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 California Coalition for Families and Children PBC is a Delaware Public Benefit Corporation founded by parents and children and devoted to protecting parents’ and children’s interests in divorce, custody, and parentage matters.  Parents–not courts, lawyers, or “experts”–know what’s best for their children, and if given the tools and opportunity, will do a far, far better job for their children and themselves.  Conflict is extraordinarily dangerous, yet courts, attorneys, and “experts” regularly cultivate it for short-sighted institutional gain.   Government intervention regularly endangers not only children, but the entire family through clumsy, thoughtless, and frequently illegal action.  Safe and healthy parent and child autonomy is the only lasting solution to family conflict.
CCFC has been active over the last five years in litigation, lobbying state and federal representatives, and grass-roots activism. We have recently undertaken civil rights litigation against San Diego Family Court professionals and are planning additional federal action in coming months.  Please visit our Facebook page for ongoing events and details.
Save yourself, your children, and your future.

Parents can.

 

California Coalition for Families and Children

“Justice, Mercy, and Faith.”

 

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Visit our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/CCFCONLINE

Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Colbern C. Stuart, III
All Rights Reserved
All original materials within this domain are proprietary subject to copyright laws of the United States of America.

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7 Comments

  1. Yogi Bear says:

    I had recommended the uptoparents.org online program to my family court judge in 2010, requesting he make it a court order that both me and mom complete the program. The judge never heard of it, but nonetheless, he agreed to make it a court order, and requested certificates of completion be filed with the court upon next court date. Three months later in court, I had eagerly and happily provided my certificate of completion to the court. When it was time for the mom to give hers to the court during that appearance , she provided an excuse to the judge for not having it, that was tantamount to the dog had chewed it up, or something close to that. The judge did not seem to care or take it seriously that she had recklessly violated a court order- his order- so that we could/would learn what is truly in the best interests of our child regarding post-divorce communications, and mitigate any damage to our child. She thought she had won something by violating his order, but she was very misguided. The only action that would have woken her from her deep slumber, is if the judge would have given her 30 days in jail. Instead, the judge gave her a free ticket to continue her horrid communications, and continue to cause psychological harm to our child. Welcome to San Diego very Broken UNfamily courts

