Saturday, March 30, 2013

The high cost of ignorance and getting a refund of overpayment of child support - Indiana

2015 Indiana Child Support Guidelines
review scheduled for public comment

Everyone encounters those 30 day FREE TRIAL offers for some type of subscription service be it a magazine, cloud computing or AOL. These services are nearly always an “opt-out” meaning that you must notify the provider within some prescribed time period that you do not wish to continue the service or you will automatically be enrolled and charged. It was the tricky way that AOL did this which raised my ire and, I believe, got them sued by various states attorneys general.

AOL enticed web surfers with free access and either a bank account number or credit card number to “verify your identity”. Hidden in the small print was that you were enrolling in their service for a monthly fee.

When it comes to child support payment orders think of those in the same manner as a subscription service. For illustrative purposes let's use services for mobile communication devices. A monthly fee may include some usage level of the basic service, web browsing, hardware replacement fee [insurance], taxes and other incidental fees.

Similarly, a child support payment order will include a usage level [parenting time credit], daycare or education expense, sick-care insurance, ISETS fee and other specific costs that the parties may agree upon or the court may order.

If your employer starts providing devices for your use and you cut your usage on your personal device in half to where it falls into the next lower usage plan you don't get that rate until you request that adjustment. If you quit using it for web browsing you'll still be charged for that option unless you request a change to the plan.

If your child begins attending a public elementary school your child support payments will NOT automatically be adjusted to reflect the elimination of the child care expense. You will instead have to petition for a modification of child support. If your child attains the age of adulthood and resides elsewhere than the custodial parents' residence your child support payments will NOT automatically stop although the obligation to pay ceases. Unlike other child support modification requests, a termination of support based upon emancipation dates back to the actual date of emancipation, not the date the petition to terminate support was filed.[fn1]

When a child becomes emancipated a parent can either unilaterally stopped paying support for that child on his nineteenth birthday, or petition the trial court prior to the nineteenth birthday to stop paying support as of that date, which the Indiana Court of Appeals has described as “perhaps the wiser course.”[fn2] Failing to do either results in an overpayment. The well-established rule in Indiana is that overpayment of child support is generally viewed as voluntary and gratuitous.[fn3]

There is an exception to the overpayment rule. That is when the overpayment is not voluntary. In one illustrative case the trial court had held a hearing with the parties before the child’s emancipation and entered an order indicating that the father’s support amount would be reduced after emancipation. However, the court failed for twenty-five weeks after emancipation to enter an order reducing the support amount and the father’s paychecks had been subject to an income withholding order for the child during that time.[fn4] The Indiana Court of Appeals reasoned that the overpayment was involuntary because it was made through a wage withholding order.

In a recent case decided by the Indiana Court of Appeals the court found that father’s overpayment through a wage withholding order for 14 months after the child's emancipation was a gratuity.[fn5] Father sought reimbursement of $19,250 overpaid through a wage withholding order. The court reasoned that although the obligation for support ceased upon the child's emancipation, the father did nothing for 14 months to seek abatement of the payments. The court found father’s claim of involuntary payments unpersuasive because it was pursuant to a voluntary wage withholding order. Payments may be considered involuntary if there is evidence the obligor made the overpayment as the result of an erroneous belief, fraudulently induced by the other parent’s misrepresentation of fact, or that the amount paid was necessary to discharge a duty.[fn6]

Although the obligation to pay child support ceases upon the emancipation of the child it is still the paying parents responsibility to seek abatement of the order. Failure to “opt out” could cost you anything that has been overpaid just as it did Mr Eisenhut who overpaid $19,250.

If your child has reached or is nearing the age of nineteen or your wish to modify your support payment order then please visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me.

1] Hirsch v. Oliver, 970 N.E.2d 651, 660 (Ind. 2012).
2] Olson v. Olson, 445 N.E.2d 1389 (Ind. Ct. App. 1983)
3] R.R.F. v. L.L.F., 935 N.E.2d 243, 252 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010).
4] Drwecki v. Drwecki, 782 N.E.2d 440, 447 (Ind. Ct. App. 2003)
5] Eisenhut v Eisenhut, 49D03-9308-DR-1383. NFP opinion 22 March 2013, 49A02-1208-DR-633.
6] Gilbert v. Gilbert, 777 N.E.2d 785, 793-94 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002); Best v. Best, 470 N.E.2d 84, 88 (Ind. Ct. App. 1984).

