Kendra Stocks, Mother, Jailed by Family Court Judge for Baptizing Daughter

Family Court judge takes authority over child’s custody not only on Earth but in eternity as well… 

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(Charlotte, North Carolina: February 15, 2018): Judge Sean Smith sentenced mother, Kendra Stocks, to serve 7 days in jail for violating a family court order by baptizing her daughter.  The baptism occurred just one day after Judge Smith granted father, Paul Schaaf, full custody, ‘specifically including decisions concerning religion.’

Stocks was the primary caregiver of the child since birth. Judge Smith changed custody to the father because he determined Stocks was unable to co-parent.

Stock said about sentence to The Charlotte Observer, “I don’t regret having her baptized. That was in her best interest… I don’t see how this is in the best interest of the family. Her father is sending her mother to jail…”

Read Full Story: 

Charlotte mom who ignored judge and had daughter baptized begins week behind bars

Charlotte woman reports to jail for baptizing daughter By: Glenn Counts


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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2 Responses to Kendra Stocks, Mother, Jailed by Family Court Judge for Baptizing Daughter

  1. (Coming here from a Red Herring Alert Post of the article)….

    Unfortunately “Mother Jailed for _____” likely to become more and more common over time, as well as flipping sole legal and custodial responsibility to a father, married or unmarried.

    Here, the father was given full custody of a four-year-old. Too bad one option isn’t to just leave North Carolina (esp. Mecklenburg), home, or academic birthplace of Mr. Welfare Reform (Ron Haskins), whose work with various organizations (Brookings Institute, MDRC (board member) and various other fathers’ rights nonprofits; Princeton’s “The Future of Children” (joint publication with a Center for Child Wellbeing there also connected with Columbia University) over time has helped sway public opinions (as much as possible) against single mothers, and incorporate teaching all who can be taught a lesson about marriage, fatherhood, relationships, etc.). (more on all that at my blog

    Pardon the tongue-in-cheek. From one of the article links above (I think the first one) (attempting html for a block quote here…):

    The daughter, who turned 4 last month, was the product of a six-month relationship between Stocks and Schaaf that ended in February 2014, documents say. Two months later, Schaaf filed for full custody, citing chronic disagreements with Stocks over visitation and holiday schedules, and the infant’s daycare site and medical care. A particular point of contention: Stocks refused to include Schaaf in the child’s last name, documents say.

    ”And there was also the matter of religion. [[Funny, no mention — at least in print – -of whether Stocks, mother, had a work life…]]

    ‘Stocks said both she and Schaaf, an insurance broker, are practicing Catholics** and wanted the child baptized and raised in the church. Yet the court files speak of a prolonged disagreement over spiritual matters between the parents that had delayed the girl’s baptism. Asked what the argument was about, Stocks said, “I would like to know that myself.”

    ‘Smith’s contempt order says Stocks demonstrated “very erratic, bizarre conduct” during her relationship with Schaaf and after the birth of her daughter, “including poor decision-making and an inability to cooperate.”

    Read more here:

    ** Both parents were practicing Catholics, not including a six-month affair resulting in pregnancy… Makes me wonder if part of the practice included not using contraception during affair.
    Despite the comment, I know it’s not a light matter, and jailing mothers for contempt (while letting men slide, as often happens) is not just a sad state of affairs — it’s often “payback” in general for female independence. I hope all three individuals (mother, father, daughter) make it through the next several years intact.
    One of my major turning points as a mother and as a person was witnessing law enforcement stand by a child-stealing event which they knew to be classified as a felony in the state, and with paperwork in their hands stating father did NOT have permission to take the children — this, during a court-ordered exchange I was then complying with!! Their ultimate intent, and action, was to direct the problem back to family court (less work for law enforcement, more funds for the system)– which also refused to help, including when father granted sole physical and legal custody OVERNIGHT and subsequently just quit obeying court orders, PERIOD. Visitation, pre-trial matters, settle out of court after promising to, agreeing to show up in court when refusing to settle out of it was rejected, refusing to meet beforehand and exchange list of issues, all the while, withholding temporarily ordered visitation with me (bi-weekly) etc. — That, essentially, and being in such shock I couldn’t continually keep filing pro se, and continue to stay housed, among other factors, that started me on the blogging journey. I cannot imagine what this would be like had it happened when a daughter was only four; I have met mother after mother for whom such things did occur.

    Sorry about the long comment…

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