Russell, Kathleen


Kathleen Russell is a cofounder and staff consultant to the Center for Judicial Excellence in Marin County, Calif.

When Family Courts Get It Wrong

Kathleen Russell
Cofounder
Center for Judicial Excellence

When a parent harms his or her own child, family courts are supposed to step in and safeguard the victim.

Can you imagine what a tragedy it would be if courts awarded custody to the wrong parent – the abuser?

Actually, according to one conservative estimate, more than 58,000 children per year are ordered by family courts into unsupervised contact with physically or sexually abusive parents following divorce in the United States.

The fact that this type of scandal is taking place in the American justice system defies the imagination. Not since the Roman Catholic Church pedophile scandal has the US seen this level of institutional harm inflicted on innocent children.