The Problem with the Family Court Critics Cause

From the Editor:

I have a problem with the Family Court Critics Cause. It started as the courts began to favor the assumption of joint custody in all cases. In a very small number of high-conflict custody cases involving narcissistic borderline protective moms, their lawyers were unable to control their clients. Many divorcing moms used divorced tactics such as false domestic abuse allegations and withholding custody (parental kidnapping). To some protective mothers, it was an insult to share custody with their former spouse. So the courts used trusted psychologists and social workers to perform custody evaluations. As the truth came out, some of these mothers were simply caught in their lies and rather than focus on their parenting skills they became histrionic. With their narcissism, they were not cooperative with the custody evaluators and performed very badly on both the psychiatric testing and clinical observations. Many were not willing to accept joint custody and turned to the Domestic Violence “DV” Community for advice and assistance.

During these times, most of the DV Community referred mothers to the secretive “Protective Parent” movement which included the Underground for providing assistance for these moms to kidnap their kids. The

The mothers that lost custody felt victimized by not only their lawyers and former spouses but the system.  They were desperate and wanted revenge. They were the ones that wanted either sole custody or No custody and would never consider joint custody. Many even refused supervised visitation with their children.

So the Family Court Critics Groups started with consultants like Karen Winner, an Attorney wand Writer that was promoting her book. In some counties, they hired Winner to write their own private report. They brought forward the stories of some of these protective moms that lost custody of their children and accused the court of poor performance, cronyism and willful misconduct on the part of Family Court Judges and Court Professionals. But as I understand, these allegations proved to be false according to later independent investigations.

During this time, the critics did not accuse the Juvenile Court or the Criminal Court for not prosecuting abuse or family violence cases. Those courts worked independently of the Family Court. The protective moms had always had those legal alternatives available to them, but elected not to use them. If they did, then going to Family Law would not have been necessary. Or more likely if their allegations were credible, the District Attorneys would have done something.

Now the Family Court Critics are targeting Family Court Judges, using social media shaming to gain an advantage for a very small number of cases. As we have seen in recent months, their community of supporters are willing to do just about anything including commit acts of disobedience (slander, misrepresentation/deceit) to support the proclaimed protective parent. In a case in Michigan, they even got the Judicial Commission to file a complaint against a Judge.

The real problem is that the Family Court Critics are not encouraging some of these jailed or custody embattled mothers to take any responsibility for their deviant behavior or uncooperativeness during the shared custody time. Any criticism of the protective moms parenting skills in the Custody Evaluations is completely ignored. Their defense is that the system made me do it. The Judge has either taken a bribe or is friends with her former spouse’s attorney. The Guardian Ad Litem appointed by the judge or agreed on by both parties is either impartial and not looking after the best interests of the child. They actually think the GALs may also be paid off. The protective moms and their Family Court Critic supporters believe they have a license to disparage the fathers and even his family members in these cases as evidenced by the posts we are seeing on social media. They are publishing confidential health records, custody evaluations, psychiatric reports and every detail about the child’s lives. They are making claims such as: “the children are not doing well”. They are posting every horrible allegation whether true or not against the mother’s proclaimed enemy. And this information will be on the Internet forever.

None of these mothers are willing now to plead guilty and simply say, I wrongfully wanted revenge against my former spouse. I acted inappropriately and apologize to my children, law enforcement, the court system, my family, my friends and my former spouse and his family. Let’s go back to coparenting and joint custody. As parents move on after divorce, remarry, have other kids, they are laying no foundation to attend their children’s graduations or marriage with the other parent present.

The Family Court Critics will most likely hold a protest rally at the courthouses to garner media attention to their cause. Unfortunately, with any protests you also get some of the extremists that may not be so peaceful and are willing to commit acts of civil disobedience. Let’s hope the Family Court Critics keep their protests peaceful and eventually find other more constructive ways to improve our Court and Child Protection systems.

The Editor


6 Responses to The Problem with the Family Court Critics Cause

  1. Adela says:

    Dear Editor, with all due respect, you can’t do one and not the other. Unfortunately, the legal system as a whole has not caught up with Parental Alienation. Most cases of protective moms occur in big cities or with more up to date judges, that see through all the inconsistencies presented. But that is usually the exception to the rule. Alienating parents are still getting away with corrupted judges, children are separated for good and judges are aiding and abiding family abductions. And since every time one of them that acts according to evidence gets exposed so blatantly by SKI, the incentive to do the right thing and provide the children with a balanced plan that guarantees access to both parents is actually very light-weighted. Don’t get lost into a few good rulings when in most of the country, false allegations of abuse are kidnapping children right and left and the justice department turns a blind eye on it.

    • underwatch says:

      Hi Adela, so the premise is that the small town judges and other child custody professionals are not as sophisticated. In small towns, it is possible that these judges are swayed by local politics and will ignore custody evaluations, recommendations by GALs and CPS workers. That joint custody is not the standard in small towns and that it is possible for parents in these places to get sole custody and effectively write the other parent out of their children’s lives.

      In the past several years, we have seen the Genevieve Kelly Case in a small town in New Hampshire, Dorothy Lee Barnett in Charleston, South Carolina and Eileen Clark in Santa Fe, New Mexico. All of these protective mom received very nominal punishment. When you apply your premise to these criminal justice system cases in small towns, you may have a point. In this month’s Faye Yu Case involving Seattle and Los Angeles, you should see the maximum criminal sentence with possible aggravated charges like in the Sandra Rucki Case.

      Thanks for your comments.

