I couldn't put the book down! It's well written and reads like a novel page turner, filled with suspense, intensity of emotions, and drama.
Having just completed a divorce myself as a mother of two where I kept not only the welfare of my girls' future emotional and psychological well-being primary, I also considered with utmost care the feelings of their father that I could no longer stay married to. So this meant that we took our time with mediation, we personally served our papers to one another, and shared in 50/50 joint custody. We agreed to all this and more not only for our children but for our own individual futures. This has kept our family emotionally whole and now a year later are thriving as a new kind of family! Unfortunately, as just one example in the book, this was not the same for Kim Basinger who had Alec Baldwin served with their Separation Papers, which is more a punch to the gut than most women (and men when reversed) realize. How can anyone respond without retaliation, swords drawn and ready for battle? And then, of course, how can one not eventually lose control of one's anger when legal minefields release destruction and anguish at every step along the way. Sure Alec was wrong to hurl such words and accusations at his daughter on the phone, but I can see the path to that call more clearly now. So sad. Oh yes, and BTW, "leaking" that call to the public had to have been horribly painful for their daughter--and all for what? To show Alec as a bad man? Surely there was no consideration whatsoever for the child!
And then the climax of using and abusing the legal system to inflict the parental alienation tactics I think is reprehensible. Unless the target parent is abusive in some way or involved in drugs or crime, I can't think of any justifiable reason to inflict such pain on both the parent and child! To me then what this book represents is more than a legal system where fathers' rights take back seat, and quite obviously that's painfully true, it represents more a world where many mothers (and fathers too) fail to fully comprehend the possible permanent damage they do to their children through their intentional or unintentional Parental Alienation (Syndrome). Sure it's painful and frightening facing a future alone, but our children are NOT our emotional keepers and it's up to us to teach them resilience, strength, and compassion, not manipulation and hate. In the meantime though, I advocate changes to our legal system where children aren't abused in this way!
And so I wonder why we've become so self-absorbed or damaged to not see the obvious manipulations of the divorce legal system that helps to escalate these types of damaging scenarios. I could see it when I visited my first referred barracuda divorce attorney. It was then and there that I decided that a loving divorce was the only ethical and moral journey for all of us. Thank God!
And so we did it and not only is it possible (through hard work), it should be a new norm. I wish Alec and Kim could have enjoyed a loving divorce by doing what became some of our strict tenets which were all based upon the foundations of compassion and empathy: 1) Shun at all cost the temptation to litigate, unless there's no other option, through mediation! 2) Share equal custody with your ex-spouse, keeping ALL parent-child relationships intact, exceptions noted above. 3)And speak kindly of and civilly toward your ex-spouse to your children and others (even if you feel completely the opposite). Otherwise, we're all destined to break not only our promises to ourselves but everyone else in our lives and society. Our country may be falling apart financially because of greed, but let us at least cling to some sort of societal decency where our families aren't destined to a similar demise.