Update February 14th 2019-
Hello friends and family of Catherine,
Nothing has changed since last February. She is still struggling and trying to get divorced and gain full child custody. The father is using any opportunity to alienate her from the kids. The children are suffering emotionally as a result. If any of you are able or feel led to help, we greatly appreciate any gift. Tomorrow is another court date. Please keep her in prayer. Your prayers are appreciated so much. Thank you again
Update: We are making a renewal plea for financial assistance for Catherine. The situation is far from over and she needs our prayers and help at this time
My sister Catherine, a mother of 25 years, filed for divorce July 2017 after 28 years of her husband's infidelity, emotional, and physical abuse, and control. She wanted to have an uncontested divorce and equal sharing of custody to make it as quick as possible for her safety, and also to maintain family normalcy as much as possible. Also in July, she was granted a Domestic Violence Injunction against her husband from documented bruises and cuts received from defending herself while he held a pillow over her face. For unknown reasons, the judge persuaded her to drop the DVI down to the current No Contact Order currently in place.
Earlier in the marriage, the husband received a domestic violence arrest, and jail term. Over the past decade he has also had neighbors call the police on him due to several verbal altercations with them, needing an attorney to keep him from going to jail. Catherine however has never been in trouble for anything, not even a traffic ticket.
In January of 2018, it is believed that the father construed lies about the mother and used the son with the help of his attorney to speak against his mother.
Given this history, we were shocked in February when the judge ordered Catherine to leave the family home and gave temporary custody of the children and the home to the father. Since then she has been in and out of court fighting for the custody of her children.
My sister's first attorney was inexperienced and didn't expose to the judge, her husband's devious behavior and his double life of multiple relationships with other women, spending thousands and neglecting his family.
Sadly in May of 2018, another shock occurred. The police showed up at my sister's house at 1:30 AM on May 14th to give her the devastating news that her eldest daughter had committed suicide the night of May 13th, Mother's Day. She had been living with her father at the time. Two days after she was buried, again my sister was in court trying to gain custody of the remaining children. She was awarded custody of the 17 yr old daughter, but the younger two remain with the father.
Disregarding what would be the best for the children, the father makes every effort to alienate the younger children from their mother, especially the 11 yr old son, and is as uncooperative as possible to make life as difficult as he can for my sister as well as the 17 yr old daughter. Additionally, the father does not allow the 17 yr old in the family home to visit her siblings or allow her to go in her room for any belongings from her room without his permission. She was even denied a request for her bed. Early in July the 17 yr old daughter asked her father if her 6 yr old sister could come to and all-girl birthday party at the beach, and her father denied her request. Later in July, Catherine was allotted one hour to see her son on his birthday despite her ignored requests made to the father several days ahead of time to ask if she could spend time with the son and take him to dinner for his birthday and give him gifts.
We (Catherine's family) believe legal injustice is taking place and Catherine is doing her best to prove she's the best custodial parent for the well-being and safety of the children. As her family, we believe she has not received fair hearing in court, and we have been puzzled by many of the judge's decisions. Catherine is exploring legal strategies with her attorney who has provided better representation throughout an extremely difficult legal process. She is in need of help to pay past expenses as well as future legal bills.
My sister has been running the family business they have together for 12 years. She is finding it impossible to pay for all his household bills, as well as the home she rents and pay her legal fees.
Thank you so much if you can help. Prayers are appreciated.
Her primary goal right now is to provide a safe and secure environment for three children.
In her words:
"I remain positive and thank God for everything that He has given me during this time. My parents, family, and close friends know how much I have been blessed by their prayers. I know God has as plan, and I know He's given me strength that I never knew I had.
I'm looking for work and hope to find employment soon.
"Thank you so very much for any donations. I appreciate your help."
All donations will be directed to her attorney for past and future legal fees.
- Kimberly Barlow
- Robert Doyle
- Angela Langley
- Becky Vass-Reinholtz
- Terri Huizenga
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