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Shouldn’t We Be Creating Independence In Family Law Not Dependence?

I recently had a conversation with an attorney representing a parent who had an expedited hearing scheduled around New Years. The client had been denied all telephone and physical contact with the children since the start of the holidays in Thanksgiving through Christmas. The exception being a few hours with the other parent being present the entire time. The other parent had moved from the family residence and withdrawn the children from their home school. This parent did not know where the children were living.

When they did speak to the children the children ran from them or made unkind statements to them where once the children had enjoyed a wonderful relationship with this parent. It was pretty clear this was going to be high conflict case with numerous court dates and thousands in litigation fees.

The other parent had already attempted to obtain a protection order several times and had been denied. If a protection order was granted this parent would not only lose their children, they would also lose their government employment and pension. The other parent even bragged they sought the protection orders not because they needed them but to gain an advantage in custody. As a result, I forwarded an 11-page document of suggestions for the temporary custody order to this parent’s attorney.

The conversation began with the attorney providing me with their insight on the suggestions of the custody order based on of their 4 to 5 years experience versus my 33 years. That is not to say that I had not found a prior conversation helpful. I had and made several adjustments in the suggestions based on their feedback.

The attorney then proceeded to say the suggestions were too extensive and too detailed. Court wanted to give parents the ability to make their own agreements. Court orders were never intended to last through adulthood or to be inclusive to all these issues. Things would change and parents needed to be able to come back to court to obtain new orders.

I suggested this created a dependency on the court process as opposed to independence. Forcing parents to return at great cost financially and emotionally to address issues. As opposed to a court process that provided for much more clarity and thorough court orders. And if parents failed they could return to the process then. I won’t even address the issue of co-parenting vs parallel parenting in our discussions.

In addressing protection from false allegations that I provided they explained that court would not take any action to address the allegations or provide protection from these type of allegations because these parents were just beginning the process and this was how things were done in their jurisdiction. I explained that this was how things were done nearly everywhere and without success.

When the order was issued these parents will have little to no time to parent or participate in activities with the children or save for their college. They will be too busy attending or paying for conjoint counseling, co-parenting classes, co-parenting counseling as well as issues for the children too. Who will also be attending counseling.

Of course, the parents will be paying for all of these services. I would estimate about 15/20% of their income in total will be required and that might even be on the low side. Excluding any new and additional legal fees to return to court etc. Another 15/35% depending on just how aggressive the other parent continues to behave to make sure that the children have access to both parents. No wonder parents often feel like they are indentured servants to the process.

After all of this discussion on how important it was for the parents to be able to make decisions regarding the children, neither parent was allowed to be present for the hearing or hear the discussion regarding the parenting schedule because it was feared there would be an outburst from one or both of the parties. Talk about a contradiction.

While it may not be the intention the courts to allow parents independence from the court process that is exactly what is occurring. We continue with the status quo. That this is how things have always been done the attorney told me.

As I said definition, of insanity, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

Please note; Within 24 hours of the court hearing, the other parent attempted to block custody, stalked the parent, following them home in their vehicle. Forced the parent to pull off the road with the children and police were called. There is more but I believe the point has been made

 

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Could We Solve Parental Alienation in One Sentence or Two ~ Absolutely Yes!

Recently, a parent I know spent three years and approximately $100,000 trying to prove parental alienation. The money was spent on counselors, therapists, and parenting evaluators. Most of whom were ordered by the courts. This also includes money the parent paid for a parental alienation assessment, experts to counter some reports and support others ordered by the courts etc. Then there were, of course, all of the attorneys, motions, court dates, trials etc. Not including the money, time and energy spent in the prior 7 years on court dates and another army of resources and attorneys ~ 26 in all.

That doesn’t include the cost of the treatment itself. Another $35,000 at least. And they aren’t done. They still have more court dates ahead of them after the first of the year with a new judge. The prior judge retired. This family has been in the system so long now that four judges have retired since they first started on the East Coast and are now on the West Coast. Essentially they are starting all over again with a new judge. So much of the testimony leading up to the new court dates is lost. Even after all this money, all this time, all these powerful resources and experts on all sides, the outcome is still in question.

One of the girls was only 14 when the process started again three years ago. They are now 17. In the eyes of the court children of this age are written off as being too old to influence. This despite the fact that we know it takes only 4 days on average to turn around an alienated child and reestablish the relationship with the alienated parent. So technically up until four or five days before a child turns eighteen the court still has jurisdiction and could still order a child into therapy ~ with a successful outcome. Please note not all treatment programs are created equal and a parent must choose carefully.

Parental alienation is the most difficult, most expensive and least successful argument in Family Law. And it will likely remain that way for some time to come. Despite all the progress being made in research, organizations, agencies, and professionals at every level, local, state and federal. But we are still a very long way from where we need to be to help children and families and the court system itself.

But all of this or nearly all of it could be avoided or stopped by just one or two sentences by one single individual. No matter where in the process it was said. In all my years as a law enforcement officer and all my years of dealing with Family Law, I can count on one hand the number of times it has been said to my knowledge. And it has never failed to work. Not once.

