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Sunday, April 30, 2017

CREATING A CT FAMILY COURT REFORM MOVEMENT THAT EVERYONE CAN GET BEHIND!

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.  

The only thing I can say about the Finance Committee at this point is: "What were they thinking?"  

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.

11.  Eliminate in chambers hearings or establish the requirement that a court reporter be present to record and transcribe the proceedings. 

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.

11 comments:

  1. You just don't get it. This isn't about family court reform. It's about promoting the father's rights movement in the State of Connecticut.

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  2. I agree with the comment above. This is all about promoting the agenda of the National Parents Organization (formerly Fathers & Families. Many of the members of the Coalition are members of NPO and they are funded and organized by that organization. So they don't care about anything else but pushing men's rights, shared parenting and the reduction of child support.

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    1. These father's rights people in CT are a bunch of wacked out dudes, sorry to say. They also lie and manipulate. So I know you are trying to be nice, but it's hard to succeed with that when only the mothers are really being sincere with their intentions. The men were going around selling SB # 1049 stating it would eliminate judicial immunity and then just didn't bother to mention that it also eliminated protections for women and children. They act like that part isn't there and how dare you even mention it. Well, that's just outright lies and misrepresentation. Father's rights people are like Communists--whatever it takes to move the Party forward they will do no matter what the crime that is required to do so. They don't care about the kids. For father's rights people, it is all about power, control, and male entitlement.

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  3. Some of these suggestions are already in place in the family court trial compliance orders or in The CT Practice Book, but you are correct that Judges and attorneys regularly disregard them. The fact that they ignore these rules is a denial of litigants due process rights.

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  4. For #8 providing a DSM diagnosis. These family court professionals will just make something up as per usual. I don't know if it really complies with the ADA. Do you know anything about the ADA? Because #8 looks discriminatory. But you are saying it is worse now I guess.

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  5. I read post and comments. Glad you identified problems. I have to clarify: No State law can get rid of judicial immunity as it is a Constitutional Amendment. Don't believe anyone who says a law will get rid of judicial immunity. What you need is a law that forbids appointees acting as judicial actors - quasi or not. Get rid of immunity for appointees - lawyers and mental health practitioners and ENFORCE ethical standards for all including Judicial Canons. That would mean that any Player who is under-handed is in violation of ethics and can be sued (if not a judge) or taken off the bench (if a judge).

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  6. Any law that has a pre-determined custody outcome - shared parenting - is nefarious. It is unethical for a judge to predetermine outcomes (or write orders) BEFORE hearing evidence and ruling based that evidence. Shared parenting is an option available to any parents who agree. The court is only allowed to determine outcomes where there are two contradictory Petitions - this means that parents MUST be in disagreement for the court to be authorized to write the custody order. Therefore laws that require shared parenting are in direct opposition to the nature of custody hearings in the first place. When there is disagreement and the court is trying to force "conciliation" or some type of shared parenting THAT is when appointees are assigned and the greater the levels of disagreement the greater the length of litigation and court appointee take-over of the family. This is a simple concept - WHY can't women and FRs understand it? Because it is all about money for them? To women - these men are using the kids to get tax-deductions, control and support decreases.

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  7. Go to www.maccabuse.org under Research. See article "Triage Intake Screen." Also see DV reply "Look Before You Leap." Both explain who is behind the court appointment system - and that DV colludes in calling contested custody "A dispute to be resolved." Triage Intake Screen was developed by the court trade association - AFCC - using solely DV info of Janet Johnson and other AFCC members. BWJP is working with AFCC to increase court appointment. NO WHERE do either of these groups, court processes or proposed court processes consider THE BEST INTERESTS of the CHILDREN and whether or not shared parenting is harmful or even workable as parents would have to reside in the same school district as school buses will only pick up at one home. Who drives the other days? What if a parent goes to work before school starts? What about after school and holiday and summer care? None of these every day concerns are part of Triage Intake Screen or any "hybrid" evaluation. Figure out what is really being done and why BEFORE supporting legislative changes.

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  8. Why would anyone want to come up with a solid, common sense agenda for CT family court reform when instead we can run off and have a gender war!

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  9. I love point number one: that all in chambers meetings should be recorded. Much of my case has been in chambers with the judge and my attorney and my husband's attorney. I have asked many times if I could be present and the answer is always no. I don't understand how this can be legal. I am one of the parties, shouldn't I be able to at least be present when my case is being discussed?

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  10. How did Couloute teach that little girl? She knows far too much about adult male anatomy for a five year old. But for some reason, Couloute can't pay a dime in child support. Drives a Caddy, commutes between Atlanta, Hartford and Buffalo on the road, but no money for food for his daughter. Expensive private school for son, $17k a year, but not a dime for daughter. Very strange. But no judge has mentioned it, no social worker. Even Connecticut DCF refuses to respond to inquires by NY Social Services. Needless to say, Governor Malloy has interest in this kid.

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