News Report: Call for Fulton Family Court Investigation - My Advocate Center

News Report: Call for Fulton Family Court Investigation – My Advocate Center

What do Fulton County families and children need most?

If you ask parents caught in legal conflict, you’ll likely hear the word transparency.

Georgia news media, parents, advocates and legal professionals attended a press conference on April 24th that covered in detail the danger experienced by safe, loving parents and their children in family court cases.

The allegations are serious and a plea was made to Fulton County’s District Attorney Paul Howard to investigate the claims.

The press conference featured Georgia expert William Perry who is known for his news reports on ethics failures in government. Perry, who goes by Georgia Ethics Watchdog in his reports, learned just how dangerous the legal environment is for families, and decided to do something about it. Several tragic stories were shared and family law attorneys weighed in, agreeing that something needs to be done. Atlanta’s Fox5 News aired the story that evening, doing a remarkable job at laying out what is complicated and challenging to explain.

The news report explained that for these parents who are being victimized, nothing is more important to them than their children. Children are reportedly being taken from them without any regard for the law.

Perry addressed needed policy changes and spoke about his challenge to law enforcement and other authorities to investigate cases where good parents are wrongfully accused, torn from their children and set up to fail.

My Advocate Center’s term to describe the problem is profit over protection.

Outcomes make no sense given our laws and the facts in such cases.  The real needs of children are thrown by the wayside. Does it need to be this way?

The image here was taken by a news team at the Fulton County courthouse in recent years, when custody experts were paid to suppress evidence of child abuse that was substantiated by forensic evaluations and law enforcement. The litigation resulted in protection and proper medical treatment being withheld from the child.

Young adults are coming forward now to speak about their experiences such as what this child experienced when outcries for help were ignored and silenced. There is no need to wait in beginning investigations and working to remove danger by closing loopholes in state policies.

When families are exploited there is often a lack of transparency and due process in the management of the litigation, so Perry emphasized the need for parties to be allowed to record their own court proceedings.

Superior Court Rules on Recording Court Hearings

This issue was addressed by Georgia’s Supreme Court and Superior Court judges and includes recommendations from stakeholders in the press, My Advocate Center and other advocacy groups.

The new rule changes take effect in May of 2018, benefitting the public, professionals who are ethical and committed to protecting clients and children, and also benefitting the courts in creating more efficiency and positive outcomes.

Parents, grandparents, professionals and even children are speaking up about experiences and the need to take action. Contact My Advocate Center’s founder Deb Beacham here to report details to My Advocate Center or to ask for assistance.

Investigations and News Reports Matter

Learn more about what is happening across Georgia and how investigations can make all the difference in improving safety, family stability, and the ability for parents and children to recover from trauma.

Contact My Advocate Center to review case studies and data on these issues. Investigators will discover that the problems described here are wide-spread and found nationwide, but with Fulton County’s large population and high rates of domestic violence and child abuse, there is a special need for a concentrated review of cases in this area.

Background material for news reports and investigations can also be found in reports such as this story by an Augusta news station about glaring misconduct by a Guardian ad Litem who manipulated cases based upon whether vulnerable women would comply with his demands, or not.

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Remaking of Minds using Psychological Abuse - My Advocate Center

Remaking of Minds using Psychological Abuse – My Advocate Center

It’s possible to wear someone down to the point of making them think and act in ways they otherwise would not. This is one form of psychological abuse explained by Psychology Today in this article that reveals what happens to children who are mistreated within the context of family conflict.

My goal since beginning research on this problem, and then reporting on the ways children are used and harmed through the mismanagement of family conflict, has always been about reducing childhood trauma and disrupting cycles of dysfunction.

The dysfunction I’m referring to manifests as addiction, mental illness caused by family violence, sexual abuse and neglect of children, abandonment, financial failure and home loss, suicide and divorce as primary examples. Children experiencing these forms of dysfunction are more vulnerable to exploitation, more inclined to rage and desperation. Boys seem to be more severely impacted by divorcing parents than girls, according to this article featured on Mic.com which explains the commonality between young men involved in shooting rampages. [See Ready, Aim, Fire at Pain and Anguish]

A prominent dysfunction is also seen in how bonds between loving, safe parents and their children are broken down and destroyed. Georgia law speaks to misconduct in the form of poisoning the mind of a child against a parent, showing that this is abuse and that it harms both the child and the targeted parent.