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©2008, 2013 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Drafting Your Own Child Custody Agreement / Order - Indiana

Writing a child custody settlement agreement or any amendments thereto need not be complicated or expensive. The majority of cases in Indiana now involve at least one self-represented party. Judicial officers can find this to be challenging at times but it can also be a great benefit when outside agitators who can profit from perpetuating litigation are removed from the situation. The Indiana Court of Appeals notes “that deciding how much help to give pro se litigants is a constant problem for our trial courts.”[fn1] Further “It is well settled that pro se litigants are held to the same standard as licensed attorneys.”[fn2]

Thus when it comes time to drafting a settlement agreement without the assistance of attorneys the parties will be legally bound to the agreement with the same force as any other contract. There exists then a significant danger that an agreement may not exude the force that one anticipates. I will provide an example within this article. Careful consideration must be given to what are stipulated as the underlying facts of the agreement as “a stipulation of fact constitutes a waiver by a party as to the existence of that fact. The party may not thereafter contest the fact or maintain a contrary position as to an issue which is resolved by the stipulation[fn3].

Judicial officers may make accommodations to assist pro se litigants the opportunity to present their cases. However they may be reticent to provide guidance in drafting agreements as uncovering errors may disproportionately affect one party which could then be perceived as advocating for that party; which is not allowed[fn4]. A party may not complain of errors that he or she induced the trial court to make; a party many not invite error and then rely on such error as a reason for reversal, because error invited by the complaining party is not reversible error[fn5].

In a child custody matter the court is obligated to ultimately consider the “best interest of the child.” No agreement between parties affecting custody automatically binds the trial court[fn6]. Rather, it is the trial court’s responsibility to determine what custody arrangement is in the best interests of the children, and “[a] stipulation [between the parties] cannot place restrictions upon a court’s duty to protect the best interest of a child.”[fn7] Indiana's statutory law provides the minimum factors that a court must consider in making or accepting a child custody agreement[fn8]. Parents may by agreement neither force the court to negate its obligation to serve the best interest of the child nor abandon the law. “It has long been established that parties to litigation may not stipulate as to the law and force a legal conclusion according to their understanding or agreement.”[fn9] The principle was stated as follows:
“Neither parties, nor their attorneys, may enter into a stipulation which purports to bind the trial court with respect to a question of law; and any such stipulation is a nullity. A trial court commits reversible error when it enforces a stipulation, entered into by parties through their attorneys, which runs contrary to statutory provisions.”

In the agreement which prompted this discourse the Mother and Father reached consensus on the parenting time issue which was reduced to writing by Mother. The agreement was prompted by father's discovery that mother was in the process of relocating to Texas. Mother had gone to Houston, Texas, for a two week visit with a boyfriend she had in high school. While there, she had found employment at a fast food restaurant, making an hourly wage of $7.50. Besides finding employment, Mother’s other reason for relocating to Texas was to avoid having her car repossessed as she was behind on her car payments. [On a sidenote, as the former owner of a repo company, I can say that fleeing across state lines to avoid repossession is a crime] Father contacted the Indiana State Police who were unable to provide assistance. He also sought assistance from his support network who was able to convince mother not to abscond with the child. The parents then reached this agreement:
I, [Father], am agreeing to keep [A.P.] for one year, due to circumstances of the [M]other, [], leaving the state for a job opportunity.
I [Father], am also agreeing to return [A.P.] to her [M]other, [], on the day of her return, no questions asked or court involved.
[Mother] has custody of [A.P.] and it will remain that way during my, [Father], caring for [A.P.] for this period of time.
Also the child support coming outta [Father] check will be paid back in full every week. If not paid this paper is voided.

Mother then went to Texas and left the child with father. There are a few problems with this agreement that I will touch upon lightly. First, there is no significant factual foundation provided as to father's ability to meet the child's needs and best interest. Second, is that the agreement creates a prospective modification upon mother's relocation back to Indiana. “[A] trial court may not prospectively order an automatic change of custody in the event of any significant future relocation by” Mother[fn10]. Additionally, the agreement purports to dissolve the court of jurisdiction which the parties may not do as previously explained.

The glaring problem here, at least from my perspective, is the termination clause in the agreement. “[T]he child support coming outta [Father] check will be paid back in full every week. If not paid this paper is voided.” I speculate that father was subject to an income withholding order and that these parents agreed that mother would return that money to father since she was not supporting the child. I further speculate that father sought the termination clause as a method to ensure return of the child support payments made to mother – if money isn't returned then he will seek a custody modification based upon abandonment. That is not what the termination clause states though.

Here is the danger in having inexperienced parties, or attorneys for that matter, draft agreements. The father was using his subjective lens when drafting that clause. He suffered from tunnel vision and did not collaterally attack the clause. Here is another way to look at the termination clause;
Upon failure to return support payments for at least one week to father, mother may at anytime thereafter retrieve child from father and relocate to Texas. Father will be subject to parenting time pursuant to the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines when distance is a factor. Mother shall retain sole legal custody of the parties' child and father will continue to pay child support through the then current income withholding order at the same rate.

