Crisis In The Family Courts

MOTHERS UNDER SIEGE: TACTICS OF THE FATHERS’ RIGHTS MOVEMENT- HOW CAN A “GOOD ENOUGH MOTHER” PROTECT HERSELF?

Posted in Uncategorized by abatteredmother on April 14, 2011
HOW CAN A “GOOD ENOUGH MOTHER” PROTECT HERSELF?

By Trish Wilson, © 1996All rights reserved by author

Spring, 1996
I began to investigate fathers’ rights groups two and a half years ago after leaving an abusive marriage. Even though I already knew what to expect in court from my knowledge of separation, divorce and abuse issues acquired within various support groups, the amount of money I spent and the legal tactics employed by my ex-husband’s attorney shocked me. The entire legal system’s lack of attention to family law and domestic violence issues infuriated me. I am appalled by the inattention given to women in abusive or domineering relationships, who tried to obtain protective orders against domestic violence and child abuse, and who attempted, in vain, to collect child support.

The father’s rights movement seeks to destroy the legal protections of women and children, primarily custodial mothers. Fathers’ rights groups are not male-only groups. A large number of these groups are lead and supported by the second wives, girlfriends, grandparents and former in-laws of the men who are taking their ex-wives back to court. This article details the agenda of the fathers’ rights lobby, which despite its claims, is not concerned about the welfare of children. Even though it is a worldwide movement, this article focuses on the movement in the Chesapeake region, particularly Maryland. Fathers’ rights groups in America are national groups with satellite chapters in each state. These chapters meet in church basements, rented halls, and members’ homes. They also meet on the Internet, Usenet, America Online, and CompuServe. The leaders of these groups often have obtained custody of their children by taking the mothers back to court repeatedly over an average of five years. Financially and emotionally exhausted, the mother eventually loses custody by court order.

It is important to stress that not all fathers concerned with their rights are bad fathers. Women’s groups and pro-feminist men’s groups do not hate men or downplay the important role of fatherhood. The focus of this article is on the fathers’ rights lobby, and those people who utilize underhanded, abusive tactics to control an ex-wife and children. It is not a blanket indictment of fathers across the board. Good fathers are doing everything in their power to parent their children to the best of their ability. They do not recruit their new wives and girlfriends into demonizing the first wife. They also do not have histories of domestic violence and/or child abuse, as do many members of the fathers’ rights lobby, or those who use similar tactics without the direct assistance of the lobby. The father’s lobby gives all non-custodial fathers a bad image. Before their claims to the rights of fatherhood can be achieved, the responsibilities of the role of father must be met. That includes personal maturity, financial responsibility, nurturing and guidance of children’s lives, and respectful treatment of the mother. Without the existence of responsibility, the talk of rights is hollow rhetoric.

#1: The Myth of the Unfit Mother

According to Phyllis Chesler’s ‘Mothers On Trial, ‘ fathers who custodially challenge mothers win their cases 50%-70% of the time, regardless of proof of paternal domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, child abuse, or sexual abuse. Even a “fit” mother – one who was the primary caregiver of the children during and after the marriage, who has had no history of drug/alcohol abuse or mental illness, and under whose care the children were thriving – stands a good chance of losing custody simply because her ex-husband has remarried and has more money at his disposal than she.

The father’s remarriage and greater earning capacity are two of the reasons fathers who contest custody get it, not doubts as to the “fitness” of the mother. According to an October 1991 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Policy paper authored by Meyer and Garasky, “The number of custodial fathers has been dramatically increasing over time, so to hold to a belief that fathers only gain custody when the mother is unfit requires one to claim that mothers are becoming more and more unfit over time. Fathers are more likely to get physical custody when their income is high, when the mother’s income is low, and when the youngest child is older. Father custody is more likely in more recent divorces.” Economics play a large part in the custody decision, but there is no empirical evidence that the “fitness” of the mother is the determining factor.

A mother’s lifestyle and behavior continue to be held to much more stringent standards than a father’s. Many judges continue to be in favor of “traditional” families. Many men who remarry gain custody of their children and these new wives, who have no blood relation to the children whatsoever, have a better chance of raising them than the biological mother. This is not done “in the best interest of the children,” as these fathers state. This is being done as a way to continue the abusive relationship after the woman has fled, to exact revenge against a former partner, or to avoid paying child support. This movement also ensures that fathers who have been abusing their children continue to abuse them through the notion of the “fundamental right of a father to have access to his children,” which is a concept over 100 years old that prevented the state from interfering with a father’s access to his legal property – his children. The House Bills pertaining to issues such as mandatory joint custody, gutting of domestic violence laws, child support reduction, and the penchant towards favoring “traditional” families are nothing new. They are merely a rehash of patriarchal laws, including updated versions of English Common Law that treated women and children as property. These men teach members of fathers’ rights groups the “tricks of the legal trade” in order to help other disgruntled fathers, abusers, and their new female partners get back at their former partners in the cruelest way possible: separate the mother from her own children.

The abuse of the court system is an issue all women must consider because 51% of all marriages end in divorce. It is important to understand how fathers’ rights groups can misconstrue statistics, studies and family law to present a false impression that the majority of fathers are paying child support, and that, in their opinion, very few fathers fit the description “deadbeat dad.” It’s also important to understand how the dynamic of domestic violence plays into the agenda of the fathers’ lobby. This abuse of information is being used in court to enable non-custodial fathers, often with the assistance of their new wives and girlfriends, to take children away from the custodial mothers. Listed below are the most common myths perpetrated by the fathers’ rights movement.

Myth #2: 75% Of Fathers Are Paying Child Support

The fathers’ rights lobby insists that feminists have created the “myth” of the high non-payment rates of child support in order to push a man-hating agenda. They insist that the vast majority of men are financially supporting their children, that women who seek court assistance to collect child support are lazy and greedy and that they want the money to spend on themselves rather than their children. The first inaccuracy claimed by the fathers’ rights groups is that these figures show the amount of money the fathers have paid the mothers. These numbers are percentages of the money received by the custodial mothers due child support payments, not how much money the father has paid. This money is not necessarily coming voluntarily from the father’s pockets. According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation (S.I.P.P.), fewer than one-half of mothers who received child support in 1989-90 were paid directly by the father; the majority of the payments came via court-order, such as garnishment of wages or lien on property due to the father’s refusal to pay child support. In Maryland, the current law is that there is a presumption for a wage lien in child support cases.

A look at child support statistics reveals the sad state of child support enforcement in this country. The 1989-90 “Current Population Reports, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Series P-60, No. 173-Child Support and Alimony” shows that overall, approximately half the women due child support that year were paid in full, 1/4 received partial payments, and 1/4 received nothing. Over two-thirds of child support was awarded from a judge via court order. In those cases, only 42.3% of women owed child support were paid in full; 27.3 % received partial payments, and 30.4% received nothing. Of the 28.9% of mothers whose child support arrangement was made through voluntary negotiations with the father out of court, 70.6% had received full payments. Couples whose divorces are fairly amicable tend to do well regarding visitation, custody arrangements and child support payments. As illustrated in the Census Bureau statistics, there are serious problems regarding payment of child support to the custodial parent when child support is awarded via court order. Eighty percent of the time, the custodial parent is the mother.

Myth #3: Child Support Awards Are Too High

Fathers’ rights supporters insist that the reason some men pay little or no child support is that they are financially unable to do so. They claim that the child support guidelines are unfairly high, as high as 70% of a father’s income. Therefore, a true “deadbeat dad” – one who has the ability to pay yet refuses to do so – is rare. These statements are easily refutable. Child support is calculated by gross monthly income, not net income. In 1989-90 the average amount of child support due per custodial mother totaled $3,292; the average amount received was $2,252, half of which was paid through social services and court-ordered garnishment. The Child Support Recovery Act and state laws urging garnishment of paychecks are responsible for the increasing levels of child support monies being received by the custodial mothers. Federal law prevents child support calculations from going over 50% of both parent’s gross monthly income – 55% in some cases. When asked to provide sources for the dubious 70% figure, the father’s rights supporters are silent.

According to the Maryland Special Joint Committee report on “Gender Bias in The Courts (May 1989),” between a quarter and a half of the male and female lawyers surveyed believe that child support awards rarely or never “reflect a realistic understanding of a particular child’s needs. Underestimating expenses attributable to a child’s needs is more likely to occur than overestimating, so the result of inaccurate determinations will be to overburden the custodial parent with uncompensated expenses for the child. Since most custodial parents are women, overburdening the custodial parent means requiring women to pay an unfair amount of child support.”

Myth #4: Only Fathers’ Wages Are Considered In Child Support Calculations

In Maryland, both parents are to be held responsible for the children’s financial support. Despite the insistence of the fathers’ rights groups that only a father’s wages are considered in child support calculations, the gross monthly wages of both the mother and the father are tabulated. The Rand mandate ensures that the parental obligation for child support is shared by both parents. Ten years after its implementation, it is evident that mothers are shouldering an unfair amount of the financial child support burden. According to the Gender Bias Report, “Enforcement problems result in gender bias, because the obligees of support awards are custodial parents, usually mothers. When they are denied access to the child support which has been ordered, they will provide whatever support they can afford out of other resources, which results in their further impoverishment. At the same time, non-custodial parents, usually fathers, are allowed to retain resources which properly belong in the child’s household. The father is, in effect, unjustly enriched at the expense of both the child and the mother.”

Myth #5: All Women Who Request Child Support Get It.

According to the 1989-90 Census Bureau report on Child Support and Alimony, only half the women who request child support find their requests approved by the court. The main reason mothers don’t get an award is that they can’t locate the father, the father is in jail, or they can’t or won’t establish paternity. The fathers’ groups prefer to state that these irresponsible women have had so many sexual partners that they cannot name the father. The truth of the matter is that abuse and a desire for revenge on the part of the father plays a major role in these reasons. The mother may refuse to name the father because she fears he will seek revenge should she file a motion to collect child support. Many women choose to forfeit their childrens’ rights to child support rather than risk allowing an abuser to continue to terrorize them either on their own or through expensive court appeals. Several representatives of womens’ groups in the Chesapeake region, which includes Maryland, have recommended to mothers who have not received child support that they not file contempt of court charges in order to collect arrearages. If these women file contempt charges, they risk being slapped with a custody counter-suit by the father of the children as retaliation. These women would rather do without the money, even though they desperately need it, than risk losing their children. The fathers’ rights groups conveniently misrepresent these documents in order to serve their purposes.

Myth #6: Women Do Not Use Child Support to Support The Children. They Spend The Money On Themselves.

Fathers’ rights supporters insist that custodial mothers want money in order to fund vacations or buy a fine new set of clothes. Child support is necessary to buy school supplies, books and food, pay for rent, electricity, the water and sewage bill, heat and air conditioning, and to contribute toward doctor and dental visits. Considering that the average yearly child support received by the mother is $2,252, it is highly unlikely that she’s catching some rays at a Jamaican beach or purchasing dressing gowns from Victoria’s Secret.

Myth #7: The Court System Is Unfairly Biased Toward Mothers in Custody Disputes, Divorce, Alimony, Child Support and Visitation

Is There Gender Bias Against Fathers in Court? Findings From The Maryland Gender Bias Report.

Members of the fathers’ lobby in Maryland have stated that this report is biased against men due to hearings held by womens’ groups in several counties. The fathers’ lobby has also accused the Committee of using it as “window dressing” in order to make it appear that men’s voices are being heard. Contrary to these accusations, several men’s and fathers’ rights groups participated equally in the hearings, including leading some of their own hearings in several counties. There is no “feminist bias” in this report, despite heated commentary by members of men’s and fathers’ rights groups, following its publication.

* Child Custody

In uncontested divorces, the parties generally agree for the mother to have primary physical custody of the children with joint legal custody going to both parents. The Maryland court has established a child-focused approach to awarding custody. If the divorcing parties work together amicably, they work out a fair and equitable custody arrangement that focuses on the child’s needs rather than the parents’ desires. Statements made by the fathers’ rights lobby that most men do not request custody because their lawyers have told them that they do not stand a chance of ever getting it. This may be true but not because of an unfair bias against fathers in court. It is due to the fact that the mother, in the majority of cases, had been the primary caregiver. The primary caregiver model is one factor used in determining child custody. The court also looks towards which parent the child has established a closer bond.

However, a large number of fathers continue to appeal the original award of sole custody to the mother, claiming that bias against fathers is running rampant in court. A father who is able to fund continued litigation does so because he is economically superior to the mother and because he can afford it. Advocates and witnesses, both male and female, for the fathers’ lobby, claimed that judges failed to regard financial statements, denied witnesses a chance to be heard, and presumed that mothers are the only proper custodian of minor children, especially female children. The Gender Bias Report has found some evidence of bias against fathers in court, but not in the large numbers claimed by the fathers’ lobby. No matter how few the instances of gender bias against a father, each is serious and important to the parents, the children, and the entire court system. This conclusion was seconded by lawyers, male and female, who testified at the Committee’s hearings that many parents want custody to go to the mother because she is doing the job satisfactorily already, not because she is female. In the few cases where the father was doing the job, he was reported to have been awarded custody. These cases are from the trial level – the first tier of the court system.

* Child Custody Appeals – The Detrimental Effects On Women

Should the father contest the custody award and repeatedly appeal court decisions, there is a great deal of evidence of gender bias against the mother. Women not awarded custody of their children, or those who have difficulties regarding custody in court, have experienced biases related to their gender that fathers, overall, have not experienced. Their “fitness” as parents is determined not by their previous and documented care of the children, but by unfair gender bias. In short, the mother’s ability to continue caring for the children, as she had been throughout the marriage, provided the children are thriving, directly relates to whether or not the father wishes to make custody an issue. If he chooses to make it an issue, regardless of whether or not it is appropriate or in the best interest of the children, he has a 50% – 70% chance of obtaining sole custody (according to Phyllis Chesler’s book “Mothers On Trial”) even if he had been an absent or abusive parent and husband. The misuse of the appeals process by the father as a means of punishing the mother has become a very common occurrence in courts throughout the United States.

* Bias Against Mothers

Bias is evident when the focus of a court is on the mother’s behavior as opposed to the father’s. According to the Gender Bias Report, mothers are disadvantaged by stereotypes about children needing a mother at home, about children being better off in the home of the wealthier parent, about mothers being unworthy of custody, if they engage in sex with a partner other than the child’s father, and about mothers who must be “perfect” to deserve custody. Mothers have been denied custody because judges held mothers to different, and sometimes, higher standards than those applied to fathers. Double standards were evident in cases in which the father who had been completely uninvolved with his children sought to deprive the mother of sole custody. In addition, the violence of fathers toward mothers is sometimes given too little weight in decisions about custody, joint custody and visitation. In one case, the Committee was told of a judge who deemed the father’s violence less harmful to the children than the mother’s decision to report the father to authorities. Although the father was found to have sexually abused his two preteen daughters, the judge denied the mother custody because her reporting him “showed [that] her hatred for the father took precedence over the children’s need to hold a high image of their father.”

* “Best Interests” Economic Security Criteria

Sometimes judges may equate financial superiority with the best interests of the child. The implication is of a bias against mothers in a custody dispute that focuses on financial resources, since in the majority of cases mothers earn considerably less money than the fathers. The fathers’ rights groups who push these financial criteria do so in order to lower or eliminate child support, or to gain an unfair advantage in a custody dispute.

* Visitation

Non-custodial parents, most often the fathers, focused on problems with enforcement of visitation orders. Custodial parents, most often the mothers, were concerned with problems that arise when the non-custodial parent fails to visit. Serious concerns were also expressed regarding unsupervised visits by a non- custodial parent who is violent or abusive toward the children or the mother. Mothers alleged that courts are punitive to those who deny visitation. Finally, non-custodial mothers reported that their visitation rights were not vigorously protected by the courts.

* Alimony

There are two types of alimony – rehabilitative and indefinite. The most common is rehabilitative, which is awarded with the intention of enabling the recipient to achieve independence through obtaining some form of education and/or employment training. Most alimony awards are too low. In Maryland, according to the Gender Bias Report, the average award is only $500 per month. The man’s standard of living will increase 55% following the payment, and the woman’s will decline by 44%. The Report noted that since most economically independent spouses are men and most economically dependent spouses women, the wide variations in alimony awards, and their adverse impact on the payee’s standard of living, will hurt women more than it will harm men. Nationally, only 15% of women are awarded alimony and those awards are both low and unenforced (1989-90 Census Bureau; Lenore Weitzman’s “The Divorce Revolution”). A major problem regarding alimony is that a custodial mother who is taxed for the alimony paid as income may receive significantly lower amounts in child support because of the alimony she is receiving.

Myth #8: The Majority Of Protective Orders And Child Abuse Allegations Are Fabricated By Women Seeking An Upper Hand In Divorce Proceedings

This myth experienced a resurgence with the recent, and very effective, violence against women laws that have been emerging all over the country, especially within the Chesapeake region. The Federal Violence Against Women Act has also inspired the ire of fathers’ rights groups. These laws, both federal and state, will increase the effectiveness and ease for women applying for protective orders from abuse. Fathers’ rights groups, with many in their memberships having prior histories of abuse, are not happy about this. These groups insist that feminists have encouraged women to file false charges of domestic and/or child abuse in order to gain leverage in divorce court.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Task Force On Family Violence, the vast majority of domestic violence accusations are true, including those made after the separation of the parties. Patricia Horn, author of “Beating Back the Revolution: Domestic Violence’s Economic Toll on Women” shows that among 40%-50% of women in homeless shelters are homeless because of fleeing domestic violence. The ex-parte is filed first, usually for 7 days but it may be extended to 30 days. During this time, the alleged abuser is located and served with court papers so that the order of protection may be brought about in court. Orders of protection may be for as long as 200 days. In fact, the protective order often never occurs due to an inability to serve the alleged abuser. After 30 days (the maximum amount of time for an ex-parte order), the abused party has no court-ordered protection. If the abuser reappears and reinjures her, she may file for another ex-parte order and begin the entire process all over again. Even if covered with bruises, judges have been known to deny protective orders because they do not believe the woman’s injuries are serious. In cases of emotional and psychological abuse, it’s almost a waste of time applying for a protective order because these forms of abuse are taken much less seriously than physical abuse. Also, these orders are difficult to enforce. Many women who have been seriously injured or killed by former partners were under protective order at the time of the attack.

