DAILY TOOL: Feeding the Family Law System…Not Letting it Destroy You.

TOOL OF THE DAY: Feeding the Family Law System…Not Letting it Destroy You.
CATEGORY: Family Law System

What do you do when, “Family Court judges…cherry pick findings to fit the view of the world they prefer would exist….make no findings concerning significant evidence, fail to rule on motions that make them uncomfortable, and usually produce orders that appear to have nothing to do with the hearing itself”? What do you do when “They refuse to comply with statutes, ignore case law, and even include speculative findings in their orders…What do you do when everything you do seems to have “no bearing on Family Court’s decisions.” (Kenneth Kuller)

An entire industry has been sustained with this behavior. Many adults and children have lost their lives and many more lives have been destroyed and are living in destruction, devastation, and impoverished. Many parents are afraid to try anything. Some, such as Kenneth, have described “Going to court feels like crossing the street and knowing that one of the cars is going to hit you…and no matter how careful you are…The only outcome one can rely upon is that you will somehow be punished for seeking justice and requesting compliance with the law.”

Professionals like Molly McGrath Tierney (FORMER Director of Baltimore City Department of Social Services) started asking questions about the industry she works in, and this industry works hand in hand and is empowered by the family courts, and isn’t much different at all. Her take is that “The error is the intervention.”

Okay that’s great, so the intervention is the problem? Not entirely. Molly goes on to explain that the stimuli that an individual receives from their role in this is that they feel good because they believe they are doing something that is needed and helpful. Some even believe that they are helping a child. That can be even more powerful than money as well as misleading.

So the courts pursue this stimuli in ways that can sustain them. What do the courts do, they immediately take over your life and your rights, step in, push you out of your child’s life, dig into your pocketbook, and then issue orders that require you to pay experts to further intervene in your life! You are left feeling powerless, hopeless, and at their mercy. And others on the outside think that you have done something wrong that warrants the court doing this. Not a good or healthy model at all. But certainly one that breeds abuse of power.

It is tough to find your way through a tangled web of infrastructure and emotional muck tied to such a highly charged and inflammatory subject such as protection of children.

“It feels good to save children. We mistake something that feels good to us for something that’s actually helping other people. Because it feels so good we must be doing the right thing. Industry is a self-protecting ecosystem. The industry is committed to this intervention because that’s what it has to do to survive.”  Sound familiar?

“Experts know what to do. We rely heavily on them. Despite an overwhelming lack of evidence that it is working.” Sound familiar again?

“We are doing a great job of soothing our egos, supporting an industry, and listening to experts; meanwhile a group of people are being damaged: socially supported systematic mistreatment of a group has a technical term – oppression. “

This oppression creates a chilling effect on people and might have caused even you to try to appease the system “the beast” by just doing what they say, prove the truth, and show them that you are a good person, worthy person, a good parent, and even perhaps the sane one, etc. Only to find out that these methods have only further fueled the machine and given the courts more excuse to feed the beast and to order more experts to come in and investigate or research what is “going on” supposedly so that the court can better decide who to deprive. Yeah, even the best of us have fallen for this.

The system, as Molly puts it, and even though she is talking about the foster care system, the family courts are guilty just the same and the system “…gets good people unwittingly to pick up weapons and to use them unwittingly.”

Here is where we diverge a bit from Molly’s solution. Rather than relying on the person abusing their power to give it up, we have found that you have to make their abuse “hollow” as Alan Turing stated when he was being abused in the movie “The Imitation Game.” There were several boys that were angry with him and beating on him. When he stopped reacting to them they no longer received the satisfaction of picking on him.

