The Family Behind “FCI”

A true story from Hennepin County, 4th Judicial District, Minnesota…

I was a loving mother and primary caregiver of two children until forcibly separated due to an unjust family court order. I have fought for the return of my children, and restoration of my parental rights for 14 years, until my children finally aged out of the system.

I began this blog, in anonymity, using the pen name “Emily Court” a play on the words family court, but my real name is Lynn. In April 2006, I was physically assaulted during an incident of domestic abuse and forced to flee my home with two small children. The children and I were homeless for 18 months before being able to secure permanent housing. We went from living in our minivan and in shelters to finally securing a real home.  Ultimately, the children were denied their family, home and place of safety by the corrupt and unjust family court, who gave sole custody to the alleged perpetrator of abuse.

After I fled the home, the abuser threatened he would retaliate against me by taking full custody of the children, he said he will do this because “I want you to know how it feels to be hurt“. My family has been involved in ongoing family court litigation from 2006-2020 in Hennepin County, 4th Judicial District, Minnesota.

I now to fight to raise awareness of family court failures, and work toward needed reform.

Thank you for vising Family Court Injustice, please return as this page continues to be updatedWe appreciated your concern and support!

 Isaiah 49:25, “…For I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children.”


39 Responses to The Family Behind “FCI”

  1. This is a great blog. Best of luck to you. I am not a lawyer, but I do work with parents, especially mothers, whose lives have been overtaken by hostile family court situations.

    I would love to link to your blog through my blog if that is ok?

    Susan Carpenter

    • mommie21 says:

      Hi Susan-

      Grin* I think we have met. I love your blog, and the useful articles and tips it offers. Is fine to link my blog. I will do the same.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. Thanks. Hope I was helpful if we met 🙂

  3. Robin Karr says:

    I love your blog site:) Back when my children were taken in November 1998, hardly anybody had personal computers. I did my best to document… I wish I could have done more. You’ve done a wonderful job of reaching out to your children and others here. I couldn’t help but notice the scripture from Isaiah you posted above. I highlighted the same scripture in my Bible on December 5, 1998. Verse 24 says “Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? Our children are being held captive ‘legally’ by the mighty family courts. We can document, fight to protect our children and pray but in the end, it is truly God who ultimately must deliver our children from captivity. Sending you much love ❤

    • M21 says:

      Thank you for your comments, and affirmation of faith Robin!

      As a mother, it is our instinct…the very reason we breathe & that our heart beats, to love, protect & defend our precious children. From the time we are pregnant, our bodies nurture our children. When women are pregnant, their bodies will actually take nutrients from food & feed the baby first. Our whole body, mind, and spirit adapts & grows to bring this tiny life into the care for our children so they will thrive.

      It is an absolute shock, that you would flee the abuse & danger, and attempt to give your kids a better life only to have “Family” Court award custody to the abuser. That “Family” Court would protect those who did egregious harm to you, and your children. That you would be abused again in Court. That you would be punished for reporting abuse, and told to stay silent. That even your tears are used against you–a sign of instability. Or that it is wrong to fear the abuser so you can’t “co-parent” are not deserving of custody. The lies go on and on..even with evidence, documentation and witnesses, the corruption is so great that none of it seems to matter. The Court favors the abuser, and without regard to the safety & well-being of your children, he is awarded custody. Not only are you left heart broken, and more afraid than ever..but now you are alienated from your child by court order, and removed from their lives. It is the worst kind of injustice, happening to Moms in America and all over the world.

      So for a Mom who has protected, loved & cared for her children all her life, to have this happen..can make you feel that you failed or did not do enough or you are not good enough..the lies & abuse repeat all over again. NONE of this is true! Robin, you did not fail your children. I did not fail my children. No Protective Mom is a failure. She has given everything to protect her child from abuse. It is the Courts that have failed our children, and abused women, by awarding custody to dangerous abusers.

      That is why I say Family Court is Legally Insane

    • M21 says:

      A link to a really insightful article:
      “Many men who coercively control their partner use children as weapons to get at her, control her, and keep her in her place.”

      Tactic #11 — Using the Children. by CLARE MURPHY PHD on APRIL 11 2013.

