If I Can’t Have the Kids, then Neither Can You! Child Homicide during Custody Disputes.

“Ostara, Ex thinks you are seriously going to hurt the children”

“Excuse me?” I say dumbfounded.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Yes, Ex said that not only is he afraid you are going to hurt the children, but also that when Sweet Bee was an infant, you called him on the phone when he was on the other coast and threatened to snap her neck,” the custody evaluator said.

I was shocked, completely shocked and absolutely horrified. It was like lightning at a clear blue sky. What the heck was this about? I don’t believe in spanking, never have spanked the children. I believe in redirecting negative behavior and age appropriate expression of right from wrong. I was stunned where Ex would get this from. This is opposite of who I am, that I didn’t even know what to say at first.

And then I got angry, really angry. How dare he not call his parents, who only lived 10 minutes away to assure the safety of the child if this really happened. How dare he not call the cops to assure the child was not harmed. How dare he not call Child Protective Services. And why on earth did he not catch the first plane home if that phone conversation really took place?

What a horrible false accusation to make! Reading the story about the father, on his first unsupervised visit, throwing his 3-year-old son of a high-rise in New York City, and then jumping off himself, reminded me of this particular, however just 1 of many, false accusation.

It is hard to fathom, but yes, parents do kill their children. However, mothers and fathers tend to do it differently. They have 1 thing in common though, and that is the existence of severe psychological disturbances at the time the murder(s) take place. It doesn’t come out of the blue, there are warning signs and courts should be aware of that. The legal standard is ‘The Best Interest of the Child,’ yet knowledge about the psychological dynamics in child custody is almost non-existent. Family court failed the murdered child and it could have been prevented with knowledge.

What is concerning is that the US was ranked 1st in the developed world in child homicide for children in 1997 across all age groups (0-17 years). That is disturbing. That should be a warning sign, we are not doing enough to protect our children. More updated information with regards to those statistics were not available.

In the US, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 30% of child homicides are by the mother, 33% by the father, 28% by the partner, 7% by family, 2% by strangers or unknown.

Why do parents kill their kids? What are the characteristics of parents who kill their kids?Bourget and Gagné classified filicide, or the killing of children by their parent, in 5 different categories;

  • mental illness of the parent; psychosis, exacerbated schizophrenia, etc.
  • fatal abuse; shaken baby syndrome etc
  • retaliation; custody situations (if I can’t have the kids, neither can you)
  • mercy; severely ill child
  • other/unknown

Mothers who kill

So what are the characteristics of mothers who kill their child(-ren)?

Mothers are more likely to kill the younger child. Different studies come to slightly different conclusions; scientific global studies put the average age between 3-4, some even younger. Almost all neonaticides (killing of infants less than 24 hours old) are by the mother and the result of unwanted pregnancies.

The mothers are often younger, with the average age in the 20s and have a history of mental health problems, unemployment/poor economic prospect and substance abuse. Postpartum psychosis, exacerbated by intense fluctuating hormone levels, is often diagnosed. Some studies suggest at least 50% of the mothers suffer from acute psychosis or psychotic depression when they kill their children.

The majority of the mothers kill their children for altruistic reasons (a suicidal mother doesn’t want to leave the child motherless) followed by psychotic filicide. Much less often the death of the child is because of fatal abuse, where the death was not anticipated or desired, and unwanted filicide where the mother doesn’t want the child. The rarest of all cases is the retaliatory filicide.

Of the rare cases I could find of mothers killing their child(-ren) during custody disputes, there were consistent factors; prior to the killing there had been accusations of sexual abuse which had been deemed ‘unfounded’. All the mothers had prior serious mental health issues (delusions, psychosis, schizophrenia) and if the suicide was unsuccessful entered a plea of not guilty by insanity.

Fathers who kill

Fathers are more likely to kill older children. Most studies only include children up to age 12 and give an average age of 5-7 years old. When teenagers are included, the average age goes up dramatically.

Fathers are usually a bit older than mothers who kill, with average ages reported in their late 30s. Fathers often did not have a history of mental health problems. About 25% of the fathers are diagnosed with psychosis, whereas 67% of the fathers were diagnosed with a personality disorder.

The most common cause of a child’s death by the father is fatal abuse. The fathers are more likely to be intoxicated when this happens. The 2nd most common scenario is during custody disputes, followed by mental illness or rarely altruistic motives.

