What we're about
This is a support group for Fathers who have been pulled into proceedings in Family Court, with an emphasis on New York State, and those who have the courage to proceed pro se.
If you have a case in Family Court, and/or are being illegally targeted by CPS (Child Protective Services), or are being ordered to participate in any number of the organizations that feed off of the Family Court system, then you are in a very dangerous and isolated place.
There are almost no support systems out there for you as a Dad, private or public, and the system will chew you up and spit you out, broke, childless and beaten down, all the more so if you don't know what is going on, and are familiar all their hidden policies, terminology and agendas. They look upon you as fresh meat, even as they purport to be helping you or your children, every case they take on, they receive more funding and money, so their eagerness to "help" is not as benign or altruistic as it seems.
Even your lawyer, if you have one, is not your friend, and will weigh the quality and extent of your representation against his other obligations and loyalties.
If you are proceeding pro se (self-represented), as you may have to, since a lawyer's fees can force you into bankruptcy, you are in a double whammy:
Gender prejudice against Fathers in general, and the pernicious prejudice against pro se litigants, which is particularly harsh in Family Court.
Although there are now a number of effective Father's Rights organizations out there trying to reform legislation and raise public attention in order to make the system more fair and equal for both parents, they are of little solace when you are down in the trenches, now, literally battling these Family Court industry minions for your children, for your income and assets, and your sanity.
Family Court Dads was organized with this gap in Father's support in mind.
The purpose of this group is to empower, educate and inform its members in their courtcase efforts to achieve legal custody or equal access of their children, and to most effectively legally counter and deal with the aforementioned family court industry.
The focus is on court procedure (petitions, motions, hearings, discovery, etc.), NY family law, and dealing with all the ancillary workers that are engaged by the family court to assist in its investigations of you (CPS, psychological evaluators, mediators, etc.)
The means by which we do this is by our sharing knowledge, experiences, techniques, procedures, and strategies we have found successful in prosecuting our cases in Family Court, and administrative institutions surrounding it.
By combining and completing our knowledge we can become more effective in our presence in Family Court. Effectively fighting for equal access to your children, and to maintain the freedoms guaranteed by law to parent them, as well as retaining your personal, psychological and financial solvency, is an art and a skill you must master, or you will become fodder instead of a Father.
You must use every available legal tool at your disposal. Dealing with the Family Court industry is like flying a helicopter, not driving a train.
A properly educated pro se party will provide far better representation for himself than a paid (or assigned) attorney. You are your only client, you care more about your case than any attorney could. You can legally do things in your case that an attorney would never do, even though they can.
An attorney has three rules, in this precedence: Do not get in trouble with the law, do the least amount of work necessary for the most amount of money, represent the client's interests.
Only the most principled attorneys have it correct: Represent a client most aggressively as possible and still be within the law, everything else be damned.
And that attorney would be you if you had yourself as a client, provided you know what you're doing.
(Please also join our active discussion support group Family Court Dads (http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/FamilyCourtDads/info) for ongoing conversation and interaction.)