Published on:

The podcast below is one of the best opportunities to get a summary from Dr. Amy Baker about her work with Parental Alienation, and her efforts to mentor parents affected by Parental Alienation.

A large part of my practice involves complex and high conflict divorce and custody cases. Many of these involve one parent affected by a personality disorder, which can then involve active and damaging alienation of the non-disordered parent’s relationship with their children.

http://kprcradio.iheart.com/media/play/27301638/

Published on:

How can a parent that is dealing with a high conflict spouse have a more effective means to address disputes?

One of the more challenging aspects of creating Parenting Plans for my clients is creating a methodology in the plan for dispute resolution. Parents that generally see eye-to-eye on matters concerning the children are able to work together to solve issues or disputes that arise without any outside help. Other parents can benefit from taking the dispute to a court designated mediator, who works with the parents to help them find a middle ground solution for the dispute. Some years ago, the Illinois Supreme Court expressed a preference for using mediators to try to resolve disputes between parents. However, the panacea that mediation was thought to be generally didn’t work out to be as effective as was hoped. Mediation works with parents that have a middle ground solution as a goal, and who come to the table with a mindset oriented toward resolution.  However, that’s just a minority of litigants. Those of you with high conflict ex-spouses will know how ineffective, and expensive, mediation can be.

To help my clients deal with a high conflict ex-spouse, I have been utilizing in my cases Parenting Coordinators to act as dispute resolvers. Parenting coordination is described as a combination of mediation and arbitration, as the parenting coordinator decides or recommends solutions to the disputes the parents are unable to resolve. A skilled parenting coordinator must be adept at investigating, interviewing, managing conflict and disputes, making decisions, educating parents, coordinating/case managing, and overseeing communication between parents.

Published on:

Law Offices of Michael F. Roe manages a number of cases where traits of toxic narcissism are involved. These personality traits can cause a lot of suffering in a marriage and eventual divorce, and the suffering is compounded when children are involved. One simple distinction needs to be made: what is the difference between narcissism and high self esteem?

A recent psychological study explains the crucial difference between being a narcissist and having high self-esteem. Although narcissists feel superior to others they do not necessarily feel that good about themselves.  In contrast, people with high self-esteem naturally feel good about themselves but do not feel superior to others.

The difference is highlighted in a new paper which shows how narcissism and high self-esteem diverge.

Published on:

Throughout my decades of practice as a Divorce and Custody attorney, I have worked tirelessly to deliver the best results possible for my clients with respect to their complex child custody cases. As many of you are aware, many divorce cases with child issues also have significant financial issues, sometimes involving complex financial concerns such as business valuations and allocation of complex financial assets and liabilities.

I tried a case in 2015 and 2016 that had both complexities with the child issues and with the marital property concerns. The trial itself took two months to try, with the trial going nearly day to day for an extended period. Months after the trial ended, the Court returned with a judgment, but I can say that the Court’s conclusions on a number of property issues were seen to be incorrect. As a trial lawyer, I can say that despite the best efforts of both counsel and the Court, courts sometimes do not get it right the first time. This is why we have an appellate process.

Only last week, the Appellate Court ruled that the trial court, in rejecting some of what I considered to be very strong issues (ie: business valuation, allocation of retained earnings), evidence and arguments at trial, erred in doing so. In fighting for my client on every issue, we are now vindicated and the appellate court has sent the case back for retrial on the most important financial issues.

Published on:

Our Illinois Dissolution of Marriage Act ( IMDMA) has been going through a number of changes over the last year. One major change last year was the introduction of a spousal maintenance formula that created an entirely new landscape for the calculation for spousal support in divorce cases. This year we saw a major change to our child custody statutes, and went from an archaic “custody and visitation” model to a presumptive allocation of parental responsibilities or “shared parenting” model. Now, we are aware that the way we calculate child support is about to change, with these legislated changes becoming effective in July of 2017.

kids%20child%20support.gif
In 2017, we move to an “income shares” model, which takes into account the incomes of both parents vs. the prior system which looked only to the noncustodial parent’s income. The new law will then take a percentage of that income to determine the total amount that should be allocated for child support, with DHFS ordered to develop tables that will set out the amounts that are to be paid for child support, based on DHFS’ findings to as what families spend on their children as a percentage of income.

