The following editorial was submitted on behalf of outraged parents in response to a series of columns entitled Terrific Parenting by Dr. Randy Cale, published recently in an upstate New York newspaper. Please share it with fellow parents as it presents a watershed example of the attacks we are incurring on all fronts in the state’s ongoing seizure of our constitutionally protected parenting authority. We also ask you to join us in reform efforts including another rally and lobbying initiative in Washington on Constitution Day, September 17th. We need committed participation and donations to make this possible. Also don’t forget to order our PRI Court Program for your own benefit. Proceeds are reinvested to finance this site. The entire editorial response by Dr. Leon Koziol is reprinted here due to its compelling content.
Defense of Parents in Divorce and Family Court
Enough is enough. After reading a pair of columns by a court appointed psychologist in the April 6th and 13th editions of this newspaper, I am compelled to present a counter-point to the worn-out theme that parents are to blame for the harm caused to children in divorce and family courts. It is a theme which can be likened to a discussion of our solar system without any mention of the sun.
Here on planet earth, in today’s mainstream world of separated parenting, it is crucial that we get one thing straight. The principal reason for harm to children, families and yes parents too, in divorce situations is an antiquated court system which follows the money. Only when the core reason is properly recognized, can we take a meaningful course of action to correct needless injuries to children.
This core cannot be denied. Despite its liberal lead on gay marriage, New York was the last state to adopt no-fault divorce. This is because contested divorces reaped great benefits for lawyers, politicians and yes psychologists too. Add the fact that our federal government rewards the states based on the number and magnitude of support orders generated from court controversies, and we have a trillion dollar gold mine.
We need go no further than our custody statutes to see how this works. As a condition for divorce, judges are required to enter an order of “custody.” Shared parenting is not even mentioned. Instead “joint custody” is deceptively employed with placement preferences and support orders retained even where incomes and residences are proximate to one another. Parents are therefore compelled to war over their offspring as part of an unequal and oppositional framework which rewards it.
This framework has been criticized by veteran judges and New York’s own matrimonial commission. Yet corrective legislation continues to be blocked, reformists face severe retributions, and lawyers profit from the act of throwing gas on the fires of parental conflict. In today’s world, separation may be an optimal solution for children, especially when parental conflict is more injurious to them in married settings. Still, the status of separation is treated prejudicially.
Unlike corporate environments, a childrearing system which follows the money impairs optimal solutions. Shared or equal parenting means vastly reduced fees and fewer courts. Consequently a race to the courthouse is prompted to secure that winner-take-all custody mentality. False accusations are routinely employed as tactical weapons behind such awards. No one asks whether their absence might truly promote long term cooperation with more money in the end for children instead of the outsiders.
All of the resulting chaos is justified by the state’s declared superiority over our children. Using familiar doctrine exploited by Adolph Hitler to wage a foreign war, the state here is effectively seizing children to wage a domestic war. Both have economic pretexts which rely upon diminishing the parental role. The notion that family conflict requires state intervention is not only a misnomer but contrary to practical competencies and limited powers under our constitutions. Resolution properly facilitated between parents better prepares our children for the real world.
Dr. Cale focuses upon the symptoms of a court system which allows its lawyers to wrangle profitably over every ridiculous detail of parental shortcoming without any reliable, let alone utopian, standard of conduct. They simply argue what they believe is in the child’s best interests, something which any half-baked pontificator can do. Many wonderful parents therefore walk away from such lunacy rather than apply any more resources to it. When the money runs out, the lawyers run as well to their next victims.
This may explain why the same lawyers are overlooking the last bastion of discrimination remaining in America. How unfortunate that we live in a country which guarantees equal rights because it all gets in the way of this lucrative custody system. Recently the failure of congress to pass the equal pay act was decried by a feminist group using a statistic of 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. Yet nowhere was the more alarming report publicized that 85% of parents paying child support are men who lose roughly 90% of custody battles.
Against this backdrop, it was painful for any parent to read about impacted “families who often cause the most distress for court judges, law guardians, matrimonial attorneys, and mental health professionals.” If half of our parenting population could simply accept the true law that women still nurture and men still pay, we could all just get along better for the sake of children who act upon such “principles.” After all, this is the kind of reasoning once applied to slavery, military service and segregated schools. And we all know where those “conflicts” took us.
Dr. Leon R. Koziol
Parental Rights Advocate