Managing Your Attorney – Boundaries, Expectations, Power, and Legal Abuse
There is a time and a place for following authority and that is when authority stays within its proper bounds. Today’s journey is about identifying when that authority has gone beyond its limits and you no longer are receiving the protection you thought you paid for.
Once you have told your attorney no and the court NO, your legal case can begin to take a whole new shape. NO GAL, no amicus, NO psych evals, and no Child custody studies, so now what? You don’t want to give in. You know you shouldn’t but they are telling you if you don’t you aren’t going to see your child.
Let me tell you something. How you posture in child custody litigation is different from person to person, there really is no one-size fits all. For example: When Guys resist they are usually perceived as controlling and aggressive. If you go in there saying NO they label you as overbearing, intractable, and unreasonable. And might even perceive you as a person the mom needs protection from. And then every little thing you don’t agree to with mom, they start threatening to throw you in jail if you don’t give in.
If you are a woman, when a woman resists, they say you are covering up a mental illness, are being unreasonable, trying to alienate the children from the father, or you have golden uterus syndrome.
Has either of these happened to any of you watching? If not, then you either haven’t gotten that far into the process or you haven’t tried to challenge your attorney or the court yet.
Knowing when to say NO is an art in itself and can cause paralyzing fear. Protecting that NO is a whole other ballgame. So let’s take a look at that ballgame.
I’m Sherry Palmer with Fix Family Courts author of the book NOT in the Child’s Best Interest and I teach parents and their attorneys how to use their rights effectively, craft empowering strategies, and deliver breakthrough solutions that have helped thousands of parents take a stand, become advocates and activists themselves, resolve difficult problems in their cases, protect their rights to appeal, reform the family court system, and recover their child. We have even saved a few marriages along the way.
Alright so you’ve said no, you haven’t given in to their demands but you are still facing challenges.
Let’s take a look at what’s happening.
What is happening is that you thought your attorney was looking out for your interest and you trusted that he was going to protect the standards and routines you have set for your child. You thought they knew what they were doing because they have a title behind their name and it is the law you are dealing with and they are supposed to specialize in that law. This part is true.
Monica on her video last Friday brought up boundaries, expectations, and legal abuse, so let’s start there. Her position was that you lowered your boundary, which raised your expectations for the attorney to protect you, and therefore opened you up for legal abuse.
Let’s take it from another perspective.
You went in to that attorney with a set boundary. You refuse to lower that boundary and you expect that attorney to protect that decision.
Here is you and your boundary, and here is your attorney.
Your boundaries are not lowered actually if you went to the attorney and said help me protect myself from this lawsuit, or help me protect my children from the other parent, then you have particular ideas, beliefs, and values you are hiring that attorney to protect, right?
That’s what a boundary is all about, you want to make certain decisions and you don’t want to be forced into other people’s ways of doing things.
It’s your desire to protect that boundary that drives you to fight back in litigation actually.
If your boundary was lowered you wouldn’t be looking for an attorney, you would just allow or do whatever the other person wants, so you would probably be giving in. It’s that desire to not give in that drives the need to hire an attorney. That means you have standards and you want those protected.
So can we all agree you are wanting the attorney to protect your boundary?
Please type yes or no below in the comment section.
What makes up your boundary – Your values and your beliefs, your limits. Basically, what is acceptable to you or not acceptable.
What else is under that boundary – parenting decisions, association with your child which is your parent-child relationship, speech, religious choices, how you spend your money.
The problem that has arisen actually is that this boundary wasn’t protected and now you have suffered a psychic injury. You have suffered shock. Shock that an attorney would fail to provide you with this protection but instead become part of the attack on your boundary.
How you protect that boundary is up to you, and your attorney when you are being sued. But if you continue just relying on instinct rather than insight, you are going to continue to be abused. I’m assuming if you are here today it’s because you are being sued or you are helping someone being sued for child custody.
What do you use to protect that boundary? We already know your attorney, but is there something else? The constitution.
Hopefully, you hired that attorney to protect this boundary and not evaluate everything under that boundary.
