Before the contempt trial on Friday, Judge Heather D. Morse asked about the child visitation. She told me that she understood that I have had at least two visits with my kids since the last court appearance. I said that is correct, and I had even seen one of them the previous day.
I still cannot figure out how the judge knew this. It was not mentioned in any of the paperwork, and I did not mention it. The supervisor has not written any reports yet. I do not know who would have told the judge, and I thought that it was improper for her to collect info about a case outside of court.
We then discussed a visitation issue. One of my kids wanted to go surfing with me, but my ex-wife Julie told the supervisor that court orders prohibit it. In court, Julie told the judge that the supervisor objected to it as being impermissible. That is not true, of course. The supervisor just did not want to get in the water. She is happy to collect her $50 per hour sitting on the beach, if everyone else is happy with that.
So I asked the judge whether any court orders forbade me to take my kid surfing, if Julie approves. I explained that I do not want to be in contempt of court, and I am following court orders as best as I can.
Judge Morse answered that the surfing decision "ought to be up to the child's therapist."
I was stunned. First, my kids are not in any physical or psychological or any other kind of therapy, and they never have been. No report or witness said that they need therapy. This is a judge who sat thru hours of testimony about our kids, and made a couple of child custody decisions, and yet she thinks that our kids are in some sort of therapy? How could she make a custody decision without knowing this most basic fact?
Second, what kind of parent would leave it up to a therapist to decide whether a child could go surfing? In my opinion, a parent is unfit if she cannot make such a decision by herself. Does this family court judge really think that a good way to rear kids is to put them in psychotherapy, and let the therapist decide whether a kid can go surfing?
I should have realized then that this judge could not be reasoned with.
Julie then said that our kids do not have a therapist, and the judge was puzzled. She looked as if she had no idea how a surfing decision could be made if there was no therapist.
I had to explain, "Your honor, I am not asking for your child rearing opinions. I am just asking for a clarification about the orders that have been already issued by this court."
After some discussion, Judge Morse conceded that there no orders restricting surfing. She said that visitation is currently at Julie's discretion, and that there is no court requirement that visitation be supervised, or that visits take place on dry land. Judge Morse said that the only reason that there is supervision is because Julie wants to prevent me from telling my kids about what has happened in court.
On this last point, the judge is correct, but I was very surprised to hear her say it in open court. Usually visitation is justified in terms of some sort of claim of danger to the kids, or something like that. Usually the danger claim is a smokescreen to hide the mom's vindictiveness, and the judge plays along with the scam. In my case, there is no alleged danger, and no reason for the supervision has ever been given except to prevent my kids from learning the truth that their dad is good man who loves them. But preventing a child from learning the truth from a parent has never been considered a legitimate reason for a family court intervention, and I was surprised to hear the judge condone such outrageous reasoning.
At any rate, at least it was made clear that there is no court requirement that a supervisor be present when I visit my kids. My visits are supervised solely because of the vindictiveness of my bitter ex-wife, Julie Travers.