Fathers Group: Dads Get Short End of Stick in Custody – and Support and Domestic Violence and …

The Fatherhood Coalition, successor to the Coalition for the Preservation of Fatherhood, both lends moral support and furnishes legal information to Boston area fathers going through divorce.

The association highlights the importance of fathers in their children’s lives, not just “every other weekend”, but all the time.

The nonprofit organization’s mission is carried out by volunteers, in part through a newsletter and an internet forum.

Unfortunately, like many otherwise worthwhile father-oriented groups, this nonprofit may undercut itself with “anti-establishment” positions taken against child support and against protection from domestic violence.

Read more in this Leominster [MA] Champion article: Fathers unite under local coalition.

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Man Attempts Murder to Get Custody to Avoid Child Support

An Oregon man got tired of paying child support, so he decided to seek custody of his children.

That’s bad enough.

But, to achieve his goal, this man allegedly built four pipe bombs, intending one of them to kill his ex-wife.

Now the man is under arrest for attempted murder. Aptly, this occurred during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Of course, the man’s probably not likely to get custody of his children.

But he just may get out of paying child support – for about 10 years to life.

Yet judgments can be enforced for a long time.

Read more in this KTVZ [OR] News story: Police: Child custody pipe-bomber motive.

The piece doesn’t indicate whether the man has a prior documented history of domestic abuse – or mental illness.

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FL’s Sealing and Super-Sealing Scandal Fueling Changes and Further Review

The Florida courts and clerks continue to labor to repair the damage caused by widespread reports of sealing selected cases and even concealing docket listings for cases involving famous, powerful and wealthy people.

Here in Palm Beach County, an order was recently entered requiring a publicly-noticed public hearing before a case in this county can be sealed, either in whole or in part. If prior notice is not practicable, notice will be made public after the fact – but challenges could be prosecuted later.

The Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers has recommended that all hearings on sealing be noticed on the clerks’ official websites, at a minimum.

Florida’s Supreme Court is reportedly still reviewing the problem and it is anticipated that it will adopt rules for sealing, either part or entire cases, which will apply uniformly throughout the state.

To that end, each judicial circuit was recently required to submit a report to the Florida Supreme Court regarding the current state of sealing in that circuit.

Some circuits have reportedly blamed the much-publicized sealing and super-sealing on inaccurate reporting by the media and computer glitches.

Amidst all the uproar, it should be remembered that there may be legitimate reasons for sealing part or all of a case. In fact, that is standard practice in Florida for adoption cases, juvenile dependency cases and juvenile delinquency cases, and mental health cases.

Read more in this Palm Beach Post article: Public review ordered for sealed cases and this Lakeland [FL] Ledger article: Sealed Court Cases Coming Under Review.

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Virtual, Internet Visitation … It Beats the Phone

Virtual visitation, also known as internet visitation, continues to grow in popularity, where parents are separated from children for one reason or another.

It is leaps and bounds beyond phone calls, especially with younger children who are not as engaged by phone conversations.

In addition to garden variety divorces, virtual visitation opens up new possibilities for supervised visitation where professional supervivor resources are already strained. And for visitation with parents who are incarcerated.

Read more in this Keloland [SD] TV piece: Virtual Visitation.

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Battered Husband Syndrome: Yes, There is Such a Thing

Although domestic abuse is popularly viewed as a “women’s problem”, women don’t have a monopoly on it, by any means.

Women can and do brutalize men too, with physical violence – and also with verbal and psychological abuse, which may sometimes be even worse.

In fact, a Canadian study finds that men are victims of domestic abuse in almost as great numbers as women – only men are far less likely to report abuse or seek help.

And when men do report abuse, they aren’t always taken seriously.

There was a time when domestic abuse against women wasn’t treated seriously either.

Domestic abuse should always be taken seriously by everyone.

If nothing else, Domestic Violence Awareness Month should get that message out and across.

Read more in this Victoria [Canada] Times Colonist article: Battered husband syndrome – Men who suffer physical abuse at the hands of a partner are often reluctant to report it.

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To Get Over Divorce … Try Redecorating

OK, it may not be the first thing on your mind right after the divorce.

But an interior designer insists that redecorating solo can be healing and therapeutic for the newly divorced.

