Posts Tagged ‘Child’

I recently read an article posted by Stephan Futeral, a South Carolina attorney, with some great information about children and divorce and what parents can do to assist their children during this time.

Per the article, “Divorcing parents can decrease the impact on their children by following guidelines with their children, by avoiding conflict with the other parent, and by maintaining their own well-being.”  Sounds easy, but he listed several ways to deal with your children.  Some of those are listed below:

  • Don’t treat your children as adults – Some parents believe that their children must “grow up” quicker because of the divorce. Unfortunately, just because some parents treat their children like adults does not mean that their children are emotionally or intellectually equipped to deal with adult issues.  Let children be children.
  • Don’t rely on your children for your emotional support – Although it may seem natural to turn to your children for comfort during an emotional time, you are likely to cause greater instability and more pressure on the children. Some children begin to feel responsible for their parent’s emotional well-being, whereas some children suffer other emotional side-effects such as increased anger or depression. If you need emotional support, turn to another family member or a friend instead.
  • Don’t talk about the “divorce” or other grown up stuff – This issue ties in with not treating your children as adults.
  • Don’t block visitation or prevent your children from speaking to the other parent – There are many psychological studies illustrating the benefits children reap from spending time with both parents. No matter how you feel about your former spouse, don’t deprive your children of having a healthy relationship with the other parent.
  • Don’t ask your children to spy on the other parent or report back to you – Children in divorce already may be experiencing conflict in their loyalties and feelings toward both parents. Asking children to spy or to report places the children in an extremely awkward and emotionally stressful position of pleasing one parent while betraying another.
  • Don’t ask your children to keep secrets from the other parent – Dividing a child’s loyalty between parents’ places them under extreme stress. Further, the child is learning to become manipulative and may later play one parent against the other using lies and secrets.
  • Allow your children to take items such as their toys back and forth between homes as long as they can carry them – Oftentimes parents are reluctant to allow toys, books, and other items to go to the other parent’s home because these items may not be returned. Think of these items as the children’s things, not yours, and let your children have a sense of continuity by taking familiar and comforting items such as toys back and forth between homes.

These are just a few of Mr. Futeral’s suggestions and I believe they are very informative.  As a child of divorced parents, I can tell you that I wished my parents would have taken these suggestions to heart.   It would have made things much easier on us children.  When I went through my own divorce years ago, I did my best to make sure my children did not go through what my sister, brother and I went through as children.

There were also suggestions on how to deal with the other parent, which were thought provoking.  Some of them are listed below:

  • Don’t ignore the other parent or sit on the opposite side of the room during special events involving your children such as athletic matches, school plays, etc. – As emotionally difficult as it may be for you to be that close to the other parent, it is more difficult for your children to see parents distance themselves at these times. Overall, it is a small sacrifice to make for your children’s emotional wellbeing.
  • Ignore (rather than arguing back) when the other parent tries to tell you how to parent – This argument is one that no one can win.
  • Accept that there is more than one “right way” to parent and support different parenting styles- Even if you had not divorced, chances are that you and your former spouse may have or would have parented in your unique styles. If you can accept and deal with the difference in parenting styles during marriage, then you can accept these differences in divorce too.

And finally, taking care of yourself is important.  Talk to friends, family, or whoever you need to, and stay busy.  You will adjust, your children will adjust and life will go on and you will enjoy the new path your life is going.  I know I did, and I love my life.  I have two great grown sons, lots of grandchildren and they are all a part of my life.  To read the full article by Mr. Futeral, you may find it here.

 

Sperm donors beware in Kansas!  According to the article below in the JD Journal recently, a sperm donor is being sued for child support by the State of Kansas because the lesbian couple that he donated his sperm to, used the state’s resources for upkeep of the child.  They are also requesting he pay for the birth of the child.  For more information on this case, see the link below.

Sperm Donor Fighting Against Petition for Child Support – JD Journal | JD Journal.

 

 

Senate Bill 1476 by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, crossed its last legislative hurdle Wednesday, when the Senate approved it on a concurrence vote of 21-13.  Under SB 1476, a judge could split custody, child support or visitation rights among three or more people who had acted as parents to the child.  To read my previous blog on the bill, here is the link.

