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Family Issues: Gary and Sue Case Analysis Essay

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Updated: Feb 21st, 2021

Introduction

Every family maintains some characteristics of interrelation which determine its performance and appear to be not mutually beneficial to one or several of its members. The awareness and transformation by a member or members dissatisfied with the arrangement can alter such patterns of interactions or interrelation (Taylor, 2002).

The withdrawal from the family in this case greatly affects the system in terms of optimally carrying its purpose out. Every member of a family has a unique role he/she plays to ensure the complete functioning of the family. Families function best when performing the pivotal tasks of sustaining the well-being and survival of the whole unit with the presence of all the members maintaining a continuing relationship with one another by meeting their roles (Taylor, 2002).

Characteristics of the Case

The family under the study is going through certain predictable stages, which require applying certain strategies to take care of its members while adjusting to the demands of the environment. Gary and Sue have failed to use their opportunity to maintain the minimum level of integrity possible given that the optimal level of integrity has eluded them. In this case, Sue ensures that she would keep in touch with her children while being rivals with Gary, her husband, in the affection of the children. She comes back home to take care of the kids and maintain her relationships with them.

A family system like any other general system has its ways of integrating and barring elements to define the boundary between those which are internal and those which turn out to be external to the system. Once Sue quarrels with the husband and opts out of the family system, she automatically becomes an outsider from a point of view of the general system. However, without her presence in the system, the functions of the system cannot go on as well as they were when she was present (Taylor, 2002).

Gary’s choice to seek legal help to deny Sue to contact the kids expresses the idea of boundaries between the elements inside and outside the system. Once Sue withdraws from the system, she is no longer counted as a component of that unit; this places her in a position that compels Gary to contact a lawyer. Because a family system functions in an interdependent manner, the functions of the mother, in this case, have partially been lost, and any attempt by Sue or Gary to restore or replace them will be made in vain as the children need both parents to help them properly develop psychologically and socially.

Compositional Law states that “the whole is more than the Sum of Its parts”. A family system, even if it consists of individual elements, gives rise to the whole. Such wholistic property reflects the overall images and themes of the family (Moore, 2003). Thus, people may ascribe unique behaviors to the entire family system that not accurately represents individual elements. In addition to this law, the system is not stable in such a case though each of the parties tries to maintain its functionality.

Although a general system defines a clear boundary between the elements inside and outside the system, any general system is almost always subject to elements in its environment. After the separation, Sue is going to stay with her friends as her family members have condemned her decision to disintegrate the family system. However, her stay with her friends’ family is not long-lasting as she enters into a relationship with Mr. Lee; a friend of her ex-husband.

This act jeopardizes the friendship between Mr. Gary and Mr. Lee. This situation reflects, perhaps, Sue’s desire to avenge on Gary. Gary, perhaps, opts to regulate the situation by taking legal action to control Sue’s relationships with the children.

For a family system, the individual components suffer the consequences of the decisions made by any of its elements to a different extent. In this case, while Gary and Sue may be facing a common problem of breaking off their relationships, they still have an opportunity to find a substitute spouse, though the children cannot have substitute parents (Folberg, Milne, & Salem, 2004). Therefore, the children shoulder the biggest burden of the disharmony in the family system.

The disagreement between Gary and Sue has serious developmental consequences on the kids as they will lack care and attention from their mother. The moving out of the mother may even distort their perception of their father as they may consider him a bad person which may result in their hatred for Gary for the absence of their mother in their lives. On the other hand, Gary may attempt to poison the children’s minds against their mother, perhaps, by telling them that their mother moved out because she did not love them or him.

Approach to the Problem

As an attorney handling this case, I will base my decision on the impact the situation has on the elements of the system, including Gary, Sue, and the children. I will ensure that the parents have equal access to the children (Moore, 2003). However, because of the challenges involved in the decision regarding the parent with whom the children will live, I will provide for the children to exercise their informed consent.

Regarding the right choice, I will opt that the children would be fully aware of the situation between their parents. I will let the children decide on the kind of arrangement they would want for both their parents to have easy access to them (Folberg, Milne, & Salem, 2004). The children will decide with whom they prefer to live, and the choice parent must ensure that the counterpart stays in touch with the kids. Nevertheless, I will provide conditions to which a parent will have to adhere to meet his or her kids.

Reference List

Folberg, J., Milne, A. L., & Salem, P. (2004). Divorce and family mediation: models, techniques, and applications. New York: The Guilford Press.

Moore, C. W. (2003). The Mediation Process: Practical Strategies for Resolving Conflict. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Taylor, A. (2002). The Handbook of family Conflict Resolution: Mediation Theroy and Practcie. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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