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single parenting: blonde woman in blue top pouting

Single Parenting: Do We Ever Stop Feeling Guilty?

single parenting: blonde woman in blue top pouting

 

The beauty of life, while we cannot undo what is done, we can see it, understand it, learn from it and change so that every new moment is spent not in regret, guilt, fear or anger but in wisdom, understanding, and love.

Single parent or not, I don’t think there is a space that exists that guilt doesn’t somehow find its way into the psyche of your day. We never feel like we are enough on the best of days.

Single Parenting

But single parents have a unique extra shoulder that sits on them like the yoke on an Ox because they must be so many people at once. If you need to please your child, your job may suffer. If you need to please your work, your children may suffer. If you need to please yourself, well…that’s a rare occasion and one that usually doesn’t even register on the totem pole of the priorities of your life.

We check off the boxes of the laundry list of chores that need to be done each day. Chores that reflect everything from just waking up to getting breakfast in your children’s tummies, to getting dressed, to checking that their homework is in the backpacks tucked alongside their lunches.

You make sure you are out the door not a minute past 7:20 am or you will hit the swath of traffic on Western Avenue that will slow you down and get you last in line for the drop off to the first of the two schools your kids attend.

As you drive you pray, they get there on time and are not subject to being tardy.

After doing the proverbial school drop-offs, you swing by McDonald’s for your first cup of desperately needed coffee which is also part of the timing game. Get there too late and you sit-in line and then you are late for work.

As you drive to work traversing over the bridges, sipping your cup of Joe, you feel yourself getting reacquainted with a moment of control.

It is only you in the car as you say your positive affirmations to yourself …” I intend on having a calm and confident day!” … “I am successful beyond my wildest dreams!” And so, it is as the day progresses.

You literally feel like you have already lived 6 hours of your day before it has even begun.

What did my children learn from me?

Did they see the guilt I lived with every day?

Did they feel responsible for any of the guilt that I imposed on myself and yet, picked up by them?

As I look at them now at the ages of 24 and 20, I see that indeed some of it has rubbed off on them.

I had written an article earlier about the comments of my children after I had interviewed them about their experiences with divorce. I asked the following question which gave me insight. This was what my son’s answer was.

If you could have any wish now as an adult of a divorced family what would that wish be?

 “I wish I handled it better and didn’t manifest resentments or anxieties that should have been addressed earlier. I wish I could have also been more supportive. Even though I was young, there was always more I could have done.”

My son was 4 years old when our marriage ended. What was this little boy thinking he could do? He was a child. There was nothing that was his responsibility.

Yet, he is 24 now and has articulated this. And honestly, I think he still feels this way. So, the answer to my own question would be, yes, they learned that their mom did feel guilt so perhaps they should too. My absence of mind in this was not what my intention was. I just felt what I felt, and they absorbed it.

The job of two is done by one. The job of two is done by

“Mum”.

Do We Ever Stop Feeling Guilty?

So, what is this guilt that single moms in general feel?

Why do we feel so obliged to be everything to everyone?

In my case, I felt that because their father didn’t love me anymore and found someone new, it made me feel like I had failed not him… but them. I wasn’t lovable any longer and thus they felt unlovable by him too.

To this day they both will curtail their conversations with him to please him. They will avoid subjects and requests that they feel will displease him because they feel the conditions of that love.

After all, he left his two children and married another woman with two children. This action alone made them feel somewhat invalidated and thus the conditions began. I never went a day in my life that I didn’t feel loved by both my parents and most particularly my father. Because they didn’t get that everyday love that I had experienced, I have spent the greater part of the past 20 years feeling guilt that has at times undone me.

The guilt of feeling like you are a bad mom means that you are a good mom.

So, what have they learned?

What is the imprint this guilt has made on their lives now that they are young adults?

Was it good?

Or was it not so good?

Notice I didn’t say bad. I don’t want to think that anything I did as a single mother was bad for them. I don’t think anything was. I just think there are varying degrees of what a child absorbs simply because their single mom is navigating waters that are uncharted to her.

And in many cases, frightening. Perhaps the bigger question is what have I learned?

Was this guilt manufactured by my need to keep the pity party going? Or was it real and did I just feel profound sorrow? And was I just too overwhelmed? I think all the above.

What happens many times is that children of divorce see what is happening to the parent they are left to live with the most. And in almost all cases, this is with the mother.

I would frequently say out loud things like, “Good Lord, with this stress I will be surprised if I make it to my next birthday!” That was my way of letting off my steam. I never meant it for one day. But they both have commented on how my saying that had affected them. They literally worried that I was going to die. And the very thought of that was horrific to them.

They had already lost their father to another family. The next thought that raced into their young minds was what will happen to them if I die?

