Child Custody Opinions

2019

This page lists decisions made by the Supreme and Appeals court, which touch on the issue of custody. Although there is nothing in the laws that mandates nor encourages the courts to order sole physical custody, it is obvious that our courts are biased in favor of sole physical custody also known as primary custody

The current law states:

“In making an order or judgment relative to the custody of children, the rights of the parents shall, in the absence of misconduct, be held to be equal”

Unfortunately all too often the courts make clear their bias for sole physical custody

Opinions:

Interesting case one parent is not seeing the children and wants the children brought to him so he can see them. The judge decides against ordering the children to be brought to the parent without a trial. The case is remanded for a trial. At the time of the hearing the parent was residing in state custody for a crime of violence,

Grandparents would like to see their grandchildren. One parent has lost custody of their children, and the parent who now has custody does not wish to be put out allowing the grand parenting time. The opinion only states that their was some kind of drug use on the part of one parent, as justification for losing custody.

The case starts off as a shared custody case, however one of the parents is favored with regards to the parenting time. That parent then abuses their position and they go back to court. The court is only too happy to take away the shared legal custody rather than balance the parenting time. One party tries to make this case out to be a one sided domestic violence case, but the facts don't support that.

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Yet another case showing the courts open bias against shared custody. In this case sole custody goes from one parent to the other, shared custody is never considered

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Yet another disappointing decision, showing the court's open bias against shared custody. In this case the lower court allowed shared legal custody, On appeal that decision was overturned, there is no explanation as to why it is being overturned or how this meets the best interests of the children standard..

If you listen to the hearing, it is clear that the panel is fully aware of the weakness in the arguments being made to overrule the lower court. None the less if you read the opinion that this panel issues, they decide to vacate the shared legal custody order.

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November 5, 2019

GUARDIANSHIP OF BEAU Monks

Neyman, Henry, Singh

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Yet another disappointing decision, showing the courts open bias against shared custody. In this case physical custody was lost to one parent in an appeal of a decision in 2016. On a modification motion a few years later that parent then loses legal custody,

While there are legitimate reasons for a parent to lose custody, physical or legal, all too often our courts simply engage in inappropriate attacks on families.

The parent losing custody is not accused of doing anything inappropriate to the child, the court just was unable to do its job.

Each of these judges, the lower court and the panel, know that what the did was wrong, they should either resign their positions, or change their attitude to the law and our families and do their job.

October 3, 2019

SS vs JL Lemire

Kinder, Sacks, Shin

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An odd decision, this was an appeal of renewal of a restraining order.. Custody decisions are allowed to be made when applying for restraining orders, although in practice that decision is usually left for the Probate and Family Courts. In this case the custody decision was originally made when the restraining order was issued. The case then went to the Probate and Family Court where a custody decision was presumably made. When this case returned to District Court the judged removed the custody aspect, but the issue was most likely moot at that point, none the less an appeal was filed.

The panel does not address this obvious issue, and it appears to be just promoting its bias against shared parenting, in a manner that has no meaningful effect.

Another decision that shows the brazen bias of our courts.

The court starts off by giving sole custody to one parent, when that parent abuses the power given to them, the court takes custody away from that parent and gives it to the other parent. At no time does the court consider shared custody.

Their bias against shared custody is obvious and disappointing.

The lower court starts by taking physical custody away from one parent, no explanation is provided.

The other parent then also wants sole legal custody, however the court declines, this appeal follows

The panel upholds the joint legal provision, which is good, but we still do not know why one party lost joint physical custody

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Another decision that shows the brazen bias of our courts.

The panel claims that it is the role of the lower court to decide who is the better parent. While the lower court may determine who is an unfit parent, they do not have any mandate to determine who is the better parent. Claiming one fit parent is better than another fit parent is simply the court introducing its own bias.

This panel knew better than to issue this disappointing opinion, it is time for some of these people to hang it up, they are not doing the people of the Commonwealth any favors.