  2. MJ says:

    Sacramento is just as messed up as San Diego court system. Here is one story of many that involve the Sac family courts:
    More and more family court cases are coming to light in Sacramento County. Not because they have a positive outcome, but because they have a negative and sometimes horrible impact on the children involved. It is a growing concern that children are being ripped from good, stable single mothers and given to abusive fathers. I am not saying that all fathers are evil and should be treated the same. I have met some single fathers that have had the same situation happen to them. I would like to share a story about a dear friend of mine and what she is currently going through with the Sacramento County Court system.
    She is a single mother of two very bright, very intelligent boys. The oldest is seven and the youngest three. She provides for the boys and gives them the best life she possibly can on a fixed income. She will gladly go without to make sure that her boys have everything they need. Like most mothers, her children come first.
    The oldest father is an emotional abuser, which as we all know is very difficult to prove and takes an emotional toll on both mother and child. This abuse has been going on for many years, it started shortly after she was married to him. He reared his ugly head and showed her his true nature. Nothing was good enough for him; he had to have complete and utter control over every aspect of her life. She was not allowed to have spending money unless she wrote down what she wanted to buy and he approved it. Then he would check to see f what she bought was on the list, if she had bought something extra. Then there was hell to pay. Nothing physical, just a lot of name calling, yelling inches from her face and putting her down with every sentence. To any normal human being, it beings to take a toll on you.
    Here he is, saying how worthless the mother of his son is and how she can’t do anything right no matter how hard she tried to please him, just to avoid conflict. If you have ever seen the movie, “Sleeping with the Enemy” with Julia Roberts. Her marriage almost mirrored that, but without the physical abuse.
    When her oldest was two, she had had enough of the abuse. Not only did she start to believe she was worthless, but it was starting to take its toll on her son and for his sake she had to get out of that situation. She did not want her son to follow in his father’s foot steps and become an abuser too because that was all he would ever see his father do. She wanted a better life for her son. So she told him she was leaving. He wouldn’t let her take anything, but a small travel bag of toiletries for her son and the clothes on their backs. She went to her grandmother’s house until she had enough funds saved up to file for divorce. While she was staying there, avoiding hateful phone calls and unannounced visits from him. He took her car, clothes, furniture anything that was hers and threw them away. He tried to erase every single shred of evidence that she was ever in the house.
    When they divorced, she didn’t ask for anything nor want anything from him. She just wanted to be away from him and in her desperate attempt to flee a horrible situation she opened herself up to years of harassment from her ex husband.
    Fast forward five years. The harassing phone calls and unexpected visits still continue, he has a horrible habit of barging into her own home and snooping around the house making comments and putting her down in front of her 7 year old and 3 year old sons. So one day in Late April her oldest was running a fever and so was she. She receives a phone call from her ex husband at 7 am and she informs him that the entire house is sick, their son has a fever and won’t be attending school that day. No more than ten minutes later. He comes over, hops a locked gate and begins to pound on the doors and windows yelling and demanding that she give up his son so he can take him to school. Now lucky for the ex wife who had called her sister earlier to bring over some Tylenol and orange juice for them. She happened to pull up while the ex husband was yelling. She immediately told him to leave and he starts to yell at her sister. She calls 911 and the operator is listening to him yell, scream and continue to pound on the windows. The whole time the ex wife and children are huddled in the back room, crying. While the oldest is pleading with his mother not to let him go with his dad.
    A report is filed with the police department and he is escorted off the property. This is when she decides enough is enough and files for a restraining order and it was granted. For three weeks the small family is happy and begins to show signs of healing and getting past all the turmoil of the past years. On the day of court, she goes Pro Per and the judge refused to let her speak or listen to anything she has to say. Her ex husband has hired himself the shadiest attorney in Sacramento. That has numerous questionable acts against him concerning custody cases.
    It was obvious that the attorney knew the judge and because she was not represented the judge yelled at her, took the child off the Restraining Order and allowed the father to see his son every other weekend. The only contact they are allowed to have is via email and only when it concerns their son. Her restraining order is still in affect and he has violated it several times with phone calls and text messages that have nothing to do with their son’s well being. The judge also sends them to mediation.
    Three weeks later and she goes to mediation alone, the moment she walks through he door the mediator smirks at her and wants nothing to do with her. They sit down and for three hours the ex wife is forced to defend herself against questions that have nothing to do with the well being of their child, but questions about her disability and how that is a cause for concern for the son. She was put on disability shortly after they got married and it has never been questioned until now. So emotionally drained an exhausted without feeling any sort of resolve she leaves and waits for the report to come in the mail.
    Nothing was sent and on the day of court to cover the mediator’s findings she is able to read it. I have seen mediation reports so I know what they look like. On one side you have the mother’s wishes, on the other you have the fathers and in the middle is the mediators recommendations. This report was a complete and utter attack on the mother and her disability. This report was so fictitious and contradicting that it was hard to believe that this mediator that has been doing this job for over 27 years could possibility write such a horrible report. Lucky for the ex wife, this judge allowed her to speak, she was able to get an extension and reschedule her court date and push it back for a couple weeks so she is able to find someone to help her.
    As of now, we are still trying to find someone willing to take on this case. Every attorney we have talked to has told us that she has a good case, but she is up against way more than a simple custody battle. She is up against the judicial system itself for the wrongful and illegal actions for making a ruling solely against her disability. No one wants to take on a case like this. So this is were we are now, we have very little time and no where to turn or go.
    This is by far the worst thing that could possibly happen to a good, honest and fair person. Just because she wanted a little peace and the ability to try and correct worsening behavior in her son as a result of this abuse. That a good act or finally having enough and standing up for what is right, is some how thrown back in their face and spat on repeatedly. She is now in danger of losing her son to her ex husband who will have full custody during the week and she will only have visits on the weekends. Plus the mediator thought it would be a good idea for the son to attend day care after school. Instead of spending time with the mother, who has their whole lives structured with activities and games to keep them active and not sitting in front of the T.V. like so many children do these days.
    It is not fair for a child to be ripped from a good, stable home and thrown into a situation that will cause the child a tremendous amount of stress and aggravation. It is not right in the least, but we don’t know what can do or who we can turn to for help at this point. We have exhausted all other options at this point. What is she suppose to do now? Hang her head in the court room and let the judge pull the son away from the only thing he has ever known because of the corrupt and unjust judicial system we have in place in Sacramento County? This is so wrong on so many levels. There is nothing right with this situation and yet is it being allowed to happen because of the people who will gladly take a “kick back” to sway a ruling in their favor.
    Something needs to happen, our system is set up to protect those who don’t have a voice, but when they do. They get their whole world ripped apart because of a couple grand being shoved in someone’s pocket to look the other way.

  3. My reply is: http://familycourtmatters.wordpress.com. I have gone through the mediation thing, and had a mediator switch custody of my kids overnight (it’s called “rubberstamping”) after they were physically stolen (a felony in California, without notification to the D.A.), and they were also held truant almost a full month from the school they’d just been in enrolled in and, per court order, delivered to their father for his weekly visitation. This was the lsat time I had any regular contact with either of my own daughters until they both turned 18, with about maybe 3 short exceptions. No major holidays but one in several years (despite court order). I never got to the appeals level because I was in shock.

