PARENTING – Custody battles and dirty tricks

Stories of mothers resorting to dirty tricks to get custody and/or total control of their children away from their fathers are legion – and when I say dirty tricks, I mean the lowest kind of abuse of process and the legal system and utter contempt for any kind of decency – false accusation of sexual abuse, false accusations of domestic abuse, false rape accusations. Fathers and Families has a huge archive of these stories.

Well here’s one that flips the genders. It’s out of Des Moines, WA, where it’s the father engaging in dirty tricks. He and his ex-wife were in a custody battle – he had the kids while she had been in a voluntary drug rehabilitation program and now she wanted custody. So he doped the kids cookies with meth so they would fail a drug test after staying with their mother. How’s that for “fatherly goodness”?

“The children’s mother had been clean for nearly a year in September, when she failed a drug test. Concerned about the positive result, the woman recalled a pair of unappetizing cookies she’d eaten with her children the day before.”

Hmmmmm

“According to charging papers, the woman and a court-appointed monitor picked up the children at Holm’s home that day. Their 7-year-old son brought two pink-frosted cookies that Holm made for his ex; the woman and her 5-year-old son split one cookie, which they were unable to eat because it “tasted terrible.”

And guess what:

“On a subsequent drug test, the 5-year-old tested positive for meth, the Des Moines detective continued. The woman suspected Holm or his girlfriend were trying to sabotage her prefect drug test record before an upcoming child custody trial.”

It turns out she had very good reason to want to get those kids away from their father. It turns out that’s just what he was doing. That’s about as depraved as it gets – right on the same level as accusing someone of child rape or sexual molestation to pimp a judge into granting the mother custody. It turns out that kind of depravity is not gendered, even if the family court system’s response to it is. Here is one example of that.

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  • typhonblue

    I said this once before but I think it bears repeating.

    Outcomes for an abused child shouldn’t be contingent upon the genital configuration of their abuser.

  • Valkina

    I think the best way to find out whether it is better to be abused by a women or men,or does gender of the abused some who makes their abused les traumatic.Or should we focus on one group and let other group of the hook.
    Is to simply ask someone who was abused equally by both men and women.

  • Ginkgo

    “Outcomes for an abused child shouldn’t be contingent upon the genital configuration of their abuser.”

    Attention should focus on the child, not the abuser. Good general principle.

    I was not able to adequately express my disgust over this type of abuse’ it disgusted me too much to express.

    I rate poisoning a kid with meth with poisoning a kid’s mind by coercion and manipulation to the point that they reject a parent and tell lies to sway a court. As far as I am concerned, any sign of that is prima facie evidence that the parent doing that to the kid is unfit.

  • thefish

    I rate poisoning children with meth a good bit higher than just lying to a court. Of that may just be general “think of the children” and “meth is BAD” paranoia. Regardless both a really high up on the scale of horribleness.

  • Ginkgo

    Fish,
    “I rate poisoning children with meth a good bit higher than just lying to a court. ”

    Lying to the court isn’t what I was comparing poisoning children to. turning a child against her parent and coercing her into lying to the court is what I was making the comparison to. And since that can have if anything longer-term consequences, it is indeed quite equal in severity.

  • Snake Oil Baron

    It had a good chance of working. Courts, both criminal and family, have a strong reputation of being so focused on an event like a positive drug test or a conviction that they ignore the most blatantly obvious mitigating circumstances. New DNA proves you innocent? Well that doesn’t change the fact that you had a fair trial and were found guilty–no appeal. Drug test botched? Maybe; but it was botched in a manner that produced results ergo you had a positive drug test ergo screw you. Like “no-tolerance” policies, procedure overrides logic, truth and common sense.

    People like Meth-Dad make me wonder if throwing someone like that in a wood chipper would damage the wood chipper.

  • Ginkgo

    “People like Meth-Dad make me wonder if throwing someone like that in a wood chipper would damage the wood chipper.”

    Well there’s only one way to know for sure…..

    You are quite right about courts’ procedural fetish, and i can understnad the simple insistanec on doing justice first and lettiing the procedural issues take care of themsleves, but in the court system’s defense, justice is mostly beyond the competence of mere mortals and we are left with the law. As consolation.

  • Snake Oil Baron

    Fortunately there are all sorts of other problems with the world to distract us from lack of justice.

  • dungone

    That’s indefensible. It must be so awful to struggle to overcome a difficult problem like drug addiction and then have it used against you in such a terrible way. Although to be completely fair, if we did flip the genders I don’t think a father who was going through drug rehab would stand much of a chance getting custody.

  • Ginkgo

    “Fortunately there are all sorts of other problems with the world to distract us from lack of justice.”

    Justice is a social construct.

    Yeah, dungone, if this were the father it never would have goten this far. But this case is going to make it harder for everyone to pull this kind of manipulative shit I hope, male or female.

  • Adiabat

    The link in the OP states that prosecutors are unable to show who placed the meth in the cookies. It could just as easily be a dirty trick by the mother to get custody of the kids.

    “Justice is a social construct.”

    How so? Surely the principle of discouraging unsocial behaviour is an evolutionary necessity among social animals. I agree the details can take many forms, influenced by numerous factors such as community size, wealth and central power, as well as the details of nearby rival communities, but saying something is a ‘social construct’ strikes me as overly simplistic to the point of just being simply wrong.

    Or were you just parodying feminists? I can’t tell :)