Saturday, February 12, 2011

Recent Court Ruling Denies Viable Father for Rights and Forces Child into Adoption

Imagine--you're seventeen, hold down a part-time job, and are successful in school.  You're on the school's football team, baseball team, and have no criminal history or history of drug use or alcohol use.  Your girlfriend gets pregnant, tells you you're the father, and you prepare accordingly to have the child raised and cared for in your home by your mother while you're in school.  The crib is assembled and the nursery is complete, a whole separate room in your parents' home for your new arrival.

Delivery day comes.  The mother of your child refuses you as the father and puts the child up for adoption.

Like most dads (regardless of age), you would go through the courts to fight for the rights to be the parent to your child--even if your girlfriend (or perhaps "ex-girlfriend" at this point) feels the child should be put in adoptive care.  Would you succeed?

Apparently not.  In a recent court ruling in Bakersfield, California, a 17-year-old father, Christian Diaz, was denied parental rights to his own child, forcing the baby into adoptive care.  A willing father was denied the chance to raise his child, just because the child's mother made a decision on her own, left his name off of the birth certificate, and persuaded hospital authorities that he wasn't the father and to keep him away from the child.

Father's rights are necessary.  Cases like this, where a fit and willing father is stepping up to the plate to be a dad, remind us that there is still a long road ahead of us.  Being with our children and raising them is a right we have, and until the courts can see this, we will continue to fight for our rights!

Read more about this hearing on

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cathy Meyer vs. National Organization for Women on the Subject of Parental Alienation Disorder

Cathy Meyer, a Huffington Post writer, recently wrote an article regarding a statement from the National Organization for Women (NOW) Foundation and their response to the requested inclusion of Parental Alienation Disorder into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is the American Psychiatric Association's guide in regards to medical diagnoses.

While the article takes apart some of NOW's points, it makes an extremely important point in regards to Parental Alienation Disorder, otherwise known as Parental Alienation Syndrome.  The writer of argued response, Tracy Simmons, brings about the fact that she feels "there is nothing scientific about a syndrome/disorder whose only symptoms are a uterus, divorce papers, and bruises."  What Cathy Meyer argues is that while it is a number of father's rights groups and activists that are asking for PAD/PAS to be included in the DSM V, the syndrome itself is not gender specific--a family therapist in Colorado Springs states that fifty percent of perpetrators are male.

Tracy Simmons also called Parental Alienation Syndrome / Parental Alienation Disorder "junk science" and an "abuse excuse."  However, any parent or child who has been a victim of Parental Alienation Syndrome / Disorder knows that the actions of a misguided parent can cause much psychological harm to a child--and can leave lasting scars both mentally and emotionally for those involved.

Read Cathy Meyer's rebuttal against the National Organization for Women.  It is nice to hear a WOMAN defend something that us fathers have dealt with for years, and to recognize that this is something that truly needs to be addressed in the professional medical field to help EVERY parent protect their children from years of emotional damage and feelings of abandonment from the other parent.

Parental Alienation: It's About More Than "A Uterus, Divorce Papers and Bruises" by Cathy Meyer

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Finding Other Fathers for Comfort and Support through

Sometimes, it is important to know that you are not the only one going through a divorce and/or a custody case. Knowing others have been in the same boat and reaching out to them is probably one of the best things you can do to help support YOURSELF through what you're going through.

Sites such as are a perfect way to meet other single fathers fighting for custody of their children through the courts.  Not only are there specific "fathers rights" meetups throughout the nation, but there are also a number of support groups that meet up in various cities and metropolitan areas to help get dads together to share their stories.

Consider checking out for father's rights support groups to help find that foundation to help you stand and find the strength to move forward in your own child custody case.

Remember, become a fan of the National Brotherhood of Fathers Rights on Facebook to learn of new, informative articles and new stories that pertain to you, the father!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How to Settle a Child Custody Case Outside of the Courtroom

Child custody cases can get ugly. When a married couple seeks divorce, children can sometimes be at the root of the issue. Custody issues can cause each parent to use the children as a pawn to get what he or she wants. Sometimes, each parent wants full custody of their child, which causes a long, extended battle in the courtroom. But this doesn't always have to be the case. There are ways to settle your child custody case outside of the courthouse, and to work amicably between you and your soon-to-be former spouse.