They only shared this with me a few months ago and I have never said it again. And if I could take it back all those years ago I would. It breaks my heart to think that I placed this kind of fear in them.

“Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”

Winston Churchill

I do still feel guilty about a myriad of things. I feel guilty for not being able to give my children the kind of security I felt growing up. I also feel guilty for making them so much of a priority that I didn’t spend time looking for a possible stepdad for them. They never really saw a good relationship between a husband and wife. And for that I am sorry.

My son’s only example was perhaps in my Father with my Mother. My daughter has learned to take care of herself and be strong because as she said, love is never guaranteed. But as Winston Churchill said, it takes courage. Courage to step into the fear. Courage to find the wisdom. And courage to be your true authentic self.

And at the end of the day …yes, I still have guilt. But I also have perspective. My fears of the past created reactions that made me feel hopeless. My courage for the future is how I will navigate this next chapter of my life. And I know they will both be watching me from afar.

The post Single Parenting: Do We Ever Stop Feeling Guilty? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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children of divorce

Can we temporarily change our parenting plan by verbal agreement until quarantine is over?

children of divorce

Question:

Can we temporarily change our parenting plan by verbal agreement until quarantine is over?

Answer:

I practice law in the state of South Carolina. Unless you live there, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state, but I can give you some general observations on family law issues and how they are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

The answer is yes, and it highly is encouraged that parents be reasonable in attaining such an agreement. It is inevitable that both parties will experience some roadblock that renders their rights short of what is court ordered. Both parents should expect to make concessions for the other to abide by the spirit of the agreement as much as possible. A family court judge undoubtedly will respect the parties and their decisions considering the circumstances.

If you are the parent being asked to make a change in the parenting plan, then you should consider these requests. Keep in mind that your conduct can be scrutinized by a judge if the facts show that you were not being reasonable under the circumstances. It also is important that you make clear to the other parent that the change strictly is intended until such times as things get back to normal. You should be careful in not allowing the other party to misconstrue the change as a new agreement, but rather a temporary agreement.

If you are the parent requesting for a change in the parenting plan, then you should memorialize these communications whether the changes are consented to or not. Memorialized communications can be recorded through text message, email, or any other form of written communication wherein you can justify the other party’s intent. If the changes are not consented to by the other party, then these communications will come in handy when illustrating to a family court judge the conduct of the other parent should you need to go to court in the future. Similarly, these memorialized communications will protect the requesting parent should the other party claim some violation of the Agreement in the future. The bottom line is that written communication is key when communicating with the other parent.

Due to the fact-specific nature of this situation, I would strongly suggest you contact an attorney who handles family law matters in your jurisdiction to see how your state’s laws specifically can help you with this serious situation. This type of attorney should be helpful in providing you specific assistance for your matter. Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they particularly impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including South Carolina divorce attorney Chris Jacobcontact Cordell & Cordell.

The post Can we temporarily change our parenting plan by verbal agreement until quarantine is over? appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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parenting time

Can I make up lost parenting time due to quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic?

parenting time

Question:

Can I make up lost parenting time due to quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Answer:

I practice law in the state Ohio. Unless you live there, I
cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state, but I can provide you
with general tips in divorce and child custody, as it relates to the COVID-19
pandemic.

Ohio courts have been very clear on this point. They have
indicated that all parenting exchanges and schedules continue to be in full
force and effect. If your child has not been on spring break yet, any time off
due to the pandemic would be deemed regular parenting time, and the scheduled
spring break would still be treated separately under the holiday schedule of
your county or orders governing your parenting time currently in effect.

However, if parenting time is missed, the courts will most
likely grant make-up time after restrictions have been relaxed. I have been
recommending agreement on the make-up time before forgoing the parenting time
itself to all my clients.

While it is clear the courts will still expect people to
follow the current orders, it is unclear whether such denials of parenting time
will result in findings of contempt. Under Ohio law, if there is a finding of
contempt, you can be entitled to receive a portion or even all your attorney
fees spent to prosecute the action.

However, the court has a lot of discretion in making those
awards. As such, I have concerns that the courts will likely find the denial of
parenting time during the pandemic a reasonable reaction, and thus, not
egregious enough to result in an attorney fee award. While this assessment may
be incorrect, it has been my experience that you only receive a portion of
attorney fees, never the whole amount even in the strongest of cases.
Therefore, I suggest establishing the make-up parenting time dates prior to
conceding parenting time.

I want to stress that this is in relation to the Ohio laws
and orders currently in effect. These health measures change almost daily, so
you need to be sure you are following up with the numerous resources offered
through your state to check and see what the current orders are. Many states
that have taken such measures still have carved out exceptions that include
parenting time exchanges, so again, be sure to carefully read the current
orders in effect.

