Court Ordered to Be a Deadbeat Parent (Judge Robben)

“Deadbeat Parent”, definition: “Deadbeat parent is a pejorative term referring to parents of any gender who do not fulfill their parental responsibilities…” (Wikipedia)

The court ordered custody and parenting time issued by Judge Patrick Robben (Hennepin County, Minn.) has removed a loving, stay-at-home from the lives of the children, and has legally made me a “deadbeat parent”. The court order does not even meet the bare minimum parenting time outlined by state law, nor does it serve the best interest of the children, rather it is an example of how judicial abuses of power can destroy families, and encourage parental alienation. 

I have been forcibly separated from my children by court order, and further separated by an abusive parent engaging in alienation (who has been enabled by the court). It is not my choice to be separated from my children.

The inspiration from this article came from a friend, who commented that only a deadbeat parent wouldn’t be involved in the life of their child, if given a choice. My friend went on to say that society looks down on people who do not take care of their own children. How, then, can it be legally acceptable – and deemed in the “best interest” of the children to remove a parent who has been involved in their child’s life, and who has been a primary caregiver since birth?  Judge Robben has given my abusive ex the power to determine if and when I receive any additional parenting time – and basically has told me that if Martin doesn’t approve, then he will not agree to any additional parenting time. Any effort I make to increase parenting time or custody, and to be more involved in the lives of my children, is rejected by Judge Robben. 

Judge Patrick D Robben - Court Ordered a Loving, Stay-at-Home-Mom to be a Deadbeat Parent

Judge Patrick D Robben – Court Ordered a Loving, Stay-at-Home-Mom to be a Deadbeat Parent

My children have been taken for no justifiable reason – there never have been any abuse allegations raised against me, I have a “squeaky clean” background. In fact, I am successfully raising another child, and volunteer with children and families in my community. My children want to come home, they want to be with me – and their sibling. The grief and loss my family has experienced is beyond measure. 

An average non-custodial parent would have regular visitation, regular communication with the child and have some form of legal custody or ability to participate in the child’s daily life…I don’t have any of that. I have been court ordered to be a “deadbeat parent”.

Litigation has continued for more than 10 years. This is a comparison of my life with my children before family court … and after… This is the destruction of a family. 


What I Used to Do for My Children,

Stay-at-Home-Mom and Primary Caregiver:

Public Domain

Public Domain

  • Wake up with my children each morning, make breakfast, assist with getting ready for school or planning a daily schedule (when kids are not in school).
  • Make after school snack, go on a short adventure (the kids love exploring parks and nature trails!) or do homework.
  • Weekly Bible club. The church would have dinner that night and we’d spend the evening visiting with friends and enjoying worship before the kids went into their lessons.  Before my son was taken, Bible school included a music lesson taught by a Blues player. My son built a cardboard guitar and just learning how to play when he was taken, and music lessons ended permanently. Year later, my son asked about his guitar, but was too overcome with emotion to say much more…he still feels the loss.
  • Make dinner. My daughter had her own area of the counter to help cook, she would stand on a stool, and I’d give her a project. Spending time at the dinner table was special for us – we’d share a family prayer then spend time talking about our day or listening to music.
  • Doing educational or religious lessons at home. My son enjoyed science experiments. One of our experiments involved making edible play dough with peanut butter (teaching what a compound is – grin). My daughter enjoyed writing, poetry and art projects. At age five I was teaching her how to write Haiku poetry; those lessons permanently when she was taken but she still enjoys writing, and is advanced for her age.
  • Spending time with extended family. My kids have now forgotten the names of relatives they once played with.
  • Learning about their family history, culture, and heritage – impossible now.


Hennepin County Family Justice Center - Epicenter of Corruption

Hennepin County Family Justice Center – Epicenter of Corruption

 -Pray my children will come home.

-Pray my children won’t forget me.

-Pray my children are safe.

-Pray my children know how much they are loved. And know that I did not leave or abandon them. I had no choice. We are the mercy of a court that has taken the law into its own hands, and twisted justice beyond recognition.

