Friday, August 24, 2012

PART II - Opposing Parenting Styles and Child Advocates, Inc. Biases

In the last posting I gave you a background as to the chronology of events. Yesterday was the hearing for the Motion for Rule to Show Cause alleging that Kristy Moore was in contempt of the Court's joint custody provisions and to determine the children's school. The Court made its' ruling from the bench at the conclusion of the hearing which included modifying the parenting time plan. Before elaborating on that order it is helpful to know more about the past events between Brian and Kristy Moore then what the Court heard on Wednesday.

These are two parents with stark differences in personality type and resulting parenting styles as well as their perception of each other and their motives. Kristy has stated that engaging Brian in a legal fight is more important than the children's schooling. Particularly she acknowledged "I feel this is something that I have to do" when she was asked about wanting sole custody of the children. Her motives, according to her, is that this is being done "for the children."

It is troubling to hear these type of statements coming from a parent. She has conceded that paying an attorney rather than providing for her children's education "doesn't make sense." Still that is what she has done. Her goal, as she stated, is to get sole legal and physical custody of the children which she now shares equally with Brian. The $20,000 which she claims to have saved in the year leading up to this battle has nearly been depleted.

Brian is not without his shortcomings. His personality type is quite rare which often leads people to misunderstand his actions. The intuitive portion allows him to see the deeper meanings and bigger picture in life where others may see only what is apparent before them. Combined with strong feelings of personal integrity and morals often leaves him in conflict with others who do not share those. He has difficulty dealing with conflict in relationships and is easily agitated. The root of which is his full evaluation of ideas, much the way a chess player contemplates possible moves, which when paired with his principles produce one result which he forcefully advocates. There is little tolerance by this personality type of opposing viewpoints which are not based upon such an exhaustive examination of possible outcomes.

Kristy lives for the moment and does not anticipate or see the long-term consequences of her actions. She relies upon feelings and sensing rather that logic and intuition. She prefers to express her deeply held beliefs through actions rather than words. Attempts to discuss matters with Kristy, especially those including pushback on her objectives, are often viewed by her as an attack on her essence rather than the more likely failure to consider the long-term consequences.

Co-parenting for these personalities will be a struggle at best. Brian sincerely wants Kristy to be involved in all the decision making processes but gets extremely frustrated when Kristy appears to take the "easy way out". To Kristy, however, she is doing nothing more than choosing the most obvious solution for the situation as it appears on the surface in the here and now. She fails to see the deeper meanings or long-term consequences. This is much the basis for her wanting sole custody -- less thinking and planning.

Turning a post marital relationship into a high conflict custody battle is never good for the children. Kristy's disillusionment that she is doing this for the children and rejection of any attempts by Brian to get her to see the long term harm are significant roadblocks to swaying her from her compulsive drive to separate Brian from the children.

Brian has demonstrated throughout the course of this conflict that he attempts to engage Kristy in the process, seeking her opinion, and also keeping her fully informed. In an email dated 17 May 2012 from Brian to Kristy he asked for her input about scheduling Summer parenting time and offered to accommodating to her work schedule.

"I don't know what the schedule for Indianapolis Public Schools is, nor do I know your current position and what your specific schedule will be for the summer.  I believe IPS may be going year-round now.  I am sorry to hear that for your sake, because I know you used to say one of the reasons you went into teaching was to have summers off, and that you always enjoyed them.  It is a shame that it would likely be very difficult for you to get a job in a township or rural school system having summers off, and that you won't be able to spend summers with our kids. 
As always, I will do everything I can to make myself available to exercise my "right of first refusal," or "opportunity for additional parenting time," to watch the kids when you cannot.  However, there may be times when this is difficult or impossible for me to do.  Since it looks like you are stuck working summers, I want to help make things easier for you."

Brian then made reference to Kristy's mother, Pat, being used to babysit the children which is in violation of the Court's order. He took no legal action to enforce the order.

"I doubt that you should continue allowing Pat to watch the children as you have often done; such places you in violation of the terms of the Divorce Agreement and therefore, in contempt of court.  Perhaps we could consider modification to the language of the Divorce Agreement that would allow Pat to watch the children if I choose not to do so.  Please let me know if you are interested."

The following is the response from Kristy in its entirety.

"We will discuss my mom watching the kids in court.  As far as i'm concerned, I have not been in contempt.  Anytime that I was  going to be gone more than 4 hours, I contacted you.  You did not do the same for me.

I do have to work this week,  However, I will be off Friday and next Monday.  You can have the kids to me by 4:30 at my school.  My last day of school is June 13th."

Kristy seems to fail to understand or doesn't care that notifying Brian about an opportunity for additional parenting time does not obviate her from her responsibility to comply with the Court's order by having someone other than Pat provide child-care services if Brian is unable or unwilling to do so.

Third-party participants such as evaluators, GALs and others employed to express an opinion about parents are more likely to side with parents such as Kristy. A strong basis for this is their personality types. Those similar to Brian are running the business world, working as engineers or employed in other fields where their logical thinking is exploited. Those similar to Kristy -- a school teacher -- are more likely to be in a social service type agency and base their decisions on feelings and the immediate term rather that a logical extrapolation of the long-term scenario.

Being pragmatic and rational by nature Judges often defer to these third-parties for recommendations to support their decisions. They should be aware of the possibilities that these recommendations may come with a bias that favours parents with similar personality types. Using these experts may seem logical on the surface but the deeper exploration of their motives and conditioning often leaves their opinions in conflict with a rational, sound and logical basis that would be in the best interest of the children.

In the next segment I will present the recommendations of the third-party contributors in this case. This will include Parenting Coordinator John Ehrmann, Guardian ad litem [GAL] Del Anderson, the attorney for the GAL Cynthia Dean and Robin Pannell of the DRCB. Through that examination I will show or recount their statements, how those reflect upon the parties and the actual or potential biases they possess.

If you are involved in a custody battle and want to develop a winning strategy then please visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me.

If you would like to follow my activities more closely then send a friend request to my Political FaceBook page.

Subscribe to this blawg.

More information about child custody rights and procedures may be found on the Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates website.

©2012 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

No comments: