Category Archives: Judge Alfred Levinson

What’s a Mother Worth? by Lisa Nadig

RosesAs Mother’s Day weekend commences, many are excitedly gearing up for the holiday; cards, flowers and gifts being bought, precious gifts made at school secreted away, brunch reservations made, all is being made ready for the special day.  Some of us are celebrating, while others of us are grieving.  Those of us left to celebrate Mother’s Day in quiet solitude have time on our hands to reflect, and to ask probing questions.

For some, a Mother is priceless, more precious than the finest gold, emeralds or rubies, and the mere thought of assigning a dollar value to her is not only abhorrent, it is aburd.  I would agree; it IS absurd that we even have to go there in the first place.

But we do.  In a world where Mothers have become increasinginly expendable, disposable, where Mothering work is seen as “less than”, those of us who are, or who have been, on the Mommy-track have faced a rude awakening, and forced to ask ourselves this very question.

11831720_10205666797322884_149653450646472404_n“In 1979, a young attorney named Michael H. Minton successfully argued that a housewife was worth more than $40,000 a year. The public snorted and the press made fun, but the ramifications proved enormous. When the dust finally settled, the 33-year-old Chicago lawyer had catapulted matrimonial law into an entirely new arena.”  What’s a Wife Worth? Michael Minton

But here we are in 2019 – 40 years later – and how far have we REALLY come?  When the sheer enormity of the work of Mothering, and the importance of it, is still strategically devalued by some men, along with “father’s rights” attorneys and activists, who view divorce as a game of chess to be won at all costs?  When society has bought into the false notion that a woman really can, and should have it all-all the time?  When “men’s rights” and “father’s rights” become feel-good euphamisms for “screw the bitch” in divorce? Realizing, recognizing and documenting, not only the importance, but also the monetary value of Mothering work becomes even more fundamental and important.

Investing in the career of Motherhood is in direct conflict withTorn heart our materialistic, superficial, money-driven society.   How many of us have heard a stay-at-home Mom say out loud “I’m just a Mom”.  We’ve all been sold this notion that being a Mom is not for “smart women, educated or high-value women.”

What Wife and Mother, giving her all for years, suddenly confronts this sad reality when facing aggressive, gut-wrenching divorce tactics, as well as the Federal Fatherhood Funding driving child custody decisions, hasn’t had a cold slap to the face, and the gut-wrenching realization that their work apparently had no value all along, unbeknownst to them.  But Mothers are crying out:  “No! There is indeed great economic value to the work I do!”  Government’s Intentional Devaluation of Motherhood

Being a Surrogate Mother (becoming impregnated with someone else’s baby, going to doctor’s appointments, time off from work, giving birth, sometimes having a C-Section, medical after-care, then releasing the infant to the paying parents)  has a going rate!  Yes, there are wage calculations for the work of creating a human!

As someone who experienced “Morning Sickness” so severe that I had to be hospitalized 20130917-105004.jpgand put on IV fluids, along with several other complications, the thought of assigning a dollar value to this physical sacrificing is shocking at best.  But, here is a handy chart from one agency, West Coast Surrogacy.  A summary of costs:  Base Pay (Surrogacy and expenses) First-time $50,000; Experienced $60,000; Twins:  ad $5,000; Triplets add $10,000; C-Section, add $3,000; compensation for lost wages-actual cost; additional medical problems-$10,000.  Surrogate Mother Costs

Many of us have realized along our own divorce journey, that while Attorney Minton educated us all on the economic impact of a wife and mother’s work, that somehow we didn’t really get the message.  We thought it was “progress” to pressure women to have it all, all the time, and it is “for their own good” that they now work full-time outside of the home and full-time when they come home, and if a husband helps out when he has time, that’s okay.  Statistics showing the distribution amongst the sexes of hours spent on home and parenting labor hasn’t really changed!

blind_justice_thumb_400x453Many of us have also been confronted with the disturbing reality that women who can afford an attorney such as Michael Milton will come out of their divorce at least somewhat protected, without becoming impoverished, raked through the system, and children stolen.  Sadly, we learned the old adage still holds true: you get the justice you can afford.

