Sunday, March 31, 2013

LD522 - Why it hurts Maine's Families and Children - Why lawyers love it

On Thursday March 28th in testimony to the Judiciary Committee a number of people made excellent suggestions about controlling Guardian ad litem costs and fees.  Means testing, fee caps, regular bill reporting and ... oversight of billing by the management of the Judicial Branch would go a long way towards correcting the freewheeling ways of Guardians ad litem.  As we know, these ideas are fairly simple - and not rocket science.  Finance and many other Guardian ad litem issues should be fairly simple as no cost problems to fix.

The Judicial Branch faces a significant political problem.  Make that HUGE.  The political base, the support system, of the Judicial Branch is composed of the Legal Guild, lawyers, Guardians ad litem and Judges.  Asking - or demanding - that any part of this base take a smaller, financial cut in divorce cases  might be expected to result in a mass disaffection on the part of the Judicial Branch legal guild political base.  It might cost the Judicial Branch the political support of  the Legal Guild and the divorce industry.  It could result in profound alienation of this Guild base with political consequences for the Judicial Branch leadership. The Guardian ad litem reform movement threatens to disrupt the previous balance between Judicial Branch management and their affluent, powerful base - the divorce industry.

This Judicial Branch - lawyer political dynamic might explain the powerful, under the radar opposition to real people oriented Guardian ad litem reform.

The care and feeding of its lawyer base is one explanation about why the Judicial Branch always seems to defer to its "stakeholders", the divorce industry, lawyers and Guardians ad litem.  It may explain why the Judicial Branch allows its divorce industry "stakeholders" to dominate most of its planning committees for Guardian ad litem reform, such as the one from last Summer.  It leaves the Judicial Branch paralyzed in the present situation and may explain why it does nothing - or at best the bare minimum.  Pressure from the divorce industry not to change versus pressure from the "grass-roots" to change. The Judicial Branch is caught in a terrible bind.

The members of the divorce industry, including Guardians ad litem, make significant amounts of money off of divorcing couples.  It is a multi-million dollar industry.  Restrictions on the divorce industry of any kind could reduce their incomes. The current situation and its dynamics are in some ways similar to the robber barons of 19th century American history. 

LD 522 is nothing less than a license to steal and plunder.  It favors the legal Barons; not divorcing families and children.  It is a gift from the Judicial Branch to its lawyer base.  It allows the predatory wolves to keep their sheep's clothing!

It will require significant political pressure and moral pressure to overcome this resistance to change for the benefit of our Maine children and families.

For information on how to help stop LD522 from passing contact us at or find up to date information on Facebook.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

In Maine March 28 is do or Die for Guardian ad litem Reform

The following four bills will be open for testimony by the public on Thursday March 28 starting at 1 pm. This is an opportunity for our group to speak of the issues we have had to deal with concerning Guardians ad litem, the Judiciary and Divorce Industry. The three that would help parents and children are LD 551, 872 and 975. LD 522 is a bill from the Judiciary which would take control in house of Guardians ad litem. In almost 40 years they have not been able to correct problems that many in the Judiciary and divorce industry do not see. Should LD 522 pass it would mean that reform would be a dead issue at least for this session. What ever momentum we currently have would be lost. The fight will be harder. How many families and children have to be hurt before there is meaningful change? You will have an opportunity to stop that hurt and help others that are experiencing the horrors of a Guardian ad litem gone wrong. Your voice is needed. Please help

LD 522, SP 212,  An Act To Amend the Guardian Ad Litem Laws
Link to PDF of bill: LD 522, SP 212
Link to schedule

LD 551, HP 370, An Act To Establish Certification Standards for
Guardians Ad Litem
Link to PDF of bill: LD 551, HP 370
Link to schedule

LD 872, SP 297, An Act To Improve the Quality of Guardian ad Litem
Services for the Children and Families of Maine
Link to PDF of bill: LD 872, SP 297
Link to schedule

LD 975, HP 689, An Act To Ensure Accountability of Guardians Ad Litem
and Parenting Coordinators
Link to PDF of bill: LD 975, HP 689
Link to Schedule

For more information please contact us at or like us on Facebook for up to date information on Guardian ad litem reform. In addition please find below the email addresses of our representatives who are on the Judiciary Committee. Write to them and let them know how Guardian ad litem reform is important to you. How it is important to divorcing families. But.... mostly how important it is to our children who will continue to be harmed by the current process.

Judiciary Committee List:

Linda M. Valentino    D York County P. O. Box 1049 Saco ME 04072 (207) 282-5227

John L. Tuttle Jr.    D York County 176 Cottage Street Sanford ME 04073 (207) 324-5964

David C. Burns        R Washington County 159 Dodge Road Whiting ME 04691 (207) 733-8856

Charles R. Priest    D Brunswick 9 Bowker Street Brunswick ME 04011 (207) 725-5439

Kimberly J. Monaghan-Derrig    D Cape Elizabeth 6 Russet Lane Cape Elizabeth ME 04107 (207) 749-9443

Jennifer  DeChant    D Bath 1008 Middle Street Bath ME 04530 (207) 442-8486

Matthew W. Moonen    D Portland 17 Pine Street #2 Portland ME 04102 (207) 332-7823

Stephen W. Moriarty    D Cumberland 34 Blanchard Road Cumberland ME 04021 (207) 829-5095

Lisa Renee Villa    D Harrison P. O. Box 427 Harrison ME 04040 (207) 776-3118

Jarrod S. Crockett    R Bethel P. O. Box 701 Bethel ME 04217 (207) 875-5075

Michael G. Beaulieu    R Auburn 27 Sherman Avenue Auburn ME 04210 (207) 784-0036

Anita  Peavey Haskell    R Milford 17 Pine Street Milford ME 04461 (207) 827-7296

Stacey K. Guerin    R Glenburn 79 Phillips Road Glenburn ME 04401 (207) 884-7118

Wayne T. Mitchell    D Penobscot Nation 14 Oak Hill Street, Penobscot Nation Indian Island ME 04468 (207) 827-0392