We live in an age where state authorities have taken it upon themselves to mandate relationships. As crazy as it sounds, that is what they do. We also have the court system creating syndromes where none exist. This is done so that people who are incapable of developing and maintaining relationships on their own, can force others to be in relationship with them. We have judges who want to play along in this little game of mandating relationships, and lawyers who allow it to happen because they can earn a lot of money doing so.
Read the latest, in a string of state control over children, from West Bloomfield, Michigan:
This is all such a farce for several reasons! First off, I contend that only an abusive parent would force their children to have a relationship with them. As difficult as it is, if the other parent is lying about you, but you are able to spend time with your children, the children will know how you treat them when they are with you. Children know. Children are not stupid. Children come to know the truth, as they experience it, not by what is written, not by what is told to them, but by their life experience of the time they spend with you.
Why this judge is participating in a farce:
1. The state’s only interest in the parent-child relationship is due to the state ensuring “the Best Interest of the Child”. Removing children from the safety of their home and both parents is not in their best interest, and will harm them in a FAR greater way than if they are not spending time with one parent. It may be harmful if they are being denied time with a parent, but we all know that children find a way to do what they want to do, especially as they get older.
2. If this judge truly believes that PAS is the problem here, then she would hold the mother accountable and not the children. Stop punishing the victims!
3. A reasonable parent would realize that court “forced” interaction with anyone will not deepen anyone’s affection for you. Maybe the father should ask for court ordered therapy sessions where they may get to the bottom of what is happening and work on their relationship. This would afford an opportunity to repair a broken relationship, and not demand “parental rights”.
I realize that there is much more to ANY court story than meets the eye. I will try and research this case to find out more information, but until then, on the surface, it is pretty pathetic. Both parents and the professionals on this case are failing the children and I hope, for the children’s sake, that someone will do the right thing!
The following is a repost from 1/14/13. It is important to post now because the video appears to have been scrubbed from the internet. Does that surprise anyone?
As you know, I am determined to raise awareness about Parenting Consultants, known in other states as Parenting Coordinators. I am also trying to help people avoid this process all together. See the video below, and I have added some links to Liz Library articles about PCs, too.
Well, praise be to God. After many years, and many parents trying and failing to get the news media to do a story on parenting consultants, a couple of brave Moms were able to finally shine a spotlight on the process. Information is power and so I do call this a success story. The journalist also interviewed Karen Irvin, a long time PC, and I suppose they had to do so in order to be fair, but that seemed to put the criticism back on the parents more than the process itself.
Personally, having experience on both sides of the process, I know that there is enough blame to go around. Parents can become quite hostile with one another. That is a problem. However, there is the problem of having a process that takes money away from the families who need it and having no way to get out of that process if you find it does not help your situation or it turns out to be much more expensive than you had anticipated.
The news story says that parenting consultant contracts are for two years. I still hear from a multitude of people that have no end date in the contract or court order. Much of what is wrong in the system is that the system does not educate itself on the latest recommendations, nor do they require any special education for parenting consultants. It is available, but it is not required. As Karen Irvin said, “We’ve developed a two-day training that we think should be four days, but I don’t know that we could get people to a four day training.” I’d like to challenge that thinking because many of these same people are willing to attend a three-day divorce camp!
Parents do share some of the responsibility for how bad the relationships are because there are times the PC is used as a weapon and just the presence of the court authority overseeing your life can invite nit-picky battles that probably would not happen without the presence of a court authority and the false sense of power that provides. But the court would be wise to put in place some on-going training requirements and also to adopt standard language for a pc order that includes a time limit either across the board or an agreed upon term determined by the parties at the time of the court order. Plus, I want to see attorneys required to inform clients that the court cannot order a parenting consultant if a party does not agree to have one. That does not happen very often.
I do have some things coming that I think will help the situation. I am just not at the point where I can make my announcements yet. Just know that some things are coming…soon.
Watch the news video and let me know what you think. Did this new story help to raise awareness?
When I wrote my book, “The Parenting Consultant Nightmare”, I knew that because things can change so quickly in Family Court, the book would need to be updated from time to time. I have tried to figure out how to keep parents updated on the latest trends in the world of Parenting Consultants or Parent Coordinators, and how to work with the process more efficiently. I have decided to offer low cost E-Books that you can download, for the latest information. These will be on a variety of topics to help you understand how to minimize the effects of on-going court battles, and move your family away from Family Court Case Managers, and back to at least one parent. It is not easy, but it can be done.
My latest E-Book, “Updates on the Parenting Consultant Nightmare-Therapy, Parenting Coordinators and Family Court” is now available through E-Junkie. Click on the Buy Now button above if you’d like to purchase it. You can also buy it through my Life’s Doors Mediation E-Book webpage linked below.
If you’d like to be notified when a new Ebook is available, please enter your email on my E-Book web page.
How do people become mired in the Family Court System? People who don’t believe in their own abilities become stuck in the Family Court System. People who feel wronged become stuck in the Family Court System. People who want to punish their ex become stuck in the Family Court System. People who want the world to know that they are not bad people become stuck in the Family Court system. Unfortunately for all of those people, going to court is not the answer.
