By: Bob McCarty
EDITOR’S NOTE: The story below involves an actual Missouri Family Court case; however, all names, dates and other case-specific personal details in the story have been changed in order to protect the identities of the innocent people involved. It is one of several cases about which details have been shared with me by individuals advocating for Family Court reform in the Show-Me State.
In a case that has dragged on for years, a Missouri Family Court judge seems to be doing his level best to ensure three young children end up in the custody of the wrong parent. Hanging over the case is one question: “Why?”
I refer to the biological parents in this case as “Jack and Jill.”
Jack has never been in trouble with the law, while Jill is the violent, drug- and alcohol-addicted, drug-dealing, ex-convict mother of his children.
Several law enforcement agencies in the counties where Jill roams are familiar with the woman. She has attempted suicide more than once, been arrested dozens of times, been imprisoned several times and, when not behind bars, continues to hang out with known drug dealers, prostitutes and other felons, according to court records, police reports and other official documents shared with me by people close to the case.
Attorneys in the same area are more familiar with Jack, because he’s had to hire so many of them. One after another dropped him as a client after he refused to agree to any kind of shared-custody arrangements they had negotiated, Jack said. So far, his latest attorney seems to be more focused than his predecessors on winning. Here’s to hoping that remains the case.