We have a divorce law system that has judges who are out of control. The civil law system (business cases, accidents, etc.) is not so flawed. The criminal law system is not so flawed. There seems to be so many more checks against judicial overreach in those systems.
Sadly, the divorce legal system in all 50 states is left mostly to the whim of judges who frequently ignore statutory guidelines. Many of us father’s rights lawyers have encountered cases with needless litigation on “no-brainer” issues where it was obvious the previous rulings were completely unsupported by law.
One example was a Newport Beach, CA case where the Santa Ana judge, in a motion brought by the ex, actually ordered my dad’s new wife to be “joined” as a party to the ex’s suit for child support. No brainer: that the law only requires natural or adoptive parents to be obligated to support their kids. But it required a large motion-opening brief, removal of the prior judge, crossing motions to quash and dismiss, no discovery, but with a lengthy reply brief and time in court.
Please see the pdf. links below to download several briefs in the Newport Beach case I call the Leveque case and final ruling in favor of Attorney Dana C. Christian’s client, the second wife in the Leveque case. You can see the hubris of John S. Cate, Jr. the (supposedly prominent)1st wife’s attorney who boldly proclaims Yvonne’s demurrer motion is defective because it doesn’t have a declaration (under his misunderstanding of the declaration requirement)… in the 4th document linked below, which is the 1st wife’s motion to strike Yvonne’s demurrer-attack on the joinder complaint. I represented the 2nd wife (claimant) Yvonne. In the 5th document linked below, (claimant’s Reply Brief) you can see at p.12 that I dismantle attorneys John Cate’s claim about the lack of Yvonne’s declaration. We prevailed on that and on the demurrer, but the problem is that these kind of pleadings should never happen from 1st wife’s counsel. It is irresponsible, it mis-cites the law, and it costs money to defend against. Divorce law is so loosely constructed that nothing is done to punish attorneys and their clients for filing papers such as Attornrey Cate’s here, that could be described as little more than legal “garbage”.
We’re attaching some of the pleadings. I don’t care if people copy-plagiarize my work. It’s public record and can’t be copyrighted. Some big L.A. firm tried that and it got tossed out. Maybe it will lend consistency to divorce law.
DanaChristianLaw, Leveque case 1 offending motion for joinder: joining 2nd wife (claimantYvonne) to pay child support for 1st wife’s kids.
DanaChristianLaw, Leveque case 2 1st wife’s complaint ordering 2nd wife (claimant) to pay child support for kids that aren’t hers
DanaChristianLaw, Leveque case 3 2nd wife’s demurrer seeking to dismiss herself from having to pay support for kids that aren’t hers.
DanaChristianLaw, Leveque case 4 1st wife’s response to 2nd wife’s demurrer
DanaChristianLaw, Leveque case 5 1st wife’s motion to strike the demurrer
DanaChristianLaw, Leveque case 6 2nd wife’s reply in support of her demurrer
DanaChristianLaw, Leveque case 7 6/10/11 Minute Order adopted into the final order:
denies 1st wife’s motion to strike the demurrer, and that sustained demurrer in favor of Dana Christian’s
client, 2nd wife-claimant Yvonne.
Talk radio attorney Mark Levin puts some of his briefs up on his website, so it’s not an uncommon practice. I mainly want people to learn the law and to know what really goes on behind closed doors everyday in America’s divorce system.
After exposing these things, maybe the rule of law might once again rule the day. I, and other fathers’ attorneys, sadly, must tell you that the rule of law does not hold sway in American divorce courts. It is pretty much a free for all, where many other factors predominate over the rule of law.
The non-paternity Todd suit (linked below) is another example. The Todd case stands for the proposition that when a child is born into a marriage, regardless of who the mother claims the “real” father is, she may not force the “alleged” third party “biological” father to break into her family, have DNA testing and pay child support. You’d think this was another no brainer.
So far the legal presumptions are still in favor of the institutions of marriage and family, so mom, in Montana, does not have the prerogative to force the DNA testing, where if she were unwed she would. The Todd suit is not your run-of-the-mill family law suit. It is an unusual filing which requires some intellectual capability.
But actually the legal mess of paternity law was in part brought about by dad rights advocates wanting to break into an intact marriage. Supreme Courts and legislatures have now allowed these “putative” fathers to force DNA testing into an intact family so these dads can claim paternity and raise their own biological offspring, the married family be damned. I am against the dads doing that.
The non-paternity Todd case was successfully litigated by Dana C. Christian into a mediated conclusion where by the client achieved a complete dismissal of all charges in his favor. For more information you can download the court documents below.
While I am a father’s rights attorney and take no mothers’ cases, I am not obliged to take every guy’s case just because he happens to be a male. As a general proposition, I would not take this kind of “biological dad’s case” who wants to break into an intact marriage. It is not black and white however. Biology, if coupled with other factors like the time the biological dad actually spent involved with the child and with the mother’s birth, etc., and if the husband is in jail or dead… maybe I’d reconsider.
I believe the institutions of marriage and family are more important than an individual dad’s rights, more important than an individual mother’s rights. And it is all because the children’s rights are paramount over the others. The child has the right to his own legitimacy and to the sanctity of the family. If dad’s rights advocates really think about it, they’ll learn that their best hope of equality of rights lies within the strength of a marriage and family bonds. Marriage protects a dad’s connection to his offspring better than anything else.
You can download the motion here: