Another Swing, Another Miss At Parental Alienation.



our-blog-icon-topMarch 2, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

The tiny but determined cadre of the anti-dad crowd that likes to claim that family court judges routinely remove children from “protective” mothers and hand them to abusive fathers just keep getting stranger and stranger. This piece by Michael Volpe is the latest example (Daily Caller, 3/1/18).

Volpe of course is the one who claims that Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is a woman done dirt by a nefarious ex-husband and a family court judge. If you don’t recall, Grazzini-Rucki is the Minnesota mother who abducted her two children and kept them in hiding for over two years before finally being located by the police. That stunt got her convicted of six felonies and lost her custody of her kids, which should surprise no one, but Volpe swallowed her claims of domestic abuse by her ex-husband despite their having been aired in court and found meritless. In a Facebook exchange I had with Volpe, he claimed the judge had accepted a bribe of $800,000 to switch custody. I asked Volpe for proof but – surprise, surprise! – none was forthcoming.

That’s by way of introduction to the Daily Caller piece in which Volpe once again No automatic alt text available.unquestioningly accepts the notion that an innocent mother had her children wrested from her loving arms once again by an ex-husband and know-nothing judge. And, like every other person who makes those claims, Volpe’s theory is that Dad used dubious allegations of parental alienation to do his dastardly deed.

All of that is more or less par for the course. We’ve seen many similar pieces by a variety of zealots, none of which bore even casual scrutiny. Volpe’s is every bit as bad, but with a twist that gives it its unique strangeness.

The case Volpe discusses is that of an Ohio couple, Peter and Julie Goffstein who began their married lives as Chabad-Lubavitch Jews. They had six children, but at some point, Peter moved away from the strict orthodoxy of the Chabad-Lubavitch sect, prompting Julie to file for divorce. As night follows day, she was given primary custody by the trial court, but, less than a year later, Peter was back in court asking for custody to be modified with him as primary parent. The judge gave him custody or the four youngest children and later modified that order to further marginalize Julie in the children’s lives. The reason given by the judge was Julie’s alienation of the children from Peter and her frankly-admitted refusal to send them to school.

To Volpe, all that is highly suspicious. Just what he’s complaining about though he never makes clear. He links to the judge’s orders that make plain the reasons for modifying custody and parenting time, so readers can judge for themselves how sensible his argument is. That argument, in a nutshell, is that the trial judge violated Julie Goffstein’s right to freely exercise her religion by denying her primary custody of the children.

Put simply, that’s absurd. There is no jurisprudence under the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause to suggest that (a) an adult’s rights automatically devolve to the children or (b) abusing children via parental alienation (or in any other way) is permitted or shielded by that clause. Understandably, Julie’s lawsuit against the trial judge claiming deprivation of religious liberty was dismissed as the junk case it was.

Undeterred, Volpe soldiers on. By “soldiers” I mean he continues his narrative despite its obvious falsity.

Peter Goffstein argued that his ex-wife’s religious choice was alienating him: “In so doing, Mr. Goffstein cited as reasons for the change in custody Mrs. Goffstein’s religious practices and the extent to which she imposed those religious practices on the children, which he claimed alienated the children from him,” a lawsuit filed by Julie Goffstein noted.

The only problem with that claim is that the judge’s orders make it crystal clear why the original order was modified.

Image may contain: one or more people and people standingThe court finds that Jeremy, the parties’ oldest child, was not enrolled in any state-accredited school from September 12, 2012 to March 12, 2013. The court finds that this lack of education for such a lengthy period of time is demonstrative of Mother’s misplaced priorities. Father’s serious concerns regarding the secular education of the children while under mother’s custody are well-founded. The history of Mother’s enrollment of her children in online educational providers has been sporadic with minimum success. Secular education for these children must be given a much higher priority than the level of online consistency chosen by Mother in the past. Therefore, the Court considers Father’s emphasis upon more consistent, traditional school enrollments to be better in advancing the secular education needs of the children. Fulfillment of their secular education requirements is quintessential to the best interests of these young children; Father presents the best likelihood for its accomplishment.

What Volpe wants readers to believe is that the judge’s repeated use of the term “secular education” was meant to exclude the children’s religious education. That of course is untrue. The judge was merely differentiating one type of education from another and acknowledging that public schools aren’t in the business of providing training in Chabad-Lubavitch Judaism.

The court went on to detail Julie’s alienation of the children from Peter and her frank unwillingness to obey court orders if they conflict with the instructions of her Rebbe.

In short, as described by the judge, this is a very good case for Peter to have custody. Julie, for whatever reason, wasn’t seeing to the children’s education except in the Jewish faith. That education is a fine thing, but it needs to supplement secular education, not replace it. Everyone except Volpe and presumably Julie understands that simple concept.

