News About Dads Rights In Divorce | Cordell & Cordell

Majority Favor Equal Child Custody

Although primary child custody has traditionally been granted to mothers during divorce procedures, a study from Arizona State University found that the general public favors equal custody for both parents.

The study, published in the journal Psychology, Public Policy and Law, relied on surveys from individuals in a Pima County jury pool. In the first study, the participants were asked to judge a series of hypothetical cases where parents each provided different child care duties prior to their separation. In scenarios where a couple split child care 50-50 before a divorce, 69 percent of respondents said they thought living time should be divided equally between the parents. Almost everyone else said the child should live with the mother but spend a lot of time with the father.

When respondents were asked what they thought would happen in real situations in the current family court system, only 28 percent believed both parents would be allocated equal living time.

“So, our respondents seemed to believe that the legal system was gender-biased,” wrote Sanford Braver, the lead author of the study.

Mothers are granted primary custody in 70 percent of U.S. child custody cases. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that there are 3.4 divorces per 1,000 population.

Tenn. Supreme Court to tackle paternity fraud

The Tennessee Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that could decide if a man has legal grounds to sue for being tricked into supporting a child that is not biologically his, according to The Associated Press.

The case involves a divorced couple from Maury County. The ex-husband, Chadwick Craig, sued his former wife for fraud in 2008 after discovering that he was not the biological father of their teenage son. In the suit, Craig claimed he had married the woman, worked a job he didn’t want and paid thousands in child support because he believed he was the father. In addition, Craig said he underwent a vasectomy, which he says he would not have done if he had known he did not have any biological children, reported the AP.

Craig was awarded $26,000 for child support and medical expenses. Although he was awarded $100,000 for emotional distress, the news source said the decision was struck down in appeals court.

The case may be the first time a state Supreme Court tackles the issue of whether paternity fraud is grounds for a lawsuit, according to the report.

Tennessee’s highest court recently heard another case pertaining to family law. The court will soon decide on a lawsuit that could alter how alimony is awarded to divorced couples.

Children receive less support in college

Among the variety of effects divorce can have on a family, a new study found that the children of divorced parents are likely to receive less financial support during college, even if both their parents remarry.

The study, published in the Journal of Family Issues, found that parents who stay married typically meet about 77 percent of their child’s college tuition costs, compared to 42 percent among divorced couples. In addition, married parents also contribute about 8 percent of their income to their son or daughters college expenses while their divorced counterparts give 6 percent.

“The cost burden of higher education is shifted to the student in families with divorced or remarried parents,” Ruth Lopez Turley, the lead author of the study, told the Wall Street Journal.

Turley added the remarried parents often have different obligations, such as supporting stepchildren, that can eat into what they could contribute to their child’s college fund.

Kids who manage to complete their education even without considerable financial support may find that it can influence their own personal life for the better. A report from the Pew Research Center found that couples with a college education are less likely to divorce compared to those without a degree.

Gingrich supports fathers rights

While attending the Seacoast Republican Women’s Breakfast in New Hampshire, former Speaker of the House New Gingrich said the U.S. family court system has an “extreme anti-male bias” when designating a custody dispute between a mother and father, according to the blog Fathers and Families.

Newt Gingrich fathers rightsRead the DadsDivorce.com article “Newt Gingrich Criticizes Discrimination Against Fathers Rights.”

Gingrich discussed his views on the issue after he was approached by Fathers and Families activists at the event. At issue was the fact that the U.S. legal system typically awards minor custody to women considerably more often than men if a couple splits up, according to the news source.

When asked about his thoughts on family court reform, Gingrich said he believes the nation has progressed to a point that authorities should realize men have just as much right to see their children as women.

“We live in an age that is very different than 50 years ago and I think that it … is very important…that we have a much greater sensitivity that both sides, both parents, both have rights and have responsibilities…” he said.

About 75 percent of all custody awards in the U.S. are given exclusively to the mother, while only about 10 percent are made solely to fathers, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Tennessee court could decide future of alimony

A Tennessee woman who makes $72,000 per year claims she deserves $15,000 a year in alimony, in a case being argued in front of the state’s Supreme Court.

Johanna Gonsewski and Craig Gonsewski, who makes $137,000 a year, were divorced in 2009 and Sumner County Judge Tom Gray ruled that Johanna was not entitled to alimony, reports the Tennessean.

However, a Court of Appeals determined that the mother of two adult children deserved $1,250 a month from her ex-husband.

Craig Gonsewski appealed that decision and now the case is in front of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Kelly Murray of Vanderbilt Law School told the news source that it was “interesting” that a woman who has her own substantial income was awarded alimony.

“I think what’s interesting is that she is a working spouse and not a stay-at-home spouse,” Murray said. “This is a woman who has a good career.”

The news provider said that the case could determine the future of how alimony is awarded in the state.

The Associated Press reported that the couple had been married for 21 years.