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Our movie, Divorce Corp, featured a disturbing scene in which Judge William Adams of Aransas, Texas, beat his handicapped daughter with a belt. The original video had been taken by his daughter when she was 14 years old, but not released until she was able to move out of the household. Because so many years had passed, the statute of limitations for child abuse had long since expired.
We showed this video not to condemn Judge Adams (it had already been posted on the internet), but to illustrate that family court judges have failings, and sometime serious flaws. Should an individual capable of beating his handicapped daughter with a belt, and threatening to beat her in her face, be presiding over custody cases where allegations of child abuse can form the basis for determining parental competence? Should parents who go to family court be subject to the whims of a single human being? Of course not, yet 2 million Americans must navigate this flawed system every year. This failing of our judicial system is one of the factors that motivated us to make the movie Divorce Corp.
Even more disturbing to us is that the Texas judicial oversight process did not remove Judge Adams from his position, regardless of whether the criminal statutes of limitations had expired. Clearly someone of this temperament should not have been deciding cases without a jury to moderate his disposition. Yet they let him keep his job. This illustrates the extreme cronyism rampant within the judiciary. And it is not just Texas. We will be featuring some data soon that shows the lack of oversight common in our judicial system.
Judge Adams recently lost re-election. Unfortunately, it is very rare for the general public to throw out an incumbent judge. It is almost impossible for the general public to know about tyrants in the family courts. It should not take an extreme case like this for common sense to prevail. Judicial elections are not sufficient protection for the public against our dysfunctional family court system. Our book, Divorce Corp, outlines the many flaws of the system and offers solutions to fix it. We hope you will have an opportunity to read it.