Posts belonging to Category Custody



Bring Evie Home. by Ashlie Beal-Ewen – GoFundMe

There are so many stories like this.  So much pain – carrying forward from one generation to the next.  We call ourselves a modern civilized society based on laws and concepts of universal justice, yet time and again we see the laws allow such obvious injustice.  We are not a civilized society, we are an insane society.

If anyone seeing this now is able to assist this father and family, it is a start in the battle against the forces that create this kind of world.

In January Christian walked in the door of the home he shared with his fiance to find her packing. She told him that she’d met someone else; they’d gotten married just a few days before and she was taking Christian’s daughter, Evie to live with her new husband in Virginia. At that moment, she and Christian were still living together; in fact the day she married another man Christian brought her flowers. He wasn’t able to file an injuction quickly enough to keep the mother of his child from leaving their home in the state of Colorado, so within days she was gone with his two year old daughter, leaving no forwarding address: just a stunned and heartbroken father. Christian and his daughter found themselves in a situation seemingly ripped from a daytime talk show.

I’m Christian’s sister. I worked with our family & friends to create this page for my brother and my niece, who I dearly love. Our family is providing all the financial and emotional support we can but the necessary legal fees are quickly surpassing our means. We’d like to offer thank-you’s for the financial help provided with “rewards”. Please let me know if you have ANY questions by emailing BringEvieHome@gmail.com.

via Bring Evie Home. by Ashlie Beal-Ewen – GoFundMe.

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Inside Track: Time to speak up for the rights of fathers | Herald Scotland

In Britain, fathers face the same challenges that they do in America as well as in Canada.  Something has gone extremely wrong since the advent of no-fault divorce.  Fathers are treated as a threat by many who currently have power in the area of family law and family courts, as well as the immense industry of specialists (sometimes called the “whores of the court”) that has arisen around divorce, child support and custody matters.  Coming out of court, many fathers are profoundly shaken when they discover they are nothing but a paycheck.  Their manhood, their father hood, all of it comes down to nothing more than money.  What a world we live in.

John Forsyth, of Families Need Fathers (FNF) Scotland, says: “We often hear [them saying]: ‘I felt I was assumed to be guilty of something, but the stronger I argued my case to carry on being the father to my kids, the more I could see suspicion in their eyes.’”

Fathers talk about the court process being profoundly shocking, feeling as if they are on trial and can only have contact if they can prove their worth.

via Inside Track: Time to speak up for the rights of fathers | Herald Scotland.

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Push to change custody laws: What’s best for kids? | 89.3 KPCC

The problem is that it is often the offending parent… the one who really wants to hurt the other, who can change everything by just a few carefully worded statements that invoke the domestic violence statutes.  Once you have run afoul of that, you are screwed.  It is an unholy situation brought about by some really man hating people over the last 25 years.

Fathers today spend more time than ever with their kids, experiencing just as much stress as women in balancing work and family, if not more. But when couples divorce and a custody dispute hits the courts, too many judges award custody to mom, according fathers’ rights groups.

Ned Holstein, head of the National Parents Organization, formerly called Fathers and Families, says research shows that children do better academically and emotionally when they see a lot of each parent.

“We believe family courts are actively hurting kids,” by not awarding joint custody more often, says Holstein. The best legislation, he says, favors joint custody, so long as both parents are fit and there’s been no domestic violence.

via Push to change custody laws: What’s best for kids? | 89.3 KPCC.

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Legal battle over Native American girl comes to a poignant end – latimes.com

The courts won on this one, as to their power to dictate law as an ideology.  This case really highlights just about everything that can go wrong when bureaucrats and judges lose site of wisdom.

Was justice served Monday when a little girl called Veronica was taken from her biological father, a Cherokee, and returned to the white South Carolina couple who had begun to adopt her at birth four years ago?

This is one of those heartbreaking stories that periodically makes headlines, sending a shiver down the spines of adoptive parents and enraging Native Americans whose children had been ripped away from them so often that a federal law was passed in 1978 to put safeguards in place.

The facts of this case seem so unfair to the biological father that it’s hard to understand why the adoptive parents have ended up with custody.