In the first scenario there is evidence of intimate partner violence prior to the fatal abuse of the child, it is not a stand alone incident. Many of these cases already had prior involvement for abuse with Child Protective Services.

Because of the frequency of fathers murdering their children during custody disputes, a separate category ‘retaliation killings’ was made in the filicide classification. Common consistent factors are that the father had made threats to kill the children, there are prior reports of intimate partner violence, there is economic abuse of the mother and anger/jealousy towards the mother. These fathers rarely have a prior history of mental health issues. The child homicide during custody disputes by fathers is also of a more violent nature, with shooting the most predominant.

The sad reality

Every child that is murdered is 1 too many, yet it happens way to often in our modern-day society. It is really horrendous to know that there are parents who actually kill their child(-ren) during custody disputes. This intentional infliction of harm, this ultimate revenge against the ex spouse, is despicable.

Allegations of threatening child homicide should be taken very seriously. When fathers make this allegation, the mother’s mental health history is a red flag. When we exclude mothers murdering their babies within the first 24 hours, the likelihood of filicide during child custody disputes by mothers is small. For a mother to overcome the natural instinct and mother-child bond, she has to have serious mental health issues. Mothers who kill within the first 24 hours of birth have not developed the mother-child bond and the pregnancy was unwanted and thus the child already rejected. However for a mother to kill a child that she already has bonded with, she must have severe mental health issues.

Fathers are much more likely to murder their children during custody disputes. While there are fathers who have a mental health history, most fathers do not. This does not mean it comes out of the blue and can not be prevented. There are several red flags that the courts and all involved in child custody decisions should be aware of; incidences of intimate partner violence, death threats to child and/or mother, economic abuse (both during the marriage and divorce proceedings) and anger/jealousy towards the mother.

In all cases of child murder by the father, the mother had repeatedly requested the courts to intervene to safeguard the children. They repeatedly came with the same allegations, they didn’t ‘switch’ or ‘alter’ allegations, as often happens in false allegations. Interestingly, they were often discredited because they still facilitated, or insisted on facilitating, a relationship with the father.

All the warning signs and red flags were present in this recent case in NYC. When making such important decisions as child custody, lack of knowledge is not an excuse. This court failed the child.

Procrustean bed of Joint Custody.

“O weary traveller, come and sleep in my magical bed and all your troubles will be resolved.” — Procrustus

Divorce is the end of the nuclear family and the start of new beginnings. Theseus_Procrustes-600x450Parents each go into different directions and the child is in the middle. Enter the theory of ‘joint custody’, or the inherent right of a child to have a ‘meaningful relationship with each parent’.

And in ‘Utopia’ we all live ‘happily ever after’. Or do we?

Research data shows us that children who have a meaningful relationship with both parents do better in life than children who don’t. This of course is a good argument for joint custody. What is often failed to mention, is that those studies compare divorced single parent families with nuclear non-divorced families.

This is comparing apples and oranges. And this data is manipulated in the media to either advocate against divorce, or pro joint custody. It is not that simple. It would mean that children who lose a parent due to military service or death of a parent are essentially doomed and that is not necessarily the truth, nor is that supported by other research.

There is one thing that all researchers agree upon. What makes the biggest contribution to a child’s failure to adjust well long-term, is the level of conflict between the parents. Both in marriage and after divorce. The worse the conflict, the worst the outcome for the child. The NY court of appeals and appellate courts have it right, when the acrimony between parents is such that they can not communicate and get along, joint custody is out of the question. It is not in the best interest of the children. The emotionally and psychologically more healthy parent that contributes to most to the child’s life should be the sole custodian. It is now also mentioned in the bible of psychology:

Child affected by parental relationship distress: “…. if the negative effects of parental relationship discord (e.g., high levels of conflict, distress, or disparagement) on a child in the family, including effects on the child’s mental or other physical disorders.”  DSM-V

There are other situations where it is very clear that sole custody is the only option. Sole custody does not mean that a parent is or should be eradicated from the children’s’ life.

When there is (sexual) child abuse, it should be clear that sole custody with supervised visitation of the other parent is the only option. Too often we hear that joint custody is still given to the abuser (M/F). And lets not forget that statistically the most severe abuse takes place at the hands of the stepparent. Courts simply can not exclude stepparents from coming to a custody decision.