      • Dear Emily/M21 —

        Your case is in Hennepin County, MN — and Dr. Murphy I see is from New Zealand, and wants to “speak out loud about PSYCHOLOGICAL abuse”

        “Clare’s Philosophy
        I bridge the gap between psychology and sociology. I take a wide view of the person and of society. Every thought you have, every feeling you feel, every action you take is shaped by society and – in turn – you shape society. The relationship between individuals and society is multifaceted, complex and full of contradictions.”
        ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
        “PhD School of Justice, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, (QUT), Brisbane, Australia.
        MSocSc(Hons) in Psychology with first class honours. University of Waikato, New Zealand.
        BSocSc(Hons) in Psychology with first class honours. University of Waikato, New Zealand
        BA major in Psychology University of Auckland, New Zealand
        Certificate in Adult Teaching. Christchurch Teachers’ College, New Zealand
        Certificate in Project Management. Queensland University of Technology, (QUT), Brisbane, Australia
        Certificate in Supervision. Human Development & Training Institute, Auckland, New Zealand”
        . . . and charges NZ$120 for supervision (personal help or coaching?).
        _ _ _ _ _ _ _
        For some time earlier last year I was working with another woman author from Australia, who had become active in a NW USA blog speaking out about religious (Christian) coverup of domestic abuse within the ranks; one of their apparent frequent references (other than, these were also Christian authors, so also the Bible) was Lundy Bancroft’s “Why Does he DO That?” or “The Batterer As Parent.” .. I worked to explain to her that in the United States we have major economic factors at play in the courts, particularly through the welfare sector; and that child support enforcement has become a public policy tool to promote certain ideas, and degrade other ideas — specifically the concept that violent or abusive behavior, including threatening to kill others, physical injury or other things we would normally call crimes, disqualifies a father from being an active, present, parent in the child’s live.
        ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
        I think most women who have undergone this could write a book on it also. Unfortunately, where we do, we do not closely at the marketplace to realize that in certain sectors, particularly at the PhD level, writing books or publishing studies is a lot more fun professionally than looking at who is paying (funding) this tragic situation, where good mothers are losing custody of and contact with children they’ve raised, and even having to PAY to visit them? ~ ~ ~

        It should not be necessary to ignore evidence, and go about re-inventing the wheel on this sector. I am working (as we speak) with other people in Minnesota to put together some documentation of organizations active IN MInnesota who are significant players in the family court system, both locally and some, nationwide — and how they are taking millions (literally) of dollars from government while ignoring (as long and as much as possible) how this is done, and how mothers are not just being traumatized — as are the children (some who continue to simply run away from the abusive homes they’re put into) — these Moms are being bankrupted and forced BACK onto welfare from policies that essentially blamed mothers for their own poverty and encourage them to marry their way out of it. (LINKS at my blog, over 600 posts and plenty of references on the sidebar).

        This includes people who have been working with the attorney involved with the “familyinnocenceproject” (comment above), who was recently handcuffed to a wheelchair in the process of attempting to protect her clients (mother, 5 children, forced to flee her own home AFTER divorce was settled, and she’d lived there for 14 years. She was forbidden to tell her children going off to school, and bring anything with her — or be incarcerated (with NO charges). LIkewise, the attorney was given no charges for being arrested and held in a jail cell (for the weekend — about 4 days) DURING a court hearing.

        Is this the scenario in which we would like to continue talking about psychology, sociology, and dynamics of power and control (but omit the the discussion of economics?). Some of this is a global universal — but some of it is VERY specific to the United States of America, our tax system, our welfare system, and our family courts systems — which is at complete odds with the US Constitution and the concepts of the Bill of Rights, let alone civil rights. These are literally specialized courts, lobbied for by judicial interests and at least a few times ordered into existence at the State ADMINISTRATIVE arm of the courts, whose purpose is to bring in the mental and social welfare professions into the courtroom — and export the decision-making process OUT of it into the hands of paid “experts” with (see previous comments).

