Today is a new day! Okay we know that you held out a lot of hope that Measure 6 would pass and maybe perhaps you even think that because it didn’t pass you don’t have equal parental rights. you might even think that there is no presumption that you are fit and equal. Not so at all.
Your parental rights have not changed. They are still the same as the United States Supreme Court has declared them to be; independently fundamental and unalienable.
The only thing the defeat of Measure 6 proves is that you don’t have the sway or reach that the attorneys have in politics, especially in an off election year. But remember there are many individual States that have had a history of violating fundamental rights. Take a look at Louisiana when they refused to integrate schools. Take a look at Alabama when they refused to integrate the lunch counters. And take a look at States that are trying to hang on to keeping gays from marrying. It all eventually catches up.
Attorneys who are trying to prevent the integration of the presumption of equal parental rights into the North Dakota family courts divorce and modification process are on the wrong side of history. They might think that if they make it harder for you to exercise your rights that you won’t even try. Then they can bully you into thinking you don’t have equal rights and actually get you to give them up and give in to them. This is considered forfeiting your rights. Unfortunately, you don’t have any protections like people do when they are read their Miranda rights in family law. They are not required to tell you what your fundamental rights are. They want you to think that they have the authority over you and your child to decide what is right for you and your child and in the child’s best interest. They certainly have the power to bully and intimidate you and to make it harder for you to exercise and assert your rights. But they cannot force you to give your rights up.
Just as many people were successful for hundreds of years convincing people that women were incapable of managing the right to vote and that Blacks and other minorities were genetically inferior and using those lies to deprive these people of their rights, the divorce courts have been successful at convincing you that your rights can be deprived based on nothing more than a change in the marital status of a child’s parents. This idea is destined for the dust bin of history now too.
And FYI no new Supreme Court ruling is required to show that marital status of a child’s parents is an unacceptable basis for making second-class children or second-class parents. They have ruled on this numerous times and that idea has failed and so will domestic relations courts fail the Supreme Court’s test.
Attorneys and judges have many tactics that they use to try to get you to give up. Just as people used tactics during the Jim Crow laws days to convince people that they would contract disease if they used the same toilet as a colored person, family courts try to make you think that it is more expensive to fight them and not forfeit your rights to them. This has proven time and time again to not be true. Stanley fought them in Stanley v. Illinois, Laird Lind fought them in In Re Sanders in Michigan, and we fought them, and now many other parents are fighting them and winning quicker and for much less financially and emotionally all throughout the U.S.. Parents who know their rights and refuse to give in to the judges are getting psych evals canceled, supervised visits overturned, and their custody time with their child restored. They are winning more quickly and not having to wait for counselor results or psychiatric evaluations or guardian ad litem opinions.
While In Re Sanders is not a United States Supreme Court case and unless you are in the State of Michigan the case itself is not holding. You can ask that the case be used as an advisory ruling however. A parent just recently in Illinois used it and won.
In Re Sanders in Michigan is a case where the father who was incarcerated won his right to decide who would care for his child, at least until the State properly adjudicates him as unfit.
The Michigan Supreme Court said that no new right needed to be found for parents only that old and long established rights needed to be respected by the State that has grown too comfortable depriving parents of their rights without proving them unfit. In other words parents are innocent until proven guilty. The attorney who won the case In Re Sanders used several of the cases cited in our book and essentially the same arguments we present in our book, and these apply to all 50 states.
When parents ask us where have your arguments won, we respond, “look at In Re Sanders and compare to the arguments in our book.” And if you are wondering where our arguments come from we cite 90 U.S. Supreme Court cases in the back of our book.
Do not let them make you think that this fight is over North Dakota! Learn your rights and use them. Your rights are the only thing that protect you from abuses of power.
Here are some simple principles to apply to force the family courts to respect your equal fundamental parental rights that you have regardless of whether or not they want to admit you have them in your State and regardless of any statute that gives them a supposed right to deny you proper due process:
1. File proper pleadings that assert your rights and challenge the statutes.
Let your pleadings show that you are not asking the judge to choose between you and the other parent. (This opens the door up for the judge to use his best interest rather than you protect your right to determine what is best for your own child. And this opens the door for the judge to order invasive studies to help him decide between two fit parents.)
2. Back your parental rights up with the proper authorities.
Find 97 of these authorities in our book, “NOT in The Child’s Best Interest” and even more authorities in our papers on equal rights of parents and the free association rights of parents and children.
Demonstrate that you and your child share constitutional rights and force the state to prove that they have the right to deprive you of these rights in any way. Find how to argue protection of your fundamental rights here: Online class – available here now.
4. Show how your parental rights apply in your case.
(You will have to know how to argue proper due process here and to show that statutes that undermine protection of your rights violate due process and/or constitutional requirements. We have many webinars that teach this and more to come. You can watch some of our videos here. Subscribe here to be notified when more videos and classes are available.)
5. Provide your desired outcome to the court.
(You must clearly present an outcome to the court and help them find a path to giving you that outcome. Do not let the other side contol the outcome by how they frame the issues. Usually the other side will try to convince the court that what you are presenting is a wrong interpretation of the law, or is not appropriate in your case. You will have satisfied this in step 5. They will also try to use flaws in your legal argument or go beyond the law and attempt to shame you into giving up your rights. An example of the other side reframing the issue to get the outcome they want is when they argue that you are not putting your child first when you ask the court to protect your rights.)
North Dakota, parents all over the United States are using this method of protecting their rights above and getting positive results without going bankrupt. Turn the success you have had at increasing the awareness for the need for protection of your parental rights into educating parents on how to use the rights they already have.
DISCLAIMER: We are not attorneys and do not practice law. Any decisions you make are your own. We cannot make decisions for you and are not responsible for decisions you make and the results that you get. The information that we provided above is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. You should consult an attorney regarding your rights under the law.