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!
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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





Pennsylvania Bans Parent Coordinators


Yesterday I mentioned learning a couple of new tidbits on the Liz Library website.  This one warranted its own post because it is HUGE news.  I am starting to see an awakening of people in the family court system here in Minnesota so do not be surprised if this were to happen here, too.

On April 23rd, ironically just one day after my book was published, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court adopted rule 1915.11-1 stating, “parent coordinators are no more and the only judges have the authority to make decisions in child custody cases”.  You can read about the rule here.  Just think about the happy parents in Pennsylvania who woke up that morning to find that their court order appointing a parenting coordinator is null and void!  There are probably parties that are still going at this very moment.  I know that I would have taken a week off from work to celebrate that one, had Minnesota declared my pc appointment null and void.

Minnesota likes to be an odd duck.  We are the only state in the nation who utilizes parenting time expediters, and most states call this third party neutral “parent coordinators”, but we call them “parenting consultants” here.

I think that based on Pennsylvania’s determination, someone in every state should use that as legal precedent to ban them in every state, no matter what term is used to name them.  Wouldn’t that just be fabulous??

These days, I am struggling with the idea of being 100% anti-parenting consultant.  Hear me out.  I have been anti-pc since I went through my ordeal years ago, but I can see where there could be a use for such a decision maker.  The problem is that the parenting consultants exert too much power and no one really polices them, but I wonder if they were only able to make decisions on a legally defined issue, such as which school a child attends, etc., would that piece of it be helpful?  It is a tough call because I believe that if left on their own, post decree, that most parents would settle into a relationship that works for their family.  It may be more of a parallel parenting plan that they adopt and that should be ok.  The reason parenting consultants/coordinators are so harmful is because they are pushing the idea of co-parenting, which is not appropriate for every case.  Most couples that can co-parent, do not have to be court ordered to do so, but those co-parents have never had to have a parenting consultant/coordinator appointed anyway. 

The area in which I most struggle with understanding how to help parents is for those cases where a parent has not been able to have any parenting time with their children because the other parent will not allow it.  These cases do happen.  So what can we do about that?  I know that even when there is a parenting consultant in place, it does not stop the interference with parenting time or custody rights.  The pc can order compensatory parenting time, but that doesn’t mean the other parent will honor that either.  Herein lies the conundrum.  Still, I think that eventually, nature will take its course.  A child who is denied the right to spend time with one of their parents will be the ultimate judge.  That child will be an adult one day and will choose to seek out that parent.  There is a natural curiosity about who we are as individuals that will determine the future relationship between a parent and their child, and if that child one day has a child, they might be more interested in sharing their child with a grandparent that they have not known much about growing up.

It seems to me that the role of parenting consultant has more to do with what a parent wants than what is truly best for the child.  I think about a friend of mine who was adopted.  She has no knowledge of her biological parents, other than the fact that they were kind enough to put her in an orphanage, rather than abort her.  She was adopted by wonderful parents and accepted into a wonderful family with siblings who always accepted her as one of their own.  How different would her life have been if there had been a parenting consultant to make her spend time with her Korean parents that gave her away?  In her case, she would tell you that she suffered no ill effects from not knowing her biological parents and has no interest in looking them up.  The only thing that was problematic was when it came to medical history for her and her daughter.  They knew no medical history, but do we always know 100% our family medical history?  Probably not.

I always hear people say that family court laws are crazy, but the truth is, our laws are pretty good, the problem is that no one will enforce them.  Lately, the nutty family court decisions I have seen are strictly due to a judge using their full discretion and not applying any law whatsoever.  Quite frankly, judges need to stop being so wussy.  We have laws for a reason and they should use them!  When a parent is denied parenting time or custody rights, we do have law 609.26, depriving another  of custodial or parental rights.  The judges do not want to apply that one.  How can a judge decide they are not going to apply law?  What a criminal court judge decides they do not want to apply the law against murder?  C’mon, judges.  Wake up.  When laws are put on the books, it is your job to apply them, not make your own laws.

We have laws for contempt of court.  We have law 609.26, as mentioned above.  I have heard it said that, “Judges do not find it helpful to fine parents or put them in jail.”  Isn’t that possibly the reason for family court run amuck?  Parents come to know that they will not be fined and they will not be put in jail for denying the other parent their parenting time, so if there was the possibility of repercussions like jail time, wouldn’t the attitude of some of those parents change?  What about the child who grows up knowing that there are laws, but you do not have to abide by them and when you choose not to, absolutely nothing will happen to you?  Aren’t we inviting the next generation to spend their time in family court, too?

That is just my two cents.

It seems to me, back in the day of “fault” divorce and no child support, that people completed their divorce and went on about their new lives.  There were no family court policemen, called parent coordinators, to tell you what to do.  It just was what it was.  If dad went off and paid no child support, mom did what she had to do to raise those children.  Sometimes a parent was a jerk and the other parent and the children had to learn to deal with that. What are they learning now?

The laws aren’t bad, the court acting as therapist is.  Third party neutrals who admit they are impartial because they cannot be “neutral” when they make decisions are making decisions that they are not qualified for.  I say we let courts do the administrative paper work of divorce and custody, the legal work of it one could say, and allow families to find other more qualified professionals to deal with the after math, and if a parent is denied the right to see their child, let the criminal court take over because what it actually is, is a violation of law 609.26, which is under the criminal code.  This law must have been put on the books for a reason!  For clarification sake, 609 is under the criminal code.  518 is where you can find dissolution and child custody, which is considered domestic relations.  Compare the statutes.

At any rate, let us celebrate Pennsylvania for having a supreme court with common sense and the guts to make an important change like banning parent coordinators!




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!