Finally, if there is a lockdown and parenting exchanges
are not excluded, I would still expect courts to grant make-up parenting time
for any time missed during the pandemic.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for
men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including 
Ohio divorce lawyer Daniel
White, 
contact Cordell
& Cordell
.

The post Can I make up lost parenting time due to quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic? appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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Free Webinar: Can the Coronavirus Affect Custodial Rights? How Divorces and Parenting Time May Be Impacted

Free Webinar: Can the Coronavirus Affect Custodial Rights? How Divorces and Parenting Time May Be Impacted

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has resulted in a period of confusion and uncertainty about what lies ahead.

Unfortunately, if you are a dad
going through divorce, those worries are all the more pronounced. Certainly, as
a father, your primary concern is for the health and well-being of your family.
You might also have questions about how the virus affects your right to spend time
with your children.

DadsDivorce sponsor Cordell & Cordell is hosting a free webinar at 1 p.m. CT on Thursday, March 26, that will cover “Can the Coronavirus Affect Custodial Rights? How Divorces and Parenting Time May Be Impacted.”

The webinar will be hosted by
Cordell & Cordell divorce lawyers who will address your concerns about how
COVID-19 is impacting your divorce and your rights as a father.

The webinar will cover a range of
topics concerning divorced dads such as:

  • Tips to keep your kids safe and healthy.
  • Child custody issues such as coordinating
    custody exchanges while quarantined.
  • The financial impact of COVID-19 such as what to
    do if you can no longer make your alimony or child support payments.
  • How to move forward with your divorce if family
    courts are not open due to the virus.

Cordell & Cordell divorce attorneys will review these topics and more during the complimentary “Can the Coronavirus Affect Custodial Rights? How Divorces and Parenting Time May Be Impacted” webinar. “After viewing this webinar you will be better informed so you can make educated decision to help keep you and your family safe.

Fill out my Wufoo form!

The post Free Webinar: Can the Coronavirus Affect Custodial Rights? How Divorces and Parenting Time May Be Impacted appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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6 Handy Tips to Help Deal with Holiday Parenting Time

6 Handy Tips to Help Deal with Holiday Parenting Time

For some divorced or separated parents, holiday parenting time may be a difficult time of year as their children may spend more time with the other parent and less time with them.

The post 6 Handy Tips to Help Deal with Holiday Parenting Time appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Pressure Of Single Parenting

How To Cope With The Pressure Of Single Parenting

Pressure Of Single Parenting

 

Do you feel that, since you’re raising your kids alone, you have to fill in for their dad as well? You’re not the only one. There are more than 11 million single-parent families with underage children in the U.S. Out of those, more than 80% are single-mom families.

Whether the father is present or not, he surely doesn’t play the same role he would if you were living together and working together for the benefit of your children. Now, most of all the responsibility falls on your shoulders. You need to look after them, provide for them, talk to them, be there when they need you, and still be able to laugh.

It cannot be easy, and there are surely times when you feel exhausted, desperate that you will never get things done the right way. Well, take a deep breath and move on. You’re already doing a great job, and, even if you weren’t, no one has the right to judge you.

In fact, you should give yourself some slack and make efforts to relieve some of the pressure or, better put, cope with it. How do you do that? You’ll find some ideas and advice below.

8 Tips to Cope with the Pressure of Single-Parenting

1. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help When You Need It

Raising healthy and happy kids is a challenge for many two-parent families. It is downright difficult for single parents, so don’t be too harsh on yourself. It’s normal to need help, and you shouldn’t feel bad asking for help.

You surely have a relative, friend, or neighbor who wouldn’t mind watching your kids for a couple of hours now and then. If not, perhaps there are single parents with kids of the same age that you can befriend and help one another.

Unforeseen problems will always appear. It is important to have someone to rely on when they do. It is also important to be able to give yourself a break every once in a while. You are human too, and you have your needs, be they physical or emotional.

2. Take a Day or at Least a Couple of Hours for Yourself Regularly

How long has it been since you last went out on your own, or enjoyed a glass of wine over a hot bubble bath? Perhaps you could go to a local spa for a massage, have your hair and nails done, or just lie in bed and get some sleep.

Your worries and responsibilities won’t go away but you will at least recharge your batteries to be able to better cope with them. You will feel better in your own skin, and you will be more relaxed and patient around your kids.

3. Show Your Kids Some Love

If you and their dad have just broken up, they are surely affected, no matter if they are able to express their feelings or not. Perhaps you feel that they are getting out of control but all they need is some love and attention.

Forget about your chores for a moment, as they won’t go anywhere if you do. Take some time to play with your kids and have fun. Take them to the park, play some games, go out for ice cream, bake some cookies, or microwave some popcorn and see a movie.