Granted because it has been said so few times some could argue that is not enough to gauge the response. I would argue otherwise. We could instead of the current process return to families their children’s future, their inheritance. Save lives along with freeing families from the many years of court dates, frustration and emotional damage caused by lack of enforcement of court orders. After all, it is only a few sentences and it would take only two minutes. Isn’t two minutes in the best interest of the child worth our trying to confirm yes or no this works?

So who is this person who holds all this power? The same person who has always had the power. The same person who did not intend to participate, support or escalate the violation of court orders. But who in fact supports the withholding and blocking of custody or a relationship with both parents by the children. As well as all the other issues in Family Law. Not that this was ever their intention. But it is the result none the less. Because when it comes down to it parents only do what they are allowed to do by the courts! So it only reasons that the individual with all the power is the judge.

If judges would only enforce court orders and say this short and simple statement it could change everything in Family Law. Not just parental alienation. The statement; I am going to change custody to the other parent if you do not ensure that the children go with the other parent every time they are to have custody and stays in their custody. I also have it in my power this one time to temporarily suspend custody or increase custody time for the other ­parent too this time. If that doesn’t work or if there are still problems and you continue to violate the court orders you are going to go to jail or both. It is your choice. And it all starts now!

Another action we could take to address issues is to tie child support to access to the children. No access ~ no child support. Certainly, if both sentences were used in combination we could address a child’s access to both parents without further intervention of therapists, counselors, assessments, psych evaluations or the costs paid for these resources. I just read where a 4-year-old child is to undergo a psych evaluation because they don’t want to see the other parent. Ridiculous. Please note I am not addressing the scenario in which a parent chooses not to exercise custody or custody is denied by the courts for safety reasons of the child. That is another issue entirely.

I am aware of all the reasons court has to date not ruled to enforce court orders such as ­ “The parent doesn’t have the money to pay fines.” “We don’t want to put parents in jail.” “If we punish the parents, we are punishing the child. And we don’t want to punish the child.” I am currently limited by space and time to just two or three examples which I will address in part two of this post.

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Therapy Animals ~ Could They Help Children of Parental Alienation and High Conflict Cases?

A child alienated from a parent and suffering anxiety at spending the night away from the alienator is being given a therapy animal by the target parent for their upcoming trip where they will be spending more time with them.

The target parent trains therapy dogs and as we discussed their decision to provide a therapy dog for their child I recognized the potential to help other children with anxiety find support and coping skills in moderate to severe cases of parental alienation and high conflict cases.

AAT or Animal Assisted Therapy is a form of therapy that uses dogs and other animals to help people cope with health problems, including cancer. Helping patients and their families find relief and a distraction from pain, discomfort and stress of their diagnosis. To clarify a therapy animal is different from a service animal. A service animal performs tasks to assist a person with a disability. AAT is a type of therapy.

AAT has also been shown to improve mood and energy levels and decrease perceived pain and anxiety in the young and old. It can also provide a sense of companionship that can combat feelings of isolation which is why AAT has been so successful with PTSD patients. Helping to impact depression, anxiety, blood pressure, and more not just emotionally but physically too.

Dr. Rebecca Bailey, uses AAT at Transitioning Families, to help children and their parents transition through her reunification program in Northern California. Where she was involved in the Jaycee Dugard case and the FBI.

It made me wonder if AAT could have saved the life of a six year old child who committed suicide upset over his parents divorce. He used his belt to hang himself on the refrigerator door. If he had been treated using AAT would he be alive now? And what about other children and adolescents who act out at home and school, attempt suicide, hurt themselves, cutting, sex, running away, take drugs. Couldn’t they also be helped using AAT?

We certainly need more effective ways to protect the relationship between a child and both fit parents from what we have now. We need more options to transition children back with parents they have may be or about to be alienated from. And we certainly need to provide better coping skills in high conflict cases and alienation for children and adolescents. Including provisions for AAT in reunification and other types of therapy in court orders that allow for a therapy animal to be involved with the child. In some cases at both homes when the opportunity provides for that provision.

Chime in what are your thoughts?

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Catherine MacWillie is the CEO of Custody Calculations and a Child Custody and Divorce Coach. She has 32 years experience dealing with Family Law. 24 years as a law enforcement officer responding to radio calls dealing with divorce and custody issues and a first responder to child abuse investigations in addition to other related assignments. She spent ten years researching Family Law and divorce including cause, effect, impact, solutions to the many issues that arise during divorce and custody proceedings. The last eight years as a Coach.

She is the past president of Stop Parental Alienation of Children (SPAC). A prior board member of Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO). An advisory board member of International Support Network of Alienated Families (ISNAF). A member of Parental Alienation Study Group (PASG). A member of the 2014 Parental Alienation Colloquium, Long Beach, California. A member of the 2016 Parental Alienation Think Tank, Beverly Hills, California.

In 2017 her research on divorce, crime and parental alienation will be presented in Prague, Czechoslovakia at the International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH) a prestigious event with participants coming from around the globe to present.

