Archive for September, 2014

Woman, infant son die in apparent murder-suicide

Posted on September 5, 2014. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

August 19th, 2014

A woman in her 30s jumped to her death from the roof of her apartment building in Tokyo after apparently killing her 7-month-old son, police said Tuesday.

According to police, the woman’s husband returned home from work at around 8 p.m. Monday and found the body of his wife lying beside the car park of their apartment complex in Kokubunji. TV Asahi reported that the man called police and then discovered the body of his 7-month-old son lying on a futon in their second-floor apartment.

Police said that both mother and son were taken to hospital but confirmed dead on arrival.

Police believe the mother killed the child and then went up to the roof of the building and jumped to her death.

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Noncustodial fathers protest unrealistic, unfair payments

Posted on September 5, 2014. Filed under: Child Custody and Visitation, fathers, Shared Parenting | Tags: , , , |

August 15th, 2014  Andrew Ozaki

LINCOLN, Neb. —His service to his country took away his leg, and now former Army Sgt. Ben Marksmeier said the state’s child custody and support laws are taking away his son.

“The only thing I was thinking about was my son, my unborn child, and then I come back only to have him ripped out of my life,” said Marksmeier.

Marksmeier and other noncustodial fathers told their emotional stories to a special commission looking into revising the state’s child support guidelines.

“I currently only see my child for four hours a month. Four hours,” said Marksmeier.

Legal Aid, an Omaha nonprofit organization, said payments for some parents are unrealistically high and don’t change or are slow to change if the person loses their job or their financial status changes. It places them in a rut they can’t climb out of.

“They are incredibly broken and ashamed. And when they are broken and ashamed, it interferes with their relationships with their children,” said Muirne Heaney, an attorney for Legal Aid.

Noncustodial parents in Nebraska rank in the top 10 in paying child support but still owe $70 million in back payments. Child welfare advocates say their only concern is to make sure the basic needs of every child is met. Even those who can afford the payments said it’s about equal parenting time, though.

“If there were a way to trade money for time, believe me, I would be the first in that line,” said Eddy Santamaria, a noncustodial father.

The chair of the commission, Brad Ashford, agrees changes need to be made to allow more equal time for both parents.

“Let’s make sure the child support piece is right as well, so that when we think about equal parenting — the child support guidelines reflect the reality of daily life,” said Ashford.

That’s what Marksmeier and others are asking for.

“Fix this, so dads can be dads,” said Santamaria.

Read more:

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How Splitting Up Made Us Better Parents

Posted on September 5, 2014. Filed under: Divorce | Tags: , , |

8/19/2014 by Jessica Woodbury (Huffington Post)

My husband and I both come from families with parents who’ve been married for decades. Deciding to separate and then to divorce meant taking our children into a world we’d never experienced ourselves. More than anything else, we’ve both worried about them and how this will affect their lives.

The funny thing is that it hasn’t turned into the giant fiasco you might expect. It helps that our kids are still young and don’t think to ask us why. But what’s helped the most is that taking this step has made us into more involved and more centered parents, even if we’re no longer parenting together.

1. More Me Time. Before, I had a husband who worked long hours and no support system. I was more than a primary parent, I was a 99 percent parent. Splitting up and setting up a custody schedule has us both carving out just-for-kids time and just-for-me time. Now that I have Friday nights to myself I have the break I always craved as a stay-at-home parent.

I get three nights a week of undisturbed sleep. There are no errands to run. I can meet a friend for brunch without having to line up a sitter or order a kids meal for a small companion. Last week I even got a pedicure in the middle of the day just because I could. I pick the movies and the TV shows I watch. I can lay in bed and read all day.

It’s actually an adjustment to learn to live with a couple of days of open time. You can start up old hobbies. You can connect with friends.

But best of all, when you see your kids again a couple of days later, they are more beautiful and more precious than they were at the end of a long week. My energy is renewed, my patience is restored, and we’re all ready to enjoy each other.

2. Less Stress. I do all my parenting alone now, which is harder in a lot of ways. I won’t say it’s easy. Sometimes I don’t get to eat my own dinner until 10:00 p.m. But getting through those difficult hours after school and before bed are not so tough when you’re not already on edge.

