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Advice for Parents Considering or Involved in a Custody Dispute: The Chaos of Courts, Lawyers, and Psychologists Exposed

Phoenix program cover thumbnailFrom California Coalition’s litigation library this week we bring you the inside word on custody evaluations from judges, lawyers, and evaluators themselves.  When is a custody evaluation legal? When is it appropriate? When should it be ordered? What is the policy of courts in making these decisions?

Three Los Angeles Family Court practitioners explain their policies and practices at the 2012 10th Symposium on Child Custody Evaluations in Phoenix. The audio is linked below.

If you’ve been told or otherwise believe child custody evaluations are well-studied, regular processes–like an operation or physical therapy–what you’re about to learn will amaze you.

[More at WeightierMatter.com ….]

From Weightier Matter and Carpe Dicta: 2014 Opens With Controversy

Carpe Dicta The June 3, 2014 judicial election that tags along with the political party primaries is ordinarily a sleeper, but this year an incumbent Judge—Lisa Schall—is facing a stiff challenge from a startup outsider: Assistant United States Attorney Carla Keehn.

The rare challenge to a sitting judge has swept the San Diego Superior Court bench into some early controversy as Schall’s judicial colleagues mobilize to her defense by going on the offense against her challenger’s campaign support base.   Two San Diego Superior Court judges, David Rubin and Paula Rosenstein, have deployed the Superior Court’s own political capital to aid Schall’s bid for re-election by not-so-subtle coercion toward Keehn’s supporters.

On Friday February 21, 2014, the San Diego Union Tribune broke the story pointing to potential manipulation of Keehn’s campaign by San Diego’s entire Superior Court bench.  The UT reported that one of the groups that had endorsed Keehn, Tom Homann Lawyer’s Association (THLA), had been pressured by Rubin and Rosenstein to withdraw their endorsement.

Nicholas Fox, President of THLA, wrote to Keehn on Feburay 10 expressing what he called “concerns” he was receiving from Judges Rubin and Rosenstein as well as “their colleagues at the Superior Court” about Keehn’s candidacy.  Weightier Matter has obtained a copy of the email.  In it Fox writes:

As you know, both Judge Rubin and Judge Rosenstein have expressed a concern coming from their colleagues on the Superior Court regarding your running against a sitting judge. As strong supporters of THLA, Judges Rubin and Rosenstein wanted to alert THLA of these concerns.

As you know, many judges on the Superior Court support THLA and its mission. They attend our events, including our annual dinner. In fact, I think the THLA annual dinner has the best showing from the Superior Court as compared to all other diversity bar associations. Our good relationship with the bench is something we have worked hard to establish, and something we cherish and need to protect.

Many of THLA’s lawyer members practice in the San Diego county courts, and Fox claims those attorneys also expressed concern about judges becoming alienated by THLA’s endorsement of a challenger to one of their judicial colleagues.  Fox’s email goes on to describe “tension” between THLA and the San Diego bench:

The underlying tension is that these supportive judges are concerned by a THLA Board member taking on one of their colleagues in an election. Although all judges are individuals and subject to electoral challenge, they also collectively form part of the greater “Superior Court.” There is a great deal of collegiality among judges, and having a Board member of an organization that the judges strongly support directly challenge one of their own colleagues has raised concern.

Fox explains that by February 10 “tension” between the Court and THLA had spread to other THLA board members and “the legal community” in general.   Fox conveys fears that by sticking by their endorsement of Keehn, THLA’s members would “alienate allies” on the bench, and that THLA’s members who appeared before Superior Court judges would suffer.  Fox writes:

There is a generally expressed a concern that a Board member openly challenging a sitting judge will reflect poorly on the organization and be seen as an affront to the Superior Court and its sitting judges generally. The Superior Court’s perception of THLA may be negatively affected (as is perhaps evidenced by the concerns received thus far)

Fox didn’t write Keehn merely to pass along concerns from the bench.  Keehn had been a member of THLA’s Board of Directors for years prior to her announced candidacy, and had sought, and obtained, the group’s support when she announced in October.  But in the February email Fox notified her that THLA no longer wanted Keehn on its Board:

Because of the concerns coming from various sectors in the legal community, we ask that you consider resigning from the Board during the pendency of the election. This will protect THLA by not having a current Board member directly challenge a sitting judge, and hopefully will alleviate concerns from the Board and bench that THLA’s reputation may be damaged as part of the electoral process.

Fox also notified Keehn that THLA’s prior endorsement of her candidacy was no longer valid—as a matter of “policy”:

In addition, because of these changed circumstances, I need to emphasize that the endorsement THLA provided to you back in October 2013 was for an election to a vacant seat on the bench. Now that you are running against a sitting judge and not for a vacant seat, THLA’s prior endorsement is no longer in effect under Policy 2 of our Standing Policies and Procedures.

Fox, a lawyer at San Diego’s office of Foley & Lardner, explained that he was not withdrawing the endorsement, but that because Keehn had “changed” from running for an open seat to running against an incumbent, THLA’s endorsement was no longer good.

Fox expressed no reservations about Keehn’s merit against Schall, offering:

From my personal perspective, I think it is great you are running for judge, and I of course want you to be successful (in the election or otherwise). However, my personal opinions are irrelevant to the issues above. As members of the Board, we are stewards of the organization. We have a duty to the organization not only to promote what is in the best interests of THLA, but also to avoid actions that may harm THLA or its reputation.

In response to Weightier Matter’s email requesting clarification, Fox advised yesterday that Keehn has not resigned, but that if she chooses to do so “she would be welcome to return to the Board after the election if she is willing and able to do so.  The proposal that she resign was only for the pendency of her campaign.”

Fox also confirmed to Weightier Matter that his statements in the email regarding the “pressure” coming from the entire San Diego “Superior Court bench” was a “mischaracterization.”  Fox told Weightier Matter “there was a misunderstanding on my part.  Everything is cleared up, as Judge Rubin noted in his comments in the U-T article.”  The UT quoted Rubin as stating that his comments about “concerns” from the bench were “not in any way advocating on behalf of my colleagues.”

Keehn also reports having received “other calls from the bench” “urging her to reconsider.”

Judges Went on Attack Once Schall Was Challenged

When Keehn announced her candidacy in October, the seat she was running for was vacant.  Her professional colleagues enthusiastically supported her.  She sought the official endorsement of THLA, which did so.  However, when the open seat she was running for became unavailable, Keehn chose to capitalize on the momentum she had built since October, and switched her candidacy to challenge Schall, who’s term ends this year.

Schall’s colleagues on the bench and throughout the county mobilized, mounting a collective defense as well as going on the offensive.  Schall’s election website went live early last week promoting that “all 127 judges of the San Diego Superior Court” have endorsed her, as have District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, and Public Defender Harry Coker.

Good Reasons To Challenge a Problem Judge?

Keehn is not alone if she senses that Schall may not be the best choice for further public service.  In her three terms Schall has been the subject of three public admonishments from the California Commission on Judicial Performance, and is at the center of an ongoing racketeering lawsuit brought by California Coalition for Families and Children based on Schall’s performance on the Family Court bench, irritating parents to the point of bringing a racketeering lawsuit.  California Coalition also reports additional complaints that have not been published by the Commission, but are made part of the Coalition’s First Amended Complaint.

Keehn apparently tuned in to the public discord surrounding Schall, and decided to give voters a choice.  “I’m a qualified candidate. And I think I would make a good judge,” Keehn said.  “The California constitution mandates that every six years Superior Court judges come up for re-election. This makes them accountable to the citizens of their counties. It gives voters a chance to choose who should hold the office based on each candidate’s qualifications and their record.”

Carpe Dicta researched Keehn’s qualifications and reports her to be an extraordinarily talented lawyer with a diverse personal and professional background.  Her academic accomplishment include degrees from Princeton University and University of California, Hastings College of the law, exemplifying the highest academic achievement, discipline, and intelligence.  As a federal prosecutor she participated in a remarkable variety of criminal prosecutions and in developing pilot drug offender diversion programs for alternative sentencing, saving taxpayers the expense of high security lockups for low-risk drug offenders.  Her website bio indicates she served as a lead prosecutor in the military Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corp, has competed in over twenty marathons, and is a mother of three.  She has served both as a prosecutor and public defender in over thirty years of public service.

Keehn’s entry in the June contest brings not only controversy to an ordinarily pedestrian contest, but a very rare choice to business as usual on the bench.  County judges are ordinarily appointed by the Governor from San Diego County’s District Attorney’s Office.  Most are groomed for the position by more senior local prosecutors and judges, and once elected they rarely face a serious challenger.  The strong resistance to Keehn’s candidacy from the sitting bench reveals the level of behind-the-scenes pressure that can prevent qualified challengers from seeking office.  The result is a high percentage of former District Attorney criminal prosecutors with little fear of accountability managing not only criminal courtrooms, but civil, family, probate, juvenile, and appeal calendars.

Federal prosecutors are not part of that herd, in part because federal agencies are at times adverse to state agencies.  Federal law enforcement, courts, and politicians possess substantial oversight responsibility for state and local officials to prevent campaign corruption and civil rights enforcement, drug interdiction, election oversight, and competing border issues.  A federal presence on the state court bench represents a potentially strong independent influence that is—according to at least two judges who claim not to advocate for any others—unwelcome.

At Weightier Matter we think that kind of diversity may be well worth welcoming, and keeping, on the Board of San Diego County’s most important law organization.

Stay tuned as Carpe Dicta and Weightier Matter bring more coverage and analysis of a race that’s shaping up to be a real choice between an ambitious novel talent and business as usual in San Diego.

