Thursday, July 15, 2004

More John Burton News

I received a link to this article in my email:

Talk Radio Campaign Blocks CA. Senate Leader's 'Stealth' Family Law Bill

Apparently Mr Burtons plan has become common knowledge. From the article:

"Hundreds of angry parents deluged the offices of California State Senate President Pro Tem John Burton (D-San Francisco) with calls, faxes and e-mails yesterday, protesting a "stealth" family law bill which Burton reportedly planned to sneak through the legislature in his last months in office.

The protestors, called to action by KMPC Los Angeles radio talk show host Glenn Sacks, seek to block a proposed bill which would abrogate the California Supreme Court's recent decision in the LaMusga move-away case. Anthony Williams, one of Burton's principal consultants, has now agreed to meet with leaders of the newly formed Alliance for Children Concerned About Move-Aways to discuss the bill."

To see what you can do link to the ACCAMA website.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Trish Wilson

I have been intrigued by Trish Wilson for some time. She writes and covers many issues outside of child custody and there are times when I find her thoughts on political issues well founded and insightful. However, I remain confused about how someone who is obviously intelligent can be such a blind cheerleader for an unjust system of law.

The discrepancies in treatment of people by our family courts is not, to me at least, an issue of gender. I would be just as outraged if the courts consistently and systematically favored men in their custody determinations. To me this country was founded on equality and justice and we should expect nothing less from all three branches of government, though for this issue we primarily focus on the judiciary and legislative branches.

I often get slammed for having the opinions I do. Apparently being born a woman allows me to throw out common sense and reasonableness when discussing hot topic feminist issues.

I refuse to discount the fact that there are two people involved in the creation of a child. I do not believe that because my biology chooses that I am the one to carry said child that I have been endowed with superior rights to that child. I do not believe that I have the unilateral right to terminate a pregnancy.

This is not to say that I am pro-life, I am in fact pro-choice, I just simply do not believe only the woman has the choice. Here this gets a little tricky and I know abortion is a very heartfelt issue for many so I will try and lay out my position as specifically as possible.

I am pro-choice very simply because I believe there are people out there who just have no business having children. May they not have the financial or emotional resources to care for their children, may they be a substance abuser, may they be a teen who did not listen very well in sex ed... there are people who are simply not prepared or able to care for a child. I realize the first argument to this is adoption and I agree that it is a good alternative. It is my hope that all unwanted pregnancies would choose to have their children adopted but would care adequately for their baby until birth. However, I still feel that in the case of the addict who will continue to use during their pregnancy or the teen who will ignore all needed prenatal care, abortion should remain an option.

I firmly believe in extensive counseling prior to making that decision and only performing abortions in the first trimester. I do not believe in abortion as birth control and would quickly support legislation that allowed sterilization of any parents who attempted to use it as such. And yes, I did say parents. I believe if a woman is getting an abortion she should have to name the father and he should have to go through counseling as well. This serves three purposes; it solidifies for the father how serious of a decision this is, it mandates that all fathers be made aware they are in fact a father and gives them an opportunity to raise the child, it facilitates the creation of a list of people, both male and female, who are utilizing abortion. I would support some type of 3 strikes law, if you go for a third abortion, you will then be sterilized. I know this sounds crazy in our current PC environment, however, these people have demonstrated undeniably that not only are they not able to be responsible parents, but they are also not able to check their urges and master birth control. Therefore that option should be taken from them. (I know I am going to get so much hate mail for that, people aren't even for sterilization of sexual criminals, pedophiles. etc...)

All of this aside, I believe that if a father offers to raise a child, the mother should not be able to terminate the pregnancy. I do not believe in abortion when there is a parent willing to be a parent to their child. As much as the idea of immaculate conception might excite our feminist population, it still takes two people to create a baby and therefore both people should be afforded the same rights and responsibilities relative to that child.

