Monday, April 29, 2013

How to Prepare for Child Protection Services Use in Custody Cases

Written by: Peter Christopher Lomtevas

Child Custody Lawyer


Commense a Family Court Proceeding

You want to "fight" for custody? Here's what can happen during the case.

The Abuse Allegations

While you are competing for an award of custody whether an initial award based upon the best interests standard or a modification based upon the changed circumstances standard, your adversary suddenly alleges you abused your child.

The Allegations

Popular abuse allegations are: sexual contact between the competing father and any of his daughters awakened through "dream therapy"; the children are "afraid" of the opposite parent; the parent was too unskillful or too conflictual with the child necessitating a flip of custody; over medicating a child (Munchhausen's by Proxy) or seeing too many doctors (where a treating physician calls in the report to CPS); administering dangerous drugs to a child; not feeding or not educating a child and a catchall provision whereby any of the protective "team" deems protection is needed.

Catchall Provision

In the typical child protective scheme, there are several players who are in a position to allege acts of neglect or abuse whether real or fabricated. The judge may look at the parent and decide the parent's appearance or demeanor is "threatening". The attorney for the child can decide to invoke "therapy" and make the decision whether therapy should cease. The foster care agency can invoke their authority to place a child in care or to deny his release. The child protective service can invoke its authority to file additional or different charges.

The Court Appointed Psychologist

This is the most privileged position among all the government's players in a neglect and abuse case. The psych's papers are all protected from disclosure by court order so the psych can write anything he wants whether it's real or false. Complaint's to the psych's licensing board go nowhere because you cannot get a judge to order a release of these reports for complaint purposes. The typical finding by these psychs is narcissistic personality disorder although there are no studies anywhere linking this "disorder" to bad parenting. The report is always a hearsay narrative of phone calls the psych made with others familiar with the parents: the psych can omit or include anything anyone says, can exaggerate or diminish anyone says and can describe a parent conduct as the opposite of the parent's personality. A cop is a criminal, a teacher is a porn addict and a career mother is unskillful with her kids. It's a hearsay fest concluding with a "recommendation" ending the case.

How The Case Gets Ruined

At any time during a proceeding to establish or modify custody, one parent makes an allegation of abuse against the other parent. Typically, the accuser has already established a privileged position in the case either by hiring the politically connected attorney or otherwise finding favor with any of the "team". This causes an immediate referral to supervised visitation. This act builds a negative record against the loser and hamstrings the rest of the case. The visiting parent gets adverse write ups at the supervised visitation center even though the supervisor says everything is going great. The loser's attorney asks to be relieved and is summarily granted his request. Here follow a string of attorneys capped by a court appointed lawyer who acts against the loser to get her to settle for the loss of the child.

The End of the Case

At this point, the matter is finished. Visitation can have no end and a return to court will result in appearances before the same judge and the same "team". These cases are akin to a poker parlor visit. You draw the wrong cards and you lose. The house controls all the rules and can change them at will. Be warned.







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