Our MOST vulnerable citizens, Our Children - demand their voices be heard.

Our family courts are expected to operate in the best interest of the children" in cases brought before family court judges.

But it is not traditionally the sole criterion-much less the sole constitutional criterion...The best interests of the child is not the legal standard that governs parents' or guardians' exercise of their custody:

So long as certain minimum requirements of child care are met, the interests of the child may be subordinated to the interests of other children, or indeed even to the interests of the parents or guardians themselves. -- Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292 (1993)

Millions of Americans who have been through a contested divorce or custody proceeding in the family court systems across the US, are acutely aware that injustice is served at the whims of the attorneys and other "profiteers" of the family court system.

Unfair custody and parenting time, lifetime alimony, child support calculations based on income rather than actual need, paternity fraud, parental alienation, false allegations with no repercussions, complex legal processes and rules, and numerous other issues not only violate the Constitutional and civil rights of the unfortunate litigants, but serve to contribute to the further denigration of families and leave parents and children emotionally, spiritually and financially damaged for many years into the future.

The US Supreme Court has gone so far as to assert:

We have little doubt that the Due Process Clause would be offended if a State were to attempt to force the breakup of a natural family, over the objections of the parents and their children, without some showing of unfitness and for the sole reason that to do so was thought to be in the children's best interest. -- Quilloin v. Walcott, 434 U.S. 246 (1978)

More important, historically it has recognized that natural bonds of affection lead parents to act in the best interests of their children. -- Parham v. J. R., 442 U.S. 584 (1979)

Furthermore, experts in child development agree that in the absence of substantiated abuse, shared parenting is better for children:

"There is a consensus that neither the discretionary best interests of the child standard nor sole custody or primary residence orders are serving the needs of children and families of divorce.

There is a consensus that shared parenting is a viable post-divorce parenting arrangement that is optimal to child development and well-being, including for children of high conflict parents." -- Edward Kruk, Ph.D., First International Conference on Shared Parenting, May 2014

Yet every day in courtrooms across the US, the rights of parents and children are violated by unconstitutional orders and unfair judgments due to unnecessarily complex and costly adversarial processes that make divorce not only more difficult than necessary, but also create long term financial and emotional impacts on parents, children, and society as a whole.

The divorce process and the accompanying pain and suffering that many families endure is something we don't often like to talk about and taking a stoic and dismissive attitude toward those who feel slighted in the process is perpetuated by a society that fails to recognize the long term and sometimes life-long impact of the dissolution of a family unit.

Even less talked about is the role that some attorneys, legislators and other agents of the court take in perpetuating these problems, sometimes unknowingly, but often purposefully to increase their own personal profits or organizational revenue.

These policies and practices are not only unethical, but violate the very oaths taken by attorneys, legislators and other agents of the court to uphold the Constitutional rights of those they are hired to serve.

Fortunately however, there are protections built into our system that if invoked will better protect the rights of parents and families of divorce. We The People call upon Congress to take action to reform family courts across the US by investigating and addressing the following issues:

1. Conduct an investigation into the policies and practices conducted in the family courts across the US and by the American BAR Association. Individuals found to be in violation of their oaths of service shall be reprimanded or removed and recommendations shall be made for long term reform. Of particular concern are abuse of judicial discretion, failure to provide equal protection and due process, failure to adjudicate cases in a timely manner, and failure to uphold Constitutional rights of parents to determine what is in the best interest of their own children.

2. Conduct an investigation into child custody laws, practices, and long term impacts. Provide recommendations for updates to state law that are consistent with Supreme Court rulings that uphold the rights of each parent to have essentially equal, ongoing, and meaningful relationships with their children. True 50/50 equal and joint custody and decision making should be the default in all states unless a parent is determined to be unfit or agrees to another arrangement.

3. Conduct an investigation into child support and alimony (spousal support) laws and rulings. Advise and direct courts to develop new policies and practices that adequately provide for the basic financial needs of children being cared for by one or both biological parents not living in the same household, without violating the inalienable financial or property rights of either biological parent. True 50/50 financial responsibility for children based on USDA national guidelines on the cost to raise a child should be assumed unless otherwise agreed upon by the parents.

4. Conduct an investigation into the impact of The Violence Against Women Act, it's effectiveness, and how gender discriminatory policy impacts practices, policies, and judicial decisions in family court and the American justice system. Federal and state laws and programs must be consistently and fairly written and enforced to provide equal protection under the law for both men and women in family court and in programs intended to protect families and children from domestic violence.

Please accept this signed plea for help for that of my minor, son who has and is suffering the tragic Sacramento Superior Family Court Judge's ruling where the judge ordered: "Father is granted Sole Physical and Sole Legal custody of Minor Child, and Mother's visitation is temporarily suspended and mother is not allowed to have ANY unsupervised contact with minor child other than 1, 30 min. call from 8:00-8:30 PM per week."

"Mother shall call Father's phone, and Father is to hold and monitor call during call"

" Father may forcibly restrain minor child in car, if he tries to jump out of father's car; Father may forcibly restrain minor child, if he tries to run away from father's house."

"Father shall not allow child to have any access to a phone while at father's house, to attempt to call child's mother".

This ruling came at the end of a 3-day trial 1/30, 2/6, and 2/7/20, during which 7 Forensic Expert witnesses, Mercy Doctors, Sutter Pediatric ER Doctors, Sutter ER RN's and Social Workers, and UC Davis CAARE, Diagnostic Pediatric Treatment Center testified as Child Psychology Expert Witnesses - all testifying on behalf of my (then 12) minor son, as to the medically supported evidence establishing the years and history of the sexual abuse, molestation, psychological, emotional and medical abuse that my son had suffered at the hands of his bio-father from approximately 3 years old, through to current date 8/20/2020.

My son's birthday was 8/16/20, where he just turned 13.

Father has not allowed me as mother any time to see, visit, or spend any time with our minor son - not even to grant my son his #1 birthday wish, where he pleaded: "Mom, my #1 birthday wish is to be with you and see you on my birthday - that is all I really want for my birthday......I miss you so much, mom!"

"My dad says I'm never going to see you again, mom - is that true?"

My son's #1 birthday wish was repeatedly denied by father.....refusing to support his birthday wish - even via Zoom or FaceTime.

Please respond to my son's tearfully repeated cries that his voice be listened to, heared, and acted upon"...…... he's made to Law Enforcement, The DA, The Supervisor of The Child Sexual Abuse Division, multiple Deputies of the Sacramento Police Dept., multiple deputies of the Sacramento Sheriff's Dept., Social Workers and Case Managers of The Department of Justice, Multiple CPS workers, Doctors, Pediatric Urologists, pediatricians, therapist(s), clinical forensic child psychologists, and our CalVCB Case manager - as approved Victim's of Violent Crime from 1/2016-to date, 8/20/20, " - by those governmental 'parent(s)' that have been elected to uphold my voice, and act on my behalf as the most vulnerable citizen of our great country, that takes to heart and truly upholds - my best interests"

On behalf of this minor child's voice, as his parent and mother - please respond to the Sacramento Family Court System's Judicial Malfeasance and Miscarriage of Justice - and those entities be investigated and those findings implemented to rectify the laws that have allowed the 'silencing of or all our children's voices - the most vulnerable citizen's of our society and this Great Country - Post Haste.

Maria Calder

Direct Contact Information:

Email address:

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(470) 418-8586

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