It has now gone to Governor Brown for signature, after approval by the Assembly on August 27, 2012 and the Senate on August 29, 2012.  To read the bill waiting for signature, go to the link here.

 

 

Interesting case in Iowa in which Father was granted sole legal and physical custody of the parties children after Mother posted on Facebook how Father was a bad parent and sent Father a threatening email.  The case is In Re Marriage of Bates, which can be read here.

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It really cannot be said enough, if you post it on Facebook, it can and will be used against you in a custody battle.

 

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In an article in the JD Journal today, it was reported that the SB 1476 Bill proposed in California by Senator Mark Leno, offers the chance of radical social engineering and reform. The modifications sought in Family law and proposed, wants the statute to establish that a child may legally have more than two parents – thus altering prevailing notions of a family. Leno told the Sacramento Bee “The bill brings California into the 21st century.”

This bill is to amend Sections 3040, 7601, and 7612 of, and to add Section 4052.5 to, the Family Code, relating to parentage.   In existing law, a man is conclusively presumed to be the father of a child if he was married to and cohabiting with the child’ s mother, except as specified. Existing law also provides that if a man signs a voluntary declaration of paternity, it has the force and effect of a judgment of paternity, subject to certain exceptions.

This bill would authorize a court to find that a child has 2 presumed parents notwithstanding the statutory presumption of parentage of the child by another man. The bill would authorize the court to make this finding if doing so would serve the best interest of the child based on the nature, duration, and quality of the presumed or claimed parents’ relationships with the child and the benefit or detriment to the child of continuing those relationships.

The Uniform Parentage Act defines the parent and child relationship as the legal relationship existing between a child and the child’s parents, including the mother and child relationship and the father and child relationship, and governs proceedings to establish that relationship.  This bill would provide that a child may have a parent and child relationship with more than 2 parents.

Existing law establishes an order of preference for allocating child custody and directs the court to choose a parenting plan that is in the child’s best interest.   This bill would, in the case of a child with more than 2 legal parents, require the court to allocate custody and visitation among the parents based on the best interest of the child, including stability for the child.

Under existing law, the parents of a minor child are responsible for supporting the child.  Existing law establishes the statewide uniform guideline for calculating court-ordered child support. The guideline directs a court to consider the parents’ incomes, standard of living, and level of responsibility for the child.  This bill would, in the case of a child with more than 2 legal parents, direct authorize the court not to divide deviate from the statewide uniform guideline when dividing child support obligations among the parents using the statewide uniform guideline . The bill would instead direct the court to divide the child support obligations among the parents based on the income of each of the parents and the amount of time spent with the child by each parent, as specified. f a child with more than 2 legal parents, require the court to allocate custody and visitation among the parents based on the best interest of the child, including stability for the child.

According to Leno,  “Most children have at most two parents, but some children have more than two people in their lives who have been a child’s parent in every way.” And according to him confining parenthood only to two persons neglects the emotions and contributions of other persons who, in a modern world, should also be held in equal status with parents.

Not everyone is happy about this new two-and-more parent family concept and hold that parenthood in a family as a social unit is not amenable to “the more the merrier” concept.

I can see good and bad in this bill.  In reading the proposed new Family Code Section 4052.5, the court may deviate from the statewide uniform guideline and divide the child support obligations based on each parents income and the time spent with the child.  One of the biggest problems I see in this new section, is going to be the allocating of child support and the enforcement of the same.  Then again, this could be a good thing in both of the non-custodial parent’s views, as they will not be paying as much in their child support obligation as they would be if there was not another non-custodial parent in the picture.

This is one bill I will continue to watch, it will be interesting to see how it turns out.  What do you think about this proposed bill?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As stated in Capital Weekly on August 17, 2011, the Marin-based Center for Judicial Excellence (CJE) has announced it will file a complaint with the State Bar of California demanding the disbarment of Sacramento attorney Nabil Samaan. The group says Samaan’s license should be taken away because of comments Samaan made to a reporter that, according to CJE, appear to support his brother’s decision to allegedly murder his own two-year-old daughter.

This is a sad case of a father taking his life and the life of his child in an alleged custody dispute with the mother.  The complete article is below.

Capitol Weekly: Complaint filed with State Bar against lawyer in AMBER Alert case.

