Dear Celebrity's Wife,

My heart went out to you when I watched Dr. Phil rake you over the coals earlier this week.

Two decades ago I suffered a child custody battle in a Chicago court. 

One decade ago I happened to catch an interview with Jeffrey Leving, who is a front for lawyers who lobby for and profit from fathers' rights laws.  Mr. Leving said that lawyers for the father have to 'play hard ball' when a mother doesn't give up custody without a fight.  Fathers' lawyers don't play fair.  I'm sorry you got hit with hard balls, and in the public eye.

The father of my two sons didn't have as much money as the father of your two sons.  I had no money at all.  Therefore, I read law to defend myself and the interests of my children as best I could. 

Illinois laws lack uniformity and clarity in their definition of 'unfit' mother and 'best interest' of children. 

Illinois had five statutes on these topics when I did the research.  An equal number of courts and other administrative offices enforce the laws.

Illinois divorce law decrees that a custody case originates at the same time as a divorce.  During the custody case, the children are wards of the state - and court officers and appointees are the equivalent of foster parents, though the children actually live with one or the other birth parent, relieving the 'foster' parents of actual childcare duties.

Illinois laws are most careful of orphans who live in residential schools, regarding how adults treat children. 

Illinois laws are most vague (and essentially unenforceable) when the children have two living parents going through a divorce.

In stark contrast to how the state treats married mothers, the state shows much concern for the need of children to be with their mother - and the maternal rights of - unmarried women who've had children by indigent men.  The state leaves custody with a poor mother who does thousands of not-nice things to her children, only one of which can get a married middle-class woman labeled 'unfit'.

I don't know what Hillary Clinton says on the topic of the state as foster parent these days.  I do know that as young Hillary Rodham she published an article that says, in essence, that the state isn't equipped to be a parent and does a lousy job of it.  (Children Under The Law.  Harvard Educational Review, Volume 43, Number 4, 1973 November, page 487)


top illustration:

Pothast, Edward (artist)

He co'ted me setting' down fannin whilst I flung de hoe. (page 12)

Stuart, Ruth McEnery (author)

  Napoleon Jackson: The Gentleman of the Plush Rocker.

New York: The Century Co.(copyright 1901-1902)

Published by The DeVinne Press

In the late 1980s, the National Organization of Women distributed a packet of research studies about divorce.   In summary--almost 100% of men who sue for full custody of the children get full custody of the children.  Child custody battles that feel like a travesty of justice to mothers, really are a travesty of justice.  Judges award custody to fathers after reviewing reports by a court-ordered psychiatrist.  The reports say invariably that the father is fit and the mother is not.  Few conceits are more irrational than the conceit that 100% of the men who knock up unfit mothers are themselves fit to be fathers.  Men who exhibit bad judgment at the time of conception are unlikely to exhibit good judgment any time after.  In my case, the psychiatrist described my husband's mental illness when she described me and described my mental health when she described my husband.  Reversing the truth is one of the better known traits of bullies, spoiled brats, and other manipulative psychopaths.  Psychiatrists who can't detect such reversals should lose their licenses.  The psychiatrist in my case stopped working child custody cases soon after she submitted her reports.   

Child custody cases are like many other government services.  Government officials play the ignorance of common people to steal or kidnap under color of law what they have no true right or power to take.  Officials then make people beg or pay a ransom to get back what government shouldn't have taken in the first place.  Fathers who have enough money to pay the court's ransom, have enough money to make generous child-support payments.   That fathers would rather give their money to fathers' rights lawyers than to the mothers of their children is more than adequate proof that the fathers are unfit to get married, let alone raise children.  Judges and lawyers who kidnap children under color of law and award them to hateful fathers usually rest easy.  They're confident that mothers will continue to care for the children though they do so in situations that pervert motherhood and degrade mothers.  Judges and lawyers exploit bereft mothers to cover up the bad effects of their nasty system.  Fathers take credit for mothers' work, but pay even less (nothing) for it.   

In a variation on Miranda, I argued that the State can't enforce laws involving married women until after the State distributes a book for marriage license applicants similar to The Rules Of The Road for drivers' license applicants.  The book must compile all laws and precedents that married women will be up against at divorce.  The State may issue marriages licenses to only those women who score 100% on a test that completely covers every law that her future husband can use against her children and herself.  A lot more marriages will be happy, even if lawyers aren't.

When I was going through the hell of divorce and child custody in a Cook County court, I learned that virtually all government officials think that every accusation a mother makes against a father is 'sour grapes' but every accusation a father makes against a mother is God's own truth. 

In effect, divorce courts defame the character of mothers.  In doing so, courts reveal the psychopathology of their officials.  Under cover of law, officials give themselves the pathological pleasure - as well as substantial personal financial gain - of exerting unreasonable and irrational power over mothers, like spoiled children try to do.  It's no wonder that children of divorce become huge discipline problems.  Court officials and vindictive fathers are the children's role models.

While I waited for one of 50 hearings in my case, I sat through a hearing in another case.  A very nice-looking young white suburban mother had to stand before the judge and hear an order that she must relinquish her infant and toddler to their father and vacate her beautiful and expensive home a day or two before Christmas.  The temporary support order allowed her less than she needed to pay rent on a studio apartment in a slum, and buy toiletries and food.

I noted that the women's bathroom near divorce courtrooms stank of diarrhea.   The courts are abusive.  They make women sick.  Then they use the symptoms of illness to declare mothers unfit.

A few years after the custody determination in my family's case, I met a mother of three children who'd gotten her husband convicted of child sexual abuse of all three children, before she filed for divorce in a DuPage County court.  The divorce court judge allowed the father frequent unsupervised overnight and weekend visitations during the divorce.  I lost touch before the final decree.

I'm enclosing two items I've worked on over the years and you might enjoy and play forward.

mothers, 7 minutes 4 seconds

mpeg 488 mb

credits, pdf 13.3 mb

wmv 148 mb

2012 September 9

The Drew Peterson case

2003 October 28

Vague and conflicting definitions of unfitness and child abuse in Illinois statutes

Updated 2015 September

Materials are presented for educational purposes only.

I'm not a licensed attorney and  don't intend the materials presented here

to replace the services of licensed attorneys

I work alone on a small, fixed personal  income.  If you appreciate my work,

take advantage of it, and are able, please make a financial contribution.

Laurel Lee

Time For Democracy

Box 477235

1704 N. Milwaukee

Chicago, IL  60647-7235


practical applications