The last few years have been like playing hide and seek in getting to know the truth about what happens to parents and children when they have to go through our court system.
Too late, many parents caught in a Family Court matter realize the truth just doesn’t matter, and by then they are turned upside down wondering what happened, and how.
WHY was my evidence not used to protect me or my kids? WHY did they tell me we would be “just fine” because the truth was on our side?
The numbers of children who are NOT fine is staggering, whether they are remaining with abusive or addicted parents, cut off from healthy parents, or if they are watching parents lose their homes because the “divorce got really ugly.” The reality of the “ugly” is that legal fees are ratcheted up so high that parents too often cannot afford to keep homes, or cannot pay for college or medical/psychological treatment.
This is what it feels like to these children and parents:
Most people can’t relate to what this family is experiencing, and the professionals tell their clients not to talk about what is happening, and then they seal reports so that the truth never comes out.
For so many mothers and fathers, and for children who are being hurt in the process in some way or another, it boils down to the fact that our judges and custody “experts” do NOT have to consider the evidence we present to help us get through conflict safely.
It’s unfortunate but true that for certain Family Law professionals it is just too profitable for them when they keep evidence hidden — evidence that if used in Court — might have otherwise put your case to rest and allow you to get through it safely, and without losing your children and everything else you cherish.
The worst is when they cooperate – attorneys, custody experts and the judge – to suppress evidence of child abuse rather than using it to protect and uplift a child.
In the process of suppressing evidence – to manipulate the outcomes of cases for their financial gain – they are severing relationships with nurturing parents who want to protect the child and end the fighting. The damages to children are staggering, and many of these children never recover. Parents who are blocked from caring for and protecting their own children…are also having a hard time managing and recovering. Some do not.
The opposite of what should happen – based on the available evidence – is what is occurring on far too many cases all over Georgia.
Please write your legislators and simply say that we want our Georgia statute to say that Judges and court appointed professionals “shall” consider evidence, rather than “may” consider evidence.
It is time to end this suffering and to address the cycles of abuse, addiction and dysfunction where it is possible for our Courts to use evidence to intervene properly. Where evidence and testimony are available to help put protections in place for children, and to support good parents, it should be allowed on the record and used for their benefit.
Family Court practices that lead to ignoring evidence are worsening the situation. The professionals who work this way are worsening mental health, stability and productivity; they are increasing the cycles of abuse and addiction.
Where you are seeing certain professionals cooperate with each other to block, suppress or ignore evidence – evidence of real abuse, or evidence that would exonerate an innocent parent who is falsely accused – please visit MyAdvocateCenter.com to report this data.
In all situations where evidence is ignored and the truth does not count, this leads to more loss, stress and trauma for the children and parents involved. Please let us know how you can help address this, and how you can help involve our healthcare community so that these families can recover while we work on reforming bad practices.
If you see me around the Capitol, you know why I’m there. Get involved.Read More
Are you paying attention to the news stories?
CBS Atlanta excerpt:
“Ruby Moore is the executive director of the Georgia Advocacy Group, a nonprofit organization that works with and for people with mental and/or physical disabilities. Moore said she is outraged that a Fulton County judge ruled Melanie Pickens cannot be prosecuted on child abuse charges.”
I spend a lot of time with professionals, especially in the healthcare community, looking at why so many children are struggling especially when the family has the resources and desire to avoid it.
Please read this post on My Advocate Center. Children deserve protection, at home AND at school!
You know how much I talk about the “needs of children” right? Well, I was almost beside myself when I saw that special needs children, who can’t speak for themselves to report abuse, were being disregarded as victims because the judge was more concerned with using an immunity rule for teachers.
So, yes, the professionals I work with are delving into that issue. If you have anything to contribute to this story and the application of the immunity rule, please let me know? You can connect with me on LinkedIn or email via My Advocate Center’s contact page.
I keep hearing from people that they had no idea what was going on, what was happening to “good families” all around them.