In other words, if you went to that attorney and said I want you:
- To protect me from the other parent bullying me and telling me how to raise our child
- To prove that he or she is a terrible parent and doesn’t know what they are doing at all and should not have custody
- Or said, I do all of the parenting and he/she doesn’t participate enough to even know the teachers names so I should have custody and she should pay
Or anything along those lines, and don’t know what exactly you are looking for other than hoping the judge will agree with you, then you really have just asked that attorney to be a very expensive counselor to let you pay them to vent your animosity and anger to a judge in a black robe who will happily play the role of King over your life. So if you did hire that attorney to protect that boundary, but your requests are leading you down a different path, you need to go back and review what you have asked that attorney to do. You had no way to know that the judge would buy your exes lies or that your attorney was going to let this become a free for all in the courtroom.
But let me tell you, it is not all your fault. You should be able to trust that a trained attorney would provide proper legal protection and would have choreographed your case according to the constitutional protections.
So there is no reason to self-blame here. Just be aware now that the system is broken and you had no way to know this and probably would not have believed it anyway if you were told. We were all raised to believe that those who hold these professional positions are trustworthy. And you thought that your attorney would have your best interest in mind.
Your attorney should be teaching you what is protected constitutionally and where the family courts have been practicing this wrong, and what battles you will have with the court in order to get the protection you are entitled. Your attorney should be converting your emotional requests into key legal issues so that your needs would match the legal dance required to protect those beliefs, private decisions, and values. It’s true that you should be able to trust your attorney to choreograph this for you, but that blind trust has not been serving you well, so now you are going to have to do this differently.
So let’s look at that board again. You asked to prohibit the other parent’s influence, you complained the other parent curses a lot and so you don’t think that’s in your child’s best interest so you want dad limited to standard visitation.
Well let’s see if that plays out that way.
So what does the attorney respond with, let’s evaluate yours and dad’s parenting styles, so an expert is brought in or two or three and now they decide if your speech will be used against you, so let’s just X that one off the board here, and how about the activity you chose for little Johnny, oh no no no we cannot have little Johnny going to ballet so now your choices how you want to raise Johnny is being X’d off the board. So what has just happened here, they have forced their way across your boundary and are insulting, berating, and judging who you are at the core. As if there were qualifications written down for you when you decided to become a parent. You thought these choices were yours, but now they become the experts choices and your lawful choices can and will be used against you. So when you tell then NO you will not allow them to cross your boundary, you have taken from them the number 1 way they extort, abuse, and steal from you and your child. BRAVO! You are actually on the right track now. And you can do this at any time by the way, so if you have requested those intrusive, expensive, useless, evaluations, you can withdraw that request and withdraw your consent. If it has gone beyond that time and the evaluations have been done and now you need to challenge a report, that’s a different topic for another day.
The Constitution would have prevented needing these evaluations, and would have protected you to raise your child how you see fit and dad to raise how he sees fit, but you don’t know this yet, so you have opened yourself up to this legal abuse. So other experts are brought in to evaluate your decisions and Dads and compare them to their own beliefs and personal preferences. Next you are believing that you need to alter how you do things to match those other several experts brought in to help the attorney build a case based on matters of conscience. This opens you up to that psychic injury.
Depending on how those evaluations are turning out you are either questioning your decisions, or feeling over confident that you will win hands down, when your entire case is built on nothing more than subjective opinion.
Soon little Johnny doesn’t recognize his own life let alone recognize you after you make so many changes to who you are because these experts keep telling you to change things to their liking. Little Johnny might be asking why you are acting so strange and why are things so different.
Again remember, you let the attorney decide the recipe and he has brought in garlic and garlic can invade a whole lot of things in that pot and completely dominate. Now you might feel like you are fighting two of your exes as the court experts and professionals take on a role of reducing you and making you small through blame, shame, and judging every decision you have ever made. Probably no different than the relationship you are supposedly getting out of or maybe even worse!
Attorneys are known for keeping you pumped up into believing there is no way you could lose. And then the day comes and the other side turns all of this on you and makes you look like you are trying to alienate dad or mom or that all of the changes you have made in your life are too much for little Johnny and little Johnny isn’t comfortable with you anymore. Were you in shock?
How many of you believed that you had to beat the other parent up to protect your rights with your child? Or change your life to meet the expectations of the court and the experts?
Did you know that by asking for this the attorney was going to have to create reasons and that your reasons were not going to be seen as enough, you were not going to be the expert or authority in your life anymore? You had expectations that the attorney would protect your boundaries, perhaps boundaries that you weren’t able to keep during your relationship but now that the relationship is busted you decided that you were going to live your TRUTH. That’s not how it is turning out though is it, it seems nobody has respect for what you want or who you truly are.
