Coparenting: In the Belly of the Beast

I have had the occasion lately to answer the question, “Haven’t you gone to the dark side?”  It is a difficult question for me because I am on the dark side, offering my services as a parenting consultant and parenting time expediter, while at the same time, coaching to help people avoid those very court professionals whenever possible.

Anyone who has done the battle will tell you that they want to change the system.  You will meet all kinds of opposition to that challenge.  Many times, you will hear, it cannot be done.  People will tell you that the family court system is too large and has too much power to be trifled with.  Personally, I have a love, hate relationship with the family court system.  I love that when all is said and done, it worked for me.  I hate that it took many years of my life, an unimaginable amount of money, and put unnecessary stress on my mind, my body, my children and my relationships.  I love that it helped me find inner strength and confidence and know exactly what I am made of, who I want to be and how I want the world to remember me.  I love that the system is open to training people who are not attorneys because that gives me the chance to try and understand things from both sides of the system, therefore allowing me to bring a unique perspective to helping people who feel trapped in the system and to tell my story to those who may be able to take my suggestions for change and at the very least, consider what the system does to families when it is at it’s worst.  I love that I am able to mentor people who feel betrayed by the unfairness of it all, but I hate having to witness the hurt it causes you.

So why do I do it?  I do it because we need to have people who have survived it to tell their stories and act on raising awareness and helping people escape the system.  When I was filled with rage over the way the system works, I decided that I would fight the system.  As people who once decided to fight Goliath will tell you, this is very damaging to your case in court.  While the truth is that we have freedom of speech in this country and should be able to opt out of things we don’t wish to be a part of, we cannot control how the court and the court authorities will view us when we are trying to fight them.  While you are a part of the system, going with the flow is a way of self preservation.  Things turned around for me when I realized that I could not help others until I helped my own family.

I guess what I want you to know is that there are people like me who will work toward change.  While your battle rages, there can be a ideas brought forth to elicit new ways of doing things in the family court system, God willing.  My advice to you is that if you are in the belly of the beast known as the family court system, focus on what needs to happen for you and your kids.  You can make it a better place for families once you have moved out of that darkness.

Image: chrisroll /

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