Myth #9: Studies Prove That Both Men And Women Are Equally Abusive Of Each Other

This outrageous claim is based on statements and figures taken out of context from several domestic violence studies, primarily the book, Behind Closed Doors by Straus, Gelles and Steinmetz. Physically abusive relationships were studied, utilizing a set of Conflict Tactic Scales. The Conflict Tactic Scales are just that – scales that measure isolated “hits.” Each stab, bite, and punch are not taken within the context of the episode itself. This research only covered physically abusive relationships, not all forms of domestic violence. The authors also did not know if any of the strikes made by women were in self defense. The most glaring omission was that they did not take into consideration the cycle of violence. When each “hit” is seen in the context of the abusive incident, and more importantly within the entire history of the abusive relationship, it becomes obvious that in the vast majority of cases there is only one true victim of domestic violence-the woman. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 95% of all domestic violence is male against female. Only 5% is female against male.

Several of the national fathers’ and mens’ rights groups that are found in the Chesapeake region are: The Childrens’ Rights Council, The National Congress for Men and Children, Coalition for Parental Equality, Grandparents United for Equal Rights, Fathers United for Equal Rights (F.U.E.R.), Fathers’ Rights and Equality Exchange (F.R.E.E.), Family Resolution Council and Victims of Child Abuse Laws (V.O.C.A.L.). Father’s United for Equal Rights (F.U.E.R.) is by far the largest fathers’ rights group in the region. There are nearly a dozen chapters in Virginia – one of which includes the Women’s Coalition of Virginia that may be comprised of new spouses and girlfriends of the male F.U.E.R. members. Maryland has several chapters, including groups on the Eastern Shore. Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Montgomery counties. D.C., has one chapter.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN MARYLAND-MORE FROM THE GENDER BIAS REPORT

There is a very strong link between domestic violence and the abuse of the court system. This is promoted by both the father’s lobby and abusers who hold similar beliefs but have no direct connection to a particular father’s rights group. Judges and attorneys need to be educated in all aspects of domestic violence. According to the Maryland Gender Bias Report, the most pervasive and difficult problems facing victims of domestic violence are attitudes and lack of understanding of many judges and court employees about the nature of domestic violence. Too often judges and court employees deny the victim’s experiences, accuse the victim of lying, trivialize the cases, blame the victim for being beaten, and badger the victim for not leaving the batterer. All this is due to a lack of understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence, including lack of knowledge of studies of batterers. These studies show that the violence is not caused by the victim; that batterers do not give up control when the victim leaves; and that batterers try to manipulate victims to affect the judicial process. This manipulation of the court process includes batterers and other abusers who misuse the court system in regard to divorce, custody, visitation, and child support as well as domestic violence. These abusers are men who not only physically assault their partners, but also emotionally and psychologically terrorize them and/or their children, often with the assistance of the father’s lobby and the covert (and not so covert) manipulation of the court system. Once the woman leaves the abusive home, she finds that the abuse continues in the halls of the courthouse. The Committee also pointed out that “. . .some judges and court employees overlook the victim’s circumstances: that she is economically dependent on the batterer; that she is socialized to be responsible for his conduct and feels at fault for being beaten; that she has children to care for; that she knows that separating from or divorcing her abuser may not guarantee her safety.”

Another problem typically faced by an abused woman seeking protection is that the court will not order the abuser to provide financial support during the period of time the protective order is active. Without financial support from the abuser, she may be forced to allow the abuser to return home due to poverty. The protective order does little good if the woman lacks the financial resources to continue the more expensive divorce proceedings. Protective orders do not guarantee that the abuser will stay away. The court system in some District Courts does not use the power to sanction the abuser. Women married to their abusers are taken less seriously in court if they seek a divorce. These women face a judicial system that doesn’t believe that what they’ve suffered is a crime. If she is denied a protective order, there is nothing to prevent her husband from beating, stalking, or harassing her.

Victims who are married to their abusers face additional problems if they seek a divorce. She may not be awarded a protective order during the course of the divorce proceedings, which provides no legal protection against future beatings. She would have to go through the judicial system in order to gain custody and financial assistance if she is unable to get an emergency order. In the usual course of divorce hearings including delays and appeals, she may wait many months. In the meantime, she is open to custody and economic threats from her husband, who can use the delay to force his victim to return to him. The judicial system also does not believe that the abuse suffered by a woman married to her abuser is a crime. They are treated differently from assault victims who were attacked by a stranger. They may be denied the right to file charges by court- appointed commissioners who do not understand the dynamics of domestic violence. They may be told by the judge that their problems are not serious or their testimony not credible, and that the whole issue belongs in the divorce court. In 1987-88, over 4,500 petitions for emergency civil protection from domestic violence were filed in Maryland’s district and circuit courts, and many of these cases are not taken seriously. This high level of judicial ignorance can be deadly. The former husband of one of the Committee’s witnesses, Zitta Friedlander, stands accused of her homicide.

Regarding the notion held by fathers’ rights groups and individuals who claim that mothers cry abuse and lie to get their way in court, there is an obvious reason behind it. According to Phyllis Chesler’s book “Mothers On Trial,” and organizations such as Montreal Men Against Sexism (MMAS), the Committee for Mother’s and Children’s Rights (CMCR), Real Men, the National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS), and domestic violence advocates, a very large number of fathers who custodially challenge the mother – either alone or with the help of a “father’s rights” group-have verifiable histories, supported by police, school and hospital records, of parental kidnapping, child abuse and violence against women. It appears that this particular myth is a case of reflecting the truth away from the guilty parties. These guys are attempting to cover their tracks.

A WOMAN UNDER CUSTODIAL SIEGE: HOW CAN SHE PROTECT HERSELF?
PERSONAL PROTECTION AND EDUCATION

Most of what she needs to do she should do regardless of whether or not a divorce is on the horizon. Much of this advice is economic practicality and financial independence. Both of these are taught to women as not being sufficiently feminine. What is considered acceptably feminine succeeds in keeping women psychologically infantile.

The first thing she must do is pay off as many of her debts as possible. If there is major work to be done on her car, she should try to get it done immediately, preferably in cash to keep her credit rate low. Seek credit limit increases on any credit cards in case of emergencies. If she does not have a credit history, she should establish one. She should never, ever use a credit card that is in her partner’s name only because she may be held responsible for half of that debt, even if she used the card only once. If she and her partner have joint credit accounts, she should remove her name and open a separate account in her name only. This will prevent her from being held responsible for future debts he may incur. One way women have been disadvantaged in court, often by the suggestion of their exs’ lawyers, is to hold them responsible for half or more of a debt acquired by the partner through his excessive use of credit. This is common in cases of alcohol and drug abuse or gambling addictions in which monstrously high amounts of cash advances are acquired through the use of one or more credit cards. A woman has not only a right but a responsibility to be aware of all account balances held by herself and her husband. She should also call the IRS and request copies of past tax returns. She needs to know the value of all assets and investments such as automobiles, collectibles, treasury notes, pensions, 401K’s, and stock options acquired during the marriage. She should be knowledgeable of the values of all insurances, including life and auto. She needs to have on paper the amount of equity in the marital home, as well as any second mortgages acquired. One particularly nasty wake-up call for many divorcing women is learning that the marital home they had considered a financial asset has been deemed worthless by the existence of several home equity loans acquired without their knowledge by their partners. These loans are often acquired in order to pay off credit debt.

If she doesn’t have a checking and savings account in her name only, she should get one even if she has no plans to divorce. She needs to save a minimum $5,000 in order to pay the retainer for a lawyer should it come to that. If the divorce involves a custody case, the final payment may be as high as $15,000, or even higher. Depending upon the nature of the custody dispute, such cases have been known to cost in the neighborhood of six figures. In most cases in the Chesapeake region, half of the money in joint savings and checking accounts legally belongs to her. If she actually does leave, she should withdraw her half before her husband cleans out and cancels all the accounts. She may qualify for reduced fee or pro-bono representation. Representation by legal council in custody cases is crucial.

If she is being physically, psychologically, emotionally, financially or sexually abused, she should contact her local domestic violence and/or sexual assault center. If addictions are involved, Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-anon, Narcotics- Anonymous and Co-dependents Anonymous may be located in the Yellow Pages. All of these resources are available at low cost or free to the public.

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  1. Christie said, on May 2, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    I am an educated Woman, I am a Vice President of a small business, I am strong, I am independent, I am a mother, and I am a survivor of domestic violence. I am not your typical picture of a battered woman. I have a good family; I am well-spoken, educated, and successful. I am not the woman sitting in the corner afraid to testify. After five years of abuse, I’m the woman that walks in the courtroom, well groomed, self-assured, ready to face my aggressor head on, but I am a victim of domestic violence.
    Five years ago I entered into a relationship with a man and found myself pregnant shortly thereafter, we tried to make it work and it did for a short period. I had broken up with him right before I found out I was pregnant because of our fights, he would get loud, I would get loud, he would get mean and nasty and call me names and I would cry. I desperately wanted my own family though, so I convinced myself he would change, he bought a house, and I moved in…things went from bad to worse. He threw me out more times than I can count, I would drive aimlessly around our neighborhood sobbing, pregnant, trying to figure out what I had done to make him so angry and why he didn’t love me. He would apologize promise to not do it again and I would go back. Shortly after the birth of my daughter I told him I was leaving him. He flipped out and ripped all the phones out from the wall, turned off the internet and cut my cell phone off mid-conversation with my mother. He was holding our daughter telling me I couldn’t have her so I ran out of the house and used his brother’s phone that lived nearby to call the police and my mother. They told me I couldn’t step foot on his property or I would be arrested for trespassing, that everything in the home belonged to him since he owned the home, but because we weren’t married and there had been no paternity test, they gave me the only thing I cared about, and that was my daughter. My mother put me on the next flight out of Arizona back to Pennsylvania where my entire family was. He filed for emergency custody and was denied, but the state of Arizona ordered me back and we settled outside of court on joint custody, this was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. My lawyer told me I’d never get full custody, my ex told me if I didn’t agree to joint he would go for full custody and take my daughter from me since he had the house and I had nothing. I shouldn’t have listened to either of them. I have spent the last 4 years fighting to change the joint custody decision. I have not been successful.
    In the course of these 4 years we reconciled a few times, i.e. he apologized and promised to change; I fell for it and went back. He has been arrested twice for domestic violence in the last 3 years, the first time taking a deferment program in lieu of prosecution, and the second time he was convicted and sentenced to two years probation. There have been multiple Orders of Protection granted and issued against him, he requests a hearing each time. The first one I was never notified of by the court so the OP was lifted, and my lawyer at the time told me not to worry about it. The second one I never showed up for because he convinced me it would never happen again and he would change. The third one I was granted, I showed up for it and it is still in effect. However, all three times I have listed my daughter on the OP and the last one he requested a hearing and she was taken off. I filed for sole custody and was denied and the Judge said I was putting my daughter on the OP to estrange her from her father. I cannot tell you how appalled I am at the Arizona judicial system. I am a mother; I am in the business of protecting my child, preventing her from being harmed, not waiting for it to happen and then reacting. Would you want your child to have a relationship with a stranger that they had witnessed terrorizing you, cried over you seeing that person, begging you to stay away from that person, crying because of all the mean things that stranger told your child about you, your child being screamed at and threatened by this person? The answer is NO, so why because it’s her father does that give him a free pass? My daughter has watched this man throw me down in a drive way, (which his lawyer suggested I was wearing heels and that’s why I fell), put a television on top of me, heard him call me every name you can think of, threaten to kill me and bury me in the desert….etc. Now I ask you why am I being accused of trying to estrange her from her father when I was protecting her? Why because I am an educated woman who is strong and confident do I not deserve to be protected by the same rights as women less fortunate than myself? My ex’s lawyer’s pretrial statement stated that I am “smart” and they believe I have been planning this for some time.
    I have much better things to do with my life than spend $25,000 on lawyer fees and then be humiliated in court by a lawyer who sits on the domestic violence board for Arizona, but represents a convicted domestic violence offender. I did this to protect my daughter from growing up in an abusive home. My ex’s mother has been abused for 31 years, that’s how my ex learned how to treat a woman. The judge didn’t think the domestic violence committed against me was significant because the police officer that testified said I had one cut. So should I have laid there and not gotten away from him and allowed him to break my arm in half like he was trying to do so that the court would see it as “significant”. Judge Morales in Chandler City Court thought differently. He convicted my ex for assaulting me. The message I was sent was that I should have kept my mouth shut, gone about my life and saved myself a lot of money, agony, stress and pain. I should have let him continue to abuse me because at least then I’d have my daughter. Now he has her 50% of the time. Is this the message the court system in Arizona should be sending? So it was ok for my ex to abuse me, but because the physical abuse had not escalated yet to what the judge deemed “significant” I now have to sit and wait and hold my breath until he does this to my daughter….or to another woman in front of her? Shouldn’t our focus as adults be in preventing children from harm, keeping them safe and providing them with emotional stability, so 15 years from now my daughter isn’t in an abusive relationship because she watched her father abuse women her whole life.
    I got away from him and I am never ever going back, and I will do whatever it takes to save my daughter. The lawyer says I cannot appeal, which is unbelievable to me. I fought for relocation to move to the east coast for a better life for my daughter and to be with my family. The judge was puzzled as to why I wanted to relocate, which again amazes me. What is puzzling about why I wanted to leave and get as far away as I could from an abusive, controlling man and protect my daughter? My mother died during all of this, and my ex and his family told my four year old innocent, beautiful daughter that she didn’t have to worry about living with my mother anymore and moving because she was dead. Thank you Judge for protecting those people and not looking out for my daughter. Thank you for giving me the strength and determination to apply to law school in the Fall. Thank you for making me see that I only lost this battle, but I will continue to fight for my daughter and I will win the war. She is worth it.

    • abatteredmother said, on May 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm

      wow!! Thank you for your very empowering comment!!
      much love to you!!

      • jenine diconti said, on May 13, 2011 at 5:50 pm

        A year ago I enlisted the aid of a victim’s aid at the Ventura County Attorney’s office in seeking an order of protection against my daughter’s father. He lives in Tennessee. I have had sole custody of my daughter since the day she was born five years ago. I was ordered to appear in Judge Smiley’s court in Simi Valley Family Court for a hearing. I missed the initial hearing. Judge Smiley reset the hearing for later in the afternoon and, after taking no evidence but listening only to the unfounded accusations against me by my daughter’s father, ordered my child Madison taken from me.

        Since then it has been one hellish nightmare. I have been made the subject of unfounded accusations, my daughter is suffering horribly, and I cannot find anyone to help me make sense out of what is happening. I am so distraught having sought the protection of the court only to find my daughter being taken from me on nothing more than the wild speculation of CPS workers and a man I escaped domestic violence from. I just need someone to listen to me and to hear me out. No one will explain how my daughter can be taken away. How can I be accused of things without a chance to defend myself, and how a judge can, without any independent investigation take my child?

