Family Court: The good, the bad, and the ugly

The good & the bad:

Well, the good news is Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) has been rejected for the upcoming DSM-5. Ms. Magazine blog ran an update of an article on PAS:

http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2011/06/10/%E2%80%9Cparental-alienation-syndrome-another-alarming-dsm-5-proposal/

This does help in our argument that PAS is not legitimate. The bad news is this won’t
stop it from being used in the courtroom (despite the lack of scientific evidence). Psychologists/evaluators will still say Mom is exhibiting alienating behavior or some derivative of it in the face of an abuse allegation.

The ugly:
We had (at least) two fathers recently who had cases similar to Casey Anthony’s and we’re still asking ourselves when will the media shed a light on fathers killing their children and/or mothers of the children, esp during “custody battles.”

Father charged in slaying of teen
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/father-charged-in-slaying-of-teen/2011/05/21/AFzRYj8G_story.html?wprss=rss_local
This father stabbed and molested his daughter, and then threw the body into a trash can.

Tanya Skelton granted custody of missing sons; John Skelton says she won’t see them
http://www.lenconnect.com/breaking/x795259618/Tanya-Skelton-granted-custody-of-missing-sons-John-Skelton-says-she-wont-see-them
This mother has not seen her 3 young sons since Thanksgiving, when they visited their father. They assume the father has killed them – he says he handed them over to an organization and won’t give them back to her unless he gets joint custody.
He’s proved he’s abusive by taking the sons (possibly killing them). He probably wants to lower or avoid child support since he’s raised the topic of other debts. And, research has shown that lack of access/time is not the real reason Dads kill their children. It’s just an excuse they use.

I don’t understand how Casey Anthony gets so much attention and we can’t shed any light on these cases to spark a debate.

Another man killed about 6 people at a family court, including his ex-wife’s attorney. And still – women are vengeful and not to be believed. Sigh.

Sheriff’s office identifies victims in Yuma shooting spree

According to court records Theresa and Carey Dyess were married in Tombstone May 2002 and filed for divorce in 2006. Theresa alleged domestic abuse and received an order of protection. Carey later took out his own order of protection against Theresa.
Court records also show the 2006 divorce was Carey Dyess’ fifth. It was final in 2007. Theresa bought out Carey’s share of their home and stayed in the house in Wellton, the same home where she was found dead Thursday morning.Carey Dyess also had an order of protection against a man he identified as ‘my wife’s boyfriend,” who he alleged was harassing him by driving by his home every day.

It was a nasty divorce that ultimately cost the Theresa, her three friends and attorney all their life and left another friend in the hospital.
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Colin DeVries: “Good tenant” who beat wife “shockingly” killed her and a police officer

Another “nice guy” article that describes the killer as a “good tenant”:

Poughkeepsie shooter, victim described by Catskills neighbors as ‘good tenants’ By Colin DeVries

The killer is described as somebody who: didn’t bother nobody, didn’t cause any trouble and was: a go-getter, always working, always doing something.

And the victim was described as: Well, she was lumped in with the killer as a good tenant who didn’t bother nobody.

Then this good tenant who didn’t bother nobody:

“Lee was always beating on his wife,” Komaromi said. “She came to my house a couple of times.”

In late January, Mr. Welch was charged with third-degree assault against his wife and, Komaromi said, there was an order of protection.

Mr. Welch violated the order and was charged Jan. 31 with felony criminal contempt and remanded to the Greene County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.

And this good tenant who didn’t cause any trouble:

Mr. Welch, 27, fatally shot his wife and a police officer who attempted to restrain him as he fled toward the Poughkeepsie train station midday Friday.

City of Poughkeepsie police officer John Falcone, an 18-year veteran of the police force, was killed moments after wresting a 3-year-old girl from the arms of Welch.

Just shocking that someone who beat his wife and violated a restraining order would kill her and a police officer, isn’t it? We’ve never heard anything like it before! (sigh) Why can’t these reporters talk to a domestic violence expert? Why do they refuse to see a husband that kills his wife as anything but “good”?

