A Close Look At The Madness In Family Court

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October 16, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization


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If you want to know what the divorce system in the United States is really like, read this well-written and thoughtful article (A Voice for Men, 10/14/17). It’s by a Kansas father, Paul Schwennesen. He’s intelligent and observant and his tale of his ongoing divorce and custody case makes clear that our system for deciding child custody is madness. Worse, as Schwennesen realizes, his case is far from the worst. Poor fathers have it far worse in family court than he does. Those with limited educations do too.

A couple of years ago, my wife of fourteen years went down to the courthouse and filed for divorce—nothing noteworthy in this I’m afraid, except that it initiated a legal process that utterly wrecked me and my family. I was evicted from my home, isolated from my children, and compelled to bankroll an extraordinary legal vendetta against my natural role as a father—all without the slightest legal pretext. After two and a half years, I’ve come to recognize the dismaying truth that the legal deck is overwhelmingly stacked against me, and that only with a full commitment of every ounce of resolve and resourcefulness can I hope to reclaim my role as father. The desperation caused by this stunning iniquity is unhealthy for me and my children, to be sure, but the problem is even broader than that: fatherhood, especially what I call “working fatherhood,” is under assault, and our culture is willfully oblivious to it.

So, to begin with, Schwennesen has drawn the correct conclusion that the divorce system requires him to put his back to the wall and come out fighting like a pit bull to attain one simple end – to see his kids. It takes away vast sums of his money and much of his focus and energy all of which could be put to better use. The money could support him and his kids. The focus and energy could be used in his job or working on the PhD he’s trying to obtain. Remember that when thinking about child custody fights. It’s not just the direct costs they impose, but the indirect ones that take such a toll.

Why does he need to fight like a cornered dog? Because he fears losing his children, a fear that’s entirely realistic. A system that guarantees equal parenting to fit parents would take almost all the anguish and much of the money out of the child custody process. Schwennesen’s piece makes that clear.

And yes, family courts are leading the charge against responsible fatherhood. Read Schwennesen’s piece and learn the many ways in which courts can separate a father from his children.

His soon-to-be-ex-wife file for divorce.Agent M Loves Gifs no annoyed facepalm annoying GIF

 After the fact, I discovered she’d transferred over $40,000 in advance so that she’d have plenty of “padding” when the fireworks began. She’d pulled all the bank statements, started her own accounts, paid off her new car, made sure all the credit debt was in my name, retained an attorney—you know, the basics.

That’s standard operating procedure in family courts and is rarely questioned, much less punished. Why do courts allow litigants to drain bank accounts and incur such debts? In bankruptcy court, the timing of expenditures is monitored to ensure that a person claiming bankruptcy protection hasn’t intentionally squandered assets. Family courts could do the same, but rarely do.

No questions asked, they granted her Ex Parte Temporary Orders that sent a process server to our door who notified me I had fifteen minutes to evacuate the home or the “police would take me away.”

That of course is also business as usual. Now, the courts will tell us that ex parte orders are necessary to prevent domestic violence and, on occasion, they are. But, as in Schwennesen’s case, when they’re later proven to have no substance, why are there no consequences to the party who fraudulently obtained the order? After all, lying to the court in order to remove the other person from the home and deprive the children of a parent ought to be grounds for some form of legal sanction. But again, judges rarely pursue that course, making false allegations a free shot by (usually) a mother against a father. If it works, she wins, if it doesn’t, there’ll be no consequences, so why not give it a try?

I 209 GIFn Schwennesen’s case, his ex didn’t stop at false allegations to obtain a restraining order.

[O]ver the last two years I have been the target of two “anonymous” child abuse accusations (both found to be without substance), an attempt to exclude me from the military installation where my kids go to school (also defeated), a ludicrous “Protection From Stalking” order (denied for lack of grounds), accusations of stealing my kids’ lunch money (rebuffed), and an ever-growing litany of Motions to the Court for every bump, blister and bruise my rambunctious children get while under my care. I’ve experienced the distinctly unpleasant mini-trauma of having the police called on me for me seeing my children off at the bus stop, and sitting handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser until the false report was realized. I’m a kind and decent man, and defending myself against these “extra” abuses places an immense emotional strain that is difficult to convey—my body says it best: I’ve gone gray and have become a hollowed shell of my former self.

All of that too is perfectly OK with the family court. No, none of it is true; every claim is false and each motion takes the court’s time. But her lawyers know full well the toll it takes on Schwennesen and, as long as the court winks at the abusive tactics, why not use them? The other side may just decide it’s not worth the pain, fold his tent and go away. Like false allegations of abuse, there’s no downside to trying.

I’ll have more to say about this next time.


National Parents Organization Is A Shared Parenting Organization

National Parents Organization is a non-profit that educates the public, families, educators, and legislators about the importance of shared parenting and how it can reduce conflict in children, parents, and extended families. Along with Shared Parenting we advocate for fair Child Support and Alimony Legislation. Want to get involved?  Here’s how:

Together, we can drive home the family, child development, social and national benefits of shared parenting, and fair child support and alimony. Thank you for your activism.

#divorce, #childcustody, #falseclaims, #fathers’rights


What Happened To The Government’s Child Welfare Consultations? RR Finds Out.

Researching Reform

Welcome to another week.

Instead of our usual Monday question, we decided to share our latest Freedom Of Information Request, reminding the government that it still has outstanding child welfare consultation outcomes it needs to publish.

