Vacation While Promoting Family Court Justice

Welcome to Leon Koziol.Com

1233 A scene in Hawaii obtained during a book publishing assignment by PRI Director Leon Koziol

Okay here’s the challenge. And you can do it. No strings or gimmicks. It’s this simple. You got friends, acquaintances, maybe even a few enemies you want to exploit. Sell 10 Court Strategy or Self-Representation Programs featured on the Parenting Rights Institute and Leon Koziol.com websites, and you get round trip plane fare to Hawaii. Sell 20 and get lodging for three days on the romantic island of Maui or bustling Waikiki. Sell 30 and get a week of lodging, minimum 3-star quality, and it will be a winter escape of your dreams.

The best part about this opportunity is that the proceeds will go toward family court reform. But what if you fall short of these numbers? No problem, you will get the standard $50 finder’s fee for each sale should you decide to…

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In the Best in Interest of Children ~ Children’s Rights Facebook Group

In the Best in Interest of Children

Quite often, I write about parental alienation and family court bias. Both, of these things do and will continue to occur in its present form unless, something dramatic changes. When we set foot into a family court environment to decide parental responsibilities, we have certain expectations that the term “best interests” of our child will be applied in the fullest measure possible.

Within the family court realm, there are essentially three people who will ultimately have a hand in the decision making process of where our child will live. First, you have an attorney for Mom, an attorney for Dad and finally, the judge who will decide the merits of the case. Obviously, the attorney’s job is to advance their client’s position and most times isn’t worried so much about the best interest standard.

This leaves the family court judge. These judges handle a great many cases that range from criminal to civil to family and anything else in between. As such, it is unreasonable to think that they are experts in all aspects of the law pertaining to the various disciplines. Also, they have limited knowledge of the family outside of what is presented to them in the courtroom. As a result, this can cause a judge to issue an order that may or may not be in the child’s best interest.

When applied, the term “best interest” should meet the legal definition. If, it does not then it is simply a useless phrase that is coined by the administrators of these proceedings to justify their rulings. Just so we’re all on the same page, let’s take a look at this term and what it implies. Though, each state may vary a bit in its definition, they all mention the main points.

Though, there are too many aspects to list in this article however, I will attempt to highlight some of the more obvious and relevant ones used in determining what constitutes the best interests standard. To see a complete list for your individual state, you can do a search of the term. The following are as listed, not necessarily in order.

*The age of the child;
*The relationship of the child with the child’s parents and any other persons who may significantly affect the child’s welfare.
*The preference of the child, if old enough to express a meaningful preference.
*The stability of any proposed living arrangements for the child.
*The motivation of the parties involved and their capacities to give the child love, affection and guidance. *The capacity of each parent to allow and encourage frequent and continuing contact between the child and the other parent, including physical access.
*Methods for assisting parental cooperation and resolving disputes and each parent’s willingness to use those methods.
*The existence of domestic abuse between the parents, in the past or currently, and how that abuse affects the child.
*The existence of a parent’s conviction for a sex offense or a sexually violent offense.
*Whether allocation of some or all parental rights and responsibilities would best support the child’s safety and well-being.

As you can see, there are many different aspects that judges must take into account when deciding the issue of parental responsibilities. None of these should ever be taken for granted lest, the child suffer due to the absence of one of these considerations. However, not all of the above mentioned are equally applied and sometimes, are ignored.

Should one of the parents display an unwillingness to follow these guidelines of best interests, then allocation should be given to the parent who is a willing participant. However, this does not always happen. There are times when the judge in these cases have demonstrated a certain level of hostility and bias towards one of the parents, attorneys or both, Further, their lack of understanding family law to the fullest, ignorance of motivating factors such as, parental alienation is a fairly common occurrence.

It is for these reasons that judges should be required to outline the guidelines, according to their respective state and go through them line by line explaining why each one is in compliance with their orders. I believe, that should a family court judge be required to do this, the very essence of transparency would eliminate any erroneous ruling and the best interest standards would be fully administered and served.

Finally, family court judges must be required to take educational classes to learn about a child’s best interest, as it applies to governing law. Lastly, family law cases must be separate from criminal and civil courts to insure that the judges are not only qualified but, also specialized in these matters. In allowing these things to take place, we may start to see some semblance of “best interest” standard being applied.

