Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Here Comes The Judge

Following up on my Parental Alientation post, we all went to court again yesterday for another round of frustration.

Since the last time we were in court, new judges have been elected to office, so we have a new player in the mix who has no history with the case. While this felt like a setback originally, it may actually help.

We sat out in the hallway for ages it seemed, while other cases were being heard and decided on ahead of us. Once it was our turn, only the principals were called into the court, so those of us there simply for moral support were left to support only the hallway. That's the first time this has happened, and we were all a little disappointed. But at least we were all there for my brother, and he felt the love. He's had so many people and systems working against him in his fight to see his children, it felt good just to be there on his side, even if only in the hallway.

They weren't in there very long, and when they returned, it felt like good news, although it's hard to recognize that any more in this case. The new judge, the one with no history on the case, basically said he didn't care what happened in the past. As long as there were no violent incidents, he didn't see why the children were not seeing their father and blamed the fact that they weren't on the mother blocking it (probably because she's angry over the new stepmom). Wow. He gets it. Immediately. Maybe a new person with no baggage over this is just what we need.

So he's forcing a new court evaluation of the situation, and in his opinion, if there is no danger to the children (there isn't), then they should be seeing their father, and the sooner the better.

The ultimate question is what they will do to the mother if she continues to block the visits, and how will he 'motivate' her (and the children) to get on board with it all. That's the hard part. Nothing ever seems to actually get enforced. So we can't tell for sure yet if this is real progress, or just false hope.


SandDancer said...

Some progress at least but I understand what you mean - the hardest part to overcome is definitely going to be the ill-will she had built up in her children. Sadly no court ruling can get rid of that, but hopefully time will.

Best of luck to your brother.

Cases like this make me rather ashamed of my gender.

M said...

Yes...while we were pleasantly surprised at the new judge's quick understanding of what was going on here....no court can make the children "unhate" their father. So on that front, we have little hope.

If after the evaluation, the court rules that they must see their father, they will refuse, and we'll go into another round of counseling sessions trying to work through the emotional damage. While it would be worth it, if it worked, I cannot tell you how expensive that is. And who gets to pay for it? Mostly my brother. He gets to pay the counselor to try to undo the damage that the mother has caused. How fair is that?

They have yet to make the one person who needs it the most -- the mother -- go to counseling. And that's the heart of the problem, really. She is the root of the problem and needs professional help.