|Through a family court order Victoria
Anne Franco was removed from Massachusetts in January of 2000. Victorias father,
Mike Franco, went to pick her up for their weekly four-day block of time, but she was
gone. Franco was primary caregiver to Victoria from age six months to 2-1/2 years old
before Judge Anne Geoffrion (right) allowed the mother to remove the child to Texas.
Victoria and Mike on Boston Harbor, Summer 2002Franco contends the family court is responsible for denying Victoria access to her large, loving family and friends network since the court will not honor its order for visitation. The numerous biased and ill-contrived actions, and countless inactions of judges on this matter over many years have inherently, and without accountability, violated this man and his familys presumed right to equal protection under the law and due process of law. As a result, a form of neglect and abuse has been cast upon Victoria that will most certainly scar her emotionally for life (see article, p. 2).
The judges shown here preside in the Hampden Division Probate and Family Court. While under the color of law they consorted in lies, bigotry and cowardice, systematically separating a child from her devoted and loving father. Victoria, like many children trapped in the intrusive family court, spends little or no time with her dad. It is a corrupt court process, which interferes with the father-child relationship, literally robbing kids and their dads "those precious years" with each other.
Senate Bill 1075 for Shared Parenting will be heard before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, Thursday, July 24 at 1 p.m. in Room A1 of the Statehouse, Boston. To review the bill, please go to www.state.ma.us/legis/bills/st01075.htm. Several legislators across the state are sponsoring SB1075. Please help us bring attention to the bill by contacting your local representatives. We encourage you to also contact the Committee Chairmen at 1-617-722-1200 and 1-617-722-2396.
Civil Case No. 98D1058, Hampden Division Probate & Family Court. Transcripts Available Upon Request.
Children suffer when divorced parents move
By Gwendolyn Richards, Globe and Mail News
Thursday, Jun. 26, 2003
Vancouver Children of divorced parents who move away are more likely to suffer from long-term mental and health effects than those whose parents don't relocate, a new study suggests.
Sanford Braver, who led the study published yesterday in the Journal of Family Psychology, said children who had to deal with divorcing parents and the subsequent move of a parent with or without the child to a location more than an hour away, were more likely to feel they had a "hard and difficult" life and had adjusted less favorably personally and emotionally.
Even more disturbing, Dr. Braver said, is the fact that study participants whose parents relocated after divorce seemed to experience health problems.
"Children whose parents had moved reported their general health as less well off than children whose parents had divorced but neither of whom had moved," he said.
The health index used by the study also indicates that these children may have increasingly poor health as they age, especially for conditions related to stress and coping, such as heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis, Braver added.
About half of all marriages currently end in divorce and between 30 and 40 per cent of those divorces involve children. It used to be difficult for a divorced parent to move away with a child, but Braver said courts in many U.S. states have taken the point of view that if the move is made in good faith not to thwart the other parent's relationship with the child and benefits the custodial parent, then it shouldn't be restricted.
"The courts were working under the premise that anything that will improve the life of the primary parent will have a beneficial effect on the children. As a result we're having more and more unfettered moves," he said.
Canadian courts generally handle the relocation question that most states do, Braver said, so the study's results may impact how the difficult decision is handled in this country [Canada].
Braver hopes his study will send a message to the courts that they need to take into account potential harm being inflicted on children of divorce.
"A move away is going to exact some costs from the child and [the courts] need to weigh that factor in the balance and make sure on a case-by-case basis that this should be allowed," he said.
"If these decisions were misguided then it's our hope that such decisions get rectified in the future so as not to adversely affect even more children."
Grant Gold, a family lawyer in Toronto, said the study may be helpful, but it is not definitive.
"It's way more ammunition for someone to say, 'This is why it's not in the children's best interest,' " he said. Mr. Gold also noted it's more common for people to move in the United States than in Canada.
The study surveyed a group of Arizona State University students who were asked whether their parents were divorced, whether a move was involved and questions about their health and well-being. Respondents whose parents had divorced were then divided into two groups one for those where a move had been involved in the divorce and one for those whose parents didn't relocate.
While those whose parents had moved showed increased negative effects, Braver said there was no difference between those who had moved with a parent and those who had a parent move away.
Although the study proves there is a link between moves and the negative impact on children, researchers could not prove it was a causal link. More research is needed, Braver said.
For more information about fatherhood issues that may affect you and your family, please contact the Fathers Rights Hotline at 1-413-295-DADS or log on to www.fatherhoodcoalition.org.
Index of files from Mike and Victoria Franco case