I think what father intended to say may have been;
If mother fails to return support payments received through a withholding order against father within seven (7) days of receipt then father may seek a custody modification through the court and this agreement will be void upon such determination by the court.

Before signing a future agreement this father “outta” get professional assistance.

If you would like assistance in reaching or drafting your own child custody settlement agreement or modification then please visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me.

1] In re Paternity of T.B. 2011-04-14
2] Goossens v. Goossens, 829 N.E.2d 36, 43 (Ind. Ct. App. 2005).
3] Woods v. Woods, 788 N.E.2d 897, 901 (Ind. Ct. App. 2003).
4] Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 2.2
5] Stolberg v. Stolberg, 538 N.E.2d 1, 5 (Ind. Ct. App. 1989)
6] Keen v. Keen, 629 N.E.2d 938, 940 (Ind. Ct. App. 1994).
7] Beeson v. Beeson, 538 N.E.2d 293, 298-299 (Ind. Ct. App. 1989).
8] Indiana Code 31-14-13-2[paternity], 31-17-2-8[dissolution of marriage]
(1) The age and sex of the child.
(2) The wishes of the child’s parents.
(3) The wishes of the child, with more consideration given to the child’s wishes if the child is at least fourteen (14) years of age.
(4) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with:
(A) the child’s parents; (B) the child’s siblings; and (C) any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest.
(5) The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community.
(6) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
(7) Evidence of a pattern of domestic or family violence by either parent. (8) Evidence that the child has been cared for by a de facto custodian, and if the evidence is sufficient, the court shall consider the factors described in section 2.5(b) of this chapter.
9] App v. Class, 225 Ind. 387, 396, 75 N.E.2d 543, 548 (1947). In Marchal v. Craig, 681 N.E.2d 1160, 1162 (Ind. Ct. App. 1997),(citations to original case omitted). 10] Bojrab v. Bojrab, 810 N.E.2d 1008, 1012 (Ind. 2004).

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Parents who would like to achieve the best outcome for their children in a contested child custody case should visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me. Attorneys may request a free consultation to learn how I can maximize their advocacy for their clients.

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©2008, 2013 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

United Way of Central Indiana - Assault on Judicial Integrity by Child Custody Evaluators - Part XIV

In the last posting I stated that I would provide an explanation of how harming children can be profitable to the sponsors of Child Advocates, Inc. I sought comment from the sponsors whom I told I would “publish responses unedited in their entirety.” I begin with the United Way of Central Indiana whose response concludes this article.

Imagine for a moment that the tires on your automobile were indestructible – no blowouts, no wear, never need replaced. Similarly, that the oil never needed changed, electrical components never faltered, rust didn't happen, rubber didn't dry and crack, and, just like the '59 Fury; Christine, when collisions occurred a soothing talk would prompt the vehicle to reform itself.

As you cruise through town look for the places that service automobiles; quick lube shops, tire stores, auto parts stores, service stations and dealerships. Look for automotive maintenance items in department stores. The automotive manufacturing, maintenance and repair industry is huge. Also, consider that insurance rates would drop, collisions from mechanical failure would cease as would roadside breakdowns. Fewer tow-trucks, no insurance adjusters, fewer emergency vehicle runs, fewer hospital admissions, less physical therapy, and etc. Our current economy is highly dependent upon automotive decay and collisions. In short, car crashes keep America running – financially.

Now think about children. Well adjusted children coming from supportive healthy families experience the best outcomes. When that structure breaks down there is a general correlation to child well-being. Thus, when family discord and conflict is reduced or eliminated childhood well-being rises. Just like automobiles, the decay and collisions that children experience can be quite expensive to treat or repair.

Compared with children in married-couple families, children raised in female-headed households are more likely to drop out of school, to have or cause a teen pregnancy and to experience a divorce in adulthood.[fn1] Thus, evaluators who recommend sole custody to the mother regardless of parental fitness produce, overall, more negative outcomes for children. In a 1997 study of evaluators, nearly half of the abuse allegations (physical, sexual, emotional abuse with family member not specified) were seen as false or inflated (LaFortune & Carpenter, 1998). In only 20 percent of cases that included allegations did evaluators find clear evidence of abuse.[fn2] That is saying evaluators did not dispute abuse allegation in over half the cases where alleged abuse occurs but only find evidence in 20 percent of cases. Thus children are likely to be unnecessarily deprived of the beneficial impact of a significant relationship with the accused parent.