The term often used in courts and by psychologists is parental alienation. Alienation of affection is specifically prohibited in court orders governing custody and care of children of divorced parents. If one parent acts to cause distance and break the loving bond between the child and the other parent, he or she can be held in contempt. Why this form of misconduct is not being confronted and corrected in our courts is a separate matter.

The term as an allegation of wrongdoing, however, has been improperly applied often in Georgia court cases involving actual child abuse and/or domestic violence, to blame the victimized or protective parent trying to keep the child safe and the abused parent’s rights intact.

The right to nurture and care for one’s own child is a protected right in our courts, but that right is stripped away by wrongfully condemning the targeted or abused parent for “alienating” the child from the perpetrator of abuse. As a result of this misapplication of the term alienation, it has had a polarizing effect on parents who have suffered from its use and amongst professionals involved in family conflict.

Another useful article on this subject featured in Pyschology Today can be found here.

Notoriously and across the globe, parental alienation syndrome (“PAS”) has been used by questionable custody experts to fault protective parents by claiming the safe parent has engaged in a sickness, a disorder, to cause an abused child or child who has witnessed or experienced family violence to want distance from the abusive parent. The conduct of such professionals goes against the needs of the child and is in direct conflict with laws specific to child safety and protection.

What the expert is saying to the child is that he or she should accept the abuse as normal. It is common for experts appointed or hired in custody cases to normalize abusive conduct, including psychological abuse, neglect, violence and even sexual abuse. Actually, this tactic is most commonly used in cases involving true sexual abuse of children to discredit the abused child and the parent fighting to protect the child. Of course, the expert, whether a psychologist or attorney acting as a guardian ad litem, is being paid to manage or filter information going to and from the child, to the court and other authorities, but always in a way that serves to guard the abuser and restrict the safer or more nurturing and emotionally healthy parent.

The expert is saying to the safe, protective parent that you should avoid asking for protection or else face condemnation and separation from your child. This tactic is based in fraud and often involves acts of false reporting and perjury by the experts influencing courts and other authorities against the safe parent and in favor of the abuser. Claiming that a parent who seeks help for a child who is having medical or psychological treatment withheld by an abusive parent, for example, is alienating the child from the other (abusive) parent is a false allegation.

This is extremely common in such cases involving child custody where there is evidence of actual abuse and the perpetrator expects the custody experts to suppress evidence of abuse. The false allegation serves to put the safe parent on the defensive, forcing him or her to spend more money defending against the false allegation. The focus of the expert’s investigation, instead of being on the perpetrator of abuse and on protecting the child, becomes a series of substantial steps to condemn an innocent parent. This is why U.S. legislators included language in a Congressional concurrent resolution discourages the use of “parental alienation syndrome,” as it is misused or used for wrongful purposes.

For the purposes of this article and throughout the rest of my reports, the terms alienation, alienating behavior and parental alienation are referring to the abusive conduct by either a party to family conflict or a professional engaged in targeting the safe parent and exploiting, for profit, the children involved. Any form of alienating behavior is an intentional act to cause harm and should be identified and corrected as such; children should be protected from this form of abuse.

The proposed legislation is solid, but there are other tactics involving psychological abuse and professional misconduct yet to be addressed. There are a host of false allegations and abusive methods that come in to play in litigation, but what they all have in common is that they cause trauma and increase risk of other injuries to both children and loving parents.