Interestingly, the new law (SB 3982) also allows a window of opportunity for parents with true sharing of parenting to offset the amounts to be paid, and the parent with the higher income paying only the overage amount of the offset.

Published on:

My office is pleased to announce that once again Illinois Divorce Lawyer Blog has been recognized as one of the top Divorce Blogs….in fact, we’re Number 16 ! I’d be happier with a Number 1 ranking, but at the end of the day, this is some recognition for what I consider a labor of love to write about Divorce and Custody issues that face my clients…as well as the solutions that my office provides.

divorce_blog_banner.jpg
” Divorce blogger and attorney Michael Roe is experienced in dealing with high-conflict divorce and child custody cases involving psychological disorders. With his divorce blog, Michael wants to simplify divorce processes and make life better for parties going through a divorce.”

” Going through a divorce is always stressful. During this period of your life, you’ll need emotional support and understanding to better manage the stress in your life. It’s also important to know what your legal rights and obligations are.

Published on:

Dr. Amy Baker is a nationally recognized expert in parent child relationships, especially children of divorce, parental alienation syndrome, and emotional abuse of children. One of her books occupies a permanent place on my office bookshelf: The High-Conflict Custody Battle Protect Yourself and Your Kids from a Toxic Divorce, False Accusations, and Parental Alienation

Dr. Baker helps targeted parents navigate the legal and mental health systems. Topics addressed include:

How to find the right attorney for your case.

Published on:

I have always been comfortable meeting with people in broken marriages at any time of stage of the marriage breakdown. Many people know they are ready to end a marriage once they make that first step to talk to an experienced divorce lawyer for advice and strategy. However, some people with a ‘dependent personality’ arguably stay in bad marriages far too long, and can sometimes become victimized by a marriage partner that is controlling or abusive. Many people with these dependent traits are very good and kind people, who simply do not have a good sense of healthy boundaries. One of my goals is to help coach good people in difficult or abusive situations, and engineer a better life for them and their children.

Here is a fine article on what 9 things people with these traits tend to do:

dependnet%20personality.jpg
There is a temptation in relationship dependency to focus on the relationship itself. But the key to knowing how susceptible you are to relationship dependency is to focus on your part of the equation. You need to ask yourself, “Do I have a dependent personality, or do I tend to display dependent personality traits?” If you do, then it is likely those traits will show up in your relationships.

Published on:

Today is Parental Alienation Awareness Day. My practice has been focused rather intensely on the problem of the pathology of parent alienation for over 20 years. I have seen both Fathers and Mothers the victims of attacks, and targeting for alienation, by the disordered parent that seeks to damage the relationship between the parent and the child(ren). Parental Alienation exacts a terrible toll on both the targeted parent, as well as the child, whose developmental life is always impacted by being removed from a beloved parent’s life.

Fortunately, within the court system, guardians ad litem, evaluators and judges are becoming more aware of the traits and symptoms of PAS. It has been my job, for over these 20 years, to identify these pathologies, and do all possible to intervene in the alienation, and to use proper methodologies in the court system to reverse it, and reunify the child with the loving parent.

Continue reading →

Published on:

I receive many calls from men and women in toxic relationships with people that have narcissistic personalities. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder in which a person is excessively preoccupied with personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity, mentally unable to see the destructive damage they are causing to themselves and often others. It is a DSM cluster B personality disorder.

One important tactic in dealing with a narcissist is proper boundary setting. This must be done carefully, and with skill and training, but it is necessary in order to defuse anger and chaos in the home. Preston Ni has published a set of methods for dealing with a narcissist, one of which includes boundary setting.

Know Your Rights and Set Boundaries: