Friday, December 30, 2005

Delinquent Without Dad

Someone sent me this article from a newsletter:
Depressed Without Mom, Delinquent Without Dad

Mothers help keep teens from falling victim to anxiety and depression; fathers help keep adolescents from turning belligerent and defiant. Of course, in an age of rampant divorce, custodial mothers may try to do their best for their children, but noncustodial fathers can do very little for their offspring's psychological development.

The markedly different ways that mothers and fathers affect their adolescent children's lives are detailed in a study recently published in the Journal of Early Adolescence by a team of researchers at Yale and Florida State Universities. But because so many fathers are now largely absent from their children's lives, the paternal side of the parental equation remains merely a theoretical abstraction for many of the teens in this new study.

Scrutinizing data collected from 116 sixth through eighth grade students (selected so as to be demographically representative for the state of Florida), the Yale and Florida State analysts look for indications of how parents affect their adolescent children's lives. The data in this study clearly indicate that "fathers are less involved in parenting their adolescent children than are mothers and that adolescents report feeling more securely at¬tached to their mothers than to their fathers." The influence of mothers on their adolescent chil¬dren further manifests itself in statistical analyses establishing that for "internalizing problems" (i.e., problems manifest by "extreme shyness, worry, anxiety, and depression), "maternal factors ... outweigh paternal factors in terms of relative influence."

However, when the Yale and Florida State scholars shift their fo¬cus to adolescent children's "externalizing problems" (evident in "hyperactivity, impulsivity, aggression, and delinquency"), the researchers see fathers' influence eclipsing that of mothers. "For externalizing behavior problems in the full sample," the researchers report, "the paternal factors (involvement and attachment) explained significant, unique variance; however, maternal factors did not." Surprisingly, fathers' effect on externalizing behaviors shows up in particular strength among adolescent daughters, "with fathers apparently exerting more influence on girls' externalizing behaviors than on the expression of similar behaviors in their sons."

What is more, when the researchers examine data for "total behavioral problems" for both boys and girls, they conclude that "only the paternal factors of involvement and attachment were found to be uniquely significant." In other words, "for externalizing and total behavioral problems, the father-child variables outweighed the mother child variables" for both genders.

Not surprisingly, adolescent children are not likely to feel attached to a father who does not live with them, nor is an absentee father likely to be very involved in their lives. The authors of this study in fact report that "nonresident fathers were found to be less actively involved, in comparison to resident fathers, in the lives of their teenage children." The researchers further remark that "the teens of nonresident fathers also reported feeling less securely attached to their fathers than did their peers whose fathers lived with them."

Since this new study identifies weak paternal involvement and attachment as statistical predictors of adolescent behavior problems, its findings can only underscore the vulnerability of the many teens now growing up without fathers.
(Source. Susan K. Williams and F. Donald Kelly, "Relationsbips Among Involvement, Attacbment, and Bebavioral Problems in Adolescence: Examining Fatber's Influence," Journal of Early Adolescence 25 [2005]. 168 196, empbasis added.)
By all available measures, fathers raise children with fewer problems than mothers.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Recurring themes

Child Support Follies:
News of the Weird has reported several times about hard-luck men who, believing they are biological fathers, agree to child support, only to learn via a DNA test that they are not, but whom judges will not let rescind those agreements. An even more ironic case emerged from the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in December. A man had originally agreed to support his new wife's daughter, but then he and his wife divorced, and the court ruled he must continue to support the girl even though the wife has now married the man who is the girl's biological father. [Globe and Mail-CP, 12-8-05]
The story is also here. This is just more evidence that the child support system has gone way too far.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

I'll soon be getting the kids for the week. Presents are ready. It will be a happy and peaceful week. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

PBS to redo documentary

Glenn Sacks has been protesting the anti-father PBS documentary, Breaking the Silence, and he now reports:
PBS has just notified us that they will "commission an hour-long documentary" for the purpose of further examining the "complex and important issues" raised in the film and by our campaign. PBS says that "plans call for the documentary to be produced and broadcast in Spring 2006" and that the "hour-long treatment of the subject will allow ample opportunity" for those of differing views to "have their perspectives shared, challenged and debated."
Amazing. Glenn Sacks deserves a lot of credit for getting PBS's attention on this one. I hope the new show has a fair and factual look on the subject. The earlier show was maybe the most biased show I have ever seen.

Another bad order

I just got another ridiculous order from Commissioner Joseph of the family court. This one retroactively requires an increase in my child support payments.

Apparently he searched the file, and discovered that at one point I had to pay extra because of "a deviation from guideline due to imputation of income based on the father's having no mortgage or rent payment for his house".

I had convinced Judge Kelly to drop that charge, but now Commissioner Joseph says, "However, Judge Kelly failed to perpetuate his calculated deviation for father's housing circumstance." So he ordered me to pay an extra $1062 per month, retroactive to last year.

This makes no sense. I've paid off my mortgage so I have to pretend that my ex-wife is the bank and send her my mortgage payments instead? As usual, Commissioner Joseph gives no justification, and I cannot find any statute or precedent for such payments.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

How to avoid my mess

A reader asks what he can do to avoid the mess that I had to face.

Maybe you should ask someone who has had a successful marriage.

I suggest trying to maintain good relationships with your wife and your kids. Keep a record of the good things that you do, so that you can prove it later. Ignore your wife's adultery; the court doesn't care about that.

There are a bunch of books for fathers facing family court. I posted a free link to a draft of one a couple of days ago. The books have a lot of good advice.

Scientific article on custody evaluations

I previously reported on a paper that explains well why psychologist custody evaluations are invalid and should be stopped. Here is the Scientific American article and the full research article. An accompanying editorial says:
The authors take a very tough position on determination of parental unfitness.They say that a diagnosis of mental illness or substance abuse should only be considered disqualifying for child custody if theparent’s inadequacy is so great that it would justify taking a child away from parents who are not divorcing.
Many fathers lose their kids without anything near what would be required for parental unfitness.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Court ignores its own order

I just got this order in the mail:
This matter came on for hearing pursuant to notice.

Both parties are present in court, in pro se.

This matter is on calendar for several matters, all of which are decided in open court except two taken under submission. This Order After Hearing disposes of one of the remaining two issues; specifically, whether $6,500 in attorney fees is in addition to, or included in, the $20,000 attorney fee Order by Judge Kelly.

The court looks to the Minute Order of May 13, 2005 after having queried Judge Kelly. It is clear that the $20,000 is in addition to the previous order of $6,500. The total fees ordered paid by Respondent to Petitioner's attorney is $26,500.

The language of the Minute Order is clear, plain and unambiguous.

Respondent is ordered to pay the Bosso Law Firm $6,500 within ten days of this Order being served upon him.

DATED: December 16, 2005
So Commissioner Joseph queried Judge Kelly and looked at the May 13 Minute Order, but he didn't look at the order that Judge Kelly signed.

What actually happened was that Judge Kelly ordered me to pay $20,000 in legal fees, including the $6,500 I had already paid. My ex-wife's lawyer, Ms. Gray, tried to get Judge Kelly to sign an order saying:
A. Respondent is ordered to pay Petitioner's attorney's fees in the amount of $20,000.00. Said amount may be made in installments of $5,000.00 per month beginning June 1, 2005. Payment shall be made to Bosso Williams, APC, P. 0. Box 1822, Santa Cruz, CA
Judge Kelly signed it on July 15, 2005, but only after writing in "Respondent is credited with $6,500 in attorney's fees." He wrote it in his own handwriting, and initialed it.

Ms. Gray was very unhappy about it, and wrote:
Dear Judge Kelly:

I received the court's signed and filed FOAH for the hearing before you on May 13, 2005, in the above matter, which includes your handwritten notation concerning the issue of my client's attorney's fees. Your note indicates "Respondent is credited with $6,500 in attorney's fees." My recollection of your statements regarding attorney's fees differed from your notation. ...

In light of the transcript, your intent at the time of the hearing seems clear. We would appreciate a second review of the transcript against your hand written notation.

Respectfully submitted,
JJG/b Jennifer J. Gray
So I have an order from Judge Kelly that says that I am to be credited with the $6,500, and I have an order from Commissioner Joseph that I have to repay the $6,500.

I don't get this at all. If there is something wrong with Judge Kelly's order, then it seems to me that it needs to be rescinded or corrected or something. I don't see how Commissioner Joseph can just issue a contradictory order without even referencing the other order.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Canceling the counselor

I just canceled our last appointment with the co-parenting counselor, after my ex-wife suggested that I do so. I was glad that she did, because it conflicted with my only chance to let the kids pick out a Christmas tree. The afternoon was freed up, and they picked a great tree. I cut it down and carried it back to the house. They decorated it the next day.

The judge never encouraged us or ordered us to continue the counseling. At one point he asked us whether we had any more appointments, and whether I was willing to go. I said "yes", of course, just as I had been willing to comply with his other court orders.

The judge's question was before his custody order. At the time that he asked, he seemed to be considering sending us out to see shrinks again in lieu of a custody order. Once he made the custody order, he said nothing more about shrinks, so my inference was that he considered and rejected sending us to more shrinks.

I never did figure out why the court sent us to the co-parenting counselor in the first place. The judge never said. At the last court appearance, the judge made some cryptic comments about seeing the shrinks was of no benefit except to test our willingness to comply with court orders.

There are other possible explanations for sending us to see the shrinks. Maybe it was just a stall, to postpone or avoid making any decisions. Or maybe it was an attempt to lock in an illegal temporary order.

Perhaps the judge thought that it was inequitable that I had to jump thru some hoops and my ex-wife had not, so he wanted to order her to do something. He also may have recognized that most or all of the evidence of psychological disorders and uncooperative parenting was against my ex-wife, and he wanted some outside opinions on her. He may have been frustrated by my refusal to carry on a character assassination against her, as she did to me.

Maybe the judge thought that the reports would contain some useful information. Maybe the judge just wanted to educate himself about what sort of reports get written in such a case.

It is also possible that the judge had some theory about how seeing the shrinks might advance the best interest of the kids. I think that this is unlikely. He never articulated any such theory, and I do not know what basis he might have for thinking that. I've never seen him consider the best interest of the kids in my case or any other case.

The co-parenting counselor wrote this letter for the judge:
[George AngryDad and Ms. AngryMom] have attended co-parent counseling according to the following dates, 3/10, 6/2, 6/16, 10/13, 11/3, 11/10, 12/1 and 12/8.

They have shown marked progress and I would recommend they continue co-parent counseling in hopes of achieving a more cooperative co-parent relationship to benefit their children.
One thing that bugged me about his letter was his recommendation at the end. The deal with him was that he was just supposed to report attendance and progress, and not to make any recommendations. I don't know why he would recommend counseling, except that he was hoping to make more money by getting the court to order us to see him more.

I do think that my ex-wife made some progress in the last couple of meetings with the counselor, but overall the shrinks were very detrimental to me and the kids. My ex-wife used them as an excuse for not dealing with me. And the kids suffered from being in a legal limbo.

I hope my ex-wife got something out of the shrinks. I cannot think of even one sentence of advice or opinion from them that was any personal value to me whatsoever. All I learned was how crooked and evil the whole system is, and that I can only save my kids by getting them out of the system.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Draft book on divorce strategy

I just stumbled across an essay on How Fathers Can Win Child Custody:
So you have a child with a soon-to-be ex-girlfriend or ex-wife, and you are wondering what is going to happen to your children. The first thing you need to be aware of is this: The laws and family court system are not set up fairly towards fathers. The laws are set up to award custody to the parent who has had the most involvement so far raising the child, which means the parent who has worked the least - this is virtually always the mother. ...

If you believe that you are the better parent, you need to read this guide and find out everything you need to know in order to have the best chance at obtaining primary custody.
The author says that he is writing a book.

The same site has another article saying:
I’ve never heard of a Public Broadcasting Service documentary being slammed by two ombudsmen in the space of one week. But that’s exactly what happened to PBS’ ill-fated program, Breaking the Silence. ...

Turns out a rogue outfit called the Mother’s Research and Reference Center was in cahoots with PBS insiders and got advance copies of the program.

Then the MRRC organized demonstrations and private screenings of the documentary for state legislators, judges, and local activists. The idea was to convince them to pass laws to make it almost impossible for dads to get even shared custody of their kids after divorce.
So PBS was deliberately lending its credibility for this propaganda purpose.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Judge prohibits the N-word

Here is a Louisiana family court case where a man lost a custody appeal based on an assortment of minor allegations such as listening to hip-hop music and once having diapers of the wrong size. But the big issue, according to the judge, was that he violated court orders not to make racist comments by calling the kid's stepfather the N-word.

It is a stupid decision. We have a First Amendment in this country that is supposed to guarantee free speech. The judge cannot order a man to avoid making racist comments to his kid.

The father and stepfather is the case are both black. The mother is white and the kid is mixed-race. The judge is presumably some white liberal man who thinks that racial harmony can be achieved by raising a generation of kids who do not hear the N-word. It won't work because the father still has visitation privileges, and the kid will learn his opinions whether the court likes it or not. The judge is just using the kid to punish the father in order to reinforce the judge's own prejudices.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

PBS acknowledges a biased program

The Mary Kay Ash Foundation gave $500k to make “Breaking the Silence: Children’s Stories”, which was then shown on PBS TV and criticized here.

CPB ombudsman says:
My conclusion after viewing and reviewing the program and checking various web sites cited by critics is that there is no hint of balance in Breaking the Silence. The father's point of view is ignored as are new strategies for lessening the damage to children in custody battles. There is no mention of the collaborative law movement in which parents and lawyers come to terms without involving the court, nor of the new joint custody living arrangements.

The producers apparently do not subscribe to the idea that an argument can be made more convincing by giving the other side a fair presentation. To be sure, one comes away from viewing the program with the feeling that custody fights are a special hell, legally, emotionally, psychologically. But this broadcast is so slanted as to raise suspicions that either the family courts of America have gone crazy or there must be another side to the story.
The family courts have gone crazy, but not as described on the show.

The PBS ombudsman says:
The critics challenged the program on many counts, including a lack of balance and objectivity that they claimed violates PBS editorial standards, a lack of evidence to back up assertions on the program, the complete absence of fathers and their perspective in the documentary, failure to cite statistics that critics say contradict the thrust of the program, the promotion of negative stereotypes that work against fathers in custody disputes, and some very specific challenges about one case, in particular, that was discussed in the film.

There were also strong objections to the portrayal of what is called "Parental Alienation Syndrome" as "junk science" on the program. The original press release about the program said that: "Despite being discredited by the American Psychological Association and similar organizations, PAS continues to be used in family courts as a defense for why a child is rejecting the father." This prompted the Association to issue a statement that it "does not have an official position on parental alienation syndrome-pro or con. The Connecticut Public Television press release is incorrect."
He promises a more complete report in "early December".

These ombudsmen are understating the problems with the PBS program. The show was a propaganda show for separating fathers from their children, based on a theory of child abuse risk. But most child abuse comes from mothers, step-fathers, and boyfriends, not fathers.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Thanks for reading

I just want to say how I appreciate all the encourage and support that I've gotten from readers of this blog. It has been a long struggle.

I am mellowing out. Someone asked if I am going to rename the blog. I didn't really think that I'd stick with the name this long. It was just a spur-of-the-moment thought as I was setting up the blog.

I am not yet completely free of the family court. One of the leftover issues is that my ex-wife has a theory that I owe her ex-lawyer $6,500.

Here is what happened. Her lawyer had asked for attorney fees several times, and had collected $6,500 from me. Then last May, she said that her cumulative bills to date were about $40,000, and she wanted me to pay it. Judge Thomas Kelly ordered me to pay $20,000 of it, and let the lawyer write up the order. She wrote up the order as if I had to pay $20,000 in addition to what I already paid.

I only paid $13,500 because I had already paid $6,500.

Judge Kelly signed the order, but only after writing in, "Respondent is credited with $6,500 in attorney's fees." The lawyer tried in vain to convince the judge that he made a mistake.

Judge Joseph seemed rather annoyed at me for not paying $20,000 in new money. He said, "Why do you think that I ordered you to pay in 4 installments of $5,000 each?"

I said, "Probably because you didn't read Judge Kelly's order."

I explained to Judge Joseph that I had an order from Judge Kelly in which he says in his own handwriting that I am credited with the $6,500 that I already paid. Judge Joseph said that he would talk to Judge Kelly about it. It seems unlikely to me that Judge Kelly is going to change his mind, or that Judge Joseph will try to overrule him.

So there are a few silly issues like this leftover.

I am still going to collect signatures for the California shared parenting initiative, and to speak up for other parents who want to raise their kids without court interference.

Thanks again to everyone.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Not angry today

I actually had a good day in court. The judge ordered 50-50 custody starting Jan. 23. We will alternate weeks with the kids. Alimony was terminated. Child support was slashed. My ex-wife has to get a job.

We were in court for about 3 hours, including interruptions. My ex-wife had her usual rambling monologue about what a bad guy I am. I guess Judge Irwin Joseph was starting to get tired of us.

No more shrinks. No more custody evaluations. No more parenting classes. No more reports. No more silly court orders micro-managing our lives.

No wrongdoing on my part was ever established. I can continue to parent as I always have. I never had to agree that I ever made any mistakes, or to change any of my practices.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Alimony demands

My ex-wife just filed extensive demands for child support above and beyond state guidelines, and even for alimony above my actual earned income. She asks for alimony even tho she is living with her boyfriend, Bruce Travers, and is engaged to marry him.

Normally I wouldn't mention her boyfriend's name, but he is using the courts to cheat me out of my money, and it is necessary to name him in order to defend myself. If he wants to marry her, that's fine with me, but he shouldn't be injecting himself into our dispute.

The Calif Family Code states:
4323. (a) (1) Except as otherwise agreed to by the parties in writing, there is a rebuttable presumption, affecting the burden of proof, of decreased need for spousal support if the supported party is cohabiting with a person of the opposite sex.
My ex-wife has been dating Bruce Travers since before she filed for divorce over two years ago. She lied to the court by saying that she didn't have a boyfriend, and by attributing her reasons for leaving the marriage to other factors. In fact, she and the kids have been sleeping over at Bruce Travers' house on a regular basis, and it has been going on for a very long time.

Under California law, adultery is not a crime, and the family court ignores it. I cannot do anything about the bad example she is setting for our kids. But the court is not supposed to be making me pay alimony while she is cohabitating with him. She has apparently postponed the wedding until the alimony runs out, but the alimony should have run out when she started cohabitating with him.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Counseling not confidential

I just got out of co-parenting counseling with my ex-wife. I hadn't discussed what happened in these sessions before, because we signed a confidentiality agreement not to use any of it in any adversarial proceeding.