The Soft Eugenics of Dark Hearts and Low Minds: Highly Educated, Wealthy Family Court Elites of the Domestic Distpute Industry Criminal Enterprise: Shaping a Future Safe-for Their Crime

10-17-2013 10-37-03 AM

Feminine Justice: Cease and Desist Letter to Former Family Division Head Lorna Alksne

CCFC’s recently filed federal RICO lawsuit

details allegations of a racketeering crime ring harming parents and children throughout California.  The perpetrators?  Not pin-stripped gangsters, ponzi backroom scams, or heady leathered street thugs, but a gang of thugs nonetheless.  Prominent members of our own communities;  Lawyers, psychologists, and even our own judiciary.  The letters below, based on the Alksne template, detail the bigotry, fraud, discrimination, and rampant lawlessness occurring under the noses of San Diego Superior Court judges.  CCFC has called the criminal behavior to their attention, to the attention of the District Attorney and the United States Attorney for this federal district. None have responded, leading CCFC to file a civil rights lawsuit in US District Court for the Southern District of California.  CCFC’s August 21, 2013 press release details further allegations  here.

CCFC Alksne (the model for all letters below)

CCFC Wertheimer

10-17-2013 10-58-13 AM

“Family Man”: San Diego Family Division Judge Michael Groch–a Gay Single Male Angering San Diego Families

CCFC Lewis

CCFC Walsh

CCFC Trentacosta

CCFC Hallahan

CCFC Danielson

CCFC Hallahan

CCFC Filner

CCFC Goldsmith

Its All About the Kids

Oddly, Family Court is set aside for the “sensitive issues” it handles; parent-child relationships, careers, often sanity, and sometimes even lives.  Those assigned to the court are expected to execute a special level of care, compassion, and concern.  For that reason women are disproportionately represented, under the impression that they are “kinder” and “gentler.”  The court has at least one gay male–perhaps for the same bizarre rationalization.

But their performance is anything but kind–parents are regularly subjected to a highly invasive judicial microscope of “soft eugenics”–Judges probing to reward or punish the existence or absence of arbitrary parental behaviors and personalities a given judge likes or dislikes–virtually all of which have nothing to do with even the lowest test of “legitimate state interests.”  A parent is wealthy?  Great! Cash machine.  Unusually neat?  Sounds: A: irrational obsessive-compulsive or B: responsible law abiding citizen.  (Check only one please).  Parent is just like me? Parent of the Year!  She gets everything.

We Know the Law About Families

And who’s making those studied, well-researched, virtually certain stare decisis judgments of the values and behaviors of others they’ve barely met? Former prosecutor-types who couldn’t make it throwing virtually defenseless California criminals in jail.  Banished to Family Court, they appear more successful.  Just don’t tell them that the prey in family court have even fewer defenses from arbitrary judgment, punishment, and “kinder” scorn.   Unleash the talents of a hangman to a waiting room of patients awaiting brain surgery–Why would we be surprised that we end up with a post-op piled with bloodied corpses?

Just…. Be More Like Us!

The rank and file judges–often not even parents themselves–are plagued with horrific personality defects of their own far more serious than any parent in their courtroom–personal and professional misconduct, multiple divorcees, serious domestic violence perpetrators, addicts, some near perversions, financial misdealing, abundant disregard for the rule of law–and disdain for anyone who disagrees.  Good old fashioned thuggery by a rogues gallery of unethical lawyers, judges, and psychologists in what has become a free-for-all crime ring.

As detailed in our lawsuit and soon to come to light, the “special forum” of family court has become “special”–for criminals intent on taking advantage of vulnerable, unsophisticated legal consumers in turmoil, strife, and now even more serious jeopardy.

And how do they regard parents in crisis?  “They’re all animals” says one notable family court psychologist, Stephen Doyne.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

John F. Kennedy

CCFC Gore

CCFC Griffin-Tabor

10-17-2013 10-32-38 AM

San Diego Family Court “Parent Evaluator” Stephen Doyne Sued for  Federal Criminal Racketeering for Fraud and Abuse of Dozens of His San Diego Clients:  Yet still working for the Court. In his care clients have murdered their children, committed suicide, been thrown in jail, targeted by him for false child abuse allegations, disbarred, bankrupted, ruined careers, homeless, and rivers of pain. His response: “They’re all animals.”

CCFC Hugugenor

CCFC Jessop

CCFC Katz

CCFC C Goldsmith

CCFC Longstreth

We’re Only Trying To Help You

If you’re in family court, be aware that it’s anything but family friendly.  Parents had no input–no input whatsoever–in it’s creation, rules, and operation.  It was created and operated by divorce lawyers and Sacramento professional bureaucrats with a jobs agenda–theirs instead of yours or your children’s.  If you’re lucky enough to be the beneficiary on the political side of their agenda–yes, political agenda in a family court–that strongly favors women, feminists, gays–you may take some comfort that the killing machine is working for you.  That is, until it comes for you.  CCFC’s membership is replete with mothers, sisters, and daughters who’ve been duped into trusting, and then outright raped by those who claim to be acting in their interest.  Our Cease and Desist letter examines the history, writings, and workings of the court and its supporters such as the Family Justice Center, and the evidence is stunning.  Exhibit “B” to the Family Justice Center letter sets the evidence forth in graphic detail.

Family Justice Center Founder Casey Gwinn: "We're Feminism on Steroids"

Family Justice Center Founder Casey Gwin: “You’re Feminism on Steroids!” ~ Feminist Visionary Ellen Pence

CCFC Roddy

CCFC McAdam

We Can Assure Your Safety

The only safe move–we suggest avoiding it altogether if possible.  Free resources like UpToParents and TransParenting are far more effective, safe, and free.  If your attorney doesn’t offer it, or suggests you’ll “do better” fighting, get ready; you’re the next meal on their table.

