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NPO Blog

Repairing Father-Daughter Relationships Post-Divorce

July 19, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

The excellent Linda Nielsen recently wrote this piece about fathers and daughters of divorce and what they can do to mend the relationship that, all too often, is damaged or destroyed by court orders and/or their violation by mothers (The Conversation, 7/10/17). In so doing, Nielsen, perhaps inadvertently, reveals much of the cultural zeitgeist on divorced dads and what they face when they’re kicked to the curb by mothers and courts.

In a 2002 study involving nearly 2,500 children, researchers found that daughters’ relationships with their fathers were more damaged than sons’. What’s more, estranged daughters are more likely than estranged sons to suffer negative effects from the damaged relationship.

 

Family Bridges Again: A Father and Daughter Healed

July 17, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Cara Tabachnick’s scurrilous hatchet job on the Family Bridges reunification program naturally included the story of a family whose children weren’t helped by the workshop and now criticize it. As with most of Tabachnick’s piece, that’s only part of the story. The other part, as told to me by Dr. Deirdre Rand of Family Bridges, is that the program actually worked well for the Jeu children, but the judge in the case returned custody to the alienator too quickly and the children relapsed.

It’s interesting that, out of hundreds of families who’ve taken part in Family Bridges over the years, Tabachnick chose to highlight one that actually had been helped. It’s almost as if those who haven’t been helped are few and far between. But she managed to make the Jeu family appear to be one of those, so, in closing my series on Family Bridges, I thought I’d offer a true story about an actual family whose experience with Family Bridges contrasts sharply with Tabachnick’s.

 

Erin W. Case, Part Two: Silliness About Genetic Testing, Shared Parenting

July 16, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Continuing from Friday’s post on the Erin W. case out of Nebraska.

The trial court and the Nebraska Supreme Court found a way to deny genetic testing to a mother, Charissa W. who wanted to find out whether her ex-husband is the father of her daughter. They’re better acquainted with Nebraska law than I am, so I’ll assume they’re correct on the law.

But the decision raises the obvious question “Why would we ever not want to know who the father of a child is?” For the life of me, I can’t come up with a single reason. The closest I can get is that, as in Erin’s case, the man who’s been acting as dad may not be the actual dad and yet the child believes he is. Learning that he’s not could lead to upset on the child’s part.

 

Nebraska Supreme Court: No DNA Testing to Rebut Presumption of Legitimacy

July 14, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

This Nebraska Supreme Court ruling appears to be right on the law, but there’s little else about it to content us. Indeed, about the only thing positive about the case is the behavior of the father, Erin W., who, by the way, may not be the father at all.

Erin and Charissa got married while she was pregnant. She says she told Erin the child may not be his, but, whether she did or not, Erin took up the duties of fatherhood for the child. He apparently did so enthusiastically and well. Even Charissa admitted that he’s a good father and the child views him as her father.

 

Massachusetts: Whither Alimony Reform?

July 13, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

They could ask me. I’d provide a straightforward, easy and fair way out of their dilemma.

But so far the Massachusetts Legislature hasn’t called and so they’re stuck (Boston Globe, 7/9/17). It’s all about the alimony reform law that became effective in 2011. Prior to that, the Bay State had one of the worst alimony laws in the country. Countless ex-husbands were supporting ex-wives literally until their dying breath. Sometimes for decades, men were supporting able-bodied women who could no longer be bothered to give them the time of day and were of course not contributing to the economy of the state.


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