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Carroll White, Wadsworth, Illinois
Co-founder Illinois Coalition for Family Court Reform
Stay Out of Court
In response to your article about the custody and court struggles of Arianas Campos-Reese, thank you for raising the public awareness on this issue. In my personal and professional life I have come to conclude that the courthouse is not the place to resolve issues involving the well-being of children who live with divorce in their families. In fact, it often seems like the worst place. Although I'm not sure where Supervisor Steele gets her figures, her estimation that the "court gets it wrong 80 percent of the time" is probably accurate.
In my divorce coaching practice, I strongly suggest to my clients that they work strenuously to do what they can to stay out of court, to work out as many issues as possible out of court because they will likely be unhappy — and their children will suffer — if the court decides. (To say nothing of the additional time and money spent on attorneys' fees while the matter drags through the court calendar.)
I would like to further educate your readers with the perspective that the court's "abuses" are not limited to "dads of color." In my experience, the court deals quite harshly with mothers — white and of color — and often also with white fathers. As your article documents, the bottom line is that the litigation system, which "family court" is a part of, is not well suited to resolving issues pertaining to the care and well-being of children in divorce situations. Instead, perhaps we should work towards shifting to an "alternative dispute resolution" model in family law matters.
Karen Juster Hecht, Esq.; Certified Life Coach, specializing in divorce, El Cerrito
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