It’s because we’re told to not say anything, to keep the “drama” behind closed doors – meaning behind the doors of certain lawyer’s offices! Or behind the door of the custody evaluator who says things that make you think one moment that you and your kids will be fine, and then make you feel “crazy” the next. If you say anything to people who have never witnessed this, they look at you in a strange way…and wonder.
So I shared this through our audience at My Advocate Center:
For those of you in our community who are just now hearing about “problems” with how family conflict is being handled – or mishandled – we appreciate you stopping by.
Much of what is happening is just bizarre. This makes no sense…and you can’t fathom that these things would be going on.
If you read a report about “damages” and the location was shown to be some third-world country, you would believe it, right? But hearing that this is happening in your own backyard, where we have rules and laws that should apply…can make you want to shake the thought from your mind, and then move on.
* Please pause a moment. *
The parents in the cases we report on were like you, and not that long ago.
They never dreamed things like this could happen.
They would not have believed that they could be cut off from children, trapped in a legal process that appears to be never-ending, bankrupted or caused to lose homes – just because they realized they had to hire a lawyer and go to court to handle a situation.
If you want to learn more, and to find a way to help these good parents and their children, but without reading about the more stress-inducing situations, please let us know.
LEGISLATORS & State Capitol staff:
Thank you for taking the time.
Thank you for seeing past the “drama” you read about and can’t relate to.
Thank you for considering the needs of your constituents and our children…over what might be easy for your peers.
Please keep asking questions, and looking for answers. They are available.Read More
Update: A packed house, a lively rally and solid news coverage set the stage for our announcement that legislator Margaret Kaiser is paving the way for legislative briefings on these issues.
This video from 11 Alive will explain more:
In addition to three television crews and a print reporter, All News 106.7 interviewed our advisor, psychotherapist and author Dr. Karin Smithson.
ATLANTA, GA (Thursday, January 2, 2013) — Divorce statistics in the United States remain staggering, and the explosion of filings has resulted in a new $50 billion market that, like other relatively unregulated industries, has resulted in systemic abuses. The new documentary film, “Divorce Corp.” narrated by eminent therapist Dr. Drew Pinsky tracks cases across the nation to exposeroutine practices by family court judges, lawyers and court appointed professionals that breach ethics and, in some instances, rise to the level of public corruption.
The movie opens this month in 16 American cities. My Advocate Center (M-A-C) is hosting the world theatrical premiere of “Divorce Corp.” at Atlanta’s LeFont Theatre on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 6:30 PM. Established as a community service organization to support child custody dispute resolution, M-A-C has been tracking family court cases. Executive Director Deb Beacham said, “Divorce is a reality, but it should not bankrupt and permanently destabilize families. This film provides a platform for an important national dialogue that advocates around the country have wanted for years.”
The movie has generated a significant amount of controversy on its own. Some women’s rights organizations maintain that it weighs too heavily on father’s rights issues and some have called for a boycott of the film. “We do not disagree with many of the concerns expressed by some of the film’s opponents, but we feel this is a great opportunity to bring many voices to the table to have a very important dialogue,” said Ms. Beacham. “The need for reform is dire. Working together on that goal will preserve everyone’s rights and, more importantly, serve the best interests of the children who are too often used as pawns in the process.”
My Advocate Center is organizing a town hall in the theatre immediately before the January 9 Atlanta screening. It will include a moderated discussion with family court attorney Lisa West (who gained national media attention for representing the former wife of Grammy® winner Usher Raymond) and psychologist Dr. Karin Smithson, a ChildKind honoree. The panel will address key topics raised by the film and answer audience questions.
Fact sheets on the film, the issues presented, the narrator Dr. Pinsky, the panelists and My Advocate Center are available at www.MyAdvocateCenter.com . You can watch film trailers and learn about the producers at www.DivorceCorp.com. AMC Theaters will be showing the film around the country as well: https://www.amctheatres.com/movies/divorce-corpRead More
Hopefully you have read the reports on the ways we are working with My Advocate Center and other organizations to both improve our community, state and to make a difference in the lives of children and good parents?
