We invite interested scholars, child and family professionals, and members of civil society to join us in this exciting new co-parenting venture.
We are looking for reporting proposals that dive deeply into a region or reach broadly across the country, particularly those with potential for radio. (If you have radio skills, that’s a plus.). We plan to establish reporting partnerships in some cases, award freelance contracts in others. This initiative will continue into 2017, so ambitious ideas are welcome.
The first international shared parenting organization has been established to develop evidence-based approaches to the needs and rights of children whose parents are living apart.
Responding to the alarming increase in psycho-social and developmental problems among children whose parents are living apart, 26 leading research scientists, family professionals and representatives of civil society from 11 countries gathered in Bonn, Germany, on 21-23 February 2014 to found a new international organization focused on the feasibility of shared parenting as a viable and beneficial solution for children.
The new association will be known as the International Council on Shared Parenting (ICSP). Shared parenting, according the organization’s by-laws, refers to the equivalent, alternating care of children by their separated parents. The purpose of the association is first, the dissemination and advancement of scientific knowledge on the needs and rights (“best interests”) of children whose parents are living apart, and second, to formulate evidence-based recommendations about the legal, judicial and practical implementation of shared parenting.
Your correspondent, Edward Kruk, of the University of British Columbia (Canada), was elected as President of the new association. The international Council on Shared Parenting is the only international, research-centered association to focus squarely on the emerging paradigm of shared parenting. We have compiled a large body of new research examining child and parent outcomes in shared parenting families, and we seek to integrate this scientific data into family law, policy, and professional practice in the best interests of children.
Vice President Dr. Chantal Clot-Grangeat, Chambéry (France), stated, “Our aim is to find solutions for reducing the problems of children known to arise from family breakdown, such as diminished self-esteem, depression, and possible parental alienation, as well as educational failure, substance abuse, and trouble with the law.”
The trial court modified the parenting plan to designate Father as the primary residential parent.
On Appeal: The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court.
Mother argued her failure to notify Father of Child’s relocation to Texas was a “single violation” that did not rise to the level of a material change justifying a change of custody.
Tennessee courts apply a two-step analysis to requests to change the primary residential parent designation. The threshold issue is whether a material change in circumstance has occurred since the court’s prior custody order. Only if a material change in circumstance has occurred does the court consider whether a modification is in the child’s best interest.
In determining whether a material change has occurred, courts consider the following factors: (1) whether a change has occurred after the entry of the order sought to be modified; (2) whether a change was not known or reasonably anticipated when the order was entered; and (3) whether a change is one that affects the child’s well-being in a meaningful way.
Not every change in circumstance is a material change; the change must be significant before it will be considered material. However, the change does not have to pose a substantial risk of harm to the child. A material change of circumstance may include, but is not limited to, failures to adhere to the parenting plan.
Mother is correct that courts are disinclined to allow a single incident to serve as the basis for changing a primary residential parent designation. For example, in Beckham v. Beckham, the Court stated:
[A]n apparently isolated episode of poor judgment . . . is insufficient to establish a material change of circumstance. If that were the case, no parent ever would be able to maintain custody of his or her children as parents are inherently human and fallible. A parent is not required to be perfect or error free in his/her parenting in order to avoid there being a material change of circumstances.
After reviewing the record, the Court concluded:
[W]e find Mother’s argument unavailing because the lack of notice of her move to Texas is not the sole basis for finding a material change in circumstance. The change in circumstance can best be described as a lack of stability in the life of Mother since she was designated primary residential parent. As the record reflects, Mother’s move to Texas was not her only move, and Mother’s moves have directly impacted [Child] by necessitating changes in schools. As Mother conceded, [Child’s] support system has been “rocky.” At the same time, while his life may have lacked stability at the time of the divorce due to his military career and deployments, Father’s life has become more stable.
After a thorough review of the record, we find that Father did show a material change in circumstance. Mother’s move to Texas, by itself, may not rise to the level of a material change in circumstance, but the Texas move coupled with the prior eleven years of moves does.
Accordingly, the trial court’s change of custody was affirmed.
Skowronski v. Wade (Tennessee Court of Appeals, Middle Section, October 27, 2015).
Information provided by K.O. Herston: Knoxville, Tennessee Divorce and Family Law Attorney.
Facts: Father and Mother, the parents of Child, divorced in 2003. Mother was named the primary residential parent. Father received minimal parenting time because, at the time of divorce, he was active duty military and subject to multiple deployments.
In 2013, Father petitioned for a change of custody. He alleged Mother relocated to Texas without providing notice. He further alleged her home provided an unstable environment.