Some doubt the safety of encouraging cooperative resolution of domestic disputes, arguing that its “risky” trying to bring a feuding couple together lest the man “returns to his abuse.”   For a very few men and women–perhaps.  But the question to ask is “riskier than what?”  The Alliance’s track record with heavy-handed family court judges in San Diego alone is storied with murdered spouses, children, suicides, exacerbated addictions, serious violence, death threats, false arrests, manipulation of police and child welfare agencies, physical attacks, theft, and character/career assassinations–the question is, Alliance: “If fostering domestic cooperation out of strife is risky, then how would you describe fostering its warfare?”

10-17-2013 10-34-38 AM


A Judge’s Judgment: Former Family Court Judge Lisa Schall Placed On Sensitive Family Court Matters After Three Serious Judicial Ethics Violations, Including Reckless Drunk Driving, and Dozens of Litigant Complaints.

What’s going wrong here? 

How have we reached a point at which entrusted officials, sworn to oaths to exercise their power only as it is delegated to them; to check themselves and others in its improper use; to enforce the law equally without regard to friend or foe; to obey the law themselves first and foremost, have been led so astray?  Knowledge of how to prohibit the inevitable abuse of power and the decay it inevitably results in, goes stale while the blood of victims overflows its cup?  Duties to abide by oaths to restrain the power of government are uttered in mocking tones once power is secured behind the hoods and robes of immunity from law?  How is it that those entrusted with enforcing laws on themselves and others in power so regularly cast themselves as the most notorious criminals in the courthouse?  How is it that intelligent people, taught the law, learned in the history of tyranny and oppression our nation was founded to temper and diffuse, schooled in ethics and moral philosophy, of innate human dignity, equal opportunity, and the terror to which power, politics, and greed can quickly devolve into, so blithely ignore what they’ve so well learned?

We’re Judges–We Know Better About
Your Kids Than You

Given the trust and power to protect those liberties, expand opportunities, develop tolerance, and grow the common wealth, how do such people so quickly convert those powers to condemn, restrict, and oppress the very communities they’re entrusted to support?  How have they become converted from a deep awareness of the values and wisdom of “equality” into proponents of rampant partisanship, nepotism, lawlessness, and short-sighted gain for a cherished constituency?

What forces intelligent, learned, experienced people like Lorna Alksne, Michael Groch, Lisa Schall, Stephen Doyne, Casey Gwinn, Jan Goldsmith, and so many others in our community to revert to pre-American rogue-like abuse of the “accidents of birth”; sycophancy and bluster begetting pedestal vanity, mantle entitlements, and their companion piqueish egos?

If We Can’t Do Something Right… What The Hell-Let’s See What Happens!

How have they forgotten the age-old Hippocratic Oath to “above all else, do no harm?”  We hire prosecutors for specific purposes–to punish criminals, but in civil and family court, how is that instinct relevant?  How is it anything other than a defect?  The result–the incompetent’s lack of necessary problem-solving mentality, negotiation skills, and real-client experience is converted into your crime.  “Do it our way or else.”  Now that’s legal talent!

They learned such skills in law school and have had opportunities to develop them, but they chose blunt force objects of handcuffs and an elaborate boudoir of King’s clothing.  Have the skills gone rusty from disuse?  No need to negotiate when you have all the guns.  Have they forgotten–perhaps the tax-subsidized educations they were bought have betrayed them.  Yet they’re educated at some of the world’s finest institutions.  Desperation to earn a living?  Not unless earning more than 95% of Americans makes you destitute.  How can so many so easily turn their back on what they know to be their duties, making choices that reflect so poorly on the opportunities to expand for others the blessings they’ve been so fortunate to enjoy?  Are they secretly on the take?  Psychopathology?  Just plain evil?

“Any man can withstand adversity.  If you really want to test a man’s character, give him power.”  ~Abraham Lincoln

What’s going wrong here?

10-17-2013 10-39-36 AM

Hon. Joel Wohlfeil; One of the Few Family Court Judges Without A Hangman’s Background; As a civil lawyer his background was money. Good thing too. The experience has come in handy in establishing and operating Family Court’s private for-profit forensic psychology enterprise of custody evaluators. Is it “Hon.” or “Herr.” C.O.O.?

Good questions, and as our lawsuit progresses, we’re likely to have some very specific answers to share with you right here, so stay tuned.  The hangman wears a hood of anonymity–the judge wears a robe of immunity.  Unhooded, uncloaked, and no longer protected by the manufactured fiction of inability to sin, the real person stands before God and woman to answer for her crime.  The verdict on sin will await a higher court.

“Man is the only animal that blushes.  Or needs to.”

