I often call the family court arena the gift that keeps on taking, only it certainly is NOT a gift. If you are going to get divorced, my advice would be get it over and done with and get out. Do not sign up for anything that remotely resembles a case manager.
The family courts now utilize “neutrals” to act as a decision maker when the parties don’t agree on issues related to their children. Unfortunately, the “neutrals” are almost impossible to get rid of. Usually, the couple with the dispute over issues related to their children cannot settle things on their own. They are then to call the “neutral”, parenting consultant, parenting time expediter or someone similar, they stay on your case long term just waiting for you to call up with an issue, pay them exorbitant amounts of money, and make a decision about your children. That is just crazy. Really, that is crazy. Oh, but, they will call YOU crazy.
Back in the day, parents who split weren’t legislated to get along. The couple divorced. A court order was granted. Usually one parent got custody, the other may or may not see the kids. The papers had been signed, the order was sent out and the court was done with you, your kids and the other parent. It didn’t matter to them if you got a long or not.
There were some problems though. If a parent didn’t get to see their kids, they either did nothing about it or they had to go to court. They might get an order stating that the the parent had to give them their visitation. They might not. Even with an order, they still may have trouble getting that visitation.
What goes on in the family courts now is supposed to help. How helpful is it to try to get your financial footing and then turn around and pay thousands of dollars to a lawyer or a parenting consultant? What if you can’t afford one? You can usually fire the parenting consultant IF the other parent agrees. We all know how these high conflict cases go. If you say up the other says down. If you say the sky is blue, your ex will say its cerulean or even red or purple. Of course if you agree that the sky is cerulean, then your ex will decide it’s blue. So your only hope to get rid of a parenting consultant is if you and your ex agree. Hmmmmm. Well, if you could agree, why would you need a parenting consultant?
There really are no easy answers. Some may find it hypocritical that I am willing to take on Parenting Consultant cases, but criticize the whole process. I’ll explain. I do criticize because I have seen first hand the devastation that this new touchy feely legislating cooperation can do. I had a parenting consultant for eight years. I became a mediator in hopes of helping people stay out of court as much as possible. I became a divorce coach, hoping I could steer people away from these long term court remedies and a little more than that, but that is for another blog post. I became a parenting consultant to try to do things differently. I am not an attorney. I am not a psychologist. For that reason, I do not have a busy practice aside from my these other roles I perform. Those who do have a busy practice are going to first and foremost give their time and energy to their practice. That is one of the benefits of having someone who has been there and done that put it into practice. This is my main job. I am a Mediator, parenting consultant, parenting time expediter and life/divorce coach. I may supplement my income with a steady paying job for slow times, but can make myself available to you pretty quickly. I do not have trials and hearings to prepare for. I can make the time for you and not make you wait weeks or months. I am trying to do things differently. I don’t charge a retainer. I keep my fees lower than most. Aside from responding to requests as quickly as possible, I will not meddle and I will not allowed myself to be used as a weapon against the other parent. I have no intention of trying to make the two of you pals. Also, if someone wants me to step down, I will step down.
Enough about that. My main point is that you will not find answers in the family court system. If there is a financial matter that needs solving, the courts can usually take care of that pretty well. If your ex is a jerk, they are going to stay a jerk unless and until they get tired of being a jerk. They won’t stop being a jerk because of a court order or a parenting consultant or because you ask nicely. If you want to pour money into changing people, well, good luck. If you are forced by court order into pouring money into that, my sympathies.
Life gives us times of struggle and we do somehow make it through. Try to be smart about the system by not taking remedies from the court system. Most of these remedies cause more problems than you had before and will leave you with less and less money.
Is there anything you can do? A good start would be to make sure that you are doing well. Move forward in life. Go follow your dreams. If the court system wants you to sign up for any long term remedy, run, don’t sign up for that. If you are interested in divorce coaching, give me a call or email. I’m happy to try to help where I can.
Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net