I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A small victory for a dad in Tennessee ~ but it is a sign of hope

Bradley County Family Brings National Attention To Child Custody Cases

Kristen Johnson's picture

kDuring this holiday season people are thankful for many different things.

For Jeremy Hopkins, this Thanksgiving is the first big holiday he's gotten to spend with his daughter Kate in 2 years.

The same amount of time Hopkins has wrangled through the Bradley County court system to get equal custody of his little girl Kate.

"All I want for my daughter is for her to have mom and a dad," Jeremy Hopkins said in tears.

But his story - not unusual.

"The system allows this to happen, "Michael McCormick with the Institute for American Families said.

McCormick traveled from D.C. and stood on the Bradley County Courthouse steps Wednesday to shed light on the Hopkin's case and many more like them.

In fact he says a million plus children pass through the family courts each year.

And around 4-thousand of them will lose a relationship with one of their parents.

"The courts are going to pick a winner and a loser and when they do that..the child ultimately loses," McCormick told News 12.

McCormick points out that Tennessee does requires parents to develop a parenting plan.

But when a plan can't or hasn't been agreed on, like in the Hopkins case, he says the courts fail to maximize a child's relationship with both parents and typically one parent sees the child for less than 20 percent of the time.

"Rather than trying to strengthen those relationships..the court systems are destroying those," Jeremy's brother David said.

"If we look at what's happening to our society we can trace the social pathologies just as increased rates of incarceration, early sexual activity for girls, truency issues relate to the family breaking down and the social fabric of our society is breaking down in terms of the family breaking down, we are being weaken as a nation and we need to change that," McCormick added.

McCormick says while about 17 million fathers nationwide do not have fair access to their children, about three million mothers experience the same problem.

A video of the press conference is here along with some comments: http://wdef.com/news/bradley_county_family_brings_national_attention_to_child_custody_cases/11/2008#comment-156635


Anonymous said...

Although the situation is very sad for the little girl, have you ever stopped to think if maybe this child would be better off with little contact with her father? Yes, it is very important for a child to have two parents in their life, but what about when one parent is psychotic?

Maybe Mr. Hopkins wouldn't be in this position if he hadn't abused his wife. I know you are going to say that he was possibly wrongfully accused. But what is the chance that lightening strikes twice in the same place? This isn't Mr. Hopkins's first rodeo. Unfortunately there have been more victims than just Mrs. Elizabeth Hopkins.

Michael J. Murphy said...

I'm a battle scarred warrior of false allegations and given my experiences with radical feminists who have no compulsion at all to lie, cheat and steal I'll trust the courts have thoroughly examined the abuse allegations.

My experience is that even if there is a hint of abuse true or not the dad is "toast". I'm one of those dads fighting this stigma despite the fact my ex is the abuser. I'm far from perfect and it does take two to cause a relationship to deteriorate but bias against men is there.

I also know Mike McCormick and his involvement adds a degree of credibility to the decision for equal custody. He risks a great deal by being wrong.

I wish more people would make observations in a calm rationale manner like you. It does cause a person to reflect more thoroughly on the arguments being made. Thank you for your observations. I enjoy discussing issues in this way rather than the tone that often pervades in these gender wars.

Anonymous said...

I am the grandmother to a child who is the victim of PAS and my son definitely is not guilty of domestic violence or abusing his son in any way. Quite the opposite, the mother's new husband is the one who has beaten on her in front of my grandson and even while he was in his mother's arms. My grandson also uses terrible language including the F work and actually cursing (GD) which he does not get from either of us. She is very manipulative and SO GOOD at fooling people. I know that she loves her son, but she has never put him first that I have seen.
There is definitely a bias against men in these situations, but it's hard telling how many innocent men have been punished unjustly.