Friday, October 22, 2010

Neighbor feud escalates to custody dispute

Here is news about a New Jersey neighbor feud that is out of control:
It's been a rough month for Jennifer Petkov. The 33-year-old Trenton woman accused of bullying 7-year-old Kathleen Edward lost custody of two of her children this week, according to Fox 2.

The television station reports a Wayne County Probate Court judge has ruled Petkov's eight-year-old daughter and five-year-old son should live with their father until further notice.

The father, who had a relationship with Petkov prior to her current marriage, filed for an emergency hearing shortly after Petkov made national headlines by admitting on camera that she posted disturbing images on Facebook of Kathleen, who is in the final stages of Huntington's Disease, and her mother, who died of the degenerative brain condition.
I suggest watching the video stories here and here to see the offensive images that Petrov posted on her Facebook page. The images were not too offensive to broadcast on TV, apparently.

Petkov does sound like a crazy woman making some sort of sick joke. But the neighbors may also be at fault, and we will never know the full story.

The disturbing thing here is that the family court has chosen to intervene in a petty neighbor dispute, and take her kids away. The dispute did not involve her kids. Yes, Petkov owed her neighbor an apology, but it is not the job of the family court to enforce good manners. If Petkov committed some sort of crime, then she could be charged with it, but the family court should not treat her as if she is guilty of some crime when she has not been charged.

The family court may have helped cause this problem in the first place by giving Petkov custody of the kids. If the dad is a competent parent now, then why didn't he get joint custody in the first place? It sounds like the family court policy was to give custody to the mom, unless she posts offensive pictures on Facebook. That is no way to run a family court.

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