Posts Tagged ‘family’

If you are in Shasta County and have limited resources to obtain a family law attorney, the Family Law Facilitator’s office has reopened with a new attorney at the helm.

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Those going through divorces, child-custody disputes or other family law matters again have a free resource inside Shasta County’s courthouse.

Shasta County Court Executive Officer Melissa Fowler-Bradley said that the Family Law Facilitator and Self Help Center program has been reopened in limited capacity since Labor Day.

The office has been closed since Aug. 11 because the attorney running the program was no longer available. Fowler-Bradley has said she retired, but Lizabeth Robison said Friday she’s since found new employment working out of the family law offices of Redding attorney Linda Seinturier.

The facilitator’s office has been in place for more than 10 years, and the self-help center has been in place for about six, Fowler-Bradley said.

The program has helped hundreds of people represent themselves in family law proceedings without having to hire an attorney.

Most attorneys charge upward of $200 an hour for their services.

There were 1,228 divorces filed in Shasta County during the 2008-09 fiscal year. It costs $355 to file a dissolution of marriage petition with the court, even without an attorney.

Without providing legal advice, the court’s program provides educational materials and forms for those wishing to get an uncontested divorce or to modify or set up child-support payments or claims.

Robison said that though she’s now a private attorney who charges for her services, she’s taken in a few of her longtime former clients free of charge.

“There’s just no way they could afford a private attorney,” Robison said.



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!

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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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I read an interesting article this morning on Divorce Without Dishonor. The article is found here. The article talks about how parents play games to gain extra time with their children during the summer. The author of the article talks about a personal child custody battle which occurred shortly after the ink was barely dry on the divorce.

The article further goes on to state that in many court orders, each parent is entitled to one (1) or two (2) weeks of summer vacation and the dates are usually left to the parties to work out. Often divorced parents are required to take turns each year in having the right to select their vacation time with the children first. Sometimes each parent is entitled to have two (2) non-consecutive weeks of summer vacation and as is customary, these weeks would replace or supersede the regular child access schedule and therefore necessarily “trumped” the other parent’s regularly scheduled time with their children.

The problem? The summer is only so long, and from school year’s end to the next start date it is usually about ten (10) weeks, i.e. about seventy (70) days. Neither party can plan with any certainty when the summer schedule isn’t confirmed or if it is in dispute because of misinterpretation or deliberate exploitation by playing “word games.” Taking an example with a regular schedule of children being alternating Friday, Saturday and Sunday overnights with each parent and during the week, with Dad overnight on Monday and Tuesday and with Mom overnights on Wednesday and Thursday.

When mom advises that she will take her first week after her five (5) day scheduled time with the kids, there will likely be a problem. By doing it that way, in fact, she will strategically choose days so that she gets at least (12) twelve or more overnights in a row. And of course no good deed goes unnoticed and Dad, when it is his turn to count will return the scheduling favor so each of his weeks will begin at the conclusion of his five (5) overnights so that he will the take his twenty-four (24) overnights (almost three and one-half weeks), as his two (2) weeks vacation. The bigger problem is that with (48) forty-eight (twenty-four 24 each) of maybe seventy (70) summer nights accounted for, what happens in between all of that? Hard to plan isn’t it? Who gets what? How much agreement is there likely to be and what kind of summer will your children have?

Might I ask, “How is it that (2) two weeks consists of 24 twenty-four overnights?” No wonder we need lawyers to figure this stuff out!

Yes, many parents continue playing games with each other for many years after they split. What they fail to take into account is that the ones losing in their games are the children. It is the children who don’t get to see the other parent for those 24 consecutive overnights with the other parent. When you have small children, it is especially important to these children that they have contact with both parents on a consistent basis. Believe me, when they are grown they will remember the games you play. So, if you are one of the parents who thinks that it is cool that you got one over on the other parent and are constantly playing “word games” with the orders in your custody matter, you may be out in the cold when your children grow up.

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I came across an article at the Huffington Post today about Kids Write The Darndest Things in their test answers. Some were cute, some were funny and some were a little to adult to put here. I shared this one because I thought how some kids might think watching their parents argue and fight constantly would feel like an eternity to them and that it would never end and how helpless they feel in their “eternity.” We’ve all been in our own eternity, the work day that just won’t go away or the traffic that won’t move along so you can get home. So, the next time you are caught up in that argument with your spouse or significant other, think about your kids and the “eternity” they must feel.
If you want to read more of the test answers, click here.

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Every afternoon 15 million U.S. children, more than a ¼ of our kids, are left alone after school. Among them are more than 40,000 kindergarteners.

This huge and heartbreaking number isn’t because of parent neglect, it reflects a simple fact: Afterschool programs are unavailable or too expensive for millions of families across this country.

In fact, studies show that 18 million U.S. parents would enroll their kids in an afterschool program if one were simply available.

Unfortunately, we’re now in danger of losing the limited afterschool programs we currently have.

The President just released his proposed budget and it does a lot of things right, but it cuts more than 13,000 kids out of safe and educational afterschool programs.

Congress is debating our national budget right now. So it’s up to our Representatives to get America back to work and keep our children safe and learning by protecting afterschool programs.

Will you join me and take a moment to tell your Representative that you are a part of the 83% of American parents who support public funding for afterschool programs?

For more information, click here to check out Momsrising.

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