For additional information go to CustodyCalculations.com or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Vimeo, or call 702-675-5120.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image-logo-la-verne-university-v2-sept-2016

La Verne University Moves Forward With Plans to Offer Parents Courses On Divorce, Custody and Parental Alienation

This 8 hour course focuses on dealing with divorce, custody and parental alienation. The course provides an overview of the myriad of issues that parents will need to navigate during the divorce process. It is designed to provide parents with best practices, methods, and techniques to deal with the divorce and custody process. From amicable divorce to high conflict cases and everything in between. Here’s an overview of just some of the many topics that will be covered:

Success or Tragedy – do you have a Choice?
How much will it cost? How Long? What can I expect?
Terms and costs you need to know
Who to trust – Choosing an attorney and other professionals
Child Support/Spousal support
Friends and Family/How to respond to questions about your divorce?
Parental alienation – What is it?
False allegations – child abuse, domestic violence, restraining orders
Abduction risk and options
Violation of court orders

This informative course provides a clear and concise understanding of the process from the perspective of an insider, a law enforcement officer. Providing the information that parents need to better evaluate risk and rewards, so they can change tactics, no matter where they are in the process for a better outcome. Later courses will allow parents to build on their understanding from general classes to more in depth single subject classes on a schedule that will work for them.

Who Should Attend

Parents considering divorce
Parents who have already filed for divorce and are just starting the process
Parents in the process and involved in high conflict case
Parents already divorced but still returning to court for violation of court orders, modification of court orders, etc.
Parents dealing with Parental Alienation
Parents dealing with false allegations of child abuse, false restraining orders and false police reports
Parents dealing with obstruction/blocking custody
Parents concerned about international abduction
Parents trying to better understand the process for assessment of changing tactics in their case

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of Dealing With Divorce, Custody and Parental Alienation program, you will:

  • Understand factors in choosing an attorney and other divorce professionals
  • Have an understanding of the basic terms, costs and resources that may be ordered in a divorce and custody case.
  • Understand issues related to risk and rewards in accessing what and how to respond to property, custody and financial issues
  • Understand how spousal support and child support is determined and for how long
  • Have a basic understanding of social media and how it affects decisions by the courts on divorce and custody issues
  • Understand what parental alienation is and how it affects children and their relationship with them
  • Know the difference between traditional and non-traditional divorce options, mediation, collaborative divorce etc.
  • Understand how false child abuse allegations, false restraining order and police reports can benefit one parent over the other in custody decisions even if false and methods of protection
  • Understanding risk factors of international abduction
  • Preparing and sending appropriate email and text communications with the other parent
  • How to document violation of court orders
  • Proficient  in what to say to persons at work, family, school staff and others asking about the divorce

Course Instructor

Your instructor is Catherine MacWillie, CEO Custody Calculations and a Child Custody and Divorce Coach. Catherine has 32 years of experience dealing with Family Law. 24 years with the Los Angeles Police Department, where she responded to radio calls dealing with divorce and custody issues, and a first responder to child abuse investigations and other related assignments. She spent ten years researching Family Law and identified that divorce and custody issues may be related to 25% of the crime in the United States. The last 8 years as a Child Custody and Divorce Coach with clients all over the United States and abroad. Catherine frequently presents at conferences domestically and abroad. She is often in the media commenting on breaking stories dealing with homicides, divorce and custody issues. In 2017 her research will be presented in Prague at the International Academy on Law and Mental Health.

Additional

This is the first time that courses on divorce, custody and parental alienation have been offered at higher education facility. The course is in response to the growing recognition of the impact and devastation of the divorce process not only on families and children but on communities as a whole. The university is conveniently located in Los Angeles County near the 10/210/57 freeways

For additional course information, fees and enrollment click on the below link or copy and paste below into your url;
http://laverne.edu/extendedlearning/dealing-divorce-custody-parental-alienation/

 

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image photo wyatts law child in hospital sept 2016

Wyatt’s Law: Brutal Abuse Of Toddler Leads To New Bill That Could Crack Down On Child Abusers

Below are excerpts from Fox 17 News, May 2, 2016 by Cassy Arsenault and Inquisitor News March 11, 2016 by Meaghan Ellis

LANSING, Mich. — A Michigan mother is on a mission to start a child abuse registry after her son was severely beaten, and for the rest of the now 3-year-old’s life he will have to work to overcome his brain injury.

Erica Hammel says Wyatt’s Law would be a critical tool as cases of abuse and neglect in Michigan continue to climb. She was devastated when her then 18-month-old son became a victim of abuse at the hands of his father’s girlfriend, Rachel Edwards.  She said she tried everything to keep Wyatt safe, but it wasn’t enough.

In February 2013 her perfect family life came to a halt. Wyatt’s father stopped coming home. He was having an affair with Edwards. He eventually left Hammel for Edwards a few months later. Hammel says she was always suspicious of Edwards, but when she searched the internet and court records she found nothing.  She later learned that Edwards had been convicted of third-degree child abuse twice prior to the incident with Wyatt. Both times, she received only probation.