      • BRITTNI said, on March 10, 2013 at 8:05 pm

        MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU AND ALL THE OTHERS THAT SHARE OUR PLIGHT. I TOO LIVE WITH A BAD BACK DUE TO ABUSE. I TOO HAVE BEEN TREATED SO UNFAIRLY BY THE COURT SYSTEM THAT CLAIMS OUR CHILDRENS BEST INTEREST COME FIRST. CMON WHO ARE THEY FOOLING. I WAS IN SCHOOL WHEN MY BABYS FATHER STARTED TAKING ME TO COURT AND MAKING BOGUS CALLS TO CPS. OF COURSE MY SCHOOL WAS PUT ON HOLD WHILE I HAD TO JUMP THROUGH HOOPS TO PROVE THE ALLEGATIONS UNTRUE. THIS WAS ALL DUE TO THE STATE NOT ME COMING AFTER HIM FOR CHILD SUPPORT. I JUST GOT DONE WITH A TRIAL WHERE THE JUDGES STAFF MADE CLERICAL ERRORS ON IMPORTANT DUE DATES AND CONTINUED WITH TRIAL IGNORING HIS MISTAKES. MY JUDGE WHO HAPPENS TO BE MR BENJAMIN NORRIS ACTUALLY SUGGESTED A PSYCHOLOGICAL EXAM FOR MY DAUGHTER AT PARENTS OWN COST. THAT WAS GOOD BECAUSE IT WOULD OF GIVEN THE COURT AN OUTLOOK FROM MY DAUGHTERS EYES AND HER VOICE AND RIGHTS COULD OF BEEN HEARD. FATHER PREVENTED MY FIRST APPOINTMENT BY PICKING HER UP EARLY FROM SCHOOL SO WE PUT MOTIONS IN FOR A STAY ON ANY DECISIONS TILL MY RESCHEDULED A NEW APPOINTMENT AND CAN YOU BELIEVE THE JUDGE DENIED THE MOTION FOR BOTH. WHAT ARE THEY HIDING AND WHY. I WONDER IF THIS CONSPIRACY AGAINST US WOMEN AND THE RIGHT TO HAVE AND LOVE ARE KIDS GOES TO THE DEPTHS OF THE MAN IN THE BLACK ROBE WITH THE POWER AND HOW HE ABUSES HIS POWER TO RIP A CHILD AWAY FROM HIS/HER MOMMY. I WAS PRO SE WHILE MY EX HAD HIS NEW WIFE GET HIM A PRO BONO LAWYER FROM THE LDS CHURCH. WE PUT IN SO MANY MOTIONS AGAINST HIS NEW WIFE FOR HER BLATANT CUSTODIAL INTERFERENCE AND THEY WERE ALL IGNORED AND SHE WAS NEVER CALLED ON TO ANSWER TO HER UNHEALTHY ACTIONS. SHE ALSO CANNOT BEAR A CHILD AND ITS SO BIZARRE HOW SHE MENTALLY THINKS SHE CAN TAKE MINE. THERE IS ADOPTION AND EVEN FOSTER CARE. MY EX GOT ME PREGNANT AT 17 AND STARTED ABUSING AFTER MY BABY WAS BORN. HIS NEW WIFE HE STARTED DATING HER WHEN SHE WAS STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL. SHE WAS 17 HE WAS 25. HE LIKES THEM YOUNG SO HE CAN CONTROL AND MOLD AND ABUSE THEM TO HIS LIKING. I THINK I MIGHT HAVE MISSED MY FILING FOR AN APPEAL OR MISTRIAL. I STILL DID NOT GET THE RULING MY EX SAYS WAS DONE BY JUDGE BY THE COURTS OR MY EX AND DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY I WOULD NOT HAVE RECIEVED THEM. NOW MY EX THINKS ITS OKAY I VISIT MY BABY EVERY OTHER WEEKEND WHILE HIS CRAZY WIFES MOTHER WATCHES ME. COME ON . TALK ABOUT CONFLICT OF INTEREST. THAT IS JUST ANOTHER WAY FOR THAT MAN TO CONTINUE TO ABUSE ME. THIS IS NOT ABOUT HIM WANTING PARENTING TIME CAUSE HE NEVER IS WITH CHILD. SHE IS. THIS IS ABOUT CONTROL, HE IS MAD I REFUSE HIS CONTINUING ADVANCES ON ME, MAD I WILL NOT SLEEP WITH HIM STILL OR TAKE HIM BACK SO HE WANTS TO TAKE THE MY DAUGHTER CAUSE HE KNOWS NOW THAT IS THE ONLY WAY HE COULD EVER HURT ME. WITH ARE FAMILY COURTS AND WOMEN NOT HAVING PROTECTION AGAINST THIS TREATMENT AND JUDGES WHO DO NOT PUT THE CHILDS BEST INTEREST IN FOCUS MAKES ME BELIEVE THE CYCLE OF ABUSE WILL CONTINUE AND MY DAUGHTER WILL OR ALREADY IS HIS NEWEST VICTIM. I FEEL SO HELPLESS BUT WILL FIGHT TILL SHE IS HOME WHERE SHE BELONGS AND IS SAFE. I WILL BE STARTING A FACEBOOK CALLED THE CRUSADE FOR JADE AND WILL POST IT WHEN IT UP AND READY. GOOD LUCK . STAY STRONG.

    • Dawn said, on July 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm

      Hello Christie,

      My name is Dawn and I too and am strong, independent, a mother, and a survivor of domestic violence. I left my abuser several times; however, tried to reconcile a few times to only learn he had not changed. He was very abusive (physically, sexually & emotionally) to me; however, I felt if the kids didn’t see too much they were being kept safe. We separated several times and each time he would call CPS. One day, CPS told me either I leave him for good or they will take my children (oldest daugther was mine, son was “ours” so to speak). It was a real wake up call until I was unable to keep my son safe. It has been approximately nine years and I have been dragged through Family Courts here in New York every couple years. My ex has been proven guilty of child abuse, yet the court still forced me to allow my son to go back. It has been years of watching my son be abused by this man. The horrifying calls with my ex screaming and kicking in doors to get to my son were terrifying. Each year I learned more and more about the abuse my son was going through; however, it was my son’s word against his father’s. My son quickly learned to “zip it” as his father would say…. If not, there was severe punishment once everything had blown over and my son was forced to return by the court. Two years ago, my son started to act out in ways that were disturbing. Couple weeks later my son told me he was being raped by his cousin and his father knew about it. Against court order, I kept my son from going back to his father’s house (whom lives with his parents, sister and nephew whom is the one that was raping our son). It had been two years of therapy and my son was enjoying life as a normal little boy. It was the best year of my life then…. court papers arrived. I’ve now been in a 10 months custody battle trying to keep my son from being sent back into that horrible environment. Needless to say, I am once again losing this battle. They forced a phone conversation which put my son in a suicidal state. Now they have hijacked his therapy and have been trying to utilize it to make my son “accept” all that has happened and see his father. My son made ti very clear he would rather be dead than see his father again. To date, Family Court has completely ignored the fact this is a domestic violence case and won’t even discuss the fact my son has been severely abused. The fact Family Court is currently endangering the welfare of my son by trying to force him to see his abuser is absolutely ridiculous; however, all I can do is try and fight this battle as a single mother of 3 beautiful children and pray for a miracle. Two psychologists (one being the court ordered mental health evaluator) have said my son’s father has issues and there shouldn’t be visitation, three therapists have said no visits and even the pediatrician. Here we are… ten months later still fighting in court and all I’ve been doing is what my ex has been demanding through his attorney. Needless to say, if you relocated… DO NOT COME TO UPSTATE NEW YORK, ESPECIALLY ONTARIO OR WAYNE COUNTY where I’m currently fighting to save my son’s life!

      Good luck to you and your daughter. My thoughts and prayers are with you both!

      Dawn

      • KRISTIN said, on July 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm

        My hear and prayers go out to you! I am seeing more and more everyday how the systems have completely turned on the mothers now. THERE HAS GOT TO BE SOMETHING DONE ABOUT THIS!!! I PRAY THIS PERSON WILL BE WHERE HE BELONGS SOON ENOUGH!!! I PRAY THAT THE LORD, IF HE HASNT ALREADY, WILL SEND SOMEONE TO DEFEND YOU AND WHAT YOU REALLY NEED IS TO GO BEFORE A JURY IF THAT IS POSSIBLE!!! I am so sorry for your pain and for your sons pain! I have a son as well and my heart breaks for you! I am very impressed at your strength in this I know GOD will bring good out of this and KEEP STRONG AND I KNOW BECAUSE OF YOUR STRENGTH IT WILL GIVE YOUR SON GREAT COURAGE AND STRENGTH TO BECOME THE HEROS THAT YOU BOTH ARE! GOD BE WITH YOU AND YOUR PRECIOUS CHILDREN!!!

    • Candy Isbell said, on September 15, 2011 at 4:34 am

      I too have been thought a similar situation and am seriously considering law school myself, as well as starting a non-profit to change this very screwed up system. Would love to chat with you.

    • Sarah said, on October 19, 2012 at 5:09 am

      Wow. I know how you feel. I left my abusive boyfreind in July. I was busy getting a restraining order while he hired an attorny and filed for sole custody. We have been to court 5 times now. He went from 2 hours supervised visits to now having 50/50 custody of our two daughters, ages 5 and 2, in just 3 months. And this was after we proved a pattern of domestic violence towards me and his other partners, we proved he was lying, hiding documents, abusive drugs and alcohol. The judge ordered him to take a year of anger managment and found him in contempt of court for violating a restraining order. We also proved his lack of parenting both to my children and a child from a previous relationship. Yet the judge ordered 50/50. I don’t understand. I have always been a great mother. I don’t drink, do drugs or smoke. How could this happen? Also my ex lives with his mother who the judge ordered cannot be left alone in the same room as the children because she is that mentally ill. Yet my children have to spend half their time there. And him and his mother both smoke in the house.
      I am 9 months pregnant with our third child. We just went to court last week and asked that he help pay the mortgage on the home we own together. But the judge wouldn’t order him to so now I have 2 weeks to find a place and move out by the end of the month. I am very concerned that they will try and take the baby right away even though I breastfed both of my girls for years. We go to court on Monday and I am just praying that they leave me and the baby alone for a few weeks anyways. I feel like have been through enough crap the last few months. It would seem obvious that he does not have the best interest of the child in mind and this is just another cruel thing him and his lawyer can do to hurt me. I have not been able to find any laws that protect a mother and newborn. If there are any let me know. Thank you.

      • BRITTNI said, on March 10, 2013 at 8:19 pm

        DO NOT PUT HIM ON BIRTH CERTIFICATE. GIVES YOU TIME . IF YOU ARE NOT MARRIED MOTHERS DO NOT HAVE TO GIVE BABY TO FATHER. HE WOULD HAVE TO FILE FOR A PATERNITY TEST AND FILE IN COURT. IT WOULD GIVE YOU TIME …

    • OC said, on November 16, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      OMG!

      Looks soo familiar. I am also a professional, with MD and PhD degrees. The abuse was subtly physical, mostly emotional. It was dificult to detect and prove.

      He convinced almost everybody (except the psychologist who evaluated both of us, and my daughters counselor), that a letter describing his intent to “cut women down the middle”with a chainsaw..and “to terrorize women, was a “joke”. I found”many other things, including a knife , described by an FBI trained investigator that I hired, as a weapon. His lawyer said it was just a kitchen knife.It is not a kitchen knife.

      I was forced “(ädvised”..or otherwise..would be “left”..and “the judge would know about me”..????t) by lawyers to “settle”otside the court. Two lawyers left my case because I insisted on bringing profesional evidence and witnesses to trial.

      My husband said he had been naked with my daughter because he had “forgotten his towel” at least 50 times. He wanted to video tape our daughter’s sessions with her counselor, after she disclosed his innapropriate behavior. The court ordered me to immediately stop bringing my daughter to see her counselor and to see another mental health professional my husband had proposed.

      My hsuband and I worked in the same place. He manipulated people and I was laid off, despite my job performance. I was laid off, despite having a Federal grant that was bringing money to the Institution.

      I am unemployed. Ashamed of collecting unemployed benefits. Shocked. I had a very successful career. Despite medical concerns, my requests for psychiatric evaluation of my husband was denied. He is sick and is not getting the help he needs.

      Luckily, he cant see (until now) our daughter in private places..but I am sure he will try to get away with that and might end up seing her and continuing abusing her privately.

      Holding in here..

      Could be worse.

      I have learned a lot..and my heart aches for all the mothers who, lacking education and/or support, are being forced to leave their children in harms way.

      WHEN is it going to end?.

      We need to stand together for each other. Mothers have rights too.

      • AK said, on May 20, 2013 at 1:11 pm

        Hi OC where can I get FBI investigator help? I’m fighting to keep my 10 month old in Tennessee. Dad was married and lied to me he is an attorney and is pulling a the stops. Verbally abused me and brain washed me with lies. I’m a professional nurse trying to rebuild my life. Any advice please share!

    • Amy Long said, on January 17, 2013 at 4:01 am

      Wow I am in the samw boat I ahve an ex boyfriend who I have a DV against and I have a wonderful son who is 2 …Your words at the end are ones I have used time and time again….god bless you I am so thankful I am not alone..amyl.green@hotmail.com Orlando FL I am fighting for sole custody I will not settle for less..

    • Sar said, on January 25, 2013 at 1:32 am

      wow, i went through the same thing. email me please: ndianan@rogers.com. I reside in toronto ontario canada

    • Chandraprakash Tripathi said, on February 19, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      Well truth is so ugly there, i guess america is just good in name, from within its horrible, well may you get your daughter back and all the happiness which you lost that, time, here i cant also say to you that not all guys are bad, definately i am not christie. If you want to give her a good future then leave america and be in a country where good culture and respect is there.

    • STEPHANIE said, on February 23, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      This is all in MY OPINION!!!!! You are in a better place than me. My ex used me to build a business then found someone else, pushed me and my two girls’ out to another state as quick as he could. He said the business only had potention of making X dollars and I got screwed. No alimony at all and now his business is flourishing and he has three rental properties which I just found out about.

      Our judiciation system including money hungry attorneys is broken and I hope the whole thing is uprooted soon. Our kids and the persons who are COMMITTEDED in the marriage suffer because we have morals and a soul! ROT IN HELL attorneys and judges YOU don’t look to the best interest of kids YOU care about the $$$$$ IN YOUR POCKETS
      .

    • Susan said, on May 30, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      I often think of going to law school myself. I can not believe what goes on in the court system in Massachusetts. I went back for a modification and lost my twin 14 year old boys to their counterclaim, as my lawyer wanted 10K more, I didnt have it so I applied for a continuance. The judge told us to go to lunch and come back. When I came back they had already met, I wasn’t there and judge approved my x-husbands counter-claim for full physical custody, termination of child support and visitation when he says I can.
      I have been appealing for 1.5 years and am now going to Boston in hopefully September. I have proof everything they say is a lie, but the judge refuses to listen. He actually called out sick on the day I was supposed to go back for my children.

  2. jenine diconti said, on May 13, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    year ago I enlisted the aid of a victim’s aid at the Ventura County Attorney’s office in seeking an order of protection against my daughter’s father. He lives in Tennessee. I have had sole custody of my daughter since the day she was born five years ago. I was ordered to appear in Judge Smiley’s court in Simi Valley Family Court for a hearing. I missed the initial hearing. Judge Smiley reset the hearing for later in the afternoon and, after taking no evidence but listening only to the unfounded accusations against me by my daughter’s father, ordered my child Madison taken from me.

    Since then it has been one hellish nightmare. I have been made the subject of unfounded accusations, my daughter is suffering horribly, and I cannot find anyone to help me make sense out of what is happening. I am so distraught having sought the protection of the court only to find my daughter being taken from me on nothing more than the wild speculation of CPS workers and a man I escaped domestic violence from. I just need someone to listen to me and to hear me out. No one will explain how my daughter can be taken away. How can I be accused of things without a chance to defend myself, and how a judge can, without any independent investigation take my child?

    • christiealau said, on August 10, 2011 at 8:01 pm

      Jenine,
      please post your story to my new blog, I was very touched by it and want to share it if you;’re ok with that. Good luck and much love and blessings being sent your way! http://www.illuminatedbridge.wordpress.com

    • Elke said, on February 24, 2013 at 7:20 pm

      A mother’s journey through the CT Family Court system

      This is a journal of my navigation though the Connecticut court system regarding custody of my son. It is a way to express my feelings and experiences as I attempt to make some semblance of order out of an extremely dysfunctional system. Until January of 2009 I had joint, shared custody of my son. What that means is; he spent 50% time with me and 50% time at his father’s house. In the spring of 2008 I was approached by someone from social services and a sheriff in my driveway. I was served papers from the sheriff claiming I had abused my son and a motion for sole custody was filed with the CT family courts. The social services representative was there to interview me about allegations of physical abuse. Let me go on record that I have never abused any of my children and these false allegations were made in order to facilitate my son’s father so he could gain the upper hand and do whatever he could to remove me from my son’s life.
      Although his attempts were unsuccessful in so much as erasing me out of my son’s life, he was quite successful at severely limiting my time with him, thus limiting my access and ability to parent him. This battle has been raging for four years now and the damage has been immeasurable on both my son and I. Our relationship has suffered and the financial devastation is astounding. Yearly, like clock-work, the motions are filed and another round through the Connecticut courts begins. My frustration stems from the fact that the CT courts facilitate such abuse of the system and allow a parent to use the courts as a means for punishing an ex spouse. The children are sadly pawns in this devastating game of chess as the ex spouse launches attach after attach in his attempt to destroy the other parent.
      I hope to enlighten anyone who reads this blog and hopefully stir enough interest for action to address this destructive flaw in the system which encourages such evil intent and in fact thrives on the highly contested custody battles where the children are the real victims. I have tired everything within my power and financial resources to protect my relationship with my son. In the end however, I have been denied the right as a parent and a mother, to actively participate in the rearing of my child all because of false allegations made against me and innumerous lies accusing me of being an unfit parent. My ex husband didn’t have to produce a shred of evidence substantiating his stories. There was no effort made to investigate if any of the stories he fabricated had credibility. It was just easier to err on the side of “caution” and hand my son over to his father. The courts have swung the pendulum in favor of fathers and in highly contested custody battles; the convention is to side with the father.
      I divorced this man because he was a mean-spirited verbally and emotionally abusive individual with no regard for others. I do not for one minute regret leaving this evil person, but I have been staving off his attacks for years and sadly still have four more years before my son turns 18. I have hired lawyers and paid them huge amounts of money only to find that they show up in court ill-prepared and disinterested in defending their client. Why you may ask? Well, simply put, they get paid the same whether they do a great job or a lousy job. There is no incentive for them to want to do a good job – the pay’s the same either way. What that means in court is the person with the most resources gets better representation because the lawyers know (from the financial affidavit) up front what your net worth is and how much money they can expect to get out of you. Therefore, the one with the most financial resources gets better representation. Not to sound sexist here, but it is a know fact that a man’s income still far exceeds that of a women’s income especially if she is a mother and has had to make career sacrifices for her children.
      I thought I was the only women in the state (if not the world) that has done nothing wrong as a parent and was stripped of a huge part of her parental rights. Yes, the courts still recognize joint custody, but my son’s father is now considered the primary custodial parent and enjoys 90% of time raising him. I get a mere 2.5 hours twice a week and two weekends a month form Friday after school until Sunday evening at 8pm to be his parent. There are many, many more cases just like mine, where for unfounded reasons, mother’s have lost time and in some cases custody of their children. The only hope we have of setting the scales back to a balanced arrangement, is if women unit and overturn this unfair default decision to hand children automatically to the father if there is a dispute. Unless one parent or the other is unfit, the children should by default, enjoy equal time with both parents.
      Because my ex husband made false claims that my son doesn’t do his homework at my house and I can’t get him to school on time in the mornings, they have denied me sleep-overs on school nights. This schedule remains in tact even in the summer months! Once the over-nights were taken away, the state no longer recognized these days as my parenting days. So, essentially, they see me having 4 days a month and my ex husband having 26 days a month. Because of this, I now have to pay child support, do all the driving back and forth to his father’s house (except for 2 Sundays a month) and have to pay for 100% of my son’s medical insurance and pay for 50% of unreimbursed medical/dental.
      I am constantly getting bombarded with hostile messages accusing me of not paying my fair share of medical. The e-mails are slanderous and verbally abusive. They are filled with lies as if once he writes them in an e-mail they become fact which he can then refer to in court as fact. He develops scenarios he believes are going on in my home and then insists his fictitious stories are fact. I have begged my attorney to protect me against these attacks, but was told there is nothing that can be done through the courts unless there is a threat of physical violence or an actual physical assault. So I am left with no way to protect myself and regain my rightful place as the mother of my child.
      Please, if you know of a mother in similar circumstances, please tell her about this blog and maybe with enough mothers standing united, we can finally set things right again in the courts and Family Services so both parents are allowed unfettered access to their children! After all, both parents are equally important when in come to raising their children.

