Ask a Lawyer on Single Dad: Jeffery Leving is the nation’s leading Fathers Rights Attorney and offers Family Law advice for Men on SingleDad.com. This month, learn what Divorced Men need to know about the process of divorce. Read more.
Ask SingleDad: What Men Need
To Know About Divorce
As dads going through divorce,
many men may feel overwhelmed by the journey ahead of them and feel a mixture
of anger, sadness and confusion.
They may feel paralyzed by the number of questions swirling around in
their head such as — How is custody determined? Will I have to pay child support? Can I
keep my ex-wife from poisoning my kids against me? Although the road ahead may seem difficult to navigate, as
experienced father’s rights and matrimonial
attorneys we have found that many of our
clients have the same general questions involving their children and divorce. Understanding the answers to some of the
most frequently asked questions divorcing fathers have can provide men some
peace of mind during this difficult time.
This list isn’t intended to
globally cover all divorce and custody inquiries, but rather provides specific information
concerning legal questions that I recently answered for some dads. Each individual situation is different,
so it’s critical to contact a skilled family law attorney to help in your
Divorcing Dads: Answers To Five Recently Asked
Child Custody. I want to get joint custody of our
children, but my soon to be ex-wife says I don’t have a chance. Is it possible for a dad to be awarded
joint custody of his children even if the mom objects? ~ Tony, 45.
Absolutely. As a father you have the right to be
positively involved in your children’s lives. Illinois has a joint custody law, which I co-authored. There are basically three forms of
joint custody. These include: Joint legal custody, where both parents
share major-decisions making powers; Joint physical custody, where children
spend significant time with each parent, or a combination of the two. Although courts generally prefer some
form of shared custody, in certain situations a judge may grant full custody to
one parent so it’s important to consult with a skilled Chicago child custody attorney to protect your rights
and your childrens’.
Child Support. My child’s mother is asking for an
amount in child support that would bankrupt me in mere months. Will the court
require me to pay an amount of child support that I obviously can’t
afford? What factors will the
court take in account in determining how much I am required to pay? ~ Joe,
While state laws
may vary, certain guidelines have been passed into law that set out the amount
of child support that is required to be paid by a non-custodial parent. For example,
in Illinois, that amount generally is a percentage of the non-custodial
parent’s net income and is often determined by the number of children
involved. A custodial parent
cannot simply demand that the non-custodial parent pay what that parent feels
would be an "appropriate" amount of support. Such power by one parent, over another, could absolutely
lead to the circumvention of the courts and bankruptcy of the non-custodial
Visitation. I want to see
my child, but I do not have a visitation order and every time I ask my ex-wife
if I can see my kids, she always replies
with "I don’t know" or makes
up an excuse. What can I
do? ~ Terrence, 21.
best way to protect your access rights and ensure you can spend quality time
with your daughter is to file a petition with the court for a specified
visitation schedule. Without a
court order granting you visitation, parenting time or custody, there may be
little you can do to prevent your daughter’s mother from unilaterally deciding
when you can see your child. By
hiring an experienced family law attorney who will fight tirelessly for you,
you can protect your right to see your daughter and avoid the legal pitfalls
that may disrupt your relationship. For more information about parental
involvement, visit www.dadsrights.com.
with Visitation. I have court
ordered visitation rights, but now my child’s mother refuses to let me visit, what
can I do? ~ Brad, 43.
many states such as Illinois, you have two possible courses of action to
enforce visitation rights. One is
criminal in nature and the other is civil. The strategic choice would be made on a case-by-case
basis. Interference with
visitation rights can be a crime under Illinois law, which is punishable by up
to one year in jail upon the third conviction. You can alternatively pursue the matter civilly by filing a petition
for rule to show cause (contempt) against the custodial parent.
Alienation. What can be done to stop my ex-wife
from telling lies to my daughter about me to coerce her into not liking me? ~
You should consider filing a petition for
an injunctive order, specifying that the mother be prohibited from discussing
your conduct in the presence of your daughter, except in a positive manner. Her
conduct can be harmful to the child and your relationship with her and must be
Every divorce situation is different and may
involve several different factors and challenges. If you are a dad going through a divorce, it is critical
that you consult with an experienced fathers’ rights
attorney to address questions specific to your particular situation. Please visit www.dadsrights.com for more crucial information.
Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”