February 13, 2008

Parental Alienation: Survivors not Victims

I received a letter from Chrissy, who founded Survivors not Victims of PAS. I asked for her permission to reprint her letter to me. It's a very insightful and heartfelt account of PAS, and its impact on a young woman.

Oh thank you Michael. Yes, I would be happy for you to post it. Im trying to make a diffrence for hurting parents as well as the hurting children. It is my hearts desire to help in the fight against PAS. It effects the children way into adult hood. Im hoping with my story more kids will come forward and share their story as well. If there is anything I can do for you or your parents please let me know. Sometimes hearing or talking is more uplifting than reading it. Im always here.

Thank you for all your hard work and supporting a cause that is dear to my heart. Keep up the life changing work and you have all my support

My name is Chrissy. Im the founder of ~Survivors not
Victims~. I have many chapters to my book of life as you can see on my website.
But this chapter is on PAS and how it effected me.

When I was 3 my mom meet the man we thought would fullfill our dreams
of being a husband and father. This was shatterd shortly after the
courting was over. My mother and I where very much abusied by this man. I
was always without my mom knowing made known by him that I was not his
child. I always wanted his love and approval I hungered after it but
nothing I did was right for him. When he yelled at me pure fear would enter
my mind would I get hit this time and never ever was I allowed to look
him in the eye during these periods. Iwould get flush my ankles would
itch the butterfies in my stomach would be overwelming. I tell you
these things to help you to understand the power someone can have over your
mind even after all this.They eventally had my 2 wonderful brothers.

Continue reading "Parental Alienation: Survivors not Victims" »

February 4, 2008

Illinois Collaborative and Cooperative Divorce

I receive a fair numer of calls from individuals looking for a lower cost, lower stress means of pursuing their divorce. Some people report that they want mediation, and describe for me what sounds like Collaborative or Cooperative divorce, and vice versa. Despite the sometimes confusion, one point is clear: people are looking for a better path to take that the traditional bitterly litigated divorce. While mediation is helpful, and favored by Illinois judges, Collaborative and Cooperative divorce practice presents some advantages

Mediation and collaborative practice are two very different practices, but they both have at heart the same sensibility: resolving difficult family disputes in a lower conflict manner. The Oklahoma Family Law Blog highlighted these practices in a recent post, on which I have summarized and commented further:

In mediation, there is one 'neutral' who helps the disputing parties try to settle their case. The mediator cannot give either party legal advice, and cannot help either side advocate its position. If one side or the other becomes unreasonable or stubborn, or lacks negotiating skill, or is emotionally distraught, the mediation can become unbalanced. A well trained mediator can try to help bring the parties back to the center, and facilitate resolution of disputes that the parties view as unresolvable. However, some mediations end without a resolution, and the parties return to court with no perceived options left but litigation.

Collaborative Law was designed to deal more effectively with all these problems of unresolvable impasse, while maintaining the same absolute commitment to settlement as the sole agenda. Each side has quality legal advice and advocacy built in at all times during the process. Even if one side or the other lacks negotiating skill or financial understanding, or is emotionally upset or angry, the playing field is leveled by the presence of the skilled advocates. It is the job of the lawyers to work with their own clients if the clients are being unreasonable, to make sure that the process stays positive and productive.

Collaborative and Cooperative Divorce practice are really processes, in which the parties and the attorneys are fully and mutually engaged, together. There is guidance, advocacy, and negotiation, all in a respectful and non-litigious environment. Is this a better path? Absolutely, for many individuals seeking a lower conflict, lower cost divorce.