The Family Court System is a crazy, mixed up world of opposite outcomes. What you would expect to see happen there, rarely happens. The frequent flyers in Family Court, or High Conflict families, if that is the preferred label these days, think that they can chip away at the system until the truth is uncovered. No one in the system is really trying to get to the truth because, truth be told, the truth doesn’t matter in Family Court. There. I said it. Do you know why the truth doesn’t matter in the world of the Frequent Flyers? Because we are talking about family matters. Families are made up of people, and truth is in the eye of the beholder. You have your truth, and the other side has their truth. Some of your truth may be true, but some of the other person’s truth might also be true. This is why the pendulum can swing back and forth between each side and keep you coming back for more in the never-ending game of swinging the pendulum your way again. The problem with that game is that the other person is playing it, too.
People put too much stock in the system, giving it, and the people in it, way too much power over their lives, but the system has never done anything to deserve this blind faith from the people. If the people realized just how little faith the Family Court System has in them, they would take their children, and their money, and give the system the finger. If you are mired in the Family Court System, take a step back for just a moment, and look at the stack of papers you hold from the court. What have they “given” you that you could not have given yourself? You held all the power in the first place. They took that power from you because you believed that the system was more powerful than you, and more powerful than your children. In your life, no one is more powerful than you. No one. Stop allowing your power to be stripped away from you.
The Family Court System has no faith in you. They do not believe that you can survive as a single parent without a piece of paper that tells you to do the right thing. They do not believe that you know what the right thing is, without a piece of paper that tells you what the right thing is. They brain wash you into believing what they want you to believe, and they convince you that they are the experts on divorced families, because then you will come back to them whenever someone is not following “the rules”.
When you had children, did you wait for someone to tell you that it was the right time? Did you wait for someone to tell you how to parent? Did you ask anyone’s permission to have a baby? Did you and the other parent plan out every minute of your parenting journey with the children? Probably not. You couldn’t foresee everything then, and you cannot foresee, or plan, for everything now that you are divorced either. I suspect most people, but definitely not all people, discussed having a child. If it was planned, they discussed the timing of starting a family, if they could afford to have a child, where the child would be when they could not be home to care for the child. Most people discuss the basics, but then, they were content to let the parenting styles develop and flourish as they learned on the job. When the other parent did not step up as you would have liked them to, you just stepped up, and did what you had to do, and there was probably no pat on the back for doing so, was there? You just did what life required of you, what your children required of you, what your family required of you. You just did.
Now that you walk the path as a single parent, can you just do again? Can you let go of a system that doesn’t believe in your ability? Can you have faith in your own ability? Can you step up when and where you need to step up? Can you have faith in your children to see the truth in who you are as a parent, and better yet, a person? Can you trust in your children to develop their own truth about the other parent? If that parent is who you think they are, good or bad, children will see, regardless of pieces of paper that say otherwise. Actions speak louder than words. Remember that. Live without the court now because you will have to live without the court when your children are 18, even though you will still be a parent. Will you pretend then, that you don’t know what to do without help? Of course not.
Can you improve your life, and the life of your children, because you have faith? If you need more money, go after it yourself. Get a better job. Stop relying on the other person. They have already proven to you that they don’t have the same view of truth that you do. They have already proven to you that the things you’d like them to care about do not matter to them in the same way they matter to you. Stop relying on someone who is unreliable. Don’t seek out worthless pieces of paper. Write your own piece of paper that says, I believe in myself, and then hang it somewhere that you will see it every single day, and then believe it.
The system does not believe that you can be a good parent without the help of the other parent. Prove them wrong. The system does not believe in your ability to provide for your family without financial help from a person who no longer wants to share their life, or their money, with you. Prove them wrong. The system wants to dictate to you how you are going to raise your children. Do not allow that.
You are the expert in your life, and you are the expert on your children. You are the only one who can achieve your dreams. Dreams are not awarded to you in a court order. Dreams are achieved by those who believe in their own abilities. You will achieve your dreams much easier by staying away from a system that has no faith in you. You cannot work on your dreams when you are working on punishing your ex. Do not spend your life looking for a court to tell the world that you are not a bad person. Show the world what kind of person you are by doing the right thing, just because it is the right thing, and by achieving your dreams because you have faith in yourself.
Last year, Life’s Doors Mediation went to all sliding scale fees for Mediation, Parenting Consultant and Parenting Time Expediter services. The change has been a good one for everyone, especially, the families that I want to serve. This has led me to the decision to go full sliding scale fee for 2015. Starting next year (and if you mention this post to me before then), all coaching and parent advocate services will be a sliding scale fee. My goal has always been to reach parents and help families to mostly stay out of court when possible, but to use the court in the most efficient way possible for those who do have to use it. Life is all about balance. Family Court should be there in some instances, but realistically, courts or the law cannot help you with emotional issues. A key piece of the coaching services I provide involves looking realistically at what is causing you the most difficulty, weeding out what you can combat on your own, what you need a lawyer to help you with, and what things are not yours to “fix”, but instead, learning to protect yourself and your children from abuses and intrusions from those who lash out at you.
Many things help you when used strategically, but you have to know where, when and how to apply them. This is where I come in. I am a divorce and co parenting coach, parent advocate, high conflict program instructor and mediation professional. Life’s Doors Mediation does focus on divorce and hostile co parenting issues, but I also coach couples and individuals on dating, confidence, self-awareness and much more!
Visit the website and if you are interested in coaching, give me a call and ask about my new sliding scale fees for coaching.