It is not confidential anymore. Today, my ex-wife filed a complaint with the Court about something I supposedly said in last week's session. She claimed that I rejected the following proposal:
From what the children tell me, you have bought them each 4 outfits to wear while they are at your home. This was so encouraging to hear, that I am proposing a new schedule that could begin in January. This is Dr. Johnson's recommendation for the parenting plan, option B. I've written it over below:

Once Father has satisfied the requirements herein, with Court review or stipulation otherwise, he shall be responsible for the children on Wednesdays after school until 7 PM on the second and fourth weeks and, every first, third and fifth Thursday after school (or 4 PM) through Monday return to school (or 9am), including three day school holidays that fall on his weekend through 4 PM Mondays.

There are a few stipulations though:

1. Father is to return clothing that children are wearing on Thursday, by packing them in a bag and giving them to the children to take to school on Monday. Alternatively, the children can wear the clothes to school on Monday, as long as Father has washed them ahead of time.

2. Father is responsible for transportation.

3. Father is to have the children eat breakfast before school.

4. Father is to provide a healthy lunch and snack for the children on Friday and Monday.

5. Father is to help the children complete Thursday's and any other uncompleted homework of the week. He is to check it over, and have the children correct the errors. He is to make sure that the children return the homework on Friday, along with all the required signatures.

6. Father is to make sure the children are at school by 8:25 p.m. on Friday and Monday morning.

7. Father is to make sure that the children are well groomed for school (clean clothes), and are suitably dressed (warm clothes for cold weather).

8. This agreement is subject to Father's good faith efforts in following the conditions.
I didn't really turn down the proposal. I asked for a minor change in her schedule for last week. She said that she could, but that she wouldn't because she wanted me to learn to accept schedules dictated by her. It is her way or the highway.

School starts at 8:30 am. I am sure she meant 8:25 am and not pm. I don't know why she said 8:25, except that she used to have a problem getting the kids to school on time.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Child marriage for custody dispute

Here is an extreme custody fight:
When Brandon Balch's 13-year-old daughter got married in Georgia, he wasn't there to give her away.

The Boynton Beach man didn't even know about his daughter's union to a 14-year-old boy until after they got married, a license from a Georgia judge in hand.

Georgia law allows minors to marry without parental consent if the bride-to-be is pregnant.
Now it turns out that it was all a stunt by the mother to prevent the father from seeing his daughter. The daughter was supposedly pregnant, but she isn't anymore. She is living with her mother, not her new husband. The father no longer has any visitation rights.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

California shared parenting initiative

John R. sent this:
Dear Friend,

Our children need your help and we need you to get involved. The ballot initiative petitions have been circulating since October 6th, 2005 by volunteers and paid signature gatherers. We need 411K signatures to vote on the Nov 2006 election. Print, sign, and mail them back. Mail the signed petitions to your county coordinator before February 20th, 2006. Field polls show that the majority of Californians are in favor of this initiative.

The Attorney General of California has prepared the following title and summary of the chief purposes and points of the proposed measure:


Requires courts to provide parents with equal physical custody of a child unless there is clear evidence that equal custody would not be in child's best interest, and requires courts to consider the welfare of all family members in making such determinations. Defines "equal physical custody" as an "equal timeshare" that assures frequent contact with both parents, and redefines "joint legal custody" to mean that both parents share equally in decisions regarding welfare of child. Adds finding that equal and joint custody is generally in child's best interest."
This sounds great. To download petitions, see There is more info at
this wiki and at If it gets on the ballot and passes, it could help in California.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Father or sperm donor

NY Times letter:
To the Editor:

I am saddened that your Nov. 20 front-page article used the term "father" to refer to a sperm donor. "Fathers" are parents who raise children. They change diapers, go to soccer practice, supervise first dates. "Fathers" are members of a family, not anonymous sperm donors.

There are millions of healthy parents raising children across our country. These parents may not be a traditional "father" and "mother." They may be grandparents, single parents, gay parents, family friends, couples who adopt. How often will they be condemned for their absence of "father"?

When can we celebrate the reality of these successful, healthy, happy families without holding on to the false myth of the American family?

Alyson D. Miller
Portland, Ore., Nov. 20, 2005
If you won't call him a father, then please don't call him a "deadbeat dad" either.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Another Bret Johnson victim

I just heard from a woman who stumbled onto this blog. She is also fighting an incompetent custody evaluation from Dr. Bret K. Johnson. Apparently he does a lot of evaluations for the Santa Cruz family court, and he is completely clueless.

She saw my blog where I complained about Bret Johnson's weird preoccupation with food. He didn't like me feeding the kids oatmeal, broccoli, asparagus, and potatoes. She said that in her case, his report had a whole section favoring the parent who was feeding the kid McDonald's Happy Meals. She said that his report was stupid and incompetent from beginning to end.

She wanted to know whether Johnson could be sued for his incompetence or malpractice. No, I am afraid that he is sheltered by the court. If he could be sued for incompetence, then he would have already been driven out of the business, and bankrupted. He is a gay psychologist whose main expertise is counseling homosexual men on coming out of the closet. He does custody evaluations as a sideline, but he had no knowledge or expertise in the subject that I have been able to determine. A 5-year-old child knows more about child-rearing than he does. If he does know what he is doing, then he must be maliciously enjoy profitting from causing misery to children.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Parent-teacher conferences

I went to the parent-teacher conferences for our 2 kids last week. My ex-wife made appointments without telling me, but the kids told me about it. She acted surprised that I planned on going, and said that I had never gone before. I reminded her that I had gone lots of times. She said, "You've never gone willingly."

Hmmm. Did somebody twist my arm? She claimed that I once argued that it wasn't efficient for us both to go. Now that sounds like something that I might have said. It is not really necessary for both of us to listen to some dopey teacher read a report card to us. So I told my ex-wife that I wouldn't need to go if only she will give me a full report. There is no chance of that anymore.

At the parent-teacher conferences, the teachers each showed us a battery of standardized tests. The 1st grade teacher told us that our kid needed work on her middle vowel sounds because on one of the tests she spelled "chirp" as CHERP. She also mispronounced some proper names on the reading test, such as saying Liza instead of Lisa.

The one thing that I did learn was that there is another girl in the class who is also so far ahead of everybody else that she is not learning anything either. At least they can talk to each other.

The 4th-grade teacher also gave us a stack of test results. Our kid aced the math tests, only missing 2 questions. One was "What is a hundred less than 8,002?". She answered 7,902. I told the teacher that I wanted to do some grade grubbing on that one. She said that a lot of students got that problem marked wrong. Then she got up and walked across the classroom. I thought that she was going to get the answer key to see if it was wrong. Instead she got a pocket calculator, and confirmed that 8002 - 100 = 7902.

This teacher was mainly proud that I had heard from my kid how mean she is. The teacher's name even rhymes with "mean". I am not belittling this; I think that she has done a good job in restoring order to the classroom. There are a lot of undisciplined goof-offs in the class, and it is difficult for the teacher to teach anything to those kids.

I found out that my ex-wife was angling to get our 4th-grader into some sort of gifted program. The teacher asked whether the child could do long division. I assured her that I had taught her long division at home. Long division was not on the tests.

Today, our 4th-grader was sick and went to bed early. Our 1st-grader used the chance to practice her own long division. After a while, I noticed the above diagram. She explained that she does Divide, Multiply, Subtract, Bring down, and repeats. She remembers the D-M-S-B because it also stands for Dad, Mom, Sister, Brother. That seemed clever to me; I am not sure if she figured that out herself or not. She certainly didn't learn it from the school. She needs some practice, but she has the main ideas. No, they don't have a gifted program in first grade. The school is much more concerned about what to do about the class bully. Apparently one bully has punched out a couple of other kids already, and one other kid has even dropped out of the school because of the bully.

USA wins computer games medals

John writes that they beat us in math, but we beat them at games.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

PBS anti-father propaganda

Cathy Young writes in the Boston Globe:
CHILD CUSTODY battles are always wrenching, particularly when there are allegations of abuse. For years fathers' rights groups have complained that men face a pervasive bias in family courts, while many feminists have countercharged that the real bias is against women. The latest round of this debate is being waged over a documentary, "Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories," which has been airing on Public Broadcasting Service affiliates in the past month.

The film's point is simple: Children in America are routinely ripped from their mothers and given to fathers who are batterers or molesters. The women's claims of abuse are not believed by the courts and are even held against them when mothers are suspected of manufacturing false charges as a divorce strategy.

To fathers' groups, "Breaking the Silence" is blatant antidad propaganda. In a campaign led by the Boston-based Fathers and Families, PBS has been bombarded with thousands of calls and letters. It is now conducting a 30-day review of the research used in the film.
The show was indeed extremely biased and inaccurate. I previously criticized it here. Glenn Sacks also explains how bad the TV show was. He is sponsoring a protest here.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Congress supports parental rights

The US House of Reps voted 320-to-91 to criticize a recent court decision, and issue a statement in favor of parental rights. The resolution included this:
Whereas in Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 401 (1923), the Supreme Court recognized that the liberty guaranteed by the 14th amendment to the Constitution encompasses "the power of parents to control the education of their [children]";

Whereas the Supreme Court in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 534-35 (1925), highlighted the Meyer doctrine that parents and guardians have the liberty "to direct the upbringing and education of children under control" and emphasized that "[t]he child is not the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations";

Whereas in Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, 232?33 (1972), the Supreme Court acknowledged that "[t]he history and culture of Western civilization reflect a strong tradition of parental concern for the nurture and upbringing of their children. This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition. ... The duty to prepare the child for 'additional obligations', referred to by the Court [in Pierce] must be read to include the inculcation of moral standards, religious beliefs, and elements of good citizenship";

Whereas a plurality of the Supreme Court has stated, "it cannot now be doubted that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children" (Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 66 (2000) (plurality opinion));
The problem here is a couple of federal judges who think that parental right end at the schoolhouse door. We need to convince everyone that they do not end at the schoolhouse door, and they do not end in the family court.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Criminal cheese squeezing

Rodney Dane Higginbotham is one the most wanted fugitives in South Carolina. If you run into him, you are being asked to immediately notify the authorities so that he can be arrested for criminal domestic violence. Here is the official state notice:
ALLEGED CRIME: Police said Higginbotham argued with his wife because she had not cooked anything. When she began cooking, he started making spaghetti while eating crackers and squeeze cheese. They argued, and he squeezed cheese on the kitchen floor. She squeezed the cheese on his truck, and he squeezed the cheese in her hair before fleeing in his truck. His wife said she washed her hair before the officer arrived to take her complaint.
Too bad she washed her hair; she apparently destroyed all the incriminating evidence! Unless this man is quickly brought to justice, no woman in S. Carolina is safe from having cheese squeezed into her hair.

I don't know whether they have any kids, but if they do, then the domestic violence charge will surely prevent the kids from being able to see their dad. If he would squeeze cheese into his wife's hair, then the law would presume him to be a bad influence on the kids. He might even do something to cause his kids to have to wash their hair.

Judge Jailed Man Who Sighed

Here is a NY story about a father being bullied by a family court judge:
In November 2002, Mark Schulman was appearing before Lawrence on domestic violence charges lodged by his wife, Eva Schulman, and over an order by another judge giving the two joint custody of their two children.

During the proceeding, Schulman loudly sighed, fidgeted and on several occasions turned his back to the judge to retrieve personal belongings on a chair behind him.

The judge believed Schulman's conduct to be disrespectful, and in one instance, Lawrence ``gazed at him silently but intently,'' according to the commission's ruling. Court officers had also warned Schulman to be respectful several times.

When Schulman sighed again and shook his head, Lawrence ruled him in contempt and sentenced him to five days in jail.

Schulman objected, but Lawrence cut him off and raised the sentence to 10 days. Schulman again tried to say something, but the judge upped the jail time to 12 days. Schulman was then handcuffed and arrested.
The amazing part is that the judge actually got formally admonished for picking on the father.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Judges May Lose Immunity

AP story:
A movement is under way in South Dakota to turn the tables on members of the bench. Activists are trying to put a radical measure on next year's ballot that could make South Dakota the first state to let people who believe their rights have been violated by judges put those judges on trial. Citizens could seek damages or criminal charges.

The measure would overturn more than a century of settled law in the United States by stripping judges of their absolute immunity from lawsuits over their judicial acts.

"The current system doesn't work because there is no adequate way to hold a given judge accountable for proper behavior or to prevent them from judicial misconduct if they choose to do so," said businessman William Stegmeier, a leader of the movement. ...

The South Dakota amendment would eliminate state judges' immunity in cases involving deliberate violations of the law or someone's constitutional rights or deliberate disregard of the facts.

People could file complaints against judges after the traditional appeals process has concluded. A special grand jury would handle complaints, deciding whether a judge could be sued or face criminal charges.

If the grand jury decides on criminal charges, it could indict the judge and create a special tribunal that would act as both judge and jury, deciding guilt and any sentence. The measure would not apply to federal judges.
Things might be a little different if judges were more directly accountable for what they do. Here is the South Dakota Judicial Accountability site.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

James Roger Brown rant

I ran across this rant against various child social service agencies. It is long, in pdf format, and rambling, and it seems a little crazy in places, but it has some good info in it. Here is a another similar essay.

For one thing, these essays have specific inferences that are made from answers to psychological tests, like the MMPI-2. These inferences may not be correct, as the author explains. For example, responding true to "I like to flirt" indicates Ego Strength, while false indicates Depression, Social Introversion, and Repression. Hundreds of answers like this are combined to make a personality profile.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Mom's boyfriend is risky

NY Times Science reports:
Living with an unrelated adult, especially an unrelated man, substantially increases the risk that a child will die violently, researchers reported yesterday.

According to the study, children who live with adults who are not biologically related to them are nearly 50 times as likely to die at the adults' hands as children who live with two biological parents, the researchers said.
Here is the Pediatrics article.

It continues to amaze me that anyone would make the argument that the mom should get child custody because of safety reasons. The child is nearly always safest in the home of the dad. If the mom is living with a boyfriend, then the child could have 50 times greater risk with her, according to the above study.

In my case, my ex-wife made safety and risk her main argument to the court. In fact, the kids are much safer with me. Every single safety problem has been under her watch, not mine.

She lied to the court about her boyfriend, and said that she didn't have one. I guess that if she had admitted that she was secretly living with her boyfriend and his roommate, with the kids sleeping on his couch or his floor or whatever, then she'd look pretty silly complaining about my safety.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Co-parent counseling

I just got out of a co-parent counseling session. It is confidential counseling, meaning that my ex-wife and I both agree not to make any issue in court from what is said in a session. The counselor just told me that the confidentiality agreement does not bar me from discussing what happened on this blog or anywhere else (other than court).

Nevertheless, I want to make it clear that I do not intend to discuss anything that goes on in those sessions. The idea behind confidentiality is that we should be free to express any opinions or propose any solutions without that being used elsewhere against each other. As I've previously written, I am not going to discuss anything she says in the sessions on this blog.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Requiring equal custody

Someone sent me this link to the California legislative analyst's office:
The proposed initiative amends current law to establish the concept of “equal custody,” in which the child’s time would be equally split between the parents. The initiative further amends current law to state that equal custody is in the best interest of the child, and should be provided to the greatest degree practicable. Under the measure, in cases where one parent disagrees with equal custody, the burden of proof is on the objecting parent to show that equal custody would not be in the best interest of the child. The initiative also eliminates the provision requiring the court to state its reasons for granting a joint custody request. However, in cases that result in a denial of joint custody, it requires the court to include in the record the specific “findings of fact” it relied upon in making its custody decision. Findings of fact would not be required in cases where joint custody is granted.
I am not sure if this initiative is qualified to be on the ballot, but it sounds great. Unfortunately, it lets the judge override custody based on his opinion about the best interest of the child, but it sounds like a big improvement.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Custody evaluations are unscientific

I ran across some articles that explain how unscientific and bogus child custody evaluations are. Reputable psychologists do not do them. They would not even be admissible in court if the court followed its own rules of evidence.

Unfortunately, the articles are not readily available online. Here is what I have.

Thomas Grisso:

Replying to the paper by Tippins and Wittmann, this commentary notes that the problems they identify have been recognized for many years, yet this has resulted in little change in the practice of child custody evaluations. Three underlying reasons are offered for the stalemate that frustrates the implementation of standards for an empirically based child custody evaluation practice: (a) the economics of child custody evaluation practice; (b) inconsistencies between proposals to restrict testimony in this area and the lack of similar restrictions in most other areas of forensic practice; and (c) inadequate motivation for researchers who might contribute an empirical base for child custody evaluations. Directions for breaking the stalemate are offered for each of these problems.
Leslie Eaton:
William O'Donohue, a psychology professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, is calling for a moratorium on forensic evaluations until more research is done.

"Psychologists don't have the knowledge to do what they attempt to do when they do custody evaluations," he said.

Many custody decisions, he said, involve not scientific findings, but competing values, like a father's wish that his child excel in sports versus the mother's emphasis on studying.

While mental health experts have been debating these issues for several years, the legal world has been slower to recognize them, at least in New York.

Enter Timothy M. Tippins, an Albany lawyer who increasingly specializes in cross-examining forensic experts. For almost a year, Mr. Tippins has been writing articles in The New York Law Journal questioning the role and expertise of forensic evaluators in custody cases. He has teamed up with Dr. Wittmann to write a paper titled "Empirical and Ethical Problems With Custody Recommendations: A Call for Clinical Humility and Judicial Vigilance."

Among its recommendations is a call for judges to "begin to help the psychology discipline rein in itself" by not demanding or accepting specific custody plans.
Scientific American Mind:
Custody Disputed
The guidelines judges and psychologists use to decide child custody cases have little basis in science. The system must be rebuilt on better research
By Robert E. Emery, Randy K. Otto and William O'Donohue

Courts are overwhelmed with couples who are splitting up and disputing custody of their children. If parents cannot agree on their children's fates, a judge will decide who gets custody, and increasingly, psychologists are becoming involved as expert evaluators during legal wranglings. But do any of these professionals have proof that the bases for their life-determining decisions are empirically sound? It seems not, and it is the boys and girls who suffer.
I'll try to get more complete articles and post more info. Both sides are apparently represented here.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Punished again in court

I just got out of court. The hearing was supposed to resolve a number of pending money issues. We have been operating since July 1, 2004 under temporary support orders that are retroactively modifiable. We were supposed to file financial statements last Friday, and have them decided today.

My ex-wife was unprepared, and claimed that the hearing today was just to get the judge's approval to continue seeing the co-parenting counselor!

We had a discussion of financial issues anyway, with nothing decided. My ex-wife went into a rant about how her lawyer, Ms. Jennifer J. Gray, had subpoenaed 2000 documents from me back in Nov. 2004, but had never bothered to sort them or extract useful info from them. (I think "2000" is the number of documents, and not the year of the documents. She was rambling, and the details were not too clear.) My ex-wife talked about how much money I have, how I might be hiding money, how she doesn't have to time to figure out where all my money is, and how I am not working to my full potential. The judge complained that I had not given a copy of my 2004 tax return to the court, but seemed satisfied when I said that I had given a copy to my ex-wife.