As you do, don’t avoid open discussions. They have questions, fears, and things they need to share. You should listen, answer, and share back. After all, you only have each other. And, last but not least, don’t hesitate to tell and show your kids how much you love them. They need it!

4. Build a Routine

Kids also need stability and knowing what to expect. You need a schedule, to be able to better cope with your responsibilities. Building a routine solves both problems. Start by having your meals and going to bed at the same hours. Continue by scheduling homework and playtime.

It will be a little difficult in the beginning, especially if you used to live chaotically, but it will prove useful in the long run. You will be able to function on autopilot even on your worst days if both you and the kids know what’s next.

5. Don’t Forget about Rules and Limits

Both you and the kids are vulnerable. It is easy for them to cross boundaries, and it is normal to be tempted to overlook some actions and mistakes. Don’t! They need to know what’s right and what’s wrong, and they need to understand that actions have consequences.

Therefore, set strict rules and enforce them. Those who do not follow them should put up with the consequences. With kids, restricting internet use and TV time is the best punishment. Of course, good behavior should be rewarded too.

6. Find Your Emotional Triggers and Control Them

Even though you’ve created routine, set rules, and gotten used to the idea that you’ll be raising the kids by yourself, there are times when you still lose control. Perhaps you get angry and start yelling, or you get vulnerable and start crying.

Although such reactions are normal, they do not benefit the kids, so you should learn to manage them. You can do that by identifying and dealing with the emotional triggers, namely the words, people, or actions that cause your outbursts.

Try to look at them from a different perspective, a positive one. Look for their fun or educational side. Don’t hesitate to go to therapy if you need to. It is better to acknowledge problems and deal with them than deny them and hope they would go away.

7. Don’t Isolate Yourselves

Both you and the kids need people in your lives. You need support, inspiration, and fun. While rushing into a new relationship is not a good idea, getting to know people, setting playdates, and spending time with friends and families is.

Make sure to include some friends and family members of the opposite sex, if your ex is not involved in raising the kids. Your children need a role model. They need a fatherly figure in their life, just like you need the occasional help with repairs around the house, football training, fishing, and camping, etc.

8. Remember to Take Care of Yourself

While it is normal to put your kids first, you need to look after your own needs as well. Take care of your body and soul, learn to relax and have fun, and, as time goes by, don’t close the door on new relationships.

You cannot raise healthy and happy kids if you are not healthy and happy yourself, both on the inside and on the outside, so see to your own health and happiness! Things will get better with time, and the pressure of single-parenting burdening your shoulders now will fade and make room to hope and fulfillment.

The post How To Cope With The Pressure Of Single Parenting appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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equal parenting

 6 Things Fathers Should Think About if They Want Equal Parenting

equal parenting

 

Before and during the divorce process each parent has the same legal right to custody of a child. Mothers and fathers are on legal standing until one or the other gives up or is denied full custody rights.

What does this mean? It is complicated! Even more complicated if you don’t know your state’s child custody laws. Bottom line, until you have signed a custody agreement or a judge has handed down a custody opinion, each parent has the same legal rights when it comes to where a child lives, who the child lives with and anything regarding the child.

I’ve found that most fathers do not have a clear understanding of their legal divorce rights where the children are involved. And in most cases will give up custody out of fear of losing in court due to a gender “bias.” Which is a myth perpetuated by men’s rights organizations. A father has as much chance of winning custody if he pursues custody as a mother.

For example, I received an email from a father who was separated from his wife. He wrote, “My wife moved out with our children, and is refusing to allow me to visit with them. I found out the other day that my youngest daughter had been hospitalized for a minor illness and I wasn’t informed. What should I do?”

It is heartbreaking to hear from a father who, for some reason has come to the belief that his wife has more legal rights over the children. This father has the legal right to pack his children up and bring them home. He has the legal right to contact school personnel, pediatricians and anyone else who may have contact with the child and let them know he is being denied his legal rights and demand to be notified of anything concerning his children.

The longer he allows his wife to make the rules about how or if he can parent his children, the more likely he is to lose an extensive amount of parenting time with his children in divorce court. In my opinion, this is the biggest mistake fathers make during the divorce process. They do not take the necessary steps needed to retain equal parenting time or full custody of their children.

According to DivorcePeers.com, the majority of child custody cases are not decided by the courts.

  • In 51 percent of custody cases, both parents agreed — on their own — that mom becomes the custodial parent.
  • In 29 percent of custody cases, the decision was made without any third party involvement.
  • In 11 percent of custody cases, the decision for mom to have custody was made during mediation.
  • In 5 percent of custody cases, the issue was resolved after a custody evaluation.
  • Only 4 percent of custody cases went to trial and of that 4 percent, only 1.5 percent completed custody litigation.