-Stare at the phone, willing it to ring. Silence. Phone calls I initiate to my children are never answered, never returned or acknowledged.

-Write an e-mail or letter and hope it will get to my children.

-Request additional parenting time or overnight visits . Usually there is no response, no communication. When he does respond, requests are denied 95% of the time.

-Request to be present at doctor appointments, or ask for notification about medical issues and updates. No response, no communication.

-Request updates on the children, denied.

-Abusive ex refused to tell me where the children are attending school. State law says that I am allowed to have this information, and allowed to attend school conferences and receive report cards. I had to call every school in the area to figure out where the kids attend school. Spend hours writing letters to the school, making phone calls, citing state law, sending copies of court orders, and waiting for the school to consult their attorney and get back to me… Explain to the school that my children do have a mother, no I can not explain why the father did not notify you of my existence, yes I do want to be involved in any way I can…   And hope for the best. Repeat next year.

-File court motions as allowed, by law. Consult with attorneys in legal clinics. Conduct legal research. Draft motions. Attach evidence. Seek support. Wish I won the lottery so I could afford an attorney. Face reality. Attend court hearings only to have requests for relief denied by Judge Robben – who does not even hide his contempt for me, and obvious bias. Wait for months for a ruling, which comes in at the very last minute. No surprise, Judge Robben will not increase parenting time or allow me to participate in the lives of my children. Try again next time.. and again… here I am 10+ years of trying…not even close to giving up.

-Enjoy short visits with the children, only to experience the pain of their loss… again and again….

–The absolute sense of nothing… I remember my life with my children. I cherish our memories. And then there is the nothing, the blackness, when your children are taken from your arms.. and you have no idea what their life is like. Your involvement is removed. The communication ends. And there is nothing.

This is what it is like to be a court ordered dead beat parent.

~Emily Court, October 2016

About Emily Court

It takes "Just Us" To Fight Injustice in Family Court. I blog to raise awareness about problems existing in the family court system, and use my own story as a personal example of how the systemic failures in family court, and the Guardian ad Litem Program, affect families, in an effort to encourage needed reform. Written by a survivor of domestic violence and homelessness working to create a better life for her children, in a stable home free of violence. In her efforts to rebuild her life, she has not only encountered harassment and intimidation from her alleged abuser but faced systematic failures in family court that have empowered her alleged abuser and put her children at risk. She has spent over a decade trapped in family court until her children finally aged out of the system. Through writing and blogging, FCI is working to raise awareness about domestic violence, and the urgent need for family court reform. She is currently working on a memoir titled "'Til Prayers Are Answered".
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23 Responses to Court Ordered to Be a Deadbeat Parent (Judge Robben)

  1. “Let us be clear, the removal of fathers from the lives of their children is … public … policy“. -Robert Franklin ICMI-14

    “Men’s rights activists must wake up and realize that the time for trying to counter the hypocrisy with rationality – with essentially male arguments, using facts and truth, in the hope that sense will prevail – is not going to make any difference to the relentless feminist long march on men” -Herbert Purdy ICMI-16

    “Everywhere you look—everywhere you look!–there are feminists pushing their way to the front of the line demanding women’s “fair share” of all of the goodies, the good stuff, the loot, the booty, the cookies. Even if women don’t need it. Even if women don’t deserve it. And even if somebody else needs it and deserves it more.
    And they get it, because we give it to them”. -Karen Straughn (GirlWritesWhat)

    • Emily Court says:

      Clayton- I do not understand your accusatory comments … I will say that you have taken attention AWAY from where it belongs – on the judges, and family court system. Judges who violate the laws they are sworn to uphold, and whose decisions endanger children should be held accountable, and immunity removed.

