Trouble With a PC?

Spread the word!

Check out this new book to help guide families who have a court appointed parenting coordinator to manage their high conflict divorce!  It is called, “The Parenting Coordinator and Consultant Survival Guide” now available on Amazon.com!

This one is a must read!

The_Parenting_Coordi_Cover_for_Kindle
Buy Now!

Do You Recommend Your Parenting Consultant or PTE?


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I created my first website, I had a page called, “Rate Your PC”.  My plan was to collect information on all Parenting Consultants in Minnesota so we could find out if there were any good ones, and keep the good ones in business while weeding out the bad ones.  At the time, my attitude about being a PC was, “Hell NO!”  I NEVER wanted to inflict that kind of damage on a family.  Period.

After working as a coach, it turned out that most of my clients came to me for help dealing with their parenting consultant and hostile co-parent.  I blogged about PCs and people would find me because of that.  After a while, I decided that I really needed to write a book because all of the questions were the same: “How do you get rid of a parenting consultant (coordinator)?” “Why won’t they do something about my ex?”  “How did I become the bad guy in all of this?”  “Can you file a complaint against a PC?”  All of these questions and more are covered in my book, “The Parenting Coordinator and Consultant Survival Guide”

As part of my research for the book, I attending the training to be a Parenting Consultant.  Don’t think for a moment that my stomach wasn’t queasy.  It was.  I attended the Parenting Time expediter training as well, even though it was facilitated by my former PTE and PC.  I think she was much more intimidated than I was.  Because the training was pretty good, I did decide to offer these services.  It’s something I struggle with all the time.  Is it the right thing to do?  If you have any feedback on the question, I hope you’ll either comment after the post, or send in a contact form through my website.  Many clients tell me they want me to offer those services because I “get it”, but if I am their coach, I cannot be their PC.  I think parents greatly benefit more from coaching than PC work.  So keep that in mind.  Anyway, having attended the training, and offering PC services, made me rethink that “Rate your PC” page.  Not because I felt hypocritical in collecting the data, and not because I have become “one of them”, but because I realized it was not giving me what I was looking for.

Being a support person to parents who deal with  high conflict co-parenting situations is not easy.  I can help you with many things, and I have succeeded in empowering people into making the system work better for them, but I cannot make the situation go away completely. If you have a co-parent who is always on the attack, they are going to stay on the attack. However, if you are empowered, their interest in you tends to decrease significantly.  The less reactive you are, the less they continue to try.  So I have had to rethink and shift gears as I learn more about the issue from the viewpoint of the parenting consultants or parenting coordinators, and what works for you and what doesn’t and have changed my approach somewhat.  I decided to stop collecting that data and had good reasons to stop collecting it.

One reason was that I did not get any good reviews.  If anyone has had a parenting consultant or parent coordinator on your case, that makes sense.  You would not expect to find anyone who knows how to manage these high conflict cases.  But are there really no good ones?  Typically, people are willing to take time reporting a negative, but rarely will report a positive.  I’d like to find out there are some good ones available, but it did not look like anyone would let me know that aspect of the role.

Another reason  I quit collecting data is because people are afraid.  They are not going to turn in that information unless they know me and trust me.  Let’s face it, those of you in high conflict cases involving a PC just do not trust anyone.  You end up wondering where the information goes and who does it go to and worry that you may not stay anonymous?  My clients do learn they can trust me, and that I am not “one of them (PCs)” so through my daily work I can learn who the good and bad PCs are.  Again, no good PCs to report, but if you had someone who actually decreased the conflict, why would you be looking for a website, blog or coach to tell that story to?  Most likely, you would just go about living life, quite happily, I might add.  I still like to hold out hope that there are some out there.

Since I no longer collect information about PCs,  I want to share with you a website where you can write a review of your parenting consultant, parenting coordinator or parenting time expediter.  It has been around for a while, but the owner of the site  is not really going through those court issues anymore, from what I understand, and so I don’t think the owner does much with the site anymore.  That makes it harder to find when searching on the internet.  You can help move it up in the searches by adding reviews. The reviews are listed as a Parenting Time Expediter directory, but most PTEs also work as PCs.

