A rally of more than 50 people gathered in Newwark to protect bias, abuse and injustice in the family court system. The protestors argued that there is a crisis in family court that perpetuates abuse, and puts children in harm’s way by denying mothers of their legal rights and awarding custody to violent, abusive fathers

Source: New Jersey Real Time News, http://www.nj.com/

Paul Brubacker/The Star Ledger

Web Address: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/04/newark_protesters_rally_agains.html#post

Date: April 27, 2009

A rally of more than 50 people gathered in front of the Wilentz Justice Complex on Washington Street (Newark) to protect bias, abuse and injustice in the family court system. The protestors argued that there is a crisis in family court that perpetuates abuse, and puts children in harm’s way by denying mothers of their legal rights and awarding custody to violent, abusive fathers. The protestors further argued that the custody decisions are based on bias, and often ignore or dismiss entirely allegations of abuse.

  Evan Stark, a professor at Rutgers University’s School of Public Affairs and Administration comments that, “In the last 30 years, every institution in this society has changed its views toward domestic violence…Only in the family court do the obsolete beliefs that were discredited everywhere else in society still prevail.”

Supporters of the family court system contend the system is fair, and that judges do their best to make fair rulings, often involving tough decisions, when parents cannot agree on who will raise the children.

Personally, I believe the truth is evident within the court proceedings themselves. The treatment of both parties by family court staff, the way the evidence is handled, and the logic behind the court’s conclusions speak volumes about what is really happening.

Take Action! Leave a comment about your experiences with famiy court, or your concerns for your children, at the bottom of this article

FACT (Families Against Court Travesties):The parent with the most money, power, and influence is somehow able to convince judges that only their side need be heard in order to make a decision…To make matters worse, throughout the country, women are losing custody of their children to men with histories of child abuse and domestic violence. These men know how to manipulate the judicial system.”

NOW developed FACTS, a Court Watch system with volunteers who observe courtroom proceedings, review the behavior of the judges and attorneys, and plan actions to address this crisis.  Visit online to see how you can help: http://www.factscourtwatch.org/

 

“In family court, the standard of proof is on a balance of probabilities, which means that one person’s story is more likely to be true than the other person’s story…Unfortunately many of the people involved in family law and court — judges, lawyers, court clerks, mediators and others — have no appropriate training in violence against women, so they do not always recognize it or know the best way to respond. The law and processes also do not reflect the realities and needs of women from marginalized communities as well.”,  Family Law Overview by Pamela Cross LLB.  Springtide Resources Legal Fact Sheet: http://www.springtideresources.org/resources/show.cfm?id=218

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