        In this context, talking about “protecting the children” which is innate to any decent parent (and I say, especially to mothers) is not even on the map. There is some talk of it — and of best interests — but those are not the REAL interests driving the family courts. If we want them to change, it’s important to understand their real (operating system) language, because they DO NOT exist to hear our “protect our children” language. Parents are second-class citizens in the courts; it is a caste system. But it is a system that can be understood, and could be dismantled (not just “fixed”) as it was originally assembled for immoral purposes.

        My question is — how long will it take parents (mothers and fathers) to get up to speed on this? Children grow up fast, and people that have learned by trial and error would like to be heard, and communicate what they have learned (seen, heard, AND investigated) to the next generation!!! Holly Collins, and her daughter Jennifer Collins (see “CourageousKids”) are from Minnesota, right? I know people (several) who have presented this information to at least Jennifer — however they are being sponsored, or at least publicized, by a number of nonprofits and professionals some from my area, some from the East Coast) who simply want these topics censored. As such, we individual bloggers have to blog and report through, around, or beside it and trust that people who are not satisfied with half-truths will recognize the other half when they get a whiff of it, as I did years ago.

        You are not going to get the significant truths about the federal grants system from any professional (Ph.D., Psy.D., J.D., or M.Ed, etc.) some of whose careers and professional bios depend on federal grants (and some, pharmaceutical also) for their primary life’s work, a lot of which includes conducting demonstrations (on people, individual or in groups) and writing it up. You are going to get it from outside that system!

  4. Susan says:

    Family court is not where a family should be. There is no justice there, only groupthink. Please share the news with everyone you know that there is a group out there working to abolish family court. The Family Innocence Project is working to abolish Family Court. Your ex would have never agreed to use that alternative, but maybe one day it will be the only way!

  5. Christy says:

    I wonder after reading your story and this one about what’s going on there in Hennepin County? Look under our stories
    Jennifer’s story summer 2008. I just had my son taken from me yesterday because his doctor made a report of abuse against his dad. I had no lawyer, exhausted all finances and judge refuses to look at doctor and police reports. Family court system is run by demons.

    • M21 says:

      Thank you for your thoughts, Christy. I am so sorry for all you are going through. You have my prayers.

      Alot of Moms are too afraid to speak out because they feel they may lose custody or parenting time. Other Moms have been slapped with gag orders. Or fined by the Court. Ordered to take down websites. Forced into un-necessary psychiatric care to coerce them to just go along, and not raise concerns. It is appalling how the Family Court is covering up their own corruption–and punishing Moms who try to protect their children from abuse & unsafe situations.

      Courageous Kids is a heartbreaking website but so powerful in that the children stolen by the Courts are now healing, and speaking out against the abuse they endured. I hope many more Children will be able to come together and see they are not alone. No child deserves to be abused. Our courts are supposed to protect. ((HUGS))

  6. Dear Emily,

    I am not from Minnesota, but I am a mother who understands what the removal of children is like, also abuse, and the attempt to alienate (alter their culture/values), and I am very sad to learn that in 2006, this is still happening — mothers are still being put into supervised visitation after they were the ones who fled abuse, there is still homelessness (and/or fear of it) known, there is anguish, there is concern. As blogger, you will have my input, but I’m not telling when certain things happened in my case other than, it appears to be a generation or so earlier. However, I have children who have “aged out” of the system, and FYI, it’s not over then either for some of us, there is more to go.

    The website is elegant, it is very sensitive and very beautiful! I would like to know how to upload handwritten documents so they display.

    I am working with several people in Minnesota (I’m not from there) to share what is a national pattern of public agencies collaborating with private groups (nonprofits) to centralize and standardize what is, and is not, “domestic violence” (or abuse, etc.) while failing to tell the true story of their outside the court connections with each other.

    Or the historical connection of the whole thing to 1996 welfare reform, and groups involved in that. The welfare reform individuals have had an agenda, and I see as you are sensitive to the cultural genocide matters, there is a genealogical (and at some points religious) connection to the attempt to stigmatize single mothers, not because of who they are or what they’ve done — but because they are single.

