Jan. 11, 2013
-- The Chicago Defender
has announced that Todd Cole, a leading account specialist at The Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving, Ltd., a national law firm focusing on fathers’ rights, has been named one of its “Men of Excellence” for 2013. Mr. Cole, a dedicated member of the law office team for 13 years, is a volunteer at the Fatherhood Educational Institute, in addition to being the proud father of two teenaged sons, Joshua and Jeremiah. In 2002, Mr. Cole embarked on a difficult four-year custody battle for his sons after both he and his wife decided that they wanted sole custody.
The Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving, Ltd. successfully secured Mr. Cole custody of his boys, despite the fact that his ex-wife was given residential custody throughout their entire legal ordeal, during which she worked erratic hours as a police officer. Prior to his divorce, Mr. Cole had been working a regular schedule and overseeing his sons’ well-being, picking them up from day care, providing their meals, and taking them shopping for necessities, while his ex-wife worked the midnight shift in her newfound career (previously she had been a banker).
"When I found out I’d been awarded joint custody, it felt like I had just won the lottery. Literally, I cried tears of joy… Now 14 and 17, my sons are both honor roll students. I think that’s proof I did a pretty good job.”
Today Mr. Cole brings the lessons he learned in his own custody struggles to meetings at the Fatherhood Educational Institute, where he discusses with other fathers the importance of male role models and how to improve relationships between children and fathers. He gives advice to men who are facing child custody struggles, and he enjoys helping a diverse group of men to survive and thrive while fighting for their children.
The Fatherhood Educational Institute (www.fatherhood-edu.org
) was founded by nationally renowned fathers’ rights advocate Jeffery M. Leving to promote positive fatherhood involvement in poverty stricken communities.
Every year for the past six years, “Men of Excellence” has recognized 50 African-American men in the Chicago area who have shown outstanding commitment to their communities in their daily lives. Mr. Cole will be honored on January 25th in a ceremony at the South Shore Cultural Center. For more information, call Jennifer Whiteside at (312) 296-3666.