  • Write your spouse a settlement letter near the beginning of your divorce case. Lay out what you feel is important in regards to the children. Write the settlement letter in a friendly, informative and caring tone, and explain your reasons for wanting the custody arrangement that you are seeking (joint? sole?).
  • Use modern day technologies to talk out custody issues, utilizing email and phone text messages which can be documented for court. It is important to document everything as much as possible--oral agreements will not hold up in court. However, if you conduct civil discussions regarding child custody through email, you will be able to put thought and consideration into what you are requesting. In addition, you will also have documented proof of any agreements your spouse decides he or she is willing to work with you on. This will prove helpful if you and your spouse still end up in the courtroom arguing over custody, because you will have documented proof as to what he or she agreed on. This will help you solidify what you were both willing to work out in regards to the child.
  • Negotiate with a mediator. Instead of taking your case to court where you may feel highly intimidated and stressed, you can always request mediation with your spouse in regards to your child custody case. Mediators are third-party advocates that sit with parents and helps them determine what is in the best interests of the children.
  • Mediating and negotiating your child custody case, along with child support, outside the courtroom is faster and less costly than going through the courts.
Find more helpful articles and tips at!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

How to Beat False Allegations of Abuse from Your Ex-Wife During a Custody Battle

Every year, there are thousands of unsubstantiated reports of domestic and child abuse by divorcing and separating parents. The numbers are staggering, and it leaves every parent vulnerable to being falsely accused of abuse in the courts during a child custody battle. Child Protection Services (CPS) handles a number of abuse cases, but many are left without proof or validity of the initial report of alleged abuse.

  • Ask for proof of the reported abuse claim, whether it was reported to the police or to CPS. If your ex does not have any proof (such as police report filings, previous contact with CPS, photos or other documentation), he or she may have filed a false allegation of abuse against you.
  • Obtain a written transcript of any emergency hearings that cover the allegations--there may have been something said during a court hearing that was not documented in the court paperwork that was filed. If certain statements made by your ex (and his or her lawyer, if they have one) contradict each other, you may be able to show the judge that the accusations are false based on a story that does not stay consistent.
  • File a claim against your ex for defamation of character, emotional distress, and similar tort lawsuits. False accusations can truly ruin one's name, both in their personal and business life. Make sure your ex understands the trauma and consequences of his or her actions. Filing a lawsuit in response to one's false allegations helps solidify the fact that the allegations are not only unsubstantiated, but that they are causing harm in other aspects of your life!
  • Be very careful not to "overly-argue" the false allegations. If you seem overly concerned at defending the claims, it may make you look more guilty of the claims than you are. If they are truly unsubstantiated claims, just deny the allegations if there is no proof, and continue the trial as it was. Acknowledge the claim, but deny and move on.
  • Stay away from your ex if he or she has filed a restraining order against you. The ex may try to get you to come over to "pick something up" at his or her place, but resist the temptation--your ex may be trying to set you up for violating a restraining order.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How to Avoid Setting a Precedent in Paying Child Support Without a Court Order

During a divorce or legal separation, it may be a while before there are temporary -- or permanent -- orders put into place as to how the non-custodial parent is to financially care for his children. Child support payments are typically not figured out first in a divorce or separation, and are determined near the end of your divorce. Therefore, there may be an extended period of time where nothing is determined in terms of the financial responsibilities of both parents and their children. However, you can avoid making some simple mistakes which can set you up for extremely expensive child support payments in the future.