By David Shubert

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Source: Children’s Rights Facebook Support Page

The Due Process Clause guarantees more than fair process…

THESE JUSTICES WERE BOUND BY THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE
court-of-public-opinion-2015

By thefitparentsrights

…and the “liberty” it protects includes more than the absence of physical restraint. (citations omitted). (Due Process Clause “protects individual liberty against ‘certain government actions regardless of the fairness of the procedures used to implement them’ ”) (quoting *720 Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327, 331, 106 S.Ct. 662, 665, 88 L.Ed.2d 662 (1986)). The Clause also provides heightened protection against government interference with certain fundamental rights and liberty interests. Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292, 301-302, 113 S.Ct. 1439, 1446-1447, 123 L.Ed.2d 1 (1993); Casey, 505 U.S., at 851, 112 S.Ct., at 2806-2807. In a long line of cases, we have held that, in addition to the specific freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights, the “liberty” specially protected by the Due Process Clause includes the rights to… to have children, Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535, 62 S.Ct. 1110, 86 L.Ed. 1655 (1942); [and] to direct the education and upbringing of one’s children, Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 43 S.Ct. 625, 67 L.Ed. 1042 (1923); Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 45 S.Ct. 571, 69 L.Ed. 1070 (1925);…

Our established method of substantive-due-process analysis has two primary features: First, we have regularly observed that the Due Process Clause specially protects those fundamental rights and liberties which are, objectively, *721 “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition,” id., at 503, 97 S.Ct., at 1938 (plurality opinion); Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 U.S. 97, 105, 54 S.Ct. 330, 332, 78 L.Ed. 674 (1934) (“so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental”), and “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,” such that “neither liberty nor justice would exist if they were sacrificed,”(citations omitted).

Continue reading The Due Process Clause guarantees more than fair process…

“Every parent, regardless of the relationship (or lack of one) that existed at the time the child was conceived, has a responsibility to provide financial support for their child.”

Re-blogged from ~
Parenting Together….Living Apart

In working to reforming our current system, I meet great people on a daily basis who see unfairness.

I am not alone in this, of course.

Today’s post is from a Division of Child Support case worker in a neighboring state who has contacted me several times concerning South Dakota’s unfair custody laws. She asked to post anonymously as she believes she could lose her job if her superiors knew of her stance. So I post this, humbled she would take that risk and grateful for her insights. I believe you will be too.

This is from the front lines of child support and custody in South Dakota and neighboring states. Our anonymous writer today works with custody and child support on a daily basis.

Here is her unedited letter:

“I am a Division of Child Support Caseworker in a state bordering South Dakota. As such, I speak with other caseworkers in SD and nearly all other states in the US every day, and know there are very few options for “non-custodialparents who are being denied equal access to their children, unless they are fortunate enough to be able to afford a long and expensive custody battle, which is extremely rare, especially in cases where the parents were never married.family court insanity - 2016

While your group needs to pursue one issue at a time, your particular issue being custody and visitation arrangements after a divorce, I hope that you will also pursue shared parenting and child support arrangements for parents who were never married, as this is an issue that definitely needs to be addressed and rectified.

Before continuing, I will say that I, and all DCS caseworkers, recognize that the “non-custodial” (and we don’t like that term) parent may be the mother rather than the father. In most cases, however, the NCP is dad and the CP is mom, so please forgive my use of general terms such as “she” and “he”. I use them for the sake of simplicity, not out of a lack of respect or understanding that mothers do sometimes get the raw end of the deal, along with their children.

In every state in this country, the child support system is not only broken, but is in desperate need of repair. It is unbalanced and very often unfair. The child support calculation is based on the income of both parents, in every state, although I will admit there could be a state or two that does not do it this way and I am just not aware.

In most states, if either parent is unemployed but not disabled, they are presumed to be capable of working 40 hours a week at minimum wage, so their income is imputed at $1275 per month. Following this calculation, if mom is willingly unemployed and dad is employed full time, making a mere $10 an hour, dad has a child support obligation of $357 per month for one child. (I got this number from SD’s child support calculator website and it is accurate.)

Every parent, regardless of the relationship (or lack of one) that existed at the time the child was conceived, has a responsibility to provide financial support for their child.

That is a fact. But, should dad, making $10 an hour really be forced to pay $357 to someone who is not willing to work? Where is mom’s responsibility in this? In these situations, mom (unless she is actually working 40 hours a week for minimum wage, which is rare), is receiving food stamps, Medicaid, and housing assistance, so she is sitting back, living a meager life and doing nothing to improve the lives of her children, and not having to lift a finger to do it. In the meantime, dad is working hard and still can’t afford to keep the lights on in his own home.

