Saturday, April 08, 2006

Playing the game

Pirate Aggro writes:
A judge is supposed to be impartial of course. But I have seen enough judges in my time who like their power and don't like anyone that challenges what they have to say even if its wrong. I'm a social worker (I'm sure we aren't your favorite people right now either) but I actually work with people in your situation. I tell the people I work with all the time "listen, its unfair, I know, but just play the game the way they want you to play it now. There will be plenty of time for talk when its all over." I know that sounds chickensh*t and goes contrary to what we hear about standing up for ourselves etc. Unfortunately as far as the law goes, especially when you are on the side you are on, the cards are in the judges hand.
I've gotten other advice from people who are connected with the family court system, and some of them say worse things that what I have said here. Some say that judges and court experts decide who they like or don't like based on various personal prejudices, that they invent phony excuses for punishing the people they don't like, and that they have so much power that there is nothing that I can do except to go along with whatever they say and to hope that they like me.

I do not know what motivates the judges and court experts. If there had been a way to play their game and still be a father to my kids, I would have done it. There was not. I know because I tried. I only got my kids back by refusing to be railroaded.

I had one hour to go along with Bret Johnson. I practically begged him for a chance to explain myself. He refused to hear it. His mind was made up, and he was going to stick it to me. I am not going to sit back quietly and let people like that abuse their positions and punish me and my kids. I am going to describe what they do. If they are doing their jobs fairly and properly, then they should not mind the description.

1 comment:

John Doe said...

As a father walking into divorce court up against a malicious ex you've got two choices. First, take what's given to you and don't argue. If you do this, maybe you'll get the default, every other weekend and a few hours on Wednesday. Any adequate father knows that isn't enough.

Your other choice is to fight as hard as you can. The chances are you'll still just get the default (maybe), but at least you'll have the self respect of knowing that you did your best in a rigged game and there is a chance to beat the odds. There's a chance that the judge will see this and at least recognize someone with guts. If you don't fight, there's no such chance.

This advice: "listen, it's unfair, I know, but just play the game the way they want you to play it now. There will be plenty of time for talk when its all over", coming from within the system is the voice of someone who's given up on justice and is now complicit with the whole machine. They are supporting the very "unfairness" they purport to decry. When it's all over, it's all over, there is no talking left to be done - dad's out on his ear.

Either a father is worthy or he's not, either the children need their father or they don't. An "unfair" system which assumes the latter in each case for the sake of a quiet life or its own ego is simply abusive of good fathers and their children, it becomes an engine for the expression of an angry ex's malevolance and has nothing to do with justice or "the best interest of the children".

As for "going public" like this, it is a tremendous risk as shown by the fact that there are so few such blogs. I think Angry Dad deserves all our support for what he's trying to do.