Check out his report on our demonstration. We followed the next day with a demonstration at the North County Courthouse.
Since re-incorporating this year, our members have become very active. Along with court-watches, we have joined the Non-Profit Chamber of Palm Beach County. Through them, we have become aware of many organizations with goals and needs overlapping ours. We will be reporting our outreach from now on, much of which is initiated through this chamber.
Here is Sheri’s report on a workshop she attended along with Sheila: Workshop on Child Abuse–Preventing, Recognizing, and Responding
WHY MEN LOSE IN FAMILY COURT
Twenty three years ago I went through a brutal divorce. Actually, at the time of divorce we were very friendly with one another and agreed to settle out of court. My Ex-wife, through a paralegal filed for divorce and like most men I simply agreed to the terms. I walked away with nothing! I surrendered the house, ($40,000.00 in equity) the boat, the car, furniture etc. etc…Everything I had acquired in 13 years of marriage was suddenly gone. We had three children and I wanted them to have the benefit of these items. Although I didn’t realize it at the time I could have and should have made better agreements that would have benefited all members of my family in a much greater way.
Despite everything I had surrendered, ignorantly failing to make fair and equitable agreements at the time of my departure from the family home was a colossal mistake and was a personal invitation for her to sue me later. I would in time realize that money and property are no substitute for a well-written, fair and equitable agreement of ALL issues. Like the American Express advertisement declares “Don’t leave home without it!”
I had also surrendered a number of other rights simply because I was ignorant and wasn’t aware of the significance of these rights. Mainly rights to my children. I had mistakenly believed that women always get custody of children and Dads always get the standard every other weekend visitation schedule. In fact I was so ignorant I actually thought this was the law! Little did I realize that even after I had given everything I had, I would still have to give more.
Once in my seat the meeting began with a number of men sharing their stories of severe prejudice and bias in the family court. The first thing I realized was that I was not alone in what I had experienced in and out of court. After two or three testimonies a gentleman went to the podium and addressed the crowd. The subject of his speech was “Why men lose in Family Court.”
The gentleman opened his speech with these questions:
When the speaker had finished asking the questions it was very apparent that most of the men in the room, including me, didn’t know the first thing about avoiding or resolving a family law problem! It was a moment of realization that we had each failed due to our own ignorance. These men, myself included were like lambs headed to slaughter. None of us had a clue as to what we had done wrong or how we could still resolve our own legal problems! What a pathetic group of men! This wasn’t what any of us expected.
The speaker continued by explaining why men lose in family court. “Yes there is bias, prejudice and discrimination in family court towards men. Yes the family court system is broken and needs reform. However, despite these problems most of you have failed because you didn’t take the time to learn how the system works.” As he spoke he gave numerous examples of mistakes that men make. (These Mistakes are discussed in the Fathers Rights Survival Guide.) “Men lose in family court because they simply don’t do their homework and women do!”
The speaker closed the meeting with this exhortation: “I want each of you to make a commitment. A commitment to your friends, family, to your children and to yourself! I want you to commit to learning how the family law system works. I want you to commit to changing the outcome of your case! This week I want each of you to go to a law library or bookstore in your area and read anything and everything you can on family law. Once you have acquired the needed knowledge set a goal, form a plan and don’t give up until you get what you want and need!”
As I drove home from the meeting I was filled with mixed emotions about what the speaker had said. On one hand I was encouraged that I could take control of my case, learn how the system works and resolve my ongoing legal problems. On the other hand I was very discouraged when I realized I had caused my own legal problems. I had lost in court because I had failed to learn the “rules of the game.” Like millions of other men I thought I could strike an easy out of court settlement and go on with my life. How wrong I was! This was a very hard lesson for me! I was a college graduate. I was fairly intelligent and should have known better. My Ex-wife wasn’t to blame, I was! I did this too myself! My failure was her victory!
The very next morning I decided to make the commitment to resolve my legal problems. As the speaker instructed I went to the local law library and read numerous books and articles. The following day I went to numerous bookstores and read many self-help books on family law. In addition, I searched the Internet and read everything I could about divorce and Family Law. The more I read the more I realized how mistaken I had been.
Over the next six months I continued studying family law and attending the meetings sponsored by the Coalition of Parent Support. The Fathers Rights movement and my own personal knowledge began to flourish. In fact, I eventually became a board member of the statewide group. After a few months, I even enrolled in paralegal classes at a community college. A year later I was so committed that I enrolled in law school. Boy what a turn around!
My first year of law school I did two important things. I started my own organization called Fathers Rights, Inc. I began offering self-help legal assistance and counseling to men. Also, I returned to court to resolve unfinished legal business. This time I was prepared for battle! I had done my homework!
On the day of court I discovered that my ex-wife had retained the same attorney she had used previously. When he saw me in the hallway I am sure he thought this would be quick and easy. After all I was so misinformed the first time. The attorney approached me and began telling me how ridiculous my request for hearing was and that he was going to “stick it to me” if I didn’t drop the matter immediately. With confidence, I informed him I would not do so and would see him before the Judge. We did discuss the legal issues at hand and you could see that his attitude towards me was much different than before. The attorney made his routine offer of settlement that I promptly refused. He was now very concerned. He had recognized that something was very different.
