Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Keep things in Perspective

fight war divorce anger hate sad kids
Having worked as a law librarian (professionally) for little over 8 years, there are two things that actually bum me out:  money and kids (and sometimes both are intertwined).  For example, yesterday I had a lady come into our library seeking guardianship of her daughter's kid.  Seems her daughter had recently died (as in 6 hours earlier) and left a child with downs syndrome.  Today, I had a guy come in seeking to secure his rights as a father.  Seems his estranged wife had just died the day before and now his mother-in-law was fighting to get guardianship of his son (who has downs syndrome) and wrest legal and physical custody of the child from the dad.  Both stories sounded too similar to be a coincidence and, as it turns out, they were the same - each party claiming to have the best interests of the kid in mind.  Both claiming the others purpose was less than virtuous.  Both claiming altruistic purposes; both claiming the other is/are evil.  The outcome?  The kid is royally screwed because no matter what happens, where he once had two loving parties - now both hate eachother.  Hate, hAte, haTe, hatE!

My job, as a law librarian, is to remain completely impartial.  So, to the grandmother, I gave her information about guardianships (how to obtain) in the form of California Guardianship Practice (CEB) and California Family Law: Practice & Procedure (Lexis).  To the father, I gave the same thing (the whole thing reminded me of a Star Trek episode where the bad guy sold guns to both sides and no one could get the upper-hand because there were evenly matched).

Moral?  Cut the attitude, work out your difficulties, and be agreeable because it really is about the kid.  Refuse to do so and I guarantee that the court is going to issue an order that will not be agreeable to anyone - and the kid loses.