The Genocide of Battered Mothers and their Children

Posts Tagged ‘Child Custody’

Child Custody and Visitation Decisions in Domestic Violence Cases: Legal Trends, Risk Factors, and Safety Concerns

In domestic law on May 21, 2011 at 7:29 pm
Child Custody and Visitation Decisions in Domestic Violence Cases: Legal Trends, Risk Factors, and Safety Concerns Daniel G. Saunders in consultation with Karen Oehme (Revised October 2007).
  • Approximately half of all state laws make a presumption that it is harmful to the child and not in the best interest of the child to be placed in sole custody or joint physical or legal custody with the perpetrator of domestic violence. In the remaining states, domestic violence is merely one factor in a list of factors that must be considered in custody and visitation decisions.
  • A recent trend is the use of “parenting coordinators” or “special masters,” a mental health or legal professional with mediation training who focuses on the children’s needs and helps the parents resolve disputes. They can make decisions within the bounds of the court order but it is important that they have training on domestic violence and realize when they need to act primarily as an enforcer of the court order.
  • Half the men who batter their wives also abuse their children, a rate twice as high as that of battered women.
  • Emotional abuse of children by men who batter almost always occurs because nearly all of these men exposed their children to domestic violence, and such exposure often has traumatic and lasting effects.
  • Mothers may be unjustly blamed for harming their children through “failure to protect,” since mothers are supposedly capable of protecting their children from the physical and emotional abuse of their partners.



Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody Legal Strategies and Policy Issues –

In domestic law on May 21, 2011 at 6:39 pm
Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody Legal Strategies and Policy Issues
In a trend that started in the 1980s, and increasingly since then, family court judges across the U.S. have ordered thousands and thousands of children into unsupervised visitation with abusive biological fathers. In many cases, mothers have been denied any form of custody, with some losing all contact with their children. In the last few years, attorneys and social service advocates have met to address this issue at the annual Battered Mother’s Custody Conferences. This book brings together the expertise and perspective of more than thirty contributors to BMCC in a comprehensive resource that arms advocates with the best thinking and most effective legal strategies in the battle to protect mothers and families from a system that often fails to address abuse and sometimes actually worsens the problem.
Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody presents insights and hands-on practice guidance from the leading experts on child custody cases that involve intimate partner violence and child abuse. Chapter authors address the prevalence of these problems, the complex reasons why protective mothers lose custody of their children, the things court agents and other professionals often do that contribute to bad outcomes, and the corrective measures that must be put into place to ensure legal protections for abused women and their children.
Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody will be instructive for policymakers, those working in the family justice system, and members of the media–which the authors say has by-and-large failed to expose custody court scandals. But it is a must-read for any mother involved in a child custody battle, and especially for mothers trying get free from an abusive relationship.” – R. Dianne Bartlow, Ms. Magazine Blog
  • Understand the harm caused by all types of abusive behavior, whether physical, verbal, financial, legal, or other forms.
  • Guide the representation of protective mothers through research, case law, and consultation to improve case outcomes.
  • Establish the paramount importance of children’s safety beyond all other priorities that may emerge in a child custody case.
Provide judges with new insight into the dynamics of violence, recognize when experts and other types of witnesses are providing testimony based on myths, stereotypes, and discredited theories, and provide an empirically based, real-world rationale for orders emphasizing the safety of protective mothers and the accountability of batterers.
This comprehensive book is a gift to the cause of justice not only for victimized women and children but for anyone who cares about the integrity of law itself. The American legal system has for too long facilitated the very violence it purports to forbid, often allowing abusive men to use the courts to punish women and children who speak out against child sexual abuse and domestic violence. Mo Hannah and Barry Goldstein have created a desperately needed manual that will empower generations of victims to fight back. My favorite section is the one that reminds us of the obvious: ‘Therapy is Not the Answer’ to violence. The stories of injustice in this book will shock you, and make you cry–but keep reading. Abusers are hoping you won’t pay attention because it will be too painful. Prove them wrong by reading this book again and again and again–and share it with everyone who needs to know the truth.
This book serves as a beacon of light to all those who have become jaundiced by the malfunctioning family court, social services, law guardian and mental health system. Whether the reader is a protective parent, child advocate, attorney, judge, social worker or mental health expert, this exquisitely organized and illuminating volume will help the reader to better understand the socio-historical, socio-legal, and socio-cultural forces shaping today’s domestic relations courts. The editors have assembled eminent scholars, practitioners, and child advocates in one volume that flows like a brilliantly conducted orchestral piece. This fine collection clarifies the core issues at hand and provides a full panoply of solutions; it adds a significant contribution to an expanding body of literature on domestic violence, abuse and child custody.



3 Dead 2 Injured -FATHER involved in CHILD CUSTODY LITIGATION – Charged with capital murder shooting rampage at his ex-girlfriend’s

In domestic law on July 23, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Arraignment delayed for Hawaiian Gardens multiple killing suspect

By Tracy Manzer, Staff Writer

Posted: 07/22/2010 01:14:05 PM PDT

Joseph Mercado during his arraignment for murder at Norwalk Superior Court on Thursday. Mercado is charged with going on a shooting rampage with an assault rifle at his ex-girlfriend’s Hawaiian Gardens home, killing her, her brother and her father and critically injuring her mother. (Jeff Gritchen/Press-Telegram)

LONG BEACH – A 26-year-old man charged with capital murder for a shooting rampage at his ex-girlfriend’s Hawaiian Gardens home that left three people dead and two more injured last May has yet to enter a plea to the charge.

Defendant Joseph Mercado was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday morning at the Norwalk Superior Court, but the matter was postponed once more as Mercado’s defense team awaits crime scene photographs and autopsy reports.

Court Commission Michael Schuur expressed concern and surprise when he learned the defense was still awaiting basic discovery in the case, which alleges three counts of murder with the special circumstance of multiple murders, a factor that could make Mercado eligible for the death penalty.

The prosecution explained the hold-up was due to reports being compiled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office.

"I think it’s ridiculous they can’t generate the reports in a reasonable amount of time," Schuur said.

The arraignment was postponed until Sept. 7, when all the outstanding reports are expected to be completed and turned over to the defense.

Visibly upset by the latest lag in the case was the family of the victims, who have attended all court dates since Mercado’s arrest.

In addition to the murder counts, Mercado is charged with two counts of attempted murder, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, assault on a peace officer with an assault weapon, arson of an inhabited structure, child abuse and first-degree burglary with the special allegation that he personally used a firearm, according to the criminal complaint.

Mercado allegedly broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home in the 21000 block of Devlin Avenue early May 6 and opened fire with an AK-47 rifle.

Killed in the shooting were 23-year-old Serena Tarin, the mother of Mercado’s infant son; Tarin’s 21-year-old brother, Alfredo Tarin Jr.; and their father, Alfredo Tarin Sr.

Two other family members were wounded, including Tarin’s mother, Lucy Tarin, who was critically injured.

Mercado also allegedly tried to set the home ablaze, dousing the interior with gasoline, but failed to get the fire started.

He was shot by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy as Mercado emerged from the house before 4 a.m. Mercado was treated and placed under arrest and is being held without bail, authorities said.

Sheriff’s investigators said the slayings may have stemmed from a custody dispute between Mercado and his former girlfriend.

The suspect, they said, shot a lock off a door at the home and then went from room to room, killing his victims.

Six other family members, including some children, were able to escape the rampage by climbing out an upstairs window and hiding on the roof until deputies arrived, authorities said.

Prosecutors will decide at a later date whether they will seek the death penalty, said Jane Robison, the DA’s spokeswoman., 562-499-1261.

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