The services that the United Way provides are primarily that of a gatekeeper. They perform community assessments, train nonprofit agency staff and promote positive opportunities for youth. Certainly a large portion of their program recipients are persons servicing children of broken homes, many of whom may suffer the consequences of an improper custodial placement. I have participated in numerous activities sponsored by the United Way of Central Indiana and find them to be quite valuable. That makes it even more unsettling that I must reveal this lack of concern for the well-being of children affected by the recommendations of Child Advocates, Inc., employees.

As a non-profit the United Way may not be seen as having an incentive to inflate its budget. It must spend the money it takes in though. Expenses include regular operations costs, salaries and distributions to other agencies. Unlike for profit corporations the United Way does not have shareholders and the executives do not receive “profit distributions” but only draw salary. Also unlike most for profit corporations the executives at United Way have no at risk capital. They draw money from the United Way without risk of loss of their own money. The only risk is reductions in donations that would affect executive compensation upon dissolution of the agency and their temporary displacement until a position at another nonprofit becomes available.

Non-profits generate income (donations) through marketing of the services provided and population served. Generally there is a correlation between population served and donations received. From a psychological perspective people are less inclined to see abstract connections which have to be attempted by marketing experts trained in psychology. As an example I'll use the American Cancer Society whose mission is to eliminate cancer in humans. If cancer rates increase it is expected that contributions would increase whereas if rates plummeted so would contributions. However this is counter-related: an increased rate correlates to failure of the agency and wasted money, whereas a decreased rate indicates success and money well spent.

Past measures indicate that the higher the rate of perceived need the greater the contributions. Child Advocates, Inc., and The United Way both have a financial incentive for the population of harmed children to increases. By contributing to Child Advocates, Inc., an agency which has demonstrated an intention to cause harm to children whose parents are divorced or separated, the United Way helps to increase the population of harmed children and its perceived need.

Both Brian Moore and I contacted Christie Gillespie [], Director of Agency Services at the United Way of Central Indiana. I apprised her of the Moore v Moore case and detailed the lies propounded by Child Advocates, Inc., for the purpose of prolonging the litigation and harming the Moore children. I closed my request with “I welcome any comment that you may wish to offer about your relationship with Child Advocates, Inc., and your participation in their scheme to falsify evidence and prolong a custody battle to the detriment of the Moore children and ultimately all child whose parents are engaged in child custody disputes. I will publish responses unedited in their entirety.” That was sent over 30 days ago.

It is unfortunate that I am becoming more jaded by the lack of responses from any of the sponsors of Child Advocates, Inc., but it is supportive of what a marketing professional who once provided professional services to non-profit agencies told me: they don't want to see the problems eliminated, they thrive off of the public attention to the problem.

As promised here is the response from the United Way of Central Indiana;

1] Amato, P. R. (2005). The impact of family formation change on the cognitive, social, and emotional well-being of the next generation, The Future of Children, 15(2), pp. 75–96.
2] Child Custody Evaluators’ Beliefs About Domestic Abuse Allegations: Their Relationship to Evaluator Demographics, Background, Domestic Violence Knowledge and Custody-Visitation Recommendations, 2012. Daniel G. Saunders, Ph.D., Kathleen C. Faller, Ph.D., Richard M. Tolman, Ph.D.]

If you are involved in a child custody battle and would like to gain insight into the thinking of the opposing party, that party's attorney and the judge then please visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me.

If you would like to follow my activities more closely then send a friend request to my Political FaceBook page.

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More information about child custody rights and procedures may be found on the Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates website.

©2008, 2013 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Another example of Domestic Violence bias against men - or - Why the American Bar Association seeks to perpetuate Domestic Violence and how it is covertly accomplished

At the outset I want to explain the use of Domestic Violence as a proper noun. Domestic Violence is an abstract term that is subjectively defined. If you arose from a comatose state you may realize that it is during the “day” but not that it is a “Monday” unless someone aware of that subjective definition relayed such to you. We can collectively see “violence” and know that it is “violence” because as a society we have objectively defined “violence”. Alternatively though we may see “Domestic Violence” and not be aware of it due to its subjective nature. We could experience an interaction that may be innocuous in itself but become the phenomenon of “Domestic Violence” once we change our perception of the interaction.

As an example: being told by your spouse “I want to be just like my mother” as he or she starts heating a pan of water on the stove is innocuous. Place this in the context of having just told your spouse not to go freely spend money reserved for upcoming non-discretionary expenses. “Domestic Violence” yet? Now add that your spouse is patting your toddler on his head while he is in his high chair. DV yet? Finally, throw on the recollection of an anecdote about how your mother-in-law, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at your spouse's now current age, dumped a pan of boiling water on your spouse as a child. Now, to the parent hearing this, it may be “Domestic Violence” based upon the perception that the other parent may be preparing to dump boiling water on the child unless the demand for money to go on a spending spree is met. To the neighbor walking in on the comment “I want to be just like my mother” there is no violence. That is why Domestic Violence is a subjective proper noun.