The proof showed Mother moved 11 times since the divorce, thereby forcing Child to change school seven times. Many of Mother’s moves were caused by her unstable employment history. Conversely, Father had exhibited much more stability.
Child testified that her preference was to stay with Mother, with whom she had lived the majority of her life.
The trial court modified the parenting plan to designate Father as the primary residential parent.
On Appeal: The Court of Appeals
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We are a coalition of ordinary Florida citizens from all walks of life very concerned with the safety and well-being of our children and families. We believe that we must unite to defend our families for their is great power in unity: “Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). We are an army of parents and families defending our children. Please, help our families by downloading our flyer and passing it along to your friends and families.
Why say NO to attorneys in the Legislature?
There are lots of things you can do by virtue of your job as a circuit court judge.You can (in no particular order of importance- and BTW the following is not directed at any particular judge…if the robe fits…).
Deny motions without reading them; have your JA refuse to put motions on calendar without lawyers first faxing them to you (although you don’t read them); start court whenever you want; show up late; finish court whenever you want; make juries stay until midnight in a misguided effort to show everyone how hard you work; lecture lawyers from the bench about how you tried every case you had within sixty days of inception (in other words, lie); brag about how you are on the short list for an appointment to a higher court (ditto); and otherwise feel that you and only you stand between the rule of law and anarchy. Here’s what you must do: follow the law.
Which means here’s what you can’t do:
Have your bailiff close your courtroom to anyone at anytime without proper notice to the media and a hearing on an issue; tell people how to dress when they come to court (wearing a shirt that says “fuck you” has been held to be an expression of free speech under the First Amendment – which is part of the Constitution, which is a legal document that defines the ….oh never mind it’s a bit complicated),
You also CANNOT take personal property of people, without following Florida’s Forfeiture Statute (and it’s not entirely clear a member of the judiciary can be a “seizing agency” under the statute. ).
Which means that in order to seize the personal property of an individual, there must be an allegation that the property was used to violate Florida’s contraband laws; see, Fla. Stat. Ann. § 932.703 (West)
(1)(a) Any contraband article, vessel, motor vehicle, aircraft, other personal property, or real property used in violation of any provision of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act, or in, upon, or by means of which any violation of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act has taken or is taking place, may be seized and shall be forfeited subject to the provisions of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. Contraband is defined as, inter alia: Any personal property, including, but not limited to, any vessel, aircraft, item, object, tool, substance, device, weapon, machine, vehicle of any kind, money, securities, books, records, research, negotiable instruments, or currency, which was used or was attempted to be used as an instrumentality in the commission of, or in aiding or abetting in the commission of, any felony, whether or not comprising an element of the felony, or which is acquired by proceeds obtained as a result of a violation of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. ~ Fla. Stat. Ann. § 932.701 (West)
Evidence both from psychological research and clinical intervention studies suggests that there are bidirectional influences between overt child behavior problems and parent-child relations. Very little research however, has considered the pattern of relations that exists between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the parent-child relationship within a longitudinal context. Using a longitudinal community sample from the United Kingdom which included 194 school aged children (46% male and 54% female) and both parents, this study examined the relationship between child ADHD symptoms and displays of rejection in the parent-child relationship.
These relationships were investigated separately for mothers and fathers using cross-lagged panel correlation and reciprocal effects analysis. Mothers and fathers reported on ADHD symptoms and children reported on their feelings of rejection in the mother-child and father-child relationships. Results suggested differences in the direction of effects linking mother- and father-child rejection and child ADHD symptoms; with ADHD symptoms affecting the mother-child relationship and the converse pattern of effects noted for fathers. Implications for future research focusing on the link between ADHD symptoms and parent-child relationships are discussed.
“The effect on parents and children seeking social support within this coalescing “family law” forum has not been as advertised by courts and professionals—a new healing—but instead a new affliction: an ‘imposed disability’ of de rigueur deprivation of fundamental rights in the name of ‘therapeutic jurisprudence’ funded by converting college funds into a bloated ministry of the bar leaving families and their children with mere crumbs of their own success.”
Parental alienation – a phenomenon where one parent poisons their child against the other parent – has become such a feature of the most difficult family…
Fear of antagonizing an Ex and finding themselves underneath the punishing heel of the Family Court.
Seriously, there are a lot of nice people who are simply too scared to come forward.
But, Check This Out…
Did you know that statistically, 8.15% of your Facebook friends WILL be happy to help – and that all you need to do is ask them to do it?
If we’re going to get the changes we want, the very first thing to do is gather us all together so we can speak with one voice – loud and clear.
