When judges in Washington are making decisions regarding child support and child custody, their primary concern is the best interest of the children. There are numerous factors considered that the judge considers, including a history of domestic violence and the relationship each child has with the parents.
In some custody cases, a judge may not know with certainty whether he or she made the right decision. In other situations, the answer is strikingly obvious.
In a recent case, a husband and wife were in the judge's private chamber to finalize their divorce. When the judge ruled that the woman would receive child support, the man became enraged.
The man told the judge he thought paying child support was unconstitutional. The judge responded by telling that if he did not pay, he could go to jail. The man started making threats, saying that he was going to take the couple's children and no one would be able to see them again.
Then he attacked his soon-to-be ex-wife. His first punch knocked her unconscious, and he continued beating her. Bailiffs needed to taser him twice before they were able to calm him down.
The ex-wife spent three days in the hospital, where she was treated for a broken nose, fractured cheekbone and broken jaw. Because of the blows to her head, her vision has gotten blurry, and she was forced to withdraw from her college courses because she can't see or read.
Although the woman is lucky she was not injured more, she is fearful about what the future holds. There was a history of violence in the couple's four-year marriage. The wife had filed for restraining orders twice and was denied each time. Now she is worried about what will happen when her ex-husband gets out of jail.
He is currently facing felony battery charges and is being held on a $1 million bond.
Source: ABC News, "Enraged Over Child Support, Husband Batters Wife in Front of Judge," Jessica Hopper, 20 April 2011