(The following is an amended post in response to a blog on Divorce, Child Custody and Alimony)
The family law system in the United States is broken no matter which way you look at it. There is too much corruption, too much arrogance – on the part of both judges and lawyers, and it doesn’t seem like there is much incentive to fix it which I suppose is due to the amount of money that is generated by the system. It is very self-serving to say the least. I am not sure if there has ever been a study on exactly how much is generated by the family law system but I am sure that it is astronomical. The entire system needs to be placed under a microscope and overhauled. This will be difficult because most politicians seem reluctant to get involve in this issue perhaps because their previous occupations have been as lawyers. To say that a conflict of interest exist would be an understatement.
One significant thing that does need to occur in my opinion, is to eliminate the extreme familiarity that seems to be prevalent within the
system between certain judges and lawyers. If you find an attorney that is very “familiar” with a certain judge, you can expect that you will, for the most part, obtain very favourable rulings. In a system where justice is supposed to be blind, this is absolutely deplorable.
Secondly, there does seem to be a need for re-education with respect to gender perception in the courts. In the 21st century where equal gender rights are at the fore of most discussions, it is mind-boggling that courts still rule in favour of women a majority amount of the time. There can never be true equality as long as this remains true.
Lastly, the issue of who has the most money to spend is also a significant factor that should not be apart of the family law equation or any court proceedings in my opinion. Especially when the discussion surrounds what is in the best interests of the child, the fact that one can still “buy” the law is also deplorable. It diminishes the whole notion of justice. In a nation where we taut Justice and Liberty as a mantra, to have the type of corruption and miscarriages of this sort experienced within the courts makes us a laughing stock to the rest of the world. By the way the courts are managed, especially the family court system, we might as well be a third world nation.
This corruption exceeds the immediate realm of the family affected. It impacts society as a whole. If you have children that are being torn apart by the court system, and to a large degree by the parents involved, the psychological impact on society is felt through their angst, disillusion with family life and feelings of abandonment by one or both of the parents. It is easy to see how some will take out their anger on the society around them perhaps by becoming disturbed enough to commit some heinous crime; abuse alcohol or drugs; or be recruited by destructive internal or external influences. It could take the form of involving themselves in unhealthy relationships of all sorts themselves resulting in a very broken culture and country. In any case, the impact is quite pronounced on any society both in the short and long term. This is not by any means what occurs in every case but I believe that it occurs often enough that “monsters” to our society are being created at an alarming rate. The term “monsters” refers to that which we fear, torments us, or creates havoc and destruction.
I feel that in order to significantly change our society for the better, an imperative step must be to reform the court system especially with respect to the family courts. There should be great attention given to this issue as well as discussions and mass demonstrations in support of change to the current state of the court system. We have to first get angry and then act to ensure that true, genuine, and equitable changes are made. Otherwise we will continue to experience a society in decline at its base level. We won’t have to concern ourselves with external forces trying to destroy the nation as we seem to be doing a damn good job of it ourselves. All our enemies need do is sit back and wait for our inevitable fall, no action required! In the immortal words of Cassius from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “The fault is not in our stars but in ourselves”.
For the foundation of any society is in its people, its families and most importantly, its children. We are all responsible for developing and maintaining these important resources to ensure a prosperous and healthy future. One significant way to achieve this is by maintaining an honest and just judicial system that will endeavour to administer justice both equitably and without prejudice.
(Reference blog, “What Monster Have You Created?”)
Adiuva me verterem figuram mundi