    It was that experience and the lead up to it (i.e., being brought to pretty complete devastation after working that hard to stay upright and functional (I should mention, this was years after separation, my children were a little older when we separated — I had to file for protection from within the marriage; and there was ongoing physical abuse with weapons, it was definitely necessary to stay alive…

    This blog has links to many other resources, and basically the system as set up DOES have an operating plan which is affected by the federal grants to the states, welfare reform (even if a person is not on welfare, it has affected the system). “Access/visitation” grants exist but are not always available to the nonabusive parent; their function is to increase “noncustodial parenting time.” I am familiar (somewhat) with Tadros v. Doyne (well, it’s also well-known now), and was just forwarding it to a friend of mine who also went after someone’s fake credentials (out of state).

    I should make it clear upfront although I was in a DV relationship, I will be as straightforward about the DV industry (see site) as any other one who believes that families are here for the purpose of providing court-connected industries. There are some basic skillsets to develop (not specifically legal, but more investigative) which I think it would help both fathers and mothers to figure out.

    There are also certain industries which do not want fathers on mothers on the same page about the money, but would rather have us split up over conservative/progressive, or some other partisan issue. These issues do exist, but I believe that beneath them all is the money, and it is definitely interesting to follow, and foolish not to follow.

    Moreover, it’s really interesting information in its own right, and is a quick way to sort out truth-tellers from fraud, without going on, and on, and on (and on) about subjective matters. My blog does that — but for show and tell purposes; anyone can skip my walk, read the links, and make up their mind about them (many links are to databases for looking up grants, etc.).

    There’s also, along with context, a historical (chrono) history of the development of the courts; they were ordered into existence first, I believe, from judges with an idea, and afterwards laws lobbied to make them the standard. All I knew at the time is, I deserved answers for why my children, I, and my friends, should be going through this. Why cannot a law-abiding spouse survive divorce in America these days? Either something has happened — or we were unaware of what the context was before getting into it.

  4. Emidio Checcone says:

    I applaud you on attempting to reform the system through a lawsuit. It will be a tough road, but I wish you much success and am happy to help in any way that I can.

    More importantly, I appreciate your speaking the truth about the family law system, not just in SD or LA or even in California, but across the country. The divorce court system often appears derelict in its responsibility to expeditiously regulate and terminate marriages. Rather it often seems to exist merely in order to create full employment for lawyers, co-parenting counselors, child custody evaluators and every other industry that feeds at the trough of the divorce courts in this country. This should not be surprising. Economists use the term “regulatory capture” to describe this process whereby rent-seeking private players gain control over government bodies in order to serve their own profit-making interests rather than the public interest (in this case, the children and divorcing families). There is an entire library of research and work on this subject in the economics literature. It is time for Californians to stop this corrupting influence on our judiciary and thus protect the important governmental function of regulating and expeditiously ending marriages (a settled province of the states) from the bankrupting and traumatizing costs raised by lawyers, counselors, evaluators and the many other groups seeking their pound of flesh. And this should be done not merely because it is economically efficient, but because more often than not, there are children involved who hurt by the current system. As legal scholars have argued for decades, an adversarial system is inappropriate for resolving disputes amongst two ex-spouses going through the second worst adult trauma (after losing a child) and the second worst trauma visited upon their children (after a parent’s untimely death). However, it should be obvious to all that a CORRUPT adversarial system creates an absolute living hell for the parties involved, and every Californian ought to be horrified by that prospect given the high rate of divorce occurring in this country.

    Beyond the corruption of the lawyers and other family law “professionals,” it is important to also properly characterize the other problem in the divorce court system: the doling out of theoretically unlimited welfare entitlements creating massive incentives for bad behavior on the part of one of the ex-spouses. While the government will not agree to pay welfare amounts to replace the income lost from a bankruptcy, loss of job, illness or disability or even death, state governments across the US expect one ex spouse to maintain the other at a marital standard of living even after the marriage has ended. In most states this expectation occurs even after the recipient ex spouse has been awarded (through community property laws or common law distribution rules) one-half of the marital assets (which, if one party earned less than the other, inevitably includes a transfer of unearned wealth). Moreover, this one-time transfer doesn’t end the welfare payments, since the recipient party is still allowed to collect more welfare in the form of ongoing support (i.e., alimony and child support). Even if the historically lower-earning spouse can afford to live above the poverty line, they are automatically granted an entitlement to a standard of living that existed before the separation, and this entitlement is unique in all of welfare economics. We do not provide insurance to the family that didn’t divorce but the father lost his job. We do not provide insurance to the widow who cannot afford to keep her house after the death of her spouse. So why do we say that merely by virtue of the fact that you were married to someone (in CA for ten years), you are then entitled to potentially very large welfare payments for the rest of your life? This is not only illogical because it treats loss of income from marriage differently than loss of income from death, sickness or loss of job. It is also illogical because it tolerates and actually encourages all of the disincentives to work that we have historically sought to eliminate from all other welfare systems ever developed. In California, someone losing their job may receive only up to $18K for one year, in an effort to help them back on their feet. And the now-homeless widow is limited to ridiculously low entitlement payments (e.g., Medicare, public housing), which are all being cut currently. Yet the privately-funded welfare going to a lower-earning spouse has remained as generous as ever. This is wrong not merely because it is out of step with all other examples of welfare, but because it represents a system in which the majority of taxpayers are demanding that a private party supply more welfare than they themselves are willing to pay; this is tyranny of the majority, and that should not stand.

