“We believe that divorce is one area of law in which overly aggressive and hostile tactics do not work well. They serve only to delay resolution, run up legal costs, and do lasting harm to children and families.” http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/divorceattorneys/a/ThydenGrossBio.htm
Finally a firm that calls attention to practices that are creating “harm to children and families.” Too many times attorneys, judges, and other experts want to blame both of the parents without recognizing that it’s hostile aggressive practices that make it possible for one parent to continue to attack the other parent and to use the children. Without the family law system allowing this it is not possible. It is damaging to the parent that is being attacked when they get told by a judge or expert that they are causing the problem. It amazes me how they fail to see the cost to that parent and their children if they give in to the parent that is bullying them. The parent being attacked is there for the law to stop that other parent, but instead they are looked at by the judge and others like they are supposed to stop that other parent. If the judge and the attorneys cannot put a stop to the attacking parent, why do they expect the parent being attacked to be able to do so? And ultimately it ends up where the parent being attacked either has to give in or be attacked by the system too. It this is happening to you it’s time to change this and learn how to respond in ways different than what the attorneys have been responding in the past. The same responses have been getting the same bad results. We have suggested alternative ways to handle this.
Our recommendations for the judges in family law:
Stop allowing one parent to attack the other parent’s equal rights and equal time with the children. Remove that from the table and you remove the fuel to that attacking parent’s fire.
Have a policy in your court that the rights of both parents will be divided equally and that if the parents wish to make other arrangements between each other privately that are different to what you order they can, but that the law supports only reducing each parent’s rights by 50% since that is necessary in order to divorce and live and raise the child separate from each other.
Next make orders that allow both parents to continue to do the following equally: (The following list was acquired from http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/childrenanddivorce/f/fathersrights.htm by James L. Gross, posted by Cathy Meyer and accessed on Divorcesupport website on April 23, 2013.) (The link no longer works, but we have left it here just in case they fix it one day.)
- Be an influence in your children’s lives, be involved, interact, and spend time with them;
- Love and nurture your children without harassment from the other parent;
- Decide where your children will live;
- Participate in the parenting of your children;
- See the school and medical records of your children;
- Attend and participate in your children’s extra-curricular activities;
- Have the custody, care and control of your children;
- Select your children’s school and determine whether it will be home, public, or private;
- Determine your children’s religious faith and practices;
- Determine your children’s doctors, dentist, and medical treatment;
- Follow your own beliefs and parenting style during your time with the children without interference from the other parent;
- Guide and discipline your children; and,
- Decide what is best for your children.
Have your attorney communicate that you do not feel that anything in the law warrants anything other than the required equal split of your rights with your children. If you do not communicate this to your court then your court will do whatever they want to do, and that just might be what they have been doing for generations, choosing one parent over the other to have the majority of the time with the children. As James L. Gross so eloquently put it “You do not need a court order to obtain your rights as a father. You already have them. They are guaranteed by the United States Constitution…” Both mother’s and father’s equal rights are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. So if the laws of your state are violating your equal rights, and the judge of your court does not respond to your request for protection of your rights, and the court has not proven a valid reason for interfering or restricting your equal rights and equal time with your child, you should challenge this usurpation of your rights through the proper appellate channels.
Remember that a proper appeal is going to make the difference. There is difficulty challenging the court’s power and authority directly. That is why we suggest that you challenge with a different approach as well as the basic challenges. Even very skilled constitutional attorneys have run into difficulties with these challenges. But as you have seen with Santosky and Troxel and a few other cases a proper challenge can result in proper rulings that provide protection to all of those that follow. The first suggestion we can make is that you plead that you have inherent, unalienable, fundamental parental rights that are not for the court to “give.” These are human rights that you have been born with, these are rights that are basic to the fabric of our society, that no man has given us, and no law should be passed to deny us. Laws made to say that you do not have equal rights to any other parent should be challenged. Only laws that interfere with these rights after you have been proven unfit or a clear and present danger should be allowed, and these must be measured with strict scrutiny and a very high level of due process.