When a family falls apart in the public eye, things tend to unravel quickly. Though Elizabeth Edwards once admitted to creating the image of a father she wanted her children to have, now she doesn't see John Edwards fit to raise their two minors. According to a CBS report, "Elizabeth is looking into whether the couple's 28-year-old daughter, Cate, can assume legal guardianship over their two youngest children, Jack and Emma." The mom of three (the Edwards lost their oldest son, Wade, in a 1996 car accident) is said to be making preparations in case she loses her battle with breast cancer. Do you think Elizabeth's custody wish should be granted, or does John as the dad have a right to raise his 10- and 12-year-old children?
Moms and dads may be handed pink slips or have their wages cut, but the price of raising children isn't necessarily cheaper. In this tough economic time more and more non-custodial parents are asking to have their child support payments reduced. A recent report said:
With the economic downturn hitting men harder than women — 9.8 versus 7.5 percent unemployment — and men comprising most noncustodial parents, many dads are finding themselves struggling to make child support payments that were based on incomes they no longer earn.
What's your opinion?
No matter how egalitarian people say they are, there's still an assumption that a woman's connection to her children is stronger — and perhaps more sacred — than a man's, and when a couple splits, she should naturally retain custody.
Rebekah Spicuglia understands the stigma of noncustodial motherhood all too well. She got pregnant when she was 18 and started taking classes at community college. Her husband, a restaurant worker who enjoyed staying at home and being around his family, didn't want to move when Spicuglia's educational ambitions landed her a spot at UC Berkeley. So she made the decision to move and leave her 3-year-old son Oscar with her husband. Now living in New York and divorced from Oscar’s father, she sees her son regularly and believes her decision was good for everyone involved. To hear what a psychologist has to say about the phenomenon and to weigh in yourself, read more
When it comes to child custody, moms tend to have an edge on the competition. Judges often find them more capable and sometimes, dads agree and settle for either joint custody or visitation rights. However, there are cases where a father fights tooth and bone for his offspring and can win the court's decision if he shows all the right stuff.
One couple came to the end of their marital road and both decided their three boys would be better off living with the mother. As the dad moved south for a job, the mama found herself refereeing wrestling matches, fighting migraines and suffering panic attacks. At the point of a mental breakdown, she relinquished custody and shipped the young lads off to their father where he would raise them into fine young men.
While some might see the mother's actions as selfish, others may say she put the children's needs before her own. Would you give up custody of your babies if you knew their father was a more competent parent?
The late King of Pop's mother, Katherine Jackson, has been granted temporary guardianship of his three children — Prince, 12, Paris, 11 and Prince Michael II, 7. The kids have been staying with their grandma (who will seek a permanent arrangement at a hearing on August 3) since their dad passed. While the musician was alive he stayed close with his 79-year-old mom, but was also public about his tumultuous relationship with his father, Joe. The couple are still married. Given this, do you think the court made the correct decision?
It's a devastating situation for all people involved. Focus On Children adoption agency placed 37 Samoan children with American families under false pretenses. Believing that their kids were coming to the United States for educational purposes, numerous Samoan parents were tricked into sending their offspring to America where unknowing adoptive parents took in the supposed "orphaned" tots and have been raising them as their own.
When the truth surfaced, one adoptive dad felt it was only right to return his daughter to her birth parents. Would you be able to bring yourself to make the same heart-wrenching decision?