He who is without words is powerless. Ever Find Yourself Without the Proper Words?
You have a lot to make a stand on in a child custody battle. Certainly more than you knew. And you are not alone when you have the knowledge of those before you. You have more power than you had without that knowledge. And in the case and cause of parents fighting the power of government from taking away their child and their financial resources in a divorce (the most unjust use of court power we know of today), these words become the power that you have been lacking in the days and trials in your states. You haven’t been alone like you thought all along. And your rights do not depend on the ideas or beliefs of your attorney, or the opposing attorney, or even the judge. And no need to invent the words or the rights. The Founding Fathers created the protection of your rights in the U.S. Constitution and those that followed that amended it. No need to re-invent the arguments. You just needed to brush off some of these court opinions and give them to your attorney or use them if you are pro se, and let the power of words start to work for you.
Take for example Donnelly v. DeChristoforo, 416 US 637 – Supreme Court 1974, “Those who have experienced the full thrust of the power of government when leveled against them know that the only protection the citizen has is in the requirement for a fair trial.” So you have to go straight to the opinions that provide these protections otherwise you are fighting without any weapons. One day soon, after enough parents and attorneys have battled with these weapons they will become skilled and undefeated like so many other of our mentors that have stood and succeeded before us. Some of these most powerful heroes only used words, one only has to look to one of the most successful and most printed book in the world, to see an example of this — the Bible. (1)
However, different books are used for different purposes, and different words for different battles. So choose the words that provide you with the power to stand up to the power before you and find yourself far from powerless. In the case of being faced by a judge who feels empowered to discard your rights and preferences and replace with their own preferences or the preferences of others can be intimidating, frustrating, scary, confusing, and feel defeating.
“Activist judges have brought federal habeas corpus into disrepute at the present time. It is guaranteed by the Constitution. It is a built-in restraint on judges—both state and federal; and it is also a restraint on prosecutors who are officers of the court. Our activist tendencies should promote not law and order, but constitutional law and order. Judges, too, can be tyrants and often have been. Prosecutors are often eager to take almost any shortcut to win, yet as I have said they represent not an ordinary party but We the People. As I have noted, their duty is as much “to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one,” Berger v. United States, supra, at 88.”
When you face any challenge in life you need the knowledge to overcome the challenge. Retaining and protecting your rights (which include your time) with your child and the finances that you earn or have saved warrant this same care and conviction. Leaving this in the hands of an attorney has become a practice that has proven to be harmful and not in yours or your child’s best interest.
We cannot say it enough times but it is not an option to leave your rights in the hands of an attorney. If you do not take the time regardless of how distraught or down you are to read the Constitution and the cases that protect your fundamental rights, then you risk being taken advantage of, falling for the intimidation, being degraded and put down, and worst rendered a stranger and a slave to paying the former spouse for stealing those rights and along with those goes your child. (It is free to read the appellate and Supreme Court cases online.) Many people fought before you so that you would have these rights and protections, but these do not magically get implemented in the face of power and when so many people before you gave in or gave them up, it can become a usual course of business to trample on your rights and make you believe that you don’t have any. And it becomes a usual course of business for an entire industry to build up around these practices.
The other side is probably making demands in your case if you are facing a custody battle, so stand up and make your own demands — demand that you put into your file that you have equal rights and list out those rights that you want the court to respect and recognize– cite the cases and the parts of the cases that say that you have these rights. Don’t take chances anymore. Don’t accept excuses or let them get you emotionally trapped in their games or be blinded by arguments that emotionally trigger you or the court or the attorneys or anyone else. You wouldn’t take chances on your child’s education or your child’s safety, why would you take unnecessary chances with your rights to continue to be an equally meaningful part of your child’s life and time? You invest in your child’s education and safety, invest in your rights and you’ll be investing in your child’s rights and protecting both.
We will keep reading and finding the words that have freed so many before you and posting them here just waiting for you to use them for the same for yourself.