      • Let's Get Honest said, on August 6, 2013 at 6:52 pm

        Have you read, recently in the Washington Post (after this comment) “Finding Ground Zero in Connecticut” by Anne Stevenson (it grabs the evidence of the billings), or her mention of the 5 most dangerous HHS programs for Women & Children”) May 2012, Huffington Post, searchable. The first deals specifically with Connecticut issues, the second with the HHS funding of fathers’ rights groups.

        I’m from California and went “through” (not through yet) this stuff; Claudine knows me — and my blog. Women, we are being attacked because we are smart and independent, many times (in the relationships) which is feared, but there is also more than meets the eye to the federal funding of fatherhood propaganda. For one, that’s in part what the family courts were set up for originally — to pull in this funding. They also happen to be venues where batterers go to hide.

        We need to educate ourselves on the federal financial incentives, and how this relates to the courts, and quit alllowing to lapse, or be buried, the essential information dug out already (!!) by people in the 1990s, but because we (those who dug it out) didn’t have the funding and the connections to make large, fancy websites and run major conferences — which are then written off and charged to the taxpayers — to show how these fundds are being used (rather than exploit them) — this information wasn’t out in time for, for example, my children (separation around the turn of the millennium, after years of married, religious, DV). That’s why I bloggged.

        I am horrified that the treatment of women and mothers in the courts is getting worse and worse; they are more and more empowered and completely disregard the safety of kids and adults coming in — they know this and simply do not care about it. I still know many women; we have little kids running away from the father’s household; we have lawyers (see warshak.com, who runs a class teaching Dad’s attorney how to teach MOM’s attorney to fork it over (50% custody) or lose them.

        ~ ~ ~ ~
        Since many times women, when they get pregnant (married or not) are physically and all ways attacked BECAUSE they are smart and independent, I think it’s time to also demonstrate how smart we are — and study the opponents (to our basic human rights to stay alive, and our expectations for little protection from criminal behavior by exes, etc.).

        Perhaps there’s some why to reach out to women getting protective orders — and warn them what’s coming up, EVERYONE should understand the AFCC, the CRC, and how this ties into “out-come based” court proceedings.

        I really like Trish’s writing, it’s empowering, it’s real and she’s telling the truth. On the other hand, right in Maryland is something at the University of Baltimore School of Law called a “CFCC” (Center for Families and Children in the Courts; it now has an extra name attached according to who funds it), where an AFCC person connects to law students and where they attempt to continue centralizing control of the courts (Unified Family Courts) and coordinate their “therapeutic jurisprudence” to gain “subject matter jurisdiction” which would access dependency funds (i.e., help stick kids in foster care and get them adopted faster). …..

        I’m never going to go through everyone’s story or narratives; for one, I already have chronic PTSD from these family courts; for another, I have children (now young adult) and for a third, my own situation involves relatives and is STILL not resolved.

        But I put together as much blog and links as possible. And I made a conscious choice not to hang out too much with people who are neither following the money, nor teaching others to — because at the court/judicial/federal level that-s what this is about.

        It’s also VERY interesting to read about and opens up ways to leverage some power (I believe) other than the “we were treated abominably, my kids aren’t safe” factor — which is important, but not without an understanding of the overall situation. You can’t clean up a court system which had its origins in slush fund activity out of the county courthouses, and is being run by national/international nonprofits with an agenda! But you can shut down or intimidate some of the nonprofit sector on the basis of operating illegally out of the courthouse, and put them on notice this is being watched.

        I have four blogs, but this is the largest, and about 4 years old. http://familycourtmatters.wordpress.com
        Claudine knows who I am. After looking at the HHS grants for a while, it became clear they were set up for money laundering. I believe that’s also what the FR movement is about.

        What I’m saying is tactics count. We know our own stories, in general. We need to get the story of who put these courts together – and it’s NOT just “fathers rights groups. They had major foundation help (Ford, Rockefeller, etc.) and government help.

    • Cindy said, on May 28, 2013 at 8:58 am

      I had almost exact thing happen.No one defended me and my side was not even presented and I was accused of ficticious disorder by proxy and parental alienation. My daughters told me he was sexually abusing them we had joint custody. He was extremely abusive to me and verbally emotionally to my girls. NO ONE CARES! In fact one judge actually yelled I don’t care! when my children had not even been evaluated yet. I have only seen my daughters 1 1/2 hrs supervised a week for almost 2 years. They think he is wonderful because he is an abuser and they are so charming. Don’t these people go to school and learn about domestic violence and how there is a higher incidense of sexual abuse with these guys. What are we supposed to do not protect our kids or try to protect and end up worse off. I left him so they would have less abuse not more with me not there to protect them I cry constantly and pray even more. I am believing God for help. I would love to talk to other moms. I feel like a mother bear moaning in pain wandering in the woods about to die. They took my kids based on no facts just because they thought I was a vindictive woman when its him who is after me. He even said “I will destroy you”.

  3. victims of domestic violence said, on July 22, 2011 at 5:01 am

    Thank you for your article and the facts and truths. WHITE PLAINS FAMILY COURT JUDGES WALKER, HUBERT, EDLITZ AND GREENWALD ALL ARE PARENTAL ALIENATION/PARENTAL ALIENATION ADVOCATES. ALL BELIEVE THE MOTHER IS BAD AND THE FATHER NOT JUST GOOD BUT SUPERIOR. ALL BELIEVE, ESPECIALLY JUDGES HUBERT AND GREENWALD THAT A CHILD MUST HAVE A FATHER OR ELSE. HUBERT TAKES TOO FAR STATING THAT WITHOUT A FATHER, A CHILD WILL BECOME A CRIMINAL OR A SUICIDE. I HAVE BEEN KEPT IN COURT FOR NEARLY THIRTEEN YEARS BY A CANADIAN IN THIS COUNTRY ON A ILLEGALLY OBTAINED VISA. GUILY OF TAX AND IMMIGRATION FRAUD, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS A ZINCH FOR SOMEONE LIKE THIS MAN. ANYONE WHO HAS HAD EXPERIENCES WITH THE AFOREMENTIONED JUDGES OR ANY OF THEIR “COURT APPOINTEES” PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I HAVE BEEN APPROACHED TO GET INVOLVED IN A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT WOMEN/MOTHERS WHOM HAVE BEEN ABUSED, BATTERED AND TREATED LIKE ANIMALS BY THE COURT SYSTEM IN NEW YORK STATE. THE DOCUMENTARY WILL BE AIRED ON NATIONAL TELEVISION.

    • Dawn said, on August 9, 2011 at 7:47 pm

      I would be willing to share my story if it will help. I’ve spent 12 years jumping through every loophole that could possibly be found between the Family & Civil Courts trying to keep me and my son safe. How quickly I learned there was no way for me to protect us both. CPS told me to leave this man or they would take my children. I left not knowing my son would be on his own with this man. Had I know back this back then, I would have stayed! Eventually I learned how to somewhat manipulate my ex and make him agree to leave our son alone if I basically sacrificed myself. This worked for my ex. Despite the level of control and abuse, I took it knowing there wasn’t an attorney or Judge or anyone else out there who would keep my son safe.

      Several years later, I couldn’t take it anymore. I stopped allowing my ex control and abuse me. That very moment he dragged me back into Family Court and was given unsupervised visitation. My son was going on visits and it wasn’t long before it was evident my son was being abused in many ways. Physical abuse. Emotional abuse. Sexual abuse. Animal torturing. You name it! Of course, CPS indicated his father for abuse once and said they don’t typically investigate if they’ve already done so regarding specific matters.

      I finally started moving further and further away. My goal was to get to the next county. They were much more strict in regards to domestic violence and abuse so that’s where I was going! Well, I finally made it over to the next county. Remarried, bought a home and everything. After learning of the rape with my son, I stopped the visits. My son went through some very difficult times which of course started a few problems in other areas, such as my marriage. Next thing I knew, me and my children were alone again. It was tough for me… but my children were happy and safe. Then my ex found out my marriage was over and started to harass me. Asking me out, telling me to call if I need anything… Of course I shut him right out, blocked his number, the works. Finally he dragged me into Family Court. I was so excited at first.. Finally a new Judge to take a look at the situation and see what my son has gone through. WRONG! They won’t even discuss anything but re-uniting my son with his father. My son was forced to have phone communication with his father. The result, PTSD and suicidal attempts/threats. I had enough watching my son suffer! I dug my heals in and basically challenged the court on many levels and drove this to trial! They don’t hear my son or I so let’s see how it turns out with SEVERAL professionals standing up there as witnesses. If they don’t listen to them you can be assured I will appeal! My employment is already on the line. I’ll just sell my house, move further and try again! As the saying goes… Fight for what you believe in or die trying!
      .

    • wrjinitgklyc said, on December 7, 2011 at 2:46 am

      I know the judges and they are corrupt, dishonest and a pathetic group. Unfortunately they are big fish in a tiny pond and very power hungry. From the officers to the clerks to the judges and their appointees they are a deplorable and filthy group.

    • Anna M said, on October 14, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      Help, I’m in front of Greenwald! I can be on your doc…. been in IDV for 8 years!

      amd33@optonline.net

  4. [...] Christie said, on May 2, 2011 at 11:41 pm [...]

  5. christiealau said, on August 10, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Dawn, please post your story to my new blog, I was very touched by it and want to share it if you;’re ok with that. Good luck and much love and blessings being sent your way! http://www.illuminatedbridge.wordpress.com

  6. christiealau said, on August 10, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Thank you blogger….you’ve truly inspired me…check out my new blog…let’s get the word out there together!!! http://www.illuminatedbridge.wordpress.com

  7. victims of domestic violence said, on November 16, 2011 at 4:45 am

    WHITE PLAINS FAMILY COURT’S “MINIMALLY QUALIFIED” “JUDGE” HAL GREENWALD IS TAKING CHILRDREN FROM GOOD MOTHERS. HE LIES ON THE RECORD, HE HAS NO CONCERN FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT AND HE HAS NO CONCERN FOR THE CHILD’S BEST INTEREST. HIS COURT IS FATHER-CENTERED AND FATHER’S ENTITLEMENT, FATHER’S RIGHTS ARE PARAMOUNT TO THE CHILD’S RIGHTS…HAL GREENWALD’S COURT. PLEASE CONTACT US IF OTHER MOTHERS AND CHILDREN ARE SUBJECT TO THIS CORRUPT, NARROW-MINDED AND MINIMALLY EDUCATED GOON. THANK YOU

    • Gypsy said, on November 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm

      Wasn’t Minimally qualified Hal Greenwald a real estate attorney?!?!? And how, if he was minimally qualified (I looked it up and he was indeed minimally qualified) did he ever get to become a sitting judge? How is it that a New York real estate lawyer should ever get to decide that an abusive man should get access, or worse yet, custody of a minor child? How tragic and disgusting!!

      • swak said, on December 27, 2011 at 3:34 am

        Gypsy thanks for your information! It is easy for a lawyer to get to be a judge:connections. This guy was a too bit attorney you could find out in no time.It is unbelievable that Hal is a sitting judge. He is giving children to abusers so he is an abuser. Keep in touch with us.

    • valentinebaby214 said, on June 21, 2012 at 2:42 am

      I am currently going thru a horrific time w greenwald and am even more concerned by reading these posts. Long story short- last year he gave my abuser sole custody on default(I was manipulated into not going to court) Greenwald did vacate it almost a year later after I had no choice but to return to my abusive husband of 13yrs and there was an incident of abuse, unstable home n rape while my 11yr old n 9yr old slept. My husband was removed for 1 mnth but Greenwald then pulled out of his ass what a great idea if we ‘nested’. So I now for 7mnths have been living like a homeless gypsy every 4 days while that beast of a man is ruining everything I’ve taught my children. Greenwald ruled against me on the family offense. And now we are heading to custody trial. He also removed my husband 2wks ago for failing a court ordered/supervised drugtest only to let him back 10days later bc my husbands atty denied the results(even tho they asked for them) and went to a testing place of ‘their choosing’ which of course came back neg. (A joke!) There is sooooo much more but I’m getting tired of hearing myself repeat my story. When will someone listen!! This is sick! And I’m sooo tired of other ppl saying- u should do this or that. Its like really?!?! Do u really think I haven’t tried it all? I’ve asked questions you haven’t even thought of, lived the heartbreaking answer and you question if I’m the one doing everything I can? I know they mean well, but the sad truth is ppl just assume justice in the courts. Its simply not there. The only ones who know are the poor souls that get eaten alive by the system. If there is any support group out there, please let me know as I start the biggest fight of my life.

      • Chandraprakash Tripathi said, on February 19, 2013 at 6:31 pm

        You sad it right, well god is so fair and unfair to someone, i am also fighting custody case for my son here in india, but dont know how long years it will take for judgment, maybe i will be mad or no more, i dont have the capacity for all this and living without my son a single day is terrible.

    • Anna M said, on October 14, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      Please contact me! I am infront of Greenwald: amd33@optonline.net

    • Anna M said, on October 14, 2012 at 3:51 pm

      Help, I’m in front of Greenwald!

      amd33@optonline.net

      • Gracee Moon said, on February 14, 2013 at 10:14 pm

        I am starting to think the answer is for women to buy sperm over the internet then they do not ever have to face Family Court and fight for custody. Just use men for sex like men use women, and keep them away from your children as even step parents have rights. And men could hire a woman’s womb so they don’t have to appear in Family Court either. The family unit of Mother Father children dog cat bird and house will be no more ,maybe that is the answer because there has to be change -to help Mothers and children be safe. Because Family Court is not keeping them safe.
        As I have said before I am sending you all good thoughts
        Keep Safe
        Love From Australia

        PS the Judge should not have the lives of children and Mothers in his hands.

    • Sue said, on November 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      Judge Greenwald has destroyed my family and removed my son from my home after 16 years. I have been subject to the same corruption and devastating heartache. HELP!

      • laurel said, on February 15, 2013 at 1:59 am

        If you want to get Greenwald please don’t leave comments that say “contact me” or something else; while I’m sure you don’t realize it, your contact info is not showing for those of us who WANT to contact you and fry Greenwald’s ass! So I’m going out there and putting my contact info on this site, which I don’t think is the best idea, but clearly I must to get people together for my action against Greenwald. We CAN bring this insane, father’s rights advocate down, not because he is a father’s rights advocate, but because he ignores the law at all costs. If you are in, please text me at this # 9144005908. If the word Greenwald doesn’t appear within the 1st 3 words I will delete the email. Really trying to help us all, so please cooperate. Thanks!

  8. victims of domestic violence said, on December 3, 2011 at 5:59 am

    GREENWALD IS TAKING CHILDREN AWAY FROM MOTHERS BEFORE OUR VERY EYES. IS HE JEALOUS OF OUR FAMILIES? JUST LOOK AT HIS GROTESQUE FAMILY AND YOU’LL KNOW THE ANSWER. WHERE DID HE GO TO SCHOOL? JUST LOOK AND SEE. GOSH, NOT IMPRESSIVE AND NOT EVEN MEDIOCRE. DID YOU EVER HEAR OF HIM BEFORE HE SQUATTED ON THE BENCH? NOPE ‘CAUSE HE WAS A TWO BIT LAWYA IN SOME GROSS PLACE LIKE YONKAS OR MOUNT VERMIN.

  9. victims of domestic violence said, on December 3, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    judge hal greenwald took my children and he was smiling the whole time

  10. your cheerleaders and supporters said, on December 7, 2011 at 2:37 am

    We know all about Westchester County Family Court. A group of mothers are exposing the judges, the law guardians and visitation monitors including one monitor who is a goon who used to be a court officer/pig. The protective mothers are doing a good job and finally starting to work with the media. They are trying to get off the bench some judges accross the county. Good luck moms!

    • your cheerleaders and supporters said, on December 7, 2011 at 2:38 am

      Since when did they let moles into the courtroom?

    • Amazed said, on February 27, 2012 at 1:55 am

      I am interested in what you are doing. Can you contact me at hkb9999999@aol.com?

  11. your cheerleaders and supporters said, on December 7, 2011 at 2:42 am

    Or.. was rotated and the mole took over when the revolving head retired. Whatta group of losers? Did anyone of them go to college? A real school we mean not that too bit place called pace where you sign up. Very competitive you know.

  12. swak said, on December 7, 2011 at 3:21 am

    a law guardian started touching my child’s hair and it, stroking it while, with the judge,coercing the child to see the abusive father. when the law guardian is not working she is renting louis vuitton pocketbooks on line. she told us that is what she does for fun.

