The evidence of this is abundant and can be broken down case-by-case, stat-by-stat, incident-by-incident, bar-by-bar and Judge-by-Judge from New York to Florida, Maryland to California, Connecticut to Texas — ultimately encompassing all fifty states and across borders into many countries.
Divide And Conquer: When Good People Do Nothing
The exploitation of people is derived from the players in the family law industry being acutely aware that in the majority of cases a parents love for their children is unconditional — whereby a father and mother will sacrifice and go to the ends of the earth to protect their relationship with them at all costs. Unfortunately for these parents the “costs” are defined by the players in the family law industry in terms of dollars and cents — not school plays, family outings and life events.
Many traverse these ordeals often seeing assets dwindle, savings dry up, and wages pillaged while trapped in a situation that is dependent upon these financial resources to protect their rights as parents. All this playing out while they are trying to maintain focus among a litany of adversarial actions from institutions and infrastructures where the players benefit not by your success, but rather your failure, within the system.
This puts so many good people in precarious situations, often having threats of contempt, jail and access to their children used as leverage if they do not comply with court orders and demands — often intentionally designed to be self-defeating. It is among such scenarios that you encounter one good parent after another losing their way — becoming beaten down by years of legal abuse within a broken system.
Sobering comments and cries for help often can be seen posted in support groups on social media and discussed at conferences, gatherings and in person meetings. This is where you find the cruel reality of what transpires, and what so many endure, where people use such forums as sounding boards in calling out the nightmarish situations they are facing to anyone who will listen — some having been pushed to places where the thought of ending their own life has been a reoccurring one.
Unfortunately one parent too many has succumbed to this, resulting in tragic circumstances that could have, and should have, been prevented. In a few situations some left behind notes with final words that are both chilling to read, in light of the circumstances they were written, but important for people to see in speaking to the severity of problems in family law and how it impacts parents — where all too often good people turn away and do nothing to prevent these situations.
“FAMILY LAW NEEDS REFORM. I mandated lower costs and less reward for false claims of abuse. Parental Alienation is devastating. I loved my children as much as a husband and father could. I see no light. Recommend; an authority consistent during high conflict separations: It is exploited in family law. Sorry Dad and Angie. I’m very sorry.” Written by Jeramey A.
“… I took my own life because I had come to the conclusion that there was nothing I could do or say to end the abuse. Every time I got up off my knees, I would get knocked back down. They were not going to let me be the father I wanted to be to my children. People may think I am a coward for giving up on my children, but I didn’t see how I was going to heal from this. I have no money for an attorney, therapy or medication. I have lost four jobs because of this process. I was going to be at their mercy for the rest of my life and they had shown me none. Being alienated, legally abused, emotionally abused, isolated and financially ruined are all a recipe for suicide. I wish I were stronger to keep going, but the emotional pain and fear of going to court and jail [because of exorbitant child support] became overwhelming. I became paralyzed with fear. I couldn’t flee and I could not fight. I was never going to be allowed to heal or recover. I wish I were better at articulating the psychological and emotional trauma I experienced… Abuse is about power and control. Stand up for the abused and speak out. If someone speaks out about abuse, believe them.” Excerpt from Note Written By Chris M.
Unite and Prevail: Million Parent March
Good people, parents, and supporters, over a period of four days from September 17th-20th will be in Washington DC to rally on behalf of parental equality and rights as part of a call for full and meaningful family law and foster care reform.
“If even a fraction of people shows up, representing the millions affected, we will turn some heads and change the public perception of so many that these Judges and courts can do no wrong.” —TED FOGG
Many groups exist all over the country and internationally with some that are well established and others more informally comprised — all of them consisting of people who are reformers, victims and advocates who have largely operated with a singular focus. Each group with its own mission and messaging contending with the many problems often associated with family courts, child protective services, parental alienation, foster care, alimony, child support, fathers rights, mothers rights and veterans rights just to name a few.
“The marriage of Family Law and Foster Care Reform was not only born of necessity but because of the life experiences and passions of those involved.” —KARA ZIMMERMAN
The Million Parent March has brought together and united many of these different entities under one call to action in organizing and participating in a rally to address the many different issues and concerns falling under the umbrella of family law. This is illustrated in the backgrounds of several of the events organizers.