And thankfully, this way easier to do than our opposition wants you to think it is – Seriously, don’t listen to them, because this is not hard.
Because We’re Not Asking You To Make A Career Out Of This Cause.
We’re just asking you to show your kids and everyone else what it means to have the integrity to stand up for others and do what’s right; regardless of your personal circumstances.
We’re asking you to make a powerful point by speaking with what you do; not with what you say you’ll do.
Are you with us?
I hope so 🙂
P.S. If you want a way you can help right now, and do so in 5 minutes or less, then PLEASE CLICK HERE!.
The essence of nomocracy, the rule of law, is limitation of the discretion of officials, and providing a process by which errors or abuse of discretion can be corrected. Some discretion is unavoidable, because law cannot anticipate every eventuality or how to decide which law may apply to a given situation. What guidance the law cannot provide is supposed to be provided by standard principles of justice and due process, reason, and the facts of each case. Ideally, officials should be mutually consistent and interchangeable, making similar decisions in similar cases, so that no one can gain an undue advantage by choosing the official or exercising undue influence on the official or on the process he operates. We trust officials to exercise such discretion as they have with wisdom, justice, and competence, to avoid government that is arbitrary, insolent, discriminatory, prejudiced, intrusive and corrupt.
Within the public sector, discretion can be exercised by legislative, executive, or judicial officials. Within the private sector, discretion may be exercised by private officials, such as agents, trustees or corporate officers, who are in principle subject to the supervision of the courts. The focus here is on judicial discretion, and the abuse of it. It will not discuss every area of judicial discretion.
The first major check on the discretion of judges was the jury. A judge, holding office over the course of multiple cases, and selected by appointment or election, is susceptible to undue influence. A jury, chosen by sortation, or lot, for a single case, just before the case, is less likely to be corrupted, and having multiple jurors render verdicts collectively provides a check by each on the others. What they might lack in knowledge of the law is offset by their connection to the non-legal environment in which most people subject to the law must operate.
In courts that try to save time and money by not using juries, such as family courts in some states, complaints about abuse of judicial discretion have led to calls for juries to decide questions of custody, visitation, child support, and the distribution of marital property.
Judges who impose lenient sentences, to avoid prison overcrowding and the early release of violent offenders, often provoke demands for mandatory minimum sentences or sentencing guidelines that reduce their discretion to do things like impose reduced sentences on defendants thought to be remorseful or unlikely to commit another offense.
Most complaints of abuse of judicial discretion, and calls to limit it with more laws, concern questions of policy or equity. But there is another broad category, which concerns constitutional questions of due process and civil rights. This is too large a field to discuss adequately in a short article, so only a few of the more important kinds of judicial discretion that are often being abused will be presented.
Stare decisis is the doctrine according to which a judge in a current case treats decisions in past similar cases as authoritative precedents, and refuses to make the decision in a way that departs from such precedents, regarding all of them as correctly decided. There is a place for giving weight to precedents, especially in civil cases and matters of equity, and to clarify ambiguities in the black letter law, but it is an abuse of judicial discretion to treat precedents as though they are law, equal or superior to black letter law, especially when that black letter law is a written constitution. Only the edict, the finding and the order, are law in a judicial decision, and only for the parties involved. The opinion concerning how the decision was reached may be persuasive on its merits, and indicative of how the same court might decide a similar case, but it is dictum, or commentary, not law, and it is an abuse of judicial discretion to fail to exhaust textual analysis and legislative history before considering precedent, and making sure that the chain of precedents has not wandered away from the bounds of the black letter law.
While it is appropriate to defer to the legislative and executive branches on questions peculiar to those branches and their constitutional duties, all too often judges abuse their discretion by so deferring in cases where officials of those branches have clearly exceeded their authority. This is sometimes signaled in a decision that declares the matter a “political question”. Sometimes it is, at least in part, but judges have a duty to act where constitutional bounds are clearly exceeded, and their failure to do so indicates a lack of true judicial independence of the other other branches and the pressures those branches can bring to bear. The result is the Administrative State, the result of failure to enforce the nondelegation doctrine. Part of the solution may be to select judges by sortition.