      • “Judges who violate the laws they are sworn to uphold, and whose decisions endanger children should be held accountable, and immunity removed”. I absolutely agree. So tell me, where within my post do you get the impression that I am taking attention away from them? We both know that judges get away with anything they want INCLUDING kidnapping children away from their fathers for the money this brings. Don’t believe me? Look up Title IV of the social security act and see for yourself. The courts get a cut from the federal government for every dollar extorted from innocent fathers. And we sit on our ass and let them get away with it! And they are mandated to increase this amount every year or that federal matching will be withheld! It is corruption of the highest order and still, nobody cares-

  2. Just so parents are aware, the 25 percent minimum is rebuttable in Minnesota. I am not sure if you are aware of that. Many people are not.

    • Emily Court says:

      Thanks for the additional information.

      I found an article by Attorney Eric C. Nelson with some useful info:

      The general rule is that parenting time (visitation) is mandatory…Parenting time may by ordered to be supervised or otherwise restricted, but only be restricted after a hearing, and upon findings that visitation is likely to endanger the child’s physical or emotional health or impair the child’s emotional development. [3]

      As the appellate courts have repeatedly recognized:

      We believe our prior cases concerned with visitation by a noncustodial parent reflect the policy embodied in Minn.St. 518.175 that visitation is to be regarded as a parental right essential to the continuance and maintenance of a child-to-parent relationship between the child and noncustodial parent, and that a denial of this right shall be based on persuasive evidence that visitation will not serve the best interest of the child. [4]

      A Court’s Order denying visitation must be based on particularized findings. [5] Likewise, a Court’s Order restricting visitation requires particularized findings on the reasons for the restriction, and findings that the restrictions serve the children’s best interests. [6]

      Provisions for rehabilitation or restoration of the parent’s relationship to the child should also be considered by the Court.

      Insubstantial modifications of parenting time do not require a full evidentiary hearing. [11] Motions for “substantial” modification of parenting time cannot be granted without a full evidentiary hearing. [12] If the proposed modification of parenting time would be so substantial as to be tantamount to a modification of custody, then the procedures and prerequisites for a custody modification motion apply. [13]

  3. It really is females who ruin the vast majorities of all relationships. Its the truth that few are willing to admit. I will say it loud enough for you to hear it; and so will Marc Rudov-

    Why Children Ruin Marriage
    By Marc H. Rudov, The NoNonsense Man

    Cancel the Wedding
    There’s a question every man should ask his fiancée before their big wedding day; too bad he doesn’t ask it: Are you marrying me to become my wife or a mother? If she doesn’t immediately reply, without hesitation, “to become your wife,” cancel the wedding.
    Why would I make such a bold assertion? It’s not just because all my assertions are bold. Marriage, as strictly defined, has nothing to do with children. That’s right. Yet, in the typical home, the husband and wife will allow their marriage to revolve around their children. Worse, when that marriage ends, and there’s a good chance it will, their divorce will revolve around their children, too.
    In my observation, wives are more guilty than husbands of making children “priority #1.” This is because such behavior is socially acceptable and politically correct in a country that considers motherhood noble and fatherhood trivial.
    When I discussed my article “Are You Her Number One?” on various radio shows, many a female caller was outraged at the prospect that any man should outrank her children!
    According to Harvard psychology professor, Daniel Gilbert, children take the happiness out of marriage. In fact, Gilbert claims that sadness increases with the number of children. Most people don’t like to admit this, because it would sound horrible, but it’s true.
    Ignoring Their Wedding Vows
    I’ve examined the vows of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic weddings — as well as the texts of numerous states’ marriage licenses and certificates. Nowhere in these vows or documents can I find the word children. In other words, marriage is a bond exclusively between a husband and a wife. It does not include children. It does not include in-laws. But, is this what really happens in marriages? Hell no.
    Ask any woman whom she loves more, her husband or her children. I’m betting she’ll say, “my children, of course.” Her husband is, obviously, programmed to respond, “Well, that’s the way it is, right?” Yet, he’s the one with whom she created a sacred bond in marriage. But, if hubby says he loves his children more than his wife, he’s history. Double standard?
    Based on the high divorce rate, the high adultery rate, and the high number of unhappily married women, why do people bother marching down the aisle at all? There’s no logic here. If one could lose money on Wall Street as easily, predictably, and consistently as he can in matrimony, there would be no Wall Street. But, people continue to marry. Why?
    Women marry to have legitimate children and receive financial support for themselves and those children. I believe this because women bring 70% of divorces. Men, on the other hand, given the highly expected financial and child-custody losses, take huge matrimonial risk because they genuinely want to be married and to have families. There’s no other way to explain the respective nuptial decisions of men and women.
    But, regardless of their financial or familial motivations for saying, “I do,” what men and women don’t do, quite clearly, is adhere to the vows they took to forever cherish, love, and honor each other. Somehow, the import and memory of these vows vanish when children arrive, and THAT is the problem. Children are born outside the bounds of marriage and must never be allowed to invade it. Alas, they’re allowed, even encouraged, to invade it.