      • Adela says:

        Yes Editor, it is possible. But it is not the norm. Plus, not only do we have corrupted judges, the industry is plagued with underqualified evaluators and GALs, nepotism and close-knit legal communities. And I’m sorry, but the Barnett case was a joke. She only was in jail for what, 16 months? She hasn’t changed, she does not regret it, all she got was publicity and tv deals. The Eileen Clark case was even worse, as she was allowed to go back to the UK without jail time and only a hundreth or less of what her ex had spent in searching for her was demanded back.
        I’ve seen judges not knowing what Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy is, GALs submitting late reports after poorly done investigations and evaluators being bribed before testifying. You can’t say that a ruling is fair just because it was done in this country. You find out it was fair because people treated unfairly are fighting back and trying to do things right, not kidnapping their children and taking the law into their own hands.

  2. Mary says:

    Dear Adela,
    The last couple of days I have read and reread your comments. I find them very informative (as well as the responses of Underwatch). Although, I do not think in overall that the judicial system (in a small village or big city) is corrupt, yet I do agree that improvements are certainly necessary! Especially in the field of parental alienation (PA) and the hearing of the child. I have read a lot of arguments on anti-parental alienation sites (since I am of the opinion that if you want to be informed, you have to know the arguments of both sides), although I generally do not find them very persuasive on why PA does not exist. The arguments are, amongst others, constructed in a way that only mothers are falsely accused of alienating their children or in these court cases the concept was misused (which could be so, yet it does not mean that because it was misused then, that it is the same for all (future) cases). Moreover, these kinds of debates are not only happening when it concerns PA. You have probably also visited pro-mother and pro-father websites dealing with the topic of international parental abduction. I do not support that either (unless they are willingly to admit that although they are pro-mother or pro-father they do not agree with the actions of this mother or father because…). I also agree with your opinion about the lack of punishment. In some of these cases there is absolutely no proof that the former left-behind parent was an abuser and still the former abductor gets only a slap on the hand. Moreover, I do not understand why these former abductors are not willing to face a court when apprehended. They are blasting in the media how unfair they will be treated and that they will have to go to jail for a long time, that they cannot visit their children once the children are returned…, while almost always quite the opposite is the case. What are your opinions on how to solve the above mentioned issues? Do you think more scientific research is necessary? Or that judges and other people involved in family law should be retrained in certain aspects as PA and others? Looking very much forward to hear from you.

    • Adela says:

      Hi Mary!
      We agree in several points, except in the one about how corrupt or not the courts are. I won’t discuss that much further since this is a page that deals with parental abductions, wehther the orders that resulted on them were fair or not. And in that regard, I’m always against it.
      As you, I have also read several pages on pro and cons, but like many other people, the main reason I know PA exists is due to personal experience. When you see that a pattern of behavior exists and the case you’re dealing with is mirrored all over the world, there is a need to recognize that you have a problem.
      Regarding the solution, I think we need several things in order to deal with it. First, yes, more scientific research, and consensus among mental health professionals. I’ve seen psychologists not having even heard of it. But more than anything else, research should be focused on treatment. So far, I’ve not seen anything that works when PA is on the “third stage”. This new reunification therapy seems to have given good results to the Ruki girls, however, they had not seen their mom for more than a year, so that meant a long time without brainwashing and false ideas having been pumped into their heads on a daily basis. Separating them from the alienating parent can backfire badly, as we saw with Amanda Monet and the Wolferts girls, plus, as long as the alienating parent is not treated, the folie à deux can reappear.
      Most importantly and urgently, we need professionals capable of distinguishing false and real cases of abuse. SKI is mainly fueled by a few real victims of abuse that rightfully deny the existence of PA in their cases, and believe every borderline mother was on their same situation. It’s hard for me to believe that with all the experience custody evaluators present themselves, they still can’t figure that one out and keep messing that up. Specially with all the red flags I’ve seen and all the available evidence that can be use to corroborate stories.
      I look forward to hearing from your suggestions, greetings to the Southern Hemisphere.

      • Mary says:

        Dear Adela,
        Thank you for your fast reply!
        I have the same opinion as you do concerning professionals as custody evaluators and their knowledge about PA. Especially since parents can easily find information on the internet on how to alienate their child against the other parent. Moreover, it is hard to believe that people who have experienced domestic violence themselves and who are now trying to help other victims remain silent on this topic. In my opinion, victims of abuse should always be protected, yet if I am confronted time and again with people who falsely claim to be a victim, my view of domestic violence issues is going to change which results in the fact that people who genuinely suffer must proof harder that they are a victim. The only way to prevent such a scenario from happening is if those domestic violence groups and others break the silence and act to stop people from falsely claiming to be a victim of domestic abuse. Furthermore, due to David Goldman, left-behind parents and others, we got the Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act, so I am of the opinion that it must be possible that some parents and children who fell victim to PA must also be in a position to start an organization and change the view of PA.
        Nonetheless, some progress is being made. Thanks to Dr. Childress, who is one of the leading licensed clinical psychologists concerning the topic of PA, we now have the DSM-5 diagnosis: Child Psychological Abuse, confirmed (V995.51). You have probably visited his website ( and read his blog. At the moment, the first article on his blog is about how to change the mental health system concerning PA (
        I do not know much about treatment after the child has been recovered. I’m just catching up with reading about, e.g., reunification therapy (thanks to Underwatch). I do know that most left-behind parents are struggling with trusting the other parent (especially if there is a possibility that he or she could try and re-abduct the children). I hope that the outcomes of the Matusiewicz cyberstalking trial will result in more research in helping (former) left-behind parents and their children. If you have any links, books… about this subject, please let me know.
        Thank you for your reply.

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