Recently, a Chicago court granted Dwyane Wade, who plays for the Miami Heat, the sole ‘care, custody and control’ of his two sons with ex-wife, Siohvaughn Wade whom he separated from in August 2007 but was only officially divorced from in June 2010.  The divorce was a contentious one, to say the least.  Ms. Wade accused her husband of many things in the divorce, including abuse, adultery and giving her an STD.  She even went so far as keeping the children from him when he would arrive for the custodial exchange for his visitation time by locking the gate to her private driveway and not allowing anyone in.

Dwayne Wade

In June 2010, the court gave Dwayne Wade the temporary custody of their sons citing “The Court is troubled by the continuing pattern of (Siohvaughn Wade) to obey court orders when they go her way and disobey court orders when they do not.”   It should be noted that Ms. Wade went through nine attorneys in a two year period.  As someone who works in the legal field, this is a red flag to attorneys and their staff.

As stated above, on March 15, 2011, the Chicago court granted Dwayne full custody of the parties’ sons, stating “This court finds that (Siohvaughn Wade) has embarked on an unstoppable and relentless pattern of conduct for over two years to alienate the children from their father, and lacks either the ability or the willingness to facilitate, let alone encourage, a close and continuing relationship between them.”

So, who suffers the most in parental alienation?  The children do.  Courts recognize that in most cases, it is in the best interest of children to have both parents remain involved in their lives. Parental alienation syndrome (abbreviated as PAS) is a term coined by Richard A. Gardner in the early 1980s to refer to what he describes as a disorder in which a child, on an ongoing basis, belittles and insults one parent without justification, due to a combination of factors, including indoctrination by the other parent (almost exclusively as part of a child custody dispute) and the child’s own attempts to denigrate the target parent.

Parental alienation is a form of child abuse, is damaging to children and that it can affect them into adulthood.  Most cases of parental alienation syndrome are not associated with many accounts of physical abuse, but involves the mental manipulation and/or bullying of the child to pick between their mother or father.  The alienating parent is usually very adept at displaying what appears to be loving and nurturing conduct, but is intent on destroying the relationship between the child and the other parent (targeted parent).

Here are some indicators that your children are being affected by PAS:

  1. There is a campaign of denigration initiated by the alienating parent and involving the children;
  2. Weak, frivolous or absurd rationalization for the deprecation of targeted parent;
  3. Lack of ambivalence on the part of the children for their conduct with respect to the targeted parent;
  4. Children exhibit the “independent thinker” phenomenon – I.e., they attest to not being influenced by anyone;
  5. Reflexive support of the alienating parent;
  6. Absence of guilt; and
  7. Spread of animosity to the extended family of the targeted parent.

If you believe that PAS is affecting your children, the worst thing you could do is ignore it, hoping that it will go away!  The alienating parent will not stop the process until until there is intervention or the children are totally alienated from you.   Discuss your feelings about the possible alienation with your attorney, who can guide you on how to proceed through the court process in proving PAS.    For more articles and information on PAS, you can check out the references listed on Dr. Richard A. Warshak’s website.

You can also check out the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO) for more information as well.  On April 25th, you can join PAAO in their 6th annual Parent Alienation Awareness Day.  For more information, go to PAAO. The PAAO also has the following video available on YouTube about PAS.

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Coroner identifies two children found dead in submerged car – WMBFNews.com | Myrtle Beach/Florence, SC | News, Weather, Sports.

Sad story out of South Carolina today on 2 children, 2 and 1 years of age, found strapped into their car seats in a submerged car.

Apparently, their mother walked approximately a mile from the scene of the accident before reporting it.  The first reports state that the ignition was still on when the car was found.

The mother is claiming there was an accident, but there is no indication of an accident at this time.  It may be that the mother just drove the car off of the boat ramp leaving the children in the car.  It is also reported that there is another child, but no report if that child was in the car or elsewhere.

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Texting on a keyboard phone
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I read a great article on MomLogic today and thought I would pass some of the information on to you parents about Sexting.  In case you don’t know what sexting is, it involves people, mostly teens, taking nude pictures of themselves and sending to their friends via their phone or PDA.  There can be some serious consequences for sexting, which you can read more about in the article.  The article written by Eric Fisher, Ph.D., states:

The Buck Stops with You!
“I do hold society’s attitudes, the media and the Internet partly responsible for the sexting thing, but parents as a whole need to take the time to both talk to their kids and listen to them, and be in a place to guide and teach. It’s vital to get the heartbeat of your children’s attitudes and emotions, so you can help them understand where their power, self-respect, honor and dignity really come from (i.e., inside themselves). You are their most important role model. In some ways, it makes me wonder: Is sexting just a variation of the streaking and “free love” of the ’70s? Are we all just looking outside of ourselves to find identity, worth and value?

