What and Why Do Divorce Lawyers Do in Their Own Divorce?

I found an article called “What do Divorce Lawyers Do In Their Own Divorces” written by J. Richard Kulerski, attorney and partner in the Law firm of Kulerski & Cornelison published on February 6, 2012 at Huff Post Divorce[1] particularly interesting. There were several things that caught my attention.

J. Richard Kulerski asks “What do divorce lawyers do in their own divorces?” He says “They think going to court is a losing proposition. It wastes energy, time, and money and is a last resort; it is something they will consider only when there is no other choice.” What I find interesting is that what is considered to be a choice is never explained. I believe that if attorneys revisited why they entered the practice of family law in the first place that a reminder that parents and children have rights to be with each other and the right to not have their rights deprived or interfered with, not even in divorce, might ring a distant bell. They might find that a court of law could serve a great purpose and provide tremendous relief to the parents and the children if they took the time to plead parental rights.

J. Richard Kulerski asks “Why are the pros more reluctant to fight than the public is? What do they know that the average person does not know?” He says that attorneys know that the court is “a counter-productive force that destroys their chances of achieving a healthy negotiation climate….They know there are no winners in a divorce battle, and that the outcome of a divorce trial can only define the extent of how much they will lose.” After doing lots of research we know now that attorneys know this because they don’t plead that the parent and the children have rights to be protected until proven unfit. We asked, how can that be and where do parents go then when they need their rights protected? What do they do when they are dealing with a recalcitrant ex that wants nothing more than to take away as much from them as they can, hurt them, and don’t care if they damage their children in the process? Wouldn’t this be when a parent and the children need the courts the most? Isn’t this when a parent needs the court to protect their rights and their children’s rights from attack not be intimidated in mediation and terrorized into giving up their rights? Wouldn’t protecting their rights in court not be counterproductive but actually protective and productive? We write about this in our new breakthrough book, “Not in the Child’s Best Interest” for this very reason. Attorneys have been caught up in a system that took a wrong turn a long time ago. And it is the attorneys’ job to turn it around, it is their job to advise the courts what the laws are and how to protect their client. We believe that attorneys haven’t been doing this because they really have never been taught to do this in family law or because they were not having success previously because they haven’t had the time to do the amount of research that was required to craft the arguments as effectively as we have in our new book.

If courts “can only define the extent of how much they will lose” that would imply that parents already have rights before they enter that courtroom. Yet attorneys still lead parents to believe that they don’t have rights to their children until either the divorce court grants to them or the other parent agrees to give them to them. It is our guess that this has been the path of least resistance and the easiest and most lucrative one to follow.

This explains why attorneys are leading parents to believe that their rights to their children must be granted by a court. In reality, the court can only deprive them of rights they already have, and as this writer attorney has expressed the attorneys know this. We asked ourselves why haven’t attorneys seen the failings in these approaches and why then haven’t they been using everything already in the law to protect the parents and their children from this horrible fate?

We found the answers to how and why these practices have survived and what can be done about it. In reality nobody, no court, no attorney, no ex spouse grants custody to you, these rights are God-given. A court can only deprive you of those rights. The question for us when we wrote the book, was when can the government or another parent deprive you of these rights. We discovered that the practice of depriving parents of their rights to their children started way before the fourteenth amendment, before the U.S. Constitution applied to the states, before the Constitution even existed. This goes way back over 300 years ago. I don’t go into detail on this here, the details are in the book, and the book can be found here: http://fixfamilycourts.com/not-in-the-childs-best-interest-2/ .

If an attorney’s “experience is that everyone leaves the litigation process feeling frustrated, disillusioned, and poorer” and they see “going to trial as an emotional vampire that sucks the spirit out of people;” and “they liken it to mental cruelty all over again,” why would any of them practice family law? The simple answer is money and power. Divorce courts have become a cottage industry, a gravy train that feeds their friends in mental health fields, social workers, investigators, and other experts that are readied to accept the desperate parents money willing to do and pay just about anything to hang on to their time with the most precious beings in their lives – their children. I am not saying that there aren’t good attorneys caught up in these practices. They, we believe, have not had any other way to go about this, the machine has gotten so big and so powerful. It hasn’t been until the publication of our book that anyone has put it all into one place. They didn’t have a tool that they could easily use and they knew that if they didn’t fight the game the way it was being fought that their parent didn’t stand any chance. Now there is a better way for the good attorneys. Finally the tools that have existed for family law attorneys since the passage of the fourteenth amendment are simulated into one book. They can finally bring justice into the family courts.

