When Sarah’s son comes home he tells his mother of various ways people smoke heroin when he is around his dad. Sarah was twenty and a waitress at a local diner when she became pregnant. Carl, the father, was a shy and cordial young man who worked construction. Suddenly, their casual relationship had turned very serious. Despite her friend’s urging, the two decided to marry soon after the pregnancy news. As most couples learn of their spouse’s true nature before they tie the knot, Sarah was not granted this luxury. Carl had done an excellent job of hiding his addictions to drugs and alcohol. His closeted vices exposed themselves in the ugliest of ways. He was either extremely lethargic or subject to violent mood swings. Sarah eventually divorced him, undoubtedly believing she would be given 100% custody of her toddler son. Carl had lost his job and was selling drugs out of their family home. However, even though Carl was clearly an inadequate parent, a 50/50 split of custody was granted. Sarah now shares custody of her child with her abusive ex-husband in New Mexico, a state known for having one of the highest death rates for children going through custody battles. Sarah’s ex regularly exposes their 9-year old son to heroin users and dealers. The situation became so dire her ex was in a shootout that claimed the life of a drug dealer. Sarah eventually finds her son covered in bruises and cuts with no clear explanation. Despite visual evidence from photos, neither the authorities or the court system takes action. Luckily for Sarah, help arrives in the form of a vigilante biker gang calling themselves, “The Guardians.” They’re a group of hardened men with kind hearts who dedicate themselves to helping children. The biker gang is known to step in when the courts won’t. There are nights when The Guardians monitor her ex-husband’s home, checking in to ensure her son’s safety. As Sarah’s ongoing legal bills continue to drain her, she hopes her next court appearance will swing in her favor.
Hera's son Prince was murdered by his father after a judge gave visitation to an abusive man with a history of violence. Every time she had to hand over her son for a visitation, Hera feared for his life and warned the court. The court would not order supervised visitation and would not protect the young infant. The father took out a life insurance policy on the infant and drowned Prince on a visit and tried to collect the money. He was recently found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Hera has devoted her life to helping other women and written a book and does speaking engagements all over the country to help other women.
Rebecca has lost both her daughters in a horrific case in New Mexico. Her ex-husband is a police officer and was extremely violent during their marriage. Rebecca left with her newborn daughter and filed for divorce and custody in the courts. They ordered her to take the baby to visit her ex-husband and he would rape her. The court would not do anything to help her and she became pregnant with another child. Her ex-husband took both the children and moved to another state and threatened her. Rebecca has been in court since trying to see her daughters and there is no relief in sight for her.
Imagine a toddler having to go to the Beverly Hills Police department every time she switches from one parent to the other... Lisa had only known Frank for ten months before they were married. Frank was a disarmingly attractive man who came from a highly respected family. The two were happy to continue his family’s legacy with Lisa’s newborn baby girl. Nevertheless, it wasn’t long before Frank began to shed his exterior of a kind, loving husband and father. Late nights spent out with friends turned into long, unexplained absences from home. Constant bickering soon became all night shouting matches after Frank lapsed into his drunken rages. Frank was mean-spirited, abusive and would fly into an intense fury at the drop of a hat. Lisa knew divorce was the only option for the safety of her and her child. Even though the judge in the custody hearing acknowledged Frank’s ‘high-conflict’ personality and volatile nature, he was still given joint custody of their child. Currently, Lisa is forced to share custody with Frank, who faces numerous domestic violence charges with past women. Police have even witnessed him violently grab his 2-years old daughter. Sadly, this is another instance of the Family Court favoring the wealthier parent. Frank has an affluent family. They finance his legal battles in court, while Lisa struggles to afford the hefty fees. Lisa’s ex not only has the money to fuel a court battle, but perhaps even the wherewithal to garner more than the 50/50 split of custody currently arranged.
An eleven-month old nursing infant and a six year old child were legally kidnapped by a judge, who sanctioned their court-ordered abduction... While studying abroad her senior year, Emily met the former love of her life. She is a U.S. citizen and Andrew hailed from Sweden. The two of them would rendezvous all over the world for their romantic trysts. Their relationship was filled with lust, passion and romance. Each meeting would only last a few weeks at a time, and the two would return to their lovesick lives without each other. After ten years, the couple agreed to commit to each other in New York City. That’s when the real world came crashing down. Neither spouse could fit in the other’s life. Andrew drank and partied with his bachelor friends, while Emily stayed home and cared for their children. Andrew eventually returned to Sweden and Emily was able to divorce him. However, the judge in the custody hearing ordered a sickening ruling. Using a loophole in the Hague Convention Treaty, a federal judge ordered Emily's two children to be flown 6000 miles away from their country of birth and residence. The children were sent to Sweden, a country neither child had even visited before being taken. Andrew used his family’s money to corrupt the federal judge and orchestrate the abduction. While the appellate court vacated the decision, they failed to order the safe return of Emily’s children. Andrew has proven time and again that he is an unfit parent. He has hidden the children for months at a time without contact to their mother, he continues to make disparaging and false allegations and he has even raped Emily in the past. Over four years has gone by since the children have been in the hands of their reprehensible father. Emily is forced to fight in a Swedish court for the custody of her US citizen children.
