I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Parental Alienation ~ Judge blocks sending teen for deprogramming treatment

This is an interesting decision but it speaks loudly to the dysfunction in our Family Courts as the parental dispute has been going on since 1999 with the 2 children in the middle. That is tragic. Would this be the case with a presumption of shared and equal parenting? The family obviously has money to use so lawyers can play their games and buy their Mercedes Benz's and Porches at the expense of children's emotional health and financial legacy. Dr. Warshak has declined to discuss this further with Makin, the reporter, who has shown his bias toward PA by using the feminist Professor Jaffe at UWO to call Dr. Warshak's work quackery. Interesting how the media and the target "expert" can become so symbiotic to try and squash new ways to try and resolve a serious problem. It is pretty clear where Makin stands on it./MJM Globe & Mail

JUSTICE REPORTER

An Ontario judge yesterday blocked an attempt to forcibly send a Toronto child for deprogramming treatment in a controversial parental-alienation program in California.

Madam Justice Thea Herman of the Superior Court became the first judge to rule against the controversial treatment orders, overturning a 2008 arbitrator's order that the 14-year-old boy be coercively treated.

"The remedy of the Family Workshop, as acknowledged by the arbitrator and the parties, is an extreme one," Judge Herman said in her ruling. "That means that caution should be exercised in awarding such a remedy."

Treatment at the clinic - founded by Richard Warshak - involves isolating a child from the parent who is identified as having poisoned his or her emotions toward the other parent. Therapists then attempt to undo the child's hostile feelings.

Judge Herman said that the child and his 17-year-old brother, who can legally refuse forced treatment, must be assessed by an independent psychiatrist to determine whether the deprogramming would benefit or cause them damage.

Jan Weir, a lawyer for the children's father, said yesterday that Judge Herman's order will likely prevent the boys from ever being sent for deprogramming because an assessment will take at least six months.

"Effectively, I don't think these kids are going," Mr. Weir said in an interview. "I don't think that will ever happen now."

The children's parents have been locked in a bitter war of attrition since they split up in 1999. Last year, they agreed to appoint an arbitrator. However, the father disagreed strongly with the arbitrator's decision to send the children for deprogramming and appealed it to Superior Court.

In her ruling, Judge Herman concluded that the arbitrator placed too much stock in an opinion that Dr. Warshak offered to the effect that the children would benefit from his program.

She said that the independent assessment should focus, in particular, on whether the 14-year-old boy, who has Klinefelter's Syndrome, would undergo psychiatric suffering if his older brother opts out of treatment and he is sent alone.

Mr. Weir said in the interview that he was shocked when the arbitrator ordered treatment since he had little more than Dr. Warshak's say-so that the program is effective.

"Warshak saw only the mother -but not the father or the boys," Mr. Weir added. "He said that he wasn't giving a definitive opinion, but he actually did."

Mr. Weir said that, at a cost of $40,000 for four days of treatment, the program is expensive as well as unproven.

"Warshak came up a year and a half ago and did his first seminar," he said. "My impression at the time was, I think he has failed to establish himself with the psychologists or psychiatrists in the U.S., and now he's coming to Canada.

Earlier this week, Dr. Warshak rebuffed a request to discuss his program. "I have been very generous with my time speaking to journalists at your newspaper and other Canadian media outlets, but now I must turn my attention to other tasks," he said in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail.

