Friday, March 16, 2012

Walking with Integrity

As we are raising our children, we're often faced with decisions and situations where morals come into play. Teaching our children to have good character is obviously subjective, but for us is a basic foundation. This applies not only in what we speak when we discuss events or actions in our home, but also what we model.  Are we perfect? Absolutely not.  Do we strive to "do the right thing" for, to and surrounding our family and in every aspect of our lives? Absolutely.

Yeah, we get mad, have disagreements, say things we need to apologize for and things like that. But, I can honestly say in the 5 years, my husband and I have been together I don't look at him and question his integrity.  We are the same in that we both believe things are right or wrong.  Not "kinda" right or "kinda" wrong. Pretty black and white.  We live this way.  Teaching our kids to tow the line for right and wrong. We aren't teaching them that "what they can get away with" is acceptable.

In many moments over the last five years, we have seen the ugly side of the legal system.  Not simply what is right, but what benefits an attorney's pocket or personal gain, dragging out the cycle of attorneys' fees, court fees'and everyone is gaining something...except the children involved. We encountered a mother who was willing to litigate at all costs when she had no financial incentive to stop. However, even during that process, we learned anything and I mean anything will be thrown at the wall in court to see what sticks. Even if reputations were threatened, careers could be damaged,, and the most valueable part...children could be destroyed.  There was a lack of integrity.  I'm too idealistic for the legal system.  I'll stick with teaching.

Today we were back in court regarding my stepdaughter...trying to get court orders that have been violated to be enforced and get BM to take my stepdaughter to her Brownie activities.

Court isn't a frightening place.  We simply go in, knowing we're going to do the right thing, put it out there and prove it.  We've maintained doing the right thing throughout this process that began a long, long time ago.

The new{est} judge we've been involved with spoke volumes to me today.   He is currently the 6th in the long line before him that have heard our case through general family court and even Superior Court.

As I sat and listened to him speaking to the litigants before us, I genuinely felt he was fair and honorable. I appreciated the way he spoke to everyone and the demeanor in which he carried himself.

When it came time for my husband and BM to go before him, I was looking forward to how he would deal with these circumstances. 

A few weeks ago, it had come to our attention that there was a potential personal relationship between the new judge and a member of BM's family. However, before my husband even had the opportunity to bring this up, the judge recused himself from the case because he had received a personal email asking for his help on this case.  As I said above, this spoke volumes to me.  He was willing to go {and did go} on record to say that he was removing himself from this case and also the reason he was doing so. 


So, while we wait for further information on a new assignment and yet again, my stepdaughter continues to pay the price, we now have to face the reality that the moral environment she is in when away from us, is lacking in integrity.

Asking the judge for a personal favor in an ongoing case lacks integrity.

I'm grateful we have a history of precedence and integrity that we walk with each time we enter the courtroom.


  1. I admire you so much having to deal w. all this crazy I would probably lose my mind.....and does she think by asking for help it will make her look better!

  2. What a double edged sword... you get someone who seems to be good... and WHAM he removes himself due to a possible conflict. (proving he is good...) How bitter sweet.

    Keep your head up and stand proud. In the end, although it may be by the time she is grown and moved out, stepdaughter will look back and understand it all...

  3. I remember my mom telling me that being a good person means doing the right thing even when no one is looking. That's integrity.


  4. I wish that integrity was contagious, unfortunately it isn't, there are people in this world that feel as if they are "owed something", I am sorry you have to deal with these kind of people on a daily basis. Just remember...Integrity conquers all!