“If I had just had this one piece of information I truly believe this would have never happened to Wyatt,” Hammel said. Wyatt was left blind in both eyes and couldn’t walk, talk or eat after the abuse. He has had four brain surgeries and two eye surgeries.

“The prosecutor told me that when Wyatt’s case came in and came to their office, it came in as a homicide because they didn’t think he was going to make it,” Hammel said.

Edwards was sentenced to 33 months to 10 years in prison after pleading no contest to the second-degree child abuse charges in connection with Wyatt’s injuries. But Hammel says she is up for parole in a year. Hammel said this is the exact reason Wyatt’s Law is so necessary.

“Child abuse laws are lenient. Abusers are not getting enough prison time, they are not getting tough enough sentences, and that’s a huge issue across the board. And because these people are spending a lot of time in prison, or aren’t getting prison time at all, this is exactly why we need Wyatt’s law,” said Hammel.

Wyatt’s Law has been sitting in committee with state lawmakers for roughly six months.  Hammel says it’s a simple law that allows the state to publish a list of convicted child abusers.

Hammel believes a public registry of convicted child abusers could have prevented her son from being severely brain injured. If a person was convicted of third of fourth degree child abuse they would be on the registry for five years, and for first or second degree they would stay on it for 10 years. However, unlike the sex offender registry there is an opportunity for people to get off of it.

The bill has recently been moved from the Judiciary committee  to the Families, Children, and Seniors committee. The head of that committee is Tom Hooker. Hammel and child abuse victims and their parents are urging you to contact Representative Hooker to get this law passed through.

Wyatt’s story has garnered national attention, as many others agree that child abuse registries should be mandated nationwide. Now, petitions have been launched in other states, and Wyatt’s Law has been introduced into legislature. Although Wyatt has made vast improvements, he still has a long road to recovery ahead.

You can also sign an online petition in support of the law on change.org its page in support of the legislation.

Do you think there should be a public registry for child abusers? Share your thoughts.

To view the video and full article from Fox News 17 click here.  To view the full article from Inquisitr click here. Additional articles;

http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/macomb/2015/10/09/child-abuse-registry-michigan-wyatts-law/73652222/

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/03/05/couldnt-fight-back-mom-beaten-baby-wants-abuser-registry.html

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Catherine MacWillie is the CEO of Custody Calculations and a Child Custody and Divorce Coach. She has 32 years experience dealing with Family Law. 24 years as a law enforcement officer responding to radio calls dealing with divorce and custody issues and a first responder to child abuse investigations in addition to other related assignments. She spent ten years researching Family Law and divorce including cause, effect, impact, solutions to the many issues that arise during divorce and custody proceedings. The last eight years as a Coach.

She is the past president of Stop Parental Alienation of Children (SPAC). A prior board member of Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO). An advisory board member of International Support Network of Alienated Families (ISNAF). A member of Parental Alienation Study Group (PASG). A member of the 2014 Parental Alienation Colloquium, Long Beach, California. A member of the 2016 Parental Alienation Think Tank, Beverly Hills, California.

In 2017 her research on divorce, crime and parental alienation will be presented in Prague, Czechoslovakia at the International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH) a prestigious event with participants coming from around the globe to present.

For additional information go to CustodyCalculations.com or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,YouTube, Vimeo, or call 702-675-5120. https://www.gofundme.com/2j8wyjss

 

 

 

 

image photo woman holding sign with circle false allegations march 2016

PRE-ORDER ~ HOW TO BLOCK OR OBSTRUCT FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD ABUSE AND FALSE POLICE REPORTS

Disclaimer; As a retired law enforcement officer, I do not wish to provide any information that would interfere in an investigation by social services or law enforcement that would result in protecting an individual who has physically or sexually abused a child.

Instead, this information is being provided to protect innocent parents victimized by a system ill-equipped to deal with parental alienation and the process of false allegations and false police reports during a high conflict divorce as one parent seeks to gain an advantage in custody and other issues.

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False child allegations and false police reports are rampant in Family Law and never more so than now. In the past at least a parent might have an indication that they would face false allegations after many years of litigation as one parent sought to either keep or take custody from the other.

Fast forward 2016 and now false allegations are seen as the shortest, quickest and least expensive route to obtain full custody from the onset of the divorce. Why wait when you can avoid years of delays and litigation. Often false allegations involve arrests of the innocent parent.

False allegations also places a further burden on the parent arrested, mother or father, as they must now allocate most of their remaining monies on their criminal defense in addition to the Family Law issues. Which of course is the goal of the parent making the false allegations who also seek  to sever all contact with the children and the innocent parent.

There is little remedy in the system by judges, attorneys and other professionals who simply shake their head and nod in agreement that these are terrible situations and what a shame it is. But offer no solution.

I have 32 years experience in Family Law. As a retired law enforcement officer with the Los Angeles Police Department for nearly 24 years, I responded to radio calls dealing with divorce and custody issues and was  a first responder to child abuse investigations and other related assignments. Now a Child Custody and Divorce Coach for eight years, I have witnessed the decline of Family Law. Especially in the area of false allegations and perjury in spite of penal code protection against such actions in most states.

