The Core Goal of the Bill
The main goal of the new bill is to close the divide between the professional world of Psychologists and Therapists and the Judges who make the decisions. The professionals who are able to see and treat the damage done by mental and other forms of abuse are not listened to by the courts. Instead more credence is given to Guardian ad Litem's, Parenting time expeditors,Social Early Neutral Evaluators, and other such positions that are all too often filled by inexperienced and under-educated people who are volunteering their time for little or no pay. These critical positions are the ones whom the Judges are leaning on to gather information for them, and make recommendations to the courts. These positions must be filled instead by Psychologists and Therapists who are qualified and practice in the appropriate fields of study. We need our children's futures, and their development safe guarded by the best most educated people possible instead of settling for undereducated and untrained volunteers currently being served to us by our court system.
By having the critical supporting roles of the court system staffed by highly trained professionals, our Judges will be better informed by solid clinical recommendations for actionable orders on issues surrounding parenting time, custody, treatment needs, supervised visitation time, and bring a much greater level of accountability to the orders given by the courts.
No matter how dysfunctional or ill a parent is our children still love them. Our children do have a right to love them. When any parent stands in the way, or poisons a child against another parent it is mental abuse to that child of the highest order. It has some of the longest lasting consequences. All too often those consequences don't just stop with the child but will extend into future generations as our abused children grow up with developmental disorders they in turn pass on to their children. We need to put programs and resources in place to help the parents heal from their damaged relationship and protect our children from being damaged by the breakdown and loss of love the child will witness as a couple falls apart and separates. The seemingly simple act of divorce has an abusive impact on a child that is all too often going untreated, let alone when one or both of the parents have severe disorders.
Mental health problems carry a stigma that a parent is bad or completely unfit to be a parent. This stigma needs to change for the benefit of our children. Mental health issues need to be looked at not as a condition to police and punish, but as an illness that can be treated and healed. Education and healing needs to extend to our children in such a way that the child does not look on their parent as bad or being punished or kept from them, but rather helps the child to understand that the parent is sick and needs help to heal. Our brain is an organ and is damaged by abuse and many other factors. By teaching ourselves and our children that mental illness is not bad or evil, but that it is like cancer or other illness and needs extensive treatment and care will protect our children's safety, mental health, and their rights to love both their parents.
Below is an evolving document of Minnesota statutes that are currently in effect and need to change. As the conversation evolves around proposed changes to various sections of the current statutes the proposed changes will be added to the document and posted to the discussion forum for feedback.
We invite your thoughts and opinions to be shared in our forum. Everyone's input and experiences will be considered as we continue to develop this new bill into a fully authored document that will ultimately be presented to legislative bodies across the country. We are currently starting with the state of Minnesota. There is currently a bill that is calling for a one size fits all approach that grants by default 50/50 custody. Although this bill claims there are provisions that allow for less time if it can be proven such limits are warranted, with our current system as broken as it is, a one size fits all approach will ultimately lead to devastating results to our children and their rights.