody Practices

There is a group of fathers in Tennessee who are preparing a report for state legislators on child custody practices. From any state, if you've had orders issued in a child custody case (temporary, final, or change of circumstances) within the last two years, please fill out the short online survey form at: childsbestinterest.org/custody_parents.html

Also, if you haven't seen this, an outstanding article was recently published on Fox News about family law: www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,74215,00.html

DNA testing doesn't get nondads out of support

Most states won't let men stop payments even if they're not the father. A DNA test proved that Carnell Smith was not the father of a girl he thought was his, but a court refused to cancel his child support order.

Armed with the latest in genetic technology, aggrieved men across America are attacking a centuries-old legal doctrine that has forced them to pay child support even after they belatedly discover they are not the child's biological father.

Georgia enacted legislation in May allowing a man to stop paying court-ordered support if DNA tests prove he did not father the child in question. A similar bill has reached the California Senate after clearing the state Assembly. Measures have been introduced in several other states, including Michigan, Vermont and Massachusetts.

Opponents of the bills worry that children suddenly will be deprived of long-term relationships and financial support, while supporters say the real issue is fairness. If DNA testing can free wrongfully convicted Death Row prisoners, it should be able to extricate men from child support orders based on false premises, they argue.

"It's not American," said Dan Conners, 39, of a California court ruling that has forced him to pay $1,400 a month to support a girl who -- he learned six years after her birth -- is not his daughter.

Like most states, California makes it difficult for men like Conners to disestablish paternity once they have formally acknowledged it. The practice stems in part from a 500-year-old doctrine of English common law that presumes a man is the legal father of any child born to his wife during their marriage.

In Conners' case, he was willing to pay child support after his divorce in 1993 because he believed at the time that the 2-year-old girl he helped raise was his. But Conners learned through blood tests in 1997 that he was not the biological father, and was rebuffed in court when he tried to nullify the support order.

Opponents of the California bill say any injustice to men like Conners is outweighed by a child's needs.

"People look at this as a simple matter of equity and fairness, but they don't look at the complexities of how it affects children," said attorney Valerie Ackerman of the National Center for Youth Law in Oakland, Calif.

"If somebody's been supporting a child, you can't just choose to pull the plug because you find out biology is not an element of that paternal relationship. You need to follow through on the commitment."

One of the most vociferous supporters of the Georgia bill was Carnell Smith, who discovered through DNA testing that the girl he thought was his daughter was in fact not his, but lost a bid to quash his child support order.

"Paternity fraud is the only crime where the victim is persecuted for the actions of the guilty party," said Smith, an engineer from Decatur, Ga., who has formed a national group called Citizens Against Paternity Fraud.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are more than a dozen states that allow disestablishment of paternity in some circumstances, based on genetic testing. Several states have time limits for challenging paternity after the birth of a child.

The paternity issue has been embraced by many activists in the fathers'-rights movement, which contends that the family court system favors women in post-divorce disputes over child support, custody and visitation.

Lowell Jaks, director of the Alliance for Non-Custodial Parents' Rights, is urging alliance members to lobby their legislators for bills like the Georgia measure.

"This is absolutely the first time that any common sense principle is being applied to the issue of child support," Jaks wrote on his group's Web site.

Advocates of the proposed bills in California and other states say the measures would not only discourage fraud, but also reduce the chance that children might face medical problems linked to not knowing the true identity of their biological father.

"The best interest of all children is to have access to their biological family medical history," said Dr. Damon Adams, a Traverse City dentist who is urging passage of the bill pending in the Michigan legislature. He hopes the measure would prompt mothers to disclose the true identity of the biological father in cases where the presumed father overturned a paternity judgment.
Source: www.detnews.com/2002/nation/0206/17/a09-516823.htm

Canadian panel votes to release arrest files of the innocent to employers

The Toronto Police Services Board has voted to retain permanent arrest records -- even for people never charged -- and to make those records available to some employers despite objections from city officials and outraged citizens.

By voting yesterday to accept a report on the city's arrest records program, the board has agreed that its police should keep most arrest records indefinitely, including cases in which charges were thrown out or never result in conviction.

