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Showing posts with label PROTECTIVE MOTHERS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PROTECTIVE MOTHERS. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

BEST ADVICE FOR VICTIMS OF DV AND PROTECTIVE MOTHERS!

"If anyone suspects a child being molested in family court... the courts usually & often assume it is a lie and give abusers full custody. 

If you suspect your husband or wife is molesting your kids the best thing you can do is stay married and never ever let him or her alone with the kids. If you don't tell anyone you can protect your children in the home. 

If you tell authority's then the person reporting abuse will be removed from the children and the abuser will get full custody. Or if they find that the abuse is real your children can go into foster care and get molested and abused more and possibly killed in foster care as often children in foster care get abused and killed because they are only a paycheck. 

The reason the safe parent has child removed if it turned out true is failure to protect your children. 

If they think the abuser is not abusive you can be accused of coaching your children and the children get full time with abuser. 

You can be removed for reporting abuse. 

Reporting abuse will only make abuse worse in every scenerio. This goes for men or woman. 

This can happen with any type of child abuse that is reported. Not just sexual abuse."

By an Anonymous Contributor, A victim of family court abuse

Thursday, May 19, 2016

PHYLLIS CHESLER EXPLAINS HOW WOMEN ARE DESTROYED WHEN THEY TRY TO PROTECT THEIR CHILDREN!

In an article on "The Huffington Post" Phyllis Chesler explains as follows:


Battered senseless, choked into unconsciousness over and over again, bones broken repeatedly, American mother, Holly Collins, received no justice, no protection, in Minnesota. She lost custody of the two children she was trying so hard to protect from their father’s rages and beatings. When Collins believed that her children might not survive another week — or another day — she fled and received political asylum in Holland. A powerful documentary exists about her case.

Collins was the first and only such American mother to do so. 

Other “protective” mothers, like Dr. Elizabeth Morgan, arranged for her parents to flee with her daughter to New Zealand, which had no jurisdictional reciprocity with the United States. Dr. Morgan sat in jail in Washington, D.C. for more than a year because she refused to disclose her daughter’s whereabouts. I personally talked to her daughter’s therapists who assured me that, in their view, her daughter was being sexually abused by her father.


READ MORE:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/phyllis-chesler/how-mothers-are-destroyed_b_9995354.html

Friday, October 23, 2015

DOREEN LUDWIG, ACTIVIST AND AUTHOR OF THE NEW BOOK "MOTHERLESS AMERICA" SPEAKS OUT AGAINST THE WAR ON WOMEN IN OUR CORRUPT FAMILY COURT SYSTEMS!

When I first filed for divorce in 2007, I spoke to a few mental health counselors who listened to my story and then said they knew of other women who had gone through something similar. Those women eventually filed for divorce and lost everything they had, but at least they were free.  

I was lucky that I did not "lose everything I had" including my children, as so many abused women do, but clearly there is a large group of protective mothers out there who do.  This is the message of "Motherless America: Confronting Welfare's Fatherhood Custody Program by Doreen Ludwig, a well argued and cogently written book on the family court conspiracy to shift custody from fit mothers into the hands of abusive and often criminal fathers.  For an example of this kind of travesty occurring here in Connecticut, please review Anne Stevenson's article in "Communities Digital News" entitled "Connecticut Failure:  The Deadly Rebranding of Joshua Komisarjevsky" located at the following link:


The book "Motherless America" is divided into three sections, the first describing the author, Doreen Ludwig's personal experiences with the family court system, the second explaining how the massive influx of fatherhood initiative funding into the judicial systems through the country has led to a war on women where custody of children is transferred systematically from mothers to fathers.  This occurs particularly in cases of abuse where the children are used as weapons to extend the father's power and control beyond the divorce. The last section, Part 3, seeks solutions to this over two decade assault on the rights of women in family court. 

I was very familiar with Doreen Ludwig's description of the kinds of game playing that occurs in family court as a means to undermine the mother.  My own experiences in court and my experiences as a court watcher have confirmed that these scenarios occur repeatedly in family court.  Let me review just a few of the ones that Ms. Ludwig shares in her book.  

1. The custody evaluator in the case suppresses any information from witness testimony or written evidence that he or she doesn't like and simply writes it out of the evaluation.  The evaluator might even acknowledge that abuse occurred but understate it or indicate that it was an aberration not likely to happen again, and probably provoked by the mother's bad behavior.  

2.  The father's attorney will accuse the mother of a broad range of mental illnesses and demand a psychological evaluation.  Even though the mother was perfectly functional prior to filing for divorce, had no mental health diagnosis, and was widely respected as caretaker for her children, all of a sudden the expert appointed by the court will determine that the mother has a broad range of mental health illnesses.  Sometimes Judges will simply diagnose mental illness in a mother without bothering to obtain any kind of evaluation, particularly when it comes to parental alienation syndrome (PAS), a widely diagnosed condition that family court uses to deny mothers access to their children.  

3. In addition, attorneys representing mothers will frequently refuse to act in their clients' best interests and fail to defend them in court. They will urge them to agree to stipulations that are decidedly not in the mothers best interests and will, in the long run, cripple their ability to hold onto the custody of their children. 

4.  Fathers are usually given complete control of the marital assets and mothers only obtain support if these fathers agree to obey court orders requiring them to provide support to their ex wives and children.  If fathers refuse to provide that support, or randomize and withhold that support, Judges rarely hold them in contempt or order them to obey court orders.  

