I am working on some things that I hope will make a difference in the lives of families that encounter the family court system. The system is broken. Laws are ignored and the powers that be believe that everyone is lying. They do not rule “for” people, they rule “against” people. They do not understand conflict resolution, not at all. Even though it is verbally embraced by the courts and attorneys, conflict resolution is rarely understood. Many court orders require people to take their issues to mediation prior to filing any motions. It is pretty much standard procedure in dissolution with children decrees.
The system is an ever changing animal. It changes so much that none of the players understand it or keep up with it. There are guidelines in place for parenting consultants, yet they tend to overstep their boundaries much of the time. They will side against the party who does not pay them. It is not right, but they do. They are supposed to be objective, but when they are asked to provide a service, for free, they will make the one who doesn’t pay suffer the consequences and rule against that non paying party. Judges want these create a position people to take on the high conflict cases and free up the court calendars, but they do not have any understanding of the real role of parenting consultants or what their roles entail. They know there are no laws and so they will not listen to your complaints about how parenting consultants make situations worse and not better. They do not think there are any rules or laws that put limits on these actors, and that would be the correct assumption; there are no laws about what a parenting consultant can or cannot do.
I see coaching clients who are very upset, first look to the filing of a court motion to solve their problem, but I also see that many times court action makes things much worse. It does not seem fair. Judges in the family courts decide that in order to cover the “gray areas” in family court law, they will throw the laws out all together and just go to “judicial discretion”. You have no idea how a judge will rule in your case. It depends on what they had for breakfast or which side of the coin they flipped this morning. Ok. Well, maybe that is an exaggeration, but you never know how a judge is going to view your case. The fact that there are laws on the books means nothing.
Not just my clients, but also their ex spouses, through email and voicemail, are always threatening each other with court action. Often times they do take court action. These couples are going to court to do what they can do for themselves. I want to emphasize this fact: You can do a much better job of managing your family than the family court ever will.
Before you take court action, it might be in your best interests to consult with a coach. I charge $50 per hour, which is very low in comparison to the hourly rate of most coaches. It is my way of giving back for all of the blessings I have had after escaping an abusive relationship. It took thirteen years to escape the marriage, another five to escape the codependency and another three to escape the family court codependence.
The problem is that the family court system becomes the last in a chain of codependency. You become dependent on them to free you and they become dependent on you, to prove by their statistics, that their feel good solutions work. Their solutions do not work, not in high conflict divorces.
Just like in any area of life, if you put it on someone else to make your life better, or to free you from a bad situation, you give up control. When you empower yourself, that is when things change.
The perpetual court merry go round will do just that, take you round and round, but if you want to heal from wounds of a bad marriage, only you can do that. If you have an ex who constantly expects the court to punish you, you will have to respond, but you can control your reaction to it.
The family court will take you on a ride and if you want to escape, you will have to jump out of the vehicle. Spit yourself out of this system. Think about the thousands of dollars they require from you to try to “fix” your problems. If you think you have problems now, imagine how you will feel when you still have those problems and then also have an empty bank account.
Divorce coaches are usually people who have been through this system and seen what is behind the curtain. They are hoping to help you see it before you get in too deep. Consider consulting a divorce coach to review your court documents so you might find a way to empower yourself to improve your life and family situation.
Lastly, consider this, imagine you get a court order that gives you everything, word for word, you were hoping for. Who will police that for you if the other party doesn’t follow it? Can any parent look bad if everything they do or say is under a microscope or used by one party against the other?
Spit yourself out of the system and move on with your life. Find support from other places, read books, build your confidence and spend your time with your children and not engaging in a family court battle that won’t end.