    I am in the generation between the people who in the 1980s set up a lot of battered women’s groups (now mainstreamed and inbred with the family court system) and those in the 1990s (I had children much later in life) and now in the 2000s, it breaks my heart that these are not just entrenched, they are standard practice. I have been blogging for about 5 years, but standing up to abuse for (now) 22 years — and half of that was after filing for a protective order (with kickout).

    May I share some of this information with you? Pls. see next comment.

    • Kelly says:

      Let’s get honest, that is horrible your family was
      “protection” ordered, and then suffered the
      extreme consequences of that “protection” order
      for 22 years. It worked exactly as intended, it
      seems, creating 22 years of intense long-term
      conflict/litigation. During this time, how many
      lawyers used you, your spouse and children as litigation
      tools? I would look into the backgrounds of each
      of those lawyers and see how many children and
      parents each of them has impoverished or killed.

  7. Family Court Justice (with street address and yellow hand on “walk” signal)….
    From the graphic above, I looked up the site and see (among many other things) the “Family Violence Coordinating Council.” This is a specific format where government + nonprofit groups collaborate on how to handle family violence cases. However, because of the massive grants available from the feds (and in MN, most of them go to just one or two counties) to sponsor certain “outcomes” in custody cases (even though legally, the federal gov’t can’t interfere with state courts, it most definitely can throw its fiscal weight around and influence them), women need to know who stands where on any of that funding.

    If we don’t know about it, we are at a significant disadvantage to those who do — there is a conflict of interest with justice, when “justice” says best interests of the child and business says — we want to get our grant incentives, and we want to work the supervised visitation circuit; we want bonus points for increasing “noncustodial parenting time,” and so forth.

    The task at hand (every mother would do well to know this, and fathers) — is to sort the government from the nonprofits, and understand who is who. I took a very quick look and can see the same pattern as in some of California’s counties. It is the same pattern because professionals teach each other that pattern in certain conferences.

    I am going to paste this information from the government website, make a few comments, and my (wordpress) blog with more information is “familycourtmatters.” I have been a battered mother, a single custodial mother, a noncustodial mother of abandoned by their father children, and now I am a mother of two (very young adult) children who are still at risk in different ways, after the system got its way, and Dad got his child support arrears (1) elimination (current) and (2) abatement (reduced retroactively by one-third). I was forced back onto welfare, while in the courts, and now am fighting for my own survival in older age, for my children’s futures, and etc.
    (On the site, those are active links): Voting Members of “FVCC”

    Organization Order re 2014 Appointments
    Anders, Deena Domestic Fatality Review Team
    Arthur, Carol Domestic Abuse Project (DAP)
    Avalon, Stephanie Battered Women’s Justice Project (BWJP)
    Becker-Finn, Jamie Hennepin County Attorney’s Office – Domestic Abuse Service Center
    Boswell, Verona DASC
    Brey, Katie Family Court, Administration
    Crabb, Anna Krause Suburban Prosecutor (City of Minnetonka)
    Cutter, Elizabeth Judge, Criminal Court
    Gephart, Mike Hennepin County Probation
    Gibbons, Roberta Assistant Professor Metropolitan State University
    Gilmore, Anne Hennepin County Medical Center
    Hawley, Judith Hennepin County Attorney Office
    Jacobson, Michelle Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office
    Keeler, Terrence Minneapolis Police Department, Sergeant
    Klein, Joseph Judge, Juvenile Court
    Kolb Untinen, Cheryl Cornerstone
    McNaughton, Lisa Public Defender (Juvenile)
    Milgrom, Aaron Domestic Abuse Project (DAP)
    Miller, Lynn Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office
    Moses, Patricia Family Court, Referee
    Pearson, Mona Brooklyn Center Police Department, Detective
    Ratner, Rachel Sojourner Project
    Rhodes, Brynn Family Court, Attorney
    Riven, Vicki Criminal Court, Administration
    Schwartz, Lori Hennepin County Attorney Office
    Scott, Anthony Human Services and Public Health Department (HSPHD)
    Snow-Kaster, Christy Central Minnesota Legal Services
    Sorensen, Bob Public Defender (adult)
    Staloch, John Hennepin County Probation
    Taylor, Anne Hennepin County Attorney Office
    Thompson, Michelle Tubman Staff Attorney
    Waggoner-Kloek, Rebecca OutFront
    Walsh Kern, Amy WATCH
    Weinstein, Michael Family Court Services
    Contact Nancy Peters, FVCC Executive Director, for any questions regarding the membership list.

