Friday, January 4, 2013

Guardian ad litem reform - "You've come a long way Baby"

As they used to say in the old ad, “You’ve come a long way, Baby!”

We are one year old today - and growing. And... what a year it has been! We literally started at “ground zero”, and it has been a year of vast growth and learning for all of us.  We started, as did most of our associates, with a series of bizarre custody rulings in an individual divorce case.  We were perplexed, confused, hurting and utterly frustrated by the seemingly unique irrationality in play. “This can’t be really happening.”  “There is something so very wrong with this picture; are we doing something wrong?”  As we began connecting with others in the same boat, it slowly dawned on us that there must be some “rogue” Guardians ad litem in the system.  Our view of the problem expanded when we read the famous 2006 OPEGA report, and started to work with OPEGA on an audit request. It expanded further when we experienced unsuccessful political attempts to derail this audit request. Involvement with the Judicial Branch’s attempts to reform the system with a majority of “divorce industry” players, as “reformers” added further enlightenment. And... we began to conceptualize a very dysfunctional, inhuman Guardian ad litem system, an element of dysfunction in the larger family court system.

Our growth has been energized by the several blogs we’ve created. These, in turn, have been moved by and infused with the ideas and problems experienced by those associated with us. We have been a mutual instruction program about GALs, courts, the law and political action.  We have attracted ever growing notice in Maine, both new friends and those more wary of us. It is said only slightly joking that we are now required reading for GALs and MEGALI, their trade organization. We have also attracted notice and had very interesting “conversations” with a great many lawyers, legislators and “civilians” in other states and from a number of people in common law countries, all of which, like us, are struggling with much needed GAL reform. Our several blogs give us a voice, allow for sharing of ideas and are an important educational tool.

Our aim in creating and writing the blogs has been to support individuals, like us, who have been caught in an irrational divorce/custody process with powerful forces, Maine's Judicial Branch- especially its family courts - and the wealthy, powerful members of the divorce industry.  We try to educate those who have been (or are) consumers, who are trying to understand the apparently irrational aspects of these two forces, and we try to offer non-legal help, support, and encouragement, where we can. We are not attempting to debate directly with either courts or the divorce industry about their merits (or faults). We are an educational service (supportive sharing) for the victims, not for the victimizers.  While we can offer a general acknowledgment that there are some fair GALs, we would still maintain that they are players in a totalitarian system with many defects (as we will continue to note).  Choosing to be an integral part of this kind of dysfunctional, oppressive system always carries the potential to taint all of its players.  We are admirers of Vaclav Havel, the Czech  writer and dissident, who approached parallel problems with a spirit of simplicity and universal brotherhood, while speaking his mind at the same time.  May we do half as well, as Havel!

As we turn one year old, we thank all of our friends and also our opponents; both have helped us to learn and, from our learning, to share what we know. May our coming second year bring us all equal growth!

Please contact us at or like us on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. The GALs and divorce industry were unchallenged, publicly invisible, and got away with murder until Maine Guardian ad litem Alert came along. Privileges were obtained just for the asking and accountability was an unheard of issue. Public education and straight talk about GALs is aimed at change in favor of clients.