Preponderance, Domestic Violence, and Child Custody
Before starting our article on Preponderance of the Evidence, Domestic Violence, and Child Custody in the Family Law system, we must inform you that this organization is not a law firm and the writer of this article is not a lawyer. This article should not be taken as legal advise and is for educational purposes only. In this article, we are going to educate you on the relationship to the legal standard of preponderance of the evidence as it relates to domestic violence that is then used in child custody matters within the courts. Additionally, we are going to show how many organizations have found a way to not only monetize the family courts, but also domestic violence and intimate partner abuse. Daily, we get contact from individuals who tell us that they are having a hard time getting increased (or any) visitation with their children because of an allegation of abuse and it’s time that NC non-custodial families learn about the information in this document so that they can protect themselves. Furthermore, I am going to try to make this article as gender neutral as possible because the information herein is used against women sporadically, but it is impossible to overlook the fact that the information contained in this article is primarily affecting fathers and men in North Carolina who are in the family courts, or who have ongoing child custody issues. With that said, anytime an organization who discusses domestic violence and has the word fathers in their organization’s name, it tends to draw a lot of heat from Women’s Rights groups who usually defend themselves by calling us abuse apologist and who want to develop a system by which abuse of women can proliferate. The reality is, there are a lot of mothers, step-mothers, and sisters of men who experience this daily, and therefore we have to deny that this is a male vs. female issue.
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Preponderance Of The Evidence and Domestic Violence Cases
Most people who enter or begin begin the process of divorce or a child custody battle and are not aware that domestic violence cases are NOT prosecuted under the clear and convincing evidence or innocent until proven guilty standards as we have in the criminal courts. Per NC law and federal law (Violence Against Women Act), Domestic Violence is prosecuted under preponderance of the evidence that states a person in North Carolina can be found guilty of violence in domestic situations ABSENT any evidence or witnesses to the fact, and that all a Judge needs to find is 50.01% likelihood that a incident happened. Additionally, it is also important to note that the definition of domestic violence per NC Bar documentation is “Anything that causes another person to feel threatened, or that their life is in imminent harm or death.” Some examples that qualify for domestic violence is a heated argument where both parties yell and scream at each other, or where one party to the argument slams a door. Each day, people in NC go to jail and lose access to their homes, jobs, and children because they have been found guilty of violence where all they did was scream, slam a door, or some other body language that made the other person FEEL threatened. Furthermore, these statistics get sent to Congress and NC Legislators as another violent statistic and many times we feel that these politicians do not realize that these statistics include inappropriate non-violent displays of anger.
It is also important to realize that domestic violence is a very hot button emotional issue that many groups use to fund their organizations or drive political purposes. Every time we hear that someone has been arrested for domestic violence, especially when they are in a child custody battle, we want to emotionally deal with this and assume they hit or beat someone to death when statistically it is likely they did something that another person just felt was violent. An example to help drive this point home is that 30 minutes after 9/11/2001, if anyone in this country were to yell out in public that the two Muslim standing on a corner were terrorist, there would have been an over reaction and response to their demise because of the emotional related to September 11. But with this in mind, because of the laws surrounding domestic violence, all that is needed to bring a violence charge and restraining order is a feeling that your threatened EVEN IF that person making the claim was mutually involved and screaming at the other person and initiated the fight. Under preponderance of the evidence, the case is going to be decided by a Judge even if there is no evidence or witnesses to abuse, and it is likely that this case will be adjudicated as guilty because Judges typically deal with these cases on the “it’s best to be safe than sorry” principle. Although, it is very important to remember that many Judges and Lawyers sit as board members on domestic violence organizations because it looks good politically, and it looks good for that Judge to appear harsh on domestic violence. As more and more convictions are obtained via preponderance of the evidence, the more they can use this issue to propel their re-elections or political aspirations.
Lawyers are another group that loves preponderance of the evidence because the burden of proof is so low, and the definition of abuse is even lower, that it is usually a very easy matter to deal with in the courts and win a case or to ensure that there are hundreds of thousands of people to defend (and bill).
Other groups that benefit from this financially are non-profits who get State and Federal money based on domestic violence statistics. As long as we have domestic violence, we are going to have politicians throwing large amounts of money at this issue which keeps organizations funded, jobs alive, and political aspirations of these organizations going forward. Many people seem shocked when we say this, but organizations like the NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence can’t exists without federal and state money, so they actually need the APPEARANCE of violence to be getting worse. I surely won’t say they enjoy knowing women are being beaten so they can use the statistic to get money, but I will say they LOVE the lowered definition of violence and preponderance of the evidence because it means a lot of statistics that they can push as violence.
We suspect our next assertion will ruffle the feathers of many women, but there is most assuredly a anti-male and anti-father component to domestic violence that is being pushed by radical feminist against your sons, your husbands, your brothers, and your fathers. We are not talking about feminist who want equality for all, we are talking about radical feminist who have a very real hatred for men and who see them all as abusers and oppressors. It is these feminist who are in control of Domestic Violence laws in NC, it is them who got preponderance of the evidence thrown in, and it is them who lowered the definition of violence so low that just about anything can be found to be violence.
Domestic Violence and Child Custody Issues
In just about every child custody case these days, there is an obligatory allegation of violence because the accuser knows it puts him/her in good position to win custody. Because our courts are based upon one parent winning, and the other parent losing, after a divorce or breakdown in a relationship where kids exist, both of the parents NEED the other parent to be the most horrible person on the planet so they can win custody and control. Because lawyers know about preponderance of the evidence and the lowered definition of violence, they many times will encourage their client to file this allegation because it will usually stick and be prosecuted successfully. They do this because in any marriage or relationship, parents will have arguments. They will yell, and they will scream, and they will slam doors. It has gotten so bad, if you are going through a divorce in 2013, and there are kids involved, someone will make an allegation of abuse because it is the perfect tactical weapon. The accuser knows that the accused is now labeled and throwing money at a defense for the domestic violence and not focusing on the child custody issue.
In turn, both lawyers for the accuser and accused know that there will be lots of billable hours in this scenario, and that is will likely go on for many many years.
NC Fathers believes that it is unfortunate that child custody cases have devolved to where parents are doing everything possible to win in a custody matter, and we feel that if equally shared parenting was the gold standard and Judges and Lawyers decided fit parentage on how well one parent includes the other parent in everything, we will see a lot less fighting and healthier kids. Unfortunately, this not sit well with the Family Court lawyers, Judges, and Domestic Violence lobby who have all found a way to monetize this process.
It is very likely that is you are a non-custodial parent, step-parent, grandparent, or some other family member, you are the marginalized family because a false allegation of domestic violence was used as a tactical weapon in a child custody matter where preponderance of the evidence was used to convict you, and from there you were removed from your home, belonging, children, and job which started the process of you throwing tons of money at lawyers. Because you were convicted of possibly slamming a door which caused the other parent to feel threatened, you helped the Domestic Violence lobby send another example of why they need more money to stop this process.
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