Family Law Reform: It’s Time To Change Our Approach.

 

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With respect to family law reform, it’s time to take stock or our accomplishments over the last twenty to thirty years:

  • We’ve had one state (Kentucky) adopt the presumption of 50/50 parenting law.
  • We’ve had a few states adopt “shared parenting” legislation, which in truth, is not different than what it’s replacing – it’s merely political gaming.
  • We’ve had virtually no reforms with respect to the enforcement of child support and custody orders.
  • Parental alienation has not been addressed with law.
  • False allegations have not been addressed with law.

The short story version is: what we’ve been doing has not worked – we’ve made almost no progress.

This is not to say folks haven’t been working hard, because there have been plenty of individuals, social media campaigns, and organizations working like crazy to bring sensible reforms to family law – we HAVE been active and we HAVE been fighting.

But we haven’t been successful.  This isn’t a condemnation of anyone, it’s merely fact.

When the Love and Iron Project was created, it was commissioned to champion the well being of parents and children, and family law was prioritized as job one because in our view, it is the single most destructive and damaging influence on the health and welfare of families.  What we wanted was to put this family law business to rest so that we could move on to other objectives.

That hasn’t happened, and we too, are frustrated.

We’re not giving up, but, we also recognize that when something isn’t working, we need to change our approach.

Roots vs. Symptoms

When trying to solve a problem, it’s tempting to get distracted by symptoms of the problem instead of attacking the root cause of it.

Symptoms are out in the open and they’re easy to see, so we throw band aids on them and all kinds of organizations and industries sprout of to serve the symptoms. Treating the symptoms become big business, and when that happens, the desire to root out and address the cause evaporates and this is exactly what has happened with family law.

The fact is, identifying and addressing causes is hard. They’re hard to identify, they’re hard to confront, and they’re hard to remove; especially once they become the source of revenue for others.

Getting To The Root of The Problem

With respect to the problem of family law, and once we drill down beyond the symptoms, we’re able to identify a common denominator:

  • Politicians are legislating absent parents so that states can maximize Title IVD bonus revenue streams, and there are dramatic differences between the enforcement of child support and custody orders because there is money in the former, and none in the latter.
  • The American Bar Association and other self-interested parties oppose the presumption of 50/50 parenting or the punishing of parental alienation because stimulating and preserving conditions of conflict for custody, child support, and false allegations is big business.
  • And feminist organizations oppose family law reform, mainly because of threats to personal freedoms and child support income for women.

As I’m sure you’re aware, the root of the family court problem and the harm it causes is selfishness, greed, and the pursuit of money, and that’s why we harp on it.

Still, it’s not enough to understand what is causing all the hurt, we also have to remove it, and sadly no matter how noble our cause there will be those who have something to lose, and as a result they’ll stand against us and work to undermine our efforts. This is simply a fact of life, so instead of getting upset about it, we simply need to deal with it.

Change the Incentives, Change The Game

The formulation and execution of strategy can be defined as the pursuit of a goal in the face of an opposing force, and when thinking about any problem, especially a strategic one,  it’s helpful to ask the question: what is absent?

It’s a safe bet that some are questioning our Legislator Letter Campaign, because perhaps they see it as a waste of time, or maybe they’ve already written one in the past. It could also be that folks just have a hard time connecting an individual letter from them to creating change.

The key point to remember is the solution is NOT the letter itself, the solution is the accumulation of political capital that each letter produces, because it is political leverage that is absent.

If we want reform, we have to move the context and the reference point away from the pursuit and defense of money for states and the family court industry, and toward the pursuit and defense of political job security.

In our view, it’s not that legislator letters are ineffective, it’s that they haven’t been used in a strategically effective way, and we intend to correct that problem.

The Love and Iron Project: What’s Coming

For twenty-plus years, moral arguments have fallen on deaf ears. The Love and Iron project’s role in this fight is to provide and enable strategic advantage, both for you as an individual and for the reform movement as a whole.

Over the coming months, we’ll be aggressively implementing numerous new initiatives, all of which are intended to assist you as an individual while further empowering the family law reform effort.

Currently, and in addition to our political strategy roll-out, we’re doing a complete rebuild on our website (yes, the free WordPress site we’ve been using has reached the end of it’s usefulness…..) that includes sophisticated engineering under the hood that will result in tools you can use not only to add power to the reform effort, but to more effectively manage your own family law concerns.

We’ll be in touch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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