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Fathers Rights LawyerFathers of young children who are unhappily married often stay together for many years longer than they would otherwise because they are afraid of hurting their children. Fears that the child may grow up to have depression and anxiety, to suffer at school, or, worse, to get involved in drugs and alcohol or struggle with juvenile delinquency are all legitimate; research shows that children of divorced parents are at heightened risk of these behaviors. 

However, research also shows that fathers can mitigate the negative impacts of divorce by carefully managing the divorce in a way that protects the kids from its most damaging elements. This means that, when done right, you can get out of an unhappy marriage and protect your kids’ best interests. 

Parents Have a Lower Impact on Children’s Future Personalities than Previously Thought

While there is no question that parental behavior can shape a child’s attitude and general happiness level at any given moment, research also shows that children’s fundamental personalities seem to be dictated more by genetics than by environment. Adopted children are more like their biological parents than their adoptive parents, and identical twins raised separately are more alike than not. 

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Hidden Assets Divorce LawyerAll divorcing spouses must come to an agreement as to how they will divide their marital estate. For some spouses, this is simple and straightforward; for others, it is a long, complicated process. Over the years, women have gotten a reputation for being most frequently wronged by malicious behaviors on the part of their husbands during asset division. However, as more and more women outearn men in the workforce, the exact same motivations that drive men to hide assets from their wives are applicable when it comes to wives hiding assets from their husbands. Some spouses do it to reduce the amount of the marital estate they have to divide; other spouses do it to reduce child or spousal support payments. 

If you are a father getting divorced, it is important not to underestimate the chances of your wife attempting to hide assets from you. You deserve the full share of assets to which you are entitled under the law, and a divorce attorney in your state can help you make sure that you get it. 

How Do I Know if My Wife is Hiding Assets in Our Divorce? 

It can be difficult to know whether someone you once loved and trusted would do something as detrimental to your well-being as trying to diminish your share of your marital property by hiding assets from you. However, if your spouse has a history of financial dishonesty - or of compulsive dishonesty in general - you need to be on the alert for suspicious financial behavior. If large amounts of money are missing from your shared bank accounts, if cash withdrawals are unexplained, or if your wife suddenly seems to have a drop in income, she may be hiding, or planning to hide, assets from you. 

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Child Support LawyerOne of the most common misconceptions about divorce or paternity cases is that, no matter the circumstances, it is always the father who ends up paying the mother child support. However, things are often more complicated than this, and in many states, the laws have been recently updated to give dads a greater chance of involvement in their child’s life. These laws also balance the support obligations between both parents and make it more likely that a father will be able to play at least an equal role as the mother in every aspect of the child’s life. 

In fact, more dads than ever now are what are called “custodial fathers.” This may sound like an impersonal technical term, but a custodial father is a man who has the primary responsibility of raising his children - sometimes even without the help of the mother. Custodial fathers are actually highly likely to receive child support from their child’s other parent, especially if they have custody of the child more than half of the time. 

How Do States Handle Child Support in 2022? 

While it would certainly be convenient if each state had the same child support laws as the others, child support laws and calculation formulas can vary greatly between states. However, there is no state that mandates that a child’s biological or adoptive father must be the parent who pays child support. Instead, states hold both parents responsible for financially supporting a child, and will consider the incomes of both parents when determining a family’s overall financial obligation to its children. 

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Divorce is rarely cheap, but fathers often have to bear the brunt of the cost as they make alimony and child support payments and sometimes even pay for their spouse’s attorney. Making things worse, fathers are often the ones who move out of the house during divorce, meaning they may have to go through the divorce process without seeing their children regularly. 

divorce lawyer for fathersAlthough some financial difficulties of divorce are hard to avoid, there are certain steps that experts recommend that could help you manage your finances more easily. If you can implement any of these, you may just be able to make your divorce your doable. 

Know Your Full Financial Picture

Although some couples feel painfully aware of how little they have, others may not be fully cognizant of their total financial picture. This is a mistake because you cannot fight for your fair share of marital assets if you are not sure what they are. You should know the balances of any savings accounts, retirement accounts, or credit card bills, as well as whether any tax refund is likely in the upcoming year. If you have a prenuptial agreement detailing your property in a divorce, review it now. 