5.  Finally, there is simply a generalized atmosphere of lies and deceptions.  Father's attorneys regularly include a broad range of lies in their pleadings for which they are not held responsible.   Judges regularly refuse to admit into evidence documents and witness testimony that would support the mother's position and also refuse to allow mothers to cross examine witnesses or even see the evidence that is being used against them.  

6. One regular strategy father's attorneys use and judges allow is to submit a motion or level an accusation against a mother right at the beginning of a hearing without providing any advanced notice.  This is a fundamental violation of mothers' due process rights but it happens every day in courthouses across this country.  

I have listed a selection of these violations in my review of "Motherless America" because so many average folks are unaware of the incredible abuse that takes place in family court every day.  The advantage of Doreen Ludwig's book is that she goes into great detail regarding many of the fundamental violations of her rights which occurred during her divorce case in a clear cut and dispassionate matter.  Her book provides a very thorough and thought provoking clarification of exactly how a corrupt court system manipulates legal procedures and ignores the constitution in order to justify taking custody away from thousands of good mothers who have devoted their lives to their children and taken care of them since birth.  

In the course of undergoing these violations, Ms. Ludwig talks about how she approached the ACLU, the FBI, and her local Domestic Violence agency and yet none of these organizations which have been established to protect the rights of victims like her responded by reaching out to help her.  

As I have stated, Part II of the "Motherless America" explores the roots of the corruption of family court within the father's rights movement.  It begins with an analysis of how the family court system defines abuse.  

I can recall in my own case that when I mentioned that I was being abused, the Guardian Ad Litem in my case stated, "They all claim abuse."  In saying this, she was simply mirroring a family court system that has long maintained a policy of denying the existence of abuse.  

As Doreen Ludwig explains, they do this by narrowly limiting the definition of abuse to situations where a woman has been beaten or murdered.  As soon as a woman fights back, the legal system no longer considers that this woman has been abused any longer.  Further, the legal system doesn't include coercive control as part of abuse which opens the door to abusers continuing to pursue their victims using the court system as a means to do so and ultimately exacting revenge by taking custody from these mothers.  

Ms. Ludwig accuses those in the field of domestic violence of colluding to minimize and explain away the effects of domestic violence.  As she explains, the very organizations that are supposed to be defending women and assisting in protecting them from domestic violence are the ones that are making the situation worse.  In her words, "The DV community is well aware of this problem [custody switching from mother to father], yet for the most part, they have bowed to the fatherhood custody mandate. The DV community has not organized legislative awareness campaigns, they have not used their influence to generate a media spotlight, nor have they organized qualified legal opponents to represent battered mothers.  When battered mothers stuck in abusive litigation call for help, they are routinely shunned; the government-supported DV community tells them "We have no money to help."  

In addition, Doreen Ludwig points out that situations where there is Domestic Violence are often designated as "high conflict" which is a way of implying that the abuse is mutual.  This means that all sorts of mediators, custody evaluators, mental health professionals can become involved in these cases and they soon become quite profitable for the professionals involved.  This is where trade associations such as the AFCC become involved and maximize the profit that everyone makes by encouraging its members to recommend and hire one another for the various jobs that emerge as long as they continue to perpetuate the conflict and harass the mother.  

Doreen Ludwig provides even more detail on how these professionals carry out their custody switching schemes in Chapter 10 entitled "The Players and Their Methods."  This particular chapter is a must read.  

Ultimately, what all these professionals have in common is their commitment to the interests of the fathers and the belief that any woman who does not behave subserviently towards her ex husband ought to be punished.  

Doreen Ludwig locates the basis for this power imbalance in family court in the right wing religious backlash against women which fostered the belief that poverty arises not from a lack of economic opportunity but simply because there are too many single mothers.  Instead of seeing poverty as the central concern, this social movement has defined the problem as fatherlessness.  

As a result, starting in 1996, this led the government to shift its support from helping women get jobs, food, and shelter to marriage promotion programs and fatherhood support and access programs which provide economic support to fathers seeking to obtain custody from mothers.  

The end result, according to Doreen Ludwig, is that the only thing that matters to family court is how to keep fathers in the lives of their children no matter how abusive they are.  As she puts it "Judges are trained to put fatherhood above safety, security and stability.  If a father files for custody, he will almost certainly receive as much as he wants no matter what his character.  Alcoholics, drug addicts, abusers, criminals [who are fathers] are preferable parents to mothers."  

This is a world that seems to have been turned onto its head!  

Doreen Ludwig does an excellent job, particularly  in Chapter 9 of her book explaining the history of the war against women and digging up information on the sources of the fatherhood funding that the government is using to support the interests of men over women.  The amount of money being funneled into these fatherhood programs is phenomenal and rises to the the level of millions and millions of dollars, approximately $22 million per year going to Connecticut alone.  This money is distributed through block grants and matching funds and is often funneled through religious organizations.    

Part 3 of Doreen Ludwig's book is on the shorter side but touches upon the more recent developments in terms of seeking solutions to the brokenness of our family court system here in America.  One important point she does make is that it is the responsibility of government to address the problem of a judicial system that has massively gone astray.  The bottom line is the judicial system in this country must be held accountable and must obey the law that it is sworn to enforce.  

Doreen Ludwig has some thoughts on how this can be done and those are all worth reading and expanding upon.  

Ultimately, Doreen Ludwig's book is very timely.  The family court reform movement has spoken widely of the abuse of the massive amounts of federal funding but Ms. Ludwig is the first to codify where these funds are coming from and where they are going.  She is the first to encapsulate the extraordinary story of the multiple layers of corruption and deception that overlie our family court system and that undercut and destroy the lives of protective mothers and their children every day.  

