A Stupid, Stupid Idea

It’s gotten to be an epidemic: every time some legislator decides he (and most of them tend to be men, by the way) wants to change people’s behavior in divorce, he persuades a number of equally ignorant men in the legislature (and most of them tend to be men, by the way) to require EVERY divorcing couple to file some new document, or pay some new fee, or prove some new fact. The latest is an effort by Rep. Danny Carroll in the Iowa legislature to require every divorcing couple with children to file a written parenting plan within 30 days after filing for divorce. Here’s the story from The Iowa Channel.

I don’t know Danny Carroll, of course, and he may be an intelligent, compassionate man. Nah, probably not. He probably wants to make a name for himself, so he grabs some headlines.

Hey Danny, go down and talk with some people going through divorce. You’re welcome to go to Des Moines, but if you like, come to my office. See the vast majority of divorcing parents who love their children, want to make sure they survive this bloody divorce business, have no disagreement with each other about where their children should live or what company their children should keep, and don’t have the money to file your silly report.

Mercy, guys. These folks are on the brittle edge of financial and emotional oblivion. On those rare occasions when judges sense a need for a comprehensive, written parenting plan, they can order one. Let’s not impose that burden on the other 97% of divorcing parents who just need to move on with their lives so they can pay their taxes and keep you in office.

One comment

  1. Chip Venie says:

    March 3, 2005

    JUDGE RULES, MOM “TOO PREGNANT” TO KEEP KIDS

    SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: When a divorced mother, with a live-in nanny and fiancé, becomes too pregnant to drive, she will lose her right to any visitation with her children. That is what Family Court Judge Patricia Garcia ruled yesterday, in a hotly contested child custody matter in Chula Vista.

    Judge Garcia ruled that a young mother, Cynthia Venie, who is again pregnant with her fourth child, is the only person allowed to pick up her two daughters from their father’s home every other week. When it was explained to Judge Garcia that Ms. Venie had difficulty in the past with her pregnancies and that she might not be able to drive herself, the Judge ordered that she would lose her right to spend time with her two daughters from her first marriage.

    “I was shocked by this order from the Court,” said Ms. Venie’s attorney, Jon M. Pettis, “It seems to suggest that because she is pregnant, she should have fewer rights as a parent. That is outrageous and discriminatory. The Court knows Ms. Venie has responsible adults in her home to assist her in caring for the children. The Court also has been informed that the father chooses to leave the children at homes where a convicted drug dealer and documented gang member lives and another, where a mother has been accused of failing to protect her own children from many years of sexual abuse.”

    This was in the wake of earlier hearings where evidence was presented to the same Judge accusing Ms. Venie’s ex-husband, Noel Alfsen of sending nearly 20 threatening e-mail messages to Ms. Venie’s fiancé. In one of the emails, Mr. Alfsen allegedly threatened to “Laci Petersen” his former wife and her unborn child.” However, despite extensive testimony and evidence from Mr. Alfsen’s on-line provider showing he was using his e-mail at or near the time of all the messages, Judge Garcia refused to accept the e-mails into evidence and denied a request for a restraining order protecting Ms. Venie or her children.

    “I’ll keep going to pick up my daughters as long as I can,” cried Ms. Venie. “It’s because I want to see them and raise them, but also, because I am also terrified about what can be happening to them when they are not with me. I just hope this doesn’t hurt the baby inside me.”

    Judge Patricia Garcia: San Diego Superior Court, So. Bay, Dept. 8: (619) 691-4545
    Mr. James Albert: (619) 440-7070, Attorney for Mr. Alfsen
    Mr. Noel Alfsen: (619) 656-9549, Petitioner
    Mr. Chip Venie: (619) 235-8300, Attorney / Respondent’s Fiancé

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