Legal battle over Native American girl comes to a poignant end – latimes.com.

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‘Baby Veronica’ dad arrested, won’t turn over daughter | HLNtv.com

Here is more on that case where the biological father is being excluded from his daughter’s life:

'Baby Veronica' dad arrested, won't turn over daughter

Dusten Brown, the birth father embroiled in a heated custody battle over “Baby Veronica,” surrendered to Oklahoma authorities Monday on a charge of custodial interference.

The case of Veronica Capobianco has reached a boiling point, despite rulings from a South Carolina court and the U.S. Supreme Court stating that the 3-year-old Cherokee Indian girl was to be turned over to her adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco.

Court orders ‘Baby Veronica’ back to adoptive parents

Brown failed to appear for a mandated transfer of custody August 4 and a felony warrant was issued Friday for his arrest. According to Charleston County, South Carolina, Sheriff J. Al Cannon, Jr., the charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.

Brown was granted leave from his National Guard training duties in Iowa in order to turn himself in. He was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond Monday after turning himself into authorities in Oklahoma, where he lives, and has refused extradition to South Carolina.

In a press conference Monday, Sheriff Cannon stated that everything Brown has done, including surrendering to authorities in Oklahoma and using his National Guard duties as an excuse to not appear for the transfer of custody, has been “a continuing felony, a continuing crime.” Cannon also said he did not know Veronica’s or Brown’s current whereabouts.

See how it all began: Supreme Court rules on little girl’s fate

The case first reached the high court over the issue of whether the adoption was valid based on the fact that Brown – and Veronica – are Native American. Brown stated that the pending adoption violated the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a federal law which lays out specific rules for the adoption of Native American children. In a split decision, the Supreme Court justices ruled ICWA did not apply in this instance and sent the case back to a South Carolina state court, which ruled in the Capobiancos’ favor.

An emergency custody hearing was held Monday morning in Cherokee Nation Tribal Court in Oklahoma. Brown did not attend, but his attorney, John Nichols, said his legal team “intends to do everything within the law to make sure Mr. Brown’s rights are protected.” Further, the Cherokee Nation has said Veronica has rights under tribal law that have not yet been exhausted.

Lori Alvino-McGill, attorney for Veronica’s birth mother Christinna Maldonado, said Monday’s hearing was held without notifying her client or the Capobiancos. The Capobiancos have an open adoption arrangement with Maldonado and was actively engaged in her daughter’s life, prior to her removal and placement with Brown.

The Capobiancos have called on federal law enforcement to resolve the matter. In a press conference outside their South Carolina home Monday morning, Matt Capobianco said, “Our daughter has been kidnapped, and I expect the situation to be treated as such.”  He went on to say, “If this doesn’t happen, I will be boarding a flight to Oklahoma today and I am coming to get my daughter.”

Doug Mayer, a spokesman for the South Carolina governor said, “Gov. Haley is working closely with law enforcement, the solicitor’s office, the state of Oklahoma, and the family on this case. Our goal is to do all we can to get Veronica back home safely.”

‘Baby Veronica’ dad arrested, won’t turn over daughter | HLNtv.com.

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Supreme Court Rules Against Indian Father in Daughter’s Custody Case – Andrew Cohen – The Atlantic

This case illustrates what an unfriendly place the courts are to fathers.  The guy wasn’t perfect, but who, really, is?  Additionally everyone seems to have completely ignored the fact that the mother concealed the adoption from the father.  The plain and simple fact is that the mother wanted to give up the child, and apparently vindictively wanted to eliminate the father from this little girl’s life.  In my opinion, there should have been no question.  The child should have gone to the father, and the mother as well as all involved in the adoption, should be reprimanded for systematically trying to deprive the little girl of her own father.

Virtually overlooked Tuesday in the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s vital decision to strike down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act case was a gut-wrenching ruling from the justices that ultimately could separate a father from his daughter. In the case styled Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, the Court ruled that a Native American man named Dusten Brown could not rely upon the language of a federal statute, the Indian Child Welfare Act, to protect himself against the termination of his parental rights over his daughter, Veronica, after another couple sought to adopt her. 

