Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Update on Deployed Moms

This an update to this post.

It looks like the judge in one case used some common sense, in the other I am inclined to say not so much. However, we do not know all the details...

Detroit News

Michigan women soldiers heading to Iraq deal with custody issues

JACKSON -- Before leaving to serve in Iraq, two Army National Guard reservists had to deal with separate custody battles on the home front.

Sgt. Wendy Fowler of Michigan Center and Spc. Julie Guenther of Jackson were among 37 members of the Jackson-based 1461st Transportation Company who were departing Thursday for training at Fort Riley, Kan., and eventually Iraq.

But before they left, a judge had to decide their unresolved custody issues.

“I have spent a few nights crying my eyes out,” Guenther, 32, a data entry and imaging clerk for the Jackson County Register of Deeds, told The Jackson Citizen Patriot. “It’s been very stressful.”

In cases of being deployed, all National Guard members are required to have family plans in place that outline care and custody issues. And with more women and mothers serving, custody matters have become more complex.

In the cases of Guenther and Fowler, their children’s biological fathers wanted full custody while the women are deployed. To further complicate matters, the children involved also are part of larger blended families.

“Blended families are an issue in the military because they are an issue in society,” said Capt. Dawn Dancer, spokeswoman for the Michigan National Guard. “We have not heard of a large number of these kinds of problems, though.”

Guenther and her former husband, Charles Snitchler, have joint custody of their 2-year-old son, Jacob Snitchler. Guenther remarried last month and preferred that the arrangement continue with her new husband caring for the child during her part of the “50-50” arrangement.
But at a Probate Court hearing Wednesday, Judge Susan Vandercook gave Snitchler sole physical custody of Jacob, while Guenther serves in Iraq.

“That’s what I assumed the judge would do,” Snitchler said afterward. “I’m pleased with the outcome.”

Fowler’s dispute involved her 13-year-old son, Nicolas Gorney, who is the oldest of four children, including three from a subsequent marriage.

The teen’s father, Troy Linden, lives in the Flint area and sought full custody for Fowler’s tour of duty. But Fowler preferred that all four of her children remain with her parents, David and Ruth Gorney of Michigan Center.

“With me being gone, the younger kids are going to need him (Nicolas) as much as he’s going to need them,” said Fowler, who works as an office manager for DMG Services in Jackson.
The judge agreed and ruled Wednesday that Nicolas will stay with his grandparents during her tour of duty, which could last up to two years. Linden will continue to have supervised visits, she said.

Linden, 34, said he admires the sacrifices Fowler is making for her country but said he is devastated by the ruling.

“I’m his father,” the tool-and-die maker told The Flint Journal. “If one parent is not available, the child should go to the other parent. I wasn’t proved to be unfit.”

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Blogger Meg said...

In re-reading this article I noticed the second father would continue to get "supervised visitation." There is probably much more to that case then we know...

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I serve with both of these women and I was crushed by the judgement in the Guenther case. What a horrible thing to lose your custody the day before you deploy to war.

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would'nt let anyones children stay with Ruth or David Gorney,there other childern Misty & Autumn run a prositution ring from Jackson TO Kalamazoo, along with drug abusers not to mention Misty has sexually asulted numerous childern in Michigan Center, Jackson area, I would rather have my childern safe and not abused or caught up in prostitution or drugs.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so much for nicholas being rasied by ruth,david,martin,misty,autumn,bob,rodrick,nicholas has now been arrested for mip,and sexually asullting a 8 year old neighbor why can't he go to his father he is living in a flop house does his mother even know?

2:14 PM  

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