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Old 02-02-2015, 10:47 AM
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Default Interwebs Bad Advice: Why parenting coordination didn't work

Hi All,

Rather than posting some case law I figured everyone would enjoy this excellent example of a blogger turned "divorce advice columnist" bad advice.

There are just too many of these bloggers out there to simply review them all but, I found this one particularly interesting because the projection of blame on the other parent was lengthy and detailed. The controlling aspect of this parent is very common and often the root cause of conflict in custody and access disputes.

I doubt that this blogger realizes their own contribution to the mess that was created and their equal responsibility to clean it up.

Live By Surprise: Why Parenting Coordination Didn't Work for Me

Why parenting coordination didn't really work:

Quote:
Co-parenting after divorce is difficult. There's no two ways about it. If you couldn't make the partnership work before the divorce, chances are there are irreconcilable differences in your parenting styles as well. It's just a fact.
First off the author of this "article" fails to realize that there is really no good legal definition for "co-parenting". There is joint custody, parallel parenting and then there is sole custody. The whole concept of "co-parenting" is one sold by hipster bloggers who really have no concept of what parenting after divorce truly means.

Quote:
Some people have it easier than others. If both parents are willing to put their differences aside for the sake of the children, you may be able to make it work. If one parent distances themselves from the relationship, and limits the amount of time they see the children, it can also work. But in this world where courts are working more and more in favour of both parents parenting 50% of the time, co-parenting cooperatively becomes more and more of an issue.
Furthermore, we see the bad advice that is often vomited onto the internet by these want-to-be "divorce experts".

1. Some people have it easier than others because they understand the basic and core concepts of custody and access. In addition they understand that these two concepts are two different issues altogether. (Unlike this uniformed blogger.)

2. You don't need to put aside your "differences" you may in fact have to realize that 99% of what you expect is not relevant in terms of "custody" and the decisions you and the other parent need to make "jointly". For example... Haircuts are not governed under "custody" nor do parents need to discuss simple things like this.

3. If one parent distances themselves from the children? Then isn't the whole concept of the mythical "co-parenting" concept null and void? The major component of "co-parenting" is equal residential (equal access) time with both parents. Clearly this blogger has failed to understand the concept of "co-parenting" that hipsters are selling.

4. The courts are not moving towards "co-parenting" they are moving towards "joint custody with equal access".

Quote:
And where one of the partners is just diametrically opposed to working with the other parent, it's practically impossible.
This is where the very common and accepted and often ordered concept of "parallel parenting" is implemented. It isn't "impossible" for parents to have some form of joint custody and equal access. Nor do parents need to discuss every element of their children's lives. (Most times this only creates conflict that is unnecessary.)

Quote:
Unfortunately, I think I may fall into the latter category.
Unfortunately, I think this blogger falls into this category not because of the other parent's conduct but their own lack of education in these matters and false beliefs about parenting after divorce.

Quote:
We tried various different ways of parenting throughout the "divorce" period.
What "ways" was that? Joint custody, parallel parenting, split parallel parenting, etc...

Quote:
At first, I tried to work together with my ex, allowing him to come shopping with us, go on walks, even allowing him in my home for Christmas with our son.
How about having "your son" reside equally with both parents where you don't have to be there monitoring the other parent's conduct and interactions with the child. This isn't "co-parenting" this is controlling conduct by one parent who believes they have ownership over "their" child.

Quote:
The end result unfortunately was that he got the impression that I was interested in a reconciliation. I was not. I just wanted to ensure that he was capable and competent enough to care for our then 2 1/2 year old and our new infant daughter.
Or you were simply demonstrating that you were "controlling" and unable to allow the other parent to spend time alone with your daughter. The courts regularly order equal access for children whom are 2.5 years of age. Not sure why this "controlling" parent need to run governance over the other parent. Who approved her as the expert child care provider?

Quote:
As the divorce progressed, it began to get nasty.
Which would be expected if you were "controlling" how much time the other parent got to spend with the children as described already in this article. It takes two litigants for matters to get nasty.