Advocates who are working with their state legislators, investigative journalists, and ethical legal and mental health professionals to reform the system for the better and to expose its current abuses should all be fully informed of the contents of this book.  

Ms. Doreen Ludwig has founded Mothers Against Court Custody Abuse in order to fight back against family court corruption and educate people regarding the misuse of fatherhood funds.  For further information on her work in association with this organization, please go to the website at:  www.MACCAbuse.org.

To order a copy of Doreen Ludwig's "Motherless America:  Confronting Welfare's Fatherhood Custody Program", please click on the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/Motherless-America-Confronting-Welfares-Fatherhood/dp/1515256219/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1445611339&sr=1-1&keywords=doreen+ludwig

Sunday, August 9, 2015

BARRY GOLDSTEIN REPORTS THAT KELLY RUTHERFORD IS KEEPING HER CHILDREN IN THE UNITED STATES!

Barry Goldstein:

"Dr. Dianne Bartlow interviewed some of the best judges in the United States about the court response to the many murders of children by fathers involved in custody disputes. Some judges suggested a likely explanation for so many dangerous decisions that I believe influenced the original mistaken ruling in the Kelly Rutherford case. They said that because so many fathers abandon their children many judges unconsciously favor even bad fathers so that the children will have their father in their lives..."


READ MORE:


Monday, January 12, 2015

DETERMINED NEW JERSEY MOTHER, KARIN WOLF, FIGHTS FOR HER CHILDREN IN FEDERAL COURT!

Karin Wolf, a New Jersey resident and mother of two, has filed A federal lawsuit against Judges of the Bergen County Family Court, and N.J. Appellate Court,  Governor Chris Christie, the State of New Jersey, DYFS caseworkers, Court Vendors, and others requesting damages and declaratory and injunctive relief in connection to her custody case. 

Ms. Wolf, who is a victim of domestic violence, and who obtained a divorce decree based upon charges of extreme cruelty against her ex-husband, brings her case under U.S. Code Title 42 Secs. 1983 and 1985, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) 18  U.S. Code Secs.  1961-1968, and the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1951.  She is among many family court litigants throughout the country who have come to see the family court system as being in the center of a racket that conspires to take children away from fit mothers and transfer them over to the full custody of their abusers. 

As Karin Wolf explains in her Complaint, "Defendants are engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity and operating Rico Enterprises in the Family Court; through a calculated system of eugenics and social engineering; and dealing in obscene matters of human trafficking, child pornography and child prostitution, for motives both economic and non-economic." 

In her Complaint, Ms. Wolf talks about state government actors and court operatives acting in such a way as to "pre-determine the winner" in family court cases without due process as happened in her case.  She also complains that the family court conducts itself in such a way as to impose a "pay to play" policy on litigants and to promote "conflict for cash" while engaging in "emotional blackmail."  I am sure all these terms are very familiar to victims of family court here in Connecticut! 

Further, I think many Connecticut Family Court litigants can recognize as a common experience how badly Ms. Karin Wolf was treated as a self-represented party.  She states that when she acted on her own behalf Court Personnel behaved towards her with contempt and denied her due process rights because she is a self-represented party who "wasn't and isn't paying money into a corrupt system of racketeering, influence, and extortion in the Bergen County Family Court." 

Like many of the mothers in Connecticut who face family court judges who are ignorant of the reality of domestic violence, Karin Wolf reports that the defendants in her case "used retaliation, threats, and coercive control" against her and "deliberately acted obtuse to family violence, ignoring and minimizing it to subvert and circumvent established principles, codes and laws on child abuse and domestic violence."  She also talked about how the defendants provoked family violence so as to subject Ms. Wolf and her children to ongoing intervention from court vendors who then made considerable amounts of money from those interventions.  

In doing so, they invoked Richard Gardner's quack theories of parental alienation as a means to label Ms. Wolf, remove the children from her custody, and transfer them to the custody of their abuser. 

When she tried to defend herself, the Court denied her access to the child support, alimony and attorneys fees which were necessary for her to obtain legal representation.  This was also connected to a policy of refusing to allow Karin adequate discovery. 

Finally, Karin Wolf alleges that the actions of family court professionals are aligned with the nationwide father's rights agenda which is working to "resurrect Lord Hale's Law and the Rule of Thumb, to assist fathers in hiding income and assets, and avoid paying child support, without any concern for their children." 

Ms. Karin Wolf's case is not unique among protective mothers who have ended up losing custody after years of harassment and legal abuse.  Ms. Wolf's journey originally began when she fled her marital home on September 29, 2006 after several incidents of domestic violence and obtained a final judgment of divorce under NJ Rule 2A:34-2(c) having established in court a cause of action for divorce of extreme cruelty. 

Nonetheless, subsequent to the divorce, Ms. Wolf experienced ongoing legal and interpersonal harassment from her ex-husband for years afterwards and finally lost custody of her two children to her abuser on August 30, 2013. 

She lost custody in a flawed proceeding where the Court allowed  her attorney, Alexandra Stremler, Esq., to back out of the trial moments before the hearing without any advanced notice and forced Ms. Wolf to proceed as a self-represented party even though the attorney had failed to appear with copies of her exhibits which were essential to the conduct of a fair trial. Even more troubling the trial proceeded forward despite the fact that Attorney Stremler had failed to submit the trial summary indicating what evidence and witnesses she intended to present to the Court which left Ms. Wolf in disarray just as she was required to proceed to trial as a self-represented party without any opportunity to prepare. 

