Such loss deserves extensive due process protection.
Parent’s rights have been recognized as being “essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free man.” Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 US 390; 43 S Ct 625, (1923).
The courts pompously assert they are invoking "the best interest of the child," but how can it be in the best interest of children to make them forfeit one parent?
Even when blood relationships are strained, parents retain vital interest in preventing irretrievable destruction of their family life; if anything, persons faced with forced dissolution of their parental rights have more critical need for procedural protections than do those resisting state intervention into ongoing family affairs. Santosky v. Kramer, 102 S Ct 1388; 455 US 745, (1982).
Parents have a fundamental constitutionally protected interest in continuity of legal bond with their children. Matter of Delaney, 617 P 2d 886, Oklahoma (1980).
The liberty interest of the family encompasses an interest in retaining custody of one’s children and, thus, a state may not interfere with a parent’s custodial rights absent due process protections. Langton v. Maloney, 527 F Supp 538, D.C. Conn. (1981).
Parent’s right to custody of child is a right encompassed within protection of this amendment which may not be interfered with under guise of protecting public interest by legislative action which is arbitrary or without reasonable relation to some purpose within competency of state to effect. Regenold v. Baby Fold, Inc., 369 NE 2d 858; 68 Ill 2d 419, appeal dismissed 98 S Ct 1598, 435 US 963, IL, (1977).
Parent’s interest in custody of her children is a liberty interest which has received considerable constitutional protection; a parent who is deprived of custody of his or her child, even though temporarily, suffers thereby grievous loss and such loss deserves extensive due process protection. In the Interest of Cooper, 621 P 2d 437; 5 Kansas App Div 2d 584, (1980).
The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires that severance in the parent-child relationship caused by the state occur only with rigorous protections for individual liberty interests at stake. Bell v. City of Milwaukee, 746 F 2d 1205; US Ct App 7th Cir WI, (1984).
Father enjoys the right to associate with his children which is guaranteed by this amendment (First) as incorporated in Amendment 14, or which is embodied in the concept of “liberty” as that word is used in the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment and Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Mabra v. Schmidt, 356 F Supp 620; DC, WI (1973).
“Separated as our issue is from that of the future interests of the children, we have before us the elemental question whether a court of a state, where a mother is neither domiciled, resident nor present, may cut off her immediate right to the care, custody, management and companionship of her minor children without having jurisdiction over her in personam. Rights far more precious to appellant than property rights will be cut off if she is to be bound by the Wisconsin award of custody.” May v. Anderson, 345 US 528, 533; 73 S Ct 840, 843, (1952).
A parent’s right to care and companionship of his or her children are so fundamental, as to be guaranteed protection under the First, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. In re: J.S. and C., 324 A 2d 90; supra 129 NJ Super, at 489.
The Court stressed, “the parent-child relationship is an important interest that undeniably warrants deference and, absent a powerful countervailing interest, protection.” A parent’s interest in the companionship, care, custody and management of his or her children rises to a constitutionally secured right, given the centrality of family life as the focus for personal meaning and responsibility. Stanley v. Illinois, 405 US 645, 651; 92 S Ct 1208, (1972).
Fathers are dying to see their children, both figuratively and literally.
Earlier this week, I found out that a supporter who was in a highly contested custody battle took his own life. It is the sixth known suicide of TFRM page supporters.
I say “known” because there were probably more, a lot more, but they were not confirmed.
The adversarial nature of Family Court pits parents against each other in an extremely high stakes manner. False accusations and an over-zealous issuance of Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs) help to create an environment where fathers find themselves completely removed from the children’s lives and forced to spend thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of dollars to regain contact.
These circumstances create a scenario in which many fathers are left mentally, physically, and spiritually broken. They began to contemplate suicide. Sadly, for some, it seems like the only remaining option.
Suicide is not the answer. It creates more pain. It leaves a tarnished legacy for the person and their children. If these thoughts are crossing you mind, please seek help. The national suicide hotline is staffed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The number is 1-800-273-8255.
We only support organizations who show an understanding that children need both parents, and that either parent is equally capable of the choice to perpetrate hate or declare peace.