Then Judge Irwin H. Joseph turned his attention to my ex-wife's income, and asked her about getting a job. She said that she could not work because she is busy taking care of the kids and studying for the patent bar exam. She said that she flunked the exam last time, but was taking it again next month. She is already a licensed California lawyer. Passing the patent bar exam would allow her to practice patent law (along with other kinds of law that she can practice already). She also said that she could not afford day care. I volunteered to provide day care, if necessary.

Judge Joseph explained that the law required that she diligently act to become economically self-sufficient, and suggested that she broaden her job search. He said that even a starting lawyer just out of school can make $3,000 per month with a part-time job.

He scheduled us to come back on Dec. 12 to resolve the money issues. My ex-wife didn't want to do it next month because of her busy schedule and her difficulty reading my financial statements. I was a little amazed that she could come into a trial completely unprepared, have no good excuse, and still get a 6-week delay. I didn't pursue the point.

She raised the issue of paying for the co-parenting counselor, and pleaded poverty again. The judge refused to say who was liable for paying. I reminded the judge that last time this issue came up, he lectured us on how we should be equally liable for the fees, even if one party is temporarily fronting the cash, so that we would both be invested in the process. He would only say that he might well do the same again, but he wasn't going to let me pressure him into making a decision.

After that, she complained about the driving to drop off the kids. She said that one time I asked her to pick up the kids, and that this was unfair because she has to drive the kids around during the 80% of the time that she has custody of them. The problem was that my ex-wife had claimed that she had gotten an order to get me to do all the driving for drop-offs and pick-ups, and the minute order from the clerk was ambiguous. The judge remembered the issue from the last hearing, and said that his intention was not to change who does the driving, but merely to tell us to do it on time. I said that was fine. But then my ex-wife persisted in demanding that I do all the driving.

Judge Joseph was getting annoyed with us at this point, and wanted to get back to his other cases. He asked me who is supposed to do the driving under the order. I said that the court-ordered schedule does not say. He seemed surprised at that, and asked me who has been doing the driving. I said that I was doing most of it. He asked me why. I said that I didn't believe that I was obligated to do all the driving, but that I was doing it just for the sake of peace and harmony.

I then explained that Dr. Bess, the court-appointed psychologist, had said that my capitulation was not co-parenting. In order to comply with his idea of co-parenting, I needed to insist that my ex-wife cooperate in the driving. The judge seemed amused by this argument, and acted as if I were a fool for taking the guy seriously. The judge then asked me if I was going to continue to give him grief about Dr. Bess.

I was tempted to say that now it is only Dr. Bess's inkblot analysis that is keeping me from my kids, and that I would complain about it as long as my kids are being withheld from me. But on the odd chance that the judge actually understands what a kooky report Dr. Bess wrote, I let the matter drop. So I explained that I had been willing to do the extra driving, but since my ex-wife had chosen to complain about it in court, I think that she should do her share herself.

The judge rejected that argument as well, and ordered me to do all the driving. When I asked him what possible basis he could have for ordering me to do the driving, he just said, "for peace and harmony". Sigh. No good turn goes unpunished, I guess.

Then my ex-wife went into a rant about this (Angry Dad) blog. She said that I was describing the events of this case on a web site, that it was limiting her ability to get a job in town (because it was damaging her reputation among lawyers, I guess), and that it was preventing her from getting a lawyer. She said that her previous lawyer bailed out because she couldn't stand having her actions described on a web site. Furthermore, the kids have access to the web site, and might learn bad things about their mom from it.

The judge didn't seem to know what to do with this complaint. He probably doesn't realize that I complain about him by name on this blog. (He'll probably find it eventually.) He just told me that I shouldn't denigrate my ex-wife to the kids on any medium. I assured him that I never badmouth her to the kids.

Curiously, my ex-wife and I were under oath for the whole session. Normally, in routine court appearances like this, the arguments are made by lawyers who are not under oath. It is not a crime for them to lie. Lawyers are supposed to be able to give phony stories without significant consequences, I guess. We were sworn in because the judge thought that he'd be collecting financial facts from us. As it turned out, all he got was just the usual silly arguments, and we didn't need to be sworn in.

On the way out, I grumbled to the judge that I cannot win anything in his court. He said that wasn't true because he is now willing to impute income for my ex-wife if she doesn't get a real job. (Judges have been telling her to get a job for about 6 months now, but she has ignored them.) We'll find out at the next hearing, I guess.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Answering public accusations

I just got this from my ex-wife:
To AngryDad,

I am writing you with the hope that after you read this letter, you will dismantle your blog site entitled The way in which you have gone about the journaling of your version of this divorce process has become an impediment to successful co-parenting efforts.

It has come to my attention that [our kids] have access to your angry dad blog site, have read it, and have witnessed you writing on it. They know that you write bad things about me on this blog. This is not beneficial for the children's well being or our attempts at co parenting.

It would be in the best interests of our children and co-parenting to dismantle your blog site.

Sincerely, [AngryMom]
No, I think that this blog has aided our co-parenting. My ex-wife does not listen to me, but she reads this blog. At least she learns my point of view, if nothing else.

This blog would be very different if I really used it to write bad things about my ex-wife. I do not believe in badmouthing my ex-wife, either to my kids or anyone else. But I do believe in defending myself against accusations. When those accusations are made publicly, then I will publicly defend myself.

Unfortunately, my ex-wife continues to say bad things about me in court, and my kids continue to suffer the consequences. If she stops attacking me in court, then it won't be necessary to defend myself any longer.

If my ex-wife really cared about the best interests of the children, then she would stop her current court action. She is desperately afraid that our kids will someday learn the details of what she has done.

Friday, October 21, 2005

TV show intro

this is an audio post - click to play
This is the first minute or so from PBS TV show mentioned below.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Breaking the Silence

I am watching Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories on PBS TV. An "abuse intervention specialist" named Lundy Bancroft just said:
There is a societal misconception that mothers are very heavily favored in custody and visitation litigation over fathers and that will somehow will take care of the needs of mothers who need to protect their children from a battering or sexually abusive father. In fact the maternal preference went out more than 20 years ... fathers now have preference for custody.
This is really wacky. The family courts still have a heavy preference for mothers. Most child abuse is from mothers, not fathers. Child sexual abuse is nearly always the result of mothers winning custody, and fathers being unable to protect their kids.

Another opinion by Carey Roberts:
Breaking the Silence leads off with this whopper: “One-third of mothers lose custody to abusive husbands.” That outrageous statement contains two falsehoods.

First, divorced fathers win custody of their children only 15% of the time, so the one-third figure is obviously suspect.

Second, women are known to be just as abusive as men. As a recent report from the Independent Women’s Forum notes, “approximately half of all couple violence is mutual…when only one partner is abusive, it is as likely to be the woman as the man.”

Continuing its mean-spirited dissing of dads, Breaking the Silence goes on to claim that children are “most often in danger from the father.” Apparently the producers never bothered to read the recent report from the US Department of Health and Human Services which reveals that the majority of perpetrators of child abuse and neglect are female.

But the real objective of the PBS fusillade is to whitewash the problem of Parental Alienation Syndrome. Divorcing parents – usually mothers – sometimes try to turn the children against the other parent. If the mother can claim that the kids are refusing to talk to dad, she is almost certain to win child custody.
Here is another review by Mark B. Rosenthal.

This might well be the most hate-filled show that I have ever seen. It was a documentary without a single valid fact.

Another copy of picture

I had to upload another copy in order to use it in my profile.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Restarting the co-parenting counseling

I just got out of court-ordered co-parenting counseling. The counselor insists on doing confidential counseling, where nobody reports to the court. So I am not going to report on any discussions in the counseling session. The judge wants some sort of report, so it is not clear whether this procedure will satisfy him.

The counselor firmly believes that co-parenting requires giving both parties the confidence that they can speak openly and frankly and cooperatively without fear that their words will be used against them.

It is odd that we got sent to this sort of counselor in the midst of a brutal court fight. It would have made more sense for the judge to decide the legal issues, and then send us to the counselor.

I dropped my 2004 tax return in the mail this afternoon, and I gave my ex-wife a copy a few minutes later. I included a copy of my second request for an extension, but she complained that I did not have a copy of my first extension request. I cannot imagine why she would want a copy of that. The first request is automatic, and just asks for my name and SS number.

Effect on child support

A reader asks:
If you get awarded 50-50 custody, do you still have to pay child support? Is child support supposed to be shared equally between mother and father? You pay expenses while the kids are with you, she and her fiance pay expenses when the kids are with them, and then clothes, education, medical etc is shared evenly?
Sometime in the 1990s, the feds forced the states to use formulas for child support, and the amounts were increased to make alimony unnecessary. The formulas vary from state to state. In many states, a mom collecting child support under the formula can live better than the dad.

The formulas depend on the time-share and income of the parents, as well as the number of kids and a few other factors. If the custody is 50-50 and the parents have the same income, then there is no child support. If the custody is 50-50 and one parent earns more, then the parent earning more pays to the parent earning less. The formulas don't have anything to do with the actual child-related expenses, and there is no obligation to spend child support money on the kids.

Your questions allude to a really bad aspect of the formulas -- they encourage moms to fight for custody purely as a way of getting more child support money. If the formulas were made more just, a lot of custody fights would just disappear.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Paying alimony

A reader writes:
I have been reading your blog on and off for awhile now. I accidently stumbled upon it while googling family court info.....

