United States Archives | Cordell & Cordell

Irish businessman wins appeal in key divorce judgment

The problem that many American men face with divorce is that they feel too many of their hard-earned assets go to their wives following the split. A recent case in Ireland showed that this is not a problem that is confined to the U.S.

According to the Independent, a wealthy businessman in Ireland won a Supreme Court appeal that stopped him from having to pay more money to his ex-wife.

The news source reported that this ruling would have an impact on divorce in the country, as men who felt that they were unjustly forced to pay an unfairly large sum to their ex-wife may head back to court.

“Irish law does not establish a right to a clean break,” said the Supreme Court. “However, it is a legitimate aspiration.”

The ruling came as the businessman was forced to buy his ex-wife a second home on top of the €1 million house that she was living in, according to the Independent.

The Irish Times reported that the court ruled against the ex-wife in part due to the fact that she showed no attempt to invest any of the money in any type of “wealth-producing activity.”

Cross-border custody battle ends in tragedy for father

Danny Dimm fought for five years to be part of his son’s life following a separation from his wife, and after finally getting custody, he died in a tragic logging accident, according to the Pioneer Press.

The news source reported that after Dimm fought his former wife for custody of his son for five years in the U.S. and Canada, a court in British Columbia finally granted him sole guardianship in July 2011.

He was given his five-year-old boy following an incident where his former spouse vanished with their son instead of allowing the four-month court-ordered visit that he was entitled to.

Bartell Dimm, the mother of the boy, ran away with the child in July, and wasn’t found until August, upon which she was promptly jailed. Ownership of his son was granted to Danny prior to when they discovered the mother hiding with their kid, according to the Press.

The unfortunate accident that claimed the life of Danny occurred less than two months after they were reunited for good, and after Bartell had delayed the meeting of the father and son more than a year and a half, according to The Globe and Mail.

“He was always focused on what was best for his son,” Danny Dimm’s lawyer told the news source. “He wanted his child safe, he wanted to give his child a normal upbringing.”

Single dad households on the rise in US

While most single-parent households in the U.S. are primarily lead by women, there is a rapidly increasing number of single fathers in the nation who are juggling the responsibilities of working and raising a child on their own, according to the Contra Costa Times.

Although 2009 statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau reports that only 17.4 percent of custodial parents in the nation were men, the number is steadily rising. For instance, the newspaper reports that the number of single dads has increased 28 percent over the past decade while the number of single mothers declined for the first time since 1970.

“Many years ago, family courts would be reticent to award custody to the father even in the face of the mother having some issues,” Hans Johnson, of the Public Policy Institute of California, told the newspaper. “Today, fathers are expected to take on more child-rearing responsibilities than they were 30 years ago.”

In addition, a 2006 survey from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers members found that 22 percent of attorneys noticed an increase in cases where a father wins sole child custody, while none reported noticing a similar growth among mothers.

Some states have instituted new policies encouraging 50-50 child custody. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam recently signed legislation that requires family court judges to make custody decisions that maximize the presence of both parents in a child’s life.

Supreme Court discriminates against fathers

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the son of an American man and Mexican woman who was born in Tijuana is not entitled to U.S. citizenship, a law that many believe unfairly discriminates on the basis of gender, according to multiple reports.

Read the MensRights.com article “Gender Discrimination Law Upheld by Supreme Court.”

The court upheld a decision by a federal appeals court that denied citizenship to 36-year-old Ruben Flores-Villar in 2008.

The nation’s highest court was split four-to-four on the decision after Justice Elana Kagan recused herself, meaning the lower court’s decision was automatically upheld.

Flores-Villar’s parents were unmarried when he was born in Mexico, but he was largely raised by his American father in California. Federal law states that children born outside of the U.S. to an unmarried American parent are considered American citizens at birth only if the parent lived in the U.S. before the child was born.

However, the law says American mothers can transfer citizenship to their child after living in the states for a full year, while a man must prove he has lived in the U.S. for five full years after age 14. Because Flores-Villar’s father was 16 at his birth, the California court ruled that he is not a citizen.

Flores-Villar argued the policy is unlawful because there are major differences in its treatment of men and women.

However, the New York Times reports the court ruled against Flores-Villar, claiming it is constitutional to make it more difficult for a father to pass on citizenship since it is harder to confirm his relationship to the child.

Child custody laws in the U.S. also generally favor the mother, even if she is legally married to the father. Women receive primary guardianship of a child in about 70 percent of child custody cases, while less than 10 percent of all cases award primary custody to the father.

Japan may join international child custody pact

Japan is moving towards joining an international child custody convention, which will likely benefit American fathers who have had their children taken to the Asian country by Japanese mothers.

The Associated Press reports that Japanese law allows for only one parent to have child custody in divorce cases, and that parent is almost always the mother. Due to this, Japanese mothers in America can abscond with their children to Japan, leaving the American father with few options for seeing his kids.

Government spokesman Tetsuro Fukuyama said that a number of ministers have approved the move to join the 1980 Hague Convention on international abduction. However, joining the convention will still need to be approved by parliament.

“The United States is encouraged by the serious consideration that the government of Japan is currently giving this issue, and we look forward to Japan reaching a positive decision to ratify the Hague Convention as soon as possible,” the American embassy in Japan said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal reports that there were about 100 Japanese-American child custody disputes as of January of this year.