Especially for those doing, or having done, this immense Mothering work, we know the dedication, the exhaustion, the emotional and physical investment in a job that has no vacation days, no “off-duty” time, and that a Mother’s career typically takes a big hit.  We have learned that we can spout all the feel-good rhetoric about shared or co-parenting we want, but the practical, day to day reality for most marriages, even today, is that Mothers still do the vast majority of parenting and housework.

But as is usually the case, if Mom has been the one expected to always take a day off for a sick child, has been the backbone of the house, while father focuses on building his career, and suddenly father and his divorce attorneys demand shared parenting,  and in too many instances, erase Mom altogether, any thinking, rational person would question whether those motives arose from a sudden, personal epiphany on the importantce of assuming a fair-share of parenting work, or is it something more calculated and self-serving.

But even with all of this ugliness, the dismissive attitude towards Mothers, and the fact that when a father fights for sole custody he wins 70% of the time, I still believe in Motherhood.  I still believe in the great importance and the immense value of this career.  If I were confronted with the same choice again, it wouldn’t change.  I would still choose this exasperating, exhausting, undervalued, demanding, joyful, life-changing, unpaid career.  I would still choose Motherhood.

FlowerBouquetSo, on this Mother’s Day, to the Mothers out there falling asleep with your newborn on your chest with the deepest joy, I acknowledge you.  To the Mother watching her child walk for the first time, I acknowledge you.  To the Mothers out there with the flu while caring for the family, I acknowledge you.  To the Mothers out there who think they’ll never get it right, I acknowledge you.  To the Mothers out there working inside and outside the home, I acknowledge you.  To the Mothers out there caring for children and aging parents at the same time, I acknowledge you.  To the Mothers out there choosing to work inside the home, I acknowledge you.  To the Mothers out there who have lost their children to death, I acknowledge you.  To the Mothers out there who have lost their children to Domestic Violence by Proxy and Court Corruption, I acknowledge you.  To all Mothers out there, I acknowledge you.

Handful of starsTo the children out there celebrating with your Mother this Mother’s Day, I acknowledge you.  To the children who have lost their Mothers to death, I acknowledge you.  To the children living long distances from their Mothers, I acknowledge you.  To the children out there separated from Mom at the border, I acknowledge you.  To the children out there missing a Mom erased by family court, I acknowedge you.  To the children out there wishing their Mother could have been better, I acknowledge you.  To the children out there just beginning to appreciate your own Mother after having children of your own, I acknowledge you.  To the children out there making their joyful school gift, I acknowledge you.  To all children out there, I acknowledge you.

Happy Mother’s Day to us all!

 

 

 

 

Radio Interview With Michael Volpe, Doreen Ludwig and Witnesses

Radio Interview With Michael Volpe, Doreen Ludwig and Witnesses

The freedom for all network…Blog Talk Radio, The Captain

Noted family court corruption investigative journalists Michael Volpe  & Doreen Ludwig analyze the corruption in Lisa Nadig’s “family” “law” case in Cook County Chicago, Rolling Meadows, Judge Alfred Levinson presiding, Natalie Koga, Child Rep.  Witnesses also call into the show. Radio Interview

Books by Michael Volpe

Motherless America: Confronting Welfare’s Fatherhood Custody Program, by Doreen Ludwig

Natalie Koga Confronted With Eye-Witness To Her Corruption

Erasing Mom for Profit:  Ever wondered what family court corruption in Cook County, Chicago, Illinois really looks like?  Natalie Koga didn’t even bother with a pretense of impartiality and professionalism in Judge Alfred Levinson’s Rolling Meadows Cook County courtroom.

Letter from my former attorney Karen Conti to Natalie Koga, Child Representative, dated August 23, 2013. Confronts her with eye-witness to her collusion with my ex’s lawyer Meg Jackson, to have my ex’s hired gun Dr. Mark Goldstein write a false report about me.  Ms. Conti was my attorney before their legal/financial abuse ran me out of money to continue to afford legal representation.

 

Dear Natalie:

Although I have just recently become involved in this case, I am concerned with some of your actions which I have witnessed and of which I have become aware.

