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Changes Set for Local Parenting Seminar

In 2002 the court implemented a mandatory parenting seminar for divorcing parents, called "What About the Children?" The purpose of the seminar was to give parents information about the court process and help them develop a parenting plan for their children, without going through excessive conflict and litigation that could harm the children.

In the seminar the parents are encouraged to avoid custody litigation, in favor of mediated or out-of-court settlements. Videotapes, materials and seminar presenters admonish the parents against having a custody battle over their children. While this has led to a measurable reduction in parenting disputes, unfortunately, some parents are still not getting the message, specifically fathers. Realistically, the only time there is a custody battle is when the father will not capitulate to the mother's demands and refuses to take the crumbs she offers him. After attending the seminar, too many fathers are still under the misimpression that they have any shot at getting custody of their kids.

Due to this continual problem, there will be some revisions to the seminar requirements and seminar content, aimed specifically at reducing the incidence of father-generated custody battles.

1. Mothers will now be exempt from attendance at the seminar, since they know everything and are presumed to act in their children's best interests. (Until now only domestic violence victims were exempt from attending since every law applies to everyone except domestic violence victims).

2. Standard seminar methods will be replaced with hypnosis techniques applied to the fathers in attendance. Post-hypnotic suggestions include:

You are getting sleepier.

Do not have a custody battle.

You will not fight the mother for custody.

You will do everything she says.

Get back to work and hand over your paycheck.

3. If that doesn't work, fathers who still try to go for custody (or even shared parenting) will spend thousands of dollars of their hard-earned money, get beaten down by the courts, then hit with crushing child support and maintenance obligations (no change from current practice).

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