Karin Wolf describes the presiding judge in the matter,  Judge Gerald C. Escala, as being "rude, intimidating, and contemptuous" and further she describes him as "belittling her attempts to present her case."  Many of us who have represented ourselves in family court have had similar experiences when we have attempted to defend ourselves. 

I have to commend Ms. Karin Wolf for making this attempt to take her case to federal court when the state court and its associated vendors and state agencies have so grossly failed to accord her the fairness, due process, and justice to which she is entitled as a mother and as an American citizen.  Even though she is a single individual, she is speaking for the many thousands and thousands of mothers throughout this country who have been falsely accused, harassed, bullied, and legally abused by their perpetrator ex-husbands, and become victim of our corrupt family court and child protective systems. 

I am aware that in federal court Ms. Wolf's Complaint will face a daunting round of motions to dismiss and we can only hope that it survives to the point where she can present her evidence and obtain a fair hearing.  I admire Ms. Wolf for her strength, her courage, and her determination as well as her powerful dedication to her children.  As this case proceeds through federal court, I will continue to report back on her progress. 

For more news and information in regard to Ms. Karin Wolf, please click on the link below:


Sunday, December 28, 2014

KARYN GIL v. JOHN A. GIL, A.C. 28760 AND A.C. 25912, PART IV: LOU KIEFER TAKES ON PAS CASE FOR $1.00 AN HOUR WITH ONE PROVISO--FATHER HAS TO KEEP TAKING HIS EX-WIFE TO COURT FOR PAS!

My introduction to this case took place when Jane pulled an official envelope from her coat pocket, took out a legal document and handed it to me.  It contained all sorts of demands, indicating that John Gil, who had spent over a decade using the legal system to persecute his ex wife, was now planning on continuing that pursuit against his daughter. 

Jane and I also talked further about her plans for college. But of course, so much of the funds for a college education for Jane ended up being consumed by the legal system. 

Just to review some of the facts in the case, on April 5, 2004, Mr. John A. Gil won his case against Karyn Gil for parental alienating him from his daughter.  He succeeded essentially because Judge Herbert Gruendel denied Karyn the opportunity to put on the stand her expert witness, Jane's current therapist, Dr. Laura Ginther.  But then, here is the irony, six months later, after his ruling had driven Jane to the point of suicide, this very same judge allowed Dr. Ginther to testify to the effect that there was no parental alienation in this case. 

More notable is that fact that the judge then decided to terminate permanently John Gil's visitation with his daughter. 

There were other factors involved in that decision such as the judge was sick and tired of Mr. Gil's game playing, but the bottom line is that, in essence, the judge reversed his ruling in the case. 

Still, the later decision reversing his orders had no impact on the earlier April 5, 2004 decision which continued on to Appellate Court where it was upheld by the judges of the Appellate Court on March 14, 2006. 

Meanwhile, in between these two decisions, on April 29, 2005 Mr. John Gil demanded that family court order a genetic test because he claimed that he was not Jane's father.  The court allowed him to undertake the test and the results indicate that he is, in fact, Jane's father.  

And this is the absurdity of the situation.  Here is a man who acknowledged on the record that he had never bonded with his daughter.  Here is a man who chose to question his paternity of the child to the point where he demanded a genetic test.  Yet Judge Herbert Gruendel saw fit to rule that the mother had parentally alienated the child from him?  What nonsense! 

Nonetheless, on March 14, 2006 the Appellate Court reaffirmed the trial courts decision.  Of course, that was predictable since only .5% of trial court decisions ever get overturned by the Appellate Court, no matter how ridiculous.  This decision led to the next issue in the case.  As you may recall, Karyn Gil was determined to have committed parental alienation, she was judged to be in contempt of the parents' visitation agreement, and the opposing side was granted attorney's fees. 


When it came to the determination of the amount of the attorney's fees, guess who was the opposing attorney who was due to get the money?  Yes, our friend, Attorney Lou Kiefer who represented the alleged abuser, Tom Wilkerson, in the Linda Wiegand case! 

In order to determine the amount of attorney's fees to be awarded to John Gil's attorney, the case then went before Judge Herbert Barall, another familiar face.  As many of you who have been reading my blog for a while will recall, this was the notorious judge in the Linda Wiegand trial who manipulated the case and suppressed evidence, i.e. the Massomeno report, so the outcome ended up in favor of the alleged abuser.  In other words, this is a judge who has a lengthy reputation for bullying, harassing, and disrespecting the constitutional rights of the litigants who appear before him, particularly women. 

Apparently, Judge Barall held several hearings on the issue of attorney's fees in the Gil case during June 2007 and then decided to fine Karyn Gil $30,659.54 to cover a combination of the attorneys fees in the trial court case and the appellate case. 

And this is where the story gets really interesting.  Naturally, there was discovery at this point.  Then in court testimony regarding attorney's fees, it came out that the opposing side's attorney, Lou Kiefer, had established a retainer agreement with John Gil in which Attorney Kiefer agreed to charge solely $1.00 per hour as long as John Gil continued to take Karyn Gil back to court on motions for contempt.  According to their agreement, Kiefer then could collect his attorney's fees through money recovered on the basis of a finding of contempt. 