As a result I have identified actions that may act to obstruct, block and or slow down the parent attempting to file false allegations against the innocent parent. These actions are entirely new with some actions being required in a court order asap. Which the courts may or may not sanction. In other actions if false allegations have already been filed and the parent has been cleared another layer of  action is provided. Two approaches to protect the parent no matter where they are in the process.

For the price of one hour or less with an attorney parents can obtain information that could change their lives and that of their children during divorce. And while no one can guarantee an outcome dealing with false allegations considering the wake of devastation against the innocent parent and the amount of money paid in legal fees to deal with these issues ~ better to do something than nothing.

E/book containing instructions is expected to be completed by middle of December at the latest. Preorder your copy now and save $50.00. Pay only $99.00 now. After publication $169.00.

Please note Custody Calculations is a Public Benefits Corporation. A portion of all proceeds helps to provide limited pro bono services. We ask that copies upon delivery are not reproduced and distributed without payment which would reduce our fundraising efforts and therefore our pro bono services. In cases of hardship families may contact us and request copies at a discounted price based on need.

To order now click here or copy and paste the following into url https://squareup.com/market/custody-calculations/item/pre-release-purchase-how-to-block-or-obstruct-false-allegations-of-abuse-and-false-police-reports

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Catherine MacWillie is the CEO of Custody Calculations and a Child Custody and Divorce Coach. She has 32 years experience dealing with Family Law. 24 years as a law enforcement officer responding to radio calls dealing with divorce and custody issues and a first responder to child abuse investigations in addition to other related assignments. She spent ten years researching Family Law and divorce including cause, effect, impact, solutions to the many issues that arise during divorce and custody proceedings. The last eight years as a Coach.

She is the past president of Stop Parental Alienation of Children (SPAC). A prior board member of Parental Alienation Awareness Organization(PAAO). An advisory board member of International Support Network of Alienated Families (ISNAF). A member of the international organization Parental Alienation Study Group (PASG). A member of the 2014 Parental Alienation Colloquium, Long Beach, California. A member of the 2016 Parental Alienation Think Tank, Beverly Hills, California.

In 2017 her research on divorce, crime and parental alienation will be presented in Prague, Czechoslovakia at the International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH) a prestigious event with participants coming from around the globe to present.

For additional information go to CustodyCalculations.com or visit us on social media, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,YouTube, Vimeo, or call 702-675-5120.

image photo release of prison

Parent Released After Serving 18 Years In Prison on False Child Abuse Allegations Related to Custody and Divorce

The below are edited excerpts and my own contributions from the original article by Glenda Anderson The Press Democrat June 29, 2016. 

February 2016, a Lake County man convicted of sexually abusing a child was released from prison after his alleged victim, his daughter, recanted the testimony she gave when she was 10 years old. The man, Luther Jones, spent 18 years behind bars. A judge set him free after his daughter told Lake County District Attorney’s Office investigators she had lied at the behest of her mother, who at the time was battling Jones over custody of their  daughter.

The state awarded Jones $936,880 for wrongful imprisonment. The largest known compensation payment ever made to someone cleared of a crime after being incarcerated in California’s state prison system — if he lives long enough to collect. Luther Jones, 71, slipped into a coma Thursday, the third one since he was released from prison in February. Luther Jones has diabetes, kidney and liver failure and Hepatitis C.

Lake County District Attorney Don Anderson says he’s fed up with liars who fib under oath. In a novel offensive against what many say is a rampant problem in the court system, he’s assigned an attorney in his office to investigate and prosecute incidents of perjury. “I’ve always had a pet peeve about people lying in court. It’s just so very common, especially in the family law arena, for people to come in and just lie their asses off,” Anderson said.

He said he hopes the new program will make people think twice about committing perjury. His office already is examining three cases for possible prosecution. He declined to provide details about the cases.

Perjury is rarely prosecuted, said Ronald Huff, professor emeritus of the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at UC, Irvine. Thousands of people are wrongly convicted of serious crimes each year, many because of faulty testimony where perjury is responsible both for innocent people being imprisoned and guilty people remaining at large, free to commit more crimes, Huff noted.

Some notable exceptions for perjury include home decorating maven Martha Stewart, who was convicted of lying under oath about insider trading in 2004, and Mark Fuhrman, the Los Angeles detective charged with lying about having used racial slurs in the years prior to the 1995 O.J. Simpson case.

The punishment in typical perjury cases includes potential sentences of between two and four years, Anderson said. But in particularly egregious cases, the penalties can be much higher. A California law allows liars whose testimony causes someone to wrongly be put to death to be charged with a death penalty perjury case, he said. Anderson said he’s unaware of any cases in which the death penalty was pursued for perjury.

While wrongful imprisonment cases can be horrific, Fitzpatrick said the courts should also closely examine recantations. “Recantations are very suspect,” he said. Family law cases, in which money and child custody are at stake, in particular are rife with lies, Anderson said. He estimated half of those case files probably include lies.

Perjury goes largely ignored for several reasons, including that they’re difficult to prosecute, the attorneys said. Success depends on having material proof that the person who was untruthful knowingly lied.

