Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Hated Father" Intro to a 4 part series peaking inside the doors of our Family Court system

Intro: Hated Father

"I thought cowboys and Indians were extinct like the dinosaurs."
This, my 7 seven year old says to me after I handed him a gold 50 cent piece. He asked me if it was one of the coins with the "Indians" on it.

"I think you're right son. All the cowboys and Indians are extinct." Figuratively that it is.  

No, not the six-shooter toting, chap wearing, lasso-slinging, Stetson wearing, heal clicking boot wearing, slick-looking hero who's only true companion that seems worthy of his true friendship is his horse in the old western movies. And no, not the "Indians" in the old "cowboy's and Indian's" movies as uneducated savages who always seem to barge in at the wrong time hooping and a hollering, in need of direction and guidance. Or for some reason in the old movies I have never figured out why there's a band of Indians that refuse to let some cowboys pass. Kinda like that troll under the bridge thing I guess.

But in those movies you know who the good guys are and you know who the bad guys are. There are no questions. No doubts, even if sometimes the good guys wear black. Good guys are "all" good and bad guys are "all" bad. There's no middle ground. No gray area. It's not a competition to see who can outdo each other.  Good guys don't do what they do for monetary gain. They do it all because it's the right things to do. It's a fight to the end. It's not a sport. Good is good, bad is bad. There I said it.

It's hard to find those qualities today, if at all possible. There are so many gray areas.

If you have a child did you know they already show signs of abuse? Did you know you with one phone call you can automatically have your children removed from your spouse's life? Did you know that if it's discovered you suspected abuse and did not report it you face possible imprisonment? And what's worse is that you don't have to have one single form of evidence. Absolutely!

Some of those signs your child is displaying (if you have kids) possible abuse...according to the Mondale Act of 1974 or the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA - 42 USC Sec. 5101), which was re-authorized in 1996 by President Clinton are none other than: bedwetting, acting out, nightmares, whining, temper tantrums, thumb-sucking, and compliant and fearful behavior. The act does not provide criteria for age for these behaviors or duration and intensity. But these are normal toddler, young child behaviors that parents teach to correct. In the business of child protective services when a mother leaves her husband and takes their children and then cries child abuse he almost 100% of the time treated guilty until proven innocent. Even after case closed there is still this loom hanging over one's head; this brand that you've been accused and people are talking.

This is the beginning of a four part series pertaining to Family Court proceedings and False Allegations of Children and Domestic Violence, particularly my case and my wife's case. The last piece being over the freedom of forgiveness. I say my wife's case because I was the target of the allegations. Unfortunately my cases are almost identical to thousands if not millions of fathers. What's worse is the very children that are supposedly being fought over to be protected are being abused in the processed.

The question remains is whether or not our current laws will change or if any new bills will be presented to impose stricter guidelines when claiming child abuse at the time of divorce without compromising the integrity of real cases.

I kept joint custody in the end of my custody battle. No findings were concluded in all 5 of the child protective investigations. The turmoil my ex-wife caused is indescribable, but I will attempt to do so in the next few articles. By our American laws I was allowed to have my life and privacy invaded, issued a restraining order against me, my children kept from me for 6 months, dragged to court, pay thousands of dollars, wind up paying my ex-monies that I tried to pay her before court, and pay her husband for expenses that I was never consulted on nor agreed to.

She was allowed to commit perjury, use child protective services for own personal gain using the states money, resources, and man power, lie and manipulate our children, use our children, coach our children, receive monetary gain, and she decided when the custody battle was over, all without consequences.

Where is the protection of the innocent in all of this? The children. I experienced firsthand in our battle by the judge that, "it is better to falsely convict than to allow a child to be abused" when ordered supervised visitation just to be on the, "safe side." Children and the target parent will never lead normal, healthy lives until the abuse is stopped. Legislation needs to be changed to protect all the innocent, not just one.

Now that I think of it, maybe the cowboys and Indians aren't extinct. They just dress different and carry different weapons. I fought and I fought hard. I wasn't perfect and I did wear black. I fought for what was right. So come to think of it, I was my son's cowboy.

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A Recycled-Dad with Bipolar & Parkinson's, reflections on fathering and family life and other stuff thrown in'll love my Soap Box Rants

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Why I call myself a Recycled Dad

I call myself a Recycled Dad because of the struggles with remarriage and being a step-parent and weekend dad. This is also about my life living with bipolar and how it affects me personally, my family and my job. It also reflects on the grace God has poured out on me throughout recovery from alcohol and an eating disorder. Recycled Dad is about my reflections on the wisdom God teaches daily on fatherhood and being a better husband in spite of being bipolar.

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