Although I am happily engaged now to a wonderful woman, (this is in fact her email address that I am borrowing while away from my computer), I have experienced the frustration and pain of family court.

My story is too long to type to you at this time, but one thing I wanted to share with you is now that your wife is engaged, I hope that you are going for monthly spousal support payments rather than one large sum settlement just to get it over with. The reason I write to you is that I did not know that my wife was already engaged to the man that she had an affair with while we were marrried and was the ultimate reason that she left what I thought at the time was a beautiful relationship, silly me, (he was younger, very handsome, quite the charmer, and partied and played with her while I was out working my butt off for her and the kids), and she convinced me that a one time settlement would be best and easiest for all involved - Imagine my surprise when the day after she got my money, she moved in "officially" with the other guy, WITH my kids, and got married a month later - apparantly my money went to buy HIM a new truck and to pay off a large chunk of his morgage on his house - I was livid.

I later found out that if I had been paying monthly spousal support, all support would have ended once she got married! I would still have to pay child support, but less since they were living with a new "dad" and financial provider, etc. But the actual "spousal" support would have ended since she couldn't claim that without my money she would be starving and be destitute and without gas money or clothes money because she was "alone" and had no support that she had become accustomed to in our marriage - once she got married, she became the other guys wife and his responsibility!!!!

Only recently does it seem that you are mentioning more your ex-wife's attempts to get more money from you - especially since now she claims to deserve lawyer fees as her own lawyer - precious. - I am not sure what your marriage desolution alimony plan is or even if you can change it at this time - but if I can help you by sharing my experience with you, then great.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I am now engaged to a beautiful special woman - after a few years of pain and anger, I see the silver lining of the mess that my ex brought into my life. She is married to a guy that ended up being an alcoholic and has a problem sleeping around with other women....... Since she was married to me when she started her affair with him, and apparantly, he was in a relationship with someone else as well, then I say that she is getting the proverbial karma bite in the butt that she deserves! And now I have my kids full time since she and the new young pretty blue coller husband are always fighting............ I am a happy man.

Good Luck, ...
Thanks. I am told that with the increased child support formulas of the last few years, there isn't even supposed to be any need for alimony. Most cases do not award alimony. Alimony is supposed to be temporary, and ought to end soon whether she gets a job, or gets remarried, or what. Of course, I don't have much confidence in the legal system.

Glad things worked out okay for you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Sent out for another report

I just got screwed in court again. My ex-wife showed up with no lawyer, as she had just fired Jennifer Gray. The judge still did not have a copy of Dr. Inkblot's report, so he asked for my copy, and read it during a break. He said that he had read the other paperwork in the file.

Judge Joseph said that the report says that we cannot co-parent, so he sent us out for co-parenting counseling. He will review the custody situation when he gets another report.

This is now our sixth expert referral from the family court, and it will be our sixth written report. The process is extremely frustrating. I am tempted to post all six reports so everyone can see how ridiculous this is. I remember being shocked about a year ago when I heard about a case with three written reports.

I don't know why, but nearly all of the judge's comments and questions were directed at me. I did most of the talking, and my ex-wife didn't say much.

After another break, my ex-wife wanted to bring up some other issues. She complained that this month I paid her on Oct. 2 instead of Oct. 1. She complained that sometimes I drop off the kids 10 minutes late. One time, I dropped off the kids to her babysitter about 20 minutes. She implied that this was somehow inconvenient to her babysitter, although I didn't get why.

My ex-wife threw a little tantrum in the court about refusing to co-endorse a $56 tax refund check. She claimed that she was creating a liability for herself by signing it. The judge tried to explain to her that she wasn't, but she didn't get it. Ultimately, the judge said that he didn't want to waste court time over it, told her to give the check to me, and asked me to write her a check for $56.

She also had a theory about how the existing support order made a mistake about how it apportioned the monthly support amounts into child support and spousal support. The judge asked me if I agreed, and I said that this was the first that I heard of it, and that I could not make any sense of what she said. The judge didn't understand it either.

She also complained that I had not given her all the documents that she demanded. I told the judge that I had given her everything. The judge asked her what was missing, and she said that she didn't know. He told her to figure out what she wants, if she wants something.

She also about having a hard time paying the rent, and she wanted more money. As it is, my monthly payment is about three times her rent and she doesn't even live there. She lives with her boyfriend.

The crazy thing about my support payments is that it has never been based on my actual income, and the court has kept making orders based on fault figures with the excuse that the orders are "retroactively modifiable". This has been going on for 15 months now. So the judge ordered a hearing on financial issues for Oct. 27.

Judge Joseph acted like he has an opportunity to teach us to co-parent. If we only attend some counseling sessions and learn to co-parent now, he said, then several years from now we might come to agreement on what age to let the kids start watching PG-rated movies. I was startled that a family court judge would say something so silly.

I called our previous co-parenting counselor and left a message. Last time, he said that he doesn't do reports, so I guess that we'll have to find someone else. My guess is that my ex-wife will be uncooperative, as usual.

Monday, October 10, 2005

New photo

My kids gave me a haircut.

Judge Kelly's ruling

My ex-wife tries to claim that there have already been court findings that I am a bad father, and tries to quote Judge Kelly in support of her request for sole legal custody of our kids. Actually, she made all of those arguments at trial on March 25, and here is an excerpt from Judge Kelly's concluding remarks:
THE COURT: Right, with one of these these people will help me get a sense of you more than I can get from just an hour on the stand or something. These are really skilled people. They're there to help their clients. They're not there to snitch to the Court for returning fees. These people are really good. That's why they're on the list and they will have a sense of you that they can communicate back to me that might give Mother, give me the assurance that we can go right to D and get you guys back on a fifty fifty time line here. ... If you're well, it will give me information I need to make a good call on this because I do want to go to 50 percent but I have to be assured that this is in the best interests of the kids. I think if you go to this counseling regiment it will be. You can get there. … If things are going well I'll tell you. I will go to D, okay, fifty fifty time share.
Plan "D" is 5-2-2-5, a 50-50 time-share plan. The "list" consisted of Jay Goodman, Ph.D., Jay Muccilli, Ph.D., CJ Neustadter, LMFT, Sheilah Seigel, Ph.D., Judy Zappacosta, LCSW. My ex-wife had requested that I see someone on the list.

Judge Kelly said that the switch back to 50-50 custody is supposed to benefit her as well:
THE COURT: This is written for Mother too is because she desperately, I'm sure, wants to be out in the work force and once she gets employment she is going to be real busy and parenting time is she's going to be torn a lot of directions trying to have a career and with these children. She's really going to need you to step up at the plate here, so this is a win win here. Like I say, once she has full employment then it's going to be really critical that you guys are working as a team. [March 25, 2005, p.121]
So when my ex-wife claims that the trial evidence "overwhelmingly validates and substantiates" her concerns, she is ignoring the actual findings at the trial. The judge did not find me at fault in any of the issues being tried. He merely sent me to a court-approved expert in order to get some further assurances.

Court uses queer counselor

I just ran across this article in the Setpember/October 2000 issue of the Utne Reader.
As psychotherapist Bret Johnson explains in In the Family (July 1998), gays and lesbians often go through a second coming out, from lesbian or gay to bisexual-sometimes decades after their first coming out. "Back in the 1960s and 1970s, coming out meant making a break from heterosexuality," he writes. "But in the late 1990s, we are witnessing a break from gayness and lesbianism."

But, he adds, "the new wave of coming out almost looks like going back in.... It's as if we're seeing a challenge to the old, modernist way of thinking 'This is who I am, period'and a movement toward a postmodern version, 'This is who I am right now."' ...

Perhaps this needs to be balanced with what Bret Johnson notes about the new generation of queer people he works with in therapy: "They don't want to fit into any boxes -- not gay, straight, lesbian, or bisexual ones. They want to be free to come out as who they are, when they are ready to decide that, and then they want to be free to change their minds."
Besides counseling gay men on coming in and out of the closet, Bret Johnson works as a custody evaluator for the Santa Cruz County family court. He may be tolerant of the "queer people he works with in therapy", but he is not tolerant of fathers rearing children.

He wrote a report that said this of me:
Further, Father's tendency to "do things over and over" such as feed the children one vegetable for a long period, have the young children brush their own hair because they are too fussy, and that he is unorthodox in parenting approaches may not be neglect or abuse in the pure sense of the words; rather it suggests he runs things in his own way, on his own time, and may not take new input well with regards to the children's best interests.
The vegetable remark was based on interviewing my 5-year-old daughter:
at Father's they have oatmeal; and she went through the vegetable rotation, e.g., broccoli, potatoes, asparagus -- "We are still on asparagus."
In Bret Johnson's view, I guess it is okay to be unorthodox about how I use my bodily orifices, but not about my vegetable rotation or my hair brushing.

Actually, I don't think that there is anything unorthodox about my vegetable or hair-brushing policies. I have consulted with dieticians and they say that my so-called vegetable rotation is excellent. Bret Johnson is an out gay man who knows nothing about children, so perhaps any normal practices might seem unorthodox to him.