    The NoNonsense Bottom Line
    I’m not suggesting for one minute that spouses not have children. That’s ludicrous. I am suggesting, though, that spouses gain perspective on where those children rank in the hierarchy: not at the top. Spouses must keep each other at the top, as they promised to do.
    Now, if you’re concluding, while reading this, that I’m advising you to ignore, abandon, and mistreat your children, you’re not intelligent enough to marry or procreate! Parents own and run the home; children must respect them and their rules. Brats cannot survive in a home where parents honor and admire each other.
    It is inexcusable to vow, on your wedding day, to place your spouse first and then violate that vow by subordinating your spouse to your children. Marriages disintegrate because they weren’t integrated in the first place — wherein the participants viewed their wedding vows as meaningless utterances. Finally, at the marriage’s end, there’s nothing but hatred and revenge between spouses — exactly what they promised would not happen.
    Children don’t ruin marriage, unless their parents give them the power to do so. Spouses ruin marriage — way before they become spouses — by believing that children belong at its center. Again, if that were true, marriage vows would include children. They don’t.
    So, don’t get married until you have enough maturity and conviction to treat your spouse as the most important person in the world — above and beyond your children — and receive the same treatment in return.

    If your children ruined your marriage, you never had a marriage: She married you to become a mother!

    • Emily Court says:

      I would usually delete a comment like this – but am posting to show an example of an abusive, personality disordered attitude. And how this toxic personality poses a threat of harm, especially to a child.

      It is very common for domestic violence to escalate when a woman becomes pregnant or has a child. Other women become pregnant as a result of rape or sexual coercion (that may be connected to domestic violence). An estimated 1 in 5 women will be abused during pregnancy. Further, “The World Health Organization also reports that IPV during pregnancy is linked to an increased risk of intimate partner homicide. In other words, partners who batter pregnant women are often particularly more dangerous and more likely to kill their partners.” When Pregnancy Triggers Violence

      The other abusive aspect of this comment is the way the child is actually being blamed for “ruining your marriage”. And the obvious jealousy the author expresses – that the wife loves the child more than her husband. This is a clear example of emotional and psychological abuse towards a child, a partner and indicates a higher risk for physical abuse as well. Very disturbing.

      If you are experiencing abuse or know someone who is, you can reach a domestic violence advocate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, confidentially, at The National Domestic Violence Hotline, 800-799-SAFE.National Domestic Violence Hotline

  4. JW says:

    I just went through the same thing with this judge he took my daughter away from me with no explanation and granted my child father full custody and granted him his last minute motion to move across the country with my child and now my child’s Father and telling me that I will.never see my daughter again. Thanks judge robben!!

    • Emily Court says:

      That is why I call Judge Patrick D Robben by the nickname “Robben Kids” because he abuses his position as a judge, and violates the law… and the outcome is devastation for families, traumatized children and estrangement from children. Judge Robben does “rob” our children from us.

  5. E.C. says:

    The Robing Room Offers a Forum to Read Reviews on Judges and to Rate Your Judge.