Oh dear what will the paranoid anonymums do now!! ~ It appears mothers kill their children at a much greater rate down under than dads

The Ozzy radical feminist group calling themselves anonymums must be in a state of apoplexy discovering they are not as innocent and kind and gentle as they have proclaimed. If you look at the web sites and blogs they operate it will become clear to you quickly they are anything but kind, gentle and loving in their hatred of - could it be all men (and women who support men) or am I just exaggerating into hyperbole? Note below the combined rate of mother and male partner who is not the biological father is 16 and dad is 5. As is pointed out any child death at the hand of a parent is tragic but the Ozzy situation is similar to North America. It makes me just a little sad when I hear the feminists and DV Industry people talk about the mother protecting the child while the dad is an evil abuser of children. Abuse rates of children by mothers are also higher in North America.MJM

MEDIA RELEASE

For immediate release

Monday 9th February 2009

Kids are safer with Dads

The Australian Institute of Criminology has reviewed the most recent child homicide statistics from its National Homicide Monitoring Program. The new data shows that during 2006-07, eleven child homicides were perpetrated by a mother, while five perpetrators were fathers, and another five were de-facto partners of the mother who lived with the child. Importantly, no child victims were killed by a complete stranger during this period.

Greg Andresen, spokesman for radio program Dads on the Air said, “Stories are appearing regularly in the media inferring that the safety of children is put at risk when the courts award sole custody to fathers or when shared custody is given to both parents. These figures show that, in terms of child homicides, this simply isn’t the case. Children are three times safer when they are with their fathers than when they are with other custodians.”

Dads in Distress co-ordinator for Western Sydney, Phil York said, “Whenever a child is killed, it is a tragic, devastating, incomprehensible event. We need to examine the reasons why parents sometimes kill their children: their mental health issues and the social pressures that might lead them to commit this most horrific of acts. The real tragedy is that our health and social services aren’t finding these parents and helping them before it’s too late.”

Media contacts:

Greg Andresen greg@dadsontheair.net 0403 813 925

Phil York didswesternsydney@yahoo.com.au 0401 426 101

Global Search for Andrew John THOMPSON Update #2, February 2009

http://api.ning.com/files/4zJ**oRyIGkcJGlJE9LpDo9UKheXeWKbvIvFU1zgdewz28yT000ZcpFaEdaqcLSO-VVSlS7QEigfAmH01OSSegXrmSjN0H8x/ANDREW2.JPG?width=437&height=600

If you have seen Andrew or Melinda please contact your local Police urgently who will contact Interpol - do not approach Melinda THOMPSON

Please distribute to people on your email list

It is now more than nine months since Andrew’s abduction and disappearance.

In addition to enquiries being made by the Australian Federal Police, Interpol, and other Australian Government and international agencies, a global multi-media campaign was launched on 13th December 2007. It commenced with an article in the Daily Telegraph, which immediately led to extensive national media coverage and some international media/multi-media exposure.

Several Australian TV news and radio networks plus A Current Affair ran stories about Andrew and The Age newspaper in Melbourne ran a feature article on international parental child abductions in which they featured Andrew’s story.

On 13th January I was interviewed by a national radio station in Canada where Andrew has also been officially registered as a missing child.

Following another story in today’s edition of The Australian newspaper, mainstream media has again focused on Andrew’s abduction and disappearance. ABC TV National News presented a story about his abduction.

I am now working on getting media exposure about Andrew in Europe and Asia. Media releases are now being distributed throughout Europe.

Thousands of people from around the world have responded to the call to join the Global Search for Andrew email campaign through Andrew’s Facebook site and through his Youtube site.

Statistics:

  • There are more than 2000 people on Andrew’s ‘Global Search’ email list.

  • The ‘Global Search for Andrew’ email and supporting material has been translated into 14 European and four Asian languages.

  • The email and Andrew’s missing child posters are being distributed throughout the UK, Europe, Asia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, The Philippines, Canada, the USA, South America, parts of the former Eastern Bloc, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

  • 4100 people from around the world have joined Andrew’s Facebook site in the past month and many of these people have now joined the ‘Global Search for Andrew’ email campaign.

  • Andrew’s Youtube site has recorded one of the highest daily hit-rates of any missing child video posted by Forever Searching in the UK (about 200 per day).

  • Dozens of websites and blogs around the world are now carrying information about Andrew’s abduction and disappearance.