Most of the dads I speak to are willing to pay the child support, despite the financial stress. They understand that there is a little person out there who needs their help, and they are okay with that. In many of these cases, dad has not seen his child even once since the relationship with his child’s mother demised, and he has no recourse other than to hire a lawyer to get a visitation order. The first problem with this is that dad, making $10 an hour and paying $357 a month in child support has no money left over for to hire a lawyer. The second problem with this is that, even when he does and gets the order, mom can still deny the visitation and there will be no consequences to her for doing so. Sure, dad can take her back to court again, and the judge will tell her to behave, but if she doesn’t, nothing will happen in SD. Dad and the kids are still denied access to one another.

Approximately 2 years ago, the state of Illinois passed legislation that actually puts repercussions in place for CPs that refuse to follow the Illinois State Visitation Guidelines. If the CP denies access to the children to the NCP, her driver’s license can be restricted, and not be reinstated until she complies. What a novel idea. I am beside myself, wondering why every state has not enacted this legislation. We restrict, suspend, or revoke the driver’s licenses (and other licenses) of NCPs when they don’t pay the child support, even when they are unwillingly unemployed, yet we allow CPs to use their children as weapons against NCP, regardless of whether he is paying.

I had two office visits today, both from dads who are doing the best they can and still are being denied access to their children, simply because mom decided she doesn’t like them anymore. The first has a 5 year old daughter that he desperately wants to have a relationship with, but hasn’t been allowed to see since she was 1 year old. At least in that situation, the poor child doesn’t know what she’s missing in not being able to see her dad. The second is much more sad, and it honestly makes me very angry. Dad raised mom’s first child as his own from an infant to 4 years old. In the meantime, they had a child together. They were together for another year or two. For the next several years, dad had BOTH kids – even the one that was not his – for weekend visitation. Not enough, but at least it’s something. Then, mom decided to pull the rug out from underneath dad, with no consideration for her children. Dad has now not seen either child for a year and a half. He and mom were not married, so mom has all the power, unless he can afford an attorney, which he can not possibly afford to do.

As we sat and talked, there were several times that I could see he was struggling not to cry. Ever since mom decided (for what crazy reason no one knows) to withhold visitation, both children, and especially his biological child, have been acting out in school. They’ve been bullying other kids and being defiant to authority. His biological son was finally allowed to see his half sister (that dad had from another relationship) after being denied access to her for a long time.

According to his sister, all he talked about was how much he missed his dad and how he is so happy he has all these things that his dad gave him, because it helps him remember his dad. Mom has the kid in therapy, that dad is paying for, and she is apparently oblivious to the reason why the kid needs therapy. I could tell her, but it would probably result in me being fired. Mom has 3 kids by 3 different dads and I would like to talk to her about that as well. Bottom line is mom is sitting back, collecting child support and state benefits, and not doing a damn thing to support her children, but she will be the first to call if a payment is a day late. This is just one case I am telling you about, and it’s not even the worst one; it’s just the one at the top of my mind.

The bottom line is this. We need to have state agencies that provide free services for NCPs to have fair and equal access to their children. We already have state agencies that help people who make no contribution themselves collect child support, and we are screwing kids and NCPs in the process. That is not acceptable in any state. I hope your legislature – and mine – will figure that out. Good luck and God Bless to you and your children.

All that being said, I hope all the NCPs (I really hate that term) understand that your CS case worker is not against you. We are forced to support the order, whatever that may entail. We have no power to help you with anything else, but we really would like to. God bless and God speed to you and your children.”

Stop The War On Dads No parents should have to go through this

Invite people ~ Share this community
The father’s rights movement isn’t an anti-mom or anti-woman movement; it’s an anti-unfairness movement. Our aim is to champion the cause of equal parenting, family law reform and equal contact for divorced/separated parents with their children. The fathers’ rights movement is a movement whose members are primarily interested in issues related to family law, including child custody and child support that affect fathers and their children. Many of its members are fathers who desire to share the parenting of their children equally with their children’s mother—either after divorce or as unwed fathers, and the children of the terminated marriage. The movement includes women as well as men, often the second wives of divorced fathers or other family members of men who have had some engagement with family law. Most of the members of the fathers’ rights movement had little prior interest in the law or politics. However, as they felt that their goal of equal shared parenting was being frustrated by the family courts, many took an interest in family law, including child custody and child support.
Though it has been described as a social movement, members of the movement believe their actions are better described as part of a civil rights movement. Objections to the characterizations of the movement as a social movement are related to the belief that discrimination against fathers moves beyond the social sciences and originates in government intervention into family life. The movement has received international press coverage as a result of high profile activism of their members, has become increasingly vocal, visible and organised, and has played a powerful role in family law debates.
The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” – Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925)
“It is cardinal with us that the custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder…. It is in recognition of this that these decisions have respected the private realm of family life which the state cannot enter.” – Prince v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158 (1944)
“The Due Process Clause does not permit a State to infringe on the fundamental right of parents to make childrearing decisions simply because a state judge believes a ‘better’ decision could be made.” – Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000)

Read more

Continue reading “Every parent, regardless of the relationship (or lack of one) that existed at the time the child was conceived, has a responsibility to provide financial support for their child.”