“How do you prove, at the moment somebody did something, they did it intentionally?” asked Pasadena attorney Mark Baer, who has written about perjury for the San Gabriel Valley Psychological Association’s publication. One of his website’s blog postings asks: “Does anyone tell the truth any longer?

The article went on to say that perjury is one of the most under reported crimes, Fitzpatrick said. My two cents is that the writer says nothing about the fact that perjury is rarely a report taken by law enforcement agencies. In fact in my 32 years of dealing with Family Law, I have never heard of a report being taken for perjury. Significant because as a retired law enforcement officer for 24 years with the Los Angeles Police Department I never took a report for perjury nor did any officer or detective that I know ever take or investigate a report for perjury. I am not even sure the Department would have allowed me to take such a report.

I have watched as false child abuse allegations have increased over the years in Family Law cases to law enforcement and social services after years of failed litigation to wrestle or keep custody to the first step in the battle for custody after the initial filing. Now seen as the silver bullet and the fastest, least expensive and shortest route to full custody of the children.

A family and criminal law attorney I am familiar with has defended parents accused of false allegations where attorney fees can be as much as $400,000 to $600,000 to defend against allegations. These were middle income families. Not wealthy parents. They didn’t have the money and were able to pay for their defense because of the assistance of their families who mortgaged, sold property or closed out retirement accounts in addition to the accused parent. And it is getting worse every year. Making it likely this story will be repeated in every city and state in this country without the proactive solutions of this DA which I support whole heartily. I hope it results in other offices following his leadership role on this issue.

To read the full article unedited and without my contributions click here.

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Catherine MacWillie is the CEO of Custody Calculations and a Child Custody and Divorce Coach. She has 32 years experience dealing with Family Law. 24 years as a law enforcement officer responding to radio calls dealing with divorce and custody issues and a first responder to child abuse investigations in addition to other related assignments. She spent ten years researching Family Law and divorce including cause, effect, impact, solutions to the many issues that arise during divorce and custody proceedings. The last eight years as a Coach.

She is the past president of Stop Parental Alienation of Children (SPAC). A prior board member of Parental Alienation Awareness Organization with Sarvy Emo (PAAO). An advisory board member of International Support Network of Alienated Families ISNAF). A member of Parental Alienation Study Group (PASG). A member of the 2014 Parental Alienation Colloquium, Long Beach, California. A member of the 2016 Parental Alienation Think Tank, Beverly Hills, California.

In 2017 her research on divorce, crime and parental alienation will be presented in Prague, Czechoslovakia at the International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH) a prestigious event with participants coming from around the globe to present.

For additional information go to CustodyCalculations.com or visit us on social media, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,YouTube, Vimeo, or call 702-675-5120.

 

 

 

 

 

image photo arrest photo of grandparents from texas aug 2016

Divorced Parents Applaud the Arrest of Grandparents and Parent for Felony Custodial Interference in Texas ~ Bail Set at 250K Each

Many states have felony laws for custodial interference they just aren’t enforced like many laws associated with Family Law. False police reports, false child abuse allegations, perjury to name a few. A retired law enforcement officer myself for 24 years with the Los Angeles Police Department and now a Child Custody and Divorce Coach I was curious why this case in Texas was so different.

I spoke to the New Boston Police Department. They conducted the investigation and issued the warrants on the grandparents in this article for felony custodial interference in compliance with 25.03. The mother is also pending an arrest for felony custodial interference.

This is a very small police department. Only 13 officers in total. The department still takes police reports on all custody issues and conducts investigations. In cases where it is determined that a violation of court order has occurred the Department provides a warning to the parties on a first offense. The parties are advised that continued violation of court orders will result in an arrest. They said in most cases a warning has proved sufficient to correct the situation. This case was the exception.

The Department said there had been substantial contact with the parties involved over the prior months. Including police reports and allegations of child abuse that later proved false. The day prior to the police taking a report for felony custodial interference the parties had been in Family Law court on a contempt motion. Court was pending final determination of the criminal charges of contempt by the police before making a final ruling and the investigating officer was present for the hearing. The judge ordered the parties to adhere to the court order pending a final ruling. The next day, the grandparents and the mother failed to comply with the court order. This was in addition to the prior three months that the father has been blocked from his parenting time with the child.

The article referenced that during the investigation the grandmother made statements to a reliable third party that she was willing to kill herself and the child to keep the child from the other parent. This lead the investigating officers to issue an Amber alert and seek warrants for the grandparents and ultimately the mother too.

CPS was already involved conducting the prior child abuse investigation and when the child was recovered in Dallas where the grandparents were arrested the child was taken into custody by CPS at that time. Since this is an ongoing investigation the information on the location of the child and/or the release or placement of the child with the father if this has occurred is being withheld.

The District Attorney’s Office, CPS and the police department were all working in full cooperation on the investigation and the DA has filed charges. Bail is set at $250,000 for each of the parties plus additional charges and conditions including a psych evaluation on the grandmother. This information was also referenced in the article.