~- Mark Twain  Following the Equator

In the meantime we encourage your feedback and attention to these critical issues affecting parents and children throughout California and our nation. Please feel free to join us in demanding more–much, much more–from your elected judiciary, paid legal representatives, non-profit public welfare agencies, and those entrusted with the care and well-being of our entire community–not just those they want to win.  Your liberties, the liberties of those you know and love, and perhaps even one day the liberties of your own children and grandchildren hang in the balance.  Don’t allow them to slip.

Good luck parents.

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

CCFC v. SDCBA LAWSUIT PLEADINGS: California Coalition for Families and Children v. San Diego County Bar Association, United States District Court, Southern District California, Case No. 13cv1944-CAB-BLM

sdcba protest cover photo

CCFC Members at April 15, 2010 SDCBA Family Law Subsection Meeting

CCFC v. SDCBA FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT (Jan. 9, 2014)

APPENDIX TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT (Caution 124 MB)

CCFC v. SDCBA VERIFIED COMPLAINT (Aug. 20, 2013)

MASTER EXHIBIT SET 1-49 (CAUTION 204 MB)

MASTER EXHIBITS IN PARTS (1-23, 10 MB EACH)

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part1

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part2

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part3

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part4

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part5

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part6

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part7

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part8

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part9

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part10

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part11

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part12

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part13

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part14

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part15

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part16

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part17

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part18

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part19

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part20

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part21

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part22

Master Final Exhibits 1-49_Part23

PARTIAL EXHIBIT SET (KEY EXHIBITS FILED WITH INITIAL COMPLAINT 62MB)

CCFC’S APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER RE: HARASSMENT (18 U.S.C. 1514, F.R.C.P. 65)

SAN DIEGO SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES’ MOTION TO DISMISS COMPLAINT

CCFC’s MEET AND CONFER LETTER RE: MOTION TO DISMISS TO MATTHEW L. GREEN AND JAMES B. GILPIN

STUART DECLARATION AND EXHIBITS ISO APPL TO FILE OVERLENGTH BRIEF

CCFC’S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR LEAVE TO FILE OVERLENGTH BRIEF

CCFC’S DECLARATION ISO MOTION TO STRIKE/OPPO TO MOTION TO DISMISS

CCFC’S OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO DISMISS COMPLAINT

CCFC’S MOTION TO STRIKE

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The Effect of Divorce on Children–Long Term Studies Show The Shocking Truth: It’s Devastating

The Effect of Divorce on Children--Recent Long Term Studies Show The Shocking Truth: It's Devastating

Researcher Judith Wallerstein’s New York Times Magazine Article and 1980’s era Book on the Long-Term Effects of Divorce on Children–her study shocked even her and her psychologist colleagues.

“Make the Decision, then Move on!”  San Diego Divorce Lawyer Lori Karp Viviano advises prospective clients on a weekend morning television talk show in San Diego.  She shares her frustrations about her traumatized clients who can’t seem to “just forget about (him/her) and get your sexy back on!” on her “sassier than thou” Facebook page.

“Just move on!”: It’s a common refrain not only from profiteering divorce industry operatives, but also from caring friends and family, “forget about him/her dear, and get on with life.”  For many who see emotional attachments as disposable tools for short term gratification or longer-term wealth, “quickie” marriages are the soda-pop of human marriage-is-grandattachments and, also far too common of a dietary supplement.  And as Ms. Viviano is fond of reminding her divorce clients “moving on”—“marriage is grand—divorce is 100 grand”—easily “moving on” is damn good business.  For some.

But is it good advice to a client? A loved one?  To a child?  Is it realistic to expect friends and family who’ve experienced a family break-up to eventually “get better?”  If they aren’t “getting better” on their own what, as professionals, friends, and family, can we do?  If we’ve mislead them, what do we owe them?  A shoulder? An ear? An apology? A refund?  

And what, if anything, is anyone telling divorcees and their children of these dangers?

These observations add to the many troubling challenges to the once-beloved notion that no-fault divorce laws would be liberating for women.  Since divorce rates skyrocketed in the 1970’s long term studies on the effects of divorce are only recently available.  Yet what has over the years emerged has been shocking—even to the psychologists themselves.  And what they’ve learned tells us that the gloss “just move on!” is not only a temporary a coat of paint on a rusting hull, it’s potentially deadly advice—especially for children.  Judith S. Wallerstein is a psychologist and author of Second Chances: Men, Women & Children a Decade After Divorce.  Here we give you excerpts and context for our parent community which shows that virtually everything you’ve heard, thought, and hoped about the impact of divorce on long-term mental health, adjustment, and psychological well-being of parents and children alike has been a dramatic underestimation of the impact of divorce known to the divorce industry for years.

But who hasn’t underestimated its impact?

Divorce attorneys will tell you “any dad will do,” but is that true?  Even the researchers were shocked at what they found: Parents and children—years, even decades after divorce, exhibit long-term psychological, emotional, financial, and sociological adverse effects; extreme anxieties, fears, disorders, and dysfunction which they themselves attribute to divorce.  Poverty or financial stress were ordinary.  Career and social displacement and social isolation common.