  • An Australian internet company has distributed Andrew’s email to its 30,000 subscribers as well as posting the ‘Global Search for Andrew ‘ email and all the supporting material in its various translations on their website.

  • An aircraft company in the US distributed the email to 10,000 employees and contractors world-wide.

  • A professor at the University of Sydney sent the email to 6500 people around the world.

  • A well known production company that predominantly produces programs for children in the US is distributing the email through its global network.

  • An international airline is handing out a ‘Missing Andrew John THOMPSON’ flyer to all passengers on its international flights.

  • On their own initiative, NSW Fire Brigade firefighters have placed a Missing Child message about Andrew on their very prominent Community Notice Boards at several fire stations across Sydney and the Central Coast (see attached photo). This is attracting more people to the Facebook site and through that to the Global Email Campaign.

  • NSW Fire Brigade and NSW Rural Fire Service firefighters have been distributing the email to thousands of people through their personal email networks around the world.

  • The NSW Fire Brigade Employees’ Union will feature Andrew’s Missing Child poster on the back cover of its next journal. This journal is distributed to firefighting unions around the world.

  • The Australian Branch of the Institution of Fire Engineers distributed the ’Global Search for Andrew’ email and supporting material to each branch of the IFE around the world.

  • Firefighters in New York City and in several other Fire Departments across the USA have added the ‘Global Search for Andrew’ email to their websites.

  • Rob Llewellyn in Victoria has distributed the email and supporting material to fire services throughout Asia through his private fire consultancy network.

  • A clothing company in Europe has distributed the ‘Global Search’ email to its fire service and military customers.

  • The Samuel Morris Foundation has distributed the email to more than 1000 members around the world.

  • Andrew has now been officially registered as a Missing Child in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, USA, UK, and parts of Europe.

  • A missing child poster featuring Andrew and several other missing children has been placed on bus shelters in several major UK cities.

  • Missing child posters featuring Andrew are being placed in Wal-Mart stores across Canada and at all Canadian borders.

  • Andrew has been officially listed as a missing child with Interpol and his mother has been listed by Interpol as “Wanted’.

  • Interpol has issued alerts for Andrew and Melinda in 187 countries and a warrant has been issued for Melinda’s arrest.

Australian and International Police

The AFP is continuing with enquiries in Australia. Interpol has issued alerts in 187 countries.

Australian Government

The Attorney-General’s Department is continuing with its enquiries internationally.

Next Steps

  • Continue recruiting people from around the world to take part in the ‘Global Search for Andrew’ email campaign using whatever means are available such as Facebook, Youtube, websites, blogs, personal contacts, etc.

  • Increase international media exposure about Andrew.

  • Increase and maintain awareness about Andrew in Australia and recruit more people to the email campaign through local newspaper articles, community radio, magazines, posters, websites, blogs, community notice boards, emails, etc. If anyone has any contacts or can offer the use of any resources in any of these areas, please let me know on either +61-417-416-024 or kenthompson@fastmail.fm

  • Increase international exposure about Andrew and Melinda through websites, blogs, etc.

.

  • Stories about Andrew to be aired on national and international missing person/most wanted television programs.

  • Continue to work closely with Australian and international authorities.

Supporters/Advisors

It has taken a huge effort to launch the multi-media campaign and to keep it going. In addition to everyone who is taking part in the ‘Global Search for Andrew’ email campaign, I would like to thank the following people for their incredible support, advice and assistance with the overall campaign.