For anyone who wants to write a review of their court professional, please do so on that directory site.  I think it would be an excellent resource for parents who need to choose a PC or PTE, whether the first time appointing one, or if the old one has left the case and they need to appoint someone new.  If you have anyone to report on, please do it at:

www.mnparent.org

I hope that we can raise awareness about that site so that people can come away with options for who to appoint and not to appoint.  Remember, it is important to share who the good guys are.  It’s not just about the bad guys!

UPDATE 2019: Unfortunately, mnparent.org is no longer operational.  The parent who ran that site no longer deals with family court because his child is grown.  If I find another or if you one of you decides to start a review site, please comment and I will update this post with the information.

One caution on review sites: If you do not understand the role of a parenting consultant (or parent coordinator, as they are called in other states), you may be creating a hellish situation for yourself or having unrealistic expectations.  No PC is a miracle worker.  We cannot change people, especially those coming to the process in bad faith.  The role is not an easy one, but it can help parents who understand the purpose and power of a parenting consultant (or coordinator).  Remember, help is available for that.  You can contact me or the good folks at High Conflict Central.

Coming Soon!






As I have mentioned before, I have been very busy working on a couple of major projects.  I hope to bring help and guidance to parents who are stuck in coparenting hell and maybe bring some change to the way coparenting conflicts are handled in Minnesota.  I am ready to finally announce one of my projects is complete.  You will soon be able to purchase my first book, “The Parenting Consultant Nightmare”.

The book is in the editing stages right now, which is taking a little longer than I had hoped, but I do expect that it will be available for purchase within 2 weeks or so.  Stay tuned.

“The Parenting Consultant Nightmare” is a simple explanation of the parenting consultant process, the pitfalls, how to avoid it if you can, and if you can’t, offers some communication strategies and coping techniques.  I think maybe even a parenting consultant could gain some insight into why parents often react the way they do, but it may be too much to expect for any of them to read it.  Time will tell.

Anyway, it was hard for me not to announce it months ago, but I wanted to wait until the time was right and I think it is close enough to fruition that it is time to make the announcement!





If you would like to be notified once the Parenting Consultant Nightmare is available for purchase, contact me.  It will be available through my website, Amazon and some select retailers and will cost $19.95.




Transition Time



 


There is a lot going on for the Coparent Coach.  Right now, I am without an office, but that does not mean I am out of business.  I am expanding.  I hope to announce my new office location within the week.  My office location will still be in the north metro.  Until my new office is confirmed, I have use of a space in Blaine so do not hesitate to call for any of my services.  The phone numbers are the same!

I am entering into a co-op arrangement with the Circle of Healing Arts.  We have been looking at shared office space options.  I am very excited to join this group.  Our goals are the same:  to offer healing, relaxation and stress management to help people achieve the life of their dreams.

The reason that I need a bigger space is because I have completed training to be a High Conflict Diversion Program instructor.  My goal is to bring this 12 week program to all areas of Minnesota within the next few years.  For those who are stuck in a mess of on-going court interaction with a hostile co-parent, this class will give you a gateway out of the system.  What I have always tried to do is offer parents ways that they can disengage from the family court system and regain their lives.  When you can escape the family court nightmare, you are better able to focus on your children.  That is huge!  

The first classes will be offered in the north metro, probably Coon rapids, Blaine or New Hope. I will post the registration page, as soon as the location is set and the page is ready, so I hope you will sign up without delay.  Let me know if you are interested in the program so that I can expand to areas of Minnesota where people want me to go.  Also, if you have classroom space available for me to use, give me a call.  I can start a class ASAP, all I need is a classroom.  I am gaining the support of some influential people, including a few judges, so everything is moving in the right direction.  For more info about Minnesota’s piece of the High Conflict Diversion Program , stay tuned.  My page will be added to the main site soon, but if you are not in Minnesota, see if your state is listed. 

