Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In Re Christopher C. (Cal. Ct. App. - Feb. 22, 2010)

What a nightmare.

A husband and wife have seven children: Christopher (who's now 16), twins William and Kayle (who are 11), and quadruplets (who are 9). Here's just a snippet of their family situation, which has been in the dependency court for the past six years:

"As the investigation unfolded, some of the children alleged that Father sexually abused them and that their siblings engaged in substantial sexual conduct. One accused his brother of sexually abusing him in Father's presence. The children who did not accuse Father of abuse claimed that Mother physically abused them and coached them to tell lies against Father. What followed was a series of inconsistent statements that left the juvenile court at a loss when it tried to determine whether any of the allegations were true. . . .

With respect to the family's history with DCFS the social worker wrote: . . . . 'It is tremendously disturbing that the immense discord between the mother and father has continued for so many years despite the obvious adverse effects that their broken relationship has had on each of the children. In an interview with the father, father described the child William as having "a fractured mind" as a result of the mother's relentless manipulation. After a thorough review of this family's history, it is clear that each of the seven children have, in the past, and now continue to suffer with fractured minds due to the parents' juvenile ways. . . .

[The trial court] noted that virtually every professional who had contact with the parents concluded they were in an 'alternative universe' that infected the family. The court noted the tortured and conflicting testimony offered by the children and concluded, '[t]hey are so damaged by this ongoing fight that they don't even know what's true and not true anymore. And that's just obscene."

I'll spare you the details of the various allegations and how twisted the whole family appears to be as a result. Suffice it to say that when the parents get this crazy, the kids suffer. A ton.