Robin Bowles (Victoria - Australia), Cate Dare (NSW - Australia), Michelle Cazzulino at the Daily Telegraph newspaper (NSW – Australia), Howard Gipps and the crew at A Current Affair (NSW – Australia), Carol Nader at The Age newspaper (Victoria – Australia), Kathy Atkinson and Karen Chapman at Forever Searching (UK), Stephanie Stock (NSW - Australia), Iris Bossett (Frankfurt -Germany), Nigel ‘Elvis’ Kingsley (Switzerland), Tanya (Missing Emily UK), Jacqui O’Loan (NSW - Australia), Barb Snider at the Missing Children Society of Canada (Toronto - Canada), Dan Pardey (NSW - Australia), National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (USA), Jim Middleton (Hong Kong), Nicole at the Australian Missing Persons Register, Crime Library (Singapore), Brett Christensen at Hoax-Slayer Website (Queensland – Australia); Geoff Meakin (Lote Marketing Victoria – Australia), Rob Llewellyn (Victoria – Australia), Engelbert Priwitzer (Stuttgart - Germany), and all the people around the world who have provided me with invaluable translations of the ‘Global Search for Andrew’ email and supporting material.

Andrew – we’ll never give up! Dad.

The Fire Brigade in Sydney, NSW making the public

aware of Andrew’s plight

Missing Poster displayed in WalMart Canada German translation

Posters in the UK (Andrew is in the bottom LH corner) Translation in German

HB 5267 Will Help Michigan’s Children of Divorce

Monday, February 9, 2009

By Mike McCormick and Glenn Sacks

The Michigan House Committee on Family and Children Services will soon consider a family law bill which will amend the Child Custody Act of 1970 to protect the loving bonds children of divorce share with both parents. Sadly, today Michigan family courts often allow these bonds to be needlessly damaged or destroyed.

HB 5267 is primarily sponsored by Rep. Leslie Mortimer (R-Horton), who has been joined by 10 other legislators. When parents cannot agree on custody arrangements, the bill instructs courts to order joint custody unless there is clear and convincing evidence that one of the parents is unfit, unwilling, or unable to care for his or her child. A mediator will then help the parents draft a shared parenting plan based on each parent having substantially equal time with their children. The principle behind the bill is difficult to dispute--as long as both parents are fit and there are no extenuating circumstances, they should both share in parenting their children.

While the Michigan State Bar’s Family Law Section, the Michigan National Organization for Women, Domestic Violence Escape, Inc., and others have come out against the bill, joint custody is endorsed by a growing consensus of mental health and family law professionals, and research establishes that joint custody is what’s best for kids.

According to psychologist Robert Bauserman's meta-analysis of 33 studies of children of divorce, which was published in the American Psychological Association‘s Journal of Family Psychology, children in shared custody settings had fewer behavior and emotional problems, higher self-esteem, better family relations, and better school performance than children in sole custody arrangements.

A Harvard University study of 517 families conducted across a four-and-a-half year period measured depression, deviance, school effort, and school grades in children ranging in age from 10 to 18. The researchers found that the children in joint custody settings fared better on these indices than those in sole custody.

NOW claims that HB 5267 "places the interests of parents over the child’s interests.” Yet when researchers have examined children of divorce, and studied and queried adult children of divorce, they’ve found that most prefer joint custody and shared parenting.

For example, a study by psychologist Joan Kelly, published in the Family and Conciliation Courts Review, found that children of divorce “express higher levels of satisfaction with joint physical custody than with sole custody arrangements,” and cite the “benefit of remaining close to both parents” as an important factor.

When Arizona State University psychology professor William Fabricius conducted a study of college students who had experienced their parents’ divorces while they were children, he found that over two-thirds believed that “living equal amounts of time with each parent is the best arrangement for children." His findings were published in Family Relations in 2003.

Under current law, judges decide custody cases based on the 12 factors delineated in Michigan’s Best Interest of the Child Test. Both the Michigan Bar and Michigan NOW assure us that this system is effective and should not be changed. However, the 12 factors fail to place sufficient emphasis on protecting children’s relationships with both parents. According to the Michigan Family Independence Agency, the most common parenting time schedule in Michigan allows children only 15% physical time with their noncustodial parents.

Moreover, the custody decisions based on the factors are often subjective and arbitrary. Under HB 5267 a court cannot deny requests for joint custody without stating its reasons on the record.

