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.