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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

December 18, 2007

holiday hell week in family court

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 10:03 am

While I finally attack my Christmas card list, I’m re-publishing a post from one year ago today at shlep.

ides of december –
santa asks the judge
where to find the kids

……………………………. by dagosan

espMazeG Holiday spirits are put to the test in mid-December at family courts across the nation, as divorced or separated parents battle over how and where their children spend various portions of the holiday season. While serving as law guardian for many children caught in the middle of such disputes, I saw how often the parents placed their own emotional/ego needs ahead of the needs of the children — and, how often lawyers made things worse by stoking the yuletide fires. The South Carolina Family Law Blog has a number of postings that might help to avoid court or to bring out the estranged parents’ better spirits. (via Kansas Family Law Blog)

Their Dec. 15, 2006 posting Tips to Help Divorced Parents Avoid Holiday Visitation Issues has some good advice, and is based on this article by Dr. Ruth Peters, which covers keeping it civil, accommodating schedules, coordinating gifts, respecting each others’ religious traditions, and more. The posting Ten Tips to Minimize Divorce Trauma During the Holidays is also worth reading by parents and, if they have them, their lawyers. [via California Divorce and Family Law weblog] You can find a link to an article on Holiday Blended Families issues, here. I suggest you wait until after the holidays to deal with Tax Deductions and Non-Custodial Parents.

Christmas Day
the exchange
of custody

…………………………….. John Stevenson – from Some of the Silence

from Mom’s to Dad’s
the clickity-clack
of suitcase wheels

. . . . by alice framptonNew Resonance 3: Emerging Voices (2003)

Family Advocate magazine, from the ABA’s Family Law Section, often has excellent materials on parenting after divorce and finding alternatives to ugly divorces. Many editions are turned into Client Manuals. For example, check out:

espMazeN Here are my own Tips on Parenting-Apart, which I used with a course for separated parents. If you’ve been warring with your “ex” over parenting issues, consider changing your ways in the New Year — for the sake of your children.

where I sat as a child
I wait out the storm

………………………….. by Hilary Tann

afterthought (2 PM): When not billing those hours, lawyer-poet Roberta Beary (of The Unworn Necklace fame) is a frequent f/k/a visitor. She is also the haikai world’s Divorce Diva, and the Siren of Separation Senryu. Roberta just emailed me this sharp-edged gem:

custody hearing
inside my pocket
her letter to santa

Which is a good enough excuse to reprise (again), one of her senryu classics:

custody hearing holy family.
seeing his arms cross
i uncross mine

…………………………………. by roberta beary
“custody hearing/santa”- RAWNervz X:3 (2005)
“cutody hearing/uncross” – pocket change; and New Resonance 2

almost sunset
the weekend dad
drags a sled up the hill

……………. by David Giacalone – frogpond XXIX: 2 (2006)

Holiday Haiku from Schenectady. . . click to print the free 24-poem brochure

Need a 12-month calendar for 2008? Love haiga, the combination of pictures and haiku? We’ve got two 2008 Haiga calendars for you to view and print for free.

Don’t forget our Christmas Season Haiku page


  1. David, thanks for these great resources and for the fabulous stocking stuffer. If you haven’t seen the CocoaBooklet program for self-publishing, I think you would enjoy it.

    here’s my haiku from today:

    medicine bottles
    and those who are not yet sick
    waiting their turn

    Comment by Shelley — December 18, 2007 @ 10:23 pm

  2. You’re very welcome, Shelley. Thanks for stopping by, leaving a poem, and telling us about CocoaBooklet.

    Comment by David Giacalone — December 18, 2007 @ 10:33 pm

  3. As a divorced Mom and a family law Paralegal, I’ve seen and heard it all for this time of year. Sadly the children are the ones who pay. A good Marital Settlement Agreement, very-well composed on Holiday time sharing helps, but his time of year, the ability to understand one seems to be altered by the egg-nog. And new spouse involvement.

    Comment by DeLois Jorddan — December 20, 2007 @ 1:15 pm

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