Kara Zimmerman has strongly advocated for reforms in foster care by raising awareness and calling for accountability. She has taken that experience and applied it to becoming one of the tireless and instrumental organizers for this rally— taking on the critical role of securing permits, organizing educational seminars and coordinating a host of logistics. In commenting as to the importance of this event and how it personally connects with her, Kara remarked,
“I believe it is important for parents to come out to DC, to learn how to change dangerous and deadly laws that rip apart the fabric of humanity, leaving trails of traumatized children and parents in their wake. For me, the Million Parent March provides an opportunity to pass along the torch of empowerment to other parents who have experienced some of the same things in the system that my family and I did — in providing a forum for them to learn the process of effective lobbying for the sake of changing laws that do not work.”
The Program Director of the event, Kyle A. Paskewitz, explained how he became involved as one of the organizers behind the march,
“I got involved with family court reform when I realized just how widespread our fundamental rights as parents were being violated in courtrooms across the nation. As a father of two sons, who I love very much, I was under the false assumption that my right to raise them would be protected by those who we’ve empowered to uphold justice. Never have I once considered taking a less than equal role in my children’s lives, but the court system interferes with that prospect for many by encouraging conflict within an adversarial environment when there doesn’t need to be one — prioritizing financial interests over the health and welfare of our families. As a veteran, I took an oath to uphold the Constitutional rights of all Americans and I cannot accept that people are exploiting families and children in the name of profit. Sadly, these failures within the justice system are not new — until the unaffected are able to see how severe and adversely impacting these injustices are — they will continue putting the majority of people within our society at risk.”
Kyle and Kara’s reasons, while unique in their own right, mirror the motivation behind many participants planning to attend this march — all arriving with their own unique experiences and accounts of what they endured — wanting to be heard by those in positions of leadership who can implement desperately needed changes.
Speaking Truth To Power
Ted Fogg hosts a daily show on social media entitled Million Parent March Live. While the show promotes the upcoming September event in Washington DC — it does so much more by providing authentic content and substance in discussing the realm of issues that impact lives touched by family law.
In describing his motivation for hosting such a show, Ted recalls how he got to the point of knowing that more needed to be done to bring awareness and information to the public arena,
“I was pushed out of business and into poverty by the family fraud and abuse system. It took a toll on my health — I had lost my mind and will to live. Pressing on I went home — helped my parents buy their first house. Lots of emotional abuse in my childhood so this was a hard option. On September 11, 2016 I went to Washington D.C. hoping to find answers at an event for parents marching against family court — which I did indeed find.”
Having discovered the show one day while heading home on my daily train commute, I soon found myself tuning into the episodes routinely — intrigued by the down to earth format and the knowledgeable guests that are featured weekly. This entails individuals who contribute from all over the country speaking on issues that cover accountability in the courts, child protective services, foster care, parental alienation, legal abuse and the constitutionality of family law just to name a few — creating a resourceful and substantive catalog of useful dialog and information that provides a true service to the public.
Shows can be found posted both on Facebook and YouTube, with the following list offering direct links to a few notable mentions:
Million Parent March LIVE!!! with guest Sherry Palmer (May 8, 2017)
Million Parent March LIVE!!! with guest Ron Palmer (May 9, 2017)
Million Parent March LIVE!!! with guest Raymond Schwab (May 19, 2017)
Million Parent March LIVE!!!! with guest John Steinbeck (May 22, 2017)
Million Parent March LIVE!!! with guest Ginger Gentile (May 23, 2017)
Million Parent March LIVE!!! with Connie Reguli (June 13, 2017)
This past May I participated as a guest on one of the shows, discussing the dysfunction of the industry.
Events, circumstances, and adversity — these components colliding all at once can bring people to a cause, other times it can shape them into becoming leaders within it.
The mothers, fathers, and supporters speaking truth to power are deserving of both praise and admiration — as each of them raises awareness and advocates on behalf of these causes that effectively provide help for people impacted in the present…and hope for the future.
This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post
Photo credit: Getty Images