Michigan NOW also asserts that HB 5267 will “further impoverish children of separated or divorced parents” because in Michigan, as in most states, the amount of physical time divorced parents spend with their children and the concomitant expenses are calculated into the child support obligation. These fears are also unwarranted.

Research demonstrates that joint custody leads to higher rates of child support compliance. This isn’t surprising, since parents who are permitted little role in their children’s lives have less motivation to make sacrifices for them. Also, under the current system noncustodial parents are often forced to wage expensive court battles in order to protect their time and relationships with their children. These parents end up supporting lawyers instead of kids.

While Michigan NOW is correct that there are fathers who put their pocketbooks above their children’s best interests, they ignore the obvious converse. If a dad may seek 40 or 50% physical time with his children simply to lower his child support obligation, doesn’t it also hold that a mother may seek 85% physical time in order to increase it?

Both Domestic Violence Escape and NOW claim that the bill will put abused women in harm’s way. According to DOVE, HB 5267 “sends a clear message to battered women and children that the 'rights' of a batterer take precedence over their safety and wellbeing.” Yet under HB 5267 only fit parents are eligible for joint custody—battered mothers should and would receive sole custody.

Unfortunately NOW, DOVE and other misguided women’s advocates seem capable of recognizing only two types of divorces—ones where both spouses agree on a custody arrangement, and divorces involving domestic violence. However, the overwhelming majority of breakups fit neither profile. Instead, decent, fit parents often cannot agree on custody. In such cases, HB 5267 will ensure that children won't see one of the two people they love the most pushed to the margins of their lives.

This is an expanded version of an article which first appeared in the Lansing State Journal (5/28/06).

Mike McCormick is the Executive Director of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, the world’s largest shared parenting organization. Their website is www.acfc.org.

Glenn Sacks' columns on men's and fathers' issues have appeared in dozens of America's largest newspapers. Glenn can be reached via his website at www.GlennSacks.com or via email at Glenn@GlennSacks.com.

Announcing V Day Dharna in Bangalore ~ Family Law in India not unlike North America

Judge Harvey Brownstone has advice for those facing child custody fights.

I have not yet had a chance to read the book but will when it gets to my library here in Sault Ste. Marie. Due to the bias I have encountered so far in FLAW (Family Law) my cash resources are dwindling fast and have little left to purchase it. My story is typical of many men. Some non-Divorce Industry posters are praising the Judge. http://www.ecwpress.com/books/tug_war#comment-526 Some say they are men but do not leave their name. I find that interesting they do not have the courage of their convictions. Perhaps Brownstone is the only Judge handling FLAW cases in Ontario who does things differently where Dads are concerned. Has he changed the ratio of orders for custody he approves from the 9-1 in favour of females that is consistent across Canada? I'm speaking of both contested and uncontested. Most dads have a metaphorical gun placed to their forehead by their lawyers saying give the mom custody and cut your losses now. Thus dads are marginalized to 14% visitors and cease being a legal parent. The Nanny State and the Mother (until the boyfriend moves in) are the new parents. Then the non-bio boyfriend sees the children 24/7 and increases the likelihood of a host of negative outcomes to the child including physical and emotional harm. Is Brownstone's discussion of non-represented litigants implying this is the best course of action for dads? Did he discuss changes to the system to reduce litigation such as the following: Entitlements to female litigants under the current regime are an inducement to take unilateral action (66-70% of divorces are initiated by the female). Given there are no tests to get married society is encumbered with the aftermath of failed relationships. We need to be more proactive. These are steps required to get the job done better than now. First - compulsory counselling before lawyers are hired. All counselling would have an identifiable outcome. Reconciliation, further mitigating counselling of a more specialized nature or mediation. We currently spend $208,000,000.00 per year on women's issues alone in Ontario, none on men. Wouldn't it be useful to spend some money on "family" issues instead of one gender! The next step would be mediation but this would be tax supported and compulsory if counselling does not get the warring parties properly focused, not including lawyers. Next if required, lawyers - if anyone can afford them. They are clearly pricing themselves out of the market and are becoming redundant for the average person. If no lawyers then the feuding couple need guidance on how to take the required steps to get to court which should be the last resort. No Fault divorce must end and all the perceived entitlements a female litigant will get including almost automatic custody and "ownership" of the children. This happens even if the female (or male as the case may be) has committed criminal acts affecting the livelihood of the other partner and ruined their career and reputation. To do this the divorce act must be changed to include a presumption of equal and shared parenting for fit parents. This gives judges no discretion which in 90% of cases they currently award or approve custody to the mother. Judges are currently part of the problem in addition to the pickpockets we call lawyers. The best interest of the child is not met by any description I have read of Brownstone's or any other judge. By allowing a winner take all approach under the current rules dads by far are marginalized and all studies show this is clearly not in the best interest of children. Until the above are instituted not much will change but I do congratulate Judge Brownstone for taking FLAW out of the closet and putting it on the table in front of all of us. For that he gets Kudos. Most judges don't have the family jewels to rock the boat from their current conservative, feminist/marxist entrenched ideological decision making template that gives dads the boot as parents but keeps them around as wallets.MJM