There is an entire body of work on this form of psychological abuse shown above in the poisoning of a child’s mind and in the manipulation of their normal behavior to break the bond between parents and children. Psychology Today featured the work of Dr. Craig Childress to explain the harm done and to demonstrate what can be done to address and correct the damaging misconduct. Excerpts of this spotlight on the issues follow:

Trauma to Safe Parents and Children

  • Enduring the experience of parental alienation is also a profound form of psychological trauma experienced by targeted parents. It is both acute and chronic, and externally inflicted. It is thus a type of domestic violence directed at the target parent. The fact that children witness such abuse of a parent also makes alienation a form of child abuse. This is perhaps the principal source of anxiety for the alienated parents, who witness the abuse of their children, and are prevented from protecting them.
  • This psychological trauma of alienated parents differs from what groups like combat veterans face when they develop PTSD, yet the experience of targeted parents is a form of trauma as debilitating as any other. Although not all parents who are victims of parental alienation experience trauma, as the same event that plunges one parent into trauma may not do so with another, those who are closely attached to their children and were actively involved in their lives most certainly do.
  • Losing the bond with your child is also a form of complex trauma. It is no coincidence that the pathology of the parent who engages in alienation is often born in complex trauma from the childhood of that parent, and that the current processes of attachment-based parental alienation are transferring onto the targeted parent a form of complex trauma. The childhood trauma experience leads to the development of the aggression behind parental alienation. From a psychodynamic perspective, the processes of parental alienation represent a reenactment of the childhood attachment trauma of the alienating parent into the current family relationships. The trauma reenactment narrative represents a false drama created by the pathology of the alienating parent, in which the targeted parent is being assigned the trauma reenactment role as the “abusive parent;” the child is being induced into accepting the trauma reenactment role as the supposedly “victimized child;” and the alienating parent adopts the role of the “protective parent.” None of this false drama, however, is true.
  • The parenting of the targeted parent is entirely in normal range, and the child is in no danger and does not need any protection from that parent.

The Nature of the Problem

  • A major impediment for victimized parents is that the problem is largely systemic in nature, as support services for alienated parents are virtually non-existent, and support services for their children are also in short supply.
  • When parents of alienated children attempt to bring their concerns to child welfare authorities, as parental alienation is a form of child abuse and thus a child protection matter, these agencies often disregard the problem, and when they do become involved, rarely share their findings in family court child custody hearings, despite the fact that this information will serve the best interests of the child.
  • In parental alienation situations the targeted parent is put on the defensive, and must continually try to prove to therapists and others that he or she is not “abusive” of the child. The targeted parent is often blamed for the child’s rejection, even though he or she did nothing wrong: “You must have done something wrong if your child doesn’t want to be with you.”
  • It is often deemed irrelevant that the parenting practices of the targeted parent are entirely within normal range. The alienating parent, often skilled in the use of adversarial combat (and thus rewarded within the current adversarial system), thus has the upper hand. In this upside-down world, your child is being taken from you, and no one seems to care or understand.
  • The emotional trauma inflicted on the targeted parent is severe, and the grief of the targeted parent is deep.

Keep in mind that the intent of the parent using alienating tactics against the targeted parent is to do harm. The effect if the abusive behavior if successful is erasing the targeted parent from the lives of their children either completely or to a significant degree.

There is no current solution to prevent this abuse or to help targeted parents and children overcome it.

  • The trauma experience captivates the psychology of the targeted parent, as the world of the targeted parent revolves entirely around the trauma experience and the false drama.
  • Repeated court dates, lawyers, therapists, custody evaluations, that all occur in the context of continuing parent-child conflict, consume the targeted parent. Yet it is vital for targeted parents to find ways of coping with the attachment-based complex trauma of parental alienation. They must strive to achieve the triumph of light over the darkness of trauma, and find their way out of the trauma experience being inflicted upon them.
  • They must free themselves from the imposed trauma experience, restoring their psychological health within the immense emotional trauma of their grief and loss.
  • As much as targeted parents desperately want to save their children, they cannot rescue their children from the quicksand by jumping into the quicksand with them. If they do, they will both perish. Instead, they must have their feet firmly planted on the ground, steady in your own emotional and psychological health, and then extend your hand to retrieve your child. But even then, given the nature of parental alienation and its profoundly damaging effects on a child, a child may not grasp the parent’s hand.

Can a Parent Engaged in Alienating Behavior Become Self-Aware and Change Course?

  • According to the work of Dr. Craig Childress, parental alienation is first and foremost an attachment-based trauma.
  • Attachment-based parental alienation is essentially a role reversal of a normal, healthy parent-child relationship.
  • Instead of serving as a “regulatory other,” which involves providing stability and meeting the child’s emotional and psychological needs, alienating parents use their children to meet their own needs, violating boundaries and seriously compromising and damaging the child’s healthy development.

