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As a Nurse Amid COVID-19, How Can I Protect My Parental Rights?

As a Nurse Amid COVID-19, How Can I Protect My Parental Rights?

Question:

As a nurse amid COVID-19, how can I protect my parental rights?

Answer:

Michigan attorney
Jeffrey Worosz

I am only licensed in Michigan, so my answer may vary from the particular state that you reside in.

Until recently, being a nurse would not have much of an effect on custody and did not put a parent at risk for losing custody. The only issue with such a career, would have been the unconventional work hours nurses can have. However, the COVID-19 situation has certainly changed that since some parents will use whatever they can to their advantage in a custody battle. They also may be overly concerned about the safety of their children.

Making matters worse is a recent national news story, where judge in Florida stripped an emergency room doctor of her parenting time due to concerns over COVID-19, which undoubtedly emboldened some parents to seek to do the same. 

The best way to protect yourself and reduce the chance that a judge can do this is with strong evidence to show that your career has not created a danger for your children. Displaying evidence that you are not infected is necessary. It is hard for the court to say you are a danger if you do not have the virus.

Beyond that, it also is helpful to show the court what the realistic risks of contracting the virus are. Obviously, working as a nurse the risks would be higher than a parent that is working from home and not leaving their house, but that does not mean you have a 100 percent chance of contracting COVID-19.

A nurse can show that they are not at risk by noting what kind of safety precautions they use at work, how often they are tested at work, the extent of their possible exposure to COVID-19 at work, and any other measures that are taken to reduce risk. Showing the court that you are more aware than the average parent about exposure and protection will help show them that you are cognizant of the risks and are working to minimize them.

Another issue results from the misinformation and constantly evolving facts about the virus. Nurses and other medical professionals also come into contact with all sorts of illnesses by virtue of their job. Only recently, with the COVID-19 pandemic, has one’s profession become an excuse for parties to try and restrict their parenting time.

Working in the medical field, having access to more accurate information can be beneficial. If your hospital provides updates and information regularly to its employees, you can use that information to your advantage. Most judges and attorneys do not have backgrounds in the medical field and need to be educated as well from solid sources that can be trusted, such as hospitals and medical professionals. That information can allow the court to make a more informed decision regarding parenting time.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Michigan divorce lawyer Jeffrey Worosz, contact Cordell & Cordell.

The post As a Nurse Amid COVID-19, How Can I Protect My Parental Rights? appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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Free Webinar: Can the Coronavirus Affect Custodial Rights? How Divorces and Parenting Time May Be Impacted

Free Webinar: Can the Coronavirus Affect Custodial Rights? How Divorces and Parenting Time May Be Impacted

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has resulted in a period of confusion and uncertainty about what lies ahead.

Unfortunately, if you are a dad
going through divorce, those worries are all the more pronounced. Certainly, as
a father, your primary concern is for the health and well-being of your family.
You might also have questions about how the virus affects your right to spend time
with your children.

DadsDivorce sponsor Cordell & Cordell is hosting a free webinar at 1 p.m. CT on Thursday, March 26, that will cover “Can the Coronavirus Affect Custodial Rights? How Divorces and Parenting Time May Be Impacted.”

The webinar will be hosted by
Cordell & Cordell divorce lawyers who will address your concerns about how
COVID-19 is impacting your divorce and your rights as a father.

The webinar will cover a range of
topics concerning divorced dads such as:

  • Tips to keep your kids safe and healthy.
  • Child custody issues such as coordinating
    custody exchanges while quarantined.
  • The financial impact of COVID-19 such as what to
    do if you can no longer make your alimony or child support payments.
  • How to move forward with your divorce if family
    courts are not open due to the virus.

Cordell & Cordell divorce attorneys will review these topics and more during the complimentary “Can the Coronavirus Affect Custodial Rights? How Divorces and Parenting Time May Be Impacted” webinar. “After viewing this webinar you will be better informed so you can make educated decision to help keep you and your family safe.

Fill out my Wufoo form!

The post Free Webinar: Can the Coronavirus Affect Custodial Rights? How Divorces and Parenting Time May Be Impacted appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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legal rights for women during divorce

11 Legal Rights for Women During Divorce

legal rights for women during divorce

 

If you are going through a divorce, or are about to go through a divorce, you have many important legal rights. The Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as the laws of many states, guarantee you a number of rights and protections.