Of course, in her defense Karyn Gil argued that if Attorney Kiefer charged his client only $1.00 an hour for his services, that is all he should get.  Anything else would represent a kind of contingency agreement which is a violation of Connecticut's Rules of Professional Conduct 1.5(d)(1) for attorneys.  This is, of course, absolutely true, but you know since Karyn Gil was not the favored party in this case, she wasn't able to win that one!

Hop, skip and jump to the end of the decision, the Appellate Court upheld the award.  But, of course, when don't they support attorney and judicial wrongdoing when it comes to the nonsense that goes on in family court. 

So the retainer agreement for $1.00 per hour explains John Gil's full fourteen years and ongoing legal abuse of his ex-wife and child. 

In my case, my attorney would demand a huge chunk of money such as $30,000 on the spot for his retainer.  Once that money ran out, the attorney would come to me and pretty much say, if I don't get another $30,000, I'm no longer representing you in this case.  I had multiple attorneys, but I recall one attorney--Attorney Eliot Nerenberg (if you want to know) memorably said to me, "If you don't write me a check for another $25,000 retainer on the spot, this conversation is over!" 

Understandably, I was unable to proceed with fourteen years of litigation because my various attorneys immediately stopped working as soon as the money ran out!

In contrast, my ex-husband's attorney gave him some kind of cut rate--I'll never know because I never once saw one of his bills.  But at the same time, I never saw him sweat an attorney bill either, or attempt to solve our legal problems out of court due to pressing attorney fees like I did. 

Family court makes a show of respecting the concept of making sure that there is a "level playing field" between the parties in a family court case.  One thing is sure, however, if one party in a case is only paying $1.00 per hour while the other is paying $250 per hour or more, you certainly do not have a level playing field. 

If one party has unlimited resources because they are only paying a token amount, while  the other is paying in full for all legal services, you simply cannot begin to talk about fairness in such a case. 

Judges are absolutely aware of this, and Judge Herbert Barall was certainly aware of this when he imposed the fine of $30,659,54 on Karyn Gil.  

Undoubtedly, the Gil case represents some of the worst injustice happening in our family courts today.  It is a case of a father stalking his ex wife and daughter through the family court system, leading to permanent psychological damage for both.  And I have no doubt that the physical damage as a consequence of stress generated by this case remains an issue for Karyn Gil who was already physically disabled well before the case began. 

Judge Herbert Barall, Judge Herbert Gruendel, Attorney Campbell Barrett, and Attorney Lou Kiefer have led the charge when it comes to attacking the fundamental human and constitutional rights of women litigants in family court.  I have no doubt that Attorney Lou Kiefer used Gil v. Gil as a means of establishing a strong precedent for using Parental Alienation Syndrome as the basis for punishing other protective mothers in family court throughout the State of Connecticut.  Since I began this blog, I've received multiple reports of abuses of this kind taking place in family court.

Ultimately, the Gil case, more than any other, exposes the fundamental gender bias against mothers that penetrates into every aspect of litigation in Connecticut Family Court.  


RELATED ARTICLES:


Gil v. Gil, Part III:
http://divorceinconnecticut.blogspot.com/2014/12/karyn-gil-v-john-gil-ac-28760-and-ac_26.html


Gil v. Gil, Part II:
http://divorceinconnecticut.blogspot.com/2014/12/karyn-gil-v-john-gil-ac-28760-and-ac.html


Gil. v. Gil, Part I:
http://divorceinconnecticut.blogspot.com/2014/12/karyn-gil-v-john-gil-ac-ac-28760-and-ac.html




Saturday, May 24, 2014

THIS LOST GENERATION OF MOTHERS AND THE RISE OF FATHERHOOD!

A recent article in Connecticut Magazine "The Changing Face of Fatherhood" by Ray Bendici talks about the fact that more fathers than ever before are playing a role in their children's lives. 

In Connecticut, they are doing this with the support of the John S. Martinez Initiative which is, according to Bendici, "a statewide effort to support and promote the positive interaction of fathers with their children."  What the Initiative does is provide fathers with support in their roles as fathers while at the same time assisting them with custody matters, job searches, and other skills. 

While this article describes what is happening at  the Madonna Place, there are similar organizations like this dotted all over the State which assist father's in obtaining access to their children. 

In addition, there is an official interagency agreement in the State of Connecticut where a group of State agencies have signed onto a common understanding that they will promote the interests of fathers.  These agencies, as listed on the John S. Martinez Fatherhood Initiative are as follows:  the Departments of Children & Families, Correction, Education, Labor, Mental Health & Addiction Services, and Public Health; Judicial Branch Support Enforcement Services and Court Support Services Divisions; CT Commission on Children; CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence; and Legal Aid Services. 

It is not surprising then, that articles touting fatherhood, and describing state support for fatherhood have sprung up such as this one in the Connecticut Magazine.  The end result of this kind of social engineering promoting the interests of fathers is that, as Ray Bendici states "Connecticut fathers are more involved in their children's lives than ever before." 

They are so much more involved that, in fact, they are beginning to replace mothers as the primary caretakers of their children in record numbers. 

Thus, a July 3, 2013 article in Business Week entitled "Daddies Are the New Mommies" by Sheelah Kolhatkar reports on a Pew study indicating that "In 1960, about 14% of single parent households were headed by fathers, today almost one-quarter (24%) are." 

In other words, according to Gretchen Livingston, of the Pew Research Center, "Almost one fourth of single parents are single dads."  The Pew Study further indicates that there has been a nine-fold increase in households with single dads, "from fewer than 300,000 in 1960 to 2.6 million in 2011.   

