Friday, March 20, 2009
Rep. DeBerry makes passionate remarks about the evil of Tennessee's profits-first divorce industry; pity the children made pawns by the judges
The chairman of the House Committee on Children and Family Affairs characterized the evil of the divorce industry in Tennessee last week with the following remarks before the Family Justice subcommittee:
"The divorce industry has become a big business and about who can pay. And it has become a nasty business, of who can hire the biggest gun(attorney)."
The Memphis Democrat has wrongs brought before him and his committee in which mothers are losing custody of their children or being put on supervised visitations because they don't have the money to compete with their husbands' lawyers. Supervised visitations can cost the mother (or father) more than $100 per hour.
Divorce judges have increasingly shown themselves to rule according to who they like, not what the law says. And a woman put in a financial disadvantage in court comes off sounding too emotional or mean or out of control for the wrong being done her and her babies.
"What do we do for the individual who just lost the case with no record of abuse, now having to pay to see their children ... all because they couldn't hire the biggest gunslinger?"
At the subcommittee meeting where DeBerry made his comments, a bill that would have lowered the cost of supervised visits to $40 for each one-hour session was discussed and rolled over to next week.
But why are judges allowed to order supervised visits?
The law provides for protection of the child from abuse or neglect. Flight risk also can be cited.
But the bill would require judges to provide documentation and evidence to support their orders of supervised visitation. No more like and dislike, or who can afford the best lawyer and who also is well-connected to the bar association.
Any side can make any allegation in a divorce. A judge must follow the law and the evidence. Flight risk is too easy of an allegation. All cases must be decided individually, not by sensational national cases. And the welfare of the child in being in constant contact with both parents should be part of any decision.
This economy will bankrupt anyone paying $100 for a supervised visit of one hour.
DeBerry has rightly cited this massive problem when it comes to right and wrong and families in Tennessee. And he can only do so because he is not part of the legal system profiting off people's misery. He is a marketing executive. If he was an attorney, he could not speak up. Because then, a judge could make sure he couldn't make a living anymore in his or her court.
This stuff is evil. We loved Ronald Reagan for calling it like that with the Soviet Union. We should do the same when our institutions are made to profit the few at the expense of the many.
The system of accountability for judges, let alone divorce lawyers, is a joke in Tennessee. A former judge reviews all complaints about judges that come before a state judicial oversight body. The body only gets to hear the complaints the former judge lets through.
That was 7 percent of the complaints, according to a Chattanooga newspaper story a few years ago, and the gatekeeper says the complaints are mostly against judges in prisoner complaints. Actually, more and more women are filing complaints against judges in their divorce cases. There are at least three cases in which women have been thrown in jail for exercising their First Amendment rights in Tennessee divorce courts.
No one really knows which judges are a problem and how many complaints have been filed concerning abuse in divorce cases because all the complaints are SHREDDED!
Holy Ollie North, Batman!
This matter comes down to this one question: Who do the courts belong to?
Or the judges, lawyers and all the other leeches seeking to suck a profit from people at the worst times of their lives?
The legal industry -- with some notable exceptions I've come across in my personal life including my own brother -- believes it owns the system, and it believes it doesn't have answer to you or anyone.
In my own divorce, I fired two Midstate attorneys. One thought I was working for him and failed to meet promised deadlines on answers to interrogatories and the other got me into a court hearing. Thankfully, no children are involved.
And my wife has been most helpful in working with me to avoid the courts. She mostly put together a temporary support agreement that would have cost a lot with an attorney compiling it. I'd prefer she get the money than the industry. And I trust her, something the industry would prefer someone not say. It makes money keeping you angry and adversarial.
Folks, you never want to get into a divorce court. Then a judge can do whatever he or she likes. And if they see that there is a lot of money in your estate, your case is going to go on forever. And the divorce industry simply claims more victims.
The most vulnerable of the victims are the children, the innocent ones the judges throw around like chopped wood, denying one parent through no fault of her (and his) own the right to see their child without first paying the system big bucks.
Remember, profits first!
The need for the child to see that parent regularly is not taken into account. With half of all marriages in Tennessee ending in divorce, we are talking about a lot of children being put at risk to grow up hurt and damaged forever. Constant contact with only one parent with the best legal gunslinger is not enough.
Making big profits off people's misery is despicable. More lawmakers should get behind DeBerry's remarks and demand change to the evil that is Tennessee's unaccountable divorce industry.