Bret Johnson is someone that most people would regard as a kook and a pervert. Because he thought that my vegetable rotation or my hair brushing was unorthodox, he recommended that the family court issue the following order against me:
10. Counseling/ Related: A. Father shall participate in a minimum of six months of thrice monthly individual counseling with a licensed therapist familiar with issues of healthy child care ... and shall continue as needed thereafter or until released.
Until recently, homosexuality was considered a psychological disorder and a felony. In much of the USA and the rest of the world, people still think so. If being unorthodox justified forced psychotherapy, then surely homosexuality would qualify. Bret Johnson would be imprisoned and forced to undergo psychotherapy until he switches to more normal sexual preferences. In another time or another place, he would face the death penalty. Instead, he is working for the Santa Cruz County family court, and trying to order me to undergo long-term forced psychotherapy because he thinks that my vegetable rotation and hair brushing are unorthodox.

My ex-wife complains that I disagree with Dr. Johnson. You bet I do. Bret Johnson is incompetent and malicious. No one should ever take child-rearing advice from him. My kids could do better custody evaluations than he does.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Her demand for sole legal custody

My ex-wife filed this demand for sole legal custody of our two kids. She attached over 100 pages of transcripts.
Petitioner, Jill AngryDad, is in propria persona
Respondent, George AngryDad, is in propria persona

This is a marriage of seven years, and there are two minor children of this marriage. The children are Mary, currently age 8 years, and Jenny, currently age 6 years. The date of separation is October 6, 2003.

This Status Report includes the following: A. a summary of the previous hearing held on September 28, 2005; B. a discussion of the relationship between the psychological evaluation report and Judge Kelly's findings and orders after the trial [including: 1) a description of the case history up until the psychological evaluation report; and 2) the psychological evaluation report's impact upon the parties legal and physical custody dispute]; and C., a brief reply to Mr. AngryDad's Status Memo comments.

A. SUMMARY OF PREVIOUS HEARING ON SEPTEMBER 28, 2005: On September, 28, 2005, the parties appeared before The Hon. Joseph for a review of the Dr. Bess's report concerning the psychological evaluation in which both parties were ordered to participate. Both parties received a faxed copy of the psychological evaluation report on the afternoon of September 26, 2005, but as of September 28, 2005, Judge Joseph still had not received the report. Judge Joseph gave Ms. AngryMom's then counsel, Ms. Jennifer Gray, until October 6, 2005 to file her comments regarding the report with the court. The new hearing date to review the psychological evaluation report was set for October 11, 2005.


After both parties participated in a court ordered mediation with Dr. Berrenge, and then a court ordered evaluation with Dr. Johnson (summer of 2004), Dr. Johnson recommended to the Court that there be joint custody with Ms, AngryMom to be the primary custodian. Dr. Johnson recommended that Mr. AngryDad attend two 10-12 week parenting classes, and individual counseling (three times a month for six months), focusing on child safety and parenting issues. Depending upon Mr. AngryDad's successful or unsuccessful completion of the parenting classes and the showing of positive progress in his individual counseling, his custody percentage could and should be increased or decreased. In November of 2004, Judge Kelsay ordered Dr. Johnson's recommendations be put in place pending the outcome of the trial that Mr. AngryDad requested regarding Dr. Johnson's written report.

On February 25, 2005, Mr. AngryDad cross examined Dr. Johnson for 3 hours, eliciting the same information from Dr. Johnson that was in his report and the reasons for Dr. Johnson's recommendations Mr. AngryDad's inappropriate risk taking behavior while parenting as well as other poor parenting methods. The following are examples of Dr. Johnson's concerns with Mr. AngryDad's parenting (Attached hereto as Exhibit "A".
Reporter's Transcript, February 25, 2005, p. 17, 22 23, and 43) "Well, you might start by saying there's some issues that came up before the court where the safety has been brought up and possible supervision of the kids and there are some instances where you need to work on perhaps paying attention better and being more vigilant with the kids and understanding how your idea of perhaps "independence" may not be appropriate for the children of your age, children that you have of their age." (p. 43, 3 10) "Without going over the whole report, that's the essence of what I wanted to have happen here was for father to be willing, and as the Judge said, perhaps humble himself to be willing to participate in parenting classes and increase his level of awareness and insight into what appropriate parenting for two very young girls would be, including supervision." (p. 23, 6 13)

"But I think that there needs to be more awareness around two small girls and level of dependency versus independent and supervision." (p. 17, 20 22)

"Q. And do you feel any of those situations are trivial? A. No, I think they're important. And I address them because I feel like father needs to pay attention to them." (p. 22, 24 26; p. 23, 1 2)
On May 13, 2005, in an all day trial, Mr. AngryDad had the opportunity to cross examine witnesses to his risk taking behavior which had put the children in harm's way. He also testified on his own behalf. After viewing the evidence before him, Judge Kelly ordered the physical custody situation to remain the same, and that Mr. AngryDad participate in one 10 12 week parenting class, and receive the individual counseling that Dr. Johnson recommended two times a month. In response to Ms. AngryMom's request that both parties receive co-parenting counseling, Judge Kelly also ordered both parties to participate in co-parenting counseling. The following are some examples of Judge Kelly's comments concerning Mr. AngryDad's risk taking parenting behavior (Attached hereto as Exhibit "B". Reporter's Transcript, March 25, 2005, p. 106, 107, and 112 114.):
"...and also that you get some of this parenting class under your belt because I do see safety risk issues, you taking more risks than really is appropriate" (p. 106, 20 22)

"And I think, Father, what you need to your own behavior needs to be a little more on the caution side." (p.107, 21 23) "Let me just tell you, some of this behavior I've heard today is inappropriate. It's not all putting the kids at unacceptable risk. I would give you that, okay. Some of it is clearly, but a lot of it is just bad bad parenting, just inappropriate parenting. And it's not something like it's way off on this bell curve, okay, but it's just something where, with some input from a counselor, you might rethink some of these positions. So that's the parenting part." (p. 112, 16 24) "And I wanted you to do the parent counseling at Simply Your Best for what that will [tell] teach you. Some of this behavior that I heard today, as I say, is just not appropriate." (p. 113, 16 19)

"Some of it is safety. Some of it is just not appropriate, okay. I have the ultimate call on this but I'm just trying to let you know where I'm coming from so that we don't we can bring some closure to this and not go to the continue these hearing with more people, more court time, more expense... " (p. 113, 22 26; 114, 1)
The evidence garnered at the trial on Mr. AngryDad's risk taking behavior and inappropriate parenting overwhelmingly validates and substantiates Ms. AngryMom's concerns for the health, safety, and welfare of the children while in Mr. AngryDad's care. Attached hereto are Exhibits "C", "D", and "E", which provides further evidence that Ms. AngryMom's concerns were indeed necessary and genuine. (Exhibit "C" Reporter's Transcript containing trial testimony and Judge Kelly's comments on March 25, 2005 [p. 5 6, 10 14, 17, 22, 32, 34, 9, 42 54, 56 59, 61 69, 71 94, 97 101, 108, and 111] Exhibit "D" Reporter's Transcript containing trial testimony and Judge Kelly's comments on February 25, 2005 [6 12, 14, 16, 21, 25 26, 29, 31 33, 37, 39, 47, 53, 55 56, 60, and 65], and Exhibit "E" Reporter's Transcript containing Mr. AngryDad's deposition testimony on February 15, 2005 [100 102]; significant portions are highlighted for the convenience of the Court) Following Mr. AngryDad's failure to comply with Judge Kelly's court order regarding classes, individual counseling, and co-parenting counseling, Judge Joseph ordered both parties to undergo psychological evaluations in order to determine:
1 . Do the parents have the ability to co-parent?
2. Are there any personality disorders or other mental illness that would impair parenting? What is the recommended treatment or solutions to these issues?
3. Are there any other psychological or behavioral issues that the Court should consider in determining what arrangement is in the best interest of the children?
Pursuant to Family Code Section 3006, and based upon the court's findings and Dr. Bess's Evaluation Report, Ms. AngryMom is requesting sole legal custody of the two minor children be awarded to her, and the physical custody arrangement be slightly changed to accommodate Mr. AngryDad learning to care for the children during a school week. Dr. Bess's report states that both parties do not at this time have the capacity to co parent. His report goes on to state that co-parenting requires the capacity to discuss a parenting issue or decision, reach an agreement and then to follow through on the agreement. Dr. Bess found that both parties are not even able to agree on whether there are legitimate issues they need to agree upon. Dr. Bess reiterates Ms. AngryMom's concerns in his summary of assessment, which are that she does not feel that Mr. AngryDad provides adequate supervision for the children and she does not feel that Mr. AngryDad is willing to adjust his behavior to provide closer supervision. In his interviews with Dr. Bess, Mr. AngryDad indicated that he does not feel that Ms. AngryMom's issues are valid or that her concerns are necessary or even genuine. (Psychological Evaluation Report [Psych. Eval]) Dr. Johnson and Judge Kelly found Ms. AngryMom's concerns to be valid, necessary and genuine. Mr. AngryDad refuses to acknowledge and/or accept this finding.

Dr. Bess also wrote that he thought that it would be necessary for the parties to have clear orders from the Court that define their relative authority to make parenting decisions. (Psych. Eval.) Clear court orders do not work for Mr. AngryDad. If he will not go to simple classes and pay money when ordered to, then he will not accept orders from the Court on how to parent. He has been brought to court two times under motions to compel documents and money. He has not delivered the compelled documents, nor has he properly filled out documents that he has delivered under court order. He hasn't taken the classes, counseling, or the extent of co-parenting counseling ordered by the court. His unwillingness to comply with court orders directly impacts the children. For example, despite a court order in place since November of 2004, about 25 entreaties from Ms. AngryMom, and two co-parenting counseling sessions, Mr. AngryDad still refuses to set a specific time at which he plans to deliver the children to Ms. AngryMom. This event should be one of the simplest co-parenting decisions, but yet, it has been the subject of a discussion for a year. As Dr. Bess points out, the parties cannot even agree that there are legitimate issues that they need to agree upon.