Justice4Children ~ Family Law and Child Welfare Reform

AFLA LOGO 2 - 2015Judges merely redirect the dysfunction of one parent as a means to achieve an equitable settlement without regard for children. Prospective lawyers to become judges practice under a code of ethics where they are only allowed to have regard their clients and not the children. A prospect practices under these rules of engagement for 20-30m years before a simple letter of appointment to the bench. They can in no way be expected to have regard for children after this indoctrination.

Family Law Reform sm - 2016The code of ethics for those lawyers practicing family law needs to change before anything gets better for children.

Just know the enemy of your children are the lawyers and judges themselves.

The Children’s Rights Facebook Group now has over 18,000 Members. We’re here for Parents who need morale support, information, and more. Come check us out!family court in focus - 2015

!! ATTENTION FLORIDA VOTERS !!

852e6-florida2bcommission

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES VOTE FOR ANY OF THESE LEGISLATORS WHO HAD VOTED AGAINST THE FAMILY REFORM BILL:

First Husbands Advocacy Group - Florida Alimony and Custody Laws Reform's photo.FOR SENATE SB 668 NAY VOTES:

Abruzzo (D-Wellington), Braynon (D-Miami Gardens), Bullard (D-Cutler Bay), Clemens (D-Lake Worth), Detert (R-Venice), Flores (R-Miami), Hukill (R-Port Orange), Joyner (D-Tampa), Legg (R-Lutz), Montford (D-Quincy),
 Ring (D-Margate), Sachs (D-Delray Beach), Smith (D –Ft. Lauderdale), Soto (D-Kissimmee)

FOR HOUSE SB 668 NAY VOTES:

Antone (D-Orlando), Avila (R-Hialeah), Berman (D-Boynton Beach), Bileca (R-Miami), Bracy (D-Ocoee), Campbell (D–Miami-Shores), Clarke-Reed (D-Pompano Beach), Cortes, J. (D-Kissimmee), Cruz (D-Tampa), Cummings (R-Orange Park), Dudley (D-St. Petersburg), Edwards (D-Sunrise), First Husbands Advocacy Group - Florida Alimony and Custody Laws Reform's photo.Fitzenhagen (R-Fort Meyers), Geller (D-Dania Beach), Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill), Jacobs (D-Coconut Creek), Jenne (D-Hollywood), Jones, M. (D-Jacksonville), Jones, S. (D-West Park), Kerner (D-Palm Springs), Lee, L (D-Ft. Pierce), Mayfield (R-Vero Beach, moved to Brevard), McGhee (D-Cutler Bay), Moskowitz (D-Coral Springs), Murphy (D-New Port Richey), Narain (D-Tampa), Pafford (D-West Palm), Powell (D-West Palm), Pritchett (D-Miramar), Rader (D-Boca Raton), Rehwinkel Vasilinda (D-Tallahassee), Richardson (D-Miami Beach), Rodriguez, J (D-Miami), Rouson (D-St. Petersburg), Slosberg (D-Delray Beach), Stafford (D-Opa Locka), Stark (D-Weston), Steube (R-Sarasota), Torres (D-Orlando), contact_rick_scott-sb-668Trujillo (R-Doral), Van Zant (R-Palatka), Watson, B. (D-Miami Gardens), Watson, C. (D-Gainesville), Williams (D-Tallahassee)

Remember to vote in the August primary and November general election!

First Husbands Advocacy Group – Florida Alimony and Custody Laws Reform

BRAVO and CONGRATULATIONS to this man.
He is FREE of his alimony tether.
We applaud your good fortune and wish you all the best in life and love.
You are an inspiration to all other reformers.
Mother's Blocking Access - 2016

Parental Alienation Awareness - IT IS CHILD ABUSE --2016As we had predicted …
What a bunch of crap.
No…we NEVER will respect nor “honor” any of you who are stealing from us via lifetime alimony.
Honor and respect has to be earned.