  • Understand that the courts function off of "precedents." If something has worked well for an extended period of time, the courts will typically make orders accordingly.
  • Avoid paying too much to your spouse during this unsettling time. Some parents want to do the right thing and help out, but precedents may end up leaving a parent with higher child support payments than they can continue to afford. You may end up paying more than the courts would end up calculating with their standard child support calculations.
  • Space out your payments and keep them irregular, recommends the author of the "Fathers' Rights Protection System." This shows that you are at least giving some money to your former spouse to help them out with the children, but that you are helping as you can and not necessarily on a strict schedule. This is important if you're afraid the judge is going to order child support in high amounts, in which you may have difficulties getting it lowered in the future.

Getting child support payments lowered through the courts typically requires you to prove a substantial change in circumstances. This is why it is important to get your child support payments set to a reasonable amount from the start to avoid more expenses and court drama when you find you are unable to support yourself, let alone your children.

Learn more at!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

How to Write a Solid Parenting Plan for Your Children with Your Ex

When going through a legal separation or divorce through the family law courtroom, you will be asked to mediate with your ex to create what is called a "Parenting Plan," otherwise known as a "Custody Agreement." A parenting plan is a detailed description of child custody, legal custody and visitation. It will lay out how the children will be raised in regards to medical emergencies, religious upbringing and educational needs. Most courts will put in place a standard parenting plan that is vague and not very specific, which can lead to confusion for you and your former spouse. Drafting your own to cover all possible situations is ideal.

  • Decide on legal custody. If this has not already been determined by the courts, then you will have to work with your ex to determine a custody arrangement that works best for the whole family. The two kinds of legal custody are sole legal custody and joint legal custody. Sole legal custody means that one parent has full control and authority in making decisions for the child without the other's consent. Joint legal custody typically allows the other parent to have a say and be considered when it comes to the child's medical care, religious upbringing, and education.
  • Work out child visitation schedules. Many court-drawn parenting plans give the non-custodial parent "reasonable visitation," which is typically understood to be an every other weekend kind of arrangement. However, if there is ever a dispute or argument, this will not hold up if you end up calling the cops to try to pick up your children on "your weekend." It is important that the physical custody and schedule for your children is as specific as possible, such as "every other weekend from Friday at 6pm to Monday at 8am" or "Every Wednesday from 3pm to 8pm." Also, find a way to alternate important holidays, giving certain holidays to each parent dependent on the year. For example, on odd-numbered years, the Mother may get the children on Thanksgiving and Easter, and the Father gets the children on Christmas and the Fourth of July, and then it alternates every year.
  • Figure out transportation and pick up locations for the children. Depending on the distance between homes, some parents may alternate transporting the children, or one parent may be solely responsible for picking up and dropping off the children. In other situations, in order to lessen the hostility and confusion of exchanges, it is best to set them up at familiar locations for the children, such as having one parent drop the child off at school after their visitation, while the other picks them up to start THEIR visitation time.
  • Determine how medical care will be paid. One parent may be responsible for providing medical insurance, while the other may be responsible for paying for co-pays. Many times, parents decide to split unpaid medical costs 50/50 for their children. This typically includes dental care and emergency visits as well.
  • Agree on how you want your children to be educated, if they are not already in school. If one parent is against a child going to a religious-based school, this needs to be addressed in the parenting plan to ensure that the other parent's wishes are taken into consideration immediately. Educational concerns that may also need to be addressed may include how the other parent is notified of parent/teacher conferences, school activities, etc.
  • Determine how extracurricular activities and daycare will be paid. Some parents decide to share the cost while others may put one parent in charge of providing monies for such extra activities. Daycare can also be figured into monthly child support if the parents want to consider this as an option as well.
  • Establish child support. Finances can also be a strain when parents are trying to establish two households for their children. It is important that the courts address child support in certain instances to allow each parent the ability to financially care for their children and hopefully uphold the same lifestyle they were accustomed to before the divorce/separation.
  • Determine how communication will be carried out from here onward. If you and your ex are in a more hostile situation where arguments may occur, you can agree to keep all communications through email. If you are able to converse with your ex in a civil manner, you can agree to communicate regarding the children during drop offs, pickups, and exchanges.

The more specific the parenting plan, the better. Think of everything when it comes to your children, and consider worst-case scenarios and every-day concerns.  Learn more at!