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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Second Wife to Judge: ‘Your Courts Are Destroying My Family’ (From The Fathers And Families Website)

Second Wife to Judge: ‘Your Courts Are Destroying My Family’

December 8th, 2011 by Robert Franklin, Esq.

This short entry caught my eye (NH Insider, 12/6/11).  Why wouldn’t it?  It’s by a woman named Samantha Haas who asks a simple question, “why wouldn’t shared parenting be supported?”  It turns out she’s the daughter of a divorced couple who did share parenting and she’s got some important ideas about the value it.

Here’s her piece in full.
Children deserve the very best from BOTH parents.  Parents have the Right to raise their children and make sure they are safe, educated, healthy and responsible.
If a parent of right mind understands the importance of both parents being equally involved with their children; then why wouldn’t that parent support it? 
False allegations and domestic violence are far too common.  And it happens by women and men, and now more than ever, the Family Courts turn the other cheek.
In my experience as a daughter of parents who divorced and SHARED PARENTING; it is truly the most important decision you can make for your children.
You notice she’s unequivocal.  To her, it’s the most important decision divorcing parents can make.  Strong words, but she knows from experience.

Apart from her experience as a child of divorced parents, it turns out Haas has some hard-learned lessons about the parental side of divorce court.  It seems her husband is a non-custodial father whose ex-wife has refused to allow him to see or contact his children for two years.  Has he received any help whatsoever from the New Hampshire courts in dealing with that flagrant violation of his and his children’s rights?  He has not.
Into the bargain, the state child support agency screwed up the billing on his account.  So he’s ended up paying far more than he should have, and is still behind.  Has he received any help whatsoever from the New Hampshire courts in dealing with that flagrant abuse of his rights?  He has not.

I’ll let Samantha Haas tell it.  Here’s her letter to the Honorable Ed Kelly, judge of the court that should be doing something about her husband’s outrageous case, but apparently hasn’t.
Honorable Ed Kelly;
My name is Samantha Haas.  I am a wife and mother from Hooksett, New Hampshire.
Mr. Kelly, your Courts are destroying my family.
We have suffered severe emotional distress, financial hardship and estrangement from my two stepdaughters.
My husband was denied his right to Due Process as his Constitutional Rights have been violated and the essential base on the concept “fundamental fairness”. 
A mathematical error in the Court on November 20th 2006 has followed my family ever since, with my husband always being held in contempt on an inability to pay.
Ignored or denied pleadings, a Guardian ad litem who withheld evidence of abuse on my husband and children by his ex-wife, turning into not seeing his two daughters since September 26th, 2009.
My husband has paid over $120,000 in child support in the last four years, has a $250,000 life insurance policy on his two daughters naming his ex-wife as the beneficiary, pays for the children’s medical and dental insurance, and pays for half of all uninsured medical and dental expenses.
Yet, he has not seen his daughters in two years.
Every attempt to see them has been blocked by his ex-wife, who has perjured your very Courts since 2006.
My husband and I have been damaged financially because of the ongoing litigation.  We have been getting food at our local food pantry and are on the verge of bankruptcy.
I am a full time student and my husband works in fund accounting for towns and schools, and is also a Hooksett Town Official as a member of the Budget Committee.
On June 17th 2011, my husband was falsely incarcerated at Manchester Family Division on his inability to comply with paying for the mathematical error from 2006.
Mr. Kelly,  I felt like I lost my life that day.  It was Father’s day weekend and my son (Nicholas’ stepson) and our daughter were without their dad because he was in jail.
It became my responsibility to find $10,000 cash bail to have him released.  It became my responsibility to fight for my husband’s freedom and his right to be a father and not be faulted for an error the court made.
We have filed with the Supreme Court.  We continue to file with Manchester Family Division with no response.
Why? Why are we being denied our rights? Our rights as people and our rights as parents?
Our family desperately needs relief, Mr. Kelly.
The longer this is allowed to continue, the older the children are getting and they already have a two year old sister they have never met.
Please show us what to do.
Samantha & Nicholas Haas
That’s about as good a summary of family law in the United States as I know of.  It’s almost all there.  The screw-up by the child support system resulting in payments he can’t make.  The ever-increasing penalties.  The inability to get the judge to care or pay attention.  Impending bankruptcy.  An ex-wife who perjures herself, a pro-mother guardian ad litem who withheld evidence.  Refusal to enforce the visitation order.  Depriving the children of their father indefinitely.  And what must be counted the crowning achievement of the whole sorry affair, the father’s arrest on Fathers Day due to the court’s mistake.

