Custody Visitation Scandal Cases by Barry Goldstein

Custody Visitation Scandal Cases
by Barry Goldstein Esq.

The movement to end domestic violence started when women began to speak to each other about their experiences of spousal abuse, which had always been considered a private matter. These discussions led to the realization that domestic violence was far more common then generally believed. This discovery was necessary in order to begin the work to end domestic violence.

Today, disturbingly, in thousands of custody-visitation cases all over the country, abused women and children are being revictimized rather than protected. Some of the cases have been publicized, but most have been hidden from public view. Often the media is reluctant to feature such cases, because they don’t have the resources to determine which side is telling the truth or out of fear of lawsuits. As a result, only the victims and genuine experts are aware of the pattern and frequency of such cases.

When women first started to learn about the extent to which men were abusing their female partners, there was no term to describe such behavior. Only later was the term domestic violence invented. This was an important step, because it gave us common language to describe an all too common and harmful behavior pattern. I believe we now need a term that describes cases in which women and children are further abused by the courts instead of being protected. I suggest using the term CUSTODY-VISITATION SCANDAL CASES, which would help us to better detect and understand the pattern and frequency of such atrocities, so that we can stop such abuse in the future.

Custody-Visitation Scandal Cases can be defined as having many but not all of the following attributes:

1. Allegations of domestic violence and/or child abuse made by the mother and/or child(ren)
2. A failure or refusal by court agents (attorneys, law guardians, forensic evaluator, therapists, and/or judge) to take such allegations seriously.
3. An outcome that places the children at serious risk
4. An outcome that appears to be 180 degrees from what it should be.
5. An outcome that gives custody to the alleged abuser and restricted visitation to the protective mother.
6. The use by the abusive father and his attorney of “standard abuser tactics” (i.e. seeking custody to punish the mother or maintain control; using visitation or custody to harass mother; claiming that unfounded child protective claims were made falsely and maliciously by the mother; attempting to manipulate the children etc.)
7. The propogation of myths and stereotypes about domestic violence (i.e. that mothers and children frequently make false allegations of abuse to gain an advantage in litigation) by the court and its agents.
8. Using “experts” with little or no training and understanding of domestic violence.
9. Gender bias and double standards (mothers being held to a higher standard than fathers)
10. Failure to consider and use up-to-date domestic violence research.
11. Approaches that blame the victim.
12. Use of biased or unsupported theories (i.e. Parental Alienation Syndrome; “Angry women”; “Vindictive women”; alienation; masochism etc.)
13. Extreme penalties against protective mothers.
14. Outcomes that make it appear like the judge was bribed even though that is usually not the cause of the judicial abuse.

I am not saying that every case that fits many of the above criteria has to have been improperly decided, but I believe research will find that 98% or more of such cases have been tragically mishandled. Custody-Visitation Scandal Cases should be identified, examined. and corrected when necessary. Even more important, society must create a system to prevent such cases from happening.

Barry Goldstein - the Believer

Dear Friends:

For many years, the NCADV, Battered Mothers Custody Conference and many other domestic violence, professional, educational and community organizations have been privileged to hear Barry Goldstein speak about domestic violence, child custody and related issues. He speaks with a passion and knowledge on these topics that many of us envy and over long years of service to the cause has earned our trust.

As most of you know we have a crisis in the custody court system that has resulted in thousands of children being sent to live with abusers. Too often the courts have responded to justified criticism of their mistakes with retaliation against protective mothers and anyone daring to support them. In January, the NY courts retaliated against Barry by suspending his license for exposing an abusive judge. This involved a case in which the judge gave custody to an abuser and denied any contact between a woman who had been named Dutchess County Mother of the Year and her children. The judge used a certainty standard against the mother and probability standard for the father and jailed her for almost a month when she was seven-months' pregnant because she kept saying objection in order to preserve her right to appeal. Among the charges the court had the nerve to make against Barry was that he said the judge was "biased" and "on the wrong side of history." Their real complaint was that Newsweek and other media used the case as an example of the failure of the court system to protect children from abusers.

Obviously the court was hoping to silence Barry, but he has decided to work full time speaking, writing, consulting, teaching and as an expert witness. If any of you need an expert speaker, I would strongly recommend you consider hiring Barry. He has a diverse group of experiences including 14 years on the board of My Sisters' Place, 10 years as an instructor and supervisor in a NY Model Batterer Program, 30 years as an attorney representing protective mothers and writer of books and articles. This informs his speaking on many issues including domestic violence, child custody. role of men in ending domestic violence, domestic violence in higher education and many related topics.

