Like a Fly on the Wall


Every once in a while I hear a song that sounds perfect for the high conflict co-parenting situation and my own metamorphosis from victim to strong outspoken advocate.  These lyrics grabbed me.  See what you think if you apply them to your own situation.

If you could just see it all just like a fly on the wall, would you be able to accept what you can’t control?

The fights are exhausting and frightening, this I do know.  Can you start to separate your life from the high conflict court mind control and time that you hold with your children and not let it in?  Sometimes, we create our own prison.







Do You Know Who You Really Are?


A big part of healing is to examine how you got to where you are.  What are your fears?  What holds you back?  How can you find peace and heal?  How can you open your mind to new ways of thinking and be free to create, to be, to do?  The journey into creating a nurturing home and reshaping a family begins with you freeing yourself and allowing yourself to be the you that you were meant to be and setting an example for your children so that they can be who they were meant to be.






:-( Sad News to Report


I am very sad to share the news I am going to share with you.  As soon as I saw the headline, I wondered if it was the same country star I had written about in a previous post.  I am very sad to say that it was.

The prolonged court battles take quite a tool on people.  I wish the court would know how much damage it really does.  I wish I had had a chance to speak to Mindy McCready.  It may not have had made any difference though.  There are some people who fall into addictions and cannot be helped, at least not without facing the addiction demon first.  
You will hear Mindy’s story and I already can see that the press is making it all about drug and alcohol issues and downplaying the effects of the family court nightmare.  I do not know which was a problem first.  All I know is this woman hurt and nothing the family court did helped those children.  Those children now have no opportunity to know their mother.
I have said before, I don’t have all the answers.  What I do know is how custody battles can shred people and destroy lives.  Liars win and protective parents are misunderstood and misjudged.
God bless all of you readers who struggle with this on a daily basis.  By the grace of God, I made it through.  I knew that because of the knowledge I had that I had to help people.  I swore to God that if he brought me and my children through, I would do just that.  If you are reaching the end of your rope, hold on and reach out to someone who will help you.  Please call me and let’s take stock of your situation and try to turn it around.  I really am in your corner and I know what it is like.  I am not one of “them”.





Reflections From the Coach


My business is evolving and because of all of the recent opportunities coming my way, I have not had time to blog.

There has been a lot going on with Life’s Doors Mediation.  I have kept my mediation business separate from the coaching that I do because both entities operate much differently and when I started out, I was judged harshly about things I posted on the blog.  There were even times when attorneys would dissuade their clients from attending mediation with me.  I was lacking the confidence to stand my ground at that time.  That is no longer true.  I am leaning toward putting both pieces back together again.  There is now a third piece, as well.

I sometimes struggle with my place in between people who are suffering and being involved in the Family Court System.  The parents are the ones I am most concerned about because the system is massive and can fend for itself.  No matter what happens outside the system, it will survive and evolve in the same way my business does.  I have no doubt that my business will survive because of the people I work with.  When they get spit on by the system, they need someone to turn to.  Often, the insights and support I provide gives them a place to go away from the court.  I offer a start to healing and building a new life.  I cannot offer them complete freedom from court if they have an ex who simply wants to attack them.  I cannot stop or fix their ex.  What I can do is offer them someone who will listen to them.

I am reflecting today because the family courts are much worse than they were when I went through court.  Custody is denied to parents who try to protect their children.  If one does not embrace the idea of co-parenting and honor the other parent’s role as a parent, the court will devastate you.  It is difficult to honor the other parent when they have abused you.  I want to impress upon you that family court starts with the idea that children need both of their parents.  Those who try to interfere with parenting time for any reason must prove endangerment. By that I mean, proving physical harm.  If you cannot prove that, you stand no chance of keeping the children away from the other parent and with good reason.  Parents are parents and should have the right to be with their children.  I do not want to go too in depth because I know there are cases where children have been taken away from a good parent because the parent was misjudged and misunderstood through out the process.  In cases like those, if you examine what happened to those parents, you can see where the parent went astray and where the officials involved with them failed them and their children.

This is not a system to trifle with.  I can help you navigate this system and get what you need and get out and stay out, if I get to you early in the process.  If the damage is already done, I can help you keep things from getting any worse and learning how to use the resources available to you in the way they were meant to be used.  This helps you keep court intrusions to a minimum.

When you read any of my old blog posts, take them with a grain of salt.  The family court system is an ever changing animal and what works today may not work tomorrow.  I am not an attorney or a licensed psychologist.  I am someone who understands the system from both sides.  Please tread very carefully when you seek help from the system.  It is rare that you will find help, peace or justice there.  Do not be the one to invite them into your life or your children’s life.  If you feel stuck in the system, I would love to meet with you and review the path of how you got there.  Where ever possible, we will look for other resources for you so that you can disengage from the system.  The longer you push the court system for help, the greater the risk that you will lose parenting time.  You have nothing to lose by consulting with me, but if you continue to look to the court system for help, you might just lose time with your children.





