Solomon’s Child: Why I Became a Custody Conciliator
Solomon’s Child: Why I Became a Custody Conciliator
In my courtroom, as a custody conciliator, I have a picture of the story of Solomon. In this story (1 Kings Chapter 3), there were two mothers, each claiming to be the child’s birth mother. King Solomon, who was renowned for his wisdom, commanded:
“Both of you say this live baby is yours. Someone bring me a sword.” A sword was brought, and Solomon ordered, “Cut the baby in half! That way, each of you can have part of him.”
As the story goes, the true parent gave up her claim to the child so the child would live, while the other parent seemed fine with the child being split in two. Thus, the true mother was found.
There is a reason why this story resonates so powerfully with me and why it’s so imperative to the work I do. Believe it or not, there are some ex-partners who would be perfectly fine with Solomon’s decision – even literally. It would surprise you how many parents are perfectly willing (even eager) to split their children, in an emotional and physical sense, in two for any number of reasons.
Why I Became a Custody Conciliator
I know that the current system was created with the best of intentions. But after decades of practicing in this field and viewing the ramifications of the results that come from the practice in this area of law, I had to find a different path that follows the spirit of what was intended rather than the proscribed letter of the law. Note that I have the greatest respect for the law and what it strives to accomplish. But I have very serious disagreements with the real world, real life, consequences it can entail (unintentional though it might be).
This is why I stopped handling custody litigation years ago and became a custody conciliator and now a mediator. I chose to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem in a system that is more equipped to divide property than to heal a dysfunctional family.
I’ve viewed, studied, and practiced family law during the transition from the time of the 1979 movie “Kramer vs. Kramer” to today. At the time, this movie was an explosive expose of divorce and the real-life intricacies of what that entailed. In Pennsylvania, family law is foundationally based on the concept of the no-fault division of property. At the time it was implemented, this seemed like a rational and good idea, fine in theory. As a result, today, divorce is not (forgive me for saying) so dramatic as it was in the 1970s. “No Fault” divorce (since the 1980s) is much more common. Things happen. Separation and divorce don’t have to be anybody’s “fault.”
Yet the fact remains that your children are not “property” to be cleaved in half like your home, your income, or your retirement. And while the court’s standard for determining custody schedules is what is in the “best interest of the child,” this can be rather subjective criteria.
You know your children best. Who they are and what they need cannot be easily communicated to a stranger in a black robe in a few hours in court. That is why it’s so vital to refrain from the urge to “split the child.”
As Henry David Thoreau said, “It is always darkest before the dawn.” I find it is most helpful to see forward as to what the new horizon brings rather than constantly look backward and eternally fight to “right” any and all past “wrongs.”
Your children are the legacy and reality of what you are offering to the world. They are the inheritance you give to humanity: a reflection of where you came from, who you are and what you strive to be. It’s not about anything that you might leave them in your will. Your children are a reflection of how you lived your own life and how good you’ve been to yourself. Your children are the mirror you look into when all is said and done. It’s truly difficult when another person is involved, but, after all, children are a reflection of your ex as much as they are of yourself.
So going forward, in a sense, it’s not just about your children, but your legacy. I understand that these things are very personal, very difficult, and, yes, intensely painful. But in light of this, I would assert that your life (and that of your children) is vastly more valuable than any win you are in court to achieve.
This is why I do what I do in the field I’ve chosen to pursue. I would even say that it’s my passion.
My goal, as a mediator and custody conciliator, is to help you find the best path for you and your family to move forward into the next chapter of your lives. I command no emotional sword to be brought to me. I desire no authority to emotionally cleave or divide children between parents. My goals and desires are to help parents find the best, most healing way for ex-partners to find fulfillment in their own lives by resolving conflicts with their ex-partners to achieve your own peace of mind and peace for your children.
Want to Know More?
If you are interested in a consultation to discuss the options available to resolve your divorce, custody issues, support, or equitable distribution issues, please contact me and I can help you investigate your options. Call me, Lenore M.J. Myers, at 215-470-3121 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.