“We planned to interview families at the time of decisive separation and filing for divorce, and again 12 to 18 months later, expecting to chart recoveries among men and women and to look at how the children were mastering troubling family events.
We were stunned when, at the second series of visits, we found family after family still in crisis, their wounds wide open. Turmoil and distress had not noticeably subsided. Many adults were angry, and felt humiliated and rejected, and most had not gotten their lives back together. An unexpectedly large number of children were on a downward course. Their symptoms were worse than they had been immediately after the divorce. Our findings were absolutely contradictory to our expectations.”

Dr. Wallerstein’s study indicates that the impact of the process of divorce itself is unexpectedly yet undeniably dramatically more traumatic than even the psychological community had previously expected.  Add that trauma to whatever additional irregularity that may have existed leading to the divorce, and it is no surprise that divorced parents and their children suffer psychological, social, personal, and professional trauma and morbidity at rates that are multiples of the rates of the non-divorcing population.  In short—skyrocketing divorce rates of the no-fault era have accompanied skyrocketing psychological dysfunction rates for parents and children of divorce that has a undeniable, yet unaddressed affect on our society, economy, and national well-being.

No-fault divorce may be liberating, but it’s also a psychological, financial,and emotional cliff dive for those newly-freed from the bonds of matrimony.  “Divorce is tough” is not merely a clever “thoughtful divorce” tag line for a divorce lawyer web page—it’s a fraudulent commercial misrepresentation of an avoidable epidemic of devastating proportions.

Dr. Wallerstein’s eloquent conclusion, now a full generation aged, to a modern audience far wealthier, more educated, more liberated, and … wiser?:

“It is time to take a long, hard look at divorce in America. Divorce is not an event that stands alone in children’s or adults’ experience. It is a continuum that begins in the unhappy marriage and extends through the separation, divorce and any remarriages and second divorces. Divorce is not necessarily the sole culprit. It may be no more than one of the many experiences that occur in this broad continuum. Profound changes in the family can only mean profound changes in society as a whole. All children in today’s world feel less protected. They sense that the institution of the family is weaker than it has ever been before. Even those children raised in happy, intact families worry that their families may come undone. The task for society in its true and proper perspective is to strengthen the family – all families.

 A biblical phrase I have not thought of for many years has recently kept running through my head: ”Watchman, what of the night?” We are not, I’m afraid, doing very well on our watch -at least for our children. We are allowing them to bear the psychological, economic and moral brunt of divorce. And they recognize the burdens. When one 6-year-old boy came to our center shortly after his parents’ divorce, he would not answer questions; he played games instead. First he hunted all over the playroom for the sturdy Swedish-designed dolls that we use in therapy. When he found a good number of them, he stood the baby dolls firmly on their feet and placed the miniature tables, chairs, beds and, eventually, all the playhouse furniture on top of them. He looked at me, satisfied. The babies were supporting a great deal. Then, wordlessly, he placed all the mother and father dolls in precarious positions on the steep roof of the doll house. As a father doll slid off the roof, the boy caught him and, looking up at me, said, ”He might die.” Soon, all the mother and father dolls began sliding off the roof. He caught them gently, one by one. ”The babies are holding up the world,” he said.

 Although our overall findings are troubling and serious, we should not point the finger of blame at divorce per se. Indeed, divorce is often the only rational solution to a bad marriage. When people ask whether they should stay married for the sake of the children, I have to say, ”Of course not.” All our evidence shows that children exposed to open conflict, where parents terrorize or strike one another, turn out less well-adjusted than do children from divorced families. And although we lack systematic studies comparing children in divorced families with those in unhappy intact families, I am convinced that it is not useful to provide children with a model of adult behavior that avoids problem-solving and that stresses martyrdom, violence or apathy. A divorce undertaken thoughtfully and realistically can teach children how to confront serious life problems with compassion, wisdom and appropriate action.

 Our findings do not support those who would turn back the clock. As family issues are flung to the center of our political arena, nostalgic voices from the right argue for a return to a time when divorce was more difficult to obtain. But they do not offer solutions to the wretchedness and humiliation within many marriages. Still, we need to understand that divorce has consequences – we need to go into the experience with our eyes open. We need to know that many children will suffer for many years. As a society, we need to take steps to preserve for the children as much as possible of the social, economic and emotional security that existed while their parents’ marriage was intact. Like it or not, we are witnessing family changes which are an integral part of the wider changes in our society. We are on a wholly new course, one that gives us unprecedented opportunities for creating better relationships and stronger families – but one that also brings unprecedented dangers for society, especially for our children.”

Here we offer Reality that Should Change Everything You Think You Know About Divorce

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CCFC PRESS RELEASE: FAMILIES FIGHTING BACK! Families Sue Family Court for Federal Racketeering Crime

CCFC Logo August 20, 2013–California Parents Announce Filing of Federal Racketeering Lawsuit Against Family Court Judges; Charge Criminal Extortion, Bribery, Abuse of Office

San Diego, CA – In its continuing campaign to end the harassment, fraud, and abuse rampant in California State Family Courts, a parents’ rights group, the California Coalition for Families and Children, has filed a lawsuit today in federal court charging the San Diego County courts, social workers, divorce attorneys, and psychologists with federal criminal racketeering.

