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Divorce Isn’t All That It’s Cracked Up to Be October 29, 2012

Filed under: Divorce And Society,The Reality Of Divorce,Unforeseen Consequences — Family Innocence @ 9:50 pm

Asian demography : The flight from marriage

Filed under: No Fault Divorce Around The World — Family Innocence @ 8:32 pm

“… Asia is changing. Although attitudes to sex and marriage are different from those in the West, the pressures of wealth and modernisation upon family life have been just as relentless. They have simply manifested themselves in different ways. In the West the upshot has been divorce and illegitimacy. In Asia the results include later marriage, less marriage and (to some extent) more divorce. The changes in the West may be more dramatic. But both East and West are seeing big changes in the role of women and traditional family life.


Divorce In China

Filed under: No Fault Divorce Around The World — Family Innocence @ 7:46 pm

In  today’s China, some 4,500 couples split up every day. More than 2.46 million couples divorced in the country last year — nearly twice the number in 2001.


Kinda Related ..Its about Family Law From China..And I Couldn’t Resist

Filed under: A Little Humor — Family Innocence @ 1:01 am


Judge’s Social 1 November October 27, 2012

Filed under: Family Innocence News — Family Innocence @ 1:34 pm



The Family Innocence Project, a non-profit dedicated to keeping families

Out of court

Cordially Invites You To A




Thursday, November, 1, 2012


The Van Dusen Mansion

1900 LaSalle Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota






As Speaker

Reception at 5:30 pm


Hors D’oeuvers, Cash Bar, and Live Music


With  Jeff James Management, Joshua Hare, Elliott Johnston


Program at 6:00 pm


RSVP by October 25 to 651-783-5878


Or email





Action needed to protect children in OFP cases (Order For Protection)

Filed under: Children And Divorce,Domestic Violence — Family Innocence @ 3:36 am

The article below appeared in Minnesota Lawyer last week.   Perhaps it will be of interest to you and the rest of the Family Innocence Project.

Hon. Stephen C. Aldrich

Here are nine ideas for improving the system

Since reading “When OFP says ‘no contact,’ it means no contact,” Minnesota Lawyer, Sept. 24, I have been pondering the case of State v. Phipps, in which the Court of Appeals decision affirmed the conviction of the father.  Apparently, he had consensual contact with their children’s mother after issuance of an OFP and was charged with violating a “no contact” order.

Many things come to the mind of a retired 10-year family court judge and lawyer volunteer for Chrysalis and Cornerstone before that.

The Phipps judges are enforcing the law as written in the interests of public safety.  The parents and their children are caught in a web of law and practice, often unthinkingly and/or unknowingly.  Hennepin County alone has 2,500-to-3,000 new OFP filings a year.  The whole state had nearly 11,000 in 2011.

Many of those are now handled as a matter of routine, without a hearing.  The same is true of the thousands of harassment orders issued each year, many of which involve conflicts involving children.  There are thousands more post decree motions in OFP and custody cases which seek amendment to OFPs after consensual contacts.  And there are more than 10,000 domestic abuse criminal cases in the state each year.

To the extent that both OFP parents want to continue to raise their children cooperatively, our courts are more congested with what should be unnecessary cases.  What to do?  We must act both for safety and the best interests of children.  Without any change in the law, here are some options :

1.  The forms available for pursuing OFP’s, from Petition to Temporary Order to Final Order could clearly state what, if any, provisions for child contact are desired/permitted.

2.  Harassment (“HA”) cases involving children could be heard in the family courts where they exist.  In smaller counties, it would be best if HA cases involving children were heard by the same judges who hear the rest of a family’s custody and OFP matters.

3. The court staffs and domestic abuse agencies who advise victims could fully explore the child contact issues with parents who seek an OFP, erring at the Temporary Order stage on the side of safety.

4.  All courts could follow the Hennepin County model of always having a hearing where there are children involved.

5.  If a full Temporary no contact Order is issued, the courts who hear the cases can inquire about child contact and make specific provision for it where the victim desires contact between the Respondent and the children, and/or such contact is found to be in the best interests of the children after adequate inquiry by the court.

6.  All orders issued could contain a bold face, large print notice of the rights of the parties, with court approval, to agree to an amended order to permit contact, or changes in contacts related to the shared children.  The notice  could also be clear that “no contact” should be had until the order is amended.

7.  In proper cases, we can guard against abusers using child contact as a way to get to the victim by limits that include (a) exchanges at safety centers, police stations, and other third party locations; and (b) limiting communications with the victim to e-mail, text message, other written means, or through third parties, including such programs as the OurFamilyWizard website.

8. Domestic abuse agencies could be made available to OFP Victims and Respondents as a means for indirect communication about orders needing to be amended in the best interests of the children.  The forms made available by the state and private agencies could contain such language.

9. Other people in the justice system will have additional and better ideas.

One definition of mental illness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  And Emerson told us that “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.”  Our domestic violence reforms over the last 40 years were and remain necessary to continue the reduction of family violence.

We can better implement those programs with more sophistication and fewer hobgoblins when we try.  It is settled that ROP fathers (who signed a Recognition of Parentage with the mother) have visitation rights as determined by a court, Beardsley v. Garcia, 753 N.W.2d 735 (Minn.2008).  Any of the domestic violence teams and agencies throughout the state could address solutions for the repetitive problem of cooperative parenting in an OFP context.  Prosecutor, police, public defenders, private attorneys, and courts will have less work and save money in this time of state budget conflicts and economic trials.