Essentially, this was a case of the perfect scenario. The prior violation of court orders were well known, documented and understood by police in a small community that still takes reports and investigates them. The information learned during the investigation and the risk to the child, involvement of the courts and investigator being in the courtroom for the hearing the day prior, attorneys, CPS, DA’s office came together in the perfect timeline. Something that doesn’t happen very often in Family Law cases.

This is also an example of a small department with limited resources doing a great job in their community on an issue that is rarely addressed properly to the detriment of most divorced families and children. I wish more police departments large and small acted with the same commitment as New Boston Police Department to it’s community. It would go a long way to saving lives in high conflict Family Law cases. The District Attorney’s office and CPS also did a great job. Again wish these cases were handled like this more often by these agencies too. Also want to recognize Dallas Police Department and their Chief of Police for acting so swiftly on the information on the location of the grandparents.

To read the full article on the story click here.

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Catherine MacWillie is the CEO of Custody Calculations and a Child Custody and Divorce Coach. She has 32 years experience dealing with Family Law. 24 years as a law enforcement officer responding to radio calls dealing with divorce and custody issues and a first responder to child abuse investigations in addition to other related assignments. She spent ten years researching Family Law and divorce including cause, effect, impact, solutions to the many issues that arise during divorce and custody proceedings. The last eight years as a Coach.

She is the past president of Stop Parental Alienation of Children (SPAC). A prior board member of Parental Alienation Awareness Organization with Sarvy Emo (PAAO). An advisory board member of International Support Network of Alienated Families ISNAF). A member of Parental Alienation Study Group (PASG). A member of the 2014 Parental Alienation Colloquium, Long Beach, California. A member of the 2016 Parental Alienation Think Tank, Beverly Hills, California.

In 2017 her research on divorce, crime and parental alienation will be presented in Prague, Czechoslovakia at the International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH) a prestigious event with participants coming from around the globe to present.

For additional information go to CustodyCalculations.com or visit us on social media, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,YouTube, Vimeo, or call 702-675-5120.

 

 

 

 

 

 

cc photograph head shot in front of podium

Family Law Reform Discussion ~ Judge vs Juries. Catch The Interview July 27, 2016 7:00 pm PST/10:00 pm EST

Catch the interview and hear what retired Law Enforcement Officer and Divorce Coach, Catherine MacWillie, says on Family Law reform using juries and not judges to decide divorce and custody issues. What would it take to put juries in courtrooms or should we? What are the issues? Catch this important reform discussion on Talk Radio Experts with Attorney Vincent Davis. July 27, 2016, 7:00 PST/10:00 PM EST. Call 646-668-8791. No registration required. Use the time to listen to past shows dealing with CPS and Family Law. http://talkradioexperts.com/

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Catherine MacWillie is the CEO of Custody Calculations and a Child Custody and Divorce Coach. She has 32 years experience dealing with Family Law. 24 years as a law enforcement officer responding to radio calls dealing with divorce and custody issues and a first responder to child abuse investigations in addition to other related assignments. She spent ten years researching Family Law and divorce including cause, effect, impact, solutions to the many issues that arise during divorce and custody proceedings. The last eight years as a Coach.

She is the past president of Stop Parental Alienation of Children. A prior board member of Parental Alienation Awareness Organization. An advisory board member of International Support Network of Alienated Families. A member of Parental Alienation Study Group. A member of the 2014 Parental Alienation Colloquium, Long Beach, California. A member of the 2016 Parental Alienation Think Tank, Beverly Hills, California.

In 2017 her research on divorce, crime and parental alienation will be presented in Prague, Czechoslovakia at the International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH) a prestigious event with participants coming from around the globe to present.

For additional information go to CustodyCalculations.com or visit us on social media, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,YouTube, Vimeo, or call 702-675-5120.

image photo mothers head shot sad april 2016

TO ALL THE MOTHERS THAT WILL NOT SEE THEIR CHILDREN THIS MOTHER’S DAY . . .

HERE IS A LIST OF MY RECENT POSTINGS ON MY TWITTER ACCOUNT, APRIL 30, 2016, CUSTODYCALCULATIONS/CEOMACWILLIE

TO ALL THE #MOTHERS THAT WILL NOT SEE THEIR CHILDREN THIS MOTHER’S DAY REGARDLESS OF COURT ORDER….. I AM SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS

MOTHER’S DAY AROUND THE CORNER. POLICE RADIO CALLS WILL CARRY THE DAY AS SOME MOTHERS WILL NEVER SEE CHILDREN.

MOTHERS/FATHERS CAN’T AFFORD TO GO TO COURT EVERY TIME THEY ARE DENIED CUSTODY ON THEIR HOLIDAY! SHAME ON COURTS

IMAGE CRIMINAL COURTS REQUIRED VICT’S TO PAY FEES ENFORCE LAW WHEN ROBBED, RAPED, BURGLARY. TALK ABOUT LAWLESSNESS. OH WAIT FAMILY LAW IS ALREADY LAWLESS!

MOTHERS DAY BITTER SWEET FOR PARENTS DEALING WITH CUSTODY ISSUES. WILL NEVER SEE CHILDREN.