According to Caroline Kitchener, author of "The Rise of the Single Dad" which appeared in the February 2014 Atlantic Monthly, what these numbers represent is "a rising divorce rate over the past half-century, along with the increasing frequency of parents never marrying at all; and the growing societal acceptance of father's as primary caregivers." 

For activists in the CT Judicial Branch, this also speaks to a growing trend in Family Court where good mothers who have long been the primary caretakers of their children have found themselves edged out of the lives of their children by their more powerful, socially and economically connected ex-husbands.  This is because such men have considerably greater financial resources and a tougher mental edge acquired through their familiarity with corporate political environments and with systems which make them extremely effective during contentious custody battles. 

Not only do these men end up as the primary caretakers of their children, or the custodial parent, they are often able, with the support of highly paid mental health professionals and complicit family relations personnel, to literally eliminate these mothers from the lives of their children, even though such mothers were, at one time, hands on, at home parents for years. 

Make no mistake--at the present time, the extremely father friendly environment of Family Court is a very dangerous place to be for women and their children. 

In fact, the Pew study points specifically to the U.S. Judicial System as the reason why, increasingly, fit mothers are losing custody to fathers, who, prior to the court action, played only a cursory role in the day to day parenting of their children. 

As Kitchener states, earlier in the 20th century, Family Courts would act according to what was then considered to be the best interest of the children, i.e. placing the children in the care of the mother who had long been raising them.  However, since the early 2000s at least 35 states have shifted to the presumption of joint custody.  The intention behind this legislation was to encourage both parents to become involved in the lives of their children on a 50/50 basis.  

However, instead of encouraging both parents to share their time with their children equally, what has happened as a result of joint custody laws is that there has been "a dramatic increase in the number of single fathers."  In other words, legislation that was intended to introduce parity between mothers and fathers in the care of children has simply led to circumstances where Family Court judges have handed over sole custody to fathers. 

Of course, this could only be expected where each of the States are receiving millions and millions of dollars from the Department of Health and Human Services to support men in their custody court cases, and where community services to further the interests of fathers such as the paradoxically named Madonna Place are located in practically every county throughout the country. 

Further, It is interesting to note that we do not have an equivalent Motherhood Rights' Initiative, and we do not have an interagency agreement to promote mother's interests, etc. in the State of Connecticut.  Instead, we are like American College campuses before title IX forced Phys Ed Departments to provide equal opportunity for female athletes. 

What is interesting about this situation is that single fathers do much better economically than single mothers do--only 24% live at or below the poverty line versus 43% of single mothers.  Further, according to Noah Berlatsky who also wrote an article on the subject in the July 2013 Atlantic Monthly, "Single father-headed households have a median income of $40,000--well above the $26,000 for single mother-headed households." 

Thus, even in their roles as single father's, men are able to wield considerable privilege economically. 

It is unclear what the outcome of this shift in parenting roles will have on the lives of children.  Intuitively, it makes sense that there are inherent difficulties involved when young children are yanked from the homes they have shared with their mothers for the majority of their lives.  These difficulties can only get worse when they are then placed in the care of fathers who are newly adjusting to their roles as primary caretakers, and often simply transfer them to the care of grandparents or nannies.  Then when you add to this the increasingly common situation where the mothers are barred from seeing those children ever again, it makes sense that these children would experience considerable psychological damage. 

We are all aware of the frequently cited studies which indicate that children suffer when fathers are excluded from the lives of their children.  However, no such similar studies have ever been done to determine whether excluding mothers from the lives of their children would lead to similar results. 

I assume nobody thought it was important to conduct such studies before going ahead and eliminating mothers because replacing them with fathers seemed like such an overwhelmingly good idea to the folks that implemented the policy, they didn't figure exploring the situation in advance made sense! 

Clearly, the best situation is when both parents share equally in the lives of their children when both parents are psychologically fit and time with each parent benefits the health and safety of the child.  But the adversarial, free for all environment of the present Family Court system does not seem to encourage these kinds of positive outcomes.  Clearly, there are no safeguards to prevent angry, controlling, and abusive ex husbands from using the children as pawns to destroy mothers through the divorce process.

In bulletins about Family Court, I have frequently seen Connecticut referred to as a "father-friendly State".  I have no way of determining whether that is true for sure, although I can state anecdotally that I receive inquiries on a regular basis from mothers who are struggling to maintain their parental rights in the face of false accusations of PAS and mental illnesses they never had before they set foot in Family Court.  

Many activists approaching the legislature this year talked about the vital importance of maintaining records of the kinds of cases that are appearing in family court and tracking the outcomes of these cases.  This is the only accurate way to know what is going on.  Until then, the numbers I have reported here tell me a very alarming story of the ongoing disenfranchisement of mothers throughout the United States and Connecticut which we cannot afford to ignore any further. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

ROBERT FRANKLIN GETS IT WRONG ON PARENTAL ALIENATION, HEAPS MORE ABUSE ON A WRONGED MOTHER AND HER CHILD!

Recent studies indicate that when abusive fathers sue for custody in family court, 70% of these fathers end up with sole custody of the children they have abused. 
 
How do they do it?  
 
Apparently, such fathers use false accusations of Parental Alienation Syndrome as a means to wrest custody from fit mothers who are trying to protect their children from abuse.  This is particularly true of what occurred in "Anna Cooper's" case which was recently highlighted in a moving article by Tom Stelloh published in Aljazeera on January 24, 2014 entitled "Do courts use a controversial theory to punish mothers who allege abuse?