Now for the examples of Domestic Violence bias, who perpetuates it, and why.

There is a segment of the population and policy influencers who, for their own financial and political gain, want to see children abused and harmed. These are invaders of feminism known as "women-only feminists", “Feminazis” or “man-haters” who promote misandry. Here you will see examples of how they have taken over legitimate feminism and infected the family law courts to ensure their objective inclusive of its consequence of harming children.

The following are excerpts from A Judge’s Guide: Making Child-Centered Decisions In Custody Cases Second Edition

More than half of men who physically abuse their female partners also beat their children, and children of battered women are “up to 15 times more likely than children overall to be physically abused and neglected.”

Children who witness their fathers abuse their mothers, even if not physically harmed, can suffer serious psychological injuries and behavioral problems from their exposure to violence.

These are innocuous statements in themselves. They are conditioned gender labels. That is, a limited amount of fathers or men are abusers. However, no corresponding data about mothers or females who are abusers is provided. These omission are intended to portray that women or mothers do not commit Domestic Violence and that children who observe female initiated DV should not receive counseling.

Children who break the silence and disclose the abuse often painfully learn that the abuser finds yet a new reason to further harm them or their mother.

Now a different tact is taken. Here the sentence contains the appropriate gender neutral term “abuser” but contrasts such to “mother”. The reader's mind then subconsciously deduces that “abuser” is a placeholder for father.

You should gather information from multiple sources, including “the mother, the children, past partners of the batterer, court and police records, child protective records, medical records, school personnel, and anyone who has witnessed relevant events.”

Again, the same tactic is employed to condition judges to contrast “mother” with “the batterer”. The elimination of gender neutral terms ensures that subconsciously “the batterer” is used as a placeholder for the not mentioned father.

Two commentators have proposed comparing the gathered facts against the following 13 points:
~ Level of physical danger to the mother.
~ Level of psychological cruelty to the mother or the children.
~ History of using the children as weapons, and of undermining the mother’s parenting.
~ History of placing the children at physical or emotional risk while abusing their mother.
~ Refusal to accept the end of the relationship, or to accept the mother’s decision to begin a new relationship.

Of the thirteen bullet points five referenced women in a victim or targetted posture. None of the other eight points mentioned fathers. This is to ensure that judges do not perceive fathers as being targets or recipients of DV but to also not see the bias of naming men as abusers.

Patterns of domestic violence often begin, persist, or escalate during child custody battles, as the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence is when she leaves her abuser.

Here “victim” and “she” are used in a conjunctive phrase. This is to correlate the gender neutral “victim” with “she” and to make “abuser” subconsciously correlated with the unspecified – he.

In order to maintain control over their wives, abusive spouses may use threats to seek custody in order to maintain control or other tactical advantages.

Here “wives” is distinguished from the gender neutral “abusive spouses” so that “abusive spouse” becomes synonymous with the unspecified – husbands.

Following the separation, abusers discover that they can manipulate and control the spouse with threats.

That sentence and the following section clearly demonstrates that the American Bar Association knows how to write in gender neutral terms. But as has been previously demonstrated, and based on an agenda that I will explain at the end, has choosen to not do so.

In the American Bar Associations' publication Child Custody and Domestic Violence by State gender neutral language is also used.
“First, the abuser has ignored the child’s interests by harming the child’s other parent. Second, the pattern of control and domination common to abusers often continues after the physical separation of the abuser and victim. Third, abusers are highly likely to use children in their care, or attempt to gain custody of their children, as a means of controlling their former spouse or partner.”

The purpose in choosing not to use gender neutral language when speaking of domestic abuse is so that “advocates” can appear to be beneficial while ensuring that children do get harmed and further perpetuates the need for these “advocates”. The ABA knows how to use gender neutral language that will further protect children.

It is generally not recommended that mediation be used in cases involving allegations of domestic violence “as it may place women and children at risk for ongoing intimidation.”

Again, this sentenced is used to reinforce into the minds of judges that men cannot be the receivers of Domestic Violence and that only women are in danger.

If allegations of domestic violence have been raised, the visitation exchange must be monitored to ensure the safety of the child and the custodial parent. Title 31 Chapter 6 of the Indiana Code.

The Indiana General Assembly knows how to use gender neutral language.