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dad's divorce lawyerOne of the most significant challenges following divorce is adjusting to life in two single-parent homes. For children, this can be a particularly hard transition, especially if movement between parents is chaotic and unpredictable. For fathers, it can be a time filled with conflict, uncertainty, and the fear that spending less time with your children may result in a more distant relationship. 

For fathers who live in a different state than their children, this fear can be particularly acute. You may not be able to afford to transport the children between their other parent’s home and your own as frequently as you would like. You may find it difficult to talk to them on the phone, especially if their other parent tries to prevent electronic communication. Fortunately, even if your children move to another state, you can still ask a court to instate a visitation order that allows you to maintain a warm, close relationship with your children. 

Long-Distance Parenting and Visitation

Long-distance parenting schedules usually, by necessity, have the children spend the majority of the year with one parent. School schedules prohibit frequently traveling back and forth, especially if the distance is great. One thing a judge may consider when deciding how to allocate visitation is whether you or your ex is the one who wanted to move out of state. 

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divorce lawyer for fathersDivorce is a time of major emotional upheaval for parents and kids alike. Parents are frequently so busy trying to negotiate a divorce settlement - much of which is done with the kids’ best interests at heart - that they forget to pay nearly as much attention to the kids themselves. The result can be grumpy, misbehaving, upset kids, and a befuddled parent who does not understand why the kids cannot see they are doing their best. 

Fathers in particular stand the risk of becoming alienated from their kids during and after divorce, both because of actions ex-wives sometimes take, and because of uncertainty about how to best stay connected with their children. If you are a father of children getting divorced, you can act to maintain a strong relationship with your children, no matter what your ex is doing.  

Fight For Your Relationship with Your Kids

Kids react to divorce in strange and surprising ways. One common reaction is to push away one or both parents out of anger, hurt, or a sense of betrayal. Your job as a father is to use your greater maturity and perspective to resist being wounded by your kids’ actions. Even in extreme situations when your child says they do not want to speak to you, keep reaching out. Even if your ex tries to move to another state, move to be close to them. Work to maintain a relationship, even when it seems your child is not interested in one. Ask your kids to send pictures, send pictures of yourself, text, call, send emails - keep in touch however you can. 

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division of assets in divorce

No one goes into a divorce expecting it to be easy, but most people do not realize just how complex and challenging the financial aspects can be. There are a number of financial issues that a couple will need to address during divorce, from dividing their assets and debts to figuring out whether one spouse will pay child support or spousal support to the other. If these issues are not handled correctly, a couple may encounter contentious legal battles that may drag the divorce process out for multiple months or even years, resulting in additional expenses and financial complications.

As a couple works to divide their marital assets, they will need to be sure they fully understand the extent of property they own, the value of different assets, and the steps they can take to ensure they will each have the financial resources they need going forward. This process requires spouses to be completely open and honest with each other about all financial issues. Unfortunately, there are many cases where spouses may conceal information from each other and attempt to unfairly influence the property division process. Matters may become even more complicated in situations where one spouse has acted in a way that has caused financial harm to the other. In cases involving the dissipation of assets, a spouse will need to work with an experienced Chicago divorce attorney to determine how to address this issue.

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fathers rights lawyerFor most couples, divorce is a time of heightened emotions. Anger, betrayal, and resentment can all combine to create a ruthless opposition to each other during divorce negotiations. Sadly, children can get caught up in their parents’ fights and are used as pawns by each parent to play out the adults’ interpersonal conflict. 

When parental conflict reaches dangerous or violent heights, or when a parent may no longer be able to care for their children safely, supervised visitation can be ordered by the judge overseeing the custody or divorce case. Supervised visitation is when a parent can only spend time with their child when another adult, like a social worker, is present. While supervised visitation can seem unfair, it is essential to cooperate with the system so you can get through this stage and return back to normal with your kids. 

Why is Supervised Visitation Ordered? 

Judges are responsible for ordering supervised visitation and they may do it for a number of reasons. The most common reasons include: 

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father sole child custody lawyerIn times past, fathers rarely received full custody of their children. Using the “tender years” doctrine, courts all across America would almost always give mothers primary custody, and fathers would often be left with visitation on weekends and some holidays. Even when the mother was clearly not capable of providing the children with a safe home, fathers often had to fight to get custody of their kids, and they rarely succeeded. 

In recent years, this has begun to change. American courts and cultural institutions now recognize the crucial influence that fathers play in their children’s lives. Unfortunately, getting to this point took many years of families being torn apart and children suffering without the guidance and love of their fathers. Fortunately, things do not have to be this way for modern fathers who are looking to protect their parental rights. 