  13. christiealau said, on December 14, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    we should all start a non profit group seriously! Look at how many of us have put up with this nonsense and nothing is being done to stop it.

    • swak said, on December 21, 2011 at 11:42 pm

      Y’all are right. There is a relatively large group of women who have already formed a group. We could get involved with them, or start our own and perhaps merge if necessary or best. Who is your judge (s)? Let’s try to meet sooner than later.

      • swak said, on January 24, 2012 at 11:50 pm

        Where is the meeting and at one time? Please advise so we can contact all.

  14. Trish Lynch said, on January 8, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    NYCOURTS- NEW YORK COURT CORRUPTION: Trish Lynch Loses Custody of Her 5-Year Old daughter To Vi
    newyorkcourtcorruption.blogspo​ t.com

    i hope this helps the cause

  15. bella short said, on January 16, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    I am a 36 year old womem who got married when i was 21 because i was pregnent. 2 years later i was divorced, because as soon as we got married the man showed his true (abusive) colors. it was an unplanned pregnancy and i did not really know the father of my child all that well, and up until our marriage, he did not show any signs of being abusive except for being maybe a tad bit too controlling. in fact he went out of his way to be ingratiationg. As soon as we got married and i was his property, though, he showed his true colors. he started forbidding me to see my friends and would get enraged if i went anywhere without him. He made up ,lies about horribnle things he said my mother said about me, and so I stopped speaking to my family–he was out to isolate me so that iwas completely dependent on him. i was pregnent and going to college, so i did not work, and he refused to give me any money of my own.He had alienated me from family and friends, and he kept me totally penniless so that i had to beg for any money and any expenditure ahad to be approved by him. then he started beating me–while I was pregnent. I suffered severe beatings. At one point he even BIT ME IN THE FACE. On another occassion he got me down on the ground and kicked me in the stomach when i was six months pregnent. I called the police on him twice for domestic violence, and he was arrested, but when he made bail the next day each time, he was even angrier and he beat me even worse. II quickly learned that reporting the abuse just led to more abuse. I felt i had nowhere to go. i no longer spoke to my family, so I couldn’t in my mind go to them. I had no friends to turn to anymore, and I had no money to leave. in fact, I once did try to leave, taking ourt joint credit card. he cancelled the card and I had to come back because i had no money. The thing holding me there the most though, was shame. i wqas humiliated and embarrassed. Why is it that the person being abused is always the person who feels ashamed and not the abuser?
    At one point this man strangled me so hard i had clearly visible black and blue finger marks ringing my neck. We went to my parents for x-mas the day after, and I wore a scaraf around my neck to hide the bruises. My father was suspicious and ordered me to take the scarf off, and he could clearly see that I had been strangled almost to death. I denied it though, wouldn’t admit the truth and said nothing was wrong–the shame again. My father wanted to kill my husband, but because i would not admit to anything, my mother told him to back off, and that it was none of his business. When I was ready, she said to him, I would ask for help. Well, she was right. one day after a particularly bad beating, I waited until my husband went to work and tearfully called my mother and confessed that I was being abused and asked her to hurry and come get me before he came home from work. My mother told me she had been praying for this day, for me to call and ask for help, and within an hour my parents were there to rescue me and take me home. We had been married less than a year. out of vindictiveness, my husband refused to go along with the divorce when i filed him papers, which meant that I had to be married to that abusive scumbag for two more years–just another way to try and excert power over me, even after i left. this is just the background, I will get to the family court abuses he has subjected myself and my family to.
    He never showed any interest in the child, never even asked to see my son after i left, except as a way to lure me into having to be in his presence. I would bring the baby over, and he would TOTALLY ignore him, instead spending the time begging and pleading for me to come back to him. In fact, when i sued for child support, his response was that he would “sell” us his parental rights if we dropped the request for child support and paid him 250,000 dollars!!!! I gladly would have done both, but my family is not rich. When I sued him for child support, suddenly he sued for full custody–as if he was too stupid to know that taking care of a child full time costs a lot more than paying a few hundred dollars a month in child support. It is typical of these men that they sue for custody of the child not because they want the child but because they donj’t want to pay child suppport, and as a way to harass the mother.
    When the child custody trial came, I told the psychiatrist about the abuse. he had been arrested for domestic violence at least twice, and my parrents were witness to the strangulation marks around my neck. The psychiatrist put in his report that i “alleged” being a battered woman, but that there was no proof!!! Unbelievable, right. Also, between the seperation and the custody hearing, the man had started following me to classes (I was still in college and he lived just off campus)He actualluy followed me to one of my classes and as i was openeing the door to the building he grabbed me by the hair and pounded my head into the door so hard i fell over backward. He would follow me down the street yelling about how I was a whore and a birch, and he threw a full soda can in my face. I had gone back to my parents house briefly and then taken a studio apartment on campus to finish out the last couple months of my college. he somehow found out hwere i lived and crawwled in thru the ground floor window there that had a broken lock and wrote a threatening message on my bathroom mirror in lipstick. Everywhere i went, he would be following me. Because of this i was granted a PFA against him. Initially, it was for 3 months, he broke it so many times it lasted two years. but each time he broke it, all they did was extend it and put him in jail for the night. no real action was taken. I had also showed the psychiatrist the pfa–but yet there was “no eveidence of abuse!!!”
    Nevertheless, i won the custody battle.When I tried to do eexchanges he would yell,scream, call me names and threaten to kill me–even though i insisted we dfo the exchanges at Mcdonald’s since it isd a public place. He even spit on me. I turned exchange duties over to my parents, and he continued to ssame behavior. he even filed a false police report saying my dad hit him during an exchange. nothing came of it, because it was a lie. At one point he pushed my 70 year old mother to the ground. the police said they couldn’t do anything because she had no visible injuries and no one had actually seen it except my father- and he wasnt an independent witness. Excbhanges were switched to the police station because of his abusive and dangerous behavior. he called cps on me and alleged i was doing drugs, and that I was “feeding my baby heroin”(!!). They investigated and found nothing, but he did not know that they are also required to investigate the complaintent when it is a parent. The cps worker said his house was absolutely filthy, with rotten food andnd papers strewn everywhere. He said he did not have a bed for my son, which is required for overnight visitation. The case worker also said that basically nothing would come of it, though. he said they were so over-worked and there were so many worse cases, that he would just be ordered to clean uop and get a bed.
    NOw for the legal harrassment that has been going on for the last 123 years. he files motions in family court as a “pauper”, even though he is a single man making 22,000dollars a year, and act as his own lawyer so that he sdoes not incur legal fees. he has filed 320 motions against me in family court over the past 12 vyears, 220 of which have gone before a judge. He files for free, my mother has to pay a lawyer 500 dollars each time one of his frivilous motions goes befor the judge. (I am very low income and live with my parents). He has lost 90 percent if not more of the motions and they are frivilous in the extreme, and often times completely made up–allegeing we did not give him jhis weekend when in fact he DID pick up my son and have his time, wanting me to be found in contempt of court because i did not spend halloween with my 14 year old son because he wanted to go outy with his friends, but our court order says that we have to spend our assigned holidays with our children. The latest is that he e-mailed our lawyer and said he would drop the halloween thing if we gave him memorial day. We agreed. My lawyer made up papers and had John sign them, and ther lawyer presented it to the judge and so the hearting on the issue was dismissed. Now he is saying my lawyer forged his signiturer on the documents. he said early after I left jhhim that he would continue harrassing me and my family until I went crazy (I suffer from life-long depression and anxiety) and my parents went bankrupt. He is doing his best to keep his word. The whole saga is endless and exhausting, and he does n not care one bit about the good of his son. He harrassed his baseball couch so many times–calling him 60 times in one day–that no oner wants my son on their baseball team. He harassed my son’s scout leader so much he is no longer laloud to be in boy scouts–not just that troupe, but the legal council for the entire boy scouts of america sent a letter that because of his father’s behavior he is never allowed to be a boy scout. He is ruining my son’s life just to get back at me for leaving him-i don’t knowwhy he is harrassing my parents or why he hates them so much–he doesn’t even know them–i guess it is just because they help me. i don’t see how the courts allow this blatant harrassment!!!
    –bella

    • CAB said, on May 11, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      Where did all this happen and before which judge and in which court? Your story sounds very, very familiar and if it were written better if would be far more credible. In fact the way you wrote your posting sounds as if were actually written by one particular gross, crooked, money hungry court appointee. Let’s just say that this pig would write just as she speaks. Do you know who she is? Clue: she is grossly overweight, uneducated and walks around stuffing food into her mouth from her greasy McDonald’s bag. She is especially fond of handbags? Were our clues good?

      Hopefully your’re just a good mother under stress from this crooked system. Please respond with the court you are in or were in.

  16. taylindmoncaroetc. said, on January 24, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Watch our for notification on your phones. The date and time needs to work for all of us. This next meeting is critical.

  17. taylindmoncaroetc. said, on January 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Judge Colleen Duffy is another vicious reckless pro father judge who should never have judged anyone. She is a moron and should have been disbarred along with the batch of them

    • CAB said, on May 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm

      Colleen Duffy joins the ranks of vicious pro father judges in this sick court. Are you aware of her credentials or should I say lack of credentials. It is alarming that dumb judges are deciding our fates. The FBI needs to do another “rotation” and fast. We should all go to court together. These judges are basically dumb losers who could not make it as private lawyers. Even then, no one would hire then. Duffy is a —–

    • jsdv said, on August 28, 2012 at 2:33 am

      she is in yonkers right…pls contact me

  18. ncmdekalbga said, on February 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Reblogged this on Non-Custodial Mothers in DeKalb County, GA ncmdekalbga and commented:
    Be-knowing of what is going on in your world at large. Be understanding. Be-a-knowledge seeker. BE ACTIVE! -Wendy Lewis

  19. [...] NYCOURTS- NEW YORK COURT CORRUPTION: Crisis In Family … Trish Wilson, posted on Parentadvocates.orgLINK [...]

  20. p said, on March 17, 2012 at 3:04 am

    Im a mother in the uk being dragged through the courts here, for 4 and a half years, constantley being told to go along with what the abuseive father or the judge will award him custerdy of my daughter, the judge here is called judge neaves, and he reserves my case to himself, i feel as a mother i have no rights at all, ive done my job haveing my daughter, now i can disappear , all because he fools them all thinking he can carry on hurtin me and controlling my life still , useing my daughter to do it with the courts blessing ! mothers rights” we have no rights” none at all. we have to hand our children over to thease animals and hope they come back to us unharmed. somebody has to stop thease courts ruining our lifes and our childrens.

  21. 50%mommy said, on April 7, 2012 at 3:49 am

    I would love to do anything I can to help with establishing a non-profit group dedicated to changing how the family courts (particularly in NYC) treat mothers. My story is not as extreme as some others, but I was so shocked by the outcome of my case. It was completely illogical. I have shared custody of my two year old, and while her dad is by and large good with her, he was abusive and controlling with me. My little girl is apart from me for a week at a time, and she really misses the life we used to have. There are just far too many stories like mine, and worse, there are far too many stories of children being handed over to fathers who abuse them, not just their mothers.

    • CHICKY said, on May 23, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      TO 50% MOMMY:

      NEW YORK COURTS …ESPECIALLY THE CORRUPT AND VILE WHITE PLAINS FAMILY COURT SYSTEM REALLY NEEDS TO BE INVESTIGATED, AND IT WILL. YOUR STORY IS NOT UNIQUE. A FRIEND AND I SHARE THE SAME VILE COURT APPOINTEES/PLAYERS. WHICH COURT HOUSE ARE YOU IN? WE SHOULD ALL START EXCHANGING MORE DETAILED INFORMATION. YEARS AGO WHEN I WAS ASKED TO BE INVOLVED IN A PBS DOCUMENTARY ON THE CORRUPT COURT AND JUDGES AND APPOINTEES, I DECLINED. THAT WAS A MISTAKE. INTERESTINGLY, ALL THE MOTHERS WERE WELL EDUCATED, WONDERFUL MOTHERS AND PRETTY, BUT WE ARE ALL TARGETS.

      THE JUDGES IN WHITE PLAINS, BY IN LARGE, HAVE BAD EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUNDS. THERE ARE A COUPLE OF EXCEPTIONS AND THE ONE THAT COMES TO MIND IS A JUDGE WHO ONLY WAS ADMITTED TO A GOOD SCHOOL BECAUSE OF QUOTAS. THE GUY IS INSANE AND KNOWN FOR RUN ON MONOLOGUES THAT ARE VERY DIFFICULT TO LISTEN TO, LET ALONE SIT THROUGH. HE SPEAKS AS IF HE IS AN EXPERT ON ALL SUBJECTS, BUT IF YOU LISTEN CLOSELY, HIS BACKGROUND AND HIS ROOTS BECOMES APPARENT.

      IT IS DISTURBING THAT THE JUDGES AND COURTS WANT EACH MOTHER AND OUR CHILDREN TO BELIEVE WE ARE THE ONLY ONES WITH DIFFICULTY IN COURT , WITH THE JUDGES, THE APPOINTEES AND EVEN THE ROUGH, LOW- CLASS COURT EMPLOYEES WHO PUT THEIR FILTHY HANDS IN OUR BAGS AND ON OUR BODIES. THEY ARE CALLED SECURITY….

      MARY RICHARDSON KENNEDY AND HER CHILDREN WERE VICTIMS OF THIS CORRUPT SYSTEM; JUST LOOK AT WHAT A MALE CAN DO, ESPECIALLY WHEN THAT MALE HAS DOUGH AND CLOUT…JUST LIKE OURS.

      THERE IS A CLASS ACTION SUIT BREWING AGAINST THE COURT SYSTEM. HEARD OF IT?

  22. Marcella said, on May 7, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    i have been divorced from my son’s physically abusive father for 13 years. M yson is 14 years old. I got married at 21, and our marriage only really lasted a few months. i got married because i got pregnant, and he did not show his real abusive colors until after the marriage certificate was signed. then all of a sudden he started isolating me from my friends–he would not let me go anywhere with any of my friends without him coming along, an he kept telling me he didn’t like them, etc, so I lost most of my friends. Then he made upa stry about my mother saying something terrible about me while he was talking to him on the phone, and so I stopped talking to her, so he isolated me from my family. Then he put me on an “allowance’ but wouldn’t give me any of my own money–I had to ASK for for even one dime, and usually i didn’t get any. Then he started demeaning me verbally, then he started hitting me, Classic. he wa arrested twice while we were together for domestic violence–my parents were witnesses to deep purple finger shaped bruises on my neck from him strangling me so hard once he nearly killed me. Once I left I had to get a restraining order against him because he was stalking and threatening me and even physically assaulted a man i was on a date with–for which he was arrested again and charged with assault. But when they did the psychological evaluations for our custody battle, the MALE psychologist said “mother CLAIMS that father was physically abusive to her, but there is NO EVIDENCE to back up her claim. Um…how about the restraining ordre, the multiple police reports, and my parents testimony to seeing strangulation marks and bruises on me on many occassions. THAT wasn’t sufficient evidence for him? Sound biased much? The father “cared” o much about this child that at one point after I had left him he offered to SELL me his parental rights if my family would give him a 100,000 dollars. My family is well off, but not 100,000 dollars well off–plus our lawyer advised us that it would be a useless agreement anyway, because the father could re-assert his parental rights at any time, even if he signed them over. He called my house and said, ” I am going to harrass you until you go crazy and your parents go bankrupt.” I have suffered from extreme anxiety nd depression since I was a teenager, so he knew that he could easily cause me extreme emotional distress if he kept hounding at me, and for some reason he had also developed some hatred for my entire family, who he didn’t even know, and wanted to destroy my whole family in addition to me. He has kept his word. He had himself declared a “pauper” as he doesn’t make a lot of money, so he is allowed to file family court motions for free, and he acts as his own lawyer, so he doesn’t have to pay any legal fees. i am also quite poor, but because I live with my parents, they included THEIR income when calculating my worth, so I was not eligible for a legal aid lawyer–so my parernts have to ppay 500 dollars or a lawyer every time we go to family court, which believe me, is a LOT. In 13 years I have taken him to court for child support–which he didn’t pay a dime of four YEARS, and for which he now pays me a grand total of 180 dollars a month–oh, big help. He lies about his income because he has a “real” joband an under the table job. My initial award was 300 dollars a month even on the income he did declare, but he kept going back to court and declaring poverty and they kept reducing the amount he had to pay. Anyway, that is ALL I have EVER taken him to court for in 13 years. He has filed 300 motions against me and my parents (as interested parties) over the past 13 years, and 150 of these have gone on to hearings. For every motion he files, we have to consult our lawyer and pay, and then every time he manages to get his completely frivolous complaints in front of a judge, we have to pay the lawyer even more to attend the hearing. He called our lawyers office so many times and was so abusive and profane with the secretary and the lawyer that they actually filed a RESTRAINING ordder against him so that he is only allowed to communicate with our lawyer through e-mail! He is using family court as a way to continue to abuse and harrass me–even though I left to escape his abuse, he has continued to abuse me through the family court system–and they let him, because HE has RIGHTS, and there is nothing they can do. He has a right to file these totally bogus motions, over and over and over (and over) again. Of course, he is involved in a father’s rights group. Of course. He calls my parents phone sometimes 15-20 times a day, leaving messages where he says he wishes my mother would die and he will spit on her in her coffin, that her daughter (me) is a whore who has sex with people for money (I have been in a monogomous relationship for the last 10 years), that I deserve to die and that I am keeping him from his son (Even though he has NEVER been denied a visitation by myself or my family–every other weekend and once a week on Tuesdays, plus my son is court ordered to call him every day at 8 pm). He calls me and my mother filthy names on these messages, but early on (like 10 years ago) he got caught on the answering machine issuing actual death threats, saying that he was going to shoot my mother in the head and strangle me until my eyes pop out.and he got into legal trouble for making ‘terroristic threats”, so now he has become smarter. he never SAYS that he is going to kill us, he just implies it. We called the police once about the harrassing phone calls, and they called him and said if he did not stop he would be charged with harrassment, but they also told us we would have to take it ourselves to the magistrate, it would not go to court, so really they did nothing. the messages and 20 calls day stopped for a few weeks, and then they started again. The police found him once lurking around our house when we were not home and peering in the windows, but they didn’t arrest him, they just told him to leave. He actually KIDNAPPED my son once and reused to return him for two weeks, and somehow he didn’t get in any trouble for that,either. Once he accused me of kidnapping my son, because he went to emergency night court without my knowledge and took out a restraining order against me, under completely false pretenses, saying I had threatened him, physically attacked him, etc., even though I had not even seen him for several years. he obtained temporary custody of our son. The issued was straightened out two days later when i found out about the whole thing and the restraining order was cancelled and i was given back full custody of my son, but even after the order had expired,he took it to the police and claimed He was the custodial parent and i was illegally holding our son. he did it at night so that it would be harder for them to check the facts. The female detective who took his report just had a feeling he was a harrassing liar and did not believe him but took his report. he demanded that an Amber alert be sent out. She told him he had better be teeling the truth and be very sure he wanted that Amber alert because once it was put out the FBI got involved and if he was not telling the truth he would be in EXTREME legal trouble. All of a sudden he didn’t think the Amber alert was a good idea. The police came to my house to investigate and I showed them the legal papers sayingthat the restraining order was canceled and that i had full custody of my son and it wasn’t one of his visiting days, so I could not be kidnapping our son. The detective wanted to press charges for filing a false police report, but the DA wouldn’t go ahead with it. Even after my parents took over exchanges and started doing them at the police station, he still harrassed them. My parents usually park a block or two from the station and just let my son walk to his car because they don’t want to have to see him. One time he actually kind of sneaked up on them when my mother was getting back in the car after kissing my son goodbye and he actually pushed my 70 year old mother to the ground!! She tried to file charges, but the police wouldn’t do anything because there were no witnesses and she did not have any physical marks on him. Once he followed them as they drove away and managed to get his car in front of theirs and block them in so that they couldn’t drive away. he got out of his car and started throwing himself against the bumper and the hood of the car actually trying to injure himself. He called the police and claimed that my parents had tried to run him over! They told him flat out they knew he was lying and wouldn’t take a report, so he called the police ethics board and claimed they were unfairly bised towards my parents and treated him unethically. A lawyer for the police called my family to get some background on the situation and she found out about his years of stalking, intimidation, harrassment, and harrassment through the family court system. She couldn’t believe it. She said i can’t believe they are letting him do this to you, why doesn’t someone STOP him?? She was also able to pull up the number of false or dismissed police reports he had filed against me or my family over the years and was amazed, and that basically proved that his case against the police had no merit. But my god, this whole thing is NEVER_ENDING, and NO ONE-not the family courts, not the police, NO-ONE will stand up for me and my family and STOP him. After all, he has rights as a father….tell me that is a person who should even be allowed to SEE his child?

