Update: This post was originally written in 2011. I am delighted to report that it is the second-most non-Rumi poetry related blog post I've written. I hope that means that it touched some families and, perhaps, made things a little better. The parents involved in my personal situation have matured and developed a much more peaceful approach to their shared parenting, which gladdens my heart. That prompts this repost.
The link included in the original post is no longer functional, so I am recommending a helpful article:
Yesterday I spent the morning in family court as part of the ongoing custody fight over my granddaughter. This is the third time I've spent a morning there, watching the human drama play out. This time was supposed to be the "trial" with testimony and witnesses and all. However, the court didn't have a courtroom. I thought the lawyer was kidding when he said it was a fifty-fifty chance that we would get a courtroom. He wasn't. We didn't and a couple of weeks from now, the lawyers will meet to set a new court date and some time in the future everyone will show up again to spin the courtroom roulette wheel. The system is broken so the chaos plays on.
But, while I was sitting there watching the fallout of broken relationships, it made me once again wonder why we don't spend more money helping people make better life decisions and choices. We obviously can't afford the system that we've created. And, why don't we create a process where parents are forced to take responsibility for their decisions? Why can't they sit in a room with a skilled arbitrator until they come up with a decision they can all live with?
Better still: people should have to go through a training program and get certified before they would ever be allowed to have children!!!
A friend of mine teaches a course called "Parallel Parenting" which teaches parents how to end the war. In some areas it is a court mandated course but not here.