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  Home > Get Informed > Custody and Abuse > Custody Abuse Cases In the News

Father in Custody Dispute Kills His 3 Children
The Washington Post, 03/31/

A Rockville man with a history of mental problems and custody disputes was charged today with first-degree murder after police accused him of drowning his three young children Saturday night in the bathtub of a Baltimore hotel room, Baltimore police said today. (more)

Unstable Father with Visitation Rights Kills Daughter
Associated Press, 02/22/

Miguel Matias grew so enraged that his 14-year-old daughter, Ana, was sending text messages to a boy that he choked her and stuffed her body into a burning furnace boiler. The killing has raised questions about whether Matias should have had visitation rights for his children and whether he received the proper psychiatric care. (more)

Families' futures decided with little oversight

In the field of family law, a little-examined group of professionals has enough influence to separate fathers from children and relegate mothers to weekends-only status, based on little more than an opinion.

So-called parent evaluators need no particular credentials or training. They may use any method they wish, charge what they please and remain virtually free of oversight. Yet their word can upend families in a single stroke. (more)

Alex Baldwin Doesn't Get It
Ezine @rticles, 05/26/

Alex Baldwin’s tirade against his minor child needs to be seen for what it is—child abuse. Not only is it child abuse but is also so typical of the mindset and the philosophy that Americans so easily resort to when it comes to taking responsibility for their actions. “It’s not my fault.” (more)

Parental Alienation Syndrome dangerous for kids?
Tri-Cities News, 05/13/

Ugly divorce cases become worse when parents pit children against the other parent.

It's a problem termed "Parental Alienation Syndrome," or PAS, and just this year the American Bar Association spoke out against it. News Channel 11 spoke with a Tri-Cities family who says PAS placed their children in a dangerous situation. (more)

When Motherhood Gets You Jail Time
Time Magazine, 12/19/

Griffin is still in jail and Sebuliba's desire to be a father still frustrated. She repeated to TIME over the weekend what she told Judge Goulee over and over again in court, that her son Jesse would be in danger if he went to live with Sebuliba, "I am not going to give my child to a man that beat me when I was pregnant." (more)

Abuse Under the Watch of Oregon's Justice System
Salem News, 05/12/

The story of Coral Anika Theill is possibly one of the most flagrant, outrageous examples of small town injustice in America. It is the saga of an Oregon woman whose attempt to seek justice for marital rape and physical abuse would not only result in no prosecution, but lead to threats that she would be charged with crimes if her allegations continued. (more)

Family Battles Questionable Custody Decision
WSMV -TV News, 05/18/

A middle Tennessee family said they have proof that a local judge granted the custody of a child to his sexually abusive father. (this story includes a video of the news broadcast) (more)

Were courts fair to mom alleging sex abuse of child?
Des Moines Register, 05/11/

A Des Moines mother alleged - in a court's view, too doggedly - that her young daughter was being sexually abused by the child's father. What ultimately happened could be straight out of Kafka: The mother lost her parental rights, while the accused father got full custody. Two different courts ruled several times each to that end. (more)

Homeless In the Dead of Winter
Truth and Justice: Family Court Reform, 02/01/

In 1998 I bought a lovely 4 bedroom home in Discovery Bay, a wonderful family community in the heart of the Delta region..Something so idyllic can’t last for long when you are dealing with domestic violence. I found myself on the losing end of the divorce, all that had not been fought over was the custody of the children until he discovered that the children were the only things I cared about. By 2001, my home was in foreclosure due to the financial strain of trying to work, attend school and protect myself and my children. One thing that is not understood by most people is that domestic violence doesn’t end with the filing of divorce, but actually is known to increase in intensity for some of the worst cases. (more)

Judge Grants Sole Custody of 9-year-old Girl To Father
Richmond Times Dispatch, 01/19/

A judge granted sole custody of a girl to her father after a medical expert testified yesterday to believing the man physically and sexually abused the child. (more)

Theory Issue In Custody Dispute
The Times Dispatch, 11/12/

Tina Wilson says she was following an attorney's advice when she took her daughter to a domestic-violence shelter on Father's Day. Wilson says her daughter kicked, begged and screamed not to go back to her father, who had accused Wilson of alienating him from the girl. "Your dad can't come in here,'" Wilson said she assured the girl at the shelter. But authorities located Wilson and her daughter at the Williamsburg-area shelter. A police officer took away the girl, who was returned to her father. (more)

Family Court Trend Doesn´t Favor Mothers
The Ithaca Journal, 01/04/

Current trends are beginning to mimic a time when women and children were considered marital property. Though not as openly sexist as our historical legacy, judges and law guardians hide inside a Trojan horse of sexual equality. Many law guardians arbitrarily recommend that the fathers who want custody get it. Rather than concern for the best interest of the child, these law guardians appear to strive to raise the statistics in favor of fathers. (more)