With more forethought and early analysis of each case’s facts, we can do a better job of protecting both the right of victims to safety and the children’s right to appropriate contact with their parents.

 Stephen Aldrich retired in 2010 as a District Court Judge in Hennepin County. 


Faces Of Family Innocence

Filed under: Faces Of Family Innocence,Family Innocence News — Family Innocence @ 1:28 am

Family Innocence At The State Capitol


Faces Of Family Innocence

Filed under: Faces Of Family Innocence,Family Innocence News — Family Innocence @ 1:26 am

Family Innocence Training  Christmas 2011


Family Innocence Poem : ‘With Reality Comes Pain ‘

Filed under: Faces Of Family Innocence,Family Innocence News — Family Innocence @ 1:23 am


With reality comes pain. With relationships comes heartbreak. And with family comes

disagreements. Finding life is about finding ways to cope and having a sense of direction for the

future. Growing up with divorced parents made me mature and realize who I am and who I want

to be. This poem is put together by blending online user’s poems and lyrics by Miley Cyrus.

Sometimes I wonder what my parents thought

When I was a baby in a cradle being rocked

I wonder if they knew it would turn out like this

That they would be swinging on a daily hit and miss

Though they’re not speaking they care about me

And though they’re struggling I can see

They care about my life

But I wish they could end this strife

I love you daddy will you please stop fighting

Will you lay your pride down and just be happy

Love departed will you please ask forgiveness

No one wanted this marriage to take a turn like this

Times change and time goes around

Sometimes we can’t all stand on the same ground

But sometimes you just have to give up and give in

God’s given this for us to live through and in

There are two sides to every argument they say

I know it’s true I see it every day

But we’ve got to settle only our own

And all give in or go all alone

I love you mom will you let you heart heal

I know it’s hard and I know the pain you feel

Love departed will you please ask forgiveness

No one wanted this marriage to take a turn like this

At times there was anger

But mostly I cried

Watching you go your separate ways

Even though so hard I’d tried

I feel so heart broke

And torn inside I’m trying hard not to notice it

But tears don’t lie

I love you mommy & daddy take life day by day

Please forgive the past and what it used to be

I will love you both forever even though were not just one family

When they made it official and split when I was eight

I had to adjust to the god given fate

Going to a new school somewhere I never went,

This couldn’t happen to me, this I never even dreamt

Thoughts line up in my head,

The ones that I truly dread

How might my new class mates be

Would they pick on me,

Or would they tease me

How many times did my mother tell me to stay strong,

That only the things in your head are what make you act wrong,

And also that things change due to the way we think,

Great things can suddenly be destructed under the rate of a blink,

Just because the way we thought was not right or just.

I know better, to stay strong and happy,

but that cannot possibly happen under all this anxiety.

How can I suddenly move out of a place,

Which was like a home to me

Now I might fall into a rat race,

Where I might find no one like me

My former school suddenly seems like the best place now,

Although things weren’t great at first I know that that is a place I truly love,

I had taken a very long time to adjust and make friends,

All that has completely gone waste, now that no one will come to save me even once

But things won’t get that worse I now seem to realize

If someone does hurt me I can pay deaf ears and close my eyes

I decide to make the first move while making new friends

Hey maybe it won’t be as bad I thought, I might even set new trends.

Now looking back seven years after this pain

I realized how you mom and dad impacted my life

I didn’t wanna listen to what you were sayin’

I thought that I knew all I need to know

I didn’t realize that somewhere inside me

I knew you were right but I couldn’t say so

I can take care of myself, yeah, you taught me well

I learned from you that I do not crumble

I learned that strength is something you choose

All of the reasons to keep on believin’

There’s no question, that’s a lesson, that I learned from you

We always don’t agree on

What is the best way

To get to the place that we’re going from here

But I can really trust you, and give you the distance,

to make your decisions without any fear

You taught me to stand on my own

and I thank you for that

You saved me, you made me,

and now that I’m looking back

I’m grateful for all of the times

You opened my eyes

The past is what makes me

the now is what I choose to be

the future is what I can’t see

if I live in the past

the now won’t last

the future comes fast

the past was bad

the now is sad

the future has to be glad

the past is over and gone

the now is here, so I go on

the future is soon to come


Faces Of Family Innocence

Filed under: Faces Of Family Innocence,Family Innocence News — Family Innocence @ 12:53 am

Joshua Hare playing guitar – One hit wonder boy, Joshua Hare’s song “Enjoy the Ride” is the theme song for the Family Innocence    Project Show” and plays on the radio this month.

Enjoy the Ride– Breaking the Cycle of Divorce.” It was a “separated family reunion” as Joshua Hare and his father, Ran, team up with Jeff James  to play for Family Innocence, as Joshua’s mother, and extended family proudly watched them at The Family Innocence Project, Judges’ social on November 1 at the Van Dusen Mansion, Minneapolis.  Joshua Hare was in grade school when his parents divorced, commuting between two states.  Michelle MacDonald remembered Joshua’s song bird voice in the high school choir, when he asked her to represent him in court, which she did pro bono, inviting the Judge and prosecutor to hear him sing for The Family Innocence Project in February, and again today.  Joshua’s songs, including “Enjoy The Ride” have been recorded for The Family Innocence Project by Elliot Johnston of, along with plans for a music video production.  Joshua, homeless when he met Michelle, has found a home with FIP.