|"something needs to be done for the children"... You know how many times you will hear that at the family court? It has no bearing on anything, the system assumes every bloke is a violent creep, and every woman is mother Theresa doing it tough.|
I dunno what the answer is, but I'd say 2 fundamentals of our modified westminster legal system work completely against any reasonable outcome.
Firstly, it is adversarial rather than inquisative.
This means two sides throw as much mud at each other, and delve into as much animosity as possible, then some high and mighty (female) judge decides whats best based on who looks worse (male). Then theres the rule of precedents, where the (female) judge will factor setting a precedent into the equation and opt for following previous precedents (giving everything to the female), rather than setting a new precedent such as a fair go.
Ok, I don't agree with ALL of this, because studies have shown that female judges are actually more even-handed whereas male judges tend to side with the mother (probably has a lot to do with fathers who don't want their daughters dating because they know what boys are actually like...), but the part I do agree with it that it is 'More adversarial than inquisitive' (yes, I corrected the spelling, apologies to the author).
Why do you think that DCF and attorneys immediately advise one party to file a domestic violence injunction the moment said person makes any inquiry for help during the beginning stages of a break up, when emotions are still high and rationality has taken a back seat?
The more animosity that is created, the better the chance of profiteering by agencies such as DCF, CSE and the 'divorce attorney's.'
I understand that most cases are cases of the woman wanting out and not the man, so of course I can understand a man's resentment.
Let me state for the record, I am the woman who WAS LEFT, and also that HE WANTED the children, PUSHED for the children, and I was the breadwinner,so I am not a case of a woman who wanted his 'child support paycheck.'
I have had to defend my position on 'mandated family counseling' to every single woman I know who did take the initiative in the split. One friend even told me that she would have 'resented' being told that she had to try to save her marriage because she couldn't stand her husband because he was 'needy.' It did not occur to her that that issue could have been worked through with a good marriage counselor, nor was she willing to concede that it COULD have.
I have been the married woman withouth children who wanted a divorce, and who did go through marriage counseling. I know that most 'break-ups' stem from 'unresolved arguements because couples are not equipped to resolve arguments without help.
I also know that many relationship problems are the direct result of financial pressures or other types of crisis that making coping a difficult task and in which the relationship suffers.
Some of the things I learned in marriage counseling was that there was something you loved about each other to begin with, and to make the marriage/relationshiop work, you needed to learn to remember those things and nurture them to keep the love alive.
Because I did not have children, I still felt that my marriage was not salvagable and we chose to end it. Luckily, that marriage counseling helped us to be 'amicable' and we to this day remain friendly. And it is because of my decision to end the marriage and the decisions I made to have children with another man, and without the protection of marriage, that I have become anti-divorce, and and advocate for mandated family counseling any time there are children involved, with or without marriage.
In the relationship where my children were conceived, I did not have the protection of marriage. There were 'isolated incidents' of abuse. Verbal and mental definitely. Physcial, yes, but not to the dramatic point of Farrah Fawcetts 'The Burning Bed." He slapped me, yes. But he didn't PUMMMEL me. Some of the things he DID do would seem reprehensible, but no one but I was there. I know that these behaviors were not ALWAYS present. They were 'triggered' by events in our lives like the appearance of a drug using brother who bullied him mercilessly and emasculated him. His anger and resentment at not being able to stand up for himself were misdirected at me. He began to accuse ME of being the one controlling him, though he was making decisons about OUR business (backed with my credit) based on what his brother would tell him to do. There was no regard for me or my credit or money in these decisions. I was once the 'partner' who was respected, and now suddenly I was just 'some dumb female that didn't know anything about business or how to deal with guys in trades.' When the decisions went bad, and cost us clients, his brother would plant an idea in his head that I somehow 'plotted' to lose the clients. When asked why I would put my own money or credit on the line and cost myself and my family a major portion of our income, the answer his brother has programmed him to respond with is 'who knows why you do what you do, talk to a shrink.'
When our relationship began to be affected by this man's ridiculous psychosis, I was merely 'the bitch trying to drive a wedge between him and his brother.' His insecurity allowed this to fester and escalate. Friends saw the changes and mentioned them to me, but no one mentioned it to him. Hence, I remained 'the bitch trying get between him and his brother.'
When his he decided to leave me, his brother helped him 'plan it.' Our financial situation was in distress and I asked him to get a job. He went to see his brother, who told him to joint the National Guard Reserves. There was a lot of lip service for a few months there about how he was doing it for our family, etc, etc, in order to quash my protests. It turns out, that as long as he is 'Active Duty' he can't be called for a paternity test. So he got to leave, and not pay child support.
When I had to apply for assistance ffom the state, I made the mistake of telling them what happened between us, and I was advised to file a Domestic Violence Injunction. There was no mediator to try to bring us together to talk. All the advice I got was to make one adversarial move after another, which just incited more anger.
After 18 months of longing for intervention, either to reunify our family or at least get him to take responsibility for the boys, he's shipping off to Iraq tomorrow and I'm left feeling sad and angry. Sad that I cannot support him, angry that I want to though he cares nothing at all for me our our children.
And in cases where the woman is abused, or neglected by the man, there is no way for her to get him counseling to stop the abuse and try to build the family unit to be strong and happy. There are no 'domestic violent interventions' as there are 'drugs and alchohol' abusers.
We have seen an alarming increase in the number of 'domestic violence' cases in recent years. Many of these cases are real, and there is no choice but to separate because there is no way to make the abuser get help to solve the problem that's causing the issue. The law views 'domestic' violence as a 'civil' matter and therefore does not make provisions for ordering the 'rehabilitation' that a drug or alchohol offender would be ordered to participate in. So there is no hope of ending the abuse and the separation or divorce is imminent. This gives these lawyers and DCF, CSE and more, incentive to exploit this opportunity to use it to CREATE the 'adversarial' stances that are certain to enusre the destruction of the relationship and the family unit.
I am a proponent of mandated family counseling and family crisis intervention programs as a check and balance system to keep the profiteering lawyers, CSE, and DCF out of the family unit situation until every effort to reunify the family is explored.