I bet you would have done it differently right?
You certainly didn’t know that you would be the one getting beat up. You thought this would be simple and that the judge would never buy your exes lies or see it your exes way. Did you do your homework on this, probably not.
So you hired an attorney without studying anything about the process and just decided to blindly trust him because he is supposed to know how this works and he protects your interests, or so you believe. Don’t beat yourself up, let’s just get you back on the right track so you can be more effective.
Attorneys want cases they can successfully manage, right?
You tell the attorney you need help, the attorney dictates to you how they will help you. You don’t know what you are buying and you don’t know what they really think the result should be. You just blindly trust them. Sort of what you did with your ex-husband or ex-wife and how did that turn out?
You just wanted to get away from them after a while or to change them. You’ve paid a lot of money and you have not accomplished either one. You are at a loss, you are running out of money, and the case is at a standstill so your attorney starts making some more suggestions.
Your Attorney doesn’t ask you your budget, just spends your money. And before you know it you have been reduced to prey, paying for stress, trauma, and shock, your energy is sapped from being sucked into a tit-for-tat or reactive and defensive battle with no direction other than “ask the king to make you the ruler of the fiefdom” by making you the primary parent.
So why aren’t you handling this situation the same way you would planning out your career, planning out your day with your children, planning out your meals with your family? And I get it you are stressed and tired and just want someone to handle it. But when has that ever worked for you? Don’t you find yourself doing the chores yourself because they just don’t get done right when you tell the children to do them, or find yourself having to go over the detailing of the car yourself because they missed the cup holders and door pockets, and left spots on the windows.
How many of you have ever had to turn over your major life decisions to someone else, been supervised by a court, been in trouble with the law before? I’ll bet you thought you had to be declared incompetent before someone else could take over making decisions for you.
Yet you find yourself dependent on an attorney, and freely agreeing that you need to bring in others to investigate your ex and prove what a wonderful person and parent you are. why? Because you didn’t go in with a plan. You didn’t even know you needed one. Seriously, You might be a corporate attorney or a CEO of your own corporation, but when it comes to family law, all of that careful planning and taking charge, and taking ownership is all out the window, instead in family law we are all made small.
Making you small, keeping you in the dark, and making you think that law is some magical thing that only the witch doctors know they can keep you in that victim role. You can choose to get off of that victim train anytime now.
All you have to do is ask yourself the tough question: If this is such a great plan, and a great way to do things, then why don’t you have your children now, and why are there so many alienated children, why is it taking so long, why are so many parents going bankrupt and going to jail for debts the courts have created?
So you need to re-start and get yourself back into your role of being in charge of your own life, find your POWER, change your mindset.
Part of your attorney’s role is to make the legal process less threatening + to protect you from infringements of your rights. But without proper guidance your attorney will apply the recipe they have been applying for decades. You have to change your approach if you would like to get a different result.
Winning is much more than hiring an attorney and giving them the keys to your life. Winning is knowing how to protect that NO, knowing how not giving in gets converted to abusing you spending your money and punishing you for daring to know when to draw that line in the sand and daring to expect your attorney and the judge to protect your right to do so.
Now that you have identified that it’s YOU who protects yourself and that the Constitution is an integral part of protecting yourself from legal abuse, you just need an education, a system, and a plan.
What will you do next? I’d love to know, just comment below.
And join the member portal right away if you need to learn how to develop your roadmap to fighting for child custody.
We will help you learn the ways that this empowers you and protects you from legal abuse, being blamed, and suffereing parental alienation.
DISCLAIMER: We are not attorneys, do not practice law and not a substitute for an attorney.
Any videos or content that we share from others does not mean that we endorse their content or views, does not mean that their views are accurate, and does not mean that they are practicing as counselors or forming any kind of relationship with you.
The other two videos that I refer to in this post are here:
Beginner's Guide to Family Law
A Simplified Path to Parental Rights
For a loving parent, a child custody suit can be a time of terror. The most important thing in your life is at stake and it doesn't take long to figure out that the system is rigged against you. This book provides simple straight forward and easy to understand ways to help ensure that your rights get protected. This is the starter guide for you to protect your rights.