First, at the last court appearance, my friend was sitting on a bench outside the courtroom and overheard you speaking to Meg Jackson (Father’s) attorney (now “Mary-Elizabeth Jackson).  You obviously did not know he was my friend.  You and Meg Jackson were actively engaged in joining forces against my client and making comments about getting Dr. Goldstein, (Father’s Hired Gun Psychologist)  involved to ‘help out’ the problem; the problem being Ms. Nadig-Mehdipour’s desire to be a mother to her child.  Your disparagement of me personally was also noted which is unprofessional and petty.

Despite the 604(b) evaluator’s two reports finding that (Father) is an alienator and that (Mother) should have sole custody, you have ignored these facts and blindly advocated that (minor child) spend as little time as possible with his mother.  At trial, you vigorously fought Dr. Finn’s recommendations.  Bizarrely, in court you advocated that (minor child) be put into “after school” care rather than be allowed to have the option to walk the four blocks to spend time with his mother.  Even after Judge Levinson ordered that (Minor Child) attend (High School), and (Father) attempted to sabotage his enrollment, you did not advocate for actions necessary for him to attend school there.  On August 22, (minor child) refused to leave the (public library) to come home with his Mother and said “Stay away from me.  You are not allowed to be with me.  I have spoken with my attorney.”  If you did, in fact, advise (Minor Child) of that, you have violated all ethical duties as a child representative and attorney.  Why haven’t you been involved in resolving this problem and encouraging your client that it is better to spend three hours after school at his mother’s house than sitting in a public library?

My client advises me of the following additional facts:

You have encouraged (Minor Child) to call you whenever he disagrees with what his mother says or when he does not get his way and then you refuse to communicate with Ms. Nadig-Mehdipour despite the fact that she is the legal custodian.  By doing this, you are encouraging disrespect of parental boundaries and assisting in the alienation that has already been established by Dr. Finn.  Ms. Nadig-Mehdipour has repeatedly asked for a more orderly means of communication but you have refused to respond.

Dr. Hummel noted that you crossed professional boundaries at (Hospital) interfering with (Minor Child’s) (medical) care.  In August, 2011, you engaged in wildly inappropriate physical contact with (Minor Child) by forcing him to hug you.

Since September, 2010, you have refused to communicate with Ms. Nadig-Mehdipour, who has historically been the primary caretaker and the sole legal custodian.  The vast majority of conferences and telephone calls with (minor child) have occurred only when he was with Mr. Mehdipour.

At Ms. Nadig’Mehdipour’s request, you interviewed Dr. Naila Wilcox-Avery, and Dr. Rodney Avery. who told you that they had concerns that (Father) was physically abusing (Minor Child) and coaching him to make false abuse allegations against Ms. Nadig-Mehdipour.  Those doctors have reported that your refused to listen to their concerns.

You have been disrespectful and rude to (Mother) in the presence of (Minor child) and have attempted to interfere with (Minor Child’s) medical treatment by telling him, “Your mom shouldn’t take you for these assessments.”  You told (Minor Child)  “I’ll yell at your mom and make her a better mom to you.

You failed to communicate with therapist Stephanie Simpson for 11 months even though Ms. Simpson attempted to contact you repeatedly.  Rather than speaking to Ms. Simpson., you filed a Rule To Show Cause against Ms. Nadig-Mehdipour.

I have not seen you once make a negative comment about (Father) despite findings that he is abusive, an alienator, and a parent who sabotages his child’s education.  Strangely, you have nothing but negative things to say about Ms. Nadig-Mehdipour.  While I have not always agreed with GALS and Child Representatives, I have never seen one who is so actively opposed to one parent’s involvement in parenting, despite her having sole custody.

I am told that you are not being paid.  It defies logic that you are still so actively and aggressively involved despite this fact.  Please assure me as an officer of the Court that neither (Father) nor anyone else on his behalf is paying you.  Also, assure me that you are not going to use your offices to contact (Minor Child’s) high school and poison them against Ms. Nadig-Mehdipour.  I do not see that you have any reason to contact them.  You are not a parent and have no business asserting your will into this family’s issues.

Sincerely,

Karen Conti