The city councillor who is spearheading the drive against the record-keeping policy said that even more objectionable is the force's willingness to continue sharing those records with employers who are evaluating job applicants.

Councillor Suzan Hall said yesterday it is a losing proposition for the wrongly accused who thought encounters with the police were behind them.

"Perception is nine-tenths of the law," Ms. Hall said. "Arrest information should not be released unless guilt is proven. The current release of arrest records is an infringement of our rights."

Last May, Ms. Hall and fellow Councillor Michael Walker tried unsuccessfully to get the policy changed at the city hall level. However, provincial legislation gives the police board complete control in the matter.

Police Services chairman Norm Gardiner said Toronto's records program has safeguards built in to protect people seeking employment: The arrest record sheet is released to the individual who must then transfer it to the employer, and only the more than 1,500 agencies and associations that primarily work with children and the handicapped are eligible to request such disclosure.

Terry Daly of Toronto's Catholic Children's Aid Society said the agency uses the arrest records to weed out potential abusers of children.

"We are primarily looking for a history of physical and sexual abuse," Ms. Daly said. "But I have to be honest here and say we'd still want to know the particulars of all the incidents. . . ."

Ms. Hall said that at the very least the arrest records should be updated to include non-conviction.

However, noted criminal lawyer Edward Greenspan said no compromise is acceptable because the policy is unconstitutional.

"The disclosure of arrest records of the innocent is the most offensive thing I've ever heard," he said. "I would love to be the lawyer in the case that strikes it down."
Source: Vernon Clement Jones, Connie Brauer, Brauer and Harris Promotions, 1061 Mines Rd. Falmouth, NS B0P 1L0 Canada 902 798 5267 (9am-5pm AST) or www.liberty.spyw.com or cbrauer@ns.sympatico.ca

No prenuptial

Assets in excess of $40 million. No prenuptial agreement. And an estranged wife armed with confidential "surveillance materials" gathered in advance of her divorce filing. We'd say NASCAR star Jeff Gordon may soon be hitting the wall. Details at: www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/gordonsurv1.html

Are Family Courts Prejudiced Against Fathers?

YES: Family-court judges routinely violate the legal rights of fathers and their children. By Stephen Baskerville

NO: Claims of gender bias tend to come from men who have gone to court and lost. By Tim Tippins

Source: www.falseallegations.com/bench7-are-family-courts-prejudiced-against-fathers.htm

A Memorial

A memorial gathering on the Needham Town Common between 6:00-8:0 pm for one of Fatherhood Coalition dads, Steve Cook, who took his own life at this time in 2000 because of the unjust treatment served upon him by the Massachusetts Probate & Family Court, which, in turn, severely threatened the relationship between Steve and his child, Colleen, now four years old.

In January of 2000, Steven Cook was incarcerated for calling his daughter on Monday instead of Sunday. At that time, he not only had been thrown out of his home, his wife had been blackmailed by the Department of Social Services to get rid of him or lose her children, he was being forced by the court to jump through many hoops to arrange visitation, and the court had ordered the home he had recently bought for his family to be sold . . . and he was in chronic pain due to two severe auto accidents.

While incarcerated at the Dedham House of Corrections, he was denied his pain medication. (It was the second time that he was incarcerated for allegedly violating a restraining order.)

Having nowhere to live upon his release from jail, he stayed with a friend for a short time, but because it was public housing, he was not allowed to stay there. Like many men who have no place to go after being thrown out of their own homes, he was living out of his vehicle.

His physical and emotional pain were simply intolerable to him.Death was easier. So he ran a hose from his exhaust to the inside of his car. His pain lessened as he slumped dying from asphyxiation.

Steven Cook's story is repeated around this country every day. May people come from far and wide to let it be known that they will not stand for unconstitional laws and tyranny any more.

To do as Peter Finch said, "Open your windows and yell, `We won't take it anymore," is simply not enough. Make the gathering on Needham Town Common just a start.

Source: Barbara C. Johnson, Attorney at Law, Andover, Massachusetts 01810-4102, 978.474.0833 False Allegations: www.falseallegations.com or falseallegations.com or barbaracjohnson@worldnet.att.net

Newly divorced are cautious about sexual partners

People who get divorced or split from a long-term partner are likely to have a new sexual encounter with only one person during the first year after the big break-up, dispelling the myth that these people are initially sexually promiscuous, according to a report.