    Some of these are nonprofits, some are not. Some are projects of other very large nonprofits getting grants. There are built-in conflicts of interest. At the end of the day, we should be able to go down any list, pick out the nonprofits quickly, look up their tax returns and if they are on some federal grants stream — or working under someone who is. For example, the group BWJP is not a nonprofit, but a project of a group in Duluth, who has received $21 million of HHS funding since 1996, and who is IN THE BUSINESS of selling supervised visitation and batterers intervention services. That’s a conflict of interest. Moreover, WATCH has a “BWJP” board member. moreover, BWJP itself has been listed as a partner of the judges, family attorneys and custody evaluators (etc.) private trade association (there is a chapter in MN), and is listed on the MAIN website as a “Partner” of this group (“AFCCnet(dot)org”). At the same time, people from BWJP work the battered mothers’ circuit on the other side of the country (NY).

    Meanwhile, at Wm. Mitchell College of Law an associate professor (Ms. Nancy ver Steegh) who is, this year,President of AFCC, noted (I think) that most of Minnesota’s judiciary comes from this college. AFCC has a particular mindset and agenda (and backing) which does not match with protective mothers’ best interests — at all. They promote parental alienation and even if they did not, their professionals have dual memberships.

    There is a whole other jungle of relationships (corporate, financial, state/federal, public/private and so forth) playing this system.. It is up to the public (not the related attorneys and judges) to straighten this out, and to insure all the cards are on the table, when children’s lives (and parents) are at stake.

    With no awareness beyond the individual courthouse, or even county, of where the financial clout is, we are less equipped to protect our kids, or even ourselves. IF you are on supervised visitation with someone that contracts with the court, keep close track of their records and get that contract! It is an area of significant trouble year after year. Take care!

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  9. dsyphrett says:

    Thank you for blogging about Family Court. The system appears to be very corrupt and self-serving. As a father I am absolutely outraged at the lack of adherence to court rules, the constitution or even common sense. My story is too long to completely run through, but after two dismissed domestic violence charges (after my wife admitted she lied) and without any custody evaluation my children were deprived a father for the past two years and I wasn’t even allowed to appear at two trial dates (a violation of the 14th Amendment)… Retaliation has continued against me for years because I reported a judge for violating the constitution and court rules. I was even kidnapped by sheriff’s Officers (unbelievably) and now the county is trying to cover that up.

    I have all the records at my blog Its absolutely insane. To silence me they actually kidnapped me and called it an arrest, but 8 months later the Sheriff’s Office sas they have no record of my arrest or criminal charges supporting it!!!

    I need an advocate in NJ and a lawyer I am tired of fighting these liars on my own.

    • Emily Court says:

      I informed Judge Bobo in my case about the 14th Amendment, and that this court is violating my rights as a parent…he completely ignored me and went on to break the law some more.

      Corrupt judges who have absolute power in the courts, and are not accountable to anyone run their courts like a dictatorship. It’s a human rights violation. It’s tragic. It’s legal insanity. It’s family court injustice. And totally wrong!

    • Emily Court says:

      Here’s a good article on the 14th Amendment and Parental Rights. This article is by by Christopher J. Klicka, Esq.:
      “The Supreme Court of the United States has traditionally and continuously upheld the principle that parents have the fundamental right to direct the education and upbringing of their children. A review of cases taking up the issue shows that the Supreme Court has unwaveringly given parental rights the highest respect and protection possible. What follows are some of the examples of the Court’s past protection of parental rights..”

      Furthermore, the Court emphasized, “The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees the right of the individual … to establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to his own conscience.”

  10. george says:

    I am a father of a thirteen soon to be fourteen year old daughter . The mother is psychologically abusive to our daughter and others . Years of history in this case . The courts will not hear my pleas . Mother does not let me see my daughter . The court coddles the abusive mother and ignores me the father . I am being financially scrutinized constantly , spending many hours in responding . Meanwhile she is continually dodging any sort of accountability for her unfair , selfish , abusive , cruel and dishonest ways . This has to stop , please lend an ear to my situation .

