Family Court Reform Movements

There are various efforts out there by different groups who recognize the need to change the way that things are done in our family court system.  Some states have “family courts”, while others utilize Juvenile & Domestic Relations, or Circuit Court.  There seems to be a lot of different ways in which managing divorce and custody matters is done, but one theme is clear: It isn’t as effective as it could be for the sake of the children involved.

Below is a list of organizations or individuals which are active in this space.  Get involved. Make a difference! (It feels good to take a stand, and I tell you – I am the  least politically active person I know):

Battered Mothers Custody Conference:  This is focused on battered mothers/domestic violence and batterers who gain custody of the children.  However, the issues are the same whether the person has been physically abusive or is personality disordered and inherently emotionally abusive.

Center for Judicial Excellence:   A community-based organization established to improve the judiciary’s public accountability and strengthen and maintain the integrity of the courts.  Since 2008, the CJE board has made a special commitment to protecting the rights of children and vulnerable populations in the courts.    They have created a video about the need to reform the courts.

Domestic Abuse & Custody : Mo Therese Hannah, Ph.D., and Barry Goldstein, J.D., have written a book about the family courts, how it is broken and what suggestions they have to fix it.  The book is pricey for the layperson, so I haven’t read it, but I would really, really like to!

Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children & Custody:  A book written by Phyllis Chesler, who is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies at City University of New York.  She initially published the book in 1986, but has updated it recently.  She lectures on the issues in the courtroom for mothers leaving abusive relationships.

Illinois Family Court Reform: I’m including this state specific effort simply to show that there are also state efforts, and that there are also some states who have adopted new ways of conducting family court matters in an attempt to make changes and see how well it works. (I don’t live in Illinois!)

American Mothers Political Party :  While this is definitely ‘mother centric’ and doesn’t entirely fit my own personal views, I’ll list it here because it’s definitely a movement addressing the issus with family court.  Personally, I think that we ALL really need to be advocating for “Children’s Rights” and not Father’s or Mother’s rights.  If both parents are emotionally healthy, then both parents should be involved with the child(ren) – it’s not a gender thing to me – it’s about protecting children from abusive parents, regardless of the abusive parent’s gender.

And last… a link to show you that if you haven’t seen the response from the court system that you would like… you’re not the only one.  When an abusive person runs out of ways to control, they reach for what is left – and often it is done through continually dragging their ex into court.  Here’s a post on Lovefraud.com which speaks to legally sanctioned abuse.  I’ve also tweeted some recent news stories on how the family court has failed recently.  Boy, I would love to tweet cases of success frequently instead!


One Response to “Family Court Reform Movements”

  1. Dustin says:

    Hi, my name is Dustin and I’ve been married to a narc for 7 years. We have 3 kids now she’s 6,3, and 3 months old. About a month ago I asked Google how do I end abuse. That’s when I discovered narcissism. Then I read about Gray rock. I’m not sure if you know what Gray rock is but I found out how to end the abuse. Well, she can’t abuse me anymore cause I’ve stopped it. But my kids don’t know that how mom acts is wrong. I constantly have to tell my oldest not to listen to her because she treats him like she does me. Our 3 year old was her favorite until our new baby was born. And with the hormones the narcissism had gotten so terrible that it had me feeling that it has to end somehow.. But the way the court here in Missouri is, and how good/bad of a narc she is I could see her manipulating the courts and gaining full custody and have nobody in the house to defend the kids from her wrath. Most people don’t believe how bad she is to us because she plays sweet and innocent in public. It doesn’t help me any that she’s an attractive woman. I’ve played the Gray rock method and haven’t let up at all. And I won’t. I’ve read enough to know that if I divorce and we share custody then she’ll alienate me with the kids and make it so they won’t even wanna see me any more. The kids love me to death and they know who really takes care of them. But I know she’ll brainwash them. Can you help me in any way please?


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