If a parent is indifferent to the harm he or she is causing a child, that parent isn’t going to seek treatment and work to change behavior, let alone help heal the injury caused to children and the targeted parent. The alienating parent will refuse to acknowledge wrongdoing and, if confronted, will escalate the abusive behavior. Left to his or her own devices, the abusive parent will continue causing harm.

This pattern of continuing abuse despite laws and court orders is similar to that seen in the conduct of the perpetrator of domestic violence of a physical nature. The severity of the harm being done can be better understood by reading the statements made by Congress in House Resolution 72.

Intervention from authorities, responders, healthcare providers and other stakeholders in child protection is needed.

Learn more about tools provided to courts around the United States about coercion, bullying and deception of children, about how easy it is for the abusive parent to present as the better parent because of being skilled at lying and manipulating, and about approaches courts can take to remedy these forms of abuse.

Download and read the Judicial Guide to Child Safety in Custody Cases.

Access insights about bullying and suicide rates.

Let’s talk if you are interested in learning more about solutions.

I appreciate your time here and commitment to improving protections for our children.

Deb Beacham

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To find an upcoming screening, visit: divorcecorp.com

Dr. Drew: Get This Conversation Going

“What bothers me more than anything as a physician,

if this sort of chummy relationship existed

between doctors

and any other providers of services, 

there would be outrage.”

                                                                                                                        – Dr. Drew Pinsky

And so, the public conversation begins.  . . . 

**********
@Sbuden1Buden Outrageous lack of accountability in the family court system, “the players” ie judges, appointees know it! #divorcecorpchat
— Kathleen Russell (@MarinKat) January 8, 2014 
**********
#divorcecorpchat#divorcecorpchat CT AFCC (Association of Family and Conciliation of Courts) chapter is headed by 3 Superior Court Judges
— Scott Buden (@Sbuden1Buden) January 8, 2014 
**********
@drdrew@DoctorKarin Fulton court is asked to consider the needs of a child making outcries #DivorceCorpChatpic.twitter.com/s77YR4ibI1
— My Advocate Center (@MyAdvocateCentr) January 8, 2014 
**********
#divorcecorpchat Fooling yourselves. Nothing can be done. Judges in league w/ guardians and lawyers, all about $. Ex parte de rigueur.
— stacey_hudson (@stacey_hudson) January 8, 2014 
**********
IN AMERICA!! “@drdrew: .@divorcecorp one father ended up in prison for 5 yrs for simply criticizing the judge on his blog. #divorcecorpchat
— Michael Brigante (@MichaelBrigante) January 8, 2014 
**********
@divorcecorp anyone thinking about marriage or divorce needs to educate themselves about the realities of family courts #divorcecorpchat
— Dr Drew (@drdrew) January 8, 2014 
 **********

#DivorceCorpChat on Twitter . . . 



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photo: dwinslow

Attention: Protective Parents in Family Courts

photo: dwinslow

photo: dwinslow

December 20, 2013

by Diana Winslow 

Concerned parents were elated this week when a much awaited segue for them to speak came forward as an invitation from the federal government, asking for clarifications on identified problems with child human rights in court, family rights in court and the lack of a uniform structure to respond to child sex abuse investigations, child abuse investigations and placement of children with a parent who is not known to them, has committed crimes against the other parent or is convicted of crimes that put the child at risk in their care.

Following a march on Washington DC and a Congressional Briefing this Summer members of Congress heard and were concerned about the severity and frequency with which child custody issues are mishandled, to the point of injury to the child or protesting parent.  It is remarkable that BOTH events happened despite the sequester, AND that these actions generated interest and an invitation.

Some cases are so problematic, as with the classic case illustrated in the October 2012 Documentary of Holly Collins, called “No Way Out But One“, that the parent is forced to flee the situation, due to deafness in authorities, investigators, systems system law and policy, court law and policy, and court systems. Succinctly, the definition of being run into the ground by such system based problems is called “Systems Induced Trauma.” Beyond victimization in a specific social or family situation, the family, one or all members are further agitated, abused or traumatized by the applied services and policies of systems that interlock without oversight, basically trapping the persons perpetuating a complaint without safety and resolutions.