    I left this commentary about JUDGE PATRICK D ROBBEN (4th Judicial District, Hennepin Co)

    I am a pro-se litigant dealing with a family court matter before Judge Patrick D Robben.

    Based on my experience, Judge Robben is very slow to issue a ruling. It has been common to receive an order on the last day, by law, that one must be submitted.

    In my case, I submitted 20+ pages of evidence regarding my issue. Judge Robben disregarded the evidence and instead rule on the hearsay testimony of the other party. Judge Robben’s order included personal remarks about me that were negative, defamatory and were not issues brought up in hearing by the other party. When I filed a motion for reconsideration, Judge Robben denied the motion and refused to look at additional evidence I gathered… at that point the other party had lied in court regarding material facts, which could be easily proven. So now Judge Robben’s ruling is based on lies, and since he refuses to consider the evidence I have no recourse.

    Judge Robben also seems to overly rely on the use of Guardian ad Litems, and rubber stamp whatever recommendations are made, even if those recommendations violate state law or Best Interest factors. In my case, Judge Robben asked the GAL to perform duties beyond what a GAL is mandated to perform (mediate between parties, give psychological opinions, facilitate parenting time). When I objected, I was placed into supervised parenting time without any justifiable reason.

    Judge Robben also seems biased against victims of domestic violence, and takes the stance that an abuse victim is “hostile” or “not cooperative” or “engaging in conflict”. His rulings have posed a risk to my safety, and have promoted parental alienation.

  6. “For many years now, we’ve known two important things about “deadbeat dads.” First, they’re not deadbeats and second, they’re not always dads”. -Robert Franklin Esq.

  7. JW says:

    I also just suffered the same injustice by judge robben, he even granted a motion to move out state to the alleged Father of my child , I asked for copy of the order and come to find out that he granted an order that was never filed. I never had a chance in his court and now I have to go to out of state just to fight for custody of my child with a person who he granted custody to with no DNA test done even tho I requested it . That judge is a very bias and evil man. Thanks judge robben for take my child away from her family and siblings and knowing that me and my child were very close. Your injustice towards women is shameful.

    • Emily Court says:

      Judge “Robben Kids” has a history of awarding custody to abusive, unfit parents and placing children in custody or parenting time arrangements that risk their safety, and do NOT meet the Best Interest Standards. As a result of Judge Patrick D Robben’s rulings children like mine – and others – have been physically and mentally abused, traumatized and estranged from their family of origin. I have heard from legal professionals that Robben is referred to as a “woman batterer” due to his reprehensible conduct on the bench. He needs to be disbarred!

      • LH says:

        Robben HATES WOMEN. If you get assigned to him, ask for a new judge! Despite a GAL recommendation that the father only have supervised visits, Robben is letting a convicted child abuser, alcoholic, mentally abusive man have unsupervised visitation!

  8. mike says:

    “Let’s be clear; child support and alimony laws aren’t about caring for children. They’re about transferring as much money as possible from men to women.” -Robert Franklin Esq.

    “Child support is not meant for children. It’s a COMMUNIST transfer of wealth scheme.” –Paul M. Clements DADD

    “The federal incentives drive the system. The more divorces, and the higher the child-support guidelines are set and enforced (no matter how unreasonable), the more money the state bureaucracy collects from the feds. Follow the money. The less time that non-custodial fathers are permitted to be with their children, the more child support they must pay into the state fund, and the higher the federal bonus to the states for collecting the money.” – Phyllis Schlafly

    • Emily Court says:

      Thanks for the additional info Mike! I think the systemic corruption affects BOTH men and women.. who are equally being used as pawns by a family court system that has become a corporation that profits on the devastation of families, and uses children as commodities.

      For Thought:

      These Judges are not sovereign upholders of the law and our Constitution. They have been so used to derailing and usurping the law and their power with no accountability or watch dog whatsoever they leave children and families decimated while letting the knowingly guilty go free…The Family Court system needs an overhaul. It’s a self serving institution with no accountably of it’s actors and players who care nothing about our beloved children..” “Zorro”,