Believe Women

In the Believe Women department, we have this excellent post by Elizabeth Black on the Ms. Blog:

Abused women in Maryland aren’t lying

It’s well-written and backed up by evidence both in her post and in her comment section.

If you need another reminder as to why we should believe women, see this news article on domestic violence. The father slashes his daughter’s neck and kills her 3-month-old child. She tried for 19 months to leave her father. The state attorney’s office dropped charges on one occassion, she was denied a restraining order on another, and the father ended up slashing her on the day after another restraining order ended. She did the right things, but the system set up to protect her, failed her.

Here’s the link to the article: Alleged Lehigh killer denied bond

Excerpts:

This wasn’t the first time Rosales allegedly attacked his daughter.

Deputies arrived at another Lehigh home where the family lived in October 2008 to find Rosales Salazar’s face swollen and beaten. They placed Rosales in handcuffs and charged him with battery, although the state attorney’s office would later drop the charge. It could not be determined Friday why the charge was dismissed.

AND

Once, in 2009, Rosales Salazar tried to move away from her father, but he followed her to her new home and choked her, according to court records. Her request for a protective order against him at that time was denied.

 

Here’s another article. It’s about Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS; Parental Alienation; or, Parental Disorder – because they can’t get ANY of them accepted by the scientific community). PAS is based on the misogynist principle that women lie about child sexual abuse…

The term was coined in 1985 by New York psychiatrist Richard Gardner. He described it as a disorder that causes a child to vilify a parent without reason. It often arises, he said, in bitter custody cases in which one parent brainwashes a child against the other parent by making false accusations of sexual abuse. 

The article discusses Rachel’s House, a center that receives FEDERAL FUNDS to reunite children with parents they fear or harbor negative feelings towards:

The couple say that 93 percent of the kids they have dealt with show an improved relationship with a previously reviled parent. But some children who have gone through the program say they were threatened and cut off from the parent they loved.

“You can’t just open a facility with no accreditation, no oversight and say, ‘This is what we do,’ especially when you’re dealing with vulnerable children,” Silberg says.

Hero to fathers

The controversy over Rachel House and parental alienation syndrome is fanned by what many consider the outrageous ideas of the man who inspired both.

A onetime Columbia University professor, Richard Gardner thought society is too harsh on adults who have sex with kids.

What I am against is the excessively moralistic and punitive reaction that many members of our society have toward pedophiles . . . far beyond what I consider the gravity of the crime,” he wrote in 1991.

Though he called pedophilia “a bad thing,” Gardner argued that it’s common in many cultures and that children might be less harmed by sex abuse than by the “trauma” of the legal process.

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Gardner was widely quoted in counterpoint to what some felt were sensationalized allegations of sex abuse in day care centers. He was also a well-paid witness in custody cases, almost always appearing on behalf of the father.

Gardner contended that sex abuse allegations arising from divorce are usually false, made by a vindictive mother trying to cut off a child from the father. His typical advice: Kids should be forced to see the estranged parent, and judges should punish the “alienating” parent.

Those views made Gardner a hero to the fathers’ rights movement and an anathema to child advocacy groups.

 

 

Who let the pigs out? oink, oink

Couldn’t resist. Maryland “legislators” are being called pigs and for good reason. Recently, they failed to lower the level of evidence from “clear and convincing” to “preponderance,” a measure that would have made it easier for citizens to get restraining orders against those that pose a threat.

Amy Castillo testified at the hearing to support HB 700. She sought a restraining order and was denied because she wasn’t found credible. Dr. Castillo, a pediatrician with a clean record, said her husband threatened to kill their 3 children. Mark Castillo, who vandalized their doors & windows, had problems with mental illness, and threatened to kill their 3 children – well, folks, I guess HE was seen as credible – later DROWNED their 3 children one-by-one in a hotel bathroom.

