We all have our own thing and I love books. The look, feel and smell of the pages is some kinda magic for me. In fact, one of my life goals is to have a library of my own—and of course, a house big enough for a library. Every bedroom I’ve ever had has been filled with books. In my twenties, I actually used to display my books like art installations in my flat. Now, I just live in a house full of them.
Finding something to read in my house is not a quick thing. There are so many books here, there and everywhere that it’s easy to get distracted. One such distraction is the inspiration for this post. Though this definitely isn’t a book review, should you wish to buy the book, there’s an affiliate link at the end.
While I was drinking tea and looking for something else I stumbled upon, How Men Think – The Seven Essential Rules for Making it in a Man’s World by Adrienne Mendell, M.A.
I don’t remember buying it so curiosity pushed me to give it a quick read. The author is a psychologist and the title explains the premise. The book is not meant as legal guidance but, in my creative mind, there is an interesting idea in the book to consider. Mendell says:
‘The law is a set of rules. These laws are inviolate. But if you can convince the court that there is a different way to interpret the meaning of the words of the rule, you can achieve a different result.’– How Men Think – The Seven Essential Rules for Making it in a Man’s World by Adrienne Mendell, M.A.
Now let’s think about this for a moment from inside my mind…
Step 1: How Men Think -the law is a set of rules
family law – Legal Definition. n. Collectively, those laws dealing with matters of significant impact on family relationships, particularly adoption, divorce, custody, and abuse. http://www.yourdictionary.com/family-law
As a mother representing herself at family court, you don’t have to know all the law, just what impacts your specific case. Maybe yours is a contact case and you are contesting the frequency and duration of that contact. What facts do you need to know?
- The law relating to contact and contact orders.
- What factors affect the court’s decision on contact? The Welfare Checklist
- Contact—Whose right is it anyway?
- Contested contact case examples
Once you know the law, or rules, that are specific to your case you can move on to making them work for you. In her book, Mendell also says that:
‘Lawyers arguing constitutional law debate precisely what the founding fathers meant by the way they worded the constitution. A clever lawyer will try to change the meaning of a rule by reinterpreting a few sentences.’ -How Men Think – The Seven Essential Rules for Making it in a Man’s World by Adrienne Mendell, M.A.
Step 2: Reinterpreting the rules -Stretching not breaking
In her book, Mendell says that, ‘The practice of law is a profession built on the concept of stretching, but not breaking, the rules.’
I don’t think you need a lawyer for success at family court but thinking like a lawyer can help. How can the law and the rules be reinterpreted to better suit your case?
We already know that the family court believe that it is in a child’s best interests to have contact with both parents. In the majority of cases that will be true. But what if it’s not true for you and your case? Keeping with the contact case theme, what do you want? A contact schedule that better suits your family routine? Supervised visits only? No contact at all?
To achieve any of those outcomes you will need to rethink what the court means by ‘in the best interest of a child’. The law is general, what is in the best interests of your child?
As a mother, representing yourself at family court can be difficult but it’s not impossible. To read more from Adrienne Mendell M.A. on how men think, click the link and buy the book.
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Leave your comment, ask a question, share your thoughts on the book…
Help can come from unlikely places, have you read something that could inspire another mother at family court?