Your ex-spouse may try to “run you through the wringer.” However, you have legal rights, which can prevent him from doing that. Some of the many legal rights, which frequently arise in divorce cases, include:

11 Legal Rights for Women During Divorce

The right to notice and opportunity for a hearing 

The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution says that no state can deprive you of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. The Supreme Court has held that this means that, before a court takes any action against you, the court has to notify you, and the court has to give you an opportunity to present your argument in court. Thus, a court cannot grant your ex-spouse a divorce, or make any ruling regarding custody, visitation, property division, or alimony, without first notifying you and giving you an opportunity to respond.

The right to a neutral decision-maker

The Supreme Court has also held that the “due process” clause guarantees you the right to a judge who is neutral. Thus, if you have a judge who is biased (for example, is your ex-spouse’s relative or friend) then you have the right to ask that the judge recuse himself from your case.

The right to file your divorce petition for free, if you can’t afford the filing fee

Most states require you to pay a filing fee when you file your divorce petition. But, in Boddie v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court ruled that the state cannot deny you the right to a divorce if you can’t afford to pay the filing fee. So, if you want to file for divorce and can’t afford to pay the fee, ask the court clerk for a “pauper’s affidavit” which will allow you to file for free.

The right to remarry someone of another race

In Palmore v. Sidoti, the mother, who was white, divorced her husband, and obtained custody of their three-year-old daughter. The mother then remarried an African-American. The trial court then changed custody of the child to the father; the trial court held that, because of the “social consequences of interracial marriage,” it was not in the child’s best interests to grow up in a household with a stepfather of a different race.

The Supreme Court reversed the trial court. The Supreme Court ruled that the trial court could not take the race of the stepparent into consideration when awarding custody. The mother had the constitutional right to marry anyone regardless of race. So, it the mother married interracially, the trial court could not penalize the mother for her marriage, by removing the child from her custody.

The right to custody of your children if your ex-spouse dies

The Supreme Court has stated that, if your ex-spouse dies, the state must return your children to you, unless a court rules that you are an unfit parent. A court cannot rule that you are an unfit parent unless the court first gives you notice and a hearing.

In many states, you cannot be denied custody simply because you are a woman

In much of the nineteenth century, the husband was considered the “head and master” of the household, and the husband would automatically obtain custody of the children when the parties divorced. Then, in the late nineteenth century, many states changed their laws and created the “tender years doctrine,” which held that courts were to prefer the mother in child custody cases.

Since the 1970s, many states have passed laws stating that the predominant consideration in custody cases is the “best interests of the child,” and that a court may not prefer to award custody to either parent because of the gender of that parent. The Supreme Court, however, has not yet ruled on this issue, and the laws vary from state to state. It would be wise to consult an experienced family attorney to see what the law in your state says on this issue.

If a third-party, who is not a parent, seeks visitation with your child, the court must give your decision “special weight.”

In Troxel v. Granville, the Supreme Court held that parents have a “fundamental right … to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children.” Troxel held that a consequence of this right is, if someone other than a parent seeks visitation with a child, the court must give the parent’s decision “special weight.” This holding often comes into play when grandparents seek visitation.

This does not mean, however, that a court may never award visitation to a non-parent. The Supreme Court did not specify exactly how much weight a trial court must give to a parent’s decision; the Court said, “We do not, and need not, define today the precise scope of the parental due process right in the visitation context.” However, Troxel makes clear that a court may not award visitation to a non-parent simply because the court believes visitation would be in the child’s best interests.

The right to have your case heard in a state with which you have some contact

In general, you must have some contact with a state, in order for a court of that state to have jurisdiction to hear your case. The state in which your case may be heard depends in part on the issues being adjudicated.

Granting of a divorce – which state may hear the case?

A court may grant a divorce decree if either spouse resides in the state where the petition is filed. Thus, if your husband files a divorce petition in his state of residence, the court may grant him a divorce decree even if you have no connection with the state. See Williams v. North Carolina. However, the court may not adjudicate financial issues, or custody issues, unless you have some type of contact with the state.

Adjudication of financial issues – which state may hear the case?