If you feel blessed to be in a better position, to be thriving in your career, your home life and to feel fortunate to be able to provide for your children…or if you are just thankful to have your health, please consider doing more with what you have!
There are people, including children, who right now are in need of your intervention and our support. Every bit does make a difference, and I hope you’ll read and respond on this below request.
This case and these children are front and center.
What can you do? You can contribute here, and let us know what other forms of support you can bring to help influence more positive outcomes – solutions to a crisis situation that many of us were not previously aware of.
Please follow these links:
If you want to know more about me, Deb Beacham, please visit my LinkedIn page as well, and learn why this alliance is growing quickly and why others are endorsing me the way they are. Please send me a note via LinkedIn or through the www.MyAdvocateCenter.com website, or call me if you have my number. There are many ways to contribute and I will make sure you know that each contribution does not go to waste.
Thank you for being a part of something unique and helping me and this organization make a difference!Read More
Considering messages given to us as parents, and to our kids…
Aren’t you thankful that you don’t have to be perfect?
…Unless someone has told you that you DO have to be perfect in order to be worthy of their support?
Many of us grow up believing that if we were worthy enough, we would get the validation or time or support that we crave. We miss out on something and become vulnerable as we go out into the world searching for what we felt we needed that was not given to us as children.
As adults many of us struggle with having love withheld – unconditional love – in marriages and relationships. We might also struggle with an employer who withholds positive feedback or makes us feel like we somehow don’t measure up. We feel the sting of missed opportunities or even from a sense of betrayal.
Being told that you don’t measure up, and therefore are not entitled to support – or that you are not worthy of being believed or even protected – is a tactic that we hopefully learn to recognize as we get older.
But this tactic only works for as long as we allow it to work.
Once we get it that we really do NOT need to be perfect, or to be exactly as someone else dictates to us, we can claim our worth. We can expect to be treated better by those around us.
This is the phase I’m in with my children – helping them see their value is not attached to their grades or to their level of sports competition, or to which friends they have or don’t have.
This is also a common theme with so many parents who talk to me about what they are facing as they work through conflict with each other and with family court professionals.
The rest of this note is for the many parents who are expressing to me or to My Advocate Center’s team that they are being told, “You are so flawed that you can’t expect any better in this situation.” They are hearing these comments directed at them as decisions are being made about parenting time and parenting rights.
Apparently you must be “perfect” to be allowed to make decisions about the care of your child, or to be allowed to freely nurture and give to your child. Certain professionals claim authority and claim that in their perfect wisdom that they can tell you – the parent – that you do not measure up somehow, and that you must be fearful and in some cases be prepared to BUY time with your children.
Of course, no one is showing these parents what “perfect” looks like. And parents in most cases are not given the chance improve upon their alleged shortcomings before finding out they’ve lost everything. Many are not even allowed to see the results of their evaluations and tests to learn what their actual flaws and faults are…when those things are being used to take away CHILDREN.
No, it’s not right how these parents are being treated – and it’s not right what is being done to their children in the process.
There is no “win” in this for the children, only for the professionals holding these families captive and able to control time, decision-making and all of the family’s financial resources.
And just imagine how the kids feel seeing their parents under this much stress? If a parent is beaten down and made to believe they are not worthy, and have no rights and no chance, what do you think this does to a child’s peace of mind, sense of self-worth and stability?
I can confirm for you that it is just BAD all around. And completely unnecessary – - and preventable.
So let’s go back to the initial concept here: if you are worthy enough to be allowed to parent your child, then say so. Act like it. If your child is worthy of having your love, time, nurturing and financial and other types of support, then say so. Act like it.
If you are worthy of being believed and supported, say so. Then act like it. Send the right message to your kids by saying, “I am worthy of the best treatment, and therefore so are YOU.”
If the people around you – especially those who are working for YOU and who are hired to help protect your children and your rights – do not say so and do not act like they believe this, then why would you keep them around?
Aren’t you and your children worthy of getting what you need? Please let me know if you still need help getting to that answer by emailing me through www.MyAdvocateCenter.com.