My days are extremely busy of late, and that is great news!  I recently joined the Family Innocence Project as a volunteer.  The project is the brain child of attorney, Michelle MacDonald.  My association with Michelle can only be described as divine intervention.  I will write about the amazing story of how Michelle and I connected, years after she was my ex husband’s attorney, in a later post.  No doubt, believers will believe that the hand of God is being felt in the Family Court System.  If you are not familiar with the Family Innocence Project, please visit their website and spread the word.  Or as Michelle MacDonald would say, “Spread the bird!”

I am still a parent leader with Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota.  April is Child Abuse Prevention  month.  Check out all the events on their website and read the book, “The Whole Brain Child” as part of PCAMN’s community book club!  Get involved.  This will be another piece of the Coparent Coach in my new larger location.  I will host Community cafes and parent Learning Institutes.

Last, but not least, my book, “The Parenting Consultant Nightmare“, is still in the editing stages, but I hope to release it any day now.  I will post about the release of the book as soon as it is released.

Everything I am doing is near and dear to my heart.  I am glad to have you on this journey with me.  Stay tuned!


Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net





The Parenting Consultant Nightmare is Now Available!





Its here.  It’s here!!!  Much later than I had hoped, but it is here!  Editing is a tedious process and I have learned that for future books, but hopefully that makes this title user friendly. 

I am not a lawyer and I am not a psychologist, but this book has tips you need to avoid a Parenting Consultant Nightmare for your family.  If you read it and think that your parenting consultant should read it, do not give it to them personally.  Email me with their info and I will make them aware of the book and encourage them to read it.  You might get in trouble with your pc for implying they do not know what they are doing.  Allow me to take the risk for you!

Also, tell anyone you know who is living in Family Court hell that there is a guide to parenting consultants now available.

Buy it today on Amazon or Create space





Mistakes Moms Make


Yesterday I reached out to the Liz Library to help me promote my book, “The Parenting Consultant Nightmare“.  Liz declined because she is opposed to joint custody.  I am, too, but I can respect Liz’s opinion.  I am not sure why people neglect the word, “Nightmare” in my book’s title.  The book is not a pro PC book.  Apparently Liz thought it was promoting parenting consultants.  It is not.  No matter.  It was good that it gave me reason to review the Liz Library again.  I had not been there for quite some time and I find much of the information on the site extremely helpful to the parents who are being held prisoner in the Family Court System and I have listed the site in my resources page.

I found out a couple of tidbits from the Liz Library.  One I am going to cover in a new post, but the other is a very accurate article about mistakes moms make in custody cases.  Please read about it here.





Clarity about the Parenting Consultant Nightmare




I am a little baffled when I reach out to people to make them aware of my book and they vehemently decline to have anything to do with it, thinking that it is promoting the use of Parenting Consultants or Parent Coordinators.  That is absolutely the opposite of what my point of publishing this book was all about.

Is everyone missing the word “nightmare” in the title?  It is called, “The Parenting Consultant Nightmare” for a reason.  I could have called it, “The Parenting Consultant Myth”, or “The Parenting Consultant Lie”, too.  The purpose of the book is to try to get to people before they sign on with a pc so that they know the reality of what having a meddling court authority in your life entails.  I also made the book a user guide to pcs because one reality is if you have a high conflict divorce situation, then you most likely have had a pc appointed.  Pcs are handed out by the family court, judges and promoted by attorneys like candy to a child.  Heavily promoted as “help” when they are anything but help!

Anyway, there seems to be a great deal of misunderstanding about my book, so let me clear that up right now.

I have been helping people in regards to the truth about Family Court for 15 years.  My own case was fed by family court and its authorities, even though we had little in the way of assets to fight over and very little money to spend in the family court, but because of the relationship between my ex and I, we slipped into the family court quicksand looking for remedies.  I learned a little too late that the only real remedy in family court is the equivalent of a prison cell.  If you go down the path of third party “neutral” problem solvers, your life is no longer your own and the remedy of a parenting consultant/coordinator appointment means that you lose control of the legal custody of your children.  That is what you give up when you sign up with a pc or even a guardian ad litem.