FOR MANY CHILDREN MOTHER’S DAY ANOTHER DAY WILL NOT SPEND WITH MOTHER. LIKE FATHERS DAY WILL NOT SPEND WITH FATHER. SHAME ON SYSTEM

FOR SOME CHILDREN AND FAMILIES MOTHERS DAY WILL END HORRIBLY WRONG!

image-sign-psychological-testing-nov-2016

Are Parents Spending Time and Money Unnecessarily on Psych Evaluations in Family Law?

I spoke to a parent the other day who said they and their attorney wanted to obtain a psych evaluation on the other parent. The parent felt sure the psych evaluation would show that the other parent was a narcissist. And this would surely solve all their problems dealing with custody. That they would prevail as the primary parent if not full custody of the children.

I explained that the majority of the population is thought to have some sort of diagnosis and in my experience, the court was not going to take or limit custody based on this issue alone where no other severe circumstances were present.

I find that this parent like so many others are often encouraged to enter into costly and time-consuming testing like psych evaluations and other scenarios in an attempt to gain an advantage in divorce and custody issues. Often resulting in heartbreaking results for everyone involved especially children who lose the ability to have both parents in their lives when there are no mitigating circumstances.

Not to mention the costs and delays to the entire divorce process itself. The contested litigation, aggravation, and anger that often result in years of bitter communications and resentment impacting the parent’s future relationship and that of the children is another issue.

The children in this scenario were young so this parent is likely going to be in this for the long haul. Which means that they need to conserve their monies for the real battles that would follow after the divorce was granted, the property and assets were divided and they had what would be the first of many custody orders. What I call the foreplay stage to the real costs and litigation when custody is involved.

Are their exceptions to this scenario. Of course. The exceptional attorney, the rare psych evaluation, the perfect storm scenario as I call it. However, in my experience psych evaluations do not warrant the time, money or distraction that comes with the numerous court dates, trials, experts, and other documents required even after the report is issued. Especially when the evaluation does not come back the way it was expected.

Never mind the Constitutional argument that is now being waged against psych evaluations by Ron and Sherry Palmer from Fix Family Courts in their training with professionals and parents. After all, we don’t require parents to take psych evaluations to become parents. Aren’t we in fact, placing an unfair burden on parents of divorce as though they are somehow lesser citizens by virtue of their divorce requiring them to take psych evaluations in order to be part of their children’s lives?

If a parent has the evidence of multiple mandatory psych holds on the other parent because they were a risk to themselves, others or the children; or there have been numerous suicide attempts with hospitalization due to the injuries; or numerous psych facilities commitments on a voluntary basis, etc that may be a far better use of time and money in court than that spent on a psych evaluation and less open to interpretation.

So I ask as divorce professionals are we doing a disservice to parents to recommend psych evaluations? Especially in cases where we know they are going to be involved in Family Law for the long haul, have limited funds or any other number of other scenarios.

image-drawing-kidney-sept-2016

Kidney Divorce Wait ~ What!

Boy meets girl. Boy marries girl. Girl gives boy a kidney. Boy leaves girl and — surprise, surprise — girl wants kidney back.

Samantha Lamb, a 41-year-old mother of one, underwent the kidney transplant operation for her husband, Andy, back in October 2009. She even lost weight to prepare for the surgery, which was documented by the BBC.

But a few years after the life-saving procedure, Samantha learned that Andy was leaving her — and now she says she wants the kidney back. (The angry wife told the paper she believes her husband cheated on her, which Andy vehemently denies.)

“I can’t ­believe he now has a second chance to live to see his grandchildren grow up,” Lamb told the paper. “I would definitely go through the operation again –- but I wouldn’t give the kidney to him. I hate him. If I could I’d take it back and give it someone else.”

Another story;

Richard Batista can live with his broken heart. He just can’t bear his cheating wife living with his healthy kidney.

The Long Island doctor wants the one-time love of his life to pay $1.5 million for the organ he bestowed on her eight years ago in a gift meant to save her life and their foundering marriage.

“There’s no deeper pain you can ever express than to be betrayed by the person you devoted your life to,” Batista told reporters in Garden City Wednesday.

“I saved her life. But the pain is unbearable.”

Batista charged his wife, Dawnell, repaid his gesture by first sleeping with her physical therapist – and then denying him access to their three kids in an increasingly bitter divorce.

Adding to his anguish, Batista insists his decision to donate his kidney in 2001 was in part a failed effort to rescue their troubled relationship.

“My first priority was to save her life,” the 49-year-old doctor said. “The second bonus was to turn our marriage around.”

Rare yes. But how much more should prenups/court orders address these days? Funerals? Parents who fought over the ashes of their son killed in a traffic collision would say yes. So would the doctor who wants payment for his kidney or the wife who wants her kidney back! If there are two guarantee there are more. Who ever could have imagined!

Full link to the first article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/28/wife-donates-kidney_n_4681997.html

Full link to the second article http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/doctor-estranged-wife-give-kidney-back-article-1.421274