The US Department of Justice is ready now to consider cases of chaos caused by State child and family courts. USDOJ is calling for child custody outlines in a format. The purpose of providing the outline is for the writer to simply and systematically give structured information regarding the problem case in question.

The US Department of Justice wants timelines of these outrageous cases.

Just complete and send your case in this format to: Mary Seguin atricourtcon@gmail.com by January 15, 2014 so she can provide them to the DOJ. The USDOJ invitation was issued to the representing group at the Summer March and Congressional Briefing: The California Protective Parents Association.

(Update 1/6/14: The original notice regarding requested timelines is from the California Protective Parents Association November 2013 Newsletter  which says: “Please send the timeline to cppa001@aol.com so we can forward them in a group to DOJ.” Some parents are sending copies of the case timelines – first received and time stamped at local DOJ offices – via certified mail to: U.S. Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001.

The email address “atricourtcon@gmail.com” noted in the Examiner article above is for those interested in joining a complaint filed in United States District Court, District of Massachusetts. Please see the CPPA November 2013 newsletter for more information. –  Julia )

___________________________________________________________________________

Format for the Letter to the USDOJ

Who you are

 1. Contact information:

 2. Background:

3. Education:

4. Former employment:

5. Criminal record (arrests and convictions):

 

Who your former partner/husband/wife is

1. Background:

2. Education:

3. Former employment:

4. Criminal record (arrests and convictions):

 

Reports of physical or sexual assault/battery and/or incest

1.  Law enforcement (give name of office and address):

Date, Name and title of officer, Outcome of investigation and report:Child Protective Services (give name of office and address):

2. Social worker/Counselor/Other:

Date, Name and title of worker, Outcome (including not reporting to criminal authorities to investigate):

 3. Court personnel (give title and address):

Date, Name and title of professional, Outcome(including not reporting to criminal authorities to investigate):

4. Other offices/individuals:

Date, Name and title of professional, Outcome (including not reporting to criminal authorities to investigate):

 

Intimidation against you that deterred you from reporting

1. Who intimidated you:

2. How were you intimidated:

 

Gag orders

1. Who gave you a gag order (name, title, date, place):

2. Rationale given for gag order to not talk about these recurring crimes of incest and assault and battery:

3. Removal of child(ren) from you after you reported criminal physical or sexual assault/battery and/or incest:

 

Response from Social Services

1. Name and title of person(s), recommendations for investigation/ removal/ supervision:

2. Date of recommendation and where recommendation was filed:

3. Name and title of person ordering removal of children (if removal was ordered) :

4. Date of order and where order was filed:

 

Supervised visitation

1. Name and title of person recommending supervised visits:

2. Reason given for recommendation:

3. Name and title of person who ordered supervised visits:

4. Date and place order was made:

5. Name of specific visitation center you were ordered to attend:

6. Amount of fees:

7. Dates and times you were ordered to attend:

8. If you were not ordered to a specific visitation center, name of visitation center you chose:

9. Was this center paid by the county:

 

Motions you filed for relief

1. Date and place filed:

2. Who filed the motion:

3. What lawyers were involved:

4. Outcome of the motion:

*At the end of the time line, please provide note: Supporting evidence is being compiled in exhibits.”

Parents in and out of CPS courts and family/divorce courts face a hamster wheel of demands, which beyond the direct trauma to the family, often exhaust financial and emotional resources, cost jobs and personal assets. Most everyone knows at least ONE case like this. Please pass this article along to others who might be affected.

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Task Force Member: Might be a Year-Long Thing

Task Force Member: Might be a Year-Long Thing

Connecticut Task Force 12 10 13

Click on above link for Connecticut Task Force December 10, 2013 video

For the last two months, Connecticut has held open meetings to find better ways protect children in that state’s family courts.

Although the original plan was to have the study done by January, task force member Ms. Jennifer Verraneault says, “It might be a year-long thing.” 

As Ms. Verraneault spoke those words, most task force members probably dreaded the thought of volunteering their time for an extended period. Yet every few weeks, the task force meets, and another can of worms opens – with reasons to continue the study for as long as it takes. 

