Making Your Ex an Ally + Helping Your Kids Thrive after Divorce

[amazon asin=160882277X&template=thumbnail&chan=default]Guest 1: Judith Ruskay Rabinor, author of Befriending Your Ex after Divorce.
Topic: Making life better for you, your kids, and yes, your ex.
Issues: How to befriend your ex; the art of creating an ally from an opponent; when anger prevents befriending; how children benefit when exes cooperate.


[amazon asin=B006QZ789E&template=thumbnail&chan=default]Guest 2: Lisa Rene Reynolds, author of Parenting through Divorce .
Topic: Helping children thrive during and after the split.
Issues: Anticipating children’s emotions and reactions; practical advice to guide children through divorce while retaining a strong, healthy, caring environment.

Sexism in the Courtroom: What’s Good for the Goose Could Send the Gander to Jail

sexism in the courtroom is unacceptable--but common

Dear Mr. Dad: It seems like every time I turn on the TV there’s a story about welfare moms with nine kids who are collecting huge government checks, or deadbeat dads who have five kids with five different women and aren’t paying child support. I really resent that my tax dollars are paying for those kids and their mothers. Isn’t there something we can do to keep those men from getting women pregnant?

A: Do you really want to go down that road? Like you, most of us have heard the stories about women on welfare who keep having kids they can’t possibly support. And, like you, many of us have shaken our head and thought something along the lines of, “she shouldn’t be allowed to have any more kids.” But thinking that is usually as far as it goes. In my view, having children is a right, not a privilege. So the idea of actually preventing a woman from getting pregnant—even if she already has 9 kids—is abhorrent. It wasn’t all that long ago that many intellectually challenged (formerly known as “mentally retarded”) women were medically sterilized without their consent.

But what puzzles me is why the right to become a parent doesn’t seem to extend to men. After reading your email, I saw a news item about a case in Elyria, Ohio that tackles this issue head on. Here’s the story: Asim Taylor, 35, has fathered four children and hasn’t paid child support since 2009—he owes around $79,000. Of course, not knowing the exact circumstances (for example, Asim might have been incapacitated by illness and isn’t earning enough money to pay his obligations), we can’t make blanket statements about him. But let’s assume the worst: that he has the ability to pay yet simply refuses to do so. In cases like that, I’m okay with garnishing his wages, seizing tax returns, and doing whatever else it takes to get his attention.

Unfortunately, that’s not enough for Judge James Walther, who has forbidden Taylor from having any more children for five years—unless he can support the ones he already has.

This is what it sounds like to me: It’s okay for a woman to have as many children as she’d like to. Ditto for a guy who pays his bills but completely neglects his children. But it’s definitely not okay for a guy who can’t afford to pay child support but who might very well be an amazingly involved dad. In one of the great understatements of the decade, Taylor’s attorney says that Judge Walther is “overstepping.”
The judge’s ruling reinforces two completely absurd notions. First, that men are 100 percent responsible for contraception. Theoretically, if Taylor’s wife or girlfriend does get pregnant, she could choose between having an abortion or giving birth, which would send Taylor to jail. Second, that it’s a man’s money—rather than his capacity to love and nurture his children—that determines his fitness as a father.

I’m all for expecting high levels of personal responsibility from people. But by trying to legally impose a double standard, Judge Walther is doing a tremendous disservice to men by holding them to a higher standard than women. And he’s doing an equally tremendous disservice to women by treating them like hapless victims of men’s inability to keep their pants on instead of adults who have made conscious decisions about procreation. Having a baby takes two people—and both should be held responsible for supporting it.

Befriending Your Ex + Kids Thriving after Divorce + Remarried with Children + Talking about Sex

[amazon asin=160882277X&template=thumbnail&chan=default]Guest 1: Judith Ruskay Rabinor, author of Befriending Your Ex after Divorce.
Topic: Making life better for you, your kids, and yes, your ex.
Issues: How to befriend your ex; the art of creating an ally from an opponent; when anger prevents befriending; how children benefit when exes cooperate.


[amazon asin=B006QZ789E&template=thumbnail&chan=default]Guest 2: Lisa Rene Reynolds, author of Parenting through Divorce .
Topic: Helping children thrive during and after the split.
Issues: Anticipating children’s emotions and reactions; practical advice to guide children through divorce while retaining a strong, healthy, caring environment.


[amazon asin=0553382004&template=thumbnail&chan=default]Guest 3: Barbara LeBey, author of Remarried with Children .
Topic: 10 secrets for successfully blending and extending your family.
Issues: What are blended families? Debunking myths and misconceptions; learning how to navigate the stresses, anticipate the pitfalls, and build a brand new family that works for everyone.


[amazon asin=155704810X&template=thumbnail&chan=default]Guest 4: Debra Haffner, author of From Diapers to Dating.
Topic: Talking about sex.
Issues: Raising sexually healthy children from infancy through middle school.
Issues: identifying and communicating your values about sexuality; helping kids deal with the glut of sexual messages in the media; sensible strategies for teaching the facts of life; internet safety.

Divorced in Arizona? There’s a Vocabulary Test

Starting January 1, 2013, the state of Arizona is changing the terms of divorce—and that’s a good thing.
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Married Detroit Jdge Allegedly Slept with Child-Support Plaintiff, Let Her Help Choose Ex-Husband’s Sentence

Could it get any weirder than this? If you have any faith in the legal system–particularly when it comes to family law–you won’t after this.

From The Daily Caller.

A Wayne County, Michigan Circuit Court judge is on administrative leave following a report that he impregnated a woman who was a plaintiff in a child-support case before him, and allowed her to help choose the sentence he would impose on her ex-husband.

WJBK Fox-TV2 in Detroit reported that Judge Wade McCree Jr. carried on a lengthy affair with Geniene La’Shay Mott, who sued her ex-husband for child support, after the case was concluded.

“It went from being a summer fling and just something to do to falling in love, promises of marriage, me getting pregnant, us buying a house together, name it,” Mott told WJBK-TV.

Don’t miss the rest of this story — it only gets worse…

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Girls, Girls Everywhere and Not a Boy in Sight

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I have twin daughters, and are now expecting our third child–another daughter. I feel terrible about thinking this way, but when we found out the new arrival was going to be another girl, I was disappointed. It’s as though having a third daughter reduces my value as a man (I’m quite sure my in-laws, who were hoping for a boy this time ’round too, feel exactly the same way). This probably makes me sound like a terrible person, but I was really hoping for a jock. Is there anything I can do to move past this internal struggle?

A: The first thing you need to do is stop torturing yourself. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that shows that fathers of girls are any less masculine than fathers of boys (and I say that as a Marine Corps veteran with three daughters). Although most parents wouldn’t admit it in public, there’s a ton of research that shows that a majority of dads—and moms—do have a preference. And that preference is usually for a boy. Men often hope for boys because they aren’t quite sure what to do with girls. And women often hope for boys because they want their husband to be happy. After the first child, though, most parents say they want the next one to be the other sex. So you’re not alone.

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