Monday, November 22, 2010

Letting The Judge Decide

Judges usually encourage the parties in custody cases to reach their own agreement because the parties are in the best position to know what is best for the child. Judges do this, not to escape doing their jobs, but out of a recognition that agreements always work better than judicial edicts.
Working together with the other parent or relative, however, is hard work. It is very often unpleasant and requires making compromises with someone for whom true animosity is felt. It is much easier to "leave it up to the judge." To do so, however, is to turn over basic parental decision making responsibility to a total stranger, just because he or she was appointed by the Virginia General Assembly to be a judge. As recently as Friday, in the Chesapeake J&DR Court, the judge was trying to explain this to a father who continued to cling to the notion that he would prefer to have the judge decide where his daughter would live.
Whether it is an inflated idea of the wisdom of judges who get only a glimpse of the family in court or the true absence of a willingness or ability to communicate between people who have the responsibility of raising a child, parties often do not put in the effort that is required to spare the child the needless conflict that court brings.
With the resources available in co-parenting therapy and mediation, contested custody cases should be the exception rather than the rule.

Should i be worried about her taking my son and filing for custody?can she get custody of my son being she has him for the night -

Should i be worried about her taking my son and filing for custody?can she get custody of my son being she has him for the night -

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mid-life Crisis And Divorce

I told a client this week that doctors love to give legal advice, and lawyers, in turn, love to give medical advice. Family law practitioners usually limit their medical practice to the psychiatric field. That is what I do today. In a purely anecdotal, non-scientific, unresearched, but greatly observed, survey, a few things have become evident. The most obvious is that both women and men are prone to mid-life crises, although the manifestations and on-set ages are not always the same with the genders or the individuals.The second , but most often overlooked, is that the crisis has a limited lifespan (usually 2 years or less). Usually, the person comes out on the other side of it and cannot believe that someone who looked just like him or her did or said all of those things, that now seem very odd.
During the crisis, it often seems like a good idea to get rid of your old spouse because you have outgrown them or they depress you, etc. Often, they are "helpful" and cooperate with your plan of dismantling the family. Other times, they are very "mean" and want you to go to counseling and come home at night and talk about "saving" the family. In the end, it often turns out, that people wish that their spouses had not been so "helpful" and "nice" and had actually cared enough to fight for the family and be a little "mean". Sometimes, you may not be happy when you get what you wished for!