Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Family Court Gives Me Ennui

The family court system is broken. Shocker.

'Don't say anything negative about the other parent to a mediator' I have been told. Why would I say anything negative? The interview is about the children, right? All I want is for him to get some counseling like the rest of the family. I told her that I supported the recommendations of the therapist, but if he would agree to ongoing counseling, perhaps there was less immediate need for a psych evaluation? I want to know that he is helping himself so the kids can see him again regularly. I told her I have no desire or intention of keeping them apart unnecessarily. I want to know that he understands that depression doesn't just go away on it's own, and that nobody can deal with the death of a child on his own. He broke. It was serious. I have compassion for these issues. Compassion is positive; I want to move forward, not back!
A psych evaluation will show us, however, the real potential in that desire becoming a reality.

The interviewer never asked more than two questions about our children to me. Instead, she sat in front of me, sighed, and said, "I am required by law to give you this domestic violence questionnaire." And then she proceeded to do so. She asked about the incident in April and any threats made in our history. Then she finally asked where our children go to school and how they are doing emotionally. That last part took about five minutes. For five minutes she heard me talk about our children, then cut me off.
Seems to me that it would be very difficult to say nothing at all negative about a person when being questioned about how he hurt you (a document she could have looked up - his own police statement) and what he was yelling at you while he did.
I told her, "He can be a good father - there was a time he was a good father! He loves his children."

Do you think she told him that?

She wrote that he denies the incident happened the way I describe, and that he believes I planned the assault, in order to gain control of the children. (Again, I defer to the police report.)

Does it sometimes seem that there are more problems caused to all parties when someone erroneously suggests that the family should then spend another few thousand dollars to further incite and inflame this situation? Let us review a portion of the California Family Code, section 3044:

"(e) When a court makes a finding that a party has perpetrated
domestic violence, the court may not base its findings solely on
conclusions reached by a child custody evaluator or on the
recommendation of the Family Court Services staff, but shall consider
any relevant, admissible evidence submitted by the parties."

That makes sense. I would love to see it come to a reality.
I don't see here, in our specific situation, where our children are being addressed. How does bleeding the parents dry serve to consider our children first and foremost?

Just sayin.


Miss Grace said...

Makes me sick.

When I was there in June, it felt like they were trying SO HARD not to favor the mother, that they overcompensated the other way.

gwendomama said...

missgrace? NAIL ON HEAD.

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...


That is just unbelievable.

As if you haven't been through enough?

Anonymous said...

The family court system is an f'd up mess. It has never worked and never will if they keep the same attitude. And they wonder why the vicious cycle of abuse continues. Nothing is accomplished, kids grow up and seem to end up in the same kind of abusive marriages and situations. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Don't place too much faith or importance on the psych eval. In general they don't go in depth and don't really tell anyone anything of much use. I'm sure xdude could manipulate his way to a favorable report and make you sound like the problem-just a heads up from someone who's been there!

gwendomama said...

anon: don't worry, he already has. but here's the rub: only one of us has a conviction.

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