Crisis In The Family Courts

Mothers Loosing Custody: Kelly Rutherford on Her Ongoing Custody Battle, the Battered Mothers Custody Conference

Posted in Uncategorized by abatteredmother on April 23, 2013

Kelly Rutherford on Her Ongoing Custody Battle

Kelly Rutherford Children Photo
Kelly has been locked in a bitter custody battle with her ex-husband since their divorce in 2010 and last
September a judge ordered the children to live with their father in France.
 

Kelly Rutherford writes from her heart on why her ongoing child custody battle represents a greater legal issue. We asked Kelly’s ex-husband, Daniel Giersch, for a statement on the show and his attorney, Fahi Takesh Hallin, responded, “Daniel Giersch continues not to comment publicly about the parties’ custody case, in order to protect the children’s privacy.”

I am sharing my story with the world so that no other mother has to experience the pain and suffering that I am going through. We have a flawed legal system and there needs to be a change.

Although I did everything within my power to facilitate a positive relationship between my ex-husband and our children, and although I traveled far and wide to facilitate a shared custodial arrangement with my ex-husband, a judge effectively deported my two (2) minor children to accommodate a man who had his VISA revoked, for reasons unknown.

Without any inquiry as to why my ex-husband’s VISA was revoked, the Judge forced my young children, both of whom are US Citizens to reside in France, even though the children have no relationship to France, nor is their father a French citizen. Although, NY was the only home my children have ever known and the children’s own counsel recommended that the children be allowed to stay in the United States with me, the Judge made a decision in direct contravention of expert opinion.

Although my children are US citizens, the fact that they reside in France places them in legal peril. The longer they remain in France, the greater the chance becomes that they are afforded the status of French residents. This is particularly dangerous because France is in no way obligated to respect and/or enforce judicial determinations made in US Courts. In essence, French officials could modify a custody and visitation decision at any time, without any legal recourse for me or my children. Change needs to happen now.

www.BatteredMothersCustodyConference.org

 

Video one here: http://www.katiecouric.com/videos/kelly-rutherford-custody/

Video two here: http://www.katiecouric.com/on-the-show/2013/04/19/kelly-rutherford/

 

Kelly Rutherford Photo
“Gossip Girl” star Kelly Rutherford sits down with Katie to speak out about her custody battle that’s making headlines.

Kelly Rutherford’s lawyer, Amanda Shaked, explains the steps she’s taking to get Kelly’s kids back.

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The Role of Good Fathers

Posted in Uncategorized by abatteredmother on June 15, 2010

By Barry Goldstein

On Father’s Day it is traditional to praise the role of fathers and speak of “fathers’ rights.”  This is an altogether good and proper activity, but today I would instead like to discuss fathers’ responsibilities and the role of good fathers in ending domestic violence.   Domestic violence is usually viewed as a women’s issue, but as Joe Torre has said, it is really a man’s issue.

Good fathers want to make sure their daughters grow up safe from the risk of rape and assault.  They want to provide an example so their sons will never abuse their partners.  Simply refraining from assaulting, threatening or intimidating their partner is not enough.  Good fathers need to speak out against sexism because sexism is the cause of domestic violence.

When we hear someone tell a sexist joke, make comments suggesting the value of women has to do with her appearance or body parts, engage in blame the victim approaches or minimize the significance of domestic violence, good fathers can speak out and complain the remarks are offensive.  Words matter because they help create an atmosphere where the mistreatment of women is acceptable.  If a woman is only a (fill in the slur), it isn’t so serious if a man hurts her.  This attitude places our daughters, wives, sisters and mothers in jeopardy.

Recently, the news has included dozens of tragedies across the country in which men have killed their children, partner and others before killing themselves.  Some journalists have tried to make sense of this pattern of murder-suicide by looking at the economy, mental health issues, guns and disappointments.  In many of these cases there was a history of domestic violence and custody disputes.  Unfortunately few journalists have training in domestic violence and this has contributed to their failure to understand domestic violence issues.

Men and women do suffer depression and tragically too many commit suicide.  Why is it that 94% of the murder-suicides are committed by men?  If someone decides to end their life because they think it has no purpose or value, what gives them the right to decide this for their wife and children?  There is a long history of husbands owning and controlling their wives.  Laws have changed, but the belief remains widespread.  Many men believe their partners have no right to leave them.  This is why 70% of men who kill their partners do so after she has left.  Similarly, abusive fathers have developed a tactic of seeking custody to punish women for leaving or pressuring them to return. Sadly the custody court system has been slow to recognize this tactic resulting in thousands of children being sent to live with abusive fathers.  Abusers like to use the term “fathers’ rights” and pretend to speak for all fathers as they do enormous harm to children and all of society.  It is time for good fathers to speak out, support protective mothers and make it clear the abusers do not speak for us.

Children who witness domestic violence are far more likely than other children to subsequently engage in dysfunctional behavior that places themselves and others in jeopardy.  This is why up-to-date research recommends abusers should not receive custody, but when battered mothers attempt to protect their children they are accused of alienation.  Society pays a high price in higher crime, losses to the economy, medical expenses and lost potential when courts grant custody to abusers.  The loss of potential and other expenses will ultimately be paid by our daughters and sons.  This is why good fathers must speak up.

Domestic violence has been a public issue for only thirty years.  As a result judges and many of the professionals they rely on are using myths, stereotypes, outdated beliefs, unscientific theories and bias instead of up-to-date research.  Too often the courts are defensive about their mistakes and discredited practices.  Good fathers can speak out to friends, family and public officials about this crisis.  We can ask journalists to start investigating the pattern of mistakes in domestic violence custody cases.  The male supremacists who dominate “fathers’ rights” groups will call us male bashers, but we can wear these attacks as a badge of honor.  Good fathers don’t let anything keep us from protecting our daughters and sons.

Barry Goldstein is co-chair of the child custody task force for the National Organization of Men Against Sexism (NOMAS) Mr. Goldstein is the co-editor of the recently published DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ABUSE and CHILD CUSTODY .