After we discovered that the current government had chosen to ignore the consultation looking at children in family court proceedings being able to speak to judges, Researching Reform felt a formal update on other outstanding consultations was needed.

This was our letter to the Department For Education:

FOI Roundup

We will let you know as soon as we get a response.

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Aboriginal #MentalHealthWeek @GregHuntMP launches 5th National #MentalHealth and #SuicidePrevention Plan

NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alerts


” For the first time this plan commits all governments to work together to achieve integration in planning and service delivery at a regional level. Importantly it demands that consumers and carers are central to the way in which services are planned, delivered and evaluated.

Furthermore this plan recognises the tragic impact of suicide on the lives of so many Australians and sets a clear direction for coordinated actions by both levels of government to more effectively address this important public issue.

This plan is also the first to specifically outline an agreed set of actions to address social and emotional wellbeing, mental illness and suicide amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as a priority, as well as being the first to elevate the importance of addressing the physical health needs of people who live with mental illness and reducing the stigma and discrimination that accompanies mental illness.”

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On #ThisDayinHistory 1917, Mata Hari is executed for espionage by a French firing squad #AceHistoryNews – @AceHistoryNews

' Ace Worldwide History '

#AceHistoryNews – Oct.15: She came to Paris in 1905 and found fame as a performer of exotic Asian-inspired dances #AceHistoryDesk reports

https://t.me/HistoricalPics/7214 She soon began touring all over Europe, telling the story of how she was born in a sacred Indian temple and taught ancient dances by a priestess who gave her the name Mata Hari, meaning “eye of the day” in Malay……..In reality, Mata Hari was born in a small town in northern Holland in 1876, and her real name was Margaretha Geertruida Zelle……..Regardless of her authenticity, she packed dance halls and opera houses from Russia to France,mostly because her show consisted of her slowly stripping nude………..She became a famous courtesan, and with the outbreak of World War 1 her catalog of lovers began to include high-ranking military officers of various nationalities……….In February 1917, French authorities arrested her for espionage and imprisoned her at St. Lazare Prison in Paris……..In…

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Who is really behind the campaign to cut fuel duty? @FairFuelUK £1 per litre works

With MPs we ask to not hike duty in   . 1.5m supporters want clean air too but not through baseless bans & tax hikes   Over 5000 supporters have emailed their MPs in 24hrs calling for highest fuel duty in world to be cut. Have You?  Ask your MP at this link to support a cut in fuel duty in the Budget


Ask your MP to lobby the Chancellor for a Cut in Fuel Duty and more

Please ask your MP to support FairFuelUK’s asks of the Chancellor in the November 22nd Budget.

1. To reduce fuel duty on all fuels, to match more closely those of other developed nations and to stimulate the economy.

2. To introduce a PumpWatch price monitoring body for more open and honest pricing at the pumps

3. To legislate to use other more effective solutions to lower emissions instead of tax hikes

4. To invest in roads at the same level of HS2 in order to reduce roads congestion, benefit the economy and lower emissions

And please also ask your MP to attend our APPG for Fair Fuel for UK Motorists and Hauliers on October 17th   fuel uturn GIF

Here is how to contact your MP. We have made it easy for you to email them:


1. Enter you Postcode in the box below to select your local MP – Click on the ‘Find Your MP’ Button

2. Scroll down and add your name and address. Remember your MP will not respond unless you are a constituent of theirs. So your address is essential.

3. Scroll through the example email shown. You can edit, change the subject title and content to suit your style or simply send as shown.

4. Once you are happy sign the box and press the ‘Continue’ button


                                          www.fairfueluk.com                                   The Answer?

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Brexit: Philip Hammond calls EU ‘the enemy’

Peace and Freedom

By Lizzy Buchan Political Correspondent
The Independent


Chancellor urges Tory colleagues to stop squabbling amongst themselves over Brexit and unite against Brussels to secure the best deal for Britain

Philip Hammond has expressed regret for referring to the EU as “the enemy” in Brexit negotiations, in an extraordinary outburst likely to cause major divisions with European leaders.

The Chancellor issued a prompt tweet apologising for a “poor choice of words” in an interview where he urged his Tory colleagues to stop squabbling amongst themselves and to unite against the EU to secure the best withdrawal deal for Britain.

After coming under fire for supposedly holding up the EU divorce talks, Mr Hammond insisted he was “all signed up” to Brexit and dismissed “bizarre” and “absurd” accusations from Eurosceptics that he was talking down Britain’s economy.

Speaking as he attended meetings in Washington, he told Sky News: “My message…

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Zuma corruption allegations: South African court rules to reinstate charges

Peace and Freedom

A South African court has ruled that corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma should be reinstated. The charges relate to a murky arms deal from the 1990s.

South African President Jacob Zuma

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal on Friday ruled that hundreds corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma could be reinstated.

The court upheld a High Court ruling from last year that a decision by National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to drop nearly 800 corruption and fraud charges against Zuma in 2009 was irrational.

Zuma, who has faced multiple scandals that have seen his support tumble, had challenged the High Court ruling.

“It is difficult to understand why the present regime at the NPA considered that the decision to terminate the prosecution could be defended,” Judge Lorimer Leach said after the court’s unanimous ruling.

The NPA must now decide whether to proceed with prosecution.

Read: South Africa’s power family, the Guptas: What you need to…

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