Let’s rewrite family law

Let’s rewrite family law

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Ashley Calderon started this petition to U.S. Senate and

As a mother, I have watched a system be designed and orchestrated to destroy good fathers.

A significant change in the practices of our family court system will impact the lives of so many fathers, but more importantly- children. 

As a wife who hears the tears, the frustration, and the blatant defamation of my husbands character every time we set foot in a courtroom, it pains me to know that the system was designed to help me, not him. 

This needs to change, and I have a pretty good way to do that. 

 

I have witnessed children used as pawns in a judicial game of Chess that is systematically designed to make mother the queen- except this queen doesn’t protect her king, she is out to destroy him and the family court system is there to ensure her success. 

We have family court judges that are predisposed and conditioned to award primary custody to the mother under the guise that a children’s place is, in fact, with the mother. This is outdated and inconsiderate of the percentage of women currently leading the workforce. 

Our current system assumes that children only need a father for financial support and weekend fun and games. However, most psychological healthcare professionals would agree that a father’s role in a child’s life is valuable beyond measure. A father teaches his daughter how a lady should be treated and how a young man should treat a lady. He leads by example, and yet divorced fathers are rarely given ample opportunity to teach their young children these values when they are separated from their children. 

Our family courts are quick to believe a mother who sheds tears of “abuse”  even when not a shred of evidence exists to such claims. This is a tactic encourage by many attorneys as a fail safe and sure fire way to establish primary custody that favors the mother. Meanwhile, fathers are left footing high dollar attorneys fees and feeling left in the dark with no one on their side. 

Let’s talk child support. What a joke, right? How many people does it take to create a child? 2? I think we can all agree on that one. How many people does it take to provide financial support for the life that is created by those two people? That’s right, 2 again. 

Here is some math... if two adults are without child, they have no children... who then is responsible for the housing, food, clothing, medical care, etc. for that adult??? Well, the adult themselves, or atleast that’s what most people would say. So then, outside of infant years and prior to grade school, the only real expense is food, clothing and shelter (obviously medical, dental, and school supplies when necessary). So then, if I as an adult have to shelter myself, how much extra does it really cost to provide shelter for my child? Extra $200, maybe, for an extra room in my apartment? And if I live in a house, is it safe to assume that a home already has more than one room? So what about clothes? Children grow fast, I get it- I’m a mother, remember? I can spend about $1000 a year, per kid and have all the basics. Food? I can stock my freezer and refrigerator for a family of 4 for well under $500-600 a month, and my kids don’t even eat most of that. Respectively, the kids can consume about $150 per month in groceries. Now, if you take those figures, and remember that it takes TWO people to make a child so TWO people to support it, then why should a father pay the majority of the expenses? By my math above, that’s about an extra $283/month for each parent when split down the middle. Time should have nothing to do with child support when the majority of the fathers who pay child support would love nothing more than to be a full time parent. 

Now let’s talk these family court, biased judges who want to demonize good fathers and put mommies on pedestals. Dads face time in jail for not paying child support. What happens to mom after dad is forced to hire an attorney to drag mother back into court for contempt? Nothing. Only in extreme cases will mom be told anything other than “don’t do that again”. This practice has placed a belief in the minds of thousands upon thousands of women that they can do as they please without consequence. While the parenting plan, usually, clearly states that both parent share decision making- mom makes all the decisions and ultimately has the final say. It’s no wonder kids without fathers grow up thinking there are no consequences for poor behavior, they watch mom do as she pleases; even when it hurts her children, without any ramifications. 

I propose that ALL sitting judges, in each state and jurisdiction undergo a psychological evaluation similar to that of one designed to predict personality traits in employees. Strengths and weaknesses if you will. Where the same question is posed but worded differently to see if they would react differently. Using real cases, real people. Let’s weed out the judges who have a bias against one parent and may automatically side with another. 

I would also propose that family court proceedings be conducted in regularly scheduled hearings with a panel of these selected officials in each major metropolitan area, designed to preside over selected jurisdictions within a radius of the designated city. These cases can be heard and presided over by a mixed selection of officials who have shown no bias toward one parent or another and are therefor better equipped to rule based on what is best for the child, not a parent. 

I also propose that children be allowed a counselor, to represent their best interest based on private conversations in which the parents have no say or opportunity to play victim to the counselor. I have personally witnessed a parent influence the therapeutic environment of their own child by poisoning the opinion of the therapist toward the opposing party. This is both unprofessional and unhealthy for the children involved. They too deserve to have a voice and opinion over what they feel is best for them, without fear of consequence from a parent for feeling the way they feel. 

All in all, the changes to our current system would allow every parent and every child the same opportunity for a fair ruling in what is best for the child no matter the city or rural area they reside in. Every family court judge should have the same training and compassion as one on the other side of the country in a different city or state. Going to law school, being elected and promoted to a sitting judge, in and of itself, does not qualify a person to decide what’s best for a child that doesn’t belong to them. 

Fathers have rights too, and it’s about time that the family courts start to recognize them as something other than second class citizens. Recognize them for what they are- fathers. Without them, these children wouldn’t exist at all. 

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