That said, what can you do to decrease the chances of your child engaging in this dangerous activity? Here are a few ideas:

1) Be proactive. Plan years ahead, and keep communication open. If you encourage and foster nonjudgmental, reflective communication when your kids are young, it will encourage them to develop these qualities as they grow.
2) Be honest with your appraisal of your kids. Many parents live in denial of their kids’ behaviors until it is too late, because they either don’t want to think they’ve failed as parents or don’t want to see their kids as having problems.
3) Talk to your kids about these types of activities and ask them their feelings about it. Ask them if they know any peers who may have engaged in sexting, and how they view them. If they don’t want to give names, respect that.
4) If your child has had a tendency to hide behaviors from you, request random searches of his or her phone and computer data. While they may have an issue with this, if they have nothing to hide, they should understand that you are doing it to protect them and you.
5) Understand that while your child may be in denial, sexting is a behavior that communicates deeper issues and a lack of confidence and self-respect. Arrogance IS a protective emotion. Be careful not to shame or humiliate them. Help them to realize the dangers and deeper issues.
6) Be willing to get help from a professional. Many times, you are too close to your kids to help them look at these issues and resolve them.”

As parents, you are responsible for what your children are doing, even when on their cell phone.  Things have certainly changed since my children were teenagers, and now that I have teenage grandchildren, it can be pretty darn scary to think about all that goes on!

Read more: http://www.momlogic.com/2010/07/sexting_101_what_you_need_to_know_as_a_parent.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Momlogic+%28MomLogic%29#ixzz0sj9fNUQf

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On MomLogic from Stacey Doss regarding the California versus Ohio battle for Vanessa Doss Adoption Custody Lawsuit: “The California court has passed the buck and given the entire case to Ohio. The Ohio judge has decided that they will put Vanessa into foster care. The birth father will have night visits with Vanessa.  Vanessa will likely be placed with the birth father’s mother. The California court is vacating its order to keep Vanessa with me as of July 16, 2010. The court chose July 16th to give us time to file with the Court of Appeals in California.  I only have until July 16th to save my daughter.”

This is a case where a little girl who has been living with the only mother she knows since June 2008, may end up in the hands of foster care in Ohio!  How is this in the child’s best interests?  It seems that when the biological mother of Vanessa gave her up for adoption she lied to the adoption agency saying that she had a one night stand and did not know the biological father of the child, enabling her to give the baby up for adoption in Ohio.    Stacy Doss, the adoptive mother from California has been fighting a battle since the biological father came forward to claim his parental rights.

Laws about birth parents’ rights vary from state to state, but in Ohio, the burden is on the biological father to register with the state. A birth father has up to 10 months (beginning a month after his child’s birth) to sign the “Putative Father Registry,” which protects his parental rights in case the birth mother doesn’t identify (or intentionally misidentifies) the birth father.  If Mills signed this Registry, his parental rights are still intact. That doesn’t necessarily guarantee he’ll gain custody, but it means Stacey faces an emotionally difficult and financially draining road to justice. She has hired seven attorneys to fight this case, preparing for the worst. “I’m in big trouble,” she says. “It doesn’t look like California is going to stand up for this baby.”

But why would Mills want custody of Vanessa, considering he has already relinquished custody of his four other children? “That’s what’s so egregious about this case,” says Robin Sax, a momlogic legal analyst and former prosecutor. “While he may be asserting his parental rights, is he really acting in the child’s best interest? Or is he taking advantage of the situation where the judge’s hands are tied?”

I hope that the Ohio court sees that this child is in the best possible hands and allows Ms. Doss to finalize the adoption.  While I feel for Mr. Mills, the biological father, it is my understanding from reading about this case, that he does not have contact with any of his children, has relinquished custody of them and does not support them.  If he truly loves his daughter as he claims, he should do what is best for her and let Ms. Doss adopt her.

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