A wise person once said, ‘If you want to know who is behind something awful that happens ask yourself who stands to benefit the most." In the case of family court abuse, the systematic destruction of the lives of abused women and children at the hands of the American court system that question can lead to a smokescreen.  The first response, of course, is the perpetrator of domestic violence and /or child abuse (they usually go hand in hand). Realistically, this is the person who initiates destructive court action, gets corrupt psychological professionals (It ‘s hard to even call them  that. I prefer to call them "quacks with credentials") assigned and generally spearheads the annihilation of the abused woman.  Notice I use the term abused, not battered, because some of the most devastating mistreatment to humans is mind-warfare. Hence, the family court provides an endless arena of psychological warfare for the man intent on destruction.  But I suggest to you, look beyond the perpetrator, at least that perpetrator.

While the obvious perpetrator is the ex-husband, even he is usually experiencing financial loss from years of financial litigation and at the bare minimum the inconvenience of numerous court appearances.  Even the most psychopathic ex-husband experiences some hefty negative consequences for entering into the family court system. The real victors in these cases are the  so-called "officers of the court." Legal representatives.  Now, I half-expected to be pillaged and legally raped by my ex-husband's attorneys, that is what they are hired to do, but I never could have fathomed the difficulties (a really nice word, I'm having a good day) that I  would encounter at the hands of my own legal representatives.  When you ask the question that I offered earlier, you will invariably come back to the  legal representative and their circle of court-appointed referrals.

1) Who is it that  gets wealthy off of family court litigation (as the women and children are plunged into often irreversible poverty)?

2) Who is it who has their reputation ascend? (as the reputation of the women they represent is tarnished and muddied)?

3) Who is it who greets people in the hallways of the courthouse like it is some type of class reunion (hmmm, interesting choice of words, class reunion), is spoken to respectfully by the judge and opposing counsel (while the woman they represent crawls out of court like a worm, left to cry and vomit and attempt to heal on her own for weeks after a hearing)?

4) Who is it who arrives driving the Lexus (while the woman is wondering if she should drain the lawnmower of fuel for her car in order to get to the court house)?

The questions could go on and on. But I'd rather focus now on offering some constructive recommendations for women entrapped in the family court system.

1) First and foremost be ever mindful that your attorney, although paid by you, is an "officer of the court".  They do not work for you.  They work for the court. they do not to have an oath of allegiance to you or your children; they have an oath of allegiance to he court.  This will become very clear to you early in your case  as you see your own attorney fail to represent your issues or the interests of your children

2) Trust your intuition.  If you feel bad after leaving an initial interview with an attorney, do not go back.

3)  Never, ever sign a retainer letter or give money to an attorney after your first meeting. Go away  and ponder how you feel. These are difficult decisions to be made, do not make them quickly. Even if you are in the midst of  a legal emergency.  One of the worst decisions I ever made was to hire an attorney in an emergency situation. I felt under the the gun. He knew that and preyed upon that.

4) Always have a neutral attorney, unrelated to the case, review the retainer letter of the attorney you are thinking about hiring.  Ask him or her if things went sour what exactly could your attorney do to you. (I had an attorney garnish my child support and maintenance for services he never performed) These contracts are written by the legally savvy. They are there for protection of the attorney, not you. Astonishing things can be done to clients based upon the clever wording  of retainer agreements.

5) If you  can, get multiple recommendations. Do not get recommendation referrals from the attorney themselves. I made this mistake and was referred to a woman who indeed adored this attorney. Later I found out that her ex had already severed parental rights prior to hiring this attorney and that there was a questionable personal liaison between her and the attorney. This attorney proceeded to harm me and my children gravely. I often wonder how many women he gives this particular former client's contact information to in order to check him out. I guarantee he doesn't give any of them my number or the numbers of the ten other protective mothers I have spoken to that he did the same thing to.

6) As soon as an attorney fails to do what he / she told you they would do on your behalf, unless they can make a really good legal argument for it, fire them.  The second time they fail to do what they told you they would do , with or without a legal argument fire them. Do not let your retainer bind you to them. Often the retainer will be the least of the damage an attorney who does not fully support you can do.

The most positive thing the can be said for court-induced poverty brought on by overwhelming legal bills is that you may be forced to represent yourself.  Until you represent yourself, unless you are exceptionally fortunate to have found a wonderful legal ally, the truth about you, your children and your case will not be told in court. There are no words to describe how satisfying it is to finally have on transcript facts of your case. Remember, no one cares about you and your children as much as you do.  Do not rule self-representation out. There are many things a woman can do pro se that she cannot do represented by an attorney. I now guide women through this process.

Finally, never give up.  Never, ever give up.  This is a spiritual battle and those in the right will ultimately prevail.

Patricia Anne Jackson, psychotherapist, AngelGroup

Patricia Anne Jackson has been a psychotherapist, life coach and spiritual teacher for over twenty-five years. Her life has been devoted to raising human consciousness and expanding the heart of humanity.

If you are emotionally devastated  (and who would not be) and need healing and support, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

She leads retreats for anyone dealing with these issues. She'd also be happy to critique your case and offer helpful insights she gained from 6 years of continuous litigation and exposure to numerous other cases.

Visit Patricia's website




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