The Supreme Court has held that, in a divorce case, a court may not adjudicate financial issues (for example property division and alimony) unless the defendant has “minimum contacts” with the state. In Kulko v. Superior Court, the father, who lived in New York, bought his daughter a one-way plane ticket to California, where the girl’s mother lived. The mother then filed a motion in a California court. In the motion, Mother asked the California court to modify Father’s financial obligations which had been entered in the original divorce decree.

Father’s only connection with California was that he had bought his daughter a one-way plane ticket to go there. The Supreme Court held that Father’s buying his daughter an airline ticket to California was not enough to give a California court jurisdiction to rule on financial issues related to the divorce. In the Supreme Court’s view, Father did not have minimum contacts with California.

The Supreme Court has not precisely defined “minimum contacts”, and the law on minimum contacts is highly complex and takes up the space of many law school lectures and textbooks. However, other Supreme Court cases have said that in order to have minimum contacts with a state, a person must have “purposefully avail[ed] [her]self of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum State,” and “the defendant’s conduct and connection with the forum State [must be] such that he should reasonably anticipate being haled into court there.”

So, in order for a court to have jurisdiction to rule on financial issues in your divorce case, you must have purposefully availed yourself of conducting activities with the state, and your conduct and connection with the state must be such that you should reasonably anticipate being haled into court there. (The Supreme Court has also held that, if you do not have “minimum contacts” with a state, a court of that state may still hear financial issues in your divorce case, if you are served with the summons when you are present in the state.)

Adjudication of child custody and visitation – which state may hear the case?

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) governs the venue for child custody decisions. The UCCJEA is state law, not federal law, but, because all fifty states have adopted the UCCJEA, then your rights under the UCCJEA are similar anywhere in the country. The UCCJEA is highly complex, and cannot be fully discussed here. However, to sum it up, the UCCJEA says that a court may not make a child custody determination unless at least one of the following is true:

  • The state is the child’s home state on the date the case was filed or was the child’s home state less than six months before the case was filed, but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in the state; or
  • No other state has jurisdiction, or a court of the child’s home state has declined to exercise jurisdiction, and
  1. The child and the child’s parents, or the child and at least one parent or person acting as a parent, have a significant connection with the state other than physical presence, and
  2. Substantial evidence is available in the state concerning the child’s care, protection, training, and personal relationships.
  • All courts of states having jurisdiction have declined to exercise jurisdiction; or
  • No court of any other state has jurisdiction under the above criteria; or
  • An emergency exists.

Also, if any court has made a child custody determination, that court has “continuing, exclusive jurisdiction” over any future cases involving custody of the child. “Continuing, exclusive jurisdiction” means that no other court may modify or change the child’s custody decree unless a court determines that the child, the child’s parents, and any person acting as a parent do not currently reside in the state.

NOTE: The above description only scratches the surface of the UCCJEA. There are other provisions of the UCCJEA that may allow, or not allow, to hear your particular case. If you have further questions about the UCCJEA, consult an attorney.

Know Your Rights and Protect Them!

If you are in the process of a divorce, and you believe that a court has violated any of your rights mentioned in this article, speak up and assert your rights. Your ex-husband may want to trample on you, but courts and legislatures have determined that you have the constitutional right not to be trampled on.

The post 11 Legal Rights for Women During Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Do Stepparents Have Child Custody Rights or Child Visitation Rights After a Texas Divorce?

Do Stepparents Have Child Custody Rights or Child Visitation Rights After a Texas Divorce?

Originally published by stark.

Stepparents play a very important role in a child’s life. According to the most recent report from The Step Family Foundation, over 50 percent of U.S. families are recoupled. As blended families are becoming more and more common, this raises an important question: Do stepparents have any custody or visitation rights to their stepchildren after a divorce? The answer: “sometimes”—but those rights are limited and they are not automatic. Here, our Dallas child custody attorneys provide an overview of the key things that you need to know about step-parent rights after a divorce.

Texas Law: Step-Parents are ‘Interested Third Parties’

 Stepparents are not granted any automatic child custody or child visitation rights. Unlike a child’s biological parents, there is no assumption of parental rights. Instead, state law views stepparents as being “interested third parties.” Practically speaking, this means that a stepparent’s custody or visitation rights are similar to a child’s aunt, uncle, or another semi-close relative.

