THE BLOG
05/23/2011 06:04 pm ET Updated Jul 23, 2011

What Are the Family Courts Thinking?

This is not a rhetorical question. I really do want to know what the courts are thinking. The family courts just get worse and worse as time goes on. There is no reform and the system is broken, but instead of getting better, it continually gets worse.

Judge Nancy E. Gordon, a family court judge in North Carolina, ruled that it was better for the children of Alaina Giordano to be with a parent that was not sick. Which is worse, the judge or the ex who decided to take these children from their mother? I honestly don't know, but I do know that a judge who tells a mother who is battling stage 4 breast cancer to move to Chicago if she wants to see her children and get her treatment there is not a judge that should be presiding over family court.

What makes this even more of a travesty is since when is a parent who is ill not a fit parent? Alaina Giordano has been taking care of not only her cancer since 2007 but her two children as well. In fact, her children have seen her go through treatment, which she now has to get once a month. Why was it okay when she and her husband were married, but it is not okay now?

Is her future uncertain? Yes, but aren't all our future's uncertain? After all, any one of use can get in our car and get killed or get cancer at any time. Is this a reason to remove custody? Do we now have to have physicals to prove our health to keep our children? Is that going to need to be a requirement in all custody dispute cases? I don't know if I am more offended as a woman, a mom or a divorcee. Of course, like every story, being sick is not the only issue that was thrown around for reasons that Alaina Giordano should not have custody of her children.

She admitted to having an affair and had also claimed abuse by her now ex husband. The judge waved off the abuse, as so many family court judges do these days. And, the fact that she does not work, but stays at home with the children was a small issue as well when giving custody to the ex husband, saying that he could care for them better because he had a job and she did not. Which brings up another issue, does the working parent provide a more stable home for the children?

It seems to me that it is more damaging for the children to be sent to another city and state to live, away from their mother who is fine now but could become ill, just because the father has a job there and moved to a good school district. Alaina Giordano cannot afford to visit her children in another state. She cannot even afford an attorney to represent her. She is hoping that she can find an attorney who is willing to take on her case pro bono so she can get back her children.

Alaina Giordano cannot get a traditional job because of her illness and the courts are punishing her for having cancer by taking her children from her. They are punishing her for not being able to get a job because she needs to have monthly treatments. They are punishing her because she cannot afford a good attorney to represent her.

This is not the first story that I have heard that sounds like this, although the ones I am hearing are not due to an ill parent, but sad and unjust all the same. The courts are taking children from mothers who are capable and good parents and giving the parent who can afford the best attorney and has the best story the children. I ask again, what is wrong with the family court system and what are they thinking?

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