unfairness Archives | Cordell & Cordell

Lies can persist during trials hurt men in child custody disputes

Although it is the job of the courts to determine the best possible situation for children in deciding which parents should retain custody, lies against the character of the father can often prevent these individuals from being able to see their kids.

David T. Pisarra, writing for the Huffington Post, noted that the area of domestic violence within legal battles for children began to take center stage in the 1990s.

Though the legislation was passed with the best intentions – protecting spouses from physical abuse – the contention in divorce courts can sometimes carry too much weight.

According to the Post, the legislation that exists in 32 states notes that the spouse only needs to claim that they were “afraid” of potential abuse in order for it to exist in the eyes of the law.

The utterance of this can lead to a father being denied custody rights and potentially can bar them from ever seeing their child alone again.

The news source reported that in the court’s rush to avoid tragedies through a “zero tolerance policy” claims of domestic violence have become a way for mothers to gain sole custody, regardless of whether it is true or not.

The unfair world of post-divorce spousal support

The process of divorce is often painful for all involved parties, but the resulting developments do not always favor an equal balance between both individuals.

Men will sometimes be issued spousal support payment orders, despite being part of a “no fault” divorce in some states or even if they were not found guilty of physical abuse or adultery, according to the Huffington Post.

The news source reported that despite the unfair circumstances that can sometimes exist, these individuals will often have to pay their ex-wives spousal support, even in cases when she is living with a different person.

This type of development would be the worst-case scenario for a male, as certain instances have required them to pay the spousal support even if their ex-wife is living with a person that they left their husband for. According to the Post, regardless of the logic in this scenario, the payment is determined based on the idea of “means and need.”

According to Divorce Magazine, a total of 7.8 million Americans paid about $40 billion in child or spousal support and 84 percent of these individuals were males.

Irish court dismisses fathers appeal to return children to US

Two boys, now aged seven and nine, were wrongfully removed from New York and taken to Ireland with their mother. Despite protests from their father over the development, the Supreme Court in the Emerald Isle ruled that the children would stay there, according to the Irish Times.

Though the children were both under the age of 10, the court took their opinions of where they wanted to live into consideration in the ruling.

“There is a growing understanding of the importance of listening to a child,” Chief Justice Susan Denham said in the ruling.

The court claimed that the ages of seven and nine were old enough for an individual to have attained a great enough level of maturity, a claim that was denied by the father of the children, according to the Times.

The Irish Examiner reported that the mother had left the U.S. and missed three scheduled court dates. This development led to the father being awarded custody in November 2010, but didn’t convince the Irish court that the children should be allowed to return to New York.

Pair of Maryland Fathers Sue Washington D.C. Child and Family Services

A pair of Maryland dads are suing the District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency (CFS) for denying them custody of their children after the organization took their offspring from their mothers, according to the Washington Post.

Sam Wilson and Andre Adgerson were hands-on fathers who until recently had joint custody of their children. The mothers of their children were found to have neglected the kids to the extent that they had to be removed from their homes, the news source reported.

When the CFS came to take the children from their mothers, they took the kids to a foster care center instead of placing them in the custody of their fathers.

According to the news provider, this decision came as a result of the CFS’s interpretation of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. This led to the children being placed in foster homes for between one and six months while their fathers were assessed, despite their joint custody that was previously granted.

The District of Columbia and Family Services Agency handled more than 2,140 children who were in out-of-home care for 2009, according to the government website.

Joseph Cordell’s article “Divorce Civil Rights” on the Huffington Post

Joseph Cordell“There is an institutional family court bias, but we can’t simply blame judges. Sure, they are human beings and have preconceptions like everyone else, but it goes much further than that. The family law industry as a whole — from attorneys to social workers — makes presumptions about men and fathers.”

That quote comes from Cordell & Cordell co-founder Joseph Cordell‘s latest Huffington Post column, “Divorce Civil Rights.”

Cordell says profiling of different groups of people based on race, age, disabilities, etc., is not permitted in society yet in continues to happen every day in family courts where cases are decided based on gender.

“This systematic discrimination happens every day but goes largely unnoticed,” Cordell writes. “The impact of the obscurity of this issue is that there is not the attention, inclination or support necessary in order for men’s rights to receive the political, social and economic momentum that is required to correct this prejudice.”

Read the full Huffington Post article,Divorce Civil Rights.”