There is a deeply-rooted problem in society, being stoked by Men’s Rights Activists and Fathers Righters, that women are not credible (in their words, women are “vindictive liars”). The consequences are not only that men get away with crimes or that “innocent men” can keep their clean records – the consequences result in the death of women and children on a weekly, if not daily, basis. (See the recent case of Katie Tagle who was called a liar several times in court and whose husband took their 9-month-old son and killed him – there’s plenty of other similar cases).  Women are far from winning equality as long as they are seen as less credible than men.

Female lawmakers complain about judiciary chairman 

House judiciary draws protests

Maryland’s roadblock to helping victims of abuse

Dump Luiz Simmons

Believe women

In the Believe Women department, we have the case of Amy Castillo. Remember her? Her husband drowned their 3 young children in a hotel bathroom – to get revenge on her. Castillo sought a restraining order but the judge didn’t think she was credible. Months later, the father killed their 3 children, one-by-one.

Now, she’s advocating for HB 700, a Maryland bill, that will change the level of evidence from clear & convincing evidence to preponderance of evidence. 

Drowned children’s mother seeks change

Mother fights to change law after husband killed children

Mother of children drowned in bathtub to speak at hearing today

Mother backs easier access to protective orders

 UPDATES –

HB 700 was not passed –

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/06/AR2010030601948.html

Fathers Rights groups are happy about it –

http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/?tag=luiz-rs-simmons

Dump the Delegates campaign –  

 http://dumpmichaelsmigielsr.blogspot.com
http://dumptoddschuler.blogspot.com
http://dumpsamuelrosenberg.blogspot.com
http://dumpvictorramirez.blogspot.com
http://dumptonymcconkey.blogspot.com
http://dumpgerronlevi.blogspot.com
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http://dumpjillcarter.blogspot.com
http://dumpbenjaminbarnes.blogspot.com
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http://dumpluizsimmons.blogspot.com

What’s a mother to do?

Here’s an article from the UK that sums up the “raw deal” (a term used by fathers righters) mothers face in family court:

Inside the family courts: A raw deal for mums?

After years of high-profile stunts by pressure groups such as Fathers4Justice, many people assume that men still systematically fare badly in family courts. But in the wake of a recent spate of stories highlighting the treatment of mothers considered “too stupid” or disruptive or too busy working to look after, or even be allowed contact with, their children, some question if the pendulum has begun to swing the other way.

I hear the stories of mothers whose experiences have convinced them of it. Isabel is a former teacher, aged 40, now living in the northeast of England. Her voice trembles as she tells of a lengthy legal battle with her wealthy ex-husband for custody of her son. “He left me when I was pregnant and showed little interest in our son at first. But as soon as he got a new girlfriend with children of her own, he wanted to impress her by playing the family man, and applied for contact and eventually full custody,” she says. Her ex-husband, a prominent businessman, Isabel says, is a bully who intimidated social workers into writing negative reports about her mothering abilities. She tried to challenge them in court, only to be told, she says, by the judge who granted her son’s father increased contact: “Any more from you and you will never see your son again.”

“It was all about control as far as my ex was concerned,” she says, “and because he had a cousin in the legal profession, he knew how to play the system. I began to be treated like some sort of criminal and entered a living hell.”

You could hand them over:

Icelandic woman forced to give up children to USA

An Icelandic woman received a court order to return to the United States with her two children before the next coming Sunday. Borghildur Gudmundsdottir had the two children with an American soldier who wants to have custody over the children in the United States. Gudmundsdottir told Morgunbladid she wonders if it is considered alright to throw Icelanders out from their own country “like throwing out old rags”. She continued, asking who has the right to kick two children out of a country and strip all security and safety from their mother. Her children are aged 10 and five and are said to be doing well in school and life in Iceland.

 

You might be forced to have visitation:

Police arrest man after park incident

He allegedly pointed a loaded gun at his former girlfriend, Calah Trostel, 25, of Medford, at about 4:17 p.m. at the park along Holmes Avenue in southwest Medford just three hours after a Jackson County Circuit Court judge denied Trostel’s petition for a restraining order against Breaux and temporary custody of their son.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” Trostel said. “If I had gotten that restraining order none of this would have happened.”