About the only thing missing is for the dad to learn he’s not the actual father and to be made to keep paying anyway.

I hate to tell Ms. Haas, but she and her husband are far from alone in this.  Similar things are happening to fathers all across America; it’s as common as dirt.

If you wanted to design a system to separate fathers from children, you couldn’t do a lot better than the one we have.  Earlier this year, and not too very far from where Mr. and Ms. Haas live, a distraught father walked up the courthouse steps, poured gasoline on himself and lit a match.  I hope no one else ever does such a thing, but it is surely a measure of the disgrace that is our family court system that it happened.

Listen to Samantha Haas:  “Mr. Kelly, your courts are destroying my family.”

Judge Kelly didn’t listen; she got no reply to her heartfelt and deeply moving letter.  Nor has Kelly addressed in court the many issues she raised.  A bankrupt family, children without a father and no end in sight.  What an accomplishment.


  1. Dear Mrs. Haas,

    I can emphamsize with your situation, but can you with mine? I don't believe in shared parenting and here is why. I have a son with an ex who is STILL extremely bitter over our breakup. As a FAVOR to him, I took the minimum child support award of $330, which he refuses to pay. My son has special needs and requires a considerable amount of support. I pay for the TUTORS, the CLASSES, DAYCARE, SPORTS, CLOTHING, BRACES. He pays for nothing. Further, I have to endure the slander of his current changes every three weeks girlfriend. He refuses to agree to anything that is positive for our son. In fact, he refuses to speak to me AT ALL. I have documented all of this. In addition, when I left him, he completely terrorized ME by cutting the power to the house when I was in it and pulling out a hunting rifle on me. I felt lucky to SURVIVE. I had a restraining order issued. Later, I found out that his prior wife, whom I despise and avoid like the plague, also had a restraining order against him for violent behavior. Furthermore, I found out he was in court ordered alcohol abuse classes. He continues to drink to this day. Despite submitting all this evidence to the court, I am unable to get sole custody. I can't get a passport for my child and I am unable to get him into a special needs school which he would GREATLY benefit from because his father's rights are more important than the well being of MY CHILD. I absolutely resent this. No one gives me a break because he doesn't do his part. No one tells me I can have a pass on paying bills because he didn't bother to pay his child support. Interactions with my ex are terrorizing at their worst and scary at their best. Can you honestly say that shared parenting works? Most of the people I know are NOT able to get past their differences. This is why lawyers love custody cases. I know several women who have had negative experiences with father's disregarding their child's well being by shacking up with women early and often, leaving their children with their current fling instead of visiting with them himself, and degrading or outright despoiling religious beliefs. Who wants to send their kid to play with some unknown woman? Or to be told what they were taught was right is untrue? I think children need consistency and care more than anything else and that splitting them between two homes is counterproductive and inconsistent causing confusion and low self esteem.

    1. Dear Anonymous who posted on January 25th.

      For you it seems to be black or white. Shared parenting doesn’t work for you so there should be no shared parenting at all. It’s this type of ignorance that has caused the prejudice against many parents that have had their children stripped from their lives.

      Speaking of black or white, up until the 60’s it was illegal for a black person to marry a white person. Maybe we had laws governing this because people prior to the 60’s said that marriages between whites and blacks can’t work, much like you say that shared parenting can’t work. It’s just plain ignorance on your behalf. When you say it can’t be done that is totally untrue. I have known many cases where shared parenting has worked.

