The Show

Crisis in Family Court

Dr. Phil shines a light on the American family court system, and how often it fails its citizens. From restraining orders to custody battles, hear heartbreaking stories that many say prove the system needs a major overhaul.

Failed by the System



Dr. Phil reviews some excerpts from Stephen's final words:

To whom it may concern,


If I am unable to post this on my Web site, please make sure this is made public so everyone can read this. Respect this request please. Do not chop this up. Make sure everyone can read it in its entirety. There are a lot of messages here everyone needs to read … Everyone said to give it time. Keep going to court, keep doing what you're doing. Nobody got it. Not even Katie. I didn't want to fight Katie. I didn't want to fight Katie. I didn't want shared custody of Wyatt. I wanted my family back … To Katie's family and friends: I will see you in * hell. I held the gun; you pulled the trigger. I cried for your help. I told you this would happen. I told you to help me get my family back, but you laughed at me. You hate me? OK, well, tell me when you join me in hell … Katie, K80, Babe, my love, my * * true love, Mommy, Mama. We love you. We are watching over you. We will be by your side. Just ask and we will come. Wyatt is safe now. Be happy for him please … I'm sorry for punching you. I'm sorry I made the wrong choices. I'm sorry I didn't fight for you.

Dr. Phil says, "This is not hard to discern in someone's thinking, I wouldn't think."

Katie says neither she nor Stephen were ever evaluated by the court.

"You're still a little bit in shock over all of this," Dr. Phil notes. "Have you allowed yourself to grieve the loss?"

"Not yet," she says. "It comes in waves. A lot of days, I'm angry. A lot of days, I'll cry out of nowhere, but it hasn't fully hit me yet. I'm scared to know what's going to happen when it does, because I have to be there for my other son, because he doesn't understand."

Dr. Phil acknowledges Katie's courage to put a face on this issue.


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