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A truism throughout these custody cases is that when parents are treated unequally it is a recipe for further conflict. In this case one parent was determined to be the primary parent, and then troubles developed. What those troubles were are not made clear in this opinion and argument. The most one can tell is a child said something and the parent in power went and obtained a 209a. Whether the 209a was appropriate is not addressed, although it is pointed out that perhaps it should not have been issued. The most disappointing aspect is when one member of the panel argues that taking custody away from one parent because of the restrictions of the 209a is not support by the facts, and then the written opinion states the exact opposite.

The description of the case is vague so its hard to determine if the court got it right, but since it is a custody matter, it would be safe to assume they did not.

A poor decision by the appeals court, showing its bias against shared legal custody.

In this case allegations of domestic abuse were introduced at trial, but the court found that there was not a single party responsible for it, and set it aside, none the less during argument it sounds like at least on member of the panel was going to use it against one party, which would be challenging given the findings of the lower court judge.

More importantly is the bias being put forward to not allow shared legal custody. Although the law does not require it the courts are trying to create a standard to have shared legal custody that is a higher standard than would be met by intact couples. No justification is provided for this higher standard, no harm is identified as coming from shared legal custody, and it is clear that this standard is being promulgated to discourage shared legal custody. A clear example of the court not doing its job.

May 30, 2019

C.S. vs. J.S. Ryley

Agnes, Maldonado, Sacks

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The courts continue to politicize the issue of removal. They first take custody from one parent and then use a manufactured process to allow removal.

In this case custody was taken from one parent due to allegations of domestic violence. What this domestic violence consisted of is not mentioned in the opinion. Discussion of the issue during argument does not make it clear that there was any domestic violence. The court should take the issue of domestic violence seriously, and not appear to be exploiting it. When allegations of domestic violence arise, the court should make clear how the allegations rise to the standard required by law in its writings and orders and not simply whitewash the issue.

Unmarried parents, the issue is the parenting plan. This opinion does not give enough information to understand what was the issue with the parenting plan. After an initial liberal parenting plan it was revised. There could have been reasons for this action but it is difficult to tell from these writings. Part of the remand was to clarify how the lower court made decisions.

Hard to tell what happened here. The parties started with shared legal custody, but with supervised visitations for one parent. It is never explained why this was done. The court goes further and cuts off all contact with one parent and changing the legal custody from shared to sole legal custody. The panel remands the case on the matter of ending any relationship between the children and one parent.

This is an extreme situation and the panel should have made clear what issues if any justified this treatment of this family by the court. In moving from shared legal custody to sole legal custody the court and this panel fail to show any problems that arose from this arrangement before changing it. They simple allowed their bias to rule the day.

Train wreck of a case. The case starts off with one parent getting sole physical and legal custody of the children, with the other parent having ample parenting time. A good indication that the court did not do their job. This is appears to be a classic example of the court not considering shared parenting at all.

As happens all to often the parent who has gained sole custody of the children, then turns around and abuses that power. In this case it is so extreme that DCS files charges against them. The court then flips its earlier decision and grants sole custody to the other parent. No where in this opinion does the court acknowledge this obvious error, nor take responsibility for the resultant actions.

The panel in this case remands part of the case requiring the lower court to explicitly address allegation of domestic violence.

After one parent was found guilty of child abuse, the other parent was awarded sole physical custody.

Although primarily a jurisdictional matter, the court was being asked to make the parenting plan between the two parents balanced. A worthy goal, but one which our courts rarely support.

One parent is found to be suffering from mental illness and a danger to their children. That parent loses custody.

Another "Special Immigrant Juvenile" case; The court is presented with a case where one parent has nothing to do with their child, but the court chooses to do nothing about it claiming that the child has not been abandoned by one parent, since the other parent can meet all of the child's needs. The case is remanded to the lower court.

These reads like a completely poorly written lower court decision, and part of it is remanded. There is no indication that either party was a poor parent, yet as happens far too often one parent loses custody. The allegation by the lower court judge was that the parties could not agree on anything with respect to the children, yet this did not result in one parent wanting to do things to harm the children. With the courts help people are fully capable of setting up parenting plans and ground rules that allow even the most contentious parties to parent. However our courts are decidedly against shared parenting, and this is not in our children's best interest.