Any person has the right to petition for release of a prisoner if the official holding him does not prove sufficient authority to do so. A writ of habeas corpus is a subspecies of a writ of quo warranto, the right to have an official cease or refrain from some action unless he proves sufficient authority for it. Only the first is explicitly protected in the U.S. Constitution, but the latter is implied by the due process and nondelegation clauses and amendments. The principle involved is the presumption that an official lacks authority for an action unless he can prove he has it, so that a petition for either writ does not imply a right to both oyer (fair hearing) and terminer(decision on the merits) for the petitioner, but only terminer. The right of oyer belongs to the respondent for such a petition. If the response is inadequate, or the court does not have time for oyer, then its duty is to grant the writ. The problem is that judges, especially federal judges when the respondent is a federal official, are too often failing to act on habeas petitions, on various pretexts, thereby reversing the presumption in favor of the official and his actions.
Petitions for writs of quo warranto are systematically ignored or dismissed, sometimes on the grounds of lack of legislative authority, but no legislative authority is needed. There is no appeal from such inaction. Law provides petitioners only the option of trying again with another judge, thereby encouraging forum shopping. Complaints of judicial misconduct for such denial or inaction are also being systematically ignored. This should not really be called an abuse of judicial discretion because by law a judge has no discretion on terminer, but it has emerged as a practice that undermines all the other protections of the Constitution.
Both petit and grand juries are supposed to be selected at random from the community, a process called sortition, with some screening out of jurors who cannot be impartial or who have some hardships or critical duties. However, judges too often abuse their discretion to pack juries with persons who are partial in various ways. One way is to demand that jurors take an oath to “follow the law” as given by the judge. That enables the judge to misinstruct the jury as to what the law is.
In the early Republic, the standard practice of due process was to argue all issues of law in the presence of the jury, which enabled them to learn what the legal issues were along with the judge, that is, the presiding magistrate, and we can presume that this practice was part of what the Founders meant by “due process” in the Constitution. However, judges have abused their discretion by adopting the practice of requiring pleadings to be submitted to them by the litigants in writing, and not allowing copies to be provided the jury, nor allowing the attorneys to make legal arguments in the presence of the jury. This has given judges control over the trial in ways that largely subverts the protections that the jury is supposed to provide, because it does not allow jurors to hear argument, in a criminal trial, that the court does not have jurisdiction, or that the charge is not authorized by a statute, or the statute by the state or federal constitution, or that the statute is misapplied to the facts of the case, or that the rights of the accused were infringed by investigatory, prosecutorial, or judicial misconduct.
Grand jury access
The problem is often revealed by the old prosecutor’s joke that he could get the grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich”. Originally, in the early Republic, there were no public prosecutors. Criminal prosecutions were conducted by private attorneys, either paid by the victims, by subscription, or appointed by the judge to serve pro bono. When public prosecutors began to be appointed, they soon assumed an undue influence over grand juries, with the support of abuse of judicial discretion by the judges. This is aided by a lack of civic education of the public concerning the duties of grand jurors, or by packing grand juries with cronies of the judicial establishment.
In almost every state and in the federal courts it is within judicial discretion for the judge to grant access to the courts to any person to conduct a criminal prosecution, but except in Texas, such petitions are systematically ignored or dismissed. This is a special problem when the suspects are public officials, cronies of the prosecutor or judge. Barring private criminal prosecutions without just cause is an abuse of judicial discretion.
Private prosecution of public rights, Qui tam and ex relatione
There is a right for any person to seek declaratory or injunctive relief against any illegal action by government officials without having to have been personally injured, but since 1922 courts have been abusing their judicial discretion by denying standing to plaintiffs who cannot prove personal injury. There is a related right, qui tam, of any person to act in the place of the government, ex. rel., when the government will not do so, to protect the rights of persons and to enforce the law.
Contempt & coercive detention
There is no power delegated in the U.S. Constitution for a federal judge to prosecute anyone for contempt of court, except on federal territory, under Art. I Sec. 8 Cl. 17 or Art. IV Sec. 3 Cl. 2, or to imprison someone indefinitely to coerce him into doing something. It was anticipated by the Founders that all federal courthouses would be sited in federal enclaves, but not all of them are, and the orders and contempt actions are often extended beyond the territorial limits of such enclaves, where federal courts have no such jurisdiction.
Although the original stated purpose of licensing and delicensing lawyers was to protect the public from dishonest or incompetent ones, licensing and the influence judges have over disbarment is too often abused to suppress lawyers who might challenge their abuses.
The other side of controlling lawyers with threats of contempt or disbarment is systematic protection of them from being sued, by abusing judicial discretion to punish persons who might have the temerity to do so, and their lawyers if they can get any to represent them. Violators of this “unwritten law” find all their motions thereafter being ignored or denied, regardless of merit.
