The Single Parent Referee Workbook - Articles

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Posted by: C. Suzanne Landers on Dec 1, 2013

Journal Issue Date: Dec 2013

Journal Name: December 2013 - Vol. 49, No. 12

By Claudia Haltom | Keith Publications LLC | $11.66 | 184 pages | 2013

Claudia Haltom’s recently released book, The Single Parent Referee Handbook, may be just what you’re looking for to help those around you who find themselves in the throes of single parenting — a daunting task under the best of circumstances and a terrifying ordeal under the worst of circumstances.

As a Shelby County Juvenile Court Judicial Referee for 17 years, Haltom has seen more than anyone should have to witness in terms of bad parenting and family dysfunction.  Luckily to go along with that misery, Haltom has also seen plenty of good parenting — enough that she has become quite experienced with what works and, just as importantly, what doesn’t work when it comes to parenting in a family divided.

The workbook — aptly named due to its call for the reader to actually tangibly work through different scenarios with pen in hand — is a grounded, comprehensive, detailed guide through the do’s and don’ts of single parenthood and the legal system, and it keeps the reader appropriately focused on the ultimate goal of parenting — producing a well-balanced child who has had the benefit of constructive parenting instead of destructive arguing and negativity.

Offering both a balance of legal information (such as emphasizing the importance of getting your agreements included in a court order to be certain that the terms have real value) along with practical tips (such as noting that a “day in mediation will usually accomplish more than a week in court” or that one should keep all of his or her legal documents in one box or file so that important papers don’t get lost), Haltom gives the reader the tangible tools necessary to succeed at the difficult task of single parenting and sets the pathway for decisions that are likely to result in positive consequences instead of negative ones.

SUZANNE LANDERS is is the senior lawyer and managing partner at The Landers Firm PLC in Memphis and a member of the Tennessee Bar Journal Editorial Board.