The bottom line is that Mr. AngryDad insists upon behaving in such a way that is detrimental to his children, and that whomever disagrees with him is wrong Dr. Berrenge, Dr. Johnson, Judge Kelsay, Judge Kelly, this Court, and inevitably, Dr. Bess. Moreover, Dr. Bess's report points out that the parties each have a strong investment in their attitudes and approaches. (Psych. Eval.) Finally, Dr. Bess's report characterizes Mr. AngryDad as a man who values his autonomy and perceives Ms. AngryMom's alleged concerns suspiciously, as a tactic to gain an advantage in court and as an unnecessary effort to interfere with his autonomy. Consequently, Mr. AngryDad feels that there is no legitimate need for co-parenting and that it could actually make matters worse by supporting her manipulative tactics. (Psych Eval) Just as depicted, Mr. AngryDad's character weighs heavily and negatively in all of his interactions with Ms. AngryMom.

Therefore, in view of the court findings on health and safety issues, the psychological evaluation report, and the reality that unsuccessful co-parenting efforts are for the most part paralyzing the children's lives, Ms. AngryMom requests sole legal custody be awarded to her, pending a strong demonstration to the Court on Mr. AngryDad's part that he is willing to comply with court orders, make great strides in co-parenting issues, and modify his behavior for the children's best interests when it comes to their health, safety, and welfare.


Just about every sentence in Mr. AngryDad's Status Memo is some kind of distortion of the truth. Please read the following corrections:
1. "We had a fact finding hearing on March 25, 2005, and no significant defects in my parenting practices were found." (AngryDad's Status Memo [hereafter, S.M.] pg. 2)
See attached exhibits "A", "B", "C", "D", and "E" for 'significant defects' found.
2. "He does not give any explanation for the fact we did 50 50 co-parenting successfully for a year." (S.M. pg. 3)
The reason why the parties have been in court for the last year and a half is because they were unsuccessful at co parenting the children such as agreeing that there are legitimate issues of concern.
3. "Dr. Bess's report does not show that anything would be gained by delaying a return to 50-50 custody." (S.M. pg. 3)
Dr. Bess clearly states that we are unable to co-parent, which is a major ingredient in the recipe for a successful 50-50 custody situation.
4. "Dr. Bess's report suggests that the current schedule and court oversight might be an impediment to collaborative parenting, and sees no concrete reason why 50-50 parenting would not work." (S.M. pg. 5)
Mr. AngryDad seems to confuse his own words and reasoning to be that of Dr. Bess's.
5. Property Division: (S.M. pg. 1)
Ms. AngryMom does not acknowledge the validity of any marital settlement agreement.
6. Attorney Fees: (S.M. pg. 1)
Ms. AngryMom intends to make a request to this Court to order Mr. AngryDad to pay Ms. AngryMom for the amount of bills incurred throughout this court case.
7. Child Support: (S.M. pg. 1)
Mr. AngryDad has refused and continues to refuse to fill out documents that would allow the court to pinpoint the amount of money he is making per month. That being the case, Mr. AngryDad is under a court order to pay Ms. AngryMom a retroactive amount of child support, totaling about $2,000. This was ordered on March 25, 2005. It is now October of 2005, and Mr, AngryDad still has not paid.

Jill AngryMom
October 5, 2005

Cc: George AngryDad
She cites Family Code Section 3006, which only says:
3006. "Sole legal custody" means that one parent shall have the right and the responsibility to make the decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child.
I am flabbergasted by this. I will defend myself in court and on this blog.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

My custody request

I filed the following shortly before the Sept. 28 status hearing.

Status Memo

Status conference issues
Child custody: A temporary order is in effect. Judge Kelly has ordered a return to 50-50 custody, pending the parents jumping through some hoops.
Child support: A temporary order is in effect, based on inaccurate data, retroactively modifiable back to July 1, 2004.
Spousal support: Same story. I paid $4,000 for Dr. Bruce Bess, and AngryMom owes me for her half.
Attorney fees: AngryMom has requested $40,452.01 for legal work from June 2004 to May 2005. $20,000 was ordered and paid by me. The rest was denied.
Property division: Property has been divided by mutual agreement, but it has not been recorded with the court.

I have been fully scrutinized as a father

To comply with this court, I have now seen Dr. Melissa Berrenge, Dr. Bret K. Johnson, Dr. Warren Farrell, Dr. Laura Delizonna, Prof. Dr. Hans Steiner, Kari Wolman, Bruce Ross, Connie Jo Neustadter, Simply Your Best, Parents Center, and Dr. Bruce Bess. Five of them have submitted written reports. None have found anything wrong with my parenting, and all supported 50-50 parenting. (The weakest was Dr. Johnson, as he supported 50-50 shared parenting conditioned on AngryMom's consent.)

I have had forensic psychologists administer the following psychometric tests: Weinberger Adjustment Inventory (WAI), Response Evaluation Measure (REM 71), Structured Clinical Interview for DSM 111 R (SCID), Structured Interview for DSM IV Personality (SIDP IV), Parent Child Relationship Inventory (PCRI), Parenting Stress Index (PSI), Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2), Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory III (MCMI-III), and the Rorschach (inkblot) Test. I have written reports for all of these tests, and no disorders or other factors negatively influencing parenting were found.

AngryMom has spent the last 16 months in a sustained legal attack on me, in an attempt to get custody of our kids and maximize her support payments. Ms. Gray has run up over $40,000 in legal bills for this attack. AngryMom is a lawyer herself, and has devoted much of her time for the attack. The file has grown to hundreds of pages. We had a fact-finding hearing on March 25, 2005, and no significant defects in my parenting practices were found. Judge Kelly ruled in favor of 50-50 custody at that hearing, after a good report from C.J. Neustadter.

The latest report from Bruce Bess

I received the report from Bruce H. Bess, a Menlo Park licensed psychologist, on Monday, September 26, 2005.

He conducted inkblot and other tests. His results were that I was "within the normal range on all procedures", and that we "are both competent individuals with good basic coping skills and are free of any significant mental or emotional disorders."

Dr. Bess does have some doubts about our ability to co-parent. His reasoning is unclear, and his report is notable for what it does not say. He does not give any example of the interests of the children suffering because of our supposed inability to co-parent. He does not give any explanation for the fact we did 50-50 co-parenting successfully for a year. And he refuses to say who might be at fault for the alleged co-parenting difficulties.

The picture of AngryMom that Dr. Bess presents is that of a demanding, manipulative, and intransigent mother with a lot of unresolved anger. She refuses to negotiate or even discuss parenting issues because she believes that she can win in court. I attempt to cooperate as much as possible and practical. Because of her intransigence, this frequently means that I have to capitulate to her demands. Dr. Bess says that capitulation is not co-parenting, and that it would be better if we had a more collaborative relationship. If I followed Dr. Bess's advice, then I would capitulate less often, in order to force AngryMom to collaborate with me.

Dr. Bess's report does not show that anything would be gained by delaying a return to 50-50 custody. It is more of a reason to name me as primary custodian. I am not the one with psychological problems, I am not the one who is trying to cut off the kids from the other parent, I am not the one who keeps running to the court with petty gripes and accusations, and I am not the one who is being uncooperative.

Dr. Bess also suggest co-parenting counseling. I think that he means appointing someone like C.J. Neustadter to act as a nonbinding referee in parenting disputes. Ms. Neustadter was previously appointed by the court, and is familiar with the case. This might be helpful after we return to 50-50 custody and AngryMom actually has an incentive to cooperate with me.

Maintaining the current order violates statutes and precedents

There is no legal, factual, or psychological justification for the current custody arrangement. It is contrary to California Family Code Section 3010 (stating that the father and mother are equally entitled to the custody of the children), Section 3061 (requiring this court to enter an order granting temporary custody in accordance with our agreement), Section 3011 (requiring the court to state its reasons for a custody order in writing or on the record, when one parent makes abuse allegations), Section 3087 (requiring that the court state in its decision the reasons for modification or termination of a joint custody order, if I oppose the change), Section 3064 (forbidding an order granting or modifying a custody order on an ex parte basis unless there has been a showing of immediate harm to the child or immediate risk that the child will be removed from the State of California), and higher court precedents on due process in child custody changes (forbidding a judge to just rubber-stamp a custody evaluator report without a hearing, see Fewel v. Fewel (1943) 23 Cal.2d 431, and Forslund v. Forslund, 225 Cal.App.2d 476 (1964)).

50-50 custody is the only reasonable alternative

All of the law and evidence points to an immediate change to 50-50 custody. AngryMom's divorce petition asked for 50-50 custody. We did 50-50 co-parenting for an entire year, and no one has found any problems with that. The kids very much preferred the 50-50 custody arrangement. None of the experts found any problems with 50-50 custody or my fitness as a father. The only judge who looked at any facts (Judge Kelly) has ruled in favor of 50-50 custody. The last court-appointed expert to interview the kids (C. J. Neustadter) recommended an immediate shift to 50-50 custody. Dr. Bess's report suggests that the current schedule and court oversight might be an impediment to collaborative parenting, and sees no concrete reason why 50-50 parenting would not work. There is no reason to wait any longer.

George The AngryDad
September 26, 2005

Cc: Ms. J. J. Gray, Bosso et al, POB 1822, Santa Cruz CA 95060
(or by personal delivery to 133 Mission St #280)