The back story, to say the least, is complicated but you can identify the contours of the ruling, and at the same time understand what happened to this little girl, simply by reading the many descriptions of the case offered by the various justices as they sorted through the debris. For example, to start, there is Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority decision. He barely concealed his contempt for Brown and his cause by framing the story this way:

This case is about a little girl (Baby Girl) who is classified as an Indian because she is 1.2% (3/256) Cherokee. Because Baby Girl is classified in this way, the South Carolina Supreme Court held that certain provisions of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 required her to be taken, at the age of 27 months, from the only parents she had ever known and handed over to her biological father, who had attempted to relinquish his parental rights and who had no prior contact with the child. The provisions of the federal statute at issue here do not demand this result.

I agree with this:

And, finally, came Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She wrote about the ways in which the federal statute was designed to try to help troubled Native American families, like Brown’s family:

Moreover, the majority’s focus on “intact” families begs the question of what Congress set out to ac­complish with ICWA. In an ideal world, perhaps all parents would be perfect. They would live up to their parental responsibilities by providing the fullest possible financial and emotional support to their children.

They would never suffer mental health problems, lose their jobs, struggle with substance dependency, or encounter any of the other multitudinous personal crises that can make it difficult to meet these responsibilities. In an ideal world parents would never become estranged and leave their children caught in the middle.

But we do not live in such a world. Even happy families do not always fit the custodial-parent mold for which the majority would reserve IWCA’s substantive protections; unhappy families all too often do not. They are families nonetheless. Congress understood as much.

In the end, we have a decision here that says, contrary to both the text and the spirit of the law, that the Native American father of this little girl cannot rely upon a federal law designed to aid the parents of Native American children because he did not initially have custody of the child. The ruling makes mention of Browns’ failure to initially support his child but makes little mention of the ways in which the mother of the little girl sought to hide the adoption from him. This was always a case of Solomon-like ramifications–with a group of judges literally having to choose where a baby should life. For such a weighty decision it’s a terribly airy ruling.

Supreme Court Rules Against Indian Father in Daughter’s Custody Case – Andrew Cohen – The Atlantic.

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Women for Shared Parenting

Received this recently:

We have initiated a Women for Shared Parenting project.  A number of prominent women are forming a group to endorse a statement supporting shared parenting.  The project is in the early development stage, with statement drafting just getting underway.   The group is bi-partisan consisting of female legislators, business leaders, journalists, etc, all of whom support shared parenting.  Presently over 50  prominent women have been identified as participants and are in the process of being contacted.  

Ultimately the idea is to have the statement translate into a website where women from around the United States and Canada sign on as endorsers.  We expect the initial group may also post two minute video statements on why they are supporting shared parenting, etc.   We will also pursue Op Ed pieces in influential newspapers.  There will be very little time commitment necessary on your part.  
Following are several women who’ve already responded, requesting their inclusion in the project.  
Barbara Kay – Canadian National Post syndicated columnist  http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/01/24/post-ebook-no-5-best-of-barbara-kay-vol-i/  
Molly Olson – Minneapolis, MN. Founder – Center for Parental Responsibility (CPR)  http://www.cpr-mn.org/
Dr. Linda Nielsen – Social Scientist, Author, Adolescent and Educational Psychologist, Wake Forest Universityhttp://users.wfu.edu/nielsen/
Kris Titus - Founder, former President – Canadian Equal Parenting Council – national Canadian shared parenting umbrella organization http://canadianepc.org/
Before any statement is publicly released it will be privately circulated to all who indicated a desire to participate for their input.  We anticipate the statement may be tailored as a broad policy statement in order to attract the greatest level of support.
We would be interested in being introduced to  any Prominent Women Leaders who would appreciate hearing about this endeavor.  I can be contacted with the information below. 
Kind Regards,
Terry Brennan
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Documentary project on single father households

Just received this notice:

My name is Khaaliq Thomas and I’m a professional photographer and custodial dad of 3 (recently divorced).
For the past year I’ve been working on a photo documentary concentrating on single / custodial fathers households.
I’m hoping to get your help in spreading the word about the project.