With a parent in prison, joint custody is going to be hard. Though Bill Eddy in his book ‘Splitting’ talks about taking kids to visit their parent in prison. Supervised visitation is also warranted when there is mental illness like schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder.

But there is also hidden abuse, abuse that courts fail or even refuse to see. Just because they turn the blind eye, doesn’t mean it isn’t cruel to the children involved.

Parental Alienation is now in the DSM-V as psychological child abuse. The makers of the DSM-V had to stay ‘politically correct’ and therefore the term Parental Alienation is not named per se:

Child psychological abuse: “nonaccidental verbal or symbolic acts by a child’s parent or caregiver that result, or have reasonable potential to result, in significant psychological harm to the child.”  — DSM-V

Science won, lobbyist for some parental rights organizations lost. Finally, so now we have to get the courts on board and recognize the damage that is done to children.

Who perpetuates most of the alienating behavior? A normal healthy psychologically parent may be angry at the beginning of the divorce and say and do some things that they later regret, but they will have no problem to admit their mistakes to their children and ex-spouse and assure the children love the other parent.

However, personality disordered parents per definition can not change, it is an enduring character flaw, and they are defensive of their mistakes. It is always the other, the target’s, fault. As time passes on, the children also become the target of the personality disordered parents defensive behavior.

We expect from the justice system, be it judge or jury, to be a trier of fact. We expect them to look at the evidence presented at trial. The 6th amendment assures each of us have a right to a fair trial, criminal or civil. In custody cases the stakes are high, the decision is about the emotional, physical and psychological health of the next generation, the generation that carries our country and future. It wouldn’t get to a custody trial if there weren’t severe issues to be addressed.

Procrustean bed: And arbitrary standard to which exact conformity is forced

Procrustus persuaded travellers in Greek Mythology to come and sleep in his bed. He claimed his bed was perfect and would fit each traveller. The iron bed in fact was a torture device, where Procrustus (meaning ‘The Stretcher’) would stretch the person who was too small and would cut off the legs of those that were too long.

Forcing joint or 50/50 custody on embattled or personality disordered parents, despite the evidence presented, discarding hard evidence that does not fit your theory and embellishing unsubstantiated accusations as being truthful, or justifying lies, undermines the justice system and hurts children. A personality disorder is a game-changer in custody decisions; it is time the courts realize the damage they are doing.

Dear Lady Liberty, I Kissed the Wrong Frog.

Dear Lady Liberty,

I’ve visited you again last weekend, and I’m always mesmerized by you and what you stand for.451268880_9dd7aa3c7c_b Freedom. You are a promise. A promise to oneself.

On 10 January 1998 I sat at the window seat of KL 691 trying to get a glimpse of Lady Liberty, the promise of this wonderful new country where I was enrolled in a prestigious PhD program.

I was trembling with excitement. I was in my early 20s and the world was my oyster. With just 2 suitcases and my dreams I landed in this wonderful and beautiful country.

After about a year I met Ex and I have to admit now, I kissed the wrong frog. I kissed the psychopath frog, and he did not turn into a prince.

Psychopaths are exceedingly charming, it is clear from our whole divorce proceedings that our female judge and female GAL are absolutely smitten with Ex. And so was I. It wasn’t until the end of the marriage that I, like Little Red Riding Hood, started asking questions, and no longer took the lies, gaslighting and manipulations for truth. The spell of the charm was gone on the 8th of July 2011 when I kicked him out of the house. O, and how he has held it against me that I kicked him out during the proceedings. The rage, he was insulted beyond. How dared I do this to him.

Hervey M. Cleckley wrote the ‘Mask of Sanity’ in which he describes the elusive psychopath, the master deceiver, who secretly possesses no moral or ethical restraints, yet behaving in public with excellent function.

Like a snake charmer mesmerize the snake, the psychopath with his/her superficial charm enchants the victim with the determined focus of a predator on its prey. Through a web of blatant lies, subtle lies, lies by omission, half-truths and truths the psychopath maneuvers its victim to where (s)he wants them to be.

And so did Ex. He knew from the get-go that 50/50 as a father was likely the best he could do through court. To him that was not a problem, as he would from there on proceed to full custody through the children, aka ‘Parental Alienation’. During the divorce proceedings he worked relentless on them.

And he succeeded with the court. I rejected an offer from the judge, where the children would spend 6 months of the year with the father first and then 6 months of the year with the mother.

