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on February 9, 1999
This book will add a lot to future scientific analysis and understanding of family life and divorce in modern America. It's truly a story of American society going, arguably, beserk; and one father's love for his family lost, in spite of spending a fortune just to remain involved in his children's lives. Many of us have spent $10s of thousands trying to save our life with our children, only to lose out; but thinking that we could have won if ONLY we had more money to pursue the fight. Dr. Nieland, a truly courageous man for letting his story be told; is proof that you can spend $100s of thousand with the same outcome.
Probably only a parent whom has been wrenched away from his child or children can really appreciated what this system can do to the losing parent's entire existence and ability to believe in the American way of life. This book documents, among other things, the role of the "professionals" (custody evaluators) whom society relies on to advise the court as to how to provide for the best interests of the child. Yet these persons support a system which can deprive a perfectly good and loving parent of any kind of a fulfilling life with his children. After reading this book one gets an understanding how the court seems to usually pick one parent as the "best" parent and exclude the other parent in order to remove conflict from the child's life.
Unfortunately for men, almost every study show that, here in the USA, the man rarely wins and is the odd man out... it reminds me of Sonny Bono's autobiography, where the television network decided to reorganize the "Sonny and Cher Commedy Hour" to become the "Cher Commedy Hour", sans Sonny.
God bless Robert Mendelson for this truly epocal tale of one family's story in the cruel world of divorce in today's American system of Justice... one has to believe that there is a better way out there somewhere.
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on September 10, 1998
for equity in a child custody determination.
Mendelson's account of Dr. Michael L. Lieland's experience with the Family Court System was so riveting I found it impossible to put the book down until I had read it in its entirety. I was neither surprised nor shocked by what I read. The book reinforced my growing fury with the system and the inequities therein.
Not only did Mendelson's account demonstrate the proliferation of injustices in the entire custody determining system, but he touched on the importance of paying attention to the warning signs.
Almost from the start, "red flags" popped up in regard to court appointed Clinical Psychologist, Roland Singer. His relationship with Nancy was almost conspiratorial. The Family Court Judge gave him too much power and he consistently failed to act as an advocate for the children. Instead of helping Nancy and the children to accept and follow the court ordered custody arrangement, he was totally neglegent and incompetent.
In describing Michael's initial meeting and courtship of Nancy, the content of her letters to Michael, and her portrayal of her first husband's attitude toward his daughters, Mendelson warns men to pay attention to the "details" and "nagging" doubts they may feel at the start.
I especially liked the book because it showed me that my husband is not alone in his "nightmare" with the family courts. Many women are ignoring the court ordered custody/visitation schedules and getting away with it because the court's refuse to are impose sanctions against "Mothers".
I applaud Dr. Lieland's perseverence and courage.
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on June 8, 2000
In my search for a book that would detail and prepare me for the custody process, I found this book to be very insightful. Not only does Mendelson do a good job in describing the bureaucracy and secret underbelly within family law, but he is able to give it a real life perspective because of its direct influence from Michael Nieland, the father and main charcter. I got the feeling that his story was fully represented. Nieland's personal anecdotes gave this real life story even more validity and emotion. It does not read as a text book at all. If you are currently going through or are preparing for custody proceedings, this book can be a difficult and bitter read at times, however it can save you from the unexpected and unforseen and may even help you stay focused, rather than lost in a whirlwind of anxiety and personal tragedy. My only complaint would be that there is not much discussed regarding the attorney/client relationship.
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on December 17, 2000
Dr. Mendelson gives a gripping account of how the legal system views fathers as people who don't care about their children. As a soon to be divorced dad myself, I found that what I am going through right now is (while specific details are different)similar to what his ex put him through. Dr. Mendelson never gave up and I believe never matter how difficult and biased the courts are against fathers. I could not put this book down. Although this book gives no real ideas on how to fight a vicious ex for your childrens' rights to see you, it did give me one very important thing...HOPE! I encourage every father who is currently battling the court system for custody or the right to see their children on a regular basis to read this book!!
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on November 20, 1999
This man's achille's heel was that he had a lot of money. Hadhe not been a "fat cash cow" the divorce"industry" sharks might not have smelled the blood. His account is so ridiculously typical of what goes on it makes me sick. Judges ruining lives with their pen tips, lawyers allowed to run loose with their limited intellect/big mouths, psycopathic literati (aka psychologists) getting seduced by "poor wives" and so-called professionals allowing six and seven year old kids get victimized in the name of "justice" (only to become dysfunctional citizens later one).
Good book, rotten society.
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on January 6, 2000
I feel sorry and pity on Dr. Michael Nieland and me. A lot of time, I felt the stories are so outrages that I can hardly believe him, or I don't want to believe him. But I know it's true. I am right now facing the same stories in my real life. I don't know if I should feel relief because I am not the only one. I do wish maybe the author can provide a list of organizations and attorney as appendix. This is a must read for anyone that might heading towards the direction.
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on September 16, 1998
A Family Divided is a gripping account of one man's battle for equity. Mendelson's account of Dr. Michael L. Lieland's experience with the family court system was so riveting I read the book in one sitting. This book is a must read for anyone about to embark on child custody litigation or for anyone who already has. I enjoyed Mendelson's book because it was an honest in-depth account of one of the most pressing problems of our times.
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