The Toronto Star Family court judge's book a caution to warring couples
MICHAEL STUPARYK/TORONTO STAR
Judge Harvey Brownstone has advice for those facing child custody fights.
'This is not Judge Judy,' Harvey Brownstone tells self-litigators who clog divorce courts
Feb 07, 2009 04:30 AM
LIVING REPORTER

Ontario's family courts are being "crippled" by warring couples who are representing themselves in complex divorce cases – including bitter battles over child custody, a long-time judge says.

"The family court system is in crisis with unrepresented people who don't have a clue what they are doing. They don't understand that this is not Judge Judy," says Justice Harvey Brownstone in a candid assessment of the court system that handles separations, division of assets and custody issues in Ontario.

In some courts, 50 to 70 per cent of couples are going it alone with no understanding of family law, rules of evidence or even what documents they need to make their case, he says. Most say they don't need, or can't afford, lawyers. The resulting delays and adjournments are further overloading a system that's already being "swamped" with increasingly complex, and often acrimonious, court fights that are destroying children's lives, says Brownstone, 52, a well-respected Ontario Court of Justice judge.

Brownstone is so concerned about the number of lives affected by couples using the courts to try to extract "vengeance," when what they really need is counselling, that he's the first family law judge to write a book, due to hit bookstores later this month.

Tug of War: A Judge's Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles, and the Bitter Realities of Family Court isn't so much a self-help book as a warning to warring couples – including the growing number of complex cases stemming from common-law, same-sex and casual-sex relationships that result in costly legal fights over support obligations.

Brownstone's book sets out a number of "alternative dispute resolutions" – from collaborative practice to mediation and binding arbitration – aimed at helping families reach agreements out of court.

"The whole message of this book is that family court is bad for families and litigation is bad for children. That's what people need to know," says Brownstone, a family court judge for 14 years.

Most senior divorce lawyers agree and say family courts are so short of judges in high-growth areas such as Newmarket, Brampton and Barrie, they avoid taking cases there.

Veteran divorce lawyer Harold Niman describes Newmarket's family court as "chronically overburdened," with dockets that often have 25 to 40 or more cases, well above what's considered a reasonable load. One court last week had 28 scheduled cases, all of them listed as unrepresented litigants.

"It is shocking," says Niman. "People are expecting to go have their case, their life, determined by a judge who's going to have the time to read the material and give the case the kind of attention that they feel they deserve. That's not going to happen. It's a huge disappointment to (divorcing couples) to find that out. And the judges, who are very hardworking, are very open about it. They lament it and they try to do the best they can."

That's left people like Ari Katz, whose contentious divorce was supposed to go to trial in October of 2007, still awaiting a final decision on division of assets and support payments. He now has a new trial date in May, but no guarantee it will go ahead as planned.