“The abuses of parents and children by Family Courts, social workers, and family law attorneys have harmed parents and children for far too long. We intend to end that abuse.” says CCFC President Colbern Stuart. “Family court is designed by its makers to be probably the most dangerous life event parents and children can endure. It enables and profits from every inhumane instinct known to man— greed, hate, resentment, fear—resulting in abundant cash flow for the divorce industry and a fallout of  parent and children’s misery.”

“And behind the curtain of this machine of misery we’ve uncovered its cause—the multi-billion dollar divorce industry, populated by judges, attorneys, and a machinery of tax-dollar fed “judicial administrators,” social workers that George Orwell would marvel at.”
“We’ve been delivering that message kindly for years now, yet the tide keeps rising on families in crisis. We’ve appealed to the county courts, state and local politicians, state judicial oversight bodies, United States Representatives, and just plain old human dignity, but the harassment and abuse of parents and children has only increased. A resort to federal court intervention in the widespread criminal collusion in state government was the next logical step.”

“It’s time to recognize Family Court for what it is—a corporate crime ring raiding parents and children of financial and psychological well-being, and devouring our children’s futures. And its not just divorce lawyers—its judges, “judicial administrators,” psychologists, cops and prosecutors—people we should be able to trust—in a modern day criminal cabal using county courtrooms and sheriff’s deputies as the machinery of organized crime.” Say Stuart. “Since state officials’ hands are too deep into the cookie jar to stop their own abuse, we’re seeking the assistance of federal oversight.”

Read Entire Press Release

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The Domestic Dispute Industry–The Criminal Cartel You’ve Grown to Know and Love.

10-17-2013 10-32-38 AM

Dr. Stephen Doyne: “Certified Forensic Criminal Investigator”, Yet Sells Himself as a “caring listener”: Like any CSI, listening, watching, investigating, and building a case . . .

 

To those seeking information

. . .  about Stephen Doyne and San Diego Child Custody Evaluators, we here offer what will hopefully be an enlightened perspective from a parent who’s seen several sides of the issue.  Feel free to comment here or join the discussion at www.carpedicta.com.

By now the “big news” we’ve been advertising is out of the bag–if you’re here you probably have already read about the RICO/civil rights lawsuit filed against Doyne and the San Diego Family Courts. In short, San Diego parents and children harmed by Doyne and friends’ criminal racketeering, fraud, and unbelievably callous and illegal “winner take all” high stakes parental death match are taking action to stop Doyne and others from the gravely destructive and demonstrably illegal practices in family court.  We’ve been shocked at how judges, attorneys, and “evaluators” such as Doyne successfully bilk parents out of their children’s college funds with a kind handshake, smile, and knife in the back.  He’s gotten away with it for years, but now that dozens of parents have found each other, compared notes, and mobilized on the internet and in state and federal courts, the noose is out.  As we predicted at the April 10, 2010 SDCBA Seminar--Dr. Doyne is Dr. Done.

The cards of this round are already dealt.  The hand, if played out as expected, leaves little more than parents picking out who lives to tell the other scoundrels about the slaughter of Doyne and other deserving souls that’s now underway.  But one question remains: Why? Why would intelligent human beings, even ones eager to earn a buck, inflict such misery on children and parents who are already in probably the most stressful event in their lives?  Why would people who otherwise probably go to church, share in their communities, and have families of their own so willfully inflict the terror of the power they wield to hurt–rather than help–those less fortunate than them?  Doyne calls himself a “Dr.”-a healer.  What self-respecting human who’s responsible for buckets full of parents’ and children’s tears, sorrow, and pain–for decades to come–think he deserves the respect that title brings?  Clearly not human–what creatures are these?

10-17-2013 10-44-01 AM

Dr. Stephen Doyne: Forensic (Criminal) Investigator and Leader of San Diego Family Court Judges: In his care clients have murdered their children, committed suicide, been thrown in jail, targeted by him for false child abuse allegations, disbarred, bankrupted, ruined careers, homeless, and rivers of pain. His response: “They’re all animals.”

Evil. Disgrace. Unspeakable horror.  Sham.  But of those few words that do come to my mind, none more fitting than these:

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

~Albert Einstein

Whatever “these creatures” are, they’re soon to be gone.  The parents, children, and families intended to be the benefactors of “Family Court” will no longer “don’t do anything about it.”

From a brilliant American mind on the issue of tyranny and the “shabby” silent lies that nurse it’s fragile existence,

In the meantime, a bit of history.  I attach below a letter I originally delivered to Dr. Doyne in early 2009 after many months and many thousands of dollars of “mediation” that became a highly destructive money pit.  I recently “unearthed” this letter from my records (it’s now four years old).  Reading the letter after years of dealing with this man and the cesspool of divorce courts, evaluators, and attorneys is eye-opening.

With perspective I can see that I was extremely naive in thinking my input to Doyne would receive fair attention.  He billed (and bills) himself as a “forensic psychologist”–someone who goes deeper than merely listening to complaints and helping work out problems.  However, in my case he did no forensic work whatsoever–In fact, Doyne ignored all of the red flag warning signs I highlighted for him.  He performed no investigation whatsoever into the very serious concerns of child and spousal abuse.