The argument of biology seems so terribly convenient. Obviously one of the parties will carry the child and as witnessed through almost all of nature, generally this is the female. The argument that this biological absolute equates to the incontrovertible right to chose whether or not to have a baby and further to who should be awarded custody upon a divorce, is one of the most inequitable declarations I have heard. By this thinking, a woman who offered her womb as a surrogate in an in vitro scenario (where the surrogate would simply be the womb, the egg and sperm would come from the parents), would have more rights to the child than the biological parents. Even though the parents had contributed the DNA, the surrogate used her body to carry the child. This is how feminists treat fathers... even though it is half their DNA, they lack the "biological bond" therefore their rights are non-existent.

I find it terribly ironic that the feminist movement began as a plight for equal rights and it has largely evolved into an organization that asserts women's rights over those of men and children.

I am not a man or woman hater. I know there are lousy parents. However, I am able to admit that there are lousy mothers as well as lousy fathers. I believe our courts should be set up equitably and that means giving both parents as equal access to their children as possible. In some cases a 50/50 split just may not be feasible but the courts should try to come as close as possible. Obviously there will be cases in which one party is not asserting their right to parent their child, but in those cases where both parents want to be involved, there is no justifiable reason (biological, theological, legal, moral or otherwise) to not institute a joint arrangement.

I love both of my divorced parents and I will be the first to admit that I am who I am because of both, because of how they both raised me, what they both taught me, how they both loved me. It just seems so ridiculous. What good mother would want to keep her child from having a positive, meaningful and frequent relationship with their father? In my opinion, only a pretty sick one. Children need and deserve two parents. There is a reason women are not able to impregnate themselves.

If you want to see what started this you can visit Trish at: TRISH WILSON'S THE WOMEN'S NETWORK


Paternity: Innocence Is Now a Defense

This is the latest article from Wendy McElroy and available at

A California man was ordered to pay child support on a child that was proven NOT to be his by a DNA test. On June 30th, the Second District Court of Appeal of California overturned this order.

The appeals court explained, "the County ... should not enforce child-support judgments it knows to be unfounded. And in particular, it should not ask the courts to assist it in doing so. Despite the Legislature's clear directive that child-support agencies not pursue mistaken child-support actions, the County persists in asking that we do so. We will not sully our hands by participating in an unjust, and factually unfounded, result. We say no to the County, and we reverse."

The entire article can be viewed here.

Doesn't is seem odd that we celebrate when a man gets out of paying child support for a child he did not father?

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UK Father Given Custody

This is a link to a story about a father who was finally given custody of his two daughters after years of false allegations by his ex wife and her continued outright refusal to even allow him his court ordered visitation.

His story is heartbreaking. The article calls the decision landmark, which it surely is in the sense that rarely is the father awarded custody. However, after reading the article you cannot help but be amazed that there are legal systems that would allow these types of activities do on for four years. Telegraph

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Marriage No-Shows

In line with a previous post about men on a "marriage strike" this article further cements the idea that men are in fact staying away from marital vows in ever increasing numbers.

"Among those men, 53% said they were not interested in getting married anytime soon -- the marriage delayers. That figure alone is cause for concern.

But this is the statistic that every American who wants to strengthen and protect marriage should be worried about: 22% of the men said they had absolutely no interest in finding their Truly Beloved. The report described these guys as hardcore marriage avoiders."

The reasons for this "marriage avoidance" should be obvious to all of us. An unbalanced family court system, potential financial destruction and disproportionate custody arrangements should scare any person half to death. However, these are far more often issues faced by divorcing men.

The entire article is available at

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Tuesday, July 13, 2004


I have discussed (disgustedly) cyber visitation previously. This is a link to an Australian article about such arrangements.

The Age Testing the limits of cyber-parenting


Lawyers Support Same Sex Marriage

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers released a statement in support of same sex marriage.

"More than 90 percent of Academy members said the children of same-sex couples should have the same protections as children of man/woman marriages. These include the rights of children to maintain their relationship with both parties to a same-sex couple relationship and the rights to support, inheritance and Social Security benefits. Similarly both parties to the same-sex couple relationship should share all rights and obligations with respect to raising children."

Of course they do, same sex marriage will inevitably lead to same sex divorce and contentious and protracted custody battles. Same sex marriage could be a potential windfall for divorce lawyers.

