You’re Worth Fighting For!!

Logo 2- 2016

You are an active dad — way beyond changing a few diapers. You attend to the emotional needs of your kids and are genuinely involved in caretaking: potty training, homework, tantrums. You’re involved in a real, meaningful way.

What happens when an actively involved dad is faced with a nasty, contentious custody battle? Here are the top five things that active fathers should know before they set foot in a courtroom:Fight Back - 2016

1. Fight as hard as you can to get the most time possible from the very start. Whether you want the kids to live with you (as primary residential custodial parent) or you simply want to have an “aggressive” visitation access schedule, be clear about your goals and push for what you want. If you want equal time (or any decent amount of time), you need to push for more from the very beginning of the case. Devise a strategy to demonstrate to the court that you understand your child’s routines, needs and care. Show why the schedule you are proposing is workable, realistic and in the “best interests of the child.” You cannot settle for a tiny “temporary” schedule and expect to fight for more later, because you are then fighting an uphill battle.

2. Find an attorney who gets it. Many divorce lawyers just don’t understand why dads want more access time. You are dealing with a system that has historically favored mothers’ custody wishes, and is only now very slowly changing. You need an attorney who will understand your reasons and help you in presenting your best case. How do you find a lawyer who gets it? Shop around: set up consultations with attorneys to see what their approach would be and how they respond to your end goal. Ask about other cases they have handled for active dads and creative solutions they have used. Read online reviews and get a feel for how attorneys respond to your questions in Q&A forums. If you feel like your lawyer is pushing you towards a bleak arrangement — push back. Make it clear to your attorney that you are not afraid of trial and help steer them away from the internal pressures for a hasty settlement. Unless you can live with that settlement, keep pushing to see the judge. But most importantly: find a lawyer who will help you fight for your goals from the start.

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3. Do not bring child support issues up in custody conversations. Period. Many people — even some lawyers — will assume you want more time with your kids because you want to pay less child support, even when faced with facts that you are the more nurturing parent. While some states tie access time to support (like New Jersey), many do not: in New York, for example, even if parents settle on a 50-50 time share with the children, the law states that the parent who earns more will still pay child support. No matter where you live, try to keep these issues separate. Otherwise, your reasons for spending time with your child get colored by the notion that you “just don’t want to pay.”

4. Draw your schedule — literally. I do this with clients during mediation and also with attorneys at court: a quick calendar grid labeled by the days of the week with what mom and dad each propose. This is a highly effective tool because you might think “alternate weekends and Wednesday night dinner” doesn’t sound so bad. Draw it. You’ll see that the child will go seven days (twice a month!) without seeing dad at all. That’s an eternity to a young child accustomed to having dad around every day. Not only is drawing a persuasive tool for a reluctant “old school” attorney or judge, but many times mom will be persuaded as well. After all that’s seven straight days of no help from dad!

5. Cautiously extend the olive branch to your children’s mom. At the end of the day, once the lawyers are paid, the court hearings are over and the dust settles, you and your ex will be co-parenting your children. A horrible custody battle can set a toxic model for the rest of this long-term relationship. Be reasonable and even giving on certain issues that are important to her. The long-term payoff might be a positive co-parenting relationship — and that will directly benefit you and your kids.

This blog is also published at The Divorce Artist.When Zoraya asks the question - 2015

Rather than a simple, single concept of “father,” Florida may be moving toward an understanding of fatherhood as a bundle of rights and duties, which may at times be divided among different men with respect to a single child. This may affect a determination of party status and the right to counsel, the right to notice, and the fundamental liberty interest in the care and custody of children.

Whether a man may be recognized as a father to a child in Florida is often unrelated to issues of biology and genetics. It will often depend on the reason for the establishment of paternity. It will be easier to establish paternity under Ch. 39 than Ch. 63 because of the different purposes of those statutes. In addition, certain statutes, such as the intestacy statute as it applies to children born out of wedlock, are liberally construed in favor of allowing inheritance.

The duty of support, having been separated out from the issue of legitimacy, and coupled with the administrative establishment of paternity in child support proceedings, has encouraged de facto dual fathership in Florida at times, whether recognized under the law as such.

Source: You’re Worth Fighting For!! ~~ #StandupforZoraya

We only support organizations who show an understanding that children need both parents, and that either parent is equally capable of the choice to perpetrate hate or declare peace.

Never Give Up On Zoraya

10 thoughts on “You’re Worth Fighting For!!