Joint Custody Is the Ideal

Although courts recognize the importance of fatherhood, they strive to maintain a balance between divorced or unmarried parents so children will have the best opportunity to have a close relationship with both parents. Many states now begin the custody process with the assumption that joint custody is in the best interest of the children. This assumption must be overcome by providing convincing evidence that it would not be best for parents to share custody of their children. 

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divorce lawyer for fathersWhile domestic violence is a serious concern in marriages across the United States, it is easy to falsely accuse a father of marital abuse during divorce and have courts take it seriously. Once such an accusation has entered the picture, the man accused of the abuse often has to spend an enormous amount of time, energy, and money trying to prove that he never committed the abuse. Unfortunately, the presumption of innocence is frequently denied, and the father is the one stuck trying to demonstrate his innocence so he can get custody of his kids. If you have been falsely accused of abuse or are worried you may be, here are some steps you can take. 

Keep Your Data Private

Wives who have feelings of extreme jealousy, possessiveness, and anger management issues often snoop through their husband’s private material without justification. Change your passwords, PINs, and other information that could give your wife access to your private accounts. If your wife begins making threats, document them and share them with family members and friends so you can begin establishing a history of threatening behavior. 

Take False Allegations Seriously

Many fathers are shocked when allegations of abuse are made against them. While your marriage may not have been perfect, it can be hard to believe your wife would make such a claim, and you may be tempted to brush it off or hope it blows over. However, even false allegations are important to take seriously because they can carry serious consequences, including the loss of access to your children and even arrest and jail time. 

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divorce lawyer for dadsIssues affecting individuals who identify as transgender and non-binary have received extensive coverage lately in mainstream news and other media outlets. As researchers race to find out as much as possible about gender transitioning, children, with the support of their parents, are claiming to identify as transgender at younger and younger ages. Unfortunately, the tendency of this issue to become enmeshed in politics often obscures accurate information, preventing a thorough understanding of this complicated issue. 

For divorced parents of a child who claims to be transgender, this can present some tricky dilemmas. If your ex claims to support your child’s new identity, he or she may believe that there are necessary medical procedures or treatments. You may not agree with these treatments, and even believe them to be damaging or not well understood enough to be practiced on your child. Perhaps the situation is the exact opposite - maybe you believe your child is transgender and your ex does not agree. Whichever side of the debate you find yourself on, when it comes to your child’s health and wellbeing, you do not want to take chances. 

Can One Parent Allow a Child to Transition Their Gender? 

Parents who share custody often share decision-making responsibilities. This includes decisions about a child’s medical procedures, including common transgender treatments like hormones therapies and surgeries. If you share healthcare decision-making responsibilities about medical treatment with your ex, he or she cannot decide to allow or prevent your child to transition genders without your agreement. 

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divorce lawyer for fathersGoing through a divorce can turn your world upside down. If you’re a father who has will be sharing custody of your children after a divorce, both you and your kids need time and space to heal. Even if you feel unsteady, you want to help your kids feel settled again. Here are a few tips on self-care that can help you and your children relax during this stressful period in life.

Become a Role Model

When you’re raising your children as a single father, becoming an exemplary role model is one of the best things you can do for their well-being. For instance, by taking steps to reduce stress in your own life, you’ll be able to lower the overall stress levels for your whole household. If you’re currently working from home, coming up with a consistent schedule for yourself and your kids is the best way to keep everyone on track and create a solid foundation for your children.

Give Them Free Time

You might be tempted to schedule lots of activities for your children to distract them from the stress you’re all going through as a result of the divorce. But children need plenty of free time, too. Giving your children downtime when they can play without schedules or structure is great for their mental health. The Homeschool Mom states that kids with fewer time pressures are often more creative and have the opportunity to discover their own strengths.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1845670315.jpgIf you are a dad who is going through a divorce, you will understandably be concerned about your ability to spend time with your kids. While parents will be able to share legal custody of their children in most cases, physical custody (also known as visitation or parenting time) may not be divided equally. If your children will be living with their mother for the majority of the time, you will want to make the most of the time that you do have with your kids. You may also want to make sure that you will be able to have your kids stay with you at any times when their mother may be unavailable. To address these situations, you may want to make sure the right of first refusal is included in your parenting agreement or child custody order.