Ya’ll are and will be pieces of shit to us…and the kids will know that forever and ever and ever.

Blog: June 24, 2016 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization ~ I’ve often criticized family court judges who battle with alienating parents, sometimes for many years, until finally the alienator does something truly drastic, like abducting the children. I point out that, if the judge had acted sooner, the children would still be safe. Plus, prompt judicial action could save huge amounts of time and expense on the part of litigants as well as the court. But judges often are loath to act and the result often is a mess for everyone and abuse for the…See More

Hi there, I was hoping you could share this post.

That is a page from her journal from school. She is 6 years old. It says “I am scared because I think my mom is keeping me!” It breaks my heart to read and even more to see what’s going on in the picture. My husband has 50/50 right now and is actively seeking majority because of his ex not following the order. His daughter is only 6 and knows what is going on and to be that is a tragedy.

I am a family law attorney 
and I have seen first-hand the kind of unfairness that you are complaining about and I know that you are making a very legitimate point. 

Every time I sit and observe for even an hour or so in family court, I come out wondering what foreign country have I wandered into. Fathers are on the bad end of some peculiar social forces and norms at this point in our culture and even understanding that it is cultural and social — and not personal — does not make it more bearable for those who are affected. I am not going to cheerlead, or defend the system. It’s wrong and it goes on and on and on.

So, what to do?

Join forces. There is an active “Fathers’ Equal Rights” community that has only started to explore its potential for political and social influence.

One voice is a rant; many voices is public policy. All judges are ultimately accountable to the public, even those that forget that is so.

Here is contact info for local state advocates in your area, support and work with them for change.

You can begin by attending your the TFRM Rally this June 17th at your State Capitol.

There simply isn’t any other or better alternative.

Find the link to your local state rally below.

You can also go to the address printed on the meme below to see if any of our current open volunteer positions interest you.

Sincerely,

Kenneth Goins

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During the past decade, family issues such as marriage and fatherhood have rocketed to the top of the domestic-policy agenda. The past two presidential administrations, along with numerous local governments…

World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum.

 
 
Over the years I have been most inspired by the work of Omar and David Inguanzo from their group Children’s Rightsand would call o all like mined folk to join us and make the breakthrough 3000th memberby this Easter! I am also honoured to be regarded as a cause leader within the group.
 
 
 
Along with other campaigners such as Donald Tenn, David Carlin, Anthony Lemons, Second Class Citizen .org and many more who know the massive challenges that still lie ahead through out the USA. Here in the UK there seems a modest groundswell towards reform and feel I would like to see this hope extended to other associated fighting for justicein Family Courts and reforming child welfare organisations to start acting as they are expected to !
 
 
Along with everyone throughout the USA I would call on…

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Fatherless Day Rallies In Every State and Across The Globe!!

FRM USA - 2015Our current system of resolving child custody disputes rarely considers either children’s needs from children’s own perspective, or current research on child custody outcomes.

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Civil Rights in Family Law Florida

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The injustice that gave rise to the movement for presumptive joint custody

The Future of Custody Law Reform|Law Blogs|

At the current time there is a professed aversion to custody “labels” in legal circles, coupled with a shift of emphasis from deciding who gets custody, to deciding how parental decision-making and time with children will actually be structured between two parties. The latter is sometimes described as a “shared parenting” paradigm.

Insofar as it forces courts to make particularized determinations in preference to declaring all-or-nothing outcomes, shared parenting legislation can be viewed as a positive development. As I have demonstrated in a previous blog post, though, the custody “label” really does continue to matter even after shared parenting legislation is enacted.

This is why shared parenting legislation typically requires shared parenting orders to make a custody designation, even if it is “solely for the purposes of enforcement.” Short of a nationwide (and worldwide) agreement to abolish custody designations, it will continue to be necessary for courts to address who gets custody, no matter how hard judges and legislators try to deflect attention away from that problem.

The injustice that gave rise to the movement for presumptive joint custody cannot simply be wished away.

It may bblog2b-2bscale2bof2bjusticee possible to subdue the problem by ignoring it for a while, but at some point it will become necessary to address it head-on. When that time comes, it will be useful to have an understanding of the key issues that need to be addressed when considering presumptive joint custody reforms.

Legal vs. physical custody

Legislation establishing a presumptive right to joint custody should clearly state whether it applies to legal custody, physical custody, or both.

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Continue reading The injustice that gave rise to the movement for presumptive joint custody