Quote:
I left the marital home. At the time, it was the best move for me - it made the split more real for both of us. It allowed me to begin to put myself back together after years and years of emotional abuse.
Easy to make a false allegation of "domestic violence" like this. But, as we know on this forum there is often a difficulty with the term "abuse". One could say that this parent's conduct to restrict access of the children is a form of "abuse" as well.

Quote:
It allowed me to parent my children with a little bit of sanity. But it cause more problems - my ex held on to the house as long as he possibly could - because letting go meant admitting defeat.
Why is having a residence a form of "defeat"? It is place to live. At any time this litigant could have partitioned for the sale of the matrimonial home. From the perspective of a judge it is both parties' responsibility to deal with the equalization of assets.

... continued ...
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:48 AM
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... continued ...

Quote:
So in the midst of this, we ended up at our next step. Parenting through our lawyers. For anyone considering divorce - I definitely don't recommend this. It was expensive. It was stressful. And most of all, it caused us both to push so hard back against the other that anything that was decided was so emotionally charged that it generally didn't stick.
I suspect that 99% of what you were discussing had little relevance to the matters of custody. Most parents do not need to communicate much with the other parent after separation unless their children have special needs. More parents need to understand the concept of parental autonomy and I suspect these parents in this matter had no idea that the majority of their arguments were irrelevant.

Quote:
It was around this time that I figured out that speaking to my ex only allowed him to continue the emotional abuse that I'd left to get away from.
If the other parent was truly "emotionally abusing" this "blogger" then their would be cogent and relevant evidence and the court could make a decision that sole custody and majority access was in order. Frankly, this is a bunch of nonsense that most of these bloggers make up to solicit positive feedback from a community of activists who have very little knowledge or understanding of what constitutes "abuse" in family law.

Quote:
All communication related to the children was passed back and forth with a "communication book" containing essential information about the children only. My children were too small - and I didn't want them involved in sending the messages back and forth. But there was essential information that needed to get across.
It is 2014-15 you should use Our Family Wizard. No need to have a communication book. It isn't 1986.

Quote:
My ex lost the book about once a week. So I kept trying - sending notes about what the children were wearing that I expected returned, what medical information he needed to know for their care. And if I didn't get information back, I didn't stress about it. I'd just send a new book next time.
Again, here we have excellent evidence that this parent blogger has no concept of what is relevant. The blogger demonstrates their controlling and possibly abusive behaviour by trying to project they are the "primary parent". Clothing and sniffles are irrelevant and to put them into a communication book is just great evidence for the other parent regarding your awful behaviour.

Quote:
The custody schedule as we'd arranged it was not working. It resulted in too many transitions for the children, and too many opportunities as a result for their parents to have a tense exchange.
Based on the ages of the children most courts would order a 2-2-5-5 or 2-2-3 based access schedule in this situation. The nonsense that there were too many transitions further demonstrates the lack of knowledge this blogger has when it comes to custody and access matters.

Quote:
So we tried mediation. Only mediation. This was a mistake.
But, isn't the other parent "emotionally abusive". In most jurisdictions if one party claims the other parent is "abusive" they cannot attend mediation. So the fact this blogger states that the other parent in their matter is "abusive" and then goes to "mediation" is contradictory and puzzling. In fact, they have a lawyer and the lawyer would have advised them that a matter where there is an allegation of "abuse" is not appropriate to bring to mediation. My BS meter just went off.

I am not going to bother going on with this 'article' because the parent in question left the habitual residential location and created a nightmare with school, tried to use the other parent's employment as an excuse to not provide equal access, tried to control what time the children went to bed at while they were residing with the other parent and demonstrates that they have no regard or trust of the other parent.

I suspect that the success that has been achieved (as the author claims) is because the other parent has learned to just ignore the other parent and say they agree to the nonsense they request and simply do whatever they want.

This blog is a prime example of why high conflict parents fight. Hopefully this blogger sees this thread and spends some time understanding that after separation parents don't need to communicate all that much. Major incidents and medical issues is all that is needed. You don't need to nor should you discuss bedtimes.

