Recently, we all watched the fiasco of SB #1049 go down where rogue leaders of the CT Coalition for Family Court Reform tried to slip a bill through the Finance Committee rather than the Judiciary Committee. They did this after members of the Judiciary Committee quite sensibly refused to hear proposed bills from The Coalition that were destructive and damaging to women.
What is worse, while I am aware that specific individuals on the Finance Committee sponsored SB #1049, those sponsors were too cowardly to put their names on the bill and instead allowed the entire Financial Committee to take responsibility for the train wreck that was SB #1049. What can you do other than roll your eyes, sigh and say "politics" in a derisive tone of voice.
Of course, that wouldn't be quite enough as a response, but what can your response be to a bunch of bullying men who pressure and coerce legislators, abused women, and the public to sit and listen to their nonsense. Not just nonsense in terms of the misogynist content of the bill, but also in terms of the waste of taxpayers time and money while this kind of hurtful and damaging legislation gets brought before these Committees and considered.
At this point, I am sure you are wondering what will make this lady happy? She won't go along with anything the co-opted Coalition has come up with. Why doesn't she come up with her own ideas?
Ok, then, if that's your question, I will do just that.
Of course, my focus here is not to play gender politics in the way the current leadership of The Coalition likes to play it. Those men are all about let's put women back in their places, barefoot, pregnant, silenced. That's not my way of looking at things.
What I like to look at is how can that top priority of maintaining the welfare of children which parents had in place prior to the filing of divorce, stay in place subsequently. So what I look at first is: what is in the best interests of the children. This is more important than any other consideration.
Next, what I look at is the question of what can we do to establish a parenting relationship subsequent to the divorce which promotes a positive, cooperative, and supportive co-parenting arrangement.
These are the two end goals which should really matter the most in any divorce proceeding.
So what we want to do in developing legislation is to promote the interests of both fathers and mothers, not just the fathers. So don't expect me to tolerate any blanket legislation to establish shared parenting or punish any mother who might hesitate for even a moment to pass on her child to the father upon request.
In regard to family court reform, what we need to do is establish an environment of fairness and justice in CT Family Court for both fathers and mothers and we need to work together to promote that goal.
If we could do this, i.e. work together as parents, rather than disintegrate into misogynist rages, we could have a tremendous impact for the better on the future of family court reform here in the State of Connecticut. In that regard, in no particular order, I would propose the following legislative agenda for The CT Coalition for Family Court Reform:
1. All in-chambers conferences are to be recorded and placed on the record;
2. All hearings shall be recorded and copies of these recordings made available to the parties immediately following the proceedings;
3. All litigants may choose a non-intervening, non attorney support person to accompany them to all conferences and hearings during the proceedings. These support persons cannot be harassed or retaliated against;
4. No new exhibits can be presented at trial which have not been exchanged prior to trial;
5. Attorneys who withdraw from a case must do so within an adequate timeframe for the litigant to obtain alternative representation;
6. No motions to the Court will be heard on the very day they are submitted to the Court;
7. Child support determinations will be made independent of who has physical custody and solely on the basis of financial need;
8. Any parent denied access to their children based upon a mental health condition shall be provided with a DSM diagnosis and a plan for reunification, which if properly adhered to, may lead to the restoration of parental rights. This plan will be reviewed by the judge every six months in order to monitor the parent's progress;
9. Parents required to use "Our Family Wizard" in their parental responsibility plan, must submit regular documentation each month indicating that they have obeyed that order. The Judicial Branch will provide free training to parents on how to use "Our Family Wizard" so that they are aware how to use it properly and effectively;
10. The legislature will establish a permanent Citizen's Committee to monitor, track, and report on the activities of the CT Judicial Branch in regard to Family Court.
These are some of my ideas in regard to how we can institute legislation which will improve fair and just outcomes for all parents and children, not just the men.
I believe these are areas of concern that pretty much everyone in the CT Coalition for Family Court Reform can get behind, regardless of whether they are a father or mother.
Since there is power in numbers, why not join together and fight together rather than pursue extremist agendas that involve bullying and harassment of women? It's only a reasonable question, I'd say.
Anyway, it is a lazy Sunday afternoon. I thought of 10 new laws that would revolutionize CT Family Court for the better and benefit everyone. I'm sure all of you have even better ideas! If you do and you'd like to share them, please contribute them in the comment section below! Thanks very much in advance for getting involved and for caring enough to share your ideas for promoting fairness, justice and a safe environment for children in the CT Family Court system.