What’s remarkable is that Volpe seems to want readers to conclude that Peter has done some wrong to his kids, but, as far as I can see, he not only hasn’t, but no one’s ever claimed that he has. If the children are doing anything but well, no one’s letting on. Image may contain: one or more people

That’s particularly strange in light of this:

Dr. Joy Silberg, who is president of the Leadership Council on Interpersonal Violence, said the term is often misused; her organization found in 2008 that approximately 58,000 children per year are forced to live in an abusive home by American family courts yearlylargely due to the false diagnosis of parent alienator to a protective parent.

Why would anyone writing an article that nowhere claims that Peter Goffstein, the custodial parent, is abusive, cite a claim by an organization to the effect that courts give custody to abusive parents? It just doesn’t make any sense. It’s utterly irrelevant to the rest of the article.

But then, why would anyone writing anything cite Joyanna Silberg, who is surely one of the least responsible commentators extant?

I suppose the answer is what it so often is with the “protective mother” crowd. When you don’t have anything with which to support your threadbare and, as often as not, patently false claims, you end up just throwing stuff at the wall in the hopes some of it sticks. Volpe did the same and the wall’s still clean. MORE

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On how to pay and indemnify your ex-spouse for mortgage repayments


A tale of a Southampton consent order


Under the title CH v WH [2017] EWHC 2379 (Fam), Mostyn J’s of the approval of a consent order appears as a form of judgment with neutral citation and in the BAILII reports. (CH v WH emerges also as an example of use of the High Court’s inherent powers in President’s guidance: jurisdiction of the Family Court: allocation of cases within the family court to High Court judge level and transfer of cases from the Family Court to the High Court 28 February 2018:  at para 15). It is not a judgment. Mostyn J was doing the administrative job which district judges do up and down the country every day. It is an administrative task, without any judicial disposal involved (nor argument to be heard). Add to which: one of the parties chose their judge (‘[2] The matter has been…

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Write Now Prompt for March 2, 2018

Today's Author


At Today’s Author, our first goal is to get you (and us) to write. Write Now is our own collection of prompts to help you do that. With Write Now we’re not talking about writing, or trying to teach anyone how to write. Write Now is all about putting pen to paper.

Today’s Prompt:

He was sure he had seen a UFO, but no one believed him.


How to play along with our Writing Prompts

  1. Write in any format or style you wish: short story, poem, script – whatever you like.
  2. Write for at least 5 minutes. There is no time limit – write for as long as you wish!
  3. Editing is not required, though we do recommend that you run a spell check at least.
  4. Post your work to your blog and include a link back here so your readers can find other writer’s work, too.
  5. Come back here…

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Making Peace With Your Past!


20180301_2008551398848735.png“Raising Women to Queen Consciousness” …RCB

As I continue to study and research personal development, God continues to deliver! I came across Pastor Robert C. Blakes Jr’s. Videos on You Tube and it’s been a prevailing experience! Mr. Blakes has a powerful ministry of elevating women from brokenness to Queen Consciousness.

Blakes has a personal testimony of how God delivered him from being a “womanizer”, transforming him into the loving husband, father and Man God created him to be. Mr. R.C. Blakes transparently shares his story of how he was introduced to sex at an early age, creating a spirit of perversion in him. Blakes says that spirit caused him to fall short as a man, leaving a trail of broken women.

Today Pastor Blakes is free from the bondage and is now speaking LIFE into women, glory be to God! Blakes shares his experience and perspective on…

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Plenary round-up – Brussels, February II 2018

European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

Written by Katarzyna Sochacka and Clare Ferguson,

Plenary session - Week 09 2018 in Brussels - © European Union 2018 – Source : EP

The session’s highlights included debates on the humanitarian situation in Syria, the outcome of the informal European Council, and activation of Article 7 (1) with regard to Poland. The European Commission also made statements on UN Human Rights Council sessions in 2018, the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, its former President Barroso’s lobbying activities, and removal of third countries from the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. Among the votes held, Parliament agreed to set up a new special committee on tax questions (TAXE 3) and elected a new vice-president.

Syria, European Council and Article 7(1) TEU procedure in respect of Poland

Members discussed the humanitarian situation in Syria following a statement by President Tajani. Debate on the outcome of the informal meeting of the European Council concentrated on institutional issues: the…

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Independent: If The US is being ”racist” in this case what about South Africa?


Fair Dinkum
I think the South African Government wins the racist stakes hands down.They are confiscating farmland of people of European origin without compensation. Why does this not make major headlines? Where are all the people who claim to be intolerant of racists?

This has just been made legal by the new government in South Africa,and not a word about it in this journal,or about the preceding murder of white farmers. White South Africans are migrating to New Zealand.

That farmland of the European people was not theirs to start with! Wow, you colonialists can just take what you want and claim injustice and racism. It’s so funny. You can’t have a history of suppression and injustice, and not expect to have the same inflicted on you too. We humans are no saints, we reap what we sow. P.s – I don’t support violence…

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