Parental autonomy should be the focus of any parental plan / agreement and not the "controlling" aspects this blogger has been unfortunately focused on.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:53 PM
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Summary: Mom wants sole custody needs to make up crap about why shared parenting doesn't work.
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Old 02-02-2015, 03:41 PM
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Parent
Quote:
Originally Posted by Links17 View Post
wants sole custody needs to make up crap about why shared parenting doesn't work.
Or why their parental situation is absolutely the "worst" and why the other parent is so awful...
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Old 02-02-2015, 04:54 PM
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Out of interest I clicked on linked blog post and discovered that all this blogger does is write about her divorce. Actually, not even the divorce - about what a terrible parent her ex is. Over and over. To the tune of many tens of thousands of words. Going back to 2012. I'm not sure how she ever gets anything else done. It looks to me like a case of someone who is still so emotionally enmeshed that she's spending hours every day talking about him to the entire internet. Playing amateur psychologist, I would guess that arguing and fighting over co-parenting isn't really about co-parenting, it's about keeping some weird twisted connection going between her and the ex.
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:25 PM
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Classic attention-seeking behaviour. It may be about the connection to her ex, but it may also be about receiving sympathy.

She may also have monetized her blog, so if she stops writing, there goes that income stream.

I didn't spend too long looking at her page. Does she actually promote herself as an expert and offer divorce advice, or is it just ramblings about her personal situation?
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rioe View Post
Classic attention-seeking behaviour. It may be about the connection to her ex, but it may also be about receiving sympathy.

She may also have monetized her blog, so if she stops writing, there goes that income stream.

I didn't spend too long looking at her page. Does she actually promote herself as an expert and offer divorce advice, or is it just ramblings about her personal situation?

I spent about an hour of my life which I will never get back poring through the blog, and it seems to be mainly personal ramblings. The comments section consists mainly of "Wow, your ex is a %!$#@! My ex is a !$@#! too - you won't believe what he just did ...". A combination of sympathy-seeking and showing off (my ex is the worst!). Not much evidence of constructive solution-focused thinking. The problem is always "my ex is a jerk".
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
I spent about an hour of my life which I will never get back poring through the blog, and it seems to be mainly personal ramblings. The comments section consists mainly of "Wow, your ex is a %!$#@! My ex is a !$@#! too - you won't believe what he just did ...". A combination of sympathy-seeking and showing off (my ex is the worst!). Not much evidence of constructive solution-focused thinking. The problem is always "my ex is a jerk".
Sad thing is that by linking it here, Tayken has just given her way more exposure, and she'll probably take the additional hits as further validation.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:50 PM
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And she will actually be able to see where the visits are coming from and read this thread..... (If you are reading this, you are a crazy person - delete your blog)
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Old 02-03-2015, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
Out of interest I clicked on linked blog post and discovered that all this blogger does is write about her divorce. Actually, not even the divorce - about what a terrible parent her ex is.
Excellent and in my opinion correct observation. I doubt that this blogger is even self aware enough to see this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
Over and over. To the tune of many tens of thousands of words. Going back to 2012. I'm not sure how she ever gets anything else done.
Amazing isn't it that such a martyr parent who has to deal with such an awful ex-partner has so much free time to write thousands of words worth of complaints?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
It looks to me like a case of someone who is still so emotionally enmeshed that she's spending hours every day talking about him to the entire internet.
Axis II disordered (Cluster B and C) people often become "divorced" obsessed". They make the other parent the "target of blame" and create elaborate "distortion campaigns" against them on the internet like this. I suspect that this blog may in fact be the ramblings of an un/der-diagnosed Axis II disordered person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
Playing amateur psychologist, I would guess that arguing and fighting over co-parenting isn't really about co-parenting, it's about keeping some weird twisted connection going between her and the ex.
Again, you are probably correct! For many high conflict (possibly axis II disordered) individuals maintaining some sort of relationship - even negative like this - is a way of maintaining a connection. William Eddy and Randy Kregger talk extensively about this pattern of behaviour in their books. The internet is proving to be a very interesting medium to expose this on.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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