"You have to realize that people who have been married or lived with someone for a number of years have always had steady access to a sexual partner. It is not surprising to me that they don't run out and have sexual relations with many people very quickly," Dr. John D. DeLamater told Reuters Health.

"Nevertheless, these people do not appear to have problems with establishing new potentially intimate relationships and that is good," he said.

The study included 3,215 men and women aged 18 to 59 who were living in the United States in 1994.

Those who recently split from a partner reported one new sex partner within a year of the break-up. This was the same number of sex partners reported by people who were single and those who were in a new relationship in the year before the survey.

The study, conducted by DeLamater and Lisa D. Wade, both of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was presented in November at the annual meeting of The Society for the Scientific Study of Sex.

Which group reported having sex the most frequently? Well, according to DeLamater, it wasn't the often-envied bachelors and bachelorettes living the single life.

"Those who recently entered into a new relationship where having sex the most frequently each week," DeLamater told Reuters Health. Individuals in a long-term relationship followed this group, then those newly broken-up, with those consistently single falling into last place.


California Governor Gray Davis Preserves and Protects Paternity Fraud

Governor Gray Davis had the chance to free thousands of falsely condemned men last week. He chose federal funds instead. Nationally known paternity fraud victim and lobbyist Bert Riddick, who is being forced to pay over half his take home pay in child support for a child he has never even met and who DNA tests have proven is not his, blasts California Governor Gray Davis' veto of the Paternity Justice Act (AB 2240). Riddick excoriates the Governor for pretending his veto was made to help children, daring Davis to "come to my house and tell my children and my wife that paternity fraud is good for them."

"The system lies to children about their own parentage and Gov. Davis thinks that's OK. The system defrauds thousands of innocent men and wounds their families and Gov. Davis thinks that's OK. The system puts money ahead of truth and justice and Davis thinks that's OK. What kind of message is this sending to our children?"

The National Organization for Women opposed the Paternity Justice Act, but most women are against paternity fraud. Darlene Klaiber, Director of California Citizens Against Paternity Fraud and herself a victim of paternity fraud. Bert Riddick can be reached at paternity.fraud@lobbyist.com

Tennessee Moves Forward as California Becomes More Backward Truly Caring for Its Children

The Tennessee court's ruling is a sign of the increasing awareness that the needs of all children, regardless of birth order, must be considered. What is needed now are new child support guidelines which balance the needs of children from first families with those of second families. After all, what parent would dare to put the needs of one child above the other?
Source: glennjsacks.com/tennessee_appellate_court.htm

Can Abolishing Sole Custody Curb Divorce?

"I walk a tightrope every day, just so I can stay a part of my young daughter's life," says Jerry, a 38 year-old engineer. "If I have an argument with my wife, she spreads the divorce papers out on the living room table and begins to fill them out. There's no compromising with her--I either accept her decisions or she threatens to divorce me. If she does, she'll get custody of my little girl and I doubt she'll even let me see her, much less play an active role in raising her."
Source: glennjsacks.com/replacing_sole_custody.htm

Equal Parents Week Highlights Need for Family Court Reform

"Men and women who believe that children need both their parents to be integral parts of their lives will be rallying at the state capitol in observance of Equal Parents Week this Thursday. The rally, sponsored by Dads of Michigan, Moms for Dads, and the Children's Rights Council, will highlight the national tragedy of fatherlessness and call for family law reforms which will allow parents to share both parental rights and responsibilities equitably."
Source: glennjsacks.com/equal_parents_week.htm

Michigan Reform Plan Fights Rising Paternity Fraud

‘You play, you pay' is the response often given to men who complain about the financial burden of supporting their offspring. Today, for thousands of Michigan men, the refrain has become ‘You didn't play? You pay anyway.'

