Some of the most difficult decisions that we make as humans, are to end relationships. Relationships are what makes us human. We long to feel connected to others. Yes, even introverts, cynics, and tough guys. To make matters worse, children are added into the equation. Parental instincts to protect the relationship with their children can directly impact their willingness to terminate or maintain the relationship with the other parent. Initially, great animosity can occur, and some parents will seek to use their children to hurt the other parent. The parent can be so blinded by revenge or winning that they cannot acknowledge the harm that is also being inflicted on the child. How can we make decisions that will be in the best interest of the children? How can we channel animosity away from the family? How can we ensure that the government does not destroy our families by creating Systematically Alienated Dads?
The decision to divorce rarely happens overnight. There is typically a long and painful process that must be endured, and assessed before we can make the decision that we believe to be right. During this time one or both parents may feel the need to escape the situation. The escape usually occurs by at least one of the parents moving from the home; and thereby away from the children. This must stop. Unless the home becomes unsafe, both parents should remain in the home throughout the divorce process. It’s hard, really hard. I am not implying that the couple should continue to share a bed, certainly do not fight in front of the children, but attempt to compromise on the process. Maintain separate bedrooms, and make schedules if you must, to avoid implicating the children. If a parent is forced to leave the home his chance of receiving equal custody of the children will nearly vanish. The court will use the situation to justify awarding primary custody to a parent, based on the assumption that the parent who left abandoned the children, and thereby does not love them as much as the other parent. Even if the parents have an agreement as to why one should leave the home, and how it may impact their relationship with the children, unless it is well documented, moving from the home will be used against you. Even if the other parent does not intend use this against you, the court will. The sooner that you accept that the family court exists to generate revenue for the state, the easier these concepts will begin to make sense to you.
More often than not there is a catalyst for divorce. That is to say, that you didn’t just wake up one day, look at your partner, and state “this isn’t working, we should get a divorce.” Not out of the blue anyhow. Generally speaking, there are events that occur. Affairs, fighting, distancing, whatever the case, it may cause animosity. One partner, or perhaps both, resent one another. Try to identify this as early on as possible, and discuss it. Even if you still decide that you hate one another, at least you have cleared the air on feelings. This may help clarify intentions and expectations. As soon as the situation becomes “me versus you,” the government has you right where they want you. Now you have given the government a reason to assume control over your situation, your money, and ultimately you. In my situation, the resentment arose from her expectation that once we divorced, she would move to Oregon, and take the children. From that point, there was resentment from both parties. I resented that she believed that she should be able to take my children away, and she resented that I would try to keep her in Kansas (actually, just the children.) Once you have reached this point, there is no magic bullet to stop the war. When a war starts, as a man, you will be fighting on two fronts; a designed alliance. On one front, you will be fighting the mother and her representation, and on the “Russian front” you will be fighting the government. I call the government the Russian Front because it is impossible to outlast them, eventually winter will come, and they will defeat you. You have three choices: fight the long war, get nuked, or be a slave. You may think that you can form your own coalition by hiring an attorney, but unless you have an enormous and unlimited supply of cash, they ultimately do not care how your case is settled. You must remember that this is an industry created, and sustained by lawyers. They must maintain the status qou. At this point you need to slow the process as much as possible in order to implement the three P’s: Plot, plan, and prepare. (My next entry will explain this process.) Accept that the foundation of divorce court is built on lies. Even if perjury is proved, it will not be acknowledged or punished. The only way to fight fire, is with fire.
By this point a lot has happened. The train has left the station and picked up unstoppable speed. You may be well on your way to being another statistic; an alienated parent. The first thing that you must realize is that the decision to divorce, is not the decision to not be a parent. No matter what the courts try to force you to believe, no matter how much they take away your children, no matter the hell that you go through, you must continue fighting for your children. The day will come when they may join you in the fight, or at least begin asking questions. Fighting doesn’t have to mean going broke hiring ineffective custody lawyers. Every alienated dad fights in their own way. Some spend the money, some petition legislatures, some protest, some vent to social media, and some write blogs. The most important component on our journey to equal parenting rights is to form solidarity. We must support each other in our individual fights, and make them the same fights. This civil rights movement is no different than any other, and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Unfortunately, at this point in the movement, it is a waiting game. That doesn’t mean that you should wait. Call and write your congressmen and senators. Testify constantly in court to uncover constitutional violations. Be as active in the movement as you can be. There will still be frustrations, and you still may feel defeated, but at least you can be and feel productive. You children needed you before the divorce, and they need you now too. They need you more.