A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce

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St. Martin's Press, Sep 23, 2008 - Family & Relationships - 240 pages

"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.


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You are a pig you are not funny . Just go away back to Canadian. Ha.

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Neil Elliott Dorval
917 Westcreek Ln. #206 Westlake Village, CA 91362
November 12, 2012
Alec Baldwin
c/o Stephen Smith & Co.
509 Madison Av New York, N.Y. 10022—5501
Dear Alec:
My children and I have been victimized by the CA court system. Custody was rescinded from me 4 years ago, in the absence of evidence, based only on hear-day - No drugs, sex, violence, psychosis issues. It is a tragic situation, and attorneys feel there is nothing more they can do.
I was the primary caregiver most of their lives, and also had 50/50 custody for 8 months through 2008.Ours is a blatant case of Parental Alienation and Malicious Mother Syndrome - fostered and enabled by the courts & the opposition and their family. Lawyers say it is hard to prove.
I have been told this never would have happened if I lived, two blocks away, in L.A. County.
We went through Reunification Therapy, only to find out it was not needed in the first place,
that there was a strong bond, that the children wanted to see me more, and did not want therapy
(as it was too uncomfortable for them?) - yet they want to be on monitored visitation? Really?!
My son is almost 16, my daughter 12. Their position is a bi-product of brainwashing & coaching - STOCKHOLM SYNDROME.
The court did not even honor their request of last year, to see me more.
The children are straight A - presidential Scholar level students. No monitored visits have ever been terminated, I have never been disciplined or counseled as to my behavior during these highly uncomfortable un natural visits. They recently went to a mediator in Ventura County (not necessary in L.A. County). They told the mediator they wanted to still use a monitor. WHAT?
Even though the CA Rule is that monitored visitation may be ordered on a temporary basis,
we have been experiencing such intrusiveness for 4 years. The court will hear no more and has now ordered only 3 hrs. of monitored visitation/wk. - allegedly for the rest of their childhood.
I was originally going to contact you, as I am seeking to advance my career as a baby boomer focused concert pianist, and had learned about your foundation. I am the person in our world that has helped more hospitalized patients, and more seniors, and more Alzheimer residents,
than any other.
I love my children very much, and know they love me too. We deserve normalized visitation, and hopefully 50/50 custody share-time. It is my hope that with the pending prospect of media attention... perhaps their Mother may reconsider. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Neil Elliott Dorval


1 Even the Deepest Feelings
2 Let the Games Begin
3 Olives and Cheese
4 Are You Done Yet?
5 In the Best Interests of the Child
6 Parental Alienation
7 London
10 All Rise
11 The Answer Is Always No
12 No Doubt
13 Leave a Message After the Tone
14 A Trip to Cambridge
15 Admonitions

8 Not the Sharpest Knife
9 Raspberry Foam Blaster

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About the author (2008)

Alec Baldwin graduated with a BFA from New York University. As an actor, he has been nominated for a Tony Award and an Oscar, and has received an Emmy. He stars in the award-winning television series 30 Rock on NBC.

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