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Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives and 4 others

Justice in Family Courts

Dear friends,

I have been in the middle of a very difficult divorce and custody case for the last 3 years. I have often asked you to pray for us and many of you have prayed along with me even on the phone as we have relied on strength from God when things seemed so dark and the true reason for this custody case was rearing its head.

We have always known and trusted that He has a plan for all..

My son Sam is a beautiful non-verbal 6yr old with thick blonde hair, unforgettable blue eyes. He has a double diagnoses of Down Syndrome and PDD-NOS (Autistism spectrum) and he has communicated with signing since he was 6months old. I have been his primary caretaker since his birth in May 2006 and I have been a stay-at-home Mom for 10years now..

On June 27, 2012 we went to court for four days culminating in a decision by the judge on Monday,July 2, 2012.

I brought along our therapists who care for Sam, our friends in the community, and moms-friends who know me personally, who could testify to my character. I even brought a professional with a PhD who has counselled my daughter and I for the last 2 1/2years as we have dealt with this divorce and custody.

To tell you that I have crossed my t's and dotted my i's in the last 6years is not an understatement as I have documented everything. EVERYTHING- this child being dropped off each and every time after a visit with his father with big blue circles under his eyes from lack of routine and exhaustion, constipation that he suffers after visits with Dad who will not follow Sam's gluten free/color additive-free diet that he has been on for 2+years, and more.

I have many incidences documented of different happenings such as Sam coming home from the weekend visit with infected splinters in his hands and has simply "not had the time to take Sam to the dr or remove them because our time is so limited". Both Christmas holidays he took Sam out of town while sick ( one of them against pediatrician's orders) and both resulted in ER visits within hours of being returned. That visit left Sam sick until the end of February.

Sam was very lucky.. Was any of this taken into account prior to rendering a decision?

I have notarized letters and affidavits from the medical community, each and every doctor that has seen Sam for the last three+ years on the excellent care and commitment that I have to my son. I have not missed ONE appointment with any of the 7specialists we see on a regular basis.

On Monday the decision of Judge Guyton was this : Joint custody as opposed to full custody for Sam's father ( which he wanted) but Sam was given to his father in VA Beach - primary placement, beginning July 22.

I have been given visitation every other weekend and I am to begin paying child support to a man who makes over $230,000 a year.

This child has ALWAYS lived with me and his 17yr old sister and his dog (trained by Dogs for Autism)!

Was that taken into account prior to the decision being made?.. I do not know..

During the last three years his father has seen him once a month for 26hrs at a time and three weeks ( not consecutive) in the summer and one week during Christmas. His father once again admitted under oath that he has not practiced sign language and has not taken any classes and knows about 10-20signs. Enough for Sam to "get by.." Was this taken into account?..

Everything this child knows and is familiar with is here in Greenville SC. His maternal grandmother who has been a part of his daily life since the day he was born. His friends that he has known for 4+yrs, his activities - playgroups, equine therapy, art class, music therapy, soccer and special olympics gymnastics - are all here! 

Was it taken into consideration..?

A Forensic Psychologist testified that "Down(s)! kiddos do not form the same attachment to parents and primary caregivers as "normal" children". 

He came to court but was denied the ability to testify and the judge almost cited me with "child abuse" for trying to pull a fast one on the court and asking for a new witness to take the stand. It was deemed not in Sam's "best interest" by the guardian-ad-litem as well.

"Sam and Down(s) Syndrome kids are in a bubble" she

(the Forensic Psychologist) said and therefore "he will be fine raised by a nanny" as this is what his father plans to do while he travels and works.

He has no family or support in VA - even his family lives here in Hilton Head, SC.

Not just one nanny to raise Sam but when my attorney asked her if she knew that Sam's father plans on hiring "several nannies" - day and night to care for Sam, she said yes and again said that Sam would not know the difference if it was me, his mother, or a nanny taking care of him..

"Down(s) children are just so happy.." she and the judge both said.

His father was caught lying right out on the stand but that was that taken into account before making the decision? I do not know. The discrepancies or "lack of memory" were they taken into account? ..I do not know..

The fact that I found this man advertising for a nanny on www.roomates.com where you can opt to "share your bed" with the nanny -was that taken into account? ...

I need your help!

UPDATE: My fight has moved from the SC to the Virginia Beach Juvenile and Family Court. It has gone from bad to worse. The more I study and read, the more I hear from mothers alike all over this country - this is an epidemic sweeping our court system- custody evaluators, judges, attorneys are involved and aiding in the removing our children from their primary caretakers - most often mothers - and we are left without the means to properly fight for our children! We are up against ex-husbands who manipulate the system and have the means to fight. Many mothers in the Va beach area alone have contacted me and shared their very eerily similar stories. Text-book cases.

My fight continues, please help me!

 

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Thank you from the bottom of my heart

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