After months and thousands of dollars with no progress, shortly after I sent this letter (and after receiving yet another $2,500 bill from Doyne) I told him I was done–he was making no progress on any issue I advanced, but was instead focusing on an endless list of petty “concerns” by my ex.  You can see my frustration in the letter.

10-17-2013 10-42-36 AM

Dr. Stephen Doyne; Custody Evalutor to Child Abusers: Science for Sale

He’s neither a forensic nor a clinician–he’s a very convincing fraud.  Though he charges huge bills, he did in my case no “forensic” work whatsoever.  He relies heavily on the MMPI–a controversial “personality survey.”  Rather than do the digging required for real forensic work, he prefers the MMPI “crystal ball.”  Ask any “real” psychologist and you’ll learn the entire profession of psychology treats Doyne and his “evaluator” colleagues as carnival midway sharpers.  I’ll post more later on a book by Margaret Hagen that’s available now online for free at www.whoresofthecourt.com.  If you’re  parent it’s an eye-opening read.

What Doyne does well is encourage strife and perpetuate fees.  In my case he did nothing whatsoever to even address the very serious “forensic” issues I raised, instead billing to “resolve” petty non-issues that any fifth grader with a two-sided coin could have resolved.  When I read the letter below today I get chills recalling the terror he blindly allowed, and billed extravagantly, to overtake our divorce.

In short, the people he pitches his services to–“high conflict”–are far more likely to be harmed (and bankrupted) than helped.  If you’re into bloodlust, be my guest. You’ll regret it soon enough.  The people who have a peaceful time don’t need him anyway, but he’ll be happy to fill his empty appointment calendar and take your child’s college fund or your next vacation fund for as long as you need him to make you feel better. (Fast forward ten years: “Thanks Mom! Thanks Dad! Feel better now that I have to take $100,000 in loans just to go to Junior College?  But, hey, at least we can qualify for low income loans since you tanked everyone’s savings and career in the divorce!  THANKS!!!).

If you want a crook, you’ve found him in Doyne.  If you want peace, run.  Especially if he or she is angry, manipulative, and/or aggressive.  If he/she’s not (and/or you’re not), you don’t need Doyne anyway, so why spend the money? Resources like uptoparents.com are free and far, far more healthy.

Best of luck parents. I hope you can learn from my mistakes, and the mistakes of other victims of the San Diego divorce industry.

God Bless.

CCFC Cease And Desist Letter to Mayor Bob Filner, City of San Diego, Family Justice Center Alliance; New Equal Protection Class of Domestic Relations

CCFC Cease And Desist/Notice Re: 42 U.S.C. sections 1986, 1985

Notice letter to City of San Diego

 

 

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Carpe Dicta: A new way to evaluate legal professionals–attorneys, judges, social workers, bureaucrats, evaluators, mediators, and more!

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  Semper vos facitis!”

It may seem like Latin to you, but at Carpe Dicta it’s the right answer. Always.

“Freedom of the press is only guaranteed to those who own one.”   ~A.J. Leibling

Parents–join our partner Carpe Dicta at their new website http://www.carpedicta.com, devoted to posting, commenting, and discussing family court problem children. Technology to bring the “freedom of the press” into your living room.   

You set ’em up, we knock ’em down.

Carpe Dicta is no ordinary “gripe site”–they extract the good, bad, and yes the ugly, post a level of analysis not available from competitors such as Avvo, Yelp, and LawyerRatingz.  They don’t filter raw results, meaning you can post anything you want.  Instead of filtering, they distill–summarizing your input into context to give it greater (or lesser) meaning.

Disagree? Debate it! Carpe Dicta encourages open airing of differences–unlike competitors who seem to frighten at controversy–Carpe Dicta encourages it as a path toward mutual understanding because

“right conclusions are more likely to be gathered out of a multitude of tongues than through any kind of authoritative selection. To many, this is, and always will be, folly, but we have staked upon it our all.”

United States v. Associated Press, , 52 F.Supp. 362, 372 (D.C.S.D.N.Y.1943).

Problem: Attorney dropped the ball? A: Carpe Dicta him!  Problem: Judge is a crook? A: Carpe Dicta!  Problem: Government imperious troll passing the buck?  A: You know already!

They’ve already posted summaries of online reviews, contact information, election info., and helpful tips in dealing with personalities involved.  You can learn about the wall of shame–Dr. Stephen Doyne, Judge Michael Groch, Judge Lorna Alksne, Sharon Blanchet, Lori Clark-Viviano, Dr. Lori Love, Jeffrey Fritz, Marilyn Bierer, and Jan Goldsmith.  Who’s next? Stay tuned!  Coming soon are even more of the despised names from the San Diego divorce industry.  If this means you–you’re in luck!  But we hope you’ve been good because you’re about to become famous. Forever.

Carpe Dicta–YOU are The People!

FAMILIES FIGHTING BACK: CCFC Protests Family Court Judicial Corruption, April 15, 2010

CCFC Protests Family Court Judicial Corruption, April 15, 2010

April 15, 2010 CCFC Family Court Protest