There is very carefully crafted psychological manipulation occurring here by the American Bar Association. To give the appearance of neutrality fathers are never directly equated with abusers. Instead, fathers are used in a conditional sense then related to abusers. Thus, there is no indication that 100% of fathers commit abuse or that 100% of abuse is committed by fathers. However, the same conditional experiences are never applied to mothers who are abusers. Aside from the limited portion of fathers who are abusers no other reference is made to fathers. In a legitimate writing about Domestic Violence all non-conditional references would be gender neutral but in the ABA'a Judge's Guide this is not the situation. Mothers and the related feminine pronouns are used in manners crafted to portray mothers only as “victims” of DV. The gender neutral “abuser” is always contrasted to mothers. Thus, while fathers are not explicitly labeled as abusers the elimination selection process that naturally occurs in our minds leaves only one option – fathers. This follows mothers, which are explicitly stated as victims, are eliminated from the two options our minds perceive. “Abusers” thus becomes synonymous with “fathers”.

There is a powerful motive for the American Bar Association to obfuscate fathers who are targets or recipients of Domestic Violence. It is that the ABA, in reality, WANTS TO SEE CHILDREN HARMED AND KILLED by mothers who do not receive the mental health assistance they need. Thus, if fathers are ignored as receivers or targets of DV they are left to do what I was told to do by Boone County Sheriff's Deputies – take care of it yourself. The results are that children remain in the custody of female abusers and suffer abuse or fathers fight back -- possibly harming or killing the mother -- and get criminally prosecuted. Either way, that results in additional litigation and that is the financial incentive that the ABA has to WANT TO SEE CHILDREN HARMED AND KILLED. Additionally, those harm and death statistics are used to perpetuate the so-called need for the funding of DV “advocates” and shelter directors. In a perverse twist they don't care if mothers do harm or kill children. The more the better as they have a way to manipulate those numbers to propound a need for additional funding.

Consider the manner in which the US Center for Disease Control processes responses from the The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study and publishes results. These findings include that “13% of children witnessed their mothers being treated violently” while 0% witnessed their fathers being treated violently. This statistic seems suspicious at best. All advocates for children know that mothers commit acts of Domestic Violence nearly as frequently. There is a simple explanation as to why that statistic is 0%. The US CDC does not want you to know that women commit acts of DV because it would contradict the societal ethos and the former gender based discrimination policy of the United States Government as propounded through the VAWA. How did the US CDC ensure that the statistic about witnessing fathers being treated violently would be zero? Here is the Domestic Violence question --

7. Was your mother or stepmother:
Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her?
Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard?
Ever repeatedly hit at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?

The statistic that “13% of children witnessed their mothers being treated violently” will then be followed by an account of the total numbers of children affected by DV with attributing the gender of the perpetrator. By preconditioning the reader to perceive mothers as victims the mind of the reader will subconsciously infer that the perpetrators are fathers.

Wendy McElroy, editor of and a research fellow for The Independent Institute in Oakland, California, provides this analysis of the Feminazi basis for gender exclusion. “The argument for a women-only space is rooted in a belief that domestic violence results from the general societal oppression of women as a class by men as a class.
In short, women-only feminists argue that women are battered not merely by an individual male abuser but by the entire male gender and, so, they must be protected from both.
This is similar to claiming that a white person who has been beaten by a black perpetrator needs to be in a black-free environment because they have been battered not merely by a specific black person but by an entire race.
To carry the analogy one step further, it is similar to demanding that blacks should not be employed or allowed on the premises of a whites-only shelter . . . even if those premises are tax-funded and, so, prohibited from discrimination.

As men and their children continue to be subjected to gender based discrimination and prejudice, and subsequently denied relief from Domestic Violence they are given the same option that was presented to me by law enforcement – “you're a man” – take care of it yourself. When men and children are provided with the same legal protection as women, when women are held accountable for their actions, and when the resulting decline in Domestic Violence occurs so will the harm to children, the funding for purported efforts to reduce DV and the high paying jobs of those who perpetuate the Feminazi or pro harm to children agenda.

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Parents who would like to achieve the best outcome for their children in a contested child custody case should visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me. Attorneys may request a free consultation to learn how I can maximize their advocacy for their clients.

Connect with me for the latest Indiana child custody related policy considerations, findings, court rulings and discussions.

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©2008, 2013 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Overfilled oil in Indiana, Missouri Band Competition, and the Best Interest of the Child Standard

It's Sunday evening when Therin arrives from Kansas City for Spring Break. That's a complete three days after his release from school for said educational hiatus, although only from the structured type of education. I could have been incensed by this, especially if I perceived it to be flouting the schedule towards me. Both Therin and I learned of this change of schedule on Thursday. Such action is not consistent with the child custody order nor the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines schedule when distance is a major factor.

The social plans for the weekend were scrapped. Monday we made a trip to the Marion County Court House for the possible need of my testimony in a child custody case. While there Therin was able to visit with one of the judges he knows who has taken an interest in Therin's entertainment contract attorney ambitions. Monday evening was spent with a friend and then Tuesday was a day for the two of us. That evening presented an opportunity for bowling with a friend so we partook of that always fun activity at the Lebanon Bowling Center.