    • LAW BIDEN said, on May 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      OF COURSE THE SYSTEM IS LETTING YOUR ABUSER…STALKER DO THIS TO YOU AND YOUR WHOLE FAMILY. ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH WHITE PLAINS JUDGE JAMES HUBERT? HOPE HE READS THIS POSTING. THERE ARE A LOT OF MORONS LIKE HIM. HUBERT GOT INTO COLLEGE BECAUSE OF QUOTAS BACK THEN…THERE ARE STILL PROBABLY QUOTAS AT ANY GOOD SCHOOL BECAUSE THE SCHOOLS WOULD NOT BE GOOD OTHERWISE. THEY HAD TO BE ACCEPTED TO SCHOOLS,GOOD SCHOOLS AND SO SO SCHOOLS AND BAD SCHOOLS, OR ELSE OUT WOULD COME THE SPRAY PAINT…BUILDING WOULD BE DEFACED….RIOTS WOULD BREAK OUT. WE WOULD NOT BE SAFE. HUBERT THINKS HE IS GOD BUT HE IS A LITTLE , DARK, DIRTY FISH IN A LITTLE POND OF FECAL MATTER…WE MEAN LITTLE PUDDLE OF F……… THERE IS SO MUCH THAT CAN BE SAID ABOUT JAMES HUBERT BUT IT IS NOT FIT TO PRINT…FOR NOW THAT IS. HIS DECISIONS ARE MORONIC AND BASELESS. HOW CAN THIS ……. OVERSEE A COURT OR SENTENCE ANYONE TO ANYTHING?. HE HATES CHILDREN AND HIS OWN ARE UNDER PSYCHIATRIC CARE. HE IS A KNOWN CHEAT BUT WOULDN’T YOU CHEAT ON A WIFE IF YOURS LOOKED LIKE HIS? MAYBE SHE IS CHEATING ON HIM. HUBERT STRUTS AROUND THE COURTHOUSE LIKE A LOW LIFE PUNK AND WAS SHUFFLED FROM ANOTHER JOB IN THIS SAME CORRUPT SYSTEM. HOW CAN HE BE A CRIMINAL JUDGE WHEN HE SHOULD BE LOCKED UP FOR INDECENCY? WHITE PLAINS COURT AND ITS POPULATION SHOULD BE FLUSHED DOWN THE TOILET INCLUDING ITS CORRUPT JUDGES, THE GUARDS WHO SCREEN YOU, OR SHOULD WE SAY, SCREAM AT US AND GROPE US, AND THE ONES THAT HANG OUT IN THE COURTROOM. EVER NOTICE HOW THEY LOOK? YOU GOT A COMBO OF WHITE TRASH AND ONES THAT WOULD ORDINARILY BE CLEANING HOUSES AND MOTEL ROOMS. ANY ARTICULATE? OF COURSE NOT. THEY ARE ALL LOW LIFES TRYING TO PUSH US AROUND. ARE THEY RESENTFUL? OF COURSE. NO WONDER HUBERT IS STILL IN THIS COURTHOUSE.HE IS WITH HIS KIND.

  23. Head blowed up with domestic Violence said, on June 8, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    I’m 31 years old and have a child with my ex italian boyfriend, who I was with for 4 years in a relationship. I had domestic violance through the last two years of the relationship since I was 5 months pregnant with his son. I broke the relationship off last year of march 2011. I had enough of him: drinking, coming home what ever time he wanted, slapping me, grabbing my hair, embarassing me in front of my friends, and calling me names. As he took a shower one day March 2012; I stuffed all his clothes in a garbage bag and put it outside my private house apartment. His keys were on the counter; I took my keys (only) off his key chain and placed it back where they were laying before. He came out in a towel, noticed clothes he layed out on the bed weren’t there. He asked me, I told him in a gentle voice, “go outside, they’re there in a garbage bag.” He started cursing at me, I started cooking. Tears did come down my eyes as I cooked. He went out the door to see if what I had said was true. I quickly closed the entrance door, all 3 locks. He did yell from outside horrible things to me cause he couldn’t get back in. I pray to god that he leaves and he did, thank god. I went the next day to family court and filed an order of protection and child custody. He came the day of court with his mother smiling at me. They had a paid italian lawyer; I had a free legal aide. Judge gave him joint custody, one week the baby is with me and the other week with him. I’m not allowed to go out of N.Y state. I was told I can’t travel anywhere. He puts out violations towards me constantly. If I’m late (I’m in college to be a nurse) handing him the baby, his quick to make it a violation in court. Order of protection the judge dropped it cause he behaved good for a while after the order was issued. Just recently, last friday, his mother surprised me from behind as I was about to open my mother’s car door in the street; I was carrying the baby. His mother hit me hard on my back. I looked back and quickly pushed her away. She came back towards me and poke me with a rolled magazine, I pushed her again. My mother stepped out the car and stated screaming at her. The force I had to do again pusing her made me loose the baby out of my hands. It happened so fast; his father was just feet behind from his mother. He quickly came took the baby, on my visitation day and put the baby in his car. I scream for him to return the baby. His mother threw the magazine towards me but missed and shouted B*** you’ve been served and started walking off. I got in my mother’s car and told my mother get in, lets go to the precicnt and we rushed over there. Police told me it’s not kidnapping if father takes the baby but I could still make a police report and take it to family court. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, my college grades went down. I have always scored 90 and above. Two days ago, I took an exam in Anatomy and for the first time I scored a 68. I’m stressed! I don’t find justice in the system. how does a person eliminate domestic violance forever? There is no justice in New York from what I’ve experienced; I’m looking for an answer to end domestic violance.

  24. GSHT said, on August 10, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    JUDGE GREENWALD IS DISGUSTING, CORRUPT AND DOES NOT EVEN KNOW HOW TO RUN A COURT. HE COERCES OUR CHILDREN AND THREATENS THEIR MOTHERS. HE MUST HAVE BEEN MISERABLE GROWING UP: UGLY AND FROM A GROTESQUE LOOKING FAMILY, DUMB. AND UNABLE TO EVEN GET INTO A BAD COLLEGE. NOW HE RUNS THE SHOW IN THE INFAMOUS WHITE PLAINS FAMILY COURT. THE LITIGANTS ARE GENERALLY —–, ——, AND ——-, BUT THERE ARE A HANDFUL OF NORMAL LITIGANTS, AND EDUCATED LITIGANTS LIKE US. GREENWALD ONLY WANTS TO CONTROL PEOPLE’S LIVES AND HE IS UNCONTROLLABLY ABUSIVE OF HIS POWER. HOPEFULLY WHAT COMES AROUND GOES AROUND, LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO THE D AND THE PIG THAT CROSSED US. HOW TRAGIC D’S END WAS, BUT WE THOUGHT IT WAS HILARIOUS, AND WHAT A WAY TO GO. SHE COUDN’T EVEN OBEY TRAFFICE LAW! MAY GREENWALD’S FUTURE HAVE THE SAME DELIGHTFUL OUTCOME

  25. Kenai2Koda said, on August 27, 2012 at 2:04 am

    These statistics and things are really disturbing. I’m a 25 year old guy who’s never been married, but my parents split when I was 9, not because of domestic violence, but because of my dad’s alcoholism and a few other irreconcilable issues.
    Now that I’ve taken the time to read all this…………

    I’ve decided that I’m just going to adopt as many kids as I can from other countries and the “system” without ever getting married. (I’m hoping for six in all) Being a parent is more important than being a husband. No, I’m not gay, but even if I was, it wouldn’t matter anyway, because I don’t need a partner, it just doesn’t seem worth the aggravation of going through the divorce, and even though I would pay the support, I’d probably be in trouble anyway for constantly overstaying my custodial rights.

    Let’s look at my background: four female siblings (three of whom are younger than me), a respectable family support system with good income, a Bachelor’s Degree and very close to a Masters, no criminal record, fairly clean driving record and….

    If I could just get a better job… but other than that, what else could I possibly need to be a good parent?
    A part of me does want my children to have two parents, BUT even if I got married AFTER adopting these kids, and God forbid got divorced later on, guess who’s keeping all the kids?

    To those women who grew up with many brothers, and know a thing or two about raising boys: maybe you should consider adopting and never getting married. OR, even if you had no brothers, just adopt girls and don’t get married. My theory is that anyone who grew up with many siblings of the opposite sex, is WAY more equipped to raise children of the opposite sex without a partner. I’ve seen many women who have given birth to several boys with many different men, tried to raise them on their own, and have failed MISERABLY!!! Their sons have very poor manners, say bad words to the wrong people, and behave very inappropriately in public. These women either had no brothers growing up, or they rarely saw them.

    Why get married and start something that might not finish properly and hurt the kids WAY more than they would be if they never had a mother in the first place? I had four sisters, and I can raise as many boys AND girls as I wanted to with or without a wife. Braiding hair isn’t really a guy thing, but anyone can learn how to do it, and if I love my daughter that much, I WOULD do it for her once in awhile.

  26. Donna Tribunella Anderson said, on September 23, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Wow…..I felt like I was reading my life………what a nightmare.

  27. The Radical One said, on November 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Sad that feminists tackle these issues. They are the ones who gave away women’s protections. Mother custody was the LAW in the 1950s and unwed fathers had absolutely no legal standing in court. Child support and alimony were available to women only- as it should be. Feminists gave away women’s protections in their quest for equal rights. But, the revolution is over now so they have to go around and address the issues women are now facing if they are to remain relevant to women.”Yet having been taken seriously by ever state legislature in the country…feminists seek to absolve themselves from the blame, as though society should have known better than to listen to them.”- F. Carolyn Graglia

  28. chris said, on December 12, 2012 at 1:46 am

    FATHERS RIGHTS AND THEIR CORRUPT JUDICIAL CRONIES.
    A SHORT HISTORY OF HOW JUDGES SET UP A SECRET SYSTEM TO RIG CASES FOR MEN

    Fathers Rights activists have made themselves well known. You can find some of their most influential group sites linked below. While they have been successful as promoting themselves as underdogs fighting for equal parenting in a society and legal system which is rigged for women, while a closer look at their history, their leaders, their literature and web sites shows a very different story. Not only are they directly affiliated with a secretive group of judges who handle much of their case litigation, but they are also affiliated with published incest promoters – Gardner, Underwager and Farrell. (See Section on Published Pedophile Advocates)

    Many of them, especially their leaders, are very bad-dads who are out to beat the system and destroy the mother of their children because her legal rights and the child’s natural bond with their own mother, threaten his need to have the advantage, and especially to evade financial obligations and abuse charges. While their public chatter is about being disenfranchised by a system which places little to no value on the father-child relationship, their private activities and discussion show that they have been very successful in changing state custody laws in their to their advantage, and changing custody and support orders in their own cases to their advantage. Many of these purported underdogs have sole custody and receive child support. The sociopathy of this movement has had a very profound affect not only at its victims, but also on government policy and programs which is tilting toward an official policy of rejecting family violence and abuse complaints as vengeful acts by “bitter” ex-spouse, and eliminating post-divorce financial obligations for women.

    One important factor which the fathers rights leaders never mention is that their leading group, CRC, was set up many years ago by people who were officials of secretive judicial organizations – AFCC: Association of Family & Conciliation Courts — established in Los Angeles in 1982 by L.A. judges and a few others, including a man named Meyer Elkin, (now deceased) who was a prison sex offender psychologist
    (NAFCJ note: a profession notorious for being sympathetic to sex offenders).
    But Meyer Elkin was not the only AFCC official who was also a founding official, or closely associated with the leading fathers rights group – CRC. Joan Kelly, of Marin County CA, does research and trains court professionals, is also a AFCC and CRC founding official. Several other AFCC officials or leaders are also closely associated with the fathers right groups. This and other factors show that the fathers rights movement was a creation of a ring judges who dominate the family court system and public policy in many states. These judges are not only hearing a large percentage of domestic litigation, they are also writing the state laws covering custody, divorce and child support. In addition they influence HHS-ACF agency which controls most of the grant funds going to the state level agencies and courts. Their people are getting the grants and using for the fathers rights cases.

    READ ABOUT THESE GROUPS TO COMPREHEND THE EXTENT OF THIS COLLUSION

    AFCC: Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
    “AFCC is the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts – an interdisciplinary and international association of professionals dedicated to the resolution of family conflict.”

    Read about Meyer Elkin’s role in the AFCC is discussed toward the bottom of their site AFCC: History page .
    Completely omitted from this AFCC history is the very relevant fact that Meyer Elkin also co-founded in 1985, the leading fathers rights group – Children’s Rights Council. Study these people and their site carefully because it is the “blueprint” of how the courts are organized to rig cases for their paid-up allies. Nobody has to slip an envelope full of cash into the pocket of a co-conspirators to rig court cases for these people. It is all done for them by the government. They get their bribes paid for them !