He's already racked up $105,000 in legal fees. When his lawyer asked for a $100,000 retainer for next May's trial, he realized, "I have no choice but to represent myself."

The Ontario government is moving to reform family law legislation and courts to simplify the process and cut costs for litigants, and has been pressing Ottawa, which is responsible for appointing judges, to deal with the "shortage," says a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Attorney-General.

Ottawa recently appointed six new judges to the Superior Court of Justice, including two in Brampton and one in Barrie, he says. And Family Law Information Centres in many courthouses in Ontario try to help separating couples manoeuvre through the system and look at alternatives, including mediation.

While the system isn't as severely backlogged in Toronto – where more couples are looking to alternatives, such as collaboration and mediation – there are other serious problems, and they're playing out in family courts across the province, divorce experts say.

"There are a lot of people out there in pain and they come here thinking it will get better," says Brownstone. "But there's no winning in family court – there are only degrees of losing. People get that when they come here, but it's too late by then."

In some cases, the court must deal with "recreational litigants" – parents who literally fight until the children are grown up.

Which is part of the reason Brownstone is donating all the proceeds of his $19.95 book to the Children's Wish Foundation, which helps children facing life-threatening disease. "I want parents who are fighting over Halloween access and Christmas vacations – who've lost sight of the big picture – to know that there are other parents out there who won't even have the privilege to see their children graduate.

"It breaks my heart that some parents are planning funerals for their children while others are fighting over who gets to take the kids trick or treating."

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- Paying The Price -

Fundamentally the entire system is flawed... When you consider that the children in a divorce become monetary value, given child support orders It’s no wonder child custody can become a matter of financial survival for either party... Divorce is never about the children... it’s about the money...

Submitted by Integra at 12:37 AM Monday, February 09 2009

Spouses who won't negotiate

Divorce is a highly emotional, stressful process. There is a sense of "justice" on either side that will cost anyone a fortune going the court route to try to get. I myself tried collaborative law, mediation and now have to resort to court because my ex spouse refuses to negotiate further or pay support. He has kept me financially "hostage" for three years. We cannot stand each other and do not speak accept through lawyers at a high price tag. He feels counseling is "useless mumbo jumbo". Our children have been affected despite my best efforts to shelter them from the disputes. When you cannot negotiate with a narcarsistic, control freak, what choice do you have? I am 100k in debt with the lawyers with no resolution. To me court was to be the last resort but in this case maybe should have been my first resort to save me the three years of torture. Frankly, the whole system is broken Lawyers, court, ,the law and whole process. There has got be be a better way!

Submitted by toolate at 8:21 PM Sunday, February 08 2009

Not the lawyer's fault

I've been reading most of these articles about the family law system and one thing that people fail to realize is that if lawyers are ever going to pay back their loans from law school, they have to charge high rates. Yes they pay them back 5-10 years, but nobody else decreases their salary once their debt is paid, why should lawyers? And if most divorcing couples had spent time during their marriage preventing the problems that lead to divorce, eg) through counselling, then maybe they wouldn't need a lawyer. Stop blaming everybody but yourselves.

Submitted by adb215 at 7:35 PM Sunday, February 08 2009

Fix the system not people

Government and lawyers are beneficiaries of the family justice system, distorted to such a degree, that it promotes hidden agenda and interest of its sponsors on expense of parents and children. What we see in the courtrooms, the senseless fights and suffering, is not nature of the people (although is simpler to say that) but behavior encouraged by the failed policies. If you provide tools and environment, people will try to exploit them for their own benefit. Lawyers play a role of facilitators in that labyrinth – the bigger the labyrinth the bigger the payoff. While mediation may help crowded courts (and increase payoff to the lawyers), unless system is changed there will be no benefit to the families and children. Fighting will move from courts to lawyer offices – and sense of despair and injustice would continue to poison lives of many people.