Wednesday morning was studying followed by our participation in a seminar about college success where we earned 2.5 hours of Continuing Legal Education Credits as an ancillary benefit I suppose. Thursday started early with an eight session seminar on various aspects of personal and business development as well as marketing. Each day also included at least a half hour of Therin practicing trumpet playing.

Friday morning arrives and I try to wake him early but to no avail. With only two hours before his mother has said she will pick him up to go back to Kansas City, he awakens. As my parenting time of four days plus a few hours either side of sleeping is about to end his mother has yet to arrive. But after an hour she does. The reason for leaving on Friday is not to appropriate an additional two days from Therin's time with me but is instead to return him to Missouri for his district solo and ensemble competition. The reason for her late arrival that morning was the fodder for a lesson that I regularly attempt to instill – all circumstances are positive when viewed that way. So here's the anecdote.

Therin, being recently accepted into the class of licensed drivers, offers to be the initial driver on the westward trek. His mother thanks him because she has a headache over worrying about the car. Upon my query I am informed that every time she has started it since being back home again in Indiana she smells smoke. Her sister had just topped off all the fluids [and then some] that morning in hopes of mitigating any potential problems -- thus the late arrival. Through a series of questions I diagnose the problem and also learned that her sister had added four quarts of oil to which I reply – No, No, No! The dipstick measures at least 1.5 inches over maximum. This is not surprising being that the vehicle is intended to operate on five quarts and would have seized had it only been operating on one up to that morning.

Without a low rise catch pan handy I just grab a pail and loosen the oil filter. After dripping most of about one and a half quarts of oil across my hands and arms towards an eventual settling in the catch pail the level reads just a touch above maximum on the dip-stick. The hot oil was actually soothing on the frigid Spring morning. I give the great Therin Alrik Showalter some instructions on what to do and then they are on their way.

I have no legal obligation to acquiesce the usurpation of my parenting time. A week ago she apparently worked Friday and her subsequent child had a church activity on Saturday. Long ago we had a high conflict divorce in which the child custody portion of the litigation was drug out nearly two years and continued after the final decree. There was parental alienation from both sides and, as anyone who has followed my past knows, judge Steve David tendered a travesty of justice to both Therin and me. Clearly, it can be said that I have no ethical or moral obligation to facilitate her indifference in scheduling. But today brings the instrumental competition for which Therin has practiced studiously, making it to the state level competition in each of the prior years. It also brings forth an obligation – a moral obligation.

That is an obligation that we share. To frame it as an obligation though is to miss what it is in the greater sense – an opportunity to gain fulfillment and joy from doing what is in the best interest of our child.

Had we still been the embittered, combative, resentful, vengeful . . . parents in title who were locked into a high conflict parenting battle then it is unlikely that she would have discussed the automotive issue with me or let me touch “her” car. Moreover, I could have laughed off her anxiety and let her deal with the problems. The problems would have become manifest before exiting the Hoosier state. Blown seals would have disabled the vehicle and stranded them. That would have produced a tangible result that is illustrative of high conflict or hostile aggressive parenting cases. Therin would have missed the district band competition. Yet, this is too often the consequence of child custody battles. Parents can focus solely on their “rights” or limit activities to proscribed “responsibilities” while missing the intangible harm – high conflict parenting and HAP harms children.

We don't do that though. We are not friends. We are not socially acquainted. We are far from being neighbors but at best are “neighborly”. We are parents. We are parents for life! The life of our son. We live to serve him. It is with this lens that we can be parents who are not engaged in conflict and ongoing litigation. The appropriation of my parenting time is a contemptuous act for which I could file a Motion for Rule to Show Cause and drag her back into the Boone County Court.

But this matter will be handled in a better way. Later I will broach the subject of complying with the court's parenting time order or in the alternative communicating deviations and making alternate arrangements.

It is fortunate that she got an anxiety induced headache. For had she not they would have been stranded in what is not “her” car but is the vehicle that is used to transport Therin to the band competition. It is being able to see the car in that new perspective that can give a high conflict parent the ability to serve his or her own interest. I like to see my son be successful in his pursuits.

By communicating and cooperating, by being neighborly, a circumstance was revealed that not disclosed would have resulted in Therin not being in competition today. His parents made it happen though because WE are his parents and WE enjoy the fulfillment of our lives through his satisfaction of his desires.

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©2008, 2013 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Will Cindy Booth or Cynthia Dean of Indianapolis based Child Advocates, Inc., respond to this latest contact seeking help for children?

For the past two years my main area of focus and effort has been on creating a more child focused parenting time guidelines for the State of Indiana. On 01 March 2013 the revised IPTG went into effect. After submission of my input had been completed I enjoyed a brief respite of a day before embarking upon the latest effort.