The full press release can be viewed here: American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Supports Same-Sex Marriages, Rights of Same-Sex Couples

Contrast this view with this letter by the President of the Iowa State Bar Association, Kevin H. Collins, to Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack in response to Iowa Bill HF 22:

Kevin H. Collins, President
115 Third Street, S.E., Suite 500
PO Box 2107
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52406-2107
(319) 365-9461
FAX (319) 365-8564

April 26, 2004

The Honorable Tom Vilsack
Governor of Iowa
State Capitol
1007 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319

RE: HF 22 Joint Physical Care

Dear Governor Vilsack:

On behalf of all Iowans, I respectfully urge you to veto HF 22 - Joint Physical Care.

At its meeting on April 16, 2004, the Family Law Section of the Iowa State Bar Association considered the Act, formerly known as HF 22, which has been passed by both houses and awaits your determination. The Family Law Section voted unanimously, except for one member, to recommend a veto of this legislation. The committee's view is that the Act creates a passive presumption of shared joint physical care and that passive presumption is not consistent with the standards of best interest of a child.

The best interest of a child is essentially a legal question of "what does this child need and how can these parents contribute to this child's needs?" By creating a presumption of joint physical care, there is an implied idea that a child is a calendar. Physical care is in reality an award of the right to maintain a child's primary residence. Certainly a child needs two parents after divorce. Joint physical care does not assure that right in any particular regard. Where parents are able to maintain two primary residences, consistent schedules, shift the quantity of time between homes as a child's needs, activities and stages of development require, shared physical care certainly is a good option for parents who have good communications.

Shared physical care ought to be an option that the courts should approve if reached by agreement between the parents. There was a concern under current judicial practice that judges were rejecting joint physical care even though the parents had agreed. The Family Law Section believes that a parenting plan which provides for joint physical care ought to be approved by the court unless a court finds it contrary to the best interest of a child to order shared physical care.

HF 22 created a passive presumption of joint physical care. This does not allow the court to inquire appropriately into the best interests of a child and make a good determination based on a careful fact review.

The Family Law Section and the ISBA urges a veto of this bill.

You should be aware that the Family Law Section intends to take up a careful review of parenting plans and the appropriateness of joint physical care and, hopefully, make recommendations to the 2005 legislative session.

This legislation is not beneficial to Iowans and I urge your veto.

Very truly yours,


Can you see the difference between the two? I surely can and it is patently obvious that the only thing these lawyers are concerned about is the continual padding of their bills by parents abused in an inherently contentious and unfair legal system.


Latest Glenn Sacks

I am copying this verbatim from an email I received this morning. I have previously discussed both the LaMusga case and John Burton and information on both can be accessed other places on this site:

As many of you know, during last night's broadcast I announced a new His Side listener campaign. It is the first since our consumer boycott campaign against the 'Boys are Stupid' Products, a coordinated action which achieved its
primary objectives and made newspapers all over the world.

As you know, California family law has a huge influence on other
states, and parents all over the United States have a large stake in what happens here. I have written many newspaper columns and devoted several His Side shows to the issue of post-divorce move-aways and the LaMusga move-away case in particular.

In LaMusga, a vindictive and alienating custodial mother sought to move her two young boys 2,400 miles away from their loving father. Since the 1996 Burgess decision, California custodial mothers have had the almost unlimited right to move their children hundreds or thousands of miles away from their
noncustodial fathers, who, like Gary LaMusga, are often chained in their current locale by stiff child support obligations.

I hear every day from devastated men who have lost their children in the aftermath of this misguided decision. In May the California Supreme Court finally acted to rein in these damaging and destructive move-aways, deciding In re Marriage of LaMusga (2004) in favor of the father. You may recall that I co-authored a column on it, Is a Pool More Important than a Dad? (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/4/04).