See the associated link below:

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/1/24/does-a-controversialdiagnosishelpfathersdodgeabusecharges.html

Anna Cooper is not the only mother who has reported this happening to her.  Many other mothers have come forward stating the same thing. 
 
However, Instead of showing outrage at this kind of fraudulent behavior on the part of abusive fathers, Attorney Robert Franklin, an extremist father's rights advocate, has used Anna Cooper's willingness to come forward as a excuse to direct a personal attack against her in a blog entitled "Al Jazeera Channels NOW, Gets It Wrong on Parental Alienation."

See the associated link below:

https://nationalparentsorganization.org/blog/21563-al-jazeera-channels-now-gets-it-wrong-on-parental-alienation 
 
No, Attorney Franklin.  Aljazeera didn't get it wrong.  You did!

So what is this Parental Alienation Syndrome that abusive men have been using in widespread custody switching schemes?  Parental Alienation Syndrome is a theory proposed by psychiatrist Dr. Richard A. Gardener which claimed that some parents try to undermine their children's relationship with the other parent, typically the noncustodial parent, by making false allegations about that parent, most often in the form of abuse allegations. 
 
Further, according to Tom Stelloh, author of the original Aljazeera article, Dr. Gardener theorized that "custody-related fabrications [of abuse] constituted a kind of hysteria" and described the mothers he accused of parental alienation syndrome as being "sadistic" animals who "literally fight to the death in order to safeguard their progeny."  Their goal, he wrote was "the total elimination of the father." 
 
Dr. Richard Gardener's recommendation on how to deal with so called parental alienation, i.e. immediately switching custody to the father and denying the mother all access to the children, is quite striking.  
 
Essentially, his recommendation, in an interesting role reversal, was to have the court order the father do to the mother exactly what the mother was accused of doing--in other words cut the mother off from all access to the children.  How ironic! If children need both parents, how is it acceptable to eliminate the mothers from the lives of the children, particularly if they have acted as primary custodians of those children up to that time?

Anna Cooper became a victim of this theory when she reported that her son, Ben, was showing signs of sexual abuse. As journalist Tom Stelloh explained it, "Ben returned from a visit with his father--who had a four-days-a-week custody arrangement--with bruises and abrasions that he couldn't explain.  After returning from another visit, Ben asked Cooper for help going to the bathroom.  When she discovered blood on his toilet paper, she rushed him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with anal fissures." 
 
The child's pediatrician, Dr. Richard Whelan, later confirmed that sexual abuse had occurred as did Dr. Eli Newberger, founder of the child-protection unit at Boston Children's Hospital, and also Dr. Joyanna Silberg, a psychologist and child-trauma specialist at  the prestigious Sheppard Pratt hospital in Maryland. 
 
Once the sexual abuse was diagnosed by experts in the field, Ms. Cooper expected that her son would be protected from this abuse.  Instead, she faced an extensive coverup starting with the child's GAL.  In her words, "[Ben] came home from his father's house with his anus torn to bloody shreds, and an infection in his penis that went untreated because [GAL] Maureen Murphy threatened my son's pediatrician, tampered with evidence, his medical documents, perjured herself, and removed my ability to get medical care for my child." 
 
Continuing further, she stated, "I watched in horror as the infection went systemic while I was disallowed, under threat of never seeing my son again, even to seek medical treatment for his injuries, all so Murphy [the GAL] could prevent documentation of his badly infected genitals." 
 
As a result of this kind of obstruction (and this is just one example--there were others), Ms. Cooper was unable to present to the Court vital information in regard to the abuse of her child and ended up being accused of--you guessed it--Parental Alienation Syndrome and placed on supervised visitation.  Then, since she could not afford to pay for that visitation, she ended up being denied all access to her child.  At this point, she has not seen him in over a year.

It is not surprising, then, granted the widespread abuse of the diagnosis and its general lack of foundation in any kind of legitimate science, that the American Psychiatric Association has not included the diagnosis of Parental Alienation Syndrome in the DSM-5 despite considerable pressure from men's advocacy groups.  
 
Not only did they determine that there was no scientific basis for the syndrome, opponents of the diagnosis were concerned that, as I have reported, it was being used in family court as a means to take custody from parents who allege abuse, particularly protective mothers. 
 
It didn't help that Dr. Richard Gardener generated additional controversy on his own by appearing to use the diagnosis to condone pedophilia having made such statements as, "At the present time, the sexually abused child is generally considered to be the victim, though the child may initiate sexual encounters by 'seducing' the adult." or "There is a whole continuum that must be considered here, from those children who were coerced and who gained no pleasure (and might even be considered to have been raped) to those who enjoyed immensely (with orgastic responses) the sexual activities."
 
Despite these very serious problems with the PAS diagnosis and its lack of inclusion in the DSM-5, in his recent blog on the subject, Attorney Robert Franklin states that Parental Alienation Syndrome must exist because he says it is in the DSM-5 but not under that specific name. 
 
Ok, so what he actually means is that many of the truly fanatical proponents of Parental Alienation Syndrome refused to accept the fact that the DSM-5 didn't include PAS so what they did was pick and peck through the book and found a few embellished diagnoses which they state friendly editors clandestinely included in the DSM-5 so that litigants wishing to claim PAS could have something legitimate to use in Family Court.  If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you as well! 
 
Attorney Franklin also mentions some book by Dr. Robert Bernet which he claims "contains some 700 citations in contemporary science on parental alienation from over 40 countries..." and he also mentions that PAS has been "recognized in at least 500 law cases and numerous statutes." 
 