      There's a common story that circulates about success and failure that I learned in college. Supposedly Thomas Edison failed more than 1,000 times when trying to create the light bulb and when he was asked about his failures and why he did not give up after a 1000 failures, Edison allegedly said, I did not fail a 1,000 times at making a light bulb. I successfully found a 1,000 ways to not make a light bulb.

      Maybe more people need to work at finding a 1000 ways in which shared parenting doesn’t work so that that one way can be found in which shared parenting does work. Children need to have access to both parents and should not be made to have to choose between parents.

      Many parents that have never done a thing to harm their children have had their rights stripped away by the courts and people like you. These parents have never pointed guns at their children or spouses such as you allegedly had happen to you. They have never abused or neglected their children yet the court sees fit to remove the children from their lives and make them “Visitors.”

      For your child’s sake, no matter if their fathers is a good person or not, encourage them to love their father. No matter what his issues might be. If your ex has done the things you state he did then maybe you have a legitimate reason for having custody but for your child’s sake you need to learn to forgive and move on with your life. If I remember correctly, one of the Ten Commandments is “Honor thy Father and Mother.” God never told us to make a choice between parents. This to me implies equal love. It’s kind of hard to teach a child about equality when the scales are so tipped.

      You seem upset that ex’s and their partners may instill some of their values upon their children. Instead of feeling threatened by this you should teach your child and other children how to get information from multiple sources and then to formulate their own opinions. I seem to remember someone that was unrelated to me that instilled some of their values in me. He was my scoutmaster. He was a total outsider but taught me right from wrong and pushed me towards earning my Eagle badge.

      If you really think that others have no play in giving values to our children then you must be the village idiot that is incapable of understanding that it takes a village to raise a child.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story.
    Please do not misunderstand what I am saying. A parent who is proven unfit is an entirely different story.
    I am talking about a parent who wants to be involved in their child's lives, one who works hard and supports his children (in our situation, over $140,000 in support since 2007 now...and my husband was falsely incarcerated, denied his rights, and hasn't been allowed contact with his two daughters since September 26th 2009).
    I have many close family and friends who have very similar situations such as yours. Honestly, it's very sad that a parent wouldn't want to support their own children knowing those children count on them.
    Our story is quite different. I was raised on shared parenting. I have a son from my previous marriage who is being raised with shared parenting.
    Shared parenting to a child is important to their growth and development, for who they will become in the future. And unless there is a damn good reason why the child should not be around the other parent, the child(ren) has the right to both parents equally.
    What you have to remember is, no matter how you feel about the other parent, is not how the child feels about the other parent.


    Samantha Haas

  3. Samantha,

    I can sympathize with you. I sit here writing you on the verge of tears because of our unfair judicial system. My husband’s ex-wife has made it impossible for him to have a relationship with his 3 sons. She has fed them so many lies and played the poor victim in their divorce when that is further from the truth. We are currently trying to get some financial relief by having child support dropped on my middle step-son that turned 18 three months ago. She hired her attorney and managed to have the first hearing postponed & a second has not been scheduled yet & all we get from our attorney is he is waiting on her attorney. My husband’s ex lives with her boyfriend & neither of them work. My husband also pays alimony. We go to work every day & try to be upstanding citizens & we do all this to be broke because the court enables these women to be dependant. My husband didn’t marry this woman he was given a life sentence with her. She also had him arrested a few years ago for “illegal use of a telephone” he sent her 9 text messages trying to get information regarding the children’s school. According to the law that is harassment. He spent 36 hours in jail. We don’t do much & we don’t live above our means. We can’t even go on vacation but yet his ex managed to go to Key West for a week this summer. I’m so glad I can work so hard for her to go on vacation. Thank you family court for making this possible. I think so many times how I would love for us to just move out of the country.

    Broken in SC