So why the book?  When I work with parents who have a pc that they cannot get removed from their case, they learn the realities of what has been imposed on their life and their children’s lives.  From someone who has experienced it firsthand, who is not an attorney, they can hear the truth about the trap in terms that you and I can understand, rather than the legal lingo that doesn’t make sense to most of us court outsiders.  I cannot help them get rid of a pc, but if I can get to people prior to the appointment of a pc, I do help them avoid signing up for that kind of hell, but if they already have the court order, the most I can do is help them minimize the effects in their life.

Usually, people come to me when they are at their wit’s end.  They are emotionally, physically and financially exhausted and they do not know where to turn.  Attorneys do not offer anything helpful at this point.  They just refer people to the pc or tell them it is what it is, deal with it, and send people away with a nice bill for the advice they gave.  They have no idea how overwhelming the whole process is for someone who just wants their right to parent their child back.  After some straight talk with me, they feel better and they have some clarity.  They might be angry that no one stopped them from signing an agreement appointing a parenting consultant/coordinator, but they finally feel heard and understood.  They are also, hopefully, empowered after talking to me, even for just a couple hours.  Everyone I have worked with has suggested that I become a pc, a lawyer or that I write a book.  I took their advice on two of those suggestions.

The last thing I ever expected in my life was to have the crazy eight year battle I had in the family court.  The last thing I ever expected, in any way, was to be a part of this crazy system as a career choice.  I set out on this journey knowing that it is my calling.  I got the call from God to use this knowledge and not to waste all the truth I had and experience received from the school of hard knocks that is the family court system.  This knowledge was given to me so that I would be an active participant in life and appreciate the gifts I had and teach others to choose not to waste their lives or their parenting stuck in the system.  There has absolutely been some divine intervention that put me on the right path.

Ten years ago, I never would have put my thoughts on a blog for the world to read.  That would have scared me to death.  But I knew I had to help people who would come into the system after me.  I wanted to avoid like the plague including the role of parenting consultant in my business, but then my clients begged me to reconsider.  They felt that because I knew how meddling most pcs were, I could offer the services of a parenting consultant of a different breed.  I took it to heart. I am what some would call the reluctant pc, but I do know it is necessary.  I am hoping to build my practice so that I can train more pcs to act responsibly in the role.  No meddling, just decision making. I am working with the family innocence project to find a new way to lift up our families, rather than tear them apart, even when they must choose divorce. Some relationships are toxic and you should be able to correct the wrong choice in a partner, but you also must be protected from the injustice of the family court system.  Now, the person who I am today, can write a book to offer help and hope to those stuck with communication tips and coping strategies.  That is what my book is, a guide for you and I have put it out there without fear of the ramifications of doing so.

So, from the beginning, my clients encouraged me to offer pc services.  I offer that, but also try to dissuade people from starting down that path.  If they already are court ordered to have a pc, then I will take that case on without all the meddling and nonsense that goes with it.

Clients also encouraged, well actually, begged me, to write a book about parenting consultants and I have.  I do not understand the comments people give me against the book, thinking it promotes parenting consultants/coordinators.  It absolutely does not.  Read it and count how many times I suggest that if you do not have a parenting consultant, not to ever agree to have one!

The only thing I have not done that people have begged me to do is to become an attorney.  I am happy with where I am at in life and career.  As an attorney I would have to “play ball” and respect judges and other attorneys, court authorities when I would not truly have respect for them.  I will not do that.  I will not support this system that destroys families and children in that way.  As a coach though, I can be the one person on your side.  The one person to bring sanity to an absolutely insane situation.  So that is why I do what I do.

Consider buying the book so that you can learn the truth about my book and why I do the things I do.  And stay tuned, more books are on the way, exposing more reality about the family court system.  Just in case you are wondering, I am not one of them.  If you want to know more about me and why I do what I do, give me a call!