Purpose of The Project
The project will challenge the belief of fathers being incapable, unwilling, and or inadequate in performing responsibly,
productively and lovingly as a single / custodial parent. I currently have 3 participants and need another 3 to 4 for a
truly diverse look into these unconventional family structures. Attention will be given to the dedicated ability of these
dads and their commitment to raising productive children and supplying a stable home on their own. The finished project
will consist of a 110 page full color photo book. I’m using Kickstarter to raise the funds to search for more dads through
advertising, print and design of the book and setting up exhibitions of the final project.

How You Can Help
I need your help in spreading the word about the Kickstarter fundraiser in order to get the project to the public and
share in the experience of a single father household through this project. I’m asking for your help in support of the project
by spreading the word on your website, (or anyway you can), and allowing me to add you as a supporter on Kickstarter.
I plan on launching the Kickstarter fundraiser early March or whenever I have enough support, whichever comes first.
A link to a video introduction of the project is included.

Thx for your time -

http://vimeo.com/36229020

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Father’s Rights Debate Taken Up By The Nebraska State Legislature

These types of bills have always foundered when the lawyers and special interest lawyers start weighing in.  Also, courts are loathe to give up any discretion, especially in cases of disputed custody.

 More than a quarter of our kids are being raised by just one parent. Some Heartland fathers feel like they don’t have the parenting rights they deserve. Two Nebraska state lawmakers are trying to change that.

Joe Trader thought he had all the evidence he needed in the custody hearing for his daughter Gracie; but the judge decided otherwise. “I wasn’t going to let a decision that has been given to fathers for years determine what kind of father i was going to be able to be to my child.”

Up before the unicameral this year are two bills focusing on father’s rights.

State Senator Galen Hadley’s bill wants to bring laws made years ago up to today’s times. “I think this bill is looking more at modern society and trying to come up with a parenting plan that tries to deal with the kind of conditions we find in modern divorce.”

Senator Russ Karpisek wants to go one step further; holding judges accountable for the decisions they make.

Trader says both bills show progress. “Any benefit, any increase in time or really any acknowledgment of the equal parenting an how important it is a huge stride,” he said.

Trader’s main goal is for more time with his little girl, Gracie. “Let Nebraska know we’re tired of being just child support, we want to be parents.”

One of the bill would also make it so each parent is entitled to at least 45% of the year spent with their child. That could be over-turned, but a judge would have to cite a reason why.

Father’s Rights Debate Taken Up By The State Legislature.

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MN child custody reform bill inching close to passage

This issue always gets debated, and then just dropped.

With attention fully on the Vikings stadium issue, a bill that would change child custody proceedings for divorcing parents in Minnesota is quietly inching its way closer to the governor’s desk.

The latest version of HF322 would simply increase the presumed time each divorcing parent would get with his or her kids from 25 percent to 35 percent. (The remaining 30 percent of time would be figured out through mediation or divorce proceedings.) The Senate held a second reading of the bill Monday.

Rep. Peggy Scott, R-Andover, had initially authored the bill with more complex reforms that would affect the calculations of child support payments. She also wanted to create a presumption of true shared custody — at 45.1 percent for each parent. The bill also included a new concept for Minnesota law – virtual parenting time — and would have required courts to consider the use of wireless and video technology to help children remain connected to both of their parents. A version of her bill with these provisions passed the House last month by an 80-53 vote.

Those concepts don’t exist in the bill before the Senate. While Scott said that was somewhat disappointing, she would be happy with the passage of a bill that would take an incremental step toward shared custody. The percentages in law are just starting points for negotiations. But Scott said she felt 25 percent is too low, and encourages parents to fight too much in divorce proceedings to claim the remaining time with their children. A presumption of shared custody, she argued, would compel more constructive negotiations.

Not everyone agrees. In committee hearings, opponents argued that a presumption of shared custody is unrealistic and potentially harmful if it requires children to ping-pong back and forth between parents too much. They argued that a move toward shared custody might be easier on parents, but might not necessarily be in the best interests of their kids.

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