    The AFCC never mentions the multiple cross-affiliations between AFCC officials and the fathers rights group including Children’s Rights Council (CRC), founded by David Levy in 1985, along with several other key AFCC people. While this vital fact is no where to be found on any of their recent literature, it did appear in the early (pre-Interent) CRC hardcopy newsletters, which NAFCJ possesses, and uses to discredit this group and the judges who collude with them. Also in these older CRC newsletters was discussion of grants they received from HHS and the people who worked with them on those grants – people like incest promoters Richard Gardner and Warren Farrell. CRC allies were put into high-level HHS-ACF position such David Gray Ross, as Commission for Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) -starting in 1993 through approx 1999.. Ross was a Maryland Judge, who people who knew him say was a dead-beat dad himself. He spent his time as OCSE commissioner instituting regulations, programs and policies favorable to fathers and CRC. He essentially set up OCSE to be a fathers rights child support avoidance and custody switching agency. This perversion of OCSE’s agency’s original legislative mission continues to-date. This is the reason why so many custodial mothers can’t collect on their child support arrears, while non-custodial mothers are hounded incessantly and even jailed for support obligations assessed beyond standard guide-lines and beyond their ability to pay. Other evidence taken from HHS Inspector General Web site reveals even worse corruption at HHS-ACF/OCSE.
    The AFCC claims their focus is on training judges, custody evaluators and mediators about custody and divorce issues. But in reality they are a father focused organization and promoting alienation theories to explain away family violence by men. In reality they act as a “clearinghouse” for organized case rigging. They hold conferences about parental alienation but never mention the many professional experts who have condemned it as harmful to children or the link to incest promoter Richard Gardner. Their scheme involves “recruiting” male litigants through fathers groups and federal HHS programs managed by the local child support agencies for program “services” which are ostensibly for helping non-custodial fathers get their visitation rights so they would have less incentive to default on child support obligations. Instead the fathers get deals to have their support obligations closed and sent to a program paid attorney to litigant for custody. The judge hearing these cases proves payments to the court-colluding fathers attorney and other supposedly “neutral” court evaluators. None of this is disclosed to the targeted female litigant who sometimes is also ordered to pay the fees of these court professionals (e.g. illegal double billing).. The father is encouraged to file repeated motions (usually on frivolous claims of visitation denial or alienation) so the co-conspiring court professionals can get a steady stream of government payments. It appears the judge handling these cases gets a kickback from those being paid (with his approval) based on a few exposed examples. This is what keeps their litigation game going and going. They label it high-conflict bitter custody litigation to hide their own fraud. The blame the mother for everything and keep her away from her children so she will be desperate to go back to court and get a chance to convince them of the truth (which of course they already know, and are exploiting perversely against her).
    Basic Judicial ethics prohibits judges from belonging to organizations with people who appear before them in the court cases. However, this doesn’t stop the crooked AFCC affiliated judges from appointing Guardian at Litem (child’s attorneys) or court psychological evaluators who are AFCC members to the same cases which the AFCC member judge is handling. Also the AFCC conducts joint conferences with the CRC – fathers rights group – usually on the subject of Parental Alienation – which they all know has been discredited as being not a valid method for use in court evaluations.
    Other people on AFCC’s Board of Directors are many people closely associated with the Children’s Rights Council. Their favorite researcher — Sanford L. Braver, Ph.D. — was a recipient of a $10M federal grant. Braver, found, astoundingly, as a result of his study that after divorce, women do as well financially as men! Bradford and many other purported “neutral” expert evaluators all work in concert behind the scenes to issue rubber-stamp anti-woman, pro-abusive father evaluations for the primary intent of deliberately covering up for abusive fathers (as a protection racket fueled by federal program graft).

    Another AFCC founding official is Jessica Pearson, President of Center for Policy Research of Denver, Colorado, which is a primary consultant to the Department of Health and Human Services – Administration for Children & Families (HHS-ACF) which includes OCSE. Pearson/AFCC have been using ther influence for many years to create pro-father programs and protocols which are steered to the pro-father court professionals who train others in the anti-mother evaluation tactics such as PAS. She has been a frequent speaker at CRC and AFCC conferences and works closely with other fathers rights collaborators to promote PAS in government programs.

    The AFCC has many state chapters which conduct conferences, seminars and workshops on their “latest” practices for handling divorce, custody and related family & children litigation. Most of the identified AFCC professional members routinely practice anti-woman, pro-abuser father PAS tactics against mothers who complain of child abuse by the father. Most have a documented history of rubber-stamping every mother as an mentally unstable alienator who is the cause of all the problem and unfit to be around her children. Of course, they know the truth of what they are really doing – is to trump up reasons to make the mother look bad so they can justify recommending sole custody a father accused of domestic violence, child abuse or support delinquencies. This tactic actually works well for them, because so many people are inclined to believe that women can’t take the pressure of martial break-up they “go-crazy”, imagine or even fabricate problems in their attempt to “get-back’ at him. These tactics are effective against even professional and prominent women. The commonly heard “bitter custody dispute” really means: “crazy lying accusatory woman” who drives the man to violence out of shear frustration (lets call this the Alec Baldwin excuse)
    OPEN COLLUSION BETWEEN AFCC COURT PROFESSIONALS AND THEIR FATHERS RIGHTS “CLIENTS”
    AFCC 2006 ATLANTA CONFERENCE “Seventh International Congress on Parent Education and Access Programs”
    Many of the speakers are long-time fathers rights allies or frequent court-appointed custody evaluators who are notorious at rubber stamping all complaining mothers as parental alienators. The “Access” programs referred to on the first page are the HHS-ACF Access-Visitation Program which AFCC’s affiliate Center for Policy Research got set up for the fathers rights. (this is also called “program steering” which is not appropriate. On page 10 the document there is discussion of PAS methodology. Of course it omits mention of the Gardner/ incest factors.

    AFCC NY In this AFCC – New York Chapter document, you will notice names of several judges including Jacqueline W. Silbermann who handles all the matrimonial issues, along with names of attorneys, psychologists and others who work on court cases.
    Not only is it unethical for a Judge to belong to an organization which includes people who appear before their court – but even worse – they have frequent court related “business” conferences which require hefty fees to attend. (e.g. not-open-to-the-public).
    Of course none of this is ever disclosed to affected litigants or the public. They get away with this serious transgression because most in society (especially the media) are so mesmerized by their authority they disregard all ethical and legal standards when assessing the conduct of court professionals including judges. This factor probably accounts for the high number of judges who are arrogant, dishonest and outright liars and even open bribe takers..

    AFCC Texas 2002 Newsletter Open collaboration with Children’s Rights Council on “Equal Parenting”
    This evidence should end all doubts about why so many judges are hostile to complaints and evidence that some parents are not exactly “equal” and don’t deserve equal time and rights.
    FATHER RIGHTS local groups and activists are the “runners” for the organized case rigging syndicate.
    CHILDRENS’ RIGHTS COUNCIL IOWA LEADER, DICK WOODS’ NOVEMBER 1989 “ATTENTION ALL FATHERS RIGHTS LEADERS” ANNOUNCING HE AND RON HENRY (CRC FOUNDER & LEADER) GOT $7,625,000 IN FEDERAL HHS FUNDS TO ENFORCE VISITATION AND THE GRANTS WOULD GO TO THEIR LOCAL GROUPS. THIS WAS THE INITIAL BASIS FOR WHAT LATER, (IN 1995) BECAME THE OFFICIAL HHS
    THE ACCESS/VISITATION ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM. which is only one of several HHS-ACF programs fueling this corruption and the same as referred to in the above AFCC 2006 Atlanta Conference brochure.

    E-mails from the past implicate father rights leaders in organized case rigging with the HHS program system.
    Fathers rights e-mail chatter from 2004-2005 discusses HHS officials “invitation only” meetings to work with them to ensure they received grant money and state agencies were “father-friendly” . Government officials are not supposed to conduct “invitation only” meetings with special interest groups Meanwhile, they have made excuses to mother’s leaders that they can’t meet with them, because that would violate “open meeting” requirements.
    Walter B.’s e-mail from February 2005 talks about how Wade Horn, (then HHS-ACF Secretary) used his influence to get more fatherhood grants for them and make state agencies more father friendly. July 2004 message from an anonymous writer described what happened with Dick Woods money and how they got more for their programs and cases. The Aug 2004 is a forward from ACFC head, Stephen Baskerville, which describes how former OCSE head ran a invitation only meeting for fathers rights activists.
    FEB 2005 July 2004 AUG 2004

    More on Fathers Rights local groups:
    While they try to appear as independent people united at the grass roots to fight individual injustices – they are in reality cogs in a highly organization national scheme to recruit male litigants into the AFCC-CRC organized litigation racket. The men are used to keep the case litigation as active as possible so each court hearing can be billed to federal HHS-ACF program funds.
    ANCPP Alliance for Non-Custodial Parents Rights
    ACFC American Coalition for Fathers and Children one of their many affiliates is RADAR which does a good job of exposing themselves as being anti-woman with their non-stop with their incredulous claims that it is the men who are the real domestic violence victims, and females are a likely or more likely to be perpetrators of domestic violence. The reason there are so many fathers groups web sites al soliciting help for custody litigation is they want more cases so they can get more government money.
    Men & Fathers Resource Center- Lonestar Fatherhood Initiative Fathers -4- Justice US
    Texas Fathers for Equal Rights – aka LoneStar Fathers Initiative
    “LFI membership benefits include attorney assistance, preparation of legal documents by paralegals, and strategic planning, for its members”
    This group receives federal HHS grants and openly solicits fathers for custody and domestic litigation,
    Their “Coping with Parental Alienation” User Manual” with reference to pedophile Richard Gardner
    Parents and Child Equality (PACE) Ohio Group which directs site viewers to attorneys (eg. custody litigation)

    Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood lead by CRC founder Jeffrey Leving who is a notorious bull-dog attack attorney against mothers. See him in center of the picture surrounded by several judges. Leving is also the recipient of thousands of dollars in federal fatherhood grant funds.
    Father’s Rights Association of New York State (aka: F.R.A.N.Y.S.)
    This one is blatant about their real agenda which is: help and tactics for fathers seeking to “Win Custody and Lower Child Support”: Fathers and Dads for Equal Custody Rights

    National Fathers Resource Center – Fathers for Equal Rights

    Dads of Michigan Michigan Department of Human Services which offers “free” attorneys for father
    which is not really free – just paid for by the government. No equivalent help for mothers – either custodial or non-custodial!
    District of Columbia now run “Fathering” courts! (Haven’t DC judges and lawyers heard of gender bias laws !!)

    Oct 2007 – District of Columbia Bar Journal reported the astounding news that the local courts are now social service centers providing help to fathers!! One judge handles all the fatherhood court cases. (Does anybody have to wonder which gender this judge will always favor in his decisions?) I hope these are not the same courts which are supposed to be “neutral” forums to resolve disputes between two parties – the mother and the father. When it comes to getting “free” federal government money, few in the legal profession let ethical standards get in the way !!
    More stories about bad Judges
    The Department of Justice has secretly agreed (in 2008) to settle conflict of interest allegations against the executive director of a group that has received $97 million in federal grants to improve the nation’s family courts, according to people familiar with the matter. Judges’ Group Director Pays DOJ Settlement | April 2008

  29. chris said, on December 12, 2012 at 1:53 am

    please email me at coriola@aol.com. I have been in the system for over 10 years when these issues first started everyone think you did something wrong when you tell them your child was taking away from you due to father’s abuse or father’s right.

    10 years later… the issue is getting bigger but the good news there is more information out there to assist you.

    This is bigger than one case or two… The main problem is Men’s Right Group they have created a system that they use in and out of court room… Call it a cook book.

    • Tammy said, on February 24, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      What state are you in? I’m in MA and could use some help.

  30. desperatemom said, on December 28, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Calling all mothers who lost their children to unfit fathers at the hands of judge hal b greenwald! I want to talk to you about taking some action against this crooked little worm of a judge!!!! please reply to this post so i can figure out how to post an email address or some way for you to contact me without him finding out!4

    • Lisa said, on February 17, 2013 at 10:48 am

      please contact me

  31. Denise Cataldo said, on January 25, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    There are good reasons to leave a relationship before the child is born and file a delayed birth certificate so that the “father” has stopped looking for a birth record by then. An abuser will always harm your child if they harmed the Mother. The advice of the delayed birth certificate is a life changer. The abuser will accuse you of a fake pregnancy when no record surfaces of a birth and that is the best case scenario and means you are free.
    Denise Cataldo

  32. Gracee Moon said, on February 8, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Family Courts are out of control, they seem to hate bio Mums and want to destroy the bond between them and their children. I am from Australia and have never myself been in Family Court. But i have read a lot about the cases and I am appalled by what I read, sometimes after I have read about a case I find that I can not stop thinking about the Mums and children, and I find it hard to sleep.It breaks my heart to read all your stories I wish I could help you . My prayers are with you all
    Take Care
    I will be thinking of you all and sending you all good thoughts
    I hope all of you win your cases
    Love from Australia xxx

  33. lonerlynannainflorida said, on February 14, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    CONTACT THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OFFICE IN YOUR STATE!!! This is from ANOTHER MOTHER/GRANDMOTHER:

    AZDES OFFICE OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS IS GOING TO INVESTIGATE!!! – the unlawful seizure of my grandsons and the CPS workers who wrote fraudulent reports, committed fraud and perjury!!! I personally spoke to the Director of the AZDES Office of Special Investigations – Internal Affairs yesterday and HE provided me with the CORRECT telephone number to report violations of CPS workers 1-800-227-0459. I called yesterday and filed our complaint, and in less than 24 hours I received a call back TODAY – Our complaint is being sent directly to the Director of Internal Affairs and a Detective should be assigned as soon as next week to begin the investigation regarding my grandsons!!!!

  34. Lisa said, on February 17, 2013 at 10:47 am

    SUFFOLK COUNTY IS JUST AS BAD! !! IF you have any information on the names below please let me know, they are all based in Nassau and Suffolk county

    1. Hon. H. Patrick Leis, III –
    2. Hon. Joseph Farneti –
    3. Magistrate Isabel Buse –
    4. Hon John Kelly –
    5. Sari M. Friedman, Esq
    7. Leonard Sperber, Esq. –
    8. Peter Dunn Esq – 2001
    9. Thomas F. Liotti Esq.
    10. Theresa Mari, Esq. – Law Guardian
    11. Lisa Scafide – Child Protective Service Investigator
    12. Dr. Antony Santoro – Court Appointed Forensic Psychology Evaluator

  35. Chandraprakash Tripathi said, on February 19, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    My head is like shaking reading all this, also sad to know what you all have gone through, but will also say you all were very courageous and you fought for your rights, my respect to you all ladies, though you all are in some way related to child custody, i seek your valueable opinion in my case, my name is chandraprakash tripathi, i was married to my wife according to hindu marriage rites, there was some misunderstanding on an issue and she in anger went to his fathers house, i requested her not to go but she didnt listened to me, at that time she was pregnant, she gave birth to my son at her fathers house, at the very same time she got infected to tb, and finally she died because of tb in 2011, now her parents who have custody of my son dont even let me to see him and are usive, they dont have any male son of their own only 4 daughters, of which second daughter was married to me, i have no criminal or any type of police or court case against me, now because of his such attitude was leftvwith no option but to file case in guardian and wards act i n court for permanent custody, i want to know as i am biological father and my wife dead, who will get custody of my so, myself or his grandparents, if court ruling goes against me i will just end my life, w hole life i am ready to stay single, but cant live without my son, if you want you can even add meon. My yahoo msn its satyam7487@yahoo.com, also you can search me on facebook by my name chandraprakash tripathi, in the photo i am holding my son in my arms, his just 2 years old, god bless you all, also if feel like contacting my no is 8888209334, its an indian number put code before dialing.

  36. Chauntel said, on March 3, 2013 at 1:37 am

    This happens in New Mexico also. There is no justice. I was married for 17 years. My x husband was very abusive to myself and the children. I never left because he kept telling me he was going to get counseling and that he would kill himself. He also is an alcoholic. Finally I left with the children because I was afraid he was going to kill me next. He fought to pay child support and I had physical custody of my daughters. There was always abuse during his every other week end visitations. I felt it safer to move to California. I had custody for 12 years and then he paid a psychologist to go to court when he was filing child custody and she kept all his abuse and alcoholism hid. My attorney never said anything. He had already lost visitation because he beat up one of the girls, and some how my attorneys were on his side too. I’m not sure how. I can only think it was money paid by my x. He has had his hands around 2 of my daughters necks and I have the police records and the police never did anything. When I was in court one time the Judge said he was going to put a bracelet on his ankle and then I never heard any other consequences. He has my girls now. One has ran away twice and she calls me and I went to get her and called the police and they pull her off me to put her in his car while she is crying and hanging on to me (she was 12) The police stick to the court records. I should have just run away with my girls when they asked me to. I just didn’t think I could help it they put me in jail. But now because of the court papers from the psychologist that the Judge ordered. I have no custody at all. And there is no reason why. My x has not let me talk to my girls he blocks their phone numbers so I can’t even talk to my girls or even see my girls. He acts like I am dead. This is unbelievable that a Judge would let this happen. This has all been a conspiracy. This is not right at all. And all I can do is keep trying to save up enough money to get a very expensive attorney and hope that something can help. How can a Judge let a man who has almost killed my girls and myself have custody of my children. He has so many charges against him and I have none. My kids had straight A’s and now they are failing school. I don’t even know if my kids are dead or alive. And I can’t even find out. I have filed complaints against the attorneys, the psychologist and the Judge. NO results. I can’t understand why. My children I’m sure wonder that too. I haven’t been with my girls for a year and a half. There is no justice in America. And children are being abused. In New Mexico, there have been cases like this and the children are dead now. Judges are doing the wrong thing. Very wrong. And there is no where to go for help.

    • cindy moore said, on October 5, 2013 at 6:43 am

      Hi. Your story sounds like mine. Can we talk? I don’t know what to do either. I am in Connecticut. jjanelli3@aol.com

  37. Tammy said, on March 27, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    I am also a good mother with no record of abuse, alcohol, mental issue or violence whatsoever. Yet my children’s father abused them repeatedly and in fact lost custody briefly for it. I even had protective orders against both him and his wife for their violence. I didn’t get child support either. Yet I still lost custody of both of my children nearly two years ago and have not been allowed to see or speak to my children. The step mother got herself a position as a GAL in the same court as my case, then she would call and threaten to take my children so she could “do what she wanted with them and there would be nothing I could do”. Well when I moved to take care of my terminally ill mother in Ohio while there was a protective order against the father, she did just that. I have very disturbing pictures of my children that I found through some of my friends that prove my children are in danger. How is it a judge sees an abusive father an violent abusive step mother as a better parent over a loving mother who has no record whatsoever and not even allow any contact with the mother?

  38. Lynn said, on April 1, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    After reading these stories, I see that I need to get my head in gear and “get over” what I thought was an unfair custody arrangement. But I don’t know how to. My situation is so much better than the mothers who have posted here, but I can’t seem to get over the depression I feel about my situation.

    I have a Masters degree and excell in my position; I am independent and overcame numerous disadvantages of my own childhood. I considered myself quite strong. I was not abused in my marriage (although I suspect that many would argue I was emotionally abused.) My husband was technically a good person but his anger and anxieties caused him to be volatile, controlling and unpredictable. I feel like I became a mouse of a person and learned to see the world through his eyes in order to make it work and keep peace. I grew very irritable and ended up on anti anxiety meds. I stayed for 16 years (although divorced him once and went back after he learned how to be a better father.) I tried like crazy to make it work because “that’s what you are supposed to do. (I was his third wife.)

