Reason Number 101 Why You Should Never Let A Family Court Judge Make A Decision About Your Family’s Future
Family Court Judges are the most powerful judges in South Carolina and their power is virtually unchecked. The harm that they commit, with the willing assistance of the trial lawyers, will often leave permanent scars on innocent families living in our communities.
A Family Court Judge can give property from one person to another, can take children from one parent and give them to the other, or even place them in foster care, they can order the payment of permanent periodic money from one person to another and they can, and often do, put people in jail for not following the terms of their order.
Recently a Family Court Judge ordered that a Father could only have supervised visition with his children and ordered that he submit to a sexual offender evaluation. The problem is that neither of the 3 therapists involved in the case, the Guardian ad Litem, Mom or her attorney requested this! In fact, Mom testified at trial that she caused the break up of the marriage and Dad was a “beautiful father and beautiful husband”! Apparently this Family Court Judge was divinely inspired to issue this ruling as there was no basis in fact for his decision. This matter is now on appeal.
A Family Court Judge recently removed a 1 year old baby girl from her Mother and gave the child to Father, who has never raised a child in his life, because Mom’s husband (not the child’s Father) tested positivie for cannabis use, even though the uncontradicted evidence showed that Husband had absolutely no child care responsibilities and the child was thriving in Mom’s care. If Husband tested positive for alcohol use Mother would not have lost custody, even though alcohol use is a major cause of violent crime in the United States, and cannabis is not.
The rulings of our Family Court Judges are rarely appealed to higher courts. I believe this is because most families in our communities have very little money left to appeal to higher courts once the trial lawyers and guardians finish with them. The Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court may rule on no more than 10 to 12 cases per year, creating a dearth of law and guidance for the courts.
As a result, the power of our Family Court Judges is virtually unchecked. When a person is given absloute power they will almost always abuse their power. Our Family Court Judges will justify their actions by stating that they are trying to do their best for the family, and in doing so they will impose their own standards of ethics and morality upon an innocent family and then threaten to incarcerate anyone who does not comply with their ruling.
Our Family Court Judges are not the decency police, they are not divinely inspired and they are certainly not God, but they often behave as if they are. We live in a vibrant and rapidly changing society that is becoming more and more globally connected. While our morals and social norms are changing fast our Family Court Judges are living in the 1950’s. We have allowed our Family Court to devolve into a paternalistic system ruled by dictators who have no accountablity except to the South Carolina Legislature who appoints them.
As long and South Carolinians refuse to vote and fail to hold legislators accountable for their actions, some of whom believe that women are a “lesser cut of meat”, we can expect much more of the same.