TN court denies divorce under #Obergefell gay-marriage ruling, but also for good, routine reasons
This top divorce litigator highly recommends mediation, but for reasons most of us won't talk about:

Michigan kids who were jailed: The whole miserable saga, & the simplest solution.

OK, not the whole truth, but the wholest truth I've ever seen in one place in a child custody case, is in the guardian ad litem report (via Michigan international family lawyer Jeanne Hannah; may no longer be online) These GAL reports are generally not made public, but any damage from that is minor compared to what all members of this family have inflicted on themselves for the past five years. 

[UPDATE: The court later did exactly what the GAL report, and this blog post, suggested! Here's the latest:  "Dad in bitter divorce wants mom blocked from contact", Detroit News, 9/9/15]

The GAL report DOES NOT recommend jailing the children. It recommends a far simpler and more direct solution: immediately giving the father visitation with each of them separately, one on one. Supervised, but reluctantly and only to protect the father from accusations. The court in this case has imposed endless´┐╝ shows of governmental force and therapy on these children, who were not impressed by any of it. But in my experience, what really works is placing them directly with the other parent, and in many cases, changing custody permanently. Many children in divorces will go to extremes to do what they think pleases and aligns with the parent who appears to have the power and control. And when that control changes, they can turn on a dime.

Almost every experienced family lawyer has had several cases like this. Something to remember when we are told that the government and society should not care whether a marriage can be saved.

(There has been a lot of very informed discussion on family lawyers' discussion forums, including very prominent leaders in the profession, and they almost all sympathize with the father although they don't support jailing the kids. I "red shirted" this posting while I got permission to quote some of the best comments from the lawyers' listserv. But that effort has languished what with new family law news coming along, and a whole lot of work on an upcoming custody trial, an appeal brief, a book revision and preparing materials for a continuing-ed seminar. I hope to post them in the future the next time this is in the news.)

 Meanwhile, Maryland family lawyer and family law professor Dawn Elaine Bowie, an early local advocate of Collaborative Divorce, makes a similar point, but not exactly the same, in wonderfully brief and to-the point fashion:

Let's All Sit In A Circle, Hold Hands, and Sing KumbayaParental Alienation and Court Involvement

By , Owner and Managing Partner, Maryland Family Law Firm, L.L.C. -- Sep 6, 2015



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