Child Custodyrefers to the legal right and responsibility to raise a minor child and to make decisions. The parent a child normally lives with, and the one who makes legal decisions concerning the child, is called the custodial parent, usually the mother. Though every state has laws which forbid discrimination based on gender, these are often ignored in the world of family courtrooms across America.
As a specialist in cross-border child custody disputes who has provided expert testimony on parental kidnapping for 15 years, Mauren Dabbagh is not only well-versed professionally, but she also has a personal connection to the issue.
Dabbagh’s daughter was abducted and taken to the Middle East by her ex-husband. She had no communication with her daughter for 17 years until they were reunited in 2010.
In her 15 years handling parental kidnapping cases both professionally and personally, Dabbagh said she has seen the country’s "antiquated" and "barbaric" laws demonize the male gender by reducing men to "sperm banks and child support checks."
That unfortunately popular and destructive mentality and the growing dynamic of "abusive apologetics" are featured in Dabbagh's book, "Parental Kidnapping in America: An Historical and Cultural Analysis."
Fathers Rights To Visitation Question:
My ex-wife and I live on different coasts of the country. We are expected to split transportation costs when my children come live with me for several weeks a few times a year.
Obviously it is not cheap, and my ex-wife is refusing to make travel arrangements because she said she cannot afford the travel expenses. So I agreed to pay the full costs this one time, but now she is saying I cannot come to where she lives and take the children. I think she is hiding behind the transportation costs as a way to deny my visitation rights to see my children.
Can I bring the court order with me and show the law enforcement in her state that it is my right to have the children during my parenting time? Will one state's law enforcement abide by and support a court order entered in another state? How are fathers rights protected in these instances?
It's not uncommon for a grandparent's access to their grandchildren to be thwarted by divorce and even family disputes. The issue of grandparents' rights to visitation was recently heard by the Alabama Supreme Court in a case where the grandparents’ rights were declined even when the grandchild's parents were still married.
The married couple denied the grandparents' access to the child on account of a business dispute. The grandparents sued for regular access to the grandchildren and successfully won visitation rights.
Japan is called "a black hole" where once abducted children enter, they never return. No one knows this painful reality better than Paul Toland, a left-behind parent whose daughter, Erika, was abducted to Japan in 2003 and has been held there since.
Toland is a commander in the U.S. Navy, has testified before Congress (pictured) on this issue, and co-founded the organization Bring Abducted Children Home, which is dedicated to the immediate return of internationally abducted children who are being wrongfully detained in Japan.
He talked with MensRights.com editor Matt Allen about his organization, his thwarted attempts to see his daughter, and why the United States continues to tolerate this type of behavior from Japan.
Fathers Rights Question:
My wife and I are currently separated, but the divorce has not been finalized, and she is denying my visitation rights to my children.
We have no child custody agreement and no child support agreement, however I have been paying her money for the past year. This past month I didn't have money to pay her so she has denied me from seeing my kids until I pay her.
Since there is no court order in place regarding child support or my visitation rights as a father, what are my options to see my children?
All children need two parents in their lives even if their parents are divorced. This concept of the importance of shared parenting is not lost on Washington State Sen. Jim Kastama, who is known as the Washington Legislature’s leading advocate for shared parenting and recently announced he is running for Washington's Secretary of State.
He also was invited on stage at a Blue October concert in Seattle (watch the YouTube clip) drumming up support within the crowd to allow divorced dads more access to their children. You can learn more about Jim and his efforts for shared parenting by visiting the website JimKastama.com.
A bill in Utah would amend the state's child custody laws by adding an anti-discrimination clause to the custody statute.
Utah legislators have apparently realized the discrimination faced by men and fathers every day in family law courtrooms must stop and will now to need to make a law over something that should seem so obvious: you can't discriminate against someone based on gender.
The Hague Convention is a treaty between countries that agree to cooperate and abide by one set of laws - the Hague Convention - for the return of children removed from their home country in custody disputes.
The Hague is implemented in the United States, though not every country has joined the Hague Convention. There are several articles of the Hague Convention, but this article only pertains to the procedures and time of the removal.
A previous men's rights article discussed a lawsuit filed on behalf of fathers rights after a welfare agency placed children in foster care rather than let them live with their fathers.
Both dads were active, involved fathers who shared child custody with the children's mother. They argued their children should have immediately been sent to live with them after they were removed from their mothers' care because of neglect.
Judith Sandalow, executive director of the Children's Law Center, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the dads whose rights were ignored.
Sandalow (pictured) discussed the lawsuit and the work being done at Children's Law Center with MensRights.com editor Matt Allen.
A father from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has won an international child custody case that could reunite the man with his daughter in time for Christmas, The Associated Press reported.
The young girl is currently living in Japan with her mother, Emiko Inoue, who recently pleaded no contest to interfering with child custody in Milwaukee County Circuit Court and agreed to return Karina Garcia to Wisconsin, according to the news outlet.
Because of Japan's lack of membership in an international compact on child abduction, the girl's return to Wisconsin represents a landmark case for children taken to the Asian nation and returned with legal intervention.