Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
A growing number of family lawyers are focusing exclusively on men’s issues–specifically fathering issues that come up during custody battles following divorces. USA Today has more on the trend:
Law firms that champion men’s rights — and particularly those of fathers — are a growing breed across the U.S., marketing themselves to men who are increasingly empowered in their role as dads. More state legislatures are rethinking child custody laws amid the latest scientific research showing that fathers are important to their children’s physical and emotional well-beings.
As the nation mark[ed] Father’s Day on Sunday, evidence is growing that when marital bonds sever or cohabiting couples with children split, more men are unwilling to accept the visitation and child-support arrangements of yesterday and are doing what they can to remain relevant in their kids’ lives.
Jeff Robinson, an IT manager in Allen, Texas, hired a men’s firm when his 27-year marriage broke up. His two daughters, Amanda and Jessica, are 24 and 21. But son Kyle, 12, is a minor.
“My fear was to be kicked out of my home, and she’s going to try to keep my son away, and (I) have to fight for any visitation,” says Robinson, 52, whose divorce became final last June.
At Seattle-based firm Goldberg Jones (with offices in Portland, Ore., and San Diego), co-founder Rick Jones says clients “know they’ve only got one shot. Clients come to us with the security of knowing that’s the mind-set we come in with already.”
Custody laws vary so much across the USA that “shared custody” in one state doesn’t necessarily carry the same provisions in another, family law attorneys say. Cordell & Cordell’s lawyers say some states have changed the language of their statues from “sole custody” and “joint custody” to terminology such as “parenting time” or “legal decision-making.”
And though some states — including Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Missouri and Maine — have taken steps to be more gender-equal in their decision-making, no state is considered “a beacon of being father-friendly,” according to Cordell & Cordell.
“Custody decisions vary not only state to state, but even greatly within a state and within a county from judge to judge,” says Jennifer Paine, an attorney in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Image: Parenting arguing in front of child, via Shutterstock
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Thursday, November 7th, 2013
During an appearance on the OWN Networks’ “Where Are They Now?” program, former reality star Jon Gosselin shared that his eight children have faced “developmental issues” throughout their young lives. Kate Gosselin, Jon’s ex-wife and former co-star of their hit show “Jon and Kate Plus Eight,” is fighting back in online statements, claiming that her ex-husband’s claims have no merit. More from Today.com:
On the OWN show that aired Sunday, Jon, when talking about how being featured “Jon & Kate” impacted his family, said, “I saw my kids not growing up normally. … Developmentally, they have problems with their peers … with wants and needs, and manners and morals and what’s right and what’s wrong, of course. I think more so than someone who grows up off TV.”
Kate countered his claim in her blog post, writing, “Each and every one of our children has met and continues to exceed all physical, mental and emotional developmental milestones throughout their lives. Their normal development is regularly monitored by myself, their pediatrician and school staff, as is usual with any family.”
As for adding fuel to this most recent fire, Kate explained that she’s speaking out against her ex, who is working as a waiter, because, “I want to be able to point them to this statement so that they know that I publicly set the record 100 percent straight on this one, for their sake.”
But Kate has admitted to TODAY in the past that two of her children have had anger issues. “They were acting out, having behavior things,” she said in 2010, a year after her divorce from Jon.
The mom of eight is currently involved in a lawsuit against her ex, claiming that he hacked her phone and computer to gain access to information for an author who was writing a tell-all book about her.
Image: Kate Gosselin, via s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
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Thursday, August 15th, 2013
Kids who grow up with more than one or two siblings may be less likely to grow up and go through a divorce, according to new research based on data collected from the General Social Survey between 1972 and 2012. The analysis found that each additional sibling–up to 7 siblings–reduced the chance of divorce by around 2 percent. More from USA Today:
“There are a lot of other factors that affect divorce that are more important than how many siblings you had. However, we’re finding that the number of siblings is a factor,” says Ohio State University sociologist Doug Downey, a co-author of the study. It is being presented Tuesday at a meeting of the American Sociological Association in New York City. “Each additional sibling reduces their chances of divorce a little bit.”
The authors suggest that siblings further the development of social skills useful in navigating marriage.
However, others who study divorce and family size say the study — while interesting — is far from definitive.
People from large families may be more family oriented, says sociologist S. Philip Morgan, director of the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He says the data from the General Social Survey are “somewhat problematic” for the issue of divorce.
“I’m not yet convinced.” he says. “The theory is interesting and plausible but not overpowering.”
Despite these findings, other studies have shown only children to have adult social skills that are similar to their peers who grew up with siblings.
Image: Big family, via Shutterstock
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Friday, August 2nd, 2013
Simon Cowell, the British talent maven who currently judges on the TV show “The X Factor,” is going to be a father. His partner, Lauren Silverman, is still married to Cowell’s friend, Andrew Silverman, though reportedly the couple is in the process of divorcing. PEOPLE.com has more:
The X Factor judge, 53, is expecting his first child with New York socialite Lauren Silverman, 36, multiple sources confirm to PEOPLE. The news has been hot gossip among friends recently because Silverman is married to Cowell’s close friend, real estate mogul Andrew Silverman.
The Silvermans have filed for divorce, a source tells PEOPLE.
When reached by PEOPLE, an assistant to Cowell’s U.K. rep says, “This is a very sensitive issue and all media enquiries are being dealt with by his U.S. attorney.” No other calls to reps were returned.
Image: Simon Cowell, via Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
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Monday, July 2nd, 2012
The actress Katie Holmes, who has filed for divorce from her movie star husband Tom Cruise, has reportedly requested full custody of the couple’s 6-year-old daughter Suri, PEOPLE.com is reporting:
In papers filed on Thursday in New York, the actress, 33, is seeking “primary residential custody” of their 6-year-old daughter, Suri, according to TMZ.com.
Holmes cites the standard “irreconcilable differences” for the end of their five-year marriage and wants a “suitable amount” of child support from the 49-year-old star, TMZ reports.
Cruise’s rep issued a statement confirming that it was Holmes who filed for divorce and saying the Rock of Ages star is “deeply saddened.”
Image: Katie Holmes, via Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
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