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Archive for May 10th, 2013

So, Who wrote the PBI-published Guide to Pennsylvania’s “New Child Custody Act”?

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Continued from my last post on, well, the publishing arm of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and several topics. Part of being (who I am) is the tendency to Look Things Up. So, I started looking up those attorneys who helped explain the new custody law in Pennsylvania.

This 7,000 word post has a very detailed chart at the bottom (hard to produce, as to html) and has soaked up too much of my time (I am still typing in “html” compose mode, visually). I then probably made it a little worse by introductory prose paragraphs. BUT, I still maintain that it’s valuable information to consider — these points are not raised enough among parents. Feedback solicited (comments). One way to understand the post may be to FIRST scroll down to some of the charts (for a visual) then go back and read the explanations.

On the other hand, I don’t owe anyone anything on this matter. I did my own lookups, networking, collaboration, and beyond that — whatever gets posted is public service announcement. It’s not addressed to people who are comfortable with groupthink (on the courts), uninvolved or unconcerned about the significance of dysfunctional (etc.) courts on the country, or the presence about money-laundering possibilites that each such setup presents, or the undermining of representative government in favor of the therapeutic, over-diagnosing, medicating, institutionalizing, iatrogenic “Nanny State,” and not a very nice nanny, either.

Iatrogenic (from “Wikipedia” definition):

The term iatrogenesis means brought forth by a healer from the Greek ἰατρός (iatros, “healer”) and γένεσις (genesis, “origin”); as such, in its earlier forms, it could refer to good or bad effects. . . .The transfer of pathogens from the autopsy room to maternity patients, leading to shocking historical mortality rates of puerperal fever (a k a “childbed fever”) at maternity institutions in the 19th century, was a major iatrogenic catastrophe of that time. The infection mechanism was first identified by Ignaz Semmelweis.[2]


So, yes, Pennsylvania had a Custody Law Revamp passed in 2011


Jan. 2011 article (fairly substantial) in the Legal Intelligencer on the new custody law.
(more on how it happened, at bottom of this post). This post looks at a PBI release with many attorney authors (plus a single Judge, and some AFCC Psychologists, i.e., Arnold & Kasey Shienvold, Ph.D.’s) on the impact of the new custody law. See article for some issues it raises.

In fact, at the bottom of this post — something you probably won’t find anywhere else on the Internet — is a chart of the authors, with columns for “how AFCC ARE they?” and basic descriptors. While AFCC is hardly “The Skull & Bones” of Yale, it still is an association which many more judges and attorneys have adopted the mindset of, or may even be members of, without saying so on their website. In other words, its influences are felt – they are real — but not always mentioned directly.

While I did (or started) this for Pennsylvania — it really could and should be done for EVERY state as an ignorance-reducing movement for people who like to complain about judges, the courts, evaluators, GALs, etc. It has not been done (yet) for the primary reasons, as far as I can tell, is limited resources (i.e., you’re looking at a volunteer blogger, and family court veteran, which generally means, SOMETHING was stripped violently and suddenly (but in a process that still somehow manages to last for YEARS) out of one’s life — whether children, or assets // income, social support networks, or all of the above. So the people that are most motivated to report (or should be), are often least financially positioned to. (I’m working on it!).

And those who have funding, as nonprofits themselves, associating with other nonprofits for clout (just like AFCC does) and press, and a “day in the sun” — are less than motivated to examine the function of Nonprofits (per se) as a topic relevant to the family courts AT ALL. They too, would rather form coalitions and self-selecting groupings to run conferences, publish, attract followers, and proclaim theories.

RELEVANCE of answering the “How AFCC ARE they?“: Membership in AFCC, or agreement with and repeated references to its standards are throughout the family law system — yet the organization has been at many levels functioning as a monopoly (while private in association, conferencing, funding, etc.) trade association among my PUBLIC employees. It has a definite mindset towards matters which tend to bring custody cases to the courts to start with — domestic violence and child abuse, in particular. Or, co-parenting when there has been DV or CA. And yet the organization — for all its own self-promotion, dramatic conferences with flashy brochures — is under-reported in the MSM press, and is scarcely mentioned !!! by advocates involved in the stopping domestic violence and child abuse industry.

As such, few people have even ruffled their feathers, or disturbed the seas on which they operate, let alone questioned the practices AS an organization. VERY few, although definitely some have. And yet this organization — and the others that work under, or with it (much of my blog names and describes them, specifically) — is able to operate with more influence and less accountability by virtue of it being “under the radar” of people who need to know MOST about it — which is 1. parents, and 2. all taxpayers.
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