What Is the Right of First Refusal?

To ensure that your children will be able to have a parent caring for them whenever possible, you may agree to include provisions for the right of first refusal as you negotiate a parenting plan. As the term implies, these provisions will give a parent the right to assume care for children in situations where the other parent is unavailable. That is, if your ex cannot care for your children during days or times that they are scheduled to have parenting time, they must first contact you and offer you the opportunity to take the children during this time. They will only be able to make arrangements for having the children stay with others, such as a family member or babysitter, if you refuse the opportunity to care for the children during the time that the other parent is unavailable.

As you and the other parent determine how to address the right of first refusal in your parenting agreement, you will want to consider the following:

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parenting time lawyerIf you are a father who is going through a divorce, one of your primary concerns will be making sure you will be able to continue to spend time with your kids, maintain close relationships with them, and be as involved as possible in their lives. Even if you will not have primary custody of your children, you should be able to have regular parenting time. By understanding how the laws in your state address your rights to share custody of your children, you can make sure your divorce decree will meet your needs and allow you to have the relationship with your children that they deserve.

Protecting Fathers’ Rights to Visitation and Physical Custody

It is important to remember that as a parent, you have the same rights toward your children as your spouse. Neither mothers nor fathers are given preference in child custody cases, and the decisions made in family court are based on what is in the children’s best interests. This means that you should be able to maintain the same level of involvement in raising your children as you have had since they were born.

While the laws that affect child custody cases are different in each state, these laws generally will presume that parents are fit to care for their children unless there is evidence that shows otherwise. A parent’s right to share custody may be affected in cases where there are documented instances of domestic violence, substance abuse, or other issues affecting children’s health and safety. However, in most cases, dads will be considered to have the ability to care for their children and provide for their needs, and they will have the right to spend reasonable amounts of regular, ongoing parenting time with their kids.

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child support lawyerOver the last two years, we have witnessed some of the most unusual circumstances that any of us ever thought possible. At this point, it is fairly safe to say that the COVID-19 health crisis has changed how we no go about our everyday lives. Of course, the pandemic has affected people in many different ways. Some got very sick. Some left their jobs to facilitate at-home learning for their children. And, some lost their jobs due to an evolving labor market. For some people, the loss of their job created opportunities to find something new, but for others, replacing that income has not been easy—but for fathers who are subject to child support obligations, a substantial loss of income can create serious challenges in meeting those obligations.

If you are a support-paying dad and you are having trouble making your full child support payments each month, you are likely wondering if there is anything that can be done to help you. The good news is that you may have some options, but they will not find you on their own. You will need to be proactive before you find yourself in serious trouble.

Notify the Court

Presuming you have not done so already, your first step should be to notify the court that issued your child support order of your current situation. Depending on the state and county, you may be able to notify the court through a dedicated domestic relations or child support enforcement office. You should be as forthcoming as possible about the reality of the situation. Let the court know when and why your income changed, what you can reasonably expect to pay, and what you are doing to address the situation.

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prenuptial agreement divorce lawyerHaving a prenuptial agreement in place can make divorce significantly easier for many spouses. A strong prenuptial agreement can create a faster, simpler path to a finalized divorce for many couples. However, for others considering divorce, their prenuptial agreement is a source of great stress. Some people may even fear that they will be unable to support themselves after getting divorced because the prenuptial agreement is heavily in their spouse’s favor. 

The good news is that not every prenuptial agreement will be enforceable exactly as written. There are limits as to what a prenuptial agreement can or cannot do. If worries about your prenuptial agreement are keeping you from filing for divorce, it may be wise to consult a qualified attorney. A lawyer can evaluate your agreement and offer you a better idea of how it may affect your divorce proceedings. 

What Can a Prenuptial Agreement Control During Divorce?

Prenuptial agreements are very commonly used to decide in advance how your property would be divided in the event of divorce. These contracts can be used to designate certain assets as the separate property of one spouse or to decide how marital property like joint accounts or real estate would be divided. Spousal support can be waived, but this provision might not be enforced if it would leave one party in dire financial straits. 

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divorce lawyerIn a perfect world, divorce proceedings and child custody arrangements would be smooth-sailing. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes, one party will even falsely accuse the other party of child abuse to gain some type of advantage in the divorce. 

If you are wrongfully accused of child abuse by your ex, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. According to some studies, approximately 6% to 35% of child abuse claims are unfounded. 