Judge Grants Sole Custody of 9-year-old Girl To Father
The Times Dispatch, 01/19/

A judge granted sole custody of a girl to her father after a medical expert testified to believing the man physically and sexually abused the child. (more)

Why Parents Who Batter Win Custody
Newsweek, 09/25/

Genia is one of many parents nationwide who have lost custody due to a controversial concept known as parental alienation. Under the theory, children fear or reject one parent because they have been corrupted or coached to lie by the other. (more)

Two Family Court Players Are Dispensable
The Ithaca Journal, 05/26/

Disputed child custody issues are undoubtedly complex, and the family court system is riddled with problems throughout. At the center of this problematic system reside the two most dispensable players: the law guardian and the court evaluator. (more)

Custodians of Abuse
Boston Phoenix, 01/09/

Nearly 25 experts in custody litigation involving child-abuse claims were interviewed for this article. All had the same three complaints about family court — regardless of which state’s court system they were familiar with:
- Family courts do not rely on criminal investigators to examine child-abuse claims. They rely on family advocates called guardians ad litem (GALs) - psychologists, social workers or lawyers who lack expertise in investigating child sexual abuse.
- Normal courtroom checks and balances don’t exist in family court. Unlike in criminal and civil court, there are no juries, plaintifs often lack legal representation, hence judges can act without scrutiny. Often judges act in ways that violate basic rights of due process.
- Gender bias and traditional stereotypes of how women and men parent children continue to prevail in family court. As a result, while conventional wisdom has it that mothers almost always fare well in family court, statistics show otherwise. (more)

Casualties of a Custody War
Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 10/03/

In February, Nathan Grieco, 16, of North Huntingdon was found dead in his bedroom, a belt around his neck. His death came after years of custody disputes between his mother, Karen Scott, and his father, Louis Grieco. Nathan's death has attracted national attention from children's rights groups and legal experts, and has raised the question of how courts should treat children who are caught between warring parents. In February, Nathan Grieco, 16, of North Huntingdon was found dead in his bedroom, a belt around his neck. His death came after years of custody disputes between his mother, Karen Scott, and his father, Louis Grieco. The tragedy has raised the question of how courts should treat children who are caught between warring parents. It also has attracted attention because of the involvement of a nationally known, controversial psychiatrist, Dr. Richard Gardner. (more)

Moms Losing Custody of Children
Chicago News Sun, 05/15/

A few years ago, Zender connected with another mom in an Illinois court building. Then she found more moms with similar stories, and then dozens. Over the course of two years, hundreds of stories emerged, all with a similar pattern. (more)

´SHUT UP!´ She Can´t Discuss Custody Case With Any Third Person
Lake County News Sun, 08/31/

A Lake County judge had two words for Annette Zender on Wednesday: Shut up. She believes that court's demand violates her constitutionally protected right of free speech and is the only way the local family court system can fend off her complaints. She says the court is systematically biased and has said so for years. (more)

Mom Termed ´Parental Alienator´ Wins Rare Vindication In Courts
Los Angeles Daily News, 06/26/

Former San Fernando resident Irene Jensen battled the family court and child protective systems for 13 years to save her daughter from an allegedly abusive father. Experts said Jensen is believed to be the only mother accused of "parental alienation syndrome" who has regained custody of her child before age 18. (more)

Mom Acquitted of Abducting Child
Marin Independent Journal, 05/26/

A mother accused of abducting her child was acquitted by a Marin jury Wednesday in a case that was closely watched by family-law court critics. (more)

Custody Fight
Albany Times Union, 10/15/

This exquisite documentary, "Children's Stories," like no other production I have seen, makes comprehensible the subtlety of a scandal that recurs in custody proceedings in New York and other states. It is an almost impossible story to tell, one from which journalists flee, and it boils down to this: A judge, often misled by self-interested lawyers and court-appointed professionals, ignores a protective mother, ignores the wishes of children and awards custody to a man who is an abuser, emotionally or physically, of his wife or their children. (more)

Girl, Interrupted
San Francisco Weekly, 12/18/

Alanna Krause believes that much of her hellish childhood could have been avoided. Now she's suing her father, her therapist, and her lawyer in an effort to prove it. How did it come to this? (more)

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Mother Scorned
The Village Voice, 04/11/

Every week, Darel can be found pacing along the 150 William Street block, protesting the way ACS caseworkers have handled her now closed case. In 1997, the department alleged that Darel's ex-husband, a retired New York City police detective, had molested their daughter. (more)

Long Running Custody Trial Aired In Court
Marin Independent Journal, 08/10/

Petaluma woman goes on trial for taking daughter. (more)

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