Many people going through a divorce eagerly await their day in court. They have grand visions of justice being served and of “winning” while their spouse “loses.” What these people often do not consider is that in going to court, they are willingly giving up their power to make decisions for their own family and shape their own future. They never stop to consider that at best, they are allowing a complete stranger (whether it is a judge, mediator, or attorney) make decisions for them. At worst, this stranger may be entirely unfit to be making these decisions.
One such example is that of the south Texas Judge caught on video beating his disabled daughter. After a brief suspension, he was cleared of any wrong-doing and allowed to go on presiding over family court proceedings and making decisions about other people’s children, retaining the power to judge other parents as fit or unfit. He just recently was stripped of this power, but only through losing his seat in re-election.
Certainly this type of egregious abuse is not commonplace in the legal system, and thankfully, we generally have very competent Judges. But it is scary to consider that the system continued to allow this man to have power to make decisions for other families even after his actions came to light. However, it is also important to note that the people he made decisions for gave him that power willingly. The only way to really make sure that your divorce settlement is in the best interest’s of your children is for the spouses to put aside their anger, put their children at the forefront, and negotiate directly to ensure that everyone’s best interests are facilitated by the final agreement.