Over and over again, I come face to face with a huge inadequacy of our Probate Court system and I want/need to vent about it today.
I have several clients whose soon to be ex spouses have either been convicted of domestic abuse or are in the process of facing criminal charges for it. All of my clients happen to be women but there are many cases where the abuser is a woman and the victim is a man. These same abusers are in Probate Court demanding unsupervised parenting time with their children. And the Judge’s are giving it to them. What is up with that? These men who are proven abusers, convicted of it even and they are allowed to have their children without any supervision because there is no record of abuse directed at those children. Yet. Do you mean, Judges, that you are willing to put a child in harm’s way until such time as the abuser gets angry enough at the child to beat them? Are you willing to let the child be bait and only take away unsupervised visitation when they finally do strike? I’m not talking about people who may have the capacity to abuse; I am talking about people who have been convicted in a court of law of domestic assault and battery on their children’s other parent. Often, the children are protected by the victim when they are sharing a home together. This is why many victims feel that they can’t leave because of this very possibility. If they aren’t there to take the brunt of it, the children will.
My client’s ask me, why? The truth is that I have no idea. The logic fails me. The Probate Court claims to use the best interest test in any issue involving children. How is this in the best interest of any child?