Should you find yourself falsely accused of child abuse, there are a few things you should know about responding to inaccurate child abuse claims. We will share with you 5 ways to respond to a false accusation of child abuse, followed by advice on what not to do as well. 

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Dad's divorce law and tips for high conflict divorceWhen your spouse walked down the aisle at your wedding, you probably assumed that you would live happily ever after. Unfortunately, about 40 – 50 percent of marriages end. Getting divorced is never easy – especially if you have children. However, some divorce cases are more contentious than others. Consider the following tips for dealing with a high-conflict divorce as a father.

Consider Alternative Divorce Resolution Methods

In the divorce process, you and your spouse will need to decide on important issues such as child custody and asset division. In a high conflict divorce, however, reaching an agreement on these issues can seem impossible. In many cases,  alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation and collaborative divorce may be helpful. 

Organize Your Finances Now

A large portion of the decisions made during the divorce process are financial in nature. It is impossible to make informed financial decisions if you do not have a complete and accurate understanding of your financial situation. Now is the time to gather financial documents such as tax returns, credit card statements, pay stubs, and business financial records. Make copies of these documents and bring them with you to your consultation with your attorney. 

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Interference with parenting time after divorce

As a divorced dad, your time with your kids is precious. While you were once a constant presence in their lives, this usually isn’t possible following divorce, because they will be dividing their time between you and their mom. Adjusting to new parenting schedules can sometimes be difficult, but once you have settled in to your post-divorce lives, you can get used to the new arrangements and make the most of the time you have together. Whether you and your ex share equal custody or not, your time with your kids will be limited, and you’ll want to make sure to address anything that would limit or take away that time. If your ex has deliberately withheld parenting time or otherwise interfered with your visitation, you should take immediate action to protect your parental rights and avoid causing harm to your children.

Interference With Parenting Time Is Illegal in Most Cases

Unfortunately, your relationship with your ex might not be especially rosy after your divorce. The two of you are likely still feeling the emotional fallout of your breakup, and even if you have done your best to put this conflict behind you, disputes may still flare up, leading either of you to attempt to hurt the other. One way ex-spouses may try to inflict harm is by refusing to allow their former partner to see their kids or otherwise interfering with their parenting time. 

While withholding of parenting time is sometimes overt, with one parent stating that the other parent is not allowed to see or spend time with the kids, interference with visitation is often much more subtle. Your ex may regularly be late when dropping off your kids, or she may invite herself along on outings with your children. She may regularly schedule children’s activities or appointments during your parenting time, or she may constantly be calling them or attempting to monitor your whereabouts and what you are doing. Regardless of how it happens, interference with parenting time is not acceptable, and you may need to take legal action to address it.

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Adultery and divorce issues child custody alimonyFew things are more hurtful than realizing that your marriage is coming to an end because your spouse has cheated on you. In these cases, you’re likely to feel a great deal of sadness and betrayal, as well as anger about how your impending divorce will affect your children and anxiety about the changes you’ll be experiencing in your life. All of these feelings can seem overwhelming, and you might want to lash out at your spouse for bringing this turmoil into your family’s lives. However, as you proceed with the divorce process, you’ll want to take a step back, consider things from a legal perspective, and understand how infidelity will affect the decisions made.

Addressing Adultery When Filing for Divorce

Depending on the laws in your state, you may or may not need to address infidelity when filing a petition for divorce. Some states recognize fault-based grounds for divorce, allowing a person to state that their marriage has ended because of adultery or other actions taken by their partner. However, most states allow for “no-fault divorce” in which a person simply needs to state that the marriage has failed due to “irreconcilable differences,” and in some states, this is the only option available. While you may feel that you should make it understood that your spouse’s infidelity is the reason your marriage has ended, blaming her for your divorce could make the process more contentious, leading to disputes that take a great deal of time and money to resolve.

Infidelity and Financial Issues

If you believe that your spouse is to blame for the end of your marriage, you may feel that she should be penalized or that matters related to finances should be decided in your favor. However, most state laws do not take adultery or other forms of marital misconduct into account when addressing matters such as the division of marital property. In most cases, assets and debts that you and your spouse acquired during your marriage will be divided in a way that is fair and equitable. However, if your spouse dissipated or wasted marital assets when committing adultery, such as by spending money to buy gifts for her lover, this could affect the decisions made about how property will be divided.

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