Nobody familiar with Parental Alienation would take this idiotic proposal in consideration. This offer would have assured the bond between 1 parent and the kids would be broken. The judge assured me that she ‘would make sure the children were allowed to contact me’, despite a 2 year trail of evidence and admittance by Ex himself, that the children were not allowed to contact me, or talk about Mom, that the kids would be punished with a time-out if they failed to obey.

Six months are a long time without contact with a parent for a toddler and young child.

But both the judge and the GAL were smitten with the idea, Ex had cleverly maneuvered them in an advantageous position for him. Probably how he did during the marriage, like it was ‘my’ idea. Both the judge and GAL lost sight of the best interest of the child and had become puppets of the psychopath, they were enchanted. Ex could not conceal his victorious smile walking out of the judge’s chambers. I had no idea what had happened, but it send chills down my spine.

In criminal court these manipulations can not happen to the same extend. Apart from the Judge, there is the jury and the rules of evidence and sentencing are strict. Family Court is ruled by subjectivity. The Family Court judge becomes the ‘trier of fact’, in my case giving credibility to the parent who scored 2x the standard deviation above the norm on the Lie Scale in the MMPI. The seductiveness of charm; throwing away objective data to succumb to the psychopath.

It is in Family Court that most Life Sentences are given, ironically not Criminal Court. The lower standards and rules of evidence favor a bias, where subjectivity determines what happens to the child.

Do I regret my marriage? In a strange way I do and I don’t. For one, there are 2 beautiful kids and I wouldn’t want to have missed out on them for the world. Furthermore, not the marriage, but the divorce has grown me as a person. I wish I had learned my life lessons in a different way, but that is the past.

Standing in front of you last weekend I realized that what I dreamt of when I landed on JFK I have become. I’m happy, I have inner freedom. My dream is not over just yet, there are so many more promises to fulfill. On to the future!

Love,

Ostara

The Importance of Documentation; Email Forensics in This Day and Age

Or how to communicate with the personality disordered ex, during and after divorce.Computer-w-email If you have kids, there is no way around it, you have to communicate and the problems arise. False allegations are common and 1 of them often is that you ‘don’t communicate‘ with regards to the children. Another is that you are verbally abusive over the phone.

It is important to counter these false allegations and to document what you are doing.

Early on in the divorce proceedings the oldest was showing signs of depression. Per direction of the attorney of the children, after discussing the issue at a pre-trial meeting, I scheduled an appointment with a therapist. I informed Ex via email of the upcoming appointment. I already through Outlook had a ‘read receipt’ request and knew that Ex had read the email. Same with all further emails with regards to the oldest seeing a therapist. And then sh!t hit the fan. Ex had a meeting with the therapist and the therapist told Ex about his ‘disturbed’ relationship with oldest and wanted to make a plan to improve the bond between father and child.

That was such an insult to Ex, he turned around and started the false allegation that ‘he was never informed‘ and he was ‘going to report therapist to the licensing board‘. Typical behavior for a personality disordered parent, but of course it stirred up a lot of controversy. I provided the court with the read-receipts, settling the issue. Outlook’s read-receipts are not perfect and Ex found a way around them, so now I had a problem. With the history of denying receiving communications, the task was to protect myself against further allegations and continue to communicate.

So how do you communicate and gather evidence? The problem with internet communications is that it needs to be authenticated in order to pass the ‘rules of evidence’.

Text Messages

Some court allow text messages if the sender can be authenticated. And there lies the problem. Often litigants have a ‘nickname’ associated with the phone number; ‘Nick’, ‘Mom’, ‘BFF’. You can essentially name each and every phone number what ever you want, so this does not proof the text message was actually sent from the phone number associated with your ex.

So for text messages, whether printed or as a screen shot, to be admissible, the actual phone number of the sender has to be visible and authenticated as being from the ex-spouse.

Our Family Wizard

Personally, I’m a big fan of OFW (and no I’m not affiliated with them). Unfortunately they come with a fee of $99, however discounts are available for low-income families.

They offer a great SECURE platform to communicate through email and provide tools for financial accountability, sharing information, calendar etc. Not all information is shared with everybody. They have children’s accounts, which are sheltered, but also ‘professional accounts’. Giving the ‘parenting coordinator’ or ‘attorney for the children’ access can be very beneficial.

