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Topic : 12/22 Custody Battles Gone Bad

Number of Replies: 373
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Created on : Friday, September 29, 2006, 09:47:40 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 10/04/06) Jan went on the run with her grandson the day her son-in-law, Chris, was released from jail. Jan believes Chris killed her daughter, and says she now fears for her own life and the life of her 4-year-old grandson. After serving time for involuntary manslaughter in the death of his wife, Chris says he will stop at nothing to regain custody of his son. Jan comes face-to-face with the man she has been in hiding from for a year. Then, see a custody battle that kept a mother fighting for her daughter for nearly a decade. Now reunited, Irene struggles to parent her daughter, Brittany, who was torn from her as a 7-year-old and returned as a teenager. Can these two bridge the gap and learn to be a family again? Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

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October 4, 2006, 2:28 pm CDT


How can this lawyer say Chris would make a good father?  does she live with him day in and day out?  If Chris could kill his wife he could kill the child even more easily if he lost his temper and went into a rage.  Bottom line  HE IS AN ABUSER!!!!  He should never have unsupervised visitation with that child.  We haven't seen the diary but if the mother read it she must know what is in it.  Who knows maybe the father of the other child is a no good drunken bum also.
October 4, 2006, 2:31 pm CDT

More than just custody...

If I understood correctly, Chris pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter. That means he admitted his actions caused the death of another person or that he knew his actions could cause the death of another. If he pled guilty but really doesn't think he is, then he lied to the court.  That itself may be illegal. So Chris is either a liar or a murderer. Either way, he should not have custody of his child.
October 4, 2006, 2:33 pm CDT

The system hardly ever does the right thing!

I couldn't believe that Dr. Phil said on the show today that most of the time "the system" gets things right. I have a few examples of where the system never got it right. My husband got screwed from the very beginning by "the system" and is still getting it. A lot of his problem was his ex-wife and her attorney lying about almost everything. They lied about how much money he made, said he was having an affair and the judge believed them. He was ordered to pay $2200 a month for child support and maintenance. He only made, maybe $3,000 a month but they lied about it. So, he started out not being able to pay all of this amount and right from the start had arrears towards him. All of this affected his relationship with his children. My husband moved from Colorado back to his hometown in Illinois where all of his family lives. His ex and her attorney tried to say that he abandoned the kids by doing this. He calls the children all of the time and hoped to get visitation with them on a regular basis. Due to having to pay his ex so much, he can't afford to get his children during his visitation time. That's only part of it, his ex also started to alienate the children from him. She tells them all kinds of lies to turn them against their dad, and a lot of it has worked. They believe what she says because she is cramming lies down there throats constantly and she is a social worker! She should know what Parental Alienation does to a child. My husband has told the judge these things many times, but they always believe her. We get to see the children maybe once a year because we can't afford to go get them, or if we can afford to get them, we can't afford to feed everyone or do anything with them while they are here. This is just about to kill my husband. can you imagine only getting to see your children  maybe once a year?

Another time, my husband and I had to go to Colorado for court. My children stayed with their dad. When we got home, I had one of my children on my lap and noticed that he had a bruise across the side of his face and even was bruised behind his ear, in the shape of a hand mark. My son said his dad did it. DCFS was contacted and they investigated and even had us go to the police department. It ended up being dismissed. If a person had done this to an adult and they pressed charges, it would be considered assault, but I guess it's okay to hit your child hard enough to leave a bruise mark across their face!

Another time, involved my nephew. My brother and his wife separated and we found out she was doing meth. We found papers she had written saying she was doing drugs and that she was doing them around the child. DCFS was contacted and they were unable to find anything. Luckily, when we went to court the judge had his eyes open and granted my brother custody.

One question, why is it that when DCFS is going to come by someones house, do they let the people know they are coming?! So, they can hide stuff and tidy up before they come? I think the visits should be a surprise and they might see what is actually going on in some of these homes they visit.

October 4, 2006, 2:35 pm CDT

it can happen

A little over 15 years ago, I lost custody of my 2 sons.  I was not a bad mother, just worked a lot of hours to support them.  I had custody of my first son when I was going through my second divorce.  We fought in court for too long.  I gave up on fighting for my second son, because I did not have the funds or the emotional strength to continue.  My second ex-husband called my first ex-husband and told him to go for custody because I was broke.  He had nothing to do with my son for 4 years and he filed to take me to court.  I was too proud to go to my family for financial help to fight this.  I went to legal aid and their response was after they had come to my work with 2 deputies and took custody.  I did not even know that they had gone to court.  I have had grief for many years and payed a huge price, but I did not continue the fight because I did not want my sons to suffer.                          Now, my second son has been in contact with me and we have a good relationship.  My first son does not have any contact with me.  His father said he would never keep him away from me, but he did.  My parents could see him but I was not allowed to go to their house if he was there.   Then his father and step mother started requesting that my parents remove my pictures from their home.  Then eventually, my parents did not get to see him either.                   It is so sad that people can not get along for the childrens sake.  I was willing but they were so full of hate that they would not even give me a chance.  I just hope someday my oldest son will come back into my life.                        Maybe then he can learn the truth.    His father and step mother have told him since he was 5 that I did not love him or want him.  That is so far from the truth, I would do anything for him and I love him with all my heart.

October 4, 2006, 2:40 pm CDT

Angry w/ the family court systems

I am so glad to see Dr Phil starting to approach this subject. Everytime he airs a show like this, it's one step up for our children. My story comes from San Bernardino,CA. Whose family law courts have a  horrible reputation for corruption. I left my ex-husband when our son was 2. After 2 years of being evicted,utilities shut off and no food, I had had enough with his drug use. For 9 years, I raised my son on my own, working and going to school full time. His father had very limited time with him and usually when he did, it was because I drove to his house and forced him to be a part of his child's life. Today, I regret that effort. It was not until I had remarried and had another child and wanted to move(my new husband is in the miluitary) that he decided to contest my move and ask for custody. We had joint custody and he had no interest in being a part of his life then. But now, he(fueled by his girlfriends desperate desire to have a child to replace the one she smothered) decided he wanted to stop me from moving, or at least my son. My son was happy about moving and did not want to leave his family to stay behind with a man he hardly knew. He chose to call my new husband Dad and it was my husband who taught him how to ride a bike,coached his soccer team,tucked him in at night. It was us that provided a family and stability for him. The only stability he had ever known. My husband had been his sole father figure since the age of 5. In court, my ex requested a 730 psych eval be done on all of us and claimed that if the dr thought it would be in the childs best interest to move, he would agree. Well, after two mediation reports and the psych eval resulting in my favor, he refused to abide to the agreement. I was allowed to move pending the outcome of the 730 eval so I was already out of state and having to fly back and forth almost every other month to go to court. I could no longer afford my attorney after all the travel fees and had to let her go. As soon as I was without an attorney, I was summoned to come to court to schedule a hearing. So as I arrived for court, I was served with an ex parte hearing notice that he was requesting full custody. I was taken into the judges chambers without an attorney and yelled at by the judge. I was told that since my husband is in the military, that we cannot give my son a good life. She then ordered my son to appear in court the following Monday. When I explained that I could not have him there until Thursday because he was at home in school and I was flying home Sunday night and would have to get him a ticket as soon as I got home, I was told we would reconvene when the child could be made available. I came home Sunday and started calling new attorneys on Monday. On Tuesday morning, I found one I liked and she went to the courthouse to pull the file and take on the case. Low and behold, I get a phone call Tuesday from her informing me that they held a hearing Monday and since I was not there, they gave custody to my ex. that I had to relinquish my son asap and that child abduction charges were filed against me. I was appauled. Needless to say, I had to put my hysterical son on the plabe to a father he barely knew, ripping him away from friends and family and the only thing he had ever really known. After that, I was forced into signing a joint custody agreement with him having physical custody of my son or else he would go for sole custody. Knowing that I could not afford to fly out to attend court and with no attorney, they knew they had me. I was forced to agree. Now my son has been with his father for 4 years. He is now living with a man who verbally abused me, has spent time in jail for fraud and theft,used and sold drugs and took our son with him on his drug deals,left him home alone,neglected him and due to his inattention, my son went missing two times,actually kidnapped my son from me two times when I had custody and had to have the cops find him and order him to give him back,having to actually go to his home and remove him to return to me one time,,refuses to give him his medical treatment and medicine,and my son has suffered depression and thoughts of suicide and has gone from an A student to almost failing the last 3 grades. I miss my baby every single day he is gone and cherish the times I do get to see him, providing I can afford to fly him out because I have to pay all the costs. My son is a great kid and so very sweet and sensitive. He has told his Dad he wants to live with me, he has always told everyone he wanted to live with his Mom. But the courts do not listen. They appointed an attorney for minors counsel who sided with me and then changed all of a sudden. A year later I found out that she had gotten a check from my ex and the next day, she had changed her position on the case. Ironic huh.They told me I had to catch everything on videotape for them to act on anything. The judges that dealt with my case are accused of so much corruption yet no-one does anything.Our kids are the ones suffering the most here but it's also hurting our families. There is nothing I can do at this point other than be there for him and love him and let him know that. He will be an adult in two years and I hope he knows how much I love him. It breaks my heart every day and the hearts of his brother and sister. I hope Dr Phil can do more for people like me. My civil rights were violated in so many ways and our family is suffering from it.
October 4, 2006, 2:48 pm CDT

OH I so know how this feels


I know how Britney feels.  I to was taken away from my mother.  I was given to a man that not only abused her and my half sister but also abused me.  In 1979,  my father took me from my mother.  When she went to the courts she was informed that he had just as much of a right to me then she did.  Even with documented child abuse on his record the State of CA made me stay.  My mother was so scared of him and what he might do that she ran leaving me with him.   I not only was abuse physically I was abuse emontionally and sexually.  This man treated me as if  I was a wife.  I never knew anything different.  When I asked about my mother I was told all kinds of horrible things about her.  I was 20 when I went looking for her.  I left him knowning that if I didnt leave that he would kill me or I would kill him.   My honeymoon phase with my mother didnt last long.  I grew to understand that I was her only way to stay alive.  I have tried once again to communicate with my mother.  I have had this whole in my heart for 11 years.  I still have a hard time letting my mother in and I am 33.   I dont know if I will ever be able to have any kind of relationship with my mother.  I know that feeling of abondedment.   I hope for Britney that she will learn how to trust again.  I hope that her mother wont give up on the reconnection.  

October 4, 2006, 2:48 pm CDT

dfs dosnt always act

 My ex raped our daughter and when I first reported it they did nothing abought it. My calls wernt reterned and I was kept in the dark untill Ihad to take her to the hospitel becose of what he did and was given a new caseworker.So I know that dcfs does not slways do something.  
October 4, 2006, 2:49 pm CDT

I agree.

Quote From: adrasteia

If I understood correctly, Chris pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter. That means he admitted his actions caused the death of another person or that he knew his actions could cause the death of another. If he pled guilty but really doesn't think he is, then he lied to the court.  That itself may be illegal. So Chris is either a liar or a murderer. Either way, he should not have custody of his child.
October 4, 2006, 3:11 pm CDT

Today's Show

I didn't see your show until the last 2 people appeared (a young woman and her mother) in which there were issues between the two.  I want the young woman to know (I am now 69 years old) that my relationship with my mother (due to her alcoholism and my being placed in foster homes all my life) was just the worst.  I "hated" her for more than 10 years.  Soon however, after I married, I began to develop at least a passing relationship with her which I soon began to "need" although I could not understand why.   My mother was in her 40's.   When my mother was 45, she became very ill and at the same time I became pregnant.  We were just beginning to have a relationship.  And it was truly just a beginning.  Within weeks (I was 4 weeks pregnant) she developed pneumonia and died at the age of 46.  I grieved.  I really grieved at the loss of what could have been.  So this is for the young woman - take your time, but give your mother a chance.
October 4, 2006, 3:15 pm CDT

What is up w/Dr. Phil????

This guy pled guilty in court to involuntary manslaughter, then gets on Dr. Phil's stage & denies that he had ANYTHING to do with and did not cause the death of his wife, and Dr. P doesn't CALL HIM ON THAT???? Does not get on his case for denying ANY ownership of his actions?I understand that the focus of  the show was supposed to be the custody battle itself & not the mothers' death, but even if he didn't mean to kill her, he surely meant to hurt her if he ripped a telephone out of the wall & threw it at her!!!!  How on earth is that NOT relevant to a custody case??? What happens when his kid acts up or acts out, & he gets mad? what then?
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