    In short, the system of our family law courts is driven by divorce attorneys and other special interest groups perverting the system to maximize their profits, and these groups find a willing partner-in-crime in one of the two parties to the divorce, who correctly sees a golden opportunity to fleece his or her ex spouse for the generous welfare payments that are their right to demand. This is the gasoline-plus-fire problem that has caused millions to burn needlessly through their entire hard-earned savings, college fund, retirement, etc. It is remarkably easy to see, but also sadly remarkably easy to hide: witness divorce lawyer doyen Laura Wasser blaming the victim (i.e., her clients and their ex spouses) in her new book (It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way), or watch lawyers bring up the now-rare example of the stay-at-home mother with an agreement that she’d stay home being short-changed out of her “fair share” of the marital assets–as if that stay-at-home mother represents more than 5% of the instances of divorce in California these days. The reality is this: the lawyers will tell you that you need them to preserve your rights, but the reality is that they need you to preserve their riches–and riches they have, just check out Wasser’s beachfront home in Malibu.

    If you have been ravaged by this process, you have reason to be angry. And even if you haven’t experienced the corruption and dysfunctionality of the family law system, you might still be angry. But the key is to vent your anger in productive ways. Educate yourself. Educate others. Demand change. And help bring it about. We do still live in a democracy, and we do have the power to take back our government, including our family law courts.

    • Cole Stuart says:

      Wise words Mr. Checcone. We’re working to make them conventional wisdom. If you haven’t already heard, a new movie explaining the corruption in lay terms is premiering January 10, 2014 thoughout the United States. It’s entitled DivorceCorp.

      We’d also suggest you get inolved in your local judiciary races–judges have all the power in family court. State laws are ignored, and the federal government purposefully (and illegally) carves out exceptions for family court litigants in violation of equal protection laws. The result is families are left to the whim of a judge managing a rogues gallery of unethical attorneys, social workers, and psychologists–a fox guarding the henhouse scenario bound for disaster that could not possibly succeed. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either incompetent or in on the deal.

      Good luck and please stay involved. Our DDICE RICO will be exposing the truths you articulately describe in coming months. Wish us luck.

    • Klas Lilja says:

      Very well put!

      Through an ordeal that is now in it’s fifth year, I have seen the methods used by the lawyers and the Family Courts up close; prevent all discussion and negotiation about the actual divorce, launch an harassment and defamation attack on one of the parties (usually the husband), and then force this party to pay all legal fees for both sides.

      The lawsuit by the California Coalition for Famlies and Children and the unveiling of Family Court practices by DivorceCorps.com are a great comfort (really great work), but what should victims who are not lawyers themselves do? There is no Government entity supervising the Family Courts (the appeals Courts are simply not adequate for this). Who could organize this? For example putting the issue of forming a Family Court “supervision agency” on a ballot?

      Today a divorce lawyer can file a motion for legal fees based on unsubstantiated statements (about the other party) that have nothing to do with the actual divorce terms (and usually are total falsehoods); things like “[he] created a marriage of fear and control”, or “[he] was able to pay last time, so he should be able to pay this time to”, and the Family Court will, without scrutiny, award them large legal fees (typically $20,000-$100,000). The divorce lawyers can therefore collect legal fees in motion after motion while preventing all discussion and communication about actual divorce terms.

      I think that a couple of simple (and obvious) rules would be able to save a lot divorcing couples (and in particular save their children) from the clutches of the Divorce industry, for example:

      (1) Legal fees can ONLY be awarded for matters/work related to the divorce terms, (2) If a party refuses to communicate about matters related to the actual divorce (e.g., about division of property, custody, settlement etc.), the Court may NOT award legal fees to this party, (3) If false claims are made in the request for legal fees the Court MUST penalize the party (including the lawyer and law firm) who made the false claims.

      But who will initiate and enforce such rules? Who will SUPERVISE the Family Courts?

      I am not a lawyer, but how about a statewide ballot initiative including (1) the formation of an independent Government entity to supervise Family Courts (2) a set of basic rules that the Family Courts must adhere to (and which, eventually, should be worked into the CA Legal Code)..

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