Breaux and Trostel, who was accompanied by relatives and friends, met at the park so that Breaux could visit their 3-year-old son shortly before the fight ensued at about 4:17 p.m., said police Lt. Tim Doney.

Trostel said if she had been granted a restraining order and temporary custody, she could have sent a relative to bring their son for the visit.

Without the restraining order, she said, she had to accompany the toddler. Otherwise, Breaux would have had the legal right to take him from anyone who isn’t the boy’s mother, she said.

“At some point, he started taking the child to his vehicle,” Doney said. Some of Trostel’s relatives and friends intervened to stop him, Doney said. Breaux then went to his vehicle and pulled into the South Holly Street parking lot where Trostel, her son, her 11-year-old niece and her 7-year-old nephew were getting into a parked vehicle, Trostel said. Breaux allegedly blocked the vehicle from leaving and pointed a loaded semi-automatic handgun at Trostel, Doney said.

Well, you could sue:

Mother sues over baby’s murder 

The mother of a baby murdered by his father is now suing over his death.
Candice Dempsey filed a federal lawsuit Thursday morning against the city of Lawrenceburg and two police officers, Chris Atkins and Nathan Doty.
Dempsey says the officers took 21-month old Cole Frazier from her back in May and gave him to his father, Timothy Frazier. Frazier shot and killed the toddler and then committed suicide at his Nelson County home back in May.
Dempsey claims the officers didn’t have authority to remove the baby from her custody. She says they took the baby because they didn’t read an emergency protection order properly.

You could also appeal:

Breaking news: Mother regains custody after appeal

After years of litigation a little boy is returned to the legal custody of his mother after the New York Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Second Department, in the case of Larkin v. White, Appeal Number 2009-00143 overturned the New York Family Court Decision, docket numbers V-09582-07 and V-9760/07 granting custody to the Father. The decision deals with Judical custody and is published on line at http://www.courts.state.ny.us, and at http://www.nycdivorcelawyer.net. New York divorce attorney Lisa Beth Older represented the Mother.

 

But, really folks, does it have to come to this? Stop punishing women. Start listening to women and children. Take allegations of abuse seriously.

That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Liar or denier?

Here’s a somewhat typical case of parental alienation syndrome (PAS). PAS is where one parent (most often the mother) “alienates” or poisons the mind of the child(ren) against the other parent (often, the father). Since most women get custody (because they’ve been the primary caregivers), PAS tends to be a claim used almost exclusively by men.

It’s a claim considered by many to be junk science. It’s not accepted by the American Psychological Association (APA) or the American Medical Association (AMA). It was created by a doctor who many claim was pro-pedophile (he defended child molesters & there are quotes from him about pedophilia) and biased against mothers (for one, PAS is based on the premise that women and children lie about abuse). The fear, however, as a Harvard study reveals, is that PAS can mask child abuse. How do you differentiate child abuse from PAS? You simply can’t  – the effect is the same, fear or hostility towards the abuser. Moreover, PAS tends to negate feelings like fear, depression and hostility that can occur naturally in children going through a divorce process, especially if there’s been family violence.

Here’s the article: Search for girl reveals bitter family split

So, in this case, the mother:

1) seeks a restraining order

2) claims child sexual abuse

3) flees with her 2nd husband and child

The father, on the other hand, claims PAS. We’re told that the child went to visit him in August 2003 and was expected 2 months later. Moreover, he was buying a new home (in hopes to see his child more often) and let the girl pick out her own room. None of that sounds like alienation yet.

By the fall, the mother, her new husband and the child disappear and the father is granted custody (which now makes the woman in contempt, I suppose.)

I don’t know, but, how many people do you know would actually choose to disappear?  Isn’t that a major decision? Is hatred of the father the motivator (says PAS experts) or protection of the child (says protective parents)? Is she lying about the sexual abuse claims or is he denying them? I don’t know what the answers in this case; all I’m saying is, it would take something very serious to make me disappear. Hatred wouldn’t motivate me to disappear – it might motivate me to do other things, but it wouldn’t motivate me to disappear. But, hey, that’s just me.