To be clear, stepparents have the right to petition for visitation with their stepchildren after a divorce. While it is often difficult to get court-ordered visitation rights over the objections of the child’s parent(s), it is legally possible. Should a dispute arise over step-parent visitation/custody, Texas courts will resolve issues under the state’s ‘best interests of the child’ standard (Texas Family Code § 153.002).

 How Our Child Custody Attorneys Can Help

 Stepparent custody and visitation cases are especially complicated. At Orsinger, Nelson, Downing and Anderson, LLP, we have the unique skills, experience, and training needed to help guide parents and stepparents through the legal process. With more than 100,000 attorneys practicing in Texas, there is no other law firm that has as many Top 100 Super Lawyers as we do. When you reach out to our firm, you will get a top-rated Texas child custody lawyer who will:

  • Conduct a confidential, in-depth review of your stepparent custody/visitation case;
  • Listen to your story, answer your questions, and devise a sensible strategy;
  • Look for mutually agreeable solutions that resolve conflict at the lowest possible level; and
  • Take whatever legal action is necessary to protect your rights and your family.

We know that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions in family law—especially when children are involved. Our custody & visitation lawyers provide each and every parent with the fully personalized legal assistance that they deserve. Our goal is to help you find an effective and low conflict resolution that works for you and your family. At the same time, we are trial-tested family law litigators. Our lawyers are always prepared to take aggressive action to protect your parental rights.

 Discuss Your Case with Our Texas Child Custody Lawyers Today

At Orsinger, Nelson, Downing and Anderson, LLP, our compassionate Texas child custody lawyers are experienced, effective advocates for parents. If you have any questions about stepparent rights, we can help. To schedule a strictly confidential initial consultation, please call us at (214) 273-2400 or contact us directly online. From our offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Frisco, we represent parents throughout North Texas.

The post Do Stepparents Have Child Custody Rights or Child Visitation Rights After a Texas Divorce? appeared first on ONDA Family Law.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.

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relationship with a narcissist

15 Rights You’ll Give Up In a Relationship With a Narcissist

relationship with a narcissist

 

The following is a list of basic rights that should always be present in any relationship, but are missing in a relationship with a narcissist.

What you will get in a relationship with a narcissist, however, is emotional abuse. That’s what narcissists do; they emotionally abuse others to get their needs met.

Victims of emotional abuse are unsure if their experience can be justifiably defined as emotional abuse. Simply put, emotional abuse can be defined as any kind of behavior that is meant to subjugate or control another person by using humiliation, fear, and verbal assaults.

It can be as obvious as constant criticism and verbal abuse or as subtle as manipulation, intimidations, and consistently being impossible to please. It works as a form of brainwashing, tearing away at a person’s levels of self-confidence, self-worth, their trust in their perceptions, and their general sense of self. It can be done through belittling, constant berating, or intimidation. Sometimes, it can be hidden and disguised as advice, teaching, or guidance.

If you have experienced emotional abuse from a narcissist, it is okay for you to feel like you deserve better. It’s also okay to not know what better is, or what you deserve.

The following list is not only rights you give up in a relationship with a narcissist, but they are also rights you’ll have when in a healthy relationship.

15 Rights You’ll Give Up in a Relationship With a Narcissist

1. The right to receive emotional support.

2. The right to make your own choices without fear of judgment or criticism.

3. The right to feel as though your partner has nothing but good intentions towards you.

4. The right to receive encouragement from your partner.

5. The right to not fear rage or any other form of angry outburst from your partner.

6. The right to not fear your partner blaming you or accusing you of things.

7. The right to be called only names that you approve of.

8. The right to have your own views and opinions, even if they differ from your partner’s.

9. The right to be asked to do things instead of ordered by your partner.

10. The right to not fear physical threats or emotional harm from your partner.

11. The right to receive concise answers that deliver clear information on any matter that is of any legitimate concern of yours.

12. The right to feel as though your personal experiences and the things that you feel are real and valid.

13. The right to feel heard by your partner and communicated with on a polite and equal level.

14. The right to resolve any conflicts and receive a genuine apology for jokes that hurt or offend you.

15. The right to feel as though your hobbies, interests, and work are respected.

It is common for those who’ve been in a relationship with a narcissist to have a warped view of what they deserve from a relationship. If you believe you deserve negative treatment, you’re more likely to find yourself in a position where you’ll end up in another emotionally abusive relationship.