Natalie has had supervised visits with her son for the last seven years. She was falsely accused of kidnapping her son at the age of two because she moved to be with her family after her ex husband was physically abusing her. Her ex husband gained full custody of their son when he was two years old and took him to another State. The custody evaluator lied in his evaluation and when he testified that her son was in danger of being kidnapped and that the father was a more responsible parent. The judge would not allow hearings and Natalie was ordered to pay child support and pay for supervised visits with her son costing up to $2,000 per month. Her son has been mal-nourished and mistreated and there was no guardian at litem appointed by the judge to protect him. Natalie is still trying to get unsupervised visits and gain custody of her son but the Washington courts have made it impossible to change the circumstances. The Court awarded her ex-husband legal fees and the court seized two hundred and fifty thousand Dollars from Natalie's bank account.
Kristine has been a respected international fashion model for 25 years. She met prominent Italian fashion designer, Roberto, on a photo shoot in Los Angeles. Kristine became pregnant shortly after their long distance relationship began. Kristine remained living alone in Los Angeles during her pregnancy but when their son was born, Roberto came from Italy to live with them. When the couple’s child was two years old he was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and began an intensive daily therapy program of occupational, behavioral and speech therapies. One morning, when the child was three and a half years old, Roberto said to Kristine that he was taking their child to preschool like every other normal weekday morning. Little did Kristine know that when she kissed her son goodbye that morning, she would not see him again for 40 days. Roberto did not take their son to preschool as expected. Instead he took the boy to an undisclosed location (hotel) and served Kristine legal papers accusing her of being a drug and sex addict as well as claiming child abuse, child abandonment and legally requesting that Kristine be removed immediately from their home only granting her nine hours supervised visits per week. When the father’s salacious attempt failed in court, his attorney guided him to file the same charges with DCFSS knowing that if an investigation is pending with child services, the father did not have to return the child back home until the inquiry was completed. And even though child services declared that this was a typical “custody grab” and filed their case “unfounded”, the legal stunt allowed Roberto to hold their son away from home, school, therapies, medical appointments, family and friends for as long as it took their case to be seen before a judge. Sadly, with the slow judicial process, and despite Kristine’s pleas to police, federal abduction agency, child services, detectives, attorneys and even filing an Ex-parte Motion in family court, it took 39 long days and nights until Kristine was able to get in front of a judge which forced the father to finally return the child back home to her. By that time the child, who was already sensitive due to his stereotype, suffered irreversible damages due to the separation anxiety and negligence of the father to regard his emotional needs. Kristine and her son were not protected by the court. Two years later Kristine still faces the legal battle against a father who refuses to mediate, refuses to comply with court orders and refuses to co-parent seeking sole custody at any emotional and financial expenses. Trying to manage all of the family expenses and Matthew’s Autism care needs alone, Kristine quickly ran out of means to borrow money and was dropped by her counsel before even appearing before the judge again to plea her case. She lives in anticipation of the father’s next moves and how the courts will continue to turn a blind eye to the father’s cruelty. Having connected with two other mothers who lost their children to the same corrupt child evaluator several years prior, Kristine lives in fear that she too will lose her son too.
Six and a half years after Rockland County Family Court separated Susan from her two daughters, the Maryland mother awaits a ruling in her home state that could determine whether she finally sees her kids again. In the time that’s elapsed her daughters have grown from seven and eight-year-olds to 13 and 14-years-olds, respectively, without any contact from their mother mainly via the Rockland Family Court’s unusual use of protective orders to eliminate visitation. Susan long contended that Maryland was the state with legitimate jurisdiction in the case, as the New York Court failed to acquire jurisdiction in compliance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act. Susan has followed ex-husband through three states Virginia, New York and Florida in various courts trying to see her daughters. He has hired multiple lawyers and threatened her with her life on many occasions and the court has not intervened to help her. She is bankrupt from all the attorney fees and he continues to threaten her and keep her daughters away from her.