Since, it is very uncomfortable for the ego driven person to change, they will naturally try to avoid your solution. There are ways to present your solution that utilizes their natural cues and rewards that can increase your opportunity for getting your way. (We use the “habit loop” for this by Charles DuHigg. His book is not written about family law, we just apply the general methods in specific ways in family law so that parents can be further empowered.) Here is just a quick sample of where this method might fit in:

  1. Present your case using the methods that we have explained in the first few posts. (You can read those here.)
  2. Make sure that you address the objections before they are objections and provide solutions that make their job easier (in their mind of course…when you are walking them through your reasoning and have connected your reasoning to things that they relate to, it is much harder for them to completely ignore it.)
  3. Expect that they will snap back to their usual behavior and response so make sure that you make it easy for them to solve the case with something that delivers the same feeling of reward that they get from their natural response.
    1. For instance, if a judge normally orders an expert and then proposes a delay until the court receives a finished report, you should be resetting the issue for the judge so that they understand that 1) an expert report is an invasion of your private family decisions and unless your decisions were illegal and there are proper charges that you object to the court assuming that they have authority or proper legal justification to order such, and 2) back this up with case authorities, and 3) restate the issue that you feel the court should be considering. This is how you take assert control in a court. If you let the other side control the court then the judge will ignore you and defer to the other side. It is a constant battle to control the court. (Remember that if a judge is ordering these things then you probably didn’t address objections and haven’t taken control of the framing of your case. Yes they can still order these things but you don’t have to give in or consent or forfeit. There are many parents who continued to stand up to the judges and the orders were eventually dropped and their time restored with their child.) So, let’s recap:
      1. First, you should be objecting to the ordering of any invasive studies or experts and then stating that this is not the issue that you believe the court is there to respond to today.
      2. Then you should be resetting the judge by making sure that the court understands that this is not about choosing a better or the best parent, it is about protecting the child by protecting each parent’s rights which protects the child to the guidance, control, relationship, influence, association, development and security to each parent how they are in the environment the child is accustomed.
      3. And third, the decisions you make regarding your child are private decisions as long as they are within the law and the court should not be trying to use those to deprive you or your child. That is not the role of the court. The courts have become confused because of what people have been asking them to do. Let the court know that you realize that normally parents come in and forfeit their rights to the court and then ask the court to decide for them. This is not what you are doing.
  • Be prepared to show the judge that this means that your child might have a different picture of life than the judge’s idea of life but that this doesn’t make it wrong as long as it is not violating any laws and that this is actually the healthy model for the child, and changing that up actually could shock the child and cause the child insecurity, depression, anxieties, etc. (This does not mean that the child testifies or that the judge asks the child what they want. You decide for the child as a fit parent. The judge does not have to agree and the child does not have to agree.
  1. Then you could also remind the judge that their idea of best interest is not really how you understand it should be applied, etc. (Naturally they will try to tell you that you are not understanding the law. You certainly have every right to protect your rights and time to your child and they have the burden to prove that you don’t.) And explain that this is not about going through a list of criteria for best interest of the child. But that even the list is unconstitutionally being applied if the court has not proven the authority to invade your privacy. So any list that your State has beyond the basic requirements of basic necessities for a child and meeting their basic needs they are exceeding their authority until they prove you unfit or a clear and present danger. You can show (through case law) how that list they use for determining the best interest of the child and delving into a legal private life is actually protected decisions and unless you are being charged with something that the court actually should protect you from these intrusions.
  2. Then you would ask that the other side be required to have the burden to prove that you are guilty of something in a proper hearing with proper charges in order for the court to determine if they should use court authority to interfere with the rights that help you raise your child.
  3. You could also (if you’ve learned this) explain that any decisions must be the minimum standards and least restrictive.
  • The parents determine best interest until proven to be unfit or clear and present danger
  • Even if the judge feels that the parents are not making the best decisions, you would back up your reasoning that your determination of what is best for your child is superior to the judge without trying to inflame the judge. Use the case law and then quickly shift to the judge’s protective role. This is where the “habit loop” really starts to come in to play. If the judge is inflamed at all then most likely their protective role is kicking is and you can use it. You would bring the elephant out by bringing up the protective role. And then make sure that the role is being applied in the way that you want it applied. The protective role that the judge should be serving this day is protecting the child by protecting the ability of the parents to continue to raise the child in how each parent sees fit. Explain how this works and use any authorities and experts that you have to back it up, like Dr. Craig Childress on how children depend on the parents and any papers you dig up that talk about how children know and love each of their parents for who they are, including all of their idiosyncrasies and their flaws. When you take those away or bring people in to change those you rob the child not only of their security but you make their parents strangers. You can look to Amy J. Baker’s writings and Dr. Kathleen Reay’s to help support these ideas as well. (You could also demonstrate how the judge is also serving the public and the public policy and how the way things have been done hasn’t actually served this purpose. Once you have demonstrated that the judge will actually be protecting the people to continue to raise their families and also supporting the public policy that parents and children have frequent and meaningful contact you have used the judge’s natural cues to protect and are feeding the reward that the judge gets when they feel they have protected. Help the judge feel good about protection. The judge thinks they are there to protect. Then give them things to protect. You have taken the power struggle out of the equation. If you make them feel that they have come to these conclusions and you have given them cogent arguments that make sense, you make it more comfortable for a judge to select that solution as well.

