In 1995 I became a Superior Court Judge in New Jersey. I volunteered to be assigned to the family part, where I sat for 15 years. With the help of many people during that time, we were able to develop and implement a program to help the children that I saw suffering every day.
The program was designed to let children know that they were not forgotten in the divorce process. It was not a therapeutic program, instead it was designed to empower children who felt caught in the middle. The program gave them a voice, a chance to be heard by the court, and most importantly a way to heard by their parents. We ran the program for a number of years and hundreds of children participated. The parents read and saw their artwork and letters, and heard their voices. Those parents settled their custody matters amicably and with children’s best interests in mind.
This web site is a continuation of that process and hopefully will help the children and their parents through the difficult custody litigation process. We will feature articles, blogs, bibliographies of books and articles and other resources for all family members to read.
Through use of experts in the field, the entire family will have access to information that will help answer their questions and concerns, hopefully alleviating the stress of this difficult transition. First-hand information will be provided by parents and children who have been through the process, and will be updated regularly so that the family can benefit from the experiences of others in similar circumstances.
We will endeavor to be more informative than educational. There are no courses, just contemporary, thought provoking information.
Children of divorce and separation are caught in middle and often blame themselves for the situation in which they find themselves. They want to be heard and they want their parents to stop the fighting and focus on them.
Children need to know how to help themselves and parents need to be focused on their children during this tumultuous time in their lives.
My hope is that through the literature and links on this site parents and children will better understand and prepare to deal with their custody problems. I hope to lessen the pain of our “children in the middle “.
Joseph P. Testa, JSC (ret)