I hadn’t realized just how much my misery in my marriage was weighing on me. There was always the question of when my husband would get home, what mood he’d be in, how we’d manage dinner, how we’d wade through the evening’s battles with the kids. If my husband was home, instead of managing something myself I would feel resentful if he wasn’t there to immediately step in and assist. I was causing a lot of my own pain and frustration.

Taking that out of the equation means a lot. After the kids go to bed I don’t have to deal with any anger or resentment at my spouse. I don’t have to face stony silences. We don’t avoid each other. There are no fights. It’s just a quiet evening for me to relax or clean up or take a bath. And it’s weird how much easier it is to get through a rough evening solo.

3. More Working Together. Now that there isn’t all this extra baggage of our own arguments and grudges, parenting together is a lot easier. We can talk about it clinically instead of getting upset in the heat of the moment. We can email back and forth. There aren’t any spontaneous blow ups. There isn’t any finger pointing or blaming.

If I notice the pack of diapers he bought isn’t the right size, I can just include a note about it in a weekly email about what’s going on, what the state of the laundry is, how they’ve been sleeping, etc. It’s a lot less loaded than the conversation would be if we had it together at the end of an exhausting day.

We’ve started to talk about disciplining strategies for our 5-year-old. We’re setting out a short list of rules we can consistently follow with consequences we’ve agreed upon. Dealing with these big issues has never been so easy.

Parenting alone may not be ideal but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Right now, I’m still working on finding my single parent mojo, but it’s not nearly as scary as I thought it would be.

This post originally appeared on Scary Mommy. See more of Jessica’s essays on Parenting & Divorce with Young Children.

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Actor Jason Patric Resumes Controversial Child Custody Trial

Posted on September 5, 2014. Filed under: Parental Alienation Syndrome, Shared Parenting | Tags: , , |

Los Angeles, CA –

Jason Patric, Actor, Activist and Founder of ‘Stand Up for Gus’, will be going back to court on Tuesday, September 2 to resume the trial that was erroneously aborted by the prior trial judge and directed to take place by the Court of Appeal, which was ruled in Jason’s favor.

“The visitation initially had been denied because Danielle Schreiber further appealed to the California Supreme Court. The California Supreme Court denied her request, so the Court of Appeal decision stands and the trial resumes on the issue of whether Jason can establish himself as the father under Family Code Section 7611, in that he held Gus out as his own son and received him into his home.” – Jason’s attorney, Fred Silberberg, said.

“After over two years of unending struggle that can’t be described, and having not seen my son Gus for 79 weeks, I finally have the trial I was denied thanks to my victory in the Appellate and the California Supreme Court. It begins September 2nd. It means everything. This day voices will be heard and we will have hope, care, love, and soon, VICTORY.” – Jason Patric said.

A number of celebrities have joined forces along with Jason to create and launch a PSA for the organization he founded in honor of his son, ‘Stand Up for Gus.’ Some celebrities in the PSA include: Brad Pitt, Chris Evans, Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Wright, Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg. All the celebrities in the campaign share in the PSA why they “Stand Up” for Gus and for all the children affected by parental alienation. The PSA will officially launch next week nationwide.

Actor & Activist, Jason Patric recently founded Stand Up For Gus, a non-profit organization raising awareness of the issue of parent alienation as a result of his devastating custody battle with his ex-girlfriend over his son Gus. The organization has raised over $200,000 since last October and their momentum is continuing to grow and recently gave $100,000 to Levitt & Quinn Family Law Firm in Los Angeles for them to provide legal assistance to local families. At Levitt & Quinn, the first two months were undertaken on a half-time basis while they worked to staff the project fully. As of June 1st, the project is full time and since the project’s inception in April 2014-29 parents have received legal assistance and 13 have received representation including brief service, preparation of paperwork and court appearances in custody, visitation and paternity cases.

Stand Up For Gus raises monetary support for alienated parents desperately trying to maintain a meaningful relationship with their children, and funds raised provide free legal representation to low-income families with limited resources struggling with costly custody battles. An advocate for shared parenting, Stand Up For Gus hopes to shed light on and reform our broken family court system.

Visit the Stand Up For Gus website at

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