  1. Pingback: Forced into a corrupt family court system that functions to drain our money, time and future. – Family Law Reform

  2. Pingback: How Much is Too Much Child Support? – Americans for Equal Rights for Fathers

  3. Pingback: Concerned Citizens for Alimony Reform | Children's Rights

  4. Pingback: Alienated from your child. – Stand Up For Zoraya

  5. Pingback: PASSED!! Equal Custody Bill Passes Florida Senate | HT Politics | Children's Rights

  6. Every child deserves an involved dad.

    Many people are surprised at the research which shows a connection between father absence and an increase in social problems in America including: poverty, teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, physical abuse, suicide, substance and alcohol abuse and a host of other troubling social problems. The sad fact is that not only does father absence hurt children, fathers suffer as well.

    Developing positive relationships with their children encourages and motivates fathers to lead more constructive lives, even in the most difficult of circumstances. For instance, the simple act of regularly writing to their children from prison improves outcomes for incarcerated fathers, including increasing their odds of training for, finding, and keeping a job once they reenter society. Evidence shows that fathers who write to their children once a week have a lower risk of violence in prison and recidivism when released. These positive outcomes are multiplied when we study the impact on the children of inmates, and how father contact can change the trend of their children’s lives – even while the father is still incarcerated.

    In addition, research and experience tell us that there is a strong correlation between lack of father involvement and many larger social challenges. Sadly, trends are against us. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, in a study that investigated these trends, 2006 – 2010, “fewer fathers now live with their children” over the period studied. Reasons for this depressing trend include incarceration, non-marital childbearing and other factors.

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America, one out of three children in America, now live in biological father-absent homes. Furthermore, according to the national surveys conducted by NFI, 9 in 10 parents believe there is a father absence crisis in America.

    This study, an excellent resource on the impact of father-child involvement, also describes how “increased involvement of fathers in their children’s lives has been associated with a range of positive outcomes for the children.”

    Fatherhood is in crisis in America, and you can help. By using our evidence-based programs your department, agency, or not-for-profit group can increase father involvement, improve the lives of children everywhere, and reverse negative trends in a wide range of social issues. Or, by becoming an individual activist, you can bring fatherhood programming to your community and help to reduce a host of social ills in your neighborhood.

    NFI is a nationally respected, oft-cited, non-profit organization committed to better outcomes for children and our society as a whole. Our research and programs make a positive difference in the relationships between fathers and children – even in cases where a father is not physically present in the home. You don’t have to be a bystander to the fatherhood crisis in America; you can help to turn the tide and help us create a world in which every child has a 24/7 Dad.

    Thank you for your interest and support,

    The National Fatherhood Initiative® Team –

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Children’s Bill of Rights


    Every kid has rights, particularly when mom and dad are splitting up. Below are some things parents shouldn’t forget — and kids shouldn’t let them — when the family is in the midst of a break-up.

    You have the right to love both your parents. You also have the right to be loved by both of them. That means you shouldn’t feel guilty about wanting to see your dad or your mom at any time. It’s important for you to have both parents in your life, particularly during difficult times such as a break-up of your parents.

    You do not have to choose one parent over the other. If you have an opinion about which parent you want to live with, let it be known. But nobody can force you to make that choice. If your parents can’t work it out, a judge may make the decision for them.

    You’re entitled to all the feelings you’re having. Don’t be embarrassed by what you’re feeling. It is scary when your parents break up, and you’re allowed to be scared. Or angry. Or sad. Or whatever.

    You have the right to be in a safe environment. This means that nobody is allowed to put you in danger, either physically or emotionally. If one of your parents is hurting you, tell someone — either your other parent or a trusted adult like a teacher.

    You don’t belong in the middle of your parents’ break-up. Sometimes your parents may get so caught up in their own problems that they forget that you’re just a kid, and that you can’t handle their adult worries. If they start putting you in the middle of their dispute, remind them that it’s their fight, not yours.

    Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are still part of your life. Even if you’re living with one parent, you can still see relatives on your other parent’s side. You’ll always be a part of their lives, even if your parents aren’t together anymore.

    You have the right to be a child. Kids shouldn’t worry about adult problems. Concentrate on your school work, your friends, activities, etc. Your mom and dad just need your love. They can handle the rest.


    —-Special Concerns of Children Committee, March, 1998

    “Children’s Bill of Rights” is a publication of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. © 1997 – 2001. All rights reserved. “Children’s Bill of Rights” may be reproduced under the following conditions:

    It must be reproduced in its entirety with no additions or deletions, including the AAML copyright notice. It must be distributed free of charge. The AAML reserves the right to limit or deny the right of reproduction in its sole discretion.

    © 2013 AAML Florida. 3046 Hawks Glen Tallahassee, FL 32312 | 850-668-0614

    The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Before you decide, ask the attorney to send you free written information about their qualifications and experience. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

    Liked by 3 people

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