What do the above statistics tell us about fathers and child custody?

For some reason, the vast majority of fathers are behaving in a way that is not in their best interest or the best interest of their children. Fathers may be giving up equal or shared custody because they’ve heard there is a gender bias, that mothers always win custody. They may give up more custody because they’ve been taught that “children need their mother.”

Here is the truth, you don’t know if there is a true gender bias in the divorce court system if you don’t go to court and fight for equal time with your children. And children need fathers just as much as they need mothers.

If you are a father who wishes to have equal parenting time with your children you are doing yourself a grave injustice if you give up without a fight.

If your attorney tells you, you don’t have a chance at equal parenting time with your children, look for another attorney. Don’t hire an attorney until you find one who tells you he will help you fight for that time you deserve as a father. And, don’t buy into the argument that the courts are biased in favor of women until you’ve proven to yourself that it is true.

6 Things Fathers Should Think About if They Want Equal Parenting Time After Divorce

  1. Do not allow your wife to dictate when, where and how often you will see your children. Document every time your ex keeps you away from your children and then use the court system to hold her accountable for interfering in your parenting time.
  2. Immediately hire an attorney or file a pro se petition with the court to establish equal parenting time with your children.
  3. Do not allow what you hear on father’s rights websites to dissuade you from attempting to gain equal parenting time or full custody. Just because one man was not able to obtain equal time or full custody of his children does not mean you won’t. You don’t go to work and do your job based on what others tell you, you are and are not capable of doing, do you? Then, don’t give up on your children based on what a few angry men say online.
  4. Do not let the financial cost associated with a child custody battle keep you from fighting. Which is more important, saving money for a child’s college education or fathering your child during their informative years and beyond?

Society still views mothers as caretakers and fathers as providers. I believe that one reason fewer men fight for equal time with their children has to do with their fear of legal fees and being left financially strapped and unable to provide for their children. When it’s all said and done, your time is the most important thing you can provide for your children. Don’t let money fears stop you from providing them with time with their father.

  1. Do not agree to less time with your child without first going through the mediation process or, if push comes to shove a full out custody battle.
  2. Do what you know, in your heart is right for you and your children. Don’t allow your head to become muddied with opinions from naysayers or those who’ve been there before you. When it comes to time with your children, you must let your heart lead what actions you choose to take.

I can’t tell a father what his chances of winning in a custody battle are. I can tell a father that if you aren’t willing to exert your legal rights your chance of winning equal or full custody with your children is zero. The questions you have to ask yourself is; how important is this issue to me? How important is it to my children?

If it is important then don’t allow fear of the myth of a “gender biased” court system keep you from pursuing your right to parent your children.

The post  6 Things Fathers Should Think About if They Want Equal Parenting appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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equal parenting after divorce

Why Equal Parenting Time After Divorce Should Be The Norm

equal parenting after divorce

 

Not every circumstance occurring in our culture should be subject to an election as if it were a constitutionally guaranteed choice; some conditions are, to the contrary, an inalienable right, such as a child’s right to each parent equally after divorce.

I had intended for my next article to be a definition of the Parental Alienation Syndrome, but that will have to be momentarily deferred. I felt the necessity to comment, instead, the shared parenting law in Arizona, and I must extend my accolades to Mike Espinoza for his indefatigable and self-divulging efforts to facilitate its passage. Being neither a politician nor a mental health professional, Mike took up the cause as a loving, dedicated, and supportive father who had become a victim of the PAS.

Why Equal Parenting Time After Divorce Should Be The Norm

When we select a partner it is generally on the basis of what my mentor, child psychiatrist Salvador Minuchin, labeled as “complementarity.” In non-professional terminology, it is how we each balance our strengths and weaknesses with those of our partner.  In other words, we tend to select a partner who compensates for our weaknesses, and they likewise do the same.

It is, therefore, logical to conclude that the most appropriate decisions affecting children are arrived at when the parents do so collaboratively, with each parent drawing on their respective strengths and abilities. Neither parent must feel that he/she surrendered to the other parent’s will because the struggle to reach an accord became too great.

In my 17 years of practice as a family therapist, I have documented a wealth of anecdotal evidence that confirms that parental collaboration almost always facilitates the child’s optimal development and achieves the desired results. The post-divorce situation most assuredly requires the same parental collaboration so that the child continues to benefit from the strengths that had been provided by the parent who becomes the nonresidential parent.

Regrettably, however, this collaboration is undermined by our adversarial approach to the resolution of child custody.  Sole custody tends to be more the norm rather than joint custody; and even in those situations when joint legal custody is awarded, the residential parent often usurps with impunity the authority of the other parent. And, of course, this selection is predicated upon having to make a choice as to who would presumably (and I emphasize presumably) be the better parent.

