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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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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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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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