We are particularly excited about a book Barry is co-editing with Dr. Maureen Hannah, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, ABUSE and CHILD CUSTODY. The book includes chapters by over 25 of the leading experts in the US and Canada including judges, lawyers, psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists, journalists and domestic violence advocates. Although the writers come from many different backgrounds and disciplines, there is remarkable agreement that custody courts have failed to protect mothers and children in domestic violence cases. We believe the up-to-date research and information in this book has the potential to fundamentally change the broken system. Once this book is published later this year, the existing failed practices will have to be abandoned because they can only be viewed as malpractice. Barry Goldstein is already including this information in his workshops and doing so in ways professionals can hear. You can learn more about Barry's speaking and these issues on his web site He can be contacted by email or phone 914-643-3142.

In his first book, SCARED TO LEAVE AFRAID TO STAY, Barry told the story of three children who complained their father was abusing them physically and sexually. Their mother obtained an order of protection and sought custody. The children told the judge, evaluator, their attorney and CPS caseworker what their father did. As happens too often, these "experts" decided the mother was brainwashing the children and threatened to change custody if she didn't stop. Right before the first unsupervised visit, the baby sitter confronted the father in the presence of the law guardian and the father admitted to kissing the girls on their privates. The law guardian immediately filed a motion to stop the visitation. The judge consulted with the evaluator who said the father used bad judgment but there was no reason to stop the visitation. Barry called CPS to report the father's admission. When the judge found out he yelled and screamed at Barry saying CPS already investigated so there was no reason for a new report. The four-year-old was penetrated during the first unsupervised visit. A different caseworker investigated Barry's complaint and found the father's actions were even worse then reported. They filed charges against the father and he never again had anything more than supervised visits. The mother invited the caseworker and Barry for a celebratory dinner after the mother won custody. The children had a name for them. They called them "believers" because they believed the children when all the professionals who were supposed to protect them didn't. Barry Goldstein has received the highest honor someone in the movement to end domestic violence can earn. The children called him a "believer."


Children Against Court Appointed Child Abuse Unite

Hi My name is Jennifer Collins.

I took some time away from the craziness our case has attracted to try to make sense of it all. I have met the most wonderful people who support me and my brother. However, it is truly disturbing that there are still men (and some women) who have gone out of there way to try to discredit and intimidate us. What are they thinking? We were the kids who were abused! We know better than anyone what happened to us!

My father abused me! He broke my brother’s bones! He beat our mom in front of us! How in the world can total strangers say that it just didn’t happen?

I researched all of the court records and child protection reports. There is so much documentation and proof! It is outrageous that there was (and still is) a conspiracy to cover up child abuse in Hennepin County, (Minneapolis Minnesota) and throughout the whole United States of America.

When I was a kid, I innocently asked my mom “Why won’t the judge talk to me?” I was sure that if he found out what my father was doing to us, he would protect us.

When I was finally an adult, I thought that now they will have to listen. They will know that they made a mistake, yet that same judge is still trying to silence me. He knows he was wrong and instead of owning up to his failure he is abusing his power to cover up the corruption in his court.

Thank goodness our mom had the courage to take us away from the abuse, to run with us and hide for 14 years until we were legally free from abuse. When we were first discovered in hiding I was determined to make sure that justice was served and that my mother would not be punished for protecting us from abuse. I am so proud that all kidnapping charges have been dropped and my mother is a free woman! We are safe in the Netherlands and I have been wondering what I should do next. I don’t have anything to prove. I tried to forget about the past and put it all behind me, but no matter how hard I tried, I can not do that!

There was such an injustice done to me and my brother. Court officials lied under oath. They perjured themselves and got away with it. I have clear cut documentation that there was a cover up of child abuse in our case. I can not just walk away. Now that the truth is being exposed, it is amazing the lengths that some people will go through to protect themselves. Why aren’t these people being held responsible for their crimes? They should be held accountable for every bit of torture, beating and tear that my brother and I suffered at the hands of our father after they were made aware of his abuse!

So many brave children have contacted me and begged me to help them. Moms (and some Dads too) have expressed their desparation knowing that their children are being hurt at this very moment and no one is doing anything to protect them. It is almost unbearable to know that these children are going through that same hell that I escaped from. It has to stop!

I am told that if I want justice the laws have to be changed, yet most politicians don’t think that court appointed child abuse is a pressing subject. After all children can’t vote! But I can! Children grown up! We are coming together and demanding change!

We want the adults who failed to protect us held accountable for the abuse that happened to us. We want justice! Maybe, just maybe, if they know that someday those little children grow up they can seek justice for the crimes committed against them, that they will do their very best to make sure that every child is safe.

It is terrible that child abuse exists, but we want a stop to compounding the pain with “Court Approved Child Abuse!”

If you were abused as a child and the court failed to protect you, please contact me, Jennifer Collins at CA3

Children Against
Court Appointed
Child Abuse