Submitted by DHD at 11:55 AM Sunday, February 08 2009

adults..

alot of these comments assume that the two people going through the divorce are mature and logical divorce. I am sure we all know of those adutls out there that once they are faced with serious issues concerning their children, they act out irrationally and defencively. This puts extreme pressure on the other parties, and ultimately the children involved. As we know, not all divorces and cutody battles are smooth, so we need the guidance of lawyers to get through all the crap.

Submitted by snotina at 11:03 AM Sunday, February 08 2009

One small law will change it all...

I have often witnessed what happens in divorces when adults are unable to trust one and other. I have seen hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on one simple divorce, for a contract that means nothing, unless of course the poorer spouse has the money to keep going back to court to get what is rightfully and previously agreed to, theirs to begin with. The Government needs to stop listening to the lawyers and start implimenting common sense by bringing into law that couples entering into a seperation or divorce agreement must attend mandatory counselling for each spouse, followed by mediation. We have the laws regarding Seperations and Divorces, we just need to use them. This enables everyone to be on the same playing field and negates those that have the money from having the power.

Submitted by brianstake at 9:57 AM Sunday, February 08 2009

Garden of Eden

I know of one couple who did not go to court but amicably settled their custody and support issues with assistance from lawyers, everything was done efficiently and without fanfare. Did this solve the issues? Decades later the children remained angry about their parent's failed relationship and the ex-wife died smiling only because she endured a stroke that removed her memory. Love is a battlefield that has been claiming victims since the Garden of Eden. There is no "good" solution", only attempts at making peace. And for better of for worse, generations carry the memories of the battle forward ...

Submitted by js1 at 9:08 PM Saturday, February 07 2009

It May Not Be Judge Judy-But It Should Also Not Be Bankruptcy To Go Through Courts And Lawyers!!!

The system is totally broken and a Corporation of plumbers cannot fix this mess. Too many lawyers and courts in the bedrooms of the public. Especially when ass ets are involved. Is it really about the children or assets???

Submitted by The Truth Hurts at 8:43 PM Saturday, February 07 2009

Children do not need to live the acrimonious life of parents life

It would be much healthier to remove children from divorcing parents and to trust them to a barding school, where parental visits would be properly assigned and controlled. Both parents can then go to work and support themselves and the children. This would minimize spousal support and introduce fairness in child support. You would eliminate the parasitization of one parent on the other. It would be a much healthier situation all around.

Submitted by Henri Murger at 3:53 PM Saturday, February 07 2009

Lawyers cost

No one can afford lawyers. Why would anyone with a total of 50K in assets to be split go to a lawyer that wants 100K up front to represent them. Yet judges always want lawyers in front of them, in any court, not only for divorce. Using the same analogy, only pilots could fly as passengers on a plane because they are the only ones who know how it works, only engineers could drive on a road, and only IT professionals would be allowed to use computers.

Submitted by FredW at 3:05 PM Saturday, February 07 2009

The Child's interests are paramount

No matter what issues face the partners' relationship. The legal system is set up to be adversarial, however in my opinion this is the wrong approach. Negotiation and mediation should carry the day in family law.

Submitted by proudcanadiancitizen at 1:43 PM Saturday, February 07 2009

The lawyers are the problem...

Our legal system has been a total failure. It will never be remedied until it is gutted of its inner rot ... the lawyer. Lawyers are not needed. They are a vicious element who render the process lengthier, craftier, adversarial and of course more expensive. I have seen lawyers who are abject failures and still charge 400-500/hr! Unconscionable. Even the stamp used in their mail is charged. So is their taxi ride to court! What is needed are judges who can study a case and render judgement. All the information can be requested by the judge or his assistants. Lawyers are the stumbling block who fan the fires of hatred between parting parents letting children bear the brunt of the unfortunate animosity.

Submitted by Henri Murger at 1:11 PM Saturday, February 07 2009