Almost immediately Senate President Pro Tem John Burton (D-San Francisco) and his feminist allies began plotting to gut LaMusga. The result is a bill which would be far more devastating than Burgess. The bill would amend California Family Code 7501 to "abrogate [LaMusga] in its entirety" and establish that "The custodial parent has a presumptive right to change the residence of the child and does not need a court order allowing him or her to do so." The bill also states that the move-away's inevitable disruption or destruction of the
relationship between the noncustodial parent and his or her children cannot be used to restrain the move or get a change of custody.

In other words, mom can move wherever she wants whenever she wants and does not even need the formality of a court order to do so. This bill would be a devastating blow to children and to the rights of fathers in California and, by extension, fathers and children in many other states. It must be stopped.

Burton, who will be termed out this fall, is reportedly planning to slip the anti-LaMusga legislation through the Legislature attached to a bill which has already gone through committee. While we do not yet have a bill number, feminist groups have already rallied support for the bill, and the bill's introduction is imminent.

The Alliance for Children Concerned About Move-Aways( has been formed to fight to defend LaMusga. The website has a lot of information about the LaMusga situation, and I ask ALL of you to take part in this campaign.
TO TAKE ACTION, click here.

Best Wishes,
Glenn Sacks
Listen to His Side with Glenn Sacks

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Monday, July 12, 2004

California CPS Investigation

CPS in Review

This article, from October 1999, takes an extremely in-depth look at Child Protective Services and provides recommendations about ways the system might be mended.

Child Protection at the Crossroads:
Child Abuse, Child Protection, and Recommendations for Reform


Friday, July 09, 2004

Dads of Michigan Update

I received the following in an email yesterday:

We achieved 4 of our five goals but we did not get enough signatures to put this on the ballot. We inspired several pieces of legislation to change custody and support issues. We are now represented in every county in Michigan.

Our paternity policy team is currently working with several Legislators to draft legislation on paternity.

Rep Howell is championing legislation to remove custody from the law.
Rep Voorhees is championing legislation to preserve families and reform divorce and custody laws.

Did the petition have an effect. You bet.

We are now working to have the petition language introduced as a bill.

Kind regards.

James Semerad
DADS of Michigan PAC

6632 Telegraph Road, Suite 110
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301
(248) 559-DADS phone

While apparently the petition drive was not the success I had hoped, it seems quite apparent that DadsofMichigan is helping to change Michigan laws. If you are a Michigan resident please contact them to find out how you can help.

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Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Connecticut Custody and Visitation Seminar

copied verbatim from

SHELTON - The Sterling Center is sponsoring several free workshops this summer at its offices at Woodside Plaza, 731 C Bridgeport Ave.

While there is no cost to attend, seating is limited; those interested in participating are asked to call early to reserve a seat.

Resolving Child Custody and Visitation Disputes in a healthy proactive manner is the program at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 8.

The workshop, led by Eliza L. Borecka, LCSW and divorce mediator, is appropriate for parents who are going through a separation or divorce or who have been divorced and are having conflicts over their children.

Those seeking further information may call 203-929-2400.

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New study shows child support guidelines in need of reform

Latest Glenn Sacks


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Thoughts on Iowa Custody Law

This is an interesting article about some of the response (both from parents and judicial) to the new Iowa custody law.

Opinions vary on new child custody law

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If you don't have anything nice to say...

Hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend. Having not posted for a while I decided to take the time to go through some of the news I may have missed recently.

I have run across 4 articles concerning pet custody, one which I stopped to read, and it detailed several cases - one costing upwards of $30,000, another more than $150,000. I assume I don't have to comment on how disgusting I find this.

To me this is just another case of the judicial system completely abusing and denigrating the laws put into place to protect children. While the "custody" arrangement of ones dog may elicit strong emotional feelings for them, ordering a "bonding study" be done by an animal behaviorist (as discussed here)shows how disinterested judges are in narrowing the scope of family law all while they claim to be terribly overworked and under-staffed. Ordering a de facto custody evaluation for a dog clearly demonstrates how ineffective our judicial system is at determining much of anything, particularly the fate of a couple's child.

I suppose I am just wondering if this country has completely thrown common sense out the window or does filing a for divorce incite some type of chemical imbalance in the minds of all involved parties?
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