The 'Free Cross' Fraud
Family Court trials feature the killer lawyer in every case: the law guardian, known these days as the 'Attorney for the Child'. One magical power this lawyer has is the "free cross' which I describe in this legal guide.
The Set Up For the Free CrossPleadings don't count for much in Family Court. The 'Petition' does not require an 'Answer' so any reviewer of these case files sees no defense in any case. The case can go on and on for years and the original pleadings eventually fall away replaced by nothing. Some courts demand amended pleadings while others say nothing at all.
The Attorney for the Child at TrialOnce the case goes to trial, the court allows any issues to be tried. Objecting to this moving target leads to an overruling because the parties had sufficient notice given the passage of years and the court's intervening temporary orders. So a violation petition mutates into a custody modification petition and in all such cases, there is an intended loser and an intended winner. The Attorney for the Child takes the podium.
The Power to 'Free Cross'The Attorney for the Child has not only the power to cross examine (ask leading questions), but can cook up any information she wants as a basis to ask those questions. "Isn't it true the mother once said she refused you Saturday visits?" The witness can say 'yes' and give the impression the target parent is an alienator. "Isn't it true the mother said she preferred to have you in supervised visitation?" "Wouldn't it surprise you if the mother said she preferred to have the child in dance classes rather than visit with you?" "How would you feel about that?"
An exhaustive listing of such questions is not possible in this compact forum. However the idea is that there is a listing of points available for use in every case that can be foisted on any parent with no prior testimony, no objective proof and no advance notice of the substance of the questions. The Attorney for the Child can pick and choose her intended target parent simply by using these questions to build a negative impression of the parent with virtually no objective proof of any kind.
Appeal Is The Only Option?Once you obtain a record of such a trial, the only option is to appeal. There is no supervisory authority over these judges and attorneys for the child. In some situations, the judge can assign free counsel to the intended winner despite testimony of six-days-a-week employment. This coupled with the attorney for the child's 'free cross' creates a hall of smoke and mirrors which leads to loss of a child.
Perhaps voting in new legislators and executives is needed. The current system is a mind fake and we are breaking the link to our eternity with this cockamamie system.