The stories of victims of paternity fraud often provoke disbelief. Many men are falsely assigned paternity in default judgments, and are compelled by the state to pay 18 years of child support for children whom DNA tests have proven are not theirs. Many of these men are not properly served notice of the paternity proceedings, never get their day in court, and have no idea they are "fathers" until their wages are garnished.
Source: glennjsacks.com/michigan_reform_plan.htm

Shared Custody Could Prevent Abductions

"Armed men burst in the door and seize a nine year-old boy. His father resists, and is beaten by the masked intruders. Bloodied and dazed he makes a frantic call to 911, saying "they stole my son, my son!" The person accused of orchestrating the kidnapping is the person one might least likely suspect....the boy's mother.

While much attention has been paid to the kidnappings of Danielle van Dam, Samantha Runion and others, the vast majority of child abductors are not strangers but parents...parental kidnapping cases...are often the malignant outgrowth of the unjust win/lose child custody system."
Source: glennjsacks.com/shared_parenting_can.htm

High-Profile ‘Deadbeat Dad' Raids Won't Fix Child Support System Badly in Need of Reform

"...sweeping conclusions about divorced dads should not be based on the arrest of 69 alleged deadbeats in a country where five million noncustodial fathers have child support obligations. Most divorced fathers do right by their children, often in the face of laws, policies, and courts which are stacked against them. Using noncustodial dads as political punching bags will not help their children. Fixing a broken child support enforcement system will."
Source: www.glennjsacks.com/#recent_columns

Men, Divorce and Suicide By Scot Meyer

Divorced or separated men are more than twice as likely to kill themselves as men who remain married. On the other hand, a marital split is not a significant risk factor for suicide among women. These are the findings of a recent study of suicide and divorce that reveal a surprising gender gap on the issue.

We knew from past research that divorce was linked to increased risk of suicide," says Augustine Kposowa, the author of the study that appeared in The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. "What we didn't know was the difference between men and women in this respect."

Kposowa, an associate professor of sociology at the University of California at Riverside, based his findings on death statistics compiled in the National Longitudinal Mortality study, which tracks causes of death. He analyzed the cause of death for almost 472,000 men and women over a nine-year period, starting with 1979. In that group, 432 men and 113 women had committed suicide.

Kposowa says the link between divorce and suicide in men holds true even after adjusting for other factors associated with suicide risk, including age, income and level of education. Race is also a factor, with 50 percent more white than black men committing suicide. For women, he found, age is a stronger factor than marital status. The suicide rates were higher for women over 65.

The medical director of the American Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide, Dr. Herbert Hendin, says it's been widely known that men are more than four times as likely to commit suicide as women.

But their heightened suicide risk after divorce or separation could involve a host of variables, Hendin, a professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College, adds. More than half of those who commit suicide have substance-abuse problems, which are more common in men and often lead to marital breakups, he says.

Trying to cope with loss of control Control can also be an issue for some men who insist on being the ones who decide what happens and when in their lives, he adds. They can feel particularly threatened when their wives file for divorce.

Hendin speculates that the findings concerning divorced women and suicide may reflect a change in women's attitudes. In the past, he says, women may have had their self-esteem more closely tied to their marriages and were devastated when that relationship failed. "We're probably seeing that women are more able to deal with life on their own now," he says.

Kposowa's own theories, which he intends to test through further research, include the link between men and their children, which he says is often severed because the woman is usually awarded custody.

"A man may not get to see his children, even with visitation rights," Kposowa says. "As far as the man is concerned, he has lost his marriage and lost his children and that can lead to depression and suicide." Kposowa next says he intends to compare suicide rates of divorced fathers with those of divorced men with no children.

Another possible explanation for the gender gap in post-divorce suicide risk is that women cope better because they are more likely to have supportive networks of friends and family, Kposowa says.

That rings true to Dr. Michael Meyer, a clinical professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and author of the book, Men and Divorce.

"Men tend not to talk to their male friends that easily about personal problems in their lives," Meyer says. "And, they also tend not to go to their primary care physicians as easily as women for anything or seek psychiatric help of any kind. The result can be a very scary sense of isolation."

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Impotence is grounds for divorce in 24 U.S. states.

I never wanted but your heart - that gone, you have nothing more to give. - Mary Wollstoncraft

The cold season: divorce rates rise in the winter. As the temperature goes down, divorce rates go up.
Unrelated? According to a Yale study, you think better in the winter than in the summer.

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