This year I am pursuing altering court processes through adaptive measures to insure that parents, practitioners and judicial officers are afforded all essential opportunities to ensure the best interest of the children.

The statewide rules should emulate some of the novel approaches that have been effectuated through local rules. Candid conversations with judicial officers and program participants have revealed useful anecdotal evidence about program efficacy.

I recently broached the concept of mandatory mediation to the Domestic relations Committee. This is just the first of a series of proposals that I intend to inject into the consciousness of judicial and legislative policy makers before the process of revising the Indiana Child Support Guidelines is commenced in 2014.

I have also recently written extensively about the Moore v Moore child custody case and rebuked Child Advocates, Inc., for it's involvement in obfuscating and prolonging that litigation. This has given way to reproach of Cynthia Booth, the Executive Director of Child Advocates, Inc., for her avoidance of the topic of mitigating the potential for actions like those of Del Anderson and Cynthia Dean to occur again. Such conjecture and fabrications by Del Anderson do not serve benefit to the courts nor sustain public confidence. While Anderson maintains that his qualifications are “trainings” I suspect the problem arises either in those or caseload. I have repeatedly sought an explanation.

All previous efforts for comment from Ms Booth have been ignored though. On Monday I sent letters to both Ms Booth and Ms Dean which are not intended to daunt them but instead ameliorate opportunities for further harm to children by seeking their input. Other GAL/CASA's have been forthright in discussions with me. Judges have expressed their concerns and disclosed faults in the system. Law makers continue to seek both raw data and anecdotal evidence.

Yet, while all others have cooperated in a mutual goal of assuring the best interest of children, one agency stands in isolation – Child Advocates, Inc.

Following are the letters sent to Booth and Dean. Child Advocates, Inc. may be contacted by phone at 317.205.3055

Cynthia Dean
Child Advocates, Inc.
8200 Haverstick Rd Ste 240
Indianapolis, IN 46240
17 March 2013

Ms Dean-

Enclosed please find a copy of the American Bar Association Section of Family Law Standards of Practice for Lawyers Representing Children in Custody Cases. As I have been hearing from litigants and attorneys about your actions in other child custody cases it is apparent that your behaviour in the Moore case is not an isolated act.

Please feel free to request my assistance to meet your need of understanding the role of a best interest attorney in a child custody case, the relevant statutory law, and the impact that child custody proceedings have on children. Additionally, here is the web address of the Indiana Commission for Continuing Legal Education's CLE calendar.
You will likely find some of the classes or seminars there to be of a benefit.

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you.

Best Regards-

Stuart Showalter
P.O.B. 374
Lebanon, IN 46052-0374

Cindy Booth
Child Advocates, Inc.
8200 Haverstick Rd Ste 240
Indianapolis, IN 46240
17 March 2013

Ms Booth-

I am extremely disappointed that I have not received any response from Child Advocates, Inc., to my multiple requests for comment about the actions of Cynthia Dean and Del Anderson. As I work with judges and legislators on pursuing methods of improving court efficiency in child custody cases I am seeking as much input as possible.

As court calendars become more congested the courts are seeking the use of third-party evaluators to provide an objective presentation of the evidence meeting the criteria for child custody rulings. This should lead to a more efficient process. However, in the Moore case we have seen that Mr Anderson and Ms Dean have been neither objective nor contributed to the efficient resolution of the case. Their actions have actually prolonged this matter and wasted valuable court time that could be used for the benefit of children.

It would be easy to simply malign both Anderson and Dean as being rogue characters acting upon their own biases but I do not believe that such is the case nor that it would serve to improve the services provided by guardian ad litems. Other litigants and attorneys have contacted me about similar problems involving Dean and Anderson and others in a similar position. I have provided a copy of the American Bar Association Section of Family Law Standards of Practice for Lawyers Representing Children in Custody Cases so that she may better understand her role in the process.

As I continue to provide information to policy making bodies I would be appreciative of receiving from you an outline of your needs that you feel could mitigate the types of problems that Dean and Anderson have created. When questioned about his qualifications Mr Anderson was only able to respond that he had been to lots of trainings.

I trust that you will be willing to participate in this effort to improve court efficiency and the outcomes for children having to experience the child custody litigation process. The best interest of children demand that the types of problems created by Anderson and Dean neither be tolerated nor continued to be ignored by yourself.

Feel free to contact me anytime for assistance.

Best Regards-

Stuart Showalter
P.O.B. 374
Lebanon, IN 46052-0374

If you need assistance with a child custody evaluation matter then please visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me.

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More information about child custody rights and procedures may be found on the Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates website.

©2008, 2013 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.