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





On the Move




I can finally announce my new business address.  I am moving my office to 299 Coon Rapids Blvd. in Coon Rapids.  This move will give me the space to offer the high conflict diversion program, a first of its kind offering in Minnesota.  Classes are offered on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 pm.  Choose the night that works best for you.  The program is designed so that you can join any week.  If you are involved with a hostile co-parenting situation, you will want to take these classes.  The program works only if one parent goes through the program and you will not have to worry about being in class with your ex.  If both parents enroll, they will attend on separate nights or one will attend after the other has completed the program.

There are plans to expand the high conflict diversion program to different areas of the twin cities so if Coon Rapids is not convenient for you, tell me where you’d like to see the program offered.  I want to make sure that I go where there is interest.  If you live too far away from the metro area and would be interested in attending a live web program, let me know that as well.  I am open to all ideas that help parents in the state of Minnesota.

You will start seeing the Coparent Coach integrated into Life’s Doors Mediation. Not to worry, this blog and the forum will not go away.  I will still make everything available to my faithful readers.  All services offered by the Coparent Coach will be available through Life’s Doors Mediation.  You may see that the blog and forum pages are listed on the mediation site and linked back here.  I hope this isn’t too confusing for you.  This blog will continue to be maintained.

Feel free to call me if you have any questions.

Image courtesy of SundayMorning / FreeDigitalPhotos.net





A Tale of Two Blogs




As I have mentioned, I am changing the way I do business.  In the past, I have been managing my mediation practice and coaching services.  As I mediator, my focus is on Minnesota, but as a coach, I have been reaching out to people across the nation, and even throughout the world.

When I started out, I found it best to have 2 websites.  That was for professional reasons and also for technical reasons.  On the professional side, reaching out as a coach does turn off some potential mediation clients and I have had to make peace with this fact.  On the technical side, search engines require certain key words to drive traffic, and to focus locally makes it harder to find those high conflict people I hope to work with.  As a mediator, face to face is the best way to go.  There is a way to mediate by phone or internet, but still, face to face works best and my clients are going to be mainly from Minnesota.  As a coach, I can, and often do, work long distance by phone, email or webcam.  So to try to figure out managing my own website in the beginning, it seemed easier to separate the two.  Both pieces of my business operate much differently, and I have to use a different mindset when I am in the different roles.  I have no problem doing this, but have had to deal with people and their perceptions about this.  Operating the two pieces separately has worked fairly well.

Because I am now adding a third piece to my business, with the high conflict diversion program, I have had to revisit running two websites and two blogs.  Being more experienced with mediation, coaching and the people I serve, it makes sense to stop running two websites.  I have made the decision to integrate everything into my mediation practice, Life’s Doors Mediation, but I want to do so in a way that I can meet the needs of those who find me when they are searching for information.  Blogs are a great way for people to find people and services around the world.  I think that my two blogs have important information so I do not want to get rid of either one of them. 

I will no longer maintain the Coparent Coach website.  That website will redirect people to Life’s Doors Mediation website.  The Court Craziness Blog, and the Court Battle Forum, have been integrated into Life’s Doors Mediation’s website so that you can continue to access all of the information that brought you to me, no matter what avenue you went through.  I have never been a fan of the co-parent idea because when it does work, people do not need help to make it work.  When it doesn’t work, it is a nightmare for all and that is where I come in.  I understand how a parallel parenting plan works much better for the high conflict family.  That is why I have decided to drop the Coparent Coach name. 

The only thing that you have to worry about is that this blog will still be here and I will continue to share information, and you can still join the forum to chat with each other.  I have a second blog, “Door to Happiness Blog” that will have more uplifting stories and articles so I encourage you to read them both.

As always, if you have any suggestions for either blog, or wish to tell your story (anonymously), contact me.  I welcome guest bloggers and I know that if you are looking for certain information, it is likely that others are, too.

As for my services, contacting me though Life’s Doors Mediation is the best way to contact me.  The toll free number will still be available for those long distant clients and the website will have the most up to date information about my services.





Now is a Good Time to Think About the Next School Year



I know that school just got out or is almost done, depending on your school district, but one of the most common post decree disputes is where your children will attend school.  This is something you need to deal with sooner, rather than later, because if you wait, you may run out of summer.

Even if you have a parent coordinator or parenting consultant, they may have several families who come to them this time of year for a decision about school.  Do not assume that you are the only family they work with.  Get the issue out on the table.  Maybe there won’t be any issue.  Great.  You can breathe a sigh of relief.

Maybe this will be an issue for mediation.  Again, you want to make sure there is time for resolution before the next school year.  I have known cases where parents have fought about school placement up until the weekend before school and then they decide to ask a judge to make an emergency decision.  That kind of behavior will not work out very well for your child or you.

I know that there are some of you who avoid any interaction with your ex like the plague and with good reason, but if you leave an opening, your ex may just leap in and take charge.  That will not work out well either.

I hope that you and your children get to enjoy summer and not think about any court proceedings.  Summer can be a time when things settle down a little bit.  But you know that if you and your ex cannot agree on anything, you may want to get the ball rolling.  It will be less stressful to resolve these important matters without having to panic under a fast approaching deadline in August.

And don’t forget about those extracurricular activities!