    • Emily Court says:

      George- You are not alone. So sorry to hear what you and your daughter are going through. You sound very overwhelmed. It may help to get some feedback, support or advocacy. Even if they can’t provide legal representation, the support and validation can be very helpful. I will keep you and your daughter in prayer.

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  13. Gary T says:

    Although this may be a mother based anti-family court blog, please know that this happens to fathers too. I am one of them, and I have published my experiences many time over the internet.
    Of interest to this blog, would be my article “Family Courts and Abuse of the Constitution”, which is a powerful indictment detailing the horrendous institution called family court. It bring together a concise statement of most of what is fundamentally wrong with our family court system:

    • Emily Court says:


      Yes, I am a mother. NO I am not “anti-family court”. Yes, I am aware that family court failures also affect fathers – who are equally devastated. I do support, and network with, mothers and fathers equally. All voices are respected on this blog (comments are only removed if they are spam, threatening or abusive, attacking or detailing personal info that may identify you personally or a minor child).

      Let me be clear – my position is that the family court is an important, and necessary institution, that if working properly can help divorcing families seek resolution with paternity, custody, parenting time or visitation. Family Court also has an important role to identify domestic violence, and offer protection and assistance to victims (and their children). Based on research, news stories, court case and numerous complaints from parents not only in the U.S. but internationally – it is my belief that the family court system is deeply flawed, and its failures are contributing to the destruction of families, and putting children’s lives at risk. Common complaints involve: collusion among court officers, corruption, gender bias, inability to recognize domestic violence, improperly handling cases of domestic violence, lack of affordable legal representation for litigants, lack of transparency in the court system, and overall lack of accountability for judges and court officers (this is not a complete list). 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 problems affect families, in an effort to encourage needed reform.

      Thanks for a link to the article.. I will check it out. If you want to add something to the blog, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at: djfund @ live. com and I will consider a submission. God Bless!

  14. Carole says:

    Hi can you please help us we feel as though we have had unfair justice in our family court thank you

    • Emily Court says:

      Carole- Systemic failures, violations of parental rights and state laws as well as corruption is happening in family court in every state of the U.S. as well as internationally. You are not alone.
      I am not sure what you mean by help… but I do know how difficult it is to afford legal help, and how difficult it is to get a lawyer willing to take on these issues. I also know how hard it is fighting a court system where the laws do not apply, and the deck is stacked against you.
      I will say this – do not give up hope. Your children are worth the fight, and they deserve to be loved, protected and to have a safe childhood.
      You have my support and prayers.
      ~ Emily

      • Annika says:

        Please, I am trying to find contact information to you! I am working with a Swedish organization called HjärtaModStyrka that works with child custody injustice in Sweden. It seems we have the same problem and we would like to get in touch with you to share knowledge. Please get in touch via phone, email – or even better post on Facebook.

      • Emily Court says:

        Will do! I have heard from parents not only from the U.S. but other parts of Europe, and even Australia, as well dealing with these family court issues. It would be great to talk and get your perspective! I will be in touch 🙂

  15. Athena says:

    I’m going through something similar. My ex husband is a registered sex offender and although involvement with minors was dropped for a plea of guilty to charges involving numerous women, he did commit crimes against a minor under the age of 13 and a woman claims he gave her alcohol and showed her porn when she was 14 and 15. He is very clearly unfit to have children in his care and the court keeps ruling in his favor at the expense of our children, myself, and women in general. I feel horrible for this family and I pray for all of us being put through this. I will work to try to change some things. God bless you all.

  16. KG says:

    I would like to share my story as well. I’m still in the battle of getting my children back. I wish my voice could be heard too.

  17. Kelly says:

    Sorry to hear about what the family court did to you and your husband and children. Had the judge(s) been properly trained, he/she would have done nothing other than: 1.Ensure regular inter-parent communication, via Order; 2. Treat you as the parents equally, regarding the children, always with respect; and 3. Ensure/order that all issues are resolved through family mediation (not through protection orders, discovery, supervised visits, custody evaluations or other forms of cruelty, violence and disrespect). A great family court judge will do each of the above 3 things, and nothing else, in 99 out of 100 cases between natural parents of minor children.