Despite the obvious benefit of parental collaboration to children, which the research is now supporting, shared parenting is not without its critics and controversy. For example, the Arizona Foundation for Women CEO, Jodi Ligget, qualified the applicability of the law to those parental relationships that have minimal conflict.

She further asserted that the basis for custody decisions ought to be determined by the standard of the best interests of the child. But as this author/therapist stated in her prior article, I maintain that marginalizing one parent while elevating the other cannot achieve the best interest of the child, except in those situations of substantiated serious social deviancy and/or mental illness of one of the parents.

Yet other skeptics of the law have argued that, if the parents were capable of engaging in a collaborative co-parenting relationship, they would have sought out mediation rather than litigation.

Let me respond to this criticism by drawing on the wisdom of my sociology professor, Edward Sagarin. It was 1965, and the class was debating the implementation of the recently enacted Civil Rights Act. One of my classmates offered the following analysis, “You cannot legislate morality. Therefore, the legislation will fail.” Professor Sagarin responded, “You are correct that you cannot legislate morality. But the Civil Rights Act is not about morality; it is about behavior. And behavior can most definitely be legislated and can be enforced with the appropriate consequences.”

Professor Sagarin was very wise. We must be judiciously selective, even though our government is a democracy, as to when it is appropriate to provide its citizens with a choice. The Bill of Rights, for example, which was frequently invoked by Professor Sagarin throughout Sociology 101, protects minority rights from abuse by the vote of the majority.

Equal Parenting Time After Divorce How novel!

I am advocating that there be no choice for sole custody or for primary residency. Such choices must be off the table, no option! We should deem, forthwith, that it be the child’s civil rights to an equal relationship with each parent.

When the child’s parents, who are generally quite law-abiding, rational citizens in all other aspects, engage in the destructive, adversarial behaviors that so frequently occur in divorce situations, it is only because they believe they can get away with such behaviors. And they usually do. Even the not-so-rational parent, who engages in alienating behaviors, is effective in achieving alienation because of the cavalier, indifferent, and/or self-interested professional who enables and emboldens her/him.

I am proposing, therefore that every child of divorce has the right to say, “I need and desire that the two most important people in my life continue to parent me collaboratively through shared parenting. I have a right to expect that you will subvert your animosity for each other to your love for me. Doing so will inevitably produce results which are in my best interest.”

The post Why Equal Parenting Time After Divorce Should Be The Norm appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Federal Court issues summons to defendants in Wolf v. New Jersey

The Web of Family Court: What You Should Know Before You’re Eaten Alive

Woman caught in spider web

 

A custody battle is a form of domestic violence. It’s harassment….period.

In many states, a rapist can sue the victim for custody or parenting time and win, forcing the victim and child to a lifetime of trauma.

Perpetrators of domestic violence often take revenge on their former partners for leaving the relationship and use custody battles to seek revenge and maintain control over their victims. (Stark, Coercive Control; Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? and The Batterer As Parent)

After leaving, a domestic violence victim is most at risk for the two years immediately following the end of the relationship, however a campaign of harassment can last for years, culminating in an abusive custody battle.

Even though there may be a property settlement agreement or consent order defining child custody, courts can and do eradicate the bargained-for terms of these agreements, which abrogates contract law. A family court judge will think nothing of violating a mother’s due process rights – disallowing evidence and witnesses, dismissing attorneys directly before trial, and completely ignoring the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), inter alia. Motives are often political, involving bribery, racketeering, human trafficking, child prostitution, and child pornography, the latter of which 60% comes from the United States. Child Protective Services (CPS) is part of this racket, as Nancy Schaefer would have been able to tell you, were she not murdered for exposing them.

Bribery is not just the classic slipping of money under the table – it can be anything from business deals, to offering a retiring judge a post-retirement job, to paying off a judge’s real estate properties.

Contrary to de jure law and public policy, there is a de facto policy of discrimination against women and children, especially domestic violence and child abuse/neglect victims, in the family courts. Family courts often engage in domestic violence by proxy, flying in the face of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Model Code on Domestic and Family Violence (National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, 1994) .

The segregation of mothers and their children has been achieved via Richard Gardner’s highly-controversial, pseudoscientific theory Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), which has been rejected repeatedly by the American Psychological Association (APA); and fails Daubert and Frye standards.

Gardner was a misogynist who claimed that when the child(ren) do not want to spend time with the father, it is because the mother is alienating him from the child(ren). This is bogus, a bill of attainder against women. It is natural for a child to prefer the mother, it is simply nature. Look at everything from puppies and kittens to cubs and ducklings.