The list above should cement, in your mind and heart what you are deserving of in a relationship. Your road to recovery from narcissistic abuse begins with how you feel about yourself.

Do you believe you are worthy of better treatment?

Do you believe you are worthy of value and respect?

Do you treat yourself kindly and desire the same from others?

If you answered yes to those questions, with the list above and the knowledge that you deserve better, you’re well on your road to recovery.

If those questions tripped you up, if you aren’t in a healthy place as far as self-esteem, I’ve gifted you a list of what you deserve, not only from yourself but a relationship partner. Now, take that list and go get to work on healing your damaged self-esteem.

The post 15 Rights You’ll Give Up In a Relationship With a Narcissist appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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if you abandon your child

If You Abandon Your Children, I Don’t Want To Hear About Your “Father’s Rights”

if you abandon your child

 

A couple of years ago the Huffington Post ran an article the day before Father’s Day that got the Father’s Rights guys a bit upset. But when a woman writes an article about a less than perfect father those guys normally respond with dismissal, disdain, and disregard so that was no big surprise

In their mind, if you say something unpleasant about one father you have offended every father. And, they love to make excuses for deadbeat or absent fathers and that excuse normally runs along the lines of, “its all moms fault.”

One comment caught my attention due to its astounding show of immaturity and it’s representation of how I feel some men attached to the Father’s Rights movement respond to divorce and custody issues.

I had printed out the comment and came across it again while Marie Kondoing my house. It still, to this day has the same impact on me.

“Divorce court is a woman’s court. Your man bailed out is probably just like me, it is far better for the children for the father to disappear than to be used as a punching bag by the mother, courts, society, and in the end, the children.”

Granted the grammar is bad but if you try hard you can make sense of it. Evidently, this comment was made by a father who has chosen to “bail” on his children, as did the father who was the subject of the Huffington Post article.

If You Abandon Your Children You Have NO Excuse!

What I find astonishing is the reason the commenter has bailed. He didn’t want to be used as a punching bag by the mother, the courts or society. I had no idea until I read that, that paternal instinct, fathering and loving one’s children was depended upon a mother’s actions, the court’s actions or the actions of society.

No one forced him to leave his children. Nothing happened to cause him to lose his role as a father. He may have had divorce forced upon him along with a custody agreement he wasn’t happy with but, really, is that any reason to choose to no longer father your children?

It’s like saying, “you people were mean to me so I’m taking daddy away from my children.” The guy actually punished his children by withdrawing from them as a father for something someone else did to him. And, in his mind, he thinks he has done his children a favor.

Why can’t I wrap my mind around this justification? Probably because it is irrational and totally out of touch with what his children needed from him REGARDLESS of how difficult he found it to remain in their lives.

Plus, in my experience with divorce, I’ve known of the inability of the Family Court system to deal appropriately with the issues of divorce, custody and all things related BUT, at no time have I formed the belief that that was any reason to bail on my child.

The Problem With the Father’s Rights Movement:

Their seedy underbelly is too vocal and in being so they reflect poorly on the Father’s Rights movement and men who don’t abandon children for any reason. There is a small fringe of this movement that has declared war on women and children and that fringe keeps those who are truly concerned about their rights as fathers from being taken seriously.

Nothing will change in our dysfunctional Family Court until mothers and fathers work together to change the system. As long as some members of the Father’s Rights movement insist on accusing women of victimizing them via the court system and excuse each other for abandoning their children, women and mothers will have no interest in working with them in any capacity.

If men want shared or 50/50 custody of their children they are more likely to change custody laws if they are working in union with women and mothers, not blaming them but working with them. Men, women, and children are harmed during divorce. A lot of that harm comes from a system that is in dire need of reform. That reform isn’t going to take place if fringe elements of angry men are allowed to continue to spew venom and anger from their keyboards.

Let’s face it, as parents, we can’t get what we all want for our children, what is in their best interest until we all come together and stop blaming each other.

The post If You Abandon Your Children, I Don’t Want To Hear About Your “Father’s Rights” appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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