I don't consider this an especially well thought-out article. The problem isn't some "anger" that is "exploding" at child custody hand-overs. "Anger" doesn't exist as an entity unto itself. It's not a big green monster out of an old Japanese horror movie. By utilizing this language, we pull an old linguistic trick: We talk vaguely about emotion as if it were a thing, but we refuse to identify who is doing what to whom. So let's speak plainly here.
What we have are fathers who are murdering mothers at child custody exchanges.
Is that clear now?
And why is this happening? This is also passed over in silence. It's because in many (if not all) of these cases the mothers are COURT-ORDERED to put themselves and their children in dangerous situations. Consequently, we also ignore WHO is ordering these mothers and children into harm's way. WHO is valuing the rights of fathers--typically with long, documented histories of domestic violence and/or child abuse--over the rights of mothers and children to basic safety and security. And in the end, we fail to see the proverbial man behind the curtain, which is the institutionalization of the fathers' rights movement in the family court system.
And because those in authority refuse to take off the blinders and look at this problem without bias, the blame is shifted to mothers themselves, which is utterly revolting. Nothing but pure victim blaming. You send mothers into a warzone and then tell them to be "vigilant"? Ridiculous. How is "vigilant" going to stop a bullet? How is "vigilant" going to stop you from getting doused with gasoline?
You tell them to bring a police escort? What planet do these people live on? Mothers are lucky to get the police to accompany them even once. I know this because I hear from mothers in these situations frequently. The police consider this a civil matter, not their job. Their job is not to function as Mom's full-time body guard for 18 years. So this course of action is effectively blocked, contrary to the faulty and misleading advise provided here.
And the fact that this is all blamed on "the economy" is also ridiculous. These guys aren't going after the banks or the real estate interests. They're going after women and children. There is no evidence to back up this claim, but that doesn't prevent these "experts" from citing "the economy" anyway.
Also notice the ridiculous claim that there are "no statistics" to document an increase in violence at custody exchanges. I find that dubious, and I suspect that the reason there are "no statistics" (if true) is because the statistics aren't collected and/or coded as custody-related murders. It's easy to plead ignorance if you refuse to define a problem or collect the evidence/statistics that would document the scope of the problem.
The solution is painfully simple. Stop giving known abusers access to the kids. Period. End of problem. Give these mothers sole custody. Stop forcing them into joint custody situations with criminals. To require mothers put themselves in harm's way is simply setting up the murder. It's like giving a homicidal maniac a bottle of booze, a bunch of weapons, and then locking a victim into the same room with him. And then pleading total dismay and shock that the victim was killed. Puleeze...
Anger can explode at child custody hand-overs
June 24, 2012|By Mike Clary, Sun Sentinel
For couples who have fallen out of love, sharing a child when they can no longer share a life is never easy. And it is occasionally explosive.
In recent weeks, the volatile dynamic of child custody cases has triggered several violent eruptions in South Florida, including a murder-suicide involving a Pembroke Pines man and the torching of a Boynton Beach woman doused with gasoline and set on fire by an ex-boyfriend.
Both incidents took place in public places selected for the hand-over of a child from one parent to the other.
"Emotions are always raw in a custody dispute," said S. Andrew Foster, who practices family law in Cooper City. "You can't anticipate everything a person will do, even if you have known them for decades.
"My advice is to be vigilant. And get the police involved if there is a hint of trouble. It is better to be embarrassed than injured."
After a contentious divorce or separation, the moment when a parent gives up a child or children to the custody of another can be particularly fraught with dangers, say experts. "If one person feels he came up short in the separation, he may feel that handing the child over is continuing to admit defeat by the other parent," said Paul Peluso, a couples therapist and professor at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.
There is no statistical evidence that there has been an increase in domestic violence associated with sharing custody of a child in South Florida. But Pelsuo said that tough economic times can increase tensions that can spark such outbursts.
"The biggest problem for clinicians and courts is where to draw the line between parents who are so upset at the dissolving of the family that even those you think would never harm the child or partner act out," said Peluso. "It is so difficult to predict . . . what will cause people to act out irrationally and tragically."
Susan Fradin, a supervisor for the Broward Guardian ad Litem program, also cited the economy as a possible contributing factor in cases of domestic violence associated with child custody.
"It is hard to say what goes through the mind of someone who is angry and unhappy with the situation that brought them up to the point where custody is shared," she said. "People snap for a myriad of reason. But children can be the victims."
Tragedy describes what happened Friday outside a Tampa restaurant after Guillermo Garcia, 38, of Pembroke Pines, turned over his 7-year-old son to the child's mother, Okariny Diaz. After the boy got into his mother's van, Garcia opened fire with a handgun, killing her in front of the boy and several others before shooting himself in the head, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff's detectives.
And last week, in a horrific attack caught on surveillance video, Naomie Breton was set on fire and seriously burned when she showed up for a 3 a.m. meeting outside a 7-Eleven in Boynton Beach to pick up her 4-year-old son from his father, Roosevelt Mondesir. The child was not with Mondesir — now in jail — when she was attacked.
Breton said the early hour set for the planned hand-off of her son was usual because Mondesir began work as a truck driver at 4 a.m. And the public setting was also normal, given his history of domestic violence, she said.
But, said Breton, 34, "What I learned is that no matter where you go, and how much security there is, there is always danger. My advice would be don't let the person he was in the past, or how much he says he won't hurt you, influence you.
"Bring somebody with you. Get a police escort."
Still, warned Breton, "If they mean to do you harm, they will."