On another occasion the principal of the school that my children attended felt she had no obligation to provide me with copies of my children’s report cards and other information. (Emergency medical contact information, Notice of parent-teacher conferences, transcripts etc. etc…) It’s significant to note that my ex-wife’s mother was the vice-president of the school board. The principal, vice-principal, teachers and school nurse were aware of this. No doubt that the decision to deny my parental rights was directly related to my mother-in-laws powerful position. Well, I filed a suit in civil court naming the principal, vice-principal, school nurse, the entire local and county school boards, and the California board of education.
At the hearing the County’s attorney spoke with me and expressed regret that this matter had to be filed. He agreed that the schools position could not be legally supported based on the family code. He informed them that their position was in error and the policy of preventing a parent with joint legal custody from viewing his children’s school records was illegal and should be instantly changed. The matter was settled in the hallway and never made it to the Judge and for good reason.
Here is the best part of this story: After successfully resolving the legal issues my ex-wife “got the message.” She realized that I would never again allow myself to be used as a legal punching bag. There would be no more rolling over. No more defaults, no more passivity. I had become a pro-active participant. I had finally learned how the system worked and would vigorously defend myself in any future issue that might arise. And guess what? Once she understood she could no longer win automatically, Lo and behold we never had another legal dispute! Immediately following the last court hearing our conversations became civil but solely limited to the lives of the kids. Exactly the way it should be! (And should have been from the beginning)
My children are grown now and my personal family law struggles are over. I learned the hard way that what you do now will determine the quality of the relationship you will have with your children in the future. People forget that children are only in the custody of either parent for a relatively short time. After they reach the age of majority is when the real relationship begins! I was fortunate in that I discovered my failure in time. I was able to reverse a never-ending trend of court hearing after court hearing with no end in sight. It all changed that one evening after the meeting when I decided to commit to making needed changes in my attitude and approach to my case. I had learned a valuable lesson. Know the rules before you play the game! Once I discovered the rules of the game it all changed.
Now let me ask you! Why have you come to this site? Are you looking for answers to your family law problems? Are you the Parent, Grandparent, girlfriend, sister or new wife of a man having problems in family court? Are you confused? Lost? Frustrated? Angry? Let me give you the same advice I was given years ago. Your case (or the case of the person for whom you are concerned) will never be resolved until you (they) take the time to learn how the family law system works. Unless you are Bill Gates and have thousands and thousands of dollars to spend on attorney’s fees you need to learn how Family Law works. You can be sure your Ex has! In fact, if you don’t take the time to learn how the family law system works no attorney or other legal professional can ever help you! Now I’m not suggesting that you need to take paralegal classes or go to law school as I have done. But you must commit to learning the simple steps you can take now to resolve your present legal issues and avoid additional issues in the future.
There are now two ways in which I can help you:
After considerable research I wrote a series of nine booklets on every major family law issue. It’s called the Fathers Rights Survival Guide. The guide contains sections on Divorce, Child and Spousal Support, Child Custody and Visitation, Child Support Enforcement problems, Contempt of Court, Restraining Orders, Move-away Issues and The Truth about Family Law and Attorneys. This information was written so that a ten-year old boy could understand its content. It is filled with very revealing information that is critically important to any man facing family law problems. Further, it is all you will need! You won’t need to spend time at law libraries or bookstores. You won’t need to spend countless hours on the Internet reviewing information that is often confusing and difficult to understand. I have done this work for you! Also, the information in the guide is good in all 50 States!
Here is my commitment to you: If you will commit to learning the simple steps you can take to either avoid or resolve family law problems and purchase the Fathers Rights Survival Guide (or purchase one of the The Advocate Plans) I will make a personal commitment to help you! If you purchase and read the Fathers Rights Survival Guide I will make myself available to answer any questions you may have. You can contact me at: email@example.com and I will respond. Where can you get this kind of help for $60.00? And you get Free Updates for Life! To order the Fathers Rights Survival Guide click here!
Good Luck and I hope to hear from you soon!
– See more at:
Father’s Rights Inc.- WHY MEN LOSE IN FAMILY COURTA Suicide letter written by a 8 yr old girl in foster care, has been found by her mother.
Zoey Cathrine Smith is the name of a 8 year old girl born in Scottsdale, Arizona. She was taken by D.C.S.( Formerly C.P.S. , but changed names due to the corruption that was officially recognized by the Arizona government ) 339 days ago. She has been in foster care ever since. Zoey’s case worker, Debbie Ellis, refuses to communicate with her parent Crystal Scott who has received a SUICIDE LETTER from her 8 year old daughter Zoe. The letter talks of Zoey being tired of being a foster child and if things don’t change, she will kill herself. D.C.S. will not give Zoe to her grandma and refuse to place Zoe in another foster family. Zoe’s mother is worried for the welfare of her child and no one will listen. Sign this petition for a Official investigation into Zoe’s case. If every rule and regulation has been followed by D.C.S. employees, then there should be no hesitation to audit Zoey Catherine Smithe’s case. I have posted previous petitions for mandatory body cameras on all D.C.S. workers and this is why.
Posted by Fathers-4-Justice USA on Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Posted by Fathers-4-Justice USA on Tuesday, May 15, 2012