Redecorating reportedly symbolizes embarking on a new beginning, one which unabashedly expresses and fulfills the recently divorced individual’s unique solo identity and preferences, and rebuilds their self-esteem.

At any rate, it certainly beats some of the alternatives.

Read more in this Lincoln [NE] Journal Star article: Redecorating after divorce can be refreshing experience.

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Community Support Helps Victims of Domestic Violence Escape and Survive Domestic Abuse

This month is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Victims of domestic violence suffer all year long.

But they also manage to overcome and triumph all year long – with help, important help from the community.

The Summit [CO] Daily News article, ‘Now I’m winning’ celebrates a mother and her four daughters.

They survived by escaping domestic abuse, thanks to guidance and assistance (transitional housing assistance, therapeutic assistance and legal assistance) facilitated by Advocate for Victims of Assault.

The Naples [FL] Daily News similarly reports that Shelter Gets Grant to Help Build Transitional Housing. Such grants aid escaped victims of abuse in transitioning from shelters to independent living.

Therapeutic, housing, legal and other forms of support from the community help make it possible for victims of abuse to break free of their abusers and, just as importantly, help to lead their children to break out of what too often is a repeating cycle of abuse.

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Shared Parenting: Ultimate Power Tool of a Controlling or Abusive Parent

Medical News Today publishes an article that illuminates what anecdotal evidence suggests may be an accelerating epidemic:

controlling and abusive parents wielding “shared parenting” as their ultimate power tool – exploiting their parental rights, using their children as pawns, in an obsessive effort to further abuse, and maintain control over, their children’s other parent.

According to the article, in a significant number of cases, there are wide gaps between the idealized promise – and the harsh realities – of “shared parenting”.

Read more in this thought-provoking Medical News Today article: Child Custody With Abusive Ex-spouse? Study Shows How Women Decide.

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The Sequel to Prenups

Prenups (or lack of same) have gotten a lot of media attention lately, both in the context of “regular folks” and of celebrity divorces.

Their cousin is the postnuptial (or postnup) agreement, often also known as a property settlement agreement.

Although sometimes also known as a marital settlement agreement or a separation agreement, a postnup really doesn’t have to mean the end is coming.

Rather, a postnup can be thought of as a prenup done after the wedding – sort of.

There are similarities and differences between the two types of documents and, believe it or not, they are not mutually exclusive documents.

A postnup may make up for failure to get around to timely and properly executing a prenup before the wedding.

It may also modify, or even supersede and replace a prenup.

It may address changes that have developed since the wedding, either in the financial circumstances of the couple – or in the evolving relationships within the blended and expanded family.

In fact, some couples execute multiple postnups over the years.

Like a prenup, a postnup can be designed to “kick in” in either or both of two dinstinctive situations:

  1. separation and/or divorce
  2. or

  3. death of a spouse
  4. .

Read more in this BankRate.com article: For richer or poorer … or according to the postnuptial agreement.

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ND: Here Comes Equal Timesharing, Ready or Not, Kids

Another “shared parenting initiative” is up for consideration, this time in North Dakota.

Shared parenting means different things in different states and to different people.

Florida has adopted shared parenting and, here in Florida, shared parenting refers to legal parenting responsibility and decision-making authority.

Physical custody or residential parenting is not bundled up in shared parenting in Florida.

The initiative in North Dakota appears to require equal timesharing between parents as the default arrangement.

And it just may be a first.

Florida calls that equal timesharing arrangement by the termrotating custody – because the child rotates between his or her parents’ homes at regular intervals.

The interval may be a week, a month, a year – or any regular interval that works for the parents.

Sometimes the parents live close by each other, other times far away. That may bear on the interval chosen.

In Florida, at least until recently, rotating custody was only implemented in cases where both parents agreed to it.

North Dakota, by contrast, appears to be adopting rotating custody, at intervals determined case-by-case basis, as the standard – unless one of the parents is unfit.

An editorialist at the Bismark [ND] Tribune, in the piece ‘Turn down initiative on child custody’ weighs in on the initiative with:

[T]here are flaws. There is a mechanical approach toward custody, a calculation of so much time the children must spend here, an equal period of time there. If the parents want the period to be a six-month bloc, what kind of life is that for the kids?

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