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Archive for January, 2018

Lady Justice in Johannesburg (Photo Rowan Pybus, Faith47’s website)

More than ten years ago, as a father immersed in a fight with ex and the Manhattan Family Court to regain my meager weekends with my girls, I excoriated the languid pace of US family justice and its biases against fathers. I have never gotten my weekends back, and I still have child support garnished by New York State Child Support Collection Unit which does not care one way or the other if I see my children, and gee, was I right: Family justice is slow, painfully so. Yet if there is very little progress going on in the US, things are happening elsewhere.

Consider this: By the end of 2017,  UK Cafcass (the Children and Family Court Advisory Service) is touting a “groundbreaking initiative” to tackle parental alienation, arguing that “parental alienation is a feature of many of our cases” (no kidding!). In the Spring of 2018, “guidelines will be issued to help social workers to deal with suspected cases of parental alienation.” An alienating parent could loose custody if convicted of demonizing the other parent with one’s children.

My children have been the victims of parental alienation, which the Manhattan Family Court judge dealing with my case acknowledged, but whose ruling aggravated its effect instead of correcting it. Hence I cannot but salute the Cafsass “initiative,” hoping that one day sleepy New York State justice system might want to emulate it. I want here to point at idiosyncratic US factors that may render this initiative ineffective if it were put in place..

Take the US idiosyncratic dysfunctions between the public players (judges, lawyers etc..) and private ones (supervisory businesses that deal with the visits of sole custodial parents and their children).  In my case, It only took a couple of supervised visits for the social worker to figure out that mom was demonizing me and sabotaging my supervised visitations. The social worker wrote a letter to the judge, which went nowhere, for the next trial date was month apart, and the law guardian in charge of my case was as awake as Ben Carlson in the 2016 Republican debates. My point: Guidelines are not going to help much if roles in the chain of decisions are not clear, and again, if nothing is done to remedy the excruciating slow pace of rendering justice (in the US).

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Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.