How Supervised are Supervised Visits?

On September 27, 2011, 8 children in foster care who were allegedly abducted by their mother about a week before were found in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and returned to the custody of Children’s Services. Their 28 year old mother who allegedly abducted them while at a supervised visitation at a foster care agency in Queens, New York was arrested and is being held on $200,000 bail. She was very emotional when speaking to the media upon her arrest. She claims that she took her children because  they are being abused by their foster parents.  The children’s father was also arrested and actually collapsed while in custody. Full Story: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/09/27/shanel-nadal-8-children-taken-from-foster-care-found-in-pennsyvania/

The 8 children range in age from 11 months old to 11 years old.  If the Queens Family Court believed that ACS proved allegations of abuse by a preponderance of the evidence and ordered all 8 children to be remanded to foster care and only have supervised visits with their parents, then why aren’t the visits actually being supervised? This is not the case where a mother was able to sneak her infant out of a foster care agency, which shouldn’t happen either. Yet, in this case we are talking about 8 children- equivalent to a small troop, class, or daycare group. It is inconceivable that no one saw them leave. The purpose of having supervised visitation arrangements is to protect the safety and well-being of the children, right?  The court has deemed the parents unfit to be left alone with the children, but here not only was the mother left alone, but she had enough alone time to walk out with all 8 children. … <Read More>


Misuse of ACS?

As overworked as the Administration for Children’s Services is, no one wants to hear stories like this one. This daily news article outlines public school parents’ beliefs that school administrators are calling ACS on parents who complain. The Administration for Children’s Services is under constant scrutiny for not investigating cases which should have been investigated and unfortunately sometimes end by having a child found dead or severely abused. For an overworked system to have any chance at success, cases like the ones outlined in the article, paint a clear picture of why ACS can’t investigate every single case which comes through their agency.… <Read More>


Recurring Problem in Divorce: What to Do When the Parties Refuse to Listen to Reason?

We’ve all seen movies like The Break-Up: an embittered ex-couple starts a string of emotional attacks against each other that escalates out of control for comedic effect.  Most people are lucky enough to only see such antics on the silver screen, never dreaming people would act so cruel (or moronic) in real life.  But as those of us familiar with divorce proceedings know, there are judges who deal with these petty fights between soon-to-be-ex-spouses on a daily basis.

Last December, Ontario Superior Court Judge Joseph Quinn wrote up a 31-page opinion that lacked the objective tone one might expect from a judge who has presided on the bench for 15 years.  With the opening line, “Paging Dr. Freud, paging Dr. Freud,” Judge Quinn’s opinion has attracted a lot of attention, as it’s full of witty remarks, observational humor, and ridicule aimed at the vindictive couple.  What drove the judge to react this way?… <Read More>


A Mother Should Have Chosen Anonymous Sperm Donor Or Different Neighborhood Instead

In child custody battles, the notion of “the best interests of the child” is quite abstract.  What is considered “best” for one child is not necessary “best” for another; and generally each case is decided on its own particular facts.  Regrettably, sometimes these decisions are based not only on unsubstantiated facts, but arguably reflect the judge’s/referee’s emotions or feelings.  Furthermore, it can have a very disparaging effect on other people’s decisions to become parents.… <Read More>