In a perfect storm of a divorce case, one Florida woman found that a mix of bad preparation and unfortunate circumstances ended up costing her the most important things in her life: Her children.
Linda Marie Sacks found out the hard way that, in certain circumstances, family courts can be even more unforgiving towards parents than criminal courts. In a criminal case, the rules are clear: Hard evidence is required, sentencing and punishment are all clearly outlined and recorded, and later on, that information can be easily found and challenged in court.
Unfortunately, in family courts, hard evidence is not required, and judges can cut the parent/child link at any point and for any reason. Further compounding the problem, that decision will be buried somewhere in the divorce filing itself, making a future challenge to that ruling all but impossible. The paper trail all but buries it.
In this particular case, Linda Marie’s rights were cut off because there was a whiff of an unsafe environment in the filing (which is why she was going through with the divorce in the first place). There were never any charges filed against anyone, but the judge cut visitation and custody rights anyway. She only gets a few hours of supervised visitation once a month.
Linda has not left any stone unturned, however. She has filed appeals, prepared 112-page Supreme Court petitions, etc. There has been no success as of yet, but as long as her children are growing up away from her, she will keep fighting.
It is impossible to plan for all eventualities, but the sad truth is that an experienced attorney might have been able to prepare for the judge’s ruling, or even challenge it during the proceedings. Regardless, when the cost is your kids, would you cut any corners?