All entries are time and date stamped and are admissible in court as evidence. And there lies the crutch. A personality disordered parent does not want their actions or in-actions documented. In ‘normal’ conflicted or emotional divorces, neither parent would object to this form of communication, but a personality disordered parent will ferociously object and you may need to get a court order.

There are other online programs available, and please post links in the comment section if you know of them with a little review and tell us about your experience with them.

Email

So you’re stuck with email and documenting that your ex actually received and read the emails. Gmail is notorious for preventing sending read-receipts and many Macs do as well.

There are several email tracking services out there; Gmail Boomerang, ReadNotify, MSGTag just to name a few. They are work in essentially the same way. Each email you send will have a ‘tag’ attached to it that registered whether the email is delivered and when it is opened. Some services also register how often it is opened and at which IP address.

Now if you have a particularly deceitful ex you can use the paid service of RPost. This service is used by large insurance companies and law firms to not only proof delivery, read-receipt, but also content of the email sent.

Documenting your communications can provide the court with the evidence of who is more credible and protect you against false accusations. If 1 parent says ‘no email was sent’ the other parent can ascertain not only it was sent but also read, taking much of the ‘he said, she said’ out of the court room.

Email is a permanent record, so be careful what you actually write. Topic for another post and another day as this permanent record can beneficial for you, but an angry slip of the keyboard can also heavily count against you.

Family Law’s Ultimate Guide on How to Treat and Cure a Personality Disorder

Sarcasm: the use of words that mean the opposite of what you really want to say especially in order to insult someone, to show irritation, or to be funny”— Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Yup a little sarcasm on a Tuesday. Lucy TherapistThe brick wall that I, and other parents who deal with a personality disordered ex, keep running into is the persuasive but completely incorrect opinion that a personality disorder is something that can be cured. Like a depression, give some medication, have them in treatment and then magically *POOF* the perfect parent arises.

Just last week my attorney started uttering the words ‘what if Ex went into therapy….’.

I just about immediately wanted to bang my head into a wall. Why is it that Family Law attorneys and judges just don’t get that a personality disorder is a permanent character flaw?

These words from my attorney are just a symptom of how the justice system looks at personality disorders. They don’t grasp the concept, nor the extend of harm it causes children to grow up with a personality disordered parent.

“Personality” is a dynamic and organized set of characteristics possessed by a person that uniquely influences his or her cognitions, emotions, motivations, and behaviors in various situations.

Paper Mache Unfinished Comedy & Tragedy SetThe word ‘person’ comes from the Latin word ‘persona’, which means mask. In the ancient world, and in many cultures, masks were used in theatre and plays to typify a character.

A mask is not used to disguise the character, but to underline what the character symbolizes.

Your personality is what you are, it is your identity. In this multi-cultural society we recognize and even celebrate each individual is unique. It is not something that changes.

A healthy personality has a pattern of thoughts, feeling and social adjustments that assures the individual functions in society. A person with a personality disorder exhibit patterns of self-perceptions and attitudes that collide with society. They handle reactions to other people, problems and stress differently. It is a character trait that does not change over time.

Anti-Social Personality Disorder is particular resistant to ‘therapy’. The criminal justice system seems to recognize that and just puts individuals who commit a crime in prison. If they thought ASPD could be cured or even somewhat treated, then we would have Personality Disorder Clinics! We would live in a peaceful society! Utopia!

Research has shown that ASPD has a large genetic component (more than 50%). That is nothing new, Jang has done much research on fraternal and identical twins and came to the conclusion that about 46% of personality traits are genetically linked, not just ASPD.

So the Family Justice system is now in the gene-therapy business?

If Personality Disorders were harmless to children, it wouldn’t be such a terrible thing. Just force Joint Custody and eventually the bickering and fighting will stop. Joint Custody, the Family Law gene-therapy.

And NOTHING is more harmful to children then continuously being exposed to conflict.

During our trial the custody evaluator testified to such, experts testified to such. You look left and right in the literature and everybody (for once) agrees; continued exposure to conflict is harmful to children.

So, in the month or so that our latest court order went into effect we’ve had;

  1. Called CPS with false allegations
  2. Deliberately scheduled medical well visits when Mother is out-of-town, and went to great lengths to prevent Mother from access to medical appointments when she returned early. (repeated event)
  3. Not providing pre-school of Mother’s contact information (repeated event)
  4. Called law-enforcement to enforce a non-scheduled custody exchange (he wanted the kids, so they had to help him, even though it wasn’t his access time, he has a history of that too)
  5. Unilaterally reduced the court ordered support payment.

