I am in a unique position when it comes to the family court system. I know the system inside and out. Since 1998 I have been at the mercy of the court, taking it on, beating the system and just recently, having the system give me the finger and not following the laws under which it should be making its decisions.
I went to school to get a bachelors degree in psychology, fully intending to get a masters later so that I could become a licensed therapist to help those of you who are stuck in the family court system or just starting with the system. A funny thing happened along the way and as far as I can tell it was divine intervention. There was no other reason for me to be invited to train to be a family court mediator, including parenting consultant and parenting time expediter. Still, it happened. I was not sure if I wanted to be part of this system in that way, but it does allow me to get to people before they get sucked in too far. I am also one who can see when the system is being used against a parent. Most parenting consultants, etc., are clueless as to the manipulations of the process, some understand it but will not do what is right and just collect huge amounts of money from you because they can, but I do understand it.
My goals here are simple. I am not here by accident. I have a unique perspective of this system because I have seen it from both sides. I have been under attack by it, imprisoned by it and used it to my advantage in the past and made it work for me. It did. With recent events, I could say it did not work for me, but all that has done is given me a swift kick in the behind to put my plan in action at a faster pace. More info about that is coming soon, but there is work to be done in the meantime.
The judge on my case would not follow laws, court orders or anything else. He based his decisions on lies and manipulations and what he was told were the desires of a snotty teenager. He does not know that those speaking on behalf of this teen were in fact telling the truth or had even talked to the teen about his situation. He purely based his decision on something he pulled out of his ass. Now, he did give my ex and I joint legal, even though in 2006 I proved that because of domestic violence and chemical dependency and a personality disorder that we could not have joint custody (under the law), this time, with no evidence that anything had changed, a ten minute court hearing and email from each party after the hearing, changed my sole custody to joint custody. No one had asked for joint custody and so it should not have been considered. I am not a believer in joint custody in any family court case that is high conflict. I still say that my unique position gives me the responsibility to act against judges who refuse to follow the law and enforce court orders. If a judge is going to sit before me, or you, or one day my son, shrug his shoulders and say, “what do you want me to do? I cannot enforce court orders and I cannot enforce laws!” then he just informed me that he needs to move to the unemployment line. I, as a taxpayer, pay his salary and I expect him to carefully review the court orders and the laws and the 13 factors, whether a child is 18 minutes old or almost 18 years old. When that child does turn 18, that judge is within his rights to send people away from court, but almost 18 is not any different than almost 21 and laws about drinking, almost having a driver’s license or any other almost. Unfortunately this judge told me that custody does not matter, but he would not put it in writing.
All I know is that changes need to be made in the family court. Really, since judges repeatedly tell people that they cannot enforce court orders or laws, there probably is no need to have a family court do anything but sign off on a divorce and parenting time agreement. Unfortunately, these judges get re-elected because people do not know anything about judges and they run unopposed. Either that or they have been appointed and cannot be unelected.
I am going to continue on with what I am doing as a coach and a mediator, but I am asking for your help. If you know anyone who is struggling with this system, put them in touch with me. If you know anyone who is just getting started in this system, put them in touch with me. They do not have to be in Minnesota for me to coach them. If you have or know someone who has a parenting consultant, parenting time expediter or judge who crosses the line, tell me about them here.
Lastly, if you want to make sure that we can elect good judges, who will follow the rule of law and enforce court orders, get involved. I am going to be finding other forces who share my views on this system and continue to speak the truth about it where ever I can. I have an opportunity to be a part of task forces and committees and will use that to share information and receive information. I am checking into this site and also this one and see what they are doing now. If they are still working for court reform, I will join them. I am asking you to share information about any other groups working toward judicial reforms and to join in the fight. Let’s lead the way to fire judges who are wasting our tax dollars. Also, if your judge is running for re-election on the ballot this year, let me know. We can see if there is any way to push for a campaign to elect an opponent. Time to send judges to the unemployment line!
If you have a judge that you feel is a good one, let me know so we can share that info as well!!