A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce
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“I have been through some of the worst of contentious divorce litigation,” Alec Baldwin declares in A Promise to Ourselves. Using a very personal approach, he offers practical guidance to help others avoid the anguish he has endured.
An Academy and Tony Award nominee and a 2007 recipient of Golden Globe, SAG, and Television Critics Association Awards for best actor in a comedy, Alec Baldwin is one of the best-known, most successful actors in the world. His relationship with Kim Basinger, the Academy Award–winning actress, lasted nearly a decade. They have a daughter named Ireland, and for a time, theirs seemed to be the model of a successful Hollywood marriage. But in 2000 they separated and in 2002 divorced. Their split---specifically the custody battle surrounding Ireland---would be the subject of media attention for years to come.
In his own life and others’, Baldwin has seen the heavy toll that divorce can take---psychologically, emotionally, and financially. He has been extensively involved in divorce litigation, and he has witnessed the way that noncustodial parents, especially fathers, are often forced to abandon hopes of equitable rights when it comes to their children. He makes a powerful case for reexamining and changing the way divorce and child custody is decided in this country and levels a scathing attack at what he calls the “family law industry.”
When it comes to his experiences with judges, court-appointed therapists, and lawyers, Baldwin pulls no punches. He casts a light on his own divorce and the way the current family law system affected him, his ex-wife, and his daughter, as well as many other families. This is an important, informative, and deeply felt book on a contentious subject that offers hope of finding a better way.
the American Psychiatric Association, politics may affect inclusion in the DSM. The inclusion of minority science may thus face higher hurdles to admission.”20 Writing shortly before his death, Gardner felt confident later editions of the DSM would include PAS as more and more peer-reviewed research backed up his initial findings.21 In addition, inclusion or exclusion in the DSM only affects PAS’s admissibility in court. It does not alter the fact that some parents actively try to turn a child
point of being high, very high, or outright bombed, three or four nights a week. The evaluator said that she was aware that she was obligated to conduct a mandatory drug/alcohol evaluation, but she sensed that both sides were in a hurry and, therefore, she did not conduct one. I asked my attorney to provide me with the name of the state agency that I could file a formal complaint with. I filed a complaint alleging that basically every major issue I had raised had been ignored. The government
filled with legal documents. Although I had asked my wife to delay any legal action until after the film shoot was over, she had served me with formal separation papers right there on the set of the movie. Our marriage was officially over. I can honestly say that a part of me never saw it coming. Although I knew I was unhappy and I was certain that my wife was as well, talking about divorce is one thing, actually carrying it out is quite another. Even when I had contemplated the dissolution of
Robbins and Roy Paul. For two full years, Robbins spoke agitatedly about the need for the two sides to settle the issues of the case, yet her words rang hollow. The lawyers were like the judge’s children screaming for candy at the grocery store, with Robbins threatening to punish them with her empty promise to “take control of the case.” In the end, however, the children got their way. Robbins introduced me to the concept of the family law judge as Las Vegas pit boss. In the end, her role was to
story that tells of how a focused evaluation can lead to an opportunity for more conflict and, ultimately, alienation. GARY: My request for more time seemed simple. I had been enjoying a good period with my children. It was not without incident, but it was normal. The persistent pressure for me to achieve a state of “perfect parenting” had not been eliminated, but I thought things were going well at the time. The evaluator’s report, however, stated that my children were unhappy with their