The Price of Bug Repellant

A father asked us recently, “What is a good way to explain to others what this family court trap is like?”

He asked for the best way to explain to his cousin what is happening with certain Georgia family law practices.  His cousin is interested in being supportive but he doesn’t “get” the legal world, let alone this divorce business.

Cousin Joe, however, lives in a big neighborhood and can’t stand the power-hungry HOA president:

You and your neighbors are going about your yard projects, and you get into an argument about a fence.  You go to the head of your HOA to help resolve the situation.  (You can’t stand your neighbor’s bad comb-over or his beer breath, but that’s besides the point.  He doesn’t want you to paint your fence!)

What you don’t realize is that “HOA Guy” has started selling products to deal with mosquitos.  “So what?” you say.

While trying to make your very important point about your RIGHT to paint your fence, with HOA Guy calmly listening, swarms of mosquitos start circling your head and attacking every body part.  Now you’re REALLY annoyed.  And really distracted, and you can’t function let alone work out an agreement with beer-breath.  …and to make things worse, beer-breath and HOA Guy are asking you what YOU did to bring on these nasty bugs.

Thankfully HOA Guy has a solution!

He rolls out the repellant and zapper equipment, and you quickly shell out $350.00 since that’s what he charges and you don’t see any other options at that moment. (These are BIG mosquitos & they feel like they are shredding your skin and going for your dog next.)

What you can’t see at this point is that he is growing those mosquitoes in tubs around the corner and turning them loose on you every time it appears your argument might be winding down.

This conversation is not only going nowhere fast, you and your disgruntled neighbor grow increasingly agitated – with each other.  You both give up in a huff and leave, but are told to come back the next morning (when the mosquitos probably won’t be so bad, HOA Guy calmly says.)

You’re so emotional and worried that you don’t realize the mosquitos are only going after you and your “difficult” neighbor…  The next morning you are relieved to learn there is a stronger version of the repellant you can now buy that he didn’t have the day before.  Another check is written, this time for $650.00, but you have hope you’ll get through the discussion this time.

And so on.

Before too long you’ve turned over your nice watch and your bank account is empty.  (So there is no money left for you to paint that fence you were fighting over!  Problem…solved.)

This is a silly and somewhat harmless picture, right?  Just bugs, an opportunist HOA president, a fight over a fence and a few bucks.

You get it now, right?

Or…not on board yet?  Not enough to go confront and oust HOA Guy and turn his tubs of mosquitos on him?

What if this were a true high-stakes game, and it involved losing your children, your home and your health?

If this were happening to YOU, could you explain that to someone?  Or would you be too ashamed to admit you couldn’t see it coming to be able to stop it?

Right now I bet you’re thinking that you would not shell out money like that for bug repellant?  No, we wouldn’t either, but we’re really talking about people who are told to fear they will lose their children and everything they’ve worked hard for…if they don’t “buy” and “just do what I tell you…”

When you’re under attack, and someone with authority – whom you voted for and therefore TRUST – lies to you and takes everything from you…you react and comply with what you’re told, because you are READY to be delivered from what is attacking you.

Yes, it is that simple.  If you get the wrong attorney, and they do not advocate for you with the Judge like you believe they will, and they tell you to hire the WRONG custody expert, there’s basically nothing you can do…

Or is there?  And is there something we can do together to help those who are being subjected to this?

If you understand this, then you can help us act on it:  this is the reality many parents around you are facing.

Imagine you are a loving parent who just wants to do right by your kids and your soon-to-be-Ex.  You hear about a “good attorney” from a friend, so you go ask for help and write a $4,000.00 check.

While promising to “help you through this tough time” this attorney, and then his preferred child custody “expert,” take a position of authority over you.  Now the judge, the attorneys and the custody expert are all selling you repellant to fight off the bugs they didn’t tell you about.   They will keep taking from you while putting you in a worse position, but you had no way to know this was coming.

This is the easiest explanation for why this continues, because it is so hard to believe…and it is happening in plain site.  As easily as the HOA guy who happens to have bug repellant handy when you come to him for help.  As easily as the guy who sells you the solution to the problem that he created.

Divorce is tough enough, without feeling the need to stay quiet because others know you are just going through an “ugly divorce.”  Can you see how this might be hard to explain, or to know where to turn and how to ask for help?

This is why we are asking you to learn and to offer support.

This is happening to so many around your community, and just like it is hard to avoid mosquitos, it is virtually impossible to stop what is happening to anyone faced with a legal conflict like this.  It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, or what kind of neighborhood you live in.  And, it can happen to you.

Some parents are in much worse shape, and are not allowed to nurture and provide for their own children.   This is the really tough part of this — that children are often a price or the “collateral damage” that you can’t even fathom.  Those situations require a higher level of support and commitment, but these cases range from simple to the extreme.

What is happening to good mothers is also happening to good fathers, and vice versa.  There have been enough tragedies coming from this scenario to wake us up and move us into action, as a state, as parents, grandparents and community leaders or professionals.

We just need to know what YOU can handle, and what you believe is right for you to do.

Whatever your comfort level is, just do something to help us get HOA Guy where he belongs?

 

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