You will be creating accountability, using compassions, replacing bad choices with better ones and providing solutions that doesn’t require expensive studies where a judge really doesn’t have to be in the middle, waste time on he said/she said, or make difficult decisions.

You can make 2015 a year where we no longer continue the methods of insanity. And let’s stop thinking that the divorce mill, the foster care mills, and other mills that have been created within the machine that inserts itself into families’ lives when they are going through hardships should solve all of the disputes and conflicts for everyone. We can do this differently. You can make this a year where you speak up and do this differently.

This coming year let’s use our rights to empower us to get out of the control of those that are oppressing and hurting our families. No longer walk into the family or domestic courts, divorce courts, or whatever you call them and lay yourself at their feet at their mercy. Stand up to them and tell them “no” you cannot assign an expert, “no” you will not submit to psychological evaluations, “no” you will not consent to family studies. It’s time to take the steps that so many others have taken to freedom from oppression. They had to finally stand their ground and no longer submit to the abuse.

Does this mean that they won’t abuse you, no. Does this mean that you will get your way, no. Does this mean that every one of you will win immediately, no. It means that you will be setting the example for others to follow. You will be providing an alternative for others that they didn’t know they had or perhaps didn’t have the strength to pursue. This means that you will be making this easier for the next person and the next.

 

[You can learn more about these rights and how to reason through them and protect them from our books and courses. Click at the top on Store and you will find the books and training tabs.]

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Strategic Parental Rights Strategist, Instructor, Constitutional Scholar, and Author

Divorce Solutions and Child Custody Solutions

Co-author “Not in the Child’s Best Interest” (Book on parental rights and children’s rights)

Co-author “Protecting Parent-Child Bonds: 28th Amendment” (Book includes guide for legislators)

Website: www.fixfamilycourts.com

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If you want to learn more about the habit loop cycle and method you can read Charles DuHigg’s book called “The Power of Habit.”

Disclaimer: I am NOT an attorney or a lawyer. I do NOT practice law in any federal or State court system. Any information provided by me to you, regardless of how specific, is NOT intended to be legal advice under any state or federal law. I provide research, written strategies, and non-professional personal opinions on the Constitution and State laws as free exchange of politically important information that also serves an important public need and interest allowed under the First Amendment. You are highly encouraged to engage an attorney in your State to help you with the specifics of your legal issues and the law in your State. If you are a pro se litigant then you bear all and full responsibility for understanding the law in your state and acting under the law in your state. Nothing you receive from me is intended to be a “legal” document for purposes of any type of filing in any court. You are free to use my words for your personal non-commercial benefit, or as an aide in petitioning your government for redress of perceived wrongs, if properly cited where appropriate. YOU TAKE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY LEGAL ACTIONS YOU PURSUE AND THE RESULTS THAT YOU GET. I BEAR NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR RESULTS. MY OPINIONS ARE NOTHING MORE THAN MY PERSONAL NON-PROFESSIONAL OPINIONS OR BELIEFS. I MAKE NO CLAIMS OF LEGAL COMPETENCY IN THE LAW UNDER ANY GOVERNMENT STANDARD OF COMPETENCY IN THE LAW.

 

The information provided above is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. You should consult an attorney regarding your rights under the law.