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How Judge Responds Will Melt Your Heart

Child Petitions New Jersey Divorce Court To Hug Her Daddy

July 30, 2017

by Linda L. Piff, Esq.

It seems every time we turn around we hear about someone’s messy divorce. We hear about how “so and so” is going to hire a tough lawyer and get everything they have coming to them. This type of response to divorce has almost become a cultural expectation.

Unfortunately, what we don’t hear about nearly often enough is how this type of adversarial divorce process impacts the lives of the people involved. We don’t hear about the children who have to watch their mom and dad fight, make hurtful accusations against one another and use them as leverage. We rarely hear about the bitterness, feelings of insecurity and isolation felt by the children of adversarial divorce. Child therapist tell us that these battle scars do not simply heal when litigation has ended but can last for a lifetime affecting school performance, how they relate to peers and even how they approach their own marriages or as well as the manner in which they end them.

But then once in a while we see a light shining in the darkness reminding us of what really matters while inspiring hope and commitment to a better way.


I recently read of a decision (R.R v. L.A.C) written by Judge D’Alessandro in Hudson County, New Jersey. The opinion begins with “This case concerns the Court’s authority to fulfill a Child’s request to hug and see her Father.”

The facts of the case were somewhat typical. Mom and dad were living together but as “angry strangers.” Under the stress and uncertainty of marital strife, a little girl named Gabriella was being bullied and failing in school. There is no question that the couple loved their daughter. Maybe being caught up in a process that was created for the purpose of enforcing a legal right caused them to lose sight of why they were there in the first place. If so, they were soon given the gift of seeing through the eyes of a child, when following the hearing, Gabriella made her own petition of the court. From a heart that desperately longed to know both her mom and her dad, Gabriella asked the court if she could give her dad a hug.


The decision ends with 

“The tears that she and her Father shared were inspirational. Mother cried afterwards “that seeing my daughter happy makes me happy.” The Court thanks this beautiful child for her gift of hope. Tear-moistened soil is often fertile soil.”

Tear-moistened soil is fertile soil indeed. What the legal process could not do a child accomplished with a pleading of her own written on tear stained cheeks. 

It isn’t the fact that we divorce that destroys families and crushes children. It is the way we divorce. There is a better way.

Hi, my name is Linda Piff. I am a divorce attorney and I help people just like you end their marriages without having to suffer the uncertainty and painful drama that is often part of the traditional divorce process. 

The truth is…in most cases, it doesn’t have to be like that. 

There really is a better way to end your marriage.

Download my FREE ebook No Court Divorce and discover a better way to divorce. Or contact me at 732-592-1532 to schedule a consultation.

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How To Get Divorced Without Going To Court, Save Money and Protect Your Kids From The Devastating Effects of Traditional Divorce

Linda Piff is a divorce attorney, certified divorce mediator and a pioneer in the field of Collaborative Law. Linda practices collaborative law mediation exclusively. Linda trains other attorneys throughout the country in this unique legal specialty. In addition, Linda is a much sought after expert in the field. She’s been seen and heard on WCBS radio, The Wall Street Journal radio network, local and regional TV, and has been featured in various publications. 

About The Author: Linda L. Piff, Esq.

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