Moreover, if a child is being abused, that child would naturally not want to be around their abuser. This is simple human nature and a basic human right. It is common sense.

Legitimate scientific studies such as the ACE Study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Saunders Report commissioned by the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) have proved that removing a child from the mother and primary attachment figure is a health risk and that the problem is most often a male perpetrator of domestic violence.

The term “high conflict’ is a misnomer and redirect for what is really domestic violence (Stark). The first thing a court will do is gaslight a domestic violence victim by claiming no domestic violence exists. Father’s rights groups, a.k.a. men’s rights groups, love this concept, as it is a nexus sprung from Parental Alienation Syndrome, because it is way to blame the victim and seek custody to maintain control and dodge paying child support, as well as subjugate women in the larger scope of things.

What is happening in actuality is not Parental Alienation Syndrome targeted at the father, but Tangential Spouse Abuse (Stark and Lischick) and Legal Abuse Syndrome (Huffer) targeted at the mother. The objective is clear.

Father’s rights groups will often pose as families rights groups, but this is simply a ruse. Rest assured, these groups are more intent upon idolizing football players and rap artists for “keeping her in line” and employing Screw the Bitch tactics than anything else.

The two most common accusations a mother will face in a custody battle are 1) Parental Alienation or PAS claims in order to subvert domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and 2) False accusations that the woman is mentally ill, in order to destroy her credibility.

Both fall under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), not because the mother is actually mentally ill, but rather because giving the impression that someone is mentally ill garners protection for that person under the ADA. Under Title II of the ADA, judges are not immune from suit. This is important because family court racketeers often hide behind the cloak of judicial immunity.

Richard Gardner is the champion of the pedophile. He testified in over 400 custody cases. Gardner (1991, p. 118) suggests that Western society’s is “excessively moralistic and punitive” toward pedophiles. Gardner maintains that “the Draconian punishments meted out to pedophiles go far beyond what I consider to be the gravity of the crime.” The current prohibition of sex between adults and children is an “overreaction” which Gardner traces to the Jews.

Organizations such as the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) spread Gardner’s theory like wildfire, training judges, custody evaluators and social workers to disbelieve mothers and children when they report abuse, and worse – separate them as punishment. And what better way to enable pedophilia and other human rights violations than remove the mother as the child’s most natural and fervent protector?

One need only look at a mama bear with her cubs as a prime example of the nature of mothers (and what happens when you mess with them).

PAS opened up a Pandora’s box of corruption – What better way to torture a mother than take away her child? To run a Kids for Cash racket? To distract and control women?

Men’s rights groups are intent upon resurrecting Lord Hale’s Law and the Rule of Thumb, which resonates with the antiquated notion of women and children as chattel.

Mothers are persecuted and marginalized without a legitimate basis, trying to protect their children. Victims may flee to another state with their child(ren) for protection, then face kidnapping charges of whom she bore and nurtured. In actuality, what the mother is doing is self-defense, as self defense includes the defense of others. Public policy on domestic violence states that the mother should not face repercussion, however despite this being the 21st century, mothers are vilified by the court for running off with “his property.” Family court proceedings, though considered civil, are in actuality, quasi-criminal where the mother is selectively prosecuted. This also speaks to Miranda rights.

Child Support and Financial Gaslighting

It is a truth universal, that men do not want to pay child support. It is not uncommon for mother and child(ren) to be denied proper child support in order to bring about bankruptcy of the mother, thus placing them in an untenable financial predicament, then claim she is financially unstable, and give custody to the monied spouse or partner.

It is not uncommon for the judge and father’s attorney to collude in hiding financial information or tweak a financial picture to benefit the male, even when tax returns clearly show otherwise. This is financial gaslighting and is absolutely illegal. In some cases, judges go so far as to order the mother or wife to unwittingly commit insurance fraud by ordering her to amend tax returns and lie to health and car insurance companies, placing her in an untenable predicament.

There are father’s rights organizations, backed by Fatherhood.gov, where men can “donate” items such as cars and boats bought with marital funds, which sets up the bribe. These financial manipulation networks help men evade taxes, circumvent paying money to a soon-to-be ex, and predetermine the outcome of the case.

Wall Streeters are most apt to engage in this racket, employing methodologies concurrent with the 1991 book Screw the Bitch: Divorce Tactics for Men by Dick Hart and Sun Tzu’s The Art of War as popularized by Gordon Gecko’s “Greed is good” phraseology in the 1987 film Wall Street.

This idolization mixed with the greed of the family court system, has resulted in the degradation of human decency and phenomenal financial losses of those affected by Ponzi schemes, foreclosure fraud, and family court fraud and racketeering in violation of the RICO Act of 1972.

