Credit Where Credit is Due

Dear Village,

PLEASE: If you are happily married or were able to have an amicable divorce PLEASE read this blog.  Hopefully, you can relate to what happened today.

Imagine you are an apartment manager and you’re accompanying maintenance on its rounds. In one apartment you find a two year old child in a closet.  His only form of communication is to grunt. The child doesn’t know how to eat or drink.  When you give him a glass of water he pours it on the floor and licks it up like a dog.  He doesn’t even know how to chew food.

Is this the scenario in which you give thanks for Law Enforcement, Child Protective Services, and a legal system that is designed to address these situations?

I just court watched the 325th District Court and heard about this exact scenario.  Judith Wells was presiding. 

The facts were disturbing.

The father asked the court to place the child with the maternal grandmother.  The maternal grandmother testified that she works in special education.  She is going to take a month paid leave to care for and bond with the child.  She says her daughter (the mother of the child) has been diagnosed with a mental condition and has been hospitalized for it in the past.  She says she just wants her daughter to get help – but that the child isn’t safe in the mother’s care when she’s off her medications.  The maternal grandmother says she will foster the relationship between the child and both of his parents to the extent they are able to be involved.

As for the mother…

The mother claimed the child doesn’t have a father.

Nor does the child have a grandmother. 

The mother intends on only feeding the child Lunchables – for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack.  Lunchables, and nothing else. 

Her expectation for his development is that when he is 3 years old he’ll be able to say the word, “yellow.” 

She claims she does not have a mental illness and has never had a prescription for medication for a mental illness.  Extensive eyewitness testimony was given that absolutely pointed to the mother having a severe, untreated mental condition.

The decision was easy.

Judith Wells ordered the child to be placed in the care of the maternal grandmother.  She ordered that neither parent would pay child support.  I don’t know if I wrote down the legal terms and parties correctly but it sounded like Judith Wells designated the State of Texas as the Permanent Conservator, and the parents were designated as Possessory Conservators (keep in mind, the dad seemed fine with this outcome).

No one watching the hearing would have decided any differently.  Not me.  Not you.  Not anyone.

This hearing was EXACTLY what I think about when I think about a system that acts in the best interest of children.  It was a textbook case at all levels and by all parties.  The “village” saw abuse and acted.  Law Enforcement and CPS intervened and protected the child.  The lawyers gathered evidence and didn’t hide anything.  The extended family stepped-up and stepped-in to raise the child.

And now for the twist…

Judith Wells has no one to blame but herself for the outcry against her. 

The Divorce Industry (lawyers and therapists) are equally as culpable. 

I don’t care that, today, they appeared to act in the best interest of the child.  Getting it right every now-and-then doesn’t compensate for all the times decisions were based on cronyism and favoritism.

Speaking of which,

I know firsthand that a Judith Wells’ appointed amicus (Laurie Robinson) and therapist (Marta Otero) sided with a mother who was teaching the children to hate their father.  I know firsthand that the amicus and therapist continued to side with the mother after she filed blatantly false allegations against the father. I know firsthand that the amicus and therapist witnessed the erratic behavior, mental health problems, signs of alcoholism, and signs of prescription drug abuse in the mother. I know firsthand the amicus and therapist witnessed (and ignored) extensive behavioral problems in the children.  Additionally, the amicus was dismissive of a protective order filed by the father due to extensive abuse and threats by the mother and the maternal grandfather.  I know firsthand the father filed a complaint against Marta Otero, and the State of Texas turned the complaint into a lawsuit against her.

This latter situation is how cases have usually been conducted on Judith Wells’ watch.

The VAST majority of time (based on my personal court watching experience) the Divorce Industry acts in the best interest of itself.

The events of today notwithstanding, the Family Court system needs to be abolished.  Everything argued today rose to the level of criminal court, which is where these things need to be decided.