    • Emily Court says:

      Thank you Kelly for your thoughtful comments. The current judge on my case was appointed to the family court with absolutely no prior experience or training in family law; which is a big problem.

      • Kelly says:

        The absolute worst person to serve as a family court judge would be a family lawyer/litigator–i.e., someone who is trained to use litigation/warfare to handle
        custody/parenting, but without due process, rules of evidence or equal protection observed. When a chief judge is selecting individuals to serve as judges in the
        family court, it is crucial to the health, safety and well-being of the community that such individuals are among the most skilled and experienced family mediators in the court’s
        jurisdiction (highest rates of resolution, lowest rates of recidivism to the courts), and that they are professional, full-time “neutrals” (not “family lawyers”). Without these skills, such individuals would not have the knowledge or wisdom to manage a family court docket, to treat parents equally and with respect, and to have a laser focus on ensuring inter-parent communication and mediation of all issues. In addition, it helps if such individual has personal experience as a pro se, involuntary subject of complex child custody litigation, in a court that did not comport with rules of evidence, due process or equal protection. Finally, when making such selections, it would help greatly, and would protect hundreds of children/parents, if such individual has a natural, healthy revulsion towards family lawyers generally, as well as GALs, custody evaluators, ex parte protection orders, supervised visits and all other forms of poverty/violence-inducing forms of cruelty and inhumanity that are normally thoughtlessly, indiscriminately used by family courts.

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  19. Sylvia says:

    Just to let you know fathers are not always the bad guys, my ex daughter-law family are the culprits, but that was ingnored and the referee listened only to the mother and my son was not allowed to see his girls until he did drug tests(which he passed) and showed his release from therapy (which he was requested to three years ago because he tried to commit suicide when she walked out with all three girls at Christmas time). And all this time her family was sexually abusing the girls. They constantly told us their bottom was sore, we took the oldest to the hospital and they proved she was being assulted, it was reported and is still being looked into, especially now that the other girls are envolved,the police have been called about this, CPA are involved, but still the Referee took the girls away from their father?

    • Emily Court says:

      Sylvia- I think what is a common factor is that separating from an abusive, vindictive or dysfunctional ex, regardless of gender, can not only be very difficult.. but dangerous as well.

      I am so sorry to hear your story. You have my prayers and support.

    • Gary Trieste says:

      Sometimes I think the system treats you better, i.e. allowing you to see your kids, if you have gone through some kind of denigration first, then put through system imposed therapy, and come out “clean”.
      If you are fine to begin with, didn’t have problems (drug, suicide, mental, DV etc.), the system treats you like you are not fine, just too good to be true, and looks upon you with suspicion — until they still force you to go through some kind of “therapy”, whether you needed it or not.
      Then they will consider letting you see your kids.
      At least that is my observation and experience.

      • Emily Court says:

        A pattern I commonly see is this… the family court system offers preferential treatment, and grants custody to the most abusive or dysfunctional parent.

        The fit, loving and healthy parent is demonized in some common ways – labelled mentally ill, labelled a parental alienator, told that raising concerns about the other parent is child abuse/harmful or told they cannot co-parent/are hostile. Then the court will order remedies to address this parent’s “problem” by ordering interventions with people and organizations who share a personal or professional connection, and are aligned with, the judges, GALs, attorneys and court professionals. These professionals all conspire and work together. If a parent seeks an independent or neutral professional, more intervention is ordered or the professional is discredited.

        The litigation may continue for years. The parent will go broke trying to clear their name or get their child back (usually never happens).

        When the parent stops raising concerns about the other parent, and stops talking about abuse — EVEN if it is still happening – and parrots what the court wants to hear you may get some visitation, and if you are lucky may get some custodial rights. But this is always conditional. It is blackmail. You need to go along with the system and shut up.

        Those who speak out do so at great risk… and in the end, the children suffer the most.

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