And psychopaths do things deliberately. It is with the intend to harm. Take for instance the medical appointment for Muppet. He had scheduled it 2 weeks prior, knowing I would be out-of-town those 2 days. I haphazardly found out from the Pediatrician’s office and this is not the first time Ex failed to notify me; oldest had surgery and he notified me after the fact.

I rescheduled, so both parents could be there and notified him. Ex caused a stink with the Ped’s and rescheduled again for when I was out-of-town and failed to notify me (Ped’s office was on to him and called me directly). Actions to cause harm with psychopaths are intentional and deliberate. It was his intention to prevent the Mother access, it was his intention to cause harm with calling CPS, it was his intention to cause harm with not paying support. He has no excuse, it is like a cat playing with a mouse.

And it won’t stop, they can’t stop, it is in their genes. No matter what Family Court thinks. Instead, judges and attorneys should take a personality disorder very serious and think about the long term well-being of the children, who, as a recent UCLA study tells us, suffer. They are the future.

Knock, Knock! Child Protective Services Calling! Parental Alienation and Projections of a Psychopath

A while back I had started researching the (ab-)use of Child Protective Services in divorce proceedings by parents. weathering the stormI started talking to mental health professionals, parents who filed CPS reports and parents who had CPS reports filed against them. It is definitely a tricky subject and I was circling my thoughts on how to formulate my findings and opinions.

And then one evening last week there was the envelope on the front door from the ‘Child Protective Service Team Leader’.

Yes, a CPS complaint was filed against me.

I knew Ex was a diagnosed psychopath, didn’t realize how ill he really was. I never thought he would stoop this low in using the children against the mother. To sacrifice the integrity of the children to get his way in the divorce proceedings. Then again, his MMPI already showed that he has Anti-Social Personality Disorder and is a Parental Alienator, and his behavior patterns presented at trial underlined it.

CPS, Divorce and the truth

CPS investigators have the daunting task of finding the truth and protecting children against abusive parents. Innocent until proven guilty can be hard when they know that something is going on, yet can not formulate the evidence. These children are left hanging.

Talking with mental health professionals makes it clear that the timing of filing for divorce and making a report to CPS is significant for finding whether there is any truth to the allegations. Reports filed prior or at the start of the divorce proceeding hold more ground then the reports filed further down the road. Doesn’t mean necisarrily they are true, but they are more likely to be true. Likewise, reports filed to CPS later down the road are less likely to be true and more a tactic of a gruntled parent to get an advantage in the divorce proceedings.

CPS is inundated with cases where parents seek an advantage in the divorce proceedings. This clouds the issue and creates scrutiny when there are real issues of abuse. Divorcing parents who want to bring real abuse to light are vilified and children end up being awarded to their abusers at an alarming rate.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are parents who abuse the system.

Filing CPS reports as a Parental Alienating Tactic

Every time a CPS report gets filed against the target parent, the child gets interviewed about the target parent. While at first the child may not have a negative image of the target parent, after being questioned, even if it is about unfounded issues, the seed of doubt is created in the child’s mind.

This is a subtle, but very effective way of the alienating parent to remove the target parent from the child’s life. “See, it wasn’t me, CPS thought there was enough reason to investigate”. The alienating parent doesn’t tell the child the result of the investigation, which usually is ‘unfounded’ and the child perceives that persons of authority are questioning the ‘safety’ of the target parent. The security and love the child feels for the target parents slowly and subtly erodes.

True parental alienators have personality disorders, they will not stop until they have removed the other parent from the lives of the children. They will seek allies within friends and family, but also do not stop there, they will enlist law enforcement, the courts and CPS. Nothing new here.

Filing a CPS reports based on projections of the Phychopaths own behavior

Parents with personality disorders project their own behavior on the other parent. When I heard the allegations filed against me, I almost burst out laughing, the seriousness of the situation prevented me from doing so. One of the allegations was ‘unsanitary living arrangements with dog feces and garbage all over the house’. This comes from the man that has a rat problem in his house. Yes, you read that right, he has rats in the house. My attorney was present for the interview with CPS and he jokingly said: “Well, if he didn’t kill so many cats, he probably wouldn’t have a rat problem”. My house is clean, I showed the investigator the back of cupboards, which were organized and dust free. We live here, so yes, at the end of the day there are toys on the floor and dishes in the sink. But no rats.