Corruption and Social Engineering are nothing new

Don’t assume everyone knows the truth or rather, wants to know it. One of the most common misconceptions is that courts don’t take children away from the mother unless she’s unfit. This is an absolute myth. The reason for this is that the family court crisis is largely absent from the media. Why? Because every media outlet has a legal department acting on behalf of the legal community, not the public interest, advising reporters not to cover family court corruption, and instilling the fear of being sued, despite First Amendment protection of the freedom of the press.

Hitler wrote, “The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.” – Mein Kampf

Juvenal wrote, “Who will guard the guards themselves?” – Satires (Satire VI, lines 347–8)

Corruption and moral turpitude are running rampant in the family courts. The interests of children should be of paramount importance, but have given way to an abomination of a cottage industry exploiting children for profit and bankrupting the American public. You may wonder how this affects you if you don’t have children, however as you will see, it affects all of us because our civil and constitutional rights as a whole are being destroyed. It is happening in family courts across America, the implications of which are pivotal to the future of this country.

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Task Force Member: Might be a Year-Long Thing

Task Force Member: Might be a Year-Long Thing

Connecticut Task Force 12 10 13

Click on above link for Connecticut Task Force December 10, 2013 video

For the last two months, Connecticut has held open meetings to find better ways protect children in that state’s family courts.

Although the original plan was to have the study done by January, task force member Ms. Jennifer Verraneault says, “It might be a year-long thing.” 

As Ms. Verraneault spoke those words, most task force members probably dreaded the thought of volunteering their time for an extended period. Yet every few weeks, the task force meets, and another can of worms opens – with reasons to continue the study for as long as it takes. 

According to Connecticut Special Act No. 13-24, the task force is to study: 

(1) the role of a guardian ad litem and the attorney for a minor child in any action involving parenting responsibilities and the custody and care of a child,

(2) the extent of noncompliance with the provisions of subdivision (6) of subsection (c) of section 46b-56 of the general statutes and the role of the court in enforcing compliance with said subdivision, and

(3) whether the state should adopt a presumption that shared custody is in the best interest of a minor child in any action involving the custody, care and upbringing of a child.

Such study shall include, but not be limited to, an examination of state statutes applicable to an action involving the custody, care and upbringing of a child, and the costs associated with contested divorce actions, including, but not limited to, expert witness fees and attorneys’ fees including the fees of guardians ad litem and attorneys for the minor children. Such study may include recommendations for legislation on matters studied by the task force.

Another can opened this past Tuesday, when Co-Chair Sharon Wicks Dornfeld spoke about her knowledge of  the use of “Private Special Masters” to hide tax fraud in Connecticut family courts.

She told the group:

 “There are some individuals — I can think of several retired judges — who are, make themselves available to serve as private Special Masters, but it is not a volunteer thing. It is a program in which the parties pay them and whatever their agreed upon hourly rate is.

Uh, there have also been circumstances in which I can recall that there are lawyers who will say that, for whatever reason — and I will give you a classic example of a reason — where it becomes apparent that one or both of the parties have been engaged in essentially tax fraud that would be very adverse to their clients’ interest if it were to come  before a judge who would be required to make a referral to the state’s attorney or to the IRS for example. There are circumstances in which the attorneys will say, “Let’s try and get this out of the judicial system. Let’s hire a Special Master — not necessarily a retired judge, sometimes it’s very experienced family attorneys — and see if we can, you know, make it happen that way.”

Since the filmed meetings are available for public viewing online, there’s now public knowledge of a credible witness who knows about Connecticut’s attorneys and retired judges hiding tax fraud in child custody cases.

Judgments in those cases will need to be set aside, federal authorities will need to investigate, and Ms. Verraneault will have been proven right about how long all of this is going to take.

An  AP article in the Wall Street Journal last May might explain why Ms. Wicks Dornfeld speaks so comfortably about her colleagues hiding tax fraud.

According to the author of the article, Connecticut lawyers:

are shielded from fraud lawsuits under absolute immunity, a doctrine dating back to medieval England. The doctrine was intended to promote people speaking freely at judicial proceedings without fear of being sued and to avoid hindering an attorney’s advocacy for his or her client.” 

The task force is obliged to take its time – and as many task forces and committees it takes – to protect Connecticut’s children and families from what looks like a lawless system. Considering the disclosure noted above, Connecticut legislators should form another task force or allow the current task force to form an ad hoc committee. The new task force or ad hoc committee can be called something like, “Committee to Study Types of Fraud Currently Allowed in Legal Disputes Involving the Care and Custody of Minor Children in Connecticut”.

Thousands of victims of various kinds of fraud in Connecticut’s family court system would appreciate the opportunity to participate in such a study.   

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