Likewise, I am sure, discredited diagnoses such as Recovered Memory Syndrome or Dissociative Identity Disorder (multiple personality disorder) also generated considerable attention in their day, but that still didn't make them any more legitimate. 
 
This is not to say that there are not anecdotal situations where one parent viewed the other as alienating him or her from the children, but this does not make such observations scientific, or articles based on such observations scientific.  There is no doubt that many of us have had the other parent interfere with our access to our children.  Still, that is simply bad behavior, not necessarily mental illness of any kind. 
 
It never fails that with every decade there are new social movements and theories which generate a whole new bunch of quack ideas and fads that seem really legitimate at the time, but which eventually fade out, hopefully without causing too much damage to the rest of us. 
 
I believe that PAS is one of them.

Attorney Robert Franklin faults Anna Cooper for contributing to the Aljazeera article anonymously.  But you can be sure that if she used her own name, he would criticize her for inappropriately exposing her child to public scrutiny.  Damned if you do, and damned if you don't!

Attorney Robert Franklin further states that Anna Cooper's case is not credible because "court appointed experts [plural]" found the allegations of abuse to be untrue.  Yet, the only court appointed expert he mentions is Dr. Kenneth Robson.  
 
Since Attorney Franklin isn't from Connecticut, I can understand he wouldn't be familiar with Dr. Robson, but those of us who do live in Connecticut are very familiar with this psychiatrist's notorious reputation for malfeasance in child custody cases throughout the State. 
 
Not only did Dr. Kenneth Robson deny that there was sexual abuse in Ms. Cooper's case, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, he also denied that there was sexual abuse in the Linda Wiegand case where the father was accused of sexually abusing her two boys--Ben and Jon. 
 
When the Massameno Report came out in 1998 confirming that the abuse had occurred, the Institute of Living where Dr. Robson worked was sufficiently convinced of his wrongdoing that they chose to sever their relationship with him. 
 
I am personally aware of a recent case in the last few years in which Dr. Robson was again the custody evaluator.  In this case the mother also accused the father of sexually abusing their children.  In his evaluation, Dr. Robson denied that the sexual abuse had taken place and insisted that the father was a loving father.  He then recommended sole custody to the father. One year later, DCF removed the children from the home permanently based upon the sexual abuse of the children. 
 
As an additional note, even though the Institute of Living discontinued its relationship with Dr. Kenneth Robson, up until at least 2011 Robson continued to represent himself fraudulently as being affiliated with the Institute of Living even though he hadn't been for many years.

Attorney Robert Franklin states, "Again, for the umpteenth time, those who claim parental alienation to be a fiendish ruse by abusive fathers to wrest custody from "protective mothers' cannot come up with a single instance in which that actually occurred." 
 
Ok, well I just gave you three. 
 
I will also add to that four, my own case, one in which, among other things, my ex husband deliberately medically neglected my children.  When I went to the GAL and reported to her what was going on, she answered me by saying, "They all say they are being abused."  In other words, using the all or nothing language of Attorney Franklin, "all" mothers who say they are being abused are making it up. 
 
During the course of my divorce, which took several years, my ex continued to abuse me and also continued to medically neglect my children.  The GAL, my own attorneys, the trial court did nothing to stop any of it.
 
Why? 
 
Because they were programmed to believe that any mother who seeks to protect herself or her children is just trying to get back at her ex husband, or simply attempting to parentally alienate the children from their father. 
 
In other words, as Attorney Robert Franklin so eloquently stated in his article "Of Teflon and Velcro:  Constructing a High-Impact Narrative", the myth overcame the reality, and for the Court and all the professionals involved in my case, the fact that my ex was abusing me and that he was causing damage to my children's health which could have lifelong consequences for them, meant nothing in the face of the concern that the legal system clearly felt was ten times more important, i.e. their na├»ve investment in a fake mental health diagnosis that is so lacking in credibility it isn't even included in the DSM. 
 
What a travesty! 
 
Not only are there the cases that I have detailed up to this point, I am contacted on a regular basis by mothers with well documented cases of domestic violence who are being accused falsely of having Parental Alienation Syndrome. Despite the frequent statements to the contrary, judges and attorneys throughout Connecticut are well aware of Parental Alienation and use the diagnosis freely as a means to switch custody from mothers who have long acted as primary caretakers of their children to fathers with histories of abuse.

This happens despite the fact that, as far as I know, Judges have no statutory basis for doing so.
 
Even where there has been no abuse and no alienation, but father now wants custody, the slightest hint that the mother may have been critical of the father or let an ill considered remark slip in an unguarded moment is enough to cause that mother complete loss of custody, despite the fact that she has been primary caretaker of the children for many years.  See the many cases I have reported on my blog under the label "cases in the news" for examples of that.
 
The additional irony, of course, in this highly contentious debate, is that as long as men's rights advocates continue to deny the existence of abuse, there is no way to establish whether Parental Alienation Syndrome truly exists or not because the definition has been corrupted. More specifically, Parental Alienation Syndrome can only exist absent abuse, but if you maintain a rigid policy of denying that abuse exists, there is no way to establish whether you have a legitimate case.

I have tremendous sympathy for parents who have genuinely experienced situations where the other parent has blocked their access to their children, and who use the language of Parental Alienation Syndrome in order to explain what happened to them.  Again, ironically, Anna Cooper is one such parent who could easily claim that kind of languaging.  But attempting to legitimize a theory which is being used on an ongoing basis to enable abusive parents to continue to abuse their children--that is simply unacceptable.