It is appropriate for judges to have a limited immunity from being sued for their judicial decisions if they are merely the result of error or incompetence. The remedy for that is appeal to a higher court. The problem is that judges abuse their judicial discretion to protect themselves and other judges from civil and criminal liability for being unduly influenced, such as by bribery, intimidation or cronyism.
Pro se litigants
Instead of accommodating to the lack of legal knowledge of lay persons who either cannot afford a lawyer, or who don’t trust lawyers who are subject to the control of the courts, judges and court personnel systematically discriminate against litigants who appear pro se or in propria persona, often dismissing their petitions or motions out of hand, regardless of their merits. That is abuse of judicial discretion.
Judges have adopted the practice in criminal trials of requiring the defense to make a motion for affirmative defense, which could be a defense like self-defense that admits to the facts and argues the actions were justified, or which seeks to prove someone else committed the crime. The original rationale for this was to provide the prosecution due notice so they can prepare their response. It is normally granted, but in the 1994 Davidian trial it was denied, much to the surprise of defense attorneys, who planned to argue self-defense. To prevent the defense from submitting an offer of proof, which would be grounds for reversal on appeal, the judge agreed, if they would refrain from doing so, to include an instruction to the jury that they could consider self-defense, but he would not allow argument and evidence of self-defense during trial. Thinking their best chance lay in agreeing to that, the defense attorneys went along with this abuse of judicial discretion. However, other instructions misled the jury into convicting some of the defendants on sentencing enhancements, even though they acquitted all of them on the base offenses, and the judge sentenced them for the enhancements as though they had been found guilty of the base offenses.
In criminal cases, by original constitutional standards, the elements of proof of a criminal charge are mens rea, actus reus, concurrence, causation, and harm. The first, mens rea, is “criminal intent”, and judges are allowing criminal prosecutions to proceed without proof of it, especially when the statutes prohibit acts that are malum prohibitum instead of malum in se. In this judges are aided by abuse of discretion by legislators, but it is still abuse of discretion.Tags: Family Justice & Child Protection Worldwide Reform Committee, Derechos de los hijos de padres separados,Children’s Rights, Children’s Rights, Stop Emotional Child Abuse, Daveyone Familylawman World4Justice Campaign, Parental Alienation & other Child abuse awareness/prevention and Boycottfamilylaw : Restore Children’s Rights Worldwide
Well, here’s what we think it means:
- It means standing up for what’s right by speaking with deeds; not lip service.
- It means leading by example.
- It means being a role model for your kids and those around you.
- It means standing up for those who are too weak or too afraid to stand-up for themselves.
The Truth Is…
Most of your friends, colleagues, and maybe even your family probably won’t help you out with Family Law reform.
Because let’s be fair.
Some have their own problems to worry about, and our cause simply isn’t relevant to them so it’s not on their radar as important.
Others, (probably more than you think) are against equal parenting because they have a lot to lose if reforms are effected.
So they’re not going to help you, even if they won’t admit this and be honest with you about it.
And some folks may empathize with you and really want reforms; but they’re too afraid to take public stand for fear…
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I love you so much.
Yesterday I gazed out the window watching fireworks and was really missing my angel but I cannot call her because I am scared of mom’s false allegations and lies, she doesn’t call me and knowing she is only a couple of mile away hurts like hell.
Please know that daddy, your brother, your grandparents, your cousins, aunts and uncles; your whole family loves you and misses you very much.
I tried to get to see you but your mom told the Judge, in family court on April 24th, 2013, that “it’s too inconvenient for her to take you to visit with me”.
I love you!
What can be worse than that?
In 2013, Judge Manno-Schurr agreed with mom. In my opinion this is Parental Alienation by Mom facilitated by the Family Court.Judge granted Mom’s Motion to Strike the Amicus Brief filed by Dad that explains to the Family Court that “Parental
Alienation is Emotional Child Abuse” written by Linda Kase Gottlieb‘s L.C.S.W., L.M.F.T.
A Family Court Services Report regarding the 12 supervised visits dated January 29th, 2013 states:
“After greeting, Mr. Inguanzo immediately engaged Daughter in conversation and play. Father and daughter discussed different topics such as school, science, books, a trip to France, physical education, Zoraya‘s older brother and other relatives, holidays, etc. Mr. inguanzo also practiced speaking Spanish with Daughter. Mr. Inguanzo frequently demonstrated physical affection, to which Daughter allowed and reciprocated. Mr. Inguanzo displayed behaviors indicative of being nurturing patient, and attentive to Daughter’s needs. Daughter appeared to enjoy her father’s company. Daughter and her father displayed a very good level of interaction.”
I promise I will keep trying Zoraya and I will never, never, never, never give in