The 2nd allegation was much more serious and gives much more food for thought, knowing that psychopaths project their behavior and deep inner thoughts on the other parent. “Mother takes pictures of the children in various stages of undress with the intent to distribute”.

Yes, basically child pornography.

Now why this worries me. The CPS investigator told me that the pictures he had seen had nothing of a sexual nature, but as it was reported in a phone call, he had to follow up. He agreed the pictures were from a parent taking snapshots of their child. Happy moments.

Ex’s family has a history of sexual child abuse. Within the family the grandfather has fondled the daughters, and brothers have coerced sisters to perform oral sex. Now, at this moment, I don’t believe Ex has had inappropriate relations with the children. However, the oldest is becoming of the age that sexual predators become interested in girls.

Is there anything I can do about this? No, nobody has been prosecuted for (unconscious) thoughts. We live in a free society. I have to let the CPS investigation run its course. I’m not going to muddy the water with more allegations that can never be proven.

It is absolutely vicious and evil how 1 parent tries to eliminate the other parent out of the lives of the children, over the backs of the children. When one makes such false allegations and uses the child as a weapon to disparage the other parent, you don’t really love your child.

The Child’s Voice in Divorce; Trending Topics on Twitter

Yesterday I read that Topsy now has a database with analytics about all the Tweet in cyberspace since 2006. I casually browsed to the site and entered some random #s. As you know from my previous posts, I’m “slightly” annoyed with the lack of rights children have in a divorce, so I also entered #fathersrights, #mothersrights and #childrensrights.

Trending Topics on Twitter 8/15 - 9/15/2013The results were slightly disturbing, so this morning, coffee in hand, I decided to look a little more in-depth into these statistics. What are people really tweeting about? What is the relevance to family court, or custody disputes?

#childrensrights (316 tweets)

At first I was relieved that there were actual, and relatively many, tweets about Children’s Rights, until I started to dissect the tweets and their actual topics. There is a lot of injustice done to children all over the world. The child’s right to education, child brides, failed circumcision, rape, the underground child adoption exchange (this one leaves me speechless, but telling of our society), poverty, cannabis therapy.

None about the children’s rights in divorce…………

None…….

Read that again: None……..

They don’t have a voice.

#mothersrights (30 tweets)

29 Tweets are from attorneys tweeting their answer to a legal question on Avvo. These are questions from mothers seeking a solution or information when just starting the divorce or with regards to a father who, according to the mother, has abandoned the child(ren). 1 Question is from a mother who lost custody and wants to seek visitation. Usually the answer is to hire a lawyer. Shocker.

1 Tweet is about mothers dealing with a stillborn child.

#fathersrights (175 tweets)

And so the bitching starts, excuse my words, and it is not pretty either. My heart rate increases, and I’m not sure it is from my morning coffee. The hairs on my arms are raised with the tone of aggression, is that REALLY in the best interest of the child? It sounds more like bullying; the use of force or coercion to abuseintimidate, or to aggressively impose a certain type of domination over others.

The positive part of this is that most of the aggression is done by attorneys advertising their business. MONEY MONEY MONEY, father’s rights are big business and these attorneys show their teeth in their tweets. Who cares about the child?

Other tweets are about ‘winning’, dads-can-win. So that is the essence of the fight? The winning? Again, that shows aggression and has absolutely nothing to do with the best interest of the child. It is showing their true colors.

There are only a handful of tweets by fathers themselves.

Thankfully there are quite a few tweets about Baby Veronica. While I only know what was presented in the media, I emotionally side completely with the father. There is a great injustice done to the child that there even has to be a battle about this. The biological parent*, who by all means appears to be ‘fit’, who initiated proceedings in a timely manner (not 10 years after the fact), is the parent. Adoption is a wonderful thing for so many children, no question about that, but in this case it is clearly inappropriate.

I’m disappointed by the imbalance of coverage of the different interests. I’m appalled by the aggressive tone of advocates of Father’s Rights, which seems to be about winning and money, not the child. I make no judgement about parents tweeting about the loss of custody. There may be good reason they lost custody, there may be a great injustice done to the children by what happened.

* I specifically and respectfully, say ‘parent’, as I resent this gender war in custody battles. Where joint or shared custody is not in the best interest of the children, the most suitable parent should have sole custody to safeguard the long-term wellbeing of the child.