Mom forms group for parents without custody
Posted in the Millville Forum
#1 Feb 4, 2008
BRIDGETON -- Anneliese Garrison knows how emotional child custody cases can be.
Having lost custody of her own son, she understands custody battles can be a painful, depressing and hurtful experience.
That's why, with the knowledge she has obtained through personal experience, she has started Parents Without Custody of Southern New Jersey.
A non-profit organization, Garrison said recently the purpose of PWCSJ is to provide the emotional support non-custodial parents need to make it through another day while always keeping the needs of the child(ren) involved first.
"(PWCSJ) is a resource to help people," she said. "Basically what my support group is going to offer is family therapy, help, legal resources, spiritual resources and information on child support issues."
Garrison said she understands that people lose custody of their children for various reasons.
Whether it is because of drug abuse, false accusations or some other factor, she said she hopes to help people overcome their problems and gain custody of their children again.
"I basically have three goals," she explained. "One is to help people through the grieving process. Another is to help people help themselves overcome whatever it was that caused them to lose custody. Lastly, I want to help them work toward joint custody."
The goals Garrison has set for herself are similar to the mission statement she has developed for PWCSJ.
According to her Web site, pwcsj.com , the goal of the organization is to "provide emotional support to all individuals who do not have custody of their child, no matter what the reason."
While lofty, Garrison said her goals, along the organization's mission statement, are assertions she holds dear to her heart.
"I want to help people know what their rights are in court, but, at the same time, I want them to not make the same mistakes I made," she said, admitting she hasn't handled certain situations during her own custody battle the way she should have.
In addition to the support offered at her Web site, Garrison is offering a day each week where people can come together and discuss their problems.
She said those meetings are currently held Wednesdays from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Calvary Bible Baptist Church on Indian Avenue.
"The support group is not meant to be a session where you complain about your partner," she added. "We're in the system. We've got to learn to work with the system. A lot of people complain in court, and that won't get them anywhere."
Garrison said there is a membership fee to join PWCSJ, but people do not need to join in order to attend the support group meetings.
In joining, however, people are entitled to a number of services, she said.
"If you wish to represent yourself in court (without a lawyer), your documents will be prepared free of charge if you are a member," she said. "You'll also get CDs on how to battle anxiety and depression, and a CD on relaxation and meditation exercises. You'll also have access to 24/7 advice, as well as a membership card that will offer 10 percent discounts from participating businesses. "If you're a member, I want you to help somebody else, too," she added.
Garrison said she feels as though the type of organization she is starting is needed, both in Cumberland County and in New Jersey.
She said 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce, and it's more than likely most of those divorces involve children.
"It's a support group for those people, but through it all you must keep the needs of the child(ren) first." she explained.
If you are interested in joining PWCSJ, visit www.pwcsj.com
#2 Jul 24, 2008
need to attend DC rally on 8/14...this is an awesome venue to promote your group...FOR CHANGE
#3 Jun 21, 2012
The website supplied takes you to a financial site. Is there a better website for the custody issue?
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