According to Connecticut Special Act No. 13-24, the task force is to study: 

(1) the role of a guardian ad litem and the attorney for a minor child in any action involving parenting responsibilities and the custody and care of a child,

(2) the extent of noncompliance with the provisions of subdivision (6) of subsection (c) of section 46b-56 of the general statutes and the role of the court in enforcing compliance with said subdivision, and

(3) whether the state should adopt a presumption that shared custody is in the best interest of a minor child in any action involving the custody, care and upbringing of a child.

Such study shall include, but not be limited to, an examination of state statutes applicable to an action involving the custody, care and upbringing of a child, and the costs associated with contested divorce actions, including, but not limited to, expert witness fees and attorneys’ fees including the fees of guardians ad litem and attorneys for the minor children. Such study may include recommendations for legislation on matters studied by the task force.

Another can opened this past Tuesday, when Co-Chair Sharon Wicks Dornfeld spoke about her knowledge of  the use of “Private Special Masters” to hide tax fraud in Connecticut family courts.

She told the group:

 “There are some individuals — I can think of several retired judges — who are, make themselves available to serve as private Special Masters, but it is not a volunteer thing. It is a program in which the parties pay them and whatever their agreed upon hourly rate is.

Uh, there have also been circumstances in which I can recall that there are lawyers who will say that, for whatever reason — and I will give you a classic example of a reason — where it becomes apparent that one or both of the parties have been engaged in essentially tax fraud that would be very adverse to their clients’ interest if it were to come  before a judge who would be required to make a referral to the state’s attorney or to the IRS for example. There are circumstances in which the attorneys will say, “Let’s try and get this out of the judicial system. Let’s hire a Special Master — not necessarily a retired judge, sometimes it’s very experienced family attorneys — and see if we can, you know, make it happen that way.”

Since the filmed meetings are available for public viewing online, there’s now public knowledge of a credible witness who knows about Connecticut’s attorneys and retired judges hiding tax fraud in child custody cases.

Judgments in those cases will need to be set aside, federal authorities will need to investigate, and Ms. Verraneault will have been proven right about how long all of this is going to take.

An  AP article in the Wall Street Journal last May might explain why Ms. Wicks Dornfeld speaks so comfortably about her colleagues hiding tax fraud.

According to the author of the article, Connecticut lawyers:

are shielded from fraud lawsuits under absolute immunity, a doctrine dating back to medieval England. The doctrine was intended to promote people speaking freely at judicial proceedings without fear of being sued and to avoid hindering an attorney’s advocacy for his or her client.” 

The task force is obliged to take its time – and as many task forces and committees it takes – to protect Connecticut’s children and families from what looks like a lawless system. Considering the disclosure noted above, Connecticut legislators should form another task force or allow the current task force to form an ad hoc committee. The new task force or ad hoc committee can be called something like, “Committee to Study Types of Fraud Currently Allowed in Legal Disputes Involving the Care and Custody of Minor Children in Connecticut”.

Thousands of victims of various kinds of fraud in Connecticut’s family court system would appreciate the opportunity to participate in such a study.   

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Family Court in Denmark

Family Court in Denmark

From TV 2 | ØSTJYLLAND :

On Thursday transmitter TV 2 | ØSTJYLLAND documentary “The secret network”.

About 450 women in Denmark are fighting to protect their children from the children’s fathers. One of the key figures behind the network is Sidsel Lyster, the now former pastor of Tirstrup in Jutland.

The women are ready to go underground or move abroad and go to jail to avoid disclosure of their children to the fathers, they either suspect or have evidence of violent, pedophiles or abusers. For, according to women and more experts, the new Parental Responsibility laws have made it virtually impossible to stop socializing with parents who are either violent, drug addicts or sex offenders.

Instead, the Act requires that parents must cooperate and make sure that the child has the opportunity to see both parents. And if the anxious parent does not cooperate, he or she risks losing custody of the child. Conditions under sharp criticism from the EU.

TV 2 | ØSTJYLLAND the past year followed the struggle of women inside the secret network and followed with when they go underground.

Join us on Thursday on TV 2 | ØSTJYLLAND pm. 19.50.

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