move parent joint only

Hey folks,

Here's something I've tried to get at before, but couldn't really get a clear answer, so I'll ask in a different way.

Let's say I've made a bunch of joints with the create joint tool, boom boom boom, all parented up in a chain the way they normally are. But what if I want to adjust the position of only the first one (parent) without moving its children? You may say it's not that hard to just delete them all and start over, but, this ability would actually be exactly what I need during the animation process as well. So I figure if I can get an answer here it would be useful in animation also. Like just a temporary way to move a parent without moving its children.
Actually, I'm sure someone will say to unparent all the children and them make the move and then re-parent. That's cool actually, for setup. But I guess I'll be more specific and say I really need to be able to animate this and make it happen after binding. Like being able to control the position of the knee only, for example.