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Friday, May 6, 2011

A Mother’s Day Thank You from Fathers and Families

 A re-posted e-mail below with my comments at the end

Changing how America handles divorce and separation isn’t easy. 
Legislatively, many powerful, well-funded opponents stand in the way of family court reform, including the divorce attorney lobby and some misguided feminist groups.
In the courts, judges and related personnel still cling to old stereotypes about mothers and fathers and to old habits of awarding sole custody based on gender.
In the media, a small percentage of “deadbeat dads” make for great headlines while the vastly larger percentage of loving fathers who work hard to love and support their children go largely unmentioned.
Despite these obstacles, we are making progress. We were instrumental in passing seven different family court reform bills last year and helped introduce bills in eight different states this year. One of our bills, SB 1283, just got signed into law by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer this week. Another, SB 112, is expected to be signed by the Governor of Georgia within the next week or two.
Some of the legislative projects we’re working on include: spousal support reform; child custody reform; discouraging Parental Alienation; fighting confiscatory child support orders for high income earners; protecting minors in family court proceedings; eliminating paternity fraud; opening dependency court hearings to the public; protecting disabled veterans from family court financial abuses; halting child support enforcement abuses; and much more.
But this fight isn’t easy. Led by the National Organization for Women, misguided feminist groups are increasingly concerned about the scope and success of our work, and are fighting us hard. While NOW has certainly done some good things over the course of its 45-year history, its family law positions reinforce the current sole custody norm. These extreme positions serve to reinforce the gender bias of an already imbalanced system, and are way out of touch with how the average woman believes family courts should operate.
That’s one reason among many why we need the multitude of women in our ranks to step forward. We’re mobilizing our membership via our Citizen Lobbyist Program and women’s voices are key. We want your activism, we want your ideas, we want your support.
Please sign up to be a part of our Citizen Lobbyist Program--simply click here and fill out our form, entering “Citizen Lobbyist” in the “How I can help” section.
Effective advocacy and legislative work also requires funding—please consider giving by check or electronically via our secure site at

Thank you for being a part of our successful work and this important social movement.

Together with you in the love of our children,

Glenn Sacks, MA
Executive Director


Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.
Founder and Chair of the Board

I want to thank fathers and families for all the work you do!

They have pointed out and documented my problems with the family court system. Ones like I ran into with Commissioner Swanhart.
Not even my own attorneys are blameless. They, like most are inept. You are just a number and pay check to them. They will portray that they have your interest in mind but in my case, they remained clueless as to what was going on legally! Perhaps that is incorrect, maybe they knew but choose not to rock the boat or risk offending the judge.  At any rate, 99% of them are bad at best.
I did get some very enlightened information from one out of state attorney. After finding out just a small portion of how I was being treated by Commissioner Swanhart, he made this observation that really hit the nail on the head;
I’ll bet she is very homely looking and has suffered her own relationship issue. I would bet her man left her for a younger and much more attractive woman. One that did not have the high paying, high profile position that she holds. You show up with an exceptionally good looking women next to you and you both show love and respect for each other…your commissioner took her own pain, jealousy and anger out on you! No way were you going to get a fair hearing! She was taking revenge on her husband through you. Seen it time and time again.
This man was a divorce lawyer for almost 40 years. I think he was right as rain!
As far as Connaughton, in my opinion (and backed up and documented by his lies)…he is just a bottom feeder when it comes to lawyers and that is as low as you can get.
Prefect storm of corruption is what I got from the Yakima Family Court System and my sons suffer for it. Sadly, always will.
Their attitudes of entitlement and mental dependency on their mother may never be overcome. Study the effects of PA and you will see the control that person has over the children’s minds. Brain washing is accomplished in this same way. Repeat what you want instilled into someone’s mind over and over and over. At some point they will submit to this suggestion and once that has occurred, removing or correcting the information is much more difficult than instilling it in the 1st place.

Sad deal…If this is your case, pray and hope, do not bend or compromise.
You must stay true to yourself if you expect them to ever see the truth.

Good Luck!



  1. Dito on Connaughton and Swanhart. They are a tag team of scum and scummier! Looters feeding off the corrupt system they have created in Yakima.

  2. A lawyer was cross-examining the doctor about whether or not he had checked the pulse of the deceased before he signed the death certificate. "No," the doctor said. "I did not check his pulse." "And did you listen for a heartbeat?" asked the lawyer. "No I did not," the doctor said. "So," said the lawyer, "when you signed the death certificate, you had not taken steps to make sure he was dead." The doctor said, "Well, let me put it this way. The man's brain was in a jar on my desk but, for all I know, he could be out practicing law somewhere."

  3. Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all Dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at Mom and ask me how my day was at school.
    I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit. He ate every bite of that thing... never made a face nor uttered a word about it!
    When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing Mom apologize to Dad for burning the biscuits. And I'll never forget what he said: "Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then."
    Later that night, I went to hug Dad good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Your Mom put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides - a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!"
    As I've grown older, I've thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I'm not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. But what I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults - and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences - is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.
    And that's my prayer for you today... that you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn't a deal-breaker!
    We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!
    "Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket - keep it in your own."
    So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine.
    Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. And please pass this along to someone who has enriched your life… I just did.
    “Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."
    The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.

  4. I am posting as anonymous because after six years post divorce I STILL have cases brought up in Yakima before the Swanhart/Connaughton tag tem and I fear their corruption and power. First of all let me say what a relief it was for me to find your blog. I knew I wasn't the only one suffering bc of Swanhart but have tried to move on w my life. I wanted to share an observation my uncle had regarding the corruption in the family law courts of Yakima county. My uncle is an immigration law attorney in King county and had done some family law early on in his career. When I told him what was going on with Swanhart and Connaughton his response was "I don't know what is going on in the tumbleweed justice over there but I wish you were in King county, where we know how to treat women". Thank you for this blog it is healing for me after all this time and has sharpened my resolve to do what I can to help others that might be in the same mess.

  5. Dear Anonymous,

    I am very sorry for the ordeal you have and are continuing to endure. Both Connaughton and Swanhart are the epitome of rotten, self serving attorneys.
    You seem to have come to grips with this issue and have the proper and positive outlook that you need to survive and reduce your stress level.
    I can only hope that your relationship with your children, and their childhood has not suffered beyond repair because of the actions and rulings of the legal, (my youngest sons life has been devastated) family wrecking tag team of Connaughton and Swanhart.
    If you have grounds, do not hesitate to file formal complaints with the WA Bar and judicial board. Even letters to the county commissioners can be helpful.
    If you are fighting PA, please try the links provided here.
    Good luck!