    When I decided to divorce, my main concern was getting enough time with our one child. He wanted joint custody, but he agreed that if I did not get my own lawyer (he wanted us to not “lawyer up and really start fighting, as the divorc was moderately amicable) that he wouldn’t pursue joint custody. Still, he arranged to get her two weekends in a row and then I to get one. I didn’t like this but went along. However, with recent changes in my job, I am forced to work late and often stay out of town. If h watches her for me, he won’t give me a day in return. I get the daily grind of homework and activities, while he entertains her (with more time and money to do so) on his many weekends. I feel like I am losing my daughter, who was my entire life. Recently, he agreed to do some trading out of time (two week nights for a weekend day/night) which sounds pretty fair, but “only if I stay in my current job.” My job has morphed from something great into something not workable, and I feel trapped. A year after divorce, he can still control me. (Also, he set up the custody so that I am not allowed to take a job in another state…..my child is required to finish school in the same school district she is in.)

    Again, I realize I am being a cry baby and reading these stories has shown me that. I had no idea how much the court have shifted against mothers. Thank you for helping me realize this, and thanks for giving me the only place I can share these feelings.

  39. stephanie said, on April 9, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    I just want to share my experience and testimony here.. I was married for 6 years to my husband and all of a sudden, another woman came into the picture.. he started hailing me and he was abusive..but I still loved him with all my heart and wanted him at all cost? then he filed for divorce..my whole life was turning apart and I didn’t know what to do..he moved out of the house and abandoned the kids.. so someone told me about trying spiritual means to get my husband back and introduced me to a spell caster? so I decided to try it reluctantly..although I didn’t believe in all those things? then when he did the special prayers and spell, after 2days, my husband came back and was pleading..he had realized his mistakes..i just couldn’t believe it.. anyways we are back together now and we are happy..in case anyone needs this man, his email address prophetsalifu@gmail.com, his spells is for a better life. again his email is prophetsalifu@yahoo.com.

  40. abusedmotherwholost said, on May 3, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    I began my fight to escape abuse the day I left work, put my husband in jail, and took my three children to my mother’s home for refuge. My son’s school had called me, because my son had marks on him and was telling them what happened when he got home from school and mommy was still at work. So we were safe for a few months. But I could not enroll the children in school in my mother’s state of VA without custody papers from the court from NC. I was forced by law to return to the city where his family had hired private investigators to find us for him. As soon as the children were enrolled in school, we were located.

    The harassment began. They are an established local family, and pulled out every stop to try to prevent me from being able to get a job. They succeeded until I figured out their game, and sought employment outside their sphere of influence. But by then, they had located our address. I came home from work one day, and my two daughters were gone from the child care provider. My son was not his biological son, so he did not take him. He had shown up with a temporary custody order, and taken the girls. The order was granted based on an anonymous witness who testified that they saw us at the Food Lion, and the girls were “not doing well.” No details or more serious allegations were given, nor any proof. Nor was I given a hearing to answer those charges. The CPS had not been called to investigate me. And apparently that was not needed, because on further investigation on my part I found my ex’s father had made a contribution to this judge’s campaign for office (judges are voted in here.)

    Financially, my ex’s family had me over a barrel. They hired the best lawyers money could buy here, and had the sympathy of the judge. I never had a chance at all. My lawyer simply applied for delays and continuances, to increase their expenses. His sister trumped up charges of assault against me, and I fought it with a counter assault charge. I served myself the warrant at the county jail, and was granted release on my own recognizance. She then attempted to get me fired from my job at the mall by telling the sheriff I was dangerous and warrant outstanding. I was swarmed by over a dozen deputies and security officers. When the sheriff verified that I had served myself, and that she was using him to harass me, he was not happy. And she ended up being the one to lose her job. In court, she claimed I had her fired, as though I were the abuser and not her and her brother and their family. The judge of course found her not guilty of the charges I made against her, but granted me a prayer for judgment. So at least in this instance, karma turned in my favor. I have no record of an assault charge at all, while she has a record of an assault charge no matter that she was found not guilty. But the stress of constantly being chased and terrorized took its toll. I next learned he had obtained a job in the mall as a maintenance worker. I had to leave my job.

    I had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized. I sent my son to my mother.

    I didn’t get any help from the victim’s of abuse units here, even though they had helped me in the initial attempt to escape.

    The court granted joint custody with him getting physical custody in the separation agreement. I was given visitation rights. The best I could do for my daughters was to make sure they were being fed, clothes, and schooled properly. He had possession of the house, and even though he continued to be unemployed as he had been the vast majority of the 8 years we were together, he filed for welfare. His family had footed the legal bills and had paid a high price, and apparently had reached the end of their budget for that. Thank God. And because he had won, he was willing to work with me so I could maintain a relationship with the girls. In fact, he resented the burden because he had never been their main caregiver. He told me he had never wanted to take them. But now, he and his family had financially destroyed me to the point I could not win them back.

    I continued to be the only parent the school met in person. I paid their electric bill, bought groceries, school supplies, clothing and shoes. I settled the divorce uncontested to relieve the girls from further instability that fighting would cause. Then, a year ago, he met someone. He married her within a month of meeting her. This make it even less likely I can win custody, even if I could raise the $10,000 minimum I need to fight that legal battle to win.

    I keep documentation of how they continue to be punished harshly. Also they report that the new wife has mental issues, and there is constant fighting. The girls now tell me a divorce is likely, and he is sleeping in a separate room. I can’t act on any of this because it is hearsay from the children. I have no proof, and even if I did, I’m not financially positioned to compete against the force he can muster if I challenge him.

    I have sacrificed everything in my children’s best interests. And in doing so, I have taken a lot of horrible nastiness from people who say I am not a good mother, that if I were I would “fight” for my children. But the system is utterly against me, and ultimately against them and their best interests. They have suffered continued abuse, and I have been helpless to do anything to stop it. All I know is that I will never leave them alone, and I will work the selfishness of our abuser to our advantage whenever and however possible.

    So much is beyond our control. There are people who don’t truly care making the big decisions. And we win the most ground by giving up our effort to control events, under these oppressive circumstances. I wish things were different. But abusive fathers often get the upper hand under our current system. That is a fact. And the only way to change that is to remove the abusers of power from their powerful political positions: they protect their own. The only other option is “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” But I won’t do that because I have seen that abusers bring their own destruction upon themselves. The best we can do is give our love and support and be there for the children, even though we can’t keep them from being hurt. We can ultimately keep them from being injured by keeping a close eye on things, documenting, staying as involved as peacefully as possible, holding the other party accountable, being ready to intervene by calling CPS or anything else that is necessary, all these things continue to be within our power to do as the non-custodial parent.

  41. J-Me said, on May 21, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    fewer than one-half of mothers who received child support in 1989-90 were paid directly by the father; the majority of the payments came via court-order, such as garnishment of wages or lien on property due to the father’s refusal to pay child support. ~ I take issue with this as my ex-husband always paid on time however, the court required it to be garnishment. It was in no part because of father’s refusal.

  42. Cindy said, on May 28, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Its happening in the connecticut courts too. Horrible ! I am a loving mother and without hearing my side took my daughters and gave them to father My court appointed lawyer I think was paid off to do nothing I could have at least tried to defend myself she did nothing. Its all about money.I need to see my children Its like a slow painful death/torture. We were very close and now I never see them about an hour and a half a week supervised like I’m a criminal when he is the criminal.

  43. Lisa said, on July 7, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    My name is lisa, im 30 years old, I have a son who is 5, in 2008 he was born, me and the farther never married, he lives in Detroit Michigan, I live in pittsburgh pa, my son was born here, I did live in Michigan for a year with the farther and his mother, we moved back me and son in 2009, I had poof cause me gutting food stamps etc, cause u cant get help from two different states its the law, well here in pa they didn’t care the judge didn’t look in to it at all, so they gave Michigan saying that the state is the home state of my son, the father has a back around killing a dog in 07, I didnt know that til 09, and other stuff as well, the dad and grandfather like to teach the grandkids how to drive sitting on his lap, my son got in a car reck driving into a bush car is gone but least my son is all right, now I was in the bathroom and my mom was sleeping up stairs, her ac was on and bad of hearing, he grab the kids drove the car into a bush/house,u can thank his dad for that one teteaching my son how to drive, I got charged dangering a child, the cop didnt see if my son was ok he just came after me and my mom and charged us, first time this ever happened to me, the dad been caught driving with my son and gradkids on his lap the grandfather as well, my back around is clean and so is my mom and the dad isnt, the cop who chargd us no one likes, now the father wants to take me to court to get my rights taken away, everyone says it was a actcenit, im a good mother everyonr says I know I am, I need someone to help me, not a lawyer I have one but wants money money and hasnt been a help, the courts of michigan and pa just dont listen me, I need someone anyone to help me, please email me if u can, thank you lisa

    • cindy moore said, on August 4, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      Hi I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I can only imagine some of the things kids can get into when a mom tries to quickly run to the bathroom. I know because we used to have to lock the door way up top and my daughter would pull over a chair to unlock it! I think you need to find a lawyer that believes in you that accidents do happen and that you were only in the bathroom for a minute. Also if he never had escaped and gone in the car before how would you know he would do that? Its so scary to be a mother these days. Pray a lot too. I believe God will help you. get some support from some Christians, church, friends, anyone you can to help you.

  44. laura said, on July 24, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I have a six year old daughter Ashley and I wad not married to her father. I went through pregnancy without her father because he wanted her aborted. when she was born her father did a dna test at the hospital without my knowledge and then filed a custody lawsuit againt me for full custody so he wouldnt have to pay child support. His Attorney worked as a prosecuter in the same Court house that the custody suit was filed. And knew all the Judges. I had to agree to shared Custody. Immediately ashleys dad began to abuse her starting when she was an infant. He beat on her screamed at her and left her with male babysitters that molested her. I went through years of cross custody comlaints while he accused me of false allegations each time I filed petitions to protect her from abuse. She screamed and cried and ripped my hair out at tiimes not to be handed over to him and then at each hearing my custody was removed more and more by the fathers demands. He had a relationship with one of the clerks who works at the courthouse. He partied with the clerks after he won cases at their homes . He called the clerk in to one of our hearings to give false testimony against me. Eventually he abused our daughter so much that she was dis allowed to chew food in front of him for opening her mouth while she chewed. She wad diagnosed with diabetes and he abused her so bad he left her with people untrained to give her shots of insulin improperly. Left her blood sugar so low at night I was terrified she would die. He continued leaving her with a male child molester that she told me did and said things to her. I havue never cried and screamed and been angry so much ib my entire life since her birth and her abuse began . I have criedwith her a million times always promising to go talk to the Judge to get her away from her dad and the same Judge who has always given her dad more and more custody removed all of my custody on April 1st 2013 because I continued to get Medical care for her diabetes and tried to get her an insulin pump and this was a viilation if the court order because the judge had previousley removed my legal custody for trying to protect her from molestation. On August 15 2013. Ashley will begin living with her father permanently. I will be court ordered to pay Twenty five thousand dollars in child support in the next five years even though Im poor and have no money left. Her father has also asked fir s trial

    • cindy moore said, on August 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm

      Laura,
      I am crying over your story. It is so similar to mine I know the helpless feeling you have every moment of every day. You wake up and realize its still true. They are still gone and they are not safe and no one cares. My ex has been so upset because my disability ran out and he is no longer getting as much money. I know he took them so he would not have to pay child support. These abusers can’t stand to pay a woman. The only thing that gets me through is my prayer and belief that my children will know the truth. The sad part is they are cheated of having a life with their mother. They can’t talk to their dad at all. He says things like “that’s pretty stupid of you” and things that hurt. My girls also told me he sexually abused them. Instead of finding out if its true and protecting the children they blame the mother and protect the father. Its so sad. Even if the kids made it up which from what I’ve read they don’t lie, why is it my fault? I miss them and cry all day. My heart goes out to you. I believe the end will be a closeness that you would never have if she had not gone through this. Children know that mom is doing everything she can to help them. Did you ever hear of Joyce Meyer? she was sexually abused by her father for years and she is a dynamic powerful woman. I seriously am not making light just trying to find something to look at besides the sheer terror you must feel. God bless you and I am praying she will be free and home someday soon.

  45. laura said, on July 24, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    continued from above. Ashley’s story.. Her father demanded and was granted a hearing to take place on August 14 2013 for the Judge to file A twelve thousand dollar judgement against me for his Attorney fees. The Judge hates un wed mothers and holds no bias against the fathers of these children treating them like they are victims. Now I will be forced to pay child support to Ashleys dad who pays escort services for sex regulary. He has loads of money and cars..mustangs dulley truck. His pornography addiction.His house payments. My money will pay for this or ill go to jail. Somebody out there please
    hehelpheHELP ME. My name is Laura and my email address is lauramarie2009@luckymsil.com my case is in Circuit Court Anne Arundel County Maryland

  46. laura said, on July 24, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    correction . email address to the above story is lauramarie2009@luckymail.com

  47. vegetablemomma said, on August 3, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Is there hope for any mother and child facing these situations?! It has been years of turmoil for my son and I and I have lost all hope in the judicial systems here in Arizona.
    The paternal father of my 6 year old son has never (in six years) paid support, never maintained consistent contact with the child. He has admitted to using heavy drugs, he has been investigated by CPS on two occasions for suspected child abuse of another child and in the end been deemed neglectful. He has admittedly abused me while I was with child, although there are no police records of the event, local judges-JP and others can witness to the event having occurred.
    I am fearful of this man, his violent tendencies and all the negative ways his lifestyle would effect the well being of my child.
    After years of trying to terminate the fathers rights, our petition was finally granted. But after a year of the paternal father’s rights having been terminated, he had the issue reevaluated by the Court of Appeals whom then decided the father should again be given rights. The paternal father cries to the courts the he so desperately wishes to father the child, that the only reason he has been unable to do so was because of my efforts to prevent it.
    This man has had all of his attorney and court fees paid for by the state. I am in debt up to my eyeballs trying to pay for these costs, to provide my son with a constant, loving and safe environment in which to grow.
    Any father who wishes to parent a child would do all they could to help provide and tend to the child’s needs. A real father would put the child’s needs well before their own. A father would take advantage of every opportunity to see the child and form a consistent and meaningful relationship. And not just a father but a safe parent would not be abusive in anyway.
    How on earth can a man like this have SO MANY rights? I am a mother who has cared, nurtured and provided for this this child from the moment of conception, yet have to live in constant fear with seemingly no protection or rights.
    Something is seriously wrong with this.
    There has to be hope for women and children in these situations! There has to be justice!
    I am so worn thin. So sick of fighting this battle in a system who defends those who clearly defy all that good. If there is any one out there who can offer any wisdom please do so.

  48. cynthia Wheeler said, on August 4, 2013 at 1:09 am

    CALL ME EMAIL ME cojamalik@aol.com. Judge James L Martz is delaying giving order ad the father is supposedly in Nigeria. He is not of Nigetian decent. I Think this is a stall tactic as he never signed the birth certificate and could not take her at the timr he left. I think Judge Marrtz is stalling to give custody to father upon return. Pleade lets pull my case into the spot ligt to expise what happening. Contact me so we can organize and bring light tobwhatvis happening before and expose qhay is happening before a decision is given. I h .

  49. karrin ann said, on August 4, 2013 at 11:24 am

    After being in relationship with him for five years,he broke up with me,I did every thing possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be no choice than to try it, I mailed the okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email is (worldwidesupremetemple@gmail.com) you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything

  50. Denise Cataldo-Robertson said, on August 5, 2013 at 3:50 am

    I went through the custody battle from hell. The horrific part of this is that Moms’ that encounter this are predisposed to future custody issues when Dad wants to quote the prior action. Have your child in another State and file a delayed birth certificate for up to one year so the perspective lousy Dad has no proof of any birth and you can raise your child in peace without drama AND trauma. Then the moron and his girlfriend(s) have no ability to destroy your child. There is no shame in being tricked by a scam artist and being in the wrong relationship with the wrong person but when it comes to your child, safety is #1. Denise Cataldo-Robertson

  51. Denise Cataldo-Robertson said, on August 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Moderator please delete my comment “Keep this nonsense off here. There is better places you care pedal your nonsense”, it was in response to some post to use some psychic or other weird method to solving problems. Its’ an insult to people in crisis. I am sorry for the confusion.

  52. Lisa said, on August 30, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    The judge said it was an accident and I never been charged with anything in my life, so the judge denied it, and charges dropd as well, im the post from last month about my son driving a car into a house, keep praying ladies it does up,

  53. cindy moore said, on August 4, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    What a disgusting response to a woman in pain. How dare you judge someone because she loved someone and didn’t think like you think she should have. People love people make mistakes but to blame her is very evil and wrong.

  54. Claudine Dombrowski said, on August 5, 2013 at 2:16 am

    What’s the link or author. I will remove the comment. Thanks for standing up for what is right and humane.

  55. cindy moore said, on August 5, 2013 at 2:40 am

    The mean comment was in response to Christie and it was from Blayze

  56. Claudine Dombrowski said, on August 5, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Thank you I will block the arthur

  57. Claudine Dombrowski said, on August 5, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Thank you Cindy,
    The comment and commenter have been removed.

    Hang in there dear moms, be good to each other, we are all we have.

    (((hugs))
    Claudine Dombrowski

    http://www.AngelFury.org
    http://www.AmericanMothersPoliticalParty.org
    Join us on Facebook

    https://www.facebook.com/AMPPUSA


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