Some attorneys might try to stay out of court in their own cases because they have no profit to gain on their own case and they don’t want to give up the same kind of control of their rights that they see happen to other parents every day. They have been playing in this rigged system for so long that they either have forgotten how to practice law in the family courts or never knew how. They have been forced to give up all of their power to the judges for so long that it has become inconceivable that there might be a different way. This is even reflected in the standard pleadings templates in the software that the attorneys use.

Divorce attorneys, rather than practicing law in divorce child custody cases, find themselves having to play counselor or mediator to a parent’s fears and emotional outpourings. And while parents that settle out of court “will be deprived of the opportunity to tell the judge about the injustices, the dishonesty, the betrayal, the adultery, the lies, the pain, the unfairness, and most of the other things that the public thinks the judge should hear,” the ones that do end up in court are encouraged to use these things as evidence to tear the other fit parent’s rights and time to their children away, then the judge becomes inflamed and his biases kick in and he selects one parent as a winner and the other a loser who is rendered at best to nothing more than a visitor in his/her child’s life.

If attorneys really thought that “emotions, feelings, and pain do not count in a courtroom” they wouldn’t encourage parents to rip the other one apart. And if attorneys really thought that “when deciding a case, the judge is duty-bound to stick to the facts and the applicable law” why then do they continue to present pleadings and evidence that have no proper causes of action and do not rise to the level of any laws being violated, and why then do the rulings coming out of the family law courts continue to violate parental rights and children’s rights?

While it is true that “Most people look to the judge to mete out the justice that their spouse has long withheld.” It is the duty of the attorney to inform the parent that their duty and the court’s responsibility is to protect them from attacks on their rights by the other parent or anyone else and not to entertain complaints or resolve their disagreements for them. I think what divorce attorneys really know is that the courts are not practicing law, that they no longer know how to practice law in family courts, and that the reason parents are not receiving justice and protection of their rights to their children is because they have not been asking for it. They instead have given in to the a parent’s pain and become inflamed and biased themselves and allow the parents to seek punishment of the other parent when they enter the courtroom. This is why it becomes a messy and confusing battle. They have put the judge in this position. Even the “Judge’s Guide to Making Child Custody decisions”[2] posted on the ABA website states that judges are asked every day to “predict the future” and essentially use a crystal ball to try to guess which parent they think will do the better job. Rarely does this judge training guide refer to the practice of law and never does it mention parental rights, let alone that parental rights are fundamental and constitutionally protected.

There is no practicing of law in this other than they each have official titles and can issue official documents.

So as J. Richard Kulerski puts it “In other areas of law, litigation puts an end to the problem” divorce courts create more problems, loss, and destruction and “often causes additional family problems. The emotional devastation caused by litigation can last for decades….Some people believe that divorce is where the guilty go free. To insiders, litigation does not provide any satisfaction to the disputants and only makes sense when there is a genuine need for it.”

Thank you Mr. Kulerski for sharing this insight into how attorneys think when going through the divorce process themselves. It is clear that you and your firm have their hearts in the right place. We have written a book that expands the knowledge base for attorneys like yourselves so that only divorce cases with a “genuine” violation of law can reduce a parent’s rights. And all of the other parents that do not have the luxury of choosing not to end up in court unless they agree to be deprived of their rights will be able to find attorneys that know how to defend their rights and know how to protect them from the old “vampire sucking” system. These attorneys will know how to advise the courts properly, how to protect these parents and their children from attacks on their rights, and how to protect these parents and their children from the old practices that they used to call family law. And these attorneys will no longer have to get frustrated with trying to convince one of the parents to give up their equal right to equal time with their child to be able to come to a collaborative or mediated agreement.

You can find the book at the following links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Not-Childs-Best-Interest-Constitution/dp/1489520562/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1370406594&sr=8-1&keywords=%22not+in+the+Child%27s+Best+Interest%22

Our Website book page: http://fixfamilycourts.com/not-in-the-childs-best-interest-2/

 


[1] Kulerski, J. Richard, J.D. “What do Divorce Lawyers do in their Own Divorces” Law firm of Kulerski & Cornelison. Published by Huff Post Divorce http://www.huffingtonpost.com/j-richard-kulerski/what-do-divorce-lawyers-d_b_1252868.html?utm_hp_ref=divorce-